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What did I get?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by martintrueblue, Nov 10, 2013.

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  1. martintrueblue

    martintrueblue Member

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    So, I’ve gotten an inheritance of a sort – five weapons I don’t really know much about: what they are, if they’re any good, how much they’re worth, etc. Particularly, the old DOA “Iver Johnson” (that’s what I could decipher from the fine print on the barrel) is a puzzle to me - I can’t even guess the caliber. Any help would be much appreciated. Do forgive my ignorance; and for those who can spare a moment and share their expertise - thanks, in advance.

    Photos @ FLICKR: http://www.flickr.com/photos/107980833@N04/
     

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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  2. Grmlin

    Grmlin Member

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    Other than the Iver Johnson it looks like you have a couple of Colts and a Smith & Wesson. The little semi-auto is a .32 but would need to see more information on them. If you know nothing about them you might want to consult a gun smith (or at least someone that knows about firearms) to look them over. The Colts and Smith are worth looking into, don't give them up until you do your homework.
     
  3. 98Redline

    98Redline Member

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    #1 Looks like a Colt Police Positive (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colt_Police_Positive)
    #2 Don't know anything other than what you posted. My guess on the caliber would be 38 short. Not safe for 38spl.
    #3 Colt 1903 (if it is a 32 caliber)or 1908 (380 acp), Predecessor to the 1911 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colt_Model_1903_Pocket_Hammerless)
    #4 S&W Model 36 Detective Special. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_&_Wesson_Model_36)

    #1, #3 and #4 are worth some money and appear to be in very good condition. Hopefully you will decide to keep them all but if you don't I would guess #3 and 4 will have the highest ticket price.
     
  4. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    98 nailed 1,3,4. #2 looks like an Iver Johnson top break in .38 S&W.
     
  5. Black Knight

    Black Knight Member

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    The Colt revolver should have its model name on the barrel as well as the caliber. The S&W revolver if made after 1957 should have a model number under the crane. Just open the cylinder and look on the frame just under the barrel. The number should look something like Mod. 36, Mod. 10. If the S&W is a five shot then it is a J frame. If it is a six shot then it is a K frame. If there is no model number then it was made before 1957.
     
  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Here's my best guess from just one picture of each (left to right)

    1. Colt Official Police (doesn't look large enough for a New Service)
    2. Iver Johnson
    3. Colt 1903 in .32 ACP
    4. S&W J-frame (maybe a M-36 or 37?)

    The Detective Special was a Colt Model built on their D-frame
     
  7. Ron James

    Ron James Member

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    In reference to the .38 Short:), isn't that ammo hard to find? On the Iver Johnson, pull the grips and post the serial number and any prefix you find on the left grip, should be able to give you some more information on it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
  8. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I think 9mmepiphany has it right:

    Colt Official Police with what looks like a 5" barrel and Pachmayr grips.

    Iver Johnson Top Break in .32 or .38 S&W caliber.

    Colt Model 1903 in .32 or 380ACP.

    S&W Model 36 or 37 in .38 Special with a square butt and a Tyler T-Grip adapter.
    A Model 36 is all steel construction while the Model 37 has a lighter weight aluminum alloy frame.
     
  9. wally

    wally Member

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    .38 S&W ammo is still available, but that pistol is better for collecting than shooting as are the Colts (nothing wrong with shooting them but wear reduces their value which depends a lot on condition, see if you can find the original grips).

    Nice set.
     
  10. Ron James

    Ron James Member

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    :) I was referring to .38 short being hard to find
     
  11. MrMarty51

    MrMarty51 Member

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    have a smithy look them over, keep the resolvers loaded for the just in case You need a quick round or two. Not the semi auto colt though, the magazines springs`ll become weak if tensioned all the time. Besides, that one is definately a real beauty in Mine eyes.
     
  12. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    That is what the .38 S&W is...also referred to as the .38/200...unless you are referring to the Colt .38 Short
     
  13. wally

    wally Member

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    Don't know how different it is from .38 S&W as none of my reloading manuals seem to list it, although they all have some .38S&W entries.

    Remington has made at least some .38 Short Colt recently
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.38_Short_Colt
     
  14. Ron James

    Ron James Member

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    Yes there is a short .38 Colt cartridge, but there is no Short .38 Smith and Wesson cartridge, it is simply the .38 S&W, regardless of what size bullet it has in front.
     
  15. gopguy

    gopguy Member

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    Actually the first photo is of a Colt Army Special in .38 special. Production of these ended in 1926 and the heat treatment was not up to modern standards. Most reference books will warn you to avoid hot loads in these older revolvers.
     
  16. martintrueblue

    martintrueblue Member

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    Thank you!

    Thank you All for taking time to share your knowledge and opinions. I did take a second look at the COLT revolver - I don't know how I missed it before, but is says "Army Special" on the side of the barrel. Anyways, thank you all kindly.
     
  17. rgwalt

    rgwalt Member

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    Don't try to take the colt semi auto apart without watching some videos, or taking it to someone who knows what they are doing, first. They can be a bit difficult to field strip. Complete disassembly and reassembly requires 3-5 hands and a lot of patience.
     
  18. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The Army Special looks like a late one from the markings, not really any different from an Official Police. The rubber grips are Pachmayrs, about 50 years newer than the gun. Pity, it is in nice shape and worth a bit of money. Colt revolvers are hard to get fixed if you manage to break one, but they are not fragile flowers. They led in police sales until well after WW II.
    Standard velocity .38 Special is not loaded any hotter than it ever was, the gun should shoot 158 gr lead roundnose or 148 grain wadcutters approximately forever.

    The Iver Johnson "Owl Head" is likely a .38 S&W. Not .38 S&W Special, not .38 "Short."
    Again, ammo is not loaded any hotter than it ever was; but this gun looks a bit neglected. I would look at it closely before I shot it. But then I would probably go ahead and shoot it. But not a lot.

    The little Colt .32 Pocket Hammerless is a sweet little pistol. This one may be reblued, the lettering looks a bit rounded, but it is in nice shape. Again, it will shoot fresh .32 Auto (ACP) ammunition without any trouble. It is not much trouble to field strip into three pieces, barrel, slide, and receiver assembly, but is tedious to put back together if taken completely apart.

    The Smith & Wesson looks like a Chief's Special Model 36, a standard in the industry.

    The one you don't show here is a Llama, if marked 9mm Corto is the same as .380.
    Not as fine a gun as the Colts and S&W, it is in good condtion and worth having.
     
  19. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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  20. ratt_finkel

    ratt_finkel Member

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    Nice little inheritance there. I am especially fond of the colt 1903. That is high on my next purchase list. And your is in remarkable condition.
     
  21. martintrueblue

    martintrueblue Member

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    According to Colt's serial lookup (http://www.coltsmfg.com/customerserv...berlookup.aspx), both the revolver and the pistol were made in 1917. Is there any "gun blue book" to use as a reference when guesstimating the value, or the current auctions on GB or GA are the best there is?
     
  22. On An Island

    On An Island Member

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    Try this link:

    Blue Book Of Gun Values

    Unfortunately, it's not a free site but it's been helpful in the past.

    The grip-front buildup on the Smith is interesting. Did a woman or smallish man shoot that one?
     
  23. Ron James

    Ron James Member

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    The grips on the S&W is not built up, Tyler Grip adapters, last I heard they were being made again.
     
  24. S&Wfan

    S&Wfan Member

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    The S&W, if original (and I'm sure it all is) will date no later than 1982, for that's when they stopped pinning the barrel to the frame, and no sooner than 1968 when they stopped putting a diamond on the wooden stocks (grips).

    It is either a "square butt" steel framed Model 36 or an aluminum framed Model 37. Opening the cylinder and swinging it out will reveal the model number hidden on the frame on the inner left side. Either version is great, the M37 for light concealment use and the M36 best for holster but still fine for concealment too and ease of shooting.

    I'm always looking for pinned barrel Smith revolvers. BTW, the stocks will be serial numbered to the gun, and the right stock will have the serial number written in pencil on its inner side! The grip adapter was quite popular in its day and greatly helps grip and comfort. It is a Tyler T-grip and I use them today on all my S&W J-frame revolvers.
     
  25. Field Tester

    Field Tester Member

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    I've been wanting a 1903 or 1908 Hammerless for years!
     
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