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Yet another "What is this?" thread

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by Rex B, Dec 18, 2017.

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  1. Rex B

    Rex B Member

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    Local guy here has a revolver bought at an estate sale. At first glance I thought it was a S&W Victory, but it's not. The cylinder release is unique. I found nothing like it in any of my reference books. Other than that it looks like a pre-war S&W. The owner says it has no markings.

    Anyone recognize this?

    IMG_6595.JPG IMG_6596.JPG IMG_6597.JPG IMG_6598.JPG
     
  2. drk1

    drk1 Member

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    Thanks for the question and the photos. As you probably know, lots of countries produced copies of the standard Smith & Wesson revolver design. The copies from the European countries -- Spain, Belgium, Italy -- usually have markings of some sort, even if there is no name that would reveal the identity of the guilty. The copies without markings generally come from more remote or "primitive" places such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In fact, there are several interesting videos on the net that show gunsmiths in these places turning out everything from revolvers to copies of AKs and HK MP5s by hand from scratch. One of the most well known places is Darra Adamahkel, Pakistan, but there were/are several others. Most of the time there is no way to determine exactly where or which of these small workshops made the example in question. Unless there is some sort of provenance with the pistol, such as a vet brought it back to the US from his tour in Afghanistan, the best that you can do is tell the fellow who owns it he has what is often called a "Khyber Pass Copy." You can find more information using that term to do a search on the net. Thanks again for sharing.
     
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  3. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    I'm thinking Spanish Basque copy? Never seen a Khyber pass DA revolver, but they're pretty ingenious, so its certainly possible.
    Could be Chinese warlord arsenal too, 1920s ish...
     
  4. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    http://tincanbandit.blogspot.com/2016/06/featured-gun-spanish-smith-wesson-clone.html
    Looks very close to this: Garate model 333, here's Tincan Bandits link to it.
    The latch release is inverted though, kinda strange......plus the total lack of markings.

    Could have been made during the chaos of the Spanish civil war- perhaps in a backyard workshop reverse-engineered from a Garate? We will probably never know for sure, but I think we're pretty close.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
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  5. TINCANBANDIT

    TINCANBANDIT Member

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    There were a lot of S&W and Colt copies made in Spain, U.S. patents were not recognized and the gun makers in Spain cranked out a ton of these guns between the wars
     
  6. Ron James

    Ron James Member

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    Deleted, I don't know what I saw in first look at the photos, but it is not a Belgium Ranger. I agree it is Spanish. Sorry about that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
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  7. AZAndy
    • Contributing Member

    AZAndy Contributing Member

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    I sure would like a peek under that sideplate.
     
  8. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    Just wanted to watch the thread... but I concur with the idea of "Copy". I would think of Spain as the country of origin.

    But I want pics under the sideplate too!
     
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I don't see it in Zhuk but the whole thing just says "Spain." They were not real good about trademarks and proofmarks until well up into the 1920s. Whereas a Belgian or German gun would have been well marked.
     
  10. drk1

    drk1 Member

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    Well, I've spent some time looking through my library and on-line for information regarding your revolver. I remember seeing that cylinder release lever in the past and that led me to doubt my original thought that it was a "Khyber Pass" copy. The gunsmiths in these small, middle eastern shops tended to copy everything exactly, or at least the best they could. That means that these pistols often have the names of companies misspelled or other irregularities. I've looked around and found at least one other photo of a revolver with the same cylinder release as the one in your photos.

    https://www.gunandgame.com/threads/help-identify-old-38-revolver-please.169807/

    If you scroll down toward the end of this thread, you'll see a picture of a very similar revolver in better condition. The author contends that it is a Spanish copy, and elaborates about how the Spanish received contracts from various allied nations during World War I and developed an extensive manufacturing business. Unfortunately, none of the information provided in this thread contains any references or supportive documentation, which leads me to view it is little more than "gun show legend". Hope this helps, at least knowing that your friend is not alone in owning one of these.
     
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  11. Col. Harrumph

    Col. Harrumph Member

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    This one is kind of a puzzle, isn't it? My vote however is for back-of-beyond Pakistan or some place nearby. I'd expect a Spanish copy to have a cylinder release thumb piece that closely duplicates the S&W part. Also, irregularities in the trigger guard bow speak of a village anvil, not a machine shop. The only evidence I see to the contrary is the absence of markings. The Hindu Kush firearms industry usually covers their work with extravagant markings. "Forgotten Weapons," Ian McCollum's youtube channel, recently demo'd a kludged Martini Henry pistol (!) prominently marked with a huge broad arrow made of the word ENFIELD stamped three times. And one other time, spelled backwards. The maker was using a stencil of some sort and put it on backwards. An easily understood mistake considering the fellow probably couldn't read English... or any other language either.

    If this were mine I probably wouldn't be able to resist shooting with it. But I'd use a plain lead bullet and black powder.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
  12. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    The one in your link, even the grip design looks the same. The ejector rod seems to have a knurled end, and there is a pin at the top of the barrel, but those are the only differences I can see.

    Maybe it's a copy of a copy? lol
     
  13. Jim K

    Jim K Member.

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    The Guns & Game revolver is a badly beaten up Colt, but it is a Colt.
    The revolver shown here is quite different and has all the indications of Spanish origin, not of a "Khyber Pass Special". Spanish guns of that era range from reasonably well made with proper markings and proofs to unmarked guns made of cast iron that can only be described as trash. I would treat it as an interesting novelty and forget about trying to shoot it.

    Jim
     
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