The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old September 24, 2006, 11:27 PM   #1
Earnhardtjr3829
Member
 
Join Date: March 15, 2006
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 86
Information on a U.S. Revolver Co. .32

Hey everyone, today I was given a revolver which I'm 99% sure is a .32 caliber. It is made by U.S. Revolver Co., and from what I understand was manufactured by Iver Johnson. Can anyone give me any information on when these were made, what they are worth, etc.? Any information at all would be greatly appreciated. It is a fairly small pistol.
__________________
"I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from goin insane.---Waylon Jennings"
Earnhardtjr3829 is offline  
Old September 25, 2006, 08:48 PM   #2
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,648
Those guns were made by Iver Johnson as a trade, or second line, gun. In spite of that, they are reasonably well made, but do not have the IJ transfer bar safety. One report says they used parts acquired when they bought Forehand & Wadsworth, but that is probably not true, as Hopkins and Allen bought F&W. The gun dates from around 1900, and it is a pretty safe bet that it is chambered for .32 S&W.

There is a mild collector interest in those old guns but only if in near new condition. In average condition or with broken/missing parts, they bring very little, $50 or so. Dealers in some states won't even take those guns in trade since they are not worth the trouble of doing the paperwork to sell them, and if they break, they are not worth the time and effort to fix.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is online now  
Old September 25, 2006, 10:29 PM   #3
Earnhardtjr3829
Member
 
Join Date: March 15, 2006
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 86
Thanks that does help alot. This particular one does have all it's parts and only has slight blueing blemishes on the cylinder. I had no idea it was made that long ago, that's pretty cool. Thanks again.
__________________
"I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from goin insane.---Waylon Jennings"
Earnhardtjr3829 is offline  
Old September 26, 2006, 10:06 AM   #4
walter in florida
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2005
Location: Seminole County, Florida
Posts: 240
U S Revolver

I got most of the following information from Bill Goforth, expert on Iver Johnson and H&R guns. Here goes. In about 1910, Iver Johnson went from black powder to smokeless. They had piles of old black powder parts left and wanted to do something with the parts but did not want degrade their revolvers, so they boutgh out a new line of guns. They produced both break top and solid frame in 22LR, 32 S&W, and 38 S&W. The serial number on the out side my not be the correct and the correct serial number is under the left grip on the frame. These guns were made from about 1910 to 1935. After the black powder parts were used up, they used smokeless parts which would be OK for modern ammo, however I do not know the cut off date. If there is no letter in front of the serial number, I would consider it black powder. I have a an early break top 38 S&W model made in 1911 and will not use it, it complete and works, but was very loose. I tighten it up, by using a small C-clam with very light touch at the break open point, so the metal is very soft.

I paid 44.00 two years ago, but have seen a small frame break top 32 S&W for 109.00 at the shooting range and it was gone two weeks later.

Hope this helps, Bill Goforth Iver Johnson book is sold out and 2ed edition is held up buy the publisher. His new book on H&R gun shold be out soon.
walter in florida is offline  
Old September 26, 2006, 12:46 PM   #5
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,648
I hope those books come out soon. We are overdue for good books on those makers, and I would also like to see books on F&W and M&H. M&H guns were called the very best revolvers ever made in the U.S., but they are almost unknown today. The H&A story is also interesting and should be a good subject for a book length treatment.

Quite a few collectors have decided to specialize in those "cheap" guns, the so-called "suicide specials" and the inexpensive solid frame and break top DA revolvers. The variations are endless, much research still has to be done, and (best of all) you can buy 25 or 30 of the less expensive ones for the price of one decent Colt SAA.

And lessons can be learned. I just got a Merwin & Hulbert, and was surprised to find something I never saw before in the way the mainspring acts through a lever system to work as the trigger return spring. That solves one of the major problems of revolvers of that era, trigger spring breakage.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is online now  
Old September 26, 2006, 02:26 PM   #6
walter in florida
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2005
Location: Seminole County, Florida
Posts: 240
Jim, the longer I been around, the more I learned. I understand that the M&Hs were one h@77 of a gun. Some are worth as much as old colts.
walter in florida is offline  
Old September 27, 2006, 12:46 AM   #7
Earnhardtjr3829
Member
 
Join Date: March 15, 2006
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 86
Thanks for all the info, it does help. I still would like to shoot it, but am slightly nervous to because the gun has some senimental value and I'd hate it if modern ammo destroyed it during the firing process.
__________________
"I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from goin insane.---Waylon Jennings"
Earnhardtjr3829 is offline  
Old September 27, 2006, 06:10 PM   #8
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,648
I may regret saying this, but I would not be concerned about modern ammo; the makers know very well about the old guns and keep pressures way down so as not to harm the old guns. I would be more concerned that just firing it, or even dry firing it, would result in breakage of an irreplaceable part.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is online now  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:07 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09910 seconds with 7 queries