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Old July 5, 1999, 04:00 PM   #1
Blackdog
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Join Date: June 28, 1999
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I have an old gun that was given to me some time ago. I've never been able to identify it. Perhaps some of the forumites could help me.

It's a 6 shot, double action revolver. The barrel is 4 3/8" (10.8 cm) long. On the topstrap is stamped M a 1915 (the 'a' is underlined) and the 1915 looks more like J9J5. The cylinder latch is forward of the cylinder on the upper portion of the crane. The ejector rod is un-shrouded and appears to be full length. The hammer is not bobbed, but is somewhat rounded.

On the left side of the frame, just above the cylinder latch, is stamped A*E (the star is five pointed). Below the cylinder, on the left side of the frame, is stamped 8 M/M.

There is a lever on the left rear portion of the frame, just below the hammer and above the grip panel which locks the hammer and cylinder when in the down position.

A three digit number, which I assume to be the serial number, is stamped on the right, forward side of the frame. There are no further markings on the gun that I can find.

The gun is in relatively good condition and shows signs of only normal wear and tear. Finish is 60-75% in tact. The grips are wood and seem to be original issue.

Any info as to what it is and what it may be worth would be deeply appreciated.

Thanks,

Blackdog

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When the world is at peace, a gentleman keeps his sword by his side....... Sun-Tzu 400 B.C.
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Old July 5, 1999, 07:16 PM   #2
Harley Nolden
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It sounds to me that it is Russian, 5 point star, and this leads me to believe that it is one of the gas sealing pistols. Nagant made several also. I am unable to locate the pistol, unless one of those slides I sent just happens to be one.

HJN

[This message has been edited by Harley Nolden (edited July 05, 1999).]
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Old July 5, 1999, 10:46 PM   #3
Blackdog
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Harley,

Thanks for the photos. Afraid none of them match this iron that I have. The safety lever looks similar to the one on #997 but not as long.

There are no other external markings on the gun except as mentioned in my post above.


Thanks for your time and patience. It is really appreciated.



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When the world is at peace, a gentleman keeps his sword by his side....... Sun-Tzu 400 B.C.
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Old July 6, 1999, 11:26 AM   #4
Paul B.
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Blackdog. Does the cylinder open to the right, rather than the normal left in most DA revolvers? If it does, it would be the French Modele d'Ordonnance, (1892 Lebel) It was made until 1945. Probably made at the St. Etienne Arsenal. Just a guess.
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Old July 6, 1999, 11:42 AM   #5
fal308
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The closest I can make out in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Handguns by A.B Zhuk, this appears to be a Belgian 'Perfectionne;Henri Pieper & Companie (later Anciens Etablissements Pieper), Herstal-lez Liege. 8 mm Lebel; six-shot. A smaller and lighter version of...'the Pieper, or Bayard.
Though the hammer shape is different and the drawing shows only a partial-length ejector rod.
Anyway, if the right leg of the A and the left side of the [b]E]/b] are a single line and the five-pointed star is centered above them it is a Belgian inspector's mark.
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Old July 6, 1999, 11:54 PM   #6
Blackdog
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Harley,

The A and E are seperate letters, but the 5 pointed star is centered above and between them on the stamping (A*E).

Did the Belgians make the "Belgian 'Perfectionne" in a model 1915?

Blackdog

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When the world is at peace, a gentleman keeps his sword by his side....... Sun-Tzu 400 B.C.
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Old July 7, 1999, 12:48 AM   #7
Harley Nolden
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Blackdog & Fal308:

I have checked the same book as Fal308, and have identified the same piece that he has identified. I cannot find where it was made in or during 1915. Additionally, the 5 pt. star, is stamped in the grip, as a Pieper trade mark.

I have also noticed a similar star stamped on the left side of a Nagant gas seal Revolvers. Unfortunatley, I am unable to locate exactly what you have.

HJN
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Old July 7, 1999, 10:05 AM   #8
James K
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This may help some. A (star) E is one of the French markings for "Arme Etrangere" or "Foreign Arm". Some Spanish revolvers had a latch on the crane as you describe. These resembled, in general outline, a Smith & Wesson M&P. The thumb safety, however, I had not seen before.

In the desperate year of 1915, France bought thousands of pistols from every imaginable source. The best known are the Star and Savage 7.65 (.32ACP) auto pistols, but they also bought revolvers from Spain chambered for their 8mm Lebel revolver cartridge; these were marked "8mm".

An absence of proof marks could also point to Spain, since proof was not compulsory in Spain until 1923 and most Spanish pistols prior to that were not proofed.

If you can find an 8mm Lebel cartridge, try it for fit; a match would go some way toward proving this theory.

Incidentally, Spanish makers did not sell many such revolvers to France - even the French weren't desperate enough to buy that junk - so after the war they rechambered a lot of them to .32-20 and sold them in the U.S., where the 8mm Lebel was unavailable.

(Ever wonder why that Spanish pot-metal junk was made in the fairly powerful .32-20 instead of .32 S&W or .38 S&W? Now you know.)

Jim
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