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Old October 5, 2011, 03:07 PM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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44 Bulldog... anyone play ???

picked up a gun in awesome condition ( it just might be unfired ) I have a thread about loading for it in the reloading section...

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=464027

anyone else collect or shoot these... mine is quite impressive... looks like a 3" J Frame ( except for having a loading gate, rather than a swing out cylinder, which mine has the gate, rather than just a loading notch with no cover, which would be like the bulk of the revolvers produced ), & with a 44 hole in the end of the barrel...
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Old October 6, 2011, 10:29 AM   #2
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Hey Magnum,
Does yours look like this one?
IMG_0871.jpg
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Old October 6, 2011, 10:45 AM   #3
Magnum Wheel Man
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I think mines newer??? ( judgeing by the grips ) also looks like a different cylinder pin...bigger, & mines flat on the top next to the barrel... also has a safety notch / 1/2 cock notch as witnessed by the hammer position in the picture

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Old October 7, 2011, 10:46 AM   #4
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Magnum,
Is there anything stamped into the top strap on on the left side of the barrel. I'm thinking that yours is not an H&R, from the look of the grips and the cylinder pin??????????????

IMG_0876.jpg

IMG_0873.jpg
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Old October 7, 2011, 11:03 AM   #5
Magnum Wheel Man
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Nothing on the frame... has "American Bull Dog" on the top of the barrel, & serial numbers under the grips on the grip frame... haven't noticed any maker yet... but been busy at the loading bench the last couple nights while the cylinder soak with penitrating oil

...It's possible the gun could be a Hopkins & Allen... I haven't had time to go through my books yet ( have a couple Hopkins & Allen books, but no H&R books yet )... I think I remember them making some solid frame guns like this, & they put more loading gates on than most of the other brands on their solid frame guns...
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Old October 7, 2011, 11:07 AM   #6
Magnum Wheel Man
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although... looking at your pictures, ( you always have such great pics ) the cylinder pin latch is definatel H&R style... I think the H&A's used a different type of pin catch on the solid frames ???
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Old October 7, 2011, 11:27 AM   #7
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I've got one that looks just like yours MWM only it's got about a 4 1/2" barrel. I tried to research it a while back and got nowhere.
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Old October 7, 2011, 11:35 AM   #8
Magnum Wheel Man
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32 MAG is the H&R guru... so if it's an H&R, he'll have the info...

I'll find the time to look through my H&A reference books over the weekend & should be able to at least know or eliminate one maker anyway...

the more I go over mine, the more I think it was unfired, cleaning the bore with the cylinder in is not optimum, but it looks pristine, as do the cylinder chambers... there is gunk in alot of places, but I can't tell if thats just a combo of light rust & thickened lubricant, or shooting residue... I tend to think the 1st...

if my pin has not loosened up by Saturday, the gun goes to my retired gunsmith buddy, & he should be able to get it out... but with only desk drawer type scratches in the gun, I don't want to do any more damage than necessary getting it freed up...

MAV... does yours have the same type of cylinder pin, & the same grips ???
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Old October 7, 2011, 01:24 PM   #9
mavracer
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Quote:
MAV... does yours have the same type of cylinder pin, & the same grips ???
IIRC yes I'm at work now, but I'll see if I can find time to dig it out and snap a pic later.
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Old October 10, 2011, 10:31 AM   #10
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Wheel Man,
Did some light research - I'm thinking your AMERICAN BULLDOG is an Iver Johnson (IJ used that moniker) and probably a 1st Model (1882-84)...I'm not an IJ expert - but I do know that H&R guns marked as "BULLDOG" are only known to have been offered in .32 or .38 RIMFIRE cartridges.
Comparing early solid frame IJs with similar HRs shows just how much alike they look. Grip panels on your gun do not match the early H&Rs patterns.
If it is an IJ - the barrel length (in octagon) should measure 2 1/16".
Hell, I don't know for sure - just suggesting.
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Old October 10, 2011, 10:51 AM   #11
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barrel length would be close if measured from the front of the frame... I'm guessing that it's 3" from forcing cone to muzzle...

It's possible that it's an Iver ??? I looked in my H&A books, & I'm certain it's not a Hopkins & Allen... the cylinder pin retainer clip sure looks like a H&R, but I haven't seen or own too many Iver solid frames to have anything else to compare it to... & didn't most Ivers stamp the company name on the gun ???
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Old October 11, 2011, 01:23 PM   #12
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The "Blue Book" states the only stamping on either version of the AMERICAN BULLDOG is not marked with IJ name and address. The older version has the stamp on the top strap; while the later has it stamped on the top barrel flat. These versions also were stamped with a variety of "store brand" or off-brand names. ????
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Old October 11, 2011, 06:04 PM   #13
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Bulldog

i am a fan of these old guns. This is a Belgian copy of Webley's .44 cal. British Bulldog - stamped with that moniker on the top strap.


And cartridges:
L to R
1).44 Bulldog (really at this case length - the .44 Webley) with a heeled bullet, dia. 0.438". Case made from .44 Colt. 2)The heeled bullet.
3)A version , .44 Webley - with the rim thinned - made from .44 Spl. - bullet is a .445 LRB seated more than half way atop 12 grs of FFFg BP. 4) the actual Bulldog sized case, made from a .44 Russian case. Same as the previous LRB. This one atop nine grs. Of FFFg.

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Old October 12, 2011, 03:43 AM   #14
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old revolvers

As I wrote...I am a fan of these old guns. Here are some more:
top to bottom - 1) a smaller version of the .44 pictured above. This one in .380 Revolver.
2) A Baby Bulldog - in need of repair. Needs a new hand and handspring.
3) by Forehand and Wadsworth...a .38 S&W
4) another F&W.....32 S&W Short....can use 320 Revolver.

Pete
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Old October 12, 2011, 06:40 AM   #15
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I was always impressed with the variety these old revolvers were manufactured in, as well as the low prices. I suspect they outsold Colt and S&W in total. I believe they were probably manufactured up until WWII but I doubt no later than that. Although they were small guns and low priced, some of the names remain pretty respectable, such as H&R. All of the ones I've seen seemed to have decent enough finish (to begin with, that is) and fit and some still looked pretty good, but the designs generally weren't so great. Some were similiar to S&W breaktops or as most of these here are, of Webleys.

According to the 1940 (I think it is) Shooter's Bible, the common calibers were .32 and .38 S&W but I seem to recall a few listings of calibers I don't recognize. Unfortunately that would have to be another post. But by 1940 the Bulldogs were ancient history.

It isn't too uncommon, even today, for a new cartridge to make a splash and then to never be heard from again. Supposedly the Python was supposed to be available in something like the .256 Magnum or something like that but I don't think it got off the ground.

Say, would a Baby Bulldog be a Pup?
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Old October 12, 2011, 09:51 AM   #16
darkgael
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Article

There is a very readable and informative article about Bulldogs in the 2010 Gun Digest. By George Layman, it is entitled "When Bulldogs Ruled", pp. 58 - 65.

I have heard Bulldogs described as "the gun that really won the West."
Pete
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Old October 17, 2011, 06:15 AM   #17
Magnum Wheel Man
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got the cylinder pin out... gun looks unfired...
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