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Old July 19, 2012, 08:46 PM   #1
SWDM11
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Old double action, can't figure it out

Hello everyone, I have this old .32 caliber double action revolver that I can't seem to find any information on. No real distinct roll marks present, just the fancy looking medallion on both grips. Gun has a serial number. Any information would be great.
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File Type: jpg Old Double Action .32 004.jpg (105.0 KB, 105 views)
File Type: jpg Old Double Action .32 008.jpg (146.2 KB, 100 views)
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Old July 19, 2012, 08:59 PM   #2
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well it's obviously smith and wesson but it is one of the oddest designs I've ever looked at.
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Old July 19, 2012, 09:13 PM   #3
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well it's obviously smith and wesson but it is one of the oddest designs I've ever looked at.
Its obviously NOT a S&W. Its way too crude, lacks all of the S&W markings, etc. Its a copy of the S&W new departure 32, and not that good of one either. Here is what a real S&W safety hammerless aka new departure aka lemon squeezer looks like. I collect these.

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Old July 19, 2012, 09:44 PM   #4
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I stand corrected.
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Old July 19, 2012, 10:14 PM   #5
gyvel
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(Edit): Correction: It is not an H&R derivative as I first thought, but rather an Andrew Fyrberg revolver, although I have only seen external hammer Fyrbergs. The grip logo is "A F Co."

Last edited by gyvel; July 19, 2012 at 10:30 PM.
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Old July 19, 2012, 10:33 PM   #6
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If you ask me and I know you didn't, it's Spanish.
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Old July 19, 2012, 10:37 PM   #7
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It's not Spanish. Andrew Fyrberg had a factory in Mass, then later sold all his holdings to Meriden. The logo is definitely Fyrberg
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Old July 20, 2012, 05:39 AM   #8
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A F Co, a low cost S&W clone of the top break models. There were numerous manufacturers of knock-off revolvers back in the day. Great wall hanger.
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Old July 20, 2012, 10:17 PM   #9
gyvel
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Actually, Fyrberg guns were on a par, quality-wise, with Iver Johnson and H&R revolvers. Not necessarily top quality like a Colt or Smith, but certainly adequate for their day.
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Old July 20, 2012, 10:23 PM   #10
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Andrew Fyrberg it is. The revolvers were made by Meriden. There is actually little in common with S&W revolvers except general exterior appearance.

Fyrberg is best known as a designer for Iver Johnson, most notably of the "Hammer the Hammer" safety device, the first transfer bar revolver safety. He also designed, in a less glorious moment, the Davis Warner "Infallible" pistols.

Those revolvers resemble the "Secret Service Special" revolvers also made by (among others) Meriden, and also a resemblance to the U.S. Revolver Co. hammerless, made by IJ. I have not found what connection, if any, there was between Iver Johnson and production of the revolver bearing Fyrberg's name.

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Old July 20, 2012, 10:51 PM   #11
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Good thing nobody asked me.
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Old July 21, 2012, 05:46 AM   #12
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"There is actually little in common with S&W revolvers except general exterior appearance."

And, to my eye, there's virtually no commonality with the appearance of the S&Ws at all.

Except for the fact that both have a grip, both have a trigger, and both have a barrel.
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Old July 21, 2012, 07:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
"There is actually little in common with S&W revolvers except general exterior appearance."

And, to my eye, there's virtually no commonality with the appearance of the S&Ws at all.

Except for the fact that both have a grip, both have a trigger, and both have a barrel.

Tuff crowd.
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Old July 22, 2012, 09:04 AM   #14
gyvel
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Andrew Fyrberg it is. The revolvers were made by Meriden.
Fyrberg supposedly had his own facilites until he actually sold them to Meridan later on.
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Old July 22, 2012, 02:00 PM   #15
James K
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I was not able to confirm that, but it could well be correct, or someone else (IJ?) might have made the guns for him. I have not been able to determine the connection here, but Fyrberg certainly had a long association with IJ, either as an employee or as an independent inventor.

Jim
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Old July 24, 2012, 08:51 AM   #16
SWDM11
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Thanks for all the info!
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Old July 24, 2012, 07:49 PM   #17
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Those old top-breaks were the beginning of my education. Never saw a hammerless model in my youth, but those guns were plentiful.

Most were not marked and were sold through hardware dealers or other outlets, often times as promotional items. Many were made by Marlin that I know of, also many imports from Spain and Belgium.

They were bought used from second hand stores or junk shops. We had no idea they were dangerous to shoot and fixed them up and shot them anyway. My wife says I had a guardian angel.

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Old July 24, 2012, 08:25 PM   #18
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Quote:
Many were made by Marlin that I know of, also many imports from Spain and Belgium.
Most Marlins were actually of the tip up design, referring to the hinge being above the cylinder / top of frame. Here is a photo of a Marlin tip up bottom right. Its a XXX Standard revolver. Marlin never made a hammerless revolver.



While many companies made top breaks, (hinge on bottom, a better design than a tip up) S&Ws were the most famous. Here is one on top, a S&W 38 SA 1st model "baby russian" with a merwin and hulbert twist open below it.



Marlin did however make a top break (the model 1880 IIRC), and they are fairly rare. Cal 38 S&W. Essentially a S&W 38 DA copy. Here is the Marlin, top, (not mine) and one of my S&W 38 DAs bottom. Pretty much the same. I would like to own one of these 38 DA marlins if anyone has one. I also am looking for a Marlin 38 standard if anyone has one or knows where one is.



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