View Full Version : Inherited

Great Wazoo
August 26, 2006, 08:18 PM
Hey Guys,

I recently inherited several guns. One of them is an interesting looking small Marlin Revolver. It is Nickel with Black Plastic Grips; and Top Break Action. It appears to be double action and the cylinder spins freely. It also appears to be around 32 caliber. There is no caliber marking on the outside. The top strap reads Marlin Firearms Co. New Haven Conn. USA Patented August.2.1887. August .9.1887

I have not succeded in opening the action yet. Just above the hammer is a knurled piece that I think is the release to break the action. I am going to have to use some penetrating oil on this.

I am attaching a picture. I apologize for the quality, I can't get the camera to focus sharpely tonight. I will have to fix it next.

Any info would be appreciated.



Steven Mace
August 27, 2006, 12:34 AM
Wazoo, you have a Marlin Model 1887 Double Action Revolver. There were about 15,000 made from 1887-1899. This was Marlin's only DA revolver and the last handgun they ever made. The Model 1887 was chambered in either .32 S&W (6-shot) or .38 S&W (5-shot). A serial number should be stamped on the bottom of the grip. Hope this helps!

Steve Mace

Great Wazoo
August 27, 2006, 06:40 PM
Thanks Steve,

It is the 5 shot cylinder so it is the 38. the serial # is 13,771 so it must be from late in the production run. It is not in the best of shape, but not too bad for a 100 + year gun that was not to well cared for in recent years.

You wouldn't happen to know the value range on it would you?

James K
August 27, 2006, 07:45 PM
In like new condition they can run $300+, but an average is around $125-150 if functional.

The latch is a typical top break; grasp the two knobs at the sides of the frame and lift up. The gun should open and the extractor will raise, ejecting any cartridges, loaded or empty, in the cylinder. The action is typical double action.


Great Wazoo
August 27, 2006, 07:56 PM
Thanks Jim,

I was trying to pull back instead of up on the latch. Opens right up, nifty little gun.

August 28, 2006, 10:50 AM
I have a Harrington & Richardson revolver that appears to be the spittin' image of your revolver. Serial number on the butt is 669xxx. Patent year is 1896. Maybe H & R bought Marlin's patent??

August 29, 2006, 01:07 AM
I have a similar pair, except for no external hammer.

T. O'Heir
August 30, 2006, 02:19 AM
"...Maybe H & R bought Marlin's patent??..." Not likely. Although, Marlin may have contracted H&R to make them. There were all kinds of very similar pocket revolvers just like yours made in the late 19th and early 20th century. H&R, Iver Johnson, Hopkins and Allen all made pocket revolvers just like yours. Your's is in better shape than most of them. Certainly in better shape than my DA, .32 S&W, Hopkins & Allen from the same era. It got me 'on paper' up here, long ago.
"...Black Plastic Grips.." There was no plastic, as we know it, in 1887.
The daft thing about these firearms is the historical significance of them. Inexpensive CCW revolvers, so they were. A few bucks would have bought one new. Colts and S&W's were very expensive for the average wage earner then. A Colt being far more expensive than anything else. However, they were so poorly made there's no collector interest whatsoever. Mind you, I wouldn't be too surprised if they become collector pieces before too long.
H&R is long gone, but Marlin currently own the brand name though.