View Full Version : "new" old guns

April 18, 2011, 02:13 PM
My father just bought these and I am curious as to opinions on value and quality. this is my first foray into collecting old top breaks. Thank you.
U.S Revolver .32
Stevens Model 25 .25
Iver Johnson .32
H&R .38S&W

April 19, 2011, 12:14 PM
While someone more knowledgeable than me may identify one of the revolvers as a valuable collectible, most H&R and US Revolver Co top-break revolvers sell for around $75 for a parts gun, or $100 in good working condition, occasionally a very nice example will sell for $150-ish. You will seldom see them sold in a gun shop due to concerns about liability.

The Stevens Model 25 Favorite is somewhat desirable, selling for about $100 for a parts gun, up to $300 for a working specimen in good condition, and up to $500 for a rifle in good condition. From the picture, my guess is yours would sell at the lower end price range, as the wood is cracked and the metal is in rough shape, and .25 Stevens ammo is no longer available. People often have these refinished, restocked, and rebarreled for .22 RF or .32 Long, the cost is about the same as buying a used rifle in good condition but if you want an as-new specimen there are few other options.

April 19, 2011, 04:14 PM
Thank you Scorch, that confirms my suspicions.

April 19, 2011, 06:28 PM
Next question. Would it be difficult, or feasible, to modify the firing pin to centerfire and rechamber to .25ACP?

April 19, 2011, 09:11 PM
25 ACP is impossible for several reasons (unless you got some serious money to spend). Too short, no rim, and you need to modify the firing pin. You might have someone make you an adapter, but even that would be expensive.

Bill DeShivs
April 19, 2011, 09:35 PM
.25 ACP is semi rimmed.

April 20, 2011, 10:55 AM
Would it be difficult, or feasible, to modify the firing pin to centerfire and rechamber to .25ACP?
Changing the firing pin is no problem, the rifle came in both centerfire and rimfire, and changing is relatively straightforward. The issue is with the choice of chamberings.
.25ACP is a semi-rimmed cartridge firing a .251" bullet, same diameter as the bullet for .25 Stevens, but that is where the similarity ends.
* .25ACP is centerfire, .25 Stevens is rimfire, requiring moving the firing pin. Not a big deal, but it is shop time.
* .25ACP case is about 5/8" long, .25 Stevens is about 1-1/8" long. This means you would be firing into a longer chamber, and accuracy would be poor. You cannot rechamber long chambers to shorter chambers, the barrel would have to be set back. Again, not a big deal, but it is shop time.
* .25ACP fires FMJ bullets, which would quickly wear the bore, which is soft steel designed for soft lead bullets. The solution is to line the bore, relatively expensive.
* .25ACP ammo is expensive.

So all in all not a great option.

The most common ways to put these old guns back into operation (depending on mechanical condition) is to rebarrel to 22LR or 22 WMR. New barrel, and voila! a new shooter. The firing pin is close enough that there is usually no issue.

For people who have a centerfire rifle, rechambering to 32 S&W Long is generally the choice. Quick and easy, and they are back in operation.

Your rifle will also need new wood, available from Brownells and a few other sources.

For pricing and info, call John Taylor at Taylor Machine 253-445-4073.

April 30, 2011, 11:09 PM
Perhaps a 25-20 loaded really light with say, trailboss?

May 1, 2011, 01:43 AM
Perhaps a 25-20 loaded really light with say, trailboss?

A few issues I see:
* 25 Stevens is/was a straightwall rimfire cartridge operating at maybe 18,000 psi, probably less. SAAMI spec for 25-20 is 28,000 CUP. Bolt thrust would be roughly doubled or more due to the higher pressure and larger head size.
* 25-20 fires .257" bullets, vs .251" for the 25 Stevens. Yes, you could cast, size, and handload the .251" bullets with Trail Boss, but how much trouble do you want to go to?
* You would be looking at moving the firing pin and a new extractor and rechambering. If you could get a smith to agree to cut a 25-20 chamber in that barrel (which I doubt you could), you are looking at paying at least as much as it would cost to simply rebarrel it to 22LR, 22WMR, or 22WRF.

My recommendation would be to rebarrel. Cheaper and safer.

May 1, 2011, 09:47 AM
OK, i'm going to line it .22RF unless i can figure out something weird to do. the Favorite was also offered in .32RF. Could I make a .32S&W?

May 2, 2011, 04:07 AM
Yes, people do it all the time, only usually with the centerfire models. 32 S&W ammo is getting scarce, too.