View Full Version : Smith & Wesson 1880?

May 29, 2011, 10:50 AM
My father bought this Smith & Wesson in Yemen over 30 years ago. That is why the handle is plastic and has an arab inscription. It is a single-action, cartridge-firing, 5 shot top-break revolver with automatic cartridge ejection. Serial number 24015, the cylinder has number 04921. The last date on the barrel is difficult to read: probably May 11th 1880, as the prior date reads July 25th 1871.

Can you help identify the model?

May 29, 2011, 11:23 AM
This will be a S&W 38 Single Action 2nd Model, built in 1876 or 1877. HTH.

May 29, 2011, 11:56 AM
:) ???? The grip ( handle ) looks to be a standard S&W grip with a standard S&W logo, am I missing something???

James K
May 29, 2011, 06:18 PM
New one on me! I have never heard the intertwined S&W logo described as being an "arab" marking.

Actually, those were pretty good guns and most I see around are in working condition, unlike other guns of that era.


Mike Irwin
May 30, 2011, 07:11 AM
The grips aren't plastic, they're hard rubber. If you decide to take them off the gun, be VERY careful as they get VERY brittle with age.

And definitely standard S&W logo grips, not Arabic.

May 30, 2011, 02:32 PM
Thank you for your help in identifying my gun. As you noticed, I'm very much new to this. Sorry about the "arab" reference.

It still works fine, but I haven't fired it yet. Unsure if I should dare do so.

May 30, 2011, 06:00 PM
Don't worry about it, you just messed up my fuzzy little head with the grip comment:D:D:D welcome aboard.

James K
May 30, 2011, 08:29 PM
Those guns are fine with modern .38 S&W ammo, if you can find any. Some folks will say to use only black powder, but I fired almost a box of new ammo out of one of those and out of a Baby Russian a month or so ago. Horrible sights, but otherwise no problems.


Mike Irwin
May 30, 2011, 09:27 PM
The big problem with blackpowder frame S&W guns and modern smokeless ammo isn't a catastrophic failure of the gun.

It's the fact that smokeless powder can stretch the ductile iron that was used in the frames of a lot of the black powder era guns.

Smokeless powder has a significantly different pressure curve, one that's just not compatible with the ductile iron frames.