Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > General Topics > Firearms & Knives - Other Brands
Forum Register Expert Commentary Members List


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-03-2011, 12:14 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Spfld., IL.
Posts: 31
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Miroku Libery Chief Japanese Smith/Colt hybrid: any info?

Just acquired this and would appreciate any info out there.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-03-2011, 01:54 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 513
Likes: 4
Liked 149 Times in 66 Posts
Default

Well, I had no idea what it was, so, I Googled it. Appears to be a Japanese gunmaker, that is neither Smith and Wesson or Colt. Other than that, if there is a Miroku Forum, that would be good. If not, I found several links to The Firing Line and The High Road Forums, both more generic firearms Forums than this one.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-03-2011, 02:50 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: CSRA
Posts: 999
Likes: 10
Liked 141 Times in 96 Posts
Default

si--------

Last edited by sw282; 07-02-2011 at 05:43 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-03-2011, 10:02 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Tennessee., USA
Posts: 533
Likes: 1
Liked 106 Times in 58 Posts
Default

I owned a 2" .38 Special, about 45 years ago. Just out of school, and couldn't afford a Smith.

Very nice workmanship, as are all firearms made by Miroku (have a Charles Daly 20 gauge made by them)

I gave it to my father in law. It disappeared after his death.
__________________
NRA Instructor
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-03-2011, 10:39 AM
Maximumbob54's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: JAX, FL
Posts: 7,147
Likes: 8,254
Liked 1,705 Times in 952 Posts
Default

It looks like what would happen if you dropped a Detective Special and a Chiefs Special into a blender then this is what would pour out. Interesting.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-03-2011, 08:36 PM
jimmyj's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: DUNNELLON, FLORIDA USA
Posts: 6,059
Likes: 476
Liked 3,067 Times in 1,138 Posts
Default

Hi:
I recall them as being in the 1960-1970 era. My cousin had one and showed it to my Father (big mistake-Dad did not like "Nips"which was a slang term WWII Pacific combat veterens used). IIRC they were very well made.
Jimmy
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-04-2011, 10:06 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,077
Likes: 325
Liked 266 Times in 139 Posts
Default

Pic please. I'm curious.......
__________________
The Last Standing Knight
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-04-2011, 10:06 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 405
Likes: 1,370
Liked 76 Times in 58 Posts
Default

I have handled a few of these over the years, they seemed to be a fairly solid, well made firearm. I have heard that they fell afoul of some technicality in japans export laws that considered handguns "weapons of war" that put a stop to the production (or at least the sale here) of them. Not sure if thats true but i've heard it a few times.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-04-2011, 10:58 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 379
Likes: 27
Liked 269 Times in 83 Posts
Default

The 1969 Gun Digest has a short article on imported .38 snub revolvers that covers the Liberty Chief, including a picture of the odd lockwork.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-05-2011, 12:04 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 379
Likes: 27
Liked 269 Times in 83 Posts
Default

Larry S. Sterret, .38 Special Revolvers - A Bevy of Imports, 1969 Gun Digest. Retail listed for the 6-shot, 24 oz. Liberty was $54.95.



Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-05-2011, 02:02 AM
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: SLC, Utah
Posts: 3,162
Likes: 26
Liked 524 Times in 217 Posts
Default

I worked on a homicide case a few years ago. The perps got into a chase and shoot-out with the state police in another state and were permanently rehabilitated. The gun they had with them was a Miroku and the murder weapon here was a .38 Special. Our murder and their shootout was only a few days apart. We were pretty surprised when the Miroku didn't match the bullet recovered from our victim.

I was the only person on the detective division floor that knew what a Miroku was. You just don't see them very often.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-05-2011, 09:51 PM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 328
Likes: 3
Liked 83 Times in 48 Posts
Default

I have a Miroku "Special Police" [EDIT: originally I thought it was a Liberty Chief, too]. It is a medium-frame 6-shot 2" revolver. It is very high quality. My grandfather bought it new in the late 70s or early 80s and had it by his bed and traveled across the country in his trailer with it after retirement. My gramma gave it to me after his death because I was the "gun nut" in the family and she knew I would cherish it. He and I went shooting a time or two with it.

The general comments above are correct--Miroku in Japan make many of the high-end rifles and shotguns for Browning and Winchester and have a very high reputation--among those that have ever hear of them, that is. They marketed and sold very few guns in the US under their own name--the .38 Special revolvers (which do appear to be a cross between a S&W and a Colt) and some over/under shotguns.

I'm sure I have a picture of mine somewhere...I'll post it when I can get it uploaded to my website.

Rob

Last edited by Teddydog; 06-05-2011 at 11:40 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-05-2011, 10:30 PM
Onomea's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Japan and Hawaii
Posts: 3,623
Likes: 2,971
Liked 1,585 Times in 698 Posts
Default

How interesting! So does the cylinder rotate into the frame like a Colt or away from the frame like an S&W?

I have a Miroku-made, USRAC-branded, Winchester Model 86 takedown. Very nice quality. The USRAC 1886 version has a rebounding hammer (which I had removed) and the Browning version, also made by Miroku, does not. I called them up years ago to ask if I could stick a Browning part in there to eliminate the rebounding hammer and they said it would not fit. I thought that sorta puzzling -- maybe they were just trying to blow me off.

Miroku also makes wooden steering wheels for car manufacturers.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-06-2011, 12:25 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Tennessee., USA
Posts: 533
Likes: 1
Liked 106 Times in 58 Posts
Default

Helped a friend, sight in his .204 Ruger chambered, A-bolt Browning.

I was surprised to see, it was made by Miroku.
__________________
NRA Instructor
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-06-2011, 01:31 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,471
Likes: 45
Liked 909 Times in 511 Posts
Default

'Solingen Cutlery' was the US importer of the Japanese made Liberty Chief, Liberty Chief Target (and other models) revolvers starting in the mid 1960's.
They also imported inexpensive W.German mfg revolvers and semiautos.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 06-18-2011, 08:29 PM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 328
Likes: 3
Liked 83 Times in 48 Posts
Default

I was doing some "digging" in the gun vault today and pulled out my Grandpa's Miroku to take some pics. I did not have good light, but these should show the gun OK. I also (somewhere) have the original "manual" for it, which actually doesn't show any models called "Special Police" like this one is marked. I've also shown it with a 3" Model 36 for size comparison. Cylinder rotation is CLOCKWISE, btw.






Rob
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07-11-2013, 12:03 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Nashville
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Default

James Earl Ray had a Liberty .38 in his pocket at the time of his arrest In London....they actually held him on charges of carrying a concealed weapon until they were able to prove who he really was.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 07-11-2013, 02:37 PM
CAJUNLAWYER's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: On da Bayou Teche
Posts: 10,875
Likes: 2,492
Liked 12,479 Times in 3,114 Posts
Default

I would not hesitate ot buy any firearm made by Miroku. They made the Browning Side by Side which is a pretty darn good shotgun. Not a Parker by any means but hell built for stout-very pretty and safe for steel it you bore out the chokes to IC/IC (or M/IC)
__________________
Forum consigliere
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07-11-2013, 04:42 PM
fat tom's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Central South Carolina
Posts: 5,604
Likes: 3,562
Liked 6,426 Times in 1,699 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CAJUNLAWYER View Post
I would not hesitate ot buy any firearm made by Miroku.
As stated,if the handguns are as nice as their shotguns,I would think that they are extremely well made. I have a buddy who collects Miroku over-and-unders. NICE!
f.t.
__________________
South Carolina-God's country
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 07-11-2013, 04:58 PM
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 817
Likes: 243
Liked 413 Times in 252 Posts
Default

Browning production in Japan:
Citori, Cynergy, BLR Lightweight, BLR Lightweight '81, A-Bolt II, X-Bolt, BT-99, BL-22 Rifle, Auto-22 Rifle, T-Bolt, BPS (all), and Gold 10 ga. (production for these firearms have been at the Miroku factory in Japan starting with the BT-99 in the late 1960s. In 1970 the over and under Citori (made by Miroku) would gradually replace John M. Browning’s Superposed model as the the key product in the Browning line. In about 1973 the Browning Pump Shotgun (BPS) began production at the Miroku factory, and in 1976 production of the legendary Auto-5 shotgun made the move from Belgium factories to Miroku, in Japan. The others followed as they were introduced.


http://www.browning.com/customerserv...tail.asp?id=90


I can only speak for the Citori's myself, but like Cajunlawyer, I would not think twice about buying another!!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
browning, colt, detective, m36, ruger, smith and wesson, snubnose, takedown, winchester, wwii

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Firearms & Knives - Other Brands Thread, Miroku Libery Chief Japanese Smith/Colt hybrid: any info? in General Topics; Just acquired this and would appreciate any info out there....
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need info re: Chief's Special 45 Auto nearlynormalmike Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols 8 02-22-2012 10:35 PM
New Book: "The Japanese Chose the Smith & Wesson" seinen S&W Antiques 11 01-26-2012 10:01 AM
Special run Jim Cirillo Smith and Dan Wesson hybrid ramptester S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present 21 02-02-2011 12:25 AM
INFO HELP WITH CHIEF'S SPECIAL? Northrunner S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 9 01-10-2010 12:16 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:48 PM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)