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Old 11-22-2010, 04:28 PM
chevyman196982 chevyman196982 is offline
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Default smith & wesson secret service special top break 38

Smith & wesson secret service special 38 cal. top break
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Old 11-22-2010, 04:53 PM
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This is NOT a Smith & Wesson. It may be an H&R or a Iver Johnson.
Don Mundell S&WCA LM614
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:27 PM
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I must be missing something.......
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:10 PM
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There were S&W copies made that are marked as Secret Service 38 Smith Wesson. The 38 Smith Wesson refers to the caliber not the maker. They are often mistaken for S&W guns due to the markings. They are not usually good quality and I would avoid them. Here is another thread on these guns. Question on a break top
John. SWCA #1586

Last edited by hsguy; 11-22-2010 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:10 PM
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It's a "Secret Service Special" made, as Don said, by IJ, H&R or one of the other inexpensive makers and is chambered in 38 S&W. (Typical "knock-off" from around the turn of the century.)
I've got a listing for it somewhere and will see if I can find the actual maker.

Found it!
The "Secret Service Special" was made by Iver Johnson and Meriden Firearms Co. for Fred Biffar Hardware Co. of Chicago.
Biffar was an IJ retailer and was in business from around 1900 to 1915. Values should be just a little more than a comparable IJ.
SWCA #680

Last edited by deadin; 11-22-2010 at 08:00 PM. Reason: Added Information
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:25 AM
nutsforsmiths nutsforsmiths is offline
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The name Secret Service Special name was a trademark of the Fred Biffar Co., which was a mail order hardware company out of Chicago from the 1880s to about 1920. They were in the same type of business as Sears and Montgomery Ward.

This pistol was made by many different manufacturers. Here are a few pictures out of the Iver Johnson book of some of these pistols.

The Iver Johnson models

Hopkins and Allen model

The Meriden made version, which is the most common one found. The front sight is a dead give away of the Meriden model

H&R also made some of these pistols as did some Spanish companies. I have seen one of these pistols made by the Howard Arms Co. of Chicago, but it was actually made by Meriden.

These were very inexpensive pistols and not of the best quality. The H&R and Iver Johnson made models are of the better quality.
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by chevyman196982 View Post
Smith & wesson secret service special 38 cal. top break
It's funny how much information came with the posting of this very simple sentence
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smith & wesson,, trademark

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