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Old 12-13-2012, 01:50 PM
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Default Second Model Russian Information Wanted!

I am looking for information on the revolvers of the Second Russian Contract. What has been written is that the revolvers of the second contract were the then new Second Model Russian (Old Model, Model 1872, etc.). These were improved over the first model with a stronger cylinder advance mechanism, a trigger operated cylinder stop, simpler hinge pin, altered hammer shape, and the most obvious change was the hacksaw handle grip shape and spur trigger guard.
Supposedly the Second and Third Contract revolvers were marked like the First Contract; a Cyrillic line address and an inspector's acceptance mark. Serial numbers were in the same location as the First Contract revolvers, the bottom of the butt, the right grip plate, the cylinder face, the face of the barrel extension and the underside of the latch. Serial numbers were reported to have started over at 1 with the new contract.
Now, here's the problem: several 2nd model revolvers have been observed with serials in the 24-26000 range. The first example is a full Cyrillic contract piece (serial 26300) with full serial numbers and the Imperial acceptance mark. The second is a Cyrillic marked, but not accepted, commercial (serial 241XX). It is a Second Model revolver with assembly numbers and a diamond SH mark on the butt (Schuler, Hartley & Graham (SH&G) of New York City). It has the Cyrillic line address but no KO acceptance eagle after the address. I suspect that it was a reject from the Russian production that was sold domestically.

Second Model Russian Information Wanted!-2_26300b1c-jpg
Serial 26300
Second Model Russian Information Wanted!-2_26300e-copy-jpg
Line address and aceptance mark
Second Model Russian Information Wanted!-2_26300lc-jpg
The butt serial number

Since the commercial series at those serial numbers was still Second Model Americans -OOM (change to Second Model - OM - at about 32000) it doesn't seem possible that it is a simple mistake confusing a commercial serial number with a contract serial number. Could it be that the second contract at least started to be numbered in sequence with the first contract? If anyone has other examples of Second Model Contract revolvers with serials above 20,000 I would love to hear about them!
Joe

Last edited by jleiper; 12-13-2012 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:35 PM
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Joe - This has long had me confused as well. As you have, I did as much research as my resources allow, but have not come up with the answers either. Serialization of the 2nd Model Russians appear in several publications, but the authors never seem to be certain if their information is totally accurate. Probably due to difficulty in deciphering old production records. My dilemma is that have a Commercial Second Model Russian with a serial number above 50,000, which in some books appears that it does not exist.

SCSW references that each of the three Russian contracts began with serial number 1. Supica also states that Commercial guns were continued in the American serial number range - 32800 to 39000 (probably taken from Roy Jinks book.

Roy Jinks does reference some 2nd Models being sold as commercial with Cyrillic markings with the reason you suggest, being reject guns.

Maybe someone will be able to solve both mysteries for us.
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Second Model Russian Information Wanted!-pc130003-jpg   Second Model Russian Information Wanted!-pc130012-jpg   Second Model Russian Information Wanted!-pc130014-jpg   Second Model Russian Information Wanted!-pc130016-jpg   Second Model Russian Information Wanted!-pc1300004-jpg  

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Old 12-13-2012, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by glowe View Post
Joe - This has long had me confused as well. As you have, I did as much research as my resources allow, but have not come up with the answers either. Serialization of the 2nd Model Russians appear in several publications, but the authors never seem to be certain if their information is totally accurate. Probably due to difficulty in deciphering old production records. My dilemma is that have a Commercial Second Model Russian with a serial number above 50,000, which in some books appears that it does not exist.

SCSW references that each of the three Russian contracts began with serial number 1. Supica also states that Commercial guns were continued in the American serial number range - 32800 to 39000 (probably taken from Roy Jinks book.

Roy Jinks does reference some 2nd Models being sold as commercial with Cyrillic markings with the reason you suggest, being reject guns.

Maybe someone will be able to solve both mysteries for us.
Both models of the Russian, Second and Third remained in production side by side until the last deliveries of the final contracts. It has never made sense to me that the commercial revolvers would neatly fill the serial blocks allowed for them. If the serial number block alloted for the 2nd models was filled, I would assume they would just start using the other block or tack them on the end of the other block. Your revolver would indicate that tacking them into the block at the end was the likely solution.

Each of the Russian contracts was supposed to have started with serial 1 and gone to 20,000 or the end of the contract which ever was lowest. The few contract revolvers and contract rejects seen in the 24000-27000 range seem to indicate that this wasn't the case, in at least the second contract.

Another interesting puzzle is that there is a large time gap of exactly 2 years between the 4th and 5th contracts as listed in current references - this doesn't make sense from the Russian point of view. Since it wasn't at a total model change, the 2nd model was still in production, and the first 5000 3rd Models were delivered in March of 1875, the 4th contract (the first third models) should have been completed well before the end of 1875 and there would be a 10 month gap before another contract was even signed? Older references list a different set of contract dates and the numbers from those contracts much more closely match the total numbers that were given by Gorlov himself.

The biggest problem is the lack of surviving examples - especially the Russian contract pieces.

"If you aren't confused, you weren't paying attention!"
Joe

Last edited by jleiper; 12-13-2012 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:44 PM
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. . . the first 5000 3rd Models were delivered in March of 1875, the 4th contract (the first third models) should have been completed well before the end of 1875 and there would be a 10 month gap before another contract was even signed?
Joe
That is interesting. Roy gave me a January, 1875 ship date for my Commercial Russian. Do you have a ship date for your Russian?

Looking at the SWCA databse is not much help, since few guns have ship dates, but a couple of observations. Regarding the 2nd Model, there is a large gap from sn 14,6XX to sn34,3XX. The highest number in the database is 38,5XX for the 2nd Model. The Third Model highest number is 51,9XX. I deduce that my Russian was one of the last one's out the door at the factory, but the ship date of 01/1875 seems way too early since a 50,2XX 3rd Model was not shipped until 1878??
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:01 PM
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I do not have a ship date for 26300, but it would have been in 1873 (the second contract was signed in Jan of 1873 and this has to be a Second Contract revolver because of the way it is marked - providing the contract sequences are correct). I don't know what I would get back on a letter because it doesn't fit the information that has been published. The ship date on the fourth contract revolvers is based on a factory letter for serial 3483, a Third Model, 4th Russian Contract shipped in the batch of 5000 on 29 March 1875.

but the ship date of 01/1875 seems way too early since a 50,2XX 3rd Model was not shipped until 1878??
This is the kind of problem I keep running into. Just doesn't make sense. Now try looking at it with multiple revolvers having the same serial numbers!
Joe
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:09 PM
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Already checked that, but no duplicate numbers for 2nd or 3rd Models.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:22 PM
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Already checked that, but no duplicate numbers for 2nd or 3rd Models.
Commercial or Russian Contract? There have to be duplicates in the contracts!
Joe
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:39 PM
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SWCA database is member input data, so there is only a representative listing of privately owned S&Ws in various member's collections. None of the guns in the database were duplicates, but I am sure that they exist.
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