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Old 03-19-2018, 10:52 AM
pmgraham1 pmgraham1 is offline
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Default Need Help Identifying this Revolver

My son found this old revolver in a house he bought, the owner being deceased. Can you help him identify it, approximate value, and where he might market it? (he doesn't want to keep it).


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Old 03-19-2018, 10:56 AM
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Do we get any information?
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:59 AM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! We will at least need a description using the outline posted in the sticky at the top of the forum. Pictures would help a lot especially with values. If you are having problems posting pictures, make sure they are not too large (1280x1024 pixels will work.) Use the Go Advanced feature then click on the paperclip icon and upload them to your post. Max 5 per post.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:01 AM
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OKay. Welcome to the forum. I don't know top breaks but someone will be along soon and nail it down for you.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:12 AM
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Just a quick look at the pictures you added indicate it is re-plated as certain parts that were originally blued (even on plated guns) are now plated. Also the color of the plate makes me suspect it is chrome not nickel as would have been used originally. I am sure some people who know more about the various models could give you more info about just which version yours is than I can. From my own experience I can state that there are a lot of these old top breaks out there and anything that affects the originality really lowers the value. If it is fully functional with a good bore it would have some value as a classic shooter but no real collector value. I would guess (based on similar guns I have sold over the last few years) that it would fall into the $150 or less price range, quite a bit less if it has any functioning issues.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:12 AM
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That is a very low SN .38 Double Action 2nd Model. According to the SCSW4th, they started at SN 4001. But, clearly, that one is several hundred units below that. It has been refinished. Value is ~$100-200. If you take it to a local gun store or pawn shop, you might get $50-75. I'd put it on armslist.com and sell it locally. Of course, not knowing if you live in a free or kommunist state you may have to temper that to match your state's requirements.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:31 AM
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Thank you gentlemen!
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:32 AM
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Interesting serial number.... So much for the posted serial range. However, there is something hokey with the hammer. The profile is wrong, so I'm wondering if the frame is actually a S&W. (The barrel seems legit...)

Opinions??
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:33 AM
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Welcome to the Forum. Your revolver would have been shipped from the factory in 1880. This was a very popular gun in the 1880s, since it was both a man-stopper caliber and a pocket carry revolver. It looks like a nice replating job, but too bad the gunsmith that did it knew nothing about original configuration of the gun. One could remove the plating from the trigger, trigger guard, hammer and top latch, but would still have a $150 refinshed example. The 4000 serial number cut-off was noted in Jinks book as an approximation, since there was no information available to determine the exact change number.
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Old 03-19-2018, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadin View Post
Interesting serial number.... So much for the posted serial range. However, there is something hokey with the hammer. The profile is wrong, so I'm wondering if the frame is actually a S&W. (The barrel seems legit...)

Opinions??
I agree. Hammer profile seems somewhat odd (at least to my untrained eye). It also seems to be too far away from the frame, and seems to be flat sided.

The serial number points to a 1st Model rather than a 2nd, but the sideplate is curved and not straight cut.

On the other side of the coin, barrel markings seems to be right.

Maybe the hammer was adapted from a different gun/manufacturer? That would take some gunsmith skills but still does nt explain the serial number/sideplate question.

Just my 2cts.


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Last edited by NewDeparture; 03-19-2018 at 03:41 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 03-19-2018, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desi2358 View Post
Just a quick look at the pictures you added indicate it is re-plated as certain parts that were originally blued (even on plated guns) are now plated. Also the color of the plate makes me suspect it is chrome not nickel as would have been used originally. I am sure some people who know more about the various models could give you more info about just which version yours is than I can. From my own experience I can state that there are a lot of these old top breaks out there and anything that affects the originality really lowers the value. If it is fully functional with a good bore it would have some value as a classic shooter but no real collector value. I would guess (based on similar guns I have sold over the last few years) that it would fall into the $150 or less price range, quite a bit less if it has any functioning issues.
If this gun was replated with Chrome, wouldn't the details on the barrel be filled in and almost unreadable? Just a question.
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:59 PM
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It would take a heavy plate to fill in the stampings. That S&W had definitely been refinished, but the finish could be chrome, as this was done in the mid-Twentieth Century. Nickel plating as was done by the factory does give off a yellow cast under certain lighting. Often a gun that is being prepared for refinishing by an unskilled gunsmith or owner would be buffed to eliminate pitting, etc. and that would remove stampings as well. You may have seen these and it can give the impression that the plating filled in the stampings.
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