View Full Version : It's a Cute little Pistol...

October 25, 2009, 13:41
I was driving my Son to the Paintball Park yesterday and my Bud calls me...
Says he was going through some stuff of his Moms and found this Old Pistol.. Says he didn't know what it was but he didn't want it and asked if I would like to have it? I said sure but I won't be home for a little while.. I asked him to stash it at the house and I would fetch it when I got home..
Wasn't expecting much so I went out when I got home I retreived the pistol and unwrapped it from the Towel it was in..

Looked pretty rough but the action seemed to work so I commenced to slathering it up with Kroil and let it sit overnight..
I've cleaned and scrubbed, and oiled it up and I think I'm gona shoot it..

It's an Old H&R D/A Only .38 S&W that at one time was all nickel plated..
Bore actually has rifling left and the cyl cleaned up just fine inside.. The Cyl retaining pin was stuck but the Kroil took care of that.. Grip panels are both chipped but that's no biggy....

Kinda cool I think.. :beer:






October 25, 2009, 17:38
The rusty spots gives it character, nice old gun. When was it made, early 1900's? My father has a Iver Johnson (now H&R I think) made about 1880's that looks about like it finish wise.

October 25, 2009, 19:37
That is one fine looking piece of true American craftmanship.
The gun ain't half bad either:wink:

October 25, 2009, 22:00
Found this:

Looks like it was prolly made around 1900 or so...
I'll check the Ser # to get closer...

October 26, 2009, 06:52
I have one like that that my grandfather carried on his tractor at the farm but it is 22short and quite small. you really have to be intent on shooting it to pull the trigger.

October 26, 2009, 08:25
Actually, that's in pretty nice shape.

Remember--38 S&W is not 38 special and you can't cut down 38 special brass to use in it. The rim are is slightly bigger in diameter, IIRC.

October 26, 2009, 08:47
I recently found a S&W New Departure 38 (Pat 1871), low serial, with the chrome still beautiful, with just a little bit of powder burn around the front of the cylinder. Solid little piece...I haven't shot it yet, and am not sure if I should. I would definitely get it checked first. It has a grip safety like a 1911! I never knew any revolvers had that!


(phone picture, I need to take decent ones yet)

October 26, 2009, 18:13
Originally posted by DYNOMIKE
Found this:

Looks like it was prolly made around 1900 or so...
I'll check the Ser # to get closer...

Thanks for the link Mike, it dated my .22 top break even earlier than I had thought

October 28, 2009, 12:29
Originally posted by Ricketts
Actually, that's in pretty nice shape.

Remember--38 S&W is not 38 special and you can't cut down 38 special brass to use in it. The rim are is slightly bigger in diameter, IIRC. The bullet and case diameter is larger in the 38 S&W. I bought an old WWII DA revolver for my dad as a Father's Day present one year. He called it his "MAGNUM Magnum" and bragged how heavily the impact of the slug would dent a beer can. Shooting that pistol with it's slugs loaded to a screaming 650 fps sure brought on face splitting grins.

A couple years ago, Dad took us to the local indoor range along with a modern stainless steel S&W DA pistol he'd given to my brother in law. He bought a box of 38 Specials so we could shoot it. I loaded up the first cylinder full and gave it a go at 7 yards and ended up with pattern that would have embarrassed a shotgun! When I went to eject the rounds, they were stuck in the cylinder and had to be tapped out. Upon further investigation, I discovered the cases had swollen significantly on one side. The hairs on the back of my neck rose as I realized something was seriously wrong and that I was very blessed the cases hadn't burst.

I check the cartridge marking on the pistol. It was part of a special run chambered in 38 S&W

Don't shoot 38 Specials, cut down or otherwise, in a 38 S&W

February 21, 2010, 13:02
cross-reference this thread >>>> http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=2832454#post2832454

February 21, 2010, 13:04
I "rescued" a .38 Smith and Wesson recently.


February 21, 2010, 13:09
I bet that Old S&W is LOT nicer then the H&R I "rescued"..
Looks like a Nice old pistol.. :beer:

February 21, 2010, 13:13
Shot a couple types ammo in it.

Stuff on the left has some SERIOUS kick to it.
Un-branded gun-show ammo.
Would NOT want to catch one of those between the shirt pockets.


February 21, 2010, 14:26
Totally decent accuracy... even if my right palm did want to find a different gun to shoot after five or six cylinders.


February 28, 2010, 23:17
During WWII, S&W manufactured and shipped literally boatloads of M&P (forerunner of the Model 10) revolvers to England on the Lend-Lease Program. Since the Brits didn't use the .38 Special cartridge in anything they made, S&W chambered all those M&P's for .38 S&W, which is the same cartridge the Brits call the .380 Rim. Bullet weights may be slightly different between the British .380 Rim and the .38 S&W, but the cartridges interchange with no problem. After the war was over, a lot of those M&P's in .38 S&W came back home, and you still see them floating around here and there. They're a neat gun, and an interesting piece of American history.

January 11, 2011, 22:40
Another old H&R pistol surfaces:

Retired Bum
January 12, 2011, 04:37
Residing somewhere in the depths of my gunsafe is a nice old S&W Model 33-1 .38 Regulation Police. Chambered for the .38 S&W, it has a four inch barrel and square butt. The Winchester 146 gr RNL factory load is rated at 685 fps. I chronographed ten rounds for an average of 616 fps. It is seriously underpowered for self defense and I find it incredible that police officers actually carried this anemic revolver/cartridge combo for some decades in the last century.

I handload the .38 S&W using a Lyman 150 gr LSWC I cast over 2.5 grs of Red Dot. Good for 702 fps in my revolver. Standard pressure .38 Spl performance is possible if I warm up that load by about .2 or .3 grains. But the load shoots to point of aim and it is just a cheap alternative to the expensive factory load.

I almost bought a nice old made for the British Victory Model 38/200 a few years ago. But I foolishly let it get by me.

And so it goes.

The Retired One

January 12, 2011, 10:52
Mike, it ain't a pistol.:wink:

Nice little REVOLVER ya got there. :tongue: Handguns like that aren't the prettiest, but they do work quite well. Gotta give 'em credit for that.

January 12, 2011, 23:52
Your right and I should have known better..

"It's a cute little REVOLVER".. :p

January 13, 2011, 08:54
That's better. Was it so hard? :p


January 13, 2011, 10:28
Originally posted by W.E.G.
Shot a couple types ammo in it.

Stuff on the left has some SERIOUS kick to it.
Un-branded gun-show ammo.
Would NOT want to catch one of those between the shirt pockets.


IIRC, the SASS/CAS & IJ collectors mentioned that these frames were only rated for black powder.

Sumpin' like this, beats eating a chunk of cylinder

Remember to wash with soapy water afterwards.

January 13, 2011, 11:12
I have one of those also, my Great-Uncle gave it to my dad during WW2, because my Dad was assigned to a B-17 squadron that patrolled the east coast. According to my Dad, the Army Air Corps. did not arm the patrol aircraft to save weight, and only issued a sidearm to the pilot, no one else was supposed to have a gun on board. So my Dad got this .38 from his uncle, and carried it in his pocket. Mine has a slightly longer barrel. The reason to save weight on the A/C was to increase their patrol time- they were 'sposed to call for an armed A/C or ship if the enemy were spotted.

January 14, 2011, 15:00
My crew was doing a re-model on a old house and out of the heater duct came a blued iverjohnson cycle and gun works 5 shot just as clean as the day it was made my old lady carries it in her luggage (handbag) she loves it! shoots pretty good up to about 20 feet, for a 100 year old gun its in top shape bluing is 95% grip are A-1,

January 14, 2011, 21:11
There is a heck of an article about these H&R's in the 2002 Gun Disgest which you may find helpful in dating the little cutie. I was surprised at the depth of info in it since I've always kinda 'dissed the inexpensive top break revolvers. Nice find though.

January 16, 2011, 23:41
I once owned a Victory model pre model 10 Smith. It had originally been chambered for the .38S&W, shipped to Britain and then returned after the war. IIRC it had some sort of Lend-Lease US Property stamp on it. Someone, the importer I suppose- reamed the cylinders out to accept the longer and thinner .38 Special cartridge. It fired them OK but ballooned the case from the head 3/4ths of the way up. I was advised against reloading them and NOT to shoot warm loads in that revolver. At the time it was the only revolver I could afford so I made do with semi-wadcutters. Thankfully my fortunes improved and the old brown gun was sidelined. Eventually my bro-in-law felt the need for an inexpensive gun to keep in the sock drawer so I let him have it with the explanations and caveat about the ammo and cylinder issue. He never shot it much and apparently was not in his possession when he died. Now days I would have found a .38 spec cylinder and fixed it up proper. As funky as it was it did accompany me into the heart of darkness more than once, so it served it's assigned function.. Eventually I found another 1930's version of the revolver with 5 inch bbl in .38spec... nice and brown, shootable, but relegated to the safe..
With the improvement of my fortunes after college, the first gun I bought was a Colt Python 4 incher. It was a "pride of possession" piece that went to my brother, then returned to me after his passing. Now it is a safe queen and I hope never to have to part with it again... anyway.. Another installment of the Old Geezer Chronicles, heh.

Timber Wolf
January 18, 2011, 14:05
Originally posted by STGThndr
Colt Python 4 incher.......went to my brother.........

I love my brothers, but I don't like them well enough to loan either of them my Python.:(

January 19, 2011, 08:00
I have 2 old top breaks in .38 S&W - an Iver Johnson Safety Hammer from 1898 and an H&R hammerless from around 1915.
They were made till around WWII.
The black powder only versions were made till around 1910 or so...the older guns won't explode but will shoot loose in time if used with smokeless loads.
I used to reload the .38 S&W using Lee dies and single ended wad cutter bullets made for .38 Spl. The open end expands when fired and fills the bore well-they were pretty accurate and the flat ends had a little more punch than the rn bullets...I think I used the old Hercules Unique, but have no idea how much any more-it was almost 30 years ago.
They were the defense and carry guns of the common people of their day, and there are many still working just fine, even if they show their age.

Nice old guns.


January 27, 2011, 04:32
Talking about .38S&W :biggrin:

This is what you must have to shoot .38S&W with style.


Disregard the other stuff ;)
I know it's strictly not .38S&W, but the .380/200 are for all practical purposes identical.


January 27, 2011, 23:43
I also really enjoy the odd, off brand small pistols of the past. Except that I think it adds a little more of the cool factor if they have looonnnggg barrels!:D
Top one is .38 S&W, the folding trigger Belgian revolver is .32 S&W and the bottom one is .44 cal.


And, it's nickel, not chrome. Chrome was not invented yet.