Re: Iver Johnson American Bulldog 1st Type?
the round barrel of the first model american bull dog revolvers are for all models except for the extra large frame 44 webley/44 bulldog models. all the short barrel of this caliber seem to be octagon while the longer barrels (4 1/2 and 6 inches) are part octagom and part round. also some late production models of the medium frame 32 will have octagon barrel. the trigger guard attachment and location of model name markings are a better incication of the different models. first model have name on top strap of frame and second model have name marked on barrel.
all the first models will have the eagle grips (which there are two version of) while the extra large frame 44's and large frame 38's second models use the dog's head grips the medium frame 32 and small frame 22 most still used the eagle grips.
i am not sure i under stand your comments on the grips as all the eagle and dog's head grips are black hard rubber. the exact production numbers of any of the american bulldogs will probably never be known. iver johnson numbered these early guns in batches with a new batch being started every year or so. it is my belief that the batch numbers went from 01 to 99,999 before starting over again at 01. this is based on known factory serial nembers (batch number) used on later models (model 1900 and safety automatic revolvers).
chapter 2 of my iver johnson book covers the american bulldog revolver. the information on the american bull dog revolvers is hard to come by because they only appeared in iver johnson company catalogs after 1895 and were discontinued in 1899. the catalogs they did appear in were other companies mail order catalogs, like those put out by the J.P. Lovell Co. these mail order catalogs tended to list the products in inventory and sometimes it took several years after the introduction of any newer model before they appeared in these catalogs. also somtimes when new modesl were available they just never changed their illustrations to match the newer models. there are even some american bulldog large frame 38 caliber models that are marked "MODEL 1900".