Grandma was packing

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Dltarnnr, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. Dltarnnr

    Dltarnnr New Member

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    My wifes grandmother moved froqm SD to California at 19 with
    her friend.A friend of the family gave the girls a gun to protect themselves with.
    My wife told me that she thinks the friend who gave it
    it to her was a US Marshall . Its a US Revolver Co DA revolver. Theres a number stamped
    On the bottom of trigger gaurd # 20754. Just curious about the history?
    She also had a 22 handgun which barely fits in my hand and was told I should'nt fire
    but did anyways.Out of a box of ammo I had maybe 20 misfires.
    Sorry but cant seem to attach pictures but looks like a 38. She was 19 when she made
    the trip. Thanks John.
  2. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    Pictures are really needed, however if you pull the left grip and check to see if ther is a Letter prefix, that would be a good start. The US Revovers were a Iver Johnson product.
  3. Dltarnnr

    Dltarnnr New Member

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    No letter just the same numbers that are on the trigger guard 20754
  4. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    Iver Johnson started the production of the US Revolver as a way of using excess parts. The revolver was so successful it became a full time line and was produced For over 23 years, from 1911 until 1933. It was not a cheaper gun as some of the uninformed like to state, in fact the cost of both the US Revolver and the Iver Johnson was within the same price range. The big difference was that the US Revolver was sold primarily by catalog. The serial number dates it to 1913, since Iver Johnson went to a smokeless frame in 1909, your revolver, if in good condition , should be safe to shoot with modern 38 S&W cartridges ( Note:: not 38 Special , that is another cartridge )being a 38 S&W would also make it a large frame. BTW, it may have been a US Marshall who presented her with the gun, but the gun itself has no law enforcement nor government connection. Hope that helps
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
  5. Dltarnnr

    Dltarnnr New Member

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    Thanks Ron , great history lesson. Not interested in its value just the story behind it.
    If we still had the internet on the desktop I could send some pictures , but with this cellphone im learning my way. Thanks again John.
  6. w1spurgeon

    w1spurgeon Member

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    RJay and I have had several discussions on this subject and we disagree on the viability of the .38 caliber U.S. Revolver series of guns. It is true that the Iver Johnson company updated their revolvers in 1909 to handle the more powerful smokeless powder cartridges, but they redesigned only the Iver Johnson branded guns and never bothered to update the U.S. Revolver line. That means ALL U.S. revolver firearms are of the black powder design and pose a danger to a shooter who fires modern ammo in U.S. Revolver guns.

    Look at your gun. all guns made by the Iver Johnson company that were were subject to the 1909 redesign and manufactured to handle smokeless powder will have four thru pins in the frame below the cylinder. Guns designed for black powder cartridges, both Iver Johnson and U.S. Revolver, will have only two thru pins. If your U.S. Revolver has only two thru pins (and I know it does) it was designed to shoot black powder cartridges ONLY. Shooting modern smokeless powder cartridges in such a gun poses a risk of injury to the shooter.

    As I said, RJay takes exception to this statement, altho he has no facts to back up his argument (I do). What you do with the gun is up to you. As a favor to me, after you blow off a couple of fingers of your shooting hand, please feel free to sue RJay for passing out erroneous and intemperate advise. I have made him aware of his liability exposure on this subject several times but he continues to advise people that there are no safety concerns uniquely associated with U.S. Revolver guns. That is patently untrue.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  7. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    You are in fact saying, that all solid frame US Revolvers were made only for black powder. Even through they were manufactured until 1933 , far into the smokeless era? Plus the fact that both S&W 32 and 38 cartridges are still loaded to the same pressure as the old black powder loads { yes, I know that smokeless has a different power curve }, that they will blow up in a persons hand? Bull hockey, The US revolvers and Iver Johnson's were well made revolvers, IAW to Bill Goforth the black powder frames were tested with smokeless loads and the the only adverse results were after several hundred rounds they were indeed loose, but none blew up, and that was with the black powder frames. No I don't agree with you and I am not going to argue the matter with you. I believe the US revolvers made after 1911 were made with Iver Johnson's strengthen smokeless frame and I can find no information to contradict that. Vaya con Dios.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  8. w1spurgeon

    w1spurgeon Member

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    I have no knowledge of "solid frame" U.S. Revolvers, but I do know the top break revolvers were never updated to shoot smokeless powder, even tho they were manufactured until 1933. If U.S Revolvers were made with the strengthened frame, how do explain the lack of tthe redesigned elements evident on the Iver Johnson frames redesigned for smokeless powder? All U.S Revolver guns have the two thru pin design that was abondoned by Iver Johnson when the IJ guns were redesigned for smokeless powder. You have previously stated that the metalurgy changed, but you have never been able to support that with any evidence.
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