HELP WITH UNKNOWN TOP-BREAK PISTOL

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Doubleyolk, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. Doubleyolk

    Doubleyolk New Member

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    NEW TO THE SITE, PLEASE ENLIGHTEN ME. recently stumbled upon this pistol. thought it was a webley. after lots of research and taking it to several local gunshops, dont believe it is. can not find anyone that knows what it is. it has no stamps, only proof marks. on the face of the cylinder it has E L G in oval with crown above it. also L with crown above it and a B with an asteric above it. on the right side it has R with crown above it, and B with an asteric above it. DO NOT EVEN KNOW THE CALIBER. it is huge. it is at least 45 if not bigger. it has a threaded hole for a lanyard at bottom of the grip. it has wooden grips with the serial # on the right hand grip (inside). i will try to post a picture of it . thanks for any help.

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    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  2. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to TFF.

    You have an anonymous Belgian made copy of a Smith & Wesson top-break revolver.

    Many of these were .44-40 caliber, but I would not fire it with modern ammo.

    The crown over ELG in oval Liege proofmark indicates made 1893-1914 period.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  3. Doubleyolk

    Doubleyolk New Member

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    is there any way to find out any details about this old pistol. i would like to get it back in full working condition.
  4. Doubleyolk

    Doubleyolk New Member

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    do u know what the L with the crown above it represents.
  5. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, but these were made by numerous "cottage industry" guild workers, and parts will not be interchangeable if you could find them.

    Value is low, and few gunsmiths will work on them.
  6. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    The crown over L and star over B are proofhouse inspector's marks.

    The crown over R is a black powder and semi-smokeless proofmark.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  7. Doubleyolk

    Doubleyolk New Member

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    i may just take it to gun show and maybe swap for something. havent made up mind to keep. if i cant get parts for it i may just clean up and keep for cool-looking revolver. do u know anything about 1892 marlin safety and parts. THANKS FOR ALL THE INFORMATION!
  8. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I hope you don't expect to get much in a swap. Dealers don't want those guns because there are no parts available (no, S&W parts won't work, even if you could get them) and no one wants to buy a broken gun. As in every other trade, if you buy enough, someone might "give" you a few dollars for the gun, but he would then toss it in the junk box.

    Jim
  9. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    Is there any way legal way to "deactivate" a gun like this so that it becomes a decorator instead of a firearm, and can be bought and sold without paperwork? I am not in favor of ruining good guns, but neither am I in favor of people trying to fire dubious items like this. Being a decorator is this thing's highest and best use.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  10. Redhand

    Redhand Active Member

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    I have one like this one except it is nickel plated and has a Smith-Wesson line address across the top of the barrel. It was sold as a .44 double action revolver. It has a matching serial number on all parts but also has the Liege stamp on it. I've fired it with .44 special a couple of times( probably real lucky). It has a broken ejector and the cylinder does lock up tight. I have to manually roll the cylinder to get it to line up with the barrel. I ordered a new ejector cam from Numrich but it doesn't fit. I've tried to get several smithies to work on it but they decline. I was told by a knowledgeable smith that it was probably chambered for .455 webley. He said he could tell it wasn't a .44-40 because of the shorter cylinder length. Like you I would like to return this revolver back to a fully functional and safe firearm. It is a nice looking revolver and has a single digit serial number. Hope this helps some. If you decide to get rid of yours, I might like to get it for the ejector cam.:confused::confused::confused:
  11. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    If a Belgian made revolver has a Smith & Wesson address on it, it is some kind of counterfeit. Regardless, S&W parts won't fit. IMHO, trying to get parts to fix your revolver is a lost cause.

    Gunsmiths won't touch it because the work required to fix it would cost a lot more than the gun is worth. If you really want to have it fixed, pay the gunsmith $2000 up front, and I guarantee he will work on it. Otherwise, give him a good reason he should invest hundreds of dollars of his time and money to repair a gun that would then be worth $50, tops. And how he does he know you will pay his bill?

    I suggest you not waste any more time or money in that gun. Keep it for a paperweight or turn it into a buyback program.

    Jim
  12. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    Would an American gun being sold in Europe have to have been proofed by some country over there? I thought that was the case with American guns sold in the UK. I think they even proofed the Lend-Lease guns we sent them, although that may have been upon disposal.
  13. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

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    The bottom line with these is that there are only a handful of manufacturers who made them that you can get parts for. I have a US Revolver Co. one which still fires fine. H&R, Iver Johnson and S&W made them and you can get parts for them (the parts aren't cheap though - US Revolver Co. was the Iver Johnson mail order company). An unmarked one could have been made by any number of mom&pop shops. Now, this is not to say that it can't be made safe to fire because it can be. The cost of the parts involved though make it very cost prohibitive to do so. If you want to legally deactivate it you would need to drill out the firing pin channel (destroying the firing pin in the process), put a small weld into the channel then also weld a plug into the barrel. It then becomes a non-firing wall hanger and still not worth much.

    Now, if you were to take it apart and match the internal workings from the few companies that made these as a real business you could very well find out that the springs etc. were made by one of the above mentioned companies and get the matching parts.
  14. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    And how would the owner do that, short of accumulating thousands of parts from dozens of companies and laboriously comparing them, one at a time, to the part that needs replaced? In a way, that would solve the repair problem, since it would take the rest of Doubleyolk's lifetime and he would not have time to worry about shooting the gun.

    Lanrezac, in countries that have proof laws, the law applies to imported arms as well unless they have been proved in a country recognized as having an equivalent proof test. IIRC, a gun proved in Belgium can be sold in Germany with no further proof, but a gun imported from the U.S. to Germany has to be proved under German law, since the U.S. has no proof law.

    Some U.S. companies do submit their guns to proof, but not all. Remington, for example, proves its guns and uses the mark "REP" in an oval. The letters stand for Remington English Proof, and Remington claims that it is the equivalent of the English proof for the caliber/gauge. But the "REP" is not recognized in England, since it has no force of national law, so Remington guns imported into the U.K. have to be proved and marked in accordance with English law.

    FWIW, those Lend Lease guns brought back from England were proved when they were sold out of government stores in the 1950's and 1960's, not when they went to England, since guns sold to or made for H.M. Forces are not subject to commercial proof; the military has its own proof system and proof/acceptance marks. As I understand it, most of the L-L guns were simply warehoused at the time of receipt; only those actually being issued were proved and marked with the broad arrow and the crossed pennants proof.

    Jim
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