Old A$$ Pistol

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by hallafame, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. hallafame

    hallafame New Member

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    I got this gun 3 years ago and it has been in my cousins gun safe since then. We brought it to the range and they gave me a 38. spl round that would not fit. As you can see it says 38 Long on the side, "American Best Cartridges Are Those That Fit Best O.V.", on the barrel, the serial # is on the underside of the handle, behind the trigger gaurd reads "SPAIN", when you open it there are two stamps "644". People have told me it looks like a Smith & Wesson because of the handle. I have no clue what it is, what the exact bullet I should use, and Is it safe to use? At the armory they said yes, at the range they said no

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  2. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    hard to judge from a picture but i'd shoot it if it was mine. gun isn't worth a whole lot and if you can find ammo it'll be a bit pricey considering what it is. ultamax still makes ammo for it. and yes it's a spanish knock off of a smith and wesson but far less in quality. but good shooters.
  3. BillM

    BillM Active Member

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    Manufacturer is probably Ojanguren y Vidosa in Eibar Spain.

    Caliber is probably 38 Long Colt. Similar to 38 special but shorter.

    Quality on the Spanish guns varies. Yours looks to be in good condition,
    I wouldn't hesitate to shoot it with light loads. Check arond and see if you can locate some 38 Long Colt cowboy action loads--they are mild.

    DO NOT have the gun modified to 38 Special!
  4. old semperfi

    old semperfi New Member

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    i live in southern indiana,old country boy at hear
    NO,NO,NO,NO,NO,NO,NO.BODY PARTS ARE NOT EASILY REPLACEABLE,WHY TAKE THE CHANCE.HANG IT ON THE WALL,USE IT FOR A SINKER WHEN FISHING,OR SLIDE IT UNDER A TIRE TO KEEP CAR FROM ROLLING WHEN CHANGING TIRE.WHEN GIVEN ALL THIS ADVISE AND YOU DECIDE TO SHOOT IT,THEN TAKE PICTURES OF HANDS AND FINGERS SO YOU WILL KNOW WHAT THEY LOOKED LIKE WHEN YOU USE TO HAVE THEM.......NUFF SAID OLD SEMPERFI
  5. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

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    Range guy got lucky. 38spc and 38 LC or SW are very different. Pressures are way higher on a 38spc. He's lucky it didn't fit and good reason why it doen't fit. The guys at the armory are armorist not gunsmiths or metallurgist. Old Semperfi had some wise words..NNNNNOOOOOOO.
    38LC only but have the gun checked by a smith that knows revolvers before you do anything. The Spanish clones had a tendency to have stretched frames which will render it useless
  6. hallafame

    hallafame New Member

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    thanx for the fast response and advice. I would like to sell it. anyone have a number I should hope for?
  7. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    So you are going to pass a potential hand grenade on to someone else, and take his money to boot? Please don't do that. Those guns were made of cheap cast iron and I have seen two or three that blew up. There is NO "safe" ammunition or pressure level; one blew with a blank cartridge when being used as a starter pistol.

    I strongly recommend you grind off the firing pin and retire the gun to wall hanger status.

    Jim
  8. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    can i respectfully disagree ? it maybe dangerous and very well need to be hung on a wall, but i would at least consider having a smith check it out before trying to pawn it off on some poor sap. the 38LC is a rather weak round and some of these things worked pretty well. the bottom line it's your choice but please consider the next guy before you sell it . now if it checks out ok fine sell it, shoot it whatever, value if it checks out ok on the high end would be 175.00 and that would have to be someone that didn't know any better and willing to pay 32 bucks for a box of obsolete ammo and fire it in a questionable firearm.
  9. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Well, I am/was a gunsmith and have seen a fair number of those guns. I don't need to check out that one to know it is cast iron junk. They made them look good and some have very nice bluing and are well finished, but they should not be fired with anything. They don't stretch or give any warning, they just let go, with the cylinder bursting and the top strap flying away. In truth, as with most handgun blowups, serious injuries to the shooter are rare because the gun is being held at arm's length, but others can be injured.

    Those guns were made out of what was called "pot metal." There have been many supposed definitions of that term, some silly, but it simply means the kind of cheap cast iron that was used for making the cook pots that stood on every stove in France and Spain at one time. The French word was "marmite", the Spanish was "marmita." That same low grade iron was used for the toy cap pistols many of us played with; I don't think I would want to try and fire a live round in one of those!

    Old Semperfi had it correct. The gun is not only worthless but dangerous.

    Jim
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010
  10. xm774u

    xm774u Former Guest

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    these were chambered in 38 long colt black powder loading so putting a smokeless
    38 long colt will blow it up you might try old western scrounger for blkpowder loads
    dont sell this my bud bought 1 that was reamed to 38 special from a gunsmith:eek: and i shot it with 38 spl nothing happend as i reloaded very light squib load for it after looking it up on the net it was blackpowder profed :rolleyes:scence you only want to sell it i wont go on
  11. gandog56

    gandog56 Member

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    Nah, there are makers of this cartridge in modern smokeless.
  12. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I get pretty frustrated when I do my best to keep folks from blowing up guns and maybe injuring themselves or others, only to be told by self-styled "experts" that the junk is "OK with black powder" or "use only cowboy loads" or even that .357 is OK if it fits. Those guns are not even as strong as the old H&R and IJ revolvers some people advise not firing with smokeless powder loads.

    I have no idea who started the idea that those junkers were made for .38 LC, but it isn't true. They were usually made for either .38 Special or .32-20. But many of those made for .38 Special have no shoulders in the chambers and will take .357 Magnum, which is why I strongly recommend scrapping them or at least deactivating them.

    Look, the gun is made of cheap cast iron. I have seen one that blew up firing a blank. They should not be fired at all, with any cartridge, period. If you don't care about the gun, and don't care about your own safety, at least make sure no one is standing beside you who could be hit by flying pieces of the cylinder and top strap.

    Jim
  13. 45Auto

    45Auto Active Member

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    Do you have an image of the blown up starter pistol?
  14. 45Auto

    45Auto Active Member

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    Yes, yes, it's a cheap imitation of a S&W revolver. But the most common issue these revolvers have is broken springs and worn out sears. I have not seen any blown cylinders. If you start to play with hot reloads and improper ammo then you could have some dangerous problems, but that's true for any revolver - new or old. In my opinion, it would take more than a factory loaded 38 Long Colt round to blow-up the above revolver.

    After you have a gunsmith check your revolver for timing and any indications of stress, I don't think it would do any harm to shoot it with factory loaded .38 Long Colt cartridges.

    Of course, always use proper eye and ear protection.
  15. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Do as you want, but don't say you weren't warned.

    Jim
  16. grcsat

    grcsat Member

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    Hi, What you have is a spanish copy of a s&w.
    The cal is the 38-largo even though it says 38-long.
    The stamps on the gun are in english only to add false prestage to a conterfit.
    There is vertualy no info on the manufactor of these guns . Most were built from 1922-1956 (varius models ect).

    Do Not Shoot This Gun.

    Even when in production these guns were deemed UNSAVE.
    These are classified by many as a use only once desposible gun.
    And yes the frame is cast iron.and yes they do blow up.

    Hope this clears up a few things.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
  17. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    No, those guns were not made for either .38 Long Colt or .38 ACP. All I have seen were chambered for .38 Special, but some have no shoulders in the chambers and will accept and fire .357 Magnum. And they were marked in English because the U.S. was the primary market, having no inconvenient proof laws and being (at that time) relaxed about liability.

    Some makers didn't even bother to learn the correct nomenclature of the cartridge that was supposedly to be used in their guns, hence the barrel legend.

    The guns were deliberately made as copies of S&W revolvers (though the internal lockwork was usually the cheaper Colt type), and were often advertised as being war surplus S&W's or made in an S&W plant overseas. Some had barrels marked "use SMITH & WESSON cartridges" with the end words very small.

    They are cheap, poorly made (though often nicely finished on the outside) and can be dangerous. Now anyone who has one and wants to shoot it can do that. And you can insist that they are top quality guns and that you or some ancestor fired one for years and it is accurate, functions perfectly, and is a true collectors item worth thousands of dollars. And you can believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, also.

    Jim
  18. grcsat

    grcsat Member

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    Just dragged out my cheap spanish copy and on mine I can't close the cylinder on a rimmed cartridge.
    Looks like they made a few variations of the S&W.

    Also have another spanish copy of the same called an ORBEA which is identical to a S&W

    Reguardles I will not fire either one.

    No tooth fairy? Well there go my dreams.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
  19. Old Grump

    Old Grump New Member

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    Not for me to say not having gun in hand but if you can find brass for it light loads for plinking or the primer and plastic/wax plug trick for informal beer can shooting and irritating house hold mice might be an option if you can't bear the thought of hanging it on a wall.

    Not sure I would pass it along just in case somebody does stuff in a regular load of something and things go wrong. Some guns really should be retired.
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