Question about Hopkins & Allen Arms Co. revolver

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by rlauhead, May 28, 2012.

  1. rlauhead

    rlauhead New Member

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    My brother just gave me a revolver that belonged to my grandpa and I am trying to find out more about it. It is stamped on the top of the barrel "Hopkins & Allen Arms Co. Norwich CT USA Pat. Dec. 6, 98" It is a 5 shot revolver and has serial number 05613 stamped on the bottom of the handle. There are numbers also stamped on the revolver cartridge and below the tube on the barrel where the cartridge fits over. I do not know what the caliber is, but may be .32 caliber (it's larger than .22 but smaller than 9 mm and 380ACP). It's in good condition with some surface corrosion, but no rust. The barrel is round, not hex. I guess from reading posts about similar revolvers that it is not advisable to fire this revolver with modern ammo (darn) so I guess I will just have to keep it as a collector's item. My question is, how can I tell what the caliber is? Do I need to use a caliper to measure it? Also when was this revolver made and does it have any value?

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  2. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    Your revolver is almost certainly chambered for 32 S&W, judging from the size of the cylinder compared to the trigger guard. The guns made for that cartridge were cheaper than the larger ones made for 38 S&W, so more of them seem to have been sold and survived to the present day.

    32 S&W is a weak round, but the modern smokeless powder version of it develops higher peak pressure than the black powder version these guns were often made for, so you are correct, firing it is not a good idea.

    Full retail for your gun was about $4 or $5 back in 1910 or thereabouts, and when Sears sold H&A pistols by mail order, it was even less.

    This type of gun is more or less a copy of a Smith & Wesson design dating back to the mid-1870s, and produced in large numbers by a variety of companies until about 1930. Production of this general style did not end completely until WWII, but H&A was bought out by Marlin-Rockwell (as it then was) in 1917 and ceased production. HTH!
  3. rlauhead

    rlauhead New Member

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    Thanks for the information. I measured the holes in the rotor with a caliper and it is .3203", so it is 32 caliber as you mentioned.
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