US Revolver Co top break 38, year?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by shawnt, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. shawnt

    shawnt New Member

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    I am looking for more the year of manufacture and any other info that can be provided from the following information.

    US Revolver Co
    Top Break .38 Cal
    3" barrel
    Appears to be nickel plated, about 80% condition
    Bottom of trigger guard - 86137
    Under left hand grip
    3377
    T36137

    Thank you for any information you can provide. This gun is a family heirloom and I am just cleaning it up for safe keeping.

    Shawn T
  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    the T letter code is new to me on the large frame 38 S&W U.S. Revolver Co. top break. i only have records of C on hammer models and D on hammerless models.

    since this one appears to have 3 different numbers (unmatching) i will need to see pictures to give you any more that general information. check the number on the bottom of the top strap to see if it matches one of the other numbers.

    U.S. REVOLVER CO. AUTOMATIC HAMMER--------------------1910-1935
    LARGE FRAME AND SMALL FRAME DOES NOT HAVE HAMMER THE HAMMER ACTION; This is a Brand name revolver manufactured by Iver Johnson’s Arms & Cycle Works to be sold through the wholesale trade. It was never listed in any Iver Johnson’s Arms & Cycle Works catalog, although it was listed in some European catalogs as original Iver Johnson products. Does not have Hammer the Hammer action and relies on a safety notch on the hammer. Hard rubber grip panels with U S at the top, large oversize two piece hard rubber grips were optional. Two frame sizes and three calibers were offered. Standard barrel length: small frame 3 inches, large frame 3 ¼ inches; Calibers: large frame 38 centerfire with 5 rounds cylinder capacity, small frame .32 centerfire with 5 rounds cylinder capacity, .22 rimfire with 7 rounds cylinder capacity Weight: small frame .22 rimfire 12 ounces, small frame .32 centerfire 12 ½ ounces, large frame .38 centerfire 17 ¾ ounces; Height: small frame 3 ¾ inches, large frame 3 7/8 inches; Frame length: small frame 4 3/16 inches, large frame 5 inches; Overall length: small frame with 3 inch barrel 6 3/8 inches, large frame with 3 ¼ inches 7 3/8 inches. Main serial number location on left side of grip frame grips must be removed to see.
    VALUE: 100%=$225 60%=$105

    U.S. REVOLVER CO. AUTOMATIC HAMMERLESS--------------1910-1935
    LARGE FRAME AND SMALL FRAME DOES NOT HAVE HAMMER THE HAMMER ACTION; Brand name revolver manufactured by Iver Johnson’s Arms & Cycle Works for the wholesale trade. This revolver does not have Hammer the Hammer action, but it does have a rebounding hammer that the hammer version does not. Blue or nickel finishes were offered. Offered in two frame sizes and two calibers only. Standard barrel length: small frame 3 inches, large frame 3 ¼ inches; Calibers: small frame .32 centerfire with 5 rounds cylinder capacity, large frame .38 centerfire with 5 rounds cylinder capacity; Weight: small frame with 3 inch barrel 12 ½ ounces, large frame with 3 ¼ inch barrel 18 ounces; Height: small frame 3 ¾ inches, large frame 3 7/8 inches; Frame length: small frame 4 3/16 inches, large frame 5 inches: Overall length: small frame with 3 inch barrel 6 3/8 inches, large frame with 3 ¼ inch barrel 7 3/8 inches. . Main serial number location on left side of grip frame grips must be removed to see.
    VALUE: 100%=$225 60%=$105
    bill
  3. shawnt

    shawnt New Member

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    I removed the cylinder and didn't see any other numbers anywhere.....or should I be looking somewhere else. However, other similar posts also listed the numbers on the trigger guard different from the numbers on the grip. Here is a picture of it and you are correct the barrel is 3-1/4. Let me know what you think....can't seem to find out anything on it. Also the 3377 number I gave was actually 3277.

    Attached Files:

  4. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    unless ground off after it left the factory there should be a serial number on the bottom of the barrel top strap. after removing the cylinder turn the revolver up side down and check the top strap area. i still would like to see pictures of this revolvers withput the grips. to see the two numbers mentioned in your first post. the U.S. Revolver Co. Automatic production did not use a letter code between 1909 and 1916 then the letter code C was used between 1917 and 1935. those revolver that have a trigger guard number different form the frame number have had their trigger guard replaced at some point in time and not by the factory. if a trigger guard was replaced at the factory they would have ground off the original number and restamped.

    what i believe you have is a second model large frame safety automatic hammer revolver frame, the letter code T was used on that model in 1907 & 1908, that has had a U.S. Revolver Co barrel mounted on it. it could have been done at the factory but unless the top strap number matches we might never know. but it would explain the two numbers on the grip strap. if this is the case it would be the first year production (1910) and should not be fired with smokeless ammo. the U.S. Revolver Co. originally came about by iver johnson not wanting to waste left over parts from the second model safety automatic revolver (black powder) when the third model (smokeless powder) was introduced in 1909.

    bill
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010
  5. shawnt

    shawnt New Member

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    Bill, thanks again for the info.
    And you are correct there is number under the strap; just difficult to read. The last three numbers are 137, and after a closer look the number on the trigger guard is 36137, therefore all numbers do match. Here is a picture with the grip removed.

    Would you still say 1907-1908.....and what would be the approximate value?
    Also, there was two .38 S&W shell casings with the gun and the last registration/safety inspection, which was in 1968.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  6. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    yes, frame made in 1907/1908 (most likely 1907), converted to a u.s. revolver co. in 1910 and left the factory sometime after that.

    this revolver is interesting in the fact it started life as a safety automatic revolver (all three serial numbers match) but ended up as the cheaper U.S. Revolver Co. does the action have the typical U.S. Revolver Co. type of lock work, meaning it does not have the "Hammer the Hammer" action (transfer bar).

    this revolver helps prove that my statement of the U.S. Revolver Co. was made to use up left over second model safety automatic parts was true and not made up.
    bill
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  7. shawnt

    shawnt New Member

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    The hammer has a safety postion and has a flat face, which then strikes a pin. Is this the hammer the hammer action as referred too?

    Thanks again
  8. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    the action of your revolver with the safety notch on the hammer is the normal action used on the U.S. Revolver Co. and is NOT the "hammer the hammer" action.

    the "hammer the hammer" action is known today as the "transfer bar ignition system". it is currently in use by many manufacturers. it was patented by Andrew Fyrberg in 1896 and assigned to iver johnson. iver johnson used in on the first model safety automatic introduced in 1894 and used until 1978 on many other models. this patent number 566393 was applied for on October 2, 1891.
    bill
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  9. shawnt

    shawnt New Member

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    Re: US Revolver Co top break 38, year? H&R Arms Co, 32, year?

    Thanks again Bill for sharing your knowledge.
    What would the approximate value of the 38 be?

    Here is another pistol that I also inherited from the same source.
    H&R Arms Company, 32 S&W CTGE
    State is spelled "MASS"
    Serial # on the bottom of grip is 211671
    From reading other posts, I believe this would be a 4th or 5th generation (depends on font) 1914-1915. Is this correct? and if so, which generation.

    Here are some pics

    Attached Files:

  10. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    normal value of your U.S. Revolver Co. Automatic is about $225 in 100% condition down to $105 in 60% condition. to an advance iver johnson collector it might bring about a 10% premium for being a very early model with diffinite second model connections.

    the H&R is a second model. serial number puts manufacture date about 1920 or earlier
    AMERICAN DOUBLE ACTION SECOND MODEL
    (SMOKELESS POWDER) ------------------------------------1905-1941
    32 caliber 6 shot, 38 caliber 5 shot, 44 caliber 5 shot, pull pin cylinder release, calibers and barrel lengths are the same as first model, 44 Webley caliber discontinued in 1921, nickel finish, blue optional. Difference between First Model and Second Model is the caliber markings on the left side of the barrel
    After 1930 this model was listed in catalogs as; AMERICAN DOUBLE ACTION No. 60 .32 Caliber 6 shot and AMERICAN DOUBLE ACTION No. 65 .38 Caliber 5 shot
    100%=$225 60%= $75 For all American Double Action Second Models add 15% premium for blue finish and 10% for 4 ½” or 6” barrel

    marking are different between the solid frame and the top break models.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  11. Manicmechanic

    Manicmechanic New Member

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    Hello.

    Thanks for the information you provide on this forum. I also have a U.S. Revolver Company 38 S&W hammerless revolver. The serial number is 35764 (this number is the same under the grip and on the bottom of the barrel). There is no letter designation before the serial number. Would you know the approximate date of manufacture on this?[​IMG]
  12. Stevep41

    Stevep41 New Member

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    Hello.
    I have the same type of pistol that I picked up at a gun show recently. It looks the exact same as the photo in the original post. The serial numbers on the bottom of the trigger guard and under the hand grips are 99396. Top of the barrel says U.S.Revolver Company. Made in U.S.A. It is a 38 caliber, but I need to know what ammunition to buy for it. The serial being a later number, I hope puts it in the smokeless ammo category. Is this the 38 S&W?

    Thank you!!!
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  13. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Estimated production date of large frame top-break sn 99396 is 1916, for smokeless .38 S&W cartridge.
  14. Stevep41

    Stevep41 New Member

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    AWSOME~!~ Thank you for the information. Now to try and find the ammo locally. I'll resort to the 'net if I can not get it locally. :):p;):D
  15. chas3

    chas3 New Member

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    I came across the following while going through some of my late father-in-laws things. A US Revolver Co. top break pistol with serial # 73900 in all 3 areas; grip, trigger guard, and strap. I don't know anything about small hand guns, but from reading these posts and others, I believe it is a small frame 32 caliber. Was thinking about trying it out, but concerned after reading the posts on smokeless ammunition. Any comments when it might have been made appreciated.
    Thanks
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