US Revolver Co.

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by Fishboy, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. Fishboy

    Fishboy New Member

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    Hello, i'm new to this site and had a question that i was hoping someone could help me with. i have a US revolver Co 32 S&W i know some about this gun, that is is an Iver Johnson off shoot and i'm thinking it was made around 1910ish. the manufacture number (under the grip) is 49151 with no letter prefix. the number under the trigger guard is 49191. my question i guess would be is there a web site, book or place i can gather more exact information on this gun and possibly a few others (H&R). i'm looking for exact year and maybe any registered information on this gun. thank you everyone in advance.
  2. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    The book on Iver Johnson is "Iver Johnson ' Arms and Cycle Works Firearms 1871 to 1993 ' by WE Goforth ". There is a book on H&R's in the works but it has not been published as of yet. I know of no dedicated websites that has the information that you are seeking other that sites such as this with contributors who have the book. If you use the search feature of this forum you will come up with a wealth of information on the U.S. revolvers.
  3. Fishboy

    Fishboy New Member

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    Thank you very much
  4. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

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    I have one of these US Revolver Co. .32 S&W's (mine is the hammerless version). I actually do fire mine (but I have gone through it completely, cleaned and oiled everything well so it is safe to fire). The serial no. on mine is 45xxx and mine was made in 1930 or so. With your serial number, you are a little later manufacture than mine is - about 1 year later - provided yours is hammerless. These later models were NOT black powder models. They were designed to fire the smokeless .32 S&W centerfire cartridge. Ammo is a bit hard to come by, but it can be found.

    The earlier version that was not hammerless began production earlier so serial numbers were higher by 1916 than the hammerless versions were by 1930. Those earlier pistols were black powder cartridge pistols for the most part and are NOT designed for smokeless cartridges.

    The hammerless variety was called the 'safety hammerless'. There is no actual safety on the pistol of any kind, however, they were designed with a trigger pull that damn near needs an elephant to pull the trigger (OK - not that bad), but they are double action only utilizing a leaf spring inside to trigger the firing pin. I have mine measured at requiring approx. 12 lbs. of trigger pull to fire it. That very heavy trigger pull IS the safety.

    Do NOT fire the pistol with anything before you find out for sure whether it was made for black powder or smokeless cartridges AND you have it checked by a qualified gunsmith if you are not qualified to do the checking yourself. Firing smokeless cartridges in an old black powder pistol could very well have pieces of it flying into your face. Firing old black powder cartridges in the newer smokeless cartridge pistols just means you get to do some extra cleaning (sometimes from your clothes also).

    If you want to know what it may be worth, post the same question also asking what it is worth, into the 'ask the pros what it's worth' topic. I can tell you that in general they are worth in the $50-100 range in decent condition. I only paid $38 for mine this year (plus the shipping). Most important is that you post pictures of it to that topic so the guys who answer you can see the condition. The condition of the bore is also very important - if the bore is a mess then it probably can never be fired without replacement.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
  5. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The term "safety" in advertising hammerless revolvers also was used to indicate that the gun could not fire if dropped on the hammer (since the hammer was concealed), and the gun could not be fired by children (since it could not be thumb cocked and the trigger pull was too hard for a youngster to fire it double action). Of course the regular hammer type Iver Johnson had the transfer bar, but it and the hammer type U.S. revolvers could still be manually cocked.

    Jim
  6. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Jim - that's a good clarification of a point I didn't describe well.
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