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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks. I sure hope someone can help me with the identification of this gun. The ONLY markings that I can find is the serial number which is on the bottom of the trigger guard, under the Left Grip on the frame and above the cylinder when you take the cylinder off (not sure what that part is called). The numbers are all the same and it is 80453. The barrel is 2 inches long. It is a 5 shot, it is a break at the top. it has wood grips with no markings, It has an auto eject from the cylinder when it opens and there is not a manual eject other than turn the gun over and knock them out. I believe it is a .38 short, but I am no expert on those. A .38 special fits the diameter of the hole but because of the lip inside the each hole in the cylinder, it wont go all the way in and i it did it would be to long. 9MM fits but is to short. I have added pictures and have more or could take pictures of something specific if need be. Goes with out saying it has some age to it my father in law had it for at least 35 years. Not sure where he got it as we didn't find it again until after he passed. We dont intend to shoot it as the cylinder has quite a bit of play in it and I believe it would be unsafe. My wife would like to put it in a shadow box and I would like to be able to put a label with it. I have searched high and low and come up with some close matches but because it has no markings I am lost. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thx Jeff
 

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Looks to be an Iver Johnson chambered in .38 S&W that has been cleaned up on a wire wheel and has homemade grips.
 

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Can it be a .38-200? I have been seeing that caliber in some magazines pertaining to old guns.
 

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An odd one. The serial number locations, exposed sear, frame mounted firing pin, threaded cylinder bushing, and plain hammer without "hammer the hammer" feature all match an Iver Johnson U. S. REVOLVER Co. model, with non-original grips and non-standard barrel length, and serial number 80453 without letter prefix would have been made in 1915.

Standard barrel length was 3-1/4" but unless done at the factory, the barrel does not appear to be cut and front sight relocated, and Goforth's book does show a .22 model with "rare 2 inch barrel" that looks identical.

Standard grips would have been hard rubber with US logo at top.

The only thing missing is the U. S. REVOLVER Co. marking on barrel rib: Is there an indication that area has been polished off?

Caliber would be the old .38 S&W round, which is shorter and slightly larger diameter than .38 Special.
 

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Can it be a .38-200? I have been seeing that caliber in some magazines pertaining to old guns.
38-200 was the British version of the .38 S&W.


The only thing missing is the U. S. REVOLVER Co. marking on barrel rib: Is there an indication that area has been polished off?
It looks to me as if it were heavily brushed on a wire wheel. I would imagine the markings got gone at that time.
 

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Can it be a .38-200? I have been seeing that caliber in some magazines pertaining to old guns.
38-200 is the standard S&W 38 S&W loaded with a 200 Gr. bullet, used by British for their revolvers, but still just a regular 38 S&W cartridge. I think the gun has been so heavily wire brushed that any other markings were removed, A case of some one rescuing a very rusted gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks your for your responses. I can't say any thing about the person that owned it b4 my father in law knew better and I don't believe he would have ever put a wire wheel to it, but I cant say for certain. It has been in a box in the back of his closet for I am not sure how many years.

HRF, I had really started to think it was an Iver Johnson as well but can not find anything that tells me it is. The barrel is original. There is a "slot" that the front site actually sits in. It is not molded into the barrel.(if that makes sense). The grips fit like a glove and sure do appear to be original. I am not sure where the "Rib" of the barrel is? I have looked at every speck of this revolver with a fingerprint magnifying glass (Literally) and at all angles of light. I don't see any markings, not even faint possible markings. Yes, it is an odd one. I appreciate everyone's help
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
it does, thanks. just looked it up on the internet (what a creation). There are no markings at all there. I look at it at different angles so the light will hit it differently and the magnifying loop i am using i very strong and I see nada. I dont know if you can see it in the pics, but the barrel is not straight across,about an inch behind the site, it raises about not even 3/16ths of an inch and continues straight again at that point to the break down latch.
 

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jdh5465, you can visually tell by the metals condition it has been wire brushed, also look at the pin and screw holes, the holes are " dished" or bevelled instead of being flat across. I agree with hrf that it is a US revolver. Remember, the revolver is a hundred years old, it may have had a score of owners before your
FIL acquired it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am not the expert so I will trust you all on that. I will look up what dished means and compare it so I will know. It is shiny like it has had something done. Its just been in a box for probably 20 years. thank you
 

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it does, thanks. just looked it up on the internet (what a creation). There are no markings at all there. I look at it at different angles so the light will hit it differently and the magnifying loop i am using i very strong and I see nada. I dont know if you can see it in the pics, but the barrel is not straight across,about an inch behind the site, it raises about not even 3/16ths of an inch and continues straight again at that point to the break down latch.
The "dip" in the barrel rib is normal, but after a new look I think the barrel was cut and the sight relocated:

The sight is a bit too far back from muzzle and the barrel marking would have extended into that area, which would be a reason to polish remaining marking off. It also appears the sight may be loose or improperly seated in the slot.

Just to satisfy our curiosity, post a pic of the barrel top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
i will post a couple new pics in the morning. I will get the top and more of the barrel. You are right about the sight being loose, it is cantered up a little in the rear. I might be able to pull it out if I took some tools to it. I will post pics in the morning. Thanks everyone, it is really appreciated.
 

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Speer made some red plastic .38 shells powered by a large pistol primer and topped with a black plastic bullet. Just the right thing for an old pistol that you want to hear go bang but not sure about full power ammo. Just about as accurate and safe as a daisy red ryder
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok folks, Here are a few more pics. I noticed 2 things, the first is that the "Rib" is a little shorter than the barrel (not sure if it is supposed to be that way) and the barrel appears to octagon although it is not really pronounced and hard to see in the pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks RJay, that being said, do you know what the model is? I would like to look it up to see the original and get any info I can on it.
 

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Yep, sight relocated, markings polished off, and the sight slot is off center.

Here's what your U. S. Revolver Co. model made in 1915 by Iver Johnson looked like originally.

(A Chicago retailer had some made up marked "Secret Service Special" but they were not used by Secret Service agents!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Many thanks, Taking what you all said in mind, I looked closer at the grips. They appear to be hand made. There is an ever so slight variation in the angles on the bottom of the grip and at the top where it is beveled as it meets the frame. I am talking very small differences so who ever did it, did a good job on them. Do you know what the value would be on the original Small CF model? I realize there is no value other than sentimental value in this piece.
 
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