The Firearms Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I'm new to the forum and appreciate any information you folks can provide. My wife's grandfather left her a US Revolver hand gun. The serial number is F18255. It came with about twenty center fire .38 rounds which are quite old. My question is can anyone verify that this model is indeed a .38 or is a .32?

Thanks in advance!
Larry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,354 Posts
Made in 1926, Large frame,made in both 32/38 S&W cartridge. No, the caliber can not be determined by serial number. You say you have some 38 S&W cartridges on hand? If they fit into the chamber with no side play, then it is a .38 S&W caliber handgun. You can also measure the cylinder chambers. A 32 will be approximately 32/100 of a inch +or-, a .38 chamber will be approximately 38/100 on an inch, + or -.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks gents...here's the pics along with a shot of the ammo box that came with it. I bought a new box of .38 ammunition but they stick out of the end of the chamber. The old ammo that came with it doesn't.

I need to clean it but it appears to be in great mechanical shape. Do you think it would be safe to fire?

Thanks again!
Larry
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,354 Posts
Ahh, You say they stick out ? Since their is no such animal as the .38 S&W Short {:) Yes, I see the wording on the box, I have even seen a modern box marked .38 Short, They are only short when compared with the ..38 Special, which is a longer and more powerful cartridge }, I think you may have purchased a box of S&W .38 Special instead of just Smith and Wesson .38 cartridges. The .38 S&W is a shorter and less powerful cartridge than the .38 S&W SPL, and also harder to find. Your gun looks to be in excellent condition, if the pictures don't lie and the gun is in good mechanical condition, then it would be safe to to shoot. 1926 was well into the Smokeless powder era. If there any doubts take it to a gunsmith and have it check out, only a couple of bucks for him to look at it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
I think at the time that box of 38 S&W cartridges was marketed the "short" was used by the marketer to differentiate between the 38S&W and the 38 long colt.

The 38S&W, as well as being much shorter than the 38spl is also about 7 thou larger in diameter (at the base) than the 38spl. Too bad it is not the other way round, it would save a lot of grief.
As rjay says you need 38S&W cartridges.
I have the same revolver, and while certainly no tack driver, it is fun to shoot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
286 Posts
Looks like you have one of Iver Johnson's lower priced versions of their 1900 revolver. These lower priced versions were markeded as US. Think that line petered out right around 1930. After the War Iver Johnson continued to market a lot of their pre war guns but gave them different names. The 1900 became the Cadet and was made in .22, .38 S&W and a few (I had one once) in 38 Special. The 1900 I had had most of the finish gone but still went kaboom when I pulled the trigger
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
There is a reason the box of ammo you got with the gun was marked BLACK POWDER. That is because the U.S. Revolber line was never updated by Iver Johnson to shoot the more modern and more powerful smokeless powder cartridges. If you buy and shoot modern .38S&W cartridges, you do so at your own risk. It is NOT safe. When the gun explodes on your hand and removes a couple of your fingers, please have your lawyer contact RJay because he told you - incorrectly - that the gun was safe to shoot. I see a large P.I. award from the court in your future.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,860 Posts
There is a reason the box of ammo you got with the gun was marked BLACK POWDER. That is because the U.S. Revolber line was never updated by Iver Johnson to shoot the more modern and more powerful smokeless powder cartridges. If you buy and shoot modern .38S&W cartridges, you do so at your own risk. It is NOT safe. When the gun explodes on your hand and removes a couple of your fingers, please have your lawyer contact RJay because he told you - incorrectly - that the gun was safe to shoot. I see a large P.I. award from the court in your future.
You may be right on the black powder only but RJay did state to take it to a gun smith 1st. Some folks don't sue people for trying to help them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,354 Posts
gvw3, that's OK, Mr. w1spurgen seems to be on some type of crusade or quest. He's wrong, but he would be the last to admit it. Why? don't know. A US revolver made in 1926 is a smokeless powder frame. Even if it wasn't, they do not blow up, they crack the frame, break the hinge, even shoot loose,but they don't blow up if the proper caliber cartridge is used ( ie: 38 S&W in a 38 S&W chamber ), both the overall pressure of both the .32 S&W and the 38 S&W are kept to the same pressure levels as the old black powder loads for the very reason there are so many old guns in the system, the only difference is that the smokeless cartridges have a different powder curve and will damage the gun over a long period. , but what ever, but he really should simply state his opinions and leave it at that. His little personal snide remarks get to be a little aggravating after a while, although they do reveal a lot about himself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
286 Posts
I would like to refer everyone to a Acknowledged Expert one Ian Hogg. In his pistols of the world revised edition Under Iver Johnson Revolvers "It appared in .22, ,32, and .38 calibers, and was sold contemporaneouslywith the main 'IJ' line until the 1940's. Cartridges loaded with black powder were also sold byStoeger as late as the 1939 catalog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
490 Posts
Nice piece, Have you thought about hand loading for that if the rounds are hard to come by, I believe some casings can be trimmed down to proper length, Find a suitable powder... Which ever it may be... and load up lead!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Way to go Rjay -- too many doomsdayers, too little common sense --

Shawndow --
Good suggestion, but the 38S&W case is a bit fatter than 38spl cases.
I expect a low level load in a healthy case would be safe enough.
The proper 38S&W cases are still available although not at walmart --
my tuppence
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top