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Looking for a date of birth for a US Revolver Co. top break 38 S&W.
It has a 3 1/4" barrel.
Serial #63622 on frame and under trigger guard. No letters present.
Thanks in advance.
Dave
 

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Your gun was made in 1914.

US Revolver guns were made by Iver Johnson and originally designed to shoot black powder cartridges. Guns made by the same company and marketed under the name Iver Johnson were redesigned in 1909 for the more powerful smokeless powder cartridges. Unfortunately, the US Revolver guns were not subject to the redesign. That makes them problemartic to shoot with modern ammo. Be carefull.
 

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Your gun was made in 1914.

US Revolver guns were made by Iver Johnson and originally designed to shoot black powder cartridges. Guns made by the same company and marketed under the name Iver Johnson were redesigned in 1909 for the more powerful smokeless powder cartridges. Unfortunately, the US Revolver guns were not subject to the redesign. That makes them problemartic to shoot with modern ammo. Be carefull.
The US Revolver got its start as a result of the 1909 redesign of the I.J.'s, to make use of the left over parts from before that redesign. However, US Revolver did not end with the using up of those parts. Sales were good enough that production continued as a line of its own and given Iver Johnson's reputation for concern with safety it wouldn't make sense to suggest they would manufacture new production with inferior steal that wouldn't be safe with the modern ammunition. I haven't found documentation either way so maybe It's just my opinion but in my mind it's a matter of when new production no longer had pre 1909 frames etc.. Of course that question I'm imagine we'll never know.
 

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I can find nothing in Bill Goforth's book that says changing the "steal" (sic) was ever part of the 1909 redesign (and I challenge you to find any reference to a change in metallurgy). Components that IJ felt were strong enough for smokeless powder, e.g., the barrels, were never changed and both US Revolver and IJ continued to use the same barrel blanks (the same "steal"). Obviously it was the frame that was the subject of the redesign and if the US Revolver line had been updated to shoot smokeless powder, they would have incorporated the 4 thru-pin design, as do the IJ guns.

Also, your high regard of Iver Johnson's concern for safety is misplaced. Consider this: When Iver Johnson was making the resigned 1909 revolver they continued to produce US Revolver guns using leftover pre-1909 parts that they themselves considered unsuitable for smokeless powder cartridges. If these pre-1909 parts were safe for smokeless powder there would have been no need for the redesign. So, it's not a matter of how long it took to use up the pre-1909 components, from DAY ONE those US Revolver parts were inferior to the post-1909 guns and unsuited to use with smokeless powder - yet IJ continued to use them in the US Revolver line.

Since you feel no hesitation to offer an opinion not backed by facts, let me offer my own. The US Revolver line was clearly inferior to IJ guns of the post 1909 era, but since none of these little pocket pistols were designed to shoot a voluminous amount of ammunition, Iver Johnson decided the US Revolver line was "good enough", and continued to sell them without update.
 

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Looking for a date of birth for a US Revolver Co. top break 38 S&W.
It has a 3 1/4" barrel.
Serial #63622 on frame and under trigger guard. No letters present.
Thanks in advance.
Dave
Iver Johnson did not introduce their mail order 'U. S. Revolver Co' series until 1910, after the update for smokeless powder.

The Goforth book lists estimated production date of 1914 for all calibers, models, and frame sizes of U. S. Revolvers with serial number 63622.
 

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I love the way you ignore answering exactly HOW the US. Revolver line was made safe for smokeless powder, especially when they were made with pre-1909 IJ components.
 

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I love the way you ignore answering exactly HOW the US. Revolver line was made safe for smokeless powder, especially when they were made with pre-1909 IJ components.
Well, I thought I'd read in Bill's book that all U. S. Revolver Co. production revolvers were smokeless powder safe, but do NOT find it now...

And I assumed when I. J. decided their products were unsafe with the new powder and made changes, that they would not continue to sell unsafe guns under another name, and would have used only leftover parts that didn't affect safety. But, paragraph 6.5 on page 44 indicates thats exactly what they did!

I searched some of Bill's old replies, and found this qualifying statement:

04-13-2010, 11:31 AM #11
b.goforth
Advanced Senior Member

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: houston, tx
Posts: 3,174 Re: US Revolver Co (Iver Johnson)

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U.S. Revolver Co. Automatic (top break) serial number 4265 was manufatured in 1910. a U.S. Revolver Co. made this early should be checked by a qualified person before firing as some of the parts may have been made before iver johnson changed over to smakeless powder in 1909.

on second though it might be best to treat all frist year production of the U.S. Revolver Co. top breaks like black powder models and not fire them at all. iver johnson made about 15,000 the first year of production.
bill
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Author:
Iver Johnson's Arms & Cycle Works 1871-1993
H&R Arms Company 1871-1986 (due spring 2010)
available from www.gunshowbooks.com
 
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