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US Revolver Co Hammerless

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by FoxWolf, Aug 11, 2020.

  1. FoxWolf

    FoxWolf Member

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    US Revolver Co Hammerless, haven't received it yet but serial is 4476 on trigger guard, it's in 32 s&w, when was it made and is it safe for smokeless?
     
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  2. 45Auto

    45Auto Well-Known Member

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    I don't have my book handy, but the U.S. Revolver Co was a brand name used by Iver Johnson from 1910 through 1935.
     
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  3. FoxWolf

    FoxWolf Member

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    I assume it's safe for smokeless then?
     
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  4. 45Auto

    45Auto Well-Known Member

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    I suppose. Factory loads only, nothing hot. If the hinge and/or barrel latch seems to be getting loose then don't shoot it anymore. I have no experience with Iver Johnson revolvers blowing up with modern ammo, but the revolvers can be loosened up and the latch screw bent if modern ammo is used in a revolver made for black powder cartridges.
     
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  5. gdmoody

    gdmoody Full Time Moderator Moderator Supporting Member

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    Don't shoot it with smokeless powder until you MAKE SURE it is intended for it. I have read hundreds of threads over the years with the same question and if I remember correctly, every answer has been NO, the US Revolvers were made from parts left over from when IJ went to smokeless guns. Here are just a few of those threads, found quickly with "Search"

    https://www.thefirearmsforum.com/posts/2170444

    https://www.thefirearmsforum.com/posts/2085242

    https://www.thefirearmsforum.com/posts/2084944

    https://www.thefirearmsforum.com/posts/2020586

    Every one of these links has at least one post in them that says "not safe for smokeless powders"
     
  6. FoxWolf

    FoxWolf Member

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    did they even have a blackpowder hammerless?
     
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  7. Phil from Kansas

    Phil from Kansas Member

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    Yes. All the us revolver co. products (borh internal and external hammer) were, just like the iver johnson series 1&2.
     
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  8. Shrek73

    Shrek73 Well-Known Member

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    You need to remove the grips to get the full serial number, which is on the frame. It may have a prefix letter B which was used on the Hammerless models. If there is no prefix it was made in 1910, if there is a prefix, it was made in 1918.

    As pointed out above, all US Revolvers are basically suplus Iver Johnson 2nd Model Safety Automatics. After Iver Johnson converted to smokeless frames in 1909, they created the US Revolvers line to sell the surplus guns which were black powder frames. They did not include the Hammer the Hammer action that made Iver Johnson famous.

    All US Revolvers are black powder frames and are not safe for smokeless ammunition. I am sure most have seen their share of smokeless rounds over the years,; however, they were not designed to handle the pressures.
     
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  9. FoxWolf

    FoxWolf Member

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    Well on the one hand it's probably not worth blowing my face off firing smokeless rounds in it. On the other hand, I've seen videos online of people shooting them with smokeless without problems. I get conflicting information from everywhere as well. I've heard ".38 S&W and .32 S&W (short) are loaded to weak pressures because of all the black powder guns so it's safe" but I've never seen any evidence of this. I know .32 S&W's SAAMI pressure is like 15k which seems really weak, but I have nothing to compare that to to .32 S&W black powder pressures. I feel like an idiot jumping on this now, I don't want to have thrown my money away but I don't want to be in danger either. Oof. What about .32 S&W loaded with Trailboss?
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
  10. Kweeksdraw

    Kweeksdraw Well-Known Member

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    Buffalo Arms sells black powder 32 ammo. They are out of stock but will eventually restock. Other places probably sell it too. Be sure and study how to clean after firing black powder, it can start rusting the gun in a few hours.
     
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  11. FoxWolf

    FoxWolf Member

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    I was looking at that stuff earlier, nobody has any of it in stock and it's a minimum like $75 for 50 rounds
     
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  12. johnsxj

    johnsxj Well-Known Member

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    On these old topbreaks it's not typically the pressure levels that factory smokeless ammo is loaded at. It's the difference in pressure curves between BP and smokeless ammo that really does these guns in. BP has more of an actual pressure curve where smokeless powder is more of a pressure spike. That pressure spike pounds on all the parts making things get loose after a while.
    Shooting a cylinder or two of smokeless 2-3 times a year probably won't hurt it much (especially the .32) but I wouldn't want to go shooting a full box every trip to the range. Personally the BP guns in my collection only get fed BP ammo. Downside as mentioned already is shooting BP means the gun needs to get cleaned ASAP after shooting.
     
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  13. Shrek73

    Shrek73 Well-Known Member

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    It is very simple, the pressure ramps from a black powder cartridge are much lower than a smokeless cartridge. When your gun was built, it was never test to fire the higher pressure smokeless rounds.

    I am sure that your gun as most US Revolvers have seen their share of smokeless ammunition, but you don't know how much or how often. The higher pressures from the smokeless rounds tend to wear out the actions. That's why a lot of these guns are worn out. You are going to have to make a determination as to when you want to risk firing smokeless thru it. Don't forget your gun is over 100 years old.
     
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  14. Firpo

    Firpo Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Here’s my personal experience. I had a second model IJ that had been in the family for Lord only knows how long. I found a local manufacturer 10X ammo in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca that said they would load up some smokeless ammo for me that would match BP pressures. The trick was that they didn’t have the brass but if I could provide it they’d be happy to load them. Well I ordered the brass, took it to the ammunition company, three weeks later I picked up my loaded rounds. This whole ordeal took about 6 weeks and talk about disappointing, loaded up a cylinder and with the first pull of the trigger the cylinder split end to end. Needless to say my vote is for NOT firing modern ammunition.
     
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  15. FoxWolf

    FoxWolf Member

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    ok say I pull the bullets, could I in theory just dump the powder, pack it as full as possible with blackpowder and put the bullets back in?
     
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