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Discussion Starter #1
I have a fascination with early revolvers and pistols that weren't considered top quality in their day. What nowadays people would call "Saturday Night Specials". But back in the late 19th century and early 20th these were handguns that almost anyone could afford for personal protection.
The spur trigger "Suicide Specials" with their colorful names and the old solid frame and top break double action revolvers. Such companies as Hopkins and Allen, Forehand and Wadsworth, Meriden firearms, Sears and Roebuck, Hood firearms, Iver Johnson etc. Also the old Belgian revolvers that flooded the American market back in those days. I know there's still not a huge interest in these guns, but for those of us here that have an appreciation for them and own a few, I thought it would be a nice place here to share photos of them. Regardless of the quality they are an important part of firearms manufacturing history. And really some of them weren't so bad quality wise...especially when you compare them to what qualifies as a "Saturday Night Special" Today.

So I will begin with this. A Hopkins and Allen X.L. no 3 in .32 Centerfire. I bought it because I really loved the engraving. Also because it is unusual to find one of these in a centerfire chambering. I believe it is actually chambered for .32 S&W long or something similar. .32 Colt is too small in diameter but .32 S&W long fits perfectly. It also has shoulders inside of the chambers instead of the usual bored straight through chambers you usually find on these types of revolvers. It functions but still needs a little help mechanically and I intend to get it in proper working order. I also love the ivory grips.







 

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Fine examples of weapon ingenuity. Your DOB should have coincided with the "roaring 20's" as that appears to be one main area of interest you enjoy ;) Lest we not forget later on, historically, the homemade "zip gun" though it's usefulness of more than one or two discharges was suspect at best.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The "Electrics" were most likely made by Forehand and Wadsworth according to Websters book "Suicide Specials"
 

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From what I've read, these guns were carried a lot more than the "typical" Colt SAA seen on every hip in old westerns.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Here's a few more. First more of that Engraved H&A in better light. The other spur trigger is an H&A "Ranger no 2" that my Dad gave me when I was a kid. The cylinder base pin was broken off when he gave it to me. He and my Grandfather took it apart, soaked it in penetrating oil, and drove the rusty broken pin out through the back of the frame until they could get ahold of it, then pulled it out the front. Then Dad turned out the base pin that's on it on his lathe out of a piece of stainless steel. I remember the knurling ended up doubling a bit because the stainless was sort of hard. Soft steel would have been better but thats what he had for stock at the time. God that was forever ago but it seems like yesterday. My Grandfather has been dead 18 years now...but I digress...

The last one is one I just bought on Gunbroker. I paid $110 for it which is really way too much, but I've never seen one like it with a factory snub barrel and no front sight so I said what the hell and hit BIN so it wouldn't get away. Its a Hopkins & Allen "XL Double Acton" in .32 S&W. It's very much like the Harrington and Richardson Vest Pockets of the era which I also want to add to my collection eventually. I haven't cleaned it up at all yet but I intend to.
Anyone know a good way to make the dark rusted parts of the steel look white again and still preserve the nickel that's left? Bronze wool or Big 45 Frontier Gun Cleaner? Maybe just plain old fine steel wool. I'm not super concerned about the finish as it's not a really valuable piece. I'm not going to go about cleaning it the same way I would a Colt. If it were a Colt I would just leave it as is.
I'm actually tempted to de-plate it and refinish it since I have a friend in a finish house and could get it plated pretty much for free.







 

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twaits,

I can't remember if I've shown this or not. Oh well, I don't guess it will hurt if I did.

US Revolver Top Break.jpg

This is a .38S&W "Automatic Hammer" model from U.S. Revolver Company (made by Iver Johnson in 1912). The action locks up well, and all chambers line up properly with the barrel. It seems to function OK. I think I have a whole $42.80 tied up in this, including sales tax.

Buck
 

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Those engraved numbers are dandy. Would have a hard time passing one by just for the 'cool factor' that they carry with them. Thanks for sharing with us!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
twaits,

I can't remember if I've shown this or not. Oh well, I don't guess it will hurt if I did.

View attachment 24654

This is a .38S&W "Automatic Hammer" model from U.S. Revolver Company (made by Iver Johnson in 1912). The action locks up well, and all chambers line up properly with the barrel. It seems to function OK. I think I have a whole $42.80 tied up in this, including sales tax.

Buck
I have a "US" snubnosed revolver as well that I will have to post.
 
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