Skip to comments.Calling All Gun Nuts – Please Help Identify This Antique Pistol.
Posted on 12/23/2004 9:03:18 PM PST by Jaysun
Any help that you guys can provide in identifying this little revolver would be greatly appreciated. I can provide additional pictures if anyone feels that may be helpful. Heres what we know about the gun:
My uncle found this gun in the wall of a house that was being torn down in Waco, Texas. The house was believed to be about 50 years old at the time, which makes the pistol around 100 years old (assuming it was placed there when the house was built). Other than that, I have no other history on the gun.
Its a 7 shot and the caliber appears to accommodate .22 short rounds. The barrel is 5.5 long. The gun is marked with a factory number 110298 on the frame at the front side of the grip. The two-piece wooden grip has the number 298 on each piece. The cylinder has the number 98 on it. The words SCOUT MODEL are on the top of the pistol as shown in the picture. There are no other markings. This gun feels very small in the hand; the trigger is pretty close to the grip.
It looks like it could be a Colt to me, but I cant find an exact match. Some have speculated that it might have been issued to a Texas Ranger, but thats just wishful thinking so far. I have a sizable number of antique guns and this is the only one we cant identify. Thanks again for your help and comments.
Here's the gun I was asking about guys. Thanks.
Funny you should mention...this old revolver cries out for a pair of "birds head" grips, doesn't it though?!
Oh, one more thing, they're more closely fitted than they appear. I didn't tighten them up adequately when I put them back on, and the space at the top comes as a result of a chip in the wood.
It's an Iver Johnson........1946-1956 mfg range I believe.
Scroll down a ways and it matches up pretty well....may be a H&R clone but I'm away from home right now so dont have access to my libary which I have pics of it.
Except for the grips, this looks like my H&R Trapper Model
good call...I agree.
Just a SWAG on my part bein uneducated an all in such matters........:o)
BTW ...Blessings to you and your family this Christmas Holiday friend !
Stay safe !
It MAY be a Harrington and Richardson, but I don't think so. H&Rs were mostly top-break. I think it might be a variation of an Iver Johnson .22 target pistol. I vaguely recall a revolver that looked like this that was sold by Sears and Roebuck around the turn of the 20th Century; they were made by Iver Johnson... and here is a sample of an Iver Johnson .22.
Note the matching diamond checkering on both guns...
I have an Iver Johnson 22 "Supershot" that bares some slight resemblance, but the IJ pistols that I've seen are considerably larger than my pistol. The picture that you provided is very close, but there's a few differences. First, the frame on mine is curved at the pistol guard whereas the IJ is more squared off. The frame in your picture also extends further from the tip of the trigger guard than mine does. Second, the cylinder in mine is smooth and shorter. Lastly, the hammer spring in the grip is much different than the ones that I've seen in IJ pistols. This one more closely resembles the springs (a single piece of metal) found in older Colts.
Like I say I'm away from my text on the subject but it's a H&R clone of the IJ IMHO or a variant made earlier. Also any clean sharp edges or rounded ones could be the result of a hammer monkey refinishing it .
I'll look tomorrow evening for ya when I get home.....Stay safe !
ok....scout model inscribed on topstrap.
7 shot .22 (something...short obviously)
selective DA unlike suicide specials right?
hmmmmm....I agree...not a Colt....never seen that frame on a Colt.
Flaydermans at hand....bet you've already tried that.
I think what you have is a Model 1900 Iver Johnson .22 Revolver built for a reseller like Sears and Roebuck or Montgomery Wards who may have specified the "Scout Model" designation. The lack of cylinder fluting is consistent with that model; the checkering on the grips is Iver Johnson's signature design for that period. Iver Johnson made minor changes in their guns almost yearly while the overall design remained basically the same.
The high serial number indicates a maker who has been around for a long time who made a lot of guns. Iver Johnson was founded in 1874 IIRC.
The three digit number is the "drawer number" used in the gun assembly shop to assure that all the matching parts for a specific gun are kept together during the manufacturing process.
Your gun is probably the 6" model... be sure to measure the barrel to the cylinder, not the frame.
As ya state the 100 year old home etc and the fact one is a top break makes me think your smaller revolver is the IJ or an IJ clone from around the turn of the century......The top break IJ has all the "signatures " to suggest Iver Johnson or an H&R clone of it.....tomorrow.
Stay safe !
Iver Johnson made both top-break and solid frame .22 revolvers. Your top-break model is not comparable. What caliber is your top-break?
the fact that the wheelgun in question is not a topbreak bugs me....one is much more likely to find 100+ year old H&A, H&R, IJ, F&Ws S&W etc in topbreak.....especially in small caliber ....except Colt.
If I were in Union City TN, I'd waltz into DGW and pull up yer pic for Jamie and I bet he would know pronto....as would the folks at AntiqueGuns.com
HR, Hopkins Allen, F&W and IJ all had that same look....cheap suicide specials...most were DA only....one can buy one today for 150 bucks NIB pre-1899 on Antiqueguns.com....no JBT paperwork either.
H/R Trapper Model
course this barrel is beveled too...hmmmm.....those are fairly unique grips it seems
wtf....I'm back to guessing again
Wardaddy, the 2 1/2" and 4 1/2" barreled IJ 1900s had Octogon Barrels. The 2" 4" and 6" models had round barrels. They were also available with hard rubber grips as seen in your picture or with walnut "western" style grips with the diamond checkering.
It was also available in .22, .32S&W and .38S&W. Naturally, the higher calibers required larger frames.
Although it was 30 years ago, I was a California Court system qualified expert in antique firearms and their values. I managed two gun shops.
There are several 1900s for sale with auction bids of under $60 and a couple with "buy it now" prices of around $75.
Dang it, time for bed. Hey, it's Christmas Eve! Merry Christmas folks!
Here's another theory.....Perhaps this weapon is part of a limited edition special run by some obscure manufacturer. Send a pic into Guns Magazine they have folks who can ID it, be sure to send all the other info, too.
I'll go along with that but the wood grips are not the originals.
As you probably know, this is the Christmas Holy Days Season.
It is a time of gift giving... AND receiving.
It is a time when I come up with ideas of things that I want family and friends to give me, in celebration of our Lord's birth...
For that reason, Mrs. Paulson restricts my browser so I cannot view, or download pictures of.....
semi automatic pistols
single shot antique anythings at all
nice new shot guns
hunting rifles of any caliber
either semi or single shot
links to ammo sales on line
deals on antique or current military items of any nature
including knives over three inches, bayonette or survival pieces
THANK YOU FOR PINGING ME TO THIS VERY CRITICAL THREAD....
The filter settings do NOT block free republic threads...
However, she WILL know, because IF I talk about any of the above, in my sleep, and I already know, that I will be the recipient of a dark dirty lump of coal instead of a nice warm pair of woolen boot socks.
I will apparently now be receiving, my yearly LUMP of coal.
What caliber is the weapon? I can't tell from the photo.
It's a .22 short, seven shot. I'd also add that the chamber rolls freely when the hammer isn't cocked.
It could be an Iver Johnson. Are there no marks on the barrel or receiver?
I tend to think it is an Iver Johnson.
The two things that make me think this was a gun manufactured for a catalog store are the model designation and the lack of a maker's name. Often Sears and Wards sold items that they serviced. The manufacturer's name was not on it because they were sold at a discount to the reseller because the manufacturer was not "on the hook" for service.
The reseller could sell the gun slightly less expensively than the brand name gun.
There is also the possiblity the gun is a "prototype" for a model that was never released. These guns do turn up occasionally. Many years ago I brokered a collection that contained an 1875 Remington S.A. revolver that lacked serial numbers and maker's name, but did have a drawer number and factory inspector's marks. It was unfinished in the white (no bluing). I researched the gun and learned it was the "PATENT MODEL" for the 1875 Remington Revolver which had disappeared from the US Patent Office many years before.
Other guns that lack proper marking are "lunch box guns" that were carried out of the factory before completion by dishonest employees. I have seen several of these. Usually, though, it is the serial numbers that are missing as the factory kept very good records of each gun, its serial number, and drawer number. Barrels with makers names were "rolled" before the barrel was joined to the gun or put in the drawer with the frame for fitting. It would be difficult to roll the barrel after fitting. "Lunch box guns" were usually grabbed before the serial number was applied to the parts.
In the same collection with that Remington was a 5 1/2" BBl .45 Colt Single Action in absolutely brand new condition. It lacked ALL serial numbers, had the proper Colt name on the barrel, but no drawer number or factory inspector's marks. What it DID have were authentic Springfield Armory U.S. Military inspectors cartouches!
The owner's story about the gun was that he had first seen it in the 1940s. A friend of his had a double holster rig with a matched set of TWO of these un-serial numbered Colts. In the 1950s the owner had given him one of the two guns. He also promissed him the other at his death (they were very good friends). When the friend died in the 1960s, his widow called to say that she could not fulfill the wishes her husband had put in his will that his friend get the second gun and holster rig. When she went to get them from his office they were gone.
I researched the remaining gun. Colt claimed it could not exist, let alone two. They swore they were extemely careful with serial numbers. The guns configuration (black powder) and frame styles indicated it was probably made between 1889 and 1894. What I learned after several months of delving, was that Colt DID NOT ASSEMBLE this gun... but it was in all respects an authentic Colt Single Action Revolver!
What I found and documented was that In 1891, the Colt Factory accidentally shipped six UNSERIALIZED Single Action frames to the Springfield Armory. The Colt factory attempted to retrieve them but the Armory refused to return the frames.
The Armory's gunsmiths assembled TWO Colt Single Actions for the Armory Commander with unmarked new replacement parts, the other four frames were assembled using used parts with mis-matched serial numbers (three of these have turned up and are the hands of collectors). All of the guns were inspected by the Armory's official inspector and received the cartouche. The two unserialized guns were presented to the commander on his retirement along with the double holster rig. The guy who had both guns and gave one gun to the current owner was the nephew of the commander.
The collection that contained these two guns was a hodge-podge with no particlular theme... It was collected by a guy who just liked guns and acquired them over a lifetime. Some of the 44 guns in his collection were literally junk, most were just average guns, gifts from customers at his grocery store, or stuff that was found on the desert.
There were, however the two just described AND a mint condition Smith and Wesson .44 Russian model, a brand new condition Philadelphia Derringer, and a so-so Harrington and Richardson .32 that was documented to have been taken by the local police from Pretty Boy Floyd.
The owner wanted to divest the entire collection and didn't want to be left with the "junk" or have to wait to sell the rest piecemeal. In addition, he wanted CASH!
I packed up all the guns, put them in my car and my wife and I went back home with all of them.
I advertised the collection (which I kept under my bed) to be sold to the best offer... which turned out to be $40,000. I figured the 39 so-so and junk guns were worth a total of about $2500. The other five were what brought the high price. This was in 1978.
Remember the owner wanted CASH? The buyer paid me with 2000 $20 bills! I've never seen so much money in one place in my life.
The owner lived two states away from me. I drove almost 700 miles with that cash in a paper grocery bag.
That's not good. Don't try to shoot it until is locks with the hammer down. The revolver cylinder should roll freely ONLY on the half-cocked position.
One additional thought. I notice the gun does not have a rear sight... apparently one has to use the hammer's firing blade as the rear sight. Either that or this IS a prototype of a new model that hasn't quite been thought out.
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