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Help identifying these wheel guns...

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Keane, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. Keane

    Keane Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    I'm sorry if this isn't covered under general, though I think it is.

    Anyway, a while back I asked about an FFL in the area for mailing of some inherited guns, though I had no idea what they are. I just received a picture of them, and was wondering if anyone knows what they are They are three wheel guns, and this is unfortunately the only pic that I have:



    So, any ideas?
     
  2. Phillyfan

    Phillyfan Oregon City, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Uh oh, count down to someone saying they hate the term "wheel gun" even thought they know exactly what you are talking about. Those are pretty cool looking, though I have no idea what they are. Do you have any of the story behind them? Might help one of our resident experts if you let us know what markings or labeling is on the frames.
     
  3. Keane

    Keane Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    I know very little about them actually. A friend of my grandmother had these in her house from when her husband was alive (died at least 5 years ago I think). She wanted to do get rid of them, but didn't think giving them to the police or destroying them was a good idea.

    My grandmother told her that I was a gun guy, so the friend gave them to my grandmother to ship to me! My grandmother only has a camera phone to send pictures, and I think she already boxed them up, so I was wondering if anyone could figure something out.

    I think the upper right one is a derringer, though a derringer revolver search only results in a fairly new model, which though it looks similar, isn't the same.

    I'm more curious than anything, and will definitely post better pictures/descriptions when I get em.

    PS: I didn't realize "Wheel Gun" was a derogatory word or anything, I'd just heard them called that before and figured it would be alright. I apologize if I've offended anyone.
     
  4. Phillyfan

    Phillyfan Oregon City, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    The lower one looks like it might be a Bisley, but I know next to nothing about revolvers. I am sure someone will know what they are.
     
  5. Phillyfan

    Phillyfan Oregon City, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Nope, I take that back. Maybe Russian?
     
  6. Phillyfan

    Phillyfan Oregon City, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    OK, don't know about the derringer, but I am fairly certain that the revolvers are Harrington and Richardson, maybe .38's.
     
  7. WAYNO

    WAYNO Oregon City Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Top one looks like an Iver Johnson, or a H&R. What is the logo on the grips?

    Bottom one looks like a Smith and Wesson "lemon-squeezer".

    The smallest one...I don't know.

    WAYNO.
     
  8. Keane

    Keane Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    I don't know anything beyond that picture, but these are all good guesses! Keep em coming, and I promise to give better pictures/Identifications when I get them in my hands.
     
  9. andy*

    andy* Everson Wa Member

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    Hey Keane we could use some more info on the marks on your revolvers.
    There are 30+ pages of revolvers which look close to yours , in FLAYDERMAN'S GUIDE TO ANTIQUE AMERICAN FIREARMS.
    Lots of makers H&R, Hopkins and Allen, Merwin and Hulbert, Forehand & Wadsworth are some just to name a few. All of these revolvers were made from the 1880's thru the 1920's. Most were in the .22 to .38 caliber range.
    Please understand that you can not use "High Velocity" .22's or the .38 special cartridge in any event. Good luck in your search. Andy
     
  10. PBinWA

    PBinWA Clark County Well-Known Member

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    I've got a few guns similar to those. Andy's recommendations are correct. Most of my guns are .32 rimfire so you won't likely want to be shooting them.

    If you can get better pictures of the markings then it will be easy to identify them. Unfortunately, they aren't usually worth very much ~ $100-$300 unless they are particularly historically relevant.

    I have a copy of Flayderman's so if you can get the markings we can try and ID them.
     
  11. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    There has been a renewed interest in these older pocket revolvers in the past few years. You may want to look through Gunbroker to get a good idea of current selling prices. Condition is everything. Historical records can make a difference. The may be worth more than you think.

    H&R, IJ and other made a ton of these style revolvers. The bottom one is NOT a S&W, possibly a IJ clone of the lemon squeezer.
     
  12. Natty Bumpo

    Natty Bumpo Clackamas County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I don't know what you have....it is almost impossible to tell from the photo.....but here is a stab at it.....see what you think....

    The "circle" shape of the trigger and guard on the top-break lemon squeezer at bottom reminds me of the S&W New Departure Safety Hammerless. Here is a photo (scroll down to thread #20:

    Classic gun pic thread - Glock Talk

    The overall shape of the one above it could be the Iver Johnson Model 1900, DA.

    Like this one maybe:

    Google Image Result for http://forum.gon.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=199527&stc=1&d=1225206779

    Many of the revolvers made by the differing manufacturers back them tended to look quite a bit alike....just like the autos do today :)
     
  13. torpedoman

    torpedoman land of corrupt politicians Member

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    top left a small birdshead revolver, 22 or 32 rimfire many makers 1870's to 1900's the bottom may be an H&R unless that is a picture of an owls face on the grips in which case it would be an iver johnson.
     
  14. Keane

    Keane Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    UPDATE: So I finally got my hands on the revolvers, and found the following.

    The story is that these are all from a great-grandfather's saloon. He used them all for protection at one point, with two from the late 1800s, and one was purchased in the 1920s. The following is what I see on the actual revolvers:

    1- The spur hammer: The only markings on the entire revolver are the words "Defender '89" on the top strap. I found through research that this makes it an Iver Johnson, apparently the 7 shot .22 Short.

    Unfortunately, it is missing just about all off the parts. The cylinder spins freely, but the parts in front of the hammer and under the front pin are missing, as well as the two pins that held them in.

    2- The break top internal hammer: The break top comes with the original box and a bore brush! It is a S&W 32 Safety, 3", AKA the New 32 Departure. It is in Nickel. Unfortunately, most of the nickel is in bad shape, and it seems to be seized! The cylinder doesn't spin, as it appears to be rusted to the barrel. I don't see how the break-top part works, I tried to follow the directions, but the barrel catch doesn't seem to want to move. The grip safety doesn't work either, though it looks like it was supposed to work at one point.

    3- The pull-pin revolver: The pull pin is the nearest to functional. It is a H&R double action model 04.21.6 SHOT. It is labeled as 32 S&W CTGE. The hammer and trigger mechanism seem to work correctly, and the cylinder rotates when the trigger is pulled. It doesn't seem to lock up nicely, but it seemingly works. HOWEVER, it seems to function as both double and single action! I got the pin to work, though I cannot figure out how safe it is or anything.
     
  15. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like these would make a cool wall hanger project.