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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, my name is Steve and I like breaktops. Or, if you wish, top breaks. I really like Smith & Wesson hinged frame .32 and .38 caliber five and six shot revolvers. I like 'em because they're very well made and because they're very old. The finishes were gorgeous and they have style. They're also relatively inexpensive compared to other designs of the same vintage. The classic bicycle gun breaktops were also made by many other manufacturers (including Harrington & Richardson, Iver Johnson, Hopkins & Allen, Marlin, etc.) and many of those are very well made as well.

So let's see 'em! Any condition, nickel/blue or .32/.38 or hammer/hammerless! Post pics of your old blue guns that have faded to patina or your old flaking nickel revolvers. If you've got a safe queen in its original box, well we've just to see that one! Share 'em all!

I'll start.

.38 Double Action 3rd Model shipped on March 13, 1886:



.38 Safety Hammerless 5th Model shipped on October 16, 1917:



.32 Safety Hammerless 1st Model shipped on January 26, 1893 (It was originally flaked nickel with busted hard rubber grips. I had the nickel stripped and then Michael Gouse engraved the little .32 with 75% coverage American Scroll and blued it with fire blued screws. I had the factory pearl handles before I found the gun so they matched up pretty good. The revolver's internals and bore are very good so it was a good candidate for engraving and refinishing):

 

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Got lucky and found a new old stock one in Tulsa this year. The serial number puts it as a 5th model but it has a pinned front sight like the 4th model but all the numbers match. Left over parts I guess. :?









 

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Steve, Just my grandfathers, Dr. Freas, Harrington & Richardson .22.
Please forgive it's not a .32 or .38. ohijgan


 

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Rimfired,
What's not to like about that nice old I.J.?
After all, that company supplied thousands of folks with affordable 'home protection' for many years.
This little S & W .32 Safety is a very late production (1930) gun.
Don
 

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Discussion Starter #5
fugotti: Wow!

rimfired: I like that .22 a lot! Great picture too! But how come its wearing Harrington & Richardson grips? I'm guessing it's actually an H&R and not an Iver Johnson, right?

DHENRY: That's a mint looking little break top!
 

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This is the only Topbreak I have ever owned. picked it up in Yuma AZ
I liked the pocket purse it came with.
Dan


 

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mm6mm6 said:
fugotti: Wow!

rimfired: I like that .22 a lot! Great picture too! But how come its wearing Harrington & Richardson grips? I'm guessing it's actually an H&R and not an Iver Johnson, right?quote]

Brain f8rt, you are correct sir, Harrington and Richardson, not IJ.
 

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Dan, What a sweet early engraved gun! Thanks for sharing!
We won't tell you're into purses. Thats a nice bonus!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
kritter, now THAT'S a garage find!
 

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mm6mm6 said:
.32 Safety Hammerless 1st Model shipped on January 26, 1893 (It was originally flaked nickel with busted hard rubber grips. I had the nickel stripped and then Michael Gouse engraved the little .32 with 75% coverage American Scroll and blued it with fire blued screws. I had the factory pearl handles before I found the gun so they matched up pretty good. The revolver's internals and bore are very good so it was a good candidate for engraving and refinishing):


Steve,

Man oh Man, what a jewel... :mrgreen:

Su Amigo,
Dave
 
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I kind of like the "old" stuff also. Here's a picture of the shadow box displays that sit on my roll-top desk just below a framed poster of the S&W International Museum Show Tour, 1991-1995. Contains a 38 Double action, 3rd model from Apr. 1893. A .32 Single Action 1 1/2 (CF) 2nd issue from Mar. 1879. 32 Safety Hammerless 3rd Model, Mar. 1921. 32 Double Action5th Model from Apr 1911.

Not in a frame yet is my 1 1/2 32 Rimfire Long 2nd Issue, from Jan 1873.
 

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Hey, I need some help, here. Your little .32 above is almost identical to one my Mom recently gave me to determine whether it was worth repairing and/or retaining. It originally belonged to a late maiden aunt who was given it by one of her boarders in return for his lodging costs. I know it's very old - only a 5 digit serial number - still has black plastic grips which are intact, with S&W logo; badly flaking nickel plating; all internal parts work, but there's a slight bulge at the mid-point of the barrel which concerns me a little. Is this a real find, or what?? Is it worth investing some $$ to get it repaired, perhaps remove nickel as you did? What have I got here?
 

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Tipp - I'm not sure whether you are referring to the Model 1 1/2 directly above or the 32 Safety Hammerless or the 32 DA referred to above that. In any case its difficult to answer your question without seeing your gun. However, in general, S&W made a lot of these 3 models so collectors value and pay for only high condition, all original examples. In addition, the bulge in your barrel not only decreases any collector value but also decreases or eliminates your gun's value as a shooter. An exception would be if your gun can be documented as being associated with a famous person or historical event - in which case you would not want to change its current condition. Renovating these guns can easily run several hundred dollars and that expenditure would not increase the value of your gun by an equal amount. Your probably best counseled to keep and enjoy your gun as a piece of family history.
 

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While my typing fingers are still warm let me resurrect this thread with a couple of pictures.:D

Here is a picture of a 38 DA, 1st Model.



Here is a 2nd Model 38 Safety Hammerless.

 

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I no longer own this one, traded it on a Trooper posted in the other brand revolver forum. The fellow I bought it from made the elk horn grips.
 
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