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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that any piece chambered for the archaic .38S&W (not S&W Special) round, is a bit on the edge of modern ballistic recognition, today. However, there were an entire wagon load of handguns chambered for this round from around 1878 until 1986. My primary interst in this cartridge/chambering is in H&R ARMS Co. revolvers. I have a "few" solid frames and hinged frames that I have fired using modern Winchester Super X ammo. There is something very soothing about waiting for the bullet to impact the berm beyond the 100 yard target line. Besides that, the .38S&W, while not of much importance today, in light of all the hgiher performance rounds available, is a NICE historical round, with provenance and dignity. I have a couple H&R revolvers that I will trust with modern .38S&W loadings - They are a real hoot to shoot and always generate a lot of interest at the range. If you get a chance to pick-up a firing condition H&R, IJ, S&W or Colt in .38 NEW POLICE (this is the .38 S&W cartridge with a flat nosed bullet - pride of ownership prevented Colt from using the S&W nomenclature) - buy it and shoot it. History is a wonderful thing.
 

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Here's my old S&W Mod. 1 1/2 Topbreak, the book says it's from around 1895 or so:


 
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I got three, S&W model 33-1 solid frame paid 70.00 exterior not so good, in side like new. Iver Johnson Model 66S, top break 79.00 like new. U S Revolver top break, all there looks not good 44.00 (I do not shoot).
 

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I'm finally going to shoot the ole' girl!

I'm glad 32 Magnum got this thread going -- I've owned that old Smith for 10+ yrs and kept promising myself that I'd go and shoot it, but never did. Now it's setting on the gun table along side a new acquisition and both are going to the range in the morning!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
gunrnr
Let us know how the old S&W works. I've fired a few of my H&R - a mid 1930's Auto Ejector with a 3 1/4" barrel, a mid 1940's Defender 38 with a 4"er and a pair of mid 1960's Model 925's with the snubby 2 1/2" barrels. I've used Winchester Super X standard loads and a few "reloads" from a small commercial loader who goes to all the local gunsshows. This guy puts light loads in his reloads and labels them for the "older" hinged frame guns. First time I fired any of these, it was the Defender 38, my BIL, 3 nephews and I were out at a rifle range. Just for fun, I fired a couple rounds from the bench at some dirt clumps out behind the 100 yard target stands, maybe 110 yards. It seemed like: fire, take a drink of water, wait, wait - spot the dust cloud, call the shot. LOL. Everybody wanted to shoot the darn thing, cost me two boxes of cartridges and 34 bucks.
 

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32 Magnum said:
gunrnr
Let us know how the old S&W works.
I shot 15 rounds (3 cylinders ful) in the old Model 1 1/2 this morning and really enjoyed it. It sounds just like a .38 Spl. but there is really no recoil to speak of. The darn thing is accurate, too, once I was able to acquire a sight picture. The front blade sight is soooo narrow and the rear sight is next to nothing. Shooting from 15 yds., I missed the target entirely the first four shots and hit 6" low on the fifth. After that I figured out the "Kentucky windage" and was able to get almost all shots in the black. What a fun little antique! Not a lot of power, and to think that the .38 S&W was a standard police cartridge for many years. Heck, I wouldn't stand in front of it, but I'm sure glad they developed more effective calibers later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!! I love it. Glad you had some fun with that old timer. More people should try out the "pre-modern" guns to get a feel for what our ancestors enjoyed. Thanks for the update.
 
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Wizzing down the range at 659 fps, someone with a real good camera, could send us some pictures. of a bullet stop in motion. Just kiding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Walter,
I don't have any pics of "stopped" bullets, but here's a couple H&R .38 S&W revolvers you might like to see.



Hope you enjoyed these, there's lots more where these came from.
 
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Mag 32, again thanks for the picture of the H & R top breaks. Love those top Breaks. The solid frame is a bit odd in that it has a side plate like many a S&W. Good going Mag 32.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Walter and Baldy,
Thanks for the kind words and glad you like the pics. I haven't had much opportunity to let others view my collection over the years and this forum allows me to do so. I'm hoping others enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoy sharing.
Here's another "scarce" piece. It is one of about 25,000 ordered by the London Metropolitan Police to arm all their officers and produced by H&R during the early stages of WW2. The actual number shipped is unknown (H&R records are sealed by the BATF) but this one has a serial number in the 22,000 range while two other commercial models that I have, have four digit serial numbers. I have no idea how it got back to the U.S. but the London Metropolitan police provenance is factual.

view of proof and property stamps on front of grip frame

this picture shows two commercial versions at top, and the M.P. piece at the bottom. Notice the 'MK-II' stamp on the Metro Police piece - I'm led to believe that stands for the caliber, which is .32 S&W Long.
 
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I looked in the Gun Traiders Guide and all it said made in 32 S&W and 38 S&W and used by London bobbies. I guess the oficial name is BOBBY DA and it is worth twice as much as the Defender .38 DA used by U.S. plant guards during WW-2. Good find, might be worth as much as 500.00 today. There a lot of H & R guns that most people will never see. I have a Iver Johnson Model 66S (38 S&W break top) that I believe was own by someone in some sort of security. The only place it showed ware was on muzzel and both sides of the cylinder. I only shot it a few time and may be more than the previous owner. I like your pictures of the Bobby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Walter,
Thanks for the info - I bought it on gunbroker.com about 5 years ago for $135. I couldn't believe it when I received the piece and saw the markings.
You talked about the H&R Defender 38, here's some pictures of the ones in my collection. They are slightly different, derived from the SPORTSMAN frame, only in .38 S&W chambering, all these are different variations on the same theme as you can see by the stampings on the barrels. I haven't yet captioned the pics and there are a couple other pieces, but this is a good start for your perusal.



If you compare the Defenders with the Bobby, you will see that the barrel contour is different and much heavier and that the Defenders all had fully adjustable front and rear sights, the same as in the Sportsman Model 999. Also notice that the bottom one is a resurrection of the manual ejection system, discontinued in 1885 or -86. This format went on to become the Model 925 series and the Model 926, both of which had manual rather than automatic ejectors.
How about some pics of your IJ?
 
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32 Mag I wish I could send some pictures but do not a digital camara. To the untrained eye, some may say the Bobby and defender are "about the same" , but they are not. thanks for the photos. sorry I do not have a camara.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Walter,
No camera, no more pictures for you. LOL..... Hey, just sit back and enjoy all the fine guns showing up on this site. I'm glad I joined. Really nice bunch of people. :lol:
 
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