Would You Trust Your Life To A 120-Year-Old Revolver?

Would You Trust Your Life To A 120-Year-Old Revolver?

Would you trust your life to a 120-year-old revolver? Special Assignments Editor Roy Huntington shoots his Smith & Wesson Safety Hammerless revolver and shares if he would in this Quick Tip!

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33 Comments

  1. Charlie Sierra on September 25, 2022 at 8:43 pm

    Wow, I was getting ready to pull the trigger (sorry) on an old top-break Iver Johnson or an H&R on Gun Broker and was going to use low(ish) powered Magtech .32 S&W shorts in it but now I’m going to rethink that whole scenario. Thanks for the helpful vid.



  2. Gary Carroll on September 25, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    I think mine is a second generation from about 1895 in 38S&W. It only shoots primer only powered rubber bullets. Probably less than lethal but a lot of fun and the bullets can be reused if you can catch them in a soft backstop.



  3. gary K on September 25, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    If it is functioning properly and chambered in an adequate cartridge, YES. The .38 S&W is well below a .380 in power. So…I don’t consider them adequate.
    I have a S&W .38 Safety Hammerless that was my grandfather’s pocket gun. I don’t use it for concealed carry. I handload for mine with cast lead bullets and light charges of powder, just for occasional fun shooting.



  4. Jason Wilson on September 25, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    First comment!?!? That’s never happened before. Anyway, I have one but mine has a hammer. It belonged to my grandpa then my dad. He gave it to me one year as a Christmas gift. I have two older brothers that were pissed! But like dad said they weren’t interested till I said I wanted it.



  5. Fenwick Delivery on September 25, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    Try to locate the full frame like Hopkins Allen, Harrington Richardson, in 32 short cf. Also no double action use.



  6. Faustino Martinez on September 25, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    Tendrás otro vídeo de cómo darle mantenimiento a esta chiquita



  7. Christian Mohr on September 25, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    IV exact same kind mine was made approximately 1895. Shoots Great! Lot of fun. It was originally at the Pawnshop in the wall hanger section but I got it cleaned up and working again it’s a lot of fun them little lemon squeezers



  8. Ttl Keat on September 25, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    Got my papaws old lemon squeezer for christmas but mine is blued and it has a 2 inch barrel. They call it a bicycle pocket gun. 32 s&w



  9. Francisco Sanchez on September 25, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    The Smart Revolver I invented works with a ring I spent 3 years to perfect the prototype and I do have the utility patent which I don’t doubt that some of this folks copied my technology but my goal is to save lives specially children. Check out my Smart Revolver the must reliable and fast yet https://youtube.com/shorts/p-2qZi0m1MU



  10. Eric LDC on September 25, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    I have a 32 short revolver iver Johnson same model used on McKinley. Can’t find any ammo



  11. GUNS and American Handgunner Magazines on September 25, 2022 at 8:58 pm

    I’m not sure why we love these old guns, but I’ve heard from quite a few readers about this video. I’ll dig deep into the safe and come up with more old but still fun guns like this!”
    Roy Huntington
    American Handgunner



  12. Scott Zipperer on September 25, 2022 at 8:58 pm

    I still have my grandfather’s s&w32 long top break and my mom’s 38 s&w top break have no interest in firing them but will keep them all good to shoot



  13. uchihasurvival on September 25, 2022 at 9:00 pm

    I’d definitely trust an antique revolver in a Glock gunfight, as long as it’s double-action and break-action with moonclips.



  14. Joey Bisignano on September 25, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    I do have one I’m trying to find out if it’s worth money lol I’m from Canada don’t know how it got here



  15. Mk Shffr on September 25, 2022 at 9:05 pm

    The penetration performance of lead .38S&W and .32S&W loads is better than many people believe.



  16. Deceased Voter on September 25, 2022 at 9:06 pm

    I have a Smith and Wesson very similar to this one! My hammer isn’t hidden like yours. .38 S&W is hard to come by, but works great in my top break five shooter. Great video!



  17. StarPuss www.ToxicRedNeck.Com on September 25, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    I have had close to 150 Antique Revolvers , I am in Canada so they where all Pre 1897
    It’s Fun getting them working again! I use to fix 3-4 of the each month
    Parts of course are very hard to find so i was stuck making almost all the parts!
    So much fun getting them working again!



  18. Phillip Mcnichol on September 25, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    I love all guns, even beaters.

    Hahaha 🤣



  19. Waffel on September 25, 2022 at 9:08 pm

    Well, I’d trust myself with my 90 year old shotgun so probably



  20. Nighttrain on September 25, 2022 at 9:08 pm

    Short answer. No



  21. Harry Laws on September 25, 2022 at 9:08 pm

    The S&W lemon squeezer built in safety had release on the handle



  22. Lelon Bond on September 25, 2022 at 9:17 pm

    the british used 38 s&w in world war 2 with a 200 grain bullet and considered it a man stopper .



  23. Errol Best on September 25, 2022 at 9:20 pm

    I must respectively disagree about the comment towards the "Owl-Head" Guns being low quality….those are IVER JOHNSON Revolvers, and they were made with very high quality materials and machinery…



  24. Billman66 on September 25, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    I love the old top-break revolvers but my favorite vintage firearm is, hands down, the Merwin Hulbert Pocket . 44



  25. Fr. Abbadon on September 25, 2022 at 9:24 pm

    i actually did carry one of these briefly a few years back, lol! Still have it, and it’s a shooter, but i’m not as good of a shot as Mr. Roy. The trigger pull kinda gets me. I have one of the old first generation spur trigger models, and well as the version with the hammer



  26. J D on September 25, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    Mine is a .38 DA 4th change, and is in 100% working condition. I’m sure it could get the job done, but she’s just a range toy.



  27. Jason Dismuke on September 25, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    I just inherited one of these. Belonged to my great grandfather. My dad kept it on his night stand, and had a brand new 1911 in the box not even broken in.



  28. Johnny Ringo on September 25, 2022 at 9:29 pm

    The old puff smoke ammunition lol



  29. Old Tanker on September 25, 2022 at 9:30 pm

    Neat video and gun. PLEASE PLEASE bring back the gun cranks. We miss you guys!!!!



  30. david johnson on September 25, 2022 at 9:30 pm

    I would trust my S&W 1904 3rd change, but trust my Model 66 even more.



  31. Rob Bohus on September 25, 2022 at 9:33 pm

    I had a late 1800s s&w .32 shot tons of modern ammo out of it am I lucky? 😳



  32. Brian on September 25, 2022 at 9:37 pm

    I already do and have been for a while now lmao. Fucking MA gun laws… requiring a ton of BS for a "may issue" permit that’s 99.9% of the time, denied on your first try, requiring a lawyer, and a ton of hassle, and money, and training I don’t need… etc. Luckily, there is case law/precedent that pre-1898 antique firearms do not require any licensing, and have been easily shipped straight to my door… 10+ times now. I have Smith and Wessons, Harrington and Richardsons, Forehand and Wadsworths, Iver Johnsons, and hopefully many more to come in the future.

    My daily carry is either my S&W Double Action 2nd Model (Made from 1880 to 1884) 5 shot .38 S&W w/ a 3.25" barrel, which is a top break auto ejecting revolver, allowing for fast reloads with typical easy to find 5 shot speedloaders and speedstrips designed for .38 Special/.357 Magnum (.38 S&W cartridges work in them fine due to all 3 of these cartridges sharing the same rim diameter, which is what keeps the cartridges secured in the speedloader/speedstrips. The other guns I will carry are both Forehand Arms Co. Double Action, solid frame, 5 shot .38 S&W revolvers. One of them is slightly newer with a nicer nickel finish and a spurred hammer, whereas the other is a little less aesthetically pleasing, and has a factory spurrless hammer, but will also work in single action mode. Both have 2.5" barrels and are gate loaded. Both of the F&W solid frame guns have working single action modes but unfortunately my Smith and Wesson .38 DA doesn’t work in single action.

    The ammo I have have at the moment is Remington Performance Wheelgun brand, with 146 grn. lead round nose bullets, with the velocity at 685~ fps, giving about 152~ ft/lbs. of kinetic energy. There are many other brands/types of .38 S&W, although most, such as the brand I have, seem to focus on keeping the energy/velocity/pressure lower to account for the likelihood that they’ll be used in antique revolvers. I know of one brand, Buffalo Bore, that makes 125 grn LRN @ 1000 fps loads for .38 S&W, which they say are for solid frame revolvers only, although I’d imagine they’re referring to post 1900s and newer revolvers, typically with swing-out cylinders, for that to be used in. I personally don’t think 152 ft/lbs or so is that bad. Surely not ideal, of course, but at least it’s smokeless, and at the typical self defense distances one would be most likely to be shooting at, I feel that it’s adaquate for my purposes, and definitely beats having no gun.

    I also have a good amount of .32 S&W double action revolvers as well. I usually don’t carry these on their own because the .38s I have aren’t much bigger nor heavier. They definitely are, but it doesn’t seem enough to warrant carrying a much less capable gun, unless it’s a backup to one of my .38s or something. The Remington Performance Wheelgun .32 S&W ammo I have is 88 grn LRN bullets @ ~650 fps, giving around ~82 ft/lbs. of kinetic energy. I have 3 guns in this caliber, with only 1 currently fully functional; An Iver Johnson Safety Automatic 2nd model, 2nd variation, top break, 5 shot, .32 S&W SA/DA revolver. It’s a great gun for it’s size, and while the trigger is probably the heaviest DA trigger out of all of my pre-1898 antique revolvers, it’s not too heavy to fire rapidly if needed, and when regularly treated with some silicone oil, it becomes slightly smoother. The other .32s are another Iver Johnson Safety Automatic, same specs as the one I just mentioned, but it’s a 2nd model, 1st variation. It was great, with a slightly better finish that my working one, but it’s trigger spring has broken, and needs a repair. Luckily replacements for it seem easily and readily available on eBay, but apparently require hand fitting to work in the gun they’re being installed in.

    The rest of my .32s are in need of some parts to work again, and one of them which I’ve had basically no luck even finding suitable parts for, I just bought another one of the same, as it was a good price, and it’s the only .32 I have with a 6 shot cylinder that accepts .32 S&W Long cartridges as well as the ‘short’ ones. it’s an H&R Safety Hammer Double Action, which is called that due to it’s factory bobbed hammer just like the "Forehand D.A" .38 that I have. Both are usable in single action mode due to a serrated surface on top of the hammer, in which to cock it back from. I can’t wait since so far, I only have 5 shot revolvers, with the only 6 shot I have being a cap and ball .44 replica, that’s single action only of course, and too heavy/cumbersome for comfortable carry (even though it’s the "snub nose" 3 inch barrel variant with a fluted cylinder and birdshead grip from Pietta, with a Colt 1860 Army frame… which I’ve concealed carried before, albeit not comfortably lmao), and that it accepts the more powerful .32 S&W Long cartridges as opposed to only the .32 S&W ‘short’ cartridges that all my other 5 shot pocket top break DA revolvers are chambered in.

    They’re all accurate and work well, and I rarely carry just one of them, and I luckily don’t live where I would be likely to seriously need to use or brandish my gun, so having what I can have for me, is more important than not having anything; even if what I have is antiquated and isn’t as ballistically effective or doesn’t have the capacity of more modern concealed carry guns.



  33. Jason Dismuke on September 25, 2022 at 9:40 pm

    My dad kept my great grandfather’s on his night stand. I would fuss at him because he had a brand new 1911 in a box.