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POW revolver question

Discussion in 'The Guns Galore Section' started by Buten42, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. Buten42

    Buten42 Member Patron  

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    My brother brought home a little pocket gun that he took off a German POW. It was a .32 caliber revolver, hamerless, swing out cylinder. It was in the family for years but has disappeared. Was curious if anyone could give a good guess what it might have been. As close as I can come for a match in appearance is the Smith and Wesson 649 (below). The 649 is a .357 but the profile is nearly exact except for the grip on the little .32 comes straight down in back instead of flaring back like the S&W and straight in front instead of having the finger holds. It had wood checkered oval grips .
    Not much to go on but they must have made more than one and someone may have seen one. Thanks


    upload_2018-10-17_21-42-30.png
     
  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    upload_2018-10-18_14-33-36.jpeg
    upload_2018-10-18_14-34-31.jpeg upload_2018-10-18_14-33-53.jpeg


    Some possibilities...
     
  3. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    S&W made the 'Safety Hammerless' from about 1900 on, and it was available in .32. They were popular and sold all over the world, so no reason a German wouldn't have one picked up on the commercial market.


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  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

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  5. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    A revolver would be an unusual choice for a German serviceman. Revolvers never really "caught on" in Germany. I haven't given it much thought, but I'd assume it is due to a combination of the late 1800s German efforts in revolvers which produced abysmal sidearms like the Reichsrevolver, and the co-incident promising efforts in the field of early semiautomatic designs from c.1885 onwards which produced excellent sidearms such as the C96, Luger, etc.

    In addition to the prolific S&W Safety Hammerless and its descendants, the German brand Arminius produced some "hammerless" (or more correctly, "shrouded hammer") revolvers in the 1920s and 1930s. There were also a wide variety available out of Belgium. It would almost certainly have been a private purchase item for the German serviceman. Without more information it is impossible to identify what the gun would have been.
     
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  6. Buten42

    Buten42 Member Patron  

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    Thanks. I just can't remember seeing who manufactured it. S&W design seems to come the closest. I'll check out Arminius and the others that Takao suggested..
    Just something that popped into my rusting memory and thought I'd give it a shot. How's Arizona treating you KB? I always looked forward to your thread on your Arizona experiences.
     
  7. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    I have A.B. Zhuk's splendidly illustrated book on handguns. At a guess, it is probably one of the better visual guides to the subject. Scores, if not hundreds, of different types of cheap, small-bore revolvers were made in Europe between 1880 and 1945, and the continent was awash with them. A great many of these were made in Belgium and Spain and some were made up of all sorts of odd parts which just happened to be lying around the workshop. Many were unmarked or marked only with bogus or generic names ("Best Friend," Puppy," "British Bulldog," etc.) Many were chambered for feeble low-powered rounds, some designed only to scare off annoying canines ("Velo-Dogs"). A few of these weapons were adapted to handle automatic pistol cartridges like .32 ACP and .25 ACP, but ninety percent of these guns were trash. Arminius got its start making such junk, but the really good Arminius revolvers did not appear until after WWII. Pre-war Geco and some other unknown German manufacturers did make (or market) copies of the S&W hinged-frame safety automatic type, which was also copied in Spain. Geco also marketed a copy of the Colt .38 double action swing-out cylinder design. Take a look at Zhuk, The Illustrated Encylcopedia of Handguns; your library might be able to get a copy for you. Certainly identifying the gun in question will be very difficult if you don't have a photo of it.
     
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  8. Buten42

    Buten42 Member Patron  

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    upload_2019-6-18_22-27-5.png

    Finally found a picture of the one my brother brought home. All I could find for a name on the site is "Belgian .32 hammerless" The only difference is my brother's had wood hand grips.
    I found a copy of a patent drawing of another one that is very close and labeled C.A Weeks & C Foehl, but the one pictured is it.
     
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  9. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    My only thought is that Europe was never going to put S&W or Colt out of the revolver business.

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  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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  11. Buten42

    Buten42 Member Patron  

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    Thanks for the link, I'll see what I can find on the Ancion-marx.
     

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