At a recent gun show I picked up one of these in 32 S&W off a junk table. I've never seen one with the little trigger safety before. Anyway, the reason it was on the junk table is the revolver does not seem to be working properly. The firing pin seems to stick in the forward position. When this happens and you pull the trigger they cylinder rotates normally but the hammer does not cock. If you push on the firing pin something seems to reset and the action will cycle normally, for one shot.
I see a firing pin bushing and I'm wondering if a broken firing pin return spring is the culprit. I have not had a chance to try the pistol with live ammo yet but my second thought is that fie presence of ammo and the action of recoil may reset the pin.
Is this normal operation for these revolvers? There is no corrosion, no pitting and at least 50% original bluing. For a black powder era revolver there is little sign of use. I think like many such it has spent most of it's life in a sock drawer.
This isn't going to help much. I bought a .32 S&W Iver Johnson and .38 S&W Iver Johnson revolver. Both top break guns, the .38 was a hammerless and the .32 had an exposed hammer. The trigger return spring broke on the .32. I paid a gunsmith to fix it but was advised that these guns were 100 years old and in their hay-day were not intended to be shot much. I sold both of them because I was afraid I'd break them again.
i think you have two problems instead of one. the firing pin bushing hole is either slightly over sized or it could be a missing or broken firing pin spring. the trigger not resetting usually means the trigger is not going far enough forward to reset (weak trigger return spring). the hammerless model of the safety automatic revolver has a slightly different version of the "hammer the Hammer" action. it would be best to take this revolver apart for an over all assessment of all internal parts. the problems you have encountered are usually casued by excessive drying firing.
as all second model safety automatic revolvers are designed for black powder cartridges pressures and are 100 years old (1896-1908) i recomment retiring them instead of firing them.
the trigger safety was used on all 1st and 2nd model safety automatic hammerless revolvers between 1894 and 1908. it first appeared in a patent issued to iver johnson in 1886 and appeared on two other iver johnson top break revolver model between 1887 and 1894.
i will need to disagree a little with gunsmith who said they were not meant to be fired much. they first and second model safety automatic revolver were quality products but all the first and second models (about 60% of total manufactured) were designed for black powder cartridge pressures and it seem that 90% of these were still in use until WWII. how many black powder colts or S&Ws can stand up constant use of the wrong ammo (smokeless powder).
Thanks all. Can anyone point me to an exploded view of one of these revolvers so I can get a better understanding of how the parts interact? I found a serial number under the left grip panel: H29026. There is the manufacturers address on the barrel rib and patten dates on the butt.
I've made springs for other old breaktops and firing pin return springs for old hammer guns, so I don't mind trying doing the same for this. Having loaded BP ctgs for years I don't mind loading up a box of 32 Short just to see how it functions. I only paid $35 for it so if it provides a few weekends entertainment trying to get it functioning properly I figure I got my moneys worth out of it.
The NRA has a series of books on firearms assembly and disassembly; you can buy them directly from NRA Publications, and they should be available through one of the on-line book retailers too. They have exploded diagrams for these old guns, and many others.
the H letter code was only used one time on the small frame 32 S&W caliber second model safety automatic hammerless revolver. that was in 1903.
regardless of what any modern day ammo salesman says, in 1903 iver johnson's arms & cycle works stated in the instructions printed on the boxes of their revolver that smokeless powder ammo should not be used in their revolvers. it was not until 1909 and the introduction of the third model that the factory deemed ther revolver safe with smokeless ammo. so i will keep with my statemaent do not use modern smokeless ammo in a first or second model iver johnson's arms & cycle works safety automatic revolver.
thanks again. Assuming I can make the springs I'll follow your advise and stick with BP loads. I think it's interesting that IJ approved their revolvers for smokeless powder before S&W did.
Many years ago I carried what I now know to be 3rd model IJ small frame hammerless for self defense when I made service calls from the service station I worked at. At the time I practiced with off the shelf 32 S&W short ammo but carried 32 ACP ammo in the revolver. Something I would not do now but being that 32 ACP is semi rimmed they all ejected fine if I remembered to tip the barrel up.
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