Need help on this please !

Discussion in 'Curio & Relic Discussion' started by APPDS, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. APPDS

    APPDS New Member

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    This small 1 1/4 inch barreled revolver came into my possession from a friend, that was passed onto him 15-20 yrs ago by another friend. There is no manufacturers name on the barrel. On the back end of the chamber are 2 stamps one is an R with a crown above and the other EL with a G underneath and a crown above. Retractable trigger, safety next to hammer and the only numbers apart from the various components have either a 5 or a 2 is the registration number on the base of the handle 7325. So for all you experts out there I would really appreciate any info that you can supply.
    Photo's below !!
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010

  2. APPDS

    APPDS New Member

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  3. APPDS

    APPDS New Member

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    Sooooooooo hopefully the photo's to my above post should show here. I suspect that the nickel plating was possibly put on quite recently ? Any ideas anyone? It really is something that I have not come across before. The ELG and crown would normally
    denote that it came out of Belgium. Caliber? I would have to guess as I don't have any munition with this, would be possibly 8mm (metric) which would make it a .32. The revolver, if this is the original plating is in very good condition and looking at the burn marks on the chamber would guess that it has not been fired that often.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010
  4. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Funny- did we not look at one of these recently? :confused:

    Yep Belgian- The ELG is proofmark for Liege Belgium. The safety on a revolver, and the closed end scallop type cylinder flute is typical Belgian. Caliber is quite possibly .320 European Revolver, which is the same as a .32 Short Colt (NOT .32 S&W)
     
  5. APPDS

    APPDS New Member

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    OK so I'm right with the Belgium origin. Any ideas about date of manufacture and possibly manufacturer. Trying to find the history of this little piece and how it came to Greece.
     
  6. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    From about 1885 to 1915, the population of Belgium was equally divided between Brussel Sprout farmers, waffle makers, and gun makers. :D At least it seemed that way. There were hundreds of small manufacturers- some made only cylinders, some only barrels, etc. Shotguns and small handguns were produced like jellybeans, along with the odd rifle here and there.

    The .32 Short Colt CARTRIDGE has been produced in the US since 1875, and can still be found with some looking. How it got to Greece? Well, you could probably use that as the central theme for a good novel. Picked up by a rug dealer while on a sales trip to Europe, carried by a retired soldier returning to the land of his forebears, sold thru Sears Roebuck (don't laugh until you see the reprint of their 1898 catalogue)
     
  7. APPDS

    APPDS New Member

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    Just started the novel :D can we somehow pin down the manufacture dates between > to ? Also the value as I have had several offers but as I have no idea of the real value I hate getting ripped off (Or ripping others off)
     
  8. APPDS

    APPDS New Member

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    Big THANKS for those links :D I sent the guy in Belgium an email lets see what he comes up with. Unfortunately none of the photo's / pic's on the other sites resemble the piece that I have :confused:
     
  9. superc

    superc Member

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    No question that littleguns.de is the best place to go for info on these things, but as you read the site, you will see that while there is a lot known, there is also a lot still yet to be learned.

    There is an almost endless stream of variation in these guns and it is very rare to acquire two identical ones. Even if the condition of them is very good, finding ammo for them is often difficult. Any reloading for them should be done with black powder only as they predate smokeless powder and the steel for them was cast in the days when 'stringers' in the casting was not uncommon. Still they are great fun guns to shoot.

    Look for a maker's mark under the grips, then go back to littlegun and research the mark(s). That should tell you a lot more. BTW, if you find a number like 2 or 8 somewhere on the gun, or the parts, don't get excited and assume that is a serial number. Rather instead it is probably an assemblers mark as in; this is the hammer that goes with frame #3, and trigger #3, etc. When that #3 gun left the shot the stamp was often used again for the next batch of parts and a new gun with #3 stamps occurred in a few days in that shop. OTH, some makers did indeed also stamp a serial #. Some of those with serial #s, also have the assembler's number stamps too. Nickel finishing was not uncommon, even back in the 1800s, so yours may actually be an original nickel finish, but OTH, many apprentice gunsmiths often (at least until a few years ago when the little guns started climbing in value) pick one of these little guns to start practicing their re-bluing or gunsmithing techniques on, so it may indeed be a new nickel finish.
     

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  10. APPDS

    APPDS New Member

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    Yep That one looks pretty damn close to mine : Any idea about value ?
     

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  11. superc

    superc Member

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    Back in the late 70s or early 80s, when there was almost no collector interest in these things (due to an almost total lack of awareness and ammo for them), I gave a signed FFL and $30 to a gun shop owner who gave me a shoe box full of 12 little bulldog & Velo Dog type revolvers. <Gotta love and miss those bargain days..>

    I disposed of a bunch/most of them when Old Western Scrounger came into being, base price then was $20 and the cost of a new box of ammo. Five years ago I sold one for $100 with no ammo. I kept two. I have never seen exact matches for any of them. I strongly suspect it is very rare for someone to find an exact match for one they already have. I further suspect that even the people selling them new very rarely saw exact matches on what came into their sale distribution points.

    Such guns come up on Gun broker. com periodically. Look up Bulldog or Velo or Webley. [Some sellers list theirs (wrongly) as Webley Bulldogs, even if it bears Belgian or French or Spanish or Austrian proof marks.] I have a friend who just bought a Velo Dog (of still unknown caliber) there last week for about $90 (includes shipping cost), On the other hand, both him and I have watched some trade there for $800+ and up. A lot of variables in pricing one. Working or not? Not always equals less money. [Consider restoring it, littleguns has a link somewhere on restoring them, and what was involved for one guy to do it.] Known caliber or not? Unknown usually means less money. [Consider miking the chamber and barrel and doing some research to determine the caliber. This will usually add value.] Quality of workmanship (QOW), good or poor? Poor usually means less money. The QOW of these things is all over the landscape, from superb, to 10 year old kid building it in a garage poor. Finish? Peeling nickel or lots of rust or factory new? Refinishing these things is usually considered a waste of time, but everyone understands rust is bad and effects prices. Ammo availability, is there any? I have new ammo for the 2 I kept. They both shoot well and are at the higher end of QOW. I would expect that to add to their value as they remain functional antique firearms requiring only a trigger pull to bring down something, vs. a mere paperweight. Paperweights with no new ammo available in over 100 years tend to bring less money. Whose gun is/was it? An American Bulldog (since stolen from the Smithsonian) was used to assassinate a US President, while a second one wounded a soon to be President while he was campaigning (he stuck a borrowed handkerchief in the hole in his lung and continued his speech and got treatment, much newspaper coverage about how tough this war hero was, and the Presidency later). How much would those pistols bring? General Custer carried two Webley Bulldogs right up to the day of his last stand. Those pistols have never been seen again. Trust me, they are worth some serious bread if you can find them. Who made your gun? Some makers bring better prices than other makers. Granted often we will never know, but sometimes it can be determined. Collect as much info as you can and include it when calculating how much it is worth.

    How is the economy? Gunbroker is a really good market indicator. Since the beginning of this year I have purchased Colt autos for less than $300 and seen both Walthers (PPKs and P38s) and Mausers (HSCs) and Beretta 1934s go for similar prices. This is not a boom economy. Four years ago those same guns could have sold for twice as much minimum. Then there are the gunbroker variables.. Who is shopping with money to burn? At the same time I am buying un noticed Colts for $250, I see other similar ones going for $1,100. Go figure. You bid 500 for something, now you are locked into a commit to buy at that price. Ten minutes later another one comes up for 50. You can't (unless you are made of money) bid on the new one until someone outbids you on the first one (thereby freeing up your 500). Meanwhile, someone else (me I hope) bids 52 for the second. Which auction ends first? If your first one was a 6 day auction and the 50 dollar gun is a 4 day auction, if no one bids 505, you may never get the chance to outbid that 52 dollar bid.

    Then we get into collector interest. The buyer you want has to be online to see the gun. Did you post it with a reserve price? If not, it may go for a very low price if the number of bidders is low. Too high a reserve price and it may sit there for a very long time (as some guns do).

    Long winded but I help that helps. Hopefully somewhere out there is the twin of your pistol and that person will sell his house to get the money to buy yours too.
     

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    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  12. APPDS

    APPDS New Member

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    Fantastic info, thanks a lot. I already know a bit about the gun, caliber 8mm (.32) very good condition, munition 5 boxes (original). Once again thanks. I'll offer you first option if I decide to sell.
     
  13. superc

    superc Member

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    If it truly is original period ammo, be advised it is probably worth a lot more than the pistol, especially if in the original boxes in good condition.

    This slightly changes if the ammo has all turned green and cruddy.
     
  14. APPDS

    APPDS New Member

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    The ammo is not green and the casings are clean, if not shinny. the boxes are not in a particularly good condition. But the ammo is probably not as old as the gun. like I said in my first post this little piece came from a Greek police officer, who unfortunately, died about 15 yrs ago. He gave the piece to a friend who has had it since and then it came into my hands together with the ammo about 1month ago.
     
  15. willshoum

    willshoum New Member

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    For what its worth

    Go JoeSalter.com Same pistol diff. grips. $200 and change Yours could Go more.
     
  16. surgicaltech

    surgicaltech New Member

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    So how are you guys making out in Greece? I saw on the news this morning that the whole country is on strike.
     
  17. APPDS

    APPDS New Member

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    Gonna make this quick as it's off topic (Sorry Mods :rolleyes:). There are riots in Athens with 3 people dead, asphyxiated by smoke from a fire in a bank that some idiot throw a Molotov into. They were all employees of the bank, and one of them was a woman 4 months pregnant. It's bad at the moment and the whole of the economic picture is bad in Greece. For more info PM me.