Rifleman Q & A: A Gun Of Many Names

posted on January 16, 2018

Q: I have this old revolver marked “National Arms Company, New York U.S.A.” It is chambered in .38 S&W, but is not so marked. It has no serial number that I can find, and on the bottom of the grip frame there appears to be a date stamp of “9 10 23.” It also appears to be chrome- or nickel-plated and has pearl grips and no safety mechanism. Can you help me with information regarding my gun?

A: I believe this revolver was manufactured by the Meriden Firearms Co. around 1910-1920. Meriden was owned by Sears & Roebuck from about 1909-1920. It made handguns and shotguns for Sears with the name “Aubrey” on them. In 1910, Sears began offering these guns to hardware stores, large dealers and others with any brand name the buyer wanted to use. Some examples of revolvers, like yours, can be found marked Eastern Arms Co., Chicago Arms Co., Howard Arms Co., etc. These off-brand revolvers of the early 20th century are of little interest to collectors, and, therefore, retain minimal monetary value.

--Michael F. Carrick


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