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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I hope anyone who read my post of the French Savage enjoyed it. It seems these type of guns all show up at the same time! Here is another one. This is new to my collection of secondary WW2 pistols and revolvers. The French who were short of handguns continued to use old WW1 pistols/revolvers into the 39/40 invasion and occupation of France by German troops. Guns that survived the invasion ended up in the hands of the Resistance or Vichy French troops. This revolver is of Spanish manufactue and a copy of the Smith and Wesson M&P. The fit and finish can range from commercial quality to poor. The bluing on this one is splotchy, but fit and function seem adequate. Known to the French as the "Spanish 92", it is chambered for the French 8mm Ordnance cartridge, often called 8mm Lebel. These revolvers will be blued and have a lanyard ring. They are marked on the barrel "LA INDUSTRIAL ORBEA" EIBAR. The grips have a fancy "OH" at the top. They are not marked with the caliber and are often mistaken for 32-20. This example is serial number 117630 and has an assembly number of a fancy lower case "g" with 39. This assembly number appears on the barrel flat, cylinder, extractor star, cylinder release and on the frame under the grip (thats all I could see without removing the side plate). This revolver also has a 5 pointed asterisk on the butt. This mark has only been seen on one other example. It is believed to be a French acceptance mark similar in use to the star used on the Ruby and P.38 pistols. These revolvers are common but passed over because of their often well used condition or secondary wartime roll. They are very rich in history and a nice, inexpensive addition to any military collection. I hope you enjoy. Dean


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lloyd,
Whats new?
I just came across this one while looking through the Auctions. Guy said he had bought out an old dealers left over guns. He found this one and a couple of commercial revolvers in the back of the safe. He couldn't believe someone was interested in it. He just wanted to get rid of his inventory, he even paid shipping. Couldn't pass it up.
Dean
 
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Dean - I have seen at least three of these with the asterick or star-shaped mark after the serial number. These are:

144001*
149054*
161786*
 
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I believe it is an original mark. Two of these pistols are original Spanish finish - which was not good to begin with, and mostly gone. The third one had been reblued postwar. Your statement about the 32-20 caliber made me laugh - almost all of the 8mm Lebel revolvers I have located were mistakenly labeled 32-20.

P.S. - got in this pretty little Astra 200 with "Geco" mark the other day - it is in excellent shape. Still can't believe I got that for $150. As soon as it arrived in Tom Knox's shop, he was offered $1,000 for it on the spot -- I think Tom may have been sorely tempted ---
 

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Dean,
That is one of the nicest "Hermanos Obrea" revolvers I have ever seen!! It looks pretty good in the pictures to not be a refinish. Will this one show up in the next "spring cleaning" group photo??

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Dave,
I am not sure of the finish, one of those that is hard to tell. A little holster and high edge wear and the markings seem clear. I do agree, most are well worn. I will have to go back and look at the "spring cleaning" photo, this one may already be in there. These revolvers are great cheap additions to a collection.
Dean
 

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Gentlemen,

as this seems to be the only thread dealing with this Spanish revolver made for France I think this is he right place to show you an action photo of a German soldier armed to the teeth:

- 2 "Potoato Masher" hand grenades
- 1 K98k carbine
- 1 Spanish revolver
- 1 Luger in his left boot.

The right outfit to be prepared for the summer clearance sale.


The interesting part of the photo is of course his revolver. Initially, I thought it would be an American revolver, but our member Heinrich informed me, that this is a Spanish revolver in 8mm made for France. This revolver is listed in the German ordnance list of foreign weapons as "Revolver 636 (f)". I'm not quiet sure about this, it also could be a "Revolver 635 (f)" or a "Revolver 637 (f)".

Anyway, I hope you'll enjoy.

Regards

Martin
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Great photo!
There are two major variations of the Spanish made revolvers that the French used. One is the classic Smith & Wesson copy and the other is more like the Colts. The one he has in his belt is the Colt type. The grip angle on these resemble the French 1892 revolvers of the time. This style is the harder of the two types for the collector to find, less made.
Here is one from my collection, made by Garate Anitua, Serial 78713. They are also in 8mm.
Dean
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I hate to confuse things....but....the French did buy some Colt Special Army revolvers too......sorry.
I guess it would come down to how the German's classified them...by type or maker.
The one in the photo is the Spanish Colt copy for sure.
Dean
Here is a photo of a Colt revolver that is probably a French purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Ned,
I have seen a couple with the stars on the butt near the lanyard ring, but never anywhere else. It would be great if you could post some photos of their locations.
Thanks, Dean
 

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I have a TAC manufactured version of the S&W in 8mm Lebel. (It was labeled .32-20 on it's tag)
It has the French star:
-infront of the triggerguard
-on the rear face of the cylinder
-on the bottom of the barrel under the ejector rod.
Regards, Ned
 

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Congratulations!
You found one of the best Hermanos Orbea that I´ve seen!
The products of this maker are reputed as the best S&W copies made between the 1910s and 1930s (and there were hundreds of unauthorized makers there at that time). In fact, the only other maker that could match it in Spain was the "Tanque". Both ceased production during or right after the Spanish Civil War.

Douglas
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi Douglas,
If that was for the one I posted at the beginning of this thread then thank you. It is one of the best I have seen. Fact is, I just found another about two months ago that was every bit as nice.....my nephew Lee snapped it right away!
Dean
 
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