Meriden Secret Service Special like IJ 38 SW Nickl
Used Condition
FFL is required
Current Bid
BuyNow! Price Was
Starting Bid
Reserve Not Met
2 Bids Bid History
Time Left 15 min rule
Item has Ended
8/4/2017 4:51 PM
Item 671892472
Location Conroe, TX 77385
2nd Day$36.00
Priority Mail$28.00
See Item Description
No international shipments
Payment COD, Visa / MasterCard, Discover, USPS Money Order, Money Order, Certified Check, See Item Description
Checkout Yes
Sales Tax
Seller must collect sales tax from the following states:
TX 7.75%   
Inspection/ Return Policy
No refund but item can be returned for exchange or store credit within thirty days

The seller of this item assumes all responsibility for this listing. You must contact the seller to resolve any questions or concerns before placing a bid. Payment must be made using U.S. dollars ($) unless otherwise stated in the listing. Firearms may only be shipped to a licensed dealer (FFL Holder). Some listed items may not be legal in every state. Complete your purchase within the law.

Please read the Additional Terms of Sale and Item Characteristics for important listing details.

Secret Service Special” Top Break Automatic Hammer Double Action (DA) revolver in .38 S&W. Larger frame, 5” barrel, hard rubber grip panels, nickel finish. Probably manufactured by the Meriden Firearms Co., Meriden, Connecticut. NRA (Antique) Poor condition. Uncle Mike's nylon belt flap holster included as an extra! Unique early 20th century mail order special!

Several companies (including Iver Johnson, H&R, Hopkins & Allen, Meriden, and anonymous Spanish concern) built the “Secret Service Special” between 1912 and WWI as a house brand for a 3rd party retailer. Patterned on the Iver Johnson Arms and Cycle Works' “US Revolver Co” model, the “Secret Service Special” was a top-break, hammer, automatic-ejecting, double-action design. Decidedly basic, the model was never branded by any maker and was sold as a as a low-cost, no-frills but sturdy, house-brand revolver by the Fred Biffar Co of Chicago. Biffar at one time was associated with the Sears gun catalog order business. Chambered in .32 CF (smaller frame), and .38 S&W (larger frame), the revolver was quite popular despite its rudimentary features. This specimen is the 5” barrel, 5-shot .38 S&W larger frame version. Although unmarked, it was probably built by the Meriden Firearms Co based on the lack of a manual safety and patent information on the gun and the frame mounted firing pin, features which are characteristic of the Meriden-built guns. Don't miss this fantastic deal!

This nickel Secret Service Special top-break Automatic Hammer revolver has a 5" round barrel and a prominent barrel rib. Styling on this gun is decidedly plain with a fluted cylinder and simple “SECRET SERVICE SPECIAL” and “-- FOR .38 SMITH & WESSON CTGS --” stampings on left side of the barrel and on the top barrel rib, respectively. No other embellishment is present except for the “SSS” logos at the top of the black, hard rubber, checkered grip panels. The top latch, rebounding hammer, and trigger were originally case hardened. The trigger guard, which is a separate piece, was blued. The serial number (“25235”) is located on the underside of the trigger guard. The sights are a simple front blade and rear groove machined into the a robust double-top-post break latch. The “Automatic” in the name refers to its automatic shell extraction when the action is opened. The holster is a black nylon Uncle Mike's “Sidekick” flap unit with belt loop. Don't miss this vintage revolver!

Part of an estate liquidation, this gun (s/n 25235) would be in NRA (Antique) Fine condition except for two major condition points which reduce the overall grade to Poor (see below). Original finish on the nickeled areas is rated at about 75%. The nickel has begun to flake in a few areas near the muzzle, on the sides of the top strap near the rear of the barrel, and on the front cylinder edges, revealing the original gray gun metal. On the barrel and top rib the sharp edges show wear, and a dusting of light freckling shows through the finish, particularly in the valley between the top rib and the barrel. The frame nickel, however, is in much better shape with no freckling. Case coloring on the controls has faded to a splotchy, lightly tarnished, gray. The original bluing on the trigger guard has been largely worn away except where the guard meets and frame and on protected rear surfaces. Overall, percentage finish remaining on the trigger guard is about 25%. Finish condition appears to be original – the stamps are deep and do not appear to have been buffed out. The metal is remarkably free of dings and dents with the exception of a bent right front corner of the top rib and light scuffing on the flat of the top rib under the caliber stamp. Although in need of a through cleaning to remove old fouling and lubricant, the bore is bright and shiny with only a trace of pitting in a couple of seams between the lands and grooves. The chamber walls are smooth and shiny with only mild discoloration and some light pitting near their mouths. The main issues with the gun are 1) a major (1/4” x 3/4”) chip missing from the top of the grip panels along the back strap, and (2) a broken leaf mainspring. Re (2), although the action reliably cocks the hammer and advances, locks and indexes the cylinder, the hammer does not fall without a manual assist when the trigger is pulled. A peek under the grip panels shows a broken leaf mainspring, which will have to be replaced if this gun is to work. Otherwise, lock up is reasonably tight with only minimal side-to-side and fore-aft play when the hammer is fully cocked. As a result, this gun is offered in this acution as a non-shooting collector's item only. When the gun is not cocked, the cylinder rotates freely in a clockwise direction, which is a design feature of these revolvers. With the exception of the chip noted above, the grip panels are in Very Good condition. The checkering facets are slightly worn and there is a small gouge in the bottom edge of the right grip panel. Screw heads are in Excellent shape, as is the Uncle Mike's holster. Don't miss this opportunity to own this vintage firearm at a great auction price!




Barrel Length x Overall Length , Weight

5 in x 9 1/2 in , 20 oz

Caliber / Capacity

.38 S&W / 5 rds


Notch rear , Blade front


All sales are final. Transfer via valid FFL- or to a C&R-holder (except CA) only. Buyer pays $28.00 shipping and handling (USPS Priority Mail) to an FFL in the lower 48. Shipping to C&R buyers by Fed Ex 2D only at $36.00 with shipping at buyers risk. No shipping insurance is available with this option. Additional methods available at S&H cost. 7 3/4 percent sales tax required from Texas buyers only. Ships within 48 hours of receiving your FFL and MO, which I must receive within 10 days. COD $25.00 extra. Payment by MO or Cashiers Check assumed. Master Card/Visa/Discover also accepted, but, because auction listings reflect cash prices, add 4.9% to your total for Credit Card purchases to cover the unearned cash discount. Call 281-363-1967 for CC purchases. We reserve the right to end listings early in the event the item is sold in our shop.

Terms Of Sale

By placing a bid on this item, you understand and agree to the following if you win this auction:

You are not purchasing this item on behalf of another person (except as a gift) or with the intention of transferring same to any individual who fails to meet federal, state, or local  buyer's criteria, and possession of this firearm does not violate local laws or regulations where you live, tangible proof of which you must provide before sale closing and shipment if requested by seller. You are not purchasing this  firearm with the intention of committing any crime or unlawful injury to yourself or another, or with the intention of engaging in commercial trade in firearms unless duly licensed by federal and state authorities.  If you privately re-sell this firearm, you  will do so in a responsible manner to a responsible person or through a licensed dealer if you have any question about the buyer's background or right to buy a firearm.

You are capable of safely storing and handling this firearm and understand the main rules of gun safety, including always (1)  keeping the gun pointed in a safe direction, (2) keeping  your finger off the trigger until safe to shoot, (3) keeping the gun unloaded until ready to shoot, and (4)  assuming a gun is loaded until checked.  Possession and use of any firearm is potentially dangerous and may result in serious injury or death. You will follow manufacturer's instructions for this firearm, if any, and are trained in the proper and safe use of this firearm.  You assume all risk connected in any way with the possession and use of this firearm, and will hold the Seller harmless from and to indemnify Seller against any and all liability arising out of any possession or use of this firearm.

You accept this item in "as is" condition from Seller, who makes no warranty of any kind as to the condition or performance of this item except as described in this auction.  The only warranty provided is that provided by the manufacturer of the firearm, if any. The Seller  relies upon the truth and accuracy of information furnished by the manufacturer and previous owner of this firearm, with respect to use, operation, safety, maintenance and all other matters respecting this item, and all information furnished, if any,  has been furnished in reliance on the truth and accuracy of information provided by the manufacturer and previous owner of this item.

Other Manufacturer
Meriden Secret Service Special like Iver Johnson
.38 S&W
Barrel Length
5 inch
Frame Finish
Mfg Part Number
4.00 Pounds