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Value of a Miroku Model VII .38 special revolver?
November 14, 2006 12:47 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know the approximate value of and/or general information on a Miroku Model VII .38 Special revolver? Photos and more info inside.

A friend of mine has a .38 special revolver he's looking to get rid of. It belonged to his parents, was probably bought in Texas in the late 1970s, and was probably fired only once or twice. I tried to Google the model and such, but didn't come up with much. The box and manual identify it as a Miroku Model VII .38 special. Here are some photos for reference. Stamped on the barrel is ".38 caliber special", stamped near the trigger is '"Miroku" Firearms Mfg. Co.', stamped on the bottom of the butt is a serial number and "Japan".

I will be taking this to a gun store to get their opinion, but in the meantime, does anyone know anything about this gun? In particular, is this a case of OH NOES DO NOT SHOOT THAT COLLECTOR'S ITEM, or can I take it to the range and enjoy it? I'm hopefully buying this in order to shoot it, but I'd like to know if I'm making a big mistake if use this thing instead of selling it. Is there the equivalent of a Kelly Blue Book for guns?
posted by vorfeed to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total)
 
I forgot to mention: it has a 3" barrel.
posted by vorfeed at 12:49 PM on November 14, 2006


I'm not familiar with that particular firearm, but there is a blue book of gun values, available at bluebookinc.com. They've got printed editions as well as online subscriptions; they're probably pricier than you want for just one query, though.

Cosmetically, your pictures look a lot like a Colt M1917 "police positive" revolver (the cylinder release in particular is quite distinctive). A search for those terms gets lots of hits. Here is one for sale with some good closeup pictures. From the similarity, I would hazard to guess that the Miroku is a copy of the Colt M1917.

The only other useful (and free) information I see is an ad on gunsamerica offering a Miroku revolver for sale. I don't know how old that ad is. It's advertising a different barrel length, but the picture in the ad looks to be the same barrel length as yours, so it may just be difference in measuring technique (i.e., whether or not the cylinder is included). The pertinent details from the ad are (verbatim from the ad, accuracy is unknown to me):

RARE JAPANESE MIROKU REVOLVER IN 38 SP.THIS GUN IS IN NEAR MINT ORIGINAL CONDITION. 4" BARREL,CASE HARDENED TRIGGER AND HAMMER BEAUTIFUL BLUEING ON REST OF THE GUN.WOODEN GRIPS SHOW AGE, BUT NOT WEAR.NO BOX OR PAPERS. THIS IS AN EARLY SPECIMEN,(MODEL WAS MANUFACTURED UP TIL APROX. 1964)***VERY FEW OF THESE WERE IMPORTED TO THE U.S.*** BUYER PAYS OVERNIGHT UPS / INSURANCE TO YOUR LOCAL FFL DEALER. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR WANT MORE PIX PLEASE EMAIL US.
posted by doorsnake at 1:41 PM on November 14, 2006


Absent any other interesting provenance (such as being owned by a famous person, or used famously), it's a good quality handgun made by a Japanese licensee of Browning, but nothing that would be termed "collectible." It's probably a perfectly serviceable and reliable revolver, intended for ordinary personal defense use. It is similar to popular revolvers by Smith & Wesson and Colt, and handguns of this type were standard issue side arms in most American police departments through the 1970's. But today, most police departments have moved to semi-automatic weapons in higher calibre, for increased knockdown power and faster reloading.

The .38 calibre ammunition this revolver takes is readily available, and fairly economical as centerfire ammunition goes. Standard loads are considered low pressure cartridges by today's standards, and should fire in the weapon with little recoil, making it good for target shooting.

The weapon appears to have common wooden grips, and factory blued finish, neither of which adds any considerable value, as would horn grips or a nickel plated finish, but the gun seems, from the photos, in good condition. I would estimate the private sale value of this weapon at something between $175 and $200, depending on condition. Dealers would probably offer $125 to $150, and sell for from $175 to $225.
posted by paulsc at 1:52 PM on November 14, 2006


Looks like I'll be shooting it, then. Thanks!
posted by vorfeed at 7:41 PM on November 14, 2006


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