View Full Version : Iver Johnson Revolvers
01-30-2008, 08:37 PM
Hi all, I inherited 2 Iver Johnson revolvers. I needed help identifying which models they are, when they were made, and whether they use modern ammunition. Judging from other threads they are not worth anything, especially since they are not in the best of shape, but I would like to know some history. I see there is a max of 4 pictures so I will make two threads. I am including pictures of the guns and the serial numbers. This is the bigger of the 2 guns serial number is H88099
Thanks in advance.
01-31-2008, 01:35 PM
this one is a third model large frame 'safety automatic hammer revolver'. the third model was manufactured between 1909 and 1941. this revolver serial number H88099 was manufactured in 1932, there were only 1,500 of this model manufactured that year. all third model weree manufactured for smokeless powder cartridge pressures. if in shootable condition this revolver is capable of handing todays modern ammo. as to the caliber, if it is a 5 shot is chambered for the 38 S&W cartridge and if it is a 6 shot it is chambered for the 32 S&W Long cartridge. the third models were the only large frame offered in a 6 shot 32 S&W Long chambering. the factory called it the 32 Special in their catalogs. this revolver is equipped with the very popular "western walnut" optional grips that were available only on the third model after 1909.
to show how much the depression hurt the firearms industry look at the production of the other revolver you posted it was manufactured in 1903 and there were 100,000 of them manufactured that year. this revolver was manufactured in 1932 and only 1,500 of the large frame hammer were manufactured. the iver johnson family did manage to hang on until 1975 when they finally sold iver johnson's arms & cycle works to an outside investor after the death of iver johnson's grand son Luther M Otto III. the company had remained wholly owned (even though it was incorporated) by the iver johnson family between 1883 and 1975. between 1871 and 1883 it was a partnership between iver johnson and martin bye called 'johnson & bye gunsmiths'.
to recap both of your revolvers; the small frame 32 manufactured in 1903 should be retired (after 104 years of service) and the large frame hammer model manufactured in 1932 (if in shootable condition) should be usable for for another 100 years.
vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.