Originally Posted by b.goforth
the lack of a letter code (and a low three digit number) is important in that this revolver was special ordered from the factory, and since it has mother of pearl grips they are most likely factory original. the special order serial numbers were from i up depending on the special order. for instance if your serial number is 333 (i just picked a number out of the blue) it would be the 333th small frame hammerless ordered with mother of grips. because there is no letter code the ony dates that can be applied are the dates the 5 patent dates on the bottom of the butt were used 1903-1905.
because iver johnson did not just start with serial number one and go up their serial numbers are often very confusing. i was lucky in that i obtained a serial number listing from the factory for the models they produced between 1894 and 1941. i might add this serial number information is available in the newly published revision of my iver johnson book. to confuse things even more there were some standard production handguns without letter codes in the serial number but these were all very early production with different patent date markings.
Very interesting to know .Who would have thought they would have spl ordered these things. Does this add any value to the old junker? the ser # is below 300 I've only kept because it was my Grandfather who passed on way back when I was a kid. I got it when my Dad passed on. I never would of thought of even trying to find any info on it untill I saw your post.
I have a old box (grn labeled box if I remember right) of S&W32 around here some where I also got this little IJ just for decoration ,Defender 1889 I think 22 s.
I never shot this one.The guy i got it from claims he did. I had a hard time trying to ID it . Not marked IJ. --JMJ--