Re: Iver Johnson Revolver Questions
your revolver is either a late production first model or an early production second model. manufacture of first model large frame 38 caliber was 1894 and 1895. the early second models that used the 12-26-93 patent date and no letter code in the serial number were manufactured in 1895. by 1896 the letter code C was in use on the large frame second model 38 caliber and by sept 1896 the patent date 12-26-93 was dropped and the date 8-25-96 was used instead. your revolver was manufactured in 1894 or 1895.
the difference in the first and second model is the barrel latch. first model has a single top post barrel latch with the release lever on the left side of the barrel top strap. the second model uses the double top post barrel latch used by most other companies manufactuing top break revolvers.
i do not fire any of my first and second model safety automatic revolvers and do not recommend any one else firing theirs. so i don't even try to keep up with companies that might be offering black powder loaded ammo.
numrich arms (e-gunparts.com) list parts for these revolvers. cylinders for late first models and early second models have the threaded cylinder bushing and are interchangable. what is not interchangable is the cylinder star/extractor, the cylinder star/extractor are handfitted to the cylinder and are not interchangable. there are NO NEW parts manufactured for these revolvers and any parts you buy are going to be used and may not be any better than the ones being replaced.
one of the reasons so many first and second models are in such bad shope today is their strength. most people saw no need to up grade to a smokeless powder model while their black powder model was still strong and tight. therefore most iver johnson safety automatic revolvers first and second models continued to be fired for many year with what ever ammo was available at the local hardware store, regardless of what powder it was loaded with. all first and second models are between 99 and 113 years of age and i feel they should be retired. if you want to shoot a safety automatic revolver get a third model that was designed for smokeless powder pressures.