Re: Defender 5 shot revolver
the pictures posted show this to be a 'defender' manufactured by iver johnson's arms and cycle works between 1873 and 1888. actually the name of the company started out as 'johnson & bye gunsmiths' 1871-1883 then changed to iver johnson's arms co. 1883-1894 and then iver johnson's arms & cycle works 1894-1975.
these defender series revolvers were manufactured in three frame sizes, with calibers ranging from the small frame 22 short rimfire to the large frame 38 and 41 rimfires. the most popular seem to have been the medium frame 32 rimfire. the same revolver was also manufactured under many different 'brand names' just a couple being
'encore' and 'favorite'. there is no known factory records that have serial number list or production figures but there is evidence these revolver were manufacrured in batches of 100,000, with batch numbers (found under the grips) 1 to 99,999 for each batch and there seem to have been at least one batch (100,000) every two years. this is the reason the only dating that can be done is by era of manufacture which is 1873-1888.
in 1889 the defender was more or less replaced by the 'defender 89' series which remained in production until at least 1899. to confuse things a little more between about 1870 and 1872 J.P. Lovell co. of boston had Hopkins & Allen manufacture a revolver for them also marked with the defender name. these early defender's have a totally different look and mechanism.
this revolver is chambered for black powder cartridge pressures and should NOT be fired with any modern ammo, not even the 32 rimfire ammo that navy arms sold several years ago.
the latch below the cylinder pin is a retaining latch for the cylinder pin and most likely the spring is broken or missing. it is a very tiny v shaped leaf spring.
Last edited by b.goforth; 10-19-2007 at 12:59 PM..