16 ga. Iver Johnson Champions

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Pistol_Pete, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Pistol_Pete

    Pistol_Pete New Member

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    Nov 26, 2012
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    I just ran across this forum when I was researching my two Iver Johnson 16 ga. Champions, and I thought some of you might be interested in seeing them, and hopefully someone can give me some information about the different configurations.

    The first is from my uncle, and it looks a lot like most of the others pictured on this forum. It is serial number 29965 XI, which means it should have been made in the 1930's.

    The other one is from my dad. He got it for his 12th birthday in 1921, and the serial is 77608 B, which seems right. The story in the family is that Grandpa paid $6.50 for it. This one is a little different. It has the black IJ grip cap, and a different shape to the fore stock. It also has a half ivory / half brass front bead sight. The stock on Dad's gun is oiled, while Uncle's stock has a hard, varnish-like finish, and Dad's seems to have nicer wood.

    Dad's barrel is marked “- 16 GAUGE CHOKE BORE BARREL AND LUG FORGED IN ONE -” and “PAT'D JUNE 15, 16 PAT'S PENDING”

    Uncle's has only the first line, no patent data: “- 16 GAUGE CHOKE BORE BARREL AND LUG FORGED IN ONE -”

    There's also a slight difference in the markings on the side of the gun, I hope it shows up in the photos.

    I have shot both of them recently, but I probably won't shoot them again. I have just about talked my wife into letting me hang them over the fireplace in the living room, but I really need a deer head to go between them. Maybe someday...

    If anybody here knows anything about the differences between Dad's gun and Uncle's, I would like to hear your thoughts.

    Attached Files:

  2. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    I would think it would have been an easy matter to shape the stock and add a grip cap, perhaps at the same time the ivory bead was added. As for the markings, you can look at 10 different Iver Johnson fire arms and find 10 different variations of their markings:) Cold be wrong, been wrong once or twice before:)
  3. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Don't know about the ivory bead but early Champions had pistol grip caps.

    Elimination of them and varnish instead of oil finish were just manufacturing shortcuts and $ savings at the expense of quality...
  4. Ron Legros

    Ron Legros Member

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    The stock configuration on your uncle's gun, according to the documentation I have, dates it between 1925 and 1930 give or take a year or so. The pistol grip cap was a 40 cent option. In over 20 years of collecting these guns I have never seen a front sight like the one shown.
    The second gun I would say was built some time in the 1930s maybe early 1940s.
    Hope this helps.
  5. Pistol_Pete

    Pistol_Pete New Member

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    Nov 26, 2012
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    Thanks guys. I appreciate the info.

    Pete
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