.32 cal Iver and Johnson revolver

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by tampachicken, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. tampachicken

    tampachicken New Member

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    I have an elderly aunt that recently gave me her .32 Cal I&J revolver. I want to give her a fair monotary amount for it, however I have no idea how much it is worth. I have read through a lot of your forums but have not found one that describes this one.

    It seems to be in mint condition, there had been five bullets fired through it when she first purchased it and it was cleaned. She bought it sometime in the late 1960's or early 70's, but she cannot remember if it was new or used when she bought it. I only know that my father taught her how to use it and he cleaned it for her. (he is deceased so I cannot ask him)

    on the top of the gun it reads IVER JOHNSON CADET then below that MOD. 55-S.A Then also on the top it reads I.J.A. & C WKS. INC. then below that FITCHBURG MASS USA the serial number on the gun is B20014.

    I am not that familiar with revolvers, but this one does not break from the top nor does the barrel roll out. There is a little lever on the side that flips down for you to load and unload one bullet at a time ( I have an old imperial .22 cal revolver that is the same way).

    I understand that this company specialized in cheap firearms. I have not tried to fire it. I have pulled the trigger and when I do it in succession the trigger does stick on occaision and I have to pull the hammer back to unlock it. It also seems strange that there does not seem to have a safety or am I just missing it? I would also like to know what type of ammo can be fired. She gave me her box of remmington .32 cal S&W that she purchased with the gun.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated,

    Thank You

    Tampachicken
  2. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Hi tampachicken......welcome to TFF.

    Bill Goforth, author of "Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works Firearms" is our resident expert on IJ revolvers. Keep checking back, he should be here shortly to tell you exactly what you have.
  3. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

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    Iver Johnson (not Iver & Johnson) was a long-established revolver maker in the 1900's. They made decent guns for the mass market. If yours was made after 1945 it's probably safe to fire with .32 S&W ammo.

    As you mentioned, IJ revolvers are not expensive. They often sell in pawn shops for $65-$90, depending on condition.
  4. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    tampachicken,
    the iver johnson model 55 was introduced in march 1955 as a post war replacement for the target sealed 8 model. the model 55 target was offered with 4 or 6 inch barrel and the model 55S cadet with 2 1/2 inch barrel. a loading gate was added in 1961 and the model numbers were changed to model 55A and 55SA. two center fore calibers were added to the model 55SA in 1963 and continued until the end of production in 1978. the 50 series double action revolvers (which included two more models) are still condidered more usable than collectible. i do not have any serial number records for this model so i can't give you a manufacture date but your serial number B20014 is probably about middle fo the known serial numbers (the letter code B indicates the 32 caliber). i would guess a manufacture era of 1970 to 1974. the markings were changed slightly in 1974. this revolver will chamber either the 32 S&W or the 32 S&W Long cartridges.

    values of this model vary greatly depending on what part of the country you live in. most pricing guides will list them betwee $50 and $150. at texas gun show a good condition (about 80%) model 55SA will bring $100 plus or minus $10. if you have the box and papers the value would be increased about $35/40.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2006
  5. tampachicken

    tampachicken New Member

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    Thank you very much for the information it was very helpfull,

    TampaChicken
  6. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

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  7. sfce700

    sfce700 New Member

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    great info on I&j cadet. how do you release the trigger guard? or is this a safety I am dumbfounded.
  8. ChrisKnox

    ChrisKnox New Member

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    Resurrecting an old thread.

    A friend from church wanted me to tell her about the Iver Johnson .32 shown here.
    [​IMG]

    The serial number on the trigger guard is 20919, but on the frame under the grip it has a prefix of "1" or possible an "L". The little gun is in remarkably good shape. The picture shows its "bad" side, but even though the bluing is thin, it is not rusted or pitted. It retains at least 90% of its original finish. The bore is clean and bright. The grips are in excellent condition with no appreciable wear or voids. The NRA's National Firearms Museum features a twin of this gun which appears to be not nearly as clean (http://nramuseum.org/umbraco/ImageGen.ashx?image=/media/30408/00728_l.jpg&class=FlashViewer).

    Can anyone tell me more about this gun? While Smith & Wesson and Colt revolvers are documented in exquisite detail, the humble little IJ revolvers receive only passing notice. So far I have not been able to determine even what century this piece hails from -- I've found one web reference that says there are no reliable records, but that this gun was manufactured between 1909 and 1941.

    Its collector value is limited, but I have to respect the little gun and its manufacturer. It's a niche piece that filled its place well. From the evidence of past rust, I suspect it sat in somebody's desk drawer against the day that a threatening character walked through the door. If that day ever came, it would have served well.

    Chris Knox
  9. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to TFF.

    The sn prefix has to be an I (eye) as the L prefix was used only on the black powder second model .32 hammerless made in 1904, and that's a smokeless powder third model.

    Serial no. I-20919 was made in 1922.
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