38cal. Iver Johnson Revolver

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Whalerman, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. Whalerman

    Whalerman New Member

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    I have just obtained from my grandfather's estate the pistol he carried when he was not in uniform and on duty as a policeman. It is a 38 cal. Iver Johnson revolver, and the butt plate indicates it was manufactured on Nov. 17, 1908. The serial # under the hard rubber grips is H31421. Some of the blueing is worn off, but the gun is remarkably "tight". I'd like to know if this gun is safe to shoot with today's ammunition and, if so, what particular kind of ammunition (how many grains etc.) you would recommend.
    I truly appreciate your expertise. If you need any further information, please don't hesitate to contact me at
    hobo91@bellsouth.net
    Hugh
  2. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    The 1908 marking is just a patent date; your large frame 3rd model .38 was made in 1921.

    If mechanically correct, it should be fine with current smokeless powder ammo. The old .38 S&W round is semi-obsolete, and any you find will probably be the standard 146 grain round nose lead bullet load. (Note that .38 S&W is not the same as .38 Special)
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  3. Whalerman

    Whalerman New Member

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    Thank you, HRF, for the information and for putting my mind at ease. A partial box of Winchester .38 Cal. Colt New Police 150 grain ammo came with the gun, but I suspect after 60 years it may be no good. Neither the local gun shops nor the big sporting goods stores seem to carry .38 S&W ammo. Do you have a suggestion where I might find some?
    Hugh
  4. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

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    can u post a picture of gun and ammo?
  5. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    The .38 CNP ammo is the same round with a different bullet and should still be good, the worst result possible misfires.

    Do an online search for .38 S&W ammo and you'll find several sources.
  6. Whalerman

    Whalerman New Member

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    Thank you again, hrf. Clearly I'm a novice at all this and I appreciate youir help.
  7. Whalerman

    Whalerman New Member

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    I don't have any pictures currently, but give me a few days and I'll see what I can do. How does one go about posting pictures anyway?
  8. Whalerman

    Whalerman New Member

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    hrf, another question: one ammo dealer listed Remington .38 cal. S&W 146 gr. ammo for $30.66 for a box of 50. The same dealer listed PPU S&W 145 gr. 38 cal. rounds for $19.73/box of 50. Am I missing something here? Is the Remington so superior as to justify an $11.00 difference? They APPEAR to be pretty much the same thing. What do you think?
    Whalerman
  9. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    PPU ammunition appears to be "Prvi Partizan", which was the main Yugoslavian manufacturer back when there was a Yugoslavia. Their ammunition was widely sold in the USA back then under the brand name "Hansen", and it was completely satisfactory. It disappeared when Yugoslavia imploded, and I guess they are making a comeback now. It should be perfectly fine.

    All the US makers charge a premium for the ammo they sell under their own name (and they usually have a cheaper, "generic" line, like UMC for Remington, American Eagle for Federal, and so on).

    I am a bit surprised that PPU makes an obscure cartridge like 38 S&W, but perhaps they are trying to fill under-served niches in the market. As usual, all the forgoing is my opinion, and I hope if anyone knows better or thinks different, they will chime in.
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  10. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    PPU ammo's made in Serbia, and gets mixed reviews. http://www.prvipartizan.com/

    Your gun's a "plinker" and IMHO not suitable for self protection or target accuracy, so I'd go for it.

    BTW, to post pics:

    Click on the Go Advanced tab below the reply screen, then click on the paper clip next to the smiley face, and Browse to find and Upload your photo or photos. (Don’t forget to click Submit Reply after uploading)
  11. gvw3

    gvw3 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I have this same gun. It was my wife's grandfathers. Also issued by the city of Chicago in 1922. Any good gun store can get this ammo for you. One by me has about 25 boxes made in 1979. I bought a box and they shoot fine. They charged me $25 a box.

    Don't think this is a good shooter. They have over a 10 pound trigger pull. They had one at Cabela's and were asking $175.
  12. Whalerman

    Whalerman New Member

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    Thank you one and all for your terrific expertise and help. I suspect I'll be back with pictures and more questions in a little while.
  13. Whalerman

    Whalerman New Member

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    These are the pictures I promised a couple of weeks ago.

    Attached Files:

  14. Whalerman

    Whalerman New Member

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    Beth, the pictures of the Iver Johnson .38 cal. that you want have been posted. Any thoughts?
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