A Iver Johnson or a Andrew Fyrberg?

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by Slowhand, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. Slowhand

    Slowhand Member

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    [​IMG]

    I made it to a Gun Show yesterday and acquired this one. She looks like an Iver Johnson. .38 Cal, Double Action Only, with a 3 1/4 inch barrel.

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    But the grips say something else. Like an Andrew Fyrberg? The logo or emblem has long gone. But the rest of the remaining area on the grips looks like several of the few Fyrbergs I have seen.

    [​IMG]

    On the butt is the number 111 space witrh a Ships Anchor added and a final 3. No letters or prefixs.

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    Under the left grip on the frame are the numbers 70914.

    [​IMG]

    She has a double post on top. In addition to a missing front sight, there are no address or patent dates.

    On the right side behind the cylinder, on the frame someone has scrawled the the letter U S. The same same letters are on the left side.

    On the left side there are also a series or scroll of numbers and letters combined, barely visible to the naked eye. They form a half circle running from the top of the frame beneath the rear sights, flow behind the cylinder area and stop above the trigger. Underneath the cylinder on the fram are the number 2255. Barely visible and fading fast. The look like the sort of thing that a Quarter Master or Armorer would scratch onto a weapon for inventory purposes. A real Rorschach Test in reading most of this stuff.

    I'm guessing that it was a contract job for the Navy that has had a rough time of it. Any thoughts or insight available on this? What ever she is I have no plans to shoot her.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  2. 45Auto

    45Auto Active Member

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    It could be a Fryberg revolver, although it could also be a Meriden revolver (the name used after the firm was purchased from Fryberg). BTW, Fryberg was the inventor of Iver Johnson's Hammer the Hammer as well as other innovations.

    The scratchings on your revolver could have been put there by a police officer. Many years ago, police officers often scratched names and dates onto firearms from crime scenes. It could also have been so marked by some kid, there is now way to tell.

    I think it would be a great stretch of reality to assume that your revolver was ever issued by the Navy. The anchor mark could have been stamped on this revolver by anyone.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  3. Slowhand

    Slowhand Member

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    I'm familiar with some of the Fyrberg, Meriden and Sears history.

    Of course there's no way to tell. Unless someone had some records from the company or something it's all guess work on these things.

    Thanks for your response.
  4. Slowhand

    Slowhand Member

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    I was hoping that Mr. Goforth would respond to this inquiry since he was the acknowledged expert on Iver Johnson, Andrew Fyrberg and the whole history of the works. I gather he became interested in it around 1959 and spent decades with it. Mr. Goforth will be missed.
  5. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    FWIW, I don't think it is either. The flat bottom trigger guard and the blank circle in the grips point to an F&W revolver made by Hopkins and Allen. I can't locate that exact model in my sources, but those points are pretty characteristic.

    Scratched in numbers often are, as .45 Auto says, case numbers or police evidence numbers. I too doubt that the anchor indicates any official navy use.

    Jim
  6. Slowhand

    Slowhand Member

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    Jimn

    Thanks for the response. I'll look further into the F&W and Hopkins and Allen aspect.

    Bill
  7. miata55

    miata55 New Member

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    Starting with the grips - definitely later Meriden. A Fyrberg grip was emblazoned A F c o. Early Meriden grips were emblazoned M F a C o. All this changed a short time later to the plain circle grip you have. Since the front sight is missing, if it had been a crescent like an Iver Johnson, it would be a Fryberg. If it had been a crescent front sight - Meriden (the slot for the front sight is 1.5mm long and 1mm wide.) As you can see from the attached pic's, what I mean. Yes they both look the EXACT same because they are except for these two details. When Fyrberg sold out to Meriden and all the equipment and parts were moved to Meriden, Conn. in 1904, there was a short time that the first run of revolvers could have either of these parts interchanged. In my mind there is not question it is a Meriden and I am very surprised that there is no stamping on the top of the barrel stating so unless it has been filed off.

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