irver johnson's

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by bigmacs1422, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. bigmacs1422

    bigmacs1422 New Member

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    i have a irver johnson's .38 cal 5 shot pistol that belonged to my great grandfather. it is in good condition looking for any helpful info on value or history. the only markings i could find was an owls head and a serial number 7887. thanks for any help.
  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    should be a lot more markings than just serial number. check the top of the barrel, bottom of the butt strap and remove the grips for the main serial number location. it would be helpful to know if it is a top break or solid frame model.
    bill
  3. bigmacs1422

    bigmacs1422 New Member

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    it is a top break the only numbers on the gun are are on the bottom of the handle and under thr grip. it is the same 4 digit number in both spots 7887.
  4. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    without knowing the patent dates on the top of the barrel (if it is a top break) i can only tell you it is either a late first model (1894-1896) or early second model (1896-1909).

    iver johnson marked all thier revolver either on the top of the barrel or on the top strap.
    bill
  5. bigmacs1422

    bigmacs1422 New Member

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    it is a top break. i really cant read whats on the top of the barrel. It looks like fitch and either a P or R. On the bottom of the handle it says( pat june 1896 aug 25 patent pending). does that help
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
  6. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    SECOND MODEL SAFETY AUTOMATIC HAMMER REVOLVER
    (Black Powder Cartridges)------------1896-1908
    LARGE FRAME AND SMALL FRAME VERSIONS USES HAMMER THE HAMMER ACTION: Double top post barrel latch, nickel finish standard, blue optional, hard rubber grip panels with Owls head at top. Hammer the Hammer action, two frame sizes, and three calibers. Standard barrel length: small frame 3 inches, large frame 3 ¼ inches; Calibers: small frame .22 rimfire 7 rounds cylinder capacity, .32 centerfire 5 rounds cylinder capacity, large frame .38 centerfire 5 rounds cylinder capacity; Weight: small frame with 3 inch barrel .22 rimfire 12 ounces, .32 centerfire 12 ¼ ounces, large frame with 3 ¼ inch barrel 17¼ ounces; Frame height: small frame 3 ¼ inches, large frame 3 7/8 inches; Frame length: small frame 4 3/26 inches, large frame 5 inches; Overall length: small frame with 3 inch barrel 6 3/8 inches, large frame with 3 ¼ inch barrel 7 3/8 inches. Only difference between the first and second model is the barrel latch. Main serial number location on left side of grip frame grips must be removed to see. The Second Model features a double top post barrel latch, flat leaf hammer spring and two cross pins in the lower frame.
    VALUE: 100%=$275 60%=$135
    For revolvers equipped with Bourne Knuckleduster add 100%

    SECOND MODEL SAFETY AUTOMATIC HAMMERLESS REVOLVER
    (Black Powder Cartridges)------------- -–1896-1908
    LARGE FRAME AND SMALL FRAME VERSIONS USES HAMMER THE HAMMER ACTION: Double top post barrel latch, Hammer the Hammer action, nickel finish with blue optional, two frame sizes and three calibers. Hard rubber grip panels with Owls head at top. Calibers: small frame .22 rimfire with 7 rounds cylinder capacity, .32 centerfire with 5 rounds cylinder capacity; Standard barrel length: small frame 3 inches, large frame 3 ¼ inches; Weight: small frame with 3 inch barrel .22 rimfire 12 ½ ounces, .32 centerfire 13 ½ ounces, large frame with 3 ¼ inch barrel 17 ¾ ounces; Height: small frame 3 ¾ inches, large frame 3 7/8 inches; Frame length: small frame 4 3/16 inches, large frame 5 inches; Overall all length: small frame with 3 inch barrel 6 3/8 inches, large frame with 3 ¼ inch barrel 7 3/8 inches. Main serial number location on left side of grip frame grips must be removed to see. The Second Model features a double top post barrel latch, flat leaf hammer spring and two cross pins in the lower frame.
    VALUE: 100%=$285 60%=$150
    For revolvers equipped with Bourne Knuckleduster add 100%
    bill
  7. bigmacs1422

    bigmacs1422 New Member

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    i was recently told this pistol was called a suicide something.do you know anything about that
  8. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    who ever told you that does not know his iver johnson revolvers very well. there is one group of uninformed people who might call them that but fortunately they are a small minority and these people tend to call any firearms that is not a colt or s&w by that name.

    the time line for iver johnson is;
    1871-1883 johnson & bye gunsmith
    1883-1893 iver johnson & co.
    1893-1915 iver johnson's arms & cycle works
    1915-1978 iver johnson's arms & cycle works inc.
    after 1978 the company was sold to an outside interest (outside of the iver johnson family) and remained in business as iver johnson arms co. until 1993.

    a company does not stay in business for 122 years by making cheap sucide specials. there are some of the early models unsafe to fire with modernm ammo (smokeless ammo) just as there as some colt and S&W's that are unsafe with smokeless ammo.
    bill
  9. kudzu

    kudzu New Member

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    irver Johnson's 32 Hammerless, Not Adapted for Smokeless Powder

    Bill, I have inherited an Iver Johnson's .32 cal Safety Hammerless Automatic Double Action, Not Adapted for Smokeless Powder breaktop from my Mother-in-law. She had told me that her husband was issued it during WWII as he served as a Merchant Marine.

    The nickel is bright 98% in the org box with the protective wrap. Could you tell me more about the history of this pistol? Thanks!

    According to your diagram, the only markings are:

    Iver Johnson Revolvers
    Pre WWII Top Break Models
    1. Top of the barrel; Iver Johnson's Arms and Cycle Works Fitchburg, Mass USA
    2. No Markings
    3. No Markings
    4. No Markings
    5. No Markings
    5A. No Markings trigger guard not removed.
    6. Left side of grip strap: Serial Number M 28513
    7. No Markings
    8. Bottom of the butt: Pat Date Apr 6.86, Feb 15.87, May 10.87, March 13.88, Au 25.96 Pats Pending.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  10. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    see the values posted for the second model hammerless above. this is a second model safety automatic hammerless revolver manufactured in 1903.

    the only thing that is wrong is the letter code M. this letter code was used on the hammer model of the same era. but this is not too much of a problem because i have seen this before, only this was a hammer with the hammerless letter code. i call them monday morning guns, where the person stamping the letter code simply picked up the wrong stamp and used it.
    bill
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