Iver Johnson 32 Purple Gang Gun?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by dwagner825, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. dwagner825

    dwagner825 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Here is the story behind this gun. My great uncle was George Timiney who was the Captain of the Vice Squad in Toledo Ohio during prohibition. He was tasked in ridding the town of the Purple gang and their criminal activities. 12 years ago before my grandmother passed, I was given this gun that was in her attic. She told me my great uncle had given this to my grandfather. He told him at the time early 1930's he had taken it from a purple gang member after an arrest. I am a current officer in Toledo and know that these types of activities would not take place today but were probably the norm back then. Is this gun of the right era? Serial number on the bottom of the grip frame is 580xx. Patent dates can be seen in the pictures of Apr 6 85, Feb 15 87, May 10 87, Dec 26 88. Thanks in advance for any help.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  2. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,097
    Your pics did not make the trip. I have little knowledge of old IJ's. The serial # on the bottom of the trigger guard is usually not complete. You have to remove the grips and look at the left side of the frame, usually. That all being said, the patent dates make it appear that this revolver would have been around in the 1920's.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  3. dwagner825

    dwagner825 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Not sure why the pics didn't go through. Here is the direct link to my Flickr account. There are three total pics. just select "newer" for the other two.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/76157827@N08/6970749712/

    I have removed the grips and there are no numbers or letters anywhere on the frame.
  4. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,989
    Welcome to the forum:

    To post photos, 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)

    The patent dates marking you list were used 1894-1896, which indicates you have an antique small frame first or second model. The first date should actually be Apr 6 86 and the last one Dec 26 93.

    As hammerslagger states, check the serial no. under left grip and see if it has a letter prefix.

    Also, does it have a single post top latch, or the more common double post at top of frame?

    EDIT: I see you answered my questions while I was typing, and you have a first model made in 1894, the first year of production.

    Note that it's a black powder gun and should not be fired with smokeless ammo.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  5. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,097
    Post Script: Its a nice old historical gun, I advise against firing it today for fear of cracking a cylinder chamber wall.

    It is likely made from Bessemer steel (type of steel used in the Titanic's hull) that gave trouble with the transition to smokeless powder. IJ apparently recommended against smokeless powder use from about 1900 to 1909 when they made metallurgical changes in there guns. In any case most 120 year old steel has becomes less elastic (more brittle) with age.
  6. dwagner825

    dwagner825 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    I never intended on firing it. The bore has some slight pitting. I also noticed the cylinder doesn't always line up with the barrel. That is just a catastrophe waiting to happen. It will likely find its way into a nice shadow box display with some other purple gang artifacts (poker chips from their illegal gambling joints) and a picture of my great uncle. I did wipe the lower part of the inside of the grip frame with some gun oil and found what appears to be a hallmark where the hammer spring terminates and a very faint No with an 8 under it.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Iver Johnson .32 cal cut away Oct 7, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Iver Johnsons Arms & Cycle Works Pistol Pat.June16.96.Aug25.96 Sep 24, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum 38 Iver-Johnson revolver Sep 20, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Iver Johnson help Sep 19, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Manufacture Year for Iver Johnson Safety Hammerless Sep 15, 2014

Share This Page