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Iver Johnson .38 questions

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Samoht10, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. Samoht10

    Samoht10 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    I recently acquired an old Iver Johnson hammerless .38. I am trying to find out if it is safe to shoot modern ammo.

    On the top it says Iver Johnson arms & cycle works, Fitchburg, Mass, USA

    On the butt it says Pat June 16, 96 August 25, 96, Sept 6, 04 Patent Pending

    Serial number 29998 Thanks for any help
    [​IMG]
  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,174
    Location:
    houston, tx
    the letter in front of this serial number is most likely a badly stamped D. this letter was used on the third model safety automatic hammerless revolver between 1909 and 1932. the coil main spring was only use on third models which are safe with modern smokeless ammo. third model safety automatic hammerless revolver serial number D29998 was manufactured in 1911, there were 27,300 of this model manufactured that year.

    THIRD MODEL SAFETY AUTOMATIC HAMMERLESS REVOLVER
    (Smokeless Powder Cartridges)-------------1909-1941
    LARGE FRAME AND SMALL FRAME VERSIONS USES HAMMER THE HAMMER ACTION; Double top post barrel latch, with Hammer the Hammer action, nickel finish standard blue optional. Two frame sizes, four calibers, hard rubber grip panels with Owls head at top, two piece oversize hard rubber and one piece wood grips optional. Redesigned for smokeless powder. Standard barrel length: small frame 3 inches, large frame 3 ¼ inches; Calibers: small frame .22 rimfire with 7 rounds cylinder capacity, .32 centerfire with 5 rounds cylinder capacity, large frame .32 Special with 6 rounds cylinder capacity, .38 centerfire with 5 rounds cylinder capacity; Weight: small frame .22 rimfire with 3 inch barrel 13 ½ ounces, .32 centerfire with 3 inch barrel 14 ounces, large frame .32 Special with 3 ¼ inch barrel 19 ¼ ounces, .38 centerfire with 3 ¼ inch barrel 19 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 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 Third Model features a double top post barrel latch, coil hammer spring and four cross pins in the lower frame.
    VALUE: 100%=$260 60%=$125

    bill
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  3. Samoht10

    Samoht10 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
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    Thanks for the quick reply. I only want guns that I can safely shoot, so if this one wasn't a third model, I wouldn't keep it. Any ideas on where to get replacement handles? One of mine is broken.

    Thanks again.
  4. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,174
    Location:
    houston, tx
    try bob's gun shop, jack first or numrich arms.

    FYI
    there is a difference in hammer and hammerless grips and a difference in first, second models versa third model. also grips were actually hand fitted to individual revolvers as there does not appear to have been a standard jig used to drill the hole for the lower grip locating pin.
    bill
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