Iver Johnson .38

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by John P., Jul 20, 2006.

  1. John P.

    John P. New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Messages:
    3
    My father-in-law died and left me his Iver Johnson 5-shot .38 revolver.

    On the top of the barrel it reads:

    IVER JOHNSON’S ARMS & CYCLE WORKS
    FITCHBURG, MASS. USA

    On the base of the butt is the following patent information:

    Pat. Aug. 25, 96 & Nov. 17, 08
    Pat’s Pending

    On the trigger guard is the number:
    5 5 3 1 7
    Inside the butt is the serial number:
    D 5 5 3 1 7

    I am also attaching two photos. I think this gun might possibly been a sidearm used by a great uncle of my wife who was stationed in the Phillipines circa 1915. About 10 years ago I believe my father-in-law took it to a firing range and it worked fine with standard ammo. Appearance is excellent with blueing 80-90% intact by my (inexperienced) eye.

    Any information anyone might be able to provide about this piece would be very appreciated.

    Attached Files:

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    • IJ2.jpg
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    Last edited: Jul 20, 2006
  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
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    3,174
    Location:
    houston, tx
    john p.,
    this is a large frame third model 'safety automatic hammerless revolver' the third model was manufactured between 1909 and 1941. your revolver serial number D55317 was manufactured in 1913. there were 6,800 of this model manufactured that year. it is of the right age, but other than about 1500 hammer models of the revolver being purchased in 1911 by the navy these were not government issue. however the military of that day was different and a lot of these guns did go overseas with our servicemen (purchased privately). only very good documentation (picture showing gun & owner in the phillipines) would add value, otherwise just interesting family history. most firearms of this era have an interesting story or two. iver johnson used the slogan 'protecting the nations bedrooms' for many years but they also protected a soldier or two.
    bill
  3. John P.

    John P. New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Messages:
    3
    Thanks, Bill

    We have a photo of my wife's great uncle, in uniform, seated on a camel in Egypt, with what appears to be this pistol in his holster. Apparently he was on his way to or from the Phillipines where he was posted by the Govt. to direct the vocational training of the Phillipine natives.

    My guess is his family bought the gun for him before he left. He was a small man so the grip would have been just about right.

    Thanks again for your help!

    John P.
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