Iver johnson american bulldog 32s&w year make

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by stormbringer, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. stormbringer

    stormbringer New Member

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    Hi,

    Could anyone tell me when they made the iver johnson american bulldog in 32 s&w long? It has an inscription on top of the barrel "american bull dog" and has a long 5shot cilinder. Was this blackpowder only and would it be possible to shoot 32 s&w short since it was made for 32&w long wich has a lot more ME?

    thx
  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    the 32 S&W long was introduced in 1898 and the american bull dog revolvers were manufactured between 1883 and 1899. none of them were chambered with the 32 S&W Long cartridge in mind. the early alternate to the 32 S&W was the 32 M&H (also known as the 32 H&R). it had a case length longer than the 32 S&W but shorter than the later 32 S&W Long. the 32 M&H (merwin & hulbert) was loaded by most ammo companies until the WWI era although most revolver companies had switched to the 32 S&W Long before that. the only company to the best on my knowledge who did not switch was hopkins & allen (the manufacturer of M&H revolvers). H&R switch in 1905 when they lengthen the cylinders of their 6 shot (large frame) 32 caliber revolvers. the longer cylinder was needed on the american bull dog because it would chamber the 32 M&H as well as the rimfire models being chambered for the 32 rimfire Long cartridges.

    when iver johnson introduced the replacement for the american bulldog, the 'model 1900 double action' the medium frame revolver in 32 caliber was still listed as 32 S&W. although the cylinders are long enough for the 32 S&W Long, that cartridge fired in the medium frame is a little to much for most people to handle. later in production (after about 1921) the model '1900 double action' and the 'u.s. revolver co. double action' were chambered in 32 S&W Long, but it was in the large frame 6 shot versions only.

    so the answer to your question is all american bull dog revolvers were chambered for black powder cartridge pressures only and none were chambered for the 32 S&W Long. WARNING do not fire any american bull dog revolvers with any modern smokeless ammo.

    because of the lack of variations and the many different serial number series used (almost one per year) the age of any american bull dog revolver can only be given as the era of manufacture.
    first model 1883-1886 name marked on top strap
    second model 1887-1889 name marked on top of barrel
    since yours has the name on the top of the barrel it is a second model.

    the american bulldog revolver were only manufactured by one company but it went through several name changes.
    1871-1883 johnson & bye gunsmiths
    1883-1894 iver johnson's arms co.
    1894-1978 iver johnson's arms & cycle works

    this company was owned and controlled by the iver johnson family for over 100 years. no other gun manufacturer can claim this, as most under went several different owners using the same name. the last family member to control iver johnson's arms & cycle works was iver johnson (the man) grandson Luther M. Otto III (son of iver johnson's daughter mary louise). he passed away about 1975 and the company was sold to outside interests.

    bill
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2007
  3. stormbringer

    stormbringer New Member

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  4. Robert Rogers

    Robert Rogers New Member

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    Feb 25, 2015
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    Iver Johnson American Bulldog 2nd model in .32
    It is fantastic shape but.......
    The hammer does not stay cocked for single action, (which I have heard them called "double action")
    The weird part is that it will not fire double action unless the hammer is cocked slightly. (second image)
    Is that normal or is something broke?
    Does it fire .32 S&W Long, Short or S&W .32 Rimfire
    The serial is 9544

    Attached Files:

  5. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to TFF but if you read the late I. J. expert Bill Goforth's replies to this thread, he explains that this black powder model was never intended for use with .32 S&W Long ammo, and it dates 1887-89 period.


  6. Robert Rogers

    Robert Rogers New Member

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    Thank you
    Do you know anything about my hammer question?
  7. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Your gun shows little use and may just be gunked up inside, so try squirting some oil in the hammer slot with hammer held back, and around the sear (part sticking out rear of trigger guard).

    I don't recommend disassembly and few gunsmiths will work on them.
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