Iver Johnson Champion 12 ga.

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by DillHarris, Sep 1, 2008.

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  1. jlm

    jlm New Member

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    Thanks for the reply, I'll try to get some pics on here as soon as I can.
  2. jlm

    jlm New Member

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    Ok, I removed the butt stock and thi is what I found:
    on the left side just under the thumb break there is a 20. About an inch toward the rear is stamped 28. Then a half inch further back is an E. A the front of te threaded portion of the receiver is a 5. Then midways of the threaded portion it appears to be 336 that is up side down compared to the other markings.
    I see no markings on the right side of the receiver except for two holes about 1/16" deep and about 1/8" in diameter at the front end of the threaded portion.
    The only other marking other than make, city and model is the 1 behind the trigger guard. The only markings on the lug is an E on the left side and a 1 on the bottom.
    Oh, on the top of the barrell it says :
    -20 GAUGE-CHOKE BORE-
    BARREL AND LUG FORGED IN ONE
  3. jlm

    jlm New Member

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    Heres what I got, hope to get some better ones tomorrow.

    I DELETED THESE PICTURES AND ADDED SOME BETTER ONES IN A LATER POST
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
  4. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    here is what i come up with so far. early model 36 well before 1919. the serial numbe is a special order number. in other works this is the first 20 gauge with a nickeled reciever ordered. all the other marking show a shotgun set aside for extra work before the serial number was applied

    nickel was usually reserved for the excel brand name model. and not seen very often on the champion. if you can read the markings on the left side of the reciever what are they exactally?
    bill
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
  5. jlm

    jlm New Member

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    I hope these pics help....Let me know what you think.....

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  6. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    the information and values on this model have been given above, however i doubt this shotgun, because of condition, would bring much more than $50. and the only collector's intrest would be to an advance i.j. collector because of its serial number.

    it is an interesting shotgun but nothing special other than the number.
    bill
  7. jlm

    jlm New Member

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    Thanks for your response. I knew because of condition the value would'nt be much, but was intrigued by the serial number. So if I am correct, you are saying this was made between 1909 and 1919 and could possibly be the first 20 ga Champion made that was nickle plated.

    Does this gun shoot the modern shotgun shells or the black powder shells?

    I am sure you know some advanced IJ collectors, Could you share with me a contact for them or could you share with them what I have so we could possibly discuss and learn more about this gun. My email is joellmassey@gmail.com.

    Thanks again
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  8. nadoyam

    nadoyam New Member

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    Thanks for all this information, I have recently been given a model similar to the one listed by 92rs25th back in posts #19 and #20. For it, you mentioned that you suspect manufacture in the era of 1921-1929. All markings on mine seem to indicate the same, however I have been told that this gun belonged to a family member who passed away in 1916. With jlm's, although it was a special condition, it also has similar markings and you indicate it was made prior to 1919.

    Because of its family ties and my general curiousity, I too would very much appreciate some help in deciphering the approximate manufacture date of mine.

    Thanks
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
  9. nadoyam

    nadoyam New Member

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    Another photo
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
  10. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    dating the champion single barrel using catalog illustrations can be a very helpful tool but can also lead to problems. it very well be that iver johnson started using letter codes suffixes before 1919. but the pictures you posted does not show a letter code suffix so the era of manufactured to be between 1909 and 1919.

    as best i can come up with is the following:
    1909-1919 no letter code suffix
    1920-1929 one letter codel suffix
    1930-1939 two letter codel suffiix
    1940-1956 all letters serial number
    1957=1970 no production
    971-1978 unknown
    bill.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  11. ShurShot

    ShurShot New Member

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    Easy folks, I just found the forums BECAUSE I just picked up a Champion today! Trying to glean some details from these helpful posts, yet mine seems slightly different?

    No letter on the locking lug, and no serial number near the trigger guard. This one has letters instead of numbers (by the guard) and also letters on the inside of the fore end piece. Three letters are RCX, or RGX.

    But this 12ga single does faintly show Champion on the side, and over the Iver Johnson line. How can I determine more? Many thanks.:cool:
  12. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    please refer to the post i made on 1-25-2010 at 1:54pm. this champion was made in the 1940's, only letters in serial number. that as close as i can come to a manugacture date. values have also been discussed in post above. the letters RCX translate into 840 which sould put it before the war (RGX would equal 890 still before the war).
    bill
  13. ShurShot

    ShurShot New Member

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    Thanks Bill, most helpful. Not concerned about value, as the age is the bigger interest for me usually. Like a guy at work and his recent find of one made right after the War Between the States. He wishes it to be worth bunches, and I told him I thought it's interest value was it's best asset.:)
  14. BobT64

    BobT64 New Member

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    Hello,

    I have an old Iver Johnson Champion also. I can not find any pat. date on mine anywhere. Mine looks much like the photos that are in this thread. However, it do not have a rounded pistol grip. On the receiver mine says:

    Champion (in a fancy cursive script) above the line that says:

    Iver Johnson Arms and Cycle Works
    Fitchburg, MASS USA

    The top of the barrel says:

    - 12 GAUGE CHOKE BORE BARREL AND LUG FORGED N ONE

    On the bottom of the lug it is stamped:

    1 F X X

    The bottom of the tang is also stamped:

    1 F X X (or it could be I F X X in both places).

    The break action does not "spring" back when I close the breach. I have to manually move it back into place to lock the barrel down and it is very loose. Also I am missing the forearm.

    Any help identifying the gun, its age, and if it is safe to shoot with modern loads (once repaired) would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,

    BobT
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  15. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    sound like the the latch spring is either broken or very weak.

    the series of gun with only letters in the serial number ( it is IFXX) were manufactured between 1940 and 1956.

    when repaired it should be fine with all 2 3/4 inch shell.

    bill
  16. BobT64

    BobT64 New Member

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    Thank you Bill,

    I was just trying to order parts off the Numrich website, but something happened on their end and now it can't display schematic and parts list so I can't complete my order.... :(

    I'll try again later.;)
  17. BobT64

    BobT64 New Member

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    Hey Bill,

    After looking at a nice exploded diagram and my Champion I have figured out that it does not even have the locking bolt sping in place. I have the locking bolt spring screw, but no spring... By the way, my Champion is lightly rusted all over (not inside the bore). What is the best way for me to clean it up and have it re-blued? How much should I expect to pay to have it re-blued?
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  18. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    this happens a spring will break and it is removed prior to being replaced and sometime it is never replaced or just forgotten about.

    the original finish on all champion single barrel shotguns is blue barrel, casehardened frame and oil finish on the wood. since my retirement i have not kept of with prices on repairs so i can't say what it would cost.

    to clean the lightly rusted surfaces use a very fine steel wool (0000) and a good light weight oil. i still use 3 in 1 machine oil.

    bill
  19. BobT64

    BobT64 New Member

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    Thanks Bill,

    I ordered my parts from Numrich today. I also found a replacement buttstock on Boyds' http://www.boydsgunstocks.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=300-121 today. The buttstock on mine was cracked/splintered up at the very front on the left side where the tang inserts. About 30 years ago my dad and I started refinishing/repairing this gun. However, we could not find anyone at the time that could replace the missing forearm so we stopped. I had sanded down the old buttstock, glued the splintered pieces back together, and varnished the whole thing. It looks nice. However, you can tell that some material has been removed. Now that I have found the forearm I think I may just replace the buttstock also.

    If the old color casehardened receiver/frame has no trace of the casehardening left (looks like someone sanded it down to bear metal :eek:) can it be blued along with the barrel? I don't know if I'll actually go to the trouble to re-blue any of it. I have other old shotguns that the bluing has worn completely off. I just have to keep them cleaned and well oiled. :D
  20. splinterbutts

    splinterbutts New Member

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    Hi Bill,

    I have come into possession of what I believe is a champion side snap shotgun that seems a little different than the ones you guys have been talking about as it doesn't have a patent date it has a patent applied for stamp on the barrel.

    The barrel is 34 inches long
    Champion is on the top of the barrel in a plain type
    and the latch on the barrel it says

    pat. apld. for
    1320

    What do I actually have, and is this pre Iver Johnson?
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