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. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    will try to explain the the difference dates. the two dates on your gun are patent dates, 4-2-1901 for patent number 670985 and 4-15-1902 for patent number 679516. the date in the blue book are actual date of production for the "champion top snap single gun". having the patent date marked on a gun only means it has features from those patents and has nothing to do with manufacture date.

    IVER JOHNSON CHAMPION TOP SNAP----------------------1905-1908
    A name change for the Iver Johnson Top Snap Single barrel hammer with top lever operating mechanism; 12 and 16 gauge; steel barrels in lengths 28, 30 and 32 inches full chocked; automatic ejectors; rebounding hammer; American Black Walnut butt stock and fore-end; casehardened frame and browned barrel; hard rubber butt plate and pistol grip cap; weight 6 pounds; overall length with 30 inch barrel 45 inches.
    VALUE: RARE 100%=$300 60%=$135

    this gun was made before iver johnson made the switch to smokeless powder and should not be fired with any modern ammo.
    bill
  2. maddy181

    maddy181 New Member

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    Thanks Bill,,, So what kind of ammo do I fire in it? All in all I plan on not shooting it at all just hanging it on my fire place mantel.
    Justin.
  3. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    this model may have a chamber length of 2 5/8 inches so the proper ammo may not be readly available. a 1907 iver johnson sporting good co. catalog list loaded 12 gauge in this length only. if you want some ammo to display with it look for some older shells in this length.
    bill
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  4. a berger

    a berger New Member

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    Bill,

    You sure seem to be the expert on these. I have what I believe to be an IJ, but there are no markings on the barrel or receiver. The only identifier is a number 335 on the receiver under the barrel only visible once the breach is open. The gun does not have a butt stock, it has a side-snap release, a v-noched hammer, and a bead front.

    Thanks in advance for any info you may have

    A-B

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  5. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, Bill Goforth recently passed away (see sticky at top of forum) and it's usually best to start a new thread. This advertisement is from the 1890 J. P. Lovell catalog, Iver Johnson's main distributor.

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  6. a berger

    a berger New Member

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    Thanks for the massage. Sorry for the loss.

    I'll post as a new thread.

    A-B
  7. 410skeeter

    410skeeter New Member

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    Years ago I loaded black powder muzzle loaders, brass shells, even plastic.
    Now the muzzleloader shotgun sits on a mantle.
    You better be sure it will stay together.
    Smokeless powder burns progressive usually along the 1st 18 inches of the bore.
    Black powder explodes almost instantly.
    This is why damascus & early barrel guns have thick chamber walls, but thin barrels.
    And why you don't use smokeless in them.
    Usually cheaper guns had plain barrels, you had to pay extra for damascus.
    So don't think if it is not damascus it is ok/safe.
    Remember the face,eyes,arm you save may be yours, is it worth the trade-off for a bang?
    If you wish to proceed.
    The 12 gauge muzzle loaders used a one to one bulk ratio.
    Same works well in a shell.
    1 st make sure spent shell loads smoothly in chamber, if not you will need to resize them.
    After installing new same size primer, get/make a scooper which loads one ounce of shot by volume, weigh the shot to make sure it is close to one ounce, different size shot takes up slightly different volume.
    Average 7 1/2 or 8, or 6, depends on what you hunt.
    This will be your volume scooper for powder too.
    After new primer, pour powder in bottom of case, put an over powder wad to keep it in place.
    crumple up some newspaper as buffer wad, or use something more fancy.
    Place a second cardboard to hold down buffer, then shot on top of that with same scooper.
    crimp down the end of case, or if old brass case another cardboard wad and melt some beezwax will last forever or candle wax will do to waterproof.
    Tie it to a young tree with a towell around it to keep from scratching.
    Get out some fishing line, tie to trigger, get way back, drop string, go back and pull back hammer, go back... hide and pull string. look under smoke to see if it is still there.
    Do that 3 times. Hang it on mantle. Buy a Perrazzi.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  8. 410skeeter

    410skeeter New Member

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    Oh yea.. always wear safety glasses, ask yourself everytime you shoot it...do I feel lucky?
  9. 410skeeter

    410skeeter New Member

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    And oh yea, I absolutely , 100%positively DO NOT recommend shooting an old gun.
    You can get a reproduction shotgun muzzleloader a lot cheaper than your families cost of a burial.
  10. Keg

    Keg New Member

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    I have 2 IJ Champions.......I was wondering the date of manufacture???
    The first is a Western field #19....12 gauge...Checkered stock..solid rib barrel..#82293HG.
    The next is a 410......IGIX...

    They are both 95-98% condition.........
  11. TMcRoy

    TMcRoy New Member

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    I also have one of these guns and unfortunately it doesnt seem to have as much information as some of the other guns mentioned above. It has the trigger guard release lever and a hammer. The only marking on the exterior of the gun is the name CHAMPION on top of the barrel. After disassembling the gun i found 12201 on the bottom of the barrel stamped into the side of the barrel break catch. Also on the inside of the butt plate are the numbers 20 and then 1 with a circle around it. Not sure if this is just a part number for the plate or what. Just curious about what type of gun this is and if it can be fired with smokeless powder or not. Any info would be great.
  12. weslo1969

    weslo1969 New Member

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    Again another question about age on the IJ Champion 12 GA. I just aquired one from my father in law and he was not sure on the age. It seems to be in decent shape with signs of wear and use. He was thinking before WWII was the manufacture date but not sure. There is no patent numbers on the barrel and under the trigger guard looks to be either GUGU or GJGJ no numbers. Any idea of an age period it was made?

    Thanks,

    Wes
  13. southernboy

    southernboy New Member

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    i bought this iver johnson 12ga from my wifes side xmass of 2010 grand father past away in early 1970s it and 3 outher guns in bought for 300 muzzelloader bolt action 22winch model 67 jc higgons model 583.16 this iver johnson has a bad barrel some has droped something on it top of barrel says
    -12gauge choke bore-
    barrel and lug forged in one
    just like that two lines iv seen picks on here with it just one line
    side of reciver says
    iver johnson's
    arms & cycle works
    fitchburg,mass.usa
    champion
    sorry all letters are capetal numbers behind triger gard is 75756
    i would like to find anouther barrel for it but had no luck fount a gun smith that would cut it back and put a screw in choke in it for $75 but i would like more input on it i have picks

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  14. Rager

    Rager New Member

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    Good thread. I have a Worthington Special 12 ga. Undoubtedly by Iver Johnson as well. The serial number as posted to this thread makes it of '20 to '29 manufacture. It has a single letter as a suffix.

    It also has a small duck on grass stamped on the right side of the 'action'. I'm mighty happy with it!

    A thanks to b.goforth for fielding many of the questions in this thread.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  15. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum Rager, but my list of shotgun brand names says the Worthington Special was made by Stevens for the George Worthington Co. of Cleveland.

    And sadly, Bill Goforth passed away early last year.
  16. Ironram

    Ironram New Member

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    Hi new here
    Brother inlaw gave me his grandma's gun to look at do to a problem
    Light strikes
    Now that I have it in hand I see why dirty dirty
    And well used almost imposable to see any of the writing as most of it has been worn off
    After looking at all the post from the beginning I was able to piece some of it together
    On the barrel ( PATD.AP ( gone ) pr1502 pat. Pending )
    Also above that CH ( GONE. ) I know it should say champion
    Gone= worn away
    I had to use a magnifying glass to view most everything on top of the barrel
    And use a bright light

    The only other # are 9 7800 on bottom of barrel at pivot point
    Also stamped on the fore grip 97800
    Any idea when it was made
    And is it now just a wall hanger or can he shoot it with modern ammo ?

    Thanks a lot
  17. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to TFF.

    I. J. expert Bill Goforth dated Champions with all numeric serial nos. to 1909-1919, so this one is likely at or near 100 years old, and should be retired.
  18. Ironram

    Ironram New Member

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    Thank you very much !!!
    I told my brother in law as much
    But just wanted to make sure I told him the right thing
  19. Kcamarata

    Kcamarata New Member

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    I have a Rev-o-noc (HSB) ribbed barrel 12 gauge that was my great grandpas. He came to the U.S. from Sicily in 1915 and bought 2 shotguns at about that time. My dad has one and I was given the other. When I got it it was at least as rusty as some of the others pictured above. Knowing that it's value was really only sentimental I tore it down and cleaned it up. Now I realize that this isn't really the right forum for this question but since these shotguns are all related, I thought I would throw this out. On my shotgun the hinge pin screws in and folds over into a round depression in the receiver. Although mine functions, the fold over part is broken off. If anyone comes across one of these hinge pins, I would be interested in it.
  20. Vahagn_87

    Vahagn_87 New Member

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    Im a little late in this discussion but i recently purchased an IJ single shot. And after a little search for the production year I think I was able to locate it. See pic for location. I only clearly see "27" and the numbers before it look like 19. S I assume its made in 1927.

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