Iver Johnson Champion 16 Ga.

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by CowboyCO, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. CowboyCO

    CowboyCO New Member

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    I have an Iver Johnson 16 gauge shotgun that I'm trying to get more information about. It has a four-digit, lettered serial number (see pic) which if I've read correctly means in was manufactured sometime in the 1930s. I've included a few pics to get some help not only to learn a little more about it, but also for the best way to preserve it to keep any value left in it. The barrel inside is clean as a whistle and it has spent the last 30+ years in the West where it is dry. The stock is in very good condition, with no splits or gouges. The metal is slightly pitted on the barrel and the sides have the rainbow coloring that you see in the pics. Just looking for suggestions. Thanks in advance.[​IMG]
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  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    the all letter serial numbers were used in the 1940's and 1950's (up to 1956). the wood should have an oil finish and the keep the metal rustfree use a light coat of a good gun oil. a heavy coat of oil will cause a build up of dirt, dust and lint.

    CHAMPION MODEL 36-------------------------------------------1909-1922
    Single barrel; rebounding center mounted hammer; top lever operated break open design; gauges: 12, 16, and 20; barrel length: 28, 30, and 32 inches (features barrel and lug forged in one piece) bored full chock only; American black Walnut butt stock and fore-end; automatic extractors; weight 6¾ pounds; overall length with 30 inch barrel 45 inches; case hardened receiver (nickel available as option), browned barrel; automatic ejectors extra cost option; .410 bore, 24 and 28 gauges offered in 1913; 24 gauge dropped 1928; all gauges except 12 dropped after 1941; name changed to Champion single Barrel in 1917.
    CHAMPION SINGLE BARREL--------------------------------------1923-1978
    This is the same gun as the earlier Model 36 champion except that the smaller gauges are now built on the same frame as the large gagues. See above picture for specifications. The exact year production stopped has not yet been determined. Some of these single barrel shotguns have been seen with Canadian marking, these were most likely shipped to Canada and then marked as there is no evidence that Iver Johnson’s Arms & Cycle Works ever had a manufacturing factory in Canada
    VALUE: 100%=$250 60%=$95
    Add 15% for 24, 28 gauges

    bill
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  3. fred boyd

    fred boyd New Member

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    I just joined the forum today and am not sure I'm using it properly but I have a guestion as to the Iver Johnson guns I have. This is the information that is printed on the guns.

    16 gauge Choke bore Barrel and lug forged in one
    Iver Johnsons arm and cycle works, Fittsburg, Mass, USA
    Champion 78854 [this would be the serial or model #]

    20 gauge Choke bore Barrel and lug forged in one
    Iver Johnsons arm and cycle works, Fittsburg, Mass, USA
    Champion 61464 A [this would be the serial or model #]

    The 20 gauge has a 30 inch barrel and the 16 gauge has a 28 inch barrel.

    Where can I find information on these guns? Is there a website or is the Firearms Forum the best way. Thanks for your help.
  4. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    serial number 78854 was made in the late teens (1915-1919)

    serial number 61464 A was made in the 1920's (1921-1929)

    other than the the above information on values that is about all the information i can giive you for now.
    bill
  5. oxfordarms

    oxfordarms New Member

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    I've got a similar one of these 16ga., serial number 69825,only my receiver doesn't have flame hardened look,and stock has rounded grip horn.Looks older than this one,I found a dog license from 1916 in stock under butt plate.Is it safe to shoot factory loads in these? Or were they intended for blackpowder rounds?My uncle was telling me after my Grandpa gave it to me,that they have what was referred to as wire wrap barrels,and won't handle factory loads,told me same thing about an oxford arms exposed hammer dbl. barrel I have.By the way if anyone knows where I can get a stock for it, let me know.Thanks for help.
    Is he right,or full of crap? Would like to use them both,nice guns.
  6. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    see the answer to fred boyd' s post i made above serial 69825 was made between 1914 and 1919. this shotgun should be ok with what is called low base shells (standard velocity). unless this is a earlier model that is not marked champion then your uncle is correct.

    i do not have any info. on the oxford arms double except it is a brand name often seen on steven arms & tool co doubles.
    bill
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  7. dackles

    dackles New Member

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    Wow. I also have a iver johnson champion 16 gauge. The serial number is 28576xh. I am curious when it was made and how much it is worth (primarily for insurance purposes.) The gun should be classified as fair condition.
  8. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    champion single barrel shotgun with two letter suffix to the serial number were manufactured in the 1930 to 1939 era. see above for values.
    bill
  9. offkey

    offkey New Member

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    Hi, this is my first post here. I was just looking through my small stash of guns and found a 16g Iver Johnson. The serial number is 36515 and I was wondering if any one knew approximately what year it was made. I remember when my dad put it away because when he fired it, it broke open and the shell came flying out at his face. I was thinking of getting it fixed but dont know if I could even get the parts for it. On another note I also found my Mauser GEHA 12g. It's always fun finding guns you haven't seen in years!
  10. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    the only dating i can do is by an era. champion single barrel shotgun without any letter suffix were made between 1909 and 1919. see above for value.

    bill
  11. Jmalone

    Jmalone New Member

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    I also have the Iver Johnson champion 16 GA.

    Was given to me by my Granddad and I know nothing about it. It has the number on all 3 parts once broken down and it's "54836" however on the barrel it has 54836 H on it and the hand "stock" its 54836 and on the butt it reads 54836 XH

    How old is it? and how can I tell how much it's worth? going by the picture above, it's in better shape. I don't know what % that falls under?

    Thank you for your help.
  12. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum, but sadly, Bill Goforth who answered the other queries in this thread passed away in January.

    His replies list what little info is available regarding I. J. Champion shotguns, ie a serial with 2 letter suffix indicates 1930s manufacture, and value in condition you list probably $100-$150. However, the 16 gauge is no longer popular and available ammo is limited.

    In my opinion, it should not be used with high velocity shells or steel shot.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  13. Jmalone

    Jmalone New Member

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    I'm sorry to hear that about your friend Bill, I too lost a loved one around that time.

    Thank you for replying,
    I haven't had a problem finding ammo. When you say high velocity, does that mean bird shot too?
  14. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry for your loss.

    Velocity is determined mainly by the powder charge, not the type of shot. For example, high velocity shells are the heavier loads usually used for ducks and geese, and lower velocity shells are the standard "field" loads usually used for dove and quail.
  15. Jmalone

    Jmalone New Member

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    ok good, so I'm ok using bird shot in it. I sometimes use triple ot buck or slug, is that bad in this old gun?

    Is it more eye candy to hang on the wall?
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