Iver Johnson Hercules Grade 12 gauge side by side

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by quiknot, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. quiknot

    quiknot New Member

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    Hi everyone, I am proud to say that I recently inherited an Iver Johnson Hercules Grade side by side 12 gauge from my great uncle who had it passed to him many years ago by a close friend. I think from searching the forum I know what I am looking at (information from this post: http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/showpost.php?p=397867&postcount=5) but I just want to verify.

    Information from shotgun:
    Top of barrel: IVER JOHNSON and HERCULES GRADE
    Side of barrel: Etching of hunting dog and Iver Johnson's Arms & Cycle works Fitchburg Mass, USA.
    Butt plate: Picture of owl
    Pistol grip cap: Iver Johnson
    Two triggers
    Checkered stock

    Serial number: 12490
    Patented March 16, 1915
    April 27, 1915

    I mostly interested in learning about the gun, I would like to know the value but this will stay in the family. How is condition determined? Are there any references online? The stock has a couple dings here and there and the bluing is a little worn near the receiver but overall I think for a gun of this age it is in decent condition. All writing on the barrel was very easy to read and there is no rust anywhere. Are pictures allowed to be posted here?

    I also wanted to ask peoples opinion on refinishing the gun, do you think it would make sense or take away from the gun? I recently refinished my Savage hunting rifle and was pretty happy with the results (Birchwood Casey kit (stain, tru oil, cold blue).

    Thanks everyone, I truly appreciate any information.
  2. quiknot

    quiknot New Member

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    Here are some pictures

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    Last edited: Oct 30, 2010
  3. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Nice pictures - you've covered all the bases. Bill G. will be along shortly with the info you seek. He's THE man when it comes to Iver Johnson firearms. Nice shotgun, also.
  4. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    this is probably the earliest hercules grade double i have seen. patent dates were dropped from the markings in the late 1920's.


    IVER JOHNSON HAMMERLESS (MONO-BLOC)------------------1914-1923
    Box lock side by side double barrel; breech sleeve area is solid one piece (Mono-Bloc), dropped forged; hammers can be lowered without snapping them on empty chambers; automatic safety and automatic extractors; double triggers; 12 gague only; Browned Barrels and case hardened receiver; 28 and 30 inch barrels, choked left full and right modified, 32 inch barrels chocked full and full; American Black Walnut butt stock and fore-end, pistol grip checkered no grip cap; hard rubber butt plate; weight with 30 inch barrels 7½ pounds; overall length with 30 inch barrels 46 3/8 inch.
    VALUE 100%=$600 60%=$300

    IVER JOHNSON HAMMERLESS HERCULES GRADE------------1924-1935*
    Box lock side by side double barrel; each barrel and lug forged as one piece then joined together; 12, 16 & 20 Gauge; Browned barrels and case hardened receiver; American Black Walnut butt stock and fore-end, hand checkered; plain extractor model has slim fore-end and automatic ejector model has beavertail fore-end with D & E fastener; hard rubber butt plate and pistol grip cap; butt stock is 14 inches in length, butt stock drop at comb is 1¾ inches and at heel is 2 ¾ inches; automatic safety; double triggers; overall length with 30 inch barrel 46 3/8 inches; weight 7¾ pounds. Hunting dog etching on the left side of the frame. Some of these double 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. It has been reported that a special run of the Hercules double gun was manufactured for Montgomery Wards & Co. in the 1930’s Marked “WESTERN FIELD MODEL 53”.
    *Exact year undetermined
    VALUE: 100%=$1100 60%=$525
    Add 15% for auto-ejectors model
    Add 25% for single trigger

    IVER JOHNSON HAMMERLESS (HAMMER FORGED MODEL)------1936*-1941
    Same as Hercules Grade except left side of frame marked IVER JOHNSON HAMMER FORGED in two lines and right side of frame marked with company name and address,
    *Exact year undetermined
    VALUE: SAME AS HERCULES GRADE

    because of the shape if the fore-end and markings i am going to guess it was made between 1924 and 1927.
    bill
  5. quiknot

    quiknot New Member

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    Thanks Bill, I really appreciate you taking a look.
  6. jbuck

    jbuck New Member

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    Hello Bill,
    I stumbled upon this forum when searching for Iver Johnson Hercules Grade. I have also inherited an Iver Johnson Hercules Grade 30" with the exact same patent dates, bird engraving, Iver Johnson emblem, double hammer, overall length, drop length, shell ejectors etc as you describe in the 1924-1935 models. Based on the pictures of the other gentleman's posted mine is in very similar condition. The difference of course is the serial number. Mine shows 304 E. Do you have any info based on this serial number. Did the increment throughout production... does a lower number indicate it is from the mid 1920's? Do you know how many were manufactured per year?
  7. thawk

    thawk New Member

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    I am far from an expert on firearms. I just recently inherited a number of firearms from my father-in-law. Way back in the closet I found a double barrel hammerless Iver Johnson shotgun with the same patent dates, same wording," Iver Johnson firearms and cycle works", but no other markings but the serial number, 29994, on all the parts of the gun. When I found it it was broken down and in a two piece canvass carrying case. I cleaned it up and found that when I close it the safety doesn't keep the front trigger/left side barrel from firing. I took it apart and found that a piece of the safety mechanism, a flat thin piece of metal with two prongs had one of the prongs broken. I assume thats why the safety doesn't work on one side. Any ideas what this part is called and where I can find one?
  8. bobski

    bobski Former Guest

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    i have a i.j. manual back in va. ill be there in april and look it up for you.
  9. parsons68

    parsons68 New Member

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    Hi, I was just passed down an Iver Johnson side x side 12 gauge shotgun. It says it it was made by Ivor Johnson Arms and Cycle works, Canada Ltd-Montreal. Made in Cobourg. It is a Hercules Grade and has the number 1491 on all pieces of the gun when taken apart. It also has the letter W or M on the barrel, opposite the number 1491. Just wondering if anyone knows any history of this shogun??? Would appreciate any knowledge on the gun.....
    Thanks,
    Greg
  10. doubleslover

    doubleslover Member

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    Your Iver Johnson was finished and assembled by the Cooey Firearms Company in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada. Cooey had an arrangement with Iver Johnson from about 1932 to at least 1939 to finish guns for the Canadian and British market. I have 3 single shot champions and a Hercules SxS that are all marked with the Canadian markings. The numbers on your gun are the serial number and all the numbers being the same on all the parts means it is a gun with all original parts matching. Matching numbers means the barrel or action etc. have not been replaced at some point.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  11. parsons68

    parsons68 New Member

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    Thank you for the information...... so does this mean the gun I have was assembed sometime between 1932 and 1939??
  12. doubleslover

    doubleslover Member

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    Yes
  13. occradave

    occradave New Member

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    Yes I'm in receipt of an Iver Johnson 12 guage Hercules that is in very good condition. It was my paternal Grandfathers and I'm planning on giving it to my nephew (my brothers son). I'm trying to find a value to place on it so that he (my nephew) will know weither to just shoot it or keep it as an heirloom. The serial number is 20825 and it has a soft shell cover with it.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  14. Anchor Clanker

    Anchor Clanker Member

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    Single barrel or double barrel? And what is a soft shell cover?
  15. occradave

    occradave New Member

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    Its a 2 barrel and two trigger shotgun with the dog on the left side of the mechanism.

    The shotgun is in a soft long casing with a carry strap and zipper that probably is an after market item.

    I couldn't find any info on the carry case but it looks old. The carry strap is broken.
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