Iver Johnson model # ?????

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by scottieb, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. scottieb

    scottieb New Member

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    I have an Iver Johnson 6 shot 22 caliber revolver with owl's heads on the grips. The serial is K58810 and it's made in Ma. thats about all i know about it so here are a few pics that may help DSCF0808.jpg

    DSCF0810.jpg

    DSCF0811.jpg

    DSCF0813.jpg
  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    this model is the model 55A. the model 55 was introduced in march 1955 and the model 55A came along in 1961 when a loading gate was added to the right side and was finally discontinued in 1978 when all revolvers were discontinued by iver johnson. early in its production life the model 55/55A used the model name 'target' (even though it had fixed sight) and was marked target on the revolver. during the late 1960' the target name was dropped from advertizing and the model 55A was renamed the model 55A sportsman. all the 22 rimfire models were advertised as 8 shot. in 1974/1975 the new owner of iver johnson arms & cycle works (the iver johnson family finally sold the company in 1973) attempted to moderize a little and introduced a new model called 'the new american bulldog' it had a full length barrel rib and adjustable sights. it was offered in calibers 22 rimfire, 22 magnum and 38 special in barrel length of 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 inches. the 22 rimfire and 22 magnums calibers were 6 shot (the first 6 shot 22 iver johnson ever offered that was not a 22/22 mag combo. the new american bulldog was not a combo only the model 50A sidewinder was offered as a combo. none of the improvements help revolver sales and all iver johnson revolvers were discontinued in 1978.

    i have no way of ever proving any of what i am now about to say but here goes. the grips on this revolver are the standard grip used on the model 50A sidewinder and may or may not be original to this guns as all the grips used on the model 55A, model 50A and new american bulldog are interchangable. as revolver production was comming to a stop the new owner was building every thing he could into complete handguns regardless of what it took or looked like. with the high K letter code serial number on this revolver heres my opinion. this is a model 55A sportsman frame and barrel, new american bulldog 6 shot cylinder and model 50A grips. in other words this is a hybrid manufactured in late 1977 or early 1978. so far i have not encountered any of the K letter code solid frame revolvers over K60,000.
    bill
  3. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Thanks for clearing up the mystery Bill.

    I identified (or mis-identified) it as a 55A here: http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/showthread.php?t=42154

    What threw me off is that both the Blue Book and the Standard Catalog of Firearms list the 55A as an 8-shooter.

    Since this a rather unusual factory hybrid.....would it have some collector value? Would it's value be above that I listed in the other post?

    Thanks a lot Bill for stopping by to clear up these IJ & HR mysteries for us!!! :)
  4. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    this revolver is still new enough to be considered a shooter by most people. i don't like to brag but most people including the few iver johnson collector won't recognize it as a little unusual. i for one would be interested but who can tell about others. as for value a doubt any one would be willing to pay a premium just because it is one of the last manufactured. and remember there are no factory known records available than will authenticate it. depending on the quality of the parts used it may be even worth a little less. as much as i hate to admit it those manufactured in the last couple of years were not the best in looks or mechanics. when i say the parts were left over inventory i mean they were sweeping the floors looking for anything that resembled a usable part.
    bill
  5. scottieb

    scottieb New Member

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    Wow Mr. Bill, that sounds like a completely plausible reason why this gun has been very difficult to identify! You speak as though you know your guns well, and i appreciate the insight as to what this really is. I personally could have never guessed how this gun came into being as it is unique and I'm not by any means an expert. I really appreciate all of the help I've been given from everyone here and I cant begin to express my gratitude. I hope someday that i can help someone who is in need of advice the way everyone has been helping me. Thank you again for the info and taking the time to let me know.
    Scottie
  6. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Y'know Bill, Iver Johnson's not the only gun maker guilty of this. Colt was notorious for this "use whatever's handy" parts stuff. That's why there were so many variations in their in some of their earlier revolvers. Of course, in Colt's case, these guns are highly collectable and worth mucho $$$$! Go figure!!!!! :D:D:D

    Hey Scottie.....well, I guess Bill has solved the mystery.....and while your IJ may not finance your retirement, it's a neat and fun shooter with a very interesting story behind it. I'd say it's a keeper!!! :)
  7. targetback

    targetback New Member

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    I have a Iver Johnson It looks like the one in the picture but on the box it says Iver Johnson Sidewinder Duel S 626 S# 31700 It has a mag cyl in the box . After I bought the gun and cleaning it there is no evidence that it has been fired . The gun is a 8 shot. when was it made ?
  8. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    the dual cylinder (22lr/22mag) model 50A sidewinder was introduced in 1974. all the iver johnson revolver should have a letter code prefix to the serial numbers. the model 50A sidewinder used the letter code E. i can't give an exact year on this one but it is sometime between 1974 and 1978. as the model number 626 does not appear in any of the factory literature i have i would be very interested in seeing a picture of the revolver and its markings as well as a pictured of the end label of the box.

    I.J. MODEL 50 SIDEWINDER------------------------------------------1961-1978
    Large solid frame double action revolver with rod ejection; Grips: oversize wood western style standard, after 1968 large plastic imitation Stag standard; Caliber: 22 rimfire (.22 Magnum combo added 1974) with 8 rounds cylinder capacity; Cylinder has recessed chambers and Flash Control front aim; Barrel length: 6 inches, 4 ¾ inches added 1974; Sight: fixed, fully adjustable rear sight add ed 1974; Finish: blue, Nickel added 1974: Model number changed to Model 50A in 1964; Weight: 6 inch barrel 31 ounces, 4 ¾ inch barrel 30 ounces.; Frame height: 4 inches; Frame length 4 7/8 inches; Overall length: 6 inch barrel 11 ¼ inches, 4 ¾ inches 10 inches. After 1974 this Model had different model numbers for different finishes, barrel length, calibers and rear sight combinations.
    DOES NOT HAVE HAMMER THE HAMMER ACTION
    I.J. SIDEWINDER MODEL 50A 1963-1978
    There is no difference the model number was only changed to be like the other 50 Series.
    VALUE: 100%=$250 60%=$120
    Deduct 10% for fixed sight model
    Add 10% for dual cylinder models
    bill
  9. Big Nasty 07

    Big Nasty 07 New Member

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    I have purchased a Sidewinder 50A serial number k0054, could you tell me when this pistol was made please, it is an Iver Johnson, got it for my father-in-law, he collects them.
  10. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    the model 50A sidewinder is an iver johnson. the serial number though is some what different than i have ever seen on a model 50A. so far all i have seen have an E prefix. can you furnish some pictures. over all view, markings and serial number. so far the K letter codel has on been seen on late production model 55A and the new american bulldog with adjustable sight models. but as i recently posted on another question about the model 55A "there is a lot to be learned on this model"

    for now all i can come up with is between 1974 and 1978 for a manufacture date.

    I.J. MODEL 50 SIDEWINDER---------------------------1961-1978
    Large solid frame double action revolver with rod ejection; Grips: oversize wood western style standard, after 1968 large plastic imitation Stag standard; Caliber: 22 rimfire (.22 Magnum combo added 1974) with 8 rounds cylinder capacity; Cylinder has recessed chambers and Flash Control front aim; Barrel length: 6 inches, 4 ¾ inches added 1974; Sight: fixed, fully adjustable rear sight add ed 1974; Finish: blue, Nickel added 1974: Model number changed to Model 50A in 1964; Weight: 6 inch barrel 31 ounces, 4 ¾ inch barrel 30 ounces.; Frame height: 4 inches; Frame length 4 7/8 inches; Overall length: 6 inch barrel 11 ¼ inches, 4 ¾ inches 10 inches. After 1974 this Model had different model numbers for different finishes, barrel length, calibers and rear sight combinations.
    DOES NOT HAVE HAMMER THE HAMMER ACTION
    I.J. SIDEWINDER MODEL 50A 1963-1978
    There is no difference the model number was only changed to be like the other 50 Series.
    VALUE: 100%=$250 60%=$120
    Deduct 10% for fixed sight model
  11. Big Nasty 07

    Big Nasty 07 New Member

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    It also has J.A. & C Wks, Inc., Fitchburg Mass written under Iver Johnson Mod. 50A SIDEWINDER, if this helps any. thanks alot. It is single action, with adjustable rear sights also. has the plastic stag one piece grips, almost a 5 inch barrel, and only the one cylinder, a .22 mag, 8 shot.
  12. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    i can't add any more for now. but only a very few true single action revolvers were made the champion and armsworth models are two of them. the sidewinder is a single / double action. meaning it can be fired by cocking the hammer manufally or by pulling the trigger through it entire cycle.
    bill
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