Iver Johnson Nickeled 7 shot .22

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by StephenCD, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. StephenCD

    StephenCD New Member

    Jan 29, 2012
    My father-in-law handed me this revolver today and asked three things...if 1, I would test fire it, 2, if I could find out about it and 3, have it replated.

    It's a 7 shot, 22 caliber Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works, with s/n: 8399, no letter prefix.

    Patent dates are it are: APR 6, 86, FEB 15, 87, MAY 10, 87, MAR 13, 88 AUG 25, 96
    I'm assuming that those dates are 1800's.

    It appears to be nickel plated with much of the plating worn off. Is it possible to have it replated? It's not about the value of the piece for him.

    The hand grips appear to be plastic (or hardened rubber) with the owl head imprinted on both sides.

    Any information would be appreciated, especially if .22 short can be fired safely in this revolver.

    Attached Files:

  2. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    It's a second model small frame rimfire, for which there are no serial number records, but the book shows side-of-barrel markings with those patent dates were used ca. 1902-1903.

    So it's a black powder era gun, and the pitting probably resulted from uncleaned black powder use.

    Replating destroys collector value; however this one is in only fair shape with major nickel loss and a broken grip, so has low value as is.

    I'd suggest not firing with anything but .22 CB caps, or if .22 Shorts used, standard velocity only

  3. StephenCD

    StephenCD New Member

    Jan 29, 2012
    Thanks hrf, he's not worried about the value of the pistol, and he dropped it a few days ago which broke the handgrips.

    I assume I can find someone on the web that can replate it?

    By the way, what are .22 CB caps? Are the .22 shorts listed as being standard velocity? I'm no expert on handguns or their ammo.
  4. StephenCD

    StephenCD New Member

    Jan 29, 2012
    Sorry, just checked on another thread I had and it was suggested that I use Evapo-Rust Remover on my wifes Astra-Unceta Cia S.A., .22. It's pretty old. Should help with cleaning this piece as well wouldn't it?
  5. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Yes, .22 Short ammo should be marked either standard velocity or hi-velocity.

    .22 Short CB Caps are even lower powered, and also make less noise.
  6. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Goodyear, Arizona
    A true CB shell ( 22 short case ) has no powder, it uses the power of the primer to propel the bullet ( which on CCI's is a frangible alloy ) Another type of CB uses the LR case with only one Gr. of powder. Both are accurate and are good to minute of Blackbird or gopher at 25 feet and are a hoot to shoot with almost no noise and both are very low pressure .
  7. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    Relative to StephenCD's remark and question about a product called "Evapo-Rust":

    I was unaware of this product until just now. Obviously, I have not tried or used it, yet. It is likely a good product for its intended uses that do not likely include rust removal from valuavle firearms.

    I am somewhat familiar with the use of Phosphoric acid and Hot Sulfuric acid for dissolving rust and other metal oxides. I have just read Evapo-Rust's webpage material that explains how it works, chemically.

    I do not think that one would want to put this material on any blued steel. The manufacturer's info states that it works by freeing the Iron from rust (ferrous oxide for red ruist) and then turning the free iron into a water soluble Iron Sulfate.

    I see two likely problems when used on firearms. First, this material will eat all of the rust out and leave pitting behind. Often the apparent surface rust that has been allowed to grow on firearms has actually eaten somewhat deeply into (below) the surface of the steel. If you remove it all, you leave noticeable pits.

    Second, firearms bluing (or browning) is actually a controlled rusting process. The bluing rust is black ferric oxide rather than red ferrous oxide. {The steel often appears to be dark blue because the silver colored steel reflects the blue wavelengths of natural daylight through a lattice of black ferric oxide.} A uniform coating of dense ferric oxide helps to prevent the formation of the undesirable, porous, crumbly red rust or ferrous oxide.

    Since Evapo-Rust is advertised to remove the Iron from iron oxides and turn it into a water soluble Iron Sulphate; it will likely remove any bluing as well as red rust.

    This has been said many times before, but is worth repeating. With old, collectible things one is ill advised to do any cleaning beyond what would have been normal daily maintenance. When you try to make something look better by cleaning or restoring it; you often devalue it significantly. Old things typically take on a patina or have a typical deterioration pattern. When one removes such after it has happened, it does not fool an expert, and it does devalue the item.

    In the case of old firearms, cleaning should be limited to preventing more rust by wiping it with an oily cloth.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  8. StephenCD

    StephenCD New Member

    Jan 29, 2012
    Being the incredibly intelligent :eek: person that I am I just checked the .22 shorts I bought for testing on my wifes Astra. Lo and behold, .22 short CB. WOW! Why didnt I think of looking before. But, the box says 29 gr (1.88 grams).

    Tried them out and it fired just fine. The tree is a little it upset with me though.

    Which also might explain why half the time the casings did not eject from the Astra, too underpowered?
  9. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2006
    The Cub needs high velocity shorts. It may work fine with standard velocity. CBs don't work well in Cubs.
    Replating you IJ would likely cost $200+. It's not worth it. Just clean it up and get him a set of replacement grips. Do a search on vintage pistol grips. There are reproduction grips available.
  10. bobski

    bobski Former Guest

    Jan 16, 2005
    va., conn., & mo.
    i still have my fathers. he used it for night drops when he ran his gin mill late at night.
    it seems to enjoy remington sub sonics. no problems to date with it.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  11. StephenCD

    StephenCD New Member

    Jan 29, 2012
    Thanks Bill appreciate it.
    But, with my usual luck...taking it apart to clean it, the main spring (hammer spring?) broke. Tried to order one from Numrich Gun Parts but I must have been looking at the wrong piece as the spring that came is no where near the correct one. Nor can I figure out the right one. Gee it sucks being slow and blind.
  12. 45Auto

    45Auto Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2008

    I thought someone should mention that the small frame safety hammer (which you have) is rather hard to find in .22 caliber. Though not rare, they are not as common as the .32 caliber examples.

    For parts, be sure you look for "small frame safety hammer" or small frame "old model" brake top. All of the 1st and 2nd model small frame models in .32 and .22 used the same spring. The spring you get from Sarco may be a little over sized to fit various other handguns. It is often necessary to use a grinder or file and adjust the size of the spring to fit your revolver.
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
  13. StephenCD

    StephenCD New Member

    Jan 29, 2012
    Thanks 45Auto, tried there (Sarco) and Numrich but failed to find any springs for it. Do you have any suggestions for any other places that might carry it?
  14. mesaman

    mesaman New Member

    Have an Iver Johnson 7 shot, top-break .22 with SN # S31XXX, 85% bluing with holster wear on cylinder. Full walnut grip, tight action, with dated shoulder holster. Has coil spring hammer with small spur. Any ideas of date of manufacture and value?
  15. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Welcome to the forum mesaman, but need a photo and more detailed description, as I don't find any record in the book of a 7-shot top-break .22 with S prefix serial:

    Is the number you list the one on left frame hidden by the grip?

    What are the markings and where located?
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