Iver Johnson notch on handle?

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by captmike2, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. captmike2

    captmike2 New Member

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    I recently purchased and Iver Johnson s/n 48534 Pat Aug 25.96 Hammerless revolver. I'm trying to research as much as possible before I take it to the range, and have it checked out by a gun smith. if anyone could help on the manufactured date I'd appreciate it.

    But there is a mark or etch, across the back of the handle,,, almost like a notch on a bed post ;) I'm really curious about that. I have no history on the gun, purchased it from a friend.

    If anybody could clue me in on the habits of the people back in the day when it was purchased I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks
    Mike
  2. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    captmike, a picture would help us to understand what you are referring to, right now I don't have the foggiest:)
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  3. captmike2

    captmike2 New Member

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    RJay, sorry bout that.. LOL so here's some pictures of the notch, barrel and s/n on trigger guard.

    Attached Files:

  4. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    Looks like someone took a hacksaw to it.
  5. fuzebox40

    fuzebox40 Active Member

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    Remove the left side grip to reveal the serial number and letter code. This is required for dating as well as caliber and is it a top break or solid frame.
    Notches like that are not uncommon as simply to identify ones personal weapon. Sometimes you'll see something similar on the grips, both sides, as to be spotted from either side of the gun.
    This is not to say that it hasn't been used to kill someone. It may very well have a higher body count than Clyde Barrow. But probably not!
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  6. captmike2

    captmike2 New Member

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    Well that's what I was kind of thinking too, that it was some kind of kill/wound marking. But the identification is probably closer to the truth...

    OK that would be a D 48534

    thanks!
    Mike
  7. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    Well, that barrel marking was used 1899 until 1911, The D Prefix was used twice in that serial number range, in 1901 and in 1911, Since Iver Johnson didn't go to a strengthen frame until 1909, I don't know if you have a smokeless frame or a black powder frame. Maybe I'm missing something, don't know. perhaps a picture of the bottom of the grip with the patent dates would help. That file mark does not look like a"memory notch ", but rather like a cut mark a small child would make with a three corner file. Memory marks or coup marks were made on the grips. FWIW, the ideal of gunfighters notching their guns is more or less a dime novel myth. Wasn't done as a rule. More notches were carved after the 1900's than ever before because of the dime novels and the first cowboy movies. There were laws, Coroner inquests and hanging ropes even in the old " lawless days". Even the assassin Jim Miller didn't notch his guns, why advertise that you killed someone. There may have been one or two to do so, but I've never read of them. BTW, many a notch was cut on the grips in the present era to add spice to a gun story and to help sell the gun and story together
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  8. captmike2

    captmike2 New Member

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    it would be hard to capture the data in a picture but it says:

    PAT AUG 25.96
    PATS PENDING

    I need to use an eye loop to get that.. I'd really like to fire a few rounds through the gun and then keep it for an emergency...

    all help much appreciated.
    Mike
  9. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    :) That Patent marking was used in 1911, if your firearm is in tight condition, it should be safe with modern ammunition, The pressure of the smokeless ammo is the same as the black powder cartridges, smokeless has a sharper power curve. So enjoy.
  10. captmike2

    captmike2 New Member

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    RJay, Thanks so much for all your answers. I've had 2 gun smiths and a cop check out the gun and they all say it's safe... So I'm going to pick up some .32 S&F fire a few rounds, check the sights, get a feel for the gun then put it away for an emergency.

    I might pull it out once in a while... it is kinda cool...

    Thanks again!!!
    Mike
  11. fuzebox40

    fuzebox40 Active Member

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    S&F ?
    You mean .32s&w. Sometimes it's hard to find without ordering it online. I buy mine at the gun shows. You can also ask around at the local gun range especialy when they're having the old west shooting games.
  12. captmike2

    captmike2 New Member

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    Yup your right... locally nobody has it... I went to cheaperthandirt to get it..

    I have a gun show tomorrow... thinking about taking the family... 10 year old daughter likes to shoot!! :)
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