Iver Johnson pistol

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by klongfel, Oct 28, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. klongfel

    klongfel New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Hi,

    My father gave me a small pistol that was his grandfathers. He thinks it is from the late 1800s. I'm curious if anyone can tell me more information about the pistol. My father knew very little about it. I have attached a photo and below are all the details I can find on the pistol:

    On Top of barrel:

    Iver Johnson's Arms & Cycle Works
    Fitchburg, Mass

    On bottom of grip:

    PAT June 16.96 AUG.25

    Inside grip:

    S57786 (possibly S59986)

    It is a 5 shot pistol with each chamber being about 3/8" in diameter. Sorry if I am not using the correct terminology.

    Thanks a lot for any information.

    Kevin

    Attached Files:

  2. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Messages:
    13,856
    Location:
    At SouthernMoss' side forever!
    Many decades ago my Father passed on to me an Iver Johnson .38 S&W, or .38 short by some, that had been given him when he and his girl friend at the time were 16 years old in high school, in about 1919.

    The young lady thought he'd like to have the service pistol her Dad had carried on the job as an LEO in Brewer or Bangor, Maine at the time. I believe that he had been killed in the line of duty.

    The S# on that item, which was stolen during a break-in back in the early 90s, was 504XX and had the same patent markings on the gun.

    Hope this might help.
  3. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,174
    Location:
    houston, tx
    klongfel,
    this revolver is a iver johnson's arms & cycle works second model (1896-1908) small frame 'safety automatic hammer revolver'. the "S" letter code was used in 1907 and 1908. serial numbers S57786 and S59986 were both made the same year 1907. all second models (1896-1908) were manufactured for black powder cartridge pressures and are not considered safe with modern smokeless ammo.
    bill

    marlin,
    without more details i would guess your revolver was from the same era and also a second model.
    bill
  4. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    5,956
    Location:
    Deep South Mississippi
    Welcome Klong
    With it being from that time and not safe with modern ammo. I would say you have a great gun to go in a shadowbox.
  5. klongfel

    klongfel New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Thanks for the responses and excellent information. What a great forum!

    What caliber is this? .38 because the chamber is 3/8"? My father thought it might be a .22, but the chamber seems larger?

    What is a shadowbox?

    Thanks,

    Kevin
  6. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,174
    Location:
    houston, tx
    klongfel,
    kthe caliber is 32 S&W (not the 32 S&W Long).
    bill
  7. Goody

    Goody Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Messages:
    350

    I think it is probably a 38 S&W. Being a 5 shot and assuming he is close on his measurements, 3/8 = .375. A 32 would measure closer to .320
  8. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,174
    Location:
    houston, tx
    goody,
    the chambers are described as being about 3/8" not the bore. the letter code 'S' was only used on the safety automatic revolver in 1907 and 1908 on the small frame 32 S&W centerfire. iver johnson's arms & cycle works used different letter codes for different calibers and different frame sizes and even different ones for hammerless models. some of these letters were used several times some only once. "S" was only used in those two years. the small frame safety automatic revolvers were only available as a 7 shot 22 rimfire or a 5 shot 32 S&W centerfire. the six shot 32 S&W long was not offered until after 1909 (in the third model) and it was only offered in the large frame versions). this is not guess work but some of the information i obtained from the factory in 1983 while researching for my book on iver johnson's arms & cycle works. also to the trained eye there are diffenences in the large and small frame models. the picture furnished is a small frame.
    bill
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2006
  9. Goody

    Goody Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Messages:
    350
    I stand corrected, and remain your faithful servant sir.

    By the way, what book are you referring to?
  10. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,174
    Location:
    houston, tx
    goody,
    i apologize for sounding like a know-it-all but i get very protective about information going out on the web in regards to iver johnson handguns, some of it out there is incorrect and i want anything i am connected with to be as correct as possible.

    since the publication of my book "iver johnson's arms & cycle works handguns 1871-1978" in the middle 1990s (revised edition 'iver johnson's arms & cycle works firearms 1871-1993' due this fall) i have tried to correct as much of the incorrect information as i can and educate every one of the collectablity of iver johnson firearms. in the next couple of years the manucsript for a book on H&R firearms should be ready for publication, which i hope will clear up some of the misconceptions about that company.

    for those interested the iver johnson book will be available from www.gunshowbooks.com and the publisher has a target date of the week before thanksgiving. he is accepting orders now.
    bill
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2006
  11. Goody

    Goody Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Messages:
    350
    No apology needed, I was not offended in the least. Looks like an interesting read.
  12. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2001
    Messages:
    9,141
    Location:
    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Bill.....I look forward to buying your book when it comes out....but I think you've mistitled it. It should be titled:

    "Bill's Babies.....Ye Compleat Encylopedia Of Everything Iver Johnson Ever Made." :D :D :D
  13. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,174
    Location:
    houston, tx
    not sure i have covered every thing. i have just learned there may have been either an assembly operation or manufacturing operation in canada durings the 1930s. a 'hercules grade' iver johnson hammerless double barrel has turned up marked iver johnson's arms & cycle works montreal canada "made in canada" and a single barrel shotgun marked 'cobourg canada' (without the 'made in' markings). the research is never ending on just the firearms aspect. the family was into a lot of business, ranging from raising pure bred dogs of most breed, automobile dealership and hotels and this does not cover the 'cycle' part of the name. they also manufactured bicycles and a motorcycle. all their businesses were incorporated but wholly owned by the family. last family member to run the family business was luthor m. otto III, iver johnson's grandson, he passed on about 1973/1975. his children (a son and daughter were teenagers at the time) moved on to other things when the company was sold. for anybody who is interested iver johnson's arms and cycle works was the only firearms company to remain in control of the founders family for over 100 years.
    bill
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2006
  14. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    5,956
    Location:
    Deep South Mississippi
    Ditto on what Xracer said, I am looking forward to it.
  15. gun#1

    gun#1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    I sold a gun just like that in similar condition last year at an auction I got $400 for it so i,d think about selling that bad boy.
    -Jerold
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Iver Johnson .32 cal cut away Oct 7, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Iver Johnsons Arms & Cycle Works Pistol Pat.June16.96.Aug25.96 Sep 24, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum 38 Iver-Johnson revolver Sep 20, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Iver Johnson help Sep 19, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Manufacture Year for Iver Johnson Safety Hammerless Sep 15, 2014

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page