Iver Johnson Question

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Twaits, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. Twaits

    Twaits Member

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    Hello all. I'm brand new here so this is my first post. I kept asking questions about non Colt/S&Ws on those two forums when someone pointed me in this direction.

    I came into possession of an Iver Johnson today. Here's the description:

    Its a .38S&W cal. Nickel 3 1/4 inch barrel. Hammerless with trigger safety and owl facing forward.
    Serial number 62875. On the barrel rib is marked:

    Iver johnson Arms & Cycle Works Fitchburg Mass, USA
    Pat'd Apr. 6 '86 Feb 15 '87 May 10 '87 Mar 13 '88 Aug 25 '96 Pat's Pending

    I'd like to know around when it was made. From my limited knowledge on these I believe it to be a 2nd model (T style latch, free wheeling cylinder, flat main spring) black powder era. Thanks!

    -Erik

    Here's some pix:

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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    yes this is a second model actually a second model 4th variation. serial number D 62875 was manufactured in 1901, approx. 33,000 of this model manufactured that year.

    SECOND MODEL SAFETY AUTOMATIC HAMMERLESS REVOLVER
    (Black Powder Cartridges)------------- -–1896-1908
    LARGE FRAME AND SMALL FRAME VERSIONS USES HAMMER THE HAMMER ACTION: Double top post barrel latch, Hammer the Hammer action, nickel finish with blue optional, two frame sizes and three calibers. Hard rubber grip panels with Owls head at top. Calibers: small frame .22 rimfire with 7 rounds cylinder capacity, .32 centerfire with 5 rounds cylinder capacity; Standard barrel length: small frame 3 inches, large frame 3 ¼ inches; Weight: small frame with 3 inch barrel .22 rimfire 12 ½ ounces, .32 centerfire 13 ½ ounces, large frame with 3 ¼ inch barrel 17 ¾ ounces; Height: small frame 3 ¾ inches, large frame 3 7/8 inches; Frame length: small frame 4 3/16 inches, large frame 5 inches; Overall all length: small frame with 3 inch barrel 6 3/8 inches, large frame with 3 ¼ inch barrel 7 3/8 inches. Main serial number location on left side of grip frame grips must be removed to see. The Second Model features a double top post barrel latch, flat leaf hammer spring and two cross pins in the lower frame.
    VALUE: 100%=$285 60%=$150
    For revolvers equipped with Bourne Knuckleduster add 100%

    bill
  3. Twaits

    Twaits Member

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    Thanks very much Bill! I really should pick up your book one of these days. Also the one on H&R when it comes out. I hope I can bother you again here with a couple more Iver Johnson serial numbers.

    Incidentally, I work for Bushmaster who belongs to Freedom Group who owns several gun companies now. A lot of the old H&R stuff came over to our factory when Freedom group bought out H&R. I currently am using an old table that came from that factory with the date of 1894 on it. I use it to laser sight in AR15s. A lot of the old milling equipment and lathes are now in our engineering department. Today I used a set of number stamps that I believe came from H&R.

    Thanks again Bill.

    -Erik
  4. Twaits

    Twaits Member

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    Oh one more question Bill. Were any of the first three models of Iver Johnsons rated for smokeless powder?
  5. Twaits

    Twaits Member

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    Iver Johnson cleaned up

    Here's my Iver Johnson after scraping off the rusty parts and cleaning it up with Mother's. I think it came out pretty decent. Looks better in real life than these pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  6. marcodelat

    marcodelat Member

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    You sure made that revolver look nice.

    Just what is "Mother's"... some sort of polishing compound?
  7. Twaits

    Twaits Member

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  8. marcodelat

    marcodelat Member

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  9. mrrapacz

    mrrapacz New Member

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    What a great resource. Thank you, fellas.

    I seem to have a typical Iver Johnson story. Found it in a storage/crawl space. A forgotten family heirloom originally owned by my great grandfather. After reading about these prolific firearms on this site, my unqualified guess puts it at an early Second Model, top break revolver, 5 shot .38 -- blued. I would like to know the year or thereabouts if possible. No intentions of ever trying to fire it.

    Here are some more identifying marks.

    1. On the top rib, are two lines. 1st Line: "xIVER JOHNSON'S ARMS & CYCLE WORKSx" 2nd Line: "FITCHBURG MASS. U.S.A."

    2. On the left side of the barrel are the patent markings on two lines. 1st Line: "*PAT'D APR.6.86.FEB.15.87.MAY.10.87**" 2nd Line: "*MAR.13.88.AUG.25.96.PAT'S PENDING**"

    3. The serial number is in only one location and that is behind/under the left grip. It has no letter indication, only the following numbers: 64993. There is a strange marking a little before the numbers, but it's not a letter, nor is it a letter that has worn away. The best way I can describe it is that it looks a little like a duck's foot or a staircase turned on its side.

    Attached Files:

  10. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    your are correct this is a second model. the five patent dates on the left side of the barrel was used only in 1902 and 1903. the letter codes used on the large frame 38 S&W in 1902 was "G" and in 1903 "I".
    bill
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