Iver Johnson Revolver Questions

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by CountryGunsmith, Feb 23, 2003.

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  1. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    mack,
    this single patent date on the bottom of the butt was only used between 1911 and 1913. in order to properly identify your revolver i will need to know the serial number and letter code found on the left side of the grip frame under the grip (remove the grip to see) this is the main serial number location.

    based soley on the one patent date marking you have a third model safety automatic hammerless revolver. the third model was manufactured between 1909 and 1941. all third models were designed for smokeless powder cartridge pressures. if you can provide the serial number and letter code (found under the left grip) i can give you an year of manufactured and how many were manufactured that year.
    bill
  2. jason74

    jason74 New Member

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    Hi out there. I am looking at an Iver Johnson .38SW 5-shot Owl Head Revolver. I think that it is a Second Model. It has a double post locking mechanism. It has a tiny little rear sight. The grips have an Owl which is looking towards the barrel as opposed to down towards the butt.

    The serial # is 166727

    Is there anyone that might verify my suspicions about the model that I have. I want a pistol that will shoot smokeless rounds, and not one that requires the blackpowder pressures.

    Thanks,

    J
  3. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    j,
    without knowing the exact marking on your revolver i am going to assume a few things. first would be first that the first digit in the serial number is an I and not a one (iver johnson serial number were only 5 digits with a letter prefix), the I letter code on a second model (owl head looking at barrel) would be manufactured in 1903. this is a black powder only model. for one safe with modern ammo your need a third model (1909-1941). look for one that has a coil hammer spring. first and second models have a single flat leaf hammer spring.
    bill
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2007
  4. jason74

    jason74 New Member

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    Bill,

    Thanks for the reply. It very well could have been an I because, it was a little poorly stamped. I appreciate the info on it. I will pass on buying it, as I want to be able to fire modern ammo out of it without trying to reload and replicate blackpowder pressures...thats just too much work in my opinion.

    It was stamped on top of the barrel with Iver and Johnson Firearm and Cycle Company. It had its patents stamped in the bottom of the butt of the pistol. The date came from under the grips on the left side of the frame in the grip. Those were all the markings that I saw ont he pistol.

    Thank you for giving it a date however, I appreciate it.

    Jason
  5. Eureka

    Eureka New Member

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    After reading this thread I was wondering if someone had any info about the Ivers Johnson revolver I just picked up. It's got black handgrips with the owl head on it. It fires .38 S&W and the S/N is 37438.

    Anybody know what year it is? I bought it yesterday and fired about 25 rounds with it, without any problem. But after reading this thread, I'm not sure if that's a good idea - do you think it's only meant to fire black powder ammo? Thanks for the help.
  6. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    eureka,
    without knowing what the exact markings and where they are found i cannot even begin to tell you what model you have. the black hard rubber owls head grips are usually found on prewwII models.

    look on the top of the barrel (or top strap) for the company name and or model name. top break models manufactured before 1903 will also have patent dates marked on the top of the barrel. other places to look for patent date markings are the left side of the barrel and the bottom of the butt strap. the main serial number location (until 1955) is on the left side of the grip strap under the grip panel (grips must be removed to see) this is the location where letter codes will be found.

    it is also helpful the know the barrel length. is it a solid frame or top break model? what type of hammer spring does it have flat leaf or coil?
    bill
  7. Eureka

    Eureka New Member

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    I'm still waiting to pick-up the gun at the store (due to the 10-day waiting period). I went back today and got some more info off the gun. The guys at the store don't know much about it, other than the fact that it is a Iver Johnson 5-shot revolver, chambered for .38 S&W rounds or .38 short rounds.

    They said they took it in, after a lady brought it in when her husband passed away. It looks quite old. It is a "top break" frame. There is no hammer on it, just a firing pin that sits behinde the cylinder. The only markings I could find are the ones on the bottom of the handgrip. They read as follows; "Pat. June 16 96 Aug 25 95 Sept 6 04 pat. pending"

    On the bottom of the trigger guard are the numbers 37438. I didn't remove the black bakelite handgrips to see if there are any more #s underneath. When I finally take it home I will dissassmble it more to see if I can find any more #s.

    Do you think it's safe to fire modern ammo in this gun? I fired about 25 rounds thru it last night without any problem - I just don't want anything to go wrong. I'm new to guns, and I'm not sure if it would misfeed and go off in my hand, or if because of it's age it can handle today's ammunition.

    Thanks for the help!
  8. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    eureka,
    this helps some, these three patent date were used together between 1907 and 1911. the only problem now is this span the second model black powder only (1896-1909) and the fhird model smokeless powder (1909-1941). the model name for your revolver is 'safety automatic hammerless revolver'. if the letter code is an "R" it will be a second model and if the letter code is "D" it will be a third model.

    if it turns out to be a second model (black powder) it probably wont blow up in your hand but the firing of smokeless powder it it will hasten any and all wear on the internal mechanism and sooner than later it will get out of time and not be safe to fire.

    if this is a third model it will make a good personal protection firearm but if it is a second model it should be retired.
    bill
  9. Eureka

    Eureka New Member

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    Thanks for the help! When I get I pick it up from the shop in about a week, I'll give the gun a more detailed inspection and see if I can find any more markings on it to let me know if it is a 2nd or 3rd model.
  10. alamoa

    alamoa New Member

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    I have a us revolver/Iver johnson 38 cal. ser# f 24926, what model is this and date produced?

    Can I buy grips for it?

    Thannks
  11. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    alamoa,
    the model name of your revolver is "u.s. revolver co. double action" serial number F24926 was manufactured in 1927. there were 5,100 of this model manufactured that year.

    try numrich arms (www.e-gunparts.com) for grips.
    bill
  12. alamoa

    alamoa New Member

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    Bill,
    would you know the model number ie.. 1900....

    thanks
  13. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    the 'u.s. revolver co. double action' is a variation of the iver johnson model 1900 and most parts do interchange. however it has no model number just the name
    bill
  14. rdhawk

    rdhawk New Member

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    Recently picked up an Iver Johnson Safety Automatic revolver, it does have a hammer, and it's a 5-shot 32 S&W revolver. Top-break, serial number is just 39773, patents are up to 1896. Any suggestions as to a possible year of make for this gun?

    Oh, and does anyone know how to fix the problem where the trigger won't go forward after it's pulled? The cylinder does rotate with the trigger being pulled, and everything else works fine but the trigger not going forward. Thanks for any help you can give.
  15. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    1896 patent dates were used on both second and third models in different forms and in different locations. the trigger problem is a broken trigger return spring. an easy fix and parts are available but different between the second and third model.

    the best way to determine which model you have is describe all the markings and where they are located and give the serial number found on the left side of the grip frame under the grips. this is the main serial number location. the grips must be removed to see this location. with out this information a really can't tell you much about your revolver, sorry.
    bill
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