Iver Johnson Revolver Questions

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

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  1. JMC2543

    JMC2543 New Member

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    Ok guys seems you know alot more about this make of gun than I do. I got a Iver Johnson revolver .22 6 shot that i got from my aunt for Christmas. Its serial # is K57018. The only markings on it are the serial number on the right side, and Iver Johnson’s Fitchburg Mass USA, on the left right under the cylinder. Hopefully you guys can tell me something as my aunt said it was my uncles and didn’t know much about it.


    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2008
  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    this is a model 55SA cadet manufctured between 1974 and 1978. please check and make sure it is a true 6 shot and not a 8 shot. if it is a 6 shot then it was manufactured in late 1977 or 1978 when they were using left over inventory.

    there was a recent post entitled "iver johnson model ?????" with discussed this occuring on a longer barrel model 55A.
    bill
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2008
  3. Heatseeker

    Heatseeker New Member

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    I was searching the internet for info on an old IJ Break-Top Hammerless and found this site/thread. Mine appears to be of the approx. vintage as the above. It has the same Pat. date stamped on the butt. The serial number is B66897. Can you give me the production date and approx. value in 60-70% condition? I'm not planning to sell/trade it, just wondering is all.

    I can post pics if that would help.

    After reading almost this entire thread, I believe you must be THE authority on the old IJs!

    Thanks for your help.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2008
  4. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    if this is exactally like B78588 then serial number B66897 was also manufactured in 1915. serial numbers started at B66701 and went to B77000, 10,300 manufactured that year.
    bill
  5. Adamsons

    Adamsons New Member

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    Please advise of proper ammo for Iver Johnson pistol Large frame (barrel about 4"), 5 shot, with hammer, top breaking. Top barrel marking IVER JOHNSON ARMS & CYCLE WORKS, FITCHBURG MASS U.S.A. , serial on bottom of trigger guard and inside left grip A35692, marking on base of grip reads JUN 16.96 AUG 25. ??? 16.04 PATS PEN
    Is this able to fire 32 S&W AND 32 SHORT? Is is reltively safe to use and fire if in decent condition? Any lube and maintenance suggestions?
  6. Heatseeker

    Heatseeker New Member

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    Thanks Bill! I appreciate your efforts on this subject.
  7. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    adamson,
    these three patent dates were used between 1907 and 1911. the 'A' letter code indicates this is a third model small frame 32 caliber safety automatic hammer revolver. serial number A35692 was manufactured in 1911, there were 36,500 of this model manufactured that year. all third models (1909-1941) are safe with modelrn smokeless ammo. the correct caliber is 32 S&W not the 32 S&W Long.

    this revolver is a little unusual in that these three patent dates used together are seldom seen on the small frame models because they take up to much room on the bottom of the butt location.

    as far as maintaince is concerned clean the barrel and cylinder after each firing session and then apply a thin coat of good quality gun oil to the outside and lightly oil the inside of the barrel and cylinder chambers and drop several drops of oil thru the opening at top when hammer is cocked.
    bill
  8. cpbrown

    cpbrown New Member

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    I have a .38 Iver Johnson, SN D79131 and I would like to find the year of manufacture. I know it is not worth much but it is the only thing I have from my Grandfather. My Dad said it hung in a holster on the wall when he was a boy. My Grandfather died in '35 when my Dad was 12 and I am lucky that it ended up in my possession.
  9. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    the "D" letter codel was used on the second model (1896-1908) and the third model (1909-1941) safety automatic hammerless revolvers. in order to properly identify i will need several more pieces of information.
    1. what are the markings on top of the barrel rib, left side of the barrel and bottom of the butt strap?
    2. what type of hammer spring does it have, single flat leaf or coil?
    bill
  10. frostbite455

    frostbite455 New Member

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    Hello,
    I have an Iver top break, hammerless with nickle finish that is in 90% or better shape. Functions as it should and was hoping for a build date, it has the dates Apr 6 86, feb 15 87, may 10 87, dec 20 93 on the side and the only number on this 38 caliber 5 shot pistol is on the butt end and is 35816. The owl heads on the bakelite grips are looking down the barrel, and the spring is a flat one. Thank you for your help and consideration.
  11. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    this is either a first model manufactured in 1895 or early second model manufactured in 1896. which model it is depends on the the top latch. first models have a single top post on the frame and the barrel latch release lever on the left side of the barrel top strap.

    first models (1894-1896) and second models (1896-1908) were manufactured for black powder cartridge pressures only and are not considered safe with modern smokeless ammo.
    bill
  12. cpbrown

    cpbrown New Member

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    Bill,
    Thanks for your reply to my inquiry about SN D79131.
    Top of barrel has Iver Johnson Machine and Cycle Works, Fitchburg, Mass U.S.A., nothing on the left side of the barrel.
    Butt of grip has Pat. Nov 17 '08, Pat's. Pending.
    How do I see the hammer spring?
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2008
  13. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    its the hammer spring not the trigger spring. but you have given me enough new information to properly identify. the one patent date of nov-17-08 was only used after 1913. so yours is a large frame third model hammerless. serial number D79131 was manufactured in 1920, there were 3,600 of the third model hammerless manufactured that year. the large frame third models were offered in a 6 shot 32 S&W Long caliber or a 5 shot 38 S&W caliber.
    bill
  14. cpbrown

    cpbrown New Member

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    Many thanks for the info Bill.
  15. REC0546

    REC0546 New Member

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    I recently acquired an Iver Johnson revolver that I need some information on. The serial number is C73248 (under grip). Bottom of grip frame has the following: PAT AUG 25 96 (first line) Pats Pending (second line). It appears to be a large frame, third model, nickel plated, 5 shot 38 s&w with 5 inch barrel and one piece bottom screw target grips. The serial number under the grip matches the serial number on the bottom of the trigger guard, but does not match the number above the cylinder. Is this to be expected? Is it because the 5 inch barrel is non-standard? The revolver appears to be unfired and is in 99% condition. Can you tell me when it was manufactured and estimate its current value? Thanks in advance.

    Number above cylinder is 21461.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2008
  16. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    this is a third model manufactured in 1913, there were 6,600 manufactured that year. the serial numbers on the grip frame, the trigger guard and the bottom of the top strap were applied at time of final assembly so all should match. the different serial number on the top strap means this is a replacement barrel and not by the factory. if the factory would have put a new barrel on it there would not be a serial number on it or old number removed and new number to match frame would be added. as a shooter there is noting wrong with replacing the barrel but it loses all collectable status (which is small in a third model). very few of the third models with the "western walnut" were nickel finished. so with the replacement barrel i would suppect it has also be refinished. one of the features of top break revolvers are the abilities to have short or long barrels on the same frame. i have often wondered why iver johnson never adverttized this feature and offered different barrels as a set.
    bill
  17. REC0546

    REC0546 New Member

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    Bill,
    Thanks very much for the information. The mismatched serial number did seem suspicious. What is puzzling is that since the case hardening on the trigger, hammer and latch is bright and clear, and the bluing on the trigger guard does not look like a hot dip job and all the edges and lettering are very sharp...it seems like someone would have gone to a lot of trouble to refinish something that isn't worth it. I guess anything is possible.
    Do you know what process Iver Johnson used in 1913 to blue the trigger guards?

    Ralph
  18. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    ralph,
    i have no idea what the blueing process was that iver johnson used. sorry
    bill
  19. musichotrod

    musichotrod New Member

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    hello everyone,
    i'm new to this so please bare with me. i have just aquired a nice Iver Johnson in 38S/W, second model i think. i'm tring to find out date of manufacture. if anyone can help me it would be greatly appreciated, here are some details of the gun....
    exposed hammer, duel post top latch, owl head facing down barrel, leaf spring, serial # Q52xxx.
    hope someone can help. thanks. waiting for reply.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2008
  20. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    iver johnson used the "Q" letter code in 1906 on the 38 caliber safety automatic hammer revolver. all second model 1896-1908 were manufactured for black powder cartridge pressures and are not safe with modern smokeless ammo.
    bill
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