Iver Johnson Safety Automatic Hammer .38 Blued (w/ Hi Res Digital Photos)

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by J. W. Hammac, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. J. W. Hammac

    J. W. Hammac New Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    Greetings, I recently visited a Gun Show in search of a value priced Pistol. Saw quite a bit to choose from, however, at the end of the day, I was the proud new owner of an Iver Johnson Safety Automatic Hammer in .38 S&W.

    For over 6 hours I scrutinized every detail to be sure the pistol was in good functioning order (apart from firing the pistol). I studied everything I could and today I would like to know when it was made, but my prior study on these forums make me hypothesize that it is a Second Model.

    According to the prior owner whom sold it to me, the pistol was sold to him without a cylinder and took it to a Gunsmith for one to be installed and fitted (It appears to be a cylinder from a nickel plated version, but I could be wrong). When the pistol was returned to him by the gunsmith, there were five spent casing in the cylinder. I was not told (and I was stupid for not asking) when this occurred. The bore was unusually crisp as was the firing pin upon further inspection and operation is very quiet and smooth. Barrel is 3¼ Inches long.

    Images follow showing Right and left sides as well as the Top Rib (with caption of what is exactly on that part), Butt (again with typing to clarify illegible points in the photo), and full Serial Number with letter prefix that was under the left grip panel (captioned with serial for legibility).



    Top Rib - Reads:

    Butt - Reads:

    Serial Number with Letter Prefix - Reads:

    As a side note, I checked all the serial number points I could find, all matched the full serial that is under the left grip panel. The only part that is not from the original pistol is the cylinder as far as I know.

    I would also like to know if it is possible to interchange a Third Model cylinder into a Second Model or First Model pistol.

    Thank you very much in advance.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    houston, tx
    this is a second model safety automatic hammer revolver. serial number T28748 was manufactured in 1907.

    cylinders for late first models all the second models and early third models use the same type of cylinder retainers so theoretically they should be interchangable.

    (Black Powder Cartridges)------------1896-1908
    LARGE FRAME AND SMALL FRAME VERSIONS USES HAMMER THE HAMMER ACTION: Double top post barrel latch, nickel finish standard, blue optional, hard rubber grip panels with Owls head at top. Hammer the Hammer action, two frame sizes, and three calibers. Standard barrel length: small frame 3 inches, large frame 3 ¼ inches; Calibers: small frame .22 rimfire 7 rounds cylinder capacity, .32 centerfire 5 rounds cylinder capacity, large frame .38 centerfire 5 rounds cylinder capacity; Weight: small frame with 3 inch barrel .22 rimfire 12 ounces, .32 centerfire 12 ¼ ounces, large frame with 3 ¼ inch barrel 17¼ ounces; Frame height: small frame 3 ¼ inches, large frame 3 7/8 inches; Frame length: small frame 4 3/26 inches, large frame 5 inches; Overall length: small frame with 3 inch barrel 6 3/8 inches, large frame with 3 ¼ inch barrel 7 3/8 inches. Only difference between the first and second model is the barrel latch. 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%=$275 60%=$135
    For revolvers equipped with Bourne Knuckleduster add 100%

  3. J. W. Hammac

    J. W. Hammac New Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    I appologize for my delay in replying.

    First off, thank you Mr. Goforth for providing this valuable information, it is very much appreciated.

    I've had it checked by three shops, one of which is a (true) certified gunsmith in my state (the others claim they are). He said that this Safety Hammer locks up better than most he has seen come through his doors and said it is safe to fire, the other two shops had 50/50 results. But I figured out not to visit one shop for any more information as they were condesending at every opertunity and did NOT have an education of this pistol, much less about ammunition in general (I had visited them about another firearm I know in search of it's ammunition as well).

    Again, thank you Mr. Goforth. I might have to liberate (legally buy) another Safety Hammer after learning about these pistols and knowing that it's in the unqualified education/care of the not-to-be-named shop.
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