iver johnson?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by cates08, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. cates08

    cates08 New Member

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    I have an Iver Johnson that was my great grandfathers and I was wannndering what model style it is, when it was made and how much it is worth? It has "Iver JOhnson Arm and Cycle Works Fitchburg Mass: USA" on top of the barrel. The only other writing I can find on it, is what appears to be a sn#, "20465". It has a wooden handle, breaks on top, and is a 5 shot.
    Any advice is appreciated?

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  2. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Hi Cates08....welcome to TFF. :)

    First.....from only your description, could be a lot of different Iver Johnson models and a lot of different values. Can you post a picture of it?

    Also.....

    What caliber? What barrel length? Does it have a hammer or is it hammerless? What condition?
  3. cates08

    cates08 New Member

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    It has a 5 inch barrel, I believe its a 38s even though it has nothing wrote on it. It has a hammer and about 60-70% condition. I will try and get a picture up by the end of the weekend.
  4. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    the main serial number location of all prewwII iver johnson's arms & cycle works handguns is on the left side of the grip frame under the grips. this is the lacation that will have any identifing letter code. your description of top break with wood grips leads me to think this is probably a third model safety automatic revolver. third models were manufactured between 1909 and 1941. two letter codes were in use on this model during this time. please remove the grips and check for a serial number and letter code on the left side of the grip frame. while the grips are removed check the bottom of the butt strap for any markings. are the grips one piece?
    bill
  5. cates08

    cates08 New Member

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    The number on the left side that was found under the grip was T20465. On the butt of the gun it is hard to read but says "June16" then maybe a "96" follows with "AU", I cant make out the rest. Under that it says "Pats Pending". I have attached pics.

    Attached Files:

  6. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    OK....what you have is a "Safety Hammer Model" (AKA Safety Automatic Double Action), most likely in caliber .38 Smith & Wesson. These were made (a lot of 'em) from 1892 until 1950, so that they don't have any collector value.

    I don't think that those grips are original, and I can't tell if this gun was originally nickle plated or if it was blue and all the bluing has worn off.

    B.goforth knows far more about these IJ's than I do, so I'll let him supply any further info.
  7. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    this is a iver johnson's arms & cycle works second model 'safety
    automatic hammer revolver. serial number T20465 was manufactured in 1907. all second models (1896-1908) were manufactured for black powder cartridge pressures. DO NOT FIRE MODERN AMMO IN THIS REVOLVER. i believe the original finish may have been blue (a blue finish during this time 1907 was a 50 cent extra cost) and it is hard to tell about the grips. two piece walnut grips were offered as optional on the second model but these grips do not quite look like the one i have seen before.

    the markings on the butt you can not read should be as follows; first line PAT'D.JUNE.16.96.AUG.25.96. second line ----PAT'S.PENDING----

    general information about the safety automatic revolver; it features the hammer the hammer action (aug.25.96 patent date) and was manufactured between 1894 and 1941 in three models. first model 1894-1896 (black powder), second model 1896-1908 (black powder) and third model 1909-1941 (smokeless powder). there were more second model manufactured that the first and third models combinded. total production of the safety automatic revolver can only be guessed at, but there seems to have been at least 10 million manufactured in all caliber (4), frame sizes (2) and hammer and hammerless models between 1894 and 1941.

    there is probably not as much collectors interest in iver johnson hadnguns as there is in smith and wesson top breaks but enough so that values have doubled in the past few years. those i used to pay $50 for now cost me $100+ and really nice one are $250+. yours is one of the type i used to buy for $50 (no finish but working). what collectors interest that has been shown in iver johnson has made the first edition book on them a sought after item and has spurred the revision of that book to be available this summer from www.gunshowbooks.com
    bill
  8. cates08

    cates08 New Member

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    I greatly appreciate all your knowledge and information, thanks again.
  9. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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