Looking for production date of an old Iver Johnsons pistol

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by kaptnkd, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. kaptnkd

    kaptnkd New Member

    Oct 7, 2010

    I have an Iver Johnson large frame .38 - 5 chamber cylinder, with a 3 7/8” barrel and the top of barrel stamped:

    On the bottom of the grip is Pat. Jun 16.96 Aug ??.96. The S number on the bottom of the trigger guard is removed, but under the left plastic or hard rubber (?)grip inside portion of the frame is the number T12870 running downward and also 504 across the bottom portion. The numbers 12870 is also stamped on the inside of the portion of the barrel piece above the cylinder. Given the very small (1-3/16”) cylinder length, I am thinking it is a black powder cartridge weapon only, so will be used as a display piece only.

    Story goes that this pistol possibly belonged to one of the infamous “Purple Gang” members at one time (????) hence the ground off serial number on the trigger guard. (Perhaps the unknown person didn’t realize there were other S numbers on the weapon.) It will be interesting to know if the production dates can possibly help support this “tale”.

    Any information you can provide as to the production date of this pistol would be deeply appreciated. Indeed I am also curious about the value, but really have no interest in parting with this pistol given the potential possibility of its history.

  2. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Goodyear, Arizona
    IAW the Book, T0001 to T5000 was used in 1907 on the large frame hammer .38. Can't give you a value, someone better versed than I will have to. A picture would help. The purple gang made Detroit " Murder City " and in the 70's when I last saw it in my rear view mirror it was still Murder City. The corruption ,vice and crime makes Chicago look tame.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010

  3. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    houston, tx
    see the answer i sen to your private message. Rjay is correct about the year of manufacture.
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