revolver date & info request

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by direms, May 1, 2012.

  1. direms

    direms New Member

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    I revieved a Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works (Fitchburg, Mass U.S.A.) revolver that once belonged to my grandfather. I don't know anything about it so all the information I can get would be helpfull.
    I think it is a 38, the serial number id D 83109.
    on the handle it stated Pat Nov 17, Pats Pend.

    Thanks for the info.
  2. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

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    welcome to the forum can u post a picture
  3. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    There should be an .08 (for 1908) after the Pat. Nov. 17, which tells me you have a large frame hammerless 3rd model made in 1922.
  4. direms

    direms New Member

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    Pictures attached

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  5. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

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    This general style of revolver was introduced by Smith & Wesson in the early 1870's. They also designed the first hammerless (i.e., concealed hammer) version in the 1880's. They were popular guns, and copies were made in large quantities by a variety of companies.

    Iver Johnson was perhaps the most famous of these; their pistols became known generically as "owls heads" because of their trademark on the grips. Their guns offered sound quality at a modest price, and they introduced a couple of improvements over the S&W originals, mainly the use of coil springs, which were sturdier than the traditional flat springs and could be adjusted to provide more tension if they weakened, and "transfer bar ignition". The latter is a safety device that prevents the gun from firing if dropped or struck, and it is used in many pistols today.

    Iver Johnson seems to have made this style of pistol up until World War 2. The company does not seem to have prospered during the war the way its chief rival, Harrington & Richardson, did. IJ carried on after the war on a continually dwindling scale, finally fading away in the 1970's. Its name was used on a variety of guns afterward, but its heyday was about the time your gun was made.
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
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