Unknown Iver Johnson safety 38

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by jonnidye, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. jonnidye

    jonnidye New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Ohio
    Hello everyone I am trying to figure out what I have. It’s a five shot 38 S&W and what I think is a Iver Johnson safety automatic with markings on the top of the barrel (J & Cycle Works ASS. U.SA). On the bottom of the trigger guard it has the number 5020. I know this number means secret service model… however this gun is a snub nose and the grips do not have the owl on them… was this gun just put together or is this rare model?

    Attached Files:

  2. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,863
    Welcome to the forum. You appear to have an Iver Johnson that has had the barrel cut off in midst of the address, and with grips from a similar Harrington & Richardson revolver.

    The "real" serial number should be on the grip frame under left grip, with a letter prefix. Also, are there patent dates on bottom end of the butt?

    Edit: And fuzebox is right, it's a 3rd model made after 1908 for smokeless powder, with a crosspin holding front of trigger guard instead of a screw.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  3. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Messages:
    2,976
    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Is that a blob of sealing wax over the left grip screw? BTW - I'm with hrf on this one - The H&R "Target Logo" patented grips don't belong on it.
  4. fuzebox40

    fuzebox40 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,626
    Location:
    Apple Valley, Ca.
    I vaguely recall reading (somewhere in his book?) Bill Goforth noting that the 2" barrels he'd seen and owned all had been cut through the lettering or the front sight grooved through it. I believe the point he was making was that as far as he could tell, the factory made the 2" option from allready stamped standard length barrels rather than going to the expence of manufacturing it separately or having an alternate lettering layout. So probably whether or not it is grooved for a front sight and if it actualy a 2" barrel might be at least some indication to whether it's factory or a owner cut job. As I said, just going from vague memory here so...
    It's a Third Model by the way, and it is a .38 but I don't think it's a Secret Service Model
  5. fuzebox40

    fuzebox40 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,626
    Location:
    Apple Valley, Ca.
    I think you scrape a little out with a pocket knife and hold it in place of a front sight!
  6. jonnidye

    jonnidye New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Ohio
    Hi guys thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I am not sure as to why there is red wax/plastic on the grips. this gun was my grandfathers. I took the grips off and noticed it had the same 5020 number with no letter prefix on the handle or on the bottom of the trigger. The barrel does not seem to be cut by hand, so maybe it could be one of the ones mentioned. Does anyone have any idea of the value?

    Attached Files:

  7. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,863
    A 3rd model with no letter prefix on the serial under grip indicates a special order, for which there are no records, and your gun can only be dated in range 1909-1941.

    Since the grips are not original, the special order may have been pearl or oversize target grips, now missing.

    If there's a slot in end of barrel for a missing front sight, the short barrel might be factory, but if no sight slot probably not. (Post a pic of muzzle if you like)

    Value will be less because of the mismatched grips and lack of front sight, maybe $100 + or -
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Unknown Iver Johnson Apr 3, 2011
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Unknown model of Iver Johnson revolver May 11, 2008
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Identify H&R .32 and Unknown Single Shot? Jul 22, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum unknown side-by-side shotgun/musket from the 1800's (Real Twist) Jul 17, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Need info on a Savage & unknown Apr 27, 2014

Share This Page