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is IJ 38 safe to shoot

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by tommy, May 3, 2009.

  1. tommy

    tommy New Member

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    May 3, 2009
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    I'm new on this site and also with IJ pistols , if it is a IJ ? I traded for this pistol yesterday(5/2/09) and what i can tell by others coments and pics. it is maybe early 1900.??The gun is hammerless,top break.There is no name or any pat.# anywhere on the gun,and don't look as it ever had.It is nichol plated w/black plastic grips.It is in very good condition ,tight fit and nice finish.The grips have small dime size circles at upper part that have what appears to be 3 fancy style sSs instead of owl head.The only # on the gun is-10080 on bottom of trigger guard and after removing left hand grip,-D10080.This does have double latch ears on top,and is a 5 shot.Single flat spring .I received this gun with a half box of 38 SW ammo.Is this IJ & safe to shoot? Thanks for any advise before i shoot this gun.Tommy
     

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    Last edited: May 3, 2009
  2. tommy

    tommy New Member

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    Re:Help: Is Iver Johnson 38 safe to shoot

     

  3. marcodelat

    marcodelat Member

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    Mar 21, 2009
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    128
    Nice looking revolver you got there tommy,

    I'm also new at these old revolvers and have no idea what you have there.

    Don't think it's an Iver Johnson made firearm though.

    For some reason it looks (to me) more like an H&R.

    Also, it looks to be in "pristine" condition.

    I'm sure that with the pictures, you'll get an answer soon on what it is from Mr. Goforth (who is a true expert on the subject) or maybe some other member who is versed on these revolvers
     
  4. tommy

    tommy New Member

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    Marcodelat: Thanks for your input.I got this gun for trading purposes and would'nt want
    someone hurt by not knowing if it would handle modern ammo.The pistol is as clean inside as outside.Maybe Mr. Goforth or some other member can enlighten me.Thanks again !
     
  5. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
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    3,169
    Location:
    houston, tx
    revolvers like this take a small amount of detective work to figure out just what they are. there 99.99% chance it is a U.S. Revolver co. large frame hammerless model with an original 2 inch barrel. the only other factory original 2 inch barrel U.S. Revolver Co. i have seen is also totally unmarked except for serial number.

    it is also possible it is one of those sold by Fred Biffar Co as the "secret service special" (the grips with the three S's were only used by Biffar on the "secret service special" but they could be replacement just as it could be refinished or that the barrel is not the original length. only a hands on examination can determine with 100% accuracy. large frame 38 caliber U.S. Revolver Co. Hammerless revolvers are not rare but factory original 2 inch barrels are. the one feature that makes me question the barrel original length is it look like the front sight is mounted to close to the muzzle.

    the letter code D was used on the U.S. Revolver Co. large frame 38 caliber hammerless models between 1917 and 1924. U.S. Revolver Co. Hammerless large frame 38 S&W caliber serial number D10080 was manufactured in 1920. there were 4,200 of that model manufactured that year. if in shootable condition your should not have any problems with modern 38 S&W standard velocity factory ammo.

    U.S. REVOLVER CO. AUTOMATIC HAMMERLESS-------------------1910-1935
    LARGE FRAME AND SMALL FRAME DOES NOT HAVE HAMMER THE HAMMER ACTION; Brand name revolver manufactured by Iver Johnson’s Arms & Cycle Works for the wholesale trade. This revolver does not have Hammer the Hammer action, but it does have a rebounding hammer that the hammer version does not. Blue or nickel finishes were offered. Offered in two frame sizes and two calibers only. Standard barrel length: small frame 3 inches, large frame 3 ¼ inches; Calibers: small frame .32 centerfire with 5 rounds cylinder capacity, large frame .38 centerfire with 5 rounds cylinder capacity; Weight: small frame with 3 inch barrel 12 ½ ounces, large frame with 3 ¼ inch barrel 18 ounces; Height: small frame 3 ¾ inches, large frame 3 7/8 inches; Frame length: small frame 4 3/16 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. . Main serial number location on left side of grip frame grips must be removed to see.
    VALUE: 100%=$225 60%=$105

    SECRET SERVICE SPECIAL HAMMERLESS
    (manufactured for FRED BIFFAR Co.)-----------1912-????
    LARGE FRAME AND SMALL FRAME DOES NOT HAVE HAMMER THE HAMMER ACTION: This revolver is the same as the U.S. Revolver Co. Automatic Hammerless model only the markings on the barrel and the grips are different. The grips and barrel markings are the same as the hammer model. This revolver Brand name is sold only through Fred Biffar Co. of Chicago. Main serial number location on left side of grip frame grips must be removed to see.
    VALUE: Iver Johnson: manufacture same as U. S. Revolver Co. equivalent
    H&R Arms Co. manufacture 10% less than U. S. Revolver Co. equivalent
    H&A Firearms Co. manufacture 15% less than U. S. Revolver Co. equivalent
    Meriden Firearms Co. manufacture 20% less than U. S. Revolver Co. equivalent
    Unknown Spanish manufacture 25% less than U. S. Revolver Co. equivalent

    bill
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2009
  6. tommy

    tommy New Member

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    May 3, 2009
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    b.goforth:Thanks for your speedy reply and very in depth information on this pistol.I think more of the gun now and it may become a keeper or at least feel more comfortable
    shooting it or trading it. Thanks again ! Tommy
     
  7. fleetwood1976

    fleetwood1976 Well-Known Member

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    1,546
    Location:
    Southern Indiana
    Do to its pristine condition, you might not want to shoot it. I have had this delema before myself. I have old smith and wessons that I will not shoot because they are in mint condition. I figure if they made it 100 years in such good condition, I don't want to lower their value by shooting them. On the other hand if you shoot it and clean it up properly it shouldn't hurt the finish. be sure to get the cleaner off. solvents do bad things to nickel finishes if left on too long.