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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just joined the forum. Great info here.
I wanted to know if I can shoot modern 32 cal ammo with an Iver Johnson pistol I inherited. No pictures, here's the info:
Serial number: L9267 (inside grip); 9267 (under trigger guard)
Top-break ("T-shape"), hammerless design, 5-shot cylinder.
Leaf spring in handle; Owl head faces toward front of barrel; 2 'pins' on lower part of frame (below cylinder, above trigger area; on top of barrel it reads:
IVER JOHNSON ARMS & CYCLE WORKS, FITCHBURG, MASS USA
Printed on bottom of handle:
PAT'D APR 6 86, FEB 15 87
MAY 10 87, MAR 13 88, AUG
5(?) 96 PATS PENDING
Cylinder freely rotates, but works normally when pulling trigger.
(Note: this gun does fire, did it when i was a teenager. Otherwise, it's been in a tight wooden box for the 60 years I've known about it. Clean, shiny nickel, almost no dings at all. Pristine shape. Beautiful gun. Can I use smokeless ammo? If not, is 'black powder' ammo still available?
Thank you. (Sorry to hear about Mr. Goforth's passing).
 

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Leaf spring, owl head facing barrel, L prefix, and the barrel markings and grip markings point toward a 1904/1905 Second Model, Small Frame Hammer less, Fourth Variation.Serial numbers in 1904 were sequences from L00001 through L 100,000. Iver Johnson did not go to a Smokeless Frame until 1909, so your firearm is classed as Black Powder. However, because of the great number of both old and modern .32 revolvers, ammo makers have kept the overall pressure the same as the black powder. The big difference between the powders ( besides a whole lot of smoke ) is the pressure curve. If your firearm is in good mechanical condition ( if in doubt, take to a gun smith ) it would do no harm to fire a few .32 S&W Short cartridges. A steady diet will very quickly shoot the gun loose { because of the sharper pressure curve }. However .32 S&W Short cartridges are not common and may be hard to find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
RJay,
thanks, amazing info, and it gives me hope. This gun is pristine, I'll just do a good cleaning on the insides, and outside it's practically 'mint'. I did once show it to master "Type 10 Mfgr"-licenced fellow who taught the local NRA course. (Last time I saw him he was restoring a Howitzer.) He saw the gun, checked it, and had no qualms about me shooting it. Still, due to all the great info on these guns on this site, I was concerned that my friend might not know the concerns of "pre-smokless" models vs the others.
I totally get your point about pressure, and am amazed and happy to know what you pointed out. I have a box of Remington 32 Automatic, 71grain...not sure if that's interchangeable with the "S&W" connection, but it does fit into the gun.
Otherwise, I'm glad to know finally that it's a 1904, 2nd Model. Got to shoot it.
Thanks RJay...
 

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.32 ACP is higher pressure that either the .32 Short or the .32 Long. While .32 ACP have been shot in modern guns such as the S&W Model 30/31, do not shoot them in your old Iver Johnson. Yes, they will fit because the .32 ACP is a semi rimed ( has a small rim ), but this is a case of if it fits, don't shoot it. Pressure is way too high, might even blow out the cylinder.
 
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