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I now have an Iver Johnson top break 38 cal 5 shot revolver. This was my grandfather’s revolver and my mother has had it for decades. I’m trying to find out what year it was made and if it is safe to use with modern ammunition. The ammunition in the revolver (It has been loaded for years and nobody even knew that Mom had it) is marked as S&W 38, RP.

I’ve read other threads on this subject and this is what I know about this gun. 4 inch barrel, auto eject, and contained coil spring. It has one piece wood grips. number on bottom of trigger guard is 1751, number under left side of grip is 1847 no alpha on either number. There are no “owls” that I can find anywhere on the gun. There are no patent numbers that I can find anywhere on the gun. The only other markings that I can see are “IVER JOHNSON ARMS & CYCLE WORKS, FITCHBURG MASS, USA” on the top of the barrel.

Not trying to sell it, just interested as part of family history.

Thanks for the help.
 

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Welcome to TFF and thanks for posting clear photos.

The lack of letter prefix on the left grip frame serial number indicates a special order gun, which can't be identified to year of manufacture 1909-1941, the special order feature being the "Western Walnut" one piece grip.

When you had the grip off, did you notice if partial patent dates remained on bottom of grip frame?

The ammo you list is correct and it is OK for current smokeless powder loads.
 

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Thank you very much for the information. I will have to go back into the grip and check again for patent numbers. I don't believe there are any, but I'll check again.
 
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