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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I traded an older gentleman a fishing pole for an Iver Johnson break-top revolver, he told me it was a .38, but there is nothing on the gun itself to either confirm or deny said claim. I know the the first 2 "types" are black powder, and the 3rd one is smokeless powder, but I don't know what mine is.

Along the top of the barrel, it reads:
"Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works, Fitchburg, Mass, USA
Pat'd APR 6, 86, FEB 15, 87, MAY 10, 87, DEC 26, 93. Pat's pending"

There's no other writing on the piece, except for what I assume is a serial number on the bottom of the grip, "13725".

You can definitely tell it's seen better days, with minor rust and peeling of the nickel plating. My questions are:
1: Am I correct in assuming its a .38?
2:How do I know wether it's black powder, or smokeless powder?
3:How much could it potentially be worth?
4:Is it a shooter, a collector, or a junker?

Your help would greatly appreciated, thanks.
 

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Under the grips is the serial number with a leading letter. Pull the grips and let us know what that says. There are members here that can tell you what year it was made with that number.

It is probably a 38 S&W round. They still make this round but it is hard to find. .
 

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Welcome to TFF Jeff.

The only models that had a serial no. with no letter prefix on end of the butt were antique black powder second models made in 1895, which also had the patent dates shown.

But without a photo of the whole gun, it could be either a hammerless or hammer model, and overall condition also can't be seen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. I don't have a small enough screwdriver to take off the grips, but I'll make sure to pick up a screwdriver tomorrow lol. There's definitely some rust and peeling of the nickel plating, but nothing too serious. Now I just have to figure out how to put pictures in my reply....
 

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Revision to my first reply: The single top post barrel latch identifies it as a first model, first variation made in 1894, the first year of production. It should not be fired with current ammo, as Iver Johnson found that the single post latch was not strong enough even for the black powder ammo then made, and changed to the more common double top post design.

It appears to be in above average condition for it's age and has antique status, but there are few Iver Johnson collectors, and value would probably not exceed $150 tops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So, I took the grips off, and there was no serial number under the grips, the only place on the revolver where I found a serial number was on the bottom of the handle, clearly visible with the grips on, "13725". Also, scratched into the inside of one of the grips, "13725".
There was no letter prefix. Anything you can tell me based o this new information?
 

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So, I took the grips off, and there was no serial number under the grips, the only place on the revolver where I found a serial number was on the bottom of the handle, clearly visible with the grips on, "13725". Also, scratched into the inside of one of the grips, "13725".
There was no letter prefix. Anything you can tell me based o this new information?
Letter prefixes were not used until 1896 and serials not marked on left grip frame under grips until 1897.
 
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