What you have described fits an antique first model made 1894.Hello. I have an old Iver Johnson 32 top break revolver that has been laying in my safe for a few years. It came from my uncle and I don't think he ever used it. He ended up giving it to me back in 2006. The other day he asked if I still had it. At first I forgot I even had it. The gun from my understanding is an early 1st model with exposed hammer and transfer bar system. This does have the side latch to open the barrel. It also has what looks to be a little button in front of the side latch which I think removes the cylinder??? Not sure. I am only familiar with the other top breaks that have the latch on the barrel that you pick up on in order to open the barrel. Is that button there to lock the cylinder onto the base pin on the barrel? This gun is also marked Iver Johnson & Co Fitchburg Mass USA with the patent dates. All of the other Iver Johnsons i have seen are marked Iver Johnson and Cycle Works. The gun I have is in really good shape for the ago probably an 9 on a scale of 1-10. The bore and chambers are next to new with no pitting at all which is surprising. The rifling is deep, sharp and shiny. Many of these guns and worn out really bad and have no bore left in them. I don't intend on using it because of how clean it is. Any difference between mine and the other ones? Any help is appreciated!
The button in front of side latch is to release the hook that retains the cylinder.