Iver Johnson revolver

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by dbrodin, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. dbrodin

    dbrodin New Member

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    My Dad had an old revolver that he bought at a garage sale. A gun collector friend looked at it and told me not to fire it. I was going to destroy it, but though I had better research it first.

    I'm wondering when it was made, and if it has any value.

    Markings:

    Top of barrel:
    IVER JOHNSON'S ARMS & CYCLE WORKS (with a x at each end)
    FITCHBURG MASS USA (with an arrow at each end)

    Side of barrel:
    PAT'D APR. 6.86. FEB.15.87. MAY 10.87.
    MAR. 13.88 AUG. 25.96 PAT'S PENDING

    Bottom of trigger guard:
    5538

    Left side of butt under cover:
    5538

    Left side of detachable piece on butt:
    PAT. MAY 10.04

    Inside of detachable piece on butt:
    5538

    Single leaf spring in the butt.
    Two posts on the latch.

    Overall in good condition. Some of the nickle is gone from the rear of the barrel, and from the edges of the cylinder and latch.

    Thanks for the help

    Dale
     

    Attached Files:

  2. marcodelat

    marcodelat Member

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    Mar 21, 2009
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    128
    Hello,

    This revolver was made to fire black powder only.

    Can't really tell but from the picture it seems that the firearm was either not cleaned and suffered some corrosion from powder left on it... or that maybe some smokeless rounds were fired through it.

    In any case, I agree with your friend - firing this firearm should not even be considered.

    It has good collector's value however, specially because of the fact that it's equipped with a Bourne Knuckleduster - that be the "brass knuckle" type device on the butt.


    Please DO NOT destroy this firearm.

    I am sure Mr. Goforth - a true Iver Johnson expert we are fortunate to have on this forum - will be along soon to give you some detailed information on this revolver.
     

  3. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    please note the last sentence in the description below. there were only about 7,000 of the second models factory fitted with the Bourne Knuckleduster. any condition is collectible. iver johnson's arms & cycle works paid mr. bourne $1200.00 for his patent for this grip attachment and charged $1.00 extra for the revolvers they installed it on. this grip attachment will usually be found on second models manufactured between 1904 and 1908, however i have seen one first model (1894-1896) that was sent back to the factory and fitted with this grip attachment. this revolver with the special order serial number 5538 was the 5538th made and was manufactured in 1903. that is the only year the patent date were marked on the left side of the barrel. the difference in manufactured date and patent date marked on the grip adapter is simple to explain. each year iver johnson set aside unnumbered completed revolvers for any special orders that might come. this is one of those completed revolvers with an actual shipped date of no earlier than 1905 and no later than 1906. there are four revolver equipped with this grip adapter pictured in my iver johnson book in the chapter on special orders, serial numbers 313, 2023, 3707, 6706


    SECOND MODEL SAFETY AUTOMATIC HAMMER REVOLVER
    (Black Powder Cartridges)------------1896-1908
    LARGE FRAME AND SMALL FRAME VERSIONS USES HAMMER THE HAMMER ACTION: Double top post barrel latch, nickel finish standard, blue optional, hard rubber grip panels with Owls head at top. Hammer the Hammer action, two frame sizes, and three calibers. Standard barrel length: small frame 3 inches, large frame 3 ¼ inches; Calibers: small frame .22 rimfire 7 rounds cylinder capacity, .32 centerfire 5 rounds cylinder capacity, large frame .38 centerfire 5 rounds cylinder capacity; Weight: small frame with 3 inch barrel .22 rimfire 12 ounces, .32 centerfire 12 ¼ ounces, large frame with 3 ¼ inch barrel 17¼ ounces; Frame height: small frame 3 ¼ inches, large frame 3 7/8 inches; Frame length: small frame 4 3/26 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. Only difference between the first and second model is the barrel latch. Main serial number location on left side of grip frame grips must be removed to see. The Second Model features a double top post barrel latch, flat leaf hammer spring and two cross pins in the lower frame.
    VALUE: 100%=$275 60%=$135
    For revolvers equipped with Bourne Knuckleduster add 100%

    bill
     
  4. dbrodin

    dbrodin New Member

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    Thanks Bill.

    The knuckle duster was confusing me because I wasn't seeing it in any pictures of the early IJs. I though it was an after-market add-on until I found the matching serial number on the underside.

    Dale
     
  5. Suicide*Ride

    Suicide*Ride New Member

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    To think it was almost destroyed....
     
  6. dbrodin

    dbrodin New Member

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    After a little clean-up it's going on the wall now! It'll drive my daughter nuts. She married a Castro worshiping liberal, and has been brainwashed.

    Dale
     
  7. marcodelat

    marcodelat Member

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    "Castro worshiping..." :eek: !!!
     
  8. dbrodin

    dbrodin New Member

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    Hi Bill,

    I took the thing apart to clean it, it was really gunked up internally. I was taking pictures as I when (my memory isn't what it used to be) , but one spring got away from me before I realized it was there. Between the trigger safety and the rear of the trigger guard there is a small V spring. Does the open end of the V go up or down? It seems the work either way, but I want to have it right.

    On a different subject, I was telling a friend about the knowledgeable and helpful people here. He has a flintlock that he has always wondered about, but didn't know where to go for identifying it. I'll be seeing him latter today at a meeting of right wing radicals ( Local Republican Party Congressional District Convention). I should have photos and makings to post latter this weekend.

    Thanks in advance,

    Dale
     
  9. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    to the best of my knowledge any v shaped spring mounted vertically should have the closed end at the top.
    bill
     
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