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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure everyone has seen a post like this a thousand times, but here it goes again.
I have an Iver Johnson Firearms & Cycle Works Champion single shot 12-ga, and I'm trying to figure out when it was made.
"Champion" is in cursive, and the gun lists the entire company name and Massachusetts and all.
It's a full-choke, 32-inch barrel, with everything on top (hammer and release).
The serial number is U B B C. That's it.
Anyone have any idea?
Thanks much.
 

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I don't know what those letters stand for, but those single barrel shotguns made before 1968 don't have serial numbers. Serial numbering was not required and would have added to the cost in a highly competitive market.

Jim
 

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Just for the record, the letters "UBBC" translates to 7665 in numbers.
Iver Johnson used letters for their serial numbers, as mentioned above, that were assigned as follows:

The word "Fitchburg" (where the factory was located) was used with the letters standing for -- F=1, I=2, T=3, C=4, H=5, B=6, U=7, R=8, G=9 and X=0.

Hope this helps.

Sprint
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info, guys. I didn't know that about the letter-to-number translation.

Best I can tell, mine was produced in the 1940s. Does that sound about right?
 

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I really have to wonder about the motivation for "coding" a serial number, especially that way. If all the letters were used, from A to ZZZZ, time and space might be saved, but the "Fitchburg" system doesn't add anything I can see except maybe to conceal the fact of a serial "number" at all. I admit it confused me, but what did that gain the folks who came up with the scheme.

Jim
 

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Thanks for the info, guys. I didn't know that about the letter-to-number translation.

Best I can tell, mine was produced in the 1940s. Does that sound about right?
I recently inherited a similar shotgun. Here's what I've read. The 4 letter S/N system was use from 1937-1940. UBBC would be the 7664th gun produced after that system started.
Mine was the 8087th. X=0.
 
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