Yet another Iver Johnson 38 S&W question!

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Sgt Shultz II, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. Sgt Shultz II

    Sgt Shultz II New Member

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    Some time ago I bought an Iver Johnson 38 S&W. My idea was to learn something about guns and how they work and practice disassembly and blueing (cold blueing that is) and perhaps in the end make a "display" model or similar with it.

    It seems obvious to me that this is a parts gun. The barrel was nickle plated while the frame and cylinder were blued.

    That said I would like to find some information on what I have. First it has a 2 pronged latch on the frame with a leaf spring hammer spring. The serial number on the bottom of the butt is 35407. The serial number on the bottom of the barrel top strap is 33121.

    I think it is a second model because of the hammer spring but the serial number is on the bottom of the butt and not on the left side that on line sources call for. Since the serials are different and different finishes but close, relatively anyway, I'm thinking they may have been made close together year wise. One other thing! There is a patent date of Apr 6 86, Feb XXX XX X, May 10 87, Mar 13 88, Aug XX X5 or 6.

    So can someone fill in the gaps, years it was made or whatever??

    Thanks, Ron
     
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  2. Shrek73

    Shrek73 Well-Known Member

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    Please post pictures so we can verify, but here is what I found.

    The 2nd Model Safety Hammer made in 1895 had the serial number stamped on the butt without any prefix.

    The 2nd Model 2nd Variation (1897,1898) and 3rd Variation (1899-1902) used the following barrel stamp.

    IVER JOHNSON'S ARMS & CYCLE WORKSFITCHBURG, MASS.U.S.A
    PAT'D.APR.6.86.FEB.15.87.MAY.10.87MAR15.88AUG25.96PAT'S.PENDING

    I am guessing the receiver was made in 1895 and the barrel assembly falls between 1897 and 1902. Both would be 2nd Model and considered a black powder frame.
     
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  3. Sgt Shultz II

    Sgt Shultz II New Member

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    As you can now see I made an error on the barrel serial number, (it was pretty hard to read until I put some white paint on it), it is actually 23121 which would make it older than thought.

    This gun has been taken apart, totally, twice. The nickle plating was removed using a dremel tool and fine sandpaper disks and the whole gun reblued using cold blue and heat. The small grips were replaced with large owl head grips and it's loaded with 38 S&W snap cap bullets. It's not perfect but it sure looks better than it did before.
     
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  4. Shrek73

    Shrek73 Well-Known Member

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    The barrel assembly is a 2nd Model 5th Variation made in 1903. That year the patent dates were moved to the side of the barrel. In 1902, the stamps were still on the top strap. In 1904, they were moved to the butt.
     
  5. Sgt Shultz II

    Sgt Shultz II New Member

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    Thank you Shrek!! You were a big help!! :)
     
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