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Salieport 09-24-2011 02:29 AM

Information request for Iver Johnson 32 cal 5 shot revolver
I am wondering if someone can help me identify the year a pistol was manufactured. I've spent several days now online searching but each time I believe I am close, another twist is thrown into the mix.
Pistol specs are as follows : 32 caliber 5 shot revolver top break dual latch, chamber spins freely in the pistol when closed. Barrel is 3 inches at most. (This led me to suspect that it was a black powder type but I am not convinced since my uncle used it as his back up piece while he was on the police force. His great grandfather was an avid collector of WW1 weaponry and I believe he got it from his father.)

This is stamped onto the top rail of the pistol: Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle works Fitchburg, MA. USA
Patd: April 6.86 Feb 16.87 May 10.87 Aug 26. 86 Pats Pending.

It is in great condition and I'd really love to fire it but will not do it until I get more information on it. I'd appreciat any help that could be offered.

Thank you

hiwall 09-24-2011 04:37 AM

I don't think you are ever going to find out the exact year it was made. They is no records of these like there is on Winchesters or Colts. A picture would be very helpful. Most likely it was made 1900 to 1920. But it could be newer, need pictures. Most of these are best left unfired.

Philrich01 09-27-2011 11:25 PM

Old IJ .32 Top Break

Hiwall gave great suggestion, send a pic! Basically IJ made three models: 1st Model (18941895), single post latch system; 2nd Model (18961908), double post latch system; 3rd Model (19091941), double post latch system. I believe the third model was for smokeless powder. Hope this helps, a pic and a serial number would be great. Enjoy-Phil

Philrich01 09-28-2011 12:47 AM

Old IJ .32

I still need a pic, but to help you, which way is the Owl on the grips facing; toward end of barrel (smokeless) or butt (black powder)? Be careful here as grips can be changed. Where is the serial number, butt or bottom of trigger guard? You have very early patent dates on top of barrel. I have a second model with patent dates on the butt, serial on trigger guard. Do you have a pin right above the front of the trigger guard? i.e. two or three pins above trigger guard?

All this will help date your Iver. Enjoy-Phil

Salieport 09-28-2011 06:55 PM

Iver32Cal Pic and serial number
Hello everyone,
Thank you for your responses. The serial number stamped on the frame of the pistol is ' A 521 ' That's all the stamping on the weapon other than that which I listed above as being on the top rail of the pistol. As for the images on the handgrips, as you can see there are no owls on either of them so I am thinking that they may have been replaced at some point in time. I am going to posting a pic of this handgun, but it may have to be another post because I am having difficulty inserting it into this box and as always thank you for any information you may be able to share.

Salieport 09-28-2011 07:07 PM

Pic of IverJohnson 32 Cal 5 shot revolver
1 Attachment(s)
Here is the pic of the revolver, I hope I did it correctly

Philrich01 10-01-2011 12:30 AM


I like your pic, good job. You definitely have a first or second model made for BLACK POWDER! Not recommended to use modern (smokeless powder) in this revolver. That being said, I have loaded (remember what your dear old granny told you, "Do as I say, Not as I do!") my black powder H&R and my Iver Johnson 32's with ONE grain of trail boss or 0.75-1.00 grain tightgroup (work your way up) with a "one-aught" (0 buck shot, .320 diameter) buckshot pushed halfway into the brass case (make sure it will chamber in the cylinder) This makes a great plinker and somewhat accurate load out to 10-12 yards. Do this at your own risk, I'm not responsible for your firearm or your fingers.

I believe (that means I am pretty sure) that your Iver .32 top break is a first model but would have to either see it or have more pics to 100% confirm. A first model is also a Federally legal antique. Hope this helps. Enjoy-Phil

defibzap 12-23-2012 04:08 AM

also looking for information in a iver
2 Attachment(s)
I am looking for any info anyone can give on this Iver Johnson arms and cycle works hand gun. What I know is that it is a 5 shot, believed to be a 32 and the only info on the gun is a stamp on the butt reading pat June 16 96 - aug 25. The number on the trigger guide is 12 and the inside grip stamp is also 12. Anyone got anything?

Wildone 02-03-2013 04:37 AM

About the revolver you have.
From looking at the photos, its the same gun my friend has. It is a .38 S&W caliber break-top revolver. I'm looking into the info on this for him, just started doing this today. It had the same markings you have on yours with the June 16,96 date Aug 25. I can get back to you with more info probably within the next week or so. The .38 cal only had 2 pins on the side of the frame and 2 screws, it also has a spring tension band in the handle and not a srping type for the trigger tension. I also believe that the owl head on the grip faces towards the trigger on the .38, he actaully has an H&S on his hand grips, but the gun was made for them by Iver johnson. I hope that helped I do have more info but not yet all sorted out yet. We're in the process of actually restoring 3 of these. Not all .38's though. They also made, from what I've read, one in .22 caliber as well.

defibzap 02-03-2013 12:13 PM

Please keep me up dated if you find out anymore... this gun has quite a history. My great great grandfather used this gun as his edc during his rum running days.

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