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Old 07-06-2010, 09:12 PM   #1
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Default Iver Johnson Top Break 32

This old gun has been laying around on my shelf for about 20 years and I never have gotten a fix on its age or value (lack of?). It was nickel plated at one time, but that's almost all gone and the cylinder is rough with rust on the outside. It has a low 4-digit serial number (8xxx) on the bottom of the trigger guard. It has black hard rubber grips with the owl head facing the butt. Does anyone know roughly how old this gun is, and can anyone explain the significance of the orientation of the owl head?

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Old 07-07-2010, 09:50 PM   #2
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I have one just like it (or close), but never noted the orientation of the owl's head. One of these days I'll dig it out and check.

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Old 07-07-2010, 10:28 PM   #3
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I had one just like it. I traded it years ago. I don't remember what I got for it. There is one over at Cabelas in Grand Junction that is chambered for 38 smith and wesson. They have $199.00 marked on it. It is in maybe 60% condition.

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Old 07-07-2010, 10:51 PM   #4
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I'm glad to see there are a few folks who recognize this gun from my description. Do any of you have a source online for determining the manufacture date of this gun by the serial number? So far I've come up empty.

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Old 07-08-2010, 01:06 AM   #5
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Ok, I just dug my trusty .32 out of the non-gun safe, and it has a longer serial# than yours. (278xx) It's a nickel plated top-break that I've had since the early 60s, and was given to me by the father of one of my former heart throbs. It's about as anemic as it gets in the knock down power dept. In fact, I once shot at the metal lid of a trash can from about 10 feet and it literally bounced off. Granted, the ammo was old, so it might not be so bad with new ammo. (which I do have) And yes, the owl is looking toward the butt, but it looks ok to me.

It's hard to date these guns, but I suspect mine came from the 30s or so. Funny thing, I drove tractor-trailer my first few years out of college (also early 60s) and the Iver Johnson Co. was one of my pick-ups when they were still in Fitchburg, MA. I suspect they'll never be worth anything, but I hold on to this one for nostalgia purposes. :-)

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Old 07-08-2010, 01:16 AM   #6
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pictures would be nice to help identify it, i sold one in store about a month or so back but mine was not nickle, ill look back on the information concerning the serial number i do recall it was manufactured around 1896 roughly

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Old 07-08-2010, 03:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmhill View Post
pictures would be nice to help identify it, i sold one in store about a month or so back but mine was not nickle, ill look back on the information concerning the serial number i do recall it was manufactured around 1896 roughly
On the butt of my gun I can barely make out a date that looks to be Sept. of '04. That rules out a 19th century manufacture date for mine, but I'd be surprised if it turns out to be less than 100 years old.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:32 PM   #8
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judging by the 04 i would say its a Second Model safety automatic hammer this was available in .22 rimfire, .32 centerfire, or .38 centerfire cal., 5 or 7 shot, 3 or 3 1/4 in. barrel, nickel (standard) or blue finish, hard rubber grips with owl's head at top, double top post latch, flat leaf hammer spring, two cross pins in lower frame, uses hammer the hammer action, , 12-17 1/4 oz. Mfg. 1896-1908. just a guess. blue book value at 100% is 275.00 80% is 175.00 50% is 120.00 30% 90.00.

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Old 07-08-2010, 06:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmhill View Post
judging by the 04 i would say its a Second Model safety automatic hammer this was available in .22 rimfire, .32 centerfire, or .38 centerfire cal., 5 or 7 shot, 3 or 3 1/4 in. barrel, nickel (standard) or blue finish, hard rubber grips with owl's head at top, double top post latch, flat leaf hammer spring, two cross pins in lower frame, uses hammer the hammer action, , 12-17 1/4 oz. Mfg. 1896-1908. just a guess. blue book value at 100% is 275.00 80% is 175.00 50% is 120.00 30% 90.00.
cmhill, that may be "just a guess" as you say, but it sounds like a very educated guess. You are pretty much dead on with the description. Pardon my ignorance though, on what you mean by "cross pins". This gun has a total of 4 pins that go all the way through the frame with one appearing to be a slightly larger diameter, two others that appear to be equal in size and a fourth that is smallest of all. Measuring from the front of the cylinder, the barrel is 3-1/4" and it is a 5-shot .32 centerfire. As for the value, I doubt that this one would even qualify as a 30% gun, but since I only paid $20 I guess it was still a good buy. Thanks for the knowledge, I appreciate it.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:03 PM   #10
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I have a Iver Johnson 38S&W. It looks much klike you guys said yours does. I will post a pic of it a soon as I get some just so you guys can compare.

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