How old is this Iver Johnson ?

Discussion in 'Curio & Relic Discussion' started by SalemCat, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. SalemCat

    SalemCat New Member

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    Age please ? Hoping it's a 1898 legal antique.

    I just picked up a pleasant little Iver Johnson .32 Hammerless, Nickelled, BP pistol.

    All actions work fine; Lockup not rock-solid but still very shootable IMHO.

    Last Patent Date 1896.

    S/N 22772

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  2. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    What is marked on the top of the barrel rib, exactly?
    Rule of thumb is - - Owl is looking to the barrel, cylinder is free wheeling when at rest, for black powder cartridges
     

  3. string1946

    string1946 New Member

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    I'm no expert but will hazard a guess that its a "Safety Automatic Double-Action which were manufactured between 1893 and 1950 in 22, 32CF and 38CF.
     
  4. SalemCat

    SalemCat New Member

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    It says: "IVER JOHNSON ARMS & CYCLE WORKS" "FITCHBURG, MASS. U.S.A."
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  5. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Have a copy of Bill Goforth's Book, but it is at the house. Will see what I can look up when I get home. Bill (God rest him) got serial number ranges in there.


    And you know- PICTURES would help a lot!
     
  6. SalemCat

    SalemCat New Member

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    Hi ! What picures do you need other than the one I posted ? Thanks for checking the book for me. I love books, but I hesitate to buy one to date a single gun.
     
  7. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    This is all I can find................................

    Topbreaks (Hammerless) .32 cal. S&W small frame

    Owl is looking to the barrel, for black powder cardridges, free wheeling cylinder

    Model 1, First Model

    Single top latch, 100'000 were manufactured in 1894, serial number without letter prefix, marked on the top of the barrel rib
    IVER JOHNSON'S ARMS & CYCLE WORKS FITCHBURG. MASS.U.S.A.
    PAT'D.APR.6.86.FEB.15.87.MAY 10.87.DEC.26.93 PAT'S PENDING

    Model 1, First Model, first variation

    Single top latch, 100'000 were manufactured in 1895, serial number without letter prefix, the difference was the cylinder retainer, marked on the top of the barrel rib
    IVER JOHNSON'S ARMS & CYCLE WORKS FITCHBURG. MASS.U.S.A.
    PAT'D.APR.6.86.FEB.15.87.MAY 10.87.DEC.26.93 PAT'S PENDING

    Model 1, First Model, second variation

    Single top latch, 50'000 were manufactured in 1896, serial number with B letter prefix, marked on the top of the barrel rib
    IVER JOHNSON'S ARMS & CYCLE WORKS FITCHBURG. MASS.U.S.A.
    PAT'D.APR.6.86.FEB.15.87.MAY 10.87.DEC.26.93 PAT'S PENDING

    Model 2, Second Model

    Double top latch, manufactured in 1897 and 1898, serial number with B letter prefix, marked on the top of the barrel rib
    IVER JOHNSON'S ARMS & CYCLE WORKS FITCHBURG. MASS.U.S.A.
    PAT'D.APR.6.86.FEB.15.87.MAY 10.87.AUG.25.96 PAT'S PENDING

    Model 2, Second Model, second variation

    Double top latch, manufactured in 1899, serial number with B letter prefix, new one-piece frame, marked on the top of the barrel rib,
    IVER JOHNSON'S ARMS & CYCLE WORKS FITCHBURG. MASS.U.S.A.
    PAT'D.APR.6.86.FEB.15.87.MAY 10.87.AUG.25.96 PAT'S PENDING

    The Second Model Hammerless continued in 1900 with the 2nd variation and stopped in 1908 with the 7th variation. Overall production was 700'000 revolvers.
     
  8. SalemCat

    SalemCat New Member

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    Thanks ! I removed the Grips, and on the frame is stamped L22772.
     
  9. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Salem- you seem to be under the impression that you posted a picture. In reality, for all of US, you posted a pizza box (white square, red X) No picture showing for us. For you, computer looks back into where the picture is stored in your computer, and shows it to you. But we can't see it.

    Computers are sneaky like that. :)

    You cannot copy and paste directly into a forum. Use the little paperclip icon just to the right of the white smiley face that is above where you type.

    And things that can help ID an Iver include all markings, the cylinder latch and posts, grips and overall revolver. But with an L prefix think you are later than 1898- sorry.
     
  10. SalemCat

    SalemCat New Member

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    Thanks for the info ! Not the news I wanted, but it is what it is.

    I used the Forum's Insert Image Icon, and pasted in http://24.media.tumblr.com/c6e25e37c212d8eaf195a236257fccfa/tumblr_moyo61Ls1P1snc4wmo1_500.jpg . I've posted thousands of images, so I don't know what could be up.

    Right now I'm on another computer entirely, and the image on my first post shows up fine.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  11. Str8tShooter

    Str8tShooter New Member

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    I see the photo.


    I also have a like revolver. My understanding is they were given away when you opened a bank account. Different times.

    My grandmother carried it in her apron.
     
  12. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    My bad- I was at work earlier. and photo may have been blocked on work computer (Duh!)

    Anyway, think I found your revolver- page 57 in Mr. Goforth's reference. Alas, 1904.

    And as tight as bankers were back in the day, I doubt they gave away too many of these. While they were not the most expensive gun out there, they were not junk either. They sold for $6. At a time when a Colt Single Action Army was $13. You COULD get a "no name" .22 from Sears for $1, tho.
     
  13. SalemCat

    SalemCat New Member

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    As an aside, I'm fairly new to collecting, and although I love books, they are a pain to store. The walls of an entire room are already filled with them.

    Anyhow, I have broken down and purchased some older Firearms Books. They are inexpensive and still have much good info. Now my point:

    These older authors love to denigrate IJ's and H&R's, among others, as "Suicide Specials". What an awful term ! While they may not be SA Engraved Colts with Pearl Handles, these fine old weapons served the average working person very well for many years. While few (fortunately) were ever drawn from their holsters in need, I am certain their possession gave their owners peace-of-mind in turbulent times (like TODAY!).

    IMHO the term "Suicide Special" would do us all a favor by commiting that act upon itself.
     
  14. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Salem- an excellent point. To me, the IJ and the H&Rs were similar to the bolt action Mossberg shotguns. They were not the guns of a collector (altho I have several of each of the 3 brands)

    They WERE the guns of the merchant, shopkeeper, mechanic, farmer- the working stiff. They were durable, reliable, inexpensive-and made their own spot in American history. The term "Owl's Head pistol" is well entrenched.

    And an Iver Johnson revolver would become infamous in the murder of President McKinley, and of Robert Kennedy.
     
  15. SalemCat

    SalemCat New Member

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    A "British Bull-Dog" killed President Garfield
    [​IMG].

    Fortunately the grips are wooden, and it was clearly not a quality firearm as made by Forehand & Wadsworth of Worcester, Mass (here's one of those).

    [​IMG]

    In fact, the Garfield weapon looks to me like a cheap Belgium gun.

    The gun that Hinkley used in his attempt to murder President Reagan was a West German Rohm.

    [​IMG]


    The cheapest and crappiest gun ever made. It was a .22, was sold by Mail Order for about $20 new, and was constructed of Zinc Die Castings, much like the Hubley Car Model Kits of the sixties.

    [​IMG]

    Zinc is great for Model Cars, not so much for a gun.

    Teddy Roosevelt was also shot at by a would-be assassin.

    [​IMG]

    I don't know the gun used, but the dent appears to me to be a .32.

    Teddy earned his place on Mount Rushmore. He realized America's power, and used it to advance American Interests. He realized the importance of a Canal across Panama, and did what was needed to obtain one. Whether or not other Countries would be "offended" by American Interests did not concern him. He was a great Leader, second only to George Washington: the greatest of all !
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  16. Gizord1

    Gizord1 New Member

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    The bullet he shot him with was an exploding Velex bullet. They fail about as much as the gun he shot him with. The bullet didn't explode when it hit Reagan. I think I read somewhere it later exploded in a forensics lab.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  17. ricepaddydaddy

    ricepaddydaddy New Member

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    Aahhh!! Did someone say bolt action shotguns?:D
    I love bolt action and single shot shotguns, and old 22 rifles.
    I've even got an H&R Model 120 Game Gun, 16 gauge bolt action, made in 1940. I carry her along some evenings when I got out to put the chickens up for the night.:)
    When my Dad died I found an old H&R Young America revolver chambered for 22 Short (I think). It's rusty and unfunctioning. I did however inherit his "real" pistol, a Colt Model 1903 Pocket Automatic in 32ACP. Sweet! And beautiful too!