Iver Johnson 12ga Black Powder

Discussion in 'Blackpowder & Musket' started by NitroxAZ, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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    I just picked up an Iver Johnson single shot, black powder 12ga. and have some questions for the experts.

    1. Are these safe to fire with current 12ga. shells? If not where can I find shells for it? Do I have to handload? If so, where can I find the stuff to do so?

    2. How do you tell the age of the gun?

    3. I picked it up for $69. Is that a fair price? I am just curious as to market value. It is worth it to me simply because I like the cool brass buttplate with the word "Champion" written in scriptive lettering.

    Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Everything depends on condition. My crystal ball is in the shop again for a tuneup, so cannot tell what sort of condition your gun is in, or its value. Pix and a list of ALL markings would help.

    BTW, what makes you say yours is a black powder shotgun? markings? IF yours is truly a "made for BP' then, NO- modern smokeless ammo could be VERY dangerous to fire.
     

  3. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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    I should have included pics but didn't have time when I posted this.

    The reason that I think it is a black powder shotgun is that the patent dates on it are '01 and '02. What I found on the interwebz led me to believe that it would be a black powder shotgun.

    I appreciate the help and will post pics tonight if I am able.
     
  4. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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    Here are the pictures of my latest.
    The side of the shotgun reads:
    IVER JOHNSON"S
    ARMS & CYCLE WORK
    FITCHBURG, MASS.U.S.A.

    The top of the barrel reads:
    CHAMPION PATD.APR.2'01.APR.15'02 PAT PENDING

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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    A couple more pics

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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    The buttplate is brass.

    In addition to the questions I have asked already. I have one more.

    Should I take 0000 steel wool to the nickel? Brasso to the buttplate? Re-finsh the walnut?
     
  7. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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  8. TXnorton

    TXnorton New Member

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    Don't know about the BP shotgunshells, but I have made several 5 lb. orders for Black Powder from these folks. I have had no problems, so I'd recommend them.
     
  9. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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    Will doing things like taking 0000 steel wool to the metal, Brasso to the buttplate and refinishing the stock negatively affect the value?
     
  10. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    The Champions will handle smokeless shells but the chamber length is 2 1/2 inches.
     
  11. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    The IJ Champion Mdl was made from 1909 to 1948, and should be in the smokeless powder era (patent dates will always be earlier than the date they were made) However, 12 g shells were not always 2 and 3/4 inches long- as the gent above me noted- early shells were 2.5 inches. DO NOT assume that just because a shell will chamber that it is safe to fire- the shotshell opens out into the forcing cone- and excessive length of shell equals VERY high pressures.

    Good idea to have this one checked by a gunsmith before shooting.

    IJ specialized in making low cost, reliable, working man's guns. In general, they do not have a very high collector's value, which WOULD be damaged by "cleaning up" your shotgun. In other words, feel free, it will not hurt value.

    Do not know about "nickel"- these were blued steel, with a color case hardened steel receiver. Most of the bluing and color case hardening is gone due to age and honest wear. Either 0000 steel wool and light oil can be used, or just light oil on a clean cloth, and a LOT of elbow grease. for the stock, Formbys Refinisher (be careful highly flammable) and some Tung Oil or Birchwood Casey oil finish. Yeah, brasso the brass- a coat of neutral shoe polish (kiwi) will help delay it tarnishing.

    Old Western Scrounger was one source for old time shotshells.
     
  12. BillM

    BillM Active Member Supporter

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    Maybe. They were made into the 1950's as the Champion. At some point
    they were lengthened to 2 3/4" chambers. Take it to a gunsmith, have
    the chambers measured if you are unsure how to do it yourself.

    Blackpowder? No. Champion manufacturing started 1909. Smokeless
    shotgun shells came out in the mid 1890's. I wouldn't feed it magnum
    loads, but standard pressure 12 ga should be fine if it's in good
    shape.
     
  13. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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  14. MUZZLESMOKE

    MUZZLESMOKE New Member

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    If was me i would leave the way it is. I don't know for sure. But it might be worth some money. If you clean like a new rifle, You may lose value. How does the bore look. Just clean up the bore and the action. I have a real Civil War period rifle. It is a British 3 band Infield 58cal percussion with a bayonet. It was made by Tower of England in 1857. Now if I buy a gun and is in decent shape. I will shoot it. When I got it I disassembled it. Made sure the cap lock was clean and working. Checked the outside of the barrel. Cleaned the bore out with fine steel wool and oil. I put the cleaning rod on a drill. I did that for two days. Then did the same thing, but used car rubbing compound. It is only about 50%. You got to remember the rifle is 160 years old. But it is a shooter.
    The guys in my club just drool over it.:D
    That is what I would do if it was mine.
    Shoot srait
    Muzzlesmoke
     
  15. MUZZLESMOKE

    MUZZLESMOKE New Member

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    Find out what the value is before you clean it up. I think it is pretty cool. I have CVA SXS 12 percussion and love it. If you decide to sell it let me know.:D:D Or we can trade for black powder guns,
    Thanks
     
  16. The_Kid

    The_Kid New Member

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    Unless you get it "restored" by a professional, it'll negatively affect the value.


    I have an Eddystone Model of 1917 that was made in 1918. I refinished the wood because I take it out in the rain every so often and it was getting water stained. I would never think of taking anything to the metal other than cloth, plastic brushes, oil and solvents to clean the bore.