The return of Iver Johnson


August 29, 2008, 01:12 PM

Wonder if these will be big sellers?

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Guns and more
August 29, 2008, 01:29 PM
Looks like they bought the name.

August 29, 2008, 02:05 PM
My very first handgun was an Iver Johnson "Trailsman 66," an 8-shot break-top .22 revolver I bought new in 1960 for about $35. It was the least reliable firearm I've ever owned. Back to the factory twice for timing issues (admittedly I shot the heck out of it, but it was never mistreated.) When it still didn't work after two factory visits, I traded it for a Ruger Single Six. Still have it, never a misfire in 45 years or so.

I'd let someone else be the beta tester on these. Wonder who's really making the guns?

August 29, 2008, 02:16 PM
They are going to manufacture a "Pony 380". Is this going to be based on the Colt Pony .380? It would be nice to have those back in production, they are missed and used ones are pretty expensive.

August 29, 2008, 03:02 PM
If they could somehow make that M1 carbine at a price-point less than $500, I think they'll sell tons of them.

August 29, 2008, 04:04 PM
didn't Iver Johnson take over the 380 that FI sold as the Mod. D,which was a mis que of a Colt 380 made by Star,about 1970 ish. I have a FI Mod. D,great little 380,but heavy for a pocket pistol. jwr

August 29, 2008, 04:53 PM
I'd bet anything the 1911's are re badged Armscore/RIA's.

As for the rest of it. I hope these guys bought up Iver Johnsons mfgr tooling as well as the name.

Their M1 Carbines were pretty darn nice. GI spec every peice of them. I have one I bought when IAI was selling off the last of the orginal Iver Johnson made recievers in the laste 90's. It's a very nice little rifle.

Now if they do bring back the 380 Pony I'm in for one.

August 29, 2008, 04:56 PM
when ever i hear Iver Johhson i think of Sirhan Sirhan

Aguila Blanca
August 30, 2008, 12:41 AM
I'd bet anything the 1911's are re badged Armscore/RIA's.
Unlikely. Their Commander-size pistols are the authentic 4-1/4" barrel length. Armscor's "mid-size" pistols are 4".

Another company in the Philippines, Shooters' Arms (a.k.a. S.A.M.) does offer a true 4-1/4" Commander. These may be made by S.A.M.

August 30, 2008, 01:04 AM
I shot my Iver Johnson pocket pistol TP .22 today. Still shoots well. I wish the new company well.

August 30, 2008, 01:08 AM
Has anyone bought from them yet?

I am really tempted to jump on that conversion kit and a .45 pistol. Nice prices.

August 30, 2008, 01:18 AM
I still have my Great Grandma's topbreak 32. It is at least 100 years old and not worth much other than sentimental value. She used to sleep with it under her pillow and used it to shoot at bandidos that would cross the border and trespass or steal chickens.

August 30, 2008, 01:20 AM
Just because someone bought the name doesn't make me think of it as a real Iver Johnson.

August 30, 2008, 01:27 AM
I wish them well, and it would be great if they'd bring back their M-1 carbines, but I sure hope they pay more attention to the business than they do to the text on their website (some very obvious typos/misspellings).

August 30, 2008, 01:29 AM
if those prices are MSRP, then cost will be significantly less, and list price may hit around $350 or so. maybe I could afford a 1911, with a new (hopefully) sub $500 M1 carbine, assuming this stuff works well, the only problem I could see is actually getting your hands on one.

here's to hoping


Josh Aston
August 30, 2008, 01:29 AM
They're claiming that all their 1911 models are US made, so maybe Essex?

August 30, 2008, 01:38 AM
Trying to figure out what "shiney silver" means. I sure hope the 1911's aren't made of silver.

August 30, 2008, 02:08 AM
when ever i hear Iver Johhson i think of Sirhan Sirhan

Huh, I'm not even 30, but "Iver Johnson" reminds me of a much older reference:

William McKinley, he didn't do no wrong,
He just went down to Buffalo but he didn't stay too long.

The man who shot McKinley, he never took a stand
He just fired his little pistol when he reached to shake his hand

And the people they came running round to see what had been done
They said "You have shot the President with your Iver Johnson gun".

From the old ballad "Hard Times" about the anarchist Leon Czolgosz assasinating President McKinley in 1901...

August 30, 2008, 02:29 AM
Meh........Just .45's and parts. Or did I miss something?

lee n. field
August 30, 2008, 11:50 AM
'd bet anything the 1911's are re badged Armscore/RIA's.

That would be my guess as well. Fastest way to get into low priced 1911s. If not Armscor, somebody else in Asia/Pacific.


Could be interesting. Wonder what it would cost, who would actually manufacture it, and how it would compete against the LCP.

A certain well known Internet essayist likes his Star .380 (

A little history. (

Rebranded Variants: the Colt Pony, Iver Johnson .380 and FI Model D
FIE version of the Star model D .380 pistol

In the middle 1970s, Colt decided to offer a .380 auto, and chose to partner with Star instead of making their very own gun. The gun (to be called the Pony) was to be assembled in the US, presumably by Colt, from a Star DK slide & associated internals, with a U.S. made frame. Some reports specify steel, but if this is a DK, the frame should be alloy. Part of the US manufacture and frame was due to the 1968 Gun Control Act, which placed restrictions on importation of small handguns.

For some reason, after this product was announced, the Colt/Star partnership was dissolved and very few Colt-branded guns seem to have been sold. Iver Johnson bought the U.S. manufacturing rights to the gun, and sold a number of them. Apparently quite a few frames were made in anticipation of the Colt deal, as all the early Johnson serial numbers start with "CPA" (Colt Pony Automatic). It is also possible that some slides were made in the U.S. by Iver Johnson (some manufacturing marks and methods vary), but all the small parts were Spanish imports by Star. Iver Johnson also made at least one commemorative edition based on the Model D Pony, for a US Border Patrol anniversary in 1994; these all have "USBP" serial number prefixes.
Colt model Pony with original box and warranty card

This gun was also sold under the Starfire name, though I am unclear if this was a pure Star pistol with the requisite modifications to be allowed under CGA '68 or was simply another brand under the Iver Johnson banner. All of these guns are identical to the DK models discussed above. FI also sold the model D as an FI-made gun (Firearms International, not to be confused with FIE), with the model D designation. No Star branding or importation marks appear, so this may also be a related endeavour where an essentially Star pistol is sold under another name entirely. There are some reports of FI selling the import-marked version as the "Garcia Model 30" as well. This appears to be the same gun, just marketed differently, and presumably (due to the importation) made by Star and simply imported.

August 30, 2008, 12:25 PM
when ever i hear Iver Johhson i think of Sirhan Sirhan

Huh, I'm not even 30, but "Iver Johnson" reminds me of a much older reference:

William McKinley, he didn't do no wrong,
He just went down to Buffalo but he didn't stay too long.

The man who shot McKinley, he never took a stand
He just fired his little pistol when he reached to shake his hand

And the people they came running round to see what had been done
They said "You have shot the President with your Iver Johnson gun".

Little bit of history. Lock Stock and Barrel, Temple City Ca. The owners wife sold Sirhan Sirhan an Ivers Johson. The gun that shot Robert F. Kennedy.

"New York Times" June 6, 1968...

Mayor Yorty said the
defendant's identification had come through a brother, Adel Sirhan,
after the police had traced the ownership of the .22-caliber revolver
involved in the shooting to a third brother, Munir Bishari Salameh
Sirhan, also known as Joe Sirhan.

The weapon was traced through
three owners, one in suburban Alabama, the next in Marin County,
adjacent to San Francisco, and back to an 18-year-old youth in suburban
Pasadena. The youth said he had sold it to "a bushy-haired guy named
Joe" whom he knew only as an employee of a Pasadena department store.

Detectives identified the
bushy haired man as Munir Sirhan. From him, the trail led to the two
other brothers, who have been living together in Pasadena.

The snubnosed .22-caliber
Iver Johnson Cadet model revolver seized after the shooting was
described as having been picked out of a list of 2.5 million weapons
registered in California in "just seconds" after the disclosure of its
serial number. This was done by a new computer used by the State Bureau
of Criminal Investigation and Identification in Sacramento, according
to State Attorney General Thomas Lynch.

August 30, 2008, 01:28 PM
The triumphant return of the break-top revolver in .38 Colt New Police? Huzzah! :D
I have an old Second Model from 1908-12 range that was my grandpa's. Sadly, I have never fired it, as the cylinder and top latch are kinda sloppy, and I'm not willing to take a chance with it. Makes a neat wall display in the little wood and glas box I built for it, along with a vintage box of Winchester Staynless ammo for it, on display in the case with it.

I agree they'd make a KILLING with sub $600 M1 carbines if they can do it. LOTS of people would like to get one that have no real interst in the history of the guns, and thus dont know about CMP, and/or shy away from "surplus" and "old" guns thunking they are old, worn out, poor quality, etc. They could do real well in the ranch rifle, truck gun, HD carbine market I think with such a light, hand semi like the M1.

August 30, 2008, 02:17 PM
I also agree that they could make a killing by reintroducing the M1 Carbine. Also, I don't know if IJ ever made Thompsons, but a semi-auto Thompson, like the Auto-Ord ones but affordable, would also probably be a good sale. You could offer it in wood and .45, and you could update it with a polymer stock and offer in 9mm and .40 S&W. Drum mags and foregrips optional.

Also, if they made a top-break .22lr revolver, preferably 9-shot, for about $150, that would put Heritage Arms out of business. I mean, single actions are fun, but DA topbreaks are really fun, especially with auto-ejectors.

They also used to make single-barrel shotguns. I have an old "Champion" .410 that was my grandpa's. I'd love to see them reintroduce these. I don't know if they ever made pumps, but if they did, sell those too. Simple wood, blue steel, .410. Get 'em to Dicks, Gander Mtn, Cabelas, Big 5, and Wal-Mart, and you've got a seller.

August 30, 2008, 04:17 PM
Were the FI and IJ .380 autos the same as the Llama .380, or a different design?

How do those relate to the Colt Mustang, et al? I thought that Colt had to drop production of the Mustang because they infringed on a Kahr patent. Or am I just confusing multiple 1911-like .380s?

August 30, 2008, 04:43 PM
While a M1 Carbine below $500 would be nice. A Super Enforcer would be nicer.

August 30, 2008, 04:54 PM
Looks like they bought the name.

Just like Springfield bought the name from Springfield Armory.

The patents on the guns they intend to mfg. are expired. Colt Pony in .380 is no longer being produced. So, it's a simple matter to get plans/specs and tool up.

What I'd like to see is the Colt Mustang or Govt. spec'd out to 9mm X 19.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about old name manufactures being bought out by new companies. They're banking on "brand loyalty" but they're not the same brand.

Schrade knives went bankrupt and sold out to China or Japan. The current production of Schrade knives is NOT the USA product.

August 30, 2008, 05:02 PM
Like the return of Charter Arms; observe with a weather eye.

August 30, 2008, 06:18 PM
All someone did is buy the dormant trademark since it would create instant name recognition. Doesn't sound like anything special.

September 29, 2008, 10:34 PM
What do you think of an enforcer, just for giggles? I hear the reason they all are advertised as shot little is they jammed so much.
I had a M1 Carbine 25 years ago, not broke but badly bent, I sold it. One of those "wish I could take that one back."

September 30, 2008, 12:02 PM
I don't think these guys plan on manufacturing anything. From the products and sketchy info on the site my guess is that they're basically an importation outfit that purchased the trade name.

Many manufacturers are willing to put a proprietary brand name on their products, given a certain minimum order. IMO, that's what's going on here. Frankly, I don't see anything that would lead me to think that they ever intend to reproduce or revive any Iver Johnson original design or product at all.

In its last years many, if not most, of the products sold under that name were "licensed" items assembled by Iver Johnson from parts provided by the OM. Most were imported, IIRC, such as the "Trailsman" Colt Woodsman .22 copies from Argentina, a couple of Erma Werke models and the like previously imported under names like "Garcia".

I've seen at least a couple of different versions of the four-barreled Sharps derringer design from Italian makers in the past. My guess is that this one will be the latest iteration from one of those.

Time will tell, I suppose, whether any of these proposed items will actually materialize and what kind of quality they'll exhibit. There's still a lot of vaporware out there and many an outfit has sought to generate capital for their enterprise by trying to generate enough preorders to fund the actual production. See: "Bren Ten" et al.

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