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Iver Johnson .410 SxS

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by OH_Spartan, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. OH_Spartan

    OH_Spartan Well-Known Member

    I have an Iver Johnson .410 SxS without very many markings. I believe it is a Hercules grade based on a quick bing/google images search.

    The Serial Number is 28xxx. I had to remove the forestock to find it. It is stamped on the wood and metal of the forestock (and the numbers match) I cannot find a SN stamped anywhere else.

    Can anyone point me in the direction of where I can look up more information on this gun?
  2. JohnBT

    JohnBT Well-Known Member

    Does it have a dog on the side of the receiver? Does it say Hercules on top of a barrel?

    Got a pic or two?

  3. JohnBT

    JohnBT Well-Known Member

  4. 303tom

    303tom member

    Have you had the action apart it might be in there on the bottom of the barrels........
  5. OH_Spartan

    OH_Spartan Well-Known Member

    I will post pics as soon as I can. I took some with my cell phone, but they suck, so I won't waste bandwidth. I will merely post the full gun photo.

    In response to inquiries above....

    No dog on either side. The only markings on the outside of the gun are: Left side: 'IVER JOHNSON' on the receiver all one line of text and "Chambered for 3 in shells in a football-shaped circle. Right side: "IVER JOHNSON'S ARMS & CYCLE WORKS FITCHBURG, MASS U.S.A." on the receiver and in 3 lines of text.

    Under the barrel, there is an 'L' under the right barrel. Nothing on the left. Up where the box mates the receiver, there is an 'E' (or is it an 'F') on each side of the hinge and the serial number 28xxx.

    All serial numbers match (forestock, barrel, receiver).

    On the reciever, where the receiver mates the box, the right side has the serial number 28xxx. On the left side, the stamping is very light, and I'm sure there is more to it but here is what I can make out of 3 lines of text. line 1: "PATENT" line 2: "MAR" line 3: "APR 27, 1915" I may be imagining the '5' in 1915...it is very hard to read.

    Gun values book and blue book indicate only SxS models chambered in 410 were the Hercules and the SKEET-ER. This does not have either engraved on it, but it does not have the fancy walnut wood that the skeet-er has.

    Is it possible that the lack of information engraved on the barrel points to a very early model of the Hercules grade?

    Attached Files:

  6. Ron James

    Ron James Well-Known Member

    If it doesn't read Hercules Grade, then it is not a Hercules grade.
  7. 303tom

    303tom member

    Kind of blurry, but from what I can tell its a pretty nice old shotgun. I came across a Winchester Model 37 a month of so ago.
  8. OH_Spartan

    OH_Spartan Well-Known Member

    hmmm...I'm really stumped now. Gun Values/Blue Book indicate only 2 models of .410: Skeet-er and Hercules.

    If it does not have fancy walnut, it isn't a skeet-er.
    if it isn't stamped Hercules, it isn't a Hercules.

    Were early IJ's sold as an IJ shotgun with no specific model? If so does anyone know when they the started differentiating different models?

    I would be willing to take this to someone in the central Ohio area that is knowledgeable in antique firearms if anyone has a recommendation.
  9. JohnBT

    JohnBT Well-Known Member

    The Blue Book does not contain every gun model in the world.

    If you'd like to register on this forum -


    - there's a member who wrote the book on I. Johnson guns and their zillions of models. His member name is b.goforth and he answers questions as you can see in the linked thread.
  10. Ron James

    Ron James Well-Known Member

    Mr. William Goforth passed away some time ago. I don't know what direction Bill took, but it may be rather hard for him to answer any further Iver Johnson queries.Vaya con Dios, Bill, you are missed.
  11. JohnBT

    JohnBT Well-Known Member

    Nuts, I looked right at the date on his post in that thread I linked and saw 1/12, but it really says 1/11.


  12. JohnBT

    JohnBT Well-Known Member

    He died 1/15/11.
  13. Ron James

    Ron James Well-Known Member

    Bill Goforth would go out of his way to help someone, the gun world has lost another great one.
  14. OH_Spartan

    OH_Spartan Well-Known Member

    It is sad for our community to lose such a dear friend. Fortunately for us, Goforth loved to discuss IJ on archive-able message boards. Here is what I found on another forum. If I am reading Mr. Goforth is correct, this gun was made between 1927 and 1932 and pre-dates either the Hercules or the Skeet-er.

    "the earliest catalog reference i have on a iver johnson double barrel hercule grade is 1927. there are earlier listing for a iver johnson double barrel with mono-bloc construction between 1918 and 1920. the 1921 catalog shows a double barrel with the appearance of the latter hercule grade models but it is simply called the iver johnson double barrel. in the mid 1920s (1927 catalog) all the features athat we associate with the hercules grade were available. the available options take a full page to list. the 1927 catalog is the earliest i have showing a 410 bore double, called simple the iver johnson double barrel. the name hercules grade appears in the 1927 catalog in connection with 'supertrap hammerless double barrel'(no 410 bore listed for the super trap). the next catalog 1931/32 the hercules grade is listed as a seperate model and a full page for the hercules grade 410 bore and another page for the 410 bore 'skeet-er' these two models are listed as special built." --b. goforth 03/21/2005.
  15. clang

    clang Well-Known Member

    Looks like a Skeeter to me.

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