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Need Help Identifying an Iver Johnson Revolver

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by adively, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. adively

    adively Member

    The administrative assistant at my office brought in an Iver Johnson and asked me to help identify it. Does anybody have access to the late W.E. Goforth's book handy? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    The text on the top strap says: "Iver Johnson & Co. Fitchburg Mass. U.S.A.
    Pat'd May 10, 87, Dec 26, 93: Pat's Pending"

    The serial number is on the bottom of the handle and is 184xx.

    The cylinder rotates freely and has 5 chambers.

    The owl is looking back at the barrel.

    It is a break top.

    Pictures below

  2. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    It looks like 1894 first model small frame 32.
  3. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Well-Known Member


    I can't tell you what year it was made, but I can tell you that gun should only be fired with Black Powder. Around the turn of the Century IJ completely redesigned their revolvers. The steel was stronger. They also redesigned the lock up system. Notice how that gun does not have a solid edge on one side or the locking slots on the cylinder. The hand prevents the cylinder from rotating backwards when at battery, not the bolt.

    Compare it to this IJ. This one was designed for Smokeless. Notice the direction the owl is facing, the cylinder slot configuration, and if the grips are removed there is a coil mainspring underneath, whereas there is a flat spring under the grips on your admin's gun. That's how you tell a Smokeless IJ from a BP IJ.


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