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Help me identify these old revolvers...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Gunman21, Oct 4, 2010.

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  1. Gunman21

    Gunman21 Member

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    A friend of mine would like me to help him repair. Where can I find replacement parts? And what is the make and model? Thanks friends!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Sniper X

    Sniper X Member

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    Wellll....they LOOK like my old S&W .32 top break revolver that I FOUND in the trunk of my first 1969 Chevelle SS after I had it a couple years. It was in better shape than both of those and worked, but it had no grips. Odd that one of yours has no grips. I think mine was gripless because it probably had Ivory or real Pearl grips on it that ended up being worth way way way way more than the gun was worth. Tell us about all the markings on them....
     
  3. Sniper X

    Sniper X Member

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    for comparason an older model.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    I don't have my reference book handy, but I think they are both Iver Johnson revolvers. The top one - a .32 - is newer then the bottom one, which is a .38.

    Some parts are available from www.e-gunparts.com
     
  5. surbat6

    surbat6 Member

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    The one with the grips is definitely an Iver Johnson. The other could be any of a dozen different "suicide specials" (old cop term for these inexpensive revolvers that were produced by the ton until 1968).
    It's difficult to fix this type of gun. They were not designed to disassemble (and especially not to REASSEMBLE) easily and even if you nail down the make and model, some companies made several variations of the same model with few, if any interchangeable parts. Further, parts were fitted to the individual gun and sometimes will not fit in another identical piece. Repair, repolish and re-nickel plating might make your friend's $5.00 clunkers into $80.00 clunkers...after you spent untold hours and cash hunting down the parts, reworking them to fit and work properly.
    After all that, if you're doing the work for fun and information, go for it. I'd drag the little revolvers to gunsmiths (beg or buy spare parts from their scrap bins) and the parts guys at gun shows.
    Alternatively, you could save a lot of time, money and aggravation by just picking up a couple of working Iver Johnsons, Harrington and Richardsons, Forehand & Wadsworths or Hopkins and Allens in working condition. A couple of local gunshops here in Pa. usually have a few lying around for not a lot of money.
    The ones you have could be cleaned up and hung on the wall or put into a shadowbox for display.
     
  6. Gunman21

    Gunman21 Member

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    My original comment to my friend was "Uhhh I think these will make 2 really nice paper weights."

    Yet he kept asking how much it would cost to repair. I think they hold a certain sentimental value for him. Although I will probably convince him to keep them in a nonworking condition and save myself an excruciating headache.
     
  7. hardworker

    hardworker Member

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    Perfect excuse to get into machining metal.
     
  8. surbat6

    surbat6 Member

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    (Not recommended) You could quote $500 apiece for repair, hunt down a couple of similar guns - same caliber, of course - in really nice condition, buy them for less than $100 each, give your friend his "restored" guns, deep-six the rustbuckets in the nearest quarry, and pocket the extra cash. It would also be a good idea to have a detailed story of how you polished the guns, sent them off to be replated, searched for the parts, etc.
    Like I said, it's not recommended, also not ethical, but a great way to avoid a LOT of aggravation.
     
  9. Zombiphobia

    Zombiphobia Member

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    surbat6, it might also start a fight, if those pistols do hold sentimental value.
    Although it WOULD be really easy to replace them with working Iver Johnson's, which are frequently posted on gunbroker for less than 300$.

    I'm sure they're fixable. Anything that isn't 100% destoryed is fixable, although cost and difficulty may be important factors.
     
  10. Maia007

    Maia007 Member

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    Yes, they are both IJ's.

    In their day, the Iver Johnson were not necessary "suicide specials" even though they were not Colt or S&W....... any more than the Ruger or the Taurus would be considered a "suicide special" or some variation of pure junk in the present day simply because neither is top-end.

    They were designed and built to appeal to the more budget minded but they were far from junk.
     
  11. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    The top gun is an Iver Johnson Third Model Hammer, large frame. The bottom one is a Second Model small frame. Availability of parts depends on what is missing. The pins are easily made from nails and grips are available, but most internal parts are hard or impossible to find. The problem is that while there is some collector interest in IJ guns, there were so many made (literally millions) that collectors are interested only in ones that are in new or near new condition. At retail, and fully functional, neither of those guns would bring $75, so spending a lot of time and money on repair really is not cost effective.

    If the guns have sentimental value, I suggest an honorable retirement to wall hanger status.

    Jim
     
  12. DrLaw

    DrLaw Member

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    Jim Keenan is right on the identification. Iver Johnson was one of the first manufacturers to use coil springs on a revolver. Not only that, but the tension was adjustable. By moving that bar to another of the slots there in the frame, you upped the trigger pull weight.

    As it is, the lowest slot is a good 15 or more pounds double action on these little guns.

    They both also feature the then new 'hammer the hammer' action, where a bar moves up to get behind the firing pin. When you release the trigger, the bar slips back down and the firing pin retracts. Many of this style of gun did not have this feature. To safely carry one, you had to put the pin between cartridges or over an empty chamber.

    Neither cartridge was particularly powerful, but both were widespread at the beginning of the century. They were, as somebody else said, utilitarian guns for the 'everyman', not high-priced, but not high quality either. Still they worked.

    See if you can read the writing on the top of the barrels. I've found it quite interesting.

    The Doc is out now. :cool:
     
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