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Iver Johnson Owl's Head...

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Zander, Dec 22, 2002.

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  1. Zander

    Zander member

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    No, not a revolver but a shotgun.

    Have been cleaning an old wall-hanger that was gifted to me and finally got around to checking the buttplate. Sure enough, there's the IV name with patented owl's head logo.

    This old single-shot 12-ga. is beginning to grow on me. The nickeled receiver has seen a lot of wear in the field, but the lockup is still tight. The pistol-grip stock and forend are out of nice walnut, if a little crudely finished.

    Everything seems original but the band for the forend; it doesn't seem to mesh with the rest of the gun, but if it's a repair someone did a decent job of fitting it as there's no slop.

    Haven't actually cleaned the bore yet, but there's no reason to believe it won't slick up.

    What's the history on this old scattergun? Serial number is #823xx.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    IJ did make shotguns, including doubles, and most were lower grade "Hardware store" guns competing with the likes of Crescent and H&R.

    Most of these utility shotguns were singles bbls, in gauges from 12 to 410 caliber. I have seen a few 10s and a 28, but most are 12s, 16s and 20s.

    The downside, most have short chambers for the old 2 1/2" shells. Also, that frame is cast iron, not steel,and easier to pound off face.

    ANY old shotgun should be gone over by a good smith before firing off any ammo. That especially applies to these old singles.

    However,these old singles are oft superbly balanced, though terribly off the Rule of 96, thus hard kickers. The ubiquitous crooked stock with lots of drop doesn't help either. They're a joy to tote when a few shots and lots of walking are on the schedule.

    If it is safe to shoot, use lower pressure rounds and take it for a walk in the woods now and then.
    These are NOT steel safe. Use something like an oz of 6s and go shoot some squirrels and rabbits.

    If not safe, clean it up, hang it up and enjoy the history....
     
  3. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

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    Earliest I.J. single I see is the Champion. Made from 1909-1956.

    Like Dave says...
    get it checked
    Get the chamber measured.
    If it is still ok...
    Enjoy with light loads.

    Sam
     
  4. Zander

    Zander member

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    Well, sir. you do know your stuff.

    The single-shot is indeed chambered for 2.5" shells. I don't really intend on shooting it, although some of the really short Aguila imports tempt me to pull the trigger in earnest.

    It's a wall-hanger...just wanted to know something of its history.

    Don't have any intention of shooting it afield, but then my favorite part of rabbit-hunting these days is following the beagles when there's a little snow on the ground.

    Forgive me my nostalgia...
     
  5. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

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    A crisp day.
    Fresh snow on the ground.
    Not a sound to be heard.
    Cept the music of the hound.
    Good gun on arm
    No shot need be fired
    Sweet memories.

    Thanks Zander.

    Sam
     
  6. raybond

    raybond Member

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    This sounds just like a shotgun I once owned .By any chance would anyone have a pic of this firearm ? It sure would help me in locating one of these guns .. I lost mine due to theft years ago, and really would love to replace it .. thanks guys
     
  7. plumberroy

    plumberroy Member

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    Love that some of my most successful hunts have been when I never fired a shot
    Roy
     
  8. raybond

    raybond Member

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    Zander is the owls head imprinted in the receiver ?
     
  9. LibShooter

    LibShooter Member

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    Toy guns are for having fun in the back yard. Tricycles are for having fun on the driveway. In my opinion neither are for teaching a kid anything. Children today are missing out on just plain play. Wasting time should a birthright of an 8 year old.
     
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