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 Iver Johnson's arms and cycle works gun
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Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2005 :  08:51:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello All -

I believe that I have a very old gun in my possession. This is what is says on the gun...Iver Johnson's arms and cycle works, Fitchburg Mass. It is a single shot 12 gauge. It also has this date on it : Oct.31.05 on the sidei t has this number 8620 30. PAT OCT24.05PAT.OCT3105. I believe the stock and the barrel of the gun are wood...that is cracked in several places. I would like to restore the wood, even though I know this could cause the value of the gun to go any ideas what I have on my hands here, is this gun really from 1905??? and if so what would its worth be? If i had a picture I would post it. sorry the description is so poor.


Advanced Member

6009 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2005 :  09:10:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Patent date is 1905. Thus the gun is from later... Sometimes years later.

Do as you please with the old clunker. Value of these guns hovers at somewhere between $35.00 and perhaps $75.00 unless NIB... And yours certainly isn't.

Use caution if you intend to fire the gun. It may or may not be safe with modern loads. (I'd error on the side of caution and refrain from finding out.)

Not generally considered a collectors piece. Not even a curio by most standards. Just a utility gun used to keep the fox out of the chicken coop about a century ago. For that it did a good job.

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Senior Member

1856 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2005 :  09:12:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Iver Johnson was famous for its cheap mediocre quality guns. The 1905 date is probably correct as they were at their high point around the turn of the 18-1900s century. Value in like new condition would be $100, more or less, because there is very little collector interest in Iver Johnson long guns. As a shooter it could be dangerous with modern ammunition. In poor condition as you describe its value is mostly as a wall decoration, $25-50. As a hobby piece to restore you won't be losing much if you destroy it completely, and if you do a nice job it can become a better wall hanger. Value is still as a wall decoration. Of course, if it is a family heirloom, the emotional value to the family could be great.
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Advanced Member

2551 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2005 :  11:04:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
".....and if you do a nice job it can become a better wall hanger."

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only winchesters
Senior Member

1673 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2005 :  11:50:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello Bearcreekraider: Iver Johnson single shot "Champion" was made from 1909 to 1956. Although not in the same league, as Winchester, Parker, and a few other big name companies that made single shot guns, there were a step above the "hardware" grade single shots at the time. Although the 12ga. version is probably the least desireable, (the 32ga,28ga,24ga, and .410 are the most) it was a well made gun. They were one of the first to offer a matted rib on the barrel, and a Trap grade. They were in compitition with the Parker single shot Trap and L.C. Smith single shot Trap.

I think I would look for a good used stock as opposed to trying to refinish your "cracked" stock. As others have said it is not a top of the line gun, but I wouldn't classify it as a "wall hanger" just yet. Especially if it has a 32in. barrel, it would be a good turkey gun!! With the stock being cracked and not being able to see the rest of the gun, value most likely $30-$60.

One of Iver Johnson's best guns was the little .410 and 28ga. Skeeter, a nice little double gun with values of over $2000, something you wont find from a manufacturer of "hardware" guns!

Regards Dave
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966 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2005 :  1:16:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
the two patent dates marked on your shotgun are for a unique trigger action model. that was manufactured between 1905-1908. however iver johnson also marked these patent dates on some of their late production 'champion top snap' model also manufactured 1905-1908.

does you shotgun have the top lever that opens the gun or is it opened by a pull of the trigger (when the hammer is at rest). in either case your shotgun was manufactured in the 1905-1908 era and should be considered as one not safe with modern ammo.

regardless of what some say there is some collectors interest in these pre 1909 iver johnson single barrel shotgun. but value is not great unless in excellent condition. which is the condition most collectors prefer
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Senior Member

1518 Posts

Posted - 07/16/2005 :  08:35:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a 12 gauge Iver Johnson Champion with a 32" barrel and full choke. When my son was a teenage we would go to the local turkey shoots with it. The first time there the other shooter would have Brownings, Winchesters, and other high dollar guns and kinda look down their noses at the Iver Johnson. After we walked off with a arm load of turkeys and hams they would be trying to buy it. It had to have the forearm tapped on to keep it in plalce when the gun was fired and the wrist was cracked and was also taped. I finally bought a new stock and fixed it up myself. I like mine and don't really care about what the "collectors" think about it. Mine has a history that goes back to WW II.
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