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info on old iver Johnson

tinyaltinyal Member Posts: 4 ✭✭
edited June 2008 in Ask the Experts
I have 3 old pistols. 2 H&R and 1 Iver Johnson. the first one is a H&R 32 SWcal. Left side of barrel marked Premier. Right side marked 32 S&W. ser.#5o3623. The second is a H&R 38SW cal. Pat.Aug. 6 of 1889-Oct.8 1895 hammerless marked 38 SW on left side of barrel. Ser.# 85986 under left grip. The 3rd. is a Iver Johnson 32SW cal. Owl facing to rear pat. june 1896 to Aug.25 18?? ser.# on trigger guard 30537. Are these smokless or black powder. Value, the 32 premier--fine the hammerless excellent, the Iver Johnson-good.

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    TfloggerTflogger Member Posts: 3,326 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    They are all built on the borderline! I would not trust any of them with smokeless powder.
    I would trust them all with low pressure loads/rarely.
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    rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,650 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you change the title/subject of your question to specifically mention Iver Johnson. Bill Goforth who has written a book on I.J.'s, will no doubt be able to answer, the questions you have regarding them.
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    b.goforthb.goforth Member Posts: 982
    edited November -1
    the H&R's revolvers are both safe with smokeless ammo, factory standard velocity, if in shooting condition. the small frame premier sn 503623 was manufactured after 1925. it has a number only slightly lower than some known to have been purchased by the u.s. government during wwII (507994 to 509238).

    the large frame 38 caliber hammerless sn 85986 is a second model 3rd variation manufactured between 1909 to 1912. in 1905 when H&R made the switch to smokeless powder they also started marking the caliber on the side of the barrel. therefore any H&R revolver with the caliber marked on the barrel was designed to fire smokeless powder.

    the iver johnson is a second model safety automatic revolver manufactured for black powder cartridge pressures. the two patent dates on the bottom of the butt 6-16-96 and 8-25-96 were only used together in 1905 and 1906. iver johnson did not make the switch to smokeless powder until 1909, when the third model safety automatic revolver was introduced. the third model (smokeless powder) uses all coils springs and the first and second models (black powder) have a single flat leaf hammer spring. the main serial number location for the safety automatic revolvers is on the left side of the grip frame (under the grip panel) this is the location of any letter codes that can give an exact year of manufacture. the trigger guard location is a secondary one and as trigger guards are interchangable it is not a reliable number to use in dating iver johnson revolvers.

    for value of these revolvers i suggest you look at what they are actually being sold for on the auction side of this site.
    bill
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