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Old January 13, 2011, 07:36 AM   #26
Magnum Wheel Man
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a word of warning for those removing grips on these old guns... BTW... there's not a whole lot to see as far as mechanicals under the grip, but it's not unusual for guns of this period to have serial numbers under the grips, so it's often necessary to remove them for better identification

1st, be patient... the old hard rubber has gotten pretty brittle... there is normally a pin through the grip frame, usually at the bottom, to keep the grips indexed correctly... you often see broken & chipped grips from someone prying off the grip & chipping out the normlly tight fitting pin hole... obviously this can greatly effect value... especially to a grip serialed to match the gun, or on guns that have unusual or rare grips... ( BTW... often one can locate grips in good shape pulled from rusty or non functional guns for sale... Gun Broker always has 20-30 different sets for sale for different guns of this era, for example )

I usually unscrew the screw about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way, & push down on the screw... if the grips aren't "really stuck" the grip on the oposite side pushes loose... if the screw is difficult to push down, or the brass threaded piece on the oposite side grip starts pushing out, I stop & soak the grip / grip frame down with WD-40 or Kroil, or other penitrating oil & let it soak for at least several hours, or a day... & repeat the removal proceadure again... once the back ide grip is removed, I'll poke my finger through the grip frame from the back side & gently push the other grip off

if the threaded brass piece is pushing out of the oposite side grip ( they are just press fit, so this does happen, & they can just be put back together again without damage, if care is taken in removal & reassembly... I usually pull the screw, & use a long thin flat point punch & put it through the screw hole at a slight angle, so I'm going up against the oposite side grip, rather than the hole for the screw, & just gently push ( do not tap with a hammer )

the same care should be used when putting the grips back on... I usually wipe down the grip frame & remove as much of the crude that has accumulated under the grips, before I reinstall... I don't oil the frames, but rather try to clean & dry them as best I can... old oil often better resembles glue than lubricant in that type of situation... also don't over tighten, err on the looser side than the tighter side to prevent splitting or cracking the grip... some need to slide under a recess at the top, so I kinda lay in the top, & then gently press the bottom over the pin... if anything doesn't seem to fit right, don't force anything, remember... they are very brittle
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Last edited by Magnum Wheel Man; January 13, 2011 at 07:59 AM.
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Old January 13, 2011, 09:50 AM   #27
Slowhand
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C a r e f u l l y

Mag Wheel Man

Good post on the considerations involved even before putting a screw driver to a grip screw on an antique. Great details on the process and some warning signs to look for during the process.

When I get a new acquisition in, I usually have a schematic and parts listing on hand... plus any available information about the disassembly and even more important the reassembly. In short I do a complete study of the piece.



The old guns have to be handled with kid gloves. In some cases at least latex ones. On some of the older stuff circa 1865 or prior. I usually prep the screws first with some cleaning and in several cases do some soaking. It takes a lot of preparation, patience and a Slowhand in doing this sort of thing.

When it comes to screws depending on the size and length, I like to hand turn them slowly on the way out as soon as they are loose enough and I start them by hand putting them back in.

Have a nice day.

Bill
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Old January 13, 2011, 10:43 AM   #28
joe poteat
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Thanks guys. Good info. How did you fix the pic? nice!
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Old January 13, 2011, 06:36 PM   #29
Series70
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Thanks for a great read

Hey, guys...

I'm mostly a lurker on these forums, but this thread is a perfect example of why I come in here to read every day.

Thanks to slowhand, magnumwheelman, boatmonkey et al for the fascinating stories, pics and information shared here. Just wonderful.
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Old January 14, 2011, 12:39 PM   #30
boatmonkey82
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here is the one im restoring . I have stripped the nickle off of it and blued , at first i did not like the way it blued but now i like it b/c it looks like a worn , thin blue and still looks old . Im having issues remaking the ejector cam, catch, and such . it will eject but if you open it too far it cams over and sticks .

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Old January 15, 2011, 12:09 AM   #31
Slowhand
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Great start on a restoration

Boat Monkey

Looks great. I agree about the blued effect. It's a personal preference but they just don't look the same to me.

Great looking photos. I nave a couple of SONY Cameras. A Sony DSLR A200, with about 3 different telephoto and wide angle lens that I use for outside stuff mostly. It has some great software that came with it for editing pictures.

I more often use a really old Cyber Shot 3.2 Mega Pixels for most of my gun photos. It's an antique and one of these days I'm going to up grade to a more modern shooter. But it's just too simple and quick to replace.

I'm still using Microsoft Picture it 9 from 2004. Real simple to use. It allows an auto level fix for brightness and contrast or has a slide bar adjust capability so you can chose your own levels. It also does cropping and allows a black and wide conversion of a photograph. I found long ago that a black and white photo is better for reading proof marks on weapons. So I tend to go that route.



If you want a real Ugly Betty Photo with a close up picture of a weapon that will show every scratch mark or imperfection on the surface of an antique put it on a flat bed scanner. The image is then of course scanned into your computer and you can edit it. Also great for reading a manufacturers address.

I also use Photobucket to resize my photos. The biggest I go is with Large. Other wise the photo just over wealms a standard forum frame and it too big to be seen by a viewer. The text also winds up way out there over to the right.

Last edited by Slowhand; January 15, 2011 at 12:15 AM. Reason: comments
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Old September 7, 2012, 06:32 PM   #32
Bounder
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Iver Johnson 32

Hi Slowhand, I have the exact same revolver. I am missing the barrel lock. did you have any luck finding a parts/assembly list?
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Old September 7, 2012, 11:12 PM   #33
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I did not read through all the posts, but in the original post, should the gun not have an auto ejector? I sold a shoe box full of old revolvers at an auction last year and had the Iver model you have. When you broke it open it ejected the shells. I used to get parts from "THE GUN PARTS CORP" (The old Numerich arms co.)
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Old September 10, 2012, 11:31 AM   #34
magmax
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Slowhand,
You seem to know your Iver Johnsons. I would love to be able to date my Iver Johnson top break 7 shot .22 revolver. Picked it up years ago because of it's condition. If you [or anyone] could date this for me ,that would be great. Thanks.
David









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Old September 29, 2012, 06:58 AM   #35
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Mighty nice piece there!

I have a safety hammerless IJ .32.
I found it at a gun show in a plastic bag completey dissasembled but almost all there, and totally covered in what looked at first to be rust.
Turned out what looked like rust was the remains of nickel plating that had dissolved when the dissasembled gun was soaked in some amonia based solvent for a long time.
I could scrape the residue off with a fingernail, and under that crust the metal though rough showed almost no pitting.

I had not bought this piece with any intention of bringing it back to firing condition. I had bought it as a prop for the dust cover image for a mystery novel my sister was working on.

The firing pin and breech insert were missing, the super fine threads in the breech facewere stripped. I threaded the opening and handmade a relacement for the insert and a firing pin and return spring.

Anyway I afroengineered it till its once more operational, more or less, though the transfer bar was not there so I made a long firing pin and can only carry it with four live rounds and the firing pin resting in the indented primer of a fired case.

Since there was no deep surface pitting I just polished the surface mirror bright using a white polishing compound my nephew gave me for polishing knife blades. To look at it you'd think it was still nickel plated.

I'd like to see these manufactured once more, using modern high strength stainless steels and beefed up latch pins.
If the cylinder were configured to hold .32 ACP the power level and bullet selections would be in the ball park for minimally effective self defense use.


A .32 wouldn't stop a charging psycho with a torso hit, but its a lot easier to beat a man down if blood is pumping from his neck like water from a garden hose.
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Old September 29, 2012, 09:06 AM   #36
Mike Irwin
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Magmax,

That is the cleanest breaktop I've ever seen!

It's a Third Model given the use of the coil main spring instead of a leaf spring.

I don't know for certain when Iver Johnson switched to the coil main spring, but I THINK it was after World War I.

OK, just found some information that says that the Third Model came out in 1909 and went until 1941, so your gun is sometime between then, apparently.

You'll also notice a very neat feature...

Those serrations in the frame that hold the mainspring plate allow you to adjust the mainspring tension.

Pretty nifty design.
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Old October 1, 2012, 04:53 PM   #37
aarondhgraham
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Hello Slowhand,,,

Quote:
From my research I figure she is a second model, smokeless black powder.
Please, what is smokeless black powder?

I thought it was either black powder or smokeless powder.

Just curious is all.

Aarond

.
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Old October 2, 2012, 07:09 AM   #38
Mike Irwin
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There were semi smokeless black powders that were made by combining black powder with a bulk smokless replacement powder.

It made the black powder burn FAR cleaner. There were a number of trade names for it, but probably the most famous was Lesmoke.

In the 1920s a writer for American Rifleman adopted that as his pen name, Les Smoke.
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Old October 2, 2012, 12:35 PM   #39
magmax
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Mike,
Thanks for the information on my nickel Iver Johnson. That 1909-1941 production period narrows it down and is more than I knew before.
David
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Old October 2, 2012, 02:08 PM   #40
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Deleted because in a monment of the dumbs I used the wrong reference pages. Woe is me
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Old October 2, 2012, 02:42 PM   #41
Mike Irwin
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RJ,

How could it be made between 1897 and 1897 when it appears to be patent dated September 1904 as stamped on the grip?

Also, I am almost certain that the second model did not use the coil mainspring, it used a leaf mainspring, and that the Third Model introduced the coil mainspring.
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Old October 2, 2012, 05:25 PM   #42
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Mike when you're right, you're right, Bill's book is sometimes hard to reference and I obviously combined the wrong two pages. Oh well, Let me wipe the egg off my face and when i get a little more time I will set down again and hopefully get it right. I also didn't see that letter in front of the serial number, that is where my error really was plus a moment of dumbs. But just to start, the Letter E was first used in 1910 in the hammer 22. I'll research it more later and try to come up with a definite year. ADDED: Really miss Bill Goforth and his expertise on Iver Johnson's. He could look at a Iver Johnson revolver and tell you it's history and the name of the foreman who was on shift that day. He also would share his knowledge freely. Before if a misprint was found in his book he would quickly put out the correct information and would follow up to ensure you received it. Well, as every one knows, that finial appointment can not be rescheduled. Try this again, 3rd model Safety hammer in .22, serial number E3533 was manufactured in 1927, 900 made that year. Sorry about the previous mistake, I looked at that E and the first time it appeared as an square, just one of those funny marking you will find on frames. The second time it I could see that it was a E.
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Old October 2, 2012, 08:25 PM   #43
magmax
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Rjay,

Quote:
serial number E3533 was manufactured in 1927
I feel like I'm getting closer and closer to a date for the gun.
My serial number is E6533, and not E3533.
David
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Old October 2, 2012, 08:57 PM   #44
Mike Irwin
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Rj,

What do you mean? Did Bill Goforth die?

I had not heard anything about that.
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Old October 2, 2012, 09:27 PM   #45
RJay
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Bill passed away last January 2011. It was a hell of a shock and a loss to every one.--------- Magmax It looks like an eight on the trigger guard, but since that doesn't exist, the number on the grip looks more like an 3 than a 8 or 6,however if it is a 6 then that number also doesn't exist.
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Old October 2, 2012, 09:55 PM   #46
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Bad news never travels alone, 32 Magnum ( Jim Hauff ) is also very ill.
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Old October 3, 2012, 08:32 AM   #47
Mike Irwin
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Bummer.

I never had any interaction with Mr. Goforth, but whenever I googled anything regarding Iver Johnson revolvers, his posts, and his book, invariably came up.
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Old January 19, 2013, 11:22 AM   #48
dsol
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Problem with my old Iver Johnson

Have been searching around looking for information on the 3rd model hammerless myself.

I picked up an old Iver Johnson top break hammerless 38 S&W a while ago. The nickle plating was coming off and looked terrible but actually shot okay. I have come up with an oversized mold and have a quantity of brass, found some dies at a gunshow and have played with it. Then I decided to take it all down to strip off the nickle and duracoat the sucker. It looks great now, like a new gun but I have a problem.

I cannot get the damn thing back together. I removed the trigger and hammer and kept everything together. I am pretty competent with my hands and normally good with mechanical thingies but this has me stymied. I foolishly dropped the little cylinder hand and transfer bar before getting a good picture and now cannot get them back together in proper orientation with a little wire spring. Then how do it get it back up in the frame, does the hammer go in first or afterwards. I got in over my head here and cannot find a diagram.

There are some drawings floating around out there, but none show that little wire spring and how it is orientated or the proper way to reassemble the trigger, cyl hand, transfer bar and hammer inside the frame. Can anyone help out there? I have spend many hours on google looking for that one drawing that will help but to no avail...
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