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Old December 14, 2009, 06:28 PM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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Iver Johnson "Secret Service Special"... special at all ???

as I posted before, I've reciently become enamored with the old top break pocket guns, my particular interest lies in the ones chambered in 32 S&W & 32 S&W Long... I was looking at older S&W's, but have found there are more interesting other models out there as well... so far, I have a pair of Iver Johnsons, both chambered in 32 S&W, my most recient... I just bought an old Iver Johnson Secret Service Special, made around 1918, in 32 S&W... I got it for a toy, & to down load pop gun loads for... this gun is nickel plated, & says Secret Service Special on the side of the barrel... I invision Jim West, or Artimus Gordon pulling one out of a silk vest pocket from the old Wild Wild West TV series... ( the equivelent of Angelina Joilie pulling out a Desert Eagle out of a spandex jump suit, in a more modern action film ) anyone old enough to remember the old Wild Wild West series ???

I'm assuming it was all marketing hype, clear back in 1918... & I guess it still worked on me, nearly 100 years later... this gun probably was never owned or used by a secret service agent, but I thought it a cool toy anyways...

anyone ever run across one marked this way ??? it's interesting if not enough from it's labeling, but also in that it's a revolver with a trigger lock safety lever

anyone have any info on these ???

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Last edited by Magnum Wheel Man; December 14, 2009 at 07:01 PM.
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Old December 14, 2009, 08:05 PM   #2
Japle
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I had one of those, the exposed-hammer model. Total piece of junk, though it looked better that yours.

I turned it in for $75 on a gun buy-back about 15 years ago. Best gun deal I ever made.

Those things get loose pretty fast, and the old ones usually have very bad timing due to wear.
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Old December 14, 2009, 08:12 PM   #3
RJay
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4 companies made the Secret Service. not one of them were ever used by the Service Service, why? because the Service didn't exist as such. Just a sales name. Go to http://thefirearmsforum/index.php and post it under the Technical Questions. Use the heading of Iver Johnson Secret Service with pictures and serial number ( under the grip ). The expert, Bill Goforth will give you more information than you can digest. Or just use the search forum there for information, common question and gun.
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Old December 14, 2009, 08:16 PM   #4
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Let's try the correct link http://thefirearmsforum.com/index.php
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Old December 15, 2009, 07:50 AM   #5
Magnum Wheel Man
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Thanks for the link RJ... I did some reading, & that's pretty much what I expected, looks like the Iver Johnson guns were some of the better of those guns as marked... I honestly was not looking for anything rare, as I want to refinish these guns & freshen them up... having the barrel marked Secret Service Special, is "cool" really only from the playing around aspect of them... but I guess I didn't realize so many different brands of them had been marked that way...

still thinking, but I will likely send the gun out & have it re-nickeled just to make it a prettier toy...

BTW... I didn't realize that the "Safety Police" guns were in the same catagory, but that is how I interpreted some of what I read ??? one of the Hopkins & Allen Safety Police guns is next on my top break list... I was hoping that was a step up in quality... after that will be one of the S&W top break "lemon squeezers" ( all in 32 S&W ) just to give me a good representation of these old top break 32's
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Old December 15, 2009, 11:57 AM   #6
Mike Irwin
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"because the Service didn't exist as such."

Well, yeah, they did.

Secret Service was authorized in 1865, primarily to combat counterfeiting, but in 1867 its powers were broadened to include combatting governmental fraud.

After the assassination of President McKinley, the service's duties were expanded to include presidential protection (which they had been doing informally since the time of Grover Cleveland), which got them a lot of publicity, especially after the attempt on Teddy Roosevelt's life.

All of the guns date from around that time.

There were also kid's board games and popular (dime) novels about the Secret Service's supposed exploits at the same time.

I'm not 100% certain, but I THINK, that after the US Marshall's service, the Secret Service was the second law enforcement arm authorized to carry weapons.
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Old December 15, 2009, 11:30 PM   #7
James K
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Mike is correct. The "Secret Service" was in the news and the gun makers took advantage of that. But the Secret Service never used any of those guns.

The Hopkins and Allen Safety Police is, IMHO, a different ball game. It is a well made revolver, with a solid lockup and a really neat and unique way of dealing with the "hammer the hammer" problem. The hammer is on an eccentric and actually moves straight down when cocked so the top part drives a frame mounted firing pin. When the trigger is released, the hammer moves back up so a cut out portion is at the firing pin and the gun cannot fire if dropped on the hammer. All H&A revolvers were pretty good (they made the Merwin & Hulbert line), but that one is, AFAIK, unique. Good luck in finding one; they seem to go for around $300.

Jim
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