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Old December 10, 2009, 01:31 PM   #1
Richard C
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Iver Johnson revolver

Greetings, This is my first post, haven't even filled out my profile yet.

RE: A Just repaired a 32 cal Iver Johnson Safety Hammer 5 shot revolver, NRA Good. [Main spring] Hasn't been fire it yet. Smith & Wesson 32 Ten-X cowboy ammo 76GR RN is what Cabela's tech say is proper for it, some coming. I'm thinking glove and glasses the first few rounds. A friend who has not seen the gun said tie it to a tree for the first couple rounds. This should be the correct ammo, gun in good condition. What do you think? Richard
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Old December 10, 2009, 01:38 PM   #2
Tomahawk674
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You need to know what model it is, 1st and 2nd models are black powder ONLY. 3rd models can take smokeless. Can you post some pics?

Here is some info found at http://www.american-firearms.com:

Topbreaks (Safety Hammer) .32 cal. S&W small frame

Owl is looking to the barrel, cylinder is free wheeling when at rest, for black powder cartridges


Model 1, First Model

Single top latch, 100'000 were manufactured in 1894, serial number without letter prefix, marked on the top of the barrel rib
IVER JOHNSON'S ARMS & CYCLE WORKS FITCHBURG. MASS.U.S.A.
PAT'D.APR.6.86.FEB.15.87.MAY 10.87.DEC.26.93 PAT'S PENDING


Model 1, First Model, first variation

Single top latch, 100'000 were manufactured in 1895, serial number without letter prefix, the difference was the cylinder retainer, marked on the top of the barrel rib
IVER JOHNSON'S ARMS & CYCLE WORKS FITCHBURG. MASS.U.S.A.
PAT'D.APR.6.86.FEB.15.87.MAY 10.87.DEC.26.93 PAT'S PENDING


Model 1, First Model, second variation

Single top latch, 50'000 were manufactured in 1896, serial number with A letter prefix, marked on the top of the barrel rib
IVER JOHNSON'S ARMS & CYCLE WORKS FITCHBURG. MASS.U.S.A.
PAT'D.APR.6.86.FEB.15.87.MAY 10.87.DEC.26.93 PAT'S PENDING


Model 2, Second Model

Owl is looking to the barrel, cylinder is free wheeling when at rest, for black powder cartridges

Double top latch, manufactured from 1897 - 1899, serial number with A, E or F letter prefix, marked on the top of the barrel rib
IVER JOHNSON'S ARMS & CYCLE WORKS FITCHBURG. MASS.U.S.A.
PAT'D.APR.6.86.FEB.15.87.MAY 10.87.AUG.25.96 PAT'S PENDING

The Second Model Hammer continued in 1900 with the 1st variation and stopped in 1908 with the 6th variation. Overall production was 950'000 revolvers.

number 83351 / 346, in grip number 8330 or 83301 marked, left side right side
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Old December 12, 2009, 12:34 AM   #3
Richard C
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Greetings, The # N21629 I'll try to post a pic.
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Old December 12, 2009, 12:48 AM   #4
Richard C
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Having trouble posting. We have dial up.
I see no patent or date.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IVERJOHNSON 001a.JPG (42.2 KB, 465 views)
File Type: jpg IVERJOHNSON 002a.JPG (49.1 KB, 324 views)

Last edited by Richard C; December 12, 2009 at 12:54 AM.
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Old December 12, 2009, 04:10 AM   #5
PetahW
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[Smith & Wesson 32 Ten-X cowboy ammo 76GR RN is what Cabela's tech say is proper for it, some coming.]

Have the Cabela's tech test fire it for awhile.

That gun's frame looks to be one that's set up to take/use a leaf-type mainspring ILO a coil spring, and ergo is a blackpowder gun AFAIK.

The early steel is not of a modern mixture, was engineered for BP prior to the introduction of smokeless powder.
The early steels cannot long stand up under the different type pressure of smokeless powder, and IMHO (and others) should never be fired with modern ammo - "Cowboy" loads or not..

Many folks have chimed in with comments that such & such ammo will chamber/fire - and that may all and well be true, but it only takes one shot to burst/crack one open.
It just may not be the first shot.

.
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Old December 12, 2009, 03:41 PM   #6
Richard C
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Do you know if: Ten-X cowboy ammunition: 32 S&W 78GR RN would be proper ammo for black power model?
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Old December 12, 2009, 05:13 PM   #7
PetahW
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Richard, no disrespect meant - but I am neither a Cabela's sales rep trying to sell something, nor a Ten-X ammunition company rep, empowered to speak for them.



IMHO, since the box isn't marked as being loaded with blackpowder, I would assume a smokeless powder was used - and as I posted above - ANY smokeless load, strong or weak, has diferent pressure characteristics than blacpowder.

You want to fire new ammo in an old gun.
It's your gun, and your health - but you might want to talk to the horse's mouth first, and speak with Ten-X.
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Old December 12, 2009, 05:45 PM   #8
hickstick_10
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no it wouldnt, its not marked blackpowder, neather would winchesters cowboy loads be suitable, again not loaded or marked black powder

goex black dawg, if they make it in that caliber would be ok.
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Old December 14, 2009, 02:27 PM   #9
woad_yurt
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New .32 S&W is loaded to less than original pressure and power levels to be on the ultra-safe side. I have a bunch of 'em and have owned a bunch more. New ammo works just fine. I use Mag-Tech. If the gun is sound, it shouldn't be harmed by new .32 S&W ammo.
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Old December 14, 2009, 06:37 PM   #10
Magnum Wheel Man
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just started getting into these myself...

just bought my 2nd, a Secret Service Special, my 1st was one just like yours, but nickel & hammerless...

I'll be loading up new cases with these lead round balls...

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct...tnumber=786830

& light loads of Trail Boss powder... I'm thinking about lubing with Lee Alox bullet lube ( a laquer type liquid that dries after applied ), by applying on the ball & the case mouth union, after the balls are loaded

I highl doubtI'd feel comfortable on earlier guns with any factory loads, but I'm buying mine with every intention of shooting them... good luck with your I.J.
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Old December 14, 2009, 08:22 PM   #11
woad_yurt
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Couldn't resist:

My ex-girlfriend's H&R .32, her carry gun. While it's no cannon, it's better than a .22 or a .25 for saying "get off me!" It's very small, too.

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Old December 15, 2009, 11:37 PM   #12
James K
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The "N" prefix Iver Johnson Safety Hammer guns date from 1905, and would have been made for smokeless powder.

I would not carry an IJ or H&R (or about any other gun of that vintage) not because of concern for the powder or the power but because the leaf springs frequently break. If faced with the need to use the gun, a broken hand spring could spoil your whole day.

I'll stick to my Model 19, Model 36 or my new 642, thank you.

Jim
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Last edited by James K; December 15, 2009 at 11:44 PM.
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Old January 9, 2010, 10:17 PM   #13
inparidelicto
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Iver & Johnson pistols

Guys:

Thanks in advance for the info. I have two I & J .32 cal. pistols from my mom's estate. I know these are not valuable guns, but can anyone help me determine the year of mfg. and value, to the best of anyone's knowledge?

Thanks much

Pistol #1: 3 1/4" barrel; serial No. D 491 (1 or 7) XX (serial No. under left grip on frame);

Pistol #2: 5" barrel; serial No. D 164XX (serial No. on butt of grip).

Or, in the alternative. . .please give me a website where I may find what I seek.

Thanks again, guys.

Last edited by inparidelicto; January 10, 2010 at 12:24 AM.
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Old January 3, 2012, 03:50 PM   #14
DougN
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Help date an Iver Johnson revolver

Just found this forum. Wow there's a lot of neat stuff in here. I have a feeling I'll be spending a lot of time on this site!

Need help identifying manufacture date for an Iver Johnson 5-shot .38 S&W top-break Safety Automatic; chrome; 3" barrel; hammer; double post barrel latch; single leaf hammer spring; bakelite-like hard black grips; SN M7059 stamped on left frame under the grip; 7059 stamped bottom of trigger guard; top of barrel reads - Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works, Fitchburg, Mass. USA; bottom of grip reads - Pat'd Apr. 6, 86. Feb. 15, 87; May 10, 87. Mar. 13,88. Pat's Pending.

Most of these features are identifiable to particular models listed around the web, except two - I can't find anything about a model with the Mar. 13, 88 patent date or with an 'M' serial number prefix. Help!
Can anyone help me determine the manufacture date of this pistol?
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Old January 3, 2012, 11:52 PM   #15
James K
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Hi, DougN,

Your gun is called the Safety Automatic* Revolver, Second Model Hammer Version, which was made from 1895 to 1908. If I understand the tables in the late Bill Goforth's book, that gun was made in 1904.

There were two relevant patents issued on March 13, 1888. The first was 379,225 to Iver Johnson and Andrew Fyrberg for the barrel latch on the revolver frame rather than on the top strap. The second, 379,227 was to the same people, and was for a second or safety trigger behind the trigger guard which had to be pulled upward to allow the primary trigger to move.

AFAIK, your gun has neither feature; it was common at one time for companies (not just gun companies) to "pile on" patent dates to impress the buyer and discourage imitators, so many products show patents that were not used on that item or not even used at all.

*Automatic in this case means automatic ejection of fired cases when the gun was opened, as opposed to the swing cylinder "hand ejector" revolvers made by S&W and Colt which required an additional manual action to eject the empty cases.

Jim
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Old January 4, 2012, 04:31 PM   #16
Jack O'Conner
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The political push for 1968 gun control law was highlighted by crime stories related to so-called Saturday night specials. These were low cost revolvers supposedly purchased for criminal intent. Iver Johnson and other low cost revolvers rec'd much bad publicity at the time. Unfair but true.

Jack
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Old January 4, 2012, 07:19 PM   #17
Shotgun693
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Quote:
You need to know what model it is, 1st and 2nd models are black powder ONLY. 3rd models can take smokeless. Can you post some pics?
I love the old Breaktops. When I'd work cows I'd have a .38S&W in my pocket just to have some kinda gun. They are all old. They were made with metal that just isn't as tough or strong as that we have now. To be on the safe side, IMO, use black powder in all of'm. It's easy to load, really easy to clean up and about as safe as you can get.
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Old February 4, 2013, 01:30 PM   #18
TillB
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I'm new to the form, so may have posted in the wrong spot about my old IJ.
I am searching to find the mfg date to be sure what kind of ammo to use.
Here is the info I have:
Iver Johnson;top Break .32 caliber DA revolver; nickel plate; 5" long barrel; 5 round fluted cylinder is not free wheeling when at rest. Grip has ""IJ"" monogram with Owls Head facing grip. Patent dates: Aug 25'96 & Nov 17'08. SN: A86264
Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.
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