View Full Version : Timing an Iver Johnson

January 31, 2002, 11:43 PM
My father-in-law inherited an Iver-Johnson .22 double action revolver. Sorry, but I didn't get model or serial numbers when I was there. Can only say that it was a 8 shot double action with a loading gate (slot) like I'd expect to see on a single action. The cylinder also comes out like a single action revolver. Anyway, the timing is off. When you pull the hammer back single action, the cylinder stops maybe 1/16" short of lining up. Double action is just as bad. Needless to say, this handgun hasn't seen any ammo for a long time (and won't for some time to come). How hard is it to adjust timing in a gun like this. The gun just isn't valuable enough, practically or sentimentally, to justify having a gunsmith even look at it. If I though if the proceedure wasn't to hard (I'm mechanically adept), I'd give it a go. Otherwise the gun would just be retired and possibly made completly disfunctional by grinding the firing pin. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

BTW I posted this earlier on the S&W Forum and got some good advice. Still looking for disassembly instructions though. I was told there I'd probably have to lengthen the hand by staking with a punch.

George Stringer
February 1, 2002, 08:42 AM
That may very well work. If not you'll have to buy a new hand and replace it. If you'll e-mail me to remind me I'll send you the disassembly instructions. George

4 Eyed Six Shooter
February 1, 2002, 11:59 AM
As George said, a new hand may do the trick, however if the gun is really worn with lots of endshake on the cylinder and the cylinder is loose on the pin, the new hand may or may not work. The total loosness of all of the parts ads upto the hand not being able to push the cylinder up enough to lock up. If it's a loose goose, use it as a wall hanger or put it in a case to display. It wouldn't be worth the price of fixing it.
Good Shooting, John K

James K
February 1, 2002, 12:14 PM
Sometimes, it is possible to correct that problem just by bending the hand inward. It is not guaranteed to work, but can be done easily and without disassembling the revolver.

Remove the cylinder. Cock the hammer. The hand should protrude from the frame at the rear of the cylinder hole.

Holding the hammer back as far as it will go, use a brass punch and tap the end of the hand inward (toward the cylinder pin hole). If this does not work, then you can try stretching the hand or buying a new one. (Note: You may need an extra hand or a helper.)


February 1, 2002, 07:20 PM
Thanks guys, as soon as I get back to the in-laws I'll have to take another look at this old revolver. It belonged to my wife's uncle, who apparently shot it a lot (and quite well, I hear). His wife gave it to my FIL when the uncle passed on.

Thanks again!

July 26, 2002, 10:51 AM
I now have the revolver in my possession. Turns out it is an Iver Johnson Target Sealed 8, (one piece grip). George had emailed instructions for disassembling the model 50 series earlier, but I’m not sure they’ll work for this one. Any idea how to properly take it apart? Availability of replacement parts? The cylinder seems to be tight enough front to back and side to side, just doesn’t rotate fully into battery. Thanks!

4 Eyed Six Shooter
July 27, 2002, 07:51 PM
With minor differances, most of the Iver Johnson revolvers of that era are similar. Parts are available from Gun Parts Corp. and Jack First at reasonable prices. The new hand will be oversize and will have to be fit to work correctly. Good Luck with your project.

July 27, 2002, 08:28 PM
Just for double check..
Before gettin all inside it..

See what the timing looks like with the hammer dropped and the trigger held back. Some guns don't fully lock up in register untill the trigger is pulled till the hammer falls. Don't know if applicable to yours.

If it is good.....check each and every chamber for timing.


July 28, 2002, 05:12 PM
First of all, those Iver Johnson revolvers are timed more by the width of the hand. The cylinder stop on that gun orients, but does not arrest the cylinders rotational motion. Overall, the hand is probably more instrumental in indexing and orientation of the cylinder. On older guns, when the hand wears, these older guns don't index fully. The fact that the hand is worn will often leave the cylinder out of alignment with the forcing cone. In general, the older Iver Johnson guns do not lock up as tight as your modern wheel gun. Low pressure, fairly good material and generally they work. Forget parts if you are not a gunsmith and cannot manufacture a compatible part. Golden age of cheap revolvers. The cheapies today don't even rival those older wheel guns.