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Old January 15, 2011, 09:29 PM   #1
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Join Date: January 12, 2009
Location: NE Ohio
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Need help identifying this old gun

A good friend came over tonite with a pistol he recently inherited. A top break revolver, 5 shot, manufactured by Iver Johnson, blued with plastic type grips that have an owls head and IJ design. SN 71xxx. Blueing is still good and the bore and cylinder are in very good condition too. Some surface freckling on the exterior but only minor.

I am thinking its a 32 caliber? But is it a black powder gun or modern ammo?Can anyone give me any other details about this revolver? I know they were cheaply made and were very common years ago. Is it safe to shoot modern ammo in the gun? If 32 S&W, I could get the components are reload a light load perhaps?

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Last edited by jal5; January 15, 2011 at 09:41 PM.
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Old January 15, 2011, 11:24 PM   #2
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,184
Take the grips off and check the letter prefix on the serial number; the full serial number, including the letter will be necessary for accurate dating.

That was the Third Model Safety Automatic revolver, small frame, introduced in 1910, so it should be OK to fire with modern cartridges. However, note that the .32 S&W cartridge is not usually considered adequate for personal defense, and the revolver is not a target gun, so your friend might be better to retain it as a decorator or memento rather than as a using gun.

Value on those guns is not high. That one might bring $100-125 retail.

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