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Dating an Iver Johnson top break. Got a Goforth's book?

Discussion in 'Curio & Relic Discussion' started by Deavis, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. Deavis

    Deavis Mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    I am trying to date a .38 top break, 3rd model s/n 48xxx. Property stamped "AM RW EX CO"
     
  2. bolus

    bolus Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Single or double top latch? an letter prefix on the serial number?
     
  3. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Goforth: "the .38 S&W I have studied do not have a letter code in front of the serial number. This means that they are in a separate series of their own" (page 34)
    .38SW large frame top break
    3rd model aka "new model" 1909-1941, 48
    Hammer or hammerless?
    Grips - "Hi Hold" walnut or "Perfect" hard rubber?
    Markings on rib?
    Barrel length?
     
  4. Deavis

    Deavis Mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    It has a hammer.

    It has owl head grips.

    Barrel looks like 3.5"

    I was only able to examine it through glass but hope to have it in my possession , at least for photos, soon.
     
  5. Deavis

    Deavis Mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Looks like a single latch I think, only one operation to get the cylinder to open.

    I could not see full number,for a letter prefix, it was printed on a card.
     
  6. bolus

    bolus Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    single latch, no letter prefix are are 1894

    Model 1, First Model or Old Model

    Single top latch, 100'000 were produced 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

    also remember these are 38 s&w that only shoot black powder. smokeless powder blow up the gun

    https://www.buffaloarms.com/38_Smith_Wesson_Ammo_it-831095.aspx
     
  7. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Well you can just ask her out right or if your a traditional guy I guess you could ask her dad if he's still alive for permission. But she sounds like shes old enough that dads permission might not be needed. Good luck
     
  8. Deavis

    Deavis Mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Ok, got a better look and pulled the grips.

    Serial # under grips has an H prefix.

    On the butt there is a Patent date that looks like Nov 17 08
     
  9. bolus

    bolus Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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  10. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    1922, New Model, 3rd variation.38S&W, Large Frame, Safety Automatic Revolver

    Top of barrel: *IVER JOHNSON ARMS & CYCLE WORKS*
    *FITCHBURG MASS.U.S.A.*
    Bottom of top strap: serial number
    Bottom of trigger guard: serial number
    Left side of grip strap: Serial number with letter code H
    Bottom of butt strap: PAT'DNOV.17.08
    PAT'S PENDING.

    (changed Spl to S&W, my mistake)
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
    bolus likes this.
  11. Deavis

    Deavis Mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    .38..... Special? Gun has no caliber marking anywhere. I assumed it was .38 S&W....
     
  12. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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  13. Deavis

    Deavis Mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Many thanks for your help!