Guns, Firearms, Projectile Weapon Sports/22 cal target pistol 8 shot

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Question
My husband has a double action revolver, 8 shot, I.J.A. & C.WKS. with a model # of M68986 made in Fitchburg Mass, USA.  Sealed 8 shot.  Can you tell me anything about this gun, like when it was made.  It has wooden handles with a diamond shape on them.  Is it an Iver Johnson?  Anything you can tell us would be appreciated.  We also have the orignal holster with it.  Thank you.

Answer
Iver Johnson was a great old American company in business from 1877 to  1993. They made guns of many types, bicycles and motorcycles. The abbreviation on your Sealed 8 stands for Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works. the Sealed 8 was a very respected revolver in it's day.

Here is a basic Wiki article on Iver Johnson, the inventor and his company...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iver_Johnson

I do not have the book that would give me a date, although judging from that M prefix I am thinking it is from the late 1930''s to early 1940's. It should have an octagonal barrel, either 6" or 10"...The 10" is worth a bit more. I estimate in very good and working and with the holster, it would retail from $150-$270. DO NOT "dry fire" this revolver...shoot it with no ammunition in it. This will eventually damage it and may make it not fire.
I have several Iver Johnson's, 2 revolvers and an IJ Champion single barrel shotgun from 1923, all still working. The company was known for innovation and very well made guns. They originated a lot of improvements that are in use today, such as a rebounding hammer and a sliding transfer bar safety* such as that introduced by Ruger in the 1960's as an 'Innovation". It WAS an innovation...Iver Johnson developed it before 1900. There are almost NO records on IJ's earlier products, but there is that very good book that is of great value to collectors.

NOTE: The Sealed 8 does NOT have such a "Hammer The Hammer" safety system and should be loaded with an empty chamber under the hammer for safety.

They were well made revolvers, not as highly regarded as say a Smith or Colt, but MANY have been passed down through families for several generations. They were very popular with working people who wanted a reliable, accurate revolver...and a whole lot of them still work well.
IF yours is in working condition, I recommend using only standard velocity ammo in it. It is at least 70 years old and was not designed for high velocity light bullet modern ammo.

If it were mine, I would clean it using Frog Lube and carefully and lightly let some of that cleaner work on the bore for a day or so, and NOT scrub it vigorously... Be careful if you remove the grips...the wooden grips are very hard to find and are pretty expensive when you do.
I believe there might still be parts at  www.gunpartscorp.com  should you need anything.

The Sealed 8 was a good revolver and I hope you enjoy it and give it a lot of respect...it deserves that.

mark

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Mark Schmidt

Expertise

General questions relating to various handguns - shooting, recommendations and general information on older/antique Smith & Wesson, Colt and other US made and European made pistols and revolvers. I am NOT an expert collector, but I have had several hundred handguns over the last 45 years+. I have repaired and refurbished several and shot hundreds of various handguns, and I am pretty knowledgeable on them.

Experience

Started shooting in Cub Scouts at age 10. US Army veteran in the late 1960's. Owned several hundred handguns including revolvers and autoloading pistols made by Colt, Smith & Wesson, Ruger, Merwin Hulbert, H&R, Iver Johnson, Hopkins and Allen, Charter Arms and European pistols made by Mauser, Beretta, Star, Llama, Tanfoglio Guseppe, Dreyse 1907 and FN. I am mostly interested in and experienced with late 19th and all 20th century pistols, not current guns using plastic.

Education/Credentials
Have a degree in Social Work, with minors in Sociology and Fine Art (Painting)

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