Guns, Firearms, Projectile Weapon Sports/iver johnson top break revolver


I am considering buying an iver johnson top break revolver. The serial # is 71398. The date is Aug. 25 9? It looks like a 32 cal, but I'm not sure. Can you tell me anything about the gun from the information I have provided?  It has ivory grips and is nickel plated (very good condition considering age). I would just like to know that model it is and what cal.

Iver Johnson made various top break revolvers from around 1800 till the end of production at the start of WWII. There are various frame sizes, several .32 caliber chamberings - mainly .32 S&W, . 32 S&W Long. I DO NOT recall a .32 Rimfire, but there may have been some early models in that chambering. There are almost no records surviving for Iver Johnson revolvers. They never really kept such records, and the factory and business was sold several times until IIRC about 1980.

There are several things you should be aware of...OLDER IJ's were designed for black powder cartridges and should NEVER be used with modern ammo. They won't explode, but they were not designed or built for the different pressure characteristics of smokeless powder. Generally, the year 1910 is considered safe - revolvers made by IJ after that year were designed using thicker and better steel and redesigned parts.  THe simple way to tell if you have a BP or modern ammo revolver is to CAREFULLY remove the grips- they are brittle from age, and are near impossible to find and pretty expensive if you could. IF the hammer spring is a flat spring, the gun was made for black powder only. If a coil spring, then it is safe to shoot with modern ammo, if it is otherwise mechanically good.

The SN itself means very little, and there might be a letter before the numbers as well. The number is stamped on the bottom of the grip frame, and should be repeated on the cylinder as it is open.

I would need several pics, a GOOD description of the gun and the FULL stamping on the barrel - and if it is on the top or the side.

I have several old IJ revolvers and they were good and popular guns in their day, but they are collectables now and should be regarded as such.

I have used all this space to tell you that I can not tell you what you requested, and no one could with such very limited information.

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Mark Schmidt


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.


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.

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

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