Guns, Firearms, Projectile Weapon Sports/iver johnson gun inherited


I have recently inherited a hammerless iver johnsons .32? from my deceased aunt. could you please help me identify this piece.
the serial # I found under the grip was an A or R 21021 and the number was repeated under the trigger guard and barrel,
on the bottom of the handle was 'pat. june.16,96. aug.25,96'
and under that was:'pats. pending'
it has a long flat spring in the handle with 2 owls on the grip.
hope this helps,

Hello Donna.
  The description you give of your Iver Johnson Arms and Cycle Works revolver is as follows: It is a Hammerless model with 'Pat'd.June16,96.Aug.25.96.'on the bottom of the grip. Under that 'Pat's.Pending'. You also have a ? after the caliber. However with the patent date you give and the letter prefix, it may be a caliber .38 S&W (not Special). Since there is no 'A' prefix for the hammerless, I would say it reads, on the left side of grip strap, 'R21021'. If so, it is a 'Second Model 10th Variation' in caliber .38 S&W, manufactured in 1906. There were 33,000 of this year and model manufactured. There were 11 variations, manufactured with a total of 600,000, produced in 14 years. They were manufactured in standard nickel plate, or by special order in blue. The standard barrel length was 3.25", with options of 3.5", 4", 5", and 6". It sold new in 1905 for 7.00 (which is two days wages today!). In 1906, the 3.5" barrel length was dropped and a 2" was added. Many cyclists, and turn of century policeman, carried the 2" version, since it was able to fit comfortably in a pocket. In fact, one police department equipped their entire police force with an Iver Johnson bicycle and an Iver Johnson revolver. It's quality and dependability was so good, some soldiers carried the Iver Johnson revolver for personal protection during the Spanish American War and the Russian Japanese conflict. The phrase 'Hammer The Hammer' was first used in advertising campaigns in 1905. This was due to the safety mechanism of the transfer bar firing pin. The hammer had to be fully cocked to fire, or in the case of the hammerless model, the trigger had to be fully pulled to fire. The First and Second Models were intended for use with blackpowder cartridges only, although some individuals have used modern smokeless powder cartridges in these revolvers without problems. The Third Model was manufactured to fire smokeless powder cartridges. Have a Licensed gunsmith check it over before firing it.
  The only way your revolver can be a caliber .32 S&W, is if the letter pre-fix is 'O' or 'U'. If by chance it is, it would have been manufactured as a 'Second Model 6th Variation', in the years of 1906 or 1907. I hope this helps identify your revolver. If there is anything we missed, just give me a follow-up and I will be glad to do more research.
  Thank you fore asking for me to help. Please rate my performance. Thank you, Charles Gage

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Charles Gage


I can answer questions dealing with firearms and their development due to western expansion. I can answer most questions about any firearms of the world manufactured after the Civil War(1868 - present. I can offer safety warnings about these. I can offer opinions and the reasons behind these. I can also answer questions about Iver Johnson firearms. I can identify by pictures most firearms. If your question involves a firearm you have access to, please include a good quality photo with your question.


I have been at the study of firearms and their use since my first issue of Field and Stream in 1962.At that time I was completely devoted to rifles, but over the years I have experienced the thrill of the hunt with handguns, shotguns and of course rifles. I moved from Oklahoma to New Mexico in 1972 and, since, I have taken numerous game and non-game animals with all firearms (cannons excluded)including blackpowder muzzleloading rifles,shotguns and handguns. My favorite handgun for large non-game animals, such as feral hogs, is my Uberti replica of a 1847 Colt Walker. Very heavy, but accurate.

I am a 1973 high school graduate. Junior and senior year I developed a class on Wildlife Depredation and Conservation of our Rocky Mountain states. My specialty was the brown bear.

Awards and Honors
New Mexico Hunter Safety Program Instructor 15 year award.

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