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Here is something fun. I have acquired this revolver from my great uncle who also carried brass knuckles and a bully club. I have all of his EDC now since he passed. This revolver is very interesting and I have never seen anything like it. I'm guessing this was made around early 1900s from the Iver Johnson Arms and Cycle Works.

This is a stainless steel, hammerless, five shot, double action, top break revolver. The distinctive monogram on the grips gives these guns the nickname of ‘Owl Head’. It's a cool little fun in good shape. From the looks inside the barrel, I don't think it was ever shot. I just thought I would share a little bit of history.
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Looks like a Third Model Safety Hammerless and in very good condition. It's nickel plated, not stainless. Should be chambered for the old S&W 32, not the newer 32 S&W Long. The rectangular cylinder lock slots indicate that it was designed for the then new smokeless powder.
If you can provide a serial number I can narrow down the manufacture date.

John
 
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I have one like it in 38 s&w , I was told that you can tell if it was smokeless or black powder by the way the owl is looking , looking at you is smokeless looking foreword is black powder
 

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I have one of those that belonged to my grandfather, also in 32 S&W. The one I have is a very early example with a 3 digit serial number making it one of the black powder guns. A short story about the little Iver, one day my grandmother was standing in the back hall near the telephone when she saw a stranger come walking down the hall towards her. The Iver was in a drawer in the telephone table and she reached down, picked it up and fired all 5 shots down the hall at the intruder. Well, the intruder ran off, never to be seen again and when my grandfather got home from work he had bullet holes in walls, floor and ceiling to patch! That may have been the last time that little gun was fired!
 

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I like them old Iver Johnson revolvers. I picked up an old model 52 or 52a, .22 Cal. / 6mm blank gun. Great for gun dog training.
 

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Looks like a Third Model Safety Hammerless and in very good condition. It's nickel plated, not stainless. Should be chambered for the old S&W 32, not the newer 32 S&W Long. The rectangular cylinder lock slots indicate that it was designed for the then new smokeless powder.
If you can provide a serial number I can narrow down the manufacture date.

John
I think this is the number.
467266
 

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Looks like a Third Model Safety Hammerless and in very good condition. It's nickel plated, not stainless. Should be chambered for the old S&W 32, not the newer 32 S&W Long. The rectangular cylinder lock slots indicate that it was designed for the then new smokeless powder.
If you can provide a serial number I can narrow down the manufacture date.

John
Can you look up a second one? I've got an Iver Johnson .38 S&W Owl's Head. The only number on it is C8860 and is located on the bottom of the grip frame.

Thanks.
 

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I think this is the number.
Looks to be 1916. The left grip strap, under the grip, should also have the number with a "B" letter code. Is there a Nov .17.08 patent date on the bottom of the grip?
Your revolver is also known as the Small Frame Safety Hammerless Automatic Revolver. Automatic because it ejected the cases when opened. The large frame versions were chambered in 38 S&W or 32 S&W Long.

John
 

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Can you look up a second one? I've got an Iver Johnson .38 S&W Owl's Head. The only number on it is C8860 and is located on the bottom of the grip frame.
Need more info, but with a C prefix it should have an external hammer. If the cylinder has no rectangular stop slots it is likely a large frame second model made in 1896. If rectangular, it's a 3rd model from 1909.


John
 

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Yes that's exactly what it says. Nov 17-08
Yours is the second, final, variation of the 3rd model, and was made for smokeless powder use. Manufactured from 1909 to 1941, total production was 138,550. 14,200 were made in 1916.
Most of these old IJs don't have much value, especially the black powder versions. I've bought them for as little as $25. But you have a nice example of the later smokeless model. I'd value it at $150, though the family connection for you would make it priceless.
Thanks for sharing and posting the pics!
John
 

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I have a handful of those old IJ top breaks, two .32s & two .38 S&Ws both the "short" variant, one of the .38s is near mint, one of the .32s is a black powder frame, they all four shoot quite well and may or may not be stashed around the house and whatnot, as a last ditch reserve.
 

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Yes that's exactly what it says. Nov 17-08


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Need more info, but with a C prefix it should have an external hammer. If the cylinder has no rectangular stop slots it is likely a large frame second model made in 1896. If rectangular, it's a 3rd model from 1909.


John
Yes, it has a hammer. I don't see anything rectangular about these stop slots.
Found this and a Winchester 1906 Expert in the attic my mother in law's old house.
467380
 

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Here is something fun. I have acquired this revolver from my great uncle who also carried brass knuckles and a bully club. I have all of his EDC now since he passed. This revolver is very interesting and I have never seen anything like it. I'm guessing this was made around early 1900s from the Iver Johnson Arms and Cycle Works.

This is a stainless steel, hammerless, five shot, double action, top break revolver. The distinctive monogram on the grips gives these guns the nickname of ‘Owl Head’. It's a cool little fun in good shape. From the looks inside the barrel, I don't think it was ever shot. I just thought I would share a little bit of history.
View attachment 466871 View attachment 466872 View attachment 466873 View attachment 466875

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I have same exact gun.....
 

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Yours is the second, final, variation of the 3rd model, and was made for smokeless powder use. Manufactured from 1909 to 1941, total production was 138,550. 14,200 were made in 1916.
Most of these old IJs don't have much value, especially the black powder versions. I've bought them for as little as $25. But you have a nice example of the later smokeless model. I'd value it at $150, though the family connection for you would make it priceless.
Thanks for sharing and posting the picks!
John
Thank you so much for taking the time to research this and provide me the information. I have this in a shadow box an I can post it of you'd be like to see it.
 

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Yes, it has a hammer. I don't see anything rectangular about these stop slots.
Found this and a Winchester 1906 Expert in the attic my mother in law's old house.
1896 it is then. the cylinder spins freely unless the trigger is pulled back fully. On the newer guns with the rectangular stop notches, the cylinder only advances when the hammer is pulled back manually or the trigger pulled in a DA mode, as with all the S&W revolver types.

John
 
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Londy,
I'm sure I am not the only one here that would like to see how you celebrate your great uncle's old IJ. Post away!

John
 

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1896 it is then. the cylinder spins freely unless the trigger is pulled back fully. On the newer guns with the rectangular stop notches, the cylinder only advances when the hammer is pulled back manually or the trigger pulled in a DA mode, as with all the S&W revolver types.

John
Thanks for the info. One last question: Is it a black powder gun? I wouldn't think so, but I gotta ask. I haven't shot it in a LONG time (like 40+ years) but I wouldn't mind shooting it again for old times sake.
 

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Yes, black powder. Most all modern made 38 S&W ammo is loaded mild because of all the old top break revolvers still around. Same for the 32 S&W. I reload both calibers using cast lead bullets and Trail Boss for use in my old S&W top breaks.

John
 
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