Iver Johnson Shotgun Serial Number Database
Iver Johnson Shotgun Serial Number Database
Iver Johnson was a firearms manufacturer that started in 1871 and operated until 1993. The company was known for producing inexpensive handguns, revolvers, and shotguns. One of their most popular shotgun models was the Champion, which was a single-barrel break-action shotgun that was produced from 1909 to 1957. The Champion shotgun had various serial number formats over the years, which can help identify the year of manufacture and other details about the gun.
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How to Read Iver Johnson Shotgun Serial Numbers
The serial number of an Iver Johnson shotgun can be found on the bottom of the barrel rib or the bottom of the trigger guard. Depending on the year and model, the serial number may consist of only numbers, numbers with a letter prefix or suffix, or only letters. Here is how to interpret the different serial number formats:
If the serial number has no letter prefix or suffix, it was made between 1909 and 1919. For example, a serial number of 12345 indicates a gun made in this period.
If the serial number has a single letter prefix, it was made between 1920 and 1929. The letter corresponds to a number from 1 to 9, using the code below. For example, a serial number of F12345 indicates a gun made in 1926.
If the serial number has a two-letter prefix, it was made between 1930 and 1939. The first letter corresponds to a number from 1 to 9, using the same code as above. The second letter corresponds to a letter from A to Z, using the alphabet as a code. For example, a serial number of FA12345 indicates a gun made in 1931.
If the serial number has only letters, it was made between 1940 and 1950. The letters correspond to numbers from 1 to 9, using the same code as above. For example, a serial number of FITCH indicates a gun made in 1943.
The code for converting letters to numbers is as follows:
Other Markings on Iver Johnson Shotguns
Besides the serial number, there are other markings on Iver Johnson shotguns that can provide more information about the gun. Some of these markings are:
The word CHAMPION on the barrel or receiver. This indicates the model name of the shotgun. If the word appears above all other markings, the gun was made before 1925. If the word appears below all other markings, the gun was made after 1925.
The words IVER JOHNSON'S ARMS & CYCLE WORKS on the barrel or receiver. This indicates the name of the manufacturer and their location in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
The words MADE IN USA on the barrel or receiver. This indicates that the gun was made in America and not imported from another country.
The words PAT'D PENDING or PAT'D APRIL 28.96 on the barrel or receiver. This indicates that the gun has a patent pending or granted for its design or mechanism.
The words HAMMER or HAMMERLESS on the barrel or receiver. This indicates whether the gun has an external hammer or not. The hammerless model has a safety lever on the trigger face instead.
The words SINGLE BARREL SHOTGUN on the barrel or receiver. This indicates that the gun is a single-barrel break-action shotgun and not a double-barrel or pump-action shotgun.
The gauge and chamber length of the shotgun on the barrel. This indicates the size and type of shells that the gun can fire. For example, 12 GA. 2 3/4 IN. CHAMBER indicates that the gun can fire 12 gauge shells that are 2 3/4 inches long.
The choke of the shotgun on the barrel. This indicates the degree of constriction at the end of the barrel that affects the spread of the shot. For example, FULL CHOKE indicates that the barrel has a tight constriction that produces a narrow shot pattern.
Why Iver Johnson Shotgun Serial Numbers Matter
Iver Johnson shotgun serial numbers are important for several reasons. They can help identify the age, model, and features of the gun. They can also help trace the ownership and history of the gun, which can be useful for collectors, researchers, or law enforcement. Additionally, they can help determine the value and condition of the gun, which can be helpful for buyers, sellers, or appraisers.
If you have an Iver Johnson shotgun and want to learn more about it, you can use the serial number database and other markings to find out more information about your gun. You can also consult online resources, books, or experts for more details and assistance.
This article was written using information from [Optics Bible], [The Truth About Guns], and [Shotgun Forum].