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pondoro
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Posted: 30 November 2017 at 2:06pm | IP Logged Quote pondoro

I have an Iver Johnson Owl Head 32 S&W. Three points:
1) I know it is not a sought after collector's item.
2) That said it is in nearly perfect condition -
plating nearly 100% (just slight discoloration near
the forcing cone). Bore is excellent. I have the box,
the sides have collapsed but the top and bottom are
sound.
3) No less than Ken Waters recommends against
using even his lightest 32 loads in this gun. (Pet
Loads)

I know the gun is from the black powder era. Do I keep
it pristine (not shoot it), shoot it with BP only, or
try light loads of smokeless. How many of you are
shooting one of these old guns?
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RT58
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Posted: 03 December 2017 at 10:00am | IP Logged Quote RT58

Alright you got me. I do shoot an old Iver Johnson top break, I am assuming that's what you are talking about.

I have a H&R top break in .32 that is near pristine that I don't shoot. I have other .32s that were made for smokeless powder that I use instead.

My Iver Johnson is a .38 S&W and I shoot it very little, very, very little, with a very light charge of powder. If I could find a solid frame revolver I'd buy it and put the IJ back on the wall. I hate ruining good guns when there is no reason to do so, that's what Rugers are for. Blow them up and nobody cares.
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richhodg66
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Posted: 03 December 2017 at 6:56pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

I have a little Iver Johnson top break .32 and I have reloaded for it and shot it. Lyman's recommednded load for a (if I recall right) an 85 grain round nose bullet was 1.1 grain of Bullseye and a Lyman 55 will throw that small a charge dead on accurate all day long.

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pondoro
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Posted: 03 December 2017 at 6:59pm | IP Logged Quote pondoro

That is where I am struggling. It is really beautiful.
But if I don't shoot it it has lost it's purpose, to
some extent.
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richhodg66
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Posted: 03 December 2017 at 8:14pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

They're not real collectable. If you want to shoot it, shoot it. I'm pretty sure they still make factory ammo for them, but it can be handloaded for as well.

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Rifleman 52
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Posted: 07 December 2017 at 5:06pm | IP Logged Quote Rifleman 52

Not that it matters much but I have an Iver Johonson 12
GA. shotgun single shot. It made a shooter out of me when
I was a young man. Rabbits, pheasants, or squirrel, one
shot at a time was all you got. My good friend had good
beagles and we had a lot of fun because we got out of
work at 6:am, and went hunting a lot. After a few years
the forearm would fall off when you shot it some times. I
know how to fix it just never took the time. I bought
this shotgun used for $10.00, It was missing the butt
plate. I bought a new one at a gun show for $3.00. I
think now it is worth about $100.00. sorry I crept in on
your hand gun thread.
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richhodg66
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Posted: 08 December 2017 at 4:59am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Iver Johnson made some neat stuff over the years. It's a shame so many of these grand old names have gone away. It always saddens me when I think of Harrington and Richardson too. Niether was known for making top of the line stuff, but decent quality for just us regular folks.

My uncle passed away and was never a real gun enthusiast, but we found a little Iver Johnson .410 in his stuff nobody could remember him having and nobody wanted. I grabbed it thinking it might be fun to play with, but that gun is far from being junk. The wood and fitting and finish is much better than some of the better stuff nowadays.

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richhodg66
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Posted: 08 December 2017 at 5:05am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Back on track, you should be able to find some round balls of the appropriate sized, .312-.314. You should be able to make up some very gentle loads easily enough.

I have never used any, but everybody talks about Trail Boss for black powder level loads in a lot of things, might be worth pursuing.

Another option might be the wax or plastic bullets for indoor target practice that are driven with just a primer.

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Kosh75287
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Posted: 08 December 2017 at 11:06am | IP Logged Quote Kosh75287

Find a nice display frame for it, with which you can hang it on the wall, and from which you can remove it, from time to time, to shoot it just a little. I think I would stick to black-powder-only reloads with it, also.

One thing I hope you WILL NOT do is try shooting .32 ACP from it. The .32 ACP will often chamber in those, and had just enough of a rim on it that the revolvers will often eject the spent auto rounds without a problem.

But the hinged-frame break-open revolvers were built for pressures in the 14,000 c.u.p. area and below. The .32 ACP operates at about 50% greater pressures. A steady diet of .32 ACPs in these old revolvers will eventually lead to a bad outcome. Just saying.

Edited by Kosh75287 on 08 December 2017 at 11:15am
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