1950 = start at 1 1952 = 7369 – 21342 1953 = 28916 1955 = 55050 – 75000 1957 = 117770 – 125000 1962 = starts at 295000 1969 = ends at 786544 J serial Prefix serial numbers. 1969-1970 = J1 – J99999 1971-1972 = 1J1 – 999J99 1973-1974 = J100000 – J250000 1975-1976 = J250001 – J370000 1976-1977 = J370001 – J610000 1977-1978 = J610001 – J670000 1979-1980 = J670001 – J760000 1981 = J760001 – J915400 1982 = J915401 – 1J18600 1983 = 1J18601 – 1JXXXX 1955 – 4 screw side plate ends 1957 – stamping of model number at 125000 1966 – flat latch ends 1968 – diamond grips end 1975 – heavy barrel standard 1982 – end pinned barrel As it turns out my 36 is from 1956.
She arrived filthy dirty, but not from gunpowder residue, rather from dust as if the firearm had been stored on top of a dresser for years.
I used Break-Free CLP to clean and realized I needed to wipe out underneath the side panel.
These guns began production in 1969 with the "R" serial numbers. If it has the original grips, they should be wood, checkered, and with a diamond around the grip screw escutcheons.
The Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works (yes, makers of handguns and fine bicycles), was started back in 1871 by a 30-year old Norwegian born inventor of the same name.
Truth be told, it started as the Johnson and Bye Company, but eventually Johnson bought out Bye and went at it alone.
The Fitchburg, Massachusetts based factory concentrated more on its bicycles than its firearms and employed many Scandinavian immigrants including one Oscar Frederick Mossberg, who later went on to do some work in shotguns with his sons.
Just before Iver died in 1895, his company began to produce a new revolver that the late engineer had perfected late in life known as the Safety Automatic.