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#591391 02/03/21 10:04 PM
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I picked up an Iver Johnson 12g today (I know not very exiting) but this one seems to be a very early one. The First 5 inches or so of the barrel is octagon with a mat rib on that portion of the barrel, it has a schnable (spelling?) forend on it and it also has a pistol grip with a rubber type cap (I haven’t seen this on most I’ve come across) the serial number is 3900. I figure one of you guys would have a way to tell me the approximate date of manufacture based on that Serial number, thanks for any info

Last edited by MinnesotaJoe; 02/03/21 10:05 PM.

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Iver Johnson champion single shot


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I can't help you, but I would love to see pictures, especially of that octgon to round barrel and rib. Sounds cool to me.

You spelled schnable like I do. Looks good to me.


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Last edited by skeettx; 02/03/21 10:29 PM.

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Iver Johnson was selling guns stamped with their label long before they started manufacturing them. A picture of the gun is needed to help identify the maker and model.

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There are markings other than serial numbers that may tell when one was made. Yours sounds like a very early gun. When Bill Goforth died much of what we knew was lost. If it was before 1925 the word CHAMPION was stamped above all other markings and after 1925 the word CHAMPION was below all other markings. From your serial number it soulds like 1909-1917 sounds reasonable.

Bill Goforth thought this was a close approximation of when they were made.

1909-1917 Champion model 36= numbers only from 1 up to 99,999
1917-1921 Champion= numbers and a single letter suffix.
1921-1939 Champion= numbers and two letter suffix.
1939-1956 Champion= letters only.
1971-1978 Champion= unknown.

Look for a letter code on the gun if you do not see a numerical serial number. Champs were made in Fitchburg Massachusetts.
The lettered Serial Number Decoder literally spells out the name of the town.....

F=1
I=2
T=3
C=4
H=5
B=6
U=7
R=8
G=9
"X" = 0 (zero)


According to another source, the lettered guns were made from 1939-1957. So if you find a letter code of GIBF that would be made between 1939 - 1956(7). I have a gun with serial letters GIBF which I know was made in 1950 as it was a wedding gift to a family member.

Last edited by KY Jon; 02/03/21 11:44 PM.
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Sidelock
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KY John thank you. That lines up with the info I found as well, I belive it is a very early gun, it dosnt look mass produced at all, most of my doubles are from the 1890s-1920s and it definetly has alot of things in common with my early guns, as opposed to the later made Champions that looked alot more mass produced.


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Interesting to know that IJ was using a forend with a schnabel tip that early.

Is the forend shaped like the one on this I J Special Trap, and is there any indication that the forend wood doesn't look as old as the buttstock?

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Nope it is very different than the forend on the super trap, it looks more slender and the forend is longer with the schnabel on the end, also very different than the regular forend that you usually see in the Iver Johnson’s that kind of ends abruptly. It is definitely the original forend, the checkering and color are identical to the stock, I own quite a few guns from the same era and would definitely be able to see if it wasn’t the original stock and or forend.


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I would post a picture but I have never figured out how it’s done on here!!!


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