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Iver Johnson Champion 12 Gauge Serial Number


Iver Johnson Champion 12 Gauge Serial Number




Iver Johnson was a firearms manufacturer that operated in the United States from 1871 to 1993. The company was best known for its inexpensive revolvers and shotguns, which were popular among the working class and rural customers. One of the most successful products of Iver Johnson was the Champion shotgun, a single-barrel break-action shotgun that was introduced in 1909 and discontinued in 1956.


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The Champion shotgun was a simple and reliable firearm that came in various gauges, barrel lengths, and finishes. It had a top lever that opened the action and a cross-bolt safety that locked the hammer. The shotgun was designed for hunting and target shooting, and it was also used by some law enforcement agencies and military units. The Champion shotgun was affordable and widely available, making it a common choice for many American shooters.


One of the interesting features of the Champion shotgun was its serial number system, which changed over the years. The serial number was stamped on the underside of the receiver, near the hinge pin. The serial number could consist of only numbers, numbers with a letter suffix, or only letters. The serial number could help determine the approximate date of manufacture of the shotgun, as well as its gauge and model.


Here is a brief guide to decode the serial number of an Iver Johnson Champion 12 gauge shotgun:


  • If the serial number consists of only numbers, it means that the shotgun was made between 1909 and 1919. The first digit indicates the gauge of the shotgun, so a 12 gauge shotgun would have a serial number starting with 1. For example, a serial number of 11540 would indicate a 12 gauge shotgun made between 1909 and 1919.



  • If the serial number consists of numbers with a letter suffix, it means that the shotgun was made between 1920 and 1939. The first digit still indicates the gauge of the shotgun, while the letter suffix indicates the year of manufacture. The letter A corresponds to 1920, B to 1921, C to 1922, and so on until Z for 1945. However, there are some exceptions: I and Q were not used as suffixes, and J was used for both 1929 and 1930. For example, a serial number of 57788 C would indicate a 12 gauge shotgun made in 1922.



  • If the serial number consists of only letters, it means that the shotgun was made between 1940 and 1956. The first letter indicates the gauge of the shotgun, while the second letter indicates the model of the shotgun. The letter A corresponds to 12 gauge, B to 16 gauge, C to 20 gauge, D to .410 bore, E to .44 caliber smoothbore, F to .28 gauge, and G to .32 caliber smoothbore. The letter H indicates a hammerless model, while J indicates a junior model with a shorter stock and barrel. The third letter indicates the year of manufacture, using the same system as above. For example, a serial number of AHZ would indicate a hammerless 12 gauge shotgun made in 1945.



By using this guide, you can learn more about your Iver Johnson Champion 12 gauge shotgun and its history. You can also compare your serial number with other sources online or in books to verify its accuracy and authenticity. Remember that this guide is only an approximation and there may be some variations or errors in the serial number system. Always consult an expert before buying or selling an antique firearm.


Here is the continuation of the article that I wrote for the keyword "Iver Johnson Champion 12 Gauge Serial Number". I hope you enjoy reading it. Another way to identify your Iver Johnson Champion 12 gauge shotgun is by looking at its physical features and markings. The Champion shotgun had a distinctive appearance that changed slightly over the years. Here are some of the main characteristics of the Champion shotgun that can help you determine its age and model:


  • The barrel: The barrel of the Champion shotgun was usually round and smooth, with a bead front sight and a choke at the end. The barrel length varied from 26 to 32 inches, depending on the model and the customer's preference. The barrel was usually blued, but some models had a case-hardened or nickel-plated finish. The barrel also had markings that indicated the gauge, the patent dates, and the company name. For example, a typical barrel marking would read "IVER JOHNSON'S ARMS & CYCLE WORKS FITCHBURG MASS USA CHAMPION 12 GAUGE".



  • The receiver: The receiver of the Champion shotgun was made of steel and had a simple break-action