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Iver Johnson .22 Supershot Sealed Eight

Iver Johnson produced a variety of low to mid-range revolvers, including the Sealed Eight, which had a unique safety system—counterbored cylinders.


For more than a century, Iver Johnson was a prolific manufacturer of revolvers that claimed a large share of the lower- to mid-priced market. From assembly lines in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Arkansas, the company produced scores of different models that ranged from crude, spur-trigger pocket pistols to full-size double-action revolvers whose fit, finish and features rivaled name-brand wheelguns. Shooter perception varied accordingly. Some considered “Owlheads” (so-called for the grip embellishment seen on many models) nothing more than cheap marginal revolvers, while others appreciated a relatively inexpensive alternative that was also solid and reliable.

Among Iver Johnson’s finest work was the Supershot Sealed Eight, a series of large-frame, top-break .22 rimfires produced in three production stages between 1932 and 1958. Its lines and blued finish mimicked costlier revolvers, and it had the heft and balance of a high-end match gun. The oval-shaped, single-piece “Hi-Hold” walnut stock added further to the gun’s appearance and handling characteristics. Sealed Eight stocks typically sported a diamond-shape checkering field over the backstrap, and attached to the frame via a single screw through the butt.

The Sealed Eight name came from a unique safety feature, in that all eight chambers were counterbored into the cylinder face so that the shooter was shielded in the event of a ruptured case head. Inner surfaces were correspondingly machined to allow the star extractor to fit flush as well. Variants with 2½- and 4-inch barrels were offered for short periods, but by far the most common Sealed Eights came equipped with a 6-inch barrel. With the longer barrel, the overall length was 10¾ inches and the weight was 24 ounces, with beefy dimensions that complemented the gun’s smooth operation and aided the shooter’s ability to hold it steady.

This lightly used Sealed Eight, whose serial number is simply “A 7”, is an early example from the line’s final production stage. At this point the barrel incorporated the top rib to assume a robust, pear-shaped configuration. The rear sight—which doubles as the top-break release—is in the Patridge style and is adjustable for both windage and elevation.

The gun has been fitted with an updated Flash Control cylinder (introduced in 1955), now unfluted and bearing an extended front rim to guard against sideways powder flare. Minor wear can be seen where the cylinder face rubbed the frame upon closing, but the exterior bluing, markings and grip finish are in such nice condition that this pistol retains 96 percent original condition with a value around $250—some five times greater than its original selling price.

Gun: Iver Johnson .22 Supershot Sealed Eight
Serial No.: A 7
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
Condition: NRA Excellent
Manufactured: 1956 (circa)
Value: $250

Iver Johnson .22 Supershot Sealed Eight

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19 Responses to Iver Johnson .22 Supershot Sealed Eight

jeff wrote:
November 26, 2014

I have one and it looks like the SER# is 13090. Can you let me know what year this one is or any other details on it?

Gunny wrote:
November 23, 2014

Have a sealed 8 blued hex barrel 22 Cylinder has too much wiggle it tolerance what's the fix?

Scott wrote:
February 01, 2014

I have a sealed 8 i found in my dad's belongings. How would I go about finding info about it?

AW Rogers wrote:
July 12, 2013

I have a supershot sealed 6. Is there a database to look up #L23481?

Annie Jean wrote:
June 22, 2013

I have a .22 Supershot that I learned to shoot with in 1944 the serial number is ll976 and I am trying to find out what year it was manufactured. If any one knows you can e-mail me at huntsart@msn.com. Thanks.

Harc wrote:
April 04, 2013

I have a sealed eight serial # L 25719 that was my fathers. May have been made in the 30's or 40's as he got it from an uncle in early 50's still fires great except for cylinder flair. I see that there was an updated repair made, I'm wondering if it is still available. Anyone know? E-mail me @ har-1234@live.com

Mlke Gray wrote:
March 18, 2013

I have a .22 Super Shot Sealed Eight serial 20222 any value

Tim R. wrote:
March 18, 2013

I am buying a .22 LR Supershot Sealed 8 for $175.00 . Is it worth what I'm paying and can I shoot CCI mini-mags or other high velocity ammo out of it ?

Bud wrote:
March 06, 2013

Ihave an Iver Johnson .22 Sealed Shot Eight serial number L21793 with the original holster. Ht was hande down to me from my grandfather. It's been in my family for as long as I can remember. Condition is very good. Alittle of the bluing is rubbed off It shot great 20 years ago. Any idea of the value?

nelson miller wrote:
January 20, 2013

i need a 22 shell extractor for a super shot sealed 8 and the firing pin with spring thanks

kmac wrote:
January 02, 2013

I have just come across an Iver Johnson .22 Supershot Sealed Eight IPJ Serial #8400. How do I find out what year this was manufactured? It has not been shot in over 45 years. Is it save to shot or should I have a professional go over it first? The condition is excellent. I would like to clean it but I do not want to disturb the original finish and possibly deplete the value. Thankx, Seaking Advice

J Tim Lehnherr wrote:
November 25, 2012

I have an L-1382 and idea where i might find a schematic of this 22suppershot Sealed eight? thanks Jtim

Khim wrote:
August 18, 2012

Probably not available from a dealer.I have one with original holster.Was my grandfathers.Shoots like a dream and is in excellent condition.

lane hersha wrote:
May 05, 2012

how do you buy this gun

jeron martinez wrote:
May 01, 2012

Comments...i want the gun how can i buy this and were

Richard Finney wrote:
April 24, 2012

Is this gun still available

Mack Missiletoe wrote:
April 24, 2012

I like it

tony Puleo wrote:
April 23, 2012

can i buy one?

darl miller wrote:
April 21, 2012

Is the gun for sale? Thanks