From the AR Archives: The Return of Iver Johnson

posted on March 19, 2010

Its name and familiar Owl Head symbols have appeared on a bewildering array of guns and other products for over a century, but the 1980s will mark a fresh start for Iver Johnson.

Anyone who sets out to write the definitive history of Iver Johnson and his products will find tough going. He would not only have to document a huge number of pistols, derringers, revolvers, rifles and shotguns, but blank, air, line-throwing and toy guns as well. That would be the beginning. Then he would have to list leg irons, handcuffs, hand tools, bicycles, tricycles, “juniorcycles,” motorcycles and baby walkers.

Even if the Iver Johnson historian stuck to firearms and let the rest go, he would run into trouble because, in the early days, private branding for various jobbers, distributors, agents and other middle-men invites confusion.

Iver Johnson surely made “Secret Service Special” revolvers for the Chicago firm of Fred Biffar—but so did Meriden Firearms Co.; I.J. made many variations of so-marked “Bull Dog” revolvers—but so did Forehand & Wadsworth and others, and they all looked about the same; I.J. used a number of grip-plate logos (in addition to many variations of its famous owl head) that some historians say were exclusively I.J.’s designs; yet other historians and old catalogs show some of these logos on revolvers which are indentified as being made by other manufacturers.....


Horman Ar10takedown 3
Horman Ar10takedown 3

Building A Takedown Pistol In .308 Win.

With the large amount of components available for the AR-10 platform, along with a new trend of more compact AR pistols, constructing your own foldable, compact, takedown AR-10 pistol is possible.

Kahr Arms To Host Annual Rod of Iron Freedom Fest

Kahr Firearms Group is hosting this year’s “Rod of Iron Freedom Festival” at its Greeley, Penn., Kahr Headquarters facility.

Mossberg Maverick 88: Mossberg's Budget-Priced Pump Shotgun

The Maverick 88 is one of Mossberg's best known shotgun models and is currently available in 14 different versions.

The Men And Guns Of D-Day: 82nd Airborne Division

Watch this segment of American Rifleman Television "The Men And Guns Of D-Day" to learn more about the men of the 82nd Airborne Division, their stories and the firearms they used during "The Great Crusade."

MidwayUSA Grants $2.3 Million To Help Youth Shooting Teams

The MidwayUSA Foundation recently announced the payout of more than $2.23 million in cash grants to 612 youth shooting teams.

Review: Bond Arms Roughneck

The Roughneck derringer from Bond Arms is an entry-level option in 9 mm Luger, but don’t let that fool you, as the quality of its materials and craftsmanship rival those of the company’s top-end variants.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.