I bought a Marlin 336A (24" barrel, 2/3 magazine, high comb stock, early 60"s vintage) that is in near new condition and 100% original last week online, and after purchasing that I saw another gun that intrigued me. I have been wanting a small bore shotgun for some time, but don't want to pay huge money for it. I prefer vintage stuff, and we all know what a nice old side by side in a 410, or 28g costs. Haven't even been able to find a reasonable deal on an old Savage or Stevens. So, when I saw this Iver Johnson Champion 410 in great condition for $99.00, I told them to box it up with my new rifle. I could have gone with a new H&R that are cheap, but this one is vintage and has more style to it, as well as beautiful case hardening on the reciever and a walnut stock(can't stand the birch on the new inexpensive guns). I had a 20g H&R as a kid and I took lots of birds with it, so I know a single shot isn't as handy as a double(or as cool) but it will be fun nonetheless. I know that Iver Johnson made this model starting in 1916, but I don't know when they stopped so it will be fun to research when I get it in hand.
Good buy Kirk. I have a Crescent Firearms "New Empire" double barrel .410. I can't begin to count the number of squirrels and rabbits this gun has shot. Crescent made guns for store brands and others. It is a strong box lock with double triggers and is still going after probably more than 100 yrs. Your Iver Johnson is probably similar.
Iver Johnson manufactured inexpensive firearms from 1883 to 1993, the Champion was manufactured from 1909 to 1956. Bluebook Champion values are in the $150 range.
20 Gauge Choke Bore Barrel and Lug Forged in One" "Pat'd June 15 15 Pat's Pending" On side of Receiver: Iver Johnson's Arms & Cycle Works Fitchburg, Mass USA Champion I inherited this little shotgun from my Grandfather via my Uncle. Is it worth anything? I've been thinking of refinishing it. I am aware that this can destroy the value of a collectible gun, so I'd like to know before I proceed any further (lest I have irate collectors come and beat some sense into me...) On the off chance that it is worth something, what kinds of refinishing are considered kosher? I wanted to at least strip the stock (it appears to be walnut, but someone has finished it with a horrid orange colored varnish or paint. I'd like to remove that and put a simple linseed oil finish on it). If this is a "cheap" gun, then I'll probably hand checker the stock after cleaning it and maybe even try some engraving on the gun itself.
Answer: Charles- There is virtually nothing you can do to this gun to reduce its value. Go ahead and refinish, checker, or whatever else you want to do. It was made sometime after 1891, when Iver Johnson moved their operation to Fitchburg, and perhaps as late as 1948 when they were still being advertised in the Stoeger's catalog. Being 20 GA, my hunch is that it is probably more like 1920s to 40s vintage... John Spangler
I have an old Iver Johnson Champion .410 for the 2 1/2 inch shell that was my first shotgun. Beat up, wire wrapped around the wrist of the stock for a repair. First time I went hunting I shot a dove with it. I think they're great.
"That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."
- George Orwell
“War is an ill thing, as I surely know. But 'twould be an ill world for weaponless dreamers if evil men were not now and then slain.”
― Rudyard Kipling