Iver-Johnson Safety Hammerless (Video)

I believe this is the least expensive gun we have yet covered on Forgotten Weapons – this particular example cost me $49 at a local gun shop. Why bother with a cheap old (and pretty commonplace) revolver? To be honest, there is one reason that specifically pushed me to buy it: the safety.

You’ve seen the clever and innovative trigger safety on the Glock – and now on a bunch of other striker-fired pistols – right? Well, Iver-Johnson was doing that over a century ago. Have a look:

For the record, this is a 2nd model Safety Hammerless, which is not intended for smokeless powder. I was using light handloads, which is still not a good idea for the pistol, as smokeless powder burns faster than black powder, and creates a higher peak pressure for the same muzzle velocity as a BP load. Continued shooting of light smokeless loads will cause the cylinder gap to grow and impair the timing. Shooting full-power smokeless loads could cause more serious and spectacular damage, so you do so at your own risk. I decided it wasn’t a problem to run a handful of light rounds through for the purposes of the video.