Working The Iver Johnson Defender 89

These little spur trigger revolvers show up occasionally. Here’s the how-to on them.

by Dick Maheu

A good friend inherited his dad’s gun collection and asked me to check this little Iver Johnson revolver out and clean it up. This revolver is a five shot chambered for the .32 Rimfire cartridge. These revolvers are small and were not meant for daily use but exactly what the name implies. The Defender was intended to be a pocket pistol for casual use to defend oneself if needed. This Defender 89 series of revolvers were made between 1889 and 1899. Although not very valuable on the collector market, they remain collectable and are getting scarcer in this fully functioning condition. Parts are extremely scarce but most good competent gunsmiths can make most of the parts in this little revolver.

While you won’t find disassembly instructions on the Defender 89 series in any of the normal firearm takedown manuals, but this little revolver is simplicity itself and fairly easy to figure out with a little study beforehand.

Read more in our March 2015 issue. Back issues are available.

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