Trigger Safety

Just as with the Smith & Wesson Top-Breaks, the Iver Johnsons were chambered in 5-shot versions of .32 S&W and .38 S&W as well as a 7-shot .22 Long Rifle. Just as with Henry Deringer’s pocket pistol, Iver Johnson’s version became infamous when it was used by Leon Czolgosz to assassinate President William McKinley, causing Theodore Roosevelt to become president.

Okay, so the transfer bar is not a new design, having been pioneered by Iver Johnson so long ago. At least the safety trigger as first found on the Glock is new, right? Nope, no new design here either. Long before Gaston Glock was born or even thought about producing firearms, Iver Johnson’s top-break pocket pistol was being produced with that funny little bar in the center the trigger. These were hammerless models so there was no hammer to hammer, however the safety trigger precluded it being fired unless positively pressed. Iver Johnson did not stop there. Some of the revolvers will have what appears to be a trigger stop behind the trigger in the trigger guard. This is not a trigger stop but rather another safety and the revolver will not fire unless the back of the trigger presses this little bar positively.

Smith & Wesson and Iver Johnson produced millions of these small pocket revolvers so you can bet a lot of folks went around armed. However, they are not the only manufacturers filling the pockets of numerous grandpas and grandmothers’ purses.