By Bob Walsh
GUN OF THE WEEK
The Gun of the Week this time around is the Iver Johnson TP-22 .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol.
Iver Johnson had been around since 1871. They made bicycles, later motorcycles and various small-arms. In the middle of the 20th Century the company divested of everything but the firearms business. After WWII the company’s new designs pretty much dried up and the company moved twice, ending up in Arkansas under the ownership of the people who owned the Henry Rifle Company. It morphed into the American Military Arms Corporation, and stopped operations in 1993. This particular weapon is an AMAC pistol.
An Iver Johnson .32 revolver was used by Leon Czolgosz in the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901. In 1933 Giuseppe Zangara shot and killed Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak with a .32 revolver made by a subsidiary company of Iver Johnson. It was generally believed he was trying to kill FDR but missed. In 1968 Sirhan Sirhan killed Robert Kennedy with an Iver Johnson .22 revolver.
The name Iver Johnson was revived in 1993 but has no connection to the products or company that held the name before.
This particular gun is a bit smaller than a Walter PPK. That is a quarter in the photo. If it were any smaller it would be difficult to hold and shoot. The barrel is about 2.85 inches long. The overall length is about 5.4 inches and overall height is about 3.6 inches. The magazine holds seven rounds. The sights are machined onto the slide and are rudimentary and obviously not adjustable. The magazine release is the European style, in the butt of the gun. It has a firing pin block safety similar to that of the Walther.
I bought one of these long ago for my lady friend so she would have a small but not too-small pocket pistol. I liked it so well I bought one for myself. The double-action trigger pull is a bit much, but the single action pull is just fine. It is fun to shoot, and a lot cheaper to shoot than my similar .25 automatics.