Johnson & Bye "Defender" .32 RF Pocket Revolver
Iver Johnson and Martin Bye were also employees of the famous Ethan Allen, and undoubtedly knew Forehand & Wadsworth, Hopkins & Allen, Thomas Bacon, etc. It would seem the entire New England arms making community was thightly knit and well acquainted. Martin Bye left the Johnson & Bye partnership in 1883 and Iver then changed the name of the company to Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works. He became famous for the excellent quality bicycles, and in the early 20th century, also for his motorcycles.
The "Defender" and "Defender 89" were popular Iver Johnson products, and they are still quite commonly found on the antique gun market today. Although not of impressive quality, they must be tough enough to have survived for 140 years...
This one rates about very good, with about 50% original nickel, which is flaking in places. The action is tight and the cylinder locks up properly. The 2 3/8 inch barrel is dull, with rifling visible. It is clean and complete. The hard rubber grips show an interesting eagle motif. SN 2262, rated very good overall. 


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