Iver Johnson Arms

Post WWII Commercially Manufactured M1 Carbines (U.S.A.)

Iver Johnson Arms

Middlesex, NJ
Jacksonville, AR
Hardwick, VT


Section ISection IISection IIISection IVSection VSection VI
Iver Johnson Arms
Models Serial Numbers
Dates of Manufacture
Parts Brochures, Price Lists,
Fliers & Manuals


Section I
The History of Iver Johnson's Arms

Five Separate Companies in Different Times and/or Different Places
Prelude1882-1977Worcester, MA, & Fitchberg, MA
Part I1977-1983Middlesex, NJ
Part II1983-1986Jacksonville, AR
Part III1987-1992Jacksonville, AR
Part IV2003-2012+Hardwick, VT & Rockledge, FL

Part II
Iver Johnson's Arms
Jacksonville, AR


On July 21, 1982 Phillip Lynn Lloyd incorporated Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works, Inc. in Arkansas, followed on June 29, 1983 by Iver Johnson's Arms, Inc. doing business as Arkansas Investment Castings. Both corporations were located at 2202 Redmond Road in Jacksonville, AR.

This address was located on 27 acres of the original 6,895 acres (10.7 sq. miles) of what had been the Arkansas Ordnance Plant (also referred to as the Jacksonville Ordnance Plant) from 1941-1946. Most of what today is Jacksonville, AR was within the boundaries of the Arkansas Ordnance Plant 1941-1946. All that remains of the original ordnance facility is Little Rock Air Force base, located a mile north of 2202 Redmond Road.

2202 Redmond Road
Jacksonville, AR

The facility consisted of two buildings. A 50,000 sq. foot long main building housing a manufacturing hall, storage, shipping & receiving, reception, sales, administrative offices, and an indoor range. Behind this building was a 27,000 sq. foot rear building used for housing raw materials and a casting facility.

Iver Johnson Jacksonville, AR management examining the New Jersey 1983 catalog
The American Rifleman, April 1984 (likely authored during 1983)

After the purchase of Iver Johnson in 1982, at least three of the investors (Flake, Wallace, and Penick) soon wanted out for various reasons. Their stock shares were purchased by Phillip Lynn Lloyd. Another investor, Frank Lyon Jr., began investing in the company with estimates of his investments varying between $6 million and $15 million (Arkansas Business magazine, 12/17/1990).

Compromised: Clinton, Bush, and the CIA by Terry Reed & John Cummings was published in 1994. The authors claim The Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA), using funds provided by the Small Business Administration to attract out of state businesses to Arkansas, funded the purchase and move of Iver Johnson Arms to Jacksonville, AR, for the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA is alleged to have reached an agreement with the buyers of the company for the manufacture of "full auto fire parts for the M16 rifles" for shipment overseas. One of the authors of this book was a conspiracy theorist, the other an ex Navy intelligence officer with a personal stake in the story.

In the years leading up to the purchase of Iver Johnson of New Jersey, Governor Clinton and Arkansas legislators had appealed to the Federal government and Small Business Administration for loans to attract businesses to Arkansas. Keep in mind the down payment for Iver Johnson was $500,000 by eight separate investors owing an outstanding balance of $2 million, still owed in late 1986 (refer bankruptcy information below). The one and only original investor who appears he may have taken advantage of these loans was Phillip Lynn Lloyd.

While it's possible the CIA had placed an order with Iver Johnson Arkansas for M16 parts, the allegations of the authors that Iver Johnson was purchased with funds arranged by the CIA with the specific intent of manufacturing M16 "fully automatic parts" that the CIA could not obtain elsewhere are not true. Conspicuously absent from this book is any mention of everything else produced and sold by Iver Johnson in Jacksonville, AR.

In the March 10, 1997 issue of Arkansas Business magazine, "Iver Johnson Arms, a New Jersey firm that produced carbines, revolvers and target pistols, was purchased from Imperato with visions of landing lucrative government contracts. Imperato recalls the first big deal envisioned by the Arkansas buyers was making a new cartridge for the military's mainstay assault rifle, the M-16". For further on intentions and experiments conduction at the Iver Johnson facility refer to the narrative at the bottom of this page.

Carbine Production
1983 & 1984

The transition from New Jersey to Arkansas provided the new owners with parts, barrels, receivers, and entire carbines manufactured in New Jersey. The first carbines sold by Iver Johnson in Arkansas had the last markings used by Iver Johnson New Jersey. The serial numbers of these carbines have the letter A hand stamped after the serial number. Refer to the section on serial numbers for further information.

Iver Johnson receivers with New Jersey markings
sold by Iver Johnson of Jacksonville, AR

The first catalog published in Arkansas in 1983 expanded the model numbers by assigning numbers based caliber, finish, and stock variations for a total of 17 model numbers based on four carbines.

                • Survival Carbine
                • Paratrooper Carbine
                • Military Carbine
                • Enforcer Model

This catalog targeted an international market with offerings listed in French, Spanish, and Arabic below the English descriptions. It's not known how many of these different models they actually constructed and sold as most have yet to be observed. It appears these models were offered (marketing) with the intent of attracting large orders from governments and non-government organizations outside the U.S.A. as opposed to being maintained as available stock on hand (operations).

The 1984 catalog, price list, and brochures (published in late 1983 in English only) indicates the number of models was reduced to 9, based on three carbines. The Paratrooper Model had been discontinued.

        • Survival Carbine
        • Military Carbine
        • Enforcer Model

Copies of these catalogs, brochures, and the price list may be viewed and downloaded in Section V.

Serial numbers were assigned a two letter prefix followed by the number. Numbers ran consecutive within each letter prefix.

Serial Number Prefixes
Iver Johnson's Arms
Jacksonville, AR
AAMilitary & Paratrooper blued steel
EFEnforcerblued steel
FFFrench .30 carbine shortblued steel
JJ9mmblued steel
WWWWII Commemorativeblued steel

Stainless steel carbines sold by Jacksonville, AR have New Jersey markings.

A complete list of prefixes and serial numbers may be found in:

Additional Offerings beginning in 1983 & 1984

Production of the Models TP22 and TP25 continued after their introduction in New Jersey (assembled from parts made by Erma Werke in West Germany with a frame manufactured in the U.S.A.). In 1984 Jacksonville, AR added the option of a nickel plated finish for the TP22. The Model X300 Pony (assembled from parts made in Spain and a frame manufactured in the U.S.A.) finally began to ship to customers from Jacksonville, Arkansas in late 1983 and was also offered with a blued or nickel plated finish.

In 1984 Iver Johnson added their Trailsman Model .22 semi-automatic target pistol based on the design of the post WWII Colt Woodsman. This model was manufactured for Iver Johnson in Argentina and imported into the U.S.A.

Also added in 1984 was a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle Iver Johnson named the Trailblazer. This model was manufactured for Iver Johnson in Canada and imported into the U.S.A.

Carbine Production

Phillip Lynn Lloyd had purchased Universal Firearms and it's parent company, Dynamic Merchandise, in January 1983. Lloyd initially left the Universal Firearms operation in place in Hialeah, FL with the same employees and management continuing production of their carbines under the name of Universal Firearms. The previous owner of Universal, Abe Seiderman, signed a 10 year contract to continue running the operation for Lloyd.

In April 1984 Lloyd bought out Seiderman's contract and began moving the assets of Universal Firearems to the Iver Johnson facility in Jacksonville, AR. The carbines manufactured by Universal at the time were significantly different than those being manufactured by Iver Johnson, very few of their parts were interchangeable. Only one Universal employee (Walther Mayor) agreed to move to Arkansas to help Lloyd with manufacturing the Universal design.

In June 1985 Phillip Lynn Lloyd incorporated Dynamic Merchandise and Jacksonville Ordnance Company in Arkansas, followed the next month by the filing of Articles of Merger with Florida for "Universal Firearms, Inc." to be merged into Jacksonville Ordnance Company of Jacksonville, AR. In August 1985 Florida received Articles of Merger from Dynamic Merchandise indicating the company was merging with Iver Johnson Arms, Inc. of Arkansas and that Dynamic Merchandise had ceased to exist.

The influx of the assets of Universal Firearms into the Iver Johnson facility had a significant impact on the operations of Iver Johnson, the carbines they manufactured, and the models they offered.

In the 1985 catalog for Iver Johnson the only Iver Johnson model remaining was their "Military Carbine". The Iver Johnson Survival Carbine and Enforcer model had been discontinued, the latter being replaced by the Universal Firearms Enforcer model. Two additional Universal Firearms models were added. The Universal Firearms carbines manufactured in Arkansas retained their unique design, the name of Universal Firearms, and their serial numbers continued on with the serial number sequence that had been used while the company was in Florida.

Also added in 1985 was a 9mm version of the M1 Carbine with the Iver Johnson name, built with receivers manufactured by Universal Firearms.

      • Iver Johnson GI Model
      • Iver Johnson 9mm Parabellum Model
      • Universal Firearms Carbine
      • Universal Firearms Paratrooper Carbine
      • Universal Firearms Enforcer

Yearly totals of rifle sales reported to the Bureau of Alchol, Tobacco, and Firearms by Iver Johnsons was 4,465 in 1984 and 4,638 in 1985. This jumped to 24,549 for 1986. Universal Firearms had been manufacturing 600 carbine receivers a week since their addition of a FANUC CNC machine went online in 1981. Rather than replacing the machinery used to manufacture receivers prior to the addition of the CNC machine, Universal had more than doubled their receiver output by running both operations simultaneously. When Universal's assets were moved to Jacksonville, AR they included thousands of receivers in various stages of machining with many having yet to be finish machined to the unique design specific to the Universal Firearms carbines.

For their carbines, throughout their production Iver Johnson used investment cast receivers with reinforced front trigger housing lugs, a narrow recoil plate tang, and a single recoil spring hole running the length of the right side of the receiver. The receivers Iver Johnsons acquired from Universal had been machined from forged steel billets with normal squared forward trigger housing lugs, wide recoil plate tangs, with two recoil springs and guide rods.

Approximately 9,500 of the surplus receivers manufactured by Universal Firearms were finish machined for use as Iver Johnson .30 caliber carbines with a single recoil spring and appear from approximately s/n AA55000 through approximately s/n AA64500. These can be easily identified by examining the markings on top of the receiver forward of the bolt that are absent the customary U.S.

Universal Firearms surplus receivers used for Iver Johnson's carbines are absent the U.S. before CARBINE.

Iver Johnson single recoil spring

Universal Firearms dual recoil springs

Iver Johnson narrow recoil plate tang
(investment cast receiver)

Universal Firearms wide recoil plate tang
(receiver machined from forged steel billet)

For the sake of continuity, the Universal Firearms carbines sold by Iver Johnson's Arms are covered on the pages devoted to Universal Firearms. It is believed Iver Johnson received sufficient finished receivers and barrels from Universal Firearms in Hialeah, FL that they did not manufacture any Universal Firearms carbines in Jacksonville, AR. The last Universal Firearms carbines are often found with trigger housings and other small parts manufactured by Iver Johnson for their carbines.

Iver Johnson 9mm Parabellum Model

Offered only in 1985 and 1986, all of the receivers used for this model were manufactured by Universal Firearms and finish machined by Iver Johnson Arms for use with a single recoil spring. The front trigger housing lug with it's two recoil spring guide holes was removed. A squared lug with a hole for the trigger housing pin was brazed in it's place. The receivers retain the wide tang on the rear as used by Universal.

Iver Johnson 9mm Parabellum Model

This model utilizes a 9mm Browning High Power magazine fitted to the carbine trigger housing by use of a plastic insert that fits inside the magazine well. Serial numbers for this model have the prefix JJ followed by five numbers. Those observed so far run from JJ00001 through JJ02100.

This model will be discussed in more depth on the page devoted to models.

During the same time period the commercial 9mm model was made Iver Johnson's Arms designed a police version they called the MP 9. The MP 9 featured an 11" barrel with an AR style flash suppressor and weighed 7 1/2 pounds. The magazine well was covered by a pistol grip, the trigger mechanism was moved forward of the pistol grip, and the gas system and piston was modified. In spite of these changes the receiver remained a slightly modified M1 Carbine receiver and much of the internals were built using carbine parts.

Iver Johnson Model MP 9
9mm Submachine Gun for the police and military markets
(photo courtesy of Larry Ruth)

ATF records for 1986 show ninety-six 9mm pistols were sold by Iver Johnson in 1986. Iver Johnson produced no other 9mm pistol at the time. ATF records show no other 9mm pistols produced by Iver Johnson 1978-1992.

Further development of this model ended when the company declared their first bankruptcy in October 1986.

WWII Commemorative Carbine

Beginning with the January 1985 issue of The American Rifleman, The American Historical Foundation began advertising a 40th Anniversary Edition WWII Commemorative Carbine. The advertisement indicated these were a Limited Edition of 2500 carbines selectively plated with 24k gold for $695, with the option of a solid walnut display cabinet for an additional $175. All of these were manufactured by Iver Johnsons in Jacksonville, AR.

Initial production was limited to pre-orders. Additional commemorative carbines were manufactured as orders were received. Serial numbers began with the prefix WW, starting at WW0001. The highest serial number observed so far is WW1945. Given the quantity manufactured was actually based on the number of orders, it's possible they never reached the full 2500.

The American Historical Foundation
40th Anniversary Edition WWII Commemorative Carbine
manufactured by Iver Johnson Arms of Jacksonville, AR

Additional Offerings During 1985 & 1986

In 1985 and 1986 Iver Johnson added four rimfire rifles manufactured by Erma Werke in West Germany that were branded with the Iver Johnson name.

Erma Werke ModelIver Johnson
EG 722EW22HBLlever action.22 long rifle
EG 72EW22HBPpump action.22 long rifle
EM 1.22EW22HBAsemi-automatic.22 long rifle
ES 22EW22MHBAsemi-automatic.22 magnum

Also added were the Lil Champ bolt action rifle in .22 long rifle caliber (Made in the USA) and the Model BP.50HB Over and Under .50 caliber black powder rifle.

In 1985 Iver Johnsons introduced the "Special Applications Shooting System" as a special order item. By 1986 they offered custom orders for the rifles in .338 Lapua, .416, or .308 and also a .50 BMG version.

Phillip Lynn Lloyd had incorporated Research Armament Prototypes in Arkansas on November 30, 1981, followed by Research Armament Industries (RAI) on Dec 12, 1983. RAI had been a relatively small company, owned by Jerry Haskins, operating mainly in the field of defense technology projects. RAI was the first to develop the .338 Lapua Magnum, for U.S. Army trials for a new sniper rifle capable of 1000 yards and greater. RAI's rifle was not selected by the army, causing the company to be sold due to financial problems. Haskins and his partner Earl Redick were retained by Lloyd and continued to develop their rifles.

On the back cover of the catalog for 1986 Iver Johnson announced the anticipated release in mid 1986 of a 9mm pistol version of their .380 Pony pistol. It appears this model never went into production, possibly due to the financial problems Iver Johnson was experiencing during the latter half of 1986.

Experiments & Prototypes

The Lil M1 by Duncan Long published in 1994 (pages 69-73) related Iver Johnson in Jacksonville, AR worked on several projects to modernize their M1 Carbines and Enforcer Models into more modern lines by bolting on AR-15 stocks, pistol grips, and flash hiders. Page 70 included a concept drawing of the MP 9 SMG discussed above. Information unavailable to Long in 1994 regarding the various bankruptcies and change of owners of Iver Johnson led him to believe these experiments were conducted later than they were. Long's information and drawings regarding the prototypes and experiments actually occured between 1984 and 1986. These attempts to modernize the M1 Carbine with AR parts were consistent with the information provided to Arkansas Business Magazine by Louis Imperato that the Arkansas investors had intended on offering the military an AR style rifle in a caliber different than 5.56mm.

An example of these experiments, in addition to the MP 9 SMG, is the prototype depicted below, purchased at auction in the 1990's and advertised as an Iver Johnson's Arms prototype.

AR-15 Semi-Automatic rifle chambered in .30 caliber carbine
Purchased at auction after the 1992 demise of Iver Johnson in Jacksonville, AR.

An AR style rifle in .30 caliber carbine that used carbine magazines was eventually manufactured and sold by Olympic Arms of Olympia, WA as the PCR-30 in 2004.

The Financial Demise of Phillip Lynn Lloyd ends Universal Firearms and puts Iver Johnson's Arms in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

On October 21, 1986 Iver Johnson's Arms, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Federal Bankruptcy Court in Little Rock. Chapter 11 allowed the debtor(s) temporary relief from creditors while the company re-organized with the intent of continuing business after the re-organization and closure of the Chapter 11 case.

On November 6, 1986 Phillip Lynn Lloyd filed for Chapter 7 Bankrupcy in Federal Bankruptcy Court in Little Rock. Not only was Lloyd the majority stock holder in Iver Johnson's Arms, owner of Universal Firearms (under the AR corporate name of Jacksonville Ordnance), but also the owner of a number of other Arkansas businesses, an investor in Texas oil ventures, and owner of several large commercial office buildings in downtown Little Rock. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy was the final end game for Lloyd's businesses and investments, and the reason Iver Johnson's Arms had filed for Chapter 11 protection two weeks prior.

There were a number of contributing factors to the final problems experienced by Lloyd and Iver Johnson's Arms. Business decisions no doubt played a major part in this, but historical events outside their control also contributed to their problems.

The U.S. Gun Control Act of 1968 had blocked the import of U.S. M1 Carbines for other than law enforcement use. In 1984 an amendment to the 1968 GCA allowed the import of military surplus declared Curios & Relics. The U.S. M1 Carbines being manufactured 1941-1945 qualified them as "relics". This opened the path for the return import of tens of thousands of WWII U.S. Carbines from a number of countries who had purchased them from the U.S. post WWII, chief amongst them being South Korea. The first large shipmemt of M1 Garands and M1 Carbines came in 1985 from South Korea via Blue Sky Productions of Arlington, VA. The shipment, on two ships arriving at the ports of Los Angeles and San Francisco during the same time period, were seized by U.S. Customs. An immediate court battle led to the release of the weapons to the importer in 1986 and the change of the codified regulations of Customs, ATF, and other Federal agencies that were not in compliance with the 1984 amendment.

As briefly mentioned at the beginning of this page, Arkansas Bussiness magazine dated March 10, 1977 stated .... "Iver Johnson Arms, a New Jersey firm that produced carbines, revolvers and target pistols, was purchased from Imperato with visions of landing lucrative government contracts. Imperato recalls the first big deal envisioned by the Arkansas buyers was making a new cartridge for the military's mainstay assault rifle, the M-16. The inside track to make the deal happen was supposed to be a friend of the investors - Tommy Robinson, a U.S. representative at the time and member of the House Armed Services Committee. The contract failed to materialize and began a string of unfulfilled hopes and sometimes costly blunders. An import deal involving 43,500 Australian Enfield rifles was a bust when the weapons arrived damaged and left the Arkansas investors shouldering more debt."

Lloyd's problems were numerous (debts of $22 million +), but Chapter 7 Bankruptcy safely placed his assets and creditors in the hands of the court and a court appointed trustee. It did not nullify the contract agreement between Imperato and the other original Arkansas investors, who received more than a small surprise in regards to this contract when Lloyd declared bankruptcy. The December 17, 1990 issue of Arkansas Business magazine, entitled "Penick's Problems" ... "After the purchase of Iver Johnson in 1982, at least three of the investors (Flake, Wallace, and Penick) soon wanted out for various reasons. Their stock shares were purchased by Phillip Lynn Lloyd and, they thought, indemnified their liability. They assumed that would be the end of it. To their surprise after Lloyd's bankruptcy filing, Penick, Wallace, Flake and other original stockholders discovered they were still liable to repay the original purchase note. Imperato filed suit to collect the money from the investor group and by October 1987, a settlement was reached, somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 million."

Following Lloyd's bankruptcy was his conviction on Federal charges of perjury and hiding assets from the bankruptcy court.

Iver Johnson's Arms - Redux

Part of the agreement between Imperato and the Arkansas investors, along with additional investments made by Imperato, returned ownership of Iver Johnson's Arms to Louis Imperato. The changes implemented by Imperato had a significant impact on operations at Iver Johnson's Arms, warranting a division of the history presented here for the period of Iver Johnson's time in Jacksonville, AR. Ownership and operations 1987-1992 were not what they had been 1983-1986, or 1978-1983 under Imperato in New Jersey. This story continues in the next installment on Iver Johnson's history: Jacksonville, AR 1987-1992.

ATF AFMER Yearly Production Reports

BATF Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Report
Iver Johnson's Arms
Jacksonville, AR
(calibers not specified)
Iver Johnson's Arms
Jacksonville, AR
  Total Rifle Production 1984-1986  
*addition of Universal Firearms inventory
- these numbers do not include imports
- rifles manufactured at the Jacksonville facility only
BATF Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Report
Pistols (semi-auto)
Iver Johnson's Arms
Jacksonville, AR
 .22.25.32 (.30).3809mm
Iver Johnson's Arms
Jacksonville, AR
Total Pistol Production 1984-1986
 .22.25.32 (.30).3809mm
Iver Johnson's Arms Model TP22 .22 (Walther PPK/S replica)
Iver Johnson's Arms Model TP25 .25 (Walther PPK/S replica)
Iver Johnson's Arms Enforcer Model caliber .30 carbine
Iver Johnson's Arms Model X300 .380 (Colt Pony replica)
*9mm model is believed to have been the Model MP9

Continued with...

Part III: 1987-1992
Jacksonville, AR