Collectible Antique Handguns
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Antique Handguns (pre-1899)
**REDUCED!**22054HPH55- CIVIL WAR COLT MODEL 1860 .44 CALIBER “ARMY” PERCUSSION REVOLVER- CUT FOR SHOULDER STOCK (From the Howard P. Hart & Jean H. Hart Collection of Historic Arms) - Serial number 97637 made in early 1863, and likely issued immediately to some Union cavalry unit. Other pistols in this general range were being used from the spring of 1863 onwards by cavalry units from several different states, but there is no documented history for this specific serial number. The 1860 Army revolver served throughout the war, and on into the Indian War period.
Early in the war, many of these were indeed issued with the stocks for dual use as a pistol or pistol-carbine. Reproduction stocks are available (and may need a bit of fitting to work on an original pistol) but they are a cool addition. The edges of the brass piece at the front of the stock slips into the cutouts in the recoil shield of the pistol, and a clamp activated by a thumbscrew locks into the noth on the bottom of the backstrap to hold the stock in place. The shoulder stock idea was carried over from the last of the single shot pistols, the Model 1855 which was issued as a “pistol-carbine with one stock and two pistols. While theoretically a shoulder stock on a pistol might sound like a good idea, it was not very practical, but the idea keeps popping up every few years (Broomhandles, Lugers and High Powers all tried it too.) Civil War troopers quickly ended up armed with a real carbine (Sharps, Burnside, Spencer, etc) as they became available, and a M1840 or M1860 cavalry saber along with a pistol but not the stocks.
This gun has seen some service but is still an above average example with all numbers matching (except wedge has no number). Very good cylinder scene showing the Mexican Navy (armed with early Colt revolvers beating the Mexican fleet, a clever sales gimmick as well as good decoration). Legible cartouches on both sides of the near excellent grips and some dings on the base of the grips from use as a hammer.
Overall, the blue finish has worn, faded or turned to a mix of plum and dull steel gray with just a bit of scattered light roughness and a few dings. The frame colors have faded to dull steel gray. Bore is well above average with strong rifling, mostly sharp and just a few scattered pits. Nipples are all clear. An above average example of the classic Union army sidearm of the Civil War.
We sell all guns as collector items only, and one of the Italian repros would be a cheaper and better shooting option that trying to fire an original, but by all means make the effort to go shoot one of the repros to get a feel for how they perform and the loading process. ANTIQUE- No FFL needed.
PROVENANCE NOTE- This is item number 55 from the Howard P. Hart and Jean H. Hart Collection of Historical Arms. Mr. Hart was a career Central Intelligence Agency Officer as well as an avid arms collector. A large part of their collection was donated to the Virginia War Memorial Museum in Richmond, VA, and many other items donated to the National WW2 Museum in New Orleans, LA. This item has the Hart Collection inventory tag attached, and comes with a certificate of provenance and a copy of Howard’s fascinating autobiography, signed by Jean Hart. The association of this item with Mr. Howard Hart, and this outstanding collection adds to its desirability for your collection and for future owners and helps preserve the legacy of Mr. Hart.) Read more about the biography of this remarkable American patriot on the Hart Collection Biography page- http://oldguns.net/Hart_Collection_Bio.html (View Picture)
17864 FRENCH/BELGIAN FLINTLOCK MILITARY PISTOL CIRCA 1800-1830 - This has the Belgian ELG in oval proof mark on the .69 caliber smoothbore barrel, eight inches long, along with a small crown over LF on the left flat. There is a poorly struck crown over E on the lockplate, similar to that used by several French arsenals. The basic design is typical of all European military pistols of the period, but has a swivel ring on the butt for a lanyard, and there are no provisions for a ramrod. These features suggest it may have been intended for use as an initial attack weapon with no intention to reload immediately, but follow up with hand to hand combat with a sword or cutlass- such as cavalry, naval use, or even coast guard/customs type groups. Although the precise identification is a bit murky, this is a handsome gun, in excellent condition. The brass butt cap, trigger guard and band have a mellow golden patina. The unsanded stock has a mellow old oiled patina, but there is a missing chip on the left side along the barrel channel. Left flat has an illegible oval cartouche of some sort. The barrel and lock are not rusted or pitted, but do have dried oil and crud and staining mixed with a dull steel gray. This would probably clean up with some steel wool and WD-40. Mechanically good, and in original flint, not a reconversion. Excellent bore. A handsome example of the classic military single shot flintlock pistol, albeit lacking specific identification. ANTIQUE- no FFL needed. $895.00 (View Picture)
FLARE GUNS FOR COLLECTORS:
**NEW ADDITION** 22157 RED FLARE PARACHUTE SIGNAL- KILGORE #52 - “P52 PISTOL PROJECTED PARACHUTE RED FLARE DISTRESS SIGNAL APPROVED BY U.S. COAST GUARD 160.024/2/4, manufactured by the Kilgore Dorporation, Toone, TN, division of International Flare Signal .” is ink stamped on the thin aluminum case of the flare signal The short aluminum cartridge case headstamp identifies the maker and patent info along with date of March 1989, and expiration date of September 1992 is ink stamped on side. This is a 37mm cartridge with the case about 1 1/8” long and overall length of 7 1/8”. Loaded, live round, but due to age and expired status sold as display item only and not safe for actual use. See photo for details. These were used with the International Flare Signal and Kilgore Model 52 flare guns, and probably all the other heavy 37mm flare guns with barrels about 8 inches long. $22.00 (View Picture)
**NEW ADDITION** 20873 U.S. LINE THROWING GUN- KILGORE MODEL GR-52 - Serial number 617 with USCG approval 160/040/4/0 as marked on the frame. Theoretically, the approval number should allow dating these to within a five year period corresponding with the date of USCG approval under section section 160.040 covering life saving appliances. However, no complete list has been found of all approvals, so with only a few scattered examples the best I can do is estimate that this was circa 1960s-1980s, but I believe the basic model dates to 1952. This is a “Schermuly” type life saving line throwing gun which uses a small pistol type launcher firing a stubby “impulse-ignition cartridge.” Before firing, a rocket motor with an attached wire frame sticking back for attachment of the “line” is inserted in the muzzle. When fired, the impulse ignition cartridge flash ignites the rocket motor and kicks the rocket out on its way. The basic concept was invented by Richard Schermuly, a British seaman and inventor around the beginning of the 20th century. However, despite its simplicity, low cost, and effectives (so easy a young child could use it) the concept was not adopted until 1929 by the International Conference for Saving of Life at Sea Treaty (SOLAS). Multiple types of line throwing devices have been invented over the years since 1807 when George Manby came up with a mortar for the purpose of line throwing, followed by David Lyle’s cannons in the 1870s and shoulder fired guns by Ingersoll, Coston and others in the 1880s and later. Ships still carry line throwers in various configuration, and they are also widely used by firefighters. Today most ships have switched to Schermuly type rockets, but fired from a single-use plastic canister which is not subject to regulation as a “firearm” by gun-phobic foreign governments. As life saving devices, with the bore obstructed by small projections to prevent firing of projectiles but not interfering with the launching of the line throwing rocket, the Kilgore GR-52 is not considered a firearm and no FFL is needed to purchase. Overall fine to excellent outside with most of the gloss black paint finish remaining. The bore has corrosion from firing and poor cleaning, or maybe just exposure to salt air for extended periods. I discovered that it is missing the extractor, but since no one has the impulse cartridges or rockets any more who cares. These have a handle on the top of the barrel to help hold it when firing, not so much for the very limited recoil, but because the gun with rocket inserted is heavy and you want it under good control when on a heaving deck of a ship in distress. I have done a lot of research on various line throwing guns, and would be happy to share a copy upon request, or will try to post it on our other site, ArmsCollectors.com, and it will eventually be posted at http://ASOAC.org for whom it was written and first published. Price for Kilgore GR-52 line throwing pistol and one fired case is $265.00 (View Picture)
**NEW ADDITION**19981B-SCARCE MODEL 1929 SEDGLEY 25mm FLARE PISTOL Serial number 2402. This is a 25mm signal pistol with a 4.25 inch barrel. Receiver ring marked PAT 3-12-13/ OTHERS PENDING, and later examples replaced that with PAT 1-12-31. This is a very unusual, and somewhat overly complicated design, but it allowed use of different barrels and they were offered with choice of regular 25mm signals or British 25mm. To operate, you slide the button on the left side of the frame back slightly then you can grasp the barrel, twist it about 90 degrees to disengage the interrupted screw threads and pull the barrel forward about ¾ inch to clear the receiver ring and then pivot the barrel down. (The locking mechanism on most later Sedgley pistols were a simple top break which opened at the push of a button.) These were manufactured by R. F. Sedgley in Philadelphia, PA as indicated by the circle S logo on the grips of the Bakelite frame, and were sold under several different brand names, including this one marked for Lake Erie Chemical Company. Metal parts are all blue with about 90-95% remaining with a few scattered rust freckles. The Bakelite frame has slight fading in areas to an ugly poop brown tone and would look a lot better with a quick coat of black shoe polish to restore the color. Good mechanics, good bore. One of the scarcer flare guns, and a great addition to a collection of the amazing variety of stuff that R.F. Sedgley turned out over the years. NO FFL required. $149.00 (View Picture)
21712 FLARE GUNS & SIGNAL PISTOLS: THEIR USE, DESCRIPTION AND ACCESSORIES - By Robert M. Gaynor, 178 pages 8.5” x 11” soft covers. This book is the best single reference on this subject for collectors today. In fact, except for brief passage in obscure manuals, or discussion of a gun or two the scope of a more general work there is nothing conveniently available on this subject. Given the number of people who collect flare guns it is amazing that there is not more written on the subject. At this point, flare guns are still mostly modestly priced, and remain an attractive collecting field with few regulations and a good variety of items. Some 96 different Flare or Signal pistols are covered, with dimensions and some historical background and information on maker and the intended use. This is on the same page as a good sketch of the item. There is not much information on total numbers made or other indication of relative rarity, but it is a good starting point for further research. The drawing allow you easily identify your gun with the one in the book. There is a drawing and info for each of 37 U.S. flare and signal guns, ranging from Civil War Army and Navy models up to late 20th century commercial products. He also covers 11 British or Canadian designs, 9 French, 17 German, 4 Italian, 3 Japanese, 6 Russian/Eastern European designs, and 9 from other countries. Besides the guns Gaynor covers 29 holster or carrying kits, and 19 different types of cartridges, along with a 10 page table with more detailed info on cartridges. An excellent bibliography and good index complete this book. This is a very useful and accurately researched book on this specialized topic, which we use every time we encounter any flare or signal gun, and one that anyone interested in Flare or Signal guns needs in their library. $29.00 (View Picture)
23242 The Signal Pistols of Georgii Shpagin - By Robert Gaynor, 32pages 8.5” x 11” soft cover. This monograph covers the frequently seen European flare guns which have been o the market over the past few years, as well as the inventor, Georgii Shpagin. Information is included on themany variations of the Russian designed pistols from 1930 onward, but mainly the 1944 design and its descendants. These have been used by Russian, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Poland, China and several other countries. Besides the guns, there is info on holsters and accessories, ammunition, and illustrations from various manuals. Gaynor is a serious collector and student of flare guns, and his (now out of print) “Flare Guns and Signal Pistols” has been one of the few references on the subject to help collectors for the last 15 years. Limited number of copies of the Shpagin book available at $15.00 (View Picture)
20426 RED STAR PARACHUTE SIGNAL- KILGORE #52 - “# 52 RED STAR PARACHUTE SIGNAL APPROVED BY U.S. COAST GUARD MERCHANT MARINE INSPECTION manufactured by the International Flare Signal Division of the Kilgore Mfg. Co. Tipp City, O.” is ink stamped on the thin aluminum case of the flare signal The short aluminum cartridge case headstamp identifies the maker and patent info along with date of May 1945,and also stamped on the flare case bodynear the mouth. This is a 37mm cartridge with the case about 1 1/8” long and overall length of 7 1/8”. Loaded, live round, but due to age and apparent poor storages sold as display item only and not safe for actual use. See photo for details. These were used with the International Flare Signal and Kilgore Model 52 flare guns, and probably all the other heavy 37mm flare guns with barrels about 8-8.5 inches long. $25.00 (View Picture)
20442 -RARE WW1 37mm BRITISH FLARE GUN CARTRIDGE- NOV 1918 - Paper case with brass base marked ELEY – LONDON- and closing wad marked “CARTRIDGE, 1 ½ in. SIGNAL, Without Parachute, Changing Colour, for Aircraft.---- Made by WILDER, BIRM. November 1918.” Loaded, live round, but due to age and apparent poor storages sold as display item only and not safe for actual use. See photo for details. These would have been used in the Royal Flying Corps signal guns, either for signaling from the ground to aircraft or vice versa. These would include the No. 1 Mark I signal pistol with a shoulder stock, or the No. 2 Mark I Pyrotechnic Pistol based on a Webley frame, and the Mark III Signal Pistol based on the Mark IV Webley introduced in 1915. Very scarce and no information found after a diligent search of everything I could think of. This is a November 1918 dated example with the top wad markings dirty and slightly faded. $65.00 (View Picture)
19995 RARE WW1 37mm BRITISH FLARE GUN CARTRIDGE- DEC 1918 - Paper case with brass base marked ELEY – LONDON- and closing wad marked “CARTRIDGE, 1 ½ in. SIGNAL, Without Parachute, Changing Colour, for Aircraft.---- Made by WILDER, BIRM. November 1918.” Loaded, live round, but due to age and apparent poor storages sold as display item only and not safe for actual use. See photo for details. These would have been used in the Royal Flying Corps signal guns, either for signaling from the ground to aircraft or vice versa. These would include the No. 1 Mark I signal pistol with a shoulder stock, or the No. 2 Mark I Pyrotechnic Pistol based on a Webley frame, and the Mark III Signal Pistol based on the Mark IV Webley introduced in 1915. Very scarce and no information found after a diligent search of everything I could think of. This is a December 1918 dated example with the top wad markings clean and legible. $55.00 (View Picture)
11691 WW2 U.S. 37mm FLARE CARTRIDGE AN-M54A1 - Signal, Aircraft, Tracer Double Star AN-M54A1, lot USF-10-37 and date April 1945 along with ordnance bomb are ink stamped on the side of the case along with two wide red strips indicating the double stars are red and red, and a narrow green strip indicating it is a green tracer. Cases are multi-part construction, not the more common deep drawn single piece type. Loaded, live round, but due to age and apparent poor storages sold as display item only and not safe for actual use. See photo for details. $29.00 (View Picture)
9485 WW2 VINTAGE WOOD SHIPPING CRATE FOR 10 GAUGE RED VERY SIGNALS - This originally had 24 boxes of 10 rounds each, but is now empty. (ten boxes are shown in place to illustrate the proper packing layout, but are NOT included). Stenciled on both sides:
SIGNAL KIGHTS MK 2
VERY RED STAR
LOT- [number painted over]/
Just the thing to spice up your flare gun collection. Overall excellent condition. No lid. Other than the 10 boxes of ammo inside, what you see is what you get. $40.00 (View Picture)
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