Collectible Antique Handguns
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**NEW ADDITION** 21029 CIVIL WAR COLT MODEL 1860 .44 CALIBER “ARMY” REVOLVER - Serial number on frame is 170591 which was made in 1868, but other parts are nearly all number 102280 which was made in 1863. This was a heavily rusted gun in relic condition, but all matching and with the potential to be cleaned up to be a good representative example. Unfortunately, during disassembly the arbor (cylinder pin) and frame were badly damaged, so we reassembled everything on a spare frame we had. We will include the original damaged frame number 102280 with the gun and your can wish as hard as we did that it would heal itself, but probably with no better results. Guns in the 102,000 range were in the hands of Union cavalry units in the field in October 1863, so this gun (with the original frame) probably saw combat service during the Civil War, but there is no documented history for this specific serial number. This is one of the guns with the 7.5 inch barrel (earliest were 8 inches) and by 1863 the notches on the recoil shield and buttstrap for attaching the shoulder stock for use as a carbine were no longer provided. While theoretically a good idea, the shoulder stocks were not very practical and by mid-war troopers were usually armed with a real carbine (Sharps, Burnside, Spencer, etc) and a M1840 or M1860 cavalry saber along with the pistol. This gun is a good representative example of the classic Union army sidearm of the Civil War. Overall, no finish remains and the parts are mostly dull steel gray mixed with heavy patina, rust, and some light roughness and a fair amount of moderate to heavy pitting on the right side of the gun. Bore has strong rifling, but is dirty and rusty and may (or may not) clean to good. Nipples are pretty good. Grips are replacement from another gun with traces of a cartouche, but look good. Mainspring is a replacement, and the wedge screw is missing. A reasonably good looking, affordable example, despite the mismatched frame. $650.00 (View Picture)
20796 COLT “SIGNATURE SERIES” MODEL 1860 ARMY .44 CALIBER REVOLVER (NEW IN BOX) - Serial number 217932 absolutely new in the original numbered box. These are superb quality guns, beautifully fitted and finished with deep blue and brilliant color case hardening. In addition to original Colt markings, they bear the Sam Colt signature on the backstrap. These “3rd Generation” models were manufactured from 1994 to 2002 under a licensing agreement with Colt Firearms by Colt Blackpowder Arms Company – the same company (and many of the same craftsmen) responsible for the 2nd Generation Colt revolvers. Like the “2nd Generation” Colt percussion revolvers made 1971-1982, many of the parts were roughed out in Italy and then fully assembled and hand finished in the United States using the proprietary Colt formulas for bluing and color case hardening. Note that we have the correct accessory set for this model listed elsewhere. The Model 1860 Army was the most popular revolver used in the Civil War, and remained in use until replaced by the Model 1873 Single Action Army. A really beautiful gun, new in the box $595.00 (View Picture)
20737 ENGLISH DOUBLE BARREL FLINTLOCK “TAP ACTION” PISTOL- WITH BARREL WRENCH/BULLET MOLD TOOL! - Made by James Richardson of Manchester, who worked at Deansgate circa 1793-1830, and was also a cutler and medical instrument maker. London proofs (pre-1813 style) on the bottom of the frame. About .42 caliber with 2 1/8” smoothbore barrels. The muzzles have eight shallow notches that look like rifling but are actually used to engage the square lug on the combination tool to unscrew the barrels for loading. To load the barrels were removed and a powder charge placed in each of the holes in the breech plug, and a snug fitting bore size ball was placed on the rounded area, and then the barrel was screwed back in place. Since the ball was bore size, not undersize as with muzzle loading guns, it would remain in place, not jiggle out of the barrel while the gun was being carried in a pocket. Finally, a priming charge for the lower barrel was placed in the appropriate part of the drum, which was rotated and the priming added for the top barrel, and the frizzen was closed. Many of the box lock actions included a sliding safety to lock the hammer in half or full cock, a feature found on this one as well. The ability to use a snug fitting ball was a popular feature of all the “turn off barrel” pistols of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and did a way with the need for a ramrod, although you still needed the mold/barrel wrench tool. The “Tap Action” design was an early attempt to increase firepower with a multi-shot firearm. It eliminated the weight and bulk of a double barrel arm with two locks by using a single lock. The bottom of the pan area was fitted with a drum which was hollowed out on one side with a hole to communicate to the lower barrel. With the tap action pistol the two barrels shared and single hammer and frizzen, but the priming pan was a drum with two separate areas. With one part exposed, the sparks from the frizzen would ignite the powder in that part of the pan and pass into an exposed touch hole for the upper barrel. Then, the hammer could be cocked, and a lever on the side of the gun “tapped” or turned to expose the priming powder in the other part of the drum, which was connected to the lower barrel. For the time, this was a major advantage, although more expensive than common pistols. Therefore most tend to be a bit higher quality with fine fit and finish, and some tasteful decoration, and marketed to the wealthier clients looking for an effective self defense tool. Over the years nearly all the screw barrel pistols have become separated from their tools (unless part of a cased set) so having the tool is a huge plus for this gun! Condition is about fine, with no pitting, just a dull gray age toning with some light staining. The one piece walnut grip has some dings on the butt and pressure dents on one side. There is a small shield shape inlay missing off the top of the grip. A very nice example of a technologically important early attempt at increased firepower, as well as a neat little flintlock pistol. ANTIQUE- no FFL needed. $1395.00 (View Picture)
21732 REPLICA COLT 1860 ARMY .44 CALIBER PERCUSION REVOLVER - Serial number 88828 made in Italy by Armi San Marco as their “Hartford Model” which was a bit nicer quality than the run of the mill Italian repros. Excellent plus condition with about 99% original finish, showing just a few tiny almost unnoticeable scratches. This is the “four screw” model with cuts on the recoil shield for attaching a shoulder stock for cavalry use as a “pistol-carbine.” Bubba managed to lose one of the “fourth screws” on the right side of the frame that helps position the shoulder stock but that is totally unrelated to normal functioning of the gun, and easily replaced for about $5. A very handsome example of one of the most widely used and effective sidearms of the Civil War, and most popular shooters in the last 50 years since replica black powder revolvers entered the market in time for the Civil War centennial. Almost as nice quality as the Colt branded “second generation” replicas but a whole lot less expensive. This is great for someone wanting a representative Civil War revolver for display, or for a shooter (black powder only!- read and follow safety instructions first!) or living history use. These are considered to be ANTIQUES under federal law and no FFL is needed, but a few place run by idiots may have their own restrictions. $285.00 (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** 21426 FLARE PISTOL SIGNAL FLARE CARRYING CASE TYPE A-6 DRAWING NUMBER 42 G 119967 - Mint unissued, zippered OD canvas case with internal loops to hold 12 assorted flares. Various color flares would be used for signaling in flight or on return to base. These were used with the 37mm AN/M8 flare pistols, and the male stud for lift the dot fasteners would snap into flaps located in the aircraft, probably next to the firing port. Markings are as shown in the photo $12.00 (View Picture)
21535 SCARCE WW2 U.S. NAVY 37MM SIGNAL CARTRIDGES, TWO-STAR, (WITH TRACER), MARK IV - Used for identification by aircraft or signaling, and usually fired from the AN-M8 Pyrotechnic (flare) pistol. This signal is similar in appearance and functioning to the Signals, Aircraft, AN-M53 to AN-M58 series. The color of the stars is indicated on the cartridge case by two wide bands near the paper end of the case ; a narrow band indicates the color of the tracer. The names of the colors of the stars and the tracer are printed on the paper closing wad. Information for identifying the signal cartridge is printed on the cartridge case. After the primer is hit by the firing pin, igniting the propelling charge, the inner container is propelled from the barrel of the projector, and the tracer is ignited by the propelling charge. The tracer becomes visible after traveling about 20 feet, and burns for about four seconds, then ignites the bursting charge and the two stars within the inner container. In effect, upon leaving the barrel of the projector, the tracer appears as a single star and rises to a height of about 250 feet when fired from the ground ; at this point, the star separates into two stars, which fall separately. The tracer and stars can be seen about five miles at night, and about two or three miles in daylight. These were made in six different variations: (1) Red-red with red tracer; (2) Green-green with red tracer; (3) Red-red with green tracer; (4) Red-yellow with yellow tracer; (5) Red-green with red tracer; and (6) Red-green with green tracer. All of these are pretty scarce, and I was totally unfamiliar with them until we recently found an old stash of them. This is the green tracer with red and green stars, made in April 1944 by International Flare and Signal Division of Kilgore. (Sorry, no other color variations available.) Perfect condition, fresh from a sealed box, live, ready to signal your distress. We only have loose single rounds for $35.00 (View Picture)
22747 U.S. WW2 37mm AN-M8 FLARE PISTOL - This was adopted in 1942 after development by the Eureka Vacuum Cleaner Company, for use by both the Air Force and the Navy. Besides Eureka, they were also made by McNery Spring & Wire Company, who made this one. These usually had an ordnance acceptance stamp on the butt of the grip and the serial numbers stamped on the backstrap (after the previously marked “Serial No.” stamping), but neither seem to be on this one, and do not appear to have been removed. The muzzle has four square lugs which could be inserted into an adaptor in the fuselage of an aircraft to fire the flare outside without having to open windows and stick an arm out. The double latch on the top has an upper latch which engages the mounting adaptor, and the lower one is for opening and locking the breech. Not designed for target use, these have about 10 pound trigger pull. Originally these were blued like this one, but about 80% of the ones we have seen have been parkerized which held up a lot better. This one has a large spot on the left and right sides of the barrel which got rusty and were cleaned, and then covered with some clear varnish. It would be easy to remove the varnish and touch up the blue if you want to do that. There are also spots of rust on the top flat and the corner of the trigger guard. Even so, this has about 80-85% original blue remaining, and is a lot nicer than all but a handful of this model we have encountered. Excellent bore. This was one of the most widely used U.S. flare guns of WW2, and remained in service until the 1990s. You may have seen movies where bombers returning from raids would use these to shoot off flares to indicate if they had any wounded aboard or other emergency situations. In flight they could convey orders by pre-arranged sequences of colors or types of flares, without breaking radio silence. Flare guns are exempt from the normal gun control procedures, but we insist that you order on our order form with signature certifying that you are not prohibited from purchase of a firearm and that there are no restrictions on purchase in your address. $175.00 (View Picture)
21712 GREAT REFERENCE BOOK!- 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. $25.00 (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)
Note- Please check all our firearms catalog pages