Collectible Antique Handguns
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**NEW ADDITION** 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)
**NEW ADDITION** 16192 GERMAN MODEL 1883 10.6mm REICHS REVOLVER- UNIT MARKED - Serial number 607 matching on all parts including screws. Made at Erfurt in 1892, and probably used in WW1. Authorities differ on the correct terminology for the caliber, and it is usually listed as 10,6mm Deutsche Ordonnanz or 10.6mm German Ordnance. It also goes by the names 10,6mm Deutscher Ordonnanz Revolver M.1879/1883; 10,6mm Deutscher Reichs-Revolver; 10,6mm Deutscher Revolver M. 1880/84; 10,6mm Dienst-Revolver; 10,6mm Kavallerie Revolver M. 1880; 10,6mm Offiziers Revolver M. 1884; 10,8 x 25 M.R.R.; 10,8 x 25 R. (D.Reichs Rev.); 10,8 x25 R.R.; 10,85 mm Deutscher Reichsrevolver M. 79 & 84; 10,85 x 24,90 Revolver M. 79 & 83; 11 mm Deutscher Deinst-Revolver, and also by the DWM catalog designations DWM 200; DWM 200 A; or DWM 200 B You may call the caliber whatever you like! Regardless of name, the cartridge was pretty close in size and power to the then popular .44 S&W Russian cartridges (but that DOES NOT mean it would be safe to try to substitute those for the correct ammunition!) This is a massive, and frankly, pretty ugly revolver. The size and weight are excessive, and ergonomically it is difficult to handle, and the safety on the left side is poorly designed for use. There is no ejection system other than removing the cylinder pin to remove the cylinder and then using the pin to poke out each empty case one at a time. Compared to the Colt Single Action Army or the S&W No. 3 models, or even the French Lefaucheaux pinfires, all designed several years earlier, this design was already obsolete. However, it is a tribute to the folly of having a committee design guns and everyone getting their favorite idea incorporated even though the total package is seriously flawed. Remarkably, these clumsy contraptions were the official German military sidearm from its adoption in 1879 (with a longer barrel) until replaced by the Pistole 08 Luger semiautomatic pistol in 1908. But the Reichs Revolvers remained in service through WW1 with secondary units. Cancelled unit marking on the backstrap “1.M.II.13.R.53” indicating it was assigned as Leichte Munitionskolonne der II Abteilung des 13th Reserve Feld Artillerie Regiment, waffen 53 ( translated as Light Munitions Column, Second Detachment of 13th Field Artillery Regiment, weapon number 53). There is a second marking “1.FM.II.43.180” documenting issue as Leichte Feldhaubitzen Munitionskolonne der II Abteilung des 43rd Feld Artillerie Regiment, waffen 180 (translated as Light Field Howitzer Munitions Column, Second Detachment of 43rd Field Artillery Regiment, weapon number 180). Most of these were refinished over the years, but this one escaped and retains about 50-60% of the original bright blue finish showing normal wear with some areas worn bright or dull steel gray, some areas turned plum or patina and a small area of pitting on the cylinder and a patch or rust on the right side of the barrel near the muzzle. Bore is very good and mechanics are fine in single action, but not in double action. A historically significant design, as well as one that is odd enough that people will surely ask about it instead of some of the much more valuable but “common looking” guns in your collection. ANTIQUE, no FFL needed. $595.00 (View Picture)
**NEW ADDITION** 16083 CIVIL WAR ERA ALLEN & WHEELOCK .32 RIMFIRE SINGLE SHOT PISTOL - (Flayderman 5A-082) (No Serial number) These were made in the early 1860s, with about 500-1,000 made, undoubtedly economically priced, and light and handy for a Civil War soldier (or their spouse) to keep in a pocket for self defense. It is a very simple design, where the barrel pivots to one side, and when loaded and pushed back in place is held by a spring loaded pin fitting in a detent in the bottom of the barrel. These were made in several variations, full octagon barrel like this one, or part octagon and part round, in 4 or 5 inch barrel lengths. Also, they were made with a short overlap where the top of the frame overlaps the barrels, like this one, or a longer overlap, or no overlap at all. Values on all seem to run about the same, but a truly obsessive collector specializing in Allen and Wheelocks might want to get one of every possible variation. However, reasonably normal people would be content with just one of any flavor. This is a good representative example, modestly priced, reflecting the modest condition. The iron frame and barrel have been polished and reblued, long ago. The bore is dark and rough, typical of early guns with corrosive and mercuric primers and black powder. The mainspring has been replaced by a very weak one that does not really work. Good grips. A pretty little gun and a nice addition to a Civil War or western frontier collection demonstrating that not all guns were the well known types. For display purposes we will include an unfired vintage .32 rimfire cartridge. ANTIQUE- no FFL needed. $195.00 (View Picture)
**NEW ADDITION** 16082 ANTIQUE BELGIAN 9MM CENTERFIRE WARNANT REVOLVER- NICKEL-SUPER NICE! - (Serial number- none) Leonard and J. Warnant were talented Belgian gun makers who started off making top break revolvers like this one, in small, medium and large frame sizes, for 7mm, 9mm or 11mm cartridges, (roughly .32, .38 and .45 caliber) circa 1870-1890. They went on to design .25 and .32 caliber semi-auto pistols introduced in 1908 and 1912 respectively. Belgian 1893 and earlier proof mark of ELG in oval (WITHOUT a crown) on the front of the cylinder and crown over L proof on front of cylinder and right side of barrel. No maker markings visible, probably lightly struck and buffed off when the gun was nickel plated. The plating looks old and may be original, or may be later refinish. However, the excellent condition of the grips suggests it is original finish. Excellent mechanics, both single and double action, and excellent bright and sharp bore. These used a top break action similar to the old Smith & Wessons, but use a ring type extractor, and a very handy side mounted lever to open the latch for loading. These are sometimes referred to as Warnant, Francotte, or Pryse revolvers and sometimes even as Gassers, reflecting some of the similar looking guns in vogue at the same time, and borrowing liberally from each others’ features and appearance. This is in well above average condition. The 9mm size seems to have been for the civilian and police market while the larger 11mm were for the military and police market. A very nice gun. A .38 S&W (short, not Long or Special) will almost chamber, but we sell all guns as collector items only, and they must be approved by a competent gunsmith prior to firing. Although a .38 S&W case may almost fit, remember that these were made for black powder, not smokeless and who knows what bullet diameter or weight, so use it as a wall hanger and don’t risk life of limb trying to shoot it. ANTIQUE- no FFL needed. $395.00 (View Picture)
**NEW ADDITION** 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** 21698 MARSH COULTER 25mm SIGNAL OR FLARE PISTOL - Serial number- none. This is the heavier of the two variations of the simple flare guns made by Marsh Coulter. It is made of heavy aluminum castings with the barrel pretty much squared off on the exterior (but of course perfectly round in the 25mm bore). Markings are cast in the left grip panel: “25MM FLARE PISTOL/ MARSH COULTER CO./ TECUMSEH MICH.” This is a very simple design, hand cocked by pulling back on the large knob, and fired by pulling on the button style trigger. The bent metal wire piece above the cocking knob can be lowered to block the firing pin as a safety. This variation has a “T” shaped latch on the top of the barrel similar to a top break revolver for opening the action. (The other variation with a rounded barrel has a sliding latch on the lower left of the barrel casting as a barrel latch.). The frame, barrel and cocking piece are all finished in a gloss black paint with about 95% remaining, except for a few scattered chips and a corroded spot on the cocking knob. In addition to being part of a general collection of flare or signal pistols, a very small and modestly priced collecting niche would be all Marsh Coulter items, although there is not a lot of published information. Robert Gaynor’s indispensible “Flare Guns and Signal Pistols” (available on our books page) has one page on the “other” Marsh Coulter variation and mentions this one. The International Ammunition Association Cartridge of the Month for April, 2006, shows a Marsh Coulter .30-06 flare or signal cartridge, and the IAA Forum in March 2012 mentions that Marsh Coulter also made similar flares in .30-06, .300 Savage, .30-30, .35 Remington and possibly .308 calibers. Google turns up several mentions of the flare guns in boating and flying oriented magazine circa 1963-1967. At some point they operated from Fraser, MI, and literature mentions 12 GA flares as well as the rifle calibers. Anyway, you can start your collection with this nice example of an uncommon and innovative flare gun at a very modest price. These are not “firearms” under federal law and no restrictions on purchase or shipping—however serfs trapped in a few states or cities run by idiots or tyrants may face restrictions, and we cannot sell to them. $89.00 (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)
Note- Please check all our firearms catalog pages