Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters



Questions And Answers Page

If you have a question about firearms and you want it posted on this page click here.

Return to Collectors Headquarters.

Click here to go to the question and answer monthly index.

Click here to go to the question and answer subject index.

# 15497 - Italian Repro Revolver
Tammy, Barron, WI

44 - Pistol - .44 - 8 inches? - Blue - P115701 -

Has ships engraved on cylinder, also says engraved on May 16, 1843 Made in Italy. Engraved by W.L. Ornsby? How or where can I learn any of the background history of this gun?

Tammy, the markings you describe are those found on modern reproduction revolvers that have been made in Italy since about 1960, and sold under a wide variety of brand names. Your revolver is a Pietta and Cabelas has these on sale frequently in the $225 range.

While not especially valuable, these could be an interesting collecting specialty because there are lots of variations around at very reasonable prices. Many of the reproduction guns are accurate copies of the originals and some are even better quality. Values are usually in the $150 to $350 range. Marc

# 15364 - ZULU Shotgun
Steve, Torrington, WY

MRE. IMP/De St. Etienne - 33'' - Blue -

ZULU on barrel Where would I find the Serial Number on this gun? I found some information on the Springfield Armory Museum-Collection Record on this gun. I`m very unfamiliar with this gun. Do you have any more information on it? It`s worth if any? Thank you for your time and information.

Steve- There was no requirement for these to be serial numbered. The hinged breechblock is a key identification feature for a "Zulu" shotgun. These started life as French Model 1857 muzzle loading percussion muskets. They were later converted to breechloaders using the hinged breechblock, but were basically obsolete even then. A few were used by the French in the Franco- Prussian War (1870-71) and most were sold around 1874 to Belgian surplus dealers. The stocks were cut down, the barrels bored out smooth and sold as cheap shotguns. Instead of just being called "Ugly old French muskets made into cheap shotguns" the dealers coined the name "Zulu" invoking images of fierce warriors hunting in the wilds of Africa. These were sold all over the world, Sears offered them for $3.40 to $4.50 in the 1880s and 90s, so they are equally likely to show up in the wilds of Wyoming as in Zimbabwe. They are great wall hangers, and dealers rejoice when they can sell one for anything more than about $75.00 today. Guns are loaded with insights into evolving technology, the growth and decline of nations, and the ingenuity of men and women engaged in free enterprise. Wow! You get all this free with each and every Zulu! Just think how much you will know if you invest in one of the fascinating collectable guns we offer on the catalog pages... John Spangler

# 15493 - Looking Glass 22
James, Perry, Florida

Looking Glass - Semi Auto - 22 - 3 - Blue - 53047 ? -

Spain , Looking Glass, Not Real Sure Of Serial Number. What Would This Gun Be Worth ?

James, Your "Looking Glass" is one of dozens of very similar inexpensive copies of the Browning .25 automatic, many of these were made in Spain. Inexpensive Spanish firearms have a reputation in general for making use of low quality, steel which may not be strong enough to handle modern day high- pressure loads. There is no collectors in this type of firearm, I occasionally see Spanish pistols like this in perfect condition being offered in the $50.00 - $100.00 range at gunshows. Forgotten Weapons has an excellent article on Spanish pistols, click here to view it. Marc

# 15362 - 90mm Brass Shell Case
Jacob Arizona

M19 - 1953 - 90MM - Other -

Used to make some home decor I have a M19 90MM shell casing with no primer, other then scrap brass is there a value to this casing? It also has 1953 stamped in it

Jacob- The 90mm cannons M36 and M41 were mounted in the M46, M47 and M48-M48A3 series tanks and the M54 cannon on the nifty M56 “Scorpion” anti-tank vehicle. These guns all used the same 90mm ammo, based on the M19 case with various types of high explosive, armor piercing, smoke, or target practice projectiles. They also used some of the M19A1 cases made from steel. As far as value, a collector looking for that exact type may buy one we have listed for $149, and someone looking for something to make wind chimes or motorcycle mufflers (yes, we have sold these for those too!) may be more or less eager to buy. Collector value quickly drops to scrap value for cases that have been boogered. The scrap dealers only care about what the weight is and pay by weight and then the barbarians chuck them into a big pile with similar types of scrap metal to be melted down, destroying forever a small bit of military history. John Spangler

# 15489 - Abilene .44mag
Wade, Provo, Utah

U.S. ARMS - Abilene - .44mag - 4in - Blue - A001813 -

B8 I`m looking for the age of this firearm.

Wade, this is from Wikipedia - The United States Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company, Inc. (U.S. Fire Arms Mfg. Co., ) was a privately held firearms-manufacturing firm based in Hartford, Connecticut. Originally produced single action revolvers that were clones of the Colt Single Action Army revolver.[1] The factory was located "Under the Blue Dome," the former site of the Colt East Armory, where Colt's Manufacturing Company produced many of their classic firearms in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The company no longer exists since about late 2011, and The Company was the last fire arms maker in the Colt's Armory Complex - and the site is now seeking Historic Landmark Status.

My sources indicate that your revolver was probably manufactured in the late 1970s or the early 1980s. Marc

# 15352 - Sharps Model 1874 With Octagon Barrel
Steve, Livermore, CA

C Sharps Hartford, Conn - 1874 - 45-70 - 30'' Octagon - Blue - 155245 -

Marking on barrel is C Sharps manufg. Co. Hartford, Conn. Left side C Sharps Pat sept 12th, 1848 double set trigger. Top of barrel says caliber 45. What year was the rifle made and do you think the octagon barrel is original.

Steve- We do not know a whole lot about Sharps rifles, and do not have access to Frank Sellers’ Sharps Firearms book right now. I will assume that the barrel and receiver are the original match. The marking C. Sharps Manufg Co, Hartford, Conn appeared in three different formats which will narrow down the date, but you will have to compare them with the following list.

  • Prior to 1873 this was a three line marking.
  • Prior to 1874 it was changed to a two line marking.
  • Circa 1874 it was changed to a single line marking.

From 1874-1876 the marking was Sharps Rifle Co. Hartford, Conn.; and from 1876 onward it was Sharps Rifle Co. Bridgeport, Conn.
There were many different variations of the Model 1874 made, in various calibers with many different barrel options, from 22” to 36 inches. Certainly .45 caliber 30 inch octagon would be a common configuration. Get a copy of the Sellers book for more research. John Spangler

# 15345 - Uruguay Conversion 1871 Daudetau Mauser
Mike, Post Falls, ID.

1871 Daudetau Mauser - Uruguay Conversion - 6.5x53.5 - 30.5 - Blue - 70163 -

82 1879 on right recv`r. multiple `crown over letter`cartouches(6)on stock. 3 banded, full length stock, match numbers, etc. this is not the usual daudetau conversion.. most are 2 banded and have the side slot for cleaning rod. mine has center rod slot-exactly like a 1871 and has 3 barrel bands. what, who, where can I find more info on this variety? thanks, mike

Mike- What we have is a rifle made in Germany, sold to Uruguay, converted in France to use a French designed cartridge, in a transaction brokered by an Italian tailor. While lacking much of a service history, they are certainly one of the most unusual stories of military arms on the cheap, and such an abject failure. I cannot explain why your rifle stock is not the typical type with two bands and side mounted rod. My gut feeling is that your rifle had the stock broken at some time and it was replaced with a standard German M1871 Mauser stock. The six crown/letter proof marks are typically found on the German stocks, but not on the Datadeau after conversion.

The Datadeau rifles were born as a German Mauser Model 1871 rifle (marks on left side of receiver "I.G. Mod 71" for Infantrie Gewehr Model 1871. Right side marks would indicate when it was made and initial German military issue. These were converted circa 1895 for the 6.5x53.5mm Daudetau No. 12 semi-rimmed cartridge by the French "Societe Francaise des Armes Portatives of Saint Denis, Paris, France, as indicated by the markings on the barrel "S.F.A.P/St. Denis." In the 1880s, the South American nation of Uruguay had purchased a quantity of Mauser Infanteriegewehre Model 1871 rifles. When neighboring Argentina adopted the 7.65mm small bore smokeless cartridges and Model 1891 Mauser rifles in 1891, Uruguay felt a need to keep up with the neighbors. But funding was very limited.

As a stopgap measure it was decided in 1894 to have their Model 1871 rifles re-barreled for a modern cartridge. Enter Antonio De Dovitiis (usually mispelled Dovitis), an immigrant tailor actually born in Picerno, Potenza Province, Italy, but usually claimed to be from Greece. De Dovitiis had a military equipment store specialized in tailoring articles and bladed weapons, located at 18 de Julio street no. 130, Montevideo, the Uruguayan capitol. He was also personal tailor of Julio Herrera y Obes, the president of Uruguay between 1890-1894, and that probably accounts for him being sent to Europe on the armament mission.

Dovitiis took advantage of business contacts in France to arrange for the work to be done by Societe Francais des Armes Portative, which was then promoting the a rifle designed by Frenchman Luis D’Audeteau who had also designed several 6.5mm cartridges. His “Cartouche No. 12” was pushed on the gullible Uruguayans as a wonderful choice as their new service cartridge. The chief benefit seems to be that SFAP St. Denis would be able to use their existing machinery to produce the barrels, sights and other fittings necessary to convert the Mausers. The conversion consisted of fitting a new barrel, bolt head, extractor, sights, bands and a stock. In fact, the only original Mauser parts retained were the receiver, trigger mechanism, buttplate, and brass trigger guard while the sights and bayonet were the same pattern as those used on the Lebel. Approximately 10,000 pieces were converted, including some cut down to a short rifle configuration. Although sounding good on paper (or possibly after the passage of cash under the table) this international cross breeding program was a failure. The main problem was the ammunition which had hard primers while the rifles had weak springs, and there were extraction problems caused by differences in rim dimensions. But, most South American countries were reluctant to allow the troops to shoot very much as it might encourage them to overthrow the current governments.

One of the oddball features of this rifle is the fact that the cleaning rod was mounted on the side instead of underneath the forend. There are only a few other examples with this feature, and for a rather eccentric collecting niche, that might be fun to explore. Look for the French Model 1892 carbines, Portuguese Model 1886 Kropatshek rifles, the Russian Model 1938 Tokarevs, a few Winchester Model 1876 rifles, some of the Remington Keene military rifles, and maybe a few others. The field of early South American military rifles has a lot of variety and mostly reasonable prices, and this would be a key piece in such a collection. John Spangler

# 15499 - Jukar Gun
Susan Reliance Tn

Jukar Spain - 45 - Blue - 0314117 -

I am trying to find any information about this gun. I would love to know who owned it or where it came from. Thank you

Susan it is hard to say for sure from the information that you sent but my guess is that, there is not a lot of history to tell. Your revolver is probably a recent import black powder replica. I think these were made sometime in the 1960s-1980s. They are not old, not collectible, and not valuable. Probably fun to shoot (with black powder after being checked by a competent gunsmith) or a good decorator item for over the fireplace. Really good to leave out for the burglars to steal instead of your valuable guns. Hope this helps. Marc

# 15343 - Colt Baby Dragoon Style Pistol Made Of Brass
Kelly, El Paso TX

Unknown - Unknown - .31 Cal? - 5 Inches - Other - NONE -

None I have a very unique cap and ball revolver. First off it looks like a Colt .31 cal Baby Dragoon but it`s obviously not. There are no stamps, serial number or other identification numbers on it. The only thing is the scroll work on the cylinder which is definitely not Colt. The cylinder itself has the old style round hole stops (Colt quit using those around 1850), the five inch barrel is octagonal and tapered but here`s the real kicker, other than the wooden pistol grips the entire revolver appears to be made out of brass. Not brass plated but solid brass, I checked with a magnet, nope, wouldn`t stick. Hopefully someone might know what I have. Kelly

Kelly- That is certainly different! I cannot identify this one. An old Colt collector friend had something somewhat similar but he is deceased so we cannot find out from him. My best guess would be some sort of machinist showing off their skills, or a prototype made from a more easily worked material as a final test of machinery. John Spangler

# 15498 - Webley 1907 Field Strip
Donald, Virginia Beach, Va

Webley & Scott - 1907 - 25mm - 4 Inch - Blue - 143919 -

How do you field strip this weapon?

Donald, the Model 1907 was first offered on the market in 1907, and was still being sold in 1940. It was first adopted by the Metropolitan Police in 1911, legend has it that the famous Siege of Sidney Street inspired the police to discard their revolvers and take to automatics, although revolvers continued in police service until the present day. Throughout the existence of this pistol, it underwent several changes, none of them fundamental, and all intended to simplify manufacture or assist in use. The most obvious change concerns the safety, which on the first models was a catch on the left side of the external hammer By pressing the catch down when the hammer was at half-cock, it was locked and the pistol could be carried without danger. On later versions, the catch was positioned on the left of the frame above the grip, where it could be worked with the right thumb. Barrel length was 3.5 inches, the magazine held eight rounds and it was chambered for 32ACP and .380, both rimless cartridges. A feature of all these small Webley automatic pistols was that the spring-steel trigger guard was used to lock the barrel to the body by means of two lugs on the front leg of the guard.

I was unable to find instructions for field stripping the 1907 Webley but I did find instructions for the H&R Semi Auto. H&R Semi Auto pistols were based on the designs of William J. Whiting, which were made in England as the Webley automatics so they should be pretty close to the same.

Field Strip:

  • With the striker in fired position and the magazine removed, pull down the front of the trigger guard until the “step” can be seen, and hold it there.
  • Move the slide and barrel off the frame toward the front. As it clears its track, the barrel will be released for removal.

Instructions for complete disassembly:

  • In the aperture at the top of the slide backplate, use a small tool to depress the plunger of the backplate catch. Move the backplate upward for removal. CAUTION! Restrain the recoil spring and striker spring base, as the powerful springs will force it rearward.
  • Ease out the spring base, and remove the base and springs.
  • The recoil spring and guide, and the striker spring, are easily detached. The guide for the striker spring is integral with the base.
  • The backplate lock plunger and its coil spring are easily taken out of the slide. It may be wise to remove them at this point, to prevent loss.
  • Remove the striker from the slide.
  • Drift out the breechblock retaining pin.
  • The breechblock will often be quite tightly fitted. Insert a drift punch in the firing pin aperture in the breech face, and tap it gently to nudge the breechblock downward.
  • Remove the breechblock. The extractor and its coil spring can be lifted out of the breechblock. The loaded-chamber indicator pin is integral with the extractor.
  • Set the safety lever in off-safe position (upward), remove the left grip screw, and move the grip panel slightly downward as it is taken off. Be careful, as the upper front of the grip is easily broken. Remove the right grip screw and the right panel. Remove the safety lever retaining screw.
  • Remove the safety lever toward the left. The safety detent plunger and spring are now taken out of the frame.
  • There is a small aperture on the right side of the frame for insertion of a drift punch. Use it to drift out the sear bar contact pin, shown here, toward the left.
  • Drift out the trigger cross-pin.
  • Remove the trigger, and its plunger and spring.
  • Remove the trigger guard. The lock pin at the front of the frame need not be taken out.
  • Remove the sear bar.
  • Drift out the grip safety cross-pin.
  • Drift out the grip safety limit pin.
  • Move the grip safety unit forward, then take it out toward the rear. The sear plunger and spring can be removed from the top of the unit.
  • The sear lever and its plunger and spring can be separated from the grip safety by drifting out this cross-pin. Caution: Control the plunger and spring.
  • Drift out the sear pin, and remove the sear. The sear limit pin, just to the rear, does not have to be removed.
  •  Drift out the magazine catch cross-pin.
  • Fully depress the catch button, and remove the magazine catch toward the rear.
  • Remove the magazine catch button.
  •  Remove the magazine catch spring.

Hope this helps, Marc












# 15501 - Winchester Gallery Rifle

Winchester - 90-22 - 22 Short - 711805 -

I just found my grandfather's Winchester rifle model 90-22 serial 711805. Condition is poor, is this a treasure?

The rifle in the picture you have sent is almost certainly a Model 1890. These rifles were frequently seen at shooting galleries, so you will sometimes hear them referred to as a "gallery gun." Two clues lead me to believe that your rifle may have been a gallery gun. First, the .22 short only caliber designation was the preferred style used in shooting galleries. Second, these rifles were often heavily used and typically do not have much of the original finish present. Because of the current condition of the rifle we are not interested in purchasing it at this time; however, if you are interested in an appraisal we believe that this rifle would sell somewhere in the $100-$200 dollar range. If it is a family heirloom it would probably be better to keep it and enjoy it. The serial number dates it to 1927, back when guns were made by craftsmen who took pride in their work. You would be hard pressed to find a rifle built as well as the 1890's were for what you may end up selling it for. JTW

# 15341 - Engraved Model 94 Winchester

Winchester - 1894 - 30/30 - 20'' - Blue - 2254979 -

Initials DB behind trigger. I have a pre. 64 model 1894 Winchester 30/30 engraved. I am trying to find information on who the engrave was, the initials are DB. Thanks

James- Your rifle was made around 1957. I really do not know (or care) enough about Winchester engravers to be able to tell you who DB might be. I recommend you ask on the Winchester Arms Collectors Association page where people who know that sort of thing probably visit. Good luck, but meanwhile, just enjoy it for the artistic merit, even if the artisan who did the work is unknown. John Spangler

# 15487 - Gunsmithing Help
Abiel, San Benito, TX, USA

Soc It. Feliz Galesi-Brescia - 503? - .22 short - Approx. 1-3/4'' - Rusty - 134350 -

PSP, XXIII What parts are interchangeable on this pistol? Can I use parts of another galesi .22LR? Gun misfires and parts are scarce for a .22 short. Your help is much appreciated, take care

Abiel, sorry we are not gunsmiths here at so we can not help with your question. I suggest you contact our friend Lloyd Phippips at East Creek Precision ( He is an excellent gunsmith and he will probably be able to point you in the right direction. Marc

# 15340 - Miller Conversion Of Civil War Musket
Bob Gray, spfld , mass

GW NdH W MILLER CONV - 1863 - 58 Cal - 29.5 Frm Breech To Muzzle - Other -

``U`` stamped on barrel bands , has lockplate and hammer reproduction has Springfield and eagle stamped on lock plate , missing extractor for cartridge. slight crack appears in stock opposite lock plate total length of rifle from buttstock too muzzle 45 1/2 inches , production records indicate only 2,000 were produced by miller mfg of meriden conn, does this piece has any significant value

Bob- No, your rifle does not have significant value. At best it has very modest value as a decorator or for the relatively few parts which can be salvaged. The Miller conversions were a nice idea, essentially removing the breech plug and adding a hinged breechblock that has a locking bar that holds the breech shut. A large groove added to the stock behind the breech is somewhat similar to the loading path used in Sharps rifles.

William H. and George W. Miller designed and patented the design of the Miller conversion. The Meridian Manufacturing Company altered 2000 1861 muskets, mostly Parker’s Snow & Co., between 1865 to 1867. The alteration was adapted to a breech that allowed the breech to swing upward for loading. These conversions were chambered for the 58-caliber rimfire cartridge. Markings on the top of the breech: W. H. & G. W. MILLER PATENT MAY 23 1865 / MERIDEN MFG. CO., MERIDEN CONN. Apparently about 45 were sold to New York and 50 to Maryland, but sales were slow and many were later cut down (like yours) and sold at bargain prices for use as cadet arms for youth groups. Since these were not used by the U.S. Army, and only a few militias, collector interest is very limited, especially for the cut down examples. John Spangler

Return to Collectors Headquarters.