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# 14883 - Stars On Stock Of M1842 Springfield
gene chester nj

Springfield - M - 842 - 69 - 30'' - Nickel -

stars stamped on stock What does it mean when stars are stamped on the stock

Gene- Perhaps a former owner was an amateur astronomer? Or, stars were especially decorative so he stamped some on the stock?

Really, I do not now for sure. However, there is something of a pattern with U.S. martial longarms being stamped with stars, but apparently with two distinctly different meanings.

First, it is necessary to remember that new guns were made, issued and eventually overhauled or repaired. The common term was “cleaned and repaired” or “C&R” (not to be confused with the post- 1968 FFL’s for collectors of “curios and relics.” Sometimes the inspection criteria, or standards to be met, were slightly less for C&R arms than those newly made, possibly reflecting use of salvaged parts, or omission of certain parts no longer used. Such C&R arms were sometimes designated as “second class” arms, good enough for service, but preferably held for issue to militia or other less favored troops. I have seen star markings (a five pointed star, open in the center, about ¼ inch or so, used on a Model 1855 .58 caliber rifle musket refurbished to near new, but with the Maynard tape primer mechanism omitted. It can be found on some M1903 Springfields sometimes near the butt swivel, and on M1917 Enfield rifles near the butt swivel or on the left side near the wrist area.

In addition, a large number of Model 1879 .45-70 trapdoor rifles and carbines were assembled circa 1881-1882 using new barrels, receiver and breechblocks, but most other parts salvaged from earlier trapdoors recalled as unserviceable after adoption of the wider (and stronger) receiver and breechblock. Due to limited Army funding at the time, these arms were assembled using this mix of old and new parts and workmen kept busy with funding for clean and repair operations, not new manufacture. These were mainly for issue to the militia (National Guard) and the work on them was paid for from that account.

The second “star” meaning is associated with the use of a “star gauge” instrument to precisely measure the bore dimensions of rifle barrels in order to select those with the closest tolerances. The star gauge for rifle barrels was developed in 1905. Usually it was used to select barrels and arms to be used for National Match competition. Actually marking the barrels to indicate those which passed the Star Gauge inspection did not start until 1921, but it was used prior to that although no markings are known. After 1921, barrels were routinely marked, with a “star” mark on the muzzle, and a tiny letter/number elsewhere on the barrel to indicate the number of the star gauge record card for that barrel. This was done on barrels for match rifles, and also the M1903 Springfield NRA Sporter rifles. When the M1 Garand was adopted for National Match use, those barrels were also marked, initially standard production barrels carefully selected, later from production to a different drawing number with tighter standards specifically for match rifle production. The star mark on the Garand barrels was sometimes placed on the side of the barrel near the muzzle, and other times on the right rear of the barrel along with all the other markings, but use of the card number was dropped.

But, I have never seen a M1842 musket with a star marking, so I am not sure if the “cleaned and repaired” explanation is correct of not. The fact the it has a 30 inch barrel and has been nickel plated confirms that has been heavily boogered, and it would not be surprising that the star marking is related to that, rather than my theory. Hope that helps. John Spangler

# 15013 - Refinished Luger Value
Don, South Jordan Ut

Luger - 9mm - Blue - 133735 -

All parts of pistol have same marking's for each part 62. The serial number is listed on right side of frame with the military units emblem's. I have 2 magazines and 1 is serial to pistol. Its apparent the pistol was refinished and its still in great shape. I'm having trouble locating MFG of pistol. I ultimately want to find out more, age , mfg and worth

Don, if one is unfamiliar with the Luger codes and markings, it is sometimes difficult to identify a manufacturer. You should be able to see the markings that I am referring to when looking at the top of the Luger in the toggle/chamber area. If your Luger does not have any markings there is a good chance that they have been removed, probably at the time that the Luger was refinished..

When placing a value on a Luger, matching serial numbers and original condition are both very important to most collectors. If your Luger is serial number 133735, then all of the small parts should be marked with the last two digits of the serial number, 35 in this case, not 62. Values for non- matching Lugers that have been refinished are much less than for examples with original finish and all matching numbers, by at lease 50 percent or maybe even more. Sorry that I could not tell you better news. Marc

# 15015 - Rare WZ 33 Rifle
Dan, Perry, Ohio

Radom - Kbk.S.wz.31 - .22 - Blue - 15687 -

It has a larger polish eagle stamped on the receiver with FB RADOM 1939 stamped on it. Looking for a value. And rarity. No one around here gives me a straight answer and offer $200 for it, but I suspect it is worth more....just a gut feeling. Has original sling and the serial #s match throughout the rifle

Dan, you have a rare rifle. It was made in the city of Radom, Poland in 1939 at the Polish State arms factory for the Polish military. They were adopted in 1933, hence the designation WZ 33 on the receiver. These rifles were chambered in 22 long rifle and are single shot only. They were used for teaching marksmanship. The rifle came from the factory with a full length stock, and in appearance looks much like the standard Polish army, the Model WZ 29. It should have matching serial numbers (my only be the last two digits of the serial number on the receiver) on the bolt, stock, floorplate and barrel bands. In good condition dealers are asking in the $1500 to $1800. If the stock has been cut or the parts are not matching then prices drops considerably. Contact us if you would like to sell at the following link: Marc

# 15003 - AK-47 For Vietnam Collector

As part of my Vietnam experience and collection, I'd like to add a Soviet block manufactured AK 47 (first choice) or SKS. I want a military surplus rifle not a recent commercially produced replica. Are Soviet block AKs or SKSs surplus firearms available and if so, do you have any available? Any information you might provide me would be greatly appreciated.

Ken- First, all real Vietnam AK-47s are select fire (full auto) with all the restrictions and hassles and $$$$$$ prices, so while some are available via dealers in "class 3" machine guns, they are realistically beyond the reach of most collectors. I think you are looking at something in the $8-10K range, but since we do not deal in any full auto stuff, that is pretty much a guess.

However, a semi-auto AK-47 type rifle can be had for under $500 and visually and functionally is the same except for lack of full auto capability. Ammo is cheap, so get one and shoot it and don't worry about hurting much collector value.

SKS rifles of Vietnam vintage turn up fairly often and prices tend to be modest, under $500. However, there are a few with "capture papers" that are documented Vietnam souvenirs, and they tend to run 2 or 3 times that amount, and last one I saw was priced at $2K, which I thought was outrageous.

You might keep an eye on the listings at or to see what shows up there. Remember, they will have to be sent to your dealer so add in any fees for that when figuring what you want to bid.

We do not like AK or SKS types and rarely get them unless part of a collection, and even then they are usually post-Vietnam types, so I cannot encourage you to wait for one to turn up here. Good luck! John

# 15002 - .50 Caliber Machine Gun Ammunition Colors

I have NO knowledge about this ammo worth. I have 9 belted FA 38 appearing blue tipped and one FA 33 red tip .50. I also have 10 belted 50 60 yellow tipped and 4 belted 50 61 yellow tipped .50 cal rounds. Can you give me any info about this?

Brian- The FA indicates the ammo was made by Frankford Arsenal. The red tip is a tracer, and the blue tips are incendiary.

The headstamps 50 over 60 and 50 over 61 is a foreign headstamp and I cannot tell you the country or the factory which used code 50, but I am sure the 60 and 61 are the dates. The color codes vary somewhat by different countries and I cannot tell you what the yellow might mean. John Spangler

# 15008 - History For An 1863 Trapdoor
John,Tyler, Texas

Springfield - 1863 Trapdoor - 50/70 - 30.5'' - Blue - 22933 -

On side plate 1863, US Springfield. - On trapdoor ''1870 US''. -On buttplate ''US SC''. On barrel each band it has a ''U'' stamped on each one. On receiver and barrel has serial #. Where can I get some history on this rifle?

John, unfortunately records simply do not exist for probably 90% or more of all the military small arms issued. For U.S. military small arms, the Springfield Research Service, (SRS) is the only source that I know of where information of the sort that you are looking for can be obtained. In the past Springfield Research Service has been a good resource, but ownership passed to new people a few years back and since that happened, I have not felt that any of my interactions with them have been useful. I still have a copy of old SRS data which was obtained before the change of hands at SRS and I can tell you that there is no listing for serial number 22933. Marc

# 15001 - Antique Ivory Grips For Colt Revolver

Looking to sell a set of antique ivory grips. I believe they came off a Colt New Police, or an 1889 Colt Double Action revolver. Is there still a market for these, and can I legally sell them with the current federal ivory regulations?

Jeremy- We appreciate your offering us these grips, but we will pass on them. You will probably do better selling to someone with more interest in Colts. The status of any ivory object is getting cloudy and likely to get worse in coming months and years. This is being driven by a UN agency and treaty, and implementation is by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Customs people.

Basically, to stop the slaughter of elephants in Africa today, trade in any ivory object is limited to those over 100 years old or with specific other documentation proving legal importation prior to 1990. But, unlike every other legal procedure, this is not "innocent until proven guilty," but the owner is obligated to prove that it is indeed over 100 years old and/or that it came into the U.S. via one of a few designated customs entry points and has "CITES" (an environmental treaty/law) documentation. .

Already there are reports of some zealous agents raiding antique shows and confiscating ivory (or even ivory looking) objects and forcing owners to prove the age and origin. Any testing has to be done by specified laboratories, and necessarily damages the object (to a very small degree) and the cost is in the hundreds to thousands of dollars range. They are demanding documentation like a receipt and customs import documents from 1990 or earlier, or proof that the item is 100+ years old. So, they can basically confiscate any ivory and charge anyone with anything. And you are left to prove your innocence at your own expense. .

This applies not just to a large object made entirely of ivory, but also to an object with ANY amount of ivory- an ivory bead on a shotgun sight, ivory handles on a pocket knife, ivory dots or inlays on a guitar, or the keys of a Steinway piano. The entire object is confiscated! .

Here is a quote from a New York Times editorial praising the ban (but ignoring the potential abuses and unintended consequences): .

"The service will prohibit “all commercial imports of African elephant ivory, including antiques,” and it will prohibit exports except for certified antiques. Sales of elephant ivory across state lines will be prohibited, unless the ivory is demonstrably more than 100 years old. And ivory sales will be prohibited within a state unless the seller can demonstrate that the ivory was lawfully imported before 1990, the year after the signing of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, a United Nations agreement known as Cites. The burden of proof of purchase will fall on the seller, and sales will require rigorous documentation. People can still own ivory and pass heirlooms to descendants." .

Read here about how members of the Budapest Symphony Orchestra were banned from bringing their bows into the U.S. for a concert because they have a small ivory tip, and could not document that they were in compliance with the new laws! Absurd, but bureaucrats have the power to do absurd things. .

Since I really don't get into anything with ivory, I am not worrying a lot about this, although I will do whatever I can to fight it. But, I will not be buying anything with any ivory myself due to the likely increasing hassles in the future. .

I hope this does not scare you, but that is my understanding of this issue, based on information from two very experienced and respected high profile experts in the gun collecting community and the two linked items above. John Spangler

# 15007 - Model 1883 Reichs Revolver
Robbie Hewitt, Smyrna, GA

VCS/CGH Shul - 1883 - 10.6 Mm - Original Short - Blue - 339 -

Several but not knowledgeable enough to name them. One is the German bird. I think the bluing is actually brown. I've read that both colors were used. All numbered parts match. I recently inherited the pistol. If I sent you pictures would you be willing to give me an opinion of value?

Robbie, you asked your question at an opportune time because our spotlight item for this month is a Reichs Revolver. Take a look at the pictures that we have posted and compare our revolver to yours, then read our description. We have some pretty good information about the markings on our revolver that may be helpful to you. If you need more information, let us know, we will be happy to provide you with an appraisal for a small fee. Marc

# 14949 - Eddystone Model 1917 Rifles

Hello, I hope you can settle an issue! My father has a rifle a 1917 Eddystne Model 1917 rifle with serial # 510533. He ask me to do some research about it for him. So, I did. I should have said NOOOOOO!

Well everything I have found out says the rifle was made in May of 1918. Well he swears up and down that he bought the rifle brand new from a Sears store in the 1960's. I thought maybe it is a reissue if that's possible but I have not been able to find any info about that possibility. Can you help? Thanks, Robert

Robert- Around 1959-1960 a large number of M1917 rifles were released on the surplus market, either from U.S. or probably foreign (British?) inventory. Many were indeed new, unissued condition.

Many were sold through retail chains, including Sears Roebuck, as well as traditional gun stores. Price was around $29.95.

Sears also sold virtually new M1 Garands send to England in 1942 for $79.95, when none were really available on the U.S. market.

I suspect your friend's story is accurate, and your research as well. Hope that helps. John Spangler

# 15014 - Asymmetrical M1917 Swivels

M1917 - 30-06 -

I am restoring a sporterized 1917 Enfield and had to order a new stock set and the muzzle end metal pieces for it. The rifle Stacking Swivel appears to have the metal screw piece not centered on the swivel. It appears that the swivel could be screwed onto the upper band in either direction which would cause the swivel to shift either more to the left or to the right as viewed from the shooters position. Do you know which way they came from the factory.

Fritz, the sling swivels and the stacking swivel for M1917 rifles are all asymmetric or offset. The correct way to attach them is with the longer side on the same side as the bolt handle.

# 15006 - FN 1922 Information

FN - 1922 - 89855 -

I have a browning fabriquie national d'armes de guerre herstal belcique gun with the serial # 89855 located on right side of barrel, chamber and action. Also on left side reads the above and browning's patent depose with other Nazi insignia reading WaA140. Any idea what size this gun is and is it worth any money? Thank you in advance for any help at all!!

Stephanie, the FN Model 1922 was developed from the earlier FN Model 1910. Both pistols were designed by John M. Browning of Ogden, Utah, they were some of the many pistol designs that he created between 1900 and his death in 1926. One thing that sets the design of the Model 1922 apart from other pistols of this type is that it has a longer barrel with a detachable slide end to simplify disassembly.

When the Germans overran Belgium and captured the FN plant in May of 1940, the plant continued to operate under German supervision and FN started to manufacture pistols and other arms for the German military. The WaA 140 marking that you mention is the German WW-II Heerswaffenamt inspector's mark, used on arms produced at Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre, Herstal, Belgium. Model 1922 production went almost exclusively to the Luftwaffe (air force) so there is a good chance that your pistol was used by them.

We have listed quite a few FN 1922 pistols in our handguns catalog over the last few years, I believe that there is one listed there now. We usually sell our 1922 pistols in the $450 to $650 range depending on condition. Hope this helps. Marc

# 14948 - Handloading For 8x50mmR Steyr Model 95 Rifles

I am looking for 8x50r ammo for my Steyr 95 Austrian rifle. Stop laughing, I really need to find some ammo.

Todd- Sorry, we cannot help with that one.

Looks like your best bet might be to get into handloading where you can use 7.62 x54mmR Russian cases as a starting point.

Wiki says: "Handloading- Reloadable cartridge cases can be produced by reforming and trimming 8×56mmR Mannlicher or 7.62×54mmR Mosin-Nagant Russian brass. Standard .323" 8mm S-bullets are correct for this caliber though best results will be obtained from open-base bullets that can expand to fit the .329" bore. RCBS offers both reforming and reloading matrices.

If reloading for "wedge-lock" Mannlicher rifles such as the M.88, M.86/88, M.86/90 or M.88/90 then chamber pressures should be kept low for safety. Rifles such as the Mannlicher M.95 using a stronger rotating-bolt design can be loaded to higher pressures." Good Luck, and remember we DO NOT provide or endorse any reloading info, so if it blows up on you, sue the Wiki people. John Spangler

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