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# 4369 - Cleaning Military Leather Slings 10/31/01 Joel
I have looked almost everywhere and cannot find an answer to the following problem. I have several US Military Leather Slings (WWI and WWII) (as well as German and Japanese) that I have obtained for my weapons. I can restore or clean the leather. The problem is on the brass ones. I would like to find an easy way to get rid of the oxidation (blue-green) where the metal and leather meet. My solution to this point has been to gingerly scrape the "gunk" out. Certainly there must be a better solution, and certainly you must possess it. Right? Thanks for any and all help.
Answer: Joel- Sorry, we cannot help with that one. We cannot fix broken hearts or the crack of dawn either. The green crud is verdigris, and is formed by a chemical reaction between the brass and the leather, especially when facilitated by certain treatments on the leather(although I do not know which are better or worse). None of my research in Museum Preservation methods has turned up any good recommendations. Only removing the brass from contact with the leather will stop it, and I doubt if you want to cut off all the sling hooks. Like you, I just periodically clean out the crud using dental tools or an artist's pallet knife that has been sharpened. (You can get these in the art department at Wal-Mart for a couple of bucks and they are also great for removing rust from steel when used as a scraper with WD40 or oil as a lubricant.). John Spangler
Long rifle - caplock, maybe converted - approximately .45 calbre - 40 7/8 inches - browned -
Lock plate has "HYD(E) over "CLEVELAND" over "NC" over "WARRANTED". Parentheses indicates uncertainty. "1831" on bottom of Trigger guard. Rifle is obviously handmade with 56 1/4 overall length. Can you give me any information regarding this long rifle and recommend a good restoration service. The forearm is missing on much of the barrel. Thanks.
Answer: Steven- Sorry, I do not have any information on this maker. It sounds like a fairly early piece, and as you noted, quite likely one that was converted from flint to percussion. I do not know any good restoration people in North Carolina but I am sure there are some. You might also ask about who is making custom long rifles, as many of them also do restoration work. The old long rifles are rather delicate to ship, and I would encourage you to ask at gun shows or gun shops in your area to see if you can find someone close enough that you can deliver it an pick up in person, rather than giving UPS the chance to damage it. John Spangler
# 4246 - Refinished P.38 10/31/01
Walther - P-38 - 9mm - 2.5" - Nickel - A 3070 -
cvq marking on slide also the no.88 on other side of slide plus swastika with wings meanings of markings and the nickel finish? it also has black plastic handles
Answer: You have probably misread the marking on your slide, it should read "cyq" not "cvq". Your "cyq" slide marking signifies that your P.38 is manufactured by Spreewerke not Walther, cyq is the WW-II German ordnance code assigned to Spreewerke GmbH, Metallwarenfabrik, Berlin Spandau, Germany. The eagle over 88 marking that you describe should be stamped twice on the right hand side of the slide, once on the frame above the trigger, once on the right hand side of the barrel locking block and once on the left side of the barrel group. Eagle over 88 is the German WW-II Heerswaffenamt inspectors mark for the Spreewerk P.38 pistol. The eagle over a swastika marking is a military acceptance stamp, it should be stamped on the right hand side of the slide between the two military inspectors stamps. Original P.38 barrel length is 125 millimeters (4.93 inches) original finish is blue. The fact that your P.38 has been refinished could account for the reason why you were unable to read the cyq marking on your slide. Marc
# 4313 - Berthier 8mm Lebel French Carbine 1892/1916 10/27/01 Mike, Saint Paul, MN
Berthier - 1892/16 Carbine - 8 mm Lebel - @ 18 inches - Not sure - (g)81763 -
On the barrel; St. Etienne, Mle 1892, CC, and two indented, circled letter M's and two letter N's (or possible misprinted M's). On the opposite side: MA S 1895, an indented circle with the letter R raised, two indented diamonds; one with the letter R (or possible B)and the other with O, raised. On the bolt along with the serial number is an indented circle with the letter K raised. I would like to know what you can tell me about this rifle such as manufacture date, any history, collectability and value. Thank you.
Answer: Mike- French military arms are a less popular collecting field with an unbelievable variety of items. They generally are very modestly priced, as most are in abysmal condition, and most were, to be blunt, the ugliest guns of any in use at the time by major powers. (Perhaps some will disagree. Some guys might prefer a date with a 400 pound Sumo babe in need of a shave instead of a cute movie star. In this wonderful land of freedom we can all like, or dislike, whatever we choose. I choose to dislike French guns, so don't waste your time and mine telling me I have bad taste!). Really doggy guns dragged behind camels in the desert or stored in leaky huts in the jungles are often found in the under $100 range and for years they could be found for under $50. However, really nice examples cost a lot more, but people are less ashamed to show these to their friends.
Fortunately the French had a fetish about marking stuff when it was made, and often when it was modified, allowing us to know a little about your gun. "Mle" is an abbreviation for however the French spell "model", confirming yours started off as a Model 1892. Usually the date and place of manufacture will be found nearby, so the MA S 1895 shows that it was made in 1895 at the Manufacture de Armes St. Ettiene. (MA C would be Chatterault, and MA T for Tulle in two other common markings). The other markings seem to be normal inspection markings, but not very informative on where it might have been modified or issued. Most French rifles were issued during WW1, and saw hard use in the incredibly nasty trench warfare.
I do not know of a really good book on French rifles, but any edition of "Small Arms of the World" will help. James Hicks' out of print classic "French Military Weapons" is pretty good but has little more than just drawings and names for identification. John Walter's "Rifles of the World" is probably the best for information, although short on photos, and is one of the books I consider to be essential for a collector's library. John Spangler
# 4310 - Tranter Revolver sold by Manton 10/27/01 John, Lancaster, OH
Manton & Son 6 Dover St London - Double Action Percussion Revolver 5 Shot - .45 - 6 inch - octagonal - Blued Steel Worn - 13502 T -
Proof marks on Cylinder occur 5 times. 2 seem to have a punched in crown with a letter (letters) under it (GT entwined ? ) 3 are the same probable crown with a V under it. In two places, below the cylinder and on the loader lever on the barrel, there is an oval which says "W. TRANTOR'S" on the top half of the oval and "PATENT" on the lower half of the oval. I have pictures if these would be helpful. The fitted walnut box also contains a brass bullet mold, nipple wrench, extra caps, extra nipples, a tin of bullets, and a powder horn. I am most interested in the time period during which this revolver was manufactured. Do you have any history of the numbers or use of these revolvers? Do you know if they were shipped to the confederacy through the blockade? Is this a common object or moderately uncommon? Purchased in 1970 in Charleston, SC.
Answer: John- Tranter revolvers are well made and handsome guns, and a cased example is a very fine acquisition for any collector. The added feature of being sold through the shop of Joseph Manton, one of England's finest gunmakers, enhances the value and interest even more. Tranters were made in several variations, and I am assuming that you have the one that uses a single trigger. The "double trigger" model has an additional trigger extending below the trigger guard, and would be hard to miss, although serial number of both models seem to be from a single series. There is very little known serial number information on any of these, according to The Revolver 1818-1865 by A.W.F. Taylerson, R.A.N. Andrews, and J. Firth. They cite six known cases where serial numbers give clues as to approximate dates of issue. They state that "weapons numbered 11372T and 11844T had a Confederate provenance (1861-65), [and] revolver No. 15235T was presented in 1862..." This at least confirms that your serial number falls in a range that existed during the Civil War years, and cannot be excluded from possible Confederate use. Collectors have long considered Tranter (and similar looking Adams) revolvers to have been popular with Confederates. "Same as used by the Confederates" does not make the value as much as "proven to have been used by Confederates" but it certainly is a fine old firearm with its own history and value. However, having seen huge numbers of items (of various vintages) embellished with assorted CSA type markings and peddled for high prices to gullible Rebelphiles, I am extremely reluctant to proclaim ANYTHING as being Confederate used. If this is something you got directly from a family who had kept it in the attic for decades, perhaps it may be Confederate used. If you got it at one of the wonderful antique shops on King Street loaded with fine English antiques, I would suspect that it entered the south long after the blockade ended. Some dealers are ethically challenged or poorly informed and may inaccurately describe items, regardless of what they are selling, so it is difficult to assess a seller's claims without knowing more about them. Norm Flayderman can be trusted. The slick gun guys with the Rolexes who used to be on the Antiques Roadshow have been revealed as untrustworthy. Prominent and self-adoring author R.L. Wilson recently filed for bankruptcy, reportedly after taking possession of an extremely high priced gun, but before paying for it. As President Reagan said, "Trust, but verify." John Spangler
It looks to me as if this rifle's serial number was hand stamped. Evenly spaced numbers, but some deeper than others. I would just like to know something about the manufacture date of this rifle. I believe it is all original. It has been in a scabbard for a long time. Last night, my son and I went out and shot this rifle. Great fun to shoot - deadly accurate, although I don't think I'd want to carry it around hunting all day. I always like to know something about the weapons I have, and other than this one came from my father in law, I don't know anything about it. Thought you might be able to help.
Answer: The Marlin Model 1893 was introduced to compete with Winchester models of 1886 and 1892. The 1893 incorporated a new locking-bolt system, a two-piece firing pin and an improved elevator. Marlin offered the 1893 in solid frame or take-down versions. The 1893 was originally chambered in 32-40-165 and 38-55-255 but over it's lifetime chambering in 25-36 Marlin, 30-30 Winchester, 32 Winchester Special, 32-40 Ballard and 38-55 Ballard was also offered. M1893 rifles could be ordered with round, half, or full-octagon barrels with lengths form 20 to 32 inches, special pistol grip buttstocks and various grades of fancy engraving. Standard configuration was a 26 inch barrel with a full length magazine and a straight wrist buttstock. Total production of M1893 rifles was about 100,000 from 1893 to 1915 when production stopped so Marlin could focus on producing supplies for the WW1. Marlin reference information tells me that the year of manufacture for your rifle serial number 161610 is 1898. Marc
# 4294 - Stevens April 1794 Patent Date 10/24/01 Milton, Guelph, Canada
J. Stevens A. & T. Co. - None - 32-Long - 20" - Blue - NONE -
Small cross firearms stamp at each end of the lettering. USA PAT APR 1794. Barrel is part octagon (6") and part round (14") Ring at base of barrel The patent date is confusing. Please assist in dating the manufacturing of this gun. There is no serial number or model number on the gun.
Answer: Milton- Many people have been confused by this marking, and lay awake at night wondering about what 18th century features were being used, or if indeed the whole gun was really a hitherto unknown secret weapon that could have changed the course of history if only Napoleon had been able to acquire enough of them to decimate his adversaries. Unfortunately, the truth is much less exciting, and should put anyone to sleep. The patent was issued April 17, 1894, and for whatever reason the markings omitted the 18 from the year (much as we might talk about a '94 Chevy pickup. Perhaps the year was placed unusually close to the 17 to fit everything onto the die used for marking the rifles. Most were marked with "roll dies" having the marks cut into the outside of a large wheel.
Many Stevens models were very similar, and even an expert will have to consult references for minor details to identify the model number.
Stevens went through three basic names which help date their products. 1864-1886 J. Stevens & Co., Chicopee Falls, Mass 1886-1916 J. Stevens Arms & Tool Co. Chicopee Falls, Mass 1916-1942 J. Stevens Arms Co. Chicopee Falls, Mass.
Stevens was purchased by Savage Arms Corporation in 1920, but they continued to use the Stevens name on many products. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 4297 - Amberg Mauser 1871/84 10/24/01 Robert , Seattle, WA
Amberg - 73462 - ? ? - 17" - Blue - 86528 ? ? ? NUMBER ON BUTT OF GUN -
J. B Mod.71/84 (not sure if the b is a g) Maybe this is the model number? Also has multiple letters stamped with crowns over them? and a stamp of 1887 This gun belonged to my great grandfather. Just trying to find out origin, and what it was used for.
Answer: Robert- Amberg is the name of the German arsenal where your rifle was made. Actually it was a Bavarian arsenal since "Germany" was not yet a unified nation, but an affiliated group of nation-states. If the letters are indeed "JB" and not just a really hard to read old style "IG" then it may indicate a very rare "Jaegerbuesch" or rifleman's rifle instead of "Infanterie Gewehr" or common infantry rifle. The 1871/84 is, indeed, the model designation, the 1871 referring to the basic Mauser single shot bolt action mechanism, and the 1884 indicating it is the later version which added a tubular magazine. The 1887 is the date of manufacture. The crowns are various types of inspector marks. By the time this was made, it was obsolete, and the 1871/84s saw little use except as second line or training weapons during WW1. This pretty well covers the source and use of the rifle. It may have been brought to the US as a souvenir after WW1 or WW2, but most likely it was purchased by some entrepreneur who figured they could buy a ton of these real cheap in Europe and sell them to gullible collectors or shooters in the U.S. During the 1960s these were quite common on the market, and examples in nearly new condition were only about $20-30. John Spangler
# 4193 - EM-GE Is it a starter pistol? 10/24/01 Bill, Palm Springs, CA
EM-GE - 320 - 4 inches -
I was given this gun by a dear friend, now deceased, who was a Colonel in the Army during WWII. The barrel flips up and the bullets are loaded into 5 spots in the top of the barrel facing upward, then the barrel is closed the bullets would come out of the top of the gun, not the end of the barrel. I realize that EM-GE made cheap sporting guns. Is this a starter pistol or an actual gun?
Answer: Bill, without examining your revolver it is impossible for me to determine what you have. It is my opinion that since gun buyback programs have been discontinued in most cities, the only good use for any EM-GE revolver is as a starter pistol. Marc
# 4290 - French 5.5mm Training Rifle 10/20/01 Melinda - Oakland, MD
French Military - 5.5 Training Rifle - Unknown - Unknown - UNKNOWN -
Mauser action Can you give me any information on this gun? I can't find information anywhere. Thanks for your help.
Answer: Melinda- You came to the right place! [If you live in Utah, that is meant to be a pun!] These rifles are essentially the same as the late German military training rifles, produced on the captured German machinery immediately after WW2 under French supervision. Reportedly they are quite accurate and are certainly well made. For even greater technical (not historical) information on these, you need to consult something like an item on our book catalog page: "Item 2270- French .22 Military Rifle Manual - Vive La France! Who else would print a 110 page manual (plus 9 fold out plates) showing every minute detail of these rifles. Color print of ammo boxes and headstamps. Detailed plans to make pop-up targets for indoor gallery practice. "Notice sur lar carabine d'instuction de 5,5 mm Modele 1945" July 1951 reprinted 1965. Rifle is actually the old Walther KKW made by the French as the Model 1945 "MAS" and sold in large numbers in recent years. Illustrations even show Mauser markings on the receiver. Approx 5" x 8" brown paper covers. Excellent condition. $35.00" We have a lot of really good books on our book page for collectors and historians, most of which are out of print. John Spangler
# 4272 - Remington Rolling Block ID 10/20/01 Charles, Flint, Michigan
Just what is the model number of this rifle? It is on the rolling block frame.
Answer: Charles- Remington Rolling block identification is a mystery wrapped in an enigma, with few clues or good reference to go by. Model numbers are somewhat imprecise with a lot of overlapping details and confusing details that varied considerably, especially on the military rifles. Pistols and civilian model rifles are a bit better defined, and a good reference book like Flayderman's Guide will be a big help with all of them.
The main clues are the patent dates on the upper tang, and the details of the extractor. The very earliest had an extractor that was a stud in the lower portion of the block, so that when the block was rolled back, the extractor would come up through a notch at the bottom of the barrel and engage the rim of the cartridge, much like the extractor on the Spencers. The second type used an extractor plate mounted in a thinned area on the left side of the breechblock, rotating on the same pin as the block. When the block opened it would engage the extractor and pull it along. The arm of the extractor went up along the side of the barrel and engaged much more area than the simple stud first used. The third type of extractor fit in a slot along the left side of the barrel. When the block was opened, it would engage the back of the extractor and force it to the rear. This had the advantage of acting against a large area of the rim of the cartridge all at the same time, and in exactly the right direction. The side mounted extractor also had the advantage of working with rimless cartridges, while the earlier designs only worked with rimmed cartridges. This allowed Remington to sell many of their lower priced rolling blocks to countries that had adopted Mauser rifles with rimless cartridges, especially in South America.
The upper and lower tangs of the rolling blocks are usually marked on the side with a serial number, and while they sometimes match, often they do not, and I do not understand the patterns, or know of any reliable information to translate the numbers into manufacturing dates. John Spangler
# 4180 - Another Spanish S&W Copy 10/20/01 Tricia Farina IL
Unknown - .38 Police Special - .38 - Unknown - Black - UNKOWN -
Made in Spain, an S and an A intertwined in a circle I am trying to Identify this gun but I don't have very much info on it, I am curious as to what company the S and A intertwined in a circle identifies. I was told this is an old security guard or police perhaps the company name can verify this. Thanks for your help.
Answer: Tricia, This is another example of a Spanish S&W copy. Many of these inexpensive revolvers sported trademarks that looked suspiciously like the official S&W trademark. It is doubtful that this is a police issue service revolver. A security guard who could not afford a higher quality, higher priced S&W revolver may have carried it but I do not know of no method to verify this. Demand for the Spanish S&W copies is low and many are unsafe to fire. Even if the revolver was carried by a police officer or security guard the value would not be significantly increased. Marc
# 4352 - 1891 Mauser Modelo Argentino 10/17/01
Mauser - 1891 -
Is it safe to fire this rifle, as it is over 100 years old? Would it be safe to use the modern 7.65mm ammo which is available for this rifle? Also would this rifle be a good choice to hunt moose? A friend plans on taking this rifle to Canada in Nov. 2001 for a moose hunt. Your expertise would be appreciated. Thank you
Answer: Without seeing the rifle we have no way of determining if it is safe to fire with any sort of ammunition. You should have it inspected by a competent gunsmith. In general the 1891 Argentine Mausers were well made with good materials and are usually in good condition, so it may well turn out to pass inspection.
I am not a hunter and know nothing about the relative merits of different calibers on large or small game. However, my gut feeling is that while 7.65 is probably okay, there may be many better choices, especially in terms of getting a suitable bullet/velocity/pressure match for your needs. 7.65 ammo can be hard to find.
If your friend has the time and money to travel to Canada for a hunting expedition, he probably should be able to afford a more modern rifle in a suitable caliber with a decent scope that will increase his odds of being successful. Ruger, Remington, Savage, Marlin, and Winchester all make fine rifles in reasonable price ranges, and there is still time to get one and shoot it enough to become proficient and confident in using it.
Your friend better check carefully to figure out what the requirements are to take a gun into Canada, and then back into the U.S. There have been major changes in such laws in the last year, and enforcement may have changed even more in recent weeks. John Spangler
# 4351 - Looking For Information 10/17/01 Darla
I appreciate your website! I am trying to find out info on a 32 S&W CTGE, the serial number is: 3254-6-2.
The gun was found on the top of a roof in the Chicago area in the 20's or 30's. I have been searching the internet but can only find other things that are not the same For Sale. I am just curious on the history, if you can help!
Answer: Darla- The marking 32 S&W CTGE on the barrel only indicates the caliber of the ammunition used, not the maker or model. This was a very popular caliber for handguns circa 1890-1930 and hundreds of thousands were made by various makers in various designs. Most were inexpensive, often "top break" models where lifting a latch ahead of the hammer allows the barrel to tip down and expose the cylinder for unloading/loading. Smith & Wesson was a maker of the best of the bunch, and they would have marked their name on the top of the barrel on the flat rib in small letters, and might have a S&W logo on the grips. Iver Johnson and Harrington & Richardson were other big makers but there were many others as well. Besides the top break models, there were even cheaper guns with a pin that had to be pulled out to remove the cylinder for loading. These were often unmarked (as well as unreliable).
Today these guns often sell for very low prices ($20-50 is not unusual, and very seldom do they go over $100) and there is very little collector demand for them. Therefore a lot of dealers do not carry them, or do not bother advertising them.
Sounds like a neat old item with an interesting history, but not a valuable treasure. I would save it for the next "gun buy back" program in your area (actually it should be called "compensated confiscation"). They usually offer $50 cash or coupons, which would be an excellent price unless it is an absolutely pristine example of a scarce variation. John Spangler
# 4176 - 10/17/01 T. J. Lake ST. Louis , MO
Walther - ? - 25 - ? 3 1/2? - ? Black - 1909P -
On the side it has etched "SEABSTAJE-PISTOL CAL .6 35 WALTHER S-PATENT" It then has the word WALTHER written in a ribbon type thing below. The words may different, I can't tell if they're in another language or just scratched out. Also the rifling in the barrel is fairly worn. My Grandpa recently gave me this gun and we don't know much about it, any information you have would be helpful.
Answer: T.J., it sounds like you may have a Walther Model 1 or 2, these were the original designs which started Walther pistol manufacturing. The Model 1 was introduced in 1908, it has a fixed barrel and an open topped slide. The Model 2 was introduced in 1909, it has a closed slide with the ejection slot on the right hand side. Blue book values for Walther number 1 and 2 pistols ranges from $100 to over $500 depending on condition. It has been my experience that they are slow sellers at anything over $250. Marc
# 4350 - Fair Market Value 10/12/01
Winchester - 37 -
I recently bought a Winchester Model 37, 410 single shot. It's probably about 90 percent. My pal said I paid too much. Can you make a guesstimation for me? I don't want to sell it, I think it's great. Just don't want to think I got ripped off.
Answer: Fair market value is determined by a willing buyer and willing seller agreeing on a price, not what their "friends" think. Especially when the friends are not buying or selling the item. Most single barrel shotguns are worth less than $50, but Winchester 37s, especially the 410s bring a whole lot more. John Spangler
# 4271 - Springfield 1842 Musket 10/12/01 Jack Luzerne, Pa.
On this particular rifle there is a stamp that says Springfield 1853 and an eagle with U. S. stamped on the hammer mounting plate on the right side. Adjacent to the percussion nipple is a stamp of 1846. On the left side of the barrel in the rear is a VP with an eagle head stamped. Close to this are the letters a r in script with a letter p below it. There is a U. S. stamped on the butt plate. I got the model no. (1842) from a picture which it seems to match perfectly. If this is a model 1842, could you tell me what the 1853 and the 1846 stamps represent. Could you also tell me what the scripted initials represent also. I am also looking for a bayonet for this gun. Could you tell what model original bayonet I should be looking for. Thank you
Answer: Jack- Thank you for the excellent description, it makes it much easier to answer your question. The Model 1842 musket was made at both Springfield Armory and Harpers Ferry Armory circa 1844-1855. This was the first U.S. military musket to be made with 100% interchangeable parts. Although a musket was a certain "model" they were usually marked with the actual date of manufacture on the lockplate and the barrel. Sometimes you will find a gun assembled early in one year with a lock that was just made but a barrel produced at the very end of the previous year or vice versa, so having the two dates mismatched by one year is not considered to be a big deal. However, most Model 1842 muskets have not been stored away in a locked area for us collectors for the last 150 years or so. Taxpayers then, as now, expect military hardware to be used in the defense of the country when necessary, so some of the early M1842 muskets went off to service in the Mexican War (1846-47), and nearly all saw use during the Civil War (1861-65). Soldiers being lazy, inconsiderate folks, especially when in the field, and not particularly well informed about collector marking minutia simply did not bother to keep all the parts from their musket from getting mixed with those of their comrades. Worse, huge piles of muskets recovered from battlefields were often broken down for parts than cleaned and reassembled and reissued. Also, many of the .69 caliber smoothbores were rifled during the early days of the Civil War, and the workers there also failed to keep things sorted neatly to ensure reassembly with the parts that arrived together. Once passing from realm of weapon to collectible, it is possible that collectors have mixed the parts to "improve" something. In any, case, at some point your musket has acquired parts made seven years apart. In addition, it appears that the barrel was probably made at Harpers Ferry, as I believe the script R and P by the VP eagle proof mark on the barrel was only used by Harpers Ferry, not Springfield. Therefore the parts appear to have been originally separated by about 400 miles as well as seven years. This is still a perfectly good example of an important U.S. military arm, the first percussion model musket adopted, and the last of the .69 caliber smoothbores. However, picky collectors will object to the hard life it has endured, instead of applauding it as the epitome of representing the history of military small arms of the period that fought in our nation's wars.
The bayonet for the Model 1842 is variously described as the Model 1842, or the Model 1835 or 1840. Same bayonet, just different names. An improved flintlock musket was developed in 1835, but not adopted until 1840, so people argue over which name should be used for that musket and its bayonet. When the Model 1842 was adopted, being little more than a percussion version of the 1835/1840 model flintlock, they used the same bayonet. At the time, muskets were delivered as a "stand of arms" including the musket and bayonet, a continuation of the earlier days when bayonets had to be individually fitted to the muskets (and usually marked on the bayonet lug and socket with a matching letter/number code). By 1842 the use of interchangeable parts made this unnecessary, but old traditions change slowly, and presumably the new bayonets were delivered with the muskets and probably would have been considered as being of the same model as the musket.
The whole period of achieving interchangeable manufactured parts is fascinating to study, with a tremendous impact on American business success and our military capability. Felecia J. Deyrup's "Arms Makers of the Connecticut Valley" and Merrit R. Smith's "Harpers Ferry and the New Technology" are essential background books for anyone interested in 19th century U.S. guns or industrial products, or even political and social events. John Spangler
# 4144 - Remington 722 10/12/01 Curtis
Remington - 722 - .300 Savage - between 20 and 26" - Blue - 61470 -
On the barrel is states this: Remington Arms Co. Inc. , Ilion, NY Made in USA Patents Pending then several inches down the barrel next to the receiver it says "K UU" then after that it has two funny symbols that seem like a first aid cross. On the bolt it is hand engraved this number 125129 Can you give me any information on this rifle? I would like worth, date made, and any other stuff you can come up with. Thanks so much.
Answer: Curtis, YOUR RIFLE MAY BE UNSAFE TO FIRE The number engraved on your bolt should match the serial number of the rifle, the fact that the numbers do not match indicates that your bolt is not the correct one for the rifle. A mismatched bolt could cause your rifle to have excessive head space rendering it unsafe to fire. I STRONGLY advise that you have the rifle checked for safety by a competent gunsmith before you attempt to fire it.
The 722 rifle was Remingtions short action version of their model 721. Remington 722 rifles were first offered in .257 Roberts and .300 Savage, barrel length was twenty four inches and weight was about seven pounds. Remington manufactured about 117,751 722 rifles between 1948 and 1961 when the model was discontinued. The OldGuns.net Remington date of manufacture page located at http://oldguns.net/snpgm/remdates.htm tells me that the "K UU" markings on your barrel indicate that your rifle was manufactured in May of 1949. Values for Remington 722 rifles are in the $125 to $275 range depending on condition. Value for an example with an incorrect bolt would fall in the lower end of the range IF the rifle were determined to be safe to fire. Marc
# 4233 - Watertown U.S. Musket 10/10/01 David, Watertown, N. Y.
1864, U. S. Watertown I was recently given a muzzle load, percussion rifle. It is made very crude, the only markings on it are 1864 and the words U. S. Watertown. I am from Watertown, N. Y. The markings are on the right side plate next to the hammer. I have completely dismantled the gun and can find no other markings. I have compared it to the Springfield and the Enfield but it doesn't come close. I have been unable to match it to anything in any of my civil war era books. Would you know if this gun would have been issued or manufactured in upstate New York. Although it is complete and intact I do not think all the parts are original but I am not sure because of how crude it is made. Just looking for any information on the gun I do not believe it holds any value at all. Thank you.
Answer: David- Sounds like you have already done some good research and we commend you for your efforts. Mr. C.B. Hoard of Watertown, NY delivered 12,800 Model 1861 .58 caliber rifle muskets during the Civil War. These were marked on the lockplate in the manner you describe. Many of these muskets were cut down to make cheap shotguns after being sold off in surplus sales after the Civil War, so these would look much different than their original musket configuration. Of course, it is possible that someone used the whole lock assembly, or perhaps just the lockplate and cobbled together a gun from spare parts and scrap materials. I know a lot of people who did this sort of thing, often as high school shop projects before school authorities became paranoid idiots. You are probably correct about the value being low. Sorry we cannot make a positive ID on this for you. John Spangler
# 4225 - Colt Factory Letter 10/10/01 Greg, Carroll, Iowa
Colt's PT. F. A. MFG. Co. HARTFORD Co. USA I am fairly new to gun collecting, but have acquired numerous old guns from my father-in-law when he passed away. My question is would it be worth my time to get a factory letter on the above mentioned gun and if so what do they typically cost?
Answer: Greg- Colt has discovered that making letters can be more profitable than making guns, and they don't get sued nearly as often. Their prices for letters on old Single Action Army revolvers runs something like $150 to $300 or so. Recommend you click on the Colt website for more info. Only you can decide if getting a letter would be a worthwhile investment. If it shows something neat, it would add to the value. If it just shows shipment of the gun in a standard configuration to a not very interesting destination, it may not add anything to the value. Sometime we will do a longer piece on factory letters and give sources for most of those available. John Spangler
# 4140 - Wartime Military Mauser HSc Pistol 10/10/01 Amy
There is no serial number that I can see. On the barrel it has "Mauser-Werke A. G. Oberndorf a N. Mod. HSC Kal 7.65mm" At the nose of the barrel there is a proof mark, the "eagle N". There is also an "eagle N" right by the trigger. On the other side of the trigger there is another marking "WaA135" with 3 lines above it. This gun was supposed to have been taken from a Nazi POW near the end of WW2. It has never been fired, so they say. The gun looks like a 32. Do you think I should get it appraised for insurance?
Answer: Amy, it sounds like you have a typical wartime production Military Mauser HSc pistol. The eagle over "N" proof mark that you describe is the correct commercial test proof for this pistol. WaA135 is the German WW-II Heerswaffenamt inspector's mark on arms produced at Mauser-Werke AG, Oberndorf am Neckar, Germany. The three lines that you describe stamped over the WaA135 inspector's mark are actually a stylized eagle, possibly they are stamped too small or, too light to make out. A serial number should be stamped on the front strap of the handgrip, and the last three digits of the serial number should be stamped on the barrel beneath the chamber and on the slide beneath the muzzle. I can save you the cost of an appraisal by telling you that values for wartime military Mauser HSc pistols range from $100 to around $450 depending on condition. May I suggest that you donate the money that you have saved on an appraisal to a worthy cause like the NRA at http://www.mynra.com/ or the Utah Shooting Sports Council at WWW.UtahShootingSports.com. Marc
# 4349 - Value Question 10/6/01 Connie
Enfield - 7898 -
Dear Sir, I was wondering if you could tell me how much a 1870 Enfield gun would be worth. The serial number is 7898.It has a etch in the gun that says V.R. and a crown on the top of it. If you could get back to me I would greatly appreciate it.
Answer: Connie- We would need to know the model and condition in order to come very close to being accurate. I am GUESSING that your gun has a hammer on the right side that you pull back and then you can flip a little trapdoor over to the right and pull it back a little. If so, that is a Snider rifle, and these were made in three lengths (rifle with 3 barrel bands, rifle with 2 barrel bands and carbine with 1 barrel band). Of course, longer guns have sometimes been shortened by civilians over the years, and those are worth much less than ones that have not been altered.
Assuming average condition and no special features or markings that would excite collectors, Sniders seem to be offered at prices ranging from about $200 for very rough examples up to about $2000 for ones that look like they were made yesterday with no wear or dings. Most seem to fall into the $300-600 range. All these are retail values. Dealers typically pay about 60-70% of expected retail when buying items. Sniders are not very popular, so we probably would not be interested in buying one. John Spangler
# 4326 - Great Western Arms Info 10/6/01 Patrick
Great Western Arms -
I hope you can help me find more info on an old single action revolver made by Great Western Arms. I was told that it is a 38 mounted in a 44 frame with a hair trigger. My step father willed it to me and either he or his father had it made. I have looked at a lot of sites and haven't even found any guns made by this maker. Thank you for any help you can give.
Answer: Patrick- Great Western Arms Co was established in Los Angeles, CA about 1953 to seize the opportunity to manufacture revolvers that were close copies of the Colt Single Action Army, the famous cowboy gun. About 23,000 were made by 1956 when Colt decided they had made a mistake by dropping the SAA from their offerings and resumed production. Although Great Western guns were well made, and had a better firing pin design than the Colts, they do not seem to have a whole lot of collector interest, and most shooters seem to be just as happy with an Italian copy, or Ruger's various single action designs. A small cult of collectors might be excited by a Great Western in exceptional condition or with special features, but I an not sure what would turn them on. All were made with the same size frame, so having a .38 in a .44 frame is no big deal in SAA type guns. Colt used the basic SAA frame for everything from .22 rimfire up to .476 caliber cartridges, although the big favorites were .45 Colt and .44-40 or .38-40. John Spangler
# 4134 - Winchester Model 92 Value & Year of Manufacture 10/6/01 Eileen, Folsom, PA
Winchester - Model 92 - 25-20 W. C. F. - ? ? - ? ? - 921666 -
I have a Winchester rifle that my Mother gave me. It has been in her family for quite some time, I am not sure how long. I was wondering if you can tell how old it is from the serial number. I was researching it, and I suspect it may be worth some money, especially since it is in very good condition. Would you also be able to tell me the approximate value? Thanks.
Answer: Eileen, we have answered several questions about these in the past. Our previous answers can by located making use of the OldGuns.net Q&A search engine, there is a link near the top of the left hand menu bar. The OldGuns.net Winchester dates of manufacture program located at http://oldguns.net/snpgm/winmods.htm indicates that your rifle was manufactured in 1923. Blue book values for Model 1892 Winchesters range from around $250 to over $5000 depending on condition, model and variation. Marc
# 4325 - M1 Garand Purchase 10/2/01 Mary
Am interested in any information on Danish M1s, the U.S. Springfields or Winchesters, WWII, and which one you think would be the better to purchase. My husband is wanting a Garand that is as close to those used in WWII as possible. Are there any identifiable characteristics, numbers, etc., that we should especially look for. Going for most original but best condition, too. Thank you for your assistance.
Answer: Mary- M1 Garand rifles made for use during WW2 (about 3 or 4 million of them) were mostly overhauled and reissued in later years, or at least updated to some extent with improved sights, etc. They were reissued to troops for use in the Korean War, and sundry other military actions large and small up until the mid 1960s when they were finally phased out. Some collectors like the rifles to be untouched/unaltered since they were manufactured, and will pay a hefty premium for such rifles. Others are perfectly happy with the "evolved" rifles which show signs of legitimate improvements, repairs or refinishing in military service, and think these are historical items with a much broader history than a shiny brand new "as manufactured" rifle.
The Danish rifles add a further chapter, as most (at least those being offered by the CMP program) were made for the U.S. military, but then given to Denmark as foreign military assistance. Subsequently the Danes may have installed a few new parts as required or had parts mixed from various rifles, so that some made by foreign makers ended up on the Danish rifles. The Danish barrels are mostly in superb condition, and everyone I have talked to says they are extremely accurate. The Italian made parts were produced on the old Winchester machinery they sold after WW2, so there is another wrinkle.
I would not waste my money on one of the newly manufactured rifles, but would insist on an original Springfield Armory rifle. (Winchester also made them during WW2, but prices on Winchesters are much higher.
The best deal in town for a veteran or anyone over 60 is one of the Danish rifles from CMP for $400 plus $20 shipping. That is, if you can live with a mix of parts of various vintages and nationalities. Next best deal is one of the CMP "service grade" rifles at $500 plus shipping. Non-vets under 60 can also order from CMP, but must participate in a high power shooting match to qualify for purchase.
If you insist on having one that is all matching WW2 parts, then you probably will have to get it from a dealer, and most likely it will have been restored using parts of the proper vintage to replace the updated ones that were installed during military service. These will sell at a much higher price than a CMP service grade rifle. If you are lucky enough to find on that is all original (not restored using original parts) and you are confident that it is truly that, not just a restored rifle that the seller is passing off as all original and matching, that will command quite a premium price.
Information on ordering direct from the CMP program can be found on their website (www.odcmp.com). As far as knowing all the numbers to check for, you should get a good book and study it carefully so you will know what to look for. I recommend Scott Duff's "The M1 Garand: WW2". There are some other books by other authors, but this is the one I think is the best.
Buying guns is like buying fine jewelry- if you don't know your diamonds, then know your jeweler. The best known authority on the M1 Garand is my friend Scott Duff, and he regularly sells nice rifles. His prices are fair, and although they may seem to be a bit higher than some other dealers, but I have full confidence in Scott's descriptions and assessment of what the rifle is. There is a link to his site on our links page. Of course, we sometimes get Garands too, but not many.
You muse be warned that purchase of a single M1 Garand may result in the disease known as Garand Collecting. It generally starts as a desire to get a rifle made by each of the manufacturers (Springfield, Winchester, International Harvester and Harrington & Richardson). It then spreads to include sniper and match variations. Some people develop very serious advanced complications and lust after rifles showing all the possible variations of improvements, and I know of one truly sick individual who is well on his way to getting an example from each MONTH of production. The Garand Collectors Association would be a good support group for anyone who goes past the stage of owning just one rifle I know I am not sick like some of those folks, because I only have a about a dozen Garands. John Spangler
# 4317 - Wells Fargo Gun 10/2/01 Jaky
We have a wells fargo stamped gun that we think was used in the ok corral shooting.
Answer: Jaky- in my opinion 99.99% of all Wells Fargo marked guns have absolutely no provable connection with Wells Fargo and are outright fakes. Some are pretty convincing but most are easily disprovable when examined by an experienced collector. It is sad that there are so many unscrupulous people out there faking such items. Hope you did not pay much for it. In the very slim possibility that it MAY be genuine, I hope you are able to get it authenticated and sell it for a whopping price. We would not handle any purported Wells Fargo gun under any circumstances. John Spangler
# 4129 - Stevens/Springfield 53-b 10/2/01 Jason, Mount Airy, MD
J. Stevens Arms Co. - Springfield Model 53-B - .22 - Blue - there is no serial number on the rifle. -
I would like the know the age of the gun and any information on it? I can not seem to find it anywhere. This was my great grandfathers rifle. Thanks
Answer: Jason, there is not a lot of information available on this particular rifle, the blue book groups it together with other inexpensive Stevens/Springfield firearms in an "Under $100 in Value" category. Generally these were basic inexpensive simple guns which sold at modest prices and still have little interest or value on market today. Where there is any family history, we encourage people to keep these old guns for sentimental value. Marc