Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters OldGuns.net FineOldGuns.com

 

 

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.


# 5023 - H & R Manufacture Date
10/30/02
Kim

H & R - Model 1905 - 32 - 2 1/2" - chrome - 29242 -

32 S & W CTGE stamped on side of barrel What is the date of manufacture and the value for this pistol?

Answer:
Kim, I was unable to find records to pin down an exact year of manufacture for your revolver. The information that I could find indicates that the Model 1905 was manufactured from 1905 to 1939. For more information try posting your question at the ArmsCollectors.com forum. Marc


# 4993 - Whitneywille Armory .32 Kittredge Marked
10/30/02
Michael Wagner, Bellevue, NE

Kittredge Cinn O. - SA, Similar To S & W # 2 Tip Up - .32? - 3 Inch Octagonal - Blue Barrel, Brass Frame - 3622 -

Left side of frame at barrel marked "Kittredge CIN. O. " Top of Octagonal barrel is marked "Whitneyville Armory CT. U. S. A. Blue 3" octagonal barrel and cylinder and brass frame with wood grips. Serial number, 3622, is engraved on the brass strap at the butt of the gun. Although this gun is similar to the Smith & Wesson # 2 Tip Up, it does not tip up. It appears to have an open loading gate on the right hand side. Is this a civil war weapon?

Answer:
Michael- Without seeing some photos it is hard to be certain what you have, but according to Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and their Values the Whitneyville Armory name was used on revolvers made about 1871-1879, thus too late for use in the Civil War which ended in 1865 (despite what a few crackpots may tell you). It is interesting to note that Kittredge DID sell some S&W No 2 revolvers to the state of Kentucky during the war. However, Kittredge was a major distributor for guns of all makers in the mid to late 19th century. John Spangler


# 4986 - Winchester 94 With Short Magazine
10/30/02
Terry, Nelson, BC, Canada

Winchester - 94 - .30 W. C. F. - 16 11/16" - Blue - 903554 -

P over a W in an oval (leg of the P extends through the W)The magazine does not extend beyond the forestock, the barrel end is square & there is a small oval depression in the barrel underside, 180 degrees from the front blade sight. The front sight is dove tailed into the barrel. Your serial # information page indicates 1921 as the date of manufacture. I know very little about 94's but do not recall seeing another one with a short magazine. Is it likely that someone has modified this rifle or is it a particular variation of the Model 94 ? Thankyou.

Answer:
Terry- Winchester offered an amazing variety of features as standard catalog options. IN addition, they would make just about any alterations a customer wanted, if they were willing to pay for it. Thus, it is unwise to think of any oddball Winchester as "the factory didn't to that". One of the more common options was indeed shorter magazine tubes, some flush with the forend, others extending part way between the wood and the muzzle. All that said, remember that owners and gunsmiths have also been known to shorten magazine tubes for personal reason, or to overcome problems with a magazine tube that got damaged in some way. The presence of some sort of feature on the underside of the barrel near the muzzle suggest that yours is probably not a factory made short magazine. If the barrel is actually 16 11/16" long (as measured from the face of the closed breech to the muzzle) then it may be one of the very desirable "trapper" models. In the U.S. the minimum length to be legal is 16 inches, but some are known with shorter barrels, and the BATF folks have reportedly been cooperative in getting examples deemed by experts (or authenticated by a "factory letter) to be original, not some gangsters sawed off rifle) baptized so that they can be owned and sold by collectors. Of course, the Canadian government's crazy and apparently totally screwed up (in implementation as well as concept) registration scheme will probably result in confiscation, destruction, or disappearance of many fine old collector pieces. Then you will see the same results as your British and Australian cousins now plagued with huge increases in violent crime. Amazingly the criminals fail to register and/or turn in their guns, and are elated that all the victims are now defenseless. That at least has the beneficial result of reducing the number of criminals with job related injuries. John Spangler


# 5014 - Old WWII Pistol ID
10/26/02
Vic

Please help me ID this old WWII pistol for a friend. It was recovered off a German Officer in WWII. Pistol is blued. Barrel is a tip-up style. Markings on slide: Fabrication Francais Markings on barrel: feathered arrow through 2 concentric circles, 9m/m, PTb, and Brevete S.G.D.G. Pistol has no external hammer. All parts are numbered within a circle, presumably for assembly. It has a 4digit sn. Pistol appears complete. Grips snap on and are of some kind of hard brown plastic w/o markings. 9mm luger ammo does not appear to chamber properly(too short).

Answer:
Vic, we don't have a lot of information on this firearm, all that I was able to find is that the inscription "Fabrication Francais" can be found on the 'Policeman' automatic pistols produced by Manufrance (q.v.) when, for sales reasons, the company chose not to advertise its name. It is also found on various Eibar-type automatics without other identification. You might try a search for the word "Francais" at the GUN MARKINGS section of our new site ArmsCollectors.com. You could also add your question to the "Foreign Non-Military Firearms" forum there. Marc


# 4988 - Springfield M1903 Accessories
10/26/02
Steve, Morganton, NC

U. S. Springfield Armory - 1903 - 30-06 - 24" - Blue - 470602 -

Boxed "JFC" cartouche. "27" on stock at heel of triggerguard. 6-11 barrel Overall the rifle is in excellent condition, solid blue overall, minor dings on the stock, sharp crisp bore. At the toe of the stock there is a chip approximately 1" long and 1/4 of an inch long that was caused by the insertion of a wood screw (I can see the thread marks). Was there some military gadget that was attached in this area?

Answer:
Steve- I do not know of any military issued accessories that attached to the butt with a wood screw. Therefore I suspect a previous owner may have added a temporary hook for offhand shooting, or maybe a rubber recoil pad or something. You might want to get a copy of Bill Brophy's book on M1903 Springfields, and double check there. He illustrates just about every known issue and after market item associated with the M1903. Of course, a REAL collector will have many sleepless nights fretting about the lack of a bunch of the items shown. John Spangler


# 4979 - Zulu Shotgun
10/26/02
David, Marlton, NJ

Unknown - Smoothbore - Possibly .72 - Approximately 30" - Blue (mostly Gone Now) - 526 -

#25 an almost all lock parts (including bridle), #526 on barrel and breech, an oval the E, G and L with a star, several proofmarks on underside of barrel (various letters and numbers) This is a single-shot smoothbore. Stock has been cut down to less than half-stock (there is a ramrod hole in the underside of the forearm). The curved face of the lock resembles a Brown Bess but does not have TOWER, GRICE or any markings on the outside. It is a percussion lock and the hammer cants over to strike a pin located on the top right side of a swiveling breech. There is a crescent shaped brass insert where there would normally be a priming pan if this were a flintlock. The breech swings opens from left to right, pivoting on a swivel pin with a coil spring. The trigger guard is a two-piece affair where the trigger guard itself fits into a long trigger plate (a slot and tang on one end and a pinned wedge on the fore portion holds the guard in the plate). The shape of the butt and wrist of the stock closely resembles a Brown Bess or Harper's Ferry, except where it is relieved at the top of the wrist to allow a cartridge to slide forward into the chamber (sort of like a Greener). The sideplate is of Harper's Ferry style (2 screws). The iron butt plate is wide but does not have the long upper tang on the cheek piece like a Brown Bess butt plate. There is one proofmark on the inside of the lock that has a crown over something (it's distorted). Any idea who may have made this, the age and where it comes from? Thanks!

Answer:
David- You did an excellent job describing the many features, and we are pretty sure you have a French made musket, originally a flintlock, which was converted to percussion, then converted again to a breechloader using the side swinging breech block similar to the British Snider system. When replaced by the bolt action "Gras" rifles about 1874, these were sold as surplus, and snapped up by some Belgian dealers. The Belgians converted them to fire shotgun shells, and promptly sold them all over the world to folks willing to buy a crude, but functional shotgun at a cheap price. At some point the name "Zulu" became associated with these, inspiring fanciful thoughts of ferocious warriors in the jungle, eagerly slaying all sorts of wildlife. While a great marketing ploy, and probably a large number were indeed sold for the African market, these have little demand on the collector market today. They are very frequently found, usually in antique shops, often with wildly optimistic price tags. John Spangler


# 4906 - Mis-Matched Mod.97
10/24/02
Pat, Omaha, NE

Winchester - 97 - 12 GA - 18.5 Inches - Blue - E 937417 -

Their is a U. S. and an Army ordinance corps marking on the left side. Their is also a circular brass stamp (about the size of a half dollar)on the bottom of the shoulder stock that says "12 GA. " on the top and "EMERGENCY" running along the bottom. In between the two is the number "1". There appears to be a different number on the bottom of the barrel section, "82(3? )8(0? )3" with no "E" (that I can see. . . I also do not see an ordinance corps marking).The guy I bought this from (approx. 1980) said that he bought it in an auction in San Francisco during the '60's, where he was told it was a riot gun used at Alcatraz. Is there any way of finding out if this is true? , and if it is , any idea how much it is worth? Thanks for the effort.

Answer:
Pat, Eli Whitney strikes again. The serial number on the barrel extension and receiver were matching when your shotgun left the factory, but given the magic of interchangeable parts, you now have a mismatched Model 97. The original barrel would have also had military ordnance marks on it. After the end of World War II many military riot and combat shot guns were given to police departments. Many of these departments marked these gun with property markings, etc. These markings are unique to the departments. I do not know of a way to research serial numbers of firearms used at federal prisons. The mismatched barrel will hurt your shotguns value, if you can verify that the shotgun was used at Alcatraz, I think that value would be increased. Marc


# 4978 - Colt Date Of Manufacture
10/24/02
Dave, Ft. Shaw, MT

Colt - 1889 Navy - 41 Long Colt - 3" - Blue - 130805 -

70179at bottom of grip frame what is the date of manufacture? the #130 is found on most parts, cylinder release, inside grip panels (where #130-805) is hand inscribed. On the bottom of the grip frame is 70 and below 179, what do these numbers represent?

Answer:
Dave- First, I am pretty sure that you have a "New Army & Navy Model" not the 1889 Navy, as serial numbers for the latter only went up to about 31,000. Both models are very similar, and the New Army & Navy model was adopted by the Army as the Models 1892, 1894, 1896, 1901 and 1903, with most of the earlier examples being updated to the newer configurations. There was also a Navy version adopted, but all of the military models were in .38 Colt caliber. Civilian sales included both .38 Colt caliber and .41 Colt, so yours is definitely a civilian model. The military models, and I believe also the civilian models used a serial number on the butt, and also assembly numbers marked elsewhere. Assembly numbers were just for the purpose of identifying parts that were fitted prior to final finishing so that they could be matched up again for final assembly. I am pretty sure the 130 number is the assembly number, and the 70179 is the true serial number. If this is correct, then date of manufacture is probably about 1896, but if the serial number is 130805 as you indicate, then it would be 1899. John Spangler


# 4974 - Harrington & Richardson Arms Mark III Flare Pistol
10/24/02
Cindy, McCaysville, GA

Harrington & Richardson Arms Co - Mark III Flare Pistol - One Inch - 4.5" - 5265 -

This has a silver color finish and a wood grip. engraved USAAF NX224 W 535AC29829 Needs cleaning, appears to be unused. Is this flare pistol rare or were thousands made? How old is it? Is there a market for these? What is it's approximate value?

Answer:
Cindy- There are a number of flare gun collectors, but no one I know will ever admit that they are one. (I don't know why, it's not like they are a pedophile or voted for a Democrat or something to be ashamed of.) There do not seem to be any clubs for these folks to get therapy to cure their addiction, or even price guides or good articles or reference material for them to use. I have seen flare guns with prices all over the place, but the ones close to $50 seem to sell, and those over $150 seem to have permanent homes where they are. The US examples seem to have less demand than more exotic German or Japanese types. John Spangler


# 4968 - Mannlicher Schoenauer Model 1952 .30-06 Rifle
10/19/02
Ken

Mannlicher Schoenauer - 1952 (not Carbine) - 30.06 - 22 - Blue - 19398 -

double set trigger, has original detachable (slide mount) Marburg scope, matching original rifle and scope cases. I am looking for information on this rifle and it's worth. It is in excellent condition and am I leary of hunting with it or firing it not knowing it's worth. Could anyone suggest a reliable means of appraisal and/or source of info. Thank you. . .

Answer:
Ken- Mannlichers are extremely well made, and usually priced to match. We really do not know a lot about the subtle nuances of the field, and suggest you contact the Mannlicher Collectors listed on our links page, or perhaps visit our site http://ArmsCollectors.com and ask on the non-military rifle forum there. John Spangler


# 4964 - Enfield No. 2 Mark IV .22 Caliber Rifle
10/19/02
Ed , Euless, TX

Enfield - No 2 Mk IV - .22 - Unknown - Unknown - AM1511 -

1916 date and Crown on right receiver, -Hale and a large P visible on top of barrel disappearing under top wood. It's also got a Century Arms Import stamp. What is it? A No 1 converted to trainer or a No 2 converted to trainer. It's already awaiting more of my money as I put it on lay-away @ a local gun shop. Either way, I was looking for a shootable Enfield trainer(my #4Mk2 is a bit expensive to shoot at the local range, no FMJ allowed). And was wondering if I need to keep looking. Rifle appears in 'good' condition (I didn't see any rust, lots of cosmoline crud & some black remaining).

Answer:
Ed- Fortunately the Brits are very good about marking things, and your rifle is exactly what it says, a No. 2 Mark IV. However, you need to remember that they used a separate set of numbers for each type of firearm (Rifle caliber .303, Rifle caliber .22, BREN gun, Revolver caliber .38, Revolver caliber .455, etc) and that the numbers for one series are unrelated to another. This gets more confusing when you encounter a .22 rifle like this. It was initially a .303 rifle (probably No. 1 Mark III) but when converted to a trainer had its former identity unceremoniously stripped away, and a proud new name of No. 2 Mark IV applied, even thought they left the original maker and date markings intact. Anyone interested in owning more than one Lee Enfield should invest in Ian Skennerton's superbly researched and illustrated "Lee Enfield Story". He covers all the variations, including the .303s, the .22s, the snipers, the fencing muskets, skeleton (cutaway), and whatever else they made. Lee Enfields are a good collecting field with a huge variety and many are available at reasonable prices. Just collecting examples with markings indicating use by various countries could fill a safe or two. John Spangler


# 5134 - Tired Baby Nambu
10/19/02
Roger, Warsaw Indiana

Tokyo gas & electric - Baby Nambu - 7MM - Blue - 8086 -

The TG & E on top of receiver and some Japanese on the side. My father brought it back from the war. The serial number on clip does not match and the cocking knob is missing. What would be its worth. It is in fair to good condition.

Answer:
Roger, all correct and matching Baby Nambu pistols are selling for $2000 to $3000 depending on condition. Your mismatched magazine will reduce value some but not a lot. The missing cocking knob is what really hurts value the most. Given the rarity of the pistol a replacement knob will be hard to find and even if you do find one, the numbers on the knob will probably not match your pistol, this is going to lower the value. The internet is a good place to look for a replacement knob try looking at www.conknet.com/banzai. You can also try posting on our new forum at WWW.ArmsCollectors.com and on our free "Wanted" page at OldGuns.net. Marc


# 5105 - Infantry insignia- horn or crossed rifles
10/15/02
Joe, New York

I visit your site now and then and always seem to learn something. I'm hoping you can help me. I recently purchased a kepi that appears to be a very fine felt material. It has NY Militia buttons on the side and a New York City maker's mark inside. A bullion insignia on the front is a set of crossed rifles with a number. Here's my question: If Civil War Infantry were designated by the hunting horn, when did the crossed rifles come to be the infantry symbol? I'm trying to date this kepi, but this isn't my area of collecting. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:
Joe- We are glad you find our site useful.

U.S. Army General Order 96 dated 19 November 1875 made crossed rifles the branch insignia for the Infantry, to conform with the crossed cannon and crossed sabers of the Artillery and Cavalry respectively. Since 1832 the Infantry had been designated by a bugle horn or hunting horn. Careful study of both the horn insignia and the crossed rifles can help narrow down the date of manufacture, as there were subtle variations over the years.

However, keep in mind that it was quite common for earlier insignia to remain in use for a while. (Lots of the old pattern in the supply system, sentimental value, too cheap or lazy to replace a serviceable item with something not obviously different, or many other causes may explain this.) However, also keep in mind that it is also possible to place older insignia on newer uniform items, and thus fool the gullible into thinking the entire piece is of the earlier period- a fact not unknown to crooks and scoundrels.

One of the despicable misdeeds of the folks kicked off the Antiques Roadshow was to have some very exotic (but newly made) insignia added to a Confederate officer's uniform, which was reportedly obtained under false pretenses to begin with. This should be a warning that uniforms are a highly specialized area, and if you are eager to spend really big bucks on kepis or other Civil War uniforms, it is best to do a LOT of study first. Not only on the sort of items you plan to purchase, but also about the reputation of the dealers selling it. Confederate stuff seems to be especially prone to fakery, forgery, misrepresentation and astronomical prices.

For plain old Yankee stuff, things are a little easier, but knowledge is still a great antidote to becoming a victim. I highly recommend William K. Emerson's definitive "Encyclopedia of United States Army Insignia and Uniforms". This covers the crossed rifle insignia in its many variations on pages 42 to 65, and there is an incredible amount of other info before you get to the end at page 624. Sure, this book costs $125.00, but getting educated the hard way can cost you a LOT more than that. John Spangler


# 5139 - Old Mauser
10/15/02

Mauser - Standard Model - 7mm - B416xx -

Crown over G, Crown over N, Crown over U, Crown over B.I would like to know if this rifle is Pre-WWII and if perhaps it was used by the German Army. Thanks, Chris Williams

Answer:
Chris, the standard model Mausers are a bit of a mystery. Most were made for export. The design was the basis for the so called "Chiang Kai Shek" rifle, a Chinese copy of the Standard Model. Some are known to have been provided to the Hitler's illegal arm, the Sturm Abteilung or SA, and the final version of the rifle became the basis for the Kar 98k. The 7MM caliber was not used by the German Army, so your rifle was almost certainly exported to a South or Central American country. The Standard Model's are highly collectible, and eagerly sought after by Mauser collectors. Marc


# 5150 - Old Ammunition Case
10/15/02

I have an old ammunition case, on the case it reads, Shur Shot-500 12 GA Kleanbore Remington umg, it's made of pine & has rabbited edges, also reads on the case...Ilion N.Y. ,I was wondering if you would have any idea of the approximate age of this munitions case?

Answer:
Rick- Kleanbore priming was introduced about 1930, so it was probably made between then and about 1950 when they shifted to cardboard instead of wooden boxes. I see these in antique shops at about $35 but they don't seem to sell fast. John Spangler


# 4980 - Colt Manufacture Date
10/11/02
Drew, Kearny, NJ

Colt - Detective Special - 38 - 2 Inch - Blue Steel - 450395 -

Letter "E" below S/N between the 5 and 0Letter "T" above S/N between the 9 and 5 I would like to know the year of manufacture of this gun. It was handed down from Great Grandfather who purchased it new.

Answer:
Drew, Colt manufactured four variations of the Detective Special. First version revolvers were manufactured from 1927 to 1946, they had a blue finish and were chambered in .38 Special with 2 inch barrels and wood grips. Square butt grip frames were standard through 1933, after that round butt grip frames were standard. Second variation revolvers were manufactured from 1947 to 1972, they could be ordered in .32 New Police, .38 New Police, or .38 Special calibers with 2 or 3 inch barrels. Second variation grips were mad of plastic from 1947 to 1954, after that wood grips were used. Wrap-under wood grips were introduced in 1966. Third variation revolvers were manufactured from 1973 to 1986 in .38 Special only, they were similar to late second variation models except that they had a shrouded ejector rod. Fourth variation revolvers were manufactured from 1993 to 1995, unlike earlier steel frame versions, they were manufactured with an alloy frame. Chambering was .38 Special with 2 inch barrels, blue finish and black composition grips with gold medallions. My records indicate that revolver number 450395 was manufactured in 1936. Marc


# 4963 - Flintlock Pistol With DU Markings
10/11/02
Dale, Valparaiso, Indiana

Flintlock Pistol - 69 - 9" - DU5076 -

Dublin Castle Stamped on side plate. Crown design over GR also stamped on side plate. Apparent serial number (DU5076) on top of barrel. I bought this and several other antique guns in the early 50's. And, I have fired all of them. (Flintlocks take forever go go off!) Where does one start to research something like this? What other markings should I look for? There appear to be two small designs stamped on the top of the barrel. I would appreciate any advice and any insight. Thanks. Dale

Answer:
Dale- Sounds like a very nice gun, and while it may be fun to shoot, it is sort of like encouraging your 90 year old grandmother to take up skydiving. It may be fun, but is pretty risky. The two small marks are most likely proof marks showing that the barrel passed inspection and proof firing for strength. Difference in the details of the proof marks will indicate where it was tested (most likely Birmingham or London in this case) and possibly help date it. The crown over GR design indicates it was British government (military) property during the reign of King George (I, II or III, the last dating to about 1817, if I recall correctly). The DU5076 marking is probably a registration or serial number reflecting registration in Dublin, Ireland. It seems the Irish locals had been rather violent chaps, and a bit of gun control such as registration or licensing was appropriate to keep the evil doers from getting their hands on guns. Or perhaps at least helpful for tracking the culprits down after their dastardly deeds, sending one another to heaven for being of the wrong religious persuasion. As with all other gun control schemes, criminals never seem to obey the laws, but continue their misdeeds, leaving only the victims disarmed and vulnerable. Either that, or perhaps only 250 years of experience, including near total bans on all types of firearms, is just not long enough to prove effective. Unfortunately, those perpetuating the Irish "troubles" have never had any difficulty finding arms to continue the struggle. John Spangler


# 4823 - M1903 Remington History
10/11/02
Tom, Portage, IN.

Remington - 1903 - 30-06 - Parkerized - 3314931 -

U. S. Remington, Model 1903, S#, on top of receiver, Bolt handle has 42 and a R on the bottom side A 7 with a square around it on bottom of bolt. Bolt guide band has a circled R and a 4 on the side of bolt guide. Trigger guard has a R stamped on the side. Front sight guard has a R on one side with a looks like a flaming ball with a U. S. below the flaming ball. The gun barrel just behind the front sight has R A and a flaming ball with a C inside the ball and 12-49 below that, the bottom of the barrel in the same spot has a P stamped on it. The bayonet lug has a H stamped on it. The wood stock has no stamped marks on it. The stock butt plate has a round trap door. What is the history of this gun? Where can I research this gun by serial number on the internet? What is the value of it? My father before he died said that they used this gun in WWI and WWII. I obtained this gun in a estate sale of a friend who collected quality guns and would like to research this gun and possibly purchase accessories for it that were used during the time frame it was made. Thank you for your Help.

Answer:
Tom- We recently set up a new website http://ArmsCollectors.com which is the home for the Springfield Research Service database of all sorts of U.S. military firearms from the Civil War on up. You can go there, click on the SRS page, then click on the model you want and enter the serial number. Then the results will pop up for the ten closest numbers for which information is available above and below the number you entered. Unfortunately, records simply do not exist for probably 90% of all the military guns issued, so you will not get a "hit" on every number you try. Even if you find one or more numbers that are really close, they may suggest a possible usage, but remember that in a single shipping crate, the numbers were often spread over a range of several thousand numbers, so close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. If the number has not been included in the SRS database, them basically there is no information available on that particular gun's usage. We also have a nifty tool on the ArmsCollectors.com page, and here on the OldGuns.net page where you can select the model and enter the serial number of most U.S. military arms and find the date of manufacture. Records are not precise, and there is disagreement over what the correct dates might be, but we use the most reliable information available, and it will get you pretty close. For Model 1903s, the date on the barrel is usually a pretty good indication of the date of manufacture, just figure about one to three months after the barrel date, unless the barrel is a replacement. Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 4982 - P.38 Markings
10/5/02
John, Miami FL

WWII German - P38 - 9mm - 8376d -

Excellent condition. Serial number matching on all parts. P.38 byf44 WaA135(over this is some kind of 3 lined symbol). On the right side of the barrel, only seen if the slide is open, it looks like M M M (but when you look at the markings up close, they look like a drawing, not a letter. ) On the right side of the slide I have the same WaA135 with unidentified logo, there is also a Nazi eagle and swastika (very small) My father died and I inherited this pistol. I understand the byf44 means that this was made by Mauser in 1944. The gun has many small marks that are hard to decipher. How can I find out what these strange little markings mean?

Answer:
John, your P.38 should have the following markings:

The serial number which is located on the slide just forward of the safety lever, on the frame above the trigger, and on the front of the barrel group below the round section of the barrel. The last three digits of the serial number should be stamped on the base of the barrel locking block.

P.38, byf/44 and the serial number should be stamped on the left hand side of the slide. (The letters byf were the manufacturer's code assigned to the Mauser factory in February, 1941).

P.38 Should be stamped on the left hand side of the magazine.

The military acceptance stamp eagle over 135 or WaA135 should be stamped twice on the right side of the slide, once on the left side of the frame above the trigger, on the left side of the barrel group, on the right side of the barrel locking block, and on the upper rear of the magazine.

An eagle over swasticca in a circle military test proof should be stamped on the right side of the slide between the two military acceptance stamps, on the barrel group, and on the barrel locking block.

All of these markings can be looked up in the Gun Marks and WWII German Codes & Markings sections of our new site ArmsCollectors.com. Marc


# 4955 - M1863 Springfield .58 Musket Parts
10/5/02
Tami, Watertown, WI

M1863 Springfield Rifle - M1863 - .58 -

I need to find a barrel and misc. parts to complete this rifle. I am told that reproduction barrels won't fit the original stock. Can anyone tell me where I could look to find parts for this rifle? Thanks!

Answer:
Tami- The inexpensive Japanese made reproduction muskets sold by Dixie and others differ a bit in various details, so most parts are NOT interchangeable with the originals. I know (from experience) that the barrel diameters are a bit off, and the location of the tang screw hole is way off. Probably close enough for cobbling together miscellaneous parts into a cheap shooter or wall hanger, but not for restoration of an original, or even a high quality shooter. There are some barrel makers who specialize in making barrels for the North-South Skirmish Association shooters that are excellent quality (but not cheap). S&S Firearms on our links page may carry those, or at least know more about them, and in addition they are an excellent source of original parts and high quality reproductions where originals are scarce. However, if you have a good stock, that is probably harder to get than a barrel, and you may be better off selling the stock and getting a complete rifle instead of chasing parts to try to salvage one on your own. John Spangler


# 4935 - James Brown & Son Percussion Rifle
10/5/02
Peter, Atlanta, Georgia

? ? - ? ? - Measures 10mm (.41 Cal) - 30.5 Rifled Octagonal - Blue -

Barrel stamped with "James Brown & Son" "cursive J B on top of barrel Two stage trigger and action stamped "Richards" has a rectangular brass patch box flanked by two inlayed brass strips and topped with a rounded brass ball I believe it is a pre-civil war percussion type rifle. It was sold as a " pre-civil war .36 cal American sporting rifle" however the barrel ID measures 10mm. I have not been able to identify where it was made or seen any thing like it. Any information you could provide about this rifle would be very helpful.

Answer:
Peter- Frank Sellers' American Gunsmiths lists a James Brown in Philadelphia circa 1829, and another in Metropolis, IL circa 1850. There are a lot of Browns, so I did not attempt to try to match up a possible son. The relatively short barrel length suggests that it is either a later (circa 1840 or later) piece, or perhaps an earlier one cut down to fit later tastes. The style of the stock and patchbox may allow for a better geographic placement by people with expertise on such details. Most makers of the mid 19th century used imported locks, so the name on the lock is probably not very helpful. While the caliber may be off a bit from the sellers description that is not a big deal for this type of gun (in my opinion). There seems to be a bit of confusion as to use of actual bore diameter or the ball diameter which was smaller and meant to be wrapped in a patch, although the difference in this case is a bit more than that would account for. John Spangler


# 4916 - Krupp Mountain Pack Cannon Made For Siam
10/1/02
Rita, Reno, Nevada

Krupp - Mountain Pack Cannon - Approx. 2 In. , 4.4 Cm (44 Mm) - Metal - unavailable at this time; in storage -

Built in 1911 for Siam and used in WWI against Germany; Breach Loading; 12 total made, mine is numbered 11. I am curious as to the value of the piece and would appreciate any information you could provide. Thanks!

Answer:
Rita- This sounds like a very interesting piece of history. Unfortunately, since it was made after 1911, it does not quality as an "antique" cannon that might exempt it from some laws regarding "destructive devices." My understanding is that it cannot be sold unless it has been registered with the BATF, and you have the papers to prove it. I am not a lawyer (thank God!) nor an expert on the laws on this subject, so you may want to get advice from someone who knows what they are talking about. You might even want to check with the BATF, but probably the "technical branch: in their Washington DC Office, not someone at a local office where gun knowledge is sometimes marginal. It may be possible for a licensed manufacturer of that sort of stuff to "manufacture" your cannon to make it legal, or get it registered some other way, or it may be possible to convert it to a muzzle loader which may not need all the registration stuff. Again, these are guesses, so you should check with someone who understands this stuff in stead of acting on free advice from some guy on the internet. While it would be a shame to destroy a historical old artifact like this, it would be worse to end up in jail for having an illegal cannon. Just think of all the stories you have read about how 1911 Krupp Mountain guns have held up convenience stores and banks, or have accidentally discharged, harming innocent little children.. (Well, actually none, but the anti-gun people would like to have people believe that EVERY gun of ANY size is nothing more than a tool for a criminal.) If you contact us again, we can put you in touch with a cannon expert who may be able to help with more info. John Spangler


# 4983 - Winchester Model 94 Value
10/1/02
Glen, Azle, TX

Winchester - 94 - .32 Winchester Special - 32" - blue - 430688 -

half round/ half octagon barrel. flip up/down tang sight. short magazine, only three rounds. Is this gun worth any thing? I am interested in selling it.

Answer:
Glen, my records indicate that your Winchester was manufactured in 1906. Values for Model 94 rifles vary greatly depending on caliber, configuration and condition with .32 Winchester Special being the least desirable. Prices in the blue book for this model range from about $350 to over $2000 for deluxe take-down models in excellent condition. Marc


# 4886 - GEW 98 Stock Grooves
10/1/02
Siegfried, Helsinki, Finland

Mauser - Gewehr 98 - 8x57IS -

The stocks of the Gewehr 98 standard German army rifles made towards the end of WW1 have grooves (below the rear sight) for the fingers of the left hand to ensure a better grip. The earlier models don't have these grooves. Can you tell me in what year this change was introduced? (I was offered a 1915 made rifle with a grooved stock and I suspect this is a later exchange part)

Answer:
Siegfried- John Walter is author of many excellent reference books, and I consider his "The German Rifle: A comprehensive illustrated history of the standard bolt action designs 1871-1945" to be one of the best in this field. On page 110 he notes that the marking disc on the right side of the rifle was changed to the hollow stud for bolt disassembly on 19 November 1915, and that grasping grooves were added to the forend at about the same time. Therefore the finger groove stock may be correct on a 1915 dated rifle. There seem to be a high percentage of WW1 German GEW 98 rifles that ended up with mixed parts, either from careless reassembly in the trenches, or from deliberate salvage efforts. John Spangler.


Return to Collectors Headquarters.