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# 10387 - Shipping An Old Rifle
10/30/2004

In your experience, how could I best go about shipping an antique long arm black powder rifle (dated 1825) from Texas to Oregon?

Answer:
Sir- We use UPS, but some people seem to like FEDEX, and some people have had problems with one or the other. The biggest concern is to ensure it is packed properly in a heavy duty box with plenty of padding. Finding a suitable box for guns over 48" long can be difficult, so if you can find a hard sided case that the gun will fit into that is probably the best solution, Here too, it may be hard to find one long enough. Try Sportman's Warehouse or any of the big sporting goods stores or maybe even WalMart. Prices range from about $15 for a plastic one with foam lining up to several hundered dollars for gigantic aluminum jobs. (Measure the rifle and take a tape measure with you to the store.) You may have to wrap the case up with cardboard before shipping, but I have heard that some people just duct tape the latches shut and slap a label on the case. There are no legal restrictions (state or federal) that should bother you. UPS insurance is cheap (35 cents per $100) and actual shipping charge will probably be about $20 by ground, or maybe $50 by air. The local UPS folks may try to tell you that you can only ship a gun to a FFL Dealer. That only applies to guns made after 1898, so make sure you describe it as "Antique rifle for collector" and they probably won't give you a hard time. If you are not adept at packing things, it may be a good idea to take it to one of the "UPS stores" (formerly mailboxes etc, or something like that) and let them pack it for you. NOTE- THIS ADVICE ONLY REFERS TO SHIPMENT OF ANTIQUE LONGARMS. HANDGUNS AND ANY LONGARMS MADE AFTER 1898 CAN ONLY BE SHIPPED TO FFL LICENSEES AND DIFFERENT SHIPPING OPTIONS MAY BE REQUIRED. John Spangler-


# 10386 - Fire Pots
10/30/2004
Louise

Neither the people in my history class nor my history teacher know what fire pots are and what they were used for. Could you please email back with information on them. Thank you.

Answer:
(Note the good grammar (neither...nor), spelling and punctuation. This scholar is a refreshing from the barely intelligible gibberish that many people have been told by public schools is the English language. In most schools this student would be steered away from questions relating to weapons and told to go to a Bush bashing rally or support gay marriage, or beg Legislators for more money for the teachers union or some other counterproductive activity.)

Louise- Like many words the meaning has changed over time, and when a term has been used in many different countries there are different translations and uses that may have occurred. The earliest use of some variation of the term "fire pot" can be traced back to somewhere in the range of 330-800 B.C. At that time it was in the context of an object to be thrown or launched from a catapult or other primitive machine used to hurl objects at an enemy's fortification, castle or town. A container with burning material would naturally be called a "fire pot." During approximately the same period, a substance now known as "Greek fire" was also used as a weapon. This was some sort of incendiary material which would ignite when it hit the target, rather than having to be set on fire before it was launched, but again "fire pot" would be the natural description.

The term probably was used for either of these meanings for several hundred years, until shortly after the invention of gunpowder, or at least its introduction to Europe. By about 1327 the term began to be applied to early forms of firearms, and one of the earliest drawings of a firearm (in an old manuscript) shows a large pot shaped device resting on its side with an arrow type projectile ready to be expelled by the force of gunpowder in the pot. The French used the term "pots de fer" while the Italians called them "vasi" based on the vase like shape. Smaller versions were developed, attached to poles which later evolved into shoulder fired weapons.

For many years gunpowder would be used to try to blow holes in castle walls or gates, using a pot shaped container. This was called a "petard" and was loaded with powder, and the open end was forced against the wall, and the powder set off. If everything went as planned, the petard and whatever held it in place would remain there, and part of the wall or gate in front of it would be blown apart. However, sometimes the wall or gate was stronger than expected and the petard and its operator would be blown back away from it. This was the origin of Shakespeare's line in "Hamlet" (III, iv) "For 'tis the sport to have the engineer / Hoist with his owne petard". Eventually, improved technology developed better weapons than the primitive "fire pots" and more specific terms were adopted for the improved weapons.

I hope this helps. The information is based on Lynn Montross' "War Through the Ages." John Spangler


# 10775 - How To Determine P.38 Manufacturer
10/30/2004
Mark

Unknown - P-38 - 9mm - 4 - 1/2 - Blue - 804B -

Nazi proofs on slide and frame, all numbers match. How do I determine the make of this pistol? It has no factory proofs! Because of it's great condition (Very little holstering marks on the slide.)And it's low serial number, would you assume it is worth a nice chunk of change? Any information would be appreciated. Thank you for your time..

Answer:
Mark, during WWII, P.38 pistols were manufactured by Walther, Mauser, and Spreewerk.

Walther manufactured pistols will have one of the following maker code/brand markings on the left hand side of the slide:

  • "Walther" - Early 0 serial number variation.
  • "P.38 480 (serial#)" - The number 480 was the initial manufacturer's code assigned to the Walther factory in 1940.
  • "P.38 (serial #) ac (year of manufacture)" or "P.38 ac (serial #) (year of manufacture)" - The letters ac were the manufacturer's code assigned to the Walther factory in October, 1940. Some early code ac P.38s were not stamped with the year of manufacture.

Mauser manufactured pistols will have one of the following maker code markings on the left hand side of the slide:

  • "P.38 byf (serial #). (year)" - The letters byf was the manufacturer's code assigned to the Mauser factory in February, 1941
  • "P.38 SVW (serial #). 45" - The letters SVW were assigned to the Mauser factory in January, 1945.

Spreewerk manufactured pistols will have one of the following maker code markings on the left hand side of the slide:

  • "P.38 cyq (serial #)" - The letters cyq was the manufacturer's code assigned to the Spreewerk factory in March, 1941.
  • "P.38 cvq (serial #)" - Some collectors theorize that cvq stampings are due to the tail breaking off the y in the cyq die, other collectors theorize that cvq is a legitimate code.

Unfortunately your serial number is not significant. Wartime German P.38 serial numbers were limited to 4 digits. Walther and Mauser stamped the year of manufacture on the left hand side of the slide and serial numbers were reset at the beginning of each year to number 1. When the number 9999 was reached a letter suffix was added starting with "a". Spreewerk serial numbers are limited to four digits and a letter suffix but they did not start over at the beginning of each year and there is no year marking. Marc


# 10785 - Paranoid Colt Owner
10/30/2004
Vern, Mountain View., Arkansas

Colt - Detective Special - .38 Special - 2 inches - Parkerized - B43XXX -

Looking for date of manufacture.

Answer:
Vern, not sure how you expect us to provide information without the complete serial number. Date of manufacture is 19XX. Marc


# 6870 - Copper Gun Barrel?
10/26/2004
Jason, Loudon, NH

Remington - 572 - .22 - Don't Know -

I have a friend that owns a Remington 572 .22 Caliber Rifle. We're trying to find more information on it, and can't find any. It seems to have a copper (or at least copper colored) barrel. All the information I have found says that the Aluminum barrels came in different colors. Could this actually be a 572 lightweight Aluminum barreled model, or is there a rare, copper-barreled model out there? This was his father's, and was made in the 60's or 70's.

Answer:
Jason, there is no copper barreled version of the Model 572. Remington introduced lightweight 572 models in 1958, these rifles made use of an anodized and specially colored aluminum receiver, trigger guard, buttplate, and jacket for a steel barrel liner to reduce the weight of the rifle. The rifles all had checkered, light-colored, "Sun-Grain" walnut stocks and were produced in three metal-color versions:

  • Model 572 CWB Crow Wing Black (1958-1962)
  • Model 572 BT Buckskin Tan (1958-1962)
  • Model 572 TWB Teal Wing Blue (1959-1960)

My guess is that your rifle is the 572 BT Buckskin Tan model. The blue book indicates that the Buckskin Tan guns are the most common of the three colors. Marc


# 6857 - Sportsmaster 341
10/26/2004
Forrest

Remington - Sportsmaster 341 - 22 - Blue -

Why aren't these rifles offered for sale on the open market? They simply do not seem to be available, but if you know differently, please advise.

Answer:
Forrest, the Remington Model 341 "Sportmaster" Bolt Action Repeating Rifle was introduced in February 1936. Remington offered the rifle in several different configurations:

  • 341 A Standard had a step adjustable rear sight and white metal bead front sight. It weighed six pounds and initially retailed for $13.90.
  • Model 341 AT Special was the same as the Model 341 A Standard except that the receiver was drilled and tapped for a 4X Weaver No. 344 scope and No.3 mount.
  • The 341 P had a Remington Point Crometer rear adjustable sight with two interchangeable discs, hooded front sight with four reticles, specially configured stock, restyled bolt handle, military-style safety, heavier target barrel. It weighed six pounds, four ounces and initially retailed for $14.80.
  • 341 PT Special was the same as the Model 341 P except that it was drilled and tapped for a 4X Weaver No. 344 scope and No.3 mount.
  • Model 341 SB Smoothbore Rifle was intended for .22-caliber Long Rifle shot cartridges only. It had a white metal bead shotgunstyle front sight and no rear sight. It initially retailed for $13.90.

Remington offered a Lyman No. 422 "Expert" 4X scope for the Model 341 starting in 1938, it retailep for $8.25 when ordered with a rifle.

The Model 341 was discontinued in late October 1940 and replaced by the Remington Model 512 "Sportmaster after about 131,604 Model 341 rifles were sold. My gusss is the reason that you are having difficulties locating a Model 341 offered for sale is because they have not been manufactured for over 60 years. Marc


# 10019 - Harpers Ferry 1852 Mystery Gun
10/26/2004
Bob, Vernon, CT

Unknown - Carbine (?) - .610 - 23 5/8 '' - Don't Know - NONE -

This appears to be a 19th century carbine sized, muzzle loading, smooth bore weapon. It is 39 1/4 inches long. The barrel is 23 5/8 but is integral with what I would call the receiver. There is an external flintlock type hammer which cups down over a slanted nipple. The trigger and trigger housing are brass, and have that little integral ring on the front which looks like a place to attach something. The buttplate is brass and, where it wraps around the top of the stock, is marked ''16.'' The stock, at the place where you would place your hand, is faintly crosshatched. There is a sideplate in the ''receiver'' area , on the right side, into which the hammer is pinned, which contains the marking ''Harpers Ferry 1852.'' The stock, on the right side, contains a brass hinged door, starting at the butt plate, about 5 '' long to the hinge , which is 2 1/8 long. Underneath the door is a cavity 3 1/2 '' L by 1 3/8'' W by .54 '' deep from the shelf of the door recess. It appears to have been formed by cutting three overlapping holes with a 1 3/8 '' bit, as it is round on both ends. At the forward stock is what appears to be provision for a ramrod , with a hole about 1/2'' diameter. There is one forward brass band, which is held from sliding forward by some sort of metal piece set into the right hand side of the forward stock. This inset is 2 3/8'' long and the rear end, at the brass band, is tapered out of the stock to keep the band in place, I think. I can find no other marking except the ''16'' and the ''Harpers Ferry 1852'' noted above. Have searched Flaydermans without much success. The rear sight is missing, although there is a cross slot to hold one. The front sight is a little ridged bead apparently caused by pinching (??) up some of the metal of the barrel. The bore is .610 '' as well as I can measure with calipers. The hammer will move but I am afraid to try to pull it all the way back for fear of damaging it. Looking to understand what it is and if it has any value. Many thanks

Answer:
Bob- Thanks for the detailed description. I am 99% sure you have a Model 1841 "Mississippi" rifle that has been altered somewhat. The bore has probably been reamed out from .54 caliber to the larger size, and the grip was checkered at one time. They had a 33 inch barrel to start out with, but other than that everything seems to match the M1841 rifle. Following the Civil War some troops were allowed to take their weapons home. (A great way to get rid of mostly obsolete muzzle loaders and since the cost was deducted from the soldier's mustering out pay it also cut government expenditures somewhat!) A law was also passed that allowed sales of arms to "western emigrants" headed across the plains. Many of these arms were modified by their owners to suit their needs, and I suspect that this is what happened to yours. It would probably have little if any value to a collector of U.S. military arms, but perhaps a lot more interest for someone who likes "old west" type items, but probably only a few hundred dollars. John Spangler


# 10018 - Springfield M2 .22 Caliber Rifle
10/23/2004
Dan, Harrisburg, PA

Springfield - M2 - 22 - 24'' - Parkerized - 2239 -

Stock - Letter ''P'' encircled on grip, number 19 stamped in front of clip, ''S.A.R'' stamped on side of stock. Receiver - Stamped ''US SPRINGFILED ARMORY CAL..22 M2''. Barrel - Letter ''T'' stamped just ahead of receiver, ''LONG RIFLE CARTGE ONLY'' on side of barrel just ahead of receiver, ''SA'' with bomb symbol and 1-33 at end of barrel. Front Site - stamped ''US'' with bomb symbol on left and ''R'' on right. Rear Site - symbol of what appears to be a deer or antelope with ''REC US PAT OFF'' stamped below, adjustable for windage and elevation. Bolt - ''NS M2'' at rear, ''D-28223-2'' and ''C 3998'' at front, serial number engraved on side of bolt. I received this rifle from my grandfather, an avid gun collector, in the early 1980's. It was rumored he obtained the firearm from the NRA through a program for purchasing surplus U.S. firearms following WWII. Recently I've researched the M2 to try and determine the origin of the firearm. Based on some previous posts, it seems there were several retrofits at the armory and frequent modifications by collectors, gunsmiths, etc. As best I can tell, this rifle is entirely original and in excellent condition. I have four clips for the rifle. The stocks finish is 98 or better. The receiver and barrel are in equal condition. The bolt, bolt handle and side of the rear site shows signs of very minor corrosion. Is this an original M2? If so what is the estimated value for insurance purposed?

Answer:
Dan- Thank you for the excellent detailed description. Everything you describe seems correct and original, except possibly the front sight markings, but I am not certain about that. The rear sight is the Lyman 48, which is standard for this model. The barrel date seems right for the serial number, and the bolt matches, so I see no reason to think that it is anything but a really nice gun. I checked the Springfield Research Service database and there is no information on this rifle, but another M2 very close to this one was sold in 1933 and others were sold in the post-WW2 era. I have seen rifles like this being offered at prices in the $800-1200 range at gun shows. The Springfield .22 caliber rifles included the Model 1922, the Model 1922M1 and the M2. Many of the M1922 rifles were modified to the M1922M1 configuration, and many of the M1922M1 rifles (either made as such, or modified to that) were later updated to the M2 configuration. Therefore it is possible to find all sorts of permutations in the other models, but those made (and marked) on the receiver as "M2" are immune from most of the atrocities inflicted on the earlier models. There are some M2 rifles that were rebuilt during or after WW2 and they tend to be worth less than the examples that are "as issued." John Spangler


# 10015 - G. Spangler Muzzle Loader
10/23/2004
Dennis, Lansing, Michigan

Spangler? - Pennsylvania/Ohio? - .45 - About 32 Inches - Other - NONE -

The top flat of the half-octagon barrel reads: G. Spangler Maker Monroe, Wis. Those are the only markings on this muzzleloading percussion rifle. Do you or does anyone have any information on G. Spangler and is it possible that this gun could have originally been a flintlock, since the lock assembly looks suspiciously like an amateur conversion to percussion.

Answer:
Dennis- George Spangler was a pretty good maker who operated in Monroe, WI circa 1843-1900. His father was Samuel Spangler, from Somerset, PA who was a lockmaker and a gunmaker who moved to Monroe in the early 1840s. While it is possible it was originally a flintlock, I suspect it is merely a percussion gun that has lived a hard life. John Spangler (no relation that I know of)


# 6856 - Mod 94 Value
10/23/2004
Nell, Quitman, Texas

Winchester - 94 - 30-30 - 18 inches - Blue - 1714748 -

My husband purchased this gun in 1951 and according to the serial number it was manufactured in 1949. He is curious as to its value. Thank you.

Answer:
Nell, firearms values can vary greatly depending on several factors including whether any modifications have been made, condition, and if all parts are original to the gun. The blue book lists values for Model 94 Winchester rifles manufactured between 1940 and 1964 from $150 to about $395. If your husband's rifle is in like new condition with no wear or modifications of any kind, it will have interest to collectors. If the rifle is like most that I run across, used with dings, scrapes and scratches, maybe a recoil pad or sling swivels have been added, it is just another good hunting rifle. Marc


# 6851 - Page-Lewis Model C Olympic
10/19/2004
Ron Camp Verde, Az.

Page-Lewis Arms - Model C OLYMPIC - .22 Long Rifle - 24'' - Don't Know - NONE VISIBLE -

on the barrel there is a marking or a very small circle with six hashmarks on the outer edge of the circle also patented in 1923 Apr. 25 To date, I have not run across a model C Olympic. Can you Please give me any information about it' s history.

Answer:
Ron, Page-Lewis Arms Company started business in 1921, their factory was in the old Stevens Duryea automobile plant and they employied about 150 workers. The first shipment of Page-Lewis rifles left the factory in July of that year.

Page-Lewis introduced the Model A Target Rifle, the Model B Sharpshooter, and the Model C Olympic Rifle in 1921. All three rifles shared the same type of under lever, falling block action which was fabricated from steel plate, and housed the lockwork inside the breechblock. A single coil spring was used to drive both the hammer and the trigger and the butt was attached by a large longitudinal bolt. Rifles could be dissembled by use of a take-down bolt which lay beneath the frame ahead of the trigger guard.

The Model C Olympic was manufactured from 1921 to 1926, it had a 24 inch barrel, folding aperture sight on the tang and a combination bead-and-globe/blade front sight. The Model C forearm was slightly longer and fuller than the A or B. Model C barrel markings read: PAGE-LEWIS ARMS COMPANY CHICOPEE FALLS, MASS. U.S.A. .22 L.R. Markings on left side of the frame read: MODEL C OLYMPIC, and markings on right side of frame read: PAT. APL'D FOR. Marc


# 6845 - Old Savage DOM
10/19/2004
Link , Naples, Maine

Savage - 99 Takedown - 250-3000 - 22 Inch? - Blue - 329855 -

Mint , unused What year was the manufacture...is in NRA Excellent looks like new 98 blue lever 80% case hardened. No drilled scope holes and original sights...a real beauty!

Answer:
Link, Savage Arms Company of Utica, New York first offered their Model 1899 Sporting Rifles from 1899 to about 1917. In 1917 production was suspended so the company could concentrate efforts on manufacturing for World War I. After the war ended, Savage resumed production and shortened the model name from 1899 to 99. My records indicate that your rifle was manufactured during the period between the wars, in 1930.

I have always liked the look and workmanship of the older Savage 99 rifles. Even though Savage has manufactured well over one million of this model, I seldom encounter an old 99 in excellent original condition with no customizations or modifications and the 250-3000 caliber is another plus. It sounds like you have found a real treasure, let me know if you ever decide to sell. Marc


# 9998 - Gewehrfabrik Danzig .22 Trainer
10/19/2004
Ed, Baltimore, MD

Gewehrfabrik Danzig - 22 Ca. Single Shot - .22 Cal. - 22'' - Blue - 223 -

Small boy's bolt action single shot rifle with a claw mounted OIGEE telescope sight numbered to the gun When was the rifle made, and is Gewehrfabrik Danzig still in business? I am a collector of military training rifles, could this rifle have been used for training? Ed Butler

Answer:
Ed- I have no information as to this being or not being used as a trainer. All I can add is that the Prussian Arsenal at Danzig operated up until 1918 when it was demilitarized. The Poles who inherited the territory (now called Gdansk, I believe) moved the rifle making machinery to a new plant in Radom. That at least helps you date the gun. John Spangler


# 7052 - Springfield M1861 Marked CP 45
10/16/2004
Andy

Musket - Springfield 1861 - .58 - 40 Inches - Don't Know - DOES NOT HAVE ONE -

CP45 I have a Springfield 1861. On the end of the stock just above the butt there are the markings ''CP'' and ''45'' carved. At the end of barrel (by the breach plug) the same thing (''CP'' & ''45'') are etched. Does anyone know what these markings mean? Thanks

Answer:
Andy- In the late 1860s railroads were being built across the nation, with the first completed route being the Central Pacific building from California and the Union Pacific working west from Nebraska joining at Promentory Point, Utah on May 10, 1869. Competing routes were under construction in the northern states, and across the southern states, blazing the paths eventually followed by Interstate routes 80, 90 and 10 respectively. The Indians (Native Americans to be politically correct) were pretty upset about all this construction ruining their neighborhoods and depleting their food sources, so they understandably fought many of the railroad construction crews, and later the train crews crossing their traditional homelands. Since there was intense government interest (and money) focused on the railroads, it was decided that surplus military arms could be issued to railroads to help fight off Indian attacks, with the provision that the guns would be returned when no longer needed. In order to keep track of the guns they were responsible for, the railroads often applied what collectors might call "unit numbers or rack marks". I suspect that the CP 45 indicates that this was a rifle musket issued to the Central Pacific Railroad. Of course, it may also have been given to Clarence Picklesnapper on his 45th birthday, or maybe have been one of 50 parade guns sold to the Collegiate Pacifists by Bannerman in the 1890s-1940s. I believe that there is more on the railroad guns in Charles Worman and Louis Garavaglia's "Firearms of the American West 1866-1894." I believe I recall hearing about some Spencers, and also .58 and .50-70 caliber trapdoors that were issued to the railroads. John Spangler


# 7040 - Spanish Blunderbuss Or Movie Prop
10/16/2004
Robert, Astoria, NY

Boat Gun/Blunderbuss - 1728 - Big - 17 Inches - Other - ??? -

Looks like an old Spanish Blunderbuss or boat gun. Stamped markings on face flint lock firing mechanism. Eibar. Contr ybar. V (small oval with 3-dashed above the V). Stamped 1857 and 1728. On the trigger mechanism only readable stamp is 1728 or maybe 1720. Stamped in the wood on the opposite side of the flint is the name: J. Catalan with what appears to be a small capital D just under the J. 1728 and a capital R stamped on the barrel. A brass strap that holds the barrel to the wood stalk stamped JO on one side and a Z or N in a circle on the other. A good patina on the wood and metal. Total length of gun is 30 inches. A metal butt plate. Inner diameter of the barrel end is 1.5 inches. What kind of gun is this? How old? Caliber? Value? Any information regarding this gun would be helpful. I found this gun among old theater props so wondering if it is a true original gun or a prop.

Answer:
Robert- Movie props are amazing things, crafted to deceive the eye and camera. They are often based on something totally unrelated to that which they appear to be. An excellent example is the use of .45-70 trapdoor Springfields as the basis for hundreds (or even thousands?) of flintlock muskets appearing in movies set in the period from about 1750 through about 1850. Ordinary trapdoors had the hammers replaced by a large cast brass hammer that resembled a flintlock hammer with flint in place. The lockplate had a hole drilled and tapped to attach a cast brass frizzen, pan and frizzen spring. Large brass bands were used instead of the normal bands, and a wide white canvas sling completed the movie magic makeover. Large armies could be armed and when firing black powder blanks, they could pass for real flintlock musket of the period. Of course the stars all had authentic copies or original arms so closeups will all show authentic looking guns. Another convincing transformation of trapdoors involved extending the barrel with a piece of pipe for another foot or so, and wrapping wire around the stock, and then hacking away on the buttstock (perhaps with some extra wood glued on) until it has the weird shape of the Arab "camel guns." I have some prop bayonets imitating the U.S. Model 1905 for WW1 or WW2 films that are made entirely of wood, and others that have a Krag bayonet scabbard sandwiched in between wood covers to make the Krag bayonet look like the longer M1905. I also have M1 Garand bayonets and scabbards that are a solid aluminum casting, and others made of a fiberglas resin type material, painted up. In short, theatrical props will make use of anything that might look convincing, assembled from scratch, or using parts on hand of whatever era. I suspect that your gun is most likely a theatrical prop, given its provenance (snooty word for history or pedigree). However, there is a chance that at some point it was actually cheaper and easier to purchase a real blunderbuss than to bother making one up, and that you have stumbled upon a treasure. I would take it to a good gun show and show it to some people there and ask their opinion. Just tell them- "It's not for sale, I just want to know what it is." Good luck. John Spangler


# 6843 - Rebuild M1917 Information
10/16/2004
Tyler Tipton, Iowa

Eddystone - U.S. Model Of 1917 - .30-06 ? - ? - Blue - 79588 -

Below the receiver, on the left side of the stock, various markings: surrounded by a box is ''AAR'', surrounded by a box is ''AAD'', and NOT surrounded by a box in ''AOH''. Rear of the trigger guard is the letter ''P'' with a box around it. At the end of the barrel, rear of the front sight on the barrel is the letter ''E'' with an unusual stamp that looks like a bomb below the ''E''. Below the symbol is ''10 17'' I've heard that some of the M1917's were reissued to men in WWII. Is this true of the gun I have? It belonged to a relative of mine who was in the war. What do all of the markings mean? The only thing I know was that it was manufactured in November of 1917. Could you tell me more? I really appreciate it.

Answer:
Tyler, your rifle was made sometime in the fall of 1917. Barrel's were dated separately from receivers and their manufacture date usually lags behind the receiver's manufacture date by several weeks. Your rifle should have a number of parts that are marked with the letter "E" (for Eddystone), they include the stock (look at the tip below the muzzle), the front sight blade and base, the rear handguard ring, the ejector housing, the rear sight and its slider, and the bolt. The trigger, sear, butt plate, triggerguard, floor plate and other small parts should also have "E" stamped on them, but you have to take the rifle apart to see it. If any of these parts have no stamping or if they are stamped with the letter "R" or "W", then the part is probably a replacement.

The marks stamped on your stock are a record of the arsenals the rifle has seen. (Hopefully no one has switched stocks.) The "AA" markings are for the Augusta Arsenal, the last letter probably belongs to an inspector there. I could not find any information on the AOH marking.

U. S. Model 1917 rifles did not have a proof P applied behind the triggered when they left the factory. The "P" stamping that you describe was used on rifles rebuilt during World War II, it tells us that the rifle had sufficient arsenal modification to require reproofing. There is a lot of good information about rebuild marks, inspector's marks and initials at M1903.com, you might want to take a look. For more information about your rifles history, try checking it's serial number against the serial number database at www. ArmsCollectors.com. Marc


# 6730 - Nickel P.38
10/12/2004
Ernie, Ankeny, IA

P38 - 9mm Luger - Nickel - 2739 N -

(CYQ) (2739 n) and (B b) and a stamp I do not recognize on the barrel. The serial number (2739 n?) on the frame. Also the same stamp as on the barrel This was obtained by my father in Florida decades ago. I was bought from an ex WWII Vet who claimed to have taken it from a captured German officer. He stated it was nickeled when the 'liberated' it. My father bought it cheap because the vet said that no one believed him when he said it was nickel plated when he captured it; since there is no evidence that any P38's were ever produced with a nickel finish. The gun is a good shooter and in good condition. It's finish is rather crude; not up to commercial standards. I think it is a war relic of military production. What do you think? What can you tell me of it's history? Thanks

Answer:
Ernie, I can tell you a little about your P.38s markings but nothing about it's history or how it came to be nickel plated. The "cyq" stampings are the WW-II German ordnance code assigned to Spreewerke GmbH, Metallwarenfabrik. Spreewerke got it's name from the company's main offices, located on the bank of the Spree River in Spandau, a suburb of Berlin. The "n" that you describe is part of the serial number, Spreewerke serial numbers are limited to four digits and have a letter suffix. Without examining the pistol, I can't say what the "(B b)" is. The pistol should be stamped with an eagle over a swastika on the right hand side of the slide and an eagle over 88 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. The eagle over 88 stamping is a German WW-II Heerswaffenamt inspectors mark for the Spreewerke P.38 pistol and the eagle over a swastika is a military acceptance stamp.

Spreewerke P.38 pistols typically exhibit rough machining with visible milling marks. It seems incongruous that someone would go to the trouble of plating the pistol but not take the time to polish out the milling marks.

Even if your pistol was nickel-plated at the time that it was liberated, the collector value has been destroyed because it did not leave the factory with that finish. Marc


# 6653 - Four Inch Red Nine?
10/12/2004
Glenn, Ventura Ca

Mauser - Broomhandle - Red Nine - 9mm - 4 - Blue -

What would the value be of a Mauser Broomhandle Red 9? I would rate the unit in good to VG condition, it has the wooden stock of which the finish is still very good. It is the real deal (not a repo or Chinese) as it was brought back home by my father from a less than fortunate German. The gun is also in firing condition, however I don't have the ammo loading piece so it has not been shot for 20 years or so.

Answer:
Glenn, Red 9 pistols were manufactured by Waffenfabrik Mauser at Oberndorf from 1916 to 1918 for the German military. One hundred fifty thousand were contracted, but only about 140 thousand were delivered by the end of the war. Red 9 serial numbers were in a separate block and ranged from about 1 to over 140,000. Pistols were issued mostly to machine gun units and artillery crews, and came with a shoulder stock-holster, leather harness and cleaning rod.

The "Red 9" name has been given to 9mm Mauser M1896/16 pistols because a 9 was cut in the grips and filled with red paint to make it easy to distinguish between the 9 mm pistols and the 7.63 mm pistols that were already in service at the time of introduction. Variations in size and style of red 9 markings lead experts to believe that the "9" was likely added at arsenals or by regimental armourers rather than at the Mauser factory.

The Red 9 is one of the most popular of C96 varations. Because they were produced for military contract they usually have a rougher fit and finish than earlier Models. Unaltered and correct Red 9 pistols should be marked with the red 9 on the grips and "NS" on the hammer (for the new safety system). The rear sight should be the tangent type, marked from 50 to 500 meters, the magazine follower should have a unique releif cut to filicitate feeding of the 9 mm ammunition, and barrels should be 5.5 inches in length. The blue book lists values for Red 9 pistols in origional configuration between $550 and $2000 depending on condition with a premium of $600 for matching stock, or $300 for a non matching stock. (I tkink that the books valuation is several hundreds of dollars low.)

If your barrel is four inches in length, you may have a 1920 reworked Red 9. These pistols were modified with a short barrel, and fixed rear sight, to satisfy terms of the Treaty of Versailles which prohibited the manufacture of pistols with adjustable sights, barrel lengths longer than 3.94 inches or of a caliber greater than 8mm. Treaty restrictions did not apply to handguns that were reworked before 1921 and intended for the Reichwehr (the 100,000 man army that was to keep peace in post-WWI Germany). Reichwehr pistols received a 1920 stamp to indicate official authorized use under the Treaty of Versailles. The blue book lists values for1920 Red 9 reworked pistols between $350 and $1100. Again I think that this valuation is low. Marc


# 7037 - MB Associates Beanbag Gun
10/12/2004
Tom, Sandwich IL, USA

MB Associates - Prowlette - Unknown Type Of Beanbag - 10'' - Other - NONE -

Looks like a short nightstick with a cocking handle on the side, two detents along the cocking handle's groove. Cocking handle is attached to a steel bolt which pushes a CO2 cylinder against a piercing screw, discharging the entire contents of the gas cylinder behind a (approx.) 12ga 'gas check' to push a canvas 'beanbag' full of BB shot (about 1.5'' x 1.5'') out the barrel. I imagine that it would really annoy someone if one was hit in soft tissue at close range. Bought it in about 1974 for about $50. Anyone else ever seen one of these? If I remember correctly, there were larger models with shoulder stocks; and smaller, thinner versions. All were single shot and fired the same beanbag projectile via a CO2 cylinder. Also vaguely remember seeing a flyer or a catalog page for a crew served version for riot control. Anyone else know of the fate of MB Associates or this concept?

Answer:
Tom- About all we can tell you about MB Associates is that they are best known for their innovative "Gyrojet" pistol which fired bullets having built in propellant and thus no extraction to worry about. The concept was indeed novel and clever, but not commercially successful, so it is likely they moved on to other projects. This was in the late 1960s at a time when Vietnam protest riots by stupid scumbags were commonplace. There was an intense interest in "non-lethal" munitions after the Kent State riots in which lawbreaking rioters refused to obey orders to disperse and four protesters ended up getting shot by Ohio National Guard troops armed with M1 Garands who had no "less than lethal" options. (Of course the rioters had the less than lethal option of getting their sorry butts out of harms way, but they provoked, and got the violent reaction they sought.) I have no idea if this type beanbag gun has any collector interest or value, but I suspect that SOMEONE must collect them. It would be good to verify the legal status of the bean bag guns with BATF first. John Spangler


# 6979 - M1 Carbine Bayonet Lugs
10/9/2004
Mike, Knoxville, TN

Inland - M-1 Carbine - .30 - Blue -

When was the bayonet lug added to the M-1 Carbine? The earlier WW2 rifles did not have this.

Answer:
Mike- You are correct that early (in fact most) WW2 production M1 carbines did not have bayonet lugs. This was not an oversight, but a deliberate decision when the carbine was adopted. After all, the carbine was intended as a substitute for the M1911 .45 pistol for some troops, not as a replacement for a rifle. Since the pistol did not have a bayonet, no one felt shortchanged. Soon after there was discussion about possibly modifying the M1918 Mark I trench knife into a bayonet for the carbine, but this was abandoned as too heavy and likely to damage the carbine if used. Then it was decided that perhaps just having a trench knife instead of a combination knife-bayonet was the way to go, and in March 1943 the M3 trench knife was adopted (and the M1918 knife made obsolete). However, in October 1943 it was decided that a bayonet for the carbine was needed after all. Several prototypes that attached with a clamp type arrangement (similar to the later flash hider) were tried out (the T4 with a blade like the British No. 4 Mark I spike bayonet; the T5 with an angular blade similar to the Johnson bayonet; and the T6 with a knife type blade). Another experimental bayonet, the T8 was made from a M3 trench knife with a crossguard having a hole for the muzzle and a pommel with a catch mechanism was tried. This required an attaching lug that could be added to the barrel band and would require no other modifications of the carbine. The Infantry Board began trials in January 1944, and on May 10, 1944 a modification of the T8 design along with the modified barrel band was adopted as standard, designated the Knife-Bayonet M4.. It was ordered that production of the M3 trench knife stop immediately and that the M4 carbine bayonet would be issued in lieu of the M3 knife. On July 7, 1945 it was directed that old style bands of carbines in service would be replaced with the bayonet lug type band, with the goal of completing the project worldwide by January 1, 1946. Most carbine production was wrapping up in the summer of 1944, except for Winchester and Inland who were getting into production of M2 (selective fire) carbines about that time. Winchester and Inland seem to be the only makers to deliver carbines with the bayonet lug bands straight from the factory, beginning late in 1944. Larry Ruth's superb two volume "War Baby" set on the M1 carbine is the place to go for anything you ever want to know about carbines and related items. John Spangler


# 6971 - Van Karner VK-M12 Flare Gun
10/9/2004
Debbie, Boynton Beach, Fl

Van Karner Chemical Arms Corp - Parachute Signal Gun VK-M12 - 8'' - Other -

Some background on this flare gun, Was it used in a specific war?? It's approximate age and possible value??? Thank You

Answer:
Debbie- Flare guns have been an important item for people going down to the sea in big or little ships for a very long time. They are handy to have to shoot up a flare to indicate you are in distress (like about to sink!). They can also be used to signal between the big ship and its boats when searching for a man overboard, especially in the days before everyone has small radios to talk on. Flares could also be used to communicate between naval vessels in periods when radio silence was in effect. Thus, flare guns have a lot more history and use for general maritime needs than for strictly wartime situations. Van Karner of New York City made the VK-M12 flare guns during WW2 and they remained in use into the 1950s (or later). Value depends on condition and how badly a collector wants one of this model, but my guess is it would be in the $150 range. There are a number of collectors who specialize in flare guns, but the only reference I have ever found on that type of gun is one by Robert Gaynor "Flare Guns & Signal Pistols" available from the author, 312 Miller Street, Strasburg, PA 17579. John Spangler


# 6658 - Western Field M72C
10/9/2004

Western Field - M72C - .30-30 - Blue -

How good of weapon is this? What is the estimated value of the weapon?

Answer:
Mossberg manufactured the Model 472C from, 1972 to 1976. The design made use of a locking bolt much like the better known Browning designed Winchesters. Unlike the Winchesters, the trigger mechanism was attached to the operating lever and a hammer-block safety lever was fitted to the rear left side of the receiver. The Model 472 superficially resembled the Marlin 336, with a loading gate on the side of the receiver and a prominent operating-lever pivot.

There is no collector interest in house brand firearms, their values are always lower than their counterparts that carry the original manufactures brand name. I would estimate value to be in the $125.00 or less range. As for how good the rifle is, Mossberg has a reputation for manufacturing inexpensive but good quality firearms. If you can hit what you are aiming at, and the rifle functions well without malfunctioning or jamming, you probably have a good gun. Marc


# 6645 - Westinghouse 1915 Rifle
10/5/2004

Blue -

We have and antique gun made by Westinghouse Inc. in 1915 In England. It is a military gun. Is there a place we can find out what it is worth.

Answer:
I can't answer your question definitively, but Westinghouse and 1915 appeared on only one rifle that I'm aware of, the Russian Mosin-Nagant Model 1891. After the outbreak of World War I, the Czar's government contracted with Remington and Westinghouse to produce their standard service rifle, the Mosin-Nagant Model 1891. When the Czar was overthrown in March 1917 many of these rifles could not be delivered and some were taken into U.S. service. Many others have been imported into the U.S. over the years. Value will depend on condition and markings, it can range from about $50.00 for a rifle that is in poor condition or that has been sporterized to over $400.00 for rifles with U.S. markings or in new condition. Marc


# 6641 - M1917 Sniper?
10/5/2004
Tony, Toledo, OR

Eddystone - 1917 - .30-06 - UNK - Blue - 315327 -

''Flaming Onion'' markings on the barrel (rear), next to the chamber and the bolt. It also has two small markings along the opening of the chamber which look like two half ghosts and the numbers 8 and half a 0 making ''80'' under the top mark and the numbers 37 underneath the second. the letter ''E'' on the safety and the bolt release switch. and the number 4 on the cocking handle of the bolt. The stock is not original as it does not have the US stamp located towards the rear of the butt. What do the strange half ghost markings stand for and the numbers? is this a legit WWII sniper version and if so where do I go to get the original pop up sights as they were not mounted when I purchased the rifle prior to joining the military and if not which model is it and where can I get the original sights for it.

Answer:
Tony, no M1917 rifles were ever adopted for sniper use by the U.S. military, so your rifle is definitely not a legitimate WWII sniper version. I assume that the strange ghost marks are what you identified as a "flaming onion". I have heard the U.S. Ordnance Corp marking called many things, but never a flaming onion. It is actually a round cannonball (bomb) with a burning fuse. This symbol was widely used on US military arms right through World War II. Your rifle was manufactured by the Remington owned Eddystone plant of Eddystone, Pennsylvania. Eddystone manufactured about 1.5 million Model 1917 rifles. If your rifle has been drilled and tapped for a scope, this was done after its service life. The U.S. sold off hundreds of thousands of Model 1917's after World War II as surplus, and many became the basis for custom rifles. On many more the stock was simply cut down, and the metal barrel bands were thrown away to produce a well built and cheap deer rifle. Most parts for the Model 1917 are available from places such as Gun Parts Corporation. If your rifle has been drilled and tapped for a scope, or if the sight ears have been ground off, it will be impossible to return it to original configuration and a waste of money to purchase original parts. Marc


# 6963 - Brown Bess Musket By Wilets Circa 1761
10/5/2004
Jim, Vancouver, WA

Wilets 1761 - Brown Bess Musket - Not Sure - 35 - Other - D 46 -

Calvary sword crossed with something i can't make out. What does the Crown and GR indicate on these guns? Was Wilets the gunmaker? thanks for any info you can send this way.

Answer:
Jim- The crown and GR indicate that the item is government property, and the marking is that of the ruling monarch, George. You may recall that there were three Kings George in England in the 18th century, so precise dating depends on other clues. I can not find any listing for Wilets, but did find a whole flock of folks with similar names who made guns in England and Ireland. Henry Willet was in Dublin, Ireland 1781-1810; and Sylvanus Willet was in Liverpool circa 1795. Benjamin Willets worked in Liverpool 1789-1805; and Samuel Willets in Liverpool 1799-1807. John Willets worked in Birmingham 1743-1789 and is most likley the one who made your musket. Benjamin Willetts worked in Staffordshire about 1797, and Mary Willetts & Son worked there about 1798, presumably his widow and son. Benjamin Willetts worked in Birmingham in 1829, and Charles Willetts was there about 1865. You say your gun has a 35 inch barrel, so it is probably either a musket that started off with a 44-46 inch barrel in 1761 and later got shortened, or perhaps it was a shorter version made for dragoons or other specialist type troops. These assume it is about .75 caliber. If smaller caliber, it may be a shorter and lighter "fusil" which would have been carried by officers or non-commissioned officers in lieu of the standard issue Brown Bess musket. John Spangler


# 6957 - Italian 1870 Vetterli Rifle Made At Torino
10/2/2004
Bob Vernon CT

Torino - 1883 - .45(?) - 33 - Blue - CB8807 -

Stock has CB8807 and also round markings with Torino Artisa Fab??? in ring around 1883 in center. Barrel had CB8807, and also small marking of what appears to be a shield with a crown at the top. Initials DM appear twice on stock and also AM (one of the DMs is in a circle.)Weapon is 53 inches long, bolt action has fasteners for a carrying strap, what appears to be a bayonet fixture, two little spring-loaded protuberances on forward barrel/stock, and a rear sight which can be raised for distance aiming as well as fixed rear and forward sights. Whatever you can tell me about rifle, place where I can find out more, and whether it has any value.

Answer:
Bob- Your rifle is probably the Italian Model 1870 Vetterli rifle. These took a 10.35 x 47mm rimmed center fire cartridge, or about .41 caliber. (This is different from the .41 rimfire cartridge used by the Swiss Vetterli rifle.) Yours was made at Torino in 1883 as a single shot bolt action rifle. Most were later updated with an 1887 modification that added a funny looking magazine that hangs down in front of the trigger guard. We sometimes have some of the 1870 or 1870/87 models on our antique collector arms page. An unmodified example would probably be worth more than one that got converted. These early black powder cartridge rifles are an interesting collector field, and many of the rifles are still available at rather modest prices. Check our links page for one or two excellent websites that have a lot of info on the various rifles of that era. John Spangler


# 6946 - Whitney Kennedy Lever Action Rifle
10/2/2004

Kennedy - Lever Action - 44 Cal C.F. - 24 Inches - Blue - NONE -

Patented January 7, 1873 - May 14, 1878 can you tell me anything about this rifle I inherited it from my grandfathers estate and no one can tell me about it. It only has Kennedy on the top of the barrel in front of the rear sight with the Cal. behind the rear site

Answer:
Sir- Winchester was not the only company that made lever action rifles in the late 19th century. Marlin made some fine rifles, and Whitney (yes, the corporate descendents of old Eli the interchangeable gun parts and cotton gin maker) did also. Whitney's first lever action (made 1878-82) was based on patents of G.W. Morse (of Morse Carbine fame) and Andrew Burgess, but it sold poorly. Whitney's next lever action rifle (made 1879-1886) was also derived from Burgess patents, plus those of Kennedy and Tiesing. This was a lot more successful, but never achieved the commercial success of Marlin or Winchester. Finally from 1886 to 1888 Kennedy tried a third design based on patents of William Scharf, but before it could catch on, Whitney was purchased by Winchester in 1888. The Whitney Kennedy rifles had a surprising number of variations in features, and in markings. The least common seems to be those bearing only the name Kennedy, so yours is a bit on the scarce side. I am sure some advanced collector would like a good example, but most people when offered a Kennedy rifle essentially say "who cares?" Depending on the condition and any special features, I would expect to see something like this offered in the range of $750-2250. Besides the excellent information in Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and their Values, there is a more detailed examination in Samuel Maxwell's "Lever Action Magazine Rifles." John Spangler


# 6636 - Spanish Mauser
10/2/2004
Albert Irwin Pa.

Fabrica De Armas Ovido - Unknown - 7mm - 28 inches - Blue -

crown on bolt housing, Circle around bottom of crown says Fabrica De Armas, Under that is Oviedo and under that is 1900. Stamped on barrel is 7mm. There is a E in a circle on bolt housing. Stock and bolt housing is marked 8315 Bolt is marked 759. Mauser bolt action. Bayonet fitting on front. What country was this gun made for? Does the gun have any real value? Do they still make usable ammo for this gun?

Answer:
Albert, you gave me two bits of useful information that help me answer your question. The Spanish government had an arsenal at Oviedo, Spain, and the caliber adopted by them was 7 mm Mauser. Your rifle was manufactured at the Oviedo Arsenal for the Spanish military, and originally chambered for the 7 mm Mauser cartridge, it should be a Mauser Model 1893. Model 1893 rifles cock on the closing stroke of the bolt. Bolts have two lugs, and the magazine will have a capacity of five rounds. The 7 mm Mauser cartridges are still available, and many sporting rifles are chambered for this round. As with all old firearms have a gunsmith check it for safety and to make sure that it has not been modified to shoot some other caliber before you fire it. Marc


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