Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters



Questions And Answers Page

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

Return to Collectors Headquarters.

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

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

# 11530 - Painted Numbers On Trapdoor
Jace, Lincoln, NE,

Springfield - Trapdoor - 45-70 - 36 - Blue -

orange paint marking on the side of the stock ''5 G 17'' this marking is perpendicular to the stock and the 5 is above the g and 17 is below the g. I have a trapdoor Springfield rifle 45-70 which is in good to excellent condition with strong markings on stocks like p markings and 1891 marking on the side, however the orange painted markings are puzzling me, perhaps you could tell me where these have come from?

Jace- If you had bothered to fill out the serial number part we could help a lot more. However, the number/letter/number pattern of markings is what is known as a "unit mark" and was often applied (by regulations) to canteens and haversacks and the like. Some units did not read, or ignored, the fine print in the regulations and defaced their small arms with similar markings. These are read with the top number being the number of the Regiment. The letter is the letter of the company/battery/troop depending on if it is an Infantry, Artillery or Cavalry regiment. The final number is usually between 1 and 100 and is the number assigned to an individual soldier. Sometimes (but hardly ever) records have survived which allow identification of the specific soldier by name, but as men left or arrived at a unit, the numbers were reassigned so soldier number 17 may be Jace this week, but John last month and Marc next year. If we had the full serial number we could check and see any records survive indicating which unit that rifle may have been assigned to. John Spangler

# 11525 - Colt SAA With Ivory Grips
Guy, Raleigh, NC

Colt - Not Sure - 45 - 6 7/8'' - Rusty - 23051 -

Ivory grip, cross-checked, single action, ''Colt 45'' on left side of barrel, left side frame ''pat. Sept 19 1871'', below that ''pat. July 2, 1872, barrel chrome approx. 6 7/8'', top of barrel says ''Colt's PT F.A. MFG. Co. Hartford, CT USA''. What do I have here?

Guy- I don't have any useful info on that specific gun, but it sounds like it may be a good one, if the grips and finish are factory work. The barrel is probably 7.5 inches long, if you measure the length including the part that screws into the frame. Date of manufacture is probably about 1876, and collectors really like the early ones (this model was introduced in 1873, but most of the early production went to government contracts). Long barrels and the large caliber (like .44 or .45) are the most popular. Nickel finish appeals to some, but not others, but in combination with ivory grips is pretty neat. Checkered ivory is even better than smooth ivory. Do NOT clean up anything, just leave al the rust there so you do not hurt the value. As far as value, the Colt collectors seem to have their own thoughts and they generally start at outrageous and get to astronomical pretty quickly if they find features they like. You need to talk to a reputable Colt specialist (or preferably two or more) and be careful. Not all are reputable. In fact, I think I have heard about more crooks and scoundrels in conjunction with Colts than any other type of guns. Maybe they just follow bank robber Willie Sutton's logic- Why do you rob banks?- Because that's where the money is. John Spangler

# 11184 - Gallery Rifles
Sam, Greensboro, Ga

22 Cal Pump Action - Blue -

When I was young I would never miss the carnival when it came to my area. The main attraction to me was the shooting gallery. They had short 22 pump action rifles with a steel chain attached to the table rest. I have been looking for one as a plinking rifle but I don't know their make or model. Any idea?

Sam, gallery rifles were similar to regular models except that they were commonly chambered in .22 short or CB Cap. Many gallery rifles had an attachment for a counter chain and/or a provision for quick-loading the magazine by use of a gallery tube. When you purchase your gallery rifle, I would advise you to get a calssic Winchester or Remington model.

The Remington Model 411 gallery rifle was similar to their standard Model 41 single shot, but it was chambered in CB Cap or .22 Short. The 411 did not have a safety on rear of bolt as did the 41 and it had an eye screw for gallery use with a chain.

The Remington Model 550-2G gallery rifle was chambered in .22 Short, it was similar to the standard 550-1, except that it had a 22 inch barrel and an eye screw for the counter chain.

The classic Remington pump action gllery rifle was the Model 12B Gallery Special. It was Similar to the 12C with an octagon barrle, except it was chambered in .22 Short.

A good choice for a Winchester pump action gallery rifle would be a Model 1906, a Model 61 or a a Model 62/62A. The only veriafiable Winchester gallery rifle that I have ever seen was a model 62A. It was chambered in .22 short, had an enlarged loading port so that the cartridge-retaining gallery tubes common in shooting galleries could be used more easily and came with two Winchester marked gallery tubes.

Gallery rifles are popular with collectors so prices for them are usually higher than they are for regualar models. Expect to pay $200 to $400 more for a galltery rifle depending on brand, model and condition. Marc

# 11170 - Arminius 39
Norman, Parma, Ohio

Arminius - Titan Tiger Arminius? - 38 Spl. - 2'' - Blue - 004139 -

The gun is in it's original box and waxed wrapping paper, never fired, like new condition. The registration card has SPESCO Corporation Atlanta, Ga 30315 My question is: was this handgun made by Spesco or was it made by another firm[Arminius]? It has: Titan Tiger,cal..38 spl F.I.E. Corp. Miami, Fla. marked on the frame in front of the cylinder..Was it made for FIE by Spesco? Is there any value to it and what is it's age? Can it be used today for CCW,I may want to carry it?


Norman, references indicate that the Titan Tiger was a .38 special revolver with 2 or 4 inch barrel, fixed sights and blue or chrome finish that was marketed in the USA by FIE. Titan Tiger models with chrome finish were discontinued in 1984 and models with blue finish were discontinued in 1990.

The first company to use the Arminius name was Friederich Pickert of ZellaMehlis, Germany, they manufactured inexpensive pocket revolvers form 1922 to 1945. Herman Weihrauch Sportwaffenfabrik of MeIIrichstadt/Bayern, West Germany used the Arminius name after WWII, starting in the mid 1950's, they were probably the manufacturer of your revolver.

There is not much interest in any FIE revolvers, value usually falls in the $100 or less range. The choice is yours as to whether you want to carry this revolver for your CCW. If I were going to stake my life on a weapon, I would base my choice of which one to use on quality and dependability. Marc

# 11167 - Slightly Worn Model 28
Nate, Elko, MN

Smith And Wesson - Mod. 28-2 ''Highway Patrolman'' - .357 - 6''? - Blue - S264879 -

''Wash. State Patrol'' on right hand side of frame, below cylinder. I inherited this guy from my father, and wanted to know a little more about it. He bought it while we were living in Washington state, hence the state patrol markings. It has checkered walnut (I think) grips with the S&W logo, that I don't think are original to the gun (I seem to remember him saying he bought it with pachmayr grips). It has about 90% blue on the frame and barrel, and about 60% on the cylinder, and a very nice bore. I was mostly wondering when this gun was made (a Google search proved entirely useless), but also approximately what the value of the gun is (I would never sell one of my father's guns, but I suspect I am going to want to insure my collection at some point in the not too distant future). Thanks for any help you can give me. Nate

Nate, the Model 28 Highway Patrolman was Smith and Wesson's economy model large frame .357 Magnum revolver. The 28 was built on Smith and Wesson's N-Frame, which is the same heavy frame as their more expensive Model 57 .41 Magnum, Model 29 .44 Magnum and Model 27 .357 Magnum. The 28 did not have the same high-polish finish or fancy serrations as the more expensive revolvers because it was designed to be utilitarian and less expensive for use by law enforcement. The original grips would have been walnut Magna (target) style with S&W medallions (and diamond insert for revolvers made before 1968). I could not find records to pin down an exact date of manufacture for your revolver but I can narrow it down a little. The 28-2 was introduced in 1961, the serial number prefix was changed to 'N' in 1969 so my guess is that your revolver was manufactured between 1961 and 1969. Blue book values for Model 29 pistols range between about $150 and $300. I think that is a little low at the top end for examples in excellent condition. I would price a gun like yours with a lot of wear on the cylinder in the $200 to $250 range. The state police markings may add value for some collectors but the poor condition will hurt. Marc

# 11522 - Sharps Carbine
Duke Eagle River, Alaska

C Sharpes - Carbine - 50-70 - 22 Inches - Rusty - C, 12146 -

Right Side: top near the hammer is a Pat. Date S S Lawerance Pat ? 12th 1859 lower & to the rear Pat. Date C, Sharpes Oct 5th 1859, barrel Very light is ?? X00,, Left Side: Ring bracket attaches to receiver C, Sharpes sept. 12th 1859, abve pat date & to the rear is stamped letter c Barrel: L/S X00\ & where the 2nd slash mark is there is the stamped letter F, Next to the barrel ring I think is the stamped letter o, but not sure, the barrel has been sleeved from .54 cal to metallic cart, 50-70 the rifle action is very tight & operates smoothly, Rifleings are still sharp. Condition oal: 50% Anything you can tell me about the rifle would be very much appreciated

Duke- It is always important to include a FULL serial number, including any letters, when asking about guns. Sometimes the letter may not be important (as with many old Winchesters where a letter in the serial number was to indicate a variation for repair parts identification). In the case of German military serial numbers, with the boring repetition of 0001-9999 series followed by a letter suffix, it is also necessary to specify the maker and year as several arsenals all used the same number pattern. In the case of Sharps and their breechloading percussion primed carbines, they used numbers from 1 through 99,999 then adopted the letter C to indicate 100,000 and began C1, C2, etc, so yours would be the 112,146th made. If you omitted the C, we would think it was the 12,146th made. However, in this case, we cannot find any specific history on either number. Nearby numbers with the "C" prefix were in the hands of various Cavalry units in 1864-65. These included units from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Illinois and Indiana, so there is no pattern that suggests a specific unit which may have used yours. After the Civil War the percussion rimed guns were obsolete, but easily converted to use center fire metallic cartridges. Large quantities were converted, and used by the Army well into the 1880s, and eventually sold as surplus. Yours may have reached Alaska with the Army, or with a gold rush settler, or barged up for sale to the natives. (Or some collector may have bought it off eBay last year!) John Spangler

# 11506 - Low Number Greek M1903 Springfield.
Stephen, Gallipolis, OH

Springfield Armory - 1903 - 30-06 - 24 Inches - Other - 112622 -

The barrel is marked HS, below that is a flaming bomb and below that is the date 12 44 There is a R (with a curving of the leg until it almost looks like a B) stamped on the magazine plate in front of the trigger guard This is a low serial numbered rifle from CMP. The manufacture date from was 1905. The Springfield Research Service listed this rifle as ''010520 - Receiver scrapped - C&R Rifle.'' If the receiver was scrapped in 1920 (it appeared a lot of them were scrapped on 5 Jan 20), what did they do to make it a C&R rifle and would it still be considered ''low numbered'' rifle (i.e., did they replace the receiver with one that was double heat treated? I figured out it was rebarreled in Dec 1944. Thanks, Stephen

Stephen- First, thank you for the excellent description, and for doing some research on your own before asking us. First we need to clarify two important points. To most collectors today "C&R" means a firearm subject to the Gun Control Act of 1968, made after 1898, but determined by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to qualify for designation as a "Curio and Relic". Since a "Curio and Relic" firearm derives much of its interest or value from rarity, historical significance, etc instead of its value as a weapon, the C&R arms are eligible for direct shipment to people with a C&R Federal Firearms License. The other meaning predates 1968 when the C&R FFL was born, and back in the "good old days" Springfield Armory used the terminology "Cleaned and Repaired" to designate arms which had essentially been overhauled. This terminology dates back to the Civil War era, or perhaps earlier. This C&R term was necessary for accounting purposes as appropriations for manufacture of new guns were separate from money appropriated for repair of arms. Further accounting distinctions were made between the price of new arms sold to NRA members by the DCM, and "cleaned and repaired" arms. Presumably this also applied in Army sales of arms to the Navy or Marine Corps, the National Guard or for foreign military sales. I have noted a few M1903 rifles that have been stamped "C&R" on the underside of the receiver. I believe that often times a "star" marking (a five pointed star, not the "turtle" like mark used on star gauged barrels) was applied to C&R arms ranging from the post-Civil War era to the M1903 era.

The second point is that SRS and the military records they are derived from for M1903 serial numbers often did not always distinguish between rifles made by Rock Island and those made by Springfield. Since Rock Island and Springfield serial numbers both ran from 1 through about 430,000 before RIA production ceased, there can be more than one M1903 with the same serial number under 430,000. (There are also some duplicated numbers in M1911 pistol, M1903A3, M1917 and M1 Garand rifle serial numbers, but that is a different story for another day.)

Your description clearly identifies the rifle as one of the M1903s loaned to Greece, most of which had the floorplate pinned permanently in place (and marked with a "B") and many had WW2 era replacement barrels.

The military records found by SRS identify a M1903 rifle with your number as "receiver scrapped C&R rifle" in 1920. There is no way to know if that was the one made by Rock Island or the one made by Springfield. The U.S. military did NOT do any new heat treatment of old receivers that would remove them from the dubious safety of the "low number" heat treatment category. Thus if the receiver was scrapped, it was literally scrapped. Some probably got used by Bannerman or Sedgely for making up ersatz rifles of very poor quality, but they did not re-enter the military inventory even for foreign aid use. The parts from the "scrapped" rifle (other than the receiver) were probably assembled on another receiver, either a spare from supply, or from a rifle that that had a lousy barrel and broken stock, etc.

So, this leaves one low number rifle with your serial number stillin the military inventory. Presumably it ended up being overhauled for (or by) Greece, eventually to be returned to the US and finding a happy home via the CMP program ( John Spangler

# 11505 - Mossberg 42MB(c) US Property Rifle

O.F. Mossberg & Sons - 42MB(c) - 22 - 21 Inches - Blue - SERIAL NO. 35806 -

Marked ''Property of the United States''. I recently found an old 22 cal U.S. training rifle, which has a patent date on the trigger guard 11.7.23. This rifle is in beautiful condition, but it is missing the clip. It was made by O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc. New Haven Conn. Serial no. 35806. What can you tell me about this gun? Thanks. John

John- The Mossberg Model 42 was originally procured as a "Lend Lease" item for the British, with a contract for 10,000 in July 1941. The first 2,500 were not serialized but afterwards they were serialized beginning at 2,501. Ultimately some 46,000 were procured. I don't think that these were ever issued to U.S. troops, but were strictly for lend lease, much like the Savage made No.4 Mark I .303 caliber SMLE rifles, also marked U.S. Property. The rifle started out as the Model 42MB, and became the 42MB(a) after a change to the extractor. The 42MB(b) and 42MB(c) reflect changes in the types of sights supplied. Some collectors find these interesting, some do not. Mossbergs are actually quite well made and reliable guns, even if not as sexy or popular as Winchesters, or even Remingtons, or even the humble Marlins. I just learned of a great website that is loaded with info on all types of Mossberg guns, including more information on the US Property models than I have ever seen anywhere else. Check it out at John Spangler

# 11160 - Gecado Pistol
Bill, Worthington, Ky.

Gecado Suhl - 22 - Nickel -

acorn Where was this gun made? Suhl valley?

Bill, the Dornheim company (Dornheim G. C. Dornheim AG, Suhl. Germany) was the marketer but not the manufacturer of Gecado pistols. Gecado pistols were all made for Dornheim by other firearms manufacturers. Pre-war Gecado pistols were low quality 6.35mm and 7.65mm 'Eibar' automatics, manufactured by SEAM (q. v.). They bore the word 'Gecado' in a diamond. Post-war pistols were manufactured in Germany. They were blowback operated with fixed, exposed, barrel much like the Reck PS, except for a difference in the location of the safety catch. Post-war Gecados were marked 'Gecado Mod II Cal xxx Made in Germany'. Marc

# 11152 - Nickel Reichsfinanzadverwaltung PP
Bill, Bethlehem, Pa.

Walther - PP - 32 - 4'' - Nickel - 894722 -

R.F.V.5484 W is engraved on front of grip frame. Can you tell me the origin & value of this gun please.

Bill, RFV is an abbreviation for the Reichsfinanzadverwaltung or loosely the German Financial Organization. This was a pre World War II German Government agency that responsible for collecting the fees on imports and exports, and because of this was said to be closely associated with the German Border Police.

They RFV bought a number of Walther PP pistols for its agents. They stamped them with the letters RFV and a number. The few I've seen also have the letter W after the RFV number. I don't know what it means. Most I've seen have been in good condition suggesting a gun that did not get much use. There is collector interest in the RFV marked pistols, but not to the same level as Walther PPs and PPKs issued to Nazi party members and so marked.

Walther did not make any PPs with nickel plating. Many GI's had their souvenir pistols nickel plated after the war. The stories about nickel plated guns have grown with time, and any collector of World War II German stuff who has been in the business very long has seen Hitler's (or Himmler's, Goebbel's, Goering's)nickel plated PP, P38, Luger several times. The plating ruins most collector interest, I would expect to see a pistol like yours for sale at a gunshow in the $150 range. Marc

# 11749 - Response To Question #4605
Chris, Silver City, NM

Blue -

RE: Q&A #4605 dated 04/06/02 the item in question is probably a ''Gas Billy'' like the one carried by the NM State Police back in the 1950s until(?). Their black uniform trousers still have a deep pocket on the right leg below the hip pocket that was specially designed to carry them. Today some officers use it to carry a flashlight, or a folding knife for cutting seat belts of trapped car wreck victims. There is a good yarn about a rowdy dance hall, a sequence of brawls, and a State Cop unscrewing the gas cartridge, palming the crystals, and seeding the dance floor during a break between sets so that when the dance resumed the dancers activated a cloud of tear gas that broke up the fandango.

Chris, sounds like a plausible explanation so I am posting it. Thanks for the information . Marc

# 11500 - Remington Rolling Block Rifle .43 Caliber
Bob, La Verne, CA

Remington - Rolling Block - .43 - Blue - N/A -

I inherited a Remington Rolling Block rifle from my dad. Although very difficult to read on the top of the rifle, I can make out ILION, NY, USA and 1872, I was just wondering if you would know the history of this type of rifle and the value? Thank you.

Bob- Remington Rolling blocks are a poorly documented field relative to the numbers made. About the best book I know of is Jerry Janzen's "Bayonets of the Remington Cartridge Period" which is rally about the bayonets, but by necessity has to back into coverage of the rifles they fit. The design was really simple, effective, inexpensive, and immensely popular from about 1866 to 1900. This was especially true for less developed (and less wealthy) countries looking for cheap guns for a rather unsophisticated army. Remington had some standard configurations, but would offer special variations for a decent size order. Therefore, they were made in many different calibers, barrel lengths, taking different types of bayonets, etc. Many were sold to South American countries, some went to the Vatican for the Papal guards; a bunch went to Egypt (who defaulted on payment, forcing Remington into bankruptcy). Some were used by the U.S. Army, and even the New York state National Guard. Sometimes you can tell who used one of these guns by the caliber, or design features. However, .43 caliber was one of the best selling export calibers, mainly in .43 Spanish, or .43 Mauser, but also in .43 Egyptian. You might have some markings added which would help ID the user. Uruguay was very good about marking some of theirs, and the Egyptians put some Arabic marks on theirs. That is about all we can tell you. John Spangler

# 11529 - Mismatched Colt Dragoon
James, Weare NH

Colt - 2nd Model Dragoon - .44 - 7.5 - Blue - 10633 -

all matching numbers except barrel and loading lever serial #1372, cylinder scene is about 40% I purchased this gun from my grandfathers collection 10 yrs ago and always wondered if there is a collectors club where I might find the correct barrel and loading lever. I understand that these part often got mixed up during field cleaning. I understand this is a shot in the dark any info and value of the gun would be appreciated. James Brown

James- It is quite likely another collector out there is lamenting that his otherwise nice Dragoon is mismatched with a barrel and rammer numbered 10633. Unfortunately I do not know of any way to find the poor SOB to end his misery. You might try contacting the Colt Collectors Association to see if they will run an ad in their newsletter.

It seems that New Hampshire acquired a number of Colt Dragoon pistols for militia use (probably paid for by the 1808 Act for Arming the Militia) and these were stamped with state markings. Thus, maybe both are still in the New Hampshire area. John Spangler

# 11492 - Colt 1911 SM Serial Number
Dudley, McLoud, Oklahoma

Colt - Government - .45 - 5 - Blue - SM28787 -

Colt verified proof markings, left side on trigger guard near magazine release button. Same side front trigger guard is a U. Opposite side of ''U'' trigger guard is a 5. with COLTS PT.F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD CONN. U.S.A. on right side of frame by serial number SM28787 Sir, I have not been able to find any information as to manufacture date of this pistol. I was wondering if this is an old lower receiver with a newer slide and assembly or if this particular firearm was manufactured in the late 1960's or 1970's. What possible price would I consider, if I were to sell it? Any additional information would be appreciated. Thank You for your time. Dudley

Dudley- Original Service Model Ace M1911 style pistols in .22 caliber used SM serial number prefixes for SM1 through about SM13803 when originally made circa 1935-1945. In 1977 the Service Model Ace was reintroduced and numbers began at SM 14000. I found a listing on an auction site with a pistol having a number close to yours which was identified as made in 1980. Therefore, I would think yours was made about 1980, but as a .22 caliber. Since it is very easy to replace the slide and barrel assembly and magazine to convert it to .45 caliber, that is probably what happened to yours. In some cases conversion kits were offered (both in .22 to .45 caliber, and in .45 to .22 caliber) so that a buyer of a M1911 could convert his .45 to a .22 or a 22 buyer could convert to .45. It is possible that the original .22 caliber parts may be around somewhere. Or perhaps a shooter just wanted a .45 auto more than he wanted the convenience and cost savings of the .22 caliber version and stuck some surplus .45 parts on his gun. Value would be whatever a shooter wanted to pay since it has limited collector value in its present configuration. John Spangler

# 11145 - Illegal Sub-Machinegun?

German WWII - MP-40 - 9mm - Don't Know - 4012 -

What is the current value of this weapon? The condition is good to very good. The finish is worn but not rusted. It is complete minus sling and all numbers match.

Rick, we do not deal in full automatic weapons so I am not an expert on them. I can tell that if your sub-machinegun is legally registered with the ATF, and if you have the papers to prove it, value could be quite high $10,000 or maybe a lot more. If it is not registered, possession is a federal felony with big hard time sentences and hefty fines (something like 10 years and/or $10,000 fine). You really need to read our FAQ about "Full Automatic (Machine Guns) & Short Barrel Shotguns & Rifles". Marc

# 11137 - Savage Model 99E Value
Paul Tracy Iowa

Savage - Model 99 - .303 - 20 In - Blue - 385870 -

I have a Savage Model 99 from what I could gather up either E or F model. It is in excellent condition, the stack has some inlays on the stock and foregrip, how much value would the inlay take away from the gun. How much would a gun like this be worth

Paul, the blue book lists the 99E as being chambered in .303 but not the 99F. The 99E was manufactured from 1922 to 1934 and was available with 20, 22 or 24 inch barrel. Blue book values for the 99E range from $200 to a little over $500 depending on condition. Any modifications can lower value by as much as half. Marc

# 11136 - H&R Model 999 Sportsman
Jerry, Panama City, FL, USA

H&R - 999 (Sportsman) - .22LR - 4'' - Blue - HG013XXX -

I have this revolver in excellent condition but no box or manual. Any ides when it was manufactured (year) and what it is worth. I've done a internet search and found very little information.

Jerry, the H&R Model 999 Sportsman was manufactured from 1950 to 1985, it was a top-break revolver with vent rib barrel, adjustable sights and walnut grips. Values for most H&R revolvers are not high, I always feel fortunate if I am able to sell one for over $100. Marc

# 11489 - Butchered Tokarev
Ryan, Kailua, Hi.

Globe - Sporterized SVT 40 - .303 British Semi Auto - 18.5'' - Blue - NONE -

''Globe Firearms LTD. of Canada'' ''.303 British'' I purchased this 8 yrs ago at a dog and gun show in MO. I have never seen another one like it. How many were made and is there any collector value to such a gun once it is sporterized. The gas action has been shortened and is now in total about 8'' long. The gun is in great shape with the exception of the front sight ramp being cross hatched all along the top. Is this just a plinking curio now?

Ryan- the Tokarev SVT 40 was made for 7.62 Russian ammunition. However, Canadians have easy access to .303 British ammo, which is pretty close to 7.62 Russian. (BUT NOT INTERCHANGEABLE!). It sounds like Globe took surplus Tokarevs and rebuilt them in .303 so they could sell them and make some money. You are correct that it destroyed all collector value, and I would be hesitant to shoot one. John Spangler

# 11422 - Cut Down Krag " Carbine "
Charlie Elizabeth, NJ

Springfield - 30-40 Krag Carbine - 30-40 - 20'' - Blue - 170497 -

I recently came into possession of this carbine which I believe to be a cut down rifle. It has Model 1898 on the receiver and the serial number indicates that it was manufactured in 1899. It has a Model 1902 rear sight. Since the barrel length is 20'' rather than 22'' am I correct assuming it to be a cut down rifle? Is it possible that Springfield converted it? Thank you.

Charlie- You are correct that the carbine barrels were 22 inches, not 20 inches. Also, by 1899, the M1899 carbines were being made with receivers that were marked MODEL 1899, and the rifles were marked MODEL 1898. Probably a fun shooter, but definitely a cut down rifle. It is more likely that it was converted by Elvis and a band of space aliens, than by Springfield Armory, but I guess either may be remotely possible. John Spangler

# 11421 - Austrian Used Mosin Nagant
Marc, Sheffield, U.K.

Mosin Nagant - Infantry Rifle - Not Sure - 97 Cm. Whole Rifle Is 131 Cm. - Blue - 8178 -

stamped on the barrel is SA then a circle with a triangle inside and a T inside that then number 8178 then a small pair of crossed swords surrounded by N I C, under that is 1940 Then on the hexagonal part is what looks like a phoenix with AZF under that and lastly a Bear. the wooden stock also has a D at the butt end and an S in the middle of the stock it also has two capital A's on it. I hope this helps, Many thanks, Marc. Is it Finnish and is it collectable and where has it been to in the past. Many thanks, Marc.

Marc- Some of the charm of collecting Mosin Nagant rifles (besides having a wallet full of money left even after getting quite a few of them) is their interesting and varied history. The Mosin Nagants were made for Russia, at first the old Tsarist regime and later the Communists. The rifles were made in Russia, France, and the United States prior to the end of WW1. After WW1, Mosin Nagants were made in Russia, Hungary, Romania; China; Poland, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and perhaps other places as well.

During WW1, huge numbers of Russian troops were armed with the Mosin Nagant rifles and many were captured by the Germans and their allies. Later, as the Russians fought the Finns in the "Winter War" in 1940, many more rifles were lost through capture. Armies which capture arms seldom destroy them to render them useless, but rather collect them up and set them aside to arm their own troops, often rear area forces no needing the standard rifles used by the rest of the army. During WW1, the Germans stamped captured Mosin Nagants with a large Eagle in a circle with the words DEUTCEHES REICH around the edge. Rifles captured and used by the Austrianswere marked with the letters AZF. Rifles used by the Finns are marked with the letters SA, usually in a rectangle. The Finns apparently had Mosin Nagants they captured in battle from the Russians, as well as many bought on the open market in the 1920s, and they rebuilt some with new barrels and other improvements. Even some American forces were briefly armed with Mosin Nagants, during the 1918-1922 intervention in Russia where we fought on the side of the White Russians against the Commie Red Russians. (And that probably explains a lot of the hostility between the US and the Commie Russians during the Cold War era.) The U.S. used rifles usually had a flaming bomb and the letters US stamped on the stocks. There is lots of history with these old rifles, if you know what clues to look for. And, those are all neat features to point out to your spouse to justify adding another rusty old rifle to your bulging collection.

We highly recommend There is a huge site devoted to Mosin Nagants with tons of great info (although finding your way around is a bit confusing) at Click on the "variations of the rifles" page and you will see a list of hundreds of variations that would make up a complete collection. John Spangler

# 11131 - Matched And Balanced Frontier Scouts
James, Squires, MO

Colt - Frontier Scout - .22 Long .22 Magnum - 6'' - Don't Know -

concurrent serial numbers 1010 and 1011 I was told these pistols were ''matched'' and ''balanced''. It was made to sound as if this is a special or custom process, is there any custom process such as this and how common are these pistols?

James, I have heard of hot rod engines being balanced and blueprinted and a matched set of revolvers makes sense, but I have never heard of a revolver set being specially balanced. I did a search in my computerized Blue Book (Guntracker) and came up blank on the term as it might pertain to Colt Frontier Scout revolvers. If someone told me that a set of revolvers was matched and balanced, I may think that he had been reading too many Hot Rod magazines but I would not be willing to raise my purchase offer. You may want to try asking your question on the appropriate forum at Maybe someone there who knows more about Colt Frontier Scout revolvers than I do has heard of the term. Marc

# 11729 - I Have A Gun What's It Worth
Marty Portland, Oregon

Walther - 22 - 30'' ?? - Blue - 37671W -

This gun belonged to my Father-in-law who acquired it in WW11 It is a single shot bolt action and we were wondering if you could tell us anything about it?? Can you tell us what the market value could be on this gun?

Marty, maybe you don't know much about guns so I will give an analogy and substitute cars for guns. Your question is like telling me you have an old Chevy and asking what it is worth. With the information given, I don't know if your Chevy is a clunky old Vega beater that burns oil, or if it is a classic Corvette in excellent condition.

I took a quick glance at a Walther reference book and counted at lest 10 Walther single shot 22 rifle models. Even if I did know what model you have, I still could not give a value without knowing the condition that your rifle is in. Marc

# 11727 - Another Value Question With Insufficient Info.
Wayne, Pinehurst, Georgia

Mauser - Werke HSC - 7.65 - 3.4 Inch - Blue - 739784 -

Nazi proof markings. Proof 655. Value?

Value is anywhere between $5 and $550 depending on condition and accessories. Marc

# 11408 - 1896 Swedish Mauser
Dave, Lipan, Texas

Carl Gustaf - M96 - 6.5x55 - 29 - Blue -

I recently purchased a Swedish M96 Mauser and noticed two holes had been filled on the back of the receiver. I can assume this was for a competition micrometer sight. What type of sights did the Swedes use? What would be a good inexpensive micrometer sight to fit this rifle and bring it back to as close as possible. Thanks, Dave

Dave- The Swedish Mausers are some of the best made surplus rifles on the market, and in an excellent caliber. I highly recommend the excellent book "Crown Jewels: The Mauser in Sweden - A Century of Accuracy and Precision" by Dana Jones to explain all the subtle variations and what your sight options might be. John Spangler

# 11403 - Whitneyville Armory Pistol Shoot It?
Charles, Canal Winchester, OH

Whitneyville Armory - Unknown, Model 1 Or 2? - Unknown, .32 Long Rimfire? - Little Over 3'' - Blue - 17191 -

Pocket pistol. bottom of barrel: ''191'', Octagonal barrel, brass frame, wood grips, serial # is on the bottom of the grip. 5 shot capacity, definitely rimfire (I can see where the hammer falls). stamped on top of barrel: ''Whitneyville Armory CT U.S.A.1'' and below that: PAT AY 25.1871'' What model/year is it? What type of round, and is it still available? Is it safe to fire? It appears to be in near mint condition, so I would like to try it out.

Charles- Sounds like a nice old gun which has escaped abuse for over a hundred years. I am not sure why you would want to risk damaging it now, but thankfully there is almost no safe to use .32 rimfire ammo available any more. There are a number of variations of these pistols and Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and their Values is probably the best discussion of them and their value. John Spangler

# 11399 - Dreyse Needle Fire Rifle Ammo
Al, Lewisvile, TX

Dreyse - 1862 Needle-Fire - 12MM? - Rifle - Other -

Prussian Unit Markings My question's not about the weapon itself, but where can I find a good cutaway illustration of the cartridge, including specs (powder wt., bullet wt., etc), and how to possibly use modern components, like current percussion caps, etc. to see if I can make ammo for this beauty. Thanks, Al

Al- Most people reading this are not familiar with your gun, so let's start with a brief discussion of the gun. Basically it is a big clunky single shot bolt action stuck on the back of a typical musket of the 1840-1860 period. The action is exceptionally long, because the bolt is long enough to have a firing pin that will extend out about two inches beyond the fact of the bolt. The German inventor Johann Nicholas von Dreyse (1787?-1867), was the first to achieve government acceptance of a "needle gun" design for military use in 1841. Schroeder tried a similar approach in the United States and the army bought 10 of his needle guns in 1860. Belatedly, the French adopted the Chassepot needle gun 1866.

There was no shortage of ideas on how to make guns load from the breech, especially in the 1840s-1860s. Just taking a look at all the Civil War carbines will show that. However, the big problem was not inventing a mechanism for loading the gun, but finding ammunition that would make it practical. The earliest cartridges for breech loaders were the logical adaptation of the familiar paper cartridge for muzzle loaders. A lead bullet was carried in a rolled up paper wrapper with the powder charge. These worked well enough with an external percussion cap for ignition, such as the popular and effective Sharps design. The next logical step was to incorporate the percussion cap into the cartridge, and the only really stable place to do that was on the base of the bullet. This was the approach used in the "needle guns" and explains why the long "needle" firing pin was needed-- it had to go through the powder charge to reach the primer on the back of the bullet. By the early 1850s, primitive metallic rimfire cartridges were being made, initially little more than a large percussion cap with a ball stuck in the front of it, which lingers on in the form of the .22 BB cap or "bulleted breech cap." Adding some black powder gave us the .22 short rimfire, and larger cousins were made in other calibers up through the .56 caliber Spencers. Since the copper cases had to be thin enough for the firing pin to crush them and ignite the priming mix, this presented the problem that they were also too weak to withstand the pressure of heavy powder charges. Eventually centerfire primers were developed, allowing use of heavier charges. With the use of metallic cartridge cases (instead of paper) the primer became part of the cartridge case, and firing pins only had to reach the back of the case, instead of all the way though the powder to the base of the bullet. All of this took place in the space of about 20 years, approximately 1845-1865, revolutionizing small arms almost overnight. Now, about making improvised needle gun ammunition. This could be dangerous and you could blow your head off, so any attempt to do crazy stuff like this is at your own risk, and we do not accept any responsibility for the consequences of YOUR decisions or actions. Steve Frey has a great book "Imported Military Arms 1866-1899" that covers all sorts of obscure arms of that period that most of us have never heard of and still cannot pronounce. In addition he provides a lot of interesting history on them, tips on care and restoration, and suggestions for improvising ammunition. For the Dreyse needle gun in 15.4mm (bore diameter nominally .607") he recommends using a patched .58 caliber Minie ball, or a 20 GA slug. Then glue a large pistol primer into the hollow base with the open part of the primer to the rear. Check the needle (or preferably make a new one from music wire) that will be the right length. He then suggests: "Drop a bullet into the chamber followed by loose black powder, close the bolt and fire. The Dreyse leaks gas badly, but the breech is designed so that the gases blow away from the firer's face. See Chassepot-- FRANCE for more needle gun info." We advise proper eye and ear protection, and maybe a psychiatric checkup before attempting this, but it sounds like the brave have an option. I highly encourage people to get a copy of Steve's book, available from his website at His book includes an excellent drawing of the rifle and ammo. Further info on the many variations of the ammo can be found in George Hoyem's History and Development of Small Arms Ammunition. John Spangler

# 11128 - Stoeger 22 Luger
Matt, Lawrenceville, GA

Luger - CAL..22 L.R. - 4 And 1/4 - Don't Know - 47139 -

Manufactured in the U.S.A. by STOEGER ARMS CORPORATION S. HACKENSACK, NEW JERSEY PATENTS PENDING it has two small bird in a sight aperture in front of the rear site This gun has been in my family for awhile and I was wondering when it was made it also has some tiger wood grips on it believed to be original any information would be great as to its year and how rear it maybe thanks

Matt, Stoeger introduced a .22 Caliber Luger in the early 1970s. The Stoeger Luger was of the same general pattern as the original Luger Parabellum, but it used a simplified version of the toggle lock and the frame was an aluminum forging with the barrel inserted into the front and secured by a cross-pin. Two basic models were offered, a standard and a target model which had an extension at the rear of the frame for an adjustable target rear sight. Both models were available with 4.5 inch or 5.5 inch barrels. No mention was made in any of my reference books as to what original grips for these pistols looked like. Values are listed in the $150 or less range and I doubt that the grips will have much affect. References indicate that Stoeger ended production of this model in about 1985. Marc

Return to Collectors Headquarters.