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

 

 

Questions And Answers Page

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

Return to Collectors Headquarters.

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

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


# 13500 - French .30 Carbine Ammunition
10/31/2009
Jonathan, Dillon, CO, USA

French - 1950 - .30 Carbine - Blue -

I have a several boxes of 1950 French .30 carbine ammunition. I have read it is corrosive. If it is, I prefer not to shoot it in my carbine. Is it very collectible? What is a fair value for a box of 50

Answer:
Jonathan- It is also my understanding that the French surplus .30 carbine ammunition has corrosive primers. The good news is that only causes problems when the primers work. The bad news is that the reliability of this ammo is extremely poor. Frankly I would not even attempt to shoot it. I really don't think there is much collector demand, but perhaps you could get $10-15 per box from someone who thinks it would be neat to have some of the ammo the French were using when they got their derrieres kicked in Vietnam in the 1950s. John Spangler


# 13755 - Kolb With No Serial Number
10/31/2009
Gail, Citrus Heights, Calif

Kolb - 22 - 1 Inch - Blue -

The question, is regarding the Serial No. I cannot find it anywhere on the gun. If any information, that would be great. Short question, but short answer is appreciated. Thanks Gail

Answer:
Gail, firearms manufactured before 1968 were not required by law to have serial numbers as they are today. It is not uncommon to find older firearms, especially inexpensive models, that are not numbered. Marc


# 13754 - Short Gerstenberger Question
10/31/2009
Tom, Greenwood, Fl

Gerstenberger U. Eberwein - Westers Style - S&W .32 1g - 3'' - Blue - 49511 -

Is there any value to this gun or is it a Saturday night special?

Answer:
Tom - short answer, inexpensive Saturday night special. Marc


# 13681 - Winchester 1903
10/27/2009
Francis in St. Paul, MN.

Winchester - 1903 Semi-automatic - .22 Cal - 30 Inches - Blue - 69432 -

What kind of ammo does it use, and what is the value of the rifle?

Answer:
Francis the Winchester Model 1903 was chambered for .22 Winchester Automatic cartridges and it will not function properly with regular .22 rimfire ammunition. Winchester chambered the Model 1903 rifle in this unusual caliber because at the time the rifle was introduced, blackpowder and semi-smokeless powder 22 rimfire ammunition was still widely available. Use of blackpowder ammunition in this type of semi-automatic rifle will quickly gum up the action and render it inoperable. The .22 Winchester Automatic cartridge was introduced as a measure to prevent the use of anything but ammunition that made use of smokeless powder in the rifle.

Winchester manufactured a total of 126,000 Model 1903 rifles from 1903 to 1932, and they discontinued standard production of .22 Winchester Automatic ammunition in the 1970s.

Values in the blue book for the Winchester 1903 range from $250 to over $1000 depending on condition. I have had a difficult time selling the model because of the unavailability of ammunition. Marc


# 13498 - Argentine Model 1891 Mauser Dates
10/27/2009
Richard - Alabama

DWM - 1891 Argentina - 7.65mm Argentine - 29'' - Blue - T7526 -

Receiver crest scrubbed otherwise 98+% condition. All matching numbers. Sir, Thank you in advance for any assistance you can offer. I recently purchased an 1891 Argentina Mauser rifle. Other than the crest being removed in a very neat manner the rifle is in pristine condition. I would like to know if you can furnish or otherwise guide me in determining the date of manufacture?

Answer:
Richard- Colin Webster's superbly researched "Argentine Mauser Military Rifles" has all the answers on that. He lists details for each of the serial number blocks and for many has actual copies of the contracts, as well as delivery dates. Argentine arms are a neat collecting specialty with several variations of the Model 1891 and many others in the Model 1909 series.

As a rule of thumb, those marked Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM) were made after 1898, and thus are "modern", but those made by Leowe were made in 1898 or earlier and are "antiques." John Spangler


# 13678 - Unfired Sears Rifle
10/24/2009
Phyllis, Jackson, GA

Winchester - 9412 - 30-30 - Blue - 2933540 -

Winchester 94 Sears 54 double stamp; it has a Winchester 94 stamp and a Sears 54 stamp; original box with 1961 date on it. What might I expect the value of this rifle to be? Does the double stamp make it more valuable? It has never been fired.

Answer:
Phyllis, sorry to have to tell you that there are not many collectors who are interested in firearms that bear the Sears brand name. A totally Winchester rifle like yours from 1961 in un-fired condition with no Sears markings and the original box would be very desirable. I am afraid that the Sears name lowers demand and value to a small fraction of what it would be without it. Marc


# 13497 - Colt Single Action
10/24/2009
Tamara, Argyle, TX

Colt - Revolver - .45 - 4 3/4'' - Don't Know - 1429XX -

PAT. SEPT. 19.1871. JULY 2.72 JAN 19.75. My husband passed away 10 years ago and left this old revolver in a sack in the bottom of a duffle bag. I vaguely remember him bringing it home and think it was just one of his many gun purchases. My son found it and wanted me to get it fixed. It was missing a couple of screws and a spring. I found a gunsmith who for a minimum fee ordered the screws and spring and cleaned it up a little. I think he was a reputable guy. The gun works fine and seems to be in good shape, but only has a little blue left in the protected areas. The grip has hatch- marks on it and the rearing Colt logo and shows almost no wear. The same serial number appears in three places on the gun (twice underneath in front of the trigger and once under the butt). Three patent dates (9/19/1875, 7/2/72, 1/19/75) are on two lines on the side with another Colt logo. All are clear. The gunsmith tells me the gun is valuable, but that it would be OK to shoot it with a ''cowboy load.'' Is that a good idea? (My 15 year old son would love to shoot it.) What model of revolver is this? What is it worth, or how can I find out? (I'm equally close to Dallas or Fort Worth, so could go somewhere in one of those cities if need be.) [P.S. I'm really sorry to X out the last two numbers of the serial number, but I was lectured to do so.]

Answer:
Tamara- Old Colt Single Action Army revolvers have a lot of collector interest and pretty good value in any condition. Yours was made around 1891, and the .45 caliber is most desirable, although collectors prefer the longer barrel lengths. Colt can provide a "factor letter" telling where the gun was shipped, and while most are to some large wholesale chain, some went to more interesting destinations, which can add a lot to the value. Some collectors especailly like those shipped to Texas destinations.

It is hard to put a value on a gun without seeing it, but my guess is maybe something between $800 in poor condition up to maybe $2,000-3,000 if a Colt letter shows it went somewhere interesting or is in extra nice condition.

If you choose to follow the advice to shoot it with "cowboy loads" I do not see any problem with that. However, if your son enjoys that, there are many good quality replicas of the Single Action Army available for very modest prices. The Italian made copies are pretty good, and the Rugers are better than the originals. You may want to consider letting your son shoot the old one a bit, and then sell it and put most of the money into a college savings account for him, and get one of the replicas for him to shoot. There are groups called Cowboy Action Shooters, or members of the Single Action Shooters Society who get together for fun competition with old cowboy style guns. They are family affairs with Mom, Dan and teen aged kids all dressed up old west style and blasting away in competition within their own groupings.

It sounds like your gunsmith is giving you good advice, and while he may not be an expert on collector values, he sounds like someone who is treating you right. However, the advice to use "x's" instead of the full serial number is a silly paranoid habit that some people have acquired and pass on to others-- sort of like spreading flu germs. John Spangler


# 13665 - Looking For Info About A 1903.
10/20/2009
Kathy

US Springfield Armory - 1903 Mark I - 30-6 - Blue - 1146703 -

Wanting to know fair market value or where I can get this information

Answer:
Kathy, one easy way to find value would be to look in the OldGuns.net U.S. Longarms catalog at the following URL: http://oldguns.net/cat_fa_old_us_long.htm and compare your rifle with similar ones that we have listed there. You can also compare your rifle to rifles listed on the GunBroker auction site at http://www.gunbroker.com/.

If you want more detailed information we would be happy to provide you with an appraisal. We can provide information on current market value, identification, explanation of important markings and general make/model information. In most cases we can not "trace" or provide the specific history of individual firearms. This kind of information is often expensive to obtain and is only available from the original manufacturer's records as a "factory letter". Hope this helps, Marc


# 13495 - Colt 1851 Navy History
10/20/2009
Mike, San Antonio, Texas

Colt - 1851 Navy Late 3rd Model - 36 ? - 71/2'' Hexagon - Don't Know - 68808 -

Has navy battle engraved on cylinder with COLTS PAT? 68808 C. Wood handle with pearl heart, diamond, and shield inlayed. V stamped on left side of trigger guard. Appears to have 4 notches cut in trigger guard on right side. Just 8808 stamped on underside of rammer. Stamped on Barrel ''ADDRESS SAML COLT NEW YORK CITY''. 68808 stamped on various parts. Serial number indicates it was manufactured in 1857. This weapon has been handed down from father to oldest son for at least 4 generations. History has been lost, if known. Although there were several Fords and Hollands in the Conferate services, I know that Guthridge Lee Holland born 13 March 1844 was in the Confederate army and was with Gen. Robert E. Lee when he surrendered. General Lee was known to have an 1851 Navy Colt. I would like to know who had purchased it and any information/history about this weapon would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:
Mike- According to my info, M1851 Colt Navy revolver serial number 68808 was made around 1857, and falls into a range where most were purchased by the U.S. Army, and saw service in the Civil War. Many were either in southern arsenals prior to the war, or captured by southern forces during the war, and therefore could have served with either, or both, sides. I believe that General Lee's pistol is in a museum somewhere in Richmond. In any case, if his pistol(s) were carted away as souvenirs, it was by the victors, not his comrades in arms defeated after "four years of valiant service."

The history probably is that it was used by one of your family members, and it really should stay in the family as long as anyone has any appreciation of their family history and heritage. John Spangler


# 13664 - Black Painted Krag Scabbard
10/17/2009
Jeff Smith, Berea, Oh

Krag - Bayonet - Rusty -

US/1902 I recently acquired a Krag Bayonet. The scabbard appears to have been painted black. Is this an original finish or something that was done subsequent to issue. The bayonet proper is in fairly good condition with a bit of surface rust. Someone cleaned it before I got it. Should I take the black paint off the scabbard. All my research indicates that this issue was plain steel, not blued. How much clean up , if any should I do on the blade? The rust present appears to be new, perhaps due to earlier cleaning.

Answer:
Jeff, the Krag scabbards in my collection are all blued. I have seen Krag scabbards that have been painted black before, but I have always thought that the black paint was not original.

If the bayonet were mine, I would clean the blade with some machine oil and light steel wool. After that, I would keep a light coating of oil on the blade to prevent it from rusting again in the future. Marc


# 13491 - Springfield Model 1888 Rod Bayonet Rifle
10/17/2009
Gary, Browntown, MI

Springfield - 1884 - 45/70 - 32 1/4 - Blue - 560503 -

SWP 1887 left side of stock There is another marking ahead of that but and can only recognize 1888. There are two circles with the letter ''P'' in them. Both bands have the letter ''U'' on them. On the barrel the is a ''VP'' to the side of that is a letter ''A'' Can you tell me when it was made and any other history you may show. The cleaning rod looks like a philips on one end. The other end is threaded. What goes on the treaded end? Thank you

Answer:
Gary- Thanks for the detailed description. Your rifle sounds like the standard Model 1888 rod bayonet trapdoor Springfield. These were made from 1887 until about 1893 when they converted over to produce the .30-40 Krag bolt action rifles which used a .30 caliber cartridge with smokeless powder. Based on the serial number, this one was probably made in 1893. The different dates on the stock cartouches probably indicate that the stock got switched with an earlier rifle at some point. The "Phillips" style point is designed to neatly perforate the human body when used as a bayonet during hand to had combat. These were adopted when the Army ran out of surplus .58 caliber socket bayonets left over from the Civil War which they had been converting for use on the .45-70 trapdoor rifles. Bayonets had not been used during most of the Indian War campaigns (and were often left behind in the barracks as useless weight), so the idea of combining the cleaning rod and bayonet as a weight and cost reduction measure was appealing at the time. However, the "pointy" end of the rod bayonet was useless for cleaning the rifle, so the other end was threaded for attachment of a small "tulip head" shaped piece which would hold the cleaning patch in place for cleaning the barrel. The tip (along with a combination tool and a ruptured cartridge extractor) fit neatly into the compartment in the butt accessed through the door on the back of the buttplate. The other two tools are pretty common, but the tips are hard to find, although repros are available from the good folks at S&S Firearms on our links page. John Spangler


# 13661 - Glock Dating Info
10/14/2009
Richard

Glock - 19 - 9mm - 4.5 Inches - Other - FU721 -

I would like to know when this pistol was manufactured

Answer:
Richard, Glocks are a little outside my area of interest, I am afraid that I do not have any information on them in my gun library. I hear that there is a Web site that can help, try this link:

http://www.topglock.com/dating.htm

Good luck - Marc


# 13486 - M1D Sniper Rifle
10/14/2009
Frank, Florence, SC

Springfield Armory - M1-D - 30-06 - Parkerized - 3,051,662 -

Bolt is labeled ''D28287-12SA; W10B; barrel is 1/53 and ends in 555 How do you tell a reproduction scope mount from an original? A friend said that since there is no ''draw number'' on the left side, it is a repro. Thanks,

Answer:
Frank- The barrel markings are correct for a M1D barrel. Other than the barrel a M1D rifle may have any combination of other parts for any of the four makers of M1 rifles. As far as telling a repro scope mount from an original, I really cannot help. Neither the base (attached to the barrel) nor the clamshell mount with the large attaching screw were marked with a drawing number (despite what your friend told you) so the lack of a number does not help much. The center of the attaching screw on the originals often shows some black paint to touch up an area where the parkerized finish was disturbed when the large hollow knob was attached to the threaded screw. At least I THINK those are originals.

The best guaranteed of originality is to get one of the rifles sold by the CMP program about 10-15 years ago which were still unissued with the scopes and mounts still sealed in the arsenal wrappings. These rifles should be accompanied by sales papers from CMP, so be wary of "gee I lost the papers" excuses some shysters use to peddle faked up M1Ds. John Spangler


# 13482 - German Mauser In .270 Winchester Worth $150,000?
10/10/2009
Marlona Gregersen Ca.

1939 Winchester Rifle - 270 - Standard - Blue -

Small German swastika on side. Mauser bolt. Wooden stock, distance site. Used in ww2. This was a gun my Uncle handed down to his children who just got a quote that the value is $150,000.00. Could this be true and where could I get double check this quote?

Answer:
Marlona- Your information just does not add up to $150,000, or $15,000, or even $1,500. The 1939 and small German swastika pretty well confirm that the action was a Kar98k 8mm Mauser military rifle. I suspect it was a WW2 souvenir that the owner later had converted to .270 Winchester caliber. Even if done by a fine custom gun maker, it would be very unlikely that the value would reach even $1,500. Most of the sporter converted 98 Mausers I see on the market are priced more like $250-450 with a few maybe double that if exceptionally well done with top quality materials (highly figured wood, double set triggers, etc) with great skill (precision bedding, fine checkering and carving, etc). If someone told you this one was worth $150,000, I would be tempted to give them a heck of a deal and let them have it for a mere $2,500 and let them try to get rich by reselling it. I don't think we would want to buy it at any price. John Spangler


# 13659 - Double Date Luger
10/10/2009
Stacy, Overland Park, Kansas

Luger - 3 - Blue - 8899 -

Has 46 in several places and right before the barrel it is stamped 1911 & 192J I am just curious to find out a little more information about it and a possible value, all I know about it is that it was my Great Uncle's

Answer:
Stacy, my guess is that the " 192J" marking that you mention is really 1920. It sounds like you have what collectors call a double date Luger pistol that was probably made for the German Army in 1911 and then re-stamped after WWI, in 1920 when it was in use by the Weimar Republic. Walter's book "The Luger Story" indicates that "1920" was a property stamp used on all German small arms at the time including machine guns, sub-machine guns, anti-tank rifles, rifles, Lugers, other substitute handguns, bayonets, sabers and cavalry lances.

On the top of the pistol, on what is called the toggle link, you should be able to see where the maker stamped their name or their company logo. The most common makers seen are DWM and Erfurt the initials DWM are for Deutsches Waffen und Munition. The initials are highly stylized and interwoven. The German Imperial arsenal at Erfurt stamped a crown over their name on the toggle link.

The value of your Luger depends mainly on it's condition and if it has matching numbers. It can range anywhere from about $300 for a pistol in terrible condition to over $1200 if the pistol is in excellent condition. Marc


# 13655 - FN 1910
10/6/2009
Christopher

Fabrique Nationale - 1910 - 380 - 3'' - Blue - A9 NO 177 -

What can you tell me about this Gun and what would you say it is worth?

Answer:
Christopher, you have a FN made Model 1910 semi-automatic pistol. The model was designed by John M. Browning, and was used by military and police throughout Europe. The FN Model 1910 was the pistol used to assassinate The Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his wife in June 1914. There is little collector interest in these pistols and we see them for sale at gun show in the $200 to $400 range depending on the condition of the pistol. Marc


# 13480 - Bacon Percussion Revolver Parts
10/6/2009
Dave, Sioux Falls, SD

Bacon Mfg - Pocket Model 2 - 31 - 4 - Blue - 496 AND 80 -

I just purchased two Bacons with consistent serial numbers as listed above. Each has some mechanical problems and I am having problems finding parts. Any ideas?

Answer:
Dave- That is going to be tough to find. One possible source may be Dixie Gun Works, but ordering from them is not always a satisfying experience as they are often out of listed items, and the quality is sometimes less than you may be happy with, but sometimes you can be desperate enough to try them. Bill Osborne of Lodgewood Manufacturing has a good selection of parts, but he is more into military arms of that period. Good luck. John Spangler


# 13481 - Surprise! Werndl Not Joslyn Rifle
10/3/2009
Martin Waynesboro, Ms.

Springfield Armory Joslyn Rifle - Single Shot - 45 Rim - 32inches 2 Bands - Don't Know - NONE -

top of barrel in front of breach letters CE forward of these letters is WN 73 with the letters AG inverted. WG The letter P is stamped in the wood under the barrel. The plate on the stock has 57.LS There is a No. on the hammer plate, No.873. There is a bayonet provision on the end and side of the barrel When and where was this weapon manufactured? Is this a proto type? Also, is this weapon rare and valuable?

Answer:
Martin- Springfield Armory made 3,007 .50 caliber rifles in 1865 using breech systems provided by Joslyn, but everything else made at Springfield. The breech is sort of a cap over the end of the barrel that is hinged on the left side. These were the first mass produced breech loading cartridge arms made by Springfield, and their rarity and historical significance are under appreciated by collectors.

However, your rifle's markings are definitely those used on Austrian Model 1873 Werndl rifles made by Steyr in Vienna. These have a unique system where the breech is a large cylinder that has a for and aft slot cut in one side so that when it is lined up with the barrel breech for loading and extracton. Then the cylindrical block is turned the other way, the solid part backs up the breech and aligns the firing pin for firing. The Werndl is not related to the Joslyn rifles in any way, and the Werndls have no connection with Springfield Armory.

The last few Werndls I have seen sold in the $500-900 range depending on exact model and condition. John Spangler


# 13649 - German Police Trainer Value
10/3/2009
Dan, St. Louis, Mo.

Gustloff - KKW - .22 - Blue - 240552 -

German military eagles over ''N'', German military eagles over ''C'' (Police contract weapon) My father owns this KKW. The gun is in virtually new condition, and perfectly unmolested. I have posted some pics on some collectors websites, and many collectors have made offers to purchase the gun. Most of the offers have been very substantial. I am being told that it is an very rare eagle/c stamp on the gun, and the condition of the gun is almost unheard of. What do you think the true value of this gun could be? Dad is ill, and we might have to sell the gun. I would like for him to receive a fair price for the gun. Thanks for your time. Dan

Answer:
Dan, we often see German training rifles selling in the $500 to $1000 range depending on condition. The Eagle/C is a proof mark associated with issue to the police. I don't know how much it adds to the value of the gun because such guns are so rare. One problem with rare guns is that buyers who appreciate them may be just as rare as the gun itself. You might try listing this rifle on one of the gun auction sites like GunBroker with a high reserve and see if you get any bids. Marc


Return to Collectors Headquarters.