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# 4379 - Reform AM 4 Barrel Pistol 11/27/01 Rick, Bayside, NY
AM? - Reform Pistol - .25 ACP - I CAN SEE NO NUMBERS ON THIS -
I'm sorry, I have very little information on this pistol, but I'm told it's a "reform pistol" and fires .25 ACP rounds. It's got 4 vertically stacked rifled barrels, is very small, and has an "AM" logo on the grip, which is black plastic. I'd love to know more about it. It was given to me by my grandmother many years ago. . . she found it in a closet of a vacated apartment in a building she used to own. First of all, whose logo is "AM"? Secondly, why are these types of pistols called "reform"? Thanks, Rick
Answer: Rick- All I can find on these is a brief section in Smith's "Book of Pistols & Revolvers" that notes these were made in Germany, Belgium, and Austria and apparently were popular in European and South American markets. Pretty nifty design as when a barrel is fired, it is automatically cycled to position the next barrel, and ejecting the empty from the previous barrel. John Spangler
# 4378 - Remington M1917 Oddball 11/27/01 Larry Ennis, Texas
Normal Markings Would like to know something about this rifle and the low serial number. The length of barrel is correct. Was there any transition periods during the manufacturing where the barrel length and the magazines were changed? It has a 6 round magazine. Thank You Larry Ps Am a member of the NRA and GOA
Answer: Larry- Glad to help NRA/GOA members. As far as I know (and I think I know a fair amount about M1917 rifles) all of the rifles delivered had the standard 26 inch barrel, and magazine with capacity of six rounds. Why six rounds instead of five? Remember that the M1917 was derived from the British pattern 1914 rifle in .303 British caliber. The P14 magazine was sized to take five of the fat Brit cartridges. When they changed the bare minimum number of parts to convert the P14 design into the M1917 design, the magazine box ended up being able to hold six of the slimmer .30-06 cartridges. Although they continued to issue 5 round stripper clips and most people assumed it had a five round magazine capacity, the manuals clearly state that it really has a six round capacity. (Remember this fact, it is an easy way to win bets to pay for your beer!). The 22.75 inch barrel is absolutely NOT factory original in my opinion (he says boldly, not having seen as much as a picture of the rifle). However, Springfield Research Service has documented that on September 24, 1935 the U.S. NW [?] Penitentiary at Lewisburg, PA had 20 M1917 rifles, all made by Remington, and all but three with 3 or 4 digit serial numbers under 2500. When they got them, why, or what modifications (if any) may have been made for what reasons are all unknown. While your specific rifle is not among this group, it does raise the possibility that some rifles MAY have been altered after being issued for prison guard use. If you ever drive by Lewisburg, it looks like prison set in a 1870s horror film. For now, the most likely explanation is that a later civilian owner with a hacksaw and spare time shortened your rifle, but you can always spend time speculating on other tales. John Spangler
# 4296 - Ruger Red Eagle 11/27/01 Dorian Renton WA
Ruger - Mk II - .22 - approx 4" - blued - 7313 -
Chrome Trigger Plating (wearing off) Red Inlay on the Ruger Symbol My grandfather passed away a few years ago. He had a great knowledge and love of all things shooting. My Grandmother, after having her house recently broken into, no longer feels that the weapons are safe there, and wants to ensure that they are not stolen, by getting rid of them. However, she gave me pick of the weapons, and I agreed to give her a fair price for what I took, even though I have no thoughts of selling them, due to the fond memories they bring back of my Grandpa. Thankfully, my Grandfather kept a "gun diary" and he remarked in, that this particular pistol was acquired by him (apparently) in 1949. It has obviously been used, but not abused. The finish is worn, the red Ruger symbol grip inlay is partly missing, the chrome(? ) trigger finish is flaking off in spots, but the gun is in great shooting shape, and had obviously been taken care of, for as old as it might be. What I'm hoping for is to find out what year this pistol would be, and what a "friend to friend" price of this pistol might be? Thank you very much for this forum, and I really hope it wouldn't be an inconvenience, or greedy of me, to ask if I may use this forum in the future, to further investigate some of the history of the remaining firearms!
Answer: Dorian, this pistol is not a MKII, among other differences, MKII pistols accept a different magazine, have relief cuts at the rear of the upper receiver near the cocking handles and a device that holds the slide open when the magazine is empty after the last round has been fired. The Red Eagle was Ruger's first design, it is the pistol that started the Sturm Ruger Empire. Ruger eagle grip emblems were originally painted red, at the time of Alexander Sturm's death in 1952 the eagle emblem color was changed from red to black. Only 29,000 red eagle pistols were ever manufactured. A fairly nice Red Eagle recently sold at OldGuns.net in the $300 range but it took a while to sell. Red Eagle magazines are different from later models, if you need an extra we have one for sale. Feel free to submit as many questions as you want to but I can not promise that John or I will answer all of them. Marc
Walther - Sportmodell - .22 LR - 25.5" - Blue - 32957W -
"Meisterbusche" on top of barrel3 symbols and the word "Nitro" on the side of the barrel "Waffenfabrik Walther" and "Zella-Mehlis Thuringen" on receiver This rifle was brought back from Germany by my father after WWII. I can't find any references for it anywhere. It is a heavy single shot bolt-action that I heard once was the rifle used for training of the Hitler youth (no idea if that is true or not). It has micrometer adjustable sights and is extremely accurate. I would like to know exactly what it is.
Answer: Donald- There are a number of variations of the German bolt action target/training rifles produced before WW2. I am not familiar with all the subtle nuances of them, and cannot verify exactly what sort of folks would have used them. Hitler Youth usage is possible, but rifle shooting was a traditional sport among German civilians, and encouraged even more after Hitler's rise to power. I suspect that similar types of rifles were used in anything from the Munich Beer, Bowling, and Rifle League to the local Boy Scouts, to the equivalent of the VFW's shooting team, as well as Hitler Youth. There is a book devoted to the Mauser .22 trainers, I believe by Jan Speed, but I do not (yet) have a copy. You may want to get one from IDSA Books or Rutgers Book Center to quench your thirst for knowledge. John Spangler
# 4365 - Hollis Shotgun 11/24/01 Richard, Flora, IN
I Hollis and sons on trigger assembly London twist on top of barrel I have located what I believe to be an old flintlock 2 barrel long gun w/plunger. I am interested in more info and its value.
Answer: Richard- A gun with outside hammers is not necessarily a "flintlock". Flintlock hammers have a pair of jaws at the top, tightened with a screw to hold a piece of flint. When the hammer goes forward, the flint hits a "L" shaped part called a "frizzen." As the flint in the hammer pushes the steel frizzen forward, it produces sparks that fall into a small pan containing fine gunpowder. This is covered by the frizzen when closed, but once exposed the powder will be ignited by the sparks (you hope!) and pass through a small hole in the side of the barrel to ignite the main powder charge.
Percussion guns have a much simpler hammer, with the end looking like it is hollowed out a little bit. The hammer hits a tube or nipple (little top hat looking thing) that sticks up out of the top of the barrel, or maybe on an extension on the side. A Percussion cap with a little bit of priming compound is placed on the nipple, and when hit by the hammer, it ignites and aflame passes through the hole in the center of the nipple to reach the main powder charge within the barrel.
I. Hollis is probably Isaac Hollis & Son who operated in London 1862 until 1900 when they merged with Bentley & Playfair to become Hollis, Bentley & Playfair. The firms made good quality guns, perhaps not quite as good as some of the most prestigious British makers, but well above the level of the mass produced near-junk quality stuff churned out in Belgium. Value will depend on exactly what you have, and especially the condition. My guess is that it is probably in the $150-550 range, but without seeing the gun that is really just a guess. There is not a whole lot of collector interest in these. John Spangler
MADE IN GERMANY-DEUTSCHE BUNDESPATENTE I purchased this Air Pellet Pistol in about 1973, used it about two times, and hid it away from my younger brothers in my parents home. Well I just found it!!!! We moved my parents and there it was! I need to get it repaired, it doesn't have enough air pressure to eject a pellet, but I was wondering if it would be worth it? Are they a collectible item? It looks like new, and is very heavy. I'm thinking a o-ring or packing has just dried out, but don't know what to do with it. Thanks
Answer: Jerry, we are not experts on pneumatic guns at OldGuns.net. I can tell you that anything bareing the Winchester trademark does have some collector appeal. I can remember seeing individuals with big smiles on their faces carrying Winchester pellet guns out of gunshows on one or two occasions. The Blue Book of Gun Values tells me that the Winchester Model 353 pellet gun was available in .177 and .22 calibers, they had a barrel-cocking action, a plastic stock and fired a pellet at 378 feet per second. Blue Book values range from $85 to $165 depending on condition. If your pellet gun is in excellent condition and has the original box and papers, it is probably worth closer to $200. Marc
# 4289 - P.38 History 11/21/01 Jose , El Paso, TX
Speewerke - P-38 - 9MM - ? ? ? ? - Blue - 4722 X -
On the right side of the chamber P.38, cyq and 4722x; on the right side over trigger 4722x and what looks like aviator wings over two circles; front part of the barrel 4722x and on the left side of the chamber are 5 inspector stamps. The first stamp from (left to right) looks like an arrowhead, the second stamp looks like a sunburst, the third appears to be a sideways "U" on top of "88", the forth is the eagle over the swastika, and the fifth could either be a dot on top of a "88" or a dot on top of a "38". My grandfather brought this gun back from WW2 along with the original holster, 2 mags and original bullets. I wanted to trace the history of the weapon, and I also wanted to try and find out who the gun was originally issued to so that I can even research that person. Can you help me with this or do you know of a way that I may be able to do this? If you have an email address that I can send digital photos to, I can send you digital photos of the gun so that you can see the markings that I mentioned earlier since I can't seem to put the photos on this page. I appreciate in advance the time that you will take to help me with this. Sincerely, Jose
Answer: Jose, I am afraid that you will have to be content with the history that you already have from your Grandfather, there are no records that I know of that would allow you to determine the history of your P.38 in Germany before it was liberated. I suggest that if your Grandfather is still living, ask him to write down how the pistol came to be in his possession and any other stories he feels that might be important to pass on to you. I think that in the future, your own family history will be of more value and significance to you than information about a stranger in Germany that the pistol was originally issued to. Marc
# 4360 - Colt "Lightning: .22 Caliber Pump Rifle 11/21/01 Tom, Massapequa, NY
Colt - Pump - .22 - 23" - Nickel - 7342 -
Colt figure engraved on left side of action top says "("COLT'S PT. F. A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CT U. S. A. " and below it says "PATENTED MAY 29. SEPT. 18, 83, MAY 26, 85, JUNE 15, 85, FEB 22, 87. also "22 Cal" is engraved in large italic letters at the receiver end of the barrel. No other markings anywhere else. NEED TO KNOW MODEL OF RIFLE AND POSSIBLE MANUFACTURE DATE. It is a pump action rifle with a round tapered barrel, checkered forepiece. It is not blued, maybe nickel? tube magazine fed by brass block that is pushed out to the right. Looks like it will only take .22 shorts.
Answer: Tom- Colt only made one model of pump action rifle, known as the "Lightning". These were made in three frame sizes. (Small, medium and large- apparently they had Goldilocks in the design department.) They were produced from 1884 to 1904. The small frame was made for .22 short or .22 long (NOT .22 long rifle, so you will probably have problems if you try to shoot that ammo in it). A total of about 90,000 were made with the first 35,000 apparently qualifying as antiques under federal definitions. The medium frame was made for .32-30, .38-40 and .44-40 cartridges. Again, about 90,000 were made, but on these, about 84,000 qualify as antiques. The large frame models were made in various calibers from .38-56 up to an impressive .50-95 caliber. Only 6,496 were made between 1887 and 1894, so these bring higher prices than the smaller versions.
Based on your serial number, the rifle was made in late 1888. Blued finish with case hardened hammers was the standard, but they could also be ordered with case hardened receivers, or with full or partial nickel finishes available on special order. Sounds like it may be something special if the finish is factory, not later refinish. John Spangler
# 4355 - Mauser Custom Sporting Rifle 11/21/01 Harry Fleming, Newport ME
.270 - Blue - 7412 -
M. Amrusch Gmunden Austria My dad picked up this rifle while stationed in Germany. (1950's). Bolt action. Custom engraving. The stock runs down the entire length of the barrel. I find no other markings than those above. Looks nice but have no information about its quality or value. At the moment, I'm guessing he had a small run outfit that's now defunct put it together for him. Any info on this would be a pleasure to have. Thanks
Answer: Harry- Unfortunately, you already know about as much history as you will be able to find on this rifle. It is typical of many such rifles purchased in Europe in the post-WW2 period by American servicemen. There were plenty of talented gunsmiths willing to work for relatively low wages, and hurting for domestic customers. Hunting and shooting were still very popular sporting activities among Americans then (but have probably decreased by 50-75% since 1950). Therefore many took advantage of the opportunity to have a custom rifle made, often through arrangements with the military base's "Rod & Gun Club" or simply going out into town and asking around. In general these tend to be fine to superb quality pieces, usually built on Mauser actions, but sometimes the would work something up on a Springfield if the customer preferred that. Details usually reflected classic European tastes, but sometime the customer would specify features that seem out of place, but satisfied their desires. After all, it was their money, so the gunsmith would probably scratch their head, do the job and have another beer. There is almost no reference material on the numerous gunsmiths who did this sort of work, unless associated with a few of the famous makers or dealers. The long stock is usually called a "Mannlicher" stock, and is very much a European feature, although also found on some nicer American rifles. Value is pretty much a guess, dependent on how well the rifle matches the desires of a prospective buyer with caliber, appearance and condition all being important. While we do not handle these, my sense of the market is that they generally seem to run only slightly higher than a really good quality American made hunting rifle (Winchester, Remington, Ruger) but far less than what it would cost for comparable workmanship today. I would recommend keeping it for your own use, or for sentimental value. There are a number of good gun stores in Maine, so you would probably do well selling it locally. John Spangler
# 4417 - African Flintlock Trade Musket 11/17/01
I am seeking assistance in the identification of a flintlock which I acquired on the Ghana/Ivory Coast border in 1969. I can find no stamps or other marks on the metal parts, but the identification "J 9189" is stamped on the wooden stock. Any help you can provide on identifying this firearm would be greatly appreciated. I would also appreciate your conservator's recommendations on types of oils or other products that should be used to preserve the metal, leather and wooden parts with a view to preserving historical and collector value.
Answer: Gregory- There is no definitive identification possible for your gun. Many of the colonial powers in Africa prohibited the natives from owning any firearms other than flintlocks. Apparently this was motivated by a desire to minimize the potential of armed resistance to oppression. (Sounds like the liberal Democrats' agenda of "keep 'em down on the plantation dependent on government handouts" and banning "assault weapons" and various other "Goldilocks gun control" schemes trying to ban guns that are too big, too small, too powerful, or too weak.) While various old guns scoured from the world's markets supplied the African trade for decades, the supplies were probably exhausted by about 1900. Thereafter flintlocks were specially made for the African trade, using the cheapest possible components, either surplus or newly made, often in Belgium. Once sold to tribesmen in the jungle they received little protection or care, and most deteriorated rapidly, making accurate identification of age quite difficult. Your gun has numerous diverse features that suggest it may even have been assembled from salvaged parts in Africa. The lock follows the general style of those used in England circa 1780-1810, but of inferior quality. The trigger suggests a date no earlier than the 1850s. The shape of the buttstock is reminiscent of Dutch arms of the 18th century. The numbers on the stock are probably some sort of registration or inventory number. The English started registering guns and licensing owners in Ireland about 1800 to "prevent gun violence", but the persistent "troubles" there show the uselessness of that approach. Perhaps records exist somewhere that would reveal something about this number, but most likely they vanished when the colonial powers departed and the formerly oppressed natives slowly reverted to their traditional standards, shedding the shackles of civilization and employing unregulated clubs, machetes, and spears along with more efficient Avtomat Kalashnikov rifles to resume their ethnic slaughters. As far as preservation or conservation methods, here are some recommendations- The wood and metal would be protected by use of some good quality paste wax. Renaissance brand microcrystalline is the best and used by many museums. (And we proudly sell it ourselves on the accessories and parts page). However, you can probably do almost as much good with some other brand (Minwax, Butchers, etc). Just don't use anything with "new improved cleaners" or any of the liquid types. While not the optimum thing for leather, it probably will help protect that too. Stuff called Pecard is the best readily available leather preservative, but museums use a "British Museum Leather Dressing" that you can get from places that supply museums, and is usually pretty expensive. I don't think these African trade guns have a lot of collector interest or value, but they certainly are neat old historic arms. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 4415 - Dooley Liverpool Pepperbox 11/17/01 Maggie
Dooley - Pepperbox -
This percussion pistol has 6 barrels and has very fine detail on steel barrel and wood grip. If you have any information about this manufacturer or pistol it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Answer: W. Dooley worked at 11 Raneleigh Street, Liverpool 1842-1870. He made or sold a variety of pepperbox and other styles of pistols and revolvers. This information is from A. Merwyn Carey's "English, Irish and Scottish Firearms makers" John Spangler
# 4291 - Winchester Model 150 - Lever Action 11/17/01 Melinda - Oakland, MD
Winchester - Model 150 - Lever Action - 22 - Unknown - Unknown - UNKNOWN -
A friend of mines parents passed this gun down to him and he can't find any information on it anywhere. Can you help? He said that he didn't think there were many of these guns made. Thanks for any information you can give me.
Answer: Melinda, the Winchester model 150 is a hammerless .22 rimfire, lever action rifle with sling swivels, a 20.5 inch barrel, tubular magazine and uncheckered hardwood stock and forearm. Winchester manufactured, approximately 47,400 from 1967 to 1974 when they were discontinued. Blue book values for Winchester Model 150 rifles range from $40 to $125 depending on condition. Marc
# 4391 - .45 Roumanian Cartridge Info 11/14/01
I have recently received an old rifle that's been in the family for decades. I have been trying to get pertinent information on what cartridge it was specifically chambered for. The left side of the receiver is stamped, "PEABODY'S PAT., JULY 22, 1862, MAN'F'D BY PROVIDENCE TOOL CO., PROV. R. I.". The right side is stamped, "ROMANA ARMATA, MODELU 1866". It has a 33" barrel with a double banded forearm stock, a rolling or drop block type action activated by using the trigger guard as a lever, exposed hammer on the right side. The barrel has no cartridge identification stamp, however there is the #42900 stamped into the bottom of it. The same 42/900 is on the receiver separated by a line for alignment. I did have a chamber casting made by Palmer Raysor, a local gunsmith, and the closest cartridge he could determine was the .45-75 Winchester. However I believe Peabody made .45-50, .45-70, and .45-100 cartridges, and I found reference to a .45-55 Turkish Carbine cartridge as well in conjunction with Peabody rifles. I also found reference to the "Ostile Revolutionare" pertaining to the period (1859-1866),Romania, Prussia, Razboiului de independenta, armata romana, etc. were in the script. I'm told I can fire form the brass to the chamber and adjust or rework them if needed. Even so, I would dearly love to document the actual original. If you have some specific references with more detailed information, or historical mfg. data, I would be very grateful. I Thank you! in advance for any response you may have.
Answer: David- Sorry, we cannot help with that one. An ancient UMC catalog listed .45 Romanian cartridges in addition to .45 Peabody Rifle and .45 Peabody Carbine, so it is not identical to those. The illustration appears to have the neck a bit further forward than on the .45 Peabody rifle round. Barnes' "Cartridges of the World" notes that the 11.43x55mm Turkish used in their Peabody rifles was called the.450 Turkish Peabody Martini when loaded in England or .45 Peabody Martini when loaded in the US. Paganin's "Ordnance Shoulder Arms 1841-1890" lists the caliber as 11x60mmR. Steve Frey' wonderful little "Imported Military Firearms 1866-1899" provided the UMC info, and is loaded with tips on improvising oddball obsolete ammo (use at your own risk). You might post this on the forum at http://cartridgecollectors.org and see if someone there knows. That just recently started, so there is not a lot of traffic yet, but someone might come up with the answer someday. John Spangler
# 4375 - What does ACP, as in 45ACP, stand for? 11/14/01
What does ACP, as in 45ACP, stand for?
Answer: Sir- When this cartridge was introduced it needed a name to distinguish it from other .45 caliber cartridges on the market, especially the Colt .45 caliber cartridge used in the Single Action Army revolver. Therefore they decided to call it the .45 caliber Automatic Colt Pistol cartridge. There are also .25 ACP, .32 ACP and .38 ACP cartridges, all designed to be used in various pistols designed by John M. Browning. If you win money for knowing the answer, we want a percentage! John Spangler
# 4259 - Walther PP Information 11/14/01 Jim, Jamesburg, NJ
Walther - PP - 9m/m - 6" - Blue - 155186P -
Markings on barrel - WAFFENFABRIK Walther, Zella-Mehis(thur)Walthers patten CAL.9m/m model mod pp. In original leather holster with imprinted Nazi seal on inside of holster. Initials DRGM What do I have? Value?
Answer: Jim, you did not give me much to go by, Nazi proof markings (if any) and the condition of the pistol and holster would have been most helpful in determining value. Whittington's book "German Pistols and Holsters 1934/1945" lists a PP holster that is marked on the inside of the flap "Walther PP"; beneath the closing strap "Akah" surmounted by a wreath and crossed rifle emblem, and D.R.G.M.-trademark of Albrecht Kind, Berlin-Nurnberg. German wartime PP Pistols are marked on the left hand side of the slide (not the barrel) with "WALTHER WAFFENFABRIK WALTHER, ZELLA-MEHLIS(THUR)" over "WALTHER'S PATENT CAL. 9 m/m (or 7.65m/m) MOD. PP". Serial numbers ending in "P" fall in the second PP serial number range that started at 10000 in 1939 or 1940. Without knowing the condition of your pistol and wether or not it has any military markings it is impossible to give you an honest value. If your pistol is a commercial model without any military acceptance stamps, value will be less than a comparable military model with correct military markings. Values for PP pistols range from $150 for a mismatched example in poor condition to over $1000 for one of the rarer variations that is matching and in excellent condition. Marc
Jerry- The Eagle with snake and Republica Mexicana clearly identify this as a rifle made for Mexico, and the date 1913 narrows down the period. The Japanese looking characters are another very important clue. Around 1910, Mexico was busy buying and making rifles, amidst one of their frequent revolutions where one band of envious thieves was trying to seize power and the opportunity to loot the treasury from the incumbent band of thieves. (A tradition which has continued right up to the present, although their most recent Presidential victor has not yet shown anything like the corruptness of his predecessors.) Anyway, the government of Porfirio Diaz ordered 40,000 Type 38 Arisaka rifles from Japan in 1910. Except for being in 7x57mm Mauser caliber (instead of the 6.5mm Japanese caliber) and having a slightly modified rear sight leaf and bayonet lug, these were very similar to the standard Japanese rifle. It is believed that they were made at the Koishikawa arsenal. Only about 5,000 of the rifles were delivered before Diaz's turn to loot was terminated, leaving the Japanese stuck with the rest of the batch. In 1914, Japan sold some 35,400 to Imperial Russia, and many were used in WW1. It is believed that the rifles starting with serial number C through M were the ones shipped to Russia. We can only guess at how it got from Russia to the People's Republic of Taxachusetts. While these are certainly oddities with an interesting history, the condition probably hurts the value quite a bit. It would be a nice restoration project for someone looking for a much odder than usual military rifle that has literally traveled all the way around the world. John Spangler
Answer: Jerry- The Eagle with snake and Republica Mexicana clearly identify this as a rifle made for Mexico, and the date 1913 narrows down the period. The Japanese looking characters are another very important clue. Around 1910, Mexico was busy buying and making rifles, amidst one of their frequent revolutions where one band of envious thieves was trying to seize power and the opportunity to loot the treasury from the incumbent band of thieves. (A tradition which has continued right up to the present, although their most recent Presidential victor has not yet shown anything like the corruptness of his predecessors.) Anyway, the government of Porfirio Diaz ordered 40,000 Type 38 Arisaka rifles from Japan in 1910. Except for being in 7x57mm Mauser caliber (instead of the 6.5mm Japanese caliber) and having a slightly modified rear sight leaf and bayonet lug, these were very similar to the standard Japanese rifle. It is believed that they were made at the Koishikawa arsenal. Only about 5,000 of the rifles were delivered before Diaz's turn to loot was terminated, leaving the Japanese stuck with the rest of the batch. In 1914, Japan sold some 35,400 to Imperial Russia, and many were used in WW1. It is believed that the rifles starting with serial number C through M were the ones shipped to Russia. We can only guess at how it got from Russia to the People's Republic of Taxachusetts. While these are certainly oddities with an interesting history, the condition probably hurts the value quite a bit. It would be a nice restoration project for someone looking for a much odder than usual military rifle that has literally traveled all the way around the world. John Spangler
# 4252 - Winchester 1886 Information 11/10/01 Jerome, France
Pat oct.14 1884, Jan. 20 1885 marked on barrel Pat June 6, 1893 marked on tube (magazine) lever Hello, Here in Europe, it's difficult to find info about American guns. Can someone help me with this Win 1886? Take-Down 33wcf, nickel steel barrel, ser. #1554xx, in excellent condition. (date of manufacture, est. value) ? Thanks in advance
Answer: Jerome, greetings to France from John and Marc in Salt Lake City, Utah. Winchester manufactured Approximately 159,990 1886 rifles and carbines from 1886 to 1935. Rifles had a 26 inch round or octagon barrel, tubular magazine, steel forend cap, and a straight grip stock. Carbines had the same general specifications as the rifle, except that they had a saddle ring and barrel length was 22 inches. The OldGuns.net date of manufacture program, located at http://oldguns.net/snpgm/winmods.htm tells me that your rifle was manufactured in 1886. Bookmark the location of the serial number program and you will be able to use it to look manufacture dates in the future. Values for 1886 carbines here in the USA can go as high as $10,000 depending on condition and configuration. Marc
# 4416 - Question From Another Spangler 11/10/01 Craig Spangler
Just thought I'd try again to get some info from you on this. I checked your Q&A for Sept and didn't see a reply. Would be glad to pay for further info if needed.
By way of an introduction, my name is Craig Spangler and I live in eastern Washington. I have an old flintlock "squirrel" rifle that has been handed down in my family. Although someone who looked at the gun told me that it was made by a man named "Spangler" in Pennsylvania, I have no more specifics on it.
What I know is that my grandfather, John Brinton Spangler, born in Wells Tannery, Pennsylvania in 1865, apparently passed it down to his daughter, Bessie, who lived in Fargo, North Dakota. My father, Hugh Spangler, who was Bessie's brother, gave the rifle to me when she died.
I'm very interested in finding out more about this rifle. It has on the butt of the rifle one oval plate (brass?) that has an eagle etched on it. The eagle's head is facing left and he has three arrows in his claws and branch type things in his beak. On the other side, the latched cover over where the rag and powder storage area is has the following engraved: "180 Tryon." On the plate by the trigger it says "warranted".
Have I given you enough to go on that you might know something about it? I'm hoping that since we share a common name, you might know a lot about whatever history there is in the Spangler family re. gun making.
Thanks in advance for any info you might have. Craig Spangler
Answer: Cousin Craig- It normally takes 4-8 weeks for us to get around to questions.
There are 8 Spanglers noted as gunmakers from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois and Wisconsin plus unknown locations.
Often old rifles can be identified by their appearance as different regions or "schools" had different features, but some defy identification entirely. We would need some photos to do much. It sounds like a nice rifle and we would be glad to look at some photos for you.
There were 5 Spangler (actually Spengler) brothers who arrived from Germany in 1732 and settled in Lancaster, York and Franklin County region of PA, and spread from there. My forebears were from the Franklin County area of Mercersburg, although the last left in the 1970s. After a gypsy-like Navy career we settled in Utah. John Spangler
# 4370 - Collecting Advise 11/7/01 Nick
Ithaca - M 1911 A1 -
I have recently discovered that Ithaca Gun manufactured M 1911 A1s and would very much like to find one in good working order. I am new to the sport and new to collecting. Can you suggest the best method for finding one of these guns? (I have posted it on your site as a want.) Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Sincerely, Nick
Answer: Nick- We do not have any Ithaca .45s right now. All good .45s seem to have vanished from the market in the last couple of years, but they can still be found from time to time. A purist would insist on having one with every tiny detail correct as it left the factory, with original finish. You will need to do a lot of research, or deal with a very reliable dealer to be sure you are getting one of those. If you can live with an example made by Ithaca which subsequently got overhauled or had parts mixed in service, that will be a lot easier and more affordable. Note that the makers name is on the slide, but that the serial number on the frame is what can be used to tie it to the maker. Thus you can find an Ithaca frame with a Colt slide, or vice versa. Smaller parts are harder to identify without a lot of research, and such minor details do not matter to a lot of people. You can try gun shows in your area, or gunshops or pawn shops. I would recommend against getting anything that has been refinished (other than an arsenal refinish) so stay away from anything that has been blued instead of parkerized, or has target sights, etc. They may be fine shooters, but not much for collectors. You may want to pick up a copy of Bruce Canfield's U.S. Infantry Weapons of WW2 for a good introduction to guns of the period and some tips for collectors. At $35 it is a bargain, and one of my essential reference books. Good luck. John Spangler
# 4348 - Long Branch England Rifle 11/7/01 Michaelene, Phenix City, Al. USA
England - 31 - Blue - 37L8234 -
It has 1 with a small o with a line under it then a 4 then an M with a small K with a line under it and an I* It looks something like this 1 o 4 M k I* only the o and k are smaller with a _ under it. It has the words Long Branch on it also. and what looks like a2019? 3. I cant make it out if it is a O or 4 or what. . I think a 4 but not real sure. I am just trying to find out about the guns my dad passed on to me. . I would like to know what the gun is. Caliber, and when it was made. I don't want to sell em or anything would just like to know more about them. I looked up several of my guns on your websight and got plenty of info but this one I could not find. . I couldn't find anything on England. To me there just collectibles from my dad, and granddad. thank you so much. Ms. Parks. .
Answer: Michaelene- Hope this information help you enjoy this rifle a little more. The actual maker is the Canadian Arsenal at Long Branch which operated during World War 2. When these were sold as surplus, they were marked "ENGLAND" as the country they came from, and the importers assumed they were made there. It was an English design, and many were produced at their arsenal at Enfield or by contractors. The official designation of this rifle is "Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield, Number 4 Mark 1*" These were made for the standard .303 British cartridge, and ammunition is not hard to find. When made, the stock extended to just behind the front sight, but many have been "sporterized" over the years for use as hunting rifles. The sporter examples do not have much collector value and seem to sell for about $100 or less. Collectors pay more for those in original shape with value varying greatly depending on condition, maker and any exotic markings. John Spangler
# 4261 - Question From Billy C. 11/7/01 Billy Clinton, Kentucky
Savage - Model - .22 - Blue -
What would this rifle be worth on today's market? Bought in 1946 for $12.
Answer: Billy, you (or maybe Hillary) are the last person/s that I ever expected to receive a question from, I am surprised that you own an evil firearm. I thought that you and Hillary live somewhere in New York now??
Over the years Savage has manufactured close to 50 different models and types of 22 rifle form single shots to automatics and everything in between. Considering the information that you provided, with most brands of firearm it would be almost impossible to give you a useful value range without at least knowing the model and maybe even the condition of your rifle. Savage 22 rifles are an exception, due to low collector interest and demand, values for most of their rifles are under $100.00. Marc
# 4346 - Maastricht- Stevens Rifle 11/3/01 Pete, kunkletown, pa
P. Stevens - Maastricht - about 45 - about 32 inches - brown - R 255 or 1629 -
This is a bolt action rifle with a box magazine and a full length stock. It looks like a military rifle, with its cleaning rod sliding into the stock under the barrel. On the side of the stock there is a circular stamp with a large W and 1877. Also, stamped into the stock is an oval with a crown and two scroll letters that I can only guess they are JJ. Stamped in the barrel are stamped the numbers 1629 and 1877 and on the top of the butt plate are the numbers1890 and 1629. There are marks stamped into the metal parts that look like inspectors marks with a tiny crown and an letter under the crown. What is the history of this rifle? What cartridge does it shoot? What is the approximate value?
Answer: Pete- These are one of the more commonly encountered old military rifles. They are Dutch military arms adopted about 187 as a "Beaumont" single shot rifles firing and impossible to find 11x52mm rimmed cartridge, but ballistically similar to the .43 Spanish or 11mm Mauser. In 1888 they began to modify them by addition of the "Vitalli" box magazine to turn them into magazine rifles, and are therefore called Beaumont-Vitalli rifles now. The dates on yours tell when it was originally made and when it was converted. We usually have one or more of these on our longarms page so you can compare descriptions and get a feel for current prices. Neat old guns, but not a lot of collector interest in them. John Spangler
40-2/1 on underside of barrel I got some brass awhile back, loaded it and it fired just fine. Now I have gotten three different types of dies for reloading, and several types of brass of different manufactures. I have not been able to fire it again. Cannot get the brass to size to the chamber again, even the original brass I fired once already. Have you any idea why? I wanted to use it in cowboy action long range shooting because it was an original cartridge.
Answer: David- I know nothing about Remington Hepburns or the ammunition they use. The difference between me and the experts you consult is that I will admit it up front. Therefore you are reminded that all of our free advice comes with a full money back guarantee, and you can chisel it in stone or hit the delete button as you see fit. I do know that these fine target rifles were made at a time when cartridge design was pretty much an unregulated amateur sport, and different manufacturers had their own ideas as to chamber and cartridge dimensions, and often used names and designations that can easily be confused with those of other makers. I vaguely recall hearing of similar sounding cartridges offered by Sharps, Remington, Ballard, Marllin, Stevens, and even Winchester. This indicates that it may be hard to be certain of the actual caliber of the rifle, and the proper dies to use with it. Any fired case should fit back into the rifle it was fired in with little or no trouble. Although the case will expand ("fire form") to fill the chamber, when the pressure is released as the bullet leaves the barrel and the case cools slightly, it will shrink enough to extract easily or be put back into the chamber. Unless you have already resized the fired cases, there must be a problem with the chamber. Perhaps there is part of a case, or a build up of lead or paper patches from the bullets that is obstructing the chamber, or even part of a ruptured cartridge case. First thing I would do would be to thoroughly clean the chamber and inspect it carefully. If that does not fix the problem, then I would suggest you make a "chamber cast" (or have a gunsmith do this for you) and get the actual measurements of the chamber. You can also make a cast of the sizing die to see what its dimensions are to compare that with the chamber. Remember, the case needs to be slightly smaller than the chamber. John Spangler
# 4247 - Spanish Mauser 11/3/01 Bob-Lexington. S. C.
Mauser Rifle - Large Ring 98 - 8mm - 24 inches - Blue - 2J 7749 -
Fabricade Armas Lacoruna 1935 with what appears to be a Germany eagle was this gun made in Germany and what is its value?
Answer: Bob, La Coruna is a Spanish arsenal so your rifle was not manufactured in Germany. The eagle is possibly the Spanish crest or the Spanish Air Force crest. OldGuns.net has a similar rifle with the eagle crest over La Coruna listed in our Collectable Firearms catalog at $225.00. Marc