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# 5853 - Dating Marlin Model 9 Camp Carbine
11/29/2003
Rick

I'm trying to determine the serial number that marks pre- and post- 1994 manufacture of the Marlin Model 9 Camp Carbine to help me decide on purchasing a used Model 9. I've secured one serial number for a gun for sale and tried to use the Marlin Dates of Manufacture tool on your website, but I've been unable complete a search for the number 04600863. Am I missing something? Should there necessarily be a letter code preceding the number? Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. Oh, guess I should ask... can you tell me the serial number that marks the line between pre- and post- 1994?

Answer:
Rick- Our date of manufacture data is aimed at older, more collectible Marlins, and we do not have a reference that gives the info you are looking for. I assume the 1994 date is important to determine if it is "pre-ban" so you will know which magazines you can use in it without getting thrown in jail. The "assault weapons ban" will sunset in 2004, and IF YOU and ALL OTHER gun owners work real hard, we may be able to keep it from being passed again. If you are NOT engaged in gun rights political activism, then there is a good chance that not only will they pass the ban again, but add more guns to it. I don't care at all about "assault weapons" but work my butt off for gun rights because I know that my percussion guns and Krags, M1903s, etc are on the gun-grabbers wish list somewhere. Gun owners blew it big time in 1989 when they ignored the ban on further manufacture of machine guns because "it did not affect them." Well, any restriction on any type of gun manufacture, sale, ownership or use, is an incremental attack on ALL guns and their owners. The extremists will claim that trap and skeet guns can be made into "deadly sawed off shotguns" and every deer hunter's scoped rifle is a "deadly sniper rifle", and every handgun is either to small "easily concealed" or too big "more powerful than is needed" or too cheap "Saturday night special". They are already targeting all .50 caliber guns (.50 BMG target rifles, .50 S&W revolver, and they are quite happy to include a .50 caliber black powder cartridge rifle, and probably a .58 caliber musket within their definition of guns to be outlawed. We cannot let them pass such nonsense. Just like the war on terrorism, either you are with us or you are not. John Spangler


# 5852 - Jungle Bang Gun
11/29/2003
Brian

Hi we are looking for a gun that was called the Jungle bang gun. It was a single shot shotgun.

Answer:
Brian- I am not familiar with that term. I suspect this may be related to the "Richardson Guerilla Gun" which was a copy of a crude gun popular in the Philippines, and produced for a short time in the late 1940s or early 1950s in the U. S. for sale as an ultra-cheap shotgun. Basically it involved a wooden stock with short section of pipe attached that was capped on the rear end and had a firing pin (nail or whatever) mounted in it. The size pipe used was such that another longer piece of pipe (probably 3/4" ID) would slide on the inside of the piece of pipe attached to the stock as a breech. A shotgun shell would be placed in the back of the barrel pipe (with the primer end at the rear). When ready to fire the "barrel" would be slammed back against the breech piece and the gun would fire. Crude, but effective, sort of a large "zip gun". Anyway, that is my guess as to what you are asking about. John Spangler


# 5734 - Sears 22
11/29/2003
BJ, Las Vegas, NV

Sears 'J.C. Higgins' - 88 [583.882] - .22 - 4.5 - Blue - 1258201 -

brown grip with ''JC Higgins 88'' imprinted I recently inherited a Sears JC Higgins model 88 that never appears to have been shot. I would like to know aprox worth.

Answer:
BJ your gun was manufactured for Sears to market under their JC Higgins brand name by another company. Collectors call this type of firearm "house brand guns". I was unable to find any information on which company manufactured the 88 for Sears but my guess would be High Standard or H&R because they manufactured many of this type of handgun. There is not a lot of collector interest in house brand guns, they typically sell for less than their counterparts that were marketed under the original manufacturers brand name. Even though it is brand new, I would expect to see a firearm like yours sell at a gunshow in the $100 range. Marc


# 5732 - Star Mod B
11/25/2003
John Berea, OH

Star - Cal.08-clip Mod-B-FPatr08 ? - 9-mm - Blue - 248828 -

Markings on the barrel-FPatr08 STAR B.ECHEVERRIA EIBAR-ESPANA S.A 9mm. And the other side Cal.08 flowed by a p I would like to know the age of this pistol and the value. I had it looked at a gun show and had some miss leading offers and info. Thank you for your time. John

Answer:
John, the Model B. was introduced in the 1920's, it had a slide that was shaped like that of the Colt 1911, with vertical finger grip serrations at the rear and a Colt type safety catch and slide release on the left side of the frame. The rear sight was mounted in a rounded slot on top of the slide that acted as a firing pin retainer. The model B was for the most part the same as the earlier model A but it had a humped backstrap like the Colt M 1911 A1 and was chambered in 9mm. Model B production ended in 1975. There is not a lot of collector demand for these pistols, blue book values are in the $200 or less range. Marc


# 5731 - P-38 Information
11/25/2003
Tony From Parma, MI.

Carl Walther - P-38 - ? - ? - Don't Know - 2429DAC44 -

German swastika in center with an airplane on both sides. Under each plane are the numbers 358 and 356. I am researching this pistol for a friend of mine. Do you know what the significance of the airplanes are and an approximate value of this pistol ?

Answer:
Tony, your friend's P.38 was manufactured by Walther in 1944. The "ac" marking is a WW-II German ordnance code assigned to Carl Walther of Zella-Mehlis Germany and 44 is the year of manufacture. The markings that you describe as airplanes over numbers 356 and 358 are German WW-II Heerswaffenamt inspector's marks. The airplanes are really stylized eagles and both of the numbers beneath the eagles should read 359 which is the German WW-II Heerswaffenamt inspector's mark on arms manufactured at Walther. The inspector's marks should be stamped twice on the right side of the slide, once on the left side of the frame above the trigger, on the left side of the barrel group, on the right side of the barrel locking block and on the upper rear of the magazine. The eagle over swastika in a circle is a military test proof, it should be located on the right side of the slide between the two Heerswaffenamt inspector's marks, on the left side of the barrel group and on the left side of the barrel locking block. Values for P.38 pistols range from about $200 to over $600 depending on several factors, the most important of which are condition and matching numbers. Marc


# 5851 - Old (?) Hand Cannon
11/25/2003
Tom

I am interested in determining the value and market for a 15th century hand cannon. This one looks like the tube from roll of paper towels, with a lemon size bulb near the middle. It is bronze.

Answer:
Tom- sorry, I don't have a good feel for value on those. Also, I must caution you that there is an abundance of "old" guns made for sale in the regions from Turkey through India. We are getting a lot of inquiries from GIs now on items that are 99% sure to have been recently made. Nice souvenirs, and probably not expensive, but not valuable antiques either. As the originals were made with primitive technology and hand tools, anyone with the same stuff can make them today. and artisans in the regions are pretty clever about making them look old. I have always thought that a collection of copies or fakes made in that area would be an inexpensive and fun collecting field. John Spangler


# 6541 - Sharps Slant Breech .577 Three Band Rifle
11/22/2003
Rich

Sharps - Slant Breech - .577 -

I have a slant breech Sharps rifle in .577 Caliber, with a 40" barrel. It has a brass nose cap and buttplate with a sling swivel screw directly in front of the trigger and a sling swivel on the outer most band. The outer most band is larger than the middle one or the one closest to the breech. It has no markings or serial numbers on it except for what appears to be 3 Egyptian type letters right behind the rear sight. I have found a picture of a similar gun on www.armsbid.com, so I know it is not an individually made piece by a gunsmith.

Could you please tell me what it is and possibly what it is worth. I have read Sellers book and it has no information on this model in it. The piece is in good to excellent condition. The bore is bight with minor pitting with deep spirals. The exterior metal has light pitting in certain areas no blueing but does not look to have ever been blued. The wood has only very minor dings and no cracks.

Answer:
Rich- That is an interesting old gun. I am positive that it was not made by Sharps, as you did not mention any Sharps marking, so it is probably a copy made elsewhere. The Egyptians were not noted for their gun making prowess, so I doubt if it was made there, but Arabic style markings could have been applied at time of manufacture, or later as some sort of inventory/rack/registration number, after it traveled quite a distance. They suggest a connection to the Arab speaking region somewhere between Turkey and Egypt on the west and India on the East. Being .577 caliber and having brass mountings, and from the photo, it shows a definite British influence, so that points toward the Indian end of the region.

My guess is that it was made in the Khyber Pass area along the then India (now Pakistan) and Afghanistan border where local craftsmen have been making copies of foreign guns for a LONG time, especially British guns, but cheerfully mixing and matching features as whim or customer desires dictated. Although looking much like the originals, the Khyber pass copies tend to differ in subtle ways, and the materials used were greatly inferior, often being stolen railroad rails or salvaged scrap iron. The trigger is definitely not the Sharps type, and the lever catch is much larger, and the hammer spur is not like a normal Sharps. The wood appears to be the species found on a lot of Indian made guns, not American walnut, and the rear sight may be the base of a Sharps sight, but looks more like the rear sight traditionally used on India pattern Enfields. In fact, the whole barrel may be salvaged from a .577 Enfield. If several similar guns exist, they could have been made to outfit the guards/hunting guides/bandits of some local warlord, or just made on speculation for sale on the open market to be traded for stolen goats, opium, or whatever. As far as value, that is up to a willing buyer and seller to agree on, or at an auction. I think the one that sold at Armsbid.com went for $2,000 (hammer price). While I personally think all the Kyhber pass guns are neat items, I think that is more than I would be willing to pay for one. My guess is that some bidder who was not well informed thought that this was some great Sharps made rarity.

I have long been tempted to collect Khyber pass guns, and if you decide to sell this, let me know, it may get me started into a whole new area of fun. A lot of guns are coming home from that region with GIs returning from Afghanistan, and there is no telling what might turn up. John Spangler


# 6542 - M1 Garand Availability
11/22/2003
Alex

M1 Garand -

I would like to know if there are any M1 Garands from WWII that can be found anywhere for sale. A local gun dealer told me they are hard to come by especially if they are in original military issue condition. Thanks

Answer:
Alex- The key word is "original condition" and how you define it. Is a Jeep built in 1942 in "original condition" if it has had the oil changed every 3,000 miles? Spark plugs replaced? New tires? Engine rebuilt? Canvas top replaced? Stuff wears out over time, and things need to be done to keep them serviceable.

Same for Garands. Very few remain exactly as they left Springfield or Winchester during WW2. Most had parts switched in the field when troops cleaned weapons. During various inspections and overhauls worn parts got replaced, and they were refinished if they needed it. The Army bought rifles to kill the enemy, not stock up on inventory to delight collectors a half century in the future, and the taxpayers expected them to make do with what they had by using overhauled rifles, not going out and buying new ones every time a part wore out or they needed to be refinished.

Rifles made during WW2, but later overhauled one or more times, incorporating any parts that work (including replacements made well into the 1960s), and the used some more are available from many dealers. Also they are available to qualified buyers from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (http://www.odcmp.com click on rifle sales). We often have some rifles of this type. .

There are also rifles that got overhauled, but have been restored (by people who know what they are doing) so that all the tiny part number markings are correct for the date of original manufacture, although admittedly they have been used on various other rifles over the years, and may be refinished. These are available, but cost more than one with a mixture of parts from WW2 through the end of Garand production in the mid 1960s. We have several restored or partially restored rifles that will be posted in coming weeks or months.

You can still sometimes find a rifle that for some reason has had nothing changed on it since the day it was made during WW2, and these are very, very expensive, and unless you are an expert on what to look for, you better buy from a reputable dealer so you don't get a restored gun, but at an original price.

Then, there are rifles that may be okay for shooting purposes but have little collector interest, such as those made by Century Arms using newly made receivers, some that were made with "rewelded" receivers salvaged from scrap, and other Frankenstein guns. We strongly advise against wasting money on any of those. John Spangler


# 5728 - Early Radom Pistol
11/22/2003
Mary Eureka Mt USA

F.B. Random - VIS-wz 35 - 9mm - 8'' - Blue - 2735 -

V/S on one side of the handle. FB on the other side of the handle. An eagle on the barrel. 1936 also on the barrel. This gun belonged to my husband's uncle. Brought back after WW11 What is the value. Should I keep it in the family or sell it?

Answer:
Mary, you have a rare early Radom pistol that was manufactured before the Nazi takeover of Poland in 1939. Collectors call these type I Radom pistols. Type ones were marked with the Polish eagle on the slide and were dated 1936, 1937 (scarcest), 1938, or 1939. All parts except the recoil spring and recoil spring guide were blued with a high quality commercial type blue finish. The barrel, recoil spring, and recoil spring guide were polished white. Grips were checkered hard rubber. Some of these early pistols had a shoulder stock slot and a lanyard ring.

Because of their rarity, type 1 pistols are the most valuable of Radoms. Where there is any family history, we encourage people to keep their old guns, but if you decide to sell let us know, value for early Radom pistols can go as high as $2300. Marc


# 6455 - Inglis Manufacture Date
11/18/2003

Browning- Inglis Canada - MK!1* FN 9 Mm HP - 45 - Blue - IT938 -

When (date and year) is this gun made. This gun have to be registered in the Netherlands (Europe) I need the date-month-year of the gun. After WW2 the gun have been given by a Canadian soldier to my father. Now the gun is mine and I want tot use the gun for sport shooting. Please help me!

Answer:
Over 151,000 Hi Power pistols were manufactured between February 1944 and September 1945 under military contract by Inglis Co Limited of Toronto, Canada back in the days when brave Canadians were not harassing U. S. children on little league hockey teams and booing during the U.S. national anthem. Inglis Hi Power pistols have a reputation for quality workmanship and reliability. Original examples that have not been re-worked, in excellent condition are much sought after by collectors here in the USA. I was unable to find the date and year of manufacture for your pistol in any of my reference book so I went to my ultimate source of knowledge and wisdom (I asked John). John was able to determine that your pistol was manufactured in September of 1944. Hope this helps, Marc


# 6462 - Beretta Puma
11/18/2003
Curious

Beretta - Puma - 7.65/.32 - Don't Know -

1959 Beretta series 70 New Puma, I have the original box, and original tag with serial # and handwritten # in the series perhaps? It has been well cared for. Curious as to possible value w/box, etc.

Answer:
Beretta introduced the Model 70 in 1958, as a replacement for their earlier Model 9481. The design was intended to be a streamlined improvement with a new cross-bolt safety, hold-open device and a push-button magazine release. There were a number of Model 70 variations, the 70 Puma was chambered for .32 ACP, had a 3.5 inch barrel, fixed sights and an alloy frame. The 70 Cougar was chambered for .380 ACP, had a 3.5 inch barrel, fixed sights and a steel frame. Model 70T pistols were equipped with adjustable rear sights and six-inch barrels for target shooting.

The blue book lists values for Model 70 pistols between $90 and $215 depending on condition. The box and papers that come with your pistol will probably help it sell, but the unpopular .32 ACP chambering will hurt. Marc


# 6504 - Krag Carbine Stocks
11/18/2003
Don, Camp Hill, PA

Krag - 1899 - 30-40 - 22'' - Blue - 288851 -

I have a 30-40 Krag Carbine that has a new sport stock on it. Is that a place where I could get an original stock or a replica of the original stock to put on it?

Answer:
Don- Krag carbines can be a complicated subject, as there are three models (1896, 1898 and 1899) and each had a different type of stock when built, and later the 1899 stock was used for replacements on the Model 1898s and a lengthened version of the 1896 stock was made for replacements on that model. Since yours is marked MODEL 1899 we can be sure that it is indeed a real carbine, not a cut down rifle, and that it should have the Model 1899 stock. We have been able to locate several Krag carbine stocks to offer on our catalog pages (look on the parts and accessories catalog) but I am not certain what we have currently. There are also some reproductions being made. I understand that those made by Boyds are pretty darn good. I have seen stuff from some outfit in California (Great American something) that are utter garbage. Besides the stock, you should have a handguard, but good handguards are about impossible to find, with those from S&S being the only even halfway decent ones. (A guy in NJ used to make copies that were every bit as good as originals, but he died.) One short type of handguard was used on M1896 and M1898 carbines with the short stocks. The carbines with the long stocks (original M1899 or replacement M1896 or 1898) had the same handguard as rifles when using the M1898 or M1902 rear sight. With the 1896 or 1901 rear sights, they were supposed to use a handguard with a hump at the front to keep the sight ladder from catching on the scabbard, but the rifle style handguards will fit, and undoubtedly were used at times. John Spangler


# 6537 - Oviedo Mauser Rifles
11/15/2003
Michael, Rome, GA

Oviedo 1899 - Unknown - Blue -

There is a number embossed on the bolt-action #5531, if that helps. I have a pair of these rifles. I know little about them. I acquired them from my great-grandfather. They look to be a military issue. I'm curious as to the caliber possibilities and the possible value.

Answer:
Michael- Oviedo was a Spanish military arsenal, and I believe that they started making Mauser rifle about 1898 (previously they had been purchased from Mauser or Loewe). They were probably copies of the 1893 Spanish Mauser and originally in 7x57mm Mauser caliber. Spanish Mausers made in 1898 or earlier are fairly popular as they are both antiques and likely to have been used in the Spanish American War. Post 1898 examples have less demand, and in my opinion the Oviedo made guns are vastly inferior in workmanship to the German made guns. I would expect to see one of these offered in the range of $100-350 depending on condition and exact model. John Spangler


# 6539 - Butcher Contemplating Scope Mount Atrocity
11/15/2003
Chris, Santa Fe, NM

Carl Gufstads StadsGevarsfaktori - Mauser Carbine - 6.5x55 - Blue - 79910 -

Crown sitting on an illegible letter I would like to put a scope on this unsporterized weapon (in original condition, now with iron sights). I don't want to sporterize it or remove the sights. I've heard rumors of an ''off-line'' scope that sits to one side or the other of center. Any suggestions or somewhere I could find out? I would think that the mounts are crucial, so could we concentrate on them? Thanks for your help.

Answer:
Chris- Only sissy, spoiled, lazy, fat American hunters require scopes on their rifles. Real men figure out how to sneak up on critters and blast them with accurately placed shots using iron sights. The Swedish Mauser are great little guns, well made of the highest quality materials, and in a wonderful (but unappreciated) caliber. Practice enough and you will become proficient with this handy little carbine and not need a scope. However, if you insist on committing atrocities, you can drill a bunch of holes and attach scope mounts made by various makers. Some will require that you also bend the bolt handle to clear the scope. The other option is to see if someone makes a "no gunsmithing" mount for this gun. I think that S&K or B-Square are the main makers of these, and they require little or no alteration to the gun. Your gunsmith should know more, or you can check with Cabelas or www.Brownells.com to see if you can find them. John Spangler


# 6505 - Blued 'A3 Receiver?
11/15/2003
Daniel, Torrance, CA

Remington Arms - Model 1903-A3 - 30-06 - Blue - 3555518 -

Shows a ''FJA'' catouche on left side of stock over trigger; Ordnance wheel and NRA cartouche in same area. Also has ''OG'' inspector's mark on left center portion of buttstock. This rifle being offered is described as having ''arsenal blued receiver and blued bands.'' I thought all 1903-A3's were parkerized, do you know of any variations that were blued?

Answer:
Daniel, I would advise you to be careful about this purchase. Buttplates, rear sling swivels, cut off levers, bolts, rear sights, triggerguards/magazines, rear barrel bands, and bayonet lugs were all blued at the factory. Receivers were parkerized, this started with M1903 receivers in late 1918 and continued to the end of M1903/A3 production. If you have any other questions about M1903/A3 rifles, a good place to ask is on the forums at M1903.com. Marc


# 6506 - Unique Kriegsmodell
11/11/2003
Robert Phoenix, AZ

7.65 court 9 coups unique - not sure - 7.65 - Blue - 64226 -

Na4020 German officer insignia above (looks like crude picture of triplane.) This gun looks like the model 17 but it has a hammer and the backstrap looks a bit different. It was taken off a German officer by my stepdad's father during WW2. We are wondering which model it is and how it is disassembled for cleaning.

Answer:
Robert, you probably have a Unique Kriegsmodell (War model) pistol. The Kriegsmodell was manufactured in france during their WWII collaboration with Germany by Manufacture D'Armes Des Pyrenees of Hendaye, France. The Kriegsmodell is a very rudimentary single action, semi-automatic, blowback operated design with no positive locking of the breech and a slide which does not remain to the rear after the last cartridge is fired. The markings that you describe are German military acceptance stamps, they should be eagle over WaD20 (not Na4020). The eagle is NOT an officer insignia, it is part of the acceptance stamp. Acceptance stamps should be located on the upper right side of the frame and to the rear of the right grip with a military test proof (eagle over swastika in a circle) at the right side of the barrel near the muzzle. Over 25,000 of the Kriegsmodell were produced prior to the end of french collaboration in 1944, the German designation for the weapon was Die Selbstladepistole Unique Kriegsmodell (The Self loading pistol Unique War model).

I was unable to find takedown instructions for you, I was only able to find that the safety lever is used in disassembly and assembly. For more information, you may want to post a question on the appropriate forum at ArmsCollectors.com. Marc


# 6519 - Mod 67 Winchester Slide Action?
11/11/2003
Pat, Denver, Colorado

Winchester - Model 67-22 - 22 S/L/LR - Blue - 477793 B -

Marbles/Gladstone Sight This rifle was inherited by my wife's aunt who was told it was rare. It has a slide action. I can find no reference to it on-line. Unfortunately, I did not measure the barrel length when I saw it. Please provide what info you might have and a suggestion for appraisal in the southeast South Dakota area. Thanks for your help.

Answer:
Pat, a slide action Model 67 Winchester would indeed be rare, but I think it is likely that you have mixed up your model numbers or action types. The Model 67 was a single shot bolt action rifle which Winchester manufactured from 1934 to 1942 and then again after WWII from 1946 to 1963. The Model 67 was a modified version of the earlier Model 60, and it shared the same type of bolt action that was cocked by pulling back on a cocking piece (located on the rear of the bolt) after a cartridge was chambered. Winchester manufactured Approx. 383,000 Model 67 rifles between 1934 and 1963 so they are not rare. Model 67 values are usually in the $100 to $200 range depending on condition. If your aunt's rifle is one of Winchester's slide action models, value could be much higher, depending on which model it is and condition. The best way to get a better estimate of value would be to take the rifle to a gunshow and show it to several dealers. Marc


# 5834 - Italian Carcano Rifle
11/11/2003
Jerry Nantucket Massachusetts

Italian - Carcano -

I recently acquired a Carcano 6.5 Cal carbine. Could you please help me with a history on this rifle. The bolt has 2543 poorly hand engraved on it. On top of the receiver is a small crown with R. E TERNI under the crown. On the left side of the receiver is BE2543 and on the right side is 1941 XIX. Just before the rear sight is CAL 6.5. On the left side of the bolt housing once again BE2543 above this is a small crown with what looks like two "T" stamped under it. Stamped on the bottom of the trigger guard is the number 4530. The barrel is stamped:M38 6.5 ITALY and C.A.I. GEORGIA VI. The bluing on this rifle is very good but the stock is all beat to hell and the finish is going in places. The rifling and bore look great. The gun was packed in grease when I got it; it took about three hours to clean it up. How hard would it be to refinish this stock for an amateur. Also are bayonets and slings hard to get for these rifles? I understand I need to get clips for the ammo.

Answer:
Jerry- The R.E. Terni identifies the maker, the Italian government arsenal at Terni, and the 1941 indicates the date of manufacture, and the XIX indicates the date in the Fascist calendar that Mussolini was trying to get people to use. BE 2543 is the serial number, which was originally the same on all major parts, but it sounds like the trigger guard got switched at some point.

M38 Italy 6.5mm and C.A.I. _____ VT were applied by the importer to comply with the gun control act of 1968 which requires imported guns to be marked to identify the importer, in this case Century Arms International, or a variation of that name they later used. Normally the location is St. Albans, VT, but they may have used other addresses that I had not seen.

Bayonets are fairly common, but the slings are less common.

These Mannlilcher-Carcano rifles are not high dollar items, but are just as collectible as guns costing $$$$$. Refinishing the stock may reduce the value somewhat, but make it easier to look at, so it is up to you how much damage, or beauty, you decide to apply to it.

Stock refinishing can get very detailed, but the beginner level method would be to take all the metal parts off that you can, then clean remaining grease and dirt off the wood with Tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) mixed with hot water. (Wal-Mart or Home Depot has it in a box of a pound or so which will last a long time for a couple of dollars.) Read and follow instructions as it can be nasty on skin and eyes. After you get the stock cleaned that way, go ahead and borrow the wife's iron when she is not home, and press a sloppy wet rag on the stock where it has dents and hit it with the iron and the steam will raise many of the dents. After all this, you can sand lightly with 100, 120 or 150 grit sandpaper. Be careful not to take off wood from any sharp edges, or to remove any markings. Then wet the wood to "raise the grain" and sand again very lightly to get rid of any whiskers that pop up. Then you can apply a coat of stain (not required, but most people like a darker color). I prefer Birchwood Casey walnut stain, but there are many choices. One or more coats of an oil finish would complete the job, and military rifles were left looking dull, not glossy like a new piano, so don't get too carried away. I like Minwax tung oil, but everyone seems to have their own favorite. John Spangler


# 6516 - U.S. Remington Maynard M186 Musket Used By Sailor
11/8/2003
Peter

Maynard - Percussion -

I have an M 1856 rifle Maynard percussion. It has a bayonet and scabbard the ramrod is missing with this rifle there is a Treasury Dept document. That relates that Hyrem Nichols served on two ships during the Civil War, The Housatonic and the Princeton .The person I bought the rifle from told me that Nicholson Was his Great grand uncle, and was a sailor of African decent and that he was discharged from the Princeton after sustaining an injury .This rifle was Nicholsons. Can you please tell me if there is any way of verifying this story and if the gun has any value The rifle is in very nice shape has NJ stamped on the barrel. The lock plate is marked Remington Ilion NY.The inspectors marks on the stock are sharp.

Answer:
Peter- This sounds like and interesting gun with some nice history. However, linking it to the CW sailor may be difficult to impossible. I did a little research and found that the deck logs of USS Housatanic (the first ship to be sunk by a submarine, the CSS Hunley, off Charleston harbor) are not available. I do not know about USS Princeton, but she was a "receiving ship" in Philadelphia during the Civil War, and her logs may confirm that the man served aboard her for a while, probably prior to transfer to Housatanic. The National Archives may be able to provide copies of service records for Civil War naval personnel, but I am not sure exactly how to order them, although it is not too hard, just slow.

The M1816 muskets converted to the Maynard tape primer system are good collector items, with values running from about $800-2000 depending on condition. I believe that the N.J. markings were applied after conversion, and probably during the Civil War. However, they would have been issued to New Jersey troops, not U.S. Navy troops. I did check the Roster of NJ volunteers in the Civil War and could not find a listing for any variation of Hyrem Nichols/Nicholson.

My guess is that Hyrem (Hiram, Hyrum, Hyram) Nichols/Nicholson) may have been in the Navy during the Civil War, and the he owned the musket, but I believe it was probably one that he bought surplus after the war. It is quite common to have stories like that get mixed up over the years. If proven to have been used during the War by an African American sailor, I think that there is a market niche where the value would be considerably higher. But, without documentation, I would not be able to verify the story or justify a higher price. John Spangler


# 6517 - Frog Bayonet Question
11/8/2003

We bought at an auction a french infantry percussion musket mle 1822 with bayonet. The gun has many markings. Would like to have more information on french markings if possible to find out the gun's history. Would appreciate any direction or information you can provide. There are no U. S. or eagle markings linking it to the North. I assume it came up from the south. One marking on the bayonet is a crown with a capital C under it. Other markings include (from what we can tell thru a magnifying glass)--at the hammer, MK--underneath that looks like--d Maule je (in fancy script), number markings include, 3I3, 34, 297 (on the barrel)--the stock butt also has the number 297 and below it 112. Many other markings. We have been searching without much luck for information.... hope you can help us. Thanks

Answer:
Hi- The French (in typically overly officious and self important French fashion) marked everything on their 19th century arms with lots of markings, usually indicating the manufacturer, inspector(s), later modifications, and sometimes (but not often) unit markings. There is no handy reference to decipher all the markings. Those imported by the North were NOT marked US (at least not very often), so chances are just as good that it was used by the North or South, or perhaps neither and merely rusted away in some obscure French colony until finally dumped on the surplus market toward the end of the 19th century. The only detailed reference on French arms is a very pricey four volume set (in French) but it is more focused on technical variations than markings, at least from what I can figure out. Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 6508 - Ranger 22
11/8/2003
Matthew, Mars, PA

Ranger - .22 - 24'' - Rusty -

Ranger 22 S-L-L R-M34 --MADE IN THE U.S.A.-- This gun was recently inherited from my great-grandfather. I never recall him using it and it has been sitting in a corner in his house for as long as I can remember. Can you tell me anything about when this gun was made and perhaps anything else about it?

Answer:
Matthew, Ranger is a tradename or house brand used by Sears, Roebuck & Company starting about 1925. It was used on firearms that were marketed by Sears but were manufactured by various firearms companies. References are not completely clear on this model, but they indicate that the Ranger Model 34 was manufactured by Marlin and that it was either their Model 50 or their Model 80 (it would have been helpful if you had told me your action type).

The Model 50 was Marlin's first autoloader, it was manufactured from 1931 to 1935 and had a six round detachable box magazine. Total production was about 5000. Blue book values for Marlin Model 50 rifles is $75 to $125 depending on condition.

Marlin manufactured the Model 80 from 1935 to 1939, total production is not known. The Model 80 was a bolt action rifle with a detachable eight round box round magazine. Blue book values for Marlin Model 50 rifles is $45 to $85 depending on condition.

Values for firearms sold under a trade name like your Ranger are usually 10 to 40 percent lower than their counterparts that sold under the original manufacturers name. Marc


# 6502 - German Eagle Over "N" Proof
11/4/2003
Will Wagoner Ok

Walther - PPK / S - 7.65mm - Blue - 244983 -

On the left side of the frame is the Walther banner Carl Walther ... made in W. Germany Model ppk/s cal.7.65mm and an eagle with upswept wings over the capital letter N The other side of the frame has the Interarms, Alexandria, Virginia logo with the same eagle on the lower receiver just above the serial number. The eagle is also stamped on the barrel. I was wanting to know what significance this eagle may have concerning where this pistol was manufactured.

Answer:
Will, your pistol was manufactured in West Germany and imported by Interarms of Alexandria, Virginia. The eagle over "N" stamping that you ask about is a standard German commercial proof mark that has been in use for all guns with smokeless powder and normal gas pressures since before WWII. The capital letter "N" is for nitro or smokeless powder, the eagle represents the German state eagle. Over the years, the design of eagles used with this standard German proof mark has changed. The wings of early WWII vintage eagles were horizontal and pointed straight out. Post WWII eagles had wings that swept upwards. In June of 1971 a new eagle was introduced that still had upswept wings but was more stylized. Marc


# 6518 - Custer Colt ?
11/4/2003

Colt - SAA -

I have a SAA Colt 45 and authentication letter from John A. Kopec, I am currently searching for any supporting documentation to establish a historical connection to Little Bighorn. Of course colt has no records. Any ideas?

Answer:
Sir- Sorry, we cannot help with that one. Custer's folks had a normal number of arms with them, for which no records have been found, although various authorities with various degrees of credibility have speculated about how to identify them. However, the U. S. Army in 1876 did not have enough wagons to haul all the guns that people allege to have been at Little Big Horn. Springfield Research Service has no data on your serial number. I believe there has been a lot written on the subject in Gun Report and/or Man at Arms over the years. That will probably be as helpful as anything. However, PROVING a Little Big Horn connection is probably totally impossible. Owning any unmessed-with Cavalry model is a great accomplishment, even if it served honorably in places that few have heard of and few care about. Enjoy. John Spangler


# 6272 - Hibbard, Spencer & Bartlett Prints
11/1/2003
Jan, Aurora, NE

Blue -

I have a set of framed posters, or prints, titles ''Before the Boom'' and ''After the Boom,'' with the Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett name on them, and marked Copyright by A. S. Richmond 1880. Can you tell me anything more about these pictures, including their value?

Answer:
Jan- Hibbard Spencer & Bartlett was a large hardware retailer in St. Louis, but beyond that I know nothing about them. I am sure that someone collects this sort of stuff, but I would not admit it if I knew anyone with a problem like that, and cannot help with value. John Spangler


# 6274 - M1841 Mississippi Rifle Sights
11/1/2003
Jim, Hatboro, PA

E. Whitney - M1841 U.S. Rifle - .54 - 33 - Other -

I have a M1841 ''Mississippi'' rifle, made in 1851 by Eli Whitney Jr. that is a bit unusual in its configuration. It is in the original .54 caliber, but has a long-range rear sight of the folding-ladder type, very similar to what I see on P1853 Enfield rifle-muskets. The front sight also is similar to an Enfield's and not the simple blade that I see on most Mississippis. I know these rifles were frequently modified during the Civil War to add long-range sights, but in all the examples I've previously seen, they were re-bored to .58 to fit the standard cartridges used in rifle-muskets of the time. And most of the Mississippi's I've seen with long-range sights have the three-leaf rear sight, not the folding-ladder Enfield type. Any idea on whether this alteration is really unusual, or if it indicates whether the gun saw Union or Confederate use? Thanks.

Answer:
Jim- The "as built" Mississippi rifles are all very uniform and consistent in their configuration with a fixed rear sight, .54 caliber bore, and no provisions for any type of bayonet. However, the alterations and upgrades are found in an amazing variety and almost defy analysis. The problem is that by 1861 most had been issued to various states as part of the allocations under the Militia Act of 1808, placing them beyond reach of the Ordnance Department (especially those in the Confederate States!) There were two or three "federal" conversion models done at arsenals or under contract between 1855 and 1861 which had some degree of consistency. Besides those, large numbers were converted by states, or perhaps even units, which had the arms in their possession. Alterations usually consisted of one or more of the following: provisions to take a socket or sword bayonet; adjustable sights; and possible conversion from .54 to .58 caliber. Federal alterations began as early as 1855 when the .58 caliber family of arms was adopted (pistol-carbine, rifle, and rifle musket). An order on July 4, 1855 directed that the Model 1841 rifles were to be increased in caliber (to.58), fitted with sword bayonets and long range rear sights.

About 1,646 "Snell" type bayonets were produced at Harpers Ferry in 1855 that used a rotating thumbscrew type lock that required two small cuts on the side of the barrel to engage. Between 1855 and 1857 Harpers Ferry produced 10,286 sword bayonets to be used with a more conventional side mounted lug, but these required that the M1841 rifle stocks be cut back slightly and a shortened upper band fitted. Later, a third type of bayonet was produced under contract (and perhaps by Harpers Ferry), with about 6,000 made and these required no alteration to the rifle, only the addition of a bayonet lug that clamped in place, similar to a ring used for mounting scopes today. In each case, it is assumed that a comparable number of rifles were altered for the bayonets. Robert M. Reilly's U.S. Military Shoulder Arms 1816-1865 (one of my "essential books for gun collectors") has extensive details on the bayonets and the various sights.

Reilly identifies the first type adjustable sight used as the leaf type graduated to 900 yards, similar to the Enfield or M1842 rifled and sighted types. The second type is a folding leaf with a screw type adjustment. Besides experimental types, the two leaf sight similar to the Model 1861 musket sight was widely used on rifles altered after 1859, as well as replacement sights on unaltered rifles. Reilly goes into some detail on the alterations by Colt for sale to various units or states. He also states that between 1855 and 1860 8,879 rifles were altered in the National Armories (Springfield and Harpers Ferry) but in the context of enlarging the caliber, so it seems that bayonets, sights and caliber were not altered in the same numbers. I have no detailed information on alterations at the state or local level, other than references I found in my research on South Carolina militia arms that imply that various men were performing alterations to (presumably Mississippi) rifles to add sword bayonets.

There are several advanced collectors who specialize in the M1841 rifles, and I keep hoping that one of them will write the definitive history on these. One of the most impressive arms displays I have ever seen was at a Company of Military Historians meeting about 20 years ago that featured one or two wooden arms chests for Mississippi rifles, and examples of nearly every variation of sights or bayonets known. Unfortunately that exhibitor is deceased, and I have no idea what happened to his collection or notes. John Spangler


# 6466 - Lady Derringer Value
11/1/2003
Dee Bensalem, PA

Colts - Lady Derringer - 22 CAL Short - 2 Inches - Other - 27261 DER -

The handles are made with mother of pearl and they are gold plated. I would like to know the value of these guns. They were purchased back in 1972 for a gift.

Answer:
Dee, Colt manufactured Lady Derringers from 1959 to 1963. Lady Derringers were chambered for .22 Short ammunition only and actions were the side pivoting Thuer type. Finish was gold plate with grips made of pearlite. The blue book lists values for cased Lady Derringer sets at $200 to $495 depending on condition. Marc


# 6458 - Frog Pistol
11/1/2003
Mark, Rolla, MO

D'armes Ds Pyrenees, Hendaye - Pistolet De Tir ''Unique'' - .22 L.R. - 3''+? - Don't Know - 420527 -

word 'Ranger' on grips, long barrel option, original holster, 1 clip w/ ''Unique'' stamped on bottom general historical info, approximate dating, and approximate value

Answer:
Mark, Unique pistols were manufactured by a french company which was founded in 1923, d'Armes des Pyrenees. During WWII d'Armes des Pyrenees, followed the french tradition of cowardice and trechery by colaborating with the Nazies to produce weapons for the German military.

The Ranger pistol was introduced about 1950, it was the first a .22LR caliber pistol to be manufactured by Unique. As with most modern french firearms, there is little collector interest in this model. I would expect value to be in the $100 or less range. Marc


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