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# 4434 - White Tipped .30-06 Ammo 12/29/01 William
Did the US manufacture any WHITE Tipped 30-06 ammunition during or pre-WWII. I have found some White tipped ammunition with a head stamp marked SL-43. If so what is this ammunition? Thanks, William
Answer: William- I know a lot, but not everything. However, I have a good library, and ".30-06" by Chris Punnett provides the answer. SL of course identifies the case as having been made at St. Louis Ordnance Plant which was established in 1941, and the date of case manufacture as 1943. Punnett organizes his book by maker, and then within each maker by type of cartridge. Under St. Louis's "Tracer" section we find the following: St. Louis started making the M1 tracer cartridged in 1942, and then the M1 Tracer (alternate), both identified by a red bullet tip. Initial production of the M2 tracer began in late 1942 and was identified by a white tip, and an additional knurled cannelure above the case mouth. These have been observed in both SL42 and SL 43 cases. In 1943 the identification for M2 tracer was changed to a red tip and the extra cannelure, although they were sometimes packed in boxes marked as Tracer M1. Interestingly, St. Louis was one of the few WW2 producers of the T10 tracer with the orange tip. These were a dark ignition type (instead of buring brightly from the muzzle onward) and were intended for night or day use. In 1945 this design was standardized as the Tracer M25, which remained in use as long as the .30-06 was the service rifle or machine gun caliber. Hackley, Woodin & Scranton's "History of U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition, Volume II, 1940-1945" probably has similar information, but working from a specific maker, Punnett's book was handier to use. HWS will provide all the technical details of the various designs and the reason for the changes. Great books, it you like this sort of stuff (and who would NOT?). John Spangler
# 4418 - Joslyn Carbine Date Of Manufacture 12/29/01
Joslyn - Carbine - .50 - 6732 -
Joslyn Firearms, Stonington, Conn. on lock plate (no year). Inspector initials FDL on barrel. Patented October 8, 1861 June 24, 1862 on back of rolling block. US on butt plate. The lack of a year on the lock plate leads me to believe that this is an early production model, perhaps manufactured in 1861. Can you help me with when this carbine was made?
Answer: Sir- First, with an 1862 patent date marked on the gun, it is quite a stretch to assume that it was made in 1861. If the breechblock has the knob type catch that you have to pull out slightly, instead of the earlier solid hook type catch, it is probably the Model 1864 Joslyn. The Joslyn carbines started at serial number 1 (pretty logical, but some makers started with higher numbers to give the impression that millions had been sold, implying that you would not be cool if you failed to get such a popular armament item.) The 1862 Joslyns used the numbers from 1 up through about 3600, with some transitional use of the 1864 type catch on the last 1,000 or so. The model 1864 included an 1864 date on the lockplate (no date on the 1862) but both used the same patent date markings on the breech. Model 1864 production ran from about 3,600 upwards to maybe as high as 16,500 or so. (I am not sure if the 3,007 actions sold to Springfield in 1865 are included in that figure or not.) In any case, your 6732 serial number is well into the Model 1864 numbers. Many carbines in the 5,000-6,000 range are documented as in use with the 1st Colorado Volunteer Cavalry in the summer of 1865, but they may have been made quite a bit earlier. The Joslyn was a simple and reliable design, adequate for use on carbines with the weak .56-52 or .56-50 Spencer rimfire cartridges. They were clearly outclassed by the Spencer in terms of firepower, or the Sharps or trapdoor designs which were far more powerful with their centerfire ammunition. John Spangler
# 4354 - Mystery Beretta 12/29/01 Paul, Stratford, WI
Beretta - ? ? ? - .380 - ? - blue - E58402 ? -
Pietra Beretta Gardone VT Cal9 Corto (on barrel)psf xxii stamped above trigger by safety Cal 9 Corto PB on the clip (seven shot clip)No other markings except made in Italy on opposite side of barrel I purchased this gun used and have no idea what model it is or how old. Berretta did send me a manual for a series 81, but pictures do not match.
Answer: Sorry Paul, with the information that you have supplied I can't help. My guess is that you have a model 1934. I suggest that you take your pistol to the next gunshow in your area. You will probably be able to find someone at the show who will be able to identify it. Marc
Colts Pt. Fa Mfg. Co. - Unknown - 44 Or 45 - 7 1/2 In. - To Old To Tell - NON VISIBLE -
There is a Lanyard Ring on the butt. Also on the butt a # 10 and below the 10 is 977 stamped. There is a large One (1) on both sides below the hammer. The grip curves back under somewhat. I would like any information on this weapon. .
Answer: Red- Our skilled detectives had to work a bit of overtime on this one. However, they quickly spotted a couple of clues that helped solve the mystery. Colt, .44 or .45 with 7 1/2 inch barrel narrows it down to one of the larger revolvers, so that was a start. Lanyard ring? AH HA!!! Grip curves back? BINGO!!! The "New Service" model introduced in 1898 was a possibility but the grip does not curve back under. The "Bisley" model single action has curved grips, but does not have a lanyard loop. (Of course, a clever criminal mind could add a lanyard loop to a Bisley, just to make us look stupid, but we are brave enough to take our chances against such devious schemes.) From 1878 to 1905 Colt made about 51,210 large "frontier double action" revolvers with lanyard loops and grips that curve back under. Offered in calibers ranging from .32-20 to .476 Eley, a large number were .44 or .45 caliber, and barrel lengths ranged from 3" to 7 1/2". In 1902 the U.S. Army bought about 4,600 of these, calling them the Model 1902, but they are easy to spot with a very large trigger guard. Experience in the Philippines had shown that the 1889 switch to .38 caliber revolvers from the old Colt Single Action Army had been a mistake as they lacked the stopping power of the .45 caliber cartridge. The large trigger guard is explained by some as intended to allow use of two fingers when firing double action, or to allow use when wearing gloves if one happened to be stationed in Alaska monitoring the Alaskan gold rush. Therefore these are sometimes called the "Philippine & Alaskan" model, although there is no official support for that terminology. Collector interest in the big 1878 double action revolvers seems to be increasing, especially as Colt SAA collecting has become a feeding frenzy limited to independently wealthy, and often extremely gullible folks. John Spangler
# 4422 - Lee Navy 1895 (Winchester) Straight Pull Rifles 12/26/01 Tom
Remington - Lee Navy 1895 - 6 Mm -
I am interested in acquiring one of these rifles. since I have not found one of these to be available in my normal channels, I have no idea what price to expect for one in good to very good condition. Any comments?
Answer: Tom- First, we need to make sure we are talking about the same thing. You asked about a REMINGTON 6mm Lee rifle. There was such a thing, a bolt action rifle with box magazine, firing the 6mm USN cartridge. However this was a variation of the smokeless powder Model 1899 version of James P. Lee's earlier design, made by Remington as the Models 1879, 1882 and 1885, and adopted with slight modifications by the British to become what we know as the Lee Enfield. (Before we get any complaints, yes, it is true that the first 300 Model 1879 rifles were made by Sharps, but financial problems shifted the balance of production into Remington's shops in Ilion, NY.) The U.S. Navy used 1,300 of the Model 1879 rifles, and 1,500 of the 1885. The U.S. Army bought 770 of the 1882 model for trials, but for whatever reasons decided to stick with the "trapdoors". While the 1899 was offered in a variety of calibers including 6mm, none were bought for U.S. military use, although I seem to recall that the Michigan militia purchased some (probably in .30-40 Krag?). Out of the 100,000 Remington Lees made, only about 3,270 of them were for U.S. military use. An unknown small number of the commercial sales were in 6mm.
Mr. Lee also invented the Model 1895 WINCHESTER 6mm rifle which used a straight pull type of bolt action. Straight pulls were a 1890's design fad which included designs developed by Schmidt Rubin for Switzerland; Steyr in Austria, and Ross in Canada. The 1895 Winchester Lee Navy was adopted as the official U.S. Navy and Marine Corps rifle, and saw service in the Spanish American War, Philippine Insurrection, and the Boxer Rebellion in China. However, in 1902 the Lee Navy was replaced by the Krag in the interests of sharing a common ammunition among all U.S. branches. (Of course the 1903 Springfield adoption in .30-03 and subsequent redesign as .30-06 screwed that idea up for the subsequent 5-10 years!). Winchester made a total of about 20,000 of the Lee Straight pull rifles, 15,000 of them for Navy and Marine use, and so marked, the balance for commercial sales. The 6mm cartridge was very rough on bores. Ammunition availability became difficult over the years, and the straight pull began to be very awkward to folks used to "regular" bolt actions, the rifles lost popularity. Many of the parts are fragile or easily lost, and as a result a lot of the rifles were scrapped or otherwise boogered. Collector interest remains high, enhanced by the combination of these rifles being U.S. Marine Corps related, made by Winchester, an oddball design, and historically significant as the first really small caliber clip loading rifle adopted by the U.S. military. Surviving rifles simply do not meet the collector demand, and prices are high, and they sell quickly when they do appear. Flayderman's Guide values them at $850 in NRA antique very good and $1,850 in excellent condition. However, our experience is that they tend to bring a lot more than that, with people fighting to get them, and I would expect them to sell at about 50-75% more than those prices. We have a truly exceptional example right now from a consignor (an advanced Navy collector) but he misplaced the extractor assembly, which also serves to hold the bolt in place, so we are reluctant to offer it until the part can be found. If that turns you on, let us know and we can discuss details. John Spangler
# 4312 - P. Beretta Information 12/26/01 Michael, Scranton, PA
P. Beretta - Brevet - Sardone V. T. - 7.65 - 5" - Not Sure, Looks Brown/black - 650439 -
PB marking on handle which seems to be made out of plastic. Towards back of gun, tiny crowns with the lettering P. S. F. and 1947 etched into metal. Where and when was this gun made? It was my fathers and I'm interested in finding out more about it. I believe it was made in Italy, since that's where my father is from, but I'm not familiar with gun models. Thanks!
Answer: Michael, Fabbrica D'Armi Pietro Beretta S.P.A. of Gardone Valtrompia, Brescia, Italy was founded in 1680, and records in the Venetian State Archives date the first Beretta firearm to have been manufactured around 1530. Beretta originally manufactured excellent quality sporting shoulder arms until 1915, when under pressures of war, they began manufacturing military and commercial handguns. Possibly your slide markings are a little hard to make out, the stamping should read Gardone, not Sardone which is the location of the Beretta factory, not the model of your pistol. You are correct that your pistol was manufactured in Italy and I would guess in 1947. Marc
# 4406 - Armsport Star Telescope 12/22/01 David, Asheville, NC
Armsport - Star -
Armsport Star 4 x 32 Any information appreciated, this scope came mounted on a Remington 700 and appears to have some nicks. Have searched every known website and manufacturer, cannot find an Armsport Star anywhere. Is it a scope mfgr that has been taken over by another? By whom? Where made?
Answer: David- I don't know anything about these. My guess (emphasize guess) is that it is probably a post-cold war scope perhaps from China or some other Commie country now getting rich selling stuff to us evil capitalists. Armsport is the name of a company headquartered in Miami that has imported a variety of guns and related items in the past. In 1993 they shifted away from "modern" firearms and began concentrating on air guns and black powder arms. Apparently most of their material came from Europe. While it is likely that this company is related to your scope, it is possible that it is not. There are lots of good scopes available on the market, both new and used, so I would not hesitate to dump this one and replace it if you are having problems. John Spangler
US Springfield .58 Musket - Needham Conversion - See Question -
I have a Needham conversion musket and saw a question on your website. My musket was clearly converted top use a center fire cartridge but I am unsure of which one. I have been told it is the .577 Snider but Flaydermans mentions only rimfire 58 cartridges. My attention was caught by the other questioner's reference to a center fire conversion. I would like to reload for this rifle. Can you suggest what the proper cartridge intended for the Needham conversion was?
Answer: Jacob- Fist, my reading of Flayderman clearly shows that he states that while they have the appearance of being rimfires, they are "actually chambered for .58 centerfire." A quick check of several ammunition references did not turn up any mention of cartridges specifically for the Needham. I assume it used the generic .58 musket centerfire cartridge used in several of the conversions, and loaded by makers such as Remington and Winchester until near the end of the 19th century. As far as reloading for use in this rifle, that may be tough to do. First you will need to find some cases that will work. Perhaps .577 Snider is close, although the length may have to be trimmed, and perhaps the rim and head diameters too. I believe that most of the .58 conversions used the same load as the muskets they were made from, 60 grains of FFg black powder and a 450-500 grain minie ball. We are not qualified to give reloading advice, and you may blow your head off if you are foolish enough to act on these suggestions, so use at your own risk. You may want to get an excellent book "Imported Military Firearms 1866-1899" by Steve Frey. It covers all sorts of oddball old early cartridge rifles, and has loads of neat tips on how to improvise ammunition using beer cans and duct tape (well, not really, but some suggestions are pretty wild) etc. He mentions that .577 Snider cases can be made from trimmed down 24 GA plastic shotshells. Okay, you may not have a box of them stuck in your ammo bunker, but they may be easier to find than .577 Snider brass. Old Western Scrounger on our links page specializes in oddball ammo, so that would be a good place to start your search. Good luck, but be careful.
# 4305 - Winchester Commemorative 12/22/01 Connie, Ozark, MO
Silver or Nickel? magazine and butt plate. Engravings on both sides of magazine. Pictures show frontiersmen in buckskins and on horses; one is waving to an Indian, two more are pulling a pack team. Also a beaver, bear, snake & eagle engravings. Has coin in stock. Like new condition. I checked out the serial # with your form. It says this gun was mfg in 1894. Could this be true? It doesn't look that old. Serial # LF05474. If so, does this make this gun worth anything? I saw another for $500. Would this be worth more? I would like to know something about the history of this gun. I am new at this. Thanks for your info. Love your site, very educational to a novice like me.
Answer: Connie, sorry for the confusion, the OldGuns.net date of manufacture program, does not contain information for Winchester commemoratives, they usually have their own separate serial number ranges with a special letter prefix. The "LF" part of your serial number stands for Legendary Frontiersman. Winchester manufactured their Legendary Frontiersman commemoratives in 1979, in all 19,999 were built of which yours was the 5474th. The blue book lists Legendary Frontiersman values at $495 if they are in perfect condition, unfired and have the original box and paper (I think that $495 is optimistic). If the rifle has been fired, if it does not have the box and all of the papers that came with it when it was new, or if it has any flaws, value will be in the $300 or less range. Marc
# 4410 - Sauer 147 Coded K98k Mauser Made In 1940 12/18/01 Jeff
1940 J. P Sauer Code 147 - K98K - 7.9 - 2400 -
Hello, I just bought this rifle last week. I've read my book K98 Backbone of the Whermacht by Law and I'm having a hard time determining if this is all matching. On my receiver and barrel (left side) it is marked with serial number 2400 and under it there's weird cursive writing. I cannot tell if this is a letter suffix or a trademark of J. P Sauer? On the other hand the top of the bolt has the serial number 2400 with no letter suffix. If the cursive writing below the barrel and receiver is a suffix then I'm assuming the bolt assembly is mismatch. Reason why I say this because the bolt top should have the full serial number plus letter suffix according to laws book. I bought this rifle it was assured from the seller that it was a serial number prior to the letter suffixes. If anyone can help please respond. Thanks, Jeff
Answer: Jeff- You are using the best reference book available on the K98k, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in that field. We sometimes look smart when answering questions on K98k rifles because we depend on that book. My guess is that if the bolt is numbered 2400 as well as the receiver, and all the other parts, I would not be excited about the lack of a letter suffix on the bolt, unless it looks like the bolt has been renumbered or there are other suspicious features. If you trust the seller, then it is probably okay. If the seller is a disreputable snake, known for fleecing, faking and refinishing, then (a) you should not have done business with them to start with, and (b) you probably have good reason to worry. Serious collectors of Mausers and other WW2 German military arms should check out membership in the Karabiner Collectors Network (KCN). They can probably take a look at your inquiry and tell you for sure what the answer is. I believe their address is Karabiner Collectors' Network. P.O. Box 5773, High Point, NC 27262. John Spangler
# 4402 - jhv Gewehr 98/40 Rifle 12/18/01 Don , Valdosta, GA
JHV ? ? - 8mm - 24in ? ? -
It has what appears to be an eagle on the barrel with 123 underneath it. Also the letters JHV underneath that. The numbers 9139 stamped on all metal parts. G98/40 is also stamped on it. I have an old WWII 8mm rifle that was handed down to me by my Grandfather. He used it in WWII in Africa. I know very little about rifles and would like to know more about this one, including value. It is a bolt action rifle that holds 5 rounds in the receiver. I am assuming that it is 8mm because of ammo that was given to me along with the rifle. Any info you can give me about this rifle would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Answer: Don- This is a great example of how family history of guns can sometimes become distorted. It is quite likely that your Dad acquired the gun in North Africa. or perhaps served in North Africa where the enemy used guns something like this, but this one actually was picked up after returning home. These rifles were never issued to US troops, and while it is remotely possible that some captured guns may have been used in desperation if US arms ran out of ammo, it is not very likely.
In any case, this rifle was made in Budapest, Hungary between 1941 and 1944 when that country was occupied by the German forces. It was a redesign of the Hungarian Model 35 Mannlicher rifle to use 8mm Mauser ammunition and the standard German stripper clips, bayonet, sights, and sling. The Germans used an amazing variety of weapons captured from, or made in occupied countries, some in their original configuration, and others modified to meet der Fuehrer's whims. This would be an interesting collecting field- "WW2 German military arms- not made in Germany." Another great collecting field would be captured military arms, especially if accompanied by the "capture papers". Many castles in Europe are decorated with banners, shields, swords, etc captured in various conflicts over the last dozen centuries or so. Perhaps that example of fashionable decorating taste amongst wealthy Europeans would convince your spouse to redecorate in a similar, but somewhat more modern motif. If she does not like the idea, don't blame me, maybe you just did not properly explain the positive aspects of such a plan. Maybe a trip to the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg, VA, where the walls and ceilings are covered with muskets, swords and pistols would convince her. A few people just have no appreciation for history, but we hope your spouse is much more enlightened and appreciative of history and decorating.
Value on the G98/40 rifles tend to run a bit higher than comparable but more common German made K98k rifles, say in the $300-800 range. John Spangler
# 4293 - Savage Model 219B 12/18/01
Savage - 219b - 30-30 - 26 In. - Blue - 4357 -
I would like to know what year this gun was made and what the gun is valued at.
Answer: I was unable to find any mention of the Savage Model 219B, I did find information about the Savage Model 219 and the Model 219L, the 219B is probably some minor variation of one of these models. Savage manufactured the Model 219 from 1938 to 1965. The 219 design was based on an earlier Savage shotgun design it had a box-type receiver separating the plain pistol grip butt from the plain rounded forend, and simple open sights. Model 219 rifles were available in 22 Hornet, 25-20, 30-30 and 32-20. The Model 219L was manufactured from 1965 to 1967 it was Similar to the 219, with a side lever. It does not make much difference weather your rifle is a 218, a 219B, a219L or even a 219Z, values are all about the same, in the $75 or less range. Marc
# 4331 - Webley/Scott Mark VI Value 12/15/01 Tony, Montgomery, Al
Webley/Scott - Mark VI - .45 conversion - 6 " - sort of bright - 356095 matching -
Has proof marks all over the place. I don't know enough about them to know if they are special The cylinder moves considerably. I would like to repair the problem, as this pistol has a very tight grouping. Can you suggest a smith, and give a cost estimate, and is the pistol worth the cost of repair? The serial number is the same on all the parts, including the cylinder, even though it has been converted to 45. It will also accept a rimmed cartridge. Thanks Tony
Answer: Tony, these are nice revolvers and demand for them has steadily increased over the last few years. You are lucky to have found an accurate one, I have never run across one that shoots well with the .45 ACP conversion. We recently sold a Mark VI .45 conversion that was otherwise in excellent condition for over $500. These revolvers were originally blued so if your finish is bright, it has either been refinished or most of the finish has worn away. If this is the case value will probably be somewhere in the $200 - $300 range. Sorry I don't know a gunsmith in your area to recommend. Marc
# 4492 - Japanese Type 99 Series 4 Nagoya Arsenal 12/15/01 Paul
Japanese - Type 99 -
This Japanese Type 99 series 4 rifle that I have is all original with nothing ground off but I have a question. Was it common for the Japanese soldiers to chop the stock above the first band? The one I have is cut at an angle and you can tell it was done quite a long time ago because it has as much wear as the rest of the gun. I have attached a picture of the cut end of the gun.
Answer: Paul- In my opinion that was absolutely NOT done by Japanese military personnel. It is most likely a very crude "sporterize" job, or less likely resulted from the stock being shortened so it would fit in a GI duffel bag, and the front section got lost. Probably 20% of all Jap rifles we see have been sporterized to some degree, essentially destroying any collector value other than for whatever parts may be salvageable. John Spangler
# 4493 - 1903 "T" heavy barrel stock 12/15/01 Bradford
Any idea of where to find one of the VERY RARE 1903 "T" heavy barrel stock, or who I should contact?
Answer: Bradford- A prayerful session with the clergyperson of your choice is about the only hope I can offer for accomplishing miracles. Stock is virtually identical to the NRA sporter stock (also found by above method) except for the larger diameter barrel channel. If you found a NRA sporter stock you could modify it, but I know of several collectors who would commit unspeakable acts if they ever found out that you butchered the item they needed for restoration of one of their guns. A more achievable solution would be to find the NRA sale style .22 rifle stock. By adding the two stock recoil bolts and the appropriate concave notch for the magazine cutoff, it would be a very close copy of the NRA Sporter stock, and then need the barrel channel opened up. Of course, the.22 stock has the notch at the front of the magazine well so a careful inspection would reveal such skulduggery. I have heard that Boyds makes some reasonable repro Springfield stocks of various styles, and that may provide an affordable starting point to getting one that would at least look good. John Spangler
# 4336 - Mod 1890 Dates Of Manufacture. 12/12/01
Winchester - 1890 - 22 - ? - Blue - dozens of rifles/different years -
Is there a place to get all the serial numbers/year manufactured with out imputing each number individually. I am trying to help my father learn the manufacture dates of his model 1890 collection. He is quadriplegic & unable to search for himself. He has dozens of this model (and everything else too). Thank you, David M.
Answer: Suggest that you purchase "Winchester Dates Of Manufacture 1849-1984" by George Madis. IDSA Books PO Box 1457, Piqua, OH 45356 (937)773-4203 has them for sale. Marc
# 4500 - Santa Fe Jungle Carbine 12/12/01 Fred
Santa Fe - Jungle Carbine -
Need to find out the value of a Santa Fe Jungle Carbine MK1 MD 12011 Golden State Arms
Answer: Fred- Santa Fe was an early version of, or competitor of Federal Ordnance, and one of the earliest dealers to convert plentiful but cheap and slow selling SMLE rifles into "jungle carbine" lookalikes. While fun to play with, they have no collector value in my opinion. Shooters unwilling to pay the price for a real jungle carbine like them (until they fire them and find out that all the jungle carbines are ferocious beasts, fun only for masochists.) My guess is that one should sell in the $100-150 range, but it will be a slow seller. John Spangler
# 4507 - 1917 Colt 38 Cal Cowboy Ranger 12/12/01 Steve
Dear Sirs, In the process of inheriting a 1917 Colt 38 Cal Cowboy Ranger pistol. I have been trying to find a value for ins purposes. The problem is, this one is made in Belgium. I have not been able to find it in any US books. I would rate it an 8.5. It also has quality bone handled grips. A friend of mine feels that it is of a higher quality because it was made in Belgium. It has no serial number. The barrel is 5 & 1/2 inches. It is nickel plated. Any help would be appreciated. I'm not looking to sell it, it is a family keepsake.
Answer: Steve- I am not familiar with this exact model. However, it is not unusual to find copies of US made guns (mainly Colt or S&W) made in Belgium for sale in the US, or even other countries to those folks unable to afford (or gullible enough to buy something other than) real Colts or S&Ws. In general these are greatly inferior in materials and workmanship, and value tends to be maybe 30-60% of what a real Colt or S&W in comparable condition would sell for. They are good collector items, and undoubtedly served many a poor cowpoke well, but they just do not have nearly as much value to collectors. My guess is it would be in the $100-400 range. Hope this helps. Glad to see a family piece stay in the family. Hope someone writes down all they can find out about this old gun and its owners, so it can be fully appreciated. John Spangler
My Grandfather sent this home from Germany after WWII and when he arrived home after it he found that the scope had been stolen the bolt removed and a wooden plug driven in the barrel. It's a sporting rifle with sling swivels and quick release scope mounts but my real interest is in the factory and finding out about it
Answer: Brian- We cannot help much with that one. Danzig was the site of a Prussian Arsenal, prior to the unification of the various states into a united Germany. It is likely that some civilian arms making took place in the city as well. The name roughly translates to "Danzig Rifle Factory". .22 caliber rifles were popular items all over the world prior to WW2, so this could have been a sporting rifle, or a target gun. Beyond that, anything we might say would be even more of a guess. Currently, there is no good reference book on German makers that I know of. You might go to the forum pages at www.gunandknife.com and ask about this on the German page. People who hang around there may know more about this maker. John Spangler
# 4368 - Winchester 97 Military Shotgun 12/8/01 Russell, Layton, Utah, USA
Winchester - Model 97 - 12 Gage - E 906458 -
US stamped on left side. Recently inherited a shortened barrel shotgun with hammer and a bayonet fitting from my father who served in Vietnam. Was wondering about any information on the shotgun and approximate worth.
Answer: Russell- The Winchester Model 1897 shotgun was widely used by US military in WW1 and WW2. This included long barreled guns for training gunners to hit moving targets, short barrel guns used for riot or guard duty, and short barreled guns with bayonet attachments, popularly called "trench guns" intended for combat use or guarding prisoners of war. Exact numbers of each type procured are somewhat confused, but the Model 97 was one of the more popular models. After WW2 most were donated to police departments or Civil Defense authorities, but large quantities were also sold as surplus. A few remained in military inventory into the Vietnam era, when they were largely replaced by newer models. All are highly collectable, but there is relatively little interest in the long barreled training versions, and they seem to have been absorbed into the shooting community for use as hunting arms. Riot guns have a lot more interest, but the really big bucks are associated with the "trench" guns. This latter phenomenon has inspired a number of folks to assemble handguards on to otherwise low dollar sporting shotguns for sale to reeanactors or collectors on a budget. Some low down lying skunks carefully fake military markings and refinish guns and pass them off as originals to gullible purchasers. Anyone wanting to buy a "trench gun" should read up carefully on the subject, and examine a number of original pieces before investing. Or, they can buy from reputable dealers--like us. Value depends greatly on condition, condition and condition, and I have seen them offered at anywhere from $750 to $3500. In my opinion best source of information is an article in the 1988 Gun Digest by Eric Archer on the WW2 military shotguns. Eric had a nice collection, had done tons of research, and was well along on what promised to be a great book on the subject. Unfortunately he lost his manuscript, research notes, collection, house, and interest in the subject when a devastating fire burned down a number of houses in his California neighborhood. Too bad, as it would have been a major contribution to firearms history. Another excellent source is Bruce Canfield's "United States Combat Shotguns" which covers all US military shotguns. Canfields superb books on U.S. Infantry Weapons of WW1 and WW2 really have just about everything most collectors need to know about shotguns, along with every other type infantry weapon. John Spangler
# 4303 - Walther (?) Model 4 Collectiblity 12/8/01 Adrian Cuntar ( Turkey )
Walther - Model 4 - 7.65 - blue black -
A letter 'M' in a circle on the trigger guard. Missing Walther markings on right of side. Extended slide right to end of barrel. No exposed sleeve / bushing Underside of end-of-slide is rounded in an arc , much like a Walther PP. Probably made on sub-contract by Immanuel Meffert during WW1 . Other info would be nice , but not vital. But most important question I have is . What degree of rarity does it has . IS it worth keeping as an old collectible.
Answer: Adrian, greetings from Utah to Turkey. I am not familiar with Meffert and I can find no mention of that company in any of my books. If your pistol is a Walther, it should have the Walther slide marking. Blue book values For Walther Model 4 pistols range from $80 to $400 depending on condition, add 10% if the pistol it has WWI proof marks. If your pistol is a Meffert or some sort of Walther copy, I don't know what the value is, I would guess that value would be quite a bit lower than if the pistol is a real Walther. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it is the same with collectors. John does not want to keep anything for his collection that was not U.S. military issue. On the other hand I like military pistols from most countries. I think that if you like this type of pistol, you should keep it for your collection. If you want a pistol as an investment buy a Colt, Luger or a real Walther. Marc
# 4425 - Starr Arms Question 12/5/01 Richard
Starr Arms Co -
Gentlemen, would you know where I could obtain information about Starr Firearms. I believe they where made during the Civil War years and a little before. Would appreciate any help you may give on the history of these arms.
Answer: Richard - Starr Arms Co. was active from 1858 through 1867, located in Yonkers, NY. It was run by Eben T. Starr who obtained numerous firearms related patents from 1856 through 1882. They made about 3,000 .36 caliber Model 1858 double action revolvers, and 23,000 .44 caliber double action Army Model 1858s. They also made about 32,000 .44 caliber Model 1863 Army single action revolvers. All these were percussion revolvers, with the vast majority sold for military use. They also made 20,601 .54 caliber percussion breech loading carbines (somewhat similar to the Sharps in appearance) and 5,002 similar carbines chambered in .52 riimfire. All these were for military use during the Civil War. Rounding out the Starr product line, they sold a single shot .41 rimfire derringer and six variations of .32 rimfire four shot derringers. Although sold by Starr, they were actually made by the Merrill Patent Firearms Mfg Co. of Baltimore, MD. About 800 of the single shots were made and about 2,000 of the four shot. Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and Their Values is probably the best source of information on these. John Spangler
# 4423 - Winchester Identification 12/5/01 Dana
Winchester - 485xxx -
I've been trying for a few years to get some info on my old Winchester and haven't come up with much. I'm hoping you can help me. It was purchased originally by one of my great, great aunts and has been in the family ever since. It say 25-20 WCF on the barrel. The patent date is Oct. 14, 1884. It has a 24" round barrel, full magazine. It is a carbine lever action. Serial # 485xxx. My big problem is that no where on it does it say, "MODEL _____." I also have a M94 that was made in 1907 and it says MODEL 1894 -WINCHESTER- TRADE MARK right behind the hammer where the stock bolts on. On my 25-20, in that same spot, it says Reg. IN U.S. PAT. OFF. -WINCHESTER-TRADE MARK. Can you help me out any? Is this a Model 65 or a 92 or??? How can I tell. Thanks, Dana
Answer: Dana- Your rifle was made in 1909, long before introduction of the Model 65 (a fancier version of the 1892, but numbered in the same series of numbers). On the Model 1892, the Model number was marked on the upper tang, (behind the hammer), with several variations in the markings, but always including Model 1892. About 1920 (900,000 range) the model number was limited from the tang, and marked on the barrel instead. Model numbers on the Model 53 and 65 cousins of the 1892 were on the barrel. I cannot account for the absence of model marking on the tang of your rifle, except perhaps as a marking error where a worker neglected to do a step, or the marking die was defective. George Madis, the Winchester expert, has written two books loaded with detailed info that would be of interest to any Winchester collector. His "Winchester Book" is massive and loaded with photos and data. The smaller "Winchester Handbook" has much of the same data but fewer photos. Both are highly recommended. John Spangler
# 4301 - Winchester Commemorative 12/5/01 Mike KY
Winchester - 94 - 30/30 - Blue -
Has a gold trigger and hammer and also a gold coin in the buttstock. I believe it is a Lincoln head, still in box. I think it was made in 1968. How much is it worth? They want 500.00 for it.
Answer: Mike, I think that you are trying to describe one of the Winchester commemorative rifles. Winchester has manufactured thousands of these rifles to commemorate everything from green Jell-O to Bill Klinton (maybe not Bill Klinton). As you have probably guessed by now, I am not a big commemorative fan, in my opinion, commemorative firearms are poor investments and I almost never willingly purchase them. I think that you would be far better off to spend your $500 on a M1903A3 or a K98 Mauser. Marc
# 4392 - Winchester M1 Carbine With 20 Inch Barrel 12/1/01 Morgan, Richmond, BC, Canada
wooden stock , 15 round magazine, semi-automatic firing only , adjustable rear sign, leather sling with black color oil bottle to support the sling, metal butt plate, 20 inches barrel(not 18 in) without bayonet lug. marked Winchester , serial No. 5664371 and HE-B under the serial number. Serial number 5664371 Winchester made. what year product ? any leather sling supplied to the US army? and any 20 inches length barrel M1 Carbine made by Winchester for US army? any adjustable rear sign made for M1 Carbine ? I just bought this Carbine for 350.00 Canadian dollar (included tax) Is it a reasonable price ? (the wooden stock in perfect shape and matching number with the receiver, minor corrosion on barrel , magazine and cocking handle, however very good working part and rifling)
Answer: Morgan- Your carbine was probably made in 1943, although Winchester production extended from 1942 through 1945. Adjustable sights are available and were installed on most carbines in post WW2 update programs. They can be tricky to install without the proper tools. The military adjustable sights are fine, and there is no reason to waste money on a commercial sight. The 20 inch barrel is the unusual part about your gun. These were all made with 18 inch barrels. However, stupid gun laws often mandate modifications to make items legal for sale in a certain area. I believe the Canadian law ()in the early days when they were experimenting with merely stupid laws, not their recent utterly ridiculous incredibly STUPID licensing/gun ban schemes) decided that only criminals would want centerfire rifles with barrels less than 20 inches long. Therefore some M1 carbines were modified to extend the barrels to 20 inches, thus ensuring our northern neighbor would be a crime free utopia for all eternity, and that innocent woodland creatures would frolic about unmolested by evil hunters who eat meat. Worked good, eh? Well, lest you accuse me of picking on our (now defenseless) neighbors, let me point out that stupid laws in the U.S. passed in 1934 decreed that rifle barrels should be 18 inches long. This prohibited importation of the really neat Swedish Model 1894 carbines which had barrels about 17.7 inches long. Importers therefore got busy and welded extensions on those barrels, and imported the guns for sale in the U.S. Fortunately, this stupid law was changed in 1968 to bless as legitimate and respectable rifles with barrels at least 16 inches long, while leaving the minimum for shotguns at 18 inches. Naturally any criminal who wants a gun with a short barrel can buy a legal gun and a $5 hacksaw and have a short gun in less than 3 minutes. Meanwhile, there has never been a single incident where any gun with a long or short barrel hurt anyone. Every time, some human used the gun to commit illegal, immoral or stupid acts. Politicians, knowing that guns cannot vote, but idiots and criminals can and do vote, always want to pick on the gun, and not the criminal using it. John Spangler
# 4377 - Colt Lightning Magazine Rifle- Military 12/1/01 John, Blandon, PA
I found this rifle at a gun show yesterday and it caught my eye having sling swivels and a bayonet lug, both of which were missing. Do you know any details of the type and style of sling Colt would have provided. Do you know any details of the bayonet. This rifle was manufactured in 1890.
Answer: John- You saw a pretty scarce gun. R.L. Wilson's excellent "Book of Colt Firearms" has a little info on these, and a marginal photo of one. I have no idea what sort of sling would have been used, but it was probably a commercially procured item similar to whatever was commonly used at the time. I would guess it would be similar to the Civil War/Indian War US musket/rifle slings with a standing keeper sewn to one end and a single brass hook (single hook, not a claw with two hooks as used later) on the other end. Perhaps a brass stud on one end passing through two slots/holes at one end, and a double claw on the other end as adopted circa 1885 for the Trapdoors. Perhaps Colt did not provide slings at all, and left that up to the user's preferences. The bayonet used was clearly a sword bayonet with a stud mounted on the right side of the barrel, having a short "lead" bar. Most likely Colt did not make a special bayonet for these, but procured small quantities from other firms making bayonets, such as Collins. Remington sold a wide variety of arms to various countries set up for several different types of bayonets, and they may have been the same type used by Colt. The only specific country mentioned as purchasing the Colt Lightning Military model was Costa Rica, and I could not find any bayonets noted as associated with them for any type of rifle. Your best bet would be to find a rifle with bayonet lug intact, take some good measurements, then start checking the detailed information available in some of the advanced bayonet references, or checking other rifles from that period until you identify a rifle the same size so you will know what type bayonet to ask for. John Spangler
# 4299 - Kodak? Rifle 12/1/01 Jerry
Kodak - 158 - 30.06 - 26 - blue - j5842 -
very very beautiful wood, Mauser bolt action , like new condition. I would like to know value , and any information regard this rifle.
Answer: Jerry, this is somewhat outside my area of knowledge, I thought that the Kodak 158 was some sort of 35mm camera. There was a Kodiak Co. who manufactured firearms, their model 260 was the first semi-automatic rifle to be chambered in .22 magnum. Kodiak also manufactured a Model 158 centerfire bolt action rifle and a Model 458 slide action shotgun. Kodiak firearms are rare and were extremely well made but there is not much collector interest in them. Values for Kodiak firearms are about the same as they would be for a comparable model made by another manufacturer. Marc