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# 5178 - Try The Date Program
12/31/02
Bruce, Myrtle Beach, S. C.

Winchester - model 70 - .270 - 22 inch - Blue - 766513 -

No front or rear sights but drilled and tapped for them. I received this rifle from my uncle and would like to know what year it was manufactured? Pre 64?

Answer:
Bruce, try the OldGuns.net Winchester date of manufacture program, it gives me a manufacture date of 1964. The program will also reveal that post 1964 model 70 rifle production began at number 700,000. Marc


# 5169 - Fabrica Armas Oviedo Rifle
12/31/02
Brian Rapid City , SD

Fabrica Armas Oviedo 1916 - Na - Na - 21 Inches ? - Blue - 2C6522 / 2P5585 ? -

It has a Circled J Stamped On left side of receiver. It also has a crown with the numbers 373 on front sling ring, and also on top of butt plate. The bolt has 2 symbols that look like boat sails with the number 38 behind it. The stock has a brass ring with numbers screwed in it, and the bolt has the number 882 stamped on it. I would like to know caliber if possible, and any history you may have concerning this rifle.

Answer:
Brian- If you voted for the Democrat Senate candidate in your state in the recent election, please don't read this answer as you obviously want all your guns taken away by Tommy Dasshole's buddies Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton. If you voted for the good guy, we applaud your efforts, but regret that the other side is very good at cheating. Oviedo was a Spanish military arsenal that made a number of Mauser type rifles and carbines. Most were in 7x57mm Mauser caliber. Some were later converted into "FR8" training rifles with a fake gas system and new sights to resemble the CETME semi automatic rifles being adopted by Spain. These rifles were converted to fire 7.62mm NATO (.308 Winchester) type ammunition. In my opinion this is an unsafe conversion, and I would NEVER fire one, but others seem to do so fearlessly and without injury. Your description has me confused, and it sure sounds like while the action may be from Oviedo, but the stock assembly sounds like it is Swedish, and it is not too hard to fit a 1893 action in a 1896 Swedish stock. John Spangler


# 5168 - French Model 1907/15 (Mle 1907/15)
12/31/02
Todd, Edenton, NC

LT Etiemme MLE 1907 _15 - Unknown - Unknown - Unknown - Wood -

Bolt action rifle with bayonet holder, and flip peep site What caliber rifle is this, who was the maker, and what is the estimated value? ? Thank you

Answer:
Todd- This French rifle was made in 8mm Lebel caliber, and is popularly known as the Mannlicher-Berthier. The 1907 version used a three round clip, and the 1915 modification extended the magazine a bit so that a five round clip could be used. The maker is usually marked on the receiver or barrel, and in this case was the French arsenal at Saint Etienne. Some were also made in the U.S. by Remington., and also at several other French arsenals. Value depends on condition and if it has been altered. Most seem to run about $100-200 but we have sold butchered debris for as little as $40 and minty Remingtons for as much as $495. John Spangler


# 5433 -
12/31/02
wes tulare ca

Hi-Standard - H-D military - 22 - 3 in - Blue - 265807 -

exposed hammer I've come across a H-D military hi-standard with an exposed hammer with walnut grips. the finish is 98% or better. I've worked on many hammerless H-D military while in the army. Is this an early model? Is it collectable?

Answer:
Wes, I am not sure what kind of Hi


# 5165 - Jungle Carbine .303 British
12/28/02
Jim, Edison, NJ

Enfield - 1903 Jungle Carbine - 303 -

excellent condition I was very curious if this rifle has any monetary value ? Thank you for any information.

Answer:
Jim- All guns have some value, depending on the purchaser's intentions. In descending order of dollar value, these probably would be: as a collector item, as a functional firearm, as a source of parts, for decorative use, or as scrap metal. The true "Jungle carbines" are officially a "Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee Enfield (or SMLE) No. 5 Mark 1". These were made 1944-1947 and mainly used in the post WW2 era in colonial outposts such as Malaya, and many served in India/Pakistan. Those which were in Indian service often have a reinforcing bolt installed in the stock ahead of the action area, and are usually in somewhat beat up condition, and many are on the surplus market now for about $189 and up. Many (not shipped to India) were imported into the US in the 1960s in as new condition, and they are collector prizes, with prices much higher, according to the condition. However, not all "jungle carbines" are actually that. Surplus dealers noticed that the jungle carbines sold quickly, mainly due to their light weight and good handling characteristics. (NOT due to their ferocious kick and abusive muzzle blast!) Stuck with tens of thousands of full length SMLE rifles, often selling for as little as $9.95 (in the good old days) they began to convert the longer rifles to roughly the same configuration as the jungle carbines and thus made a tidy profit. These do not have near the value of the real ones, but are still popular with shooters (until they get pummeled by one as they shoot it.) By the way, the "jungle carbine" name was not used by the British, but was made up for use in advertising these for the American market. They used a neat drawing of a dashing Australian soldier with neatly trimmed moustache, dapper bush hat with turned up edge, steely eyes and a jungle carbine at the ready. It made me want one, and I finally broke down and paid $33 for a like new one from a college friend. Took it to the range once and regretted it. John Spangler


# 5164 - Musket Question
12/28/02
Rob

I have recently purchased three muskets and am curious as to their worth. They are all three made by Tower Armories. Two have dates of 1857, and one has a date of 1856. They were bought in Afghanistan and are in what I would call fair condition. Each musket has some sort of a crown etched into it too, no other markings as I can see though. Can you help with possible worth? Maybe recommend a good pricing book that I can get once I return to the States? Anything would help. The muskets were each bought for $150. I also acquired a curved sword that is roughly 600 years old, at least that is what I was told. I can supply photos if needed. Thank you Rob

Answer:
Rob- First, if you were in Afghanistan working for our government, we want to thank you for your service, especially if wearing a uniform, or doing stuff you cannot tell anyone about.

It is extremely hard to evaluate any firearm coming from that region, as the talented folks around Darra and Peshwar have incredible skills as gunmakers, despite a near total lack of power tools and only the most rudimentary materials to work with. Ever since the days of British Colonial rule, they have been turning out whatever sort of guns will sell, or to satisfy a customer's specific desires. Probably the majority have been copies of current or former military weapons, especially British arms. Some are excellent copies, some are rather crude, and some are impossible combinations of features, names and markings. Stuff like COLT, Browning, Enfield, with British Crown over VR for the reign of Queen Victoria on an automatic pistol that is a copy of a German Mauser. I think it is a fascinating collecting field, but retail values are probably driven by the curiosity factor more than anything else.

If, they are in fact actually British made muskets, then I would think that the value would be probably two or three times what you paid, as much for the historic value as anything else. The locals in that region of the world fought with the Brits for decades (and each other when not engaged against the Brits). These muskets most likely would have been captured from British units, or their Colonial allies, probably prior to about 1890 when breechloaders had pretty well replaced muzzle loaders in service. However, it is interesting to note that the Brits still made a few muzzle loaders specifically to arm native police and other less trustworthy folks in their colonies quite late inthe 19th century. John Spangler


# 5100 - Winchester 1890 Values
12/28/02
Dave, Mechanicsburg, PA

Winchester - 90-22 Short - .22 Short - Blue - can't remember, could look? -

Was my Grandfathers gun, then my fathers, mine, and someday, it'll belong to my son. I'm curious, what might the range of values be. I would rate the gun good to very good condition, original finish and stock. it'd be excellent except for some small rust spots on the metal butt plate and trigger guard. The bore is very clean. Thanks!

Answer:
Dave, glad to hear that you have had this rifle in your family for so long and that you intend to pass it down to your son. I hope that you and your son are NRA members and that you do all that you can to preserve gun rights so that your son will be able to pass the rifle along to his children when the time comes.

Winchester manufactured about 849,000 model 1890 rifles form 1890 to 1932. Rifles were chambered in .22 Short, Long, Long Rifle and .22 WRF rimfire calibers. Model 1890 calibers were not interchangeable like many modern .22 rifles are today and barrels were marked for single calibers only. The first 15,000 1890 rifles that Winchester manufactured had solid (non take-down) frames and color case hardened receivers. Solid frame rifles are the rarest and most valuable variation, values go as high as $10,000 for examples in excellent condition. Winchester started manufacturing the 1890 with color case hardened receivers and take-down frames in 1892. Values for the take-down variation with color case hardened receivers are still high but only about half what they are for those with a solid frame. After 1902 Model 1890 rifles were manufactured with blued receivers and take-down frames, this is the most commonly encountered variation. Values for rifles with take-down frames and blued receivers range from about $200 to $1000 depending on caliber and condition with rifles chambered for .22 Long Rifle being the most popular and valuable. Marc


# 5163 - French Model 1777 Musket Marked GALTON
12/24/02
RaphaEBl DURY (France)

GALTON - FRENCH 1777 - 69 -

I have a rifle with flint signed on turntable GALTON. Corresponding by the presentation the assembly and dimensions to a lawful rifle French model 1777 of Infantry but with brass trimming and inscription SGS under the gun. Could you inform me about his orignie. Afflicted but I not speak English well.

Answer:
Raphael- I can understand your English, but I know nothing about French, so I will not complain about language barriers. French military arms were the most popular pattern for other countries during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Copies of the Model 1777 were made in the United States and Belgium, and perhaps elsewhere. The only Galtons I could locate were Englishmen Thomas, Samuel and F. (full name not given), who variously worked in London or Birmingham from about 1752 to about 1817. It is possible that they marked their name on some French Mle 1777 muskets which had become available through capture or surplus sales during or after the Napoleonic Wars. I have no idea what the SGS might mean. John Spangler


# 5151 - Remington Army- Nickel Plated
12/24/02
John, Leeds, Yorkshire, England

Remington - New Model Army Percussion Revolver - .44 - 7 1/2 Inches - Nickel Plated - 95503 -

Upper case letter I on heel of wood grip - left side Upper case W on right of barrel, right of frame and cylinder Upper case D on left of barrel Upper case C on left of frame, just in front of cylinder R Upper case H on left of frame, just above hammer bolt I understand most of these were made for the Union Army during the Civil War. Do the above markings provide any more information about the history of this particular weapon? I assume that the gun was plated some time after manufacture as I don't think the factory did it - can you comment?

Answer:
John- The markings you describe are probably subinspector markings found on the military revolvers Remington delivered. The history of military arms can be tracked one of two ways. The most reliable is by the serial number which may link it to information buried in archives somewhere. For U.S. military arms (very broadly defined, and including some Confederate used items, and imported arms) Frank Mallory of Springfield Research Service has uncovered hundreds of thousands of documented serial numbers. We worked with Mr. Mallory to make these available on line at our site http://ArmsCollectors.com You can select the model, enter the serial number and it will call up the ten closest numbers above and below the number you entered. Remember, records have not survived on every serial number, and they only reflect one record, or sometimes if you get lucky, a few records. The other way to tell history is from markings applied to the gun itself. U.S. military policies prohibit such markings, although this was often ignored by National Guard or militia units. The British began stamping markings on the wooden buttstock, forming an interesting travel log for the weapon. Eventually the British added a brass "marking disc" to the stock to be marked up, and then it was turned over and the other side used for more markings, and then a replacement used for yet more markings. The Germans had marking discs on some of their WW1 era Mausers, but most WW1 and earlier arms will have a veritable alphabet soup of marks in script and large and small letters and numbers, most often on the buttplate or upper band, or on the gripstraps. There are at least two good books on German regimental markings to help decipher these. Unfortunately, in the case of your revolver, there has been no documented history yet found by Mr. Mallory (although several with nearby numbers were in use by various Union units in late 1864 or early 1865. One can speculate that this was among the large number of small arms sold to the French for their use (and eventual surrender) in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. Perhaps some English merchant bought up some surplus and had it nickel plated. Of course, if you don't like my conjectured history, you are free to make up your own, and it has just as much chance of being correct. Nickel plating did not come into commercial use until about 1868 or so, but it was very popular until about 1900, especially on cheaper arms. Although it was used to a limited extent for trials on U.S. Army guns, it was slightly more widely used on U.S. Navy revolvers in that period. John Spangler


# 5029 - Bernardelli Mod 60
12/24/02
Barry , Sarnia , Ontario , Canada

V. Bernardelli - Gardone - Model 60 - .22 L. R. - not sure how to measure b. l. - Brass (Whole Gun) except barrel and trigger - 11903 -

The whole gun except the grips is done in scroll work. Also on the one side of the gun it has 4 markings one on the brass part of the barrel. one on the slide. four on the frame behind the trigger and between the grip and one on the grip. the one on the barrel looks like a circle with a star in the middle with what kind of looks like a coat of arms crest with two crisscrossed rifles w/bayonets and a line up through the center with what looks like a hat. . . same as on the slide and the grip thou the grip doesn't have a circle w/star in it. . . the one on the frame is a little different. It starts out with a circle w/star in it then below that are the letters PSF below that another circle(not sure what's in it)then below that the coat of arms crest with crossed rifles and the last thing below that are the letters XVI. On the other side of the barrel it reads V. BERNARDELLI-GARDONE V. T. -CAL.22 L. R. MOD 60 MADE IN ITALY Could you please give me a ballpark idea on price before I purchase it? Also if you have any other information such as when it was made? was it a special edition (because of the scroll work)? I Thank You very much in advance for your assistance.

Answer:
Barry, Bernardelli is an old Italian company founded around 1721. Most recently three different firearms manufactures have used the Bernardelli name - Pietro Bernardelli, Vincenzo Bernardelli and Santini Bernardelli. Vincenzo Bernardelli manufactured firearms seem to have a fairly good reputation. During the late 1980s, many firearms manufactured by Pietro Bernardelli were dumped in the American marketplace. The Pietro Bernardelli manufactured firearms are said to have been of much lesser quality of than those manufactured by Vincenzo Bernardelli.

The Bernardelli Model 60 was first introduced in 1959, it had a 3.5 inch barrel, fixed sights, blue finish and Bakelite grips. The blue book lists Model 60 values in the $200 range and does not list any special variations or editions. Flashy pistols like you are describing have never appealed to me. My advise would be to spend your money on something less gaudy. Marc


# 5152 - Army And Navy
12/21/02
Ian, Fredericton, NB, Canada

Army & Navy C. S. L. London - ? - 300 Cartridge - 24 Inches - Blue - 2442 -

Army & Navy is stamped on a hexagon barrel the serial number is found on the barrel, hand guard, and the receiver. It is a single shot with an action similar to a single shot shotgun. What I would like to know is a brief history of the rifle i.e.. when and where it was made. It was left to me and I know nothing about this rifle, any info would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:
Ian- I cannot tell you anything about the rifle. I do know that the Army and Navy Cooperative Stores Ltd was a firm that catered to British military forces (primarily officers, I believe) stationed in, or bound for the far flung reaches of the Empire. They apparently had some items marked with their name instead of the actual makers (much as on the American "house brands" for exclusive sale through their stores. I believe they had both a physical shop location as well as mail order type sales. Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 5140 - Herters Revolver Parts
12/21/02
Scott, Billings, Montana, USA

Herters - Single Six - 44 Magnum - 5" - Blue - Z1745 -

I have a Herters single six, 44 magnum and I lost the ejector tube and everything else inside of it. Can you give me a phone number or web address of a gun part's store that would have such a hard to find item. I was reading one of your letters and saw another guy with the same pistol as me. It was kind of funny because my Grandfather also gave me mine. Thank you for your time. Scott Johnson

Answer:
Scott- Sorry, we cannot help on that one. Probably the best place to start would be Gun Parts Corporation (on our links page). Most of the single action revolvers that copy the Colt Single Action Army are pretty close to each other and can probably be adapted with a bit of filing, or a bit of epoxy. Good luck. John Spangler


# 5111 - Restore My Old Colt?
12/21/02
Scott, Navasota, Texas

Colt - Pre-Woodsman - .22 LR - 6-5/8" - Blue - 11384 -

First series. Round, "pencil" barrel. Rampart Colt on slide, aft of serrations. One 1903 and two 1918 patent dates on top of barrel. Colt name and address on top of slide. Adjustable front and rear sights. Walnut grips w/diamond pattern on screw ferrule. Pistol is 100% original parts. Blueing is 50% with rusting. Barrel is completely shot out. Right grip cracked and chipped. Pistol functions properly. My friend wants to make this into a shooter using newer, non-original parts. What is your opinion on keeping it in cleaned, original condition as a non-shooter vs modifying it into a shooter? Thanks for your time, Scott

Answer:
Scott, it sounds like your friend's Colt would best be utilized as a source for replacement parts, not the basis for a restoration project. Unless you plan to fabricate them yourself, I don't know where you can get the non-original parts that you mention (except for the grips and the magazine). Possibly you have a source that I don't know about. My opinion is that if you want a pistol that you can shoot, you would be much better off to purchase a new Ruger than to waste time and money trying to restore the old Colt. Marc


# 5121 - Sedgley .22 Drum Magazine
12/20/02
Richard, Atlanta, Ga.

R F Sedgley - Unknown - .22 - N/A - Blued - 6 -

R. F. Sedgley, inc. Philadelphia, Paserial #6pat appl for Have had a drum style magazine in cal. 22 that holds 50 rounds .22 lr. It is spring loaded and appears very similar to an Auto-ordnance Thompson magazine. It is blued and well finished and functions. Also have a brass & steel prototype of a similar configuration. Any idea what it was used for, conversion unit or ?

Answer:
Richard- No idea what that might be. Sedgley made a lot of gun related parts and even complete guns, some under military contract (often for the U.S. Marine Corps) and for various makers and retailers. They also assembled some guns on their own, largely based on the M1903 Springfields. I do not know much about Thompsons (among other topics) but vaguely recall something about Sedgley making some parts for Thompsons. Tracie Hill has written a superb history of the Thompsons, and it may provide the answer. If what you have is actually a prototype, then it probably has some collector interest and value. John Spangler


# 5117 - Springfield Armory M1911 Pistols Made In 1918
12/20/02
Ken Hill

Springfield - 1911 -

# 2311 - 1911 Pistol10/12/1999BruceMaker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number 20 Springfield 1911 45 Unknown 35624220 Reference the above question you answered in 1999. There is some evidence now that Springfield produced 1911's in 1918 when the 03' production line was shut down during the time they investigated the hardening problem. The serial number of question 2311 is within the range of the suspected guns. Is there any way to contact this person?

Answer:
Ken- We do not keep contact information on people who ask questions, so we cannot help you contact the owner. That is a very interesting theory. However, unless someone has some DOCUMENTS to support it, I would not bet the value of this free answer on it being correct. Unless, that is, someone like Charles Clawson is thinking this way. I think he has pretty well researched every aspect of the M1911 production and would have encountered the documentation or examples of the guns to support this theory by now. Setting up machinery to produce pistols instead of rifles is not quick or easy. Without the proper accounting authorization to expend funds for the labor and materials involved, it would not have been done on the whim of some shop foreman, or hardly even by the Commanding Officer of the Springfield Armory himself. The detailed accounting of items manufactured at Springfield Armory lists details down to individual pins, and screws, and it is not likely that they overlooked pistols, or even component parts for them. I may be wrong, but need some convincing on this one. Some research in Brophy's "Arsenal of Freedom: Springfield Armory 1890-1948" may shed further light on the subject. We have a hardbound copy (NOT paperbound) on our books catalog page. John Spangler


# 5109 - Union Pistol
12/20/02
Robert, Accra Ghana

Union France - Unknown - 7.65 - 3 Inch - Blue -

I would like what kind of semi-automatic pistol this is and where I can get the rounds and magazines. Found it among some old stuff belonging to retired military friend.

Answer:
Robert, I could not find much information about French Union Pistols. It is known that they are 6.35mm and 7.65mm blowback Eibar-type semi-automatics probably manufactured from 1920 to about 1939. The pistols are stamped with the trade name 'Union' and most are marked "PISTOLET AUTOMATIQUE FRANCAISE FABRIQUE A ST ETIENNE CAL.-- on the slide. All display UNION on the grip and some have an American Indian-head trademark. It is possible that Union pistols were imported from Spain for sale in France. Some features including the distinctive safety catch suggest that they may have been the work of the Spanish maker Esperanza y Unceta.

7.65 (32 ACP) ammunition is fairly common and you should be able to find at just about any gun store. I would advise that you have the pistol checked for safety by a gunsmith before firing. Marc


# 5113 - Sharps 4 Barrel Derringer
12/17/02
Jim, Livermore, CA

C. Sharps - 4 Barrel Derringer, Pat. 1850 - .22 - About 3 Inches - Not Sure - NOT FOUND -

I have a C. Sharps, four barrel, mini hand gun with the rotating firing pin, Pat. 1850. I have never been able to figure out how they removed the barrel in order to load it. The barrel is mounted in a dovetail and there is a spring loaded screw under the frame that seems to be relevant, but I can't get the barrel off. Can you give me any advice on how to remove the barrel? Thank you very much, Jim

Answer:
Jim- Sometimes the irrelevant can be pretty darn important. The barrels on the Sharps 4 barrel pistols made in .22, .30 or .32 rimfire calibers slide forward for loading. There is a button on the front of the frame that you have to push to allow them to slide forward. I think that Dixie Gun Works has some mediocre quality reproduction parts for these if you discover some mechanical problems inside. John Spangler


# 5106 - Ammo Question
12/17/02
Ed, Lubbock, TX.

J. C. Higgins - 88 - .22 Cal - 5 inches - Blue Bll & cylinder, Matt Frame - 5838XX -

What type of ammo will this revolver shot? Shorts? Long Rifle? Magnums? The cylinder is long enough for magnums. . Why?

Answer:
Sorry Ed, due to liability concerns we do not answer this type of question. I would advise you to have a local gunsmith check your revolver. Marc


# 5024 - Another Meriden
12/17/02
James, Salem, OR

Meridian - Model 15 - .22 -

I have an old 1913 Meridian Model 15 rifle that is a family heirloom, that I am trying to locate parts for to possibly restore. It seems in decent condition and I'm trying to get as much information as I can about the rifle. Thanks.

Answer:
James, Meriden Firearms Company of Meriden, Connecticut was a subsidiary of Sears & Roebuck, they manufactured revolvers and rifles that were sold by Sears. I know of no source for parts, you might try Gun Parts corporation (there is a link to them on our links page). If Gun Parts does not work out, try posting on the OldGuns.net wanted page. We have answered several Meriden questions in the past. For more information about the company, try using the OldGuns.net search engine to search our Q&A pages for "Meriden". Marc


# 5346 - U.S. Ordnance Hand Stamps
12/17/02
Ed

Would you join me in objecting to the sale of U.S. Ordnance hand stamps? The following is a message I sent to one of Gun List's advertisers, Gun Parts Corp which is offering U.S. Ordnance hand stamps for sale. The e-mail address is:

info@gunpartscorp.com

I have also objected to Gun List permitting the item to be advertised.

Ed B.

Question:
TO: Gun Parts Corp.

Why do you offer U.S. Ordnance hand stamps? Aren't you only helping low life individuals cheat collectors of WWII firearms? Its hard enough these days to get the real thing!

I'm encouraging everyone I know not to buy any items from you until you remove these products.

Thanks

Please respond.
Ed B.



Answer:

Ed- We agree with your sentiments. (note my postings on the forum at www.m1903.com). I have also warned in the Garand Collectors and Carbine Club Newsletters about genuine GI DOD Acceptance Stamps (the eagle over stars type used in the 1950s) being sold as surplus, but having circles instead of boxes, and I believe found on electronic stuff rather than ordnance items. However, I don't think that GPC will respond much to complaints, but more to supply and demand and undoubtedly they will sell a bunch of this junk.

It is almost good having these available and advertised to alert people as to the possibility that all markings are not necessarily original. There are probably dozens of fakers already in possession of real inspector stamps, or very good copies, or even very bad copies, and an unknown number of faked items in circulation. The fakers will do their thing, and I don't see any way to end it. The best defense is awareness and knowledge.
If you don't know your diamonds, you better know your jeweler. John Spangler


# 5112 - LT ETIENNE RIFLE
12/14/02
Bruce , Louisville , KY. , USA

Rifle - ? M. 80 ? - ? ? ? ? ? ? - ? # 12859 Tip # N - ? - 12859 -

LT Etienne , MLE 1874 , bolt #s AC27512 , RS14G83 , N49923 Need info on the following rifle -- Darmes Manufacture , MLE 1874

Answer:
Bruce- Script letters fool a lot of people into thinking they must have a rifle or bayonet presented to or owned by Lieutenant Etienne. However, the real name is Manufacture de Armes de Saint Etienne, a French military arsenal, sometimes abbreviates as MAS. (That also explains what the MAS means for the various French pistols and rifles such as the MAS 1935, MAS 1949, etc) Many 19th and early 20th century French arms will have the model date (in this case abbreviated as Mle 1874, better known to collectors as the "Gras") and also a date of manufacture (1880 in this case) and often with dates of one or more subsequent modifications. The French were very fond of putting serial numbers on just about everything, and then promptly mixing them all up in overhauls. John Spangler


# 5104 - 1903 Rod Bayonet Rifle Info
12/14/02
Kevin

Springfield - 1903 Rod Bayonet -

I was wondering what information you could give me on the 1903 Rod Bayonet Rifle, Prices, amount of known originals. And also were to find parts? Thanks you for any and all help. Kevin

Answer:
Kevin- These are very rare in original unaltered condition, and probably half of those existing today are restorations. Numbers are hard to determine, but based on my observations, I would think that fewer than 100, maybe less than 50, exist outside of museums. Probably an equal number of restorations. Value is whatever buyer and seller can agree on (i.e. how eager one is to buy and the other to sell), but probably in the $10,000-30,000 range, also depending a great deal on condition. Restorations would be a lot less. Parts are virtually unobtainable, unless you stumble across them, although there are some repro parts that have been made from time to time. The only part seen with any frequency is the bayonet itself, usually something like $100. The Rod Bayonet M1903 rifle is a prize for any collection. John Spangler


# 5027 - Model 1879 Reichs Revolver With Unit Markings
12/14/02
Daryl, Pinnacle, NC

Dreyse - 1879 - 10.55 - 7'' - Brownish Black 80-90% left - 986 -

986 twice on barrel and by F. V. Dreyse logo on side 86 on screws and safety Plate by loop 79. A.2.51 35. R. A.2.13 35. R. A.2.8 How do you tell what year it was made and how much is it worth in excellent condition with most of the finish?

Answer:
Daryl, you have an interesting firearm. Although this model was obsolete by the time the war started, the 1879 revolver was used extensively during the first world war by Landwher second line troops.

Typical 1879 revolvers have the following markings:

  • The Manufacturer (in your case it should be "F.V. Dreyse, Sommerda" inside an oval).
  • Match numbers (86 or 986) on various parts that indicate whether or not the parts are original to the firearm.
  • The bore size in millimeters (10.55) stamped on the barrel.
  • Range drill numbers (1 through 6) stamped on the cylinder.
  • The issue date should be stamped on the lower left hand side of the frame just in front of the cylinder (this should be pretty close to the manufacture date).

I think that the most interesting aspect of your revolver are the unit numbers stamped on the bottom of the grip near the lanyard loop. Unit numbers make it possible to document some of a weapons history and collectors will often pay a premium for them. Your revolver has three unit markings:

  • 79. A.2.51 - Field Artillerie Regiment 79, Batterie 2, Waffe Nr.51
  • 35. R. A.2.13 - Reserve Field Artillerie Regiment 35, Batterie 2, Waffe Nr.13
  • 35. R. A.2.8 - Reserve - Field - Artillerie - Regiment 35, Batterie 2, Waffe Nr.8
Value for your revolver is in the $700 to $1000 range, let us know if you ever decide to sell. Marc


# 5159 - Nickel (UGH) 1911
12/10/02
Jim, Morris, Il

Colt - 1911 - .45 ACP - 5" - Nickel? - C78415 -

Says "Government" on the RH side near serial number. When was this made? Original finish? Worth?

Answer:
Jim, the C in front of the serial number indicates the pistol was made for commercial sale. It was made early in 1917. Many of these were purchased privately by soldiers going off to the World War I. The original factory finish should be Colt high polish oven blue. If original, nickel finish would have been a special order feature. The magazine should be blued on the bottom on case colored on the top. The grips should have the large diamonds around the screw holes with checkering in between, unless a special order such as pearl. You might want to contact Colt to get a factory letter which will tell you what the original finish was on the pistol when it left the factory. I suspect that the finish is not original, if I am correct value will be in the $300 range. Marc


# 5101 - IBM M1 Carbine Dates
12/10/02
Rich, Brea, CA

IBM - M1 Carbine - 30 - 3860373 -

Can you tell the manufacture date from the serial number - my books don't show it. Should it have an IBM barrel, or could it have another manufacturers barrel originally (not rebuild)? Thx, Rich

Answer:
Rich- Carbine dating is often pretty easy, as many of the makers dated their barrels. IBM made barrels, so they should be marked with the letters IBM and a date such as 8-43. Typically the barrel date seems to be anywhere from a few days to maybe two or three months before final assembly and delivery. You can get into neat philosophical discussions about how many BATF agents can dance on the tip of a firing pin, or if the "date of manufacture" is the date the receiver was made (BATF seems to like that) or when it had a barrel installed, or the date the Army inspector accepted the weapon as government property. However, with tens of thousands of carbines being delivered by makers in a single month, the benefit of such discussions may be vastly overrated. Not all of the makers made all parts. There was a lot of parts swapping between the makers to keep production going if someone was having problems with one or more parts (machinery problems, shortage of materials, etc). Some of this was officially directed by the Carbine Integration Committee. There also appears to have been a lot of unofficial exchanges as well. This can account for some unexpected combinations of makers' parts, as well as skewed dates, further compounded by massive overhaul programs after WW2, and then further repairs by our numerous allies to whom we have given carbines over the years. You can probably figure out the date of manufacture of your carbine within a month or two by checking Larry Ruth's definitive history of the M1 Carbine "War Baby". For each manufacturer he lists the serial number ranges assigned, and also the quantity delivered each month. With a bit of math you can estimate the serial numbers likely to have been involved for that month. However, deliveries were NOT in strict serial number sequence, so while a good general guide, such information is just that. John Spangler


# 5102 - Colt 1849 Pocket 6 Inch R___r Marked
12/10/02
Jim Oklahoma City, OK

Colt - 1849 Pocket - .31 - 6" - Blue/color Case - 203794 -

Engraved on buttstrap with a script upper case "R", a straight line, then a script lower case "r" (R____r). There are 4 of these known to exist. All are 6" barrel, 6 shot, Hartford address, and in the 203, 000 and 204, 000 serial no. range. We do not know what this marking means or if there are any more of these around. Have you ever seen this (R____r) on any of these? Any idea what it means? Thanks. Jim.

Answer:
Jim- I have never seen one of these, but I have an immunity to the Colt disease, so probably have not touched a dozen of the Pocket models in my whole life. I assume that you have checked in Robert Jordan and Darrow Watts' definitive book on the 1849 Pocket Model. If you cannot find an answer there, I would not know where to look. Maybe the experts in the Colt Collectors Association would know (see out links page). The markings you describe sound vaguely like the sort of thing I would expect to find on German or other European arms, rather than American. Perhaps some sort of marking on military trial guns, or those belonging to a business of some sort? John Spangler


# 5161 - Winchester 1894 Manufactured In 1905
12/7/02
Rick, Eunice, LA

Winchester - 1894 - 30 - Unk - Blue - 372823 -

crescent stock, original hardware/bluing A friend of mine has this gun. Everything appears to be original with bluing app at 70% or a little better. How rare is this model/caliber, and ballpark value? It is not a 30-30, it's a 30 cal. Any information is appreciated.

Answer:
Rick, your Winchester was manufactured in 1905. Blue book values range anywhere from about $300 to over $5000 depending on configuration and condition. If it is a saddle ring carbine (20 inch barrel and metal stud on the left side of the receiver), there is considerable interest in it. If it's in rifle configuration with the longer barrel there is also considerable interest, though the prices being paid are less than for saddle ring carbines. Marc


# 5093 - Belgium Boot Pistol
12/7/02
Martha

1. Markings

a.) U S 1861 on the side right hand side under the hammer
b.) If you turn the pistol "belly up" there is the number 15 in the narrow upper portion of the metal and underneath in the wider portion of the metal is an LL,G inside an oval with the first L above the L,G

2. Barrel of the Pistol

a) Octagonal that is 6 3/8 long
b.) There is a raised sight on the end of the barrel and a V-notched sight where the barrel meets the metal portion where the cap is placed
c.) It has a 5/8" bore
d.) The octagonal barrel unscrews from the metal portion of the pistol that makes up the cap and ball area.

3. Butt of the Pistol
a) Is made of rosewood
b) The bottom of the pistol butt is a brass cap box which is hinged and spring loaded

The trigger is hidden up into the metal portion of the gun, which attaches to the wooden butt. When the hammer is pulled back, the trigger descends.

Please let me know ASAP anything you can by the end of the week. I would really appreciate it. I am desperately trying to identify a cap and ball pistol. It has a beautiful patina and can still be fired. It may or may not be considered a "boot" pistol. The overall length of the pistol is 11 1/4 from the end of the barrel to the longest part of the butt. I took this measurement by bringing a ruler up straight from the outer most area of the wood and intersected it to the measuring tape I was using from the end of the barrel to the ruler.

Answer:
Martha- Most collectors would include your pistol in the category of "boot pistol" despite the exceptionally large size. The LLG markings are probably actually ELG, which is the proof mark used in Belgium, a source of huge numbers of mainly inexpensive arms. The general "boot pistol" design was popular circa 1840-1870, so an 1861 date is not inconsistent. However, I think that the "U.S." is of very dubious authenticity, as there were virtually NO guns of this type purchased by the federal government. during the Civil War. That causes me to question the authenticity of the 1861 marking as well. In general, the Belgians did not date their products.

It is possible that something like this was a privately purchased arm used during the Civil War, but the large size makes it (and ammunition) heavy and likely to be discarded by an already overburdened soldier.

It is possible that this is more of a target pistol, but without a photo it is hard to be sure. Rosewood grips and a cap box in the butt are signs of somewhat higher quality than the usual boot pistol. John Spangler


# 5099 - Mauser Model 98 Rifle
12/7/02
Nick Palmdale Ca

Mauser - MOD.98. - Possibly 7 Or 8mm - 22''-23'' - 2166 ? -

Front sight has what looks to be an eagle over the numbers "63", over a capital "K". The numbers 2166 are stamped on parts of the rifle. Model number is stamped as MOD.98. I would like to know the age, history, etc. All the comparable guns that we have seen had slight differences in stamping (such as the model number, this gun has all capitals whereas others didn't. I would also like to know if the symbol, which appears to be an eagle with its wings spread, is a Nazi symbol.

Answer:
Rich- The Mauser bolt action rifle known as the Model 98, Gewehr 98, K98, or Karabiner 98 was one of the most widely used military rifles of the 20th century. Something like 100 different countries used variations, often with sub variations for infantry, artillery and cavalry troops. Many were modified one or more times over the years. Many were sold as surplus from one country to another. Robert Ball has written a superb book "Mauser Military Rifles of the World" that covers most of the 98 Mauser variations, plus the 1781, 1871/84, 1891, and 1896 models as well. In addition, several other books have been written about Mauser rifles, such Richard Law's excellent "Backbone of the Wehrmacht" on the WW2 German Kark98k version and his other book on the sniping variations of the Kar98k. To answer your questions, we would need to know a lot more about your rifle, and then spend some time trying to match up the model and markings. John Spangler


# 5144 - Radom Value
12/3/02
Ted, Brownton, MN

Random - P35 - 9MM - E9520 -

I it has the FB and VIS Grip on it. It also does have the hammer release lever and the stripping catch. The left side of the slide markings are F. B Radom VIS mod 35. Pat Nr15567 then it has a german eagle. There are also several other german makrings on the pistol. I also what I think is the origanal holister with the german makings to it.I would like to know about when it was made and what its value would be about.

Answer:
Ted, I cannot give you an exact date of manufacture. Poland was overrun in Sept 1939, and the Polish military pistols diverted to the German army. The features of your pistol are consistent with manufacture before 1943. Value will depend on whether the numbers on the frame, slide and barrel match, and the extent of the original finish remaining on the pistol. An early Radom with the shoulder stock slot with 100% finish lists in the Blue Book at $900. Type II pistols, without the shoulder stock, but with the take down lever list at $550 in 100% condition. There have not been a lot of these available lately so values may be a little higher than what the blue book lists. Marc


# 5094 - S. A. Goddard Double Rifle
12/3/02
Bruce, Dallas, TX

32 Inches -

Double Barrel, Percussion Cap Rifle. S A Goddard Co. appears to be manufacture I recently inherited a double barrel percussion cap rifle. Only marking that I can find are S A Goddard Co. , etched on the metal near the hammers. I know that it belonged to my Great Grandfather in 1870. I've searched the internet for information on S A Goddard Co. with no success. I am looking to determine about when the rifle was manufactured and where. Any information or resources someone could recommend, would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:
Bruce- Samuel A. Goddard is noted as an importer of locks, made in his factory in England, in the 1858 New York City directly according to Frank Sellers' "American Gunsmiths." Robert Gardner's "Small Arms Makers" note that Samuel Aspinal Goddardoperated in Birmingham, England, 1834-1856 and exhibited fowling pieces, muskets, and "California Protectors" pistols invented by Goddard at the International Exhibition in 1851. It is possible your gun was made in England, in which case it would have English proofmarks (two designs of crossed flags with several letters at the edges) on the barrels. It is also possible that it merely used Goddard marked locks with the remainder being made by some maker in America. The U.S. (apparently except for Massachusetts, even then intruding government's nose into every aspect of life) had no requirements for proofmarking of firearms, so they are generally unmarked unless a maker voluntarily decided to do so. It seems that a man's reputation and desire to do good work is sufficient motivation, and that a bunch of laws only creates incentives to find ways around them. John Spangler


# 5088 - Ashmore Warranted Rifle
12/3/02
Hank Canada

Ashmore Warranted - Left Hand Flintlock - 50 - 30" - Brown - NONE -

None (Rifle is a reproduction) What is the history of the Ashmore Warranted rifle it looks similar to a Hawken's Plain Rifle

Answer:
We do not know a lot about modern made muzzle loaders or their parts. However we try to pay enough attention that we will not be fooled into thinking they are originals. That is one reason we tried to get to the North-South Skirmish Association shoots in Winchester, Virginia, for their twice a year competition. Everyone there wears pretty authentic copies of the uniforms and equipment used in the Civil War, and they shoot a variety of original and reproduction revolvers, carbines, muskets and cannons. "Sutlers" operate stores there that sell all that kind of stuff, some original, and a lot of it newly made, often of scary good quality. The National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association also sponsors a variety of competitions for all sorts of muzzle loaders of all eras. You might want to check out the links to those groups on our links page. As I recall, "Ashmore" locks have been on the market since the 1960s, and I believe were offered originally by a gent named Russ Hamm, who made a number of different styles in both flint and percussion and right and left hand actions. Since a gun is basically just a lock, stock and barrel, just about any combination can be used to end up with a very authentic looking copy, or a cacophonous clash of cultures that might work okay but look very strange. John Spangler


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