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# 11662 - Colt Walker?
Bill Ontario, Ca.

Colt Walker - 45 Cal. - 8 In - Blue - 0158 -

Barrel has engraving of old Naval ships, Columbus era I believe. How can I find info on this particular fire arm ?

Bill- You need to get a book on Colts. The Walker is a really bug gun, weighing about 4 pounds 9 ounces, and having a 9 inch barrel The cylinder scene depicted Texas Rangers engaged with some Indians. The first .44 caliber revolver by Colt with an 8 inch barrel was the Model 1860 Army, which had a cylinder scene depicting a naval engagement of the Texas Navy in 1846. An original Walker has a value in the five or six figure range, while a M1860 Army only gets into the low four figure range. John Spangler

# 11649 - 1903 Springfield Target Sight Tool
Ash, Baghdad, Iraq

Springfield - M1903 - Blue -

I remember reading an article sometime ago about Springfield 1903s used in the National Matches. In the article was a picture of a brass (?) micrometer attachment for the rear sight of the M1903 that was said to be very popular when the bolt-action dominated the matches. Does anyone know what that was called and where I might find one?

Ash- the device you are talking about is probably the "O'Hare Sight Micrometer" which could be set on the M1903 rear sight ladder and carefully adjusted to the present setting and then clicked up or down the desired amount with the elevation lock screw loosened to make precise adjustments. It could also be used when changing from the 200 yard to the 600 yard line or similar distance changes. If the shooter knew their zero, they could set the micrometer for the desired reading and then slide the elevation slide to the exact setting. This is much more precise than trying to read the graduations on the sight leaf. Although the O'Hare was the most popular, several other people made similar devices. John Spangler

# 11301 - Unique Model 10 Manufacture Date
Les, Easton, Pa

Unique Of Hendaye - Model 10 - 6.35 Mm - Blue - 28521 -

Clear plastic hand grips that are plain with ribbed edges and a foil material under the plastic that resembles pearl hand grips. My father obtained this gun in WW II and is untouched since he sent it home. I am trying to determine when it was manufactured. It is a semi-automatic.

Les, I was unable to find much information on the Unique Model 10, only that it was a Browning copy which was introduced in 1923. Marc

# 11644 - My Gun Is Being Confiscated
Kevin, Harare, Zimbabwe, Africa

Deutsche Waffen Und Munitionsfabriken - Mauser Action - .318 - X Long! - Blue - 17420 -

My Grandfather purchased this rifle in around 1930 in South Africa. It has been hardly used and is in excellent condition. With new legislation in Zimbabwe we have to either export the rifle or have it destroyed. I am interested in finding out if it will be worthwhile exporting the rifle for resale should it have a material value. Sorry I do not have the rifle currently with me to measure the barrel but will say that it does appear to be almost un-naturally long. Many thanks.

Kevin- I am sure your rifle would have some collector value, and certainly some value as a fine hunting arm. However, we do not import/export any cartridge arms due to the conflicting maze of laws and regulations, interpreted by petty bureaucrats who often do understand what the laws are. I hope that all Americans pay attention to what is going on in your country. Guns were registered. Crime has become epidemic (due to a variety of reasons unrelated to gun registration). Now the politicians are confiscating your guns (or making you turn them in or export them--same thing as confiscation). Sadly, the inevitable outcome will be a further explosion of crime, and absent any capacity of the people to defend themselves, or resist illegal acts of corrupt government officials or their cronies, many innocent people will die. This is the reason the gun owners in the United States MUST resist any attempt to impose any sort of gun registration, or the mechanism by which it could be implemented. If you own a gun, you should be a member of the NRA. John Spangler

# 11293 - Sears 103.451
Eric, Albuquerque, NM

Sears and Roebuck - 103.451 model 45 - .30-30 - 19.5 - Don't Know -

Lever action Trying to figure out who the true manufacture is of the Gun? Marlin, Winchester...

Eric, I used the house brands link to look up your model and got the following result:

Sears Model 103.451 is the Marlin model 336. Marc

# 11806 - Nickel Plated Ithaca 1911A1 Value

Ithaca - 45 1911 - 1911 45cal - Nickel -

Property of US Gov. Looks just like a Colt 45 Is this thing worth $800.00

Danny, the original finish on this pistol should be a rough looking gray/green (called Parkerization). The nickel finish will ruin most collector interest. In my opinion, the only value the pistol has now, is as a rather gaudy shooter. I think that $800 is WAY too high, by more than 50%. Marc

# 11640 - Colt Derringer Presentation

.22 Caliber 7 Shot. -

I have a 22 derringer seven shot gun. It is heavily etched and has pearl handles. The engraving on one side of the pearl handle is as follows: "To Capt Sullivan at St Bridgetts Fair Jan 1875. I wrote to Colt Mfg asking about the history and they mailed back that the records on this particular gun were destroyed in an archive fire. I am interested in finding out the following: A source on how to find out who Capt Sullivan was, Where was St Bridgetts fair in 1875, An idea of the value of the gun and where and how I would go about selling it. I look forward to your assistance,

Jack- I regret that we cannot help with that. "Captain" may refer to a military officer, a naval officer, or a shipping captain, or perhaps even a fireman or officer in a quasi-military or veterans group, or maybe the Fair used titles like that for its organizers. Perhaps it is a courtesy title used for landed gentry, or militia officers.

Sullivan is a common Anglo-Saxon name and may indicate the recipient was from anywhere in the UK, or perhaps the US, Australia or New Zealand, or maybe other English colonies such as India or South Africa.

St. Bridgetts may be the correct spelling, or an error made by the engraver for the alternate spelling Bridgets, so you would need to check under both versions. A Fair, may have been a grand commercial enterprise reminiscent of the lavish Worlds' Fair or London Exposition of 1851, an amateurish local wannabe attempt at imitation, or a traditional annual agricultural event. Perhaps it was a St. Bridgetts church, which opens another enitre world of possibilities to explore.

January seems to be an odd time for a fair, at least in the northern hemisphere. Perhaps research should be concentrated in the southern hemisphere, but of course it could have been presented upon the start or end of service, or in recognition of a deed which took place many months earlier.

As far as value, the pearl grips and engraving will add maybe 25-50% over the basic value of a similar condition example without them. Lacking any specific identification of St Bridgettes or Captain Sullivan, or the nature of the Fair or reason for presentation, I think that inscription adds little or nothing to the value.

I do not know anyone to recommend to undertake research on this, and a few minutes doing google searches for St. Bridgetts Fair was not very encouraging. Hope this helps. John Spangler

# 11639 - Rohm .22 Caliber RG Revolver

I am attempting to assist an elderly friend dispose of property as she is now in an assisted living center. Among her belongings was her late husbands Rohm 22 caliber pistol, still in original box, apparently seldom used. I know nothing about guns. On the side of the gun sort of underneath the revolving piece it says RG Industries, Miami FL, but on the barrel it says made in Germany. It has a long number under the butt of the gun handle. Is this something you might be interested in buying or taking on consignment? I can send photos if you wish. Thanks.

Hi- Value on these is very modest, one price guide suggest $35 to $125 which varies depending on exact model and condition. Frankly, I consider them only marginally safe to shoot, and would never own one under any circumstances, let alone try to shoot it. Your best bet would be to contact a local gun dealer and accept whatever they would be willing to give you. I think you may live in California, and I am not sure that it is even legal for a dealer to resell one of these since they were made prior to the state's current "safety standards" rules. If no dealer is interested, I would probably take it apart (with a big hammer if necessary) and dispose of the pieces in the trash so it cannot be used by some thug. John

# 11286 - Walther Model 9

Walther - 9 - 25 - Blue -

Walther's patend Model 9 on the slide side Other side shows: Waffenfabrik Walther Zella-Mehlis (Thur) I have not been able to identify when this was made and if it has any value. It is in fair to good condition. Some of the blueing worn off.

Jim, Walther manufactured the Model 9 from 1921 to 1945, it was one of the smallest and some consider the neatest vest pocket pistols ever made. Standard finish was blue, pistols came with a 6 shot bottom release magazine, fixed sights and black checkered plastic grips with round medallions. The safety lever was on the left side of the frame behind trigger and pistols were designed to eject spent casings upward. Model 9 construction was similar earlier Walther models but without the barrel jacket. One problem with Model 9 pistols is that over a period of time, the small striker spring may lose its resilience, and deliver weak strikes. Blue book values for Model 9 pistols ranges from $150 to over $600 depending on condition, but it has been my experience that it is hard to sell just about any .25 caliber pistol for much more than $300. Marc

# 11283 - Paranoid In Alabama
Steve, Dothan, AL

FN - HI POWER - 9mm - Blue - 57XXX -

I have just purchased a FN Hi Power with serial #57xxx. It has the ring hammer and internal extractor. I know that it's hard sometimes to date the FN pistols. Can you tell me the approximate production date? Thanks.

Steve, it is especially hard to date pistols when I am not given the complete serial number so I will respond in kind. The date of manufacture for you pistol is 19XX. Marc

# 11278 - Savage Value
Michael, Greenville, SC

Savage Arms Corporation - 24 - 22 Cal. Top And 410 On Bottom - Don't Know -

Chesapeake, Massachusetts, USA This is a rifle with a 22cal on top and a 410 on the bottom, over and under, What is the value if any of this firearm?

Michael, prices for most Savage combination guns range from $100 to a little over $250 depending on condition. Marc

# 11267 - Marlin 81-DL Value
Roxanne , Mcleod, ND

Marlin - 81 DL -S-L-LR - .22 Cal. - Blue - NO # -

manufactured before WWII - what is the value of this gun

Roxanne, the Marlin Model 81-DL rifle was introduced in 1941 and manufactured up until the start of WWII. Model 81 production was resumed in 1945 and continued until 1964 so your rifle could have been manufactured either before or after WWII. The 81-DL was a modernized version of Marlin's earlier Model 81-B, it had a plastic trigger guard, aperture sight on the receiver and hooded bead at the muzzle. Rifles manufactured before WWII had a broad semi-beaver tail forend, post-war rifles had a standard forend and rifles made after 1957 had a walnut Monte Carlo half-stock and a new streamlined trigger guard. There is not a lot of collector interest in this model, I would expect to see one offered at a gunshow in the $100 range. Marc

# 11637 - Colt M1911 With 65th NY Unit Marks
Jim Buffalo

Colt - M1911 -

Sir, would like to share some intel on a Colt Model 1911 and some related items. The Colt is standard issue in all respects, and I have factory letter showing was shipped to Commanding Officer, Springfield Armory, 1914. I acquired it some 30 years ago from a local police officer. It is unusual in that engraved on the front grip strap is: \"65 N.Y. No 3.\" It is very light but all there, and clearly professionally done, most likely by a jeweler. Now, some 20 years ago I acquired a Model 1912 holster, a Mills pistol belt stamped \"1914,\" and a Mills twin magazine pouch, with Eagle snaps, dated 1914, containing two near mint, two-tone clips with lanyard loops. Heavily on the inside flap of the holster is: \"65 N.Y. No 3!\" The holster, magazines and web gear came from a dealer in California. Commanding officers back in 1914 had great leeway, and I can see the sending out of sidearms to be so inscribed. So, where is gun #1, #2, #4 or whatever?? And, how come this Colt stays in NY State where it belongs, and its gear ends up on the West Coast?

Jim- Sounds like a neat rig and a lightning bolt of great good luck to boot. Despite federal regulations prohibiting application of unit markings to arms, many NY militia/national guard units seemed to do so as a matter of policy. NY NG/Militia seems to have a tradition of being somewhat independent cusses prone to ignore whatever rules they do not like, so finding a M1911 marked does not surprise me. I have seen or heard of literally dozens of trapdoors with 65th NY markings, and I think that the 65th was a "separate company" which may have been even closer to a fully state controlled unit than a normal National Guard unit with dual federal/state controls.

Accounting for web gear is a lot less stringent than accounting for small arms, and the belt set may have followed a soldier home, or it may have been sold off as surplus at some point while the pistol remained in service for another 50 years. The pistol also may have been transferred from the NYNG to a local police department at some time, especially up along the frontier. (Gotta keep an eye on those crazy Canucks, eh!) Anyway that's my free opinion. John Spangler

# 11631 - Oddball Japanese 6.5mm Carbine
Rich, Andover, NJ

Arisaka - Type 38 Carbine - 6.5 MM - 19 Inches - Blue - 163513 -

Korura Manufacture I have acquired a Japanese Carbine which is different than normal. The stock is the same as a Type 38 Long Rigle with sling hinges on bottom and full size grip indentations. The stock and barrel lengths are the same as a Carbine. Total length 38 inches. It looks like a factory manufactured it using Long Rifle wood stocks and shortening them. Any info on this configuration? Thanks. Rich

Rich- Your best bet is to check Honeycutt & Anthony's "Military Rifles of Japan" which is the book that helps make us look smart about Japanese rifles. If you cannot find anything there, then check with the people at Banzai! the Japanese collector group lead by Mr. Doss White. John Spangler

# 11626 - Rebuilt M1903 Mark I Rifle
Ray, Tucson, AZ

U.S. Springfield Armory - 1903 Mark I - 30.06 - Blue - 1154816 -

Pederson device slot, ''C'' stock, Barrell marked ''SA flaming bomb 7-42, ''H'' on bayonet lug,''S1'' in grove under bolt removal lever, ''S1M'' on bolt, P.J O'Hare front & rear sight protectors & P.J O'Hare micrometer. Can you give me any info on this rifles history? I've been collecting all articles I find on the 1903s and I'm learning more every day about this piece of military history. The stock looks like it's been redone but the rifle looks to be in good shape what is it's value.

Ray- Sorry, all we can tell you is that your rifle is probably one that had the special Mark I parts removed and replaced with standard M1903 parts and reissued as a regular M1903. During or after WW2 a replacement barrel was installed. At some point a type "C" stock with full pistol grip was installed, perhaps while still in service, but more likely after being sold as surplus on April 18, 1949. (You can get documentation on that sale from Springfield Research Service on our other site at ). It probably was used as someone's high power match rifle for many years, and may be a good shooter still. The O'Hare accessories are probably worth a fair amount by themselves, but rifle value will depend on what the SRS papers show for configuration, and the current condition. John Spangler

# 11263 - H&R Parts
Andrew Pa

H&R Inc - Forty Niner #949 - .22 - 6'' - Blue -

Where do I get parts? Is it worth fixing?

Andrew, my opinion is that it is that your H&R is not worth fixing. If you still want to try, Gun Parts Corp ( is the best place to look for parts. If that doesn't work, try posting the parts you need on our free "Wanted" page and at the new forum at Marc

# 11784 - Luger Value
Craig, Tucson, Arizona

Luger - 9mm - 5 3/16'' - Blue - 2637 -

Left side: barrel stamped Germany just forward of where barrel joins receiver Receiver markings left side in order: crown; II with crown above; two letter Ms with crowns above and serial number above; under safety: GESICHERT; rear of sight 33; top of toggle 100 I was wondering if you could either provide me with an abbreviated history and value range of this piece. I also have two magazines for it. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Craig, all of the small numbers on your Luger should match. The "33" and "100" stampings that you mention sound like your Luger is a mismatch or parts gun. The "GERMANY" stamping probably means that the pistol was imported into the U.S. for commercial sale at one time in its history. You did not mention condition, value will depend upon several factors the most important of which are condition, matching numbers and original finish. If your Luger is not matching value will be in the $300 to $500 range. Values for Lugers with all matching parts in excellent condition can go well over $1500. Marc

# 11787 - Rohm Gmbh Sontheim / Benz Treasure?
Tara, Manchester, Ohio

Rohm Gmbh Sontheim / Benz - 22 - 3'' - Stainless Steel - 1251262 -

Is this a treasure? I found this and was wondering who owned it if that is possible, also if it is worth keeping or selling. What is the price range if I were to sell it?

Tara, sorry, although the "Benz" part of the name makes it sound expensive, you do not have a treasure. Value for these little revolvers is in the $25 to $50 range if you can find a buyer at all. The most that I can tell you about the previous owner/s is that they probably did not know much about guns or could not afford anything better. If you want to fire it, I would advise you to have a gunsmith check it to make sure it is safe to shoot first. Marc

# 11621 - Remington M1903A3 Stock Marks
Karl St.Paul MN

Remington - 03-A3 - 30-06 - ???????? - Don't Know - 4173342 -

Barrel has Markings R.A. with a flame design marking, with numbers 11-43. About 1/4th the way down has what appears to be a number 3 on upper side, and on lower side has the letter 3. On the Front sight has the letter R on lower part, and an E on upper part. On stock behind Trigger Guard has P in a circle. On the Front of the trigger guard has 4 Stamped markings, 2 individual circles with what appears to have letters CO or GO in them. A square with the letter P, D, or A in it. and a Triangle with the letter J I'm assuming. On the left side of the stock it has the letters OG with nothing around it. I came across the gun from my grandfather, no clue how long he's had it or how he got it, there was some story about it being his brothers in WWII but I doubt that could be true. Just trying to find out what the markings mean. and a little behind the firearm. I found some information, but the 4 markings in front of the trigger guard is a head scratcher for me. Thanks

Karl- Most likely your grandfather bought this rifle from the old DCM program (predecessor of the current CMP program) in the 1960s for the princely sum of $14.50. The stock markings are all normal for a Remington made rifle. The cluster of markings ahead of the trigger guard are subinspector markings or indications of what worker performed certain steps. The OG indicates the rifle was inspected, or perhaps overhauled at the Ogden, Utah Arsenal during or after WW2, most likely in the post WW2 era. John Spangler

# 11262 - Beretta 1926 Value
Ralph, Warwick, Rhode Island

Beretta - 1926 - 25 Acp/6.35mm - 3 To 4 Inches - Nickel - 157276 -

What if any value is there for this weapon? I believe it was made between 1948 and 1952. The finish is either nickel or stainless (alloy).

Ralph, the blue book tells me that the Model 1926 was similar to the earlier Model 1919, except fit with wood panels bearing an encircled PB. About 11,000 Model 1926 pistols were manufactured, values in the blue book range between $100 and about $350 depending on condition but I think you may have a hard time selling one for much over $250. Marc

# 11618 - Coca Cola Buckles
Connie Drexel MO

Blue -

Anson Mill, Pat. Feb 1 1881, T.C. Orndorff Sole Manf. Worcester Mass. U.S.A. My question is on an answer you gave on a Mills Cartridge belt. I have a belt buckle with the above ''special markings'' pat. on it. It has Coca-Cola embossed on it. You said the belt buckles for the belts themselves have been reproduced for years. How do you tell if its a reproduction? I have found several on the web. One blank, one with a hound dog, one with MASS, and mine with Coca-Cola. How does one put a price to these things. It looks old!!!

Connie- As far as I know the Coca Cola buckles are fakes made to sucker people who collect Coca Cola stuff into parting with some cash. So were several other varieties. Separating the real stuff from the fake stuff takes some reference books, experience, or a reputable dealer. It is best to make use of all three, but any one tool may keep a person from making a costly mistake. John Spangler

# 11605 - .303 Rifle P14 Or ????
Deon, South Africa

BSA - Unknown - .303 - Blue - M7616 -

On Barrel - BV BP .303 2.22 NP NOC 41 GAS - 215 BULLET MADE IN ENGLAND and BSA on to of the rifle. I need to replace the barrel and were told that this is a P14 model. From what I have read up on these riles it appears that all P14 models were manufactured in USA, why then the ''Made in England'' stamping? Could you please help me with any info you might have on this rifle. Kind regards, Deon.

Deon- Your source is partially correct. All the Pattern 1914 rifles were indeed made in the United States of America (the other USA, not to be confused with the Union of South Africa). However, the P14 rifles all used letters W, ERA, or R as serial number prefixes. With a "M" prefix, I believe this is likely either a Short Magazine Lee Enfield model of some sort, or perhaps a "sporter" rifle made by BSA using a military action of some sort. It is possible it is a P14 action that was renumbered when converted by BSA, but I think not. John Spangler

# 11775 - Winchester 1886 Re-Finished Value
Don, Dallas, Texas

Winchester 1886 - .45-70 - 26 - 30 - Blue - 15022 -

The rifle described above belongs to my neighbor. A friend of his, while in possession of the rifle, re-blued the weapon (not a great job, but not too bad). Did this hurt whatever value the rifle may have had?

Don, it looks like we are getting a lot of re-finish value questions this week. Re-finishing a highly desirable collectible firearm like a Winchester Model 1886 is never a good idea. Depending upon the particular firearm and quality of the workmanship, refinishing a firearm will lower value by at least 1/2 and sometimes much more. Marc

# 11777 - Don't Re-Finish That 1897?
Dale Denham Springs, LA

Marlin - 97 - 22 - 23'' - Blue - A7264 -

Patd Nov.19,1878 April 2,1889 Aug.12, 1890 Mar. 1,1892 I have a Marlin 22 lever action Model 97 it has some scratches on the stock and the bluing is worn on some of the metal parts. It has a hex barrel and it breaks into two pieces by unscrewing the bolt on the right side. It has some patent dates on the barrel ranging from Nov.1878 to March 1892. I was wondering what the gun would be worth and if you could tell me approximately how old it could be? I was given this gun by my grandfather he used it to shoot snakes and fired many of rounds through it. He bought this gun from a lady at garage sale for $5.00. When I received the gun the extractor was broken and I had it repaired the gun still shoots well although the barrel is worn slightly. I did some research on the gun and was told that this was also known as a bicycle gun. I am considering restoring the gun if this will not decrease the value.

Dale, I have never heard that Marlin 1897 rifles were called bicycle guns. Bicycle guns were usually small revolvers intended to be carried by cyclists to protect themselves from the unwelcome attention of dogs while cycling in the country.

Early Marlin models were all numbered in a single serial number range. Dates recorded in available Marlin records are apparently shipping dates, not dates of manufacture. This makes it hard to date early Marlins by their serial numbers. Marlin re-introduced several versions of the 1997 in the 1990s and 2000s but the original Model 1897 was manufactured between 1897-1922. It was a lever action take-down rifle that could chamber .22 Short, Long, or Long Rifle cartridges. Barrels were available from the factory in 16, 24, 26, or 28 inch lengths. Original finish on the receiver was case coloring. If you are not familiar with case coloring, it sorta looks like the colors you get when you pour oil on water. Rifles could be ordered with straight or pistol grip stocks.

Model 1897 values in the blue book range from about $800 to over $2500. If you have the rifle re-finished values will be in the $600 or less range, re-finishing would be a very bad idea. Marc

# 11593 - Starr Revolver With Split Barrel
Robert, Yorktown, Va.

Starr - SA Army - 44 - 6 To 8 In. - Blue - 27178 -

Starr Arms Co. N.Y. I've run across a Starr single action 44 cal. revolver. The overall condition is good with the exception of the barrel which has two or three splits in it near the cylinder. What would the approximate value be if any, and what is the chance of finding a barrel or having a new barrel made and installed? I would appreciate any info that you would care to share with me, thanks Robert.

Robert- OUCH! The value now is mainly as parts. You MAY be able to find a barrel from a dealer specializing in Civil War era parts, but if the barrel has been burst that may have damaged adjacent parts, so it may not be worth repairing, even if you can find the parts. John Spangler

# 11612 - British Proofed M1911
James M. Carter Jr.

Colt - 1911 - .45 - 4 '' - Blue - 11935 -

Crown over V stamped on all parts I have heard from several non-authoritative sources that this weapon was made as part of a small consignment of guns made for the British by Colt prior to US involvement in WWII in the late 1930's. Supposedly this is a very rare weapon and worth a lot of money, especially in the fine condition that this one is in. Can you advise if this is correct?

James- Several good stories with bits of truth can get all jumbled together but the aggregation does not necessarily all fit together into a nice conclusion. Here are some facts, listed separately. (a) Many Colt M1911 pistols were shipped to Colt's London agency prior to U.S. entry into World War 1. These were commercial series guns intended for commercial sale, many to military officers with the option of using service provided arms or privately purchasing arms of their own choosing. Your pistol may be among that group, assuming there is a "C" before the serial number. (b) The British government bought large quantities of M1911 pistols in .45 ACP and .455 during WW1, but most of those have "W" serial number prefixes. (c) Prior to U.S. entry in WW2, the British Government once again bought large quantities of M1911A1 pistols. Serial numbers were much higher than yours by that time. (d) British marked M1911s do have some collector interest, but rarity does not directly translate to increased value. (The only thing scarcer might be a collector who cares about a specific rarity.) My sense of the market is that for an example in exceptional condition, any of the variations above might have a slight premium over a comparable U.S. civilian or military example to a handful of collectors. However, most collectors would lament the fact that is has ugly foreign markings all over, and not want it unless priced significantly less than a pistol that stayed at home and escaped without foreign markings. John Spangler

# 11595 - S.M. Co On U.S. Musket Barrels
Don, Charlottesville, VA

Springfield - 1816 Or 1840 - .69 - 36-40 - Other - NONE -

S.M. Co. Marc or John, I've recently seen at least four Model 1816 Springfield smoothbore muskets for sale on internet auction sites that have the letters S.M. Co. stamped on the left barrel flat near the breech end. All were converted to percussion. I have done some research to find out what these letters stand for but have had no luck. I figured you might have seen a few guns with this stamp before and know what it means. The guns are otherwise pretty typical M1816s except that the barrels have been shortened slightly to about 36-38 inches. I figured that a post-Civil War stamp of, say, a surplus gun dealer might detract from the value of one of these guns if I decided to buy one. Any idea what S.M. Co. stands for? Many thanks from one of your customers, Don W. (Charlottesville VA).

Don- Always glad to help one of our many happy customers. "S.M. Co" is the mark of "Springfield Manufacturing Company" which was a supplier of barrels, (finished or as blanks?) to Springfield Armory. I believe that I have seen this mark shown in the superb Andre Jandot drawings in James Hicks' "U.S. Military Firearms" book, and also in Robert M. Reilly's definitive "U.S. Military Small Arms 1816-1865." George Moller's exhaustively researched and thoroughly documented "U.S. Military Shoulder Arms, volume 2" (pages 417-418) discusses the Springfield Manufacturing Company barrels in detail and documents delivery of at least 8,947 of their barrels 1818-1820. SM Co was located in Ludlow, Massachusetts. Use of contract barrels was based on a desire to allow Armory employees to focus on stocking and finishing. An alternate barrel supply would also "ensure against a deficiency of water, which is sometimes felt at Springfield" where the huge grinding wheels at the "water shops" were powered by water wheels. This accounts for the source of the "S.M. Co" markings. Moller also lists two other suppliers of contract barrels, and also suppliers of bayonets and ramrods. All these were standard full length components. If found as shortened barrels that probably reflects later alterations, and probably not done with military approval. Perhaps the shortened arms reflect second class arms made elsewhere from salvaged parts, or work done after sale as surplus in later years. Flayderman pretty well covers any non-standard barrel length version that seem to have had any sort of military sanction, so be skeptical of anything not listed. John Spangler

# 11255 - Cobra derringer?
LeAnn, Cherryville, N.C.

Cobra - D - 45 - 2'' - Don't Know - 45 25706 -

FMJ Ducktown,TN We would appreciate any information on this handgun it is a one shot can you tell me anything at all

LeAnn, there is not a lot of information available on Cobra pistols. Cobra Enterprises manufactured a Big Bore Series derringer pistol that had a 3.5 inch barrel, tip-up action, spur trigger, internal hammer block safety, pearl or laminated wood grips and came with chrome, black Teflon, or satin chrome finish. Although the barrel is longer than the length you specified, my guess is this is what you have. I have never seen a Cobra derringer in person so I can not comment on quality, all I can tell you is that blue book values range $35 to $95. Marc

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