Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters OldGuns.net FineOldGuns.com

 

 

Questions And Answers Page

If you have a question about firearms and you want it posted on this page click here.

Return to Collectors Headquarters.

Click here to go to the question and answer monthly index.

Click here to go to the question and answer subject index.


# 233 - Late War Walther PP
12/30/96
Jim Bellville - jbellvi@MO.NET

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Walther PP 7.65 m/m (.32 cal) 3 7/8" blue Unknown

"ac" marked on slide; numbers match on frame and slide; Eagle "N" slide and barrel; not polished; machine marks readily visible.

What is approximate age? And just any info relative to this item that you may be able to shed.

Answer:
Jim, The Walther PP was introduced for commercial sales in 1929, PP was an abbreviation of Polizei Pistole (police pistol). Approximately 200,000 PP's were procured for the German military, police and NSDAP between 1935 and April 1945. The ac stamping is the WW-II German ordnance code assigned to Carl Walther, Zella-Mehlis, Germany. The eagle over the N stamping is a commercial test proof and it should be located on the right side of the slide under the ejection port, on the right side of the chamber, and on the right side of the barrel near the muzzle. There may also be an eagle over WaA359 stamp on the left side of the frame to the rear of the trigger and on the left side of the slide just forward of the grip. The eagle over WaA359 is a military acceptance stamp. If there are no military acceptance stamps there may be a police acceptance stamp (an eagle over an x in a circle followed by a C or an F) on the left side of the frame to the rear of the trigger. PP pistols procured for the NSKK were not marked with the ac ordinance code. I was not supplied with a serial number but I still have two clues that will help me to guess the age of your PP, the ac stamp and the quality of finish. Your PP must have been made prior to 1945 because the ac ordnance code stamping was drooped in 1945. Walther PP quality of the finish degenerated as the war progressed. The ac markings and the poor quality of finish that you describe would cause me to guess that the year of manufacture for your PP is between 1943 and 1945... Marc


# 232 - H&R Sportsman
12/30/96
Pecos Rich - shaggy@awwsome.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Harrington & Richardson Sportsman .22 long rifle 6" Blue with dead black top rib and sights S2XXX

HARRINGTON & RICHARDSON ARMS CO. WORCHESTER, MASS. U.S.A. (ON BARREL TOP) H&R SPORTSMAN SINGLE ACTION (ON BARREL LEFT)22 LONG RIFLE CTG. (ON BARREL RIGHT)PAT. NO. 1904730 (ON CYLINDER) S2XXX (ON STOCK {METAL PART, NOT WOOD})

I recently got a 9 shot H&R Sportsman .22 pistol from my dad. I've got the box it originally came in, and what appears to be a sales advertising flyer. While the box lid and sales flyer are full of information about the gun, There doesn't seem to be any date on it. I'm trying to find out when it was manufactured, how much it's worth, whether or not spare parts are likely to be found anywhere (the barrel has a slight bulge about 2inches from the front sight, my dad says somebody fired high power ammo once and the bulge was the result!), and any other interesting info you may have. Thanks in advance! -rich

Answer:
Rich, H&R made two models of Sportsman, the 199 and the 999. It sounds like you have the model 999 because of the vent rib that you describe. H&R manufactured the model 999 sportsman from 1950 to 1985. According to my records H&R serial numbers beginning with an S were manufactured in 1956. Unfortunately there is not much collector interest in H&R revolvers, even in perfect condition, your Sportsman would only be worth about $100.00. With the bulged barrel your Sportsman is worth considerably less. A good place to look for parts for your Sportsman is Gun Parts Corp. Go to the links page and follow the parts link, the address and telephone number for Gun Parts Corp. is listed there... Marc


# 230 - Care And Preservation Of Antique Guns
12/30/96
Nord48@aol.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester M1873 44.40 30"? 75% blue 3XX,XXX

What is the proper way to maintain an antique firearm. Specifically, is there any maintenance required for the wooden stock or the metal? Being an amateur, I would hesitate to touch the metal, but it seems that some type of oil applied to the wood would help preserve it much the same as antique furniture needs to be oiled. I live in the desert southwest and our low humidity can be harmful to antique woods. I would appreciate any help you can offer.

Answer:
Sir: Great question, and one that I wish previous owners of some of my lesser condition guns had asked! You have correctly identified moisture as the biggest problem. Too much will rust the metal, and too little will make the wood dry out and shrink, crack or split. The ideal solution (used by museums) is to maintain temperature at about 70 degrees and humidity at a constant level of 50-60%. If you can't do that for your whole house, at least try to minimize the fluctuation (don't hang the gun in the sunlight over the fireplace, or in front of a heating/air conditioning vent). A humidifier/dehumidifier in your gun room might be appropriate, also small thermometers/humidity gauges so you can see what is going on. If all that is too much trouble, what can you do for just a couple of guns? Try to get generous applications of tung oil (I like Minwax brand) or linseed oil thinned with turpentine into the end grain of the stock. You will have to take the gun apart to do this, but it will help restore some moisture and the oil will slow the loss of remaining moisture in the wood. The surface of the stock can also be rubbed with a very light coat of tung/linseed oil. When dry, the outside of the stock can be given a couple coats of paste wax. (NOT THE LIQUID STUFF WITH "IMPROVED" CLEANERS, etc.). This will also help prevent moisture loss. Paste wax can also be used on all the metal parts. Many museums use paste wax for specimens on display. (They like "Renaissance" brand microcrystalline wax, but you probably won't be able to find that. I use Minwax brand and think it is okay but probably not as good. Oil or other substances can also be used on the metal parts. WD-40 is highly regarded. A little WD-40 probably won't hurt the wood, especially if it has a varnish finish, but too much can soak into unfinished areas, so be careful. Your gun was made around 1889, so take good care of it, many more people will eventually own it and enjoy it before it finally crumbles into dust, or gets confiscated by well-intentioned idiots who think it will go out and hurt someone... John Spangler


# 229 - Gardner Rifles/Shotguns
12/30/96
"Deborah A. Kaelin" - dandpkaelin@fuse.net

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Gardner Shotgun Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I am trying to find any information I can on Gardner rifles. The only information I have been able to find to date is that Gardner rifles were made in Cleveland, Ohio for 10-15 years in the late 19th century. I am interested in the history of the company, how many rifles were produced, and the approximate value of the rifle. I apologize for the sketchy data on the rifle, but it belongs to a friend who wants to know more about his rifle.

Answer:
Deborah- There are 32 different "Gardner" gun makers, most of whom operated in the late 19th century, mainly in the upper Midwest. Some even made machine guns (probably more info available on these than the other Gardners). Without more information on the specific gun, we really cannot tell much. People can't tell me much about the Ford in my driveway without more information. Have your friend give some more info and we will be glad to see what we can find out... John Spangler


# 228 - Springfield .22 M2 Rifle
12/30/96
James Flannery - imcjim@been-there.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Springfield M2 .22 Unknown Blue 4XXX

I would like to know if this weapon has exceptional value. It is in excellent condition.

Answer:
Jim- There is good collector interest in everything "Springfield" including the .22 M2 rifles. Yours was made around 1936, and should have a date on the barrel near the front sight around that time. I cannot find anything special for that serial number, but there are a few exotic "star gauge" rifles known from around that period. Most M2s were parkerized originally, although some made for sale through the NRA DCM program were blued. However, if yours has been re-blued, the value drops and drops and drops. If original, with proper barrel date and matching serial number engraved on the bolt, and not alterations to the stock, in excellent condition, I would expect to sell it retail in the $600-800 range. I sometimes see guys asking more, but I don't see them selling. Let us know if you want to sell it, we can probably find a buyer for you... John Spangler


# 227 - Lefever Arms Co, Ithaca NY.
12/30/96
LT209@aol.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Lefever Arms Co Ithaca NY Unknown 12g Unknown blue 14XXXX

Lefever Nitro Special on one side of the Barrel and Lefever arm Co Ithaca NY on the other barrel.

I was handed down a double barrel 12g shotgun that was my great Uncles and am interested in finding out how old it is. I am thinking that it must be at leas 60-70 years old but would like to know more about the shotgun and the manufacturing Company. Any information you have would help. Thank you for your help and assistance. Kirk

Answer:
Kirk- Lefever is a grand old name in good to excellent quality double barrel shotguns. Started in the 1850s with various fathers and sons, and other partners, and operated as Lefever Arms Co in Syracuse NY until 1902. In 1915 or 1916 Was bought out by Ithaca, and I think that is when the Ithaca address started being used, as Ithaca continued production under the Lefever name. Production stopped by 1948. There are many different models and about 10 different grades, so values run anywhere from $350-$5,000 depending on which model/grade, and then can go higher depending on condition. So, my crystal ball, X-Ray vision and metal telepathy show it to be made about 1925, and worth somewhere around $500. I don't have enough reference material on sporting shotguns to tell you anything else useful. These are fine old guns, and as an old family piece, I hope you take it hunting at least once... John Spangler


# 225 - 7.65 Webley & Scott Disassembly
12/30/96
css119@igubu.saix.net (Central Statistics Service)

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Webley & Scott 1911 7.65mm Pistol Unknown Unknown Unknown

I want to remove the pistol's breach for cleaning purposes, but can't get it removed off. Can someone help? Where can I get more information on the stripping down of this pistol?

Answer:
Johan- First, get a big hammer and a cutting torch.... If you don't have those, there is a simpler way. The rear of the trigger guard (where it goes into the handle) must be sprung up and out of engagement. Then pivot the trigger guard down and the slide will move forward and the barrel can be removed... John Spangler


# 223 - Greener Shotgun (W.W.?)
12/30/96
McClouds - ccrider1@earthlink.net

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
A. Greener unknown 12 gauge double barrel 32 inch blue none

Letters inside an oval under a king's crown, "E" centered above "LG" under the forearm. Double barrel with external hammers ("rabbit ears"). It hasscroll work down the center of the double barrel rib and on both sides around the hammers with the name "A. Greener" followed by the word "Belgium".

Wondering if it could be associated with "W.W. Greener" of England (brother, son, etc.) or just one more of the cottage industry Belgium guns? Estimated value? Any known history with regard to the shotgun. Time period, location of maker, etc. Thanks. Clint.

Answer:
Clint- You fell for it, and so did a lot of other people over the years! Those sneaky Belgians made a lot of poor to mediocre shotguns and marked them brazenly with the names of famous English makers, and less brazenly with slight variations (like yours, or W. Richard instead of W. Richards, etc.). They hoped people would think (or at least wishfully think) that they were getting one of the high dollar pieces for a bargain at the local gunshop/feed store. The sure way to tell is the Belgian proofs instead of English proofs. Looks like a nice wall hanger in the $50-75 range... John


# 220 - JC Higgins .22 Pistol Model 88
12/30/96
105570.76@compuserve.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
J.C. Higgins 88 .22 9 inch Blue 58XXXX 67XXXX

j.c. higgins 88

Believe that the gun was purchased from Sears and Roebuck Catalog number 125. Have called Sears and Roebuck and they do not have any record of ever selling firearms through the magazine. I would like to know how old this weapon is and any pertinent history.

Answer:
Gerald- It took a while to find the list of Sears (JC Higgins) models and the original makers. But, unfortunately, it only covered long guns, so we can't tell you a thing. There is very little collector interest in any of these models, which were essentially slightly lower grade than the ones being sold under the makers names. Perfrectly safe and usable, just cheaper wood, no extras, cheaper sights, etc. If you are sure it was sold thru catalog 125, you might be able to get a date that way. Sears headquarters in Chicago probably has a public relations office that could give you a date... John Spangler


# 224 - 70's Vintage Mauser Luger
12/28/96
Lowell Houghton - solcat@pacbell.net

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Mauser Luger 9mm 6 inch blue ?

I saw one for $399 in great shape. the salesman thought it was from the 60's or 70'sWhat is it worth. How good a shooter should it be. Thanks

Answer:
Lowell, it sounds like you are describing one of the modern production Mauser Lugers imported by Interarms of Alexandria , VA. In the 1970's Mauser Werke of Oberndorf, W. Germany manufactured two models of Lugers for import to the U.S. The P.08 model has the more common contoured type of front grip strap. The "Swiss Style" Mauser Eagle model has a straight front grip strap and an American eagle logo stamped into the top of the frame. Both models could be obtained with ether a 4 or 6 inch barrel and in 7.65 or 9 mm. Although they do not have the type of sights or trigger pull required for target shooting, the modern production Mauser Lugers that I have seen have all been well made and were fun to shoot. The $399.00 price that you quoted sounds like it is probably a fair price for one of these lugers in "great shape"... Marc


# 222 - Winchester Model 1890
12/27/96
Gary Bunger - gmbunger@bcl.net

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester 1890 22 Unknown Blue 629670

This gun has been in my family for years and is now in my possession. Can you give me any information about it? Date of manufacture, present value, etc.

Answer:
Gary, The Model 1890 was Winchester's first slide action repeating rifle, it was introduced to replace the .22 caliber model 1872. The model 1890 was popular due to the fact that it was both inexpensive and very well made. Model 1890's are sometimes called "gallery rifles" because they were used almost universally in shooting galleries of the era. Approximately 849,000 model 1890's were made between 1890 and 1932, your model 1890 was manufactured in 1919. 1890 values depend greatly upon condition. Most 1890's were heavily used and so specimens in excellent condition bring a premium. Values for 1890 Winchesters made after 1901 range from $150.00 to over $700.00. If you need a more exact value take a look at our appraisals page.. Marc


# 215 - Remington Shotgun
12/27/96
"S. Beasley - Personal DYN - D001979" - sbeasley@Interpath.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Remington Unknown 12 gauge 28 inches Blue 94XXX

My husband received this gun which was his grandfathers' and was wondering about the age and value of the gun. Any info will be appreciated. Thanks Stephanie

Answer:
Stephanie- We are missing the one key element here- which model is it? Remingtons are usually pretty plainly marked on the barrel or the receiver. Also there is a two or three letter code stamped on the barrel which indicates the date of manufacture. Tell us those things and we can do more... John Spangler


# 214 - 45 Colt Revolver
12/27/96
tony gomez - tgomez@ionet.net

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Colt ? .45 6" Blue 236XXXAND 236XXX ( ONE GUN)

Hi My name is Tony Gomez and would like to know a little information about a Colt 45 revolver that I have, on top of the barrel is stamped and or engraved: COLT'S PT. F. A. MFG CO. HARTFORD. CT. USA. on the side of the barrel: .45 COLT the other markings include: PAT. SEPT 19,1871 JULY2.72.JAN.19.75the serial numbers include-visible when the gun is held upside down: 236405 on the receiver of the gun 236408 on the trigger guard 236408 on the butt of the gun any information that you can give me on the gun would greatly be appreciated- I have little knowledge of older guns and your time and effort would be greatly appreciated.......thanks

Can you please help me and tell me a little about this gun, my father-in- laws uncle had traded a basket full of mason jars during the depression for this gun and it was handed down to him a few years later(his uncle died)...your time and effort will be greatly appreciated...it now rests in a hand made velvet lined wood box .. and it is sort of treasured by my father-in-law..but he is interested in knowing any information about when it was manufacturer its present value ( I would estimate fair condition), or any odd tidbit of information , once again any time or effort is greatly appreciated.

Answer:
Tony- Assuming you have the "Single Action Army" (cowboy gun to most folks) it was made in 1902. If you want to trade it, don't let it go for a basket of Mason jars. Insist on a basket of money instead. Colt .45 SAAs bring ridiculous amounts these days. I have seen rusted solid junker relics go for several hundred dollars. (Even sold one like that!!!) Shootable ones just go up and up........ You could send for a Colt factory letter (about $50 now, I think). Mixed serial numbers are not unusual, but usually they are way off. This sounds like maybe someone got a set or pair and got parts mixed one time. Would be glad to help you sell it if you decide to, but sounds like it has a good family connection, so we'd like to see you keep it... John Spangler.


# 213 - 7.65mm Gold Plated Semi-Auto Pistol
12/27/96
"Peter J. Clark" - pjclark@sloc.net

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Fabrique D'Armes de Guerre Action 7.65 ? Gold platedM M31XXX

This is a small auto-loader, engraved and gold plated, either over chrome or nickel. On the left side of the slide is stamped: FABRIQUE D'ARMES de GUERRE, under that "ACTION". (Caps and quotes as indicated.) Below that, and sideways to it is stamped a crown, below that EE, then a dash, and under that what looks like a sideways crescent moon with a peak in the opening of the crescent. The crown and other markings are at right angles to the script above them. On the barrel is stamped SPAIN and under that CAL 7.65. The pistol is ornately engraved with what appears to be either gold plating or wash over nickel or chrome. It has mother of pearl grips. It has a thumb safety just above the trigger guard, and surprisingly (Or at least I thought so!) a grip safety!

Any idea of manufacturer or date? Approximate value?

Answer:
Pete- That sounds like a potentially good item. At first glance I thought for sure you had one of the Browning pistols (model 1922 or perhaps the Model 1910) made by Fabrique Nationale (FN) in Belgium. The proof sounds like the Belgian proof (letters EE with a "Washington monument" type thing on an oval base splitting the letters). However, the name Fabrique D'Armes de Guerre I could only find associated with a cheap copy of a Browning/FN .25 auto. I am not sure if they were Belgian, or perhaps French, or maybe even Spanish. I am pretty sure that "ACTION" is one of the Spanish makers/exporters. "Spain" would only be stamped to comply with US law regarding commercial imports. For home consumption it would be "Espana". I would suggest you check an old Stoegers catalog, or Shooter's Bible and see if there is anything in them that might help. (Sorry, my library is deficient in those). Putting a new paint job, an expensive stereo and high performance tires on an old Yugo won't make it a better car. I regret that it sounds like you have a $100 pistol with $500 worth of engraving and gold, so I would guess it might be worth $150-200 or so. Gotta find someone who goes for the gold, I guess. Sorry... John Spangler


# 212 - W&C Scott 12 Gauge Double Shotgun
12/27/96
Whstutz@aol.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
W & C Scott 12 ga side by side ? 12ga 28" blue 75XXX

Extensive engraving but no model number. Stamped W & C Scott78 Shaftsbury Avenue London, England

I have taken this gun to two dealers who were unable to identify the model. It was inherited and I am trying to get an idea of its value. It looks like it has been used but does not show much wear.

Answer:
Bill- Okay- everyone pushes the buzzer and hollers "Webley & Scott" but they are all wrong! My "English Gunmakers" book by Dewitt Bailey and Douglas Nie tells us that William and Charles Scott operated at various Brimingham addresses through 1894. I suspect that the London address is for sales rooms, and may have been used before or after 1894, However, they joined with P.Webley & Son to become Webley and Scott Revolver & Arms Co. Ltd in 1897. "The firm was probably the best-known British shotgun manufacturer in the world market during the late 19th century, enjoying a large market in North America and the [British]colonies. Their export guns were of far better quality than usual for that market." Scott had a number of patents for features for high grade double shotguns and rifles. I doubt if you will be able to pin down a specific model (like Remington 870 or Winchester Model 12). You need to get a dealer who knows the details of the fine double gun market to examine it. If a shooter, it could be rather valuable. If not, it may be a nicely engraved wall hanger. You might try some of the larger gun shows, and look for someone who has similar guns on their table. Hope this helps... John Spangler


# 211 - VolksGewehr/Volks Sturm/VolksKarabiner 98
12/27/96
"JOHN C. JACOBI" - jlsmjacobi@worldnet.att.net

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Volksturm (People's Rifle) 98 or vk 98 8mm and 8mm short Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

The "Backbone of the Wehrmacht" does not provide much information on the VK 98's. I find this an exciting rifle and would like to get my hands on one. What can you tell me that I would need to know, will the bolts match, what to watch out for, a reasonable price ect. Any information will be appreciated. Thank you for your assistance.

Answer:
John- We have a nice VK98, matching, and priced below usual market, see our catalog pages, and send FFl and cash, money order, or small unmarked bills and it can be yours! There is little written on the whole field which includes several semi-auto versions, and crude bolt actions (other than the 98). A thorough search of all the literature on German arms is needed to understand them all. Will be glad to do that and send full written report at my research rate of $50 00 per hour if you like. (Hey, that's cheaper than the plumber, or the guy who works on my car, or any lawyer....). Hope this helps... John Spangler


# 217 - Winchester 1894 .38-55
12/26/96
jnelder@epbc.edu (Jamie Nelder)

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester Unknown .38-.55 Unknown Nickle 25XXXX

This rifle was given to my Grandfather on his 16th birthday, where upon he promptly went out and shot a black bear, unfortunately times have changed. This was around the year 1900 . The barrel is round, he had ordered an octagonal barrel but was disappointed to receive this one instead, however as it took six months to get goods shipped to where the family was living on the Manitoulin Island in the middle of Lake Hiron he settled for the round barrel. The original full length magazine was replaced at some point by a shorter seven shot magazine, the original has been lost. I was curious about approximate value, as the rifle is still in use and I enjoy hunting with it. It is still in very good condition. A guess would be satisfactory at this time. Thank you very much for your consideration.

Answer:
Winchester .38-55 Model Rifle Jamie- Winchester Model 1894 rifles serial number 25XXXX would have been made in 1902, and .38-55 was one of the calibers they came in. I would be surprised if your rifle left the factory with a nickel finish, however, many of the barrels were marked "nickel steel" leading people to think that indicated the finish. Nickel finish is pretty close to what we think of as "chrome" plated these days. But, in the middle of a lake, that might have been something special ordered. Sounds like a good old gun (one of many invented by John M. Browning) that will last for many more years. Unless it has a lot of special order features it probably falls into the "good old deer and bear rifle" category. I would guess that it would only bring about $200 from a collector due to the replaced magazine and considerable use. Treasure it as a family heirloom, you could never replace it... John Spangler


# 218 - 5mm Bullets
12/26/96
WOLVIE01@aol.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown 5mm unknown uknown unknown

I just want to know if there is anywhere where there are 5mm bullets being made. If so, where might I find these and what company are they made by?

Answer:
Jeff- We have to be precise about our terms here. "Bullets" are the projectile part that comes out of the gun when it is fired. "Cartridges" are made up of a bullet, some powder, a primer, and a case to hold it all together until it is fired. If all you need are "bullets", you can probably get a mold to cast them for some of the older arms. If for a modern arm, you could make (or probably buy) swages to form them from lead wire and old .22 rimfire cases. (I saw a guy up in Montana making wonderful little jacketed .22 bullets this way!). Someone may make 5mm jacketed bullets commercially, but I don't know who. (A recent Shooters Bible or Gun Digest might tell you). Now, if you need 5mm "Cartridges" then it gets more complicated. There was a 5mm Remington rimfire, a 5mm Clement automatic (Spanish circa 1903-1938), a 5mm Bergmann (German circa 1894-1920s), or maybe the 5.5mm Velo Dog (French circa 1894-1940). All this gets too complicated for me, so try the "Old Western Scrounger" (See our links) He is the oddball ammo guy. Hope he can help... John Spangler


# 219 - Nouman Brothers Belgian Shotgun
12/26/96
jeff@winthrop.slic.com (Jaffrey P Savage)

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
don't know... don't know...12 gauge, double barrel,shotgun 12 gauge 30 inches just regular varnish finish jl3XX (not sure if this is serial # or not)

Noumann brothers, 4,136, Belgian, laminated s (and can't read the rest of this)there is also a circle with the letter E and lg under the E and then a star under the LG all inside the circle with a crown on top of the circle. all of this writing os located on the barrel of the gun. this is a twelve gauge bolt action shotgun with external hammers

I would like to know how old this gun is and any other information I could get in it. Also, could you tell me where I might be able to find parts fort his gun or if that would even be possible,,,thank you very much.

Answer:
Jeff- Sorry we cannot tell you much about your shotgun that you don't already know. Just another one of the many inexpensive Belgian "hammer" type double barrel shotguns made circa 1880-1910. Parts are basically not available and would have to be handmade. Value is pretty much as a wallhanger in the $50-75 range, and I wouldn't shoot it... John Spangler


# 216 - 12 Ga Shotgun/7mm Combination Gun
12/26/96
davidd - davidd@enternet.com.au

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Quackebeke/Burgsmuller & Sohne Hunt(??) 12 gauge shotgun with 7mm(?) carbine Unknown Blue 14XXX

Rocha & Cia "Unicos representantes" Breach area in silver with deer and plants on both sides

Can you please tell me where I can get more information on this gun and whether it's a collectors item and what it may be valued at?

Answer:
David- Sorry we can't help. None of the names match up with my materials makers or dealers. Most combination guns were one of a kind custom pieces so there is little on most of the makers. The proof marks are probably the most useful clue, but you don't mention them. Don't fire it until you have a good gunsmith check the chambers to make sure you can get suitable ammo. Those combination guns (2,3, or 4 barrel combination or shotgun and rifled calibers) have some collector interest, especially if in calibers with ammo available, or if extremely high grade pieces with nice engraving. Values vary widely depending on how bad someone wants that particular gun, maybe in the range of $200 and up, perhaps way up. Sorry we can't know more... John Spangler


# 210 - Where Could I Find A Winchester 1876 "Musket"?
12/24/96
Firstname Lastname - Firstname.Lastname@anu.edu.au

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester 1876 Canadian RCMP issue 45/75 Unknown Unknown Unknown

Where could I find a Winchester 1876 "musket" in 45/75 as issued to the Canadian RCMP in reasonable shootable condition and what would be the likely cost in $US. Also, if that were available, how would you make 45/75 brass. Regards, Garry Dellar, Canberra, Australia

Answer:
Garry- You would be competing with a lot of Winchester collectors trying to find the RCMP 1876 Carbine. (Most term it a carbine because of the barrel length, even though the stock is musket style.) "Flayderman's Guide the Antique American Firearms and their Values" places them at about US$2,250 in NRA Good condition (see link for explanation) and US $5,000 in Fine. Older reloading books tell about making .45-75 ammo using .348 Winchester cases. I can not vouch for the safety of doing that, but you could research that further if you like. If you are interested, I would be glad to send you an application for membership in the Winchester Arms Collectors Association. Hope this helps... John Spangler


# 209 - Armatage Antique Muzzleloader
12/24/96
William Taplin - wtaplin@sanasys.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Armatage Antique muzzleloader Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Gun is engraved with floral designs and also has engraving of birds on trigger guard. Gun is in poor condition but was purchased in a mahogany case with some acc, nipple wrench, cleaning rod, and cleaning tips.

I have looked through numerous references and have been unable to come up with any info on this gun. Could you see what you can find out to see if the gun would be worth restoring. I presume from the engraving and the case that it might have been top line when it was made. Thank you for your help.

Answer:
William, Sorry we cannot help much without better information on what the gun is. As a cased piece, it certainly sounds interesting, and probably was a high grade piece at one time. Please send good photos and/or detailed sketches and information on all markings to Box 711282, Salt Lake City, UT 84171. We can then try to identify maker, nationality, and potential for restoration. Sometimes seemingly "poor" guns only need a good professional cleaning, other times seemingly good guns have hidden defects that make them useless except as wall hangers. In general, we would advise against too much "restoration" on a piece like this as it is probably worth more in poor original condition, than it would be after refinishing with inappropriate methods... John


# 207 - Squires Shotgun
12/22/96
Michael Burton - magoo@pnn.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
JA Squires - age unknown don't know, shotgun with side hammer 10 ga 35.5 inches steel w/no finish 'No. 24XX' is on trigger guard under stock

Dark wood stock with some checking, small 6" forewood with 1" horn at end, round brass piece under stock, swinging arm unlocks under trigger guard to openbarrel, flintlock style hammer

Where can I find out more about this gun ? I picked it up at a gun show out of curiosity and figured at least its a good wallhanger but I have had zero luck in finding out anything about JAs Squires...Where would one find this information...It appears there is '14 New something? London' inscribed on the top of the gun also...Thanks for any info or resource you can point me too...Mike Burton

Answer:
Mike- James Squires operated in London, England between 1860 and 1892, according to two references I checked. One stated that he made Tranter's Patent percussion revolvers, and later Snider Patent metallic cartridge rifles. A fairly sophisticated operation, which probably also made shotguns for sale on the U.S. market. The action of your gun sounds consistent with 1880-1890s date. I don't know of any good, easily available references that would give you any more information... John Spangler


# 206 - Mannlicher-Schoenauer Rifle
12/22/96
LAVERNE BARKHOUSE - laverne@atcon.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Ges. steyr mannlicher 1908 8x56mm Approx.20 in. Blue 50XX

1 on barrel on action patent, something m19082 on barrel on left side has eagle looks like pw in some type of stamp3 on action it has oesterr. waffenfabre4 on end of stock is inset with stag horn First is the 5013 the serial # and is there some one who makes the 8x56ammo. I have one box that I believe to be original but this is not 8x57 maus. Last the big? what is it worth it is in excellent shape.

Answer:
Laverne- I'm in over my head here, but will try anyway. There is a Mannlicher Collector's Association full of people who can tell you much more, but I am not sure how you could contact them. Anyway- the Mannlicher action is a very highly respected rifle action, most popular in Europe, but with many fans here as well. The Schoenauer part of the name comes from the inventor of its rotary magazine. The Model 1908 was made in 8x56MS caliber (8mm bullet diameter, cartridge case 56 mm long, and of Mannlicher-Schoenauer design). Many were later converted to all sorts of caliber's, so make darn sure that yours is still in 8x56MS before investing in ammo. You should be able to get ammo from Old Western Scrounger (see our links) or other dealers who are willing to special order for you. Most local places won't want to bother. 8x57 Mauser is not (repeat NOT) the same, and would be dangerous to use. There are a lot of special features (like takedown/non-takedown, ribbed/non-ribbed barrels, single/double set triggers, factory scope or after-market scope installed)that greatly influence value. A typical rifle with none of the goodies, but none of the "aw-shucks" either would probably sell retail in the $450-$650 range. This is all assuming it is a factory sporter, and not a military model that was converted at some time. The 5013 certainly sounds like a serial number. Hope this helps, and I would welcome correction from any MCA members... John Spangler


# 205 - Remington .44 Pistol
12/22/96
KNIGHTSTP@aol.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Remington New model .44 8" Browned 122XXX

On top of the barrel it says: patented Sept, 14.1858e.remington & sons, ilion, new york. usanew-model also has W stamped on barrel and frame also has a C and a J stamped on the frame also a J on the trigger guard the above letters are not together just stamped on their own.

Have you any idea of the date of manufacture and the value, the gun is in very good condition and fireable, the finish is worn to a nice patina.

Answer:
Sir: You didn't say, but I am assuming that your pistol is still in percussion, not a cartridge conversion. If that is the case, it is a model made between 1863 and 1875, and serial numbers got up to about 147,000. The individual letters are sub-inspector markings, typically found on military contract arms, but lacking on civilian pieces. Therefore, yours was probably made before the end of the American Civil War in 1865 under government contract. Many were sold as surplus after the was, and large numbers went to France during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-71. These are popular collector items here, and I understand there is strong interest in Civil War material in the UK as well. Value for one in good condition (see definitions link) is about US$450 and in Fine about US$950. I don't think these have been outlawed in your country yet, but I am sure that is an oversight which will be promptly corrected. American lawmakers will follow soon thereafter, I'm afraid... John Spangler


# 204 - Winchester Model 02A .22
12/22/96
KNIGHTSTP@aol.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
WINCHESTER O2A 22 18" Unknown NONE

Made in USA Winchester Repeating Arms Co. New Haven Conn. patented Aug. 28 1898

Would like to know the what its worth is, this gun is in mint condition is there any history to this I would like to know .

Answer:
Mike- Your Winchester Model 02A is a slightly improved version of the Model [19]02, which in turn was an improvement over the Model 1900. All were inexpensive .22 single shot bolt action rifles, based on a John M. Browning design. 640,000 Model 02 and 02A rifles were made between 1902 and 1931. Since these were not serialized, it is impossible to trace the history of individual pieces. Value for one with 90% original finish would be about $150.00 and maybe $250 for one that is brand new 100%. Collector interest will be high for yours if it is in "mint" condition... John Spangler


# 203 - Checking For Stolen Guns
12/21/96
Joe Gargus - jxgargu@PacBell.COM

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

How can you look up a serial number of a firearm and determine if it was stolen and/or has some kind of illegal history.

Answer:
Joe, The only way that I know of to check the history of a firearm to see if it is stolen, is to call your local police department and ask them to check the serial number for you. The police have a national database in which they keep the serial numbers of all firearms that are reported stolen. I have often wished that there was an easier way to check serial numbers (maybe a web page database) but I have never heard of one. If you find another way to check serial numbers, be sure to let me know, it would be very useful... Marc


# 198 - 1895 Winchester
12/21/96
Divhomes@aol.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester 1895 30-40 Krag? Approx 28-30" Worn Blue - No rust - little pitting 88XXX or 33XXX (stamping is difficult to

"30 US" stamped on barrel

Date of Manufacture and approx. value range. The gun is in good working order with some normal wear. Many thanks for your time, Bryan Appel

Answer:
Your Winchester Model 1895 designed by John M. Browning, was made in 1902 if serial is 33xxx and 1915 if 88xxx. The .30-40 Krag chambering is popular because ammo is easy to get, and suitable for most big game. Collector demand for specimens with "worn blue, no rust, little pitting" is weak, and value is mainly as a shooter. Figure somewhere about $350-400... John Spangler


# 201 - J.Chaineu Brevete 12 Shot Revolver
12/21/96
JCorr430@aol.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
J.Chaineu Brevete 12 shot revolver engraved apparently a pin fire w/ mounted push shell approximately a .32 or a .38 appx 6 in,bore is octagonal , no rifling blue none

Highly engraved sidelocks and cylinder. wooden broomhandle buttstock with lanyard ring

Approximate date of manufacture and worth.

Answer:
Don- That is a nice item you have that falls into the "oddity" category. The 12 shot cylinder is especially neat, for those who like such items. The Colorado Gun Collectors Association show in May 96 had an excellent display of similar oddball multi-shot arms. An excellent book on the subject "The Pinfire System" by Gene Smith and Chris Curtis notes on page 177 "Chaineux manufactured revolvers in Liege [Belgium] for ten years between 1860 and 1870. He was also granted patents on firearms improvements in 1858, 1859, 1863 and 1864. Most of these were concerned with the development of multi-shot revolvers with 8, 10, 12 and 20 shot cylinders." People that collect these would probably pay several hundred dollars, perhaps even up to $1,000 for one of these, but since only a handful of people have much interest in pinfires it could take a long time to sell one of these at any price. Thanks for asking about this, it was fun to research... John Spangler.


# 197 - Hopkins & Allen Rifle
12/19/96
Steve Huffman - shuffman@execpc.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Hopkins & Allen Unknown (See markings below) Stamped 32 R.F. (but known to shoot 32 C.F.) 26 3/4" ? (Doesn't appear blued or browned, quite 9XXX

On top of octagonal barrel, in front of blade site: MADE BY THE HOPKINS & ALLEN MANFG.CO. NORWICH CONN. U.S.A.MERWIN,HULBERT & CO. NEW YORK U.S.A. SOLE AGENTS On top of barrel, behind blade site; PAT. JUNE 23.85 OCT.2.88 DEC.9.90 32R.F.Serial number stamped on end of barrel that fits into receiver (can't be seen until barrel removed) an on end of receiver (both covered when barrel is in place).

Condition appears to be Good. Any information on the history of this would be appreciated. A gunsmith that looked at this years ago said it appeared to be professionally changed to center fire(?).

Answer:
Steve- Made sometime after the 1890 patent was issued and before Hopkins and Allen folded in 1917, is about all I can add. H&A made lots of different models, including many inexpensive "Boy's rifles" and it would be nearly impossible to further pin down the model without examining it in person. The finish was probably originally blue, now darkened to what collectors call "patina" but most folks call rust. In my experience these have low demand and values, unless in extra nice original condition. It is an interesting example of modification of an old gun to keep it firing when ammo was no longer available... John Spangler


# 195 - Looking For A Book on Serial Number Locations
12/19/96
ID Section - JSmithCA@cris.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I am looking for a comprehensive book detailing the location of serial numbers on all types of firearms. If anyone knows of such a book could you please e-mail me at JSmithCA@cris.com. Thanks

Answer:
Jeff- WOW! Talk about specialized information---- not sure we can help. Knowing the purpose of your request, or the intended use, or if there is a specific type of gun, nationality, or time period would help. For law enforcement reference purposes, covering all guns everywhere up until the 1960s try J. H. Mathews "Firearms Identification" in three volumes. Loaded with detailed measurements and data to assist in identification of fired bullets, firing pin marks on cases, and photos of nearly every cartridge handgun up to that time, often with the serial numbers visible. Detailed description of makers marks on all these guns too. This set is out of print and several hundred dollars if one can be found. For older American arms, "Flayderman's Guide..." frequently tells the specific location of serial number markings. Other than these, you will probably be looking many separate books on specific models or makers. Usually serial numbers are fairly obvious (unless they have been removed, and then there are usually obvious marks, indicating where retrieval methods may be applied to recover the number. (Had that done on a M1886 Winchester recently!)... John Spangler


# 191 - Colt/PMC M1 Carbine
12/18/96
charleyg - charleyg@visuallink.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Colt / P M C M-1 Carbine 30 cal. Unknown parkerized Unknown

Some of my gun collector friends don't believe it until they see it, but I own (purchased it 13 years ago) a carbine with Colt markings. Yes, it has Postage Meter Corp., P M C initials, but it also has an impressed colt horse on the bolt lever, and "colt's pt. f." on the receiver. The markings "A 7 3 4" are also on the receiver. I wrote Colt, but they say on a form letter they never made a carbine. On the sight is "J.A.O. 7160060". I would appreciate any help you could offer. Thank You.

Did Colt ever try a prototype? That has been offered as an answer.

Answer:
Charley- I don't doubt that you have a carbine with the markings you describe. However, I seriously doubt if it has any connection with Colt. The PMC initials more likely relate to Plainfield Machine Company of Dunellon, NJ, which produced mediocre carbines circa 1967-75 from assorted GI and commercial parts. "Postal Meter" was really National Postal Meter Corporation, and I know of nothing stating that they used PMC at any time on their products. Larry Ruth's superbly researched 2 volume study of the M1 Carbine ("War Baby" and "War Baby Comes Home") do not seem to even suggest any connection with Colt. An advanced carbine collector, or even someone with Ruth's books in hand, could probably examine your carbine and figure out quite a bit more for you. Fake Colt markings are rampant (joke!) but usually found on things like Paterson pistols or the like. I can't explain why someone would out Colt markings on a M1 Carbine, but I'd give real good odds it wasn't done by Colt. The sight markings are very common and relate only to the sight, (a stamped adjustable type developed in 1943) and do not help identify the gun in any way. Wish I could tell you exactly what you have, but I suspect only the guy who made it knows for sure. I would treat it strictly as a shooter, and not as a collector piece... John Spangler.


# 194 - P. Russell, Buffalo Muzzle Loader
12/18/96
Grizly1@aol.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Muzzleloader (percussion cap?) .50 (may be larger, it's being gauged) unknown brown barrel none

Only markings on rifle are on the top of the barrel close to the hammer. Markings are: P. RUSSELL and BUFFALO. On the tang behind the barrel, linked to the stock is the marking: 60 . There areEnfield sights on the rifle.

I have recently inherited this old muzzleloader of civil war vintage that was modified at sometime to add Enfield sights. Are there publications that can help identify based on markings on the rifle? Jim Adams (grizly1@aol.com)

Answer:
Jim- I found a listing for William E Russell in Buffalo, NY active 1832-35. P. could have been a son or relative. No listings for P Russell anywhere. Buffalo could be a "model" name suggesting that it was suitable for hunting the beasts covered with shaggy fur, or it could refer to the city in New York, usually covered by snow. Enfield sights could have been added any time by anybody. (Hope people don't ask about the Brenelin-Albini sights I stuck on some trapdoor Springfields a few years ago!). Age and location are probably best determined by the overall style of the rifle compared to others. An advanced collector could probably do this quite easily. Very few books available that are good for this sort of purpose. Send us some photos and we will try if you like... John Spangler


# 193 - Venezuelan Model 24/30 Mauser
12/18/96
Grizly1@aol.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
FN Herstal-Belgique Venezuelan Mauser 1924/30 7 mm not sure blue (barrel) receiver/bolt area not blued 13XXX (matched)

There are all sorts of little symbols and marking along receiver. Serial number appears on bolt, stock and barrel(receiver).

I have toyed with the idea of customizing, but have been told this is a collectable. Is this true? I have had the rifle in storage for over twenty-five years.

Answer:
Jim- There is some collector interest in these old Mausers, especially if in really great shape. Otherwise, go ahead and make it into a custom gun if you like. There are a lot of them out there and they are still pretty cheap. (I can see someone 20 years from now saying "And Spangler told you it was okay to butcher a rare rifle like that?....) Yep, that's my story today, and I'm stickin' to it... John Spangler.


# 192 - Remington .38 or .44 Pistol
12/18/96
eastsci - eastsci@wctc.net

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Remington Pistol ? 44 or 38 71/12 or 8 inch nickle ?

I am trying to find the value of this pistol. It was my great grandfathers and probably dates back to the 1840s to 1860s. It is a single action, six shooter.

Answer:
Don- Sorry, we don't have enough info to help you yet. We need to know all the markings, where they are located, and especially the serial number. Is it percussion (with little pinty things ("nipples") sticking out of the back of the cylinder, or does it take cartridges? Is there some sort of folding lever arrangement under the barrel, or a large triangular piece, or nothing? Please send more info. We like to help with older pieces, especially with family connections... Hate to guess, though... John Spangler.


# 179 - Luger Carbine
12/17/96
"David C. Robinson" - "davedsi@erols.com"@erols.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Luger Commercial Carbine 30 Luger (must up-load standard) 11' +/- Blue 21XXX

Though to be a 1906 Limited Model for Commercial Sale. Has removable Rifle Stock and removable Hand Foregrip, both of checkered wood, possibly Walnut. Both the foregrip and stock are equipped with a sling swivel. All numbered parts carry full five digit serial number or the last three digits of the serial number. All parts are original as far as I can ascertain. Requires hand loaded 30 cal Luger ammunition. Standard 30 cal Luger will not always action the recoil mechanism. Sights are Ramped Blade at front and Elevation Adjustable Notched Ramp rear with three calibration marks, numbered 1, 2, & 3. I am interested in obtaining a documented identification and potential value range. Condition is !likely "Good" since it is still being fired as it has been since the early 1900s when it came into the family. Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

Answer:
David, Thanks for the question, I have always loved Luger carbines. I can find no mention of a 1906 carbine in any of my books. Luger carbines were manufactured for commercial sales in the 1920's but you state that your carbine came into your family's possession in the early 1900's. Is your Luger a 1902 carbine? It is easy to identify old style Lugers that were manufactured before 1906 because in 1906 the design of the Luger was changed slightly. Lugers manufactured before 1906 have the old style extractor which does not have the word Geladen stamped on it to act as a loaded indicator, a flat recoil spring, and cut back toggles. In 1906 a coil spring was substituted , the extractor was changed to the loaded indicator type, and the toggles were changed so that they were completely round. The reason that your carbine will not function with factory ammo is that Luger carbines were manufactured with an auxiliary recoil spring and so they require a special cartridge with a greater powder charge to cycle the action. We would be more than happy to supply you with documented identification and/or an appraisal but we would need more information. To find out more about our identification and appraisal service take a look at our appraisals page... Marc


# 177 - LaClede Shotgun
12/17/96
bernie@pathway.net (Meredith, Matt)

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Laclede gun co. Side by side shotgun 12 gauge 30" Blue 8XX

Numerous proof marks18.2 marked on each barrel small crown with an ak below it, also a crown with an h below it another crown with a circle below it with the letters elg inside the circle says laminated steel Belgium looks like damascus barrel there is one word faded leurice on the under side of the barrel also a diamond with a 12 and a c inside it the stock is checkered around the hand rests. Looking for information about laclede gun co and how old this gun is?

Answer:
Matt- Sorry we can't tell you much that you haven't already figured out. the "Belgium marking" tells us where it was made, and the other marks are pretty standard 12 Ga. proof marks. Laminated/damascus barrels were most popular prior to about 1910. You didn't say if it was hammer type, or hammerless. If hammer type, I'd guess circa 1880-1910. If hammerless, probably 1900-1918. In any case, I would NOT shoot it, but treat it as a wall hanger only. Laclede was not in any of the references I checked... John Spangler


# 180 - Wilson Shotgun
12/17/96
stm - stm@shelbynet.net

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Wilson & Co. ?? Muzzleloading Doublebarrel S/S Shotgun ? measures .644 w/calipers 26 inches browned none

Only markings are a 7/16" x 3/16" brass tag with " Wilson & Co. " in relief embedded in the barrel rib between the hammers and what appears to be 2 different "coats of arms" on the bottom of each barrel (under the forestock)The stock has a very intricate carving of a Boars Head that forms the part of the stock that is gripped by the shooters trigger hand. Also, this gun has steel barrels. Where was this gun made? When made? What kind of dollar value? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:
Scott- Sorry, this is another one of those common old inexpensive double barrel muzzle loading shotguns people have. No listing of "Wilson & Co" that I could find, but the boar's head was a popular feature in the 1880s and 1890s. I suspect Belgian made. A few people shoot these (if in good condition and inspected by a competent gunsmith) but mainly they are just nice old wall hangers. Please check the barrels to make sure they are not loaded. (A surprising number of muzzle loaders are!). Use the ramrod or a dowel or small tape measure stuck down the barrel until it hits something. Mark the rod/stick/tape and measure on the outside of the barrel. It should come to within about 1/2 inch of the nipple/flash hole. If more than that there could be an old powder charge in there, or just trash some kids stuffed in, but it should be removed by someone who has the right tools. Value on these runs in the $50-75 range as decorators. Antique stores sometimes ask much higher prices, and I often wonder if they ever sell them, and then who they sell them to? I've got some junk I'd like to move at any price... John Spangler


# 182 - Savage Model 99 .300 Sav.
12/17/96
Mike Philippon - Philippo@gsg.eds.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Savage Model 99 .300 savage Unknown Blue 32XXXX

Can you tell me the history of this rifle. When made? How many made? Is there ammunition still being made for this round?

Answer:
Phil- There is a book "The Ninety Nine" by D.P. Murray all about this model. There are lots of subtle variations and different models: 99A, 99B, 99E, etc. Murray's list shows your serial number as being made in 1929. Well over a million Model 99 rifles have been made since the first versions came out in 1899. The .300 Savage was introduced in 1920, and is comparable to the .30-06 or .308 in power, but has a short case to work with the 99 action. I think it is still available, but you may have to have it special ordered. You might want to get into reloading too. Hope this answers your questions... John Spangler


# 181 - Colt Richards Conversion
12/17/96
Bill - pearsonw@cal.cybersurf.net

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Colt 1840 Richardson Conversion 44 Unknown Nickle 5XXX

Where can I get more information on the firearm as above?

Answer:
Bill- After the Civil War, the popular Model 1860 Army .44 percussion revolvers were obsolete when cartridges became popular. Using mostly old 1860 Army style parts, between 1873 and 1878 Colt made about 9,000 .44 centerfire revolvers with the "Richards" conversion at the back of the cylinder, and an ejector added to the side of the barrel. Your serial number fits in nicely to these. "Flayderman's Guide..." has a brief description of these and the later Richards-Mason conversions. Jim Serven's "Colt Firearms from 1836" or Haven and Belden's "History of the Colt Revolver" might have a little more. Sutherland and Wilson's "Book of Colt Firearms" is probably the best single source on all Colt items. However my recollection is that none of these really have much on the conversion models. (Hey- you Colt collectors, don't be bashful about giving a better answer. This gentleman is getting info from some dumb rifle collector who can just barely spell Colt. You guys gotta help too!)... John Spangler


# 178 - Stevens Model 39A 410 Shotgun
12/17/96
Stan Hunter - lostmarbles@earthlink.net

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
J. Stevens Arms Company Model 39A .410 shotgun bolt action 24.5" 32" to back of bolt Blue Unknown

The letter "G" is stamped on the front of the forearm and bottom of grip.Barrel stamped "for 2.5 and 3 inch shells.

This gun was given to me from my father's uncle. I'm guessing it is 40+ years old. I was wondering what it's real age is (approx.), if there was any historical or collector's interest in it, and if it would be a good candidate for a restoration? It is not in that bad a shape (average condition) but the barrel could stand to be re-blued and a basic clean up on the rest. Thank you in advance for helping me with a little history on the gun. Stan Hunter !

Answer:
Stan- Bolt action shotguns seem to have been most popular after the end of WW2 before good pumps and semi-autos became readily available and cheap. Your guess of 40 plus sounds about right for the age. There is absolutely zero (or less) interest in bolt action shotguns for some reason. If you want to try your hand at touching up the blue, or refinishing the stock, you won't hurt the value. Sounds like one of those old guns that is a nice family heirloom, but not much cash value. I have no idea what the "G" marks might mean. I understand that it is pretty tough to hit things with a .410, so it could be a real challenge to hunt with... John Spangler


# 187 - N.B. Walton 9mm
12/17/96
Dirk Apers - dirk.apers@pophost.eunet.be

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown N.B. Walton 9 mm Unknown Unknown Unknown

Where can I find a manual or any documentation about this gun ?thanks a lot !

Answer:
Dirk- Sorry, not enough info to even guess what you are talking about. Please send us full description including all markings, type action, barrel length, type action, etc. If unknown, then send a photo or at least a Xerox copy for us to work from. (Mail to Box 711282 Salt Lake City UT 84171, USA) Love to help, but hate to guess too much... John Spangler


# 188 - Colt .32 New Police Ammo
12/17/96
FSpriggs@aol.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Colt Detective Special 32 colt np Unknown Unknown Unknown

Just received the gun as a present and can't find ammo. Do you know of any sources for 32 Colt New Police rounds?

Answer:
Sir- I'd try the "Old Western Scrounger" (see links) who specializes in weird and obsolete ammo. [See, I was a history major, I didn't have to know a darn thing, I just needed to know where to find all sorts of oddball stuff.] Good luck... John Spangler


# 189 - 7.35mm Itailian "Terni" Or Carcano
12/17/96
DSIL2@aol.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
R E TERNI 1939 XV11 7.35 Unknown Blue SA 07XXX

Has a number stamped on the butt below the strap holder, possibly 2770. I would appreciate any information you can supply. I got it from my grandfather but don't have any information on the history or value of this gun. Thanks, Dan

Answer:
Dan- Your Carcano rifle was made by the Italian arsenal at Terni in 1939. The SA marking indicates this is one of a small number procured by the Germans from Italy, and sent to help Finland during the Winter War of November 1939-March 1940. Hitler figured that since the Finns were fighting against the Russians at the time (as were the Germans) that this was a good move. These were used for secondary forces, while the main Finnish forces had various Mosin Nagant rifles, which are also found with "SA" markings. The SA marked Carcanos are fairly scarce compared to the Italian used rifles, and usually in much better condition, and a nice piece for a Finnish rifle collection. I place the value at about $150-200 for a real nice SA marked example, compared to about $75 for those without the marking. Many of these were imported as surplus during the 1960s (along with the similar 6.5mm Carcanos such as the one used by Oswald to shot President Kennedy.) Hope this helps... John Spangler.


# 190 - Marble Game Getter
12/17/96

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Marble Arms Gamegetter .22 & .44 12" blue 9XXX

This is a interesting little handgun that my dad used in the 1920's when out in the woods. We have enjoyed shooting the upper .22 a lot, but are having a problem finding the correct ammo for what is marked on the gun in several places as being the lower .44 barrel. Regular .44 and .44 Special amm will fit into the barrel, but both leave about 1/4" sticking out, thus not allowing the closure of the gun, and certainly not the firing. We asked at a local gun shop and they didn't want and parts of looking at it etc. saying it is an illegal gun because of the short barrel. I just want to do a little target shooting with my sons in our protected woods. Where do I go from here?

Answer:
Dear anonymous. From here you can go to jail for up to 10 years. Listen to the guys from your local gun shop. The Marbles game getter with 12 inch barrels, (and the 15 inch version too) is illegal unless registered with the BATF during the amnesty period in 1968. If not, they consider it the same as a belt fed Browning machine gun and will take great delight in busting you. Now, for purely academic interest, an old Marble Game-getter ad shows .44WCF shot; .44 Ball [a round ball load]; .44 UMC shot; and .44 XL shot cartridges and states "The Game Getter shoots all the above cartridges." Note that these are not the same as your modern loads with lead bullets, but shot loads (and one with a single round ball). Modern pistol ammo is unsafe to use in this gun. You should destroy this gun immediately with a big hammer or a cutting torch, so you won't get in trouble... John Spangler.


# 186 - New Collector
12/13/96
Rick & Susan Russell

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Mauser 98 8mm Unknown Blue Unknown

I am new at this so my questions are a bit unsophisticated but here goes...I am interested in collecting WW II firearms. I own an M1 Carbine and am looking next at German Infantry Rifles. It is my understanding the Mauser 98 was standard WW II German Infantry Rifle. I find them from time to time at shows. What is a fair price? I can't find history, info, clubs, or anything on 8mm German 98's. All I can find are 6.5 Swedes. What's the big deal with them? It would seem from a curio standpoint the 8mm German they would be more popular. Any thoughts? Ideas? I would like to hunt with a curio, but have been led to believe hunting ammo will be impossible to get, unless I shoot military loads and even then, nobody seems to stock it. Will 8mm ammo of any kind be obtainable in the next several years? Other than an M1 Garand and Jap 6.5, what other WW II rifles/carbines are fun to shoot, quality firearms and not impossible to find? Any other Web Pages you could select on related topics? Thanks a million for your help,

Answer:
Rick- Sorry for the delay answering, but I was doing a show in Phoenix. Don't be embarrassed to ask questions, you'll be sorry if you don't! We all had to start out pretty uninformed at some point. A fair price is whatever a willing buyer and a willing seller agree on. I see recent imports with mixed parts and post-war crests for under $150. I see minty non-imports with matching parts at the $450-600 range. I would expect to pay about $200-300 for a good representative example, with at least 50% original finish, mostly matching, and preferably without recent import markings. Some dealers try to peddle junk and won't honestly describe pieces. Try to get a feel for the dealer's reputation before you buy. Don't be impatient, there are lots of 98 Mausers available. Wait until you find one you like at a price you can live with. You should get "Small Arms of the World" by Smith. It has gone through many editions, but the older ones seem to have more on WW2 vintage arms. It has an excellent historical section in the front then goes into complete details for each country, showing most of their military weapons, and usually with takedown information. It will probably run about $30-40 for this book, but it is the best single volume on modern military arms. There are several other books specifically on the 98 and other Mauser rifles, but you don't need to get into that much detail. 8mm Mauser ammo is easy to get for hunting, WALMART and KMART might even have it, but most gun shops carry it. It also goes by the name 8x57mm Mauser, or 7.92x57 Mauser. A good WW2 rifle collection would include: US- M1 Garand, M1 carbine, M1903 or 03A3 Springfield and M1917 Enfield Germany- K98k Mauser, G43/K43 semi auto Italy- Carcano Japan- 6.5mm Arisaka and/or 7.7mm Type 99 Arisaka British Empire- No 1 Mark III and No 4 Mark I Lee Enfields Russia- Model 91/30 Mosin Nagant, and M40 Tokarov semi-auto France- Berthier rifle Most of these are readily available, and about half run $150 or less, many under $100. I like US rifles, but I got started 25 years ago when they were affordable. If I were starting out now, I might look into Russian rifles, or Japanese, or maybe even French or Italian, or maybe rifles from South American countries. There are lots of variations, and most are dirt cheap(in the $50-100 range) so you can add stuff often. However, I would be very picky about getting only really nice condition examples, even if I had to pay more for them. Junk will always be junk, while good stuff will go up in value. If I decided on one of these fields, I would get every book on the subject I could before I got any guns. Money spent on books will repay the investment many times over. Check our links for other sites. Hope this helps... John Spangler


# 183 - Semi-Auto .223 Query From Australia
12/13/96
ADVbugman@aol.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
leader(australia)h ? .223 18"? parkerized not known

I recently found an interesting rifle at a gun shop, it appears to be a semi-auto version of a military weapon. I am thinking of buying it but would like some info about it before doing so. Anything would be helpful. Thank You.

Answer:
Hey mate- I thought Australia just outlawed all sorts of guns, especially semi-autos. (Sure it was stupid, but American politicians are not much brighter and will probably do the same thing if we let them). Anyway, without brand name and more info we cannot tell you much about want you found. Sorry we can't do much for you... John Spangler


# 184 - Gun Marks Reference Book
12/13/96
jim ikerman - jikerman@unanov.una.edu

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Book subject: Gun Marks for identification N/A N/A N/A N/A

Where can I get a book of gun marks? Especially world war 2 and current marks of interest to me.

Answer:
Jim, There is a very good book about gun markings titled Gun Marks (can you believe it) by David Byron. Gun Marks is published by Crown Publishers, Inc., One Park Avenue, New Your, N.Y. 10016. Gun Marks has data on all sorts of markings, logos, names and codes that are found on many different firearms including German WWII ordnance codes and inspectors markings... Marc


# 173 - M1903A3
12/13/96
mred - mred@mail.myriad.net

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Remington Model 03A3 Original Original in excellent condition Parkerized, greenish finish 411XXXX

Initials fja and ra above the trigger guard.

I am a dealer in Texas , I acquired this piece from a W.W.II veteran who had the gun in his safe since 45', does anyone know the value or history of this piece

Answer:
Ed- Your M1903A3 rifle sounds like a great original example, and there is good collector demand for these. Can't tell much about the history, other than it was made by Remington during 1943-44. Retail on excellent examples seems to run about $325-375, with truly spectacular examples without the slightest traces of wear bringing a little more. If you don't have many collectors in your area, let us know if you want to wholesale it to us... John Spangler


# 174 - Rolling Block Modelo Argentino
12/13/96
jim strother - jstroth@ix.netcom.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Remington rolling block, saddle rifle Modelo Argentino 1879. e.n. Unknown 20.5 inch, one band Blue [approx 90%] Unknown

Saddle ring on left of rec. small, flip-up rear sight with ranges of "three and five" showing in separate holes.

Any idea what the caliber might be? I tried a 45-70 in it but it wouldn't enter---the last 1/4 inch stuck out. How would I find out given the many bizarre cartridges of that era? I also have a 36 inch military model which appears to be chambered for the same. It isn't an argentine though. The bores on both are perfect; hence my interest in firing them. Any info or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. This is my first exposure to antique arms. Thanks. Jim S.

Answer:
Jim- The Argentine rolling blocks are actually .43 caliber, taking a slightly bottlenecked cartridge, sometimes called the .43 Spanish. Someone is (or was recently) making brass/ammo in this caliber. There were a bunch of these imported in the 1960s, and like yours, most had great bores. Probably good shooters if you can find the ammo, but a lot of people used the actions to make rifles for other big bore cartridges, but they should be restricted to black powder loads only. Hope this helps... John Spangler


# 176 - Burnside Carbine
12/13/96
CJT-CEN - lilbig-c@aub.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Burnside Model ???of or cf or 0f 1864 Unknown Unknown Unknown 7XXX ?

No wooden forearm. no barrel band. octagon barrel. dove tail front sight (underneath is another dovetail). Rear site (same as Springfield 2 leaf sight). lever spring is missing. action in good condition.

Hello, this is an item my dad has and I have tried to describe this to you as it was described to me via telephone. With the above information, can you tell me more about the burnside rifle. I know General Burnside designed a rifle for Bristol Firearms Co. But I cannot find any other information giving details on the Burnside. Please help. Thank you, Carol Tobertga. lilbig-c@aub.com

Answer:
Carol- Your Burnside carbine is one of about 50,000 made for use during the Civil War, mainly by cavalry troops. They were fairly popular and reliable arms. Yours is the "fourth model" (based on serial number) and lack of a wooden forend is standard. "Flayderman's Guide to American Antique Arms and their Values" has a good description of all the Burnside models and the values. All Civil War carbines are very popular with collectors, and there are groups of shooters who still use the originals (and increasingly reproductions) in competition every year at the "North-South Skirmishes". The Burnside used a brass cartridge with a big bulge in the middle, and a tapered rear section. A small hole in the back allowed flame from a percussion cap to ignite the powder. So these were termed "externally primed cartridges". Sounds awkward now, but in 1860 it was the latest technology, and a heck of a lot better than messing with loose powder and bullets. Let us know if you want the titles of several other books that have more information on the Burnside and other Civil War carbines. We can also recommend sources for any missing or broken parts. And, we can help you sell it if you want to do that... John Spangler


# 185 - Swedish Mauser Correction
12/12/96
johnms@voicenet.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

In your 9-24-96 Q and A page ,you stated that the stock disk on the side of a Swedish Mauser Mod. 96 was for unit marking. Not true, The disk was for identifing the bore size of the gun . This was done in the refit shop and the small triangle mark denotes the bore size in M/M's. Check with the N.R.A tech.staff. John styner

Answer:
GOLLEE!!! It took an awful long time for someone to discover we don't know everything about every gun. (But we sure fooled a lot of peeple for a while!) We like facts better than guesses, and we especially like to get things right. John, thanks for correcting this for us. We have added your correction to the original response... Marc and John, the now beter educated.


# 175 - Stain 1909 Argentine Handguard?
12/8/96
ERLSCHHLND@aol.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Mauser 1909 Argentine 7.65 mm 29.13 in blue and bright bolt/reciever E xxxx

All numbers match including muzzle cap, gun appears as issued and bore is very bright. Gun was in the grease when I purchased.

The stock is dark walnut and the upper handguard is a much lighter color. were any of these guns issued with mis-matched wood? should I restain the handguard to match?

Answer:
Erl, it is hard to say whether or not your handguard is original to rifle, over the years the handguard could have been switched for a thousand different reasons. Check for matching numbers, your 1909's handguard may have a number stamped underneath in the barrel channel. If the mis-match in color bothers you I would see nothing wrong with staining your handguard darker... Marc


# 172 - HBS/HMS Shotgun
12/6/96
Craig Spencer - craigs@neways.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
H.M.S & Co. or H.B.S & Co. Rev O Ma? 12 gauge Unknown might be parkerized 238, I think

What is the manufacturer and approximate age of this gun. And since it is in fair-to excellent condition any approximations on the value of this gun. Looks like it has the original forearm wood, but the stock may be one that has been put on since. Finish is just oil, linseed I believe, and light, oak or pine wood.

Answer:
Criag, Sorry, but the information you provided isn't enough for us to even make an intelligent guess about what you have. Sounds like an item that you need to show someone so they can help you. In any case, I would not recommend filing on the stock unless you are sure it is a replacement, in which case you cannot hurt it much. I don't think I would fire the gun under any circumstances. In fact, I like to remove the firing pins and plug the chambers on old "wall hanger" shotguns just to be sure no one will get hurt... John Spangler


# 171 - M1873 Winchester
12/6/96
Michael Gillis - mikeg@atcon.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester 1873 32/20 24" blue turning brown 362120B

Kings Improvement Patent Mar 29 18?6 Oct 16 1860Octagon barrel Presumably in Very Good condition

This is a follow up question to one I sent in last week, without enough information. Does this rifle have any collects value and can you give me any background on it.

Answer:
Mike- Aprox.720,610 model 1873 Winchester's were produced in 3 different calibers (.32-20, .38-40 and .44-40) between 1873 and 1919. According to my records your rifle was manufactured in 1890. Collector demand for model 1873 Winchester's is good and if your rifle is in good condition it could be worth as much as $2000 or more. If you need an appraisal check out our appraisals page... Marc


# 115 - Danish Made Version Of The Rolling Block
12/2/96
Phil Beck - nute@kern.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Rem rolling block Danish ? Unknown 34' Blue 53XXX

On the tang kjobenhavns toimuue 1878 on left side receiver towards front a crown over R over M-1867on top of stock just in front of butt plate 1/2'X 1/4' square box with letters G.C. right side stock a brass button with TR over 377. This rifle is in very good condition the bore is mint I read an article in a gun mag five or six years ago that told about this rifle I thought that one of these days I would get dies and brass and see how she shoots but now that I'm ready I can't find the magazine ! My question is who has brass and reloading data ? and anything else you can tell me about it ? also its value ? Thanks I enjoy your site. Phil

Answer:
Phil- Yes, it is a Danish made version of the Remington rolling block. These M1867 rifles remained in service until replaced by Krags in 1889. Fortunately a Little Mermaid whispered in my ear that info on the ammo can be found in "Cartridges of the World." They say the 11.7 x 51 R Danish Remington "...is little known in the United States [yep!] and then only because of the few Danish rolling block rifles that have trickled in. It is similar to the .45-70 but the case is a little (.09") shorter. Performance is, naturally, practically identical to the .45-70. Check Cartridges of the World for more information on reloading... John Spangler


# 118 - Hollenbeck Shotgun
12/2/96
Kile Unterzuber - ku10097@nando.net

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Hollenbeck (sp?) Shotgun Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Sorry to have so little information, but my grandfather had a Hollenbeck (sp?) shotgun which my uncle received after my grandfather died. My grandfather lived in West Virginia and always said that the shotgun was manufactured there shortly before the Hollenbeck company went out of business. I have never heard of a Hollenbeck shotgun. Can you cast any light on this? Thanks! Kile Unterzuber

Answer:
Kile- Hollenbeck is kind easy to take care of. Frank Hollenbeck was a inventor/designer/manufacturer who received seven patents on guns between 1892 and 1904. He lived at various times in Homer, Batavia, and Syracuse, [all in] New York; and Wheeling West Virginia. He started three separate gun companies. The first was the Hollenbeck Gun Company which operated in Wheeling, WV from 1901 to 1903, and in Moundsville (near Wheeling) from 1903 to 1905. This was succeeded by his next company, the "Three Barrel Gun Company" which made guns with guess how many barrels? They were (I think) the only US company to make version of what the Europeans call "Drillings". The Three Barrel folks then started the "Royal Gun Company" to market their guns, and they operated out of Wheeling from 1908 to 1910. The July 1988 "Gun Report" magazine had an article on Hollenbeck ant Syracuse Arms Co. I recall seeing something about the Three Barrel Gun Co. somewhere a few years ago, but don't recall exactly where... John Spangler


# 119 - Erfurt 1914 Artillery Luger With No Stock Lug
12/2/96
Bob - jmrn@gol.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Erfurt Luger 9mm 8" blue 26XX

I have a Luger marked "Erfurt 1914" on the toggle. It has an 8" barrel with an adjustable rear sight. All numbers are matching, and approximately 75% or the original blue finish remains. The checkered wood grips are solid, but showing some wear. The pistol looks completely original and untouched, but there is no stock lug on the grip strap. It does not appear to have been ground off or removed, as the finish (both to the metal and the bluing)looks original. I understand that Lugers with 8" barrels are generally referred to as "artillery" Lugers, but are always described as having a lug for a shoulder stock. Do I have some unusual variation, or was an Erfurt 8" model without a stock lug a fairly standard model? Also, the magazine is nickel plated with a wooden bottom but not numbered. Is it correct or a replacement? Your learned opinion is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Answer:
Bob, I am sorry but I have never heard of, nor can I find any mention in my reference books of an Erfurt artillery model Luger without a shoulder stock lug. According to my books, all Erfurt artillery models were made in 1914 and all came with shoulder stock lugs. I have seen Lugers (especially artillery models) that have had their shoulder stock lugs removed to conform with an outdated US law. A highly skilled gunsmith would be able to make the alteration to the grip strap very hard to detect. If your Luger is original it is a rare model but demand for artillery models without shoulder stock lugs is not as great as it is for models that have them. I think that it would be difficult to prove to a prospective buyer that no alterations have been made. If I were the prospective buyer I would be very skeptical and would assume that the shoulder stock lug had been removed. Your magazine is the correct model (nickel plated with a wooden bottom) but it should be numbered... Marc


# 120 - WINSPEED 30G Casing
12/2/96
Norman Johns - njohns@iavbbs.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester ? Center Fire brass cartridge Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

On cartridge rim face: WINSPEED 30G (maybe 300) 1906 Can you identify and date the brass center fire cartridge for me? Thank You

Answer:
Norman- Would you believe me if I told you that someone has spent most of their life collecting .30-06 ammunition, recording all the headstamp markings and then wrote a 250 page book on them? It's true, in 1986 Gerald F. Marcello published a third edition of a book ".30-06 We Have Seen". Probably working on a fourth edition now. Anyway, he lists dang near everything ever made. But, not yours! What can it be? Well, in the early 1900s people were used to calling the .30-40 Krag cartridge ".30 Army" or ".30 US". When the M1903 Springfield came out it used a .30 caliber cartridge, model of 1903, or ".30-03". In 1906 the cartridge and rifles were changed, so the M1903 Springfield fired the .30 caliber cartridge, model 1906, or ".30-06" Enough to confuse anybody. So, ".30 Government 1906" was the full name used by several makers, until shortaly after WWI. By then people had gotten used to just calling it the ".30-06". "WINSPEED" is not on any of the headstamps known to Marcello. He does list the following that inlcude the ".30 G 1906": PETERS 30G1906; SUPER SPEED 30 G 1906; SUPER-X 30-G-1906; WESTERN .30-G-1906; W.R.A. .30 G.1906; and W.R.A.Co. .30 G. 1906. While not all have dates, those that are dated run between 1908 and 1924. One word of caution. Cartridges can tell the earliest possible date the ammo was made, but not when it was actually shot. Lots of people are shooting 50-75 year old ammo, especially military surplus stuff, and then some people reload the fired cases. Maybe I have answered your question, or just confused you even worse. But, remember, all our free answers come with a full money back guarantee!... John Spangler


Return to Collectors Headquarters.

This page was last updated 1/1/97 5:14:55 PM