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# 1717 - Sword Books
12/29/98

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

I am constantly looking for reference books on sword collecting. I notice you have a book #BK-63 which is on the French; would this detail which swords were used when and by whom? Additionally does it help id pieces?

Answer:
Sir- James Hicks' French Military Weapons is better on guns than on edged weapons. You might find it helpful, but it is probably not an essential reference. Mowbray (the Man at Arms folks- see our links page) is just now publishing a new sword book on swords from the Medicus collection. That sounds like one that you really should get. Also Harold Peterson's The American Sword (which may be superseded by the new one just mentioned). Very few really good sword books to recommend to you. I suspect you will end up needing a lot of catalogs, and books that include swords among a whole lot of other stuff. Good luck. John Spangler


# 1716 - Muzzle Loader Rifle By P I SPENCE
12/29/98
Addy

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
P I Spence Black Powder Bench Rifle Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I've been trying to find information on a black powder bench rifle I received from an uncle's estate. I haven't found any reference books that list P I Spence bench rifles. I would certainly appreciate any help you might give in pointing me in the right direction. Thanks

Answer:
Addy- Peter I Spence was born in 1876 and died in 1968. He worked in Marietta, Ohio (Southeast part of the state near the Ohio River) from about 1898 to 1968. He made both percussion and cartridge guns. Bench rest shooting was popular in Ohio in the late 19th and early 20th century. Some excellent gun makers have come from southern Ohio, and one of the greatest barrel makers of this century, William L. Large worked in Ironton, Ohio. Franks Sllers' "American Gunsmiths" is the source of this information on Spence, and he got some of it from a January 1963 issue of Muzzle Blasts magazine. Probably someone in the Ohio Gun Collectors Association would be interested in a rifle like this. Their gun shows are among the best in the country, but only members and invited guests may attend. (I am a life member of OGCA, but live too far away to attend regularly). Tell us where you live and we may be able to recommend a reputable dealer in your are if you want to sell the rifle. Hope this helps. John Spangler

NOTE: The great-grandson of the maker of the gun above (Peter I. Spence) would like to hear from anyone with a gun made by him. Contact him at davtam889@verizon.net


# 1667 - Winchester Model 1873
12/29/98
Gary,San Diego,Ca.

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester (lever) 1873 32-20 23 1/2 Inches Bare Metal 343074B

Kings improvement-patented-March 29 1866,October 16,1860 on the upper barrel in front of the elevatable sight, and 32 WCV below the sight I recently inherited this and I know very little about it except that it was my Granddads (He was born in 1892) and it is thought that he got it from his father. I'm not knowledgeable about antique long guns and would be grateful for ANY information. Thanks, Gary

Answer:
Gary, Winchester manufactured about 720,610 Model 1873 rifles from 1873 to about 1924 in 32-20 Winchester, 38-40 Winchester or 44-40 Winchester calibers. My records indicate that your Model 1873 was manufactured in 1890. The Model 1873 was initially offered as a Sporting Rifle, Musket or Carbine, but special decoration, barrel length and details of finish could be custom ordered, consequently examples can be found with half-length (six round) magazine tubes, set triggers, unusually short or extraordinarily long barrels, or shotgun-pattern butts. Military-style leaf sights were favored on muskets, and folding leaves or tang-mounted Vernier peep sights could be provided on Special Sporting Rifles. Especially accurate barrels could be finished as 'One of One Thousand'(best) or 'One of One Hundred' (second-best). Winchester abandoned production of the centerfire M1873 patterns after World War I but a few guns were assembled from parts into the mid-1920s. Marc


# 1701 - H&R M-1 Garand
12/26/98
Tom

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
H&R M1 30-06 Unknown Unknown #55770082

I really enjoy your web site but IM trying to find info on a harrington & richardson m-1 garand, serial #55770082 I would appreciate any information you could give me on this gun. thank you tom warshauer p.s. i can't get the web site to work for this gun.

Answer:
Tom- Your serial number has an extra digit. Assuming it is 5577082 that would date it as early 1954. HRA made 428,600 M1 rifles in 1953-56. As far as I can determine, all were standard service grade rifles and no particularly interesting information is available about any of them. Enjoy. The best information on these is in my friend Scott Duff's book "The M1 Garand Post WW2" We have a link to his site on our links page. John Spangler


# 1700 - Sharps 4 Barrel Derringer
12/26/98
Charles

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Sharps Derringer Approx 30 Cal 3" Unknown 3371

Markings: Sharps Patent 1859 on one side of frame with Philad. PA on the other side of the frame. Some lettering is rubbed smooth and can't be read. I have been given a 4-barrel Sharps handgun with a patent date of 1859. I am a novice gun collector with only a small number of handguns. Can you possibly advise me concerning what I have in this pistol, what is the history (lineage), purpose, and status of the weapon. Any suggestions for additional research that I might do.

Answer:
Charles - C.Sharps & Co. and Later Sharps & Hankins of Philadelphia mad tens of thousands of four barrel derringer pistols from about 1859 to about 1874. Most were .22 rimfire although thousands of .30 rimfire and .32 rimfire (the latter in both short and long chamber sizes) were also made. Collectors break these into four main types with up to five subtypes under those, so a diligent collector could find about 20 different variations. The differences are mainly in the caliber, the shape of the breech and the shape of the grips. Norm Flayderman's "Guide to Antique American Firearms and their Values" describes these well enough for most people. Frank Sellers' "Sharps Firearms" has the most detail on all Sharps guns, and is highly recommended for the serious collector. Your local library can get a copy on interlibrary loan, or you could buy one (about $45) and donate it to your library. Check first, as some libraries may now want or accept books on such evil instruments as guns. Guess they are too busy worrying about First Amendment rights to understand the Second Amendment. John Spangler


# 1662 - Colt New Service In .455 Eley
12/26/98
Ken, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Colt New Service .455 Eley 5.5 Inches Blue 11151

Lanyard ring; top of barrel marked "Colts Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co./Hartford, Ct. U.S.A. Pat. Aug. 5, 1884 June 5, 1900;" grips are black, hard rubber (or Bakelite) with "Colt" at the top in an oval about the size of a quarter. Can you tell me the year this sn was manufactured? Is it 1900 or 1901? If the barrel didn't include a patent date of 1900 on it, I would have thought this .455 was manufactured in the late 1800s. Thanks.

Answer:
Ken - Colt manufactured more than 356,000 New Service revolvers from 1898 to 1944, my records indicate that your New Service was manufactured in 1904. Colt intended the New Service revolver to be made mainly for government contracts. The New Service was widely sold as a general sidearm for police, government guards and similar armed organizations. Most sales were on the American continent, but some were made in the Far East, and a few were even sold in Britain. Early military New Service revolvers had simple smooth wood grips, later models had the standard molded rubber grips, and a range of fancy and exotic grips could be special ordered. Lanyard rings were not standard, but some New service revolvers were fitted with them. Although the New Service was designed to chamber .45 Colt, it was produced in eighteen different chamberings, from .38 to .476 Eley. Barrel lengths ranged from 2 to 71/2 inches. A target model New Service known as the `Master Shooter' was introduced soon after the first production, and could be bought until the end of the series, it was a standard New Service, that had extra-careful finishing and special sights, usually to the customer's order. Marc


# 1699 - Sporterized Mauser
12/22/98
Mark WI

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Mauser 98 8mm Unknown Unknown S5176541S

I am writing for any information on an old German Mauser Mod. 98. It is serial # s5176541s. It has the # 92 stamped on most parts. It also has the eagle over a swastika in a circle next to the # 37 stamped on some parts. There is a fancy, script-type capital "O" stamped on some parts. There are two large script-type letters over a large script-type 41 engraved on the top of the receiver. All the metal parts seem to be original and matching. The gun is blued and the bolt assembly is shiny with a turned down handle (ball-end). Unfortunately the original stock is gone. Someone put on a sporterized stock and a Lyman peep sight. I am also looking for a place to purchase some Norma and DWM Brenneke Ideal 8mm ammunition. Would it work to find an original type stock in good condition and put it on? Thank you for your help, Mark.

Answer:
Mark- With the mixing of numbers, cut down stock and being drilled and tapped for a receiver sight it may be a good item for a shooter (after being checked by a competent gunsmith, of course) but would have little interest for a collector. It is odd to have a serial number of more than four digits and a letter suffix, but without knowing the script letters on the receiver to identify the maker, we can only note that it is odd, not explain why. While Norma and DWM make fine ammunition, I would not spend the additional amount for either of those and would be happy to feed it Remington or Winchester, or whatever was easy to get locally. Check carefully to make sure you are getting the right ammunition, as 98 Mausers were made in a variety of calibers, and sometimes were rechambered when sporterized. John Spangler


# 1698 - Whitney Kenndy Rifle
12/22/98
Dennis

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

I have a rifle that I purchase from a man just before he died. I actually purchased it from his wife, who had no history on if. The only markings on the rifle are: Whitneyville Armory CT USA Kennedy 45/60 caliber Patent 1873-79. Can you help at all?

Answer:
Dennis- About 15,000 Whitney Kennedy rifles were made circa 1879-1886. These included small frame sporting rifles, large frame sporting rifles, Military rifles/muskets, and carbine models. The .45-60 was used in the large frame sporting rifle and also the carbine model. Barrels were 26 or 28 inches long on the rifle, and 20 inches on the carbine. Flayderman's guide lists a value of US$875 for the rifle in very good condition and US$1500 for the carbine, higher because most of the carbines apparently were sent to South America. These are somewhat heavier and have an ugly "pot belly" on the bottom of the frame compared to the Winchesters of the era. They never achieved the commercial success of the Winchesters or the Marlins which dominated the lever action field. John Spangler


# 1660 - Winchester Model 67
12/22/98
Ben Somerville, Al.

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester 67-22 Short Long & Long Rifle 22 28' Blued N/A

No S/N. Walnut stock, Chrome plate bolt, single shot adjustable rear site, Not a peep site. Blade front site. stamp at front of barrel. two characters cant make them out. over all 43" long, pull back hammer at back of bolt. My Dad got this gun for he's 14th B. day. If it was new then that would be 1939 or 1940. This gun is in good to excellent shape. Bore is free of pits and shines. Shoots great. My question is what is its value and how many were made? I plan to pass on to my Son and would like to tell him some history and value of this gun. Thanks Ben

Answer:
Ben, I think that the Winchester model 67 is an excellent choice for a boys first rifle. The model 67 was manufactured from 1934 to 1942 and then again from 1946 to 1963. In all, about 383,600 Model 67 rifles were manufactured. The Model 67 had a chrome plated bolt, safety lock and trigger, it was cocked by pulling back on the cocking piece which is located on the back of the bolt. The stock was a plain walnut pistol grip type which originally had a finger groove in the forend. Finger grooves were omitted from the forend in 1935 until an improved stock, with the barrel-retaining bolt recessed in the forend, was adopted in October 1937. The bolt-retaining spring was omitted from January 1938, when efforts were made to smooth the bolt stroke and improve ejection by revising the bolt, sear and extractor. Model 67 rifles were also offered in: 22 WRF (added in 1935), smooth bore (1936-42), Miniature Target Boring ,(1940-41), Junior Rifle (also known as the "Boy's Rifle", 1937-42) and telescope-sighted rifles, (1937-42). Marc


# 1674 - Trying To Find Correct Bayonet For My '03A3
12/19/98

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

I am trying to find a bayonet for my '03A3. Could you help me? Thanks!

Answer:
Sir- These were issued with either: A- the long M1905 bayonet, either left over WW1 era blades, or newly made 1942-43 dated examples sometimes called "M1942" by collectors. or B- the short M1 bayonet either made with 10 inch blade as M1 bayonet, or one of the 16 inch M1905s shortened to 10 inch length and then carried under the M1 nomenclature. John Spangler


# 1671 - Illegal SKS Modifications
12/19/98
Ed

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

SKS front sight assembly needed with bayonet lug for Chinese type.

Answer:
Ed- Sorry we do not do anything with SKS rifles.

You better check the federal laws. I believe you are about to commit a felony by manufacturing an assault weapon from a "post ban" gun. Check with your local BATF office to be sure. (Phone book blue pages UG Govt- treasury dept section)

We realize that the number of drive by bayonet attacks has dropped greatly since the passage of the assault weapons ban. Stupid as the law is, the law it must be obeyed.

I hope you devoted considerable time, money, and energy to getting pro-gun candidates selected so the stupid law can be changed. John Spangler


# 1645 - John Wayne Commemorative Value
12/19/98
Bill - Bakersfield, Calif.

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester 94 32-40 18-1/2 Blue JW32917

John Wayne commemorative I purchased this rifle new in 1982, never been fired and rarely has it seen the light of day. Papers are still in the original box. I also have a commemorative box of 20 shells. Simply looking for a ballpark figure of it's value.

Answer:
Bill - I have never liked commemoratives much, but anyone with one is wise not to fire it and to save the box and original papers. For a commemorative to have any value over a regular model, it must be in 100% new condition, never have been fired, and have it's original box and papers. If you do not have the original box and papers you can deduct $100 to $150 from the value. If a commemorative has been fired or shows any signs of wear, it is just a ''fancy shooter'', worth little more than the same model that is not a commemorative. I would advise you to check and carefully clean and oil your commemorative periodically. I know someone who bought a new commemorative and left it for years in its original box without ever looking at it. When the box was opened, he found that the gun had acquired a fine coating of rust. Never cock or dry fire a commemorative. According to one price guide, retail price for the John Wayne commemorative when it was first offered in 1981 was $600.00 and current value is $895.00, but I think that is pretty optimistic. Marc


# 1643 - Refinished Winchesters
12/15/98
Pat Minocqua WI USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester 1873 ,32 Rifle Reblued And Stock Refinished 135XXX

None Working firearm that has been professionally reblued and refinished. All markings are sharp and clear. Approximate value, what is the usual decrease in value because of the reblueing? I also have a Win73 in .44, SN 501XXX and a Win 94 in .30, SN 1434XXX that have been similarly refinished.

Answer:
Pat - I am sorry to hear that the fine old firearms have been refinished. Refinished firearms have greatly reduced collector or historical interest, and I have found that it is often quite difficult to sell them. When a firearm is refinished, no matter how good the refinishing job is, the value will not be the same as if the finish were original. In fact, most collectors would prefer a gun with 30-50% original finish over one that has 100% refinish. Shooters or hunters might like the refinish job, but in most cases refinished guns will be very tough to sell. Values will be whatever a buyer is willing to pay. Marc


# 1670 - Shotgun- Thomas Boss
12/15/98
MBCoVP@aol.com

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

I'm trying to do some research on an old shotgun I have, and would appreciate any guidance you could give or any resources you could point me to. The gun is a double barrel, side by side (12 GA?) black powder manufactured in England by "Thomas Boss . 75 St. James's Street . London" (marking on top of barrels in center.) I'm having difficulty locating/contacting the manufacturer, and can't find anyone in my area with any relevant expertise. Can you help ? Thanks!

Answer:
Sir- Thomas Boss operated from 1832 to 1859. He was at 73 St. James Street, Pall Mall, London, in 1851 when he exhibited his wares at the International Exhibition. He was among the best English makers, and worked with James Manton and later James Purdy. Even the best makers made low grade guns, so you could have something ranging from a truly superb piece to one that is merely quite a bit above average. These were all essentially hand made so replacement parts would have to be custom made. I do no know if anyone can provide information from old records of the firm, which has been out of business for many years. His sons operated as Boss & Co. Ltd until at least 1894, and perhaps later. Gardner's "Small Arms Makers" and Charles Carder's Side by Sides of the World" provided this information. Hope it helps. John Spangler


# 1669 - Noble Shotgun
12/15/98
Brian

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Noble Unknown 16 Gauge Unknown Unknown Unknown

I have a 16 gauge shotgun with the mfg name of Noble. I believe it was mfg'd in New England about 50-60 years ago. I can't find any info anywhere on the web and I wanted to know if it is worth anything. Please let me know. Today, as I might sell it tomorrow. Thank you.

Answer:
Brian- Unfortunately the short answer to your question is No, it is not worth much. Nobel Manufacturing Co. of Haydenville, Mass operated from 1953 to 1971. They produced pump and auto shotguns in their factory and imported Spanish made doubles. Charles Carder's excellent "Side by Sides of the World" provided this information and is highly recommended for anyone interested in shotguns. John Spangler


# 1642 - Winchester Model 88?
12/12/98
Jerry

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester 99 308 Unknown Unknown Unknown

I was told by a friend of mine that a rifle I recently bought was a Winchester model 99. It's a lever action I thought to be a model 94. Can you provide some information on this rifle. Thanks

Answer:
Jerry the Winchester Model 99 is a .22 caliber rifle with button behind the cocking piece instead of a trigger. These "thumb trigger" guns used the thumb to fire, instead of the index finger. My guess is that you misread the numbers on a Winchester Model 88. The Winchester model 88 was manufactured from 1955 to 1973, and was offered in several calibers including .243, .308 and .358. The Model 88 differed from other Winchester lever action rifles in that it made use of a box magazine instead of the customary Winchester tubular type. Because of it's box magazine, the Model 88 could fire pointed-nose cartridges which are dangerous to load in tubular magazines for obvious reasons. The streamlined Model 88 receiver contained a rotating bolt-type locking mechanism, operated by a special short-throw lever system. Unlike other Winchester lever action rifles the model 88 had a one-piece stock with swivels placed beneath the fore-end and butt. Model 88-s manufactured prior to 1964 had diamond cut checkering, while examples produced after that had an impressed basket weave pattern type checkering. In 1968, a Model 88 carbine was introduced that had a l9 inch barrel, a plain stock and barrel band to which the front sling swivel was affixed. Total Model 88 production came to about 284,000. Marc


# 1668 - Springfield Trapdoor Information
12/12/98
Vicky

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Springfield Trapdoor 45-70 Unknown Unknown Unknown

Please provide info on Springfield 45-70 Trapdoor Trooper, possibly 1884. I bought this gun at a gun & pawn shop in Ft. Smith, AR. about 6 or 8 years ago for my husband. I have no history on it. The serial # is 106973. First digit could possibly be a 4. The barrel is 23" from bottom to where the metal changes shape and 28" to where the metal ends. On the side metal plate there is an eagle and the inscription U.S. Springfield. On the top of the metal is the inscription U.S. Model 1884. On the wooden part right above the trigger is a small rectangle with cursive initials that I cannot positively identify, possibly LM and the year 1891. There is a metal plate at the top of the wooden handle with the inscription U.S. On the bottom of the wooden handle there is a small circle with one letter, possibly a P or R. This small symbol is not carved as deep as the one above the trigger. The metal on the barrel is silver colored. My husband said he thinks it is nickel plated. On the bottom of the wooden handle where it meets the barrel, there is a groove about 4.5" long and 3/8" wide. It looks as if it has been filled in with wood filler and part of it has come out showing a smooth finish inside the groove. At the tip of the barrel there is a silver metal band with a slim part sticking up about 1/2" on top. I think it is a sight. Let me know if you are familiar with this kind of gun. Any info you have would be appreciated. Thank you. Vicky

Answer:
Vicky- Congratulations on your excellent descriptions. It is tough for a non-gun person to figure all that stuff out but you did a great job.

The mark on the stock is called a "cartouche" or inspector's mark showing the rifle passed inspection by Samuel W. Porter in 1891. It passed the "proof" test by firing an extra strong cartridge, as signified by the circled "P" behind the trigger guard. The marking on the breechblock had been changed to "Model 1884" sometime in 1884 or 1885, about 6 years after a rifle in the 106,000 range would have been made. Your hunch that the serial number starts with "4" instead of "1" really helped the rest of the pieces all fall into place easily and correctly.

Georgia arms are frequently marked on the narrow top part of the stock (collectors call that the "heel"). There is no known documentation about where your rifle was used, but a couple of rifles in the 406,000 series were documented to Georgia units during the Spanish American War, while most of the others in that range listed in surviving records went to various other state forces raised for the Spanish-American War. Most of these are noted as standard infantry rifles. A few are listed at later dates as slightly shorter "cadet" rifles but that was probably as a result of later arsenal conversions around 1900-1910.

Your description of the filled spot on the front part of the stock and a band related to the front sight indicate that your rifle has been cut down at some time. While this has destroyed most of the collector value, it results in a rifle that is much lighter and easier to carry for hunting. Thousands of rifles were altered in this way over the last 100 years. Depending on the quality of the work, and condition (especially the bore) value can range from maybe $250 to about $650. An original carbine would run anywhere from about $500 to $2500.

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about a historic old gun. Not many families own ANYTHING over 100 years old. Hope this helps you appreciate it even more. John Spangler


# 1655 - Flintlock Pistol- Italian
12/12/98

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Lazarino-Cominazzo Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I just inherited a gun and would like to know something about it. It is a Lazarino-Cominazzo flint gun. on the lock is "G10-Both". It's quite beautiful and plan to keep it but would like to know it's value. Please let me know.

Answer:
Thomas- Thanks for contacting Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters.

As you probably know, all guns of this period were essentially handmade and varied in quality from very plain to very ornate. It is impossible to even guess at the value without actually examining the gun, or at least seeing some good pictures. The Cominazzo family was engaged in the gun making business for a very long time, so it is difficult to even date the piece accurately without photos.

We did sell a Lazarino Cominazzo pistol, converted to percussion with some restoration work done on it earlier this year for $495. Although very old, there is little demand for this type of gun among American collectors.

If you want to mail some photos to me at Box 711282, Salt Lake City, UT 84171 we will try to give you an approximate date and value. Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 1636 - Colt in 30 Luger
12/12/98
ken

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Colt Commander 30 Luger 4 3/4" blue CLW0096XX

West German Proof marks I have the Colt Letter on this piece, which I purchased at Weisbadden Airbase on May 15 1975 I also have all the paperwork, from sales and arms room receipts to military re-import papers it is a 1 of 500 production run My question is have you run across anything similar from Colt and who, among the serious Colt collectors would be interested in acquiring it?

Answer:
Ken- I can't help much on this one. When I first heard of the Colts in 30 Luger, I thought that it was a terrible idea (or just another sales gimmick) and my opinion has not changed. I know of no one who is interested in collecting this particular variation, but there are probably a few guys or gals who specialize in the M1911 that would love to have one of these. If I were offered one of the .30 Luger Colts, I would be willing to pay about half what I would for one in .45ACP, but some crazy collector might want to pay twice as much. As always, my free opinions are offered with a full money back guarantee. Marc


# 1657 - Ames Sword
12/8/98
Doug

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

Perusing question #852 - Ames Sword, I was impressed with your ability to identify as much as you did. Your descriptions of the swords leaves me to believe that I possess a model 1860 light cavalry sabre as it does have a curved blade and a brass guard with the three loops. It does have a leather covered handle apparently held in place with the twisted wire. At base of blade (side 1) Ames Mfg Co. Chicopee At base of blade (side 2) U8 (or US), the letters "G K C", 1865 I also have an original photograph of it's owner, (my great-great grandfather, 1st Michigan Cavalry, 1865), posed with the sword. I am interested in obtaining a scabbard for this sword. Can you identify "G K C" as you did "G W C" in question #852? The sword is in great condition although the blade is dulled and tarnished. Is it acceptable to polish this weapon or should it be professionally restored? Any information of a source for a scabbard or info requested would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:
Doug- You are very fortunate to have a family heirloom like that. I believe that the 1st Michigan Cavalry may have been under the command of the flamboyant, (and later very famous and very dead) George A. Custer. G.K.C. is George K. Charter who was an inspector 1861-64. You have posted your need for a scabbard on our free "wanted" page and that may turn up a scabbard. They are hard to find.

As far as cleaning, you can use some steel wool and WD-40 on the steel parts. DO NOT polish the brass with steel wool, or get the WD-40 on the leather grip. These blades were not razor sharp so do not try to sharpen the edge. In some cases cleaning the steel with emery cloth (no coarser the 320 grit) might be appropriate, but don't get too carried away. It is better to clean too little rather than too much.

The National Archives can often provide copies of service records for Civil War soldiers, and in some cases state archives may also have information. This might indicate in which campaigns a soldier was engaged, and similar thrilling stuff. The also can contain references to desertion, misdeed and diseases so be prepared for "the rest of the story." A good photo place can copy and enlarge your photo so other members of the family can have copies, or you can display the copy and protect the original from damage. Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 1656 - Lazarino-Cominazzo Flint Gun
12/8/98
Thomas

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Lazarino-Cominazzo Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I just inherited a gun and would like to know something about it. It is a Lazarino-Cominazzo flint gun. on the lock is "G10-Both". It's quite beautiful and plan to keep it but would like to know it's value. Please let me know.

Answer:
Thomas- As you probably know, all guns of this period were essentially handmade and varied in quality from very plain to very ornate. It is impossible to even guess at the value without actually examining the gun, or at least seeing some good pictures. The Cominazzo family was engaged in the gun making business for a very long time, so it is difficult to even date the piece accurately without photos. We did sell a Lazarino Cominazzo pistol, converted to percussion with some restoration work done on it earlier this year for $495. Although very old, there is little demand for this type of gun among American collectors. If you want to mail some photos to me at Box 711282, Salt Lake City, UT 84171 we will try to give you an approximate date and value. Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 1630 - Essex "Frankenstein" Gun
12/8/98
Tom...Clintwood, Va.

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Colt 45 Government .45 Auto 5" Blue 65730

Essex Arms CorpIsland Pond. Vt. I would like to know when the gun was made and the app. value. Any other information would be appreciated.

Answer:
Tom, I call what you have a "parts" or "Frankenstein" gun (manufactured from parts and pieces of other guns). Essex Arms of Island Pond, VT is a company that manufactures good quality aftermarket replacement parts, including frames and slides for the Colt 1911/A1. The first .45 that I ever purchased was a Colt 45 slide and barrel on an Essex frame (serial number 154). I purchased this pistol because back then I didn't have enough money to buy a real Colt, I found that the Essex was quite reliable and a good shooter. Values for 1911/A1 Frankenstein guns are in the $200 - $250 Range. Sorry, I don't have any records about Essex manufacture dates, but it a good bet that your Essex was manufactured later than mine (#154) was. I can tell you that your frame was probably manufactured at a different time than the other parts in your pistol were. Marc


# 1654 - Belgian 22 Rifle
12/5/98
Jeff

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Pieper Unknown 22 Unknown Unknown Unknown

I came across a Hexagon barreled 22 single shot rifle in the floor joist of a old house . The gun butt was broken off but the rest was OK. It has H PIEPER'S PATENT LIEGE BELGIUM stamped on top of the barrel . There are some more symbols on the barrel and on some of the individual parts . I have taken it to a few gun dealer's and no one can find any information on when it was made. It seam's to be a rather short gun judging from the size of the part I have. If you could help me find out any thing about it or where to look I would appreciate it.

Answer:
Jeff- Your rifle is best known as a "Flobert" rifle, although made by Pieper. These were very inexpensive guns sold by the thousands (actually several hundred thousand) from about 1870 to 1920 for export throughout the world. Sears, Roebuck and other large retailers sold them by mail order and they were used as "premiums" in various youth oriented advertising schemes. They used .22 caliber ammunition but often it was a special low powered variety, and should not be shot with modern ammunition. These rifles have very little collector interest, and value for complete examples is probably under $50.00, if you can find anyone who wants one. Therefore they are not seen often and most dealers are not familiar with them. Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 1653 - Melior 25 cal. Semi Auto
12/5/98
Donna

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Melior Unknown 25 Unknown Unknown Unknown

I am hoping you can help..have you ever heard of a 25 cal. made by Melior? I had this gun and the local law enforcement "lost" it. It belonged to my Grandfather who died in 1960. I know nothing about it and I have searched the web and talked to every gun dealer in my area and can't find out anything on it.. They are wanting to "compensate me" for the loss and I don't have any idea what it was worth (sentimental value has no price)..I need an answer yesterday..Thank you for any information you might have on this. Donna

Answer:
Donna- The Melior .25 caliber pistol was one of many European pistols which were essentially copies of the Browning .25 "Vest Pocket" automatic. These were made from about 1905 until maybe 1940. I would estimate the replacement value to be that of a Browning .25 auto which would be the mechanical equal but much easier to find than one by Melior. In very good to excellent condition this would retail in the $150-225 range. Hope this helps. The law enforcement folks confiscate thousands of guns every year, and unfortunately some are lost. Too bad it was yours which had little financial value but lots of sentimental value. Wish they could "lose" some of the real criminals who had some of the other guns. John Spangler


# 1590 - M-1 Garand Serial Numbers
12/5/98
David Pengilly, Minnesota

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
U. S. Springfield Armory M1 Garand 30-06 Unknown Unknown 1493579

What is the year it was manufactured, according to the serial number. AND when are you going to up date your m1 Garand serial numbers.

Answer:
David according to Scott A. Duff's excellent book "The M-1 Garand of World War II" your rifle was manufactured in April of 1943. Unfortunately it looks like we will not be able to add M1 Grand serial numbers data to our manufacture date lookup program. Over the last two years, John and I have e-mailed and written Mr. Duff several times to ask for permission to use his M1 Garand serial number data. Mr. Duff always ignores our correspondence. Marc


# 1673 - Another Old H&R
12/1/98
John

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Harrington & Richardson Unknown 38 2" Blue Unknown

I have an old Harrington & Richardson 38 cal., hammerless pistol with a two inch barrel, blue finish. Patent dates May14 & Aug 6 1889, April 2 1895, and April 6 1896. Gun has a trigger action problem and part of the right pistol grip is broken and missing. Can it be repaired and does it have any antique value. I've owned this piece for more than 30 years and it has not been fired for an even longer time. Over the years it has been looked at by a couple of gun smiths but they couldn't repair it. Got any ideas?

Answer:
John, H&R values are not very high, even if your little revolver were in mint condition, it would be worth less than $100.00. If you want a firearm to shoot, my advise would be to retire or junk your H&R and buy a newer firearm that is already in working condition. Marc


# 1677 - Mauser 1910 date of manufacture
12/1/98
M E1rcio, POA/ RS, Brazil.

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Mauser 1910? 7.65 Unknown blue 28292

Insc rib is :WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER A.-G. OBERNDORF A.N. MAUSER'S PATENT When and where this pistol was manufactured? German? This serial number was made in 1910? Thanks very much.

Answer:
ME1rcio, I do not have any Mauser serial number data so I am unable to tell you the year that your Mauser was manufactured. I can tell you that the Mauser model 1910 was manufactured in Germany from 1910 to 1934. Marc


# 1679 - E.A. Armstrong Sword
12/1/98
John

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

We have a unique sword made by E.A. Armstrong in Michigan that says Knight Templar on it with an ivory handle and gold plating on the sleve. The blade has scenes of chevaliers and it also seems to be in gold relief. The name engraved on it is W. R. Letcher. Please let us know about this sword's history and if it has any value.

Answer:
John- Edwin A. Armstrong operated from Detroit addresses from 1871 until 1892 when the firm moved to Chicago. The "Knights Templar" is one of many fraternal organizations or Lodges that used swords as part of their attire (regalia, uniforms, costumes or however you choose to describe it). Fraternal or lodge swords range in quality from very crude to very high, but most tend to be toward the lower end of the spectrum. There is little or no collector interest in these that we have every encountered, and they realistically seem to sell in the $50-100 range, when they sell. They are probably the most commonly encountered sword, especially in antique shops which recognize them as being somewhat old, ornate, and therefore presumed to be quite valuable and often offered at prices in the several hundred dollar range. Sounds like an antique shop might be a great place to sell one, but a lousy place to start a sword collection. Many makers produced them besides Armstrong, and some books (e.g. John Hamilton's superb "Ames Sword Company") include sections of old catalogs listing some of the many variations available for the different groups, and different classes of members from lowly flunk to grand poobah potentate. This is a field with little competition and an abundant supply for some collector with "odd" taste. Swords are not likely to be banned for a while yet, even in California, so there may be a new collecting trend emerging here! Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 1681 - Sword Parts
12/1/98
Mike

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

I came across your page from Rob Robles's page and would like to ask if you have or have seen two parts I'm looking for. I have recently acquired the blade to an M1850 foot officer's saber and am currently looking for the correct pommel and guard for it. I want authentic pieces, not replicas. I you have or have seen these pieces, I'm interested in buying them.

Answer:
Mike- Thanks for contacting us. I spoke with Rob Robles at the Reno show. He has a nice site and we are glad to share links with each other.

Sorry, I know of no source for authentic sword parts. Your best bet is probably to find a cut down or broken example and salvage parts from it. A much better solution is to buy items that do not need drastic restoration or repairs. The cheap price of "project" pieces is very seductive, and some people truly enjoy working on them. If you like that sort of challenge, have great patience, and diligently pursue all the pieces you may eventually find them all. It is "easier" if you have a whole bunch of "projects" and stock up on goodies whenever you see them, even though you are not sure when you will find them. Your spouse may have a hard time understanding the wisdom of this approach and the growing mounds of "junque" piling up waiting for the missing pieces to arrive.

A small number of Remington Model 10 "trench guns" were procured during WW1 and are in great demand by collectors. Nine years ago I found the special barrel for one at a show in Roanoke, VA. A Remington Model 10 shotgun in the proper serial number range with US markings but a later sporter barrel turned up in Boise, ID about three years ago. Last month the ultra rare bayonet lug was found in Las Vegas stuck on the end of a Remington Model 11 for no apparent reason. BINGO! If you find a complete piece and can afford it, that is quicker and simpler, but sometimes doing it piece by piece may be your only solution.

You are welcome to use our free "wanted" page to see if someone can provide what you are looking for. Despite all the generous folks who visit our site and are kind enough to respond to "wanted" listings you still might not find what you need, so don't neglect all the other options. Good luck! John Spangler


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