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# 2562 - Charles Daly Question 12/28/99 Allen
Who was Charles Daly? I believe he, or his father, owned a sporting goods store in NYC, dealing in quality shotguns and golf clubs. This would have been about 1900...yet I think a more recent Charles Daly was involved with custom shotguns. Any help or explanations will be appreciated. Thanks
Answer: Allen- As you know, we are located in Salt Lake City, where the Moromon church has assembled the finest geneaology reference materials in the world. However, being lazy, I merely consulted Charles Carder's exceptionally helpful and well researched "Side By Sides of the World." If it is about older shotguns, I can usually find it in there. His entry for Charles Daly reads: DALY, CHARLES: Schoverling and Daly were importers and distributors located in New York City 1865 to 1939. About 1873, they reorganized and became Schoverling, Daly and Gales. They imported high grade side by sides in 1875 under the trade name of CHARLES DALY. That trade name was chosen because it had an appealing sound that they thought would influence the public to buy their guns. In 1919, Henry Modell bought out the company and maintained control until he sold out to the Walzers' family in the late 1920's. Eventually Sloan's Sporting Goods bought the company and established a branch known as the CHARLES DALY & CO., DIV. The primary source of early CHARLES DALY shotguns were from European gun makers. Some of the many different manufacturers of the DALY shotguns were Lefever Arms Co. of New York, U.S.A., Tolley of England, Newmann of Belgium, and Prussian gun makers, Schiller and Charles Lindner. Later guns came from Heym and Sauer of Germany, Beretta and Bernardelli of Italy, Garbi of Spain, and Miroku of Japan. The Japanese shotguns were imported from 1963 to 1973. Most collectors desire the Prussian DALY shotguns, which were exceptionally fine quality. Early CHARLES DALY shotguns are considered classic among shooters and collectors. CHARLES DALY shotguns include all traditional options. The trade name, CHARLES DALY, was purchased in 1976 by Outdoor Sports of Dayton, Ohio and that same year, Sloan's Sporting Goods Co., Inc. of Ridgefield, CT. advertised CHARLES DALY shotguns manufactured by Vincenzo Bernardelli. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 2485 - Rossi Mod 92 Collectors Value 12/28/99 Wolf Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Rossi - 92 - 44 Mag - 16" - SS - OM32001 -
I found in a store a Model 92, Rossi, Lever action, 44 Mag, 16" barrel, Large loop lever, Stainless Steel, Cowboy Style Carbine. Serial number OM32001. I bought it for use in my motorhome as a protection gun. I thought the short barrel and Stainless Steel made a lot of sense in the moisture inside a motorhome. But someone told me that they just started to make this rifle and they think I might have the first one. Can you help me PLEASE. If I do have number one I don't think it should be used but put away or sold. Also when they unwrapped this rifle it was one of 6 that came in. But it was the only one in Stainless Steel with a the short barrel. The man behind the counter said it was the first one he had seen in Stainless. Something else I noticed was that the stock on this rifle was much nicer in looks , quality and finish compared to the others. The others all had dark stocks and this one is light in color. What is your feeling on this? If it is number one or a very early one does it have any extra value?
Answer: Wolf, it sounds like you got the pick of the litter at your local firearms dealer. There is no collector interest that I know of in Rossi firearms, whether you got the first one made or the one millionth, it will make little difference. My advise is to make use of your Rossi as originally intended. Although (as you have observed) Rossi quality is sometimes inconsistent, in general they seem to be fairly well made and priced where people can still afford to buy and shoot them. I think that Winchester would do well to take an example from Rossi and start offering some of the classic designs and moderate prices. Marc
# 2506 - Mauser stock disc 12/28/99 Mike
Just a curiosity question, if you have the time--I recently was admiring a 1910 Danzig Mauser a friend of mine had. Upon questioning him for the purpose of the hole in the middle of the rear portion of the stock, he had no clue. The hole is bordered by a ring of metal drilled into a hole in the wood stock. Any ideas?
Answer: Mike- The Gewehr 98 Mauser included a metal disc on the right side of the stock as a "marking disc" as a place to mark the unit and individual to whom the rifle was assigned. The British included these on the Lee Enfields up until WW2, while the Germans stopped the practice during WW1. The U.S. Army never provided any place for unit markings on rifles. I believe the Ordnance Department forbid such markings, while the Quartermasters insisted on marking all the gear they issued, and provided neat stamping kits to do so. American soldiers have always had a tendency to disregard regulations when it suited them (either a blessing that allows initiative to triumph in adversity or a curse of insubordination stemming from our reliance on citizen soldiers depending on who you listen to) so you will find assorted unit or "rack" marks on U.S. small arms. As a caveat, those markings may also have been applied in later service in a foreign army, especially the often seen AA and numbers found across the buttstock on M1 Garands. Anyway, the Germans abandoned the marking disc during WW1 and substituted a firing mechanism disassembly device. This consists of a sort of domed washer on each side of the stock with a hollow tube connecting them and flared to hold them in place. The bolt guts are easy to remove from the bolt body. After that it is much harder to compress the firing pin spring enough to remove the cocking piece and other parts. By sticking the tip of the firing pin in the hole in the stock it is much easier and the Soldaten is much less likely to (a) lose parts or (b) insert a firing pin into their thigh. Reassembly is easy too. Since the pattern 1914/Model 1917 rifles are Mauser types, they may also have benefited from some sort of disassembly disc. The Germans eliminated the disassembly disc towards the end of WW2 when they shifted to a "cup" type buttplate, and drilled a hole all the way through, called the "Durchbruch fur Schlagbolzen (zum Auseinandernehmen)." This was used for bolt disassembly and was cheaper and easier to make than the disc arrangement. Ludwig Olson's "Mauser Bolt Rifles" notes that the often repeated explanation of these also being used for inserting rods to lock rifles in racks or in shipping cases has not been substantiated. John Spangler
# 2505 - Museums To Take Historic Guns 12/26/99 Charles
I'm a deputy Sheriff in the San Francisco Bay area and we are in the process of disposing of the many guns that have been confiscated over the years. We have come across some very old and unusual guns. We are not allowed to sell these guns but would like to have them placed into a museum. Do you know of any museums is the California area that may want these guns? One is a WWI water cooled military machine gun; there is a Thompson sub machine gun, and a very beautiful commemorative "Robert E. Lee" cap and ball revolver in the original box. All of these are slated for destruction if we cannot locate an approved museum. Please let me hear from you or have someone contact me. thank you Charles
Answer: Charles- I applaud your interest in preserving historic arms from senseless destruction. Hope you don't get in trouble for seeking good (and of course LEGAL) homes for these and any other items. However, California seems to have been on a steady downhill slide (at least from my perspective) in recent years, and is sliding faster than a LA hillside in a rainstorm. Guns of any type are unwelcome, feared and despised by the elite and the powerful. (Of course that does not include THEIR. Even Diane Feinstein has a concealed carry permit, although she damn sure doesn't think anyone else ought to be entrusted with one.) The California attitude towards military people, bases, and material has been tolerant at best, hostile at worst. I am not sure they ever recovered from the Vietnam era hatred for the military so fashionable in the leftist academic circles. Of course this has influenced the attitudes of museums, and I doubt if there is much enthusiasm for adding military (or other) guns to the state's museums. Perhaps they prefer some drug oriented ramblings of aging flower children, or other "art" that I neither understand nor bother viewing. Indeed, many military bases have closed. I knew the curator at the Army's museum at the now-closed Fort Ord, but that won't help. I have passed this correspondence on to two contacts, one at a museum in the LA area, and another who is a well connected lawyer/arms historian in the Bay area. If either of them can help, they will contact you directly with suggestions. Meanwhile, I solicit your assitance to hold back the flood of refugees fleeing the Golden State. They have changed (much for the worst) the cultures of Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and Utah. They have driven housing prices to previously unheard of levels, and polluted education systems with the "advanced" ways "we did it in California." I realize that many of these people are being driven out of the state by rampant crime, and a tidal wave of illegal aliens (politically correct term- "undocumented workers") understandably lured by a high standard of living, but inexplicably encouraged by the ludicrous generosity of state endorsed free education and medical care. Meanwhile street gangs flourish and engage in criminal acts only slightly below the level of urban warfare. Of course the publicity seeking Governor, Attorney General and Assembly devote their powers to registering and confiscating guns from law abiding citizens. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but then again, few things in the state do. Good luck in your quest. Better look for a home for your personal guns too. After they disarm the average citizens, I am sure they will decide that the oppressive police forces certainly do not need to be armed either, except maybe with beanie baby guns or some such foolishness. Perhaps the southern part of the state will be granted independence to officially be recognized as Mexico's northern province. Meanwhile, I avoid entering the state although I do have great empathy for the many people still living there who realize their freedom is vanishing but are unsure of how to become politically active and regain political power. John Spangler
# 2459 - U.S. Military Rifles- NRA Sporters 12/26/99 Steve, Colo Spgs, CO
Various US Military Rifles - N/A - N/A - N/A - N/A - N/A -
Every time I see a sporterized (or butchered) Krag or 1903 Springfield for sale at a gun show, the dealer tells me it was 'Sporterized by the NRA'. What role did the NRA have in overseeing or modifying any firearms in this country? Did they run a machine shop? Provide advice? How could I correctly identify an NRA-gun vs. any other hack job? Thanks for providing a pro-NRA site, with detailed information! Steve
Answer: Steve- Glad you like our support of the NRA. Anyone reading this who is NOT YET a NRA member needs to sign up TODAY, or forget about guns and collect beanie babies.
In the 1920s and 30s the NRA had a very cozy relationship with the DCM which was mutually advantageous. The Army was busy trying to sell off obsolete Krags and used the proceeds to fund Army stuff. Krag carbines were great hunting rifles (but usually had some sling swivels added to make them easier to haul through the woods). After they quickly ran out of carbines, they figured that Rock Island or other military arsenals could cheaply alter Krag rifles to carbine length, using a M1903 type front sight assembly, and either surplus (replacement) carbine stocks, or rifle stocks cut to carbine length. Even after allowing for the cost of the modifications, the Army was still making money on these.
In the 1920s, there was almost nothing in the way of bolt action high power rifles available from commercial makers, so the Army developed the M1903 NRA Sporter rifle which also had some value to familiarize potential military members with service style rifle shooting, and provided some work for the good folks at Springfield at a time when the Army had a large stockpile of rifles left over from WW1 and needed something to keep them busy. The NRA sporter has a Lyman 48 sight, star gauged barrel for superior accuracy, and a half stock similar to the M1922 series .22 caliber rifles, and was very well finished with a fine rust blue. About 6,500 were made circa 1924-1933.
Okay, that covers what the military folks made. Rocket scientists will quickly recognize that it would not take much work to convert service grade Krags and M1903s to basically the same configurations. Unfortunately, rocket science was not a popular diversion in those days, so lots of gunsmiths, blacksmiths, cobblers and amateurs proceeded to take Krags and M1903s and try their hand. Some work is excellent and nearly impossible to tell (absent documentation) from Arsenal workmanship. Others are merely ugly mutilations that inspire sympathy or anger towards the perpetrator. Many dealers apparently have trouble deciding which of these guns are really armory products, while some seemingly well informed develop amnesia when they have one for sale.
Caveat Emptor. If you don't have the time or inclination to thoroughly research stuff like this, you can (a) gamble and hope you are getting what you are looking for or (b) buy from a dealer you trust. John Spangler
# 2452 - Santa Fe 1947 12/26/99 doctorquint%40yahoo.com
Golden State Arms - Santa Fe 1947 - 30-06 -
What is the history behind this particular gun? I know that Golden State was a firearm importer but would like a detailed history
Answer: Doc- I remember Santa Fe as being one of the first to sell (and probably name) the British No. 5 Mark I "Jungle Carbines" around 1960 with ads in the American Rifleman. Golden State Arms published an early softcover book on old guns, mainly surplus types that is still a valuable reference. I think they also made up ersatz (that is a fancy work for cheap fake) jungle carbines from cut down No. 1 Mark III Lee Enfields. By about 1970 they vanished, and I think there may have been some connection between Santa Fe and National Ordnance as they both made up M1903A3 rifles using surplus parts and repro receivers. National Ordnance may have connections with Federal Ordnance which continued in the surplus business until the 1990s, but that is pure speculation based on the similarity in names.
As far as the Model 1947, I must admit ignorance of it, but maybe the limited info and speculation above may help a little. John Spangler
# 2473 - Remington Model 24 12/21/99 Jerry, Conway, AR, USA
Remington - 24 - 22 (shorts only) - 73320 -
22 short only smokeless greased I was given this rifle by my father and wanted to know more about it. I can't seem to find anything on the Remington site. I have requested a manual for it. I would appreciate any information.
Answer: Jerry, the Remington Model 24 is an attractive looking semi-automatic take-down rifle with a Schnabel-tip forend and a long slender receiver. The loading port is cut into the right side of the butt and spent cases are ejected downward ahead of the trigger guard. The design was originally patented by John M Browning in about 1913. Standard model 24s were equipped with a plain walnut pistol grip stock, 19 inch barrel and open sights. Remington manufactured approximately 131,000 Model 24 Rifles form 1922 to 1935. Browning has also manufactured this design in several different grades from 1914 to the present. Marc
# 2478 - Western Field Model 13 Value 12/21/99 Jan Ballston spa NY
Westernfield - Model 13 - 22 -
I got this gun from my father when he passed away, It is a very heavy gun for a 22cal my son tried using it for hunting but found it was a bit to heavy to carry around the woods, it has a clip and a thick barrel and a place under the front stock for a stand or something to that affect, I would like to sell it to get him one he could carry, would it be worth selling or just keep it for a conversation piece?
Answer: Jan, I could not find the Western Field Model 13 in any of my reference books, I can tell you that there is not much interest in Western Field firearms, values are in the $75.00 or less range. Marc
# 2449 - Remington Experimental 1903? 12/21/99 Mike MD
Remington - 03 Or 03a3 - 30-06 - 00001 -
Has a 3x on the receiver and an offset 121 along the side of the receiver -on the barrel above the receiver it is marked 30-06 - just wondering about the serial number - is this some kind of experimental gun or something? any help would be great! Thanks in advance
Answer: Mike- Sounds interesting. Could be something really cool and experimental or tool room model. Could be something not nearly as exciting. We would need to see some photos to tell much more. Send some to us at Box 711282, Salt Lake City, UT 84171. John Spangler
# 2444 - U.S. M1898 Krag 12/21/99 Ken, Bozeman, MT, US
Springfield - 1898 Military - 24" - 150302 -
Letter "A" stamped on wooden stock Age of rifle, how common, approx. value?
Answer: Ken- Krag receivers after 1896 are marked with the MODEL year (1896, 1898 or 1899). Stocks are marked with the initials of the inspector (usually J. Sumner Adams) and the year of inspection. But, stocks have often been switched over the years. Serial number 152670 is recognized as the break between production in 1898 and considered an antique, and 1899 and considered to be "modern" and subject to all the BATF paperwork and "Brady checks". I don't think anyone can explain why a gun 70 years old in 1868 was considered an antique, but now (1999) a gun has to be 101 years old to be an antique. Some gun collectors would like to see congress reopen that issue and make it a rolling date so anything more than 70 years old become an antique. However, anti-gun [idiots] would probably prefer to redefine an antique as any gun made prior to the invention of gunpowder.
Overall, about 480,000 Krag rifles and carbines were made, with the Model 1898 rifle the most common and affordable. Collectors like them and many hunters still love the exceptionally smooth action of this fine old design. Values can run from $150 or so for a sporterized example to several thousand dollars for a really nice early rifle or carbine. John Spangler
# 2451 - Winchester Model 1901 Lever Action Shotgun 12/18/99 Marcus, Olathe, KS, US
When was it manufactured? How many were made? Any other information would be appreciated.
Answer: Marcus, our records show that the year of manufacture for SN 70283 is 1906. The Winchester Model 1901 lever action shotgun was a redesign of the earlier Winchester Model 1887, it was very similar to the Model 1887 except that it was strengthened to withstand smokeless powder and the frame was changed to a standard blued finish in place of the case hardening used on the Model 1887. The 1901 was manufactured between 1901 and 1920, and was available in 10 gauge only with a standard 32 inch barrel and a 5 shot magazine. Winchester records show that the 1901 was placed on the market in January of 1902 and production started with serial number 64,856. The first delivery of Model 1901 shotguns to warehouse stocks was made on August 27, 1901. Total Model 1901 production was approximately 13,500. Marc
# 2446 - Mystery Weapon 12/18/99 Steve, Oakhill, Va., USA
Three Inches - Nickel - 24999 -
Flower and vine scroll on cylinder, an oval stamp on the cylinder with the letter E at the top of the oval beneath the E are the letters L C and beneath that is a five pointed star. This revolver has six chamber and a flip trigger. Can you give me any information on this mysterious weapon that I've inherited?
Answer: Steve- The ELG in an oval is a Belgian proof mark. The folding trigger is typical of pistols made circa 1870-1890. In general this type weapon as inexpensive to start with , and has not appreciated much in the last 100 years or so. Even with a picture we probably could not tell you much more. John Spangler
# 2429 - US M1903A3 Rifle- Remington 12/18/99 Martin, New York
The stock barrel have all the usual cartouches. Flaming bomb, barrel stamped 9-43, Stock has the FJA inspectors mark, Proof marking, OG stamped on the stock. Other small inspection marks. Overall seems to be in original condition. I recently received the 03-A3 from an uncle. The bore is in NRA excellent condition as is the parkerizing on all metal. Several small wear marks on the bolt and one 1 inch check in the stock. Overall it is in one of the best conditions I've ever seen a 03-A3.I would like to know the approximate market value of the rifle? P.S. - I'm new to your site. I have to say you guys have done a terrific job. Easy to navigate, organized and no B.S. I've already turned a few friends onto you site. Many thanks - Martin
Answer: Martin- Glad you like the site. Sounds like your rifle is one sold through the DCM in the 1960s. most of which were new or close to it. Sale price reached a low of $10 plus $4.50 shipping. M1911 .45 autos were about $20 and M1 carbines were $17.50. Can you say "Good old days?" You can check our collectable arms page to see what comparable rifles go for now. They were good investments. John Spangler
# 2480 - Harrington and Richardson Value 12/14/99 Paul, MA, USA
Harrington and Richardson - top break revolver - 22 or 38 - 3 inches - nickel(?) -
The barrel is stamped "Harrington and Richardson Arms Company Worcester Mass USA Patd Oct 4th 1887." The cylinder has "183" stamped on it in two places. Judging from the hammer, it uses center-fire cartridges. I would like to know if there is any market for this pistol. It's a family "heirloom." Thank you very much.
Answer: Paul, Harrington and Richardson manufactured reliable utilitarian low cost revolvers from 1874 when they were founded, until 1986 when they ceased production. Unfortunately there is little or on collector interest in H&R firearms, values are in the $100 or less range. Marc
# 2430 - Mauser Model 1871 Rifle 12/14/99
Mauser - 71 - 11mm - 28" - 5694 -
On the right side under the rear sight is marked XXHMB with crowns above the letters. There is a Q with a crown above it stamped on the trigger guard. Under the bolt handle, and on the side of the safety is a T with a crown above it. I have a very ornate model 71 Mauser. It took me awhile to even identify it as such. The stock is walnut with a diamond grip, and is shorter than a military stock. The trigger guard is made up of curves and spirals. The receiver is stamped all over with a diamond pattern. inside each diamond is a circle. Inside each circle is a dot with lines radiating out from it. This is a single shot rifle, with the bolt turned down. I have taken this rifle to several gun stores, and no-one could identify it. It wasn't until I took it to a gun show that someone identified it as a model 71 Mauser. The general consensus was that this was factory produced and not modified. My questions are do you know of Mauser making a model 71 that fits this description? if so do you know how many were produced? 20and finally do you know how much this could be worth, or can you tell me of someone who might. Thank you very much for your time.
Answer: Sir- I think that all Mauser Model 1871 rifles were made under German military contract, hence all the inspector markings applied with Teutonic obedience and efficiency to the numerous parts. There were some shorter models made for special troops.
The most likely explanation is that this was a military rifle that was "sporterized" by some talented German gunsmith after these actions began to appear on the surplus market in the 1880s or 1890s. These guys were amazingly talented and such conversion are not uncommon on the Model 188 Mausers, but I do not recall seeing a M1871 converted. However, I usually don't look too hard for such things anyway. I am not sure how to value something like this. Lots of folks collect military arms and a few collect classic old sporters. As a nice example of the gunsmith's art it may being a few hundred dollars if you can find someone who likes it. Anyway, that is my opinion but others are free to disagree. John Spangler 2439 Colt Single Action Army Anders- Colt single actions are a specialized field of their own. Since most of these bring very high prices, it is very common to encounter many fakes and restored examples. Some are easy to recognize and others may pass for originals. Some were fixed up to deceive buyers, and others merely reflect an owner's replacing of parts or refinishing of something they considered a "shooter" not some exotic collector piece. I do not know enough about these to tell you much about your pistol without seeing it, but I think you are correct that the barrel has been replaced. Any "first generation" SAA in shooting condition would bring well over US$800 in the U.S. A Colt letter will confirm that a pistol with your serial number was shipped on a certain date. Unless there are some special features, it will assume that everything not listed is standard, and most often the letters merely indicate it was shipped with a lot of others to some wholesaler. Colt factory letters are getting ridiculously expensive, now up to about $300 or so I am told, maybe even more if it indicates the gun went to someplace exciting. For any U.S. marked SAA Colts, a buyer should insist on having the pistol examined by Mr. John Kopec, the acknowledged expert on such guns. He will assess the originality of the piece and point out any changes or alterations he detects. He has extensive records on these US marked guns, and often discovers such miraculous events as barrels growing longer, mismatched numbers becoming identical and worn finishes recovering their original beauty. Good stuff to know BEFORE you shell out megabucks for an "all original" piece. John Spangler
Answer: Alan- Remington did make some .50 caliber single shot rolling block pistols for the U.S. Navy and U.S> Army, circa 1865-1871. While they were .50 caliber, they used a much smaller powder charge in a shorter case than the .50-70 rifle cartridge. These may be what you are asking about, and they are well described in Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and their values. However, I have never heard them called "bulldogs." John Spangler
# 2448 - Remington Model 8 12/11/99 Tim, Altoona, WI U.S.A.
Remington - Model 8, Automatic - .32 - Blue - 50511 -
Browning patents Oct. 9, 1900 through Feb. 14, 1911 on barrel. This firearm belonged to my Grandfather and then my Father, who have both passed away. I haven't had very good success finding out much information on this firearm. I am just curious about how old it actually is, how many were produced and if ammunition is still available for it. Any additional information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Answer: Tim, the Model 8 Sporting Rifle was manufactured by the Remington Arms Company of Ilion, New York from 1906 to 1936, total production was approximately. 60,000. The Model 8 was the first centerfire autoloading rifle to be manufactured in North America and was a John Browning design. Standard Model 8 rifles were offered in .25 Rem., .30 Rem., .32 Rem., or .35 Rem. calibers, they had a 22 inch barrel, open sights, a 5 shot non-detachable box magazine and a plain walnut stock. For ammunition try the "Old Western Scrounger" there is a link to them on our links page. Marc
# 2447 - Premier 22 12/11/99 Greg, White Castle, LA
Premier - No Model No. - 22 Short, Long, Long Rifle - 23 1/2" Octagonal - Blue - 37524 -
Pump action, the hammer is not exposed. The buttstock has a crescent steel buttplate, the forearm is round with grooves around the circumference. Both are walnut. It has a tubular magazine under the barrel. Who made this gun, when, and where can I find parts?
Answer: Greg, premier is a name that was used by a number of different companies including Stevens Arms and Montgomery Ward. For parts, we recommend you check with Gun Parts Corp (the old Numrich Arms people) at the following URL: http://www.gunpartscorp.com/. Gun Parts Corp has just about everything. If that doesn't work, try posting on our free "Wanted" page. Marc
# 2421 - M1903 Springfield Match Rifle 12/11/99 John, Westminster, Maryland
SA 9-40 I recently purchased a 1903 Springfield rifle in almost 100% condition and matching numbers. It has a wooden C stock with pistol grip with the last 4 digits of the serial number on the bottom of the pistol grip and on the top wood forearm piece. The barrel has a flaming bomb, the letters SA and the date 9-40. The gun's receiver is marked 1903 Springfield Armory and the gun has Lyman sights. The previous owner used it in competition shooting and says the sights and stock came from the factory that way. A gun dealer told me that there is no way that it is a Springfield stock and that it is not a National Match Rifle, the sights were probably added later by the owner and that it was probably rebarreled. Can you shed any light on this rifle and approximate(ballpark) worth? Could it be a rifle made by Springfield for! competition shooting?
Answer: John- Springfield made National Match rifles for issue to select military teams and for sale to civilians through the NRA/DCM (predecessor of the Civilian Marksmanship Program listed on our links page). Bill Brophy's superb book "The Springfield 1903 Rifles" has detailed descriptions of these in their many variations. That is handy to evaluate what you have. Further information is available from Springfield Research Service's diligent work digging in to National Archives and other military records uncovering serial numbers and descriptions of military arms. They have compiled an extensive list of rifles sold through the DCM program, and if a rifle is listed there they can provide a copy of the original sales slip showing to whom it was sold, and when and the model of the rifle. For rifles NOT listed, a number surrounded by documented NM rifles has a good chance of being a NM rifle but one issued to a unit rather than sold through DCM, or perhaps old at a later date or one that the records got lost on.
Your rifle is not listed as a NM rifle, but there are a lot of others in that serial number range, but very few noted as having the "C" or pistol grip stock of the M1903A1. NM rifles were rebuilt and reissued, so that is possibly what happened to yours. Or, it could have entered civilian hands and been fitted with a new barrel and more fashionable stock by the owner eager to keep up with the changes being made in the NM rifles. You may want to check the numbers stamped on the stock and handguard. These frequently had the drawing number of the part stamped on them, although not always. Some NM rifles did have the serial number marked on the buttstock.
Check the muzzle of your rifle, and look for a marking like a turtle at the 6 o'clock position. This would indicate the barrel was checked with a "star gauge" to ensure it was within the specifications for a match barrel. It should also have a TINY letter/number marking somewhere on the barrel (k3465 for example). NM rifles used star gauge barrels, but they were also sold loose for shooters to install in their rifles.
Lyman 48 sights were used by many serious shooters, and it is unclear how widespread was the practice of having the rifle drilled and tapped prior to sale, or if this was mainly a post-sale operation.
Value for a real NM can be quite hefty for a 98% or better gun, and they are great shooters in lesser conditions. John Spangler
# 2419 - Remington Rolling Block- New York 12/11/99 Bob Dippery
Remington - Rolling Block - .50-.70 - 36" - Not Really Sure - CAN'T FIND ANY -
On the right side of the rifle, on the rings that hold the barrel to the stock there is stamped the letter B. On the left side in the same places, going from the back of the gun forward is, R, H, S,. I recently was given this rifle by my grandfather. I've checked with 5 different gun shops in my area. No one knows if I should clean the gun up or not. Has coating of rust on barrel but not pitted. People have told me to leave it like that, that it was purposely done to the rifle to keep it from rusting in bad weather. Other than rust on the barrel the gun is in very good condition. If I am to clean it up what do you recommend to use. The gun has pat. dates from: May 30 Nov. 15 1864- April 17th 1868. Then Aug. 27th 1867-Nov. 7th 1871. Please respond as soon as possible, for I've been trying to figure out what to do for about 3 months now. My greatest appreciation for your help. Bob Dippery
Answer: Bob- In 1872 New York state contracted with Remington for arms for its militia units. Springfield had been going through different designs at a rapid rate and issues from the federal government under the Militia Act of 1808 to arm and equip the militia were slow. Cynical observers would point out that Remington's location in Ilion, NY, may have inspired a higher degree of enthusiasm for their product than something made in another state.
In any case, the Remington rolling block rifles delivered to New York had 36 inch barrels and the letter "B" on the bands. (Traditionally "U" was used, with the open end of the "U" pointing upward indicating correct assembly of the bands which were tapered on the inside.) The hammer spur is much higher on this model than others. When the breechblock is closed, the hammer automatically drops to half cock. These were originally finished bright. Collectors disagree over the wisdom, propriety, or financial impact of leaving these in a nicely patented condition versus removing all the rust and making the parts shiny bright steel again. If any traces of the original finish remains, I would recommend leaving it as it, or removing whatever can be cleaned up with 0000 steel wool. If worse than that, but not pitted, I do not feel blasphemous when using a VERY FINE wire wheel and/or 320/400 grit emery cloth to clean them up. If badly rusted and pitted, then it is probably best to let sleeping dogs remain undisturbed. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 2331 - Spanish S&W Copy 12/7/99 Bob, Los Angeles, CA USA
Unknown (Spanish) - Smith And Wesson Copy - .32 Long - 3 1/4" - Blue, Casehardened Hammer - 20282 -
Marked 32 Long ctg on left side of barrel. "Spain" stamped behind trigger guard. "S" and what looks like "M" in a circle on left side of frame, (similar to Smith and Wesson's trademark) Keystones above and below the circle with "Trade" in the upper and "Mark" in the lower. Well made copy of a Smith and Wesson, similar to a "hand ejector."Color case-hardened hammer. Tapered barrel. Mainspring is a "V" type. Checkering on handgrips poorly executed. Overall condition is fair. This gun has sentimental family value. Who made it and when? It looks at least 50 years old.
Answer: Bob, sorry but I do not have a lot of information about the Spanish S&W copies. It is reported that the logos for these revolvers were designed to be very close in appearance to the S&W logo in order to fool unobservant potential buyers. I have read in a major gunsmithing text book that the metals used in most of these revolvers is of very low quality making them dangerous to fire. Values for the Spanish S&W copies is very low, probably in the $50 range if you can find anyone willing to buy one. Marc
# 2503 - Steyr Restoration 12/7/99 Royce
I have a Steyr pistol in 9mm luger that was re-issued by the Germans in WW II. The correct 08 marking and police markings are on the gun. The only problem with this pistol is that some idiot refinished it in a silver finish which I think is nickel. I would like the finish restored to a military finish. Do you do this type of restoration and what would approximate cost be? I would like to know if the cost are so prohibitive as to make it a worthwhile project. Do you think that such a restoration is possible without destroying the proof markings etc? Thanks
Answer: Royce- Regret that I cannot give much encouragement for salvaging nickeled or chromed guns or edged weapons. Generally the heathens polish them pretty heavily prior to plating them, which really hurts. Chrome and nickel can be removed by some sort of reverse electrolytic process with nasty chemicals and big tanks and anodes and cathodes and stuff I do not fully understand. Plating shops can do this for a fee. If you have them do it you almost have to stand right there, and grab it as soon as they pull it out. Otherwise they want to buff it again to smooth things out. Fine for car parts but absolutely destructive for guns and the like. Of course once the old plating is off you still have to reapply the original type of finish. Bottom line is that it has to be a pretty scarce piece that will still have significant value after having all these undesirable refinishing steps done to it. I have passed on allot of bayonets and rifles and .45s and Lugers. While tempting, it is not economically worth while and you end up with something most collectors would not want anyway. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 2504 - 1874 Maastricht Bolt Action 12/7/99
I am trying to find information out about a gun which has been in my family for a long time. I have a 1874 Maastricht Bolt Action. The gun has all original hardware and parts. The circle on the butt of the gun looks to be a W or 2 V's and states Maastricht 1874. Other markings show the number 526, on the butt of gun plate it shows 1890. There also seems to be a marking which as crown with the letter F. There is also a number of 180. The guns is made of either Mahogany or Cherry, the barrel is brown, it has two clips where a strap could go for caring, This is bolt action, but has a carbine? Any help in identifying this gun and when it was used, where it came from, etc., would be greatly appreciated.
Answer: Sir- Your rifle was made in the Netherlands (Holland) at the Dutch Arsenal at Maastricht (near Rotterdam). These started out as single shot bolt action rifles, designed by Beaumont. Nearly all were later converted to used a funny looking magazine that sticks down below the stock. The magazine was designed by an Italian, named Vitalli, and the modified rifles are known as Beaumont-Vitalli rifles. Most are long barrel infantry versions with barrels about 30 inches long, but I believe some shorter (20-24"?) barrel carbines were also made. The stock is of European walnut. Metal parts were originally finished bright, but most have turned to a rusty patina over the years. John Spangler
# 2333 - Ross Rifle Information 12/4/99 Jack, York, SC USA
Ross Rifle Company Quebec, Canada 1905 - Approx. 22 Inches -
This gun was given to me by my grandfather, and I wanted to find out what kind of gun it was and history about it's manufacturer. It has a top loading magazine and long slide bolt type action.
Answer: Jack, The Ross has one of the worst reputations of all twentieth-century military rifles. The Ross action used threaded helical ribs on the bolt engaging threads inside the bolt sleeve. When the bolt was pulled back, the ribs rotated the locking lugs out of the receiver wall. This design worked well when clean, and firing good quality ammunition but the action tended to be easily jammed by dirt or the heat generated during rapid fire. More problems became apparent after part of a bolt blew back into the face of a Royal North West Mounted Policeman during shooting practice in 1906, costing him an eye. After the 1906 accident, RNWMP Ross rifles were recalled into store. More damage was done to the Ross reputation when the British ordered substantial quantities of Mk III Ross rifles in 1914, and reports of bolts flying out of the receiver as it fired were wide spread. Adjustments were made in 1916, however, the improvements came too late to prevent the unpopular Ross from being replaced by the short Lee-Enfield. The Ross Rifle Company ceased trading in March 1917, when its facilities were seized by the Canadian government. Marc
# 2493 - How To Repair An Old Gun 12/4/99 Barbara
I leafed through your selections, and did not really find what I am looking for... What I need is a reference book, to help me repair the stock on an old elk hunting rifle my Father gave me before he passed away. The barrel is six sided, thick amazingly heavy, and I think that is part of the reason that the stock cracked. We were told it was propped up on a tripod when hunters used it so they could shoot buffalo...and most recently, a gentleman in the local historical society said it was used to kill elk...not buffalo. I am just starting to do a little research on this. I am most reluctant to take it to any antique gun dealers, first because there a none too near by, but mainly because I don't really want to leave this gun with someone I don't know. I am quite sure I would need special clamps and glue to fix this stock, its really a shame that it cracked like this...it is along the grain of the wood. Do you have any books, that discuss how to take apart and clean an antique gun like this, and maybe it would include info on what technique should be used. If not...you must have some leads on reputable antique gunsmiths.
Answer: Barbara- Your desire to preserve an old firearm with family history is commendable. However, I would advise against do it yourself repairs on historical firearms and also advanced auto repairs, dental work, and computer upgrades. Some people may be able to achieve satisfactory results, but there is also a significant risk of making things worse than they already are. For anyone who insists on trying anyway, the actual repair process is pretty simple. First the broken area needs to be clean, free of loose or nearly loose splinters that will get stuck between the pieces when putting them back together. Oil soaked wood does not take adhesives well, so that requires advanced techniques. A professional like myself will probably take a small Dremel tool and undercut the area near the edges of the break and try to honeycomb the area with lots of holes and channels to allow the adhesive to flow and get a good grip onto the wood pieces. I prefer epoxy adhesives, and Brownell's Accraglas (special gunsmithing epoxy) is great stuff and has some dye that when mixed in the right proportion can give a good match for most shades of walnut. The dye is powerful stuff and it is easy to get too much and end up with a ugly dark line at the repair. The Accraglas and some other commercial epoxies can be obtained in double tube syringes that makes mixing easy and convenient. For all but the most simple repairs I avoid use of the fast drying or 5 minute types, and stick with the longer drying (24 hour) types to get a little more working time just in case there is a problem at the last minute. With experience you can pick a clamp (properly padded to avoid marring the wood) and with a barrier (plastic bag or wrap is sufficient) to keep the clamp from being permanently attached to the stock. For wrist repairs where the wood pieces match up well and are more of a crack than a full break rubber surgical tubing wrapped around the wrist will pull things together with incredible force and not mar anything, so padding is not needed but a barrier is still required. Once you have the parts permanently fastened together again, the easy part is done. You next have to remove the excess epoxy that has been squeezed out of the repaired area, or maybe mix another batch of epoxy with a little sawdust from a similar colored piece of wood to fill any gaps or air bubbles. If the broken pieces lined up well and there were no ugly gaps, all that is needed is a little work with a fine file and some sandpaper to get back to the proper contours. If there is even the slightest misalignment then you need to work down the adjacent areas to smooth or "fair" everything to match as well as you can. The final step is where a good conservator/restorer or gunsmith earns their pay. There will be small areas where the old finish has been removed in the earlier steps. Most owners are unwilling to use the gun for another 50-150 years to get the finish to blend in. Therefore the craftsman depends on their artistic talents, long experience, a horde of common and secret potions, and other assorted assets to make the repaired area blend into the adjacent finish. This is an art attained by many trials and errors. In some cases it is a simple one or two coat process, in others it may take a dozen or more attempts with several different stains, fillers, and finishes, a little distressing, some buffing, and divine intervention to get a decent match. I do not know any good restoration people in New Jersey area, but I am sure there are some. I am not sure what others charge, but at $50 per hour my time is a bargain compared to the people who fix my car or computer. My rate includes the tiny amounts of adhesives, and other potions and secret ingredients needed to achieve miraculous restorations. One other caveat. Artists are very independent in scheduling and very dependent on inspiration to do fine work. I will not take on any restoration projects with short delivery dates. I suspect others may be similarly inclined. Good luck. John Spangler
# 2492 - Springfield Manufacture Model Of 1911 U.S. Army 12/4/99
I have a .45 auto serial # 174294 , it has a blued finish and is in excellent condition. The right side of the slide is marked MODEL OF 1911. U.S.ARMY it also has an eagle holding a branch and arrows on right side of slide. On the left side of the slide it has the Colt patent dates on the forward part of the slide and then SPRINGFIELD ARMORY U.S.A. toward the rear of the slide. On the left side of the frame it is stamped UNITED STATES PROPERTY. The grips are walnut, checkered with diamond pattern around screws. the magazine has a lanyard ring on the bottom. Can you give me any info. on production date , shipping info. , and approximate value of this pistol? thank you.
Answer: Sir- The slide of your pistol was made at Springfield Armory but the frame was made by Colt in 1913. Evidently the Colt slide got switched with one from Springfield at some point in the past. Assuming it is original finish, and not a later refinish, the pistol is probably worth between $400 and $1000 depending on the amount of finish, overall condition (especially the bore and grips) and how many other parts are mixed. Springfield parts are worth more than Colt parts, so that compensates for what normally would be a reduction due to the switched parts. I do not have access to the shipping records right now but all of these early pistols saw use in WW1 and most (not taken home at the end of WW1) saw action again in WW2. John Spangler
# 2491 - M1 Carbine Details 12/4/99
Somewhere on the web, there is a site that gives proof mark info on m-1 carbine stocks. Any info as to the site?? Also, some time ago, found site that shows the various styles of butt plates for m-1 carbine, also who manufactured them. Any info on the site?? thanks.
Answer: Sir- I do not know of such a site. Recommend you invest in a copy of Larry Ruth's definitive "War Baby" for ready reference. You won't regret it. It is the best reference on the M1 carbine and all the stuff related to it. There are other books that are okay and cheaper, and you can save a few bucks if you will be happy with less info at a lesser price. However the guys who spend the big buck on books are always better informed and usually able to snag better deals. Info you are asking about is in vol. 1, but you will find a lot of interesting info in volume 2 as well. John Spangler