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# 2648 - Erma "Luger" 1/29/00 Mike
Erma - KGP 69 - 22 -
I am a prior customer and must say that the bayonet you sold me is better than I expected. Thanks for your honesty and quality service. Now to business. What is it and can I get walnut grips to replace original plastic and extra magazines, if so where? New, in the box, ERMA KGP 69, 22 Cal. LR, serial # 303710 Thanks..
Answer: Mike, Thanks for contacting us, we are always happy to answer questions for customers. Erma is an acronym derived from 'Erfurter Maschinen und Workzcugfabrik,' which was the firm's original name. Erma is best known for its submachine guns, the MP38 and MP40. Erma started producing pistols in 1933, for the German armed forces who needed a convenient system for pistol practice without using a full-sized range. Ermawerke produced a conversion unit which turned a standard 7.65mm or 9mm Parabellum pistol into a .22 automatic. This conversion unit included an insert barrel, a breechblock and toggle unit, and a magazine. The replacement toggle carried its own recoil spring, since the normal spring, designed for centerfire ammunition, was far too strong to be operated by a .22 cartridge. There were a variety of conversion units for pistols of various calibers and barrel lengths, but the principle remained the same for all. The units were standardized by the German Army in November 1934, and shortly thereafter, they were placed on the commercial market. From the success of their conversion device, Erma concluded that there could be a market for inexpensive target and practice pistols, and in 1936, they introduced a .22LR blowback automatic, later to be known as the 'Old Model'. The Old Model had a fixed barrel with an open topped slide, and external hammer. Erma commercial pistol production ceased in 1940, when Ermawerke became fully occupied with the war effort. After the war since Erfurt (the original location of the Erma factory) was now in Russian hands, a new Erma company began in business in Munich-Dachau. In the 1950s, the new Erma resumed development of submachine guns and then returned to the pistol market in 1964, with a new design in .22LR caliber. The new .22 caliber pistols used the mechanical features of the Parabellum conversion unit as the starting point, and developed a pistol copied from the Parabellum in general appearance, but using their own patented toggle unit, which has the recoil spring embodied in it. Numerous models were produced, all of which look alike, and differ only in their finish and sighting arrangements. The last model was the `KGP-69', the line of .22 caliber pistols was discontinued in 1969. Hope that this answer helps. Sorry but I do not know of any place to purchase walnut grips for your Erma, for extra magazines you might try Gun Parts Corporation. there is a link to them on our links page. Marc
# 2643 - Japanese Rifle 1/29/00 Donald
My father has a Japanese rifle sent to him in 1942 by his brother who was in the Philippines and we have found it , through research to be a 1939-1942 Kokura Arsenal , Imperial Japanese Army Type 99 short rifle , I was wondering if you could be of any help on placing a value on this weapon for us . It is in good condition considering the battles it must have seen in the WW2. all markings are intact as is the chrysanthemum mark that shows it to be part of the Imperial Army . If you can offer us an idea or approximate value and maybe a number of them in the US we would be truly grateful for your Help, thanks , Max
Answer: Donald- Thanks for contacting us. I know you do (and should) prize this rifle as a memento of your family's participation in defending the freedom of our country. However, in the market place, Japanese rifles are still one of the most commonly encountered WW2 military relics, demand is quite low and values respond accordingly. Type 99 rifles they routinely sell in the $75-$150 range, usually toward the lower end, but with a good "mum" and extra nice condition you may get the higher figure. Slings, muzzle covers and the like are very desirable accessories and could bring almost as much as a basic rifle. Bayonets also can run $30-75 depending on condition and minor variations. Sorry it wasn't an Antique Roadshow moment for you with a wonderful big value. John Spangler
# 2642 - WW1 Rank Insignias And Decorations 1/29/00
My father was a US army sergeant in France during WW1. Trying to gather information as to what medals he is entitled to wear. He was awarded a medal buy the French government, but seems he should have been awarded a couple from US government. Appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks.
Answer: Sir- You should be able to request a copy of his service record from the National Archives. I think the records are actually kept in a place in St. Louis that had a major fire about 20 years ago and a lot of records were destroyed. They are happy to make copies for a very small fee if they have them. I think the U.S. Govt. National Archives has a web page with info on how to get the info. Since this is for your father, there should not be any trouble. Sometimes they will not do it for anyone other than family members. The record should show any medals or decorations he was awarded. Good luck. I think this is a great project for any family member. You can probably get replacement medals for either official sources or from places that sell uniform items. Be sure to pass it on to your kids. John Spangler
# 2641 - Danish Krags used by the U.S. 1/25/00 Pete
Danish Krags -
Hi, I am interested in locating a Danish M1915 World War I rifle. All I know is that it was manufactured by Haerens Tojhus in 1915. The US army used them in WWI. I can't seem to locate any pictures to see what this looks like. Thanks
Answer: Pete- First, I am curious about what information you have about any troops of the U.S. Army using Danish Krags. I am fairly interested in oddball stuff used by US troops, and thought I knew of most of them by now. This is entirely new and therefore I am curious about any references on the subject.
I am aware that some U.S. made Krag rifles (probably Model 1898) were used by a few U.S. forces in WW1, mainly for stateside training and guarding strategic facilities, but I believe that a Railroad Artillery with Krags got to France but did not see any action. Neither Danish nor Norwegian Krags are seen very often in the US, end most of those appear to have been sporterized. The Model 1889 Danish Krags were all in 8mm Danish Krag caliber, and there were several variations in length and minor details for infantry, artillery, engineers, and cavalry troops. Haerens Tojhus means "army arsenal" and the its rifles will be marked HT with a crown. Danish records indicate serial number 98,047 for 1915 produced rifles, but are not clear if that is at the start of the year, or the end of the year. (1914 is listed at 88,580, and 1917-the next year for which information is available- at 114,550.) Hope this helps. You are welcome to list this on our free "wanted" page. By the way, with Danish Garands now being available through the CMP Program, that might be an interesting collecting field. John Spangler
# 2640 - Remington & Sons Shotgun 1/25/00 Joe
Have a side-by-side 12g, #12856, Patented; 8-3-1871. Can' t recall ever seeing a "Remington & Sons" firearm. Where can I find out more info about this piece? Thanks, Joe
Answer: Joe- Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and their Values has good accurate info which will allow you to identify which of several models this might be and figure out what it might be worth. The Remington doubles are not real common, but neither are collectors looking for them. John Spangler
# 2639 - Gustloff Rifle 1/25/00 Stu
Gustlaff - 22 -
You mentioned that you had seen several gustlaff KKW training rifles that had the stock "chopped" but hadn't ever seen a complete stock for sale. The stock on my rifle has been cut. Is this type of damage some sort of organized destruction ? As in rendering the weapons un-usable at the end of WW2?
Answer: Stu- The German military .22 caliber training rifles were made to look just like the 8mm K98k service rifle. They had a full length stock, bayonet lug and all that sort of stuff. Lots of these rifles were seized as souvenirs by U.S. GIs after WW2 because they were nicely made, accurate .22 rifles. Americans have a long reputation for being lazy and resourceful. Once home, most ex-GIs decided that they did not intend to bayonet any wounded squirrels, and all that stuff on the front of the rifle was extra weight that could be eliminated. A few minutes with a saw quickly solved the problem. Tens of thousands of captured German and Japanese rifles plus surplus Springfields and M1917 Enfields received the same treatment as people turned common old military arms which had little or no retail value into sporters. This was the origin of the verb "sporterize". From 1945 to 1965 it was a very nice word, uttered often by polite gun owners. However, now it should be spelled with four letters and I will wash your mouth out with soap if you use it around me. In another 20 years you will probably get locked up if you utter the word "gun", and pictures of them will be considered pornography. Even now our site is blocked by some filters, allegedly to protect "The Children" from violence (undoubtedly caused by guns), while the kids can still go home and lower their IQ, hearing, and moral standards watching M-TV and the like. John Spangler
# 2522 - Sauer Model 38? 1/22/00 James , Wise ,VA , USA
J.P. Sauer & Sohn , Suel - Semi Automatic - 7.65 Cal - 3 1/2 " - Blue - 319949 -
On the left grip there is a round emblem with two S's intertwined and U approximately 1/3 of the way down on top of one of the S's I was looking for a little history of the firearm . Just where it was manufactured and it's purpose ,Was it Military? Also I am looking for ammo I have been told that .32auto will work but when I tried it It jams and won't load into the chamber correctly . The two types of shelf I have tried are Remmington and PMC .
Answer: James, your description (left grip round emblem with two S's intertwined) sounds like you have a Sauer model 38. The Sauer Model 38 has a fixed barrel with coaxial recoil spring, the breach block is a separate component pinned into the slide. The Model 38 was unique in that it has and internal hammer which is linked to a de-cocking lever on the left side of the frame. If the hammer is cocked, pressing the de-cocking lever will allow the hammer to fall under control. If the hammer is down, downward pressure on the de-cocking lever will lift the hammer to full-cock. The lockwork is double-action and there is a magazine safety, and a chamber-loaded signal pin. Some very early model 38's and those made in 1944 and 1945 do not have a safety catch. Model 38 slides are marked 'JP Sauer & Sohn Cal 7,65' on the left, and `Patent' on the right. Model 38 grips carry the Sauer monogram (S&S) on the left hand side. Because of the hammer-cocking/de-cocking lever, the Sauer 38 is one of the most advanced pistol designs ever to be mass-produced. The German designation for the weapon was Sauer Pistole Model 38 Hahn Selbstspannung (Sauer Pistol Model 38 Hammer Selfcocking. Over 200,000 model 38 pistols were procured by the German military, NSDAP and Police before the U.S. overran the factory in April of 1945. If your pistol was military issue, it should have the military acceptance stamp (eagle over 37) located on the upper left side of trigger guard. All pistols should have the commercial test proof (eagle over n) located on the right side of the slide above the slide grip, on the right side of the frame below the slide grip, and on the right side of the barrel near the muzzle. Pistols procured by the police will be marked with police acceptance stamps (eagle over "X" in a circle to the left of "C" or "F") located on the left trigger guard web. Sorry, due to liability concerns, we do not give advise about ammunition. Marc
# 2486 - Mauser Rifle- Turkey 1/22/00 Scott North Muskegon MI USA
This rifle has a crescent moon on the top of the receiver and on the bolt. Did Mauser sell rifles to Turkey in 1918, or was my rifle acquired after WWI by some Islamic country? Also, how does one remove the recoil lug and the metal disk in the center of the stock, which I'd like to do to refinish the stock and reblue the gun. Thanks.
Answer: Scott- The Turks have acquired a bewildering variety of rifles over the years, sometimes far ahead of other countries and often far behind. They were very early in adopting repeating rifles (Winchesters) and Mauser bolt action rifles, but then got stuck in a Mauser rut and kept salvaging and rebuilding rifles that other nations would have discarded. I believe that Germany did provide a lot of Mauser rifles to their Turkish allies towards the end of WW1 (just prior to the disastrous Allied landings at Gallipoli?). John Walter's excellent "Rifles of the World" has a good description of many of these variations that were cobbled together especially for the Turks, and many were later modified some more. Removing the recoil lug probably requires a special spanner tool that will be more trouble to make than to just leave alone. I usually advise against refnishing old guns, so will not tell you anything to make it any easier to engage in blasphemous misconduct. John Spangler
# 2488 - Mauser rifle- Turkey 1/22/00 mark. on. Canada
what appears to be Turkish writing, marks. I have acquired what I believe to be a Gewehr 88, made in 1940.There is no country of origin stamped anywhere on the rifle. The total length of the rifle is 49". On the receiver there are the markings T C, under that A5 * FA, and below that AMK with a crescent moon followed by ARA. Could you please tell me if it is in fact an m88, 7.92mm and which country it was made for. I know it is not a Gewehr 98 due to the bolt and pictures of other m88's that I have seen. Thank for help in this matter
Answer: Mark- See question 2486. The Turks did get a lot of Model 1888 Mausers and rebuild them and remark them leaving their origins mystifying and their correct nomenclature in their present form open to endless debate for no apparent benefit. "Turkish Mauser" usually seems to sum it up for most people, although there are some collectors who understand the subtle nuances and actually spend good money for these somewhat disreputable looking old mongrels. Check the John Walter "Rifles of the World" book. John Spangler
# 2490 - US M1898 Krag Constabulary Carbine? 1/19/00 Steve, Morganton, NC, USA
Stylized Proof "P" just behind trigger guard. Cartouche left side of stock looks like "JLC"(?) over 1903. "U" on right side of middle band I have a Model 1898 Krag rifle. It has the Model 1902 sight("Sargeant's Peep Sight"?). The rifle is in excellent condition. 95% . The barrel has been expertly cut down to 24" with a flat crown and slight bevel at rifling. It has a Model 1905 front sight. The original front band with the bayonet lug is still on the rifle. Stock and HG are definitely Krag. Are these modifications government arsenal or commercial? Thank you for your help. NRA Life Mem. CCF4866C
Answer: Steve- At first glance it appears you have one of the very scarce and desirable "Philippine Constabulary" carbines. These are essentially Model 1899 carbines that have had the stocks replaced with cut down rifle stocks so that they can be used with slings and bayonets. (Remember, duct tape had not yet been invented, so they depended on bayonet lugs to attach the bayonet.) However, caution is advised before celebrating or selling this as a rare piece. The 1899 carbines say MODEL 1899 on the receiver (not 1898), and the rear sight should have a "C" on the base. The front sight should be a regular Krag type with a nearly invisible braze attachment to the barrel, not the M1905 type band front sight. The cartouche on the Krag is normally JSA for J. Sumner Adams over the date. Some of the Constabulary conversions had an additional cartouche perhaps JEC or JFC. On the real conversions the tip of the stock has a very neatly done plug in the square lightening cut that is exposed when the stock is shortened and the trimming down for the band is neatly done, and the band is altered to fit down properly on the slightly larger diameter of the barrel in the new location. A few other alterations may or may not be present.
Your rifle quite probably was cut down by W. Stokes Kirk or some other surplus dealer in the 1920s or 30s. These were often sold as cadet rifles for military schools, or for use by color guards. (My old high school had two of these, chrome plated, for the color guard to carry around.).
Wish I could tell a NRA life member that his was a valuable gun, but it is probably not worth much more than the value of the parts. John Spangler
# 2498 - Mortimer Flintlock Shotgun 1/19/00 Jeff Farnum, Glocester, Ri, USA
Mortimer - double barrel flintlock - 36" -
Mortimer marked on plates on side. wooden ramrod. ? Can you give me any idea as to the age, maker and history of this piece? Or direct me to a good resource. Thanks
Answer: Jeff- The Mortimer family of gun makers are known for extremely high quality work, and some were gunmakers to the royal family. Harvey Westlake Mortimer operated from 98 Fleet Street in London 1780-1802, then his son Harvey Westlake Mortimer, Jr. from the same address 1800-1820 who was a gunmaker to George III. Other Mortimers included Jackson Mortimer 21 St. James Street, London 1790-1820, and his son. P.W. Mortimer operated in London around 1789. Thomas, Thomas Jr., Thomas E. and Thomas J. Mortimer were London makers circa 1809-1851. Mortimer & Son operates from Edinburgh Scotland operated well into the 20th century and claimed to have originated in London in 1730, perhaps including some of the Mortimers named above. I do not know of any good reference on flintlock doubles barrel shotguns, but they are not seen very often, and most of the survivors seem to be relatively high quality guns (with correspondingly high prices. I would recommend you take this to one of the better gun shows where you might find someone who can tell you more about if from a detailed examination. The New England Antique Arms Association sponsors one show a year (in Connecticut, I think) and attracts many experts in old guns. They do NOT allow any post 1898 guns at all in their show. Wish it were a little closer I would love to attend. John Spangler
# 2525 - Hi Standard Derringers 1/19/00 Carla, Bruin, Pa, USA
High Standard - Derringer - 22 Magnum - 3.5 Inches - Blue - 2471105 -
Can you tell me how many of these were made and when they stopped making them?. Thank you, Carla
Answer: Carla, The first Hi Standard derringers were manufactured in Hamden CT in about 1962. The design was double action only, with over/under 3.5 inch barrels chambered for .22 Short, .22 Long, .22 Long Rifle or .22 Winchester Magnum. Blue or nickel finish was available with choice of black or white grips. First model derringers were marked with either D-100, D-101, or DM-101 on the left hand side. Electroless nickel finish was later added and these derringers came with walnut grips. In 1964 and 1965 Hi Standard manufactured about 500 sliver plated derringers and an unknown quantity of gold plated derringers. These gold and silver plated derringers came with a presentation case. Serial numbers for the Gold plated models had a "GP" prefix while silver plated models had an "SP" prefix. Late model derringers were manufactured at Hi Standard's Hartford plant from 1978 to 1984. Late model derringers were available with either blue or nickel finish and came with plastic grips. Hi Standard derringer production ceased in 1984 when Hi-Standard went out of business. Marc
I've seen these guns in the past, but never in a nickel finish. Were some of these guns factory produced with this finish and if so, how does this effect the value?
Answer: Robert, The Winchester Model 1906 was manufactured form 1906 to 1932, total production reached approximately 848,000 rifles. The Model 1906 was designed to be simplified less expensive version of the earlier Winchester Model 1890 slide action rifle and for many years the two models were sold concurrently. When first introduced, retail price for the model 1906 was $9.50 while the model 1890 sold for $10.80. The 1906 was initially offered only in 22 short, but after April 1908, the design was altered so rifles would chamber 22 Short, Long or Long Rifle. Winchester expected that the lower price of the model 1906 as compared to the 1890 would create public demand, but what really made it popular was the cartridge interchangeability. The 1906 was also offered in a deluxe 'Expert' version which was manufactured from 1917 to 1925. The Expert Model is probably the rarest of the 1906 variations. Expert versions had a pistol grip butt stock and a specially-shaped slide handle. Expert rifles could be ordered in blue, with a nickel-plated receiver and trigger guard, or with all the metal parts nickel-plated. The year of manufacture for your model 1906 serial number 792XXX is 193X so it is probably not one of the expert models. Value for your Model 1906 with (probably non-factory) nickel plate is in the $100 range. Marc
# 2481 - Mauser Rifle- Colombia 1/15/00 Jerry Hurricane Utah
Columbia Fuerzas Militaires - 30-06 - blue - 07752 -
number on bolt:f.10065 FAB. NAT.D'ARMES de GUERRE HERSTAL-BELGIQUE I inherited this gun from my father and know absolutely nothing about it. I would like to know where it came from? when was it built? To me the gun looks very old, and it is heavy compared to newer guns that I have.
Answer: Jerry- Good to hear from our neighbors down in southern Utah. Fabrique National in Herstal, Belgium has been one of the leading producers of military arms in the 20th century, supplying armies (and navies) on nearly every continent at one time or another. Colombia is the struggling home of numerous drug cartels, assorted insurgents, various corrupt politicians, and a lot of peasants struggling to eke out a subsistence level existence without getting killed or maimed by one of the above. That is today. At the start of the century the U.S. plotted the separation of what is now Panama from the rest of Colombia, so that we could build the Panama Canal, which the Colombians refused to agree to. Anyway, Colombia was a sleepy little banana republic until WW2 when they fought on the allied side. Either just before or just after WW2, they bought a bunch of bolt action Mauser rifles from FN for their armed forces. I believe these were after WW2 and that the Mausers were intended for the Army and the Air Force, while the Navy got some bolt action Madsen rifles. Within a few years, the Colombians were given enough semi-automatic M1 Garand rifles that all the old bolt action guns were sold off as surplus, many ending up in the U.S. at bargain prices. Guess that explains how a Belgian gun made for Colombia ended up in Utah. John Spangler
# 2479 - Firing Around Corners 1/15/00 Donald Toms River NJ USA
German - Sniper rifle -
I am looking for information on A WW II German snipers rifle that fired around corners ( the barrel was curved ) any info would be greatly appreciated . Thank you D.Gumm
Answer: Donald- Yes there are guns made to shoot around corners. I doubt if these can be classified as sniper rifles. There is another oddball design to shoot over the top of trenches that does have some sniper potential. This idea keeps getting reinvented with the action and barrel offset about 12-18 inches above the buttstock so you can stick the barrel over the top of the trench and sight using a periscope attachment and blast away at the enemy while your "brain housing group" is safely tucked down in the trench hidden from bullets being fired in your direction by the other guy's snipers. At various times these were made in small numbers by the Brits for the Lee Enfields, the Americans for the 1903 Springfields and the Germans for the 98 Mausers. The definitive reference books by Ian Skennerton, Bill Brophy, and Richard Law respectively on those types of rifles will satisfy your curiosity about those.
Now back to the around the corner guns. The idea of using a bent barrel to shoot around corners has been tried with various guns over the years. Tough to do with a muzzle loader, but there may be one of those existing in some dark museum corner, along with a very funny looking ramrod. The two examples I can recall but not track back to a reference, are submachine guns or assault rifles. I believe that the Germans had an attachment for the MP43 or MP44 assault rifles that clamped onto the end of the barrel. This was about 10-15 inches long and was essentially a barrel extension that was gently curved about 45-90 degrees to one side. In theory this was a useful weapon for urban combat when the enemy is just around the corner and refuses to step out in the open for a clear shot. I don't think these progressed much past the experimental stage, and no one figured out how to make effective sights for them. I believe there was an old Q&A in a 1950s American Rifleman about this, and also something in the book on German Assault Rifles.
Of course, clever American designers found out about the clever German designers and tried the same thing. The US version was attached to (or perhaps a total replacement for) the barrel on the .45 caliber M3 "grease gun" submachine gun. I believe the intended use was for issue to armored vehicle crews so they could stick this out the hatch or firing port of the vehicle to knock off enemy troops who were climbing on board or attaching mines, or stealing C-rations or something. Again, I don't think this got beyond the experimental stage. Apparently the big problem with this sort of design is that barrels are under a lot of pressure (like about 25,000- 50,000 pounds per square inch) and if the diameter of the bullet is not a really good match for the diameter of the bore, the barrel tends to blow up. Bore diameter is easy to control and measure with a straight barrel, but when you try to bend a barrel, the bore tends to get deformed so the bullet doesn't fit properly any more. One solution was to machine away part of the barrel on the inside radius of the curve, which made it easier to keep the bore diameter within acceptable limits, but let the gas escape so bullet velocity really dropped as it skidded around the corner in the barrel. I think the final design was made with the bore a little oversize to avoid blowing up, but at the expense of bullet velocity. However, for use at ranges of maybe 5-25 yards, it would have been okay. You may be able to find more about this in one of the WW2 Ordnance Department experiment histories, or again in a tidbit in an old American Rifleman magazine.
This whole subject is an example of how weapons designers seek to gain a tactical advantage and save lives by coming up with a better gun than the other side has. Sometimes it works, other times it is not very practical. Remember that the Gatling gun was invented in 1862 and was not very useful in the Civil war, moderately successful in the Spanish American War, and then dropped from sight for about 50 years. But its evolutionary descendents the Mini-gun and Vulcan cannon solved the problem of jet aircraft being able to get a lethal number of rounds out during the very brief time a target was in position either for air combat or for ground attack by the tremendously effective AC-47 or AC-130 gunships (like my old college roomate later flew). John Spangler
# 2499 - Flintlock Rifle(?) 1/11/00 Ken Neely Columbus, In USA
Flintlock Long gun - Blue -
Lots Of carvings in steel And wood sections brass butt plate side plates trigger guard, ivory inlay of what appears to be a star on stock, some silver inlay, truly a beautiful gun name on barrel is that of Glenn McClain Looking For Info On Maker And approx. Worth if you could direct me I would greatly appreciate your efforts
Answer: Ken- I cannot find anything on Glenn McClain in Frank Sellers' American Gunsmiths book. G.W. McClain is noted as a maker of halfstock percussion rifles from Circleville, Ohio, but he is probably not the one. It is possible that Frank missed this maker and he might be found in one of the other books on makers researched by Jim Whisker or other authors. However, given the extensive decoration I suspect that this may be a fairly recent piece by one of the many highly accomplished modern makers of "Kentucky" rifles. The mid-Atlantic states out through Indiana seem to have been home to a lot of these skilled modern makers, and of course, Friendship, Indiana is the home of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association and their national competitions. You might check with some of those folks, or see if we have any links to sites that might include information on modern makers of longrifles. As far as value, it all depends on age and quality of the work. Crudely done modern examples are only a few hundred dollars, while the work of accomplished masters like Wallace Gustler or his near-peers will sell for thousands of dollars. John Spangler
[NOTE-updated 5/4/2007- we were subsequently contacted by Mr. Glenn McClain, the maker of this rifle. He is indeed a modern maker located in Morgantown, Indiana. He makes historically correct reproduction, museum grade longrifles and knives. He has had wonderful articles written about his work, the nicest one was a double, color spread in Muzzleloader magazine. He is a member of the Contemporary Longrifle Association and NMLRA. He also makes wonderful tomahawks, smoking and non-smoking. Now he primarily makes Scottish dirks and other knives, plus unique knife and fork sets in a leather sheath. He marks his items with an identifying mark, but some scoundrels attempt to sell them as originals, so be careful!]
# 2511 - French Gras Rifle 1/11/00 Andrew DePrimio, Laguna Niguel, Ca
Darmes - M Le 1874 M.80 - 11mm? - ? - Blue -
I think this is a French rifle Made in 1874. Similar to the Mauser 71/84. It has the words "St. Elienine" on the receiver. Do you have any history on this rifle, who made it? What it might be worth?
Answer: Andrew- "Darmes" is only part of the mane of the maker found on French military arms. The full name is "Manufacture d' Armes" followed by the name of the Arsenal such as St. Etienne, Chatterlaut, Maubage, or others. We have some of these on our collectable guns catalog page so you can check on the history there and what we think ours are worth. John Spangler
# 2513 - Vietnam Era Handguns 1/11/00 Allyson, Nantucket, MA, USA
Would you be able to give me the names and info on one or two handguns that were used during the Vietnam War? Thank you.
Answer: Allyson- Assuming you mean those used by U.S. forces, the answer is pretty simple. The U.S. Pistol caliber .45 M1911A1, the familiar ".45 automatic," was standard issue throughout the Vietnam War era. A few military members carried personal weapons (officially frowned upon) of different types, and special warfare units may have employed non-standard guns for various reasons. The S&W Model 39 was popular at the time although it is now rather inferior to many other guns. I know a couple of pilots who purchased those. John Spangler
# 2495 - Pre-64 Winchester Model 70 1/8/00 John Campton NH USA
Winchester - 70 - 270 - Walnut? - 306869 -
I would like to know more in general about this rifle. I was told it was a pre-70 model 270 but when I brought the rifle to a local gun shop they couldn't pinpoint the gun. I am hoping the serial # will help. The gun he said was in the 70- 80 range on value. Any help with the history of this rifle would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Answer: John, I believe that you mean to say pre-64. The year of manufacture for your Winchester Model 70 serial number 306869 is 1954. The Model 70 was first approved for sales by Winchester on 29th December 1934 and the first rifles were delivered into store in the autumn of 1936. Many people consider the pre-64 Winchester Model 70 to be the best bolt action sporting rifle ever manufactured. Unfortunately, Winchester was purchased by the Olin corporation in 1961 and work began to modernize the Model 70 to simplify production. It is my opinion that Olin's "modernization" of the Model 70 resulted in a product that was vastly inferior in quality, design and workmanship to the older versions. Olin sold Winchester's operations to the U.S. Repeating Arms Company in 1981. U.S. Repeating Arms re-introduced the pre-64 Model 70 design in 1997 as the Classic Model 70. I am impressed with the new Classic Model 70 rifles, I believe that they are as good as the pre-64 rifles or maybe even a little bit better because of the modern steel used in their construction. Values for Winchester Model 70 rifles chambered in .270 caliber manufactured after WWII but before 1964 are in the $350 to $550 range depending on condition. If the stock has been cut down and a rubber butt pad has been added subtract $100. Marc
# 2476 - Mauser Rifle- Spanish 1/8/00 Keith Houston Texas USA
I was recently given a rifle but am having a bit of trouble of trying to Identify...Bolt Action: On top of the receiver, there is a marking that is difficult to read because it appears to be partially worn off. It reads "FABRI.... ARMAS" Above the words is some type of symbol. Left side of the receiver is the 20serial #C8066And of the Handle of bolt is the 20serial# M 7956On the barrel is stamped 7MM.I would appreciate anyone's assistance. I was recently given a rifle but am having a bit of trouble of trying to Identify...Bolt Action: On top of the receiver, there is a marking that is difficult to read because it appears to be partially worn off. It reads "FABRI.... ARMAS" Above the words is some type of symbol. Left side of the receiver is the 20serial #C8066
Answer: Keith- Fabrica de Armas is Spanish equivalent of "Armory" or place where guns are made, not to be confused with "Arsenal" which is a place where guns are stored. Now Springfield Armory also stored guns, and Rock Island Arsenal also made guns, but we digress..
7MM markings and an alphabetical prefix to the serial number are also commonly found on Mauser rifles made in (or for) Spain, so I would bet that this was made at Fabrica de Armas Oviedo, a Spanish Armory/Arsenal. They were good rifles in their day, but many have been abused over the years and modern 7mm ammo may be a little too hot to use. When I was in college, and under 21 I legally bought one of these rifles through the mail, with 100 rounds of ammunition for $9.95, and I think that included shipping!. No FFL dealer to go through, they just delivered it to your dorm room. No one was ever shot on our campus, and we had a rifle team where men and women shooters practicing with school provided guns and ammunition five days a week. No wonder I studied enough to stay in school until I could qualify for a commission instead of quitting and getting drafted.
You will probably get more than $9.95 for your rifle. Of course, I could have bought a brand new Mustang for about $2,200 then, and it would bring more now too. John Spangler
# 2462 - Remington 511 1/8/00 Russ, Clark Fork, Id, USA
Remington - Score Master 511 - 22 - 25" - Blue - None found -
On Left side of barrel, forward of the belted area, are three hash mark (|||) the letters oss then three more hash marks. on right side of barrel opposite of above is stamped $25. appears to have a 7-8 shot magazine What year was this model made? Where would be the best place to look for a new stock for this rifle?
Answer: Russ- The markings you mention do not sound like factory applied markings, and I have no idea what they may indicate. A disreputable seller might claim that this gun was purchased for use by secret agents of the OSS during WW2 at a cost of $25, but I sort of doubt that. The Model 511 was made from 1939 to about 1962. Try our links page for Gun Parts Corp for a replacement stock, or you are welcome to list that on our free "Wanted" page and some other visitor may have one for you. John Spangler
Manufacture date 1891 What can you tell me about this rifle?
Answer: AJ, the Model 1890 Sporting Rifle was Made by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company of New Haven, Connecticut, from 1890 to 1932 in four different chamberings, 22 Short, 22 Long, 22 Long Rifle and 22 Winchester Rim Fire(WRF). Rifles were chambered specifically for each individual caliber and were not interchangeable as are many modern 22 rifles. Total Model 1890 production was approximately 849,000. The Model 1890 was a John M Browning design, with an action that was locked by displacing the bolt against a shoulder in the receiver. Straight buttocks were standard, but a pistol grip option was available (rarely encountered). The slide handle was circumferentially grooved. A Fancy Sporting Rifle was also made in small numbers, with a pistol grip buttstock that was specially selected for its fancy figuring. Model 1890 production finished in the early 1930s, but sufficient rifles remained in store to permit sales to continue until World War II began.
A take-down feature was added to the Model 1890 in 1892 after over 15,000 solid frame versions had been produced. If yours is the solid frame version it should also have a color case hardened receiver. Values for early examples with color case hardened receivers and solid frames are five to six times higher than those for the later take-down models. Let us know if you ever decide to sell. Marc
1903 stamp on stock--behind the trigger guard is a J and a stamp I can't make out but I've seen similar stamps in your collection. 20Ity also has a few numbers which I believe to be arms room numbers from its military service days, they appear on the top of the butt plate near the butt plate screw they are "5" above the screw and "H" over "4" below the screw. My previous question has the wrong serial number and I didn't find the other markings until I got into your databases and saw examples of markings. Same question. What do I have here.
Answer: John- Sounds like you have a very nice unaltered Model 1898 Krag rifle made in 1903, with the serial number about right for that date. It was made in .30-40 Krag caliber. The strange marking behind the trigger guard is a script "P" in a circle, which is the mark used to indicate the gun passed a proof firing with a high pressure cartridge. The 5/H/4 is probably a unit or rack marking. Value is probably in the #350-600 range. Since you live in LaPlata, you should check out the gun show at the Armory there put on by Silverado promotions. If you go, say "Hi" for me to Frank Krasner the promoter. They are great little shows and you can find some neat stuff there, or at least I found that was the case when I lived in Norfolk and could get up your way in a couple of hours. John Spangler
# 2465 - Norwich Arms Revolver 1/4/00 Richard, Ransomville, NY USA
Norwich Arms Co. - Unknown , six shot revolver - Possibly .32 rimfire - Two Inches - Nickel or chrome with pewter or silver 3142 -
Octagonal barrel, extensive engraving , a dog chasing a rabbit on the grips. The side of the barrel is marked PATD APP 3318?8, These are not completely legible. We found this revolver in Grandma's farmhouse and would like to know more history of this revolver and does it have any collector value.
Answer: Richard- Norwich, Connecticut was the home of the Bacon Arms Co which made a variety of pistols and other arms intended for the middle to lower prices end of the gun market. They also made some very inexpensive guns for the bargain basement dealers. These are generally known as "suicide specials" probably as a tribute to their potential accurate range and durability. There is a surprising amount of collector interest in these although motivated by the chance to get a lot of gaudy looking little guns for pretty reasonable prices. (Figure about one ton of these for the same cost as one rusted up old first generation Colt Single Action Army revolver of the same time period.) Keep this one as a family heirloom and don't bother with insurance. John Spangler
# 2574 - Old Percussion Long Gun 1/1/00 Barry
Gentlemen, I have what appears to be an old percussion long gun that my wife picked up several years ago at a small antique store in Benecia California. I am not able to send images but will send photos if you think it is worth it. I will try to describe it as best as I can. At the base of the barrel are the letters US and in the opposite direction the letters PGF. On the top of the barrel is S.N.J. On the right side, on the action, are the letters WILKHAD and below this PHILA. The stock has what appears to be some mother of pearl inlays and some spots where they have fallen out. This is about all of the information that I can provide via e-mail. Can you tell me anything about this gun? I currently live near Sacramento California. Do you know of anyone in this area that might be able to give me information on this gun? Any help you can give is greatly appreciated.
Answer: Barry- S.N.J. is probably for State of New Jersey, and was commonly marked on state arms in the period 1840-1880. US over initials is typically inspector markings found on barrels of military contract muskets made circa 1816-1850. The markings on the lock are probably Wickham or M.T. Wickham over Phila. This was probably a .69 caliber smoothbore Model 1816 flintlock musket made by Wickham and issued to the state of New Jersey. It may have been converted to percussion by Hewes & Phillips in 1860-62, and perhaps rifled at that time. It originally would not have had any decoration. A few had silver decorations added and were used as awards for military accomplishments or shooting prizes, and these are more valuable. In original military configuration these generally sell in the $400-1500 range depending on condition, more for exceptional examples that escaped conversion to percussion. If stock and/or barrel has been cut back and decoration added, then the value is more like $150-350. If you want to send photos we will be glad to look at them and see if there is anything else we can add. Send to Box 711282, Salt Lake City, UT 84171. I do not know anyone in Sacramento, but there is an excellent gun show in Reno at the Hilton on 19-21 November. I will be there, along with many other good dealers. John Spangler
# 2573 - Military Aqueducts? 1/1/00 Merlyn
I would like information on military aqueducts. Is there any around or where I can find out about them.
Answer: Merlyn- Sorry, I do not know of any military aqueducts in modern military history, intended for some military purpose. Let's make sure we are talking about the same thing. In my mind, an aqueduct is similar to a canal but intended to carry water from one point to another, usually including bridges (the true aqueduct) to carry the water over valleys or other bodies of water. The ancient Romans were big on aqueducts, and since the army was involved in a lot of Roman construction projects out in the uncivilized frontiers (like England) they may be considered military aqueducts. However, that is ancient, not modern military history. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been responsible for most public works construction projects involving navigable waterways in the US for the last 150 years. The annual report of the Secretary of War (usually in volume or part 4 of this valuable reference document) has excruciating details of every project, including costs, blueprints, plans, excuses for delays, pleas for more money for the next phase, etc. I usually have enough fun in the report of the Chief of Ordnance that I never bother looking at the Chief Engineer's report, but sometimes look at the pictures. I don't recall seeing anything on aqueducts, but there may be something. Perhaps someone with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can tell you more. I don't know where they are headquartered any more, or if they have a museum. They used to be at Ft. Belvoir, VA, but I think they got shut down as part of the "peace dividend" which pulled some of the fangs of the US military structure while trimming some fat as well. Of course, all the money saved promptly got wasted on bloated and ineffective social welfare schemes. However, lots of people know more than I do on this topic (among others). Keep looking. Sorry we cannot help John Spangler
Our guest wrote back and explained they were talking about some sort of vehicle, like and "aqua duck", so they really wanted to know about DUKW amphibious cargo tricks from WW2. A few of the surviving examples are still being used for tourist rides, including one which recently sank and drowned several passengers. Guess we need to get a mind reading refresher course or start selling dictionaries.
Another guest informed us that the Army Engineer Center is now located at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, and that they have a very nice museum.
# 2572 - Bayonet- 1873 Springfield Trapdoor 1/1/00
Hi! I need some information on a bayonet for a 1873 Springfield trapdoor. It is my understanding that there is a ring at the base of the bayonet that attaches the bayonet to the rifle. Is this true???? Any information that you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Answer: Lane- The .45-70 used what is called a "socket bayonet". These have a triangular blade 18" long that is bend 90 degrees at the back for about 1.5" where it is then welded to the socket. The socket is a metal sleeve 3" long with a zig-zag slot cut in it to fit over the front sight. A small metal locking ring about 1/4" wide is attached around the middle of the socket. The ring has a hump that allows the sight to fit through, then the ring is rotated to lock the sleeve in place on the barrel. Variations of the socket arrangement were used on nearly all military bayonets around the world from about 1740 until about 1880 when bayonets with knife-like blades and handles took over using a hole in the crossguard and a catch to lock on a stud to hold them in place. We have some .45-70 bayonets on our edged weapons page, but I do not recall if we have photos of them. John Spangler
I have a pistol which I would like to get some information on if possible. It is a .32 caliber semi-auto, with the word "RELGIOUE" or "REDGIOUE" stamped on it; serial no. "26003" or "260G3" (the markings are difficult to read). The paperwork accompanying it identifies it as a Chinese pistol brought back as war booty after WW II. Any insight you have would be appreciated; I can send a picture and a copy of the documentation if necessary. Thanks.
Answer: Doug, Belgium has been home for many gun makers for centuries, and have achieved a reputation for producing a lot of high quality guns, as well as a lot of adequate but not any better than necessary guns, with quality improving from about 1850 through the start of WW2. Similarly, Smith & Wesson has achieved a world-wide reputation for high quality guns. Quick buck/rupee/peso artists have long recognized that buyers like products with a good reputation and just about anything bearing a reputable name will have a pretty good demand. Everyone has heard warnings about fake Rolex watches and designer blue jeans being sold that are shoddy imitations.
Asian and South American markets apparently were particularly lucrative markets for all sorts of firearms in the 1850-1939 period. Local artisans, blacksmiths and unemployed iron mongers began copying hot items. Often a trifle short in formal education, and perhaps marking stamps as well, they attempted to copy markings from the originals onto their copies, sometimes quite well, and other times stamping only faint hints of what the original might have been. Some of the most famous of these crudely copied guns were made in the Khyber Pass region of India (or neighboring feuding states). They primarily copied British designs, but were happy to make anything a customer would buy. They evolved from single shot Martinis and bolt action Lee Enfields to Avtomat Kalashnikovs. Most were made entirely by hand, with a little hand forging, and lots of drilling and filing, using assorted scrap iron or pilfered railroad rails. Fortunately their improvised ammunition that was generally no stronger than the guns. Chinese copyists were active as well, and "broomhandle" Mausers and 98 Mauser rifles were most popular, and often reached the level of crude factory output with marginally adequate materials. Undoubtedly smaller .32 caliber pistols would have been made if the market demanded. The South American market got a lot of S&W copies, mainly from Spain. These were sometimes marked with S&W-like markings, and sometimes with the names of the real makers. We have seen a number of these crude copies of various types including a couple with WW2 GI souvenir stories. Really neat, but outside of a handful of collectors fascinated by the weird and wonderful, they don't have much of a following. NEVER even THINK about firing any of these. Hope this helps John Spangler
# 2563 - Mauser HSc Information 1/1/00 Mike, Houston, TX
Mauser - HSC - 32 - Blue - 790637 -
Trigger guard has a "135" stamped on it on one side I have recently received the Mauser hand gun which belonged to my Grandfather. He was stationed in France during WWII and acquired the Mauser hand gun. It was supposed to have belonged to a German Officer during the war. I would like to know more about the gun, how can I contact Mauser to see if they have any records of the serial number and who it might have belonged to. What is the value of the gun? I also have two clips and a leather belt holster that has a pocket on it for the extra clip. Any information you can provide would be appreciated.
Answer: Mike, I have been told that all of Mausers records from the WWII period have been lost or destroyed and that they usually do not respond to this type of question. Unless there are special political or Kreigsmarine markings on your pistol (you did not list any in your description), blue book values for Mauser HSc pistols range from $150 to about $250 depending on condition. I believe that we have answered some questions about this firearm in the past, for more information check our Question and Answer index at the following URL: