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# 5502 - Rare Henry Shotgun?
1/28/03
Roger

Henry - 12 Gauge -

I have a 12 gauge single shot side hammer shotgun . I wrote to Field and Stream Publications back in the Mid sixties To their Question And Answer Dept. This shotgun is a Henry The only other markings are ( All parts are marked roman numeral VIII ) they sent me a letter stating that it was The fore runner of the Winchester they also published such in their magazine. They told me that there was 72 of these made. And that this one was number 8 As per the marking VIII.. Shortly afterward My Father received a phone call from an Attorney in New York City Who was calling on behalf of his client and wanted to buy the gun , He had them all except# 8 and #16... My dad passed away soon after and the Info was lost .. Can you please check into this and email me back. I would be interested in selling this gun.

Answer:
Roger- Thanks for contacting Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters. Sorry, we cannot help with that one. I do not claim to know much about shotguns, but I am very skeptical about the accuracy of the advice from the Field & Stream folks. They may be right, but few people know all about all kinds of guns, (we are a proof of that) and I suspect that the Field and Stream guy who probably did know a lot about modern hunting guns was making some guesses with very little in the way of reference material to back it up. If you think this is something valuable, I would strongly suggest you pay for a written appraisal from a Winchester expert to authenticate it. I would suggest Mr. George Madis (author of several books on Winchesters) and highly respected as THE Winchester expert, and a highly ethical gentleman to boot. He can be reached through the Winchester Arms Collectors Association website. Hope it turns out to be good news, but don't be surprised if it is something less than what you were told before. John Spangler


# 5501 - 1911A1 Mismatch
1/28/03
Stephen

U. S. & S. Co. - 1911A1 - 981XXX -

I have recently acquired a M1911 A1 pistol. I'm hoping you can answer some questions regarding this gun. The slide is marked U. S. & S. Co. Swissvale, PA. USA on the left hand side. The problem I have is that the serial # on the frame doesn't match serial numbers form US&S. The serial # on the right side of the frame is 981704. This number matches serial numbers given to Remington Rand in 1943. The right side of the frame reads; United States Property M 1911 A1 U.S. Army underneath that is the serial # 981XXX a little below and to the right of that is has a FK stamp and to the right of that stamp is a R 1 A stamp. The pistol has some wear marks from sitting in a holster but appears to have retained much of it's original bluing. Any information you have regarding this pistol's history and value would be much appreciated.

Answer:
Stephen- Military pistols were treated as weapons to be kept in serviceable condition, not cherished as collector items. The RIA indicates it was rebuilt at Rock Island Arsenal, and the FK that it passed inspection by Frank Krack (spelling?). During rebuild, all parts are disassembled, thrown in piles, checked for defects, refinished if necessary, and then complete pistols reassembled from piles of parts. Absolutely NO effort was made to keep any parts for a single gun or maker segregated for reassembly. Parts are parts, and all are made to be fully interchangeable. Every possible combination of parts can probably be encountered. While some may desire to "fix" such mismatches, I believe that the mixed parts guns are collectible as is, and have legitimate historical significance that is better than some pristine, all matching, piece that got stuck in the back of an armory instead of being carried into combat. Your pistol is an excellent example of what GI's carried into combat in Korea and Vietnam. I understand that a number of M1911s are being carried by certain Special Operations units, (MEUSOC) but those have been even further rebuilt. John Spangler


# 5433 - Should My HD Military Have An Exposed Hammer?
1/28/03
Wes Tulare Ca

Hi-Standard - H-D Military - 22 - 3 In - Blue - 265807 -

exposed hammer I've come across a H-D military hi-standard with an exposed hammer with walnut grips. the finish is 98% or better. I've worked on many hammerless H-D military while in the army. Is this an early model? Is it collectable?

Answer:
Wes, High Standard introduced their line of visible hammer pistols beginning in early 1940. The visible hammer guns were the pet project of George Wilson Sr. who insisted that production standards for the pistols be held to the highest possible quality. To expose the hammer, major modifications were required to both frame and slide. The prefix H was added to the standard model designation to denote a visible hammer. The Model HD was based on the Model D but used an external hammer, hence the 'H' designator. Any all original HD Military pistol in 98% condition is collectible, but I believe that all HD Military pistols had visible hammers. Marc


# 5216 - Remingtion Manufacture Date
1/28/03
Mark, Gainesvillle, Ga. , 30506

Remington - 722B - .257 Roberts - 318030 -

Can you tell me the manufacture date?

Answer:
Mark, Remington manufactured the Model 722 from 1958 to 1962, chambering for .257 Roberts was discontinued in 1960. A good place to find the manufacture date for your rifle is the OldGuns.net REMINGTON DATES OF MANUFACTURE program For Remington guns made 1921-1972. There is a link on the OldGuns.net menu. Marc


# 5370 - British Bulldog
1/25/03
Paul

British Bulldog -

I hope that you can find the time to provide me with a few insights regarding an old gun of my grandfather. It is a "British Bulldog." Neither the manufacturer or date of manufacture is known to us. Is this a military or commercial firearm? Who produced it and when approximately were they produced? The condition of the gun is approx. 85-90%. Any rough estimate as to value?

Answer:
British Bulldog is a name that was used by several makers. British maker Philip Webley introduced a small, large caliber pocket pistol in the 1860s with the name "Bulldog." The names has since been used in various forms, including Charter Arms which is still in production. There was even a Belgian variation prior to 1914 the "Bul Dog" (with single "l"), in .32 or .38 caliber with rounded butt, and usually marked with the Belgian crow over R proof mark or a makers name "J.B. Ringe fils." However, the Webley was the best of the breed, and thus inspired the copyists to come up with the term "British Bulldog" probably hoping that gullible buyers might vaguely know that the Webleys were British made and thus be snookered into thinking that a British Bulldog was the same thing. In the U.S. the litter included a .38 caliber single action model made by Forehand & Wadsworth circa 1879-1883; suicide specials made by Hopkins & Allen in the late 19th century; and double action .38 caliber (and possibly .41 caliber) revolvers made by Johnson & Bye in 1881. None of the Bulldog breed were military issue weapons in any country, but some were undoubtedly carried as a matter of personal preference. Gen. George A. Custer reportedly had one at Little Big Horn, which had been given to him by an English admirer. That particular example would probably be very valuable, but all others seem to have relatively little interest or demand, and would be very modestly priced, probably in the $50-150 range depending on which exact model is involved, the condition, and the eagerness of the buyer or seller. This information is from John Walter's excellent "Greenhill Dictionary of Guns & Gunmakers" but "Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and their Values" would have more on the American makers and the books on Webleys would have more on those. John Spangler


# 5340 - Remington '03
1/25/03
Mike, Elma, Washington

Remington - 1903 - 30-06 - Blue - 3011927 -

I had this given to me as a gift and was wondering on any history on this model because I was told it is a old rifle. I am unfamiliar with fire arm technical facts so I figured I can start here. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:
Mike, the receiver of your rifle was made by the Remington Arms company in late 1941. If the rifle has not been rebarreled, there should be a date of manufacture for the barrel just behind the front sight, probably 11-41 or 12-41. If the rifle is blued then someone has changed it. These rifles left the Remington factory with a parkerized finish. The rifle also left the factory with a straight grip, finger grooved stock with the RLB cartouche on the left side. Unaltered early Remington M1903's are a much sought after by collectors. Marc


# 5202 - Blue Jacket Revolver
1/25/03
Ron, Buffalo, NY

Blue Jacket #1 - .22 - 2inches - nickle - no sn. -

This pistol is a 7 shot revolver, has wooden grips & spir trigger, also has engraving over all of the pistol I would like to know who made it, when, & what it is worth?

Answer:
Ron, I used the OldGuns.net - Gun Marks program (there is a link about 2/3 the way down on the OldGuns.net menu) to look up Blue Jacket. The program indicates that Blue Jacket was a trade name used on revolvers manufactured by Hopkins & Allen, circa 1880. My guess is that value for this type of revolver would be in the $50 to $100 range. For more information try posting a question on the appropriate forum at ArmsCollectors.com. Good Luck, Marc


# 5339 - Wells Fargo Shotgun
1/21/03
Bruce

L.C. Smith - 10 ga -

I am looking at an old L.C. Smith 10 ga. pump that was supposed to be given to the stage coach drivers and guards of Wells Fargo & Co.
It is engraved WF&CO lot # 42.

 

I don't know if you all would know anything about this shotgun or L.C. Smiths shotguns but I thought it would be worth asking.

 

  1. How would I find out if it is authentic?
  2. What would an L.C Smith be worth without the WF & Co. connection.
  3. What would a WF & Co. be worth if were real?

 

If you can answer any of these questions I would really appreciate it.
Thank you for your time,
Bruce

Answer:

Bruce-  In my opinion there may be 100 authentic Wells Fargo (or other express co) guns in the whole world, but even that number may be high, and most of those are in museums or a few old collections.  Further, I have NEVER seen one offered for sale that I thought was authentic.  There seems to be a thriving business taking otherwise pretty undesirable shotguns and embellishing them with fanciful marks and stories, and high prices.
   

Unless you have some reason to think that this is an undiscovered treasure, rather than a con artist looking for a sucker, I would not even consider buying it at any price.  If you are convinced it is real, get the seller to write out a bill of sale stating that the markings are authentic from the period (18xx-19xx), applied for the Wells Fargo Company,  and that he is aware of the penalties for fraud and misrepresentation, and that he will reimburse you for expert witness fees, attorney fees and other reasonable costs if it is later determined to be other than as described.  Bet they won't want to do that. John Spangler


# 5311 - Old Ammo Boxes
1/21/03
Kirk

Can you recommend a book that contains pictures and manufacturing dates of cartridge boxes, 1900 to present?

Answer:
Kirk- Unfortunately, I do not know of such a book. I keep suggesting to the International Ammunition Association that we should get something like that on the website, but no one has produced anything yet. (I am just their dumb old webmaster, and can put it up, but don't have the knowledge in that area to provide the content. Best thing I use right now is the book ".30-06" by Chris Punnet. This is a massive work and covers just about every known (or suspected) variation of .30-06 cartridge made anywhere in the world since 1906. It also has photos of many boxes. I suspect that although markings related to caliber and bullet weight etc would differ, the general style of the box would be similar for any other rifle ammunition made by the makers, and probably most of their pistol ammo. Shotshells would be different I have seen mention and photos of shotshell boxes in various sporting collectible books, and some specialized info in books on specific brands, but no general guide that I am aware of. John Spangler


# 5200 - Ruby Pistol
1/21/03
Scott, Norman, Oklahoma

Ruby - Gabilondos Y Urresti-Elgoibar - 7.65 /32 Cal. - Not Sure - Blue - 935 -

Gabilondos Y Urresti-Elgoibar-RubyCal 7.65 (left side)also stamped with GU at back left of slide and base with "police" stamped below that. Also has matching numbers "935" on barrel, slide. base & clip Could you tell me if this gun is special from the many other variations? If so, what might it be worth? My father-in-law was a gun collector and left it to me. Should I hang on to it?

Answer:
Scott, Ruby pistols were manufactured during the first World War by many Spanish companies to fill a contract for the French Army. Blue book values for Ruby pistols used by the French Military in WWI are in the $150 to $200 range. In my opinion the police markings on your pistol wold tend to lower collector interest. I don't think that there is any reason (other than possible sentimental attachment) to save the pistol. Marc


# 5310 - .45 ACP Bullet Travel
1/18/03
Mary

Gentlemen, I know you are extremely busy, please help settle an argument, just how far will a .45 caliber bullet travel given a 60 degree upward angle, little to no wind? My husband thinks it will go about 1 mile. I don't think it will go that far. This was fired from a Taurus handgun semi-automatic.

Answer:
Mary- I am sure there are lots of people who know how to calculate the exact answer using ballistic tables. Maximum range will vary with ALL of the following factors: bullet weight, initial velocity, ballistic coefficient of the bullet (e.g.- round nose, or pointed, or wadcutter); density of the air (sea level vs. in the mountains) temperature, and angle at which it is fired (29-35 degrees elevation seems to give maximum range). There may be some other factors, but that probably hits the important ones.

Since I was a history major, not a math major, I never had to calculate stuff like that, I only had to know where to find the answer. In this case I checked Julian S. Hatcher's "Hatcher's Notebook" and found a great chapter on "How far will my gun shoot". It also has a neat section on what happens if you shoot a bullet straight up, but you did not ask about that.

Hatcher's table of "Maximum ranges as given in Ordnance Publications, etc" on page 544 shows that a .45 ACP bullet weighing 234 grains at a muzzle velocity of 820 feet per second having a ballistic coefficient of .16 has an extreme range of 1640 yards (about .93 mile). If fired in a submachine gun the longer barrel would result in a velocity of 970 feet per second, and extreme range of 1760 yards (1.0 mile). On page 543 he notes that the British .455 Webley revolver firing a 365 grain bullet at a velocity of 600 feet per second at 35 degree elevation has a range of 1300 yards.

Your question was about firing at a 60 degree angle, so the extreme range at that angle would be less than at a 29-35 degree angle. Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 5198 - FN 1922?
1/18/03
Terry, Morganton, NC

Fabrique National D'Armes De Guerre - WBA140 (? ) - .32 (? ) - 4 inches - Blue with wooden grips - (H) 27485 -

German Eagle with Straight Horizontal Wings above the stamp WBA140, German Eagle over Swastika in two different areas on same side. My dad, a WW2 Veteran, brought this handgun back from Germany after the war. He gave it to his brother sometime before his death in 1980. Upon my uncle's recent passing, the gun was returned to me. As a Desert Storm Veteran and retired military member myself, I am unfamiliar with this weapon. On the left side of the gun is stamped "Fabrique National D'Armes De Guerre Herstal Belgique" and just under that is stamped "Browning's Patent Depose. " Also on the same side is a small German eagle with straight horizontal wings above the WBA140 (the number is very small and I am not really sure if the "B" is actually a "B" or an "H". Also on the left side is stamped a German eagle over the swastika, once on the barrel and once just above the trigger. On the right side of the gun is stamped "(H)27485; at the end of the barrel, just above the trigger, and on the recoil barrel where the cartridge is ejected. As a Desert Storm Veteran and retired military, myself, I am unfamiliar with this weapon. I do not particularly want to sell it at this point but was wondering what, if any, value it has. And also, would the value decrease if I cleaned it up (rebluing and polishing the wooden grips)? I do not know how to disassemble it. At present I do not have capabilities to send a picture but hope I have described it in enough detail to give you an idea of what kind of handgun it is, disassembly, value, etc. Any help you can give me will be most appreciated. Thank you for your time and kind consideration.

Answer:
From your description its likely you have an FN Model 1922. It was made in 32 caliber, and has the serial number on the slide at the end of the barrel, on the chamber area, and on the right side of the frame. This pistol was a design by John M. Browning of Ogden, Utah and was developed from his FN Model 1910. The pistol was in production when the German's overran Belgium in 1940, and was kept in production for distribution to their military. Most textbooks state that the pistol was issued mainly to the Luftwaffe. Refinishing is a VERY BAD idea, the value of the pistol will decrease substantially with any refinishing, generally by 50% or more.

You asked about takedown. If the pistol is an FN Model 1922 there will be a small springloaded locking piece on the left side of the frame near the front. Pull this back, rotate the end of the slide and pull it off. This will remove spring tension on the slide. You then lock the slide back using the safety lever on the left side, rotate the barrel, release the slide, and you should be able to remove the barrel from the slide, and slide from the frame.

There has never been high collector interest in these pistols. The prices I've seen recently for Nazi marked Model 1922's have ranged from about $125.00 for refinished pistols to $375.00 for one in excellent condition with 2 magazines and a military issue holster. Marc


# 5196 - Unknown Double Barrel Percussion Arm
1/18/03
Joe. Mt Forest , Ontario, Canada

Unknown - Precision Cap - 40? ? - 30.5 Inches Double Barrel - Blue - NO NUMBERS -

Rifle has a lot of engraving in the metal around the triggers and the hammers are engraved as well. The stock is smooth on the right side and is detailed on the left. My Question is. . I can't seem to find anyone who knows the make or year of manufacture on this rifle. I bought it at an auction and the only information I could find out is that it is pre:1850. I can send a picture to an e-mail address if needed. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Answer:
Joe- Unfortunately, we do not know anything more than you do about this one. Perhaps proof markings on the barrels (maybe hidden underneath) might provide a clue as to where it was made, but beyond that there is little we could tell you. John Spangler


# 5195 - Winchester In Oz
1/14/03
Jim, Perth, Western Australia

Winchester - 1892 - 44/40 - Blue - 194736 -

model Winchester 1892 patent October 14 1884 What would this gun be worth if anything, it is still in use and performing well, ammo is getting expensive here in Australia for this and I am considering selling it

Answer:
Jim, the first delivery of Model 1892 rifles to warehouse stock occurred on May 3, 1892, my records indicate that your Winchester was manufactured in 1902. The Winchester Model 1892, was immensely popular for many years not only in the United States, but also in South America, Australia, and the Far East. It was the second Winchester model to pass the one million production mark. The one millionth 1892 rifle (chambered in 32-20) was engraved and presented to the then United States Secretary of War, Patrick Hurley, on December 17, 1932. The model was discontinued in 1941 after about 1,004,067 had been manufactured.

Values in Oz will probably differ but the popularity of cowboy action shooting here in the United States has generated quite a demand for Model 1892 Winchesters, especially those chambered in 44-40. Blue book values range from $350 to over $10,000 depending on condition and variation add 25% for 44-40 chambering. Marc


# 5193 - Eddystone Information
1/14/03
Dean 1SG, US Army Fort Sill, Oklahoma

My mother gave me a rifle that belonged to my father and I am trying to find some information on it. Can you help me? According to your website: U.S. Military Model 1917 Rifle: Eddystone: Covering numbers: 1 - 1355000. The year of manufacture for serial number 472962 is 1918, April. What company built my rifle? Where was it manufactured? Is an owners manual or old military Technical Manual available for this 30-06 rifle?

Answer:
Dean- your rifle was made at Eddystone, PA (south of Philadelphia) in what was the Baldwin Locomotive plant. This had been taken over by a branch of Remington Arms Company set up specifically to make rifles for the British, and known under several official names, but everyone refers to them simply as Eddystone. They made the .303 British Pattern 1914 rifle in 1916-1917 and then shifted to produce the U.S. Model 1917 rifle which was essentially the same thing but adapted to .30-06 caliber. They ceased production shortly after the end of WW1 in 1918, and the buildings were returned to their previous use. Reprints of the manual are available for something like $5 from various dealers at gun shows and I think that SARCO on our links page might have them, or a search for "Rules for the Management of the U.S. Rifle, Model of 1917" should turn up a source. Hope this helps. Thanks for your service to our country. John Spangler


# 5192 - Best Rust Preventative Finish?
1/14/03
Tom

Which prevents rust better, browning or bluing?

Answer:
Tom- Bluing and browning are both forms of controlled oxidation (a variation of rusting) of the exposed surfaces of iron or steel, and both terms have been used to describe processes that result in what we generally call "blue" finish. Muzzle loaders also have a "borwning" that is more of a brown color. There are hundreds of different formulas which can be used to produce these results and the choice is driven as much by the cost or ease of application and personal preference for the appearance of the finished results as by any difference in rust protection. The British adopted the use of a paint finish, usually applied on top of a blue or parkerized finish, which probably does a better job of rust prevention, if you are looking for purely practical results without regard to appearance.. Personally, I prefer the classic "rust blue" process, or the niter blue, but then again, color case hardening is prettier yet. Guess you pays your money and takes your choices. John Spangler


# 5190 - Savage Model 99G Takedown
1/11/03
Ron Purcell, OK USA

Savage - 99G - .303 savage - 22" - blue - 294522 -

This model will totally break down to 22" long. The barrel unscrews, it is a lever action. This is a lever action, take-down, and is the last model of take-down made. I have found out that it was made in the Utica, NY plant and shipped to Ft. Worth, TX to Wolf & Klar in 1927 and sold for $51.00 I would say it is in very good shape and I have fired it in the last year. I inherited it and was wondering about what it is worth and would be willing to send it for a look and pay if I thought it would be worth it. Can you give me a ball park figure to look at.

Answer:
Ron, it sounds like you have a nice rifle, I have always liked the older Savage 99 series rifles and especially the take-down models. Savage manufactured the model 99G from 1922 to 1941, my references verify that your rifle was manufactured in 1927. The blue book lists Model 99G values between $200 for a rifle with little finish remaining to $660 for a rifle in brand new condition. It would probably not be worth the time and expense it would take to send us the rifle. Marc


# 5187 - Information on a M-1 Carbine
1/11/03

National Ordinance - M-1 Carbine -

I have a National Ordinance Inc 30 caliber M-1 Carbine I purchased. I would like to know if National Ordinance Inc is a manufacturer or if this gun is a remake. Any information you can supply me is appreciated.

Answer:
National Ordnance did NOT make any guns for U.S. Military contracts. Their guns were made in the 1960s (maybe into the 1970s) using mostly surplus parts assembled into receivers that were either newly made, or salvaged from GI receivers that had been scrapped for some reason (and often cut in half). National Ordnance carbines have almost no collector interest or value, but probably would be fine for use as shooters (if a competent gunsmith says it is safe). John Spangler


# 5180 - 1903 Book
1/11/03
Todd

Since Harrison and Poyer are totally hated by 1903 collectors, are there ANY good references for a collector to insure he is looking at a reasonable original rifle?

Answer:
Todd- I am not familiar with the Poyer book. The Harrison book has a lot of great info and a lot of nonsense, and no way to tell which is which, in my opinion. Brophy's The Springfield 1903 Rifles is THE definitive book on M1903 rifles. Yes, it costs a bit more than some others, but it is well worth it. (I am on my third copy, having worn out two copies from heavy use). Clark Campbell's book is excellent. Most people like Bruce Canfield's book, and it is probably adequate for beginners and pretty reasonably priced. I have found that even with all of these, plus a lot of old manuals and notes from other collectors and lots of good magazine articles, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. To be on the safe side, assume every rifle is an arsenal rebuild, or at least has some parts mixed in service or from other collectors. These were made and issued for soldiers to use, not stuff to be stored away for collectors to fondle 50 to 100 years later. Take every opportunity to have an advanced collector show you a "good rifle" and the sorts of things to look for. Final advice- if you don't know your diamonds, you better know your jeweler when buying. Some dealers are crooks, some are not well informed, and others have a pretty good reputation, and we are honored that most people put us in the last group. John Spangler


# 5179 - Reproduction Black Powder Revolver.
1/7/03
Mike, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

E. N. Santa Barbara - New Army Model - .44 Black Powder - 7 & 7/8 inches - Blue - *07081* -

SB in circle with sword through circle vertically. Spanish proof marks- R in circle with crown & shield with knights plumed helmet , detail on shield illegible Please advise approximate age of firearm and details of maker

Answer:
Mike, greetings to down under from Utah. I could not find any information about E. N. of Santa Barbara. I can tell you that your revolver was likely made in the last century. It is a reproduction black-powder revolver probably made sometime in 1980's or 1990's. This type of revolver usually sells here in the USA in the $100 range. Marc


# 5172 - ELG 8mm Lebel
1/7/03
Steve, Shelby Township, MI

ELG ? - 8mm LEB - 1-3/4" - Damascus ? or Blue - 66 -

Barrel has a crown above an "R" above an underlined insignia resembling a curvy "X" above the letters "P. V" above a "*" above the letter "B". This marking repeats where the barrel meets the body of the revolver. The markings "66" appear on the base of the gun below the wooden grips, the inside of the wooden grips and on the revolving chamber itself. The trigger folds forward into the body of the revolver This gun came with my Grandfather when he immigrated from Germany/Poland in 1923. The family history says that it was a military gun. I am trying to find out about the style of gun itself and additionally whether the markings have any significance from an historical/military standpoint. I have no desire to sell the gun or find out its monetary value as it is a family heirloom, but I am curios to find out the history

Answer:
Steve- the letters ELG are probably the Belgian proofmark, and the 8mm Lebel probably refers to the caliber, which would be that of the 8mm Lebel revolver adopted by the French Army in 1892. The other marks all sound like typical proofmarks, so I am pretty sure it is a Belgian made revolver, probably similar to the French military revolver. Perhaps it was even sold for military use in another country, or captured during WW1 after being used by an individual who privately purchased it. Probably not a great collector treasure, but the family connection certainly makes it special, and well worth keeping. John Spangler


# 5154 - Arthur W. Savage Biography
1/7/03
Peter Western Australia

Am looking for a reliable biography of Arthur William Savage, founder of the Savage Arms Company in NY in 1894. The website of the present-day company is quite unreliable.

Answer:
Peter- David O. Moreton did a biography of Arthur W. Savage in the 1973 Guns & Ammo Annual, later reprinted in Jay Kimmel's "Savage & Stevens Arms: Collector's History". It appears that the biography on the Savage Arms Company site (www.savagearms.com) may have been taken from this one. However here is most of the biographical info, first found on page 139 of the Kimmel book. The remainder was more concerned with the arms he developed. Quite an interesting chap, with an Australian connection no less, but there may be more (or less) to this story than appears in print, as it was likely that the sources were concerned with burnishing the reputation of a prominent citizen. John Spangler [Quote]Arthur William Savage was born on May 13, 1857 in Kingston, Jamaica, British West Indies. His father, a native of Wales, was Special Commissioner from England to the West In-dies, whose duty it was to organize and set up an educational system for newly freed slaves. Arthur Savage received the classic education which his family's social station dictated. He showed an inquisitive intelligent, practical approach to problems without a reliance on books. After attending and completing his education in public schools in Baltimore, Md. and in England, his curious nature asserted itself by extensive travel and exploration.

He led a very nomadic life, the high point reached when, in his thirties, he went to Australia, exploring the interior in a covered wagon. He was married in Australia in 1878 to Annie Bryant. This union produced eight children-four boys and four girls. Arthur John Savage was born in the covered wagon. At one time the senior Savage was captured and held prisoner for nearly a year by Australian aborigines before escaping. Sources report that he eventually became owner or manager of Australia's largest cattle ranch.

After eleven years 'down under' he sold the ranch and returned to Jamaica where he purchased and managed a coffee plantation. It was at this time that he developed a remarkable talent and genius for invention. It was in the field of invention that he and his son Arthur john were to become famous.

One of the Savages' better known inventions was the Savage-Halpine torpedo, designed and developed in collaboration with Halpine. The torpedo was very successful in its day and was eventually adopted by the Brazilian Navy. Prior to this, the U.S. Navy tested it and was profoundly impressed, seriously considering its adoption. But as the story goes, political considerations got in the way of naval authorities. Later in his career, Savage pioneered in the development of another military weapon for which he has never received recognition-the recoilless rifle.

Eventually Arthur W. Savage moved his family to Utica, New York where for a time he was manager/superintendent of the Utica Belt Line Railroad, and was also connected with the Utica Magazine Hammer Company. It was during this period that he became convinced that there was a prosperous future for someone who could establish a progressive sporting arms company to compete with the al-ready well established Colt, Remington and Winchester companies.

To this end the design of a revolutionary new rifle took precedence over the various machines and appliances which were advancing his reputation as an inventor. Savage was sure the new rifle would have to be designed around a cartridge loaded with what was then the new smokeless powder. Development work was carried out in his home workshop during spare time. It was in 1893 that Arthur W. Savage at age 36 patented his lever action rifle and during that year and the one following he organized the Savage Arms Company in Utica. The new gun was named the Model 1895 for the year the fledgling company went into production. Initial production took place in rented quarters on Hubbell St. in Utica. The rifle was very different from other lever actions of the day. It was "stream-lined", truly a hammerless design...[with a] rotary or spool magazine [eliminating] the magazine tube under the barrel which affects accuracy, and a cartridge counter to tell the shooter how many cartridges remained in the five shot magazine. [End quote]


# 5177 - Winchester 1873 Butt Trap
1/4/03
Chris

Winchester - 1873 - 38-40 -

I have a Winchester 1873 38-40 caliber man. in 1895. It has an octagon barrel and has a hole opening in the butt of the stock. What is the hole for? If the gun is 50% what is the approximate value? Thank you for your help

Answer:
Chris - Many of the early Winchesters had holes in the buttplate and a trapdoor for access. This was also common in many other civilian and military arms of the period prior to 1945. These were for cleaning gear of various types. Early cartridges used fulminate of mercury in the primers, and black powder for the powder charge. Both substances are highly injurious to barrel steel, and cleaning was necessary as soon as possible to remove them and keep the gun serviceable. Winchesters usually used a multi section cleaning rod in the butt. Some other guns included small containers for oil, or "thong" type pull throughs (essentially a small weight with a piece of string that could be used to pull a patch through the bore.) With the switch to smokeless powder circa 1900-1920 and non-corrosive, non-mercuric primers in the 1920s through 1940s, it is not quite as urgent to clean guns immediately after shooting, so people no longer carry cleaning gear with them in the field. (In fact, some shooters probably never clean their guns, and then wonder why they eventually become so full of gunk and crud that they no longer work. Many gunsmiths make a fortune simply cleaning a gun for a customer and charging them $50 or so for "fixing" it. Value of your gun will depend on the exact configuration, and details of condition. As a rough guess, retail might be in the range of $600-1200. John Spangler


# 5176 - Winchester 1873 Value
1/4/03
Chris

Winchester - 1873 - 38-40 -

I am currently trying to sell my Winchester 1873 38-40 cal. to a friend. The gun has an octagon barrel. I am having a very difficult time setting a price. I have seen online auctions ranging from $30,000 to $1,500 for similar guns. Why the huge price range? The gun has a serial # beginning with S, but I have no idea what would be a fair price. Figured I would ask the expert. Thanks for all of your help.

Answer:
Chris - Value depends on exact variation, any special features, any neat historical facts, and especially condition. A $30,000 example is either (a) badly overpriced or (b) has a lot of features that make it very valuable. You really need to have it examined by a Winchester expert for a formal appraisal if you think it is a high dollar gun, or keep watching the gun sales and see what comparable guns go for, and note any special features. You may want to invest in a "For Collectors Only" book on M1873 and several other models of Winchesters. Author is Art Pirkle, and that will let you review your gun to see any special features and if any parts have been changed. At about $20 it is a good investment, and cheaper than a forma appraisal. John Spangler


# 5033 - Unit Marked Model 1871 Bayonet
1/4/03
Bob Read, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Erfurt - Bayonet And Scabbard - DESCRIBED BELOW AS MARKINGS -

On the upper edge of the blade there's a 'crown W 80' above a 'crown script B' above a 'crown RC' The 'crown RC' is closest to the guard. The 'crown Erfurt' manufacturers mark is on the side of the blade next to the guard. The handle is all brass except for the small strip of spring steel (? )used in the catch mechanism. The scabbard is black leather stitched on the inside with a 3" long brass end with a small knobbed tip. The entrance to the scabbard is topped with a 2" brass fitting with a 2" long frog attachment, also brass. There are older serial numbers on the frog attachment and the brass top fitting that have been either stroked or stamped out that read 107. R.12.36. There's another one that isn't stamped out on the top fitting that reads AMX 7.20 or AMXII 7.20 (I can't tell about the AMX or AMXII because the letters are so close the screw head holding the brass entrance fitting onto the top of the scabbard). There is a number that is stamped out so that it is unreadable on the bayonet guard that has been replaced by a stamping that reads 156. R. E.2.119. There's also a 'crown script B' near the staple holding the top fitting onto the scabbard. Near the staple holding the tip onto the end of the scabbard is a stamping which reads '2LI1' over '118' I've inherited this bayonet from my grandfather who was reputed to have taken it from a Turkish soldier while fighting The Germans and the Turks in the Dardenelles in WW1. I know it's an Erfurt piece because of their manufacturers mark and I think the 'crown W 80' means Kaiser Wilhelm and made in 1880 and the 'crown script B' is likely an inspection stamp but I hoped you would know for sure. It seems that this particular Turk had a German built bayonet and I see where that wouldn't be unusual. I'm not interested in value from a collectors point of view, just the history and identification of this heirloom. I think I've got some of the story figured out, but any other info you can add would be very much appreciated. My grandfather passed away many years ago (his name was Frank Read) and I don't have any records as to the unit he was fighting with or any other historical references. Just this bayonet and a good war story. Thanks: Bob Read

Answer:

Bob it sounds like your bayonet is a German Model 1871. One of my reference books states that there is a M 1871 bayonet in the Imperial War Museum that was used in Turkey during the First World War.

The M 1871 had a brass cast hilt, plain on the left side with seventeen diagonal grooves on the right. The latch spring was an external L type (like you describe) with the release-stud, protruding from the left side of the pommel. The cross guard was a recurved or S-form, with a small finial on top of the muzzle ring and a rearward-swept quillon. Standard pattern scabbards had a black-leather body with scribed decorative lines and staple-retained brass throat and tip.

The 1871 bayonet was first issued to Armeekorps in late 1877 and was declared obsolete about 1884. The bayonets subsequently passed to second line and Landwehr units, while the regulars rearmed with Gewehre and Seitengewehre 71/84. There is evidence that some line infantry regiments carried M 1871 bayonets in the early part of World War I but as time passed, Ersatz bayonets were substituted to permit the reclamation of the valuable brass that was used in the M 1871 hilts.

The markings on your scabbard are unit numbers. I found several M1871 bayonets listed in my reference books that are marked with similar numbers.

  • AMX 7.20 (or AMXII 7.20) stands for Armeekorps X (or XII), Artillerie-Munitionskolonne 7, Waffe Nr. 20.
  • 156. R. E.2.119 stands for Infanterie - Regiment 156, Ersatz - Bataillon, Kompagnie 2, Waffe Nr. 119
  • 107. R.12.36 stands for Infanterie - Regiment 107, Kompagnie 12, Waffe Nr. 36.

Marc


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