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# 12119 - Deutsche Werke Parts
1/29/2008
John Cocoa, Fl.

Deutsche Werke - Werk Erfurt - 7.65m/m - About 2 In. - Blue - 153410 -GERMANY -

None that I can see I would like to know if I can get any parts for this hand gun. It was given to me many years ago when I was a Police officer, running the police range.

Answer:
John, there is not a lot of demand for this type of gun, the cost of parts and repairs may exceed the value of the pistol, possibly this is why it was given to you. With this in mind, if you still decide to spend the money for repairs, I 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 it on our free "Wanted" page and at the forum at WWW.ArmsCollectors.com. Marc


# 12118 - York Cutlery Revolver
1/29/2008
Kyle

York Cutlery Modell 103 - .22 Short - 2.5 Inches - Blue - 509844 -

Eagle with curved wings proof markings on cylinder and barrel. I just acquired this revolver. It belonged to my great, great grandfather who passed away in the 1960's. I know that York Cutlery was located in Solingen, Germany, but I can only find information on knives produced by them. I am mostly wondering the age of this gun, and would like to know if it has any collectible value or if it is just a German-made ''Saturday Night Special.''

Answer:
Kyle, I was unable to find any information on York Cutlery revolvers. I can't say for sure without seeing the gun, but I would bet from the description that you have a Saturday Night Special. Marc


# 12640 - Winchester Model 1897 Trench Gun Finish
1/29/2008
Gene

Winchester M97 Trench Gun - Shotgun - 12 Ga. - Don't Know - 685111 -

all correct markings for a ww2 trenchgun My trenchgun seems to not have the original blueing. A group of about 400 came in from Canada. The gun is in great condition but seems to have been blue Parkerizing. Can anyone give me some history ? Thanks, Gene

Answer:
Gene- The WW1 era Model 97 trench guns like yours were delivered with a commercial quality blue finish. Many were later refinished while in U.S. military service, and later many were given or sold to police departments, and some went to foreign countries, and other sold as surplus. Of course, after leaving U.S. military control many were refinished to delight the whims of their new owners. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any history about your specific gun. John Spangler


# 12622 - Ketland United States Musket
1/26/2008
Rick, Severna Park, MD

Ketland - Percussion Cap Conversion - Unknown - Smooth Bore - 42 - Other - NONE -

''Ketland'' on the side plate and ''United States'' on the end of the same plate. Trigger plate shaped as an acorn at end. Stock is full and ramrod has three brass bandings. There are what appear to be four small nail holes (with perhaps one nail still intact) at the muzzle end starting about 4-5 inches below the muzzle (2 holes on each side exactly opposite of each other). I am trying to assess the age of this gun I inherited from my father. overall length is around 57''. I would assume that it might be a US converted flintlock that received an upgrade with a Ketland lock at some point? Would that be a fair guess? Any idea of the nail holes? Thank you very much.

Answer:
Rick- Nice gun!. We would need to see some photos to be sure of what you have, but it is almost certainly a very early U.S. Army musket made using a lock made by Ketland under a contract circa 1797-1807, or perhaps a later musket or fowling piece made using one of those locks salvaged from an earlier gun. Typical muskets made circa 1797 would have had 42-44 inch barrels with .69 caliber smooth bores. These would have had the barrel secured to the stock with three iron bands, and there would have been a hole through the tock for the tang or pin on each of the band springs which held the bands in place. Circa 1807 some rifles were delivered under Army contracts also using Ketland- UNITED STATES marked locks. However, these had octagonal barrels with a .54 caliber rifled bore, and about 37 inches long. While the barrel length differs from what you told us, these did not have barrel bands, but used pins to hold the barrel and ramrod thimbles in place, so there would be about six pins sideways through the stock for that purpose at various locations from muzzle to breech. Robert M. Reilly’s “U.S. Martial Flintlocks” or George Moller’s “American. Military Shoulder Arms” would be the best places for info on these. Hope that helps. John Spangler


# 12615 - Elliott Huntington Musket
1/26/2008
Bob- Aiken, SC

Musket - Unknown - Don't Know - NA -

The information stamped on this musket is ''Elliot Huntington & Co. Are you familiar with this gun maker. Do you have any information about the muskets made by this company. This musket dates back to at least 1820 and is still in my family today. Thank you

Answer:
Bob- Sorry, but we cannot find anything that seems to match that name in any combination. John Spangler


# 12115 - Mauser .25
1/26/2008
Carl

Mauser - 1910 - 6.35 - 3.5 - Don't Know - 313407 -

Waffenfarrik Mauser A-G Oberndorf A.N. I recently inherited this pistol and have tried to research its value. It has a chrome finish but is missing the safety button on the side of the grip. I have not found any comparable with the chrome finish and I'm curious is this is valuable or not. Overall the weapon appears to be in excellent condition except for the safety. Thanks.

Answer:
Carl, the Mauser Pocket Model 1910 was manufactured from 1910 to 1934. Pistols were available chambered in 6.35mm or 7.65mm. It has been my experience that pistols chambered in 6.35mm seem to be less popular than those chambered in 7.65mm. Original finish was blue with fixed sights and checkered walnut or hard rubber grips. The chrome finish is not original and it destroys what collector interest that there may have been in the firearm. I would expect to see a pistol like yours with missing parts and chrome finish sell in the $100 range at a gunshow. Marc


# 12112 - Manuel Escodin Value
1/26/2008
Tom Tipton-Ukiah, Calif.

Made in Spain - 25 - 4 inch - Don't Know - 5306 -

on the bottom of the but there is a marking of EIBAR 1926.Also the barrel unscrews from the main part of the gun. On top of the barrel the letters or name, MANUEL ESCODIN E/BAR SPAIN is engraved on it. Coat of Arms & PN How much is it worth, if anything?

Answer:
Tom, I have given several answers about this brand, check our previous questions if you are interested in information about the company or history. As I have said previously, values and demand for Manuel Escodin firearms are not high. My advise would be to sell if you get any offers at all. Marc


# 12098 - Rigarmi Brescia Value
1/22/2008
Tom Odessa Mo.

Rigarmi Brescia - 6.35 - Blue - 88945 -

A friend of mine has this gun after her father past. his wishes were that the guns he had be sold if you can tell me or let me know where I can find out what this gun is worth thank you

Answer:
Tom, this pistol was manufactured by Industria Armi Galesi of Brescia, the basic design which they initially called the Model 6 was introduced in 1930. The Model 6 was a copy of the Browning 1910, striker fired with the recoil spring around the fixed barrel. Unlike the Browning, it had no grip safety, and no sights other than a groove in the top of the slide . In 1950 a spring out locking piece was added at the rear of the frame to make dismantling easier, shortly after this change, the Rigarmi name was adopted and slide markings were changed to RIGARMI BRESCIA.

There is not a lot of collector interest in small pistols of this type. I often see them for sale at gunshows in the $100 or less range. Marc


# 12096 - Hy Hunter Revolver
1/22/2008
Russ, Baltimore, MD

Western 6 Shooter - Hy Hunter Inc. Firearms Mfg. Co. - S.L. LR - 5 inches - Other - 50092 -

Excellent condition. Looks like off white with brown going through it (handle). Looks pearl, but I think it's plastic. What is this gun worth? Dad had it for years.

Answer:
Russ, Hy Hunter Firearms Company Inc. of Hollywood and Burbank, California imported and distributed a wide variety of firearms. The Hy Hunter Frontier Six Shooter was a cheap Western style single action .22LR revolver that was manufactured in Germany by Rohm. This is the kind of revolver that is often seen for sale at gunshows in the $50 or less range. Marc


# 12611 - Harpers Ferry Musket Markings
1/22/2008
Jeff Conway Schwenksville, Pa 19473

1829 Harpers Ferry Flint Lock Rifle - Marisajeff@yahoo.com - .69 - I Believe 44 1/2 Inches - Rusty - 4 AND A D DOWN BY TRIGGER A V

There is a 4 and a D down by the trigger plate and a V and a I on the barrel. My question is on the bottom of the gun were the trigger is there is a 4 and a D, and on the barrel there is a V and what looks like a I. This gun was given to me as a gift from my wife years ago. The guy that sold it to her knew nothing about it. I took it to a flintlock gun store and asked him about the condition of this gun and was told nothing was wrong or replaced on this gun. But never asked about the letters or and numbers on the gun. I would appreciate it greatly if you could tell me what they stand for. Thanks Jeff

Answer:
Jeff- The barrel markings should be an eagle head and the letter V for a visual inspection ("view") and P indicating the barrel has passed a proof test fired with an extra strong test load. The 4 and D by the trigger guard are probably sub- inspector marks showing that the stock passed inspection. There should also be a final acceptance marking on the left side of the stock (by the lock screw) showing that the completed gun was inspected and accepted for military use. John Spangler


# 12605 - Value Of Winchester Model 1876
1/19/2008
Bob Hastings, NE

Winchester - M-1876 - 50-95 - 26 - Blue - 16509 -

I recently attended an auction where a M-1876 in 50-95 similar to mine and similar condition brought $26,500.00. I had not thought mine was worth this much. Is this unusual? Thanks.

Answer:
Bob- I think that "similar to mine" may be the same as "close but no cigar". If your rifle is IDENTICAL in every detail and feature and condition to the $26,500 auction gun, then it may be worth that much. However, a difference in barrel length, bore condition, finish special order features, or condition, or past history may make any other similarities nearly meaningless. The only way to know for sure is to put yours up for sale and see what a willing buyer will pay. I would use the same auction place, since they have a track record with this type gun. However, if there were two rich guys fighting over the last one, and one of them has his 1876 Winchester now, who will be bidding against the remaining rich guy to drive the price on yours to the same level? This one, even if identical, may bring a fraction of what the other one went for. Supply and demand and the free market will determine the true value. John Spangler


# 12604 - Colt Aircrewman Revolver
1/19/2008
Chris, Elkhart, IN

Colt - Aircrewman - 38 - ??? - Blue - 5340-LW -

We inherited this from our Father. We have read several articles on it, but are not sure how to find out if it is authentic and what the value might be?

Answer:
Chris- Around 1951 the Air Force was on a kick to reduce weight for all sorts of things for aircraft and aircrews, especially survival gear. As part of this, they purchased about 1,200 of the Aircrewman revolvers from Colt with aluminum frames and cylinders. I believe that the military issue ones had special grip inserts with Air Force logos while those for the civilian market had the usual Colt logo. Serial number range seems to be 2900LW to 7775LW. Most of the military guns were destroyed and values are significant, in the many hundred to several thousand dollar range. I think you should have it examined by a reputable Colt expert. I think that many of the civilian guns have been faked into Air Force guns which bring higher values, so it is hard to be sure what you have. Hope that helps. Nice find if original. NOTE- Smith & Wesson made a similar “Revolver, Lightweight, M13” marked PROPERTY OF US AIR FORCE on the backstrap, and the history and advice is about the same for those. John Spangler


# 12093 - Manuel Escodin
1/19/2008
Walker

Manual Escodine Bar - 38 Special - Stainless Steel -

engraved with leaf patterns What is the date it was manufactured, what is the value, is there original grips available?

Answer:
Walker, I had to think about this one for a while but finally my brain unfroze and I realized that your revolver is a Manuel Escodin of Eibar Spain. I am not sure how that you came up with the unusual spacing in the name and it threw me for a minute or two.

There is not a lot of information on Manuel Escodin of Eibar, the only facts that are known for sure is that he produced inexpensive low quality revolvers chambered in .32 or ,38 Special, from 1924 to 1931. The Escodin was a near-perfect copy of the S&W Military & Police Model and it sported a badly stamped ornate coat-of-arms trademark on the left side of the frame.

I very much doubt that your revolver is stainless steel, it is probably plated with something like nickel or chrome. It has been reported in a major gunsmithing text book that the metals used in many of the old Spanish revolvers of this vintage is of very low quality making them dangerous to fire. Values for Spanish S&W copies is very low, probably in the $50 range if you can find anyone willing to buy one. I would advise against wasting time or money in a search for replacement grips. Marc


# 12089 - Possible HDH Revolver
1/15/2008
John

ManufrenArmes - HDH IIIGE ?? - 6MM - 1 1/2 '' ??? -

This is an old 12 shot, maybe nickel and the lettering is a guestimate. Where is it from , and does it have any value?/ Thanks JK

Answer:
John, my guess is that you have a MANUFACTURE d'Armes HDH. The company was located in Liege and also known as Henrion, Dassy & Heuschen. HDH produced an enormous range of cheap pistols and revolvers at the beginning of the 20th century. The revolvers ranged from 5.5mm folding trigger Velo-Dog types which were designed to be used for protection from marauding dogs while riding a bicycle, to outlandish twenty-shot models with gigantic looking cylinders. All of these revolvers were sold by HDH and so marked. HDH also sold guns wholesale to the firearms trade, these guns can be found bearing brands from various retail outlets or bearing various gunsmiths names. No matter what other markings they may have, 'HDH' will just about always be found stamped somewhere on the firearm.

This type of gun falls into the category of "old guns" that no one seems to be interested in as shooters, but collectors do not want them either. Generally these were basic inexpensive simple guns which sold at modest prices and still have little interest or value on market today. On the retail market they usually sell in the $25-125 range depending on condition and general appearance for use as a "wall hanger" over a fireplace. Where there is any family history, we encourage people to keep these old guns for sentimental value. Please be warned that most of these are not considered safe to shoot. Marc


# 12088 - Uberti 22
1/15/2008
Brian. Castaic, Calif.

Uberti - .22 - 23-24 inches - Blue - 1580 -

Several small unknown proofs. Stamped ''Benson Firearms, Seattle Wash'' on top of barrel. A Uberti @ C.Gardone V.T. Italy on the side. Hi. I just acquired a 1873 Winchester ''clone'' made by Uberti. The gun is at least 98%,and is nicely done. It is in .22 long rifle, has a case hardened frame, and a blued barrel. I cannot find any information anywhere on this gun in .22. It appears to be a very hard gun to find in this caliber. Any information you may have as to how many were made, value, or collectability would be greatly appreciated. I know that reproductions are not your main forte, but I am at a loss. Uberti wont reply. so, I have to go to the pros. Thanks, Brian.

Answer:
Brian, I don't pay much attention to Uberti imports, I could probably walk past 3 tables full of them at a gunshow and never even notice that they were there. If there is a Luger, 1911, Webley revolver or some other old military gun on a table amid all of the other stuff, that will get my attention. Since I don't know much about Uberti, I had to go to the Blue book for help. They list both an 1873 Carbine and an 1873 Trapper Carbine that were available in .22 Long Rifle among many other calibers up until 1991. Blue book values for the 1873 carbines are in the $300 to $800 range. Marc


# 12602 - Sharps Four Barrel Derringer Mechanism
1/15/2008
Graeme, Canberra, Australia

Sharp's - Four-barrel Derringer - Blue -

is there anywhere I can find a diagram or description of how the firing pin mechanism of a Sharp's four-barrel derringer (c1860s) rotates?

Answer:
Graeme- Frank Sellers’ Sharps Firearms has copies of two patent drawings and photos of numerous variations of the guns, and a breakdown on some of the different design features. But, he does not really show the mechanism itself very clearly. Basically, the four barrel derringer used a single hammer with a large disc on the front that used a shaft on the back of the disc that fit through the hammer. The diameter of the disc is large enough to reach about 1/16” on to the base of each of cartridges in the four barrels. There is a single raised bar (sort of the outermost piece of a spoke on the face of the disc) which serves as the firing pin. The disc will rotate on its shaft and when turned 90 degrees will be in position to fire the next barrel. The disc is rotated by a pawl (or arm or lever) that rides along the side of the hammer. The sharp tip of the pawl engages one of four notches on the back of the disc as the hammer is cocked, rotating the disc 90 degrees. There is a flat spring on the back of the hammer that snaps on to a groove at the end of the firing pin shaft to keep it in place, and an arm of that spring sticks down to hold the pawl forward to keep it engaged with the disc. If this sounds confusing, drink a couple of warm beers and it will suddenly make sense. John Spangler


# 12600 - Model 1888 Mauser Value
1/12/2008
Martin, Chicago, IL, USA

Erfrut 1890 ''S'' Marking - Don't Know -

There is a crown above the year and a letter ''S'' above the crown. I have had this riffle in my attic for as long as I can remember. I was offered $300 for it - however, the person making the offer is very anxious to get me to accept. I am guessing by his poor poker face it is worth a lot more. It looks it's age but is only has light rust. I would say it is in fair condition. I will not sell it for the $300 but I am curious to find out what it could be worth. Can you help?

Answer:
Martin- It sounds like your rifle is a standard Model 1888 Mauser, made at Erfurt in 1890, and $300 would be a fair offer on that, based on your description. I think you lost that poker playing hand. John Spangler


# 12599 - Repairing Remington Double Derringer
1/12/2008
Bill, Skokie, IL

Remington - O/U Derringer - 41 Rimfire - 3'' Overall - Nickel - 114 -

No. I have this Remington O/U Derringer in nickel. The finish is mostly very good with some flaking having occurred in the area surrounding the grips. Its problem is that one of the hinges is broken and I'd like to know if its possible to repair it? Maybe it could be silver soldered or ? Would doing that mess it up as far as the rest of the finish is concerned? And as far as the overall value would that be affected? Thanks.

Answer:
Bill- Probably half of the Remington double derringers I have ever seen have had one of the hinges broken, so this is a very common problem. This clearly indicates a design problem, and/or a poor choice of materials, at least from the benefit of 20/20 hindsight. It may be possible to repair the broken area by welding new material on and machining it to the proper dimensions, or perhaps by silver soldering the old part back on. The trick would be doing this without further weakening the adjacent metal from the heat necessary for welding or silver soldering, and then how to touch up the finish to match. Blue may be feasible, but a new nickel job would be nearly impossible. Frankly, I do not think it is practical to do this repair, and the chances of ending up with a worse problem far outweigh the chances of success. If 100% successful, it would help the value some, but if unsuccessful, then it will probably make it worth a lot less. John Spangler


# 12085 - Proper Marlin 1891 Finish
1/12/2008
Russ, Burlington, Iowa

Marlin - 1891 side loader - 22 - ? - Other - 50870 -

Marlin Safety on top What is the proper finish for this rifle? I know it came blued or case colored & want to refinish it in case but some of the parts should be blue I think. I just don't know which ones. (trigger, hammer, & what else) p.s. If it had any finish at all I wouldn't be doing this but I received it already started with new wood & relined barrel.

Answer:
Russ, Marlin offered the Model 1891 Sporting Rifle from 1891 to 1905 although few were manufactured after 1896. A 24 inch octagonal barrel is the most often encountered on this model but round barrels were fitted to about one rifle in six. The most common chambering for the model is .22 Rimfire but 6270 rifles of the total production of 18,650 were chambered in 32 caliber. A revised model with a tube-loading magazine system and 26 or 28 inch barrel was introduced in 1892. Rifles of the revised second type lacked the loading gate that had previously been located on the right side of the receiver.

Normally I would advise against re-finishing a firearm, but in this case, I don't think that there is much to loose. Several years ago, neighbor brought me an early Marlin Model 39 rifle in similar condition to yours for restoration. I would have refused to touch it if it were not in such bad condition. We had to re-line the barrel, fix several cracks in the forend and stock, add a new toe to the stock, find a replacement buttplate to replace the broken one, re-case color the receiver and re-blue other metal parts. To case color we used a special method that Brownells describes in their "Gun Kinks" book, and we used the old cold rust bluing method on the other parts. The rifle turned out very nicely and it is hard to spot the restoration when we compare it to an original rifle of the same period that I have in my collection. I do not have an original Model 1891 to look at as I did when we restored my neighbors 39, but references indicate that the finish for this model was blued with case hardened hammer, lever, and butt plate. Hope this helps - Marc


# 12084 - Label Revolver Value
1/8/2008
Tom

Lebel - Revolver -

What is the value of this revolver. It is in excellent condition

Answer:
Tom, there is not a lot of collector interest in French Revolvers, but I wanted one for my military revolver collection (my friends and family tell me that I am sick). I purchased a really nice example a few years ago for $250. If I were to offer the one from my collection for sale, I would probably ask $350 - $450 depending upon how long it took to sell. Marc


# 12083 - Late Colt Mismatch?
1/8/2008
Dan

Colt - 1911A1 - 45 - Parkerized - 22815xx -

US property and other appropriate ordnance markings I just bought the above USGI 1911a1. It's a mid-1945 production. The frame is at about 98%, and I believe it to be the original finish (bright crossed cannons proof, small parts are blued, all markings are crisp). The slide matches the frame in colonization of the parking and condition. However, the slide is a 1940's vintage commercial slide, that has been military Parkerized. Here's my question: Is it possible that this gun was originally shipped to the military with a Parkerized commercial slide? If so--how can I tell that this is the case? (I know that colt's early replacement slides to the army were park'd commercials) My goal is to restore the gun to USGI shape (it has some NM adjustable sights on it right now)-- but I don't want to replace the slide with a standard military one if this one is correct. THANKS GUYS!

Answer:
Dan, the slide is not original to the pistol. The pistol was made by Colt, and the serial number places it in the last batch made by Colt for the U.S. military in 1945. How and when slide came to be added I can not say. The military purchased commercial slides from Colt in the 1950s to convert service pistols to National Match configuration. These pistols will be marked as national match pistols.

If the frame has the initials JSB on the left side just above the magazine release button, then it is one of the rarest of all military Colt 1911A1s. These initials only appeared on the last pistols made. If that is the case then it is definitely worth restoring. I would recommend you go to www.coolgunsite.com and look at the pictures of 1911A1s from 1945. I would also suggest you invest in the book by Clawson (the small version, not the large) for about $50. It will tell all the correct parts and markings for a 1945 made Colt. Marc


# 12598 - Marble Game Getter
1/8/2008
Jim, Sequim, WA

Marble Arms - Game Getter - .22 S,L,LR/ .44GG, .410 2 1/2'' - 18'' - Don't Know - 18300 -

Is this a legal firearm, I've been told both legal and illegal. I'd like to sell it if it's legal. I have the original stock and holster.

Answer:
Jim- Flayderman's Guide indicates that these are legal IF THE FOLLOWING BOTH APPLY: (a) barrel length is 18 inches minimum; and (b) the shoulder stock is attached. If you cannot answer YES to both these, then it is illegal, and treated as any other post-1898 handgun (not a longarm). To be sure you can ask your local BATFE office but they will probably have to check with the "Technical Branch" to find someone who knows details of stuff like this. Flayderman lists a value of $500 in NRA antique good condition and $900 in fine condition. John Spangler


# 12572 - Sharps Sporting Or Target Rifle
1/5/2008
Richard, Williamstown, MA

Sharps - Falling Block - ''Calibre 44'' - 31'' Octagonal - Blue - C, 53898 -

C.Sharps' Pat. Sept. 12th 1848 Sharp's Rifle Manufg. Co. Hartford, Conn. Calibre 44. Hooded front sight, adjustable & with level. Rear sight marked R. S. Lawrence Patented Feb 15th 1859. Peep sight mounted behind hammer, adjustable, numbered 53898. Looks like falling block converted to take brass cartridge--no percussion nipple, may be center or rim-fire. We in the House of Local History were given this rifle by heirs of a local bear hunter in last part of 19th C. Was this used by a sniper in Civil War combat? Was it later converted for use with brass? Value?

Answer:
Richard- This sounds like a very nice rifle, but the serial number is too late to have seen Civil War service, so that avoids any problematic guesses about snipers being involved. Nearly all the Sharps rifles with octagon barrels were made for sporting or target use, while military arms usually had the cheaper and lighter round barrels. Although many of the Civil War era Sharps percussion rifles or carbines were converted to use metallic cartridges, Sharps also made many new guns (sometimes with some left over Civil War era parts) chambered for metallic cartridges. The heavy barrel large bore rifles were often used by buffalo hunters. However, those with the fancy adjustable front sights with the “spirit level” to allow the shooter to be certain the rifle was being held level were almost always used for target work. These usually had the tang mounted rear sights, also with very precise adjustments. There are many variations in stock design- with or without pistol grips or checkering, types of buttplates, single or double set triggers, etc as well as barrel length and weight that help determine the exact model. While a bear hunter may have owned it, I suspect that he was also a competitive target shooter, and that was the primary use of this fine old rifle. As far as value, it is hard to say without seeing it, but I would guess several thousand dollars. John Spangler


# 12941 - S&W Used By Train Robbers In Canada
1/5/2008
David

S And W - 38 - Blue -

Someone has a gun that has been in the family for 100 years. A train Robber or one of his gang stole it off the mail car or clerks its believed from a train. The gun was taken and eventually returned to the mail company. The superintendent kept it now his great grandson has it. It has the serial number of the bottom or underside of the butt. Or it had. The number on the butt was filed off. The great grandson wants to find a record of the serial number - he knows he can get a search done by S and W and he will but he is hoping the RCMP - it was up here in Canada that things took place....will have the gun's serial numbers....or it might appear in the court documents...did the police at the turn of the century record serial numbers of guns when they made a capture? Thank you

Answer:
David- That sounds like a neat history, but it may be hard to track down the facts and get them to all line up to prove the story is true. First you need to use “crime lab” techniques to recover the serial number so you will have a number to compare to any records you find. Without having a number to match up, it is like claiming your car won a big NASCAR race instead of one of the famous drivers- who can prove they are wrong if there are no numbers to compare?

Next you need to find the same number in old records, and it is likely that the RCMP Mounties were very precise in recording such info, assuming the numbers were not filed off before they got the gun, and their man. Of course, those records may be at the outpost where the captured crook and gun were taken, or the court where the trial was held, or sent off to provincial or national archives. Or they may have been destroyed.

To start at the local level, you need to know where the train robbery and or trial took place. If you don’t know that, then maybe a search of old railroad records will turn up a list of all train robberies. Or, you can spend several weeks of months reading old microfilms of every newspaper printed around the date of the event. (If you get really lucky, maybe the newspapers have been converted to searchable .pdf files and you can search in a few minutes. However, it is great fun to read through old newspapers, including the advertising to get a better understanding for life at the time. Long ago (shortly before I started wearing glasses, I think) I read through several years worth of Pennsylvania papers from the late 1700s doing research for a history course. Great fun! Anyway, you may find proof that you have an exciting relic from a crime, or maybe disprove the legend, or not find enough evidence to confirm or disprove it. Good luck. John Spangler


# 12866 - Gecado Pistol Info.
1/5/2008
Barry, Charlotte, N.C.

GECADO - 38 Special - 4'' - Nickel - 18953 -

Dad died recently and left it to me. Never heard of GECADO and was just trying to find out something about it.

Answer:
Barry, Gecado pistols were marketed by the Dornheim company (Dornheim G. C. Dornheim AG, Suhl. Germany). Pre-war Gecado pistols were low quality 6.35mm and 7.65mm 'Eibar' type automatics, manufactured by SEAM (q. v.). They bore the word 'Gecado' in a diamond.

Post-war Gecado models were manufactured in West Germany and they included various .22 caliber revolvers and a blowback operated model much like the pre-war models except for a difference in the location of the safety catch. Your pistol is a post-war model probably imported some time in the 1960s.

Collector interest in this type of pistol is typically low, they often sell in the $50 or less range. Marc


# 13107 - Gun Value
1/1/2008
Tim, Cheyenne, WY

J.P. Shuer & Sohn Suhl - 7.65 - Other - 305178 -

Gun is silver with Ivory grips and is covered in scroll designs. It has markings which say P H Tent. The initials also appear in the grips. I was told the gun was taken from a German Officer during WWII. Interested in purchasing this weapon and just wondering what it might be worth.

Answer:
Tim, in my opinion, value is not high but I don't like silver guns with gaudy designs and ivory grips. If you like that sort of thing, you are probably willing to pay more than I would be. My advise is to let this one go. Marc


# 12082 - Hi Power With Aluminum Grips
1/1/2008
Keith

FN - HP -

Matching military acceptance stamp eagles over WaA140 (WaA103 on slide)and other marks as described in your other searched letters. This is the ''tangent sight unslotted variation'' produced 1941-1942. Original magazine and bluing. ''War trophy'' acquired by my grandfather in the 1950's and given to me. My question regards the odd grips, which are hand machined polished aluminum (well fitting, with deep cut checkered pattern, no manufacturer marks or numbers of any kind). These grips appear well worn, and my grandfather claimed that they were on the pistol he acquired it from a buddy, and he always believed that the original German owner had them installed. My grandfather has passed away, so that's all the info. I have. The blued metal and silver aluminum would go well with an SS uniform, but I have no photographs or other records of origin. I am trying to determine if there is any record of German officers replacing the grips of their pistols in this way. I have never seen any grips like this, and don't know what to make of them. They definitely look like they've seen some service (and the gun hasn't really been used in the last 60 years). What's your educated guess?

Answer:
Keith , I have never seen or heard of anything like this before on a HP pistol. It is fairly easy to cast aluminum grips using the wood originals to make the mold. The checkering could be touched up with cutting tools (files) if desired or left as cast. Perhaps German or perhaps American GI. If your grandfather picked the pistol up in the 1950s, there is even more chance for the grips to have been fabricated sometime after the war. My guess would be that they are not original. Marc


# 12937 - Merrimack Arms & Mfg. Co Ballard Rifle
1/1/2008
Al, Benton, LA

Merrimack Arms & Mfg. Co. - ? It Says No. 44 On The Barrel - 24 1/4 Inches - Blue - 18607 -

On the left hand side of the receiver it says Ballard Patent, November 5, 1861. It also has a heavy octagon barrel. I recently inherited this firearm and I am not sure of the caliber or value. I did find that Merrimack made a falling block 29 gauge single shot shotgun but I am not sure if that is what I have or not because the barrel appears to be rifled. I have not been successful in finding a picture or much information on the internet. What is another source that I should be looking at for information on this excellent looking Civil War Era firearm? It is in great condition! Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:
Al- Never ignore the obvious clues. Charles H. Ballard of Worcester, Massachusetts received a patent in 1861 for a breech loading rifle or carbine. During the desperate demand for arms for the Civil War, these were adopted for use by the Union cavalry and production began by Ball and Williams of Worcester, Mass. They made about 15,000 between 1862 and 1865, including both rifles and carbines for military and civilian sales. Dwight, Chapin & Co. of Bridgeport Connecticut made some during 1863-1864 to help meet the demand, but went bankrupt. In 1865, Williams retired from Ball and Williams, and as the demand for arms plummeted after the end f the Civil War, R. Ball and Company struggled for a while before selling out in 1866 to E.P. Bray, who had been the selling agent for the Ballards up to that point (as Merwin & Bray). Bray provided the machinery to Merrimack Arms Company in Newburyport, Mass, and they made about 2,200 sporting rifles from 1867 to 1869.

Most of the Merrimack Arms production was in .32, .38, .44 and .46 rimfire, with a few in .22 or .50 caliber rimfire. Thus the .44 indicates yours is in .44 caliber. Flayderman’s Guide notes that 200 carbines with 22 inch barrels were purchased by New York state for prison guard use and arrived at Sing Sing prison in December 1869. However your 24 inch barrel length confirms it is a sporting rifle, and apparently they were made in 24, 26, 28 or .30 inch lengths.

Ballards were next made by Brown Manufacturing Company of Newburyport (which took over Merrimack Arms) from 1869 until 1873, when a depression forced them into bankruptcy. Finally, Ballards were made by John M. Marlin starting in 1873, and in 1881 by the Marlin Firearms Company, continuing in production until about 1891. The Marlin made Ballards ranged from simple plain rifles up to some magnificent highly engraved target rifles with significant collector value. There are some collectors who specialize in nothing but Ballard rifles, and spend a lifetime trying to get an example of each of the variations from each of the many makers. John Spangler


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