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# 14038 - Iver Johnson Pistol Owned By J. James

Iver Johnson -

I have an Iver Johnson pistol, model 1900.It has a number on the frame under the handle 7077.It is double action with octagon barrel. It also has an inscription carved inside the right handle that reads, J.James, St.Lou,Mo. I have sent pictures of the gun to Ron Pastore and he said that there is a 60/40 chance that the gun is authentic. How can I find out the value of the gun. Thanks.

Phyllis- My guess is that you think this might be related to the famous outlaw, Jesse James. However, Jesse James the outlaw was killed in 1882, making it impossible for him to own a gun introduced in 1900. However, there are a few people who claim that the outlaw actually escaped and lived much longer, but I think those folks secretly attend Elvis Presley concerts too. Or, perhaps this J. James is really Jesse James the motorcycle builder, but I doubt if he would ever own a junky Iver Johnson revolver. Assuming the J. James inscription is authentic, it may be someone a lot less famous, perhaps like a John James, an old drunk who sometimes worked cleaning out the Anheuser Busch stables in St. Louis.

I urge you to read an article by Jim Supica (now the curator of the NRA firearm museum) which has some good information on the general subject of "guns with history." John Spangler

# 14024 - Model 94 Value
Kendra, Lawsonville, NC USA

Winchester - 94 - 30-30 - Don't Know -

My grandfather gave me this gun a few years ago. he said he bought it brand new in the 1950`s paying $50.00 for it then. the gun is now in locked safe at my fathers house, and I have no intent on selling the gun, but would really like to know the estimated worth. It is in excellent condition and shoots perfectly every time. No scratches or dings, and the barrel is extremely clean. Hope to hear from you soon.

Kendra, values in the blue book for Model 94 Winchesters manufactured between 1940 and 1964 range between $200 and $825. We usually sell rifles like you are describing in the $550 to $650 range. Marc

# 14027 - Mod 700 BDL Value

Remington - 700 - 22-250 - 24 - Blue - 350739 -

This gun has a metal butt plate. It is also a BDL. The condition of this gun is very good. What is the value of the gun?

Remington introduced the Model 700 sporting rifle in 1962. The 700 has been very popular with hunters and shooters, and total production to date has been over several million. Typical Model 700 rifles first come with a 22 inch barrel, 6-groove rifling with right hand concentric twist, internal 5 round box magazine and ramp- pattern rear sight. The BDL is essentially an ADL with a better stock that has hand-cut skip line checkering, a detachable magazine floorplate, pistol grip cap and contrasting rounded forend tip.

Several improvements have been made to the design over the years. In 1968, a one-piece sear replaced the previous two-piece design and jeweling was added to the bolt. The bolt plug was also lengthened to enclose the cocking-piece head. In 1974, the rearward sweep of the bolt handle was reduced to prevent bruising of the fingers during recoil. A special cast stainless-steel magazine follower replaced the folded stamping and a bolt guide-rib system was added.

Values in the blue book for Remington 700 BDL rifles like yours range from about $250 to $800 depending on condition. Marc

# 14037 - Long Range Winner Shotgun

Long Range -

I Was at a farm auction and I seen an old shotgun that I thought was net and then I started asking about it after I bought it I would like to no all that I can about this gun it is a {Long Range Winner}12 Gage single shot breach load I have only found two set of numbers one is on the under side of the barrel more buy the chamber it is 5688 the other is on the barrel stock it is 15638 hope this helps me get more info please help me find out any thing will help.

Scott- Long Range was a brand name used on the least expensive line of guns made by Western Arms Co, which was the low price division of Ithaca Gun Company. They were in business 1929-1946, so this is one of the newer single shots that was designed for smokeless powder and a gunsmith is likely to approve as safe to shoot, but we cannot tell if it is safe or not. Value is probably whatever you paid for it. John Spangler

# 14036 - Great Wedding Gift!

Mosin Nagant - 1891/30 Sniper -

I have a Mosin Nagant 1891/30 sniper rifle from WWII era. I was wondering what it would be worth. It was given to my husband as a wedding gift.

Dear lucky wife- What a great wedding gift! Much better than china or toasters or silly things like that!

Value depends on exactly which model it is, and the condition. Some of the "sniper rifles" seen today are recently assembled with newly made (but WW2 style and dated) parts, and worth less than one actually made in WW2. If you want to send some photos we will try to determine which category this one fits into. One of the recently assembled guns would probably bring about $400- 450 retail, but an all original probably double that or more depending on type of scope. John Spangler

# 14020 - Beretta Date Of Manufacture.
Curt, Lynnwood, Wa

Pietro Beretta - Gardone VT Cal 9 Corto - 9mm - 5`` - Blue - E63208 -

In front of the safety is xx and I believe rsr I am trying to figure out how old the gun is and where I can find a magazine clip for it.

Curt, you didn't give me much to go by but it sounds like you have a model 1934 Beretta. The model 1934 was produced from 1934 to the late 1960's and was one of the handguns that Italy's military used in WWII. Your Beretta's date of manufacture is 1942 and XX is the corresponding Fascist date (the Fascist date is a combination of the Julian date and the Fascist calendar date which commenced in 1922). Military 1934 Berettas were stamped RE if the issued to the army, RA if the issued to the air force and RM if the issued to the navy. The 1934 was offered commercially but most pistols were procured by the Italian military during WWII.

For your magazine, I recommend you check with Gun Parts Corp (the old Numrich Arms people) at the following URL:

Gun Parts Corp has just about everything but they will need to know the model of your pistol. If that doesn't work, try posting it on our free "Wanted" page at the following URL:

Hope this helps, Marc

# 14053 - Early Mod 1894 Winchester
Mike, Riverside, CA

Winchester - Model 1894 - .30wcf - 26'' - Blue - 58677 -

My father left me the firearm and I wanted to find out the manufacturing date of the gun? It's also a little rough overall, bluing and stock, I'd like to use it regularly as he did and wanted to know if anyone had recommendations on what work they'd do to a piece of history like this, and a gunsmith you'd use if you did have it worked on? Thank You.

Mike, we have provided a link in our menu bar on the left hand side of the page that allows you to look up the date of manufacture for Winchester firearms, you must have missed it. When I enter your serial number into our Winchester date of manufacture program, I get a result of 1896. With an early Winchester like yours, I would recommend that you do not have it restored or modified in any way. Modifications of any sort will decrease the value of the firearm by at least 50 percent or more. It is best to just keep it clean with a light coat of oil to prevent rust. Sorry but I don't know any gunsmiths in CA that I can recommend. Marc

# 14016 - Unusual 1885 Low Wall
Hugh, Galena, Md

Winchester - 1885 Low Wall - 22RF - 24 Inches - Blue - 2973 -

Laminated stock and forearm, ebony forearm tip inlay, Swiss butt, silver clover inlay on stock Dear John, I recently acquired the 1885 Low Wall, which is very unusual. The factory letter states ''Fancy Swiss Butt, etc., etc.'' The butt plate, the stock, and the frame are all marked with the same assembly number. The clover inlay is attached to the stock through a pin under the butt plate, the same as what is exampled in the big Winchester book. The lamination is light wood and dark wood striped from toe to comb. Could this be a factory stock?

Hugh- John M. Browning’s Model 1885 single shot rifle was made in an incredible variety of calibers and configurations. It also has been the basis for conversion by hundreds of more or less talented gunsmiths for the last 50+ years.

The fact that your gun letters with “Fancy Swiss Butt, etc., etc.” is a big plus, as is the same assembly number on the butt. However, the use of laminated wood seems to be a distinctly mid to late 20th Century fad.

I am almost certain that this rifle has been modified after it left the factory, or at least restocked. Your best bet would be to contact Bert Hartman, the leading expert on the Model 1885 rifles, and see what he thinks about it. John Spangler

# 14010 - Colt .38 “Army Special”
Clyde, Gadsden Alabama

Colt - ? - 38 - 6 In - Blue - NONE VISIBLE, PLEASE DON'T

COLT army special stamped on barrel. This pistol was used by my father (11th Airborne South Pacific) during WW2. He said it is a .38 cal mounted on a .45 cal frame. It was supposed to have more stopping power than the standard 1911. Is there anything you can tell me about this piece? I'm not looking to sell it or anything, I would just like to know more about it. Also, where would a serial number be on this gun? I couldn't find one anywhere. Thank you.

Clyde- This sounds like a nice family heirloom piece.

Although your father thought it had more stopping power than the .45 ACP Model 1911, I don’t think that ballistics tests for the .38 Colt or .38 S&W Special will support that. The serial numbers are usually found on the bottom of the butt, and/or on the frame where you can see it when the cylinder is opened.

The best book on “secondary martial” handguns of WW2 is Charles Pate’s superb “U.S. Handguns of World War II.” John Spangler

# 14049 - Nickel Beretta 1934 Value
Jeanne, Leonard, ND

Beretta - 1934 Brevet - .9 Corto - About 3 And A Quarter Inches - Nickel - 975710 -

Gardone, V.T. 1942xx, There is a crown with the letters ''RE'' under it, and on the side with the serial numbers there is a circle with the letters ''VU'' in it, and by the trigger on that same side it has the letters CA. Way at the bottom by the clip there are the letters ''CS''. I have found the value of this gun in other finishes, but never with the nickel plated finish. I can't find one with the nickel plated finish anywhere, and I was wondering if that increases the value. My husband's grandfather brought this gun back from WW2, its in really nice shape (perhaps even mint), and it does shoot.

Jeanne, sorry to have to tell you bad news but the nickel finish was added sometime after the pistol left the factory. Many captured guns were nickel plated after the war. The nickel plating destroys the originality of the pistol and also most interest that collectors would have in a pistol like this. Value will be less than half of what a pistol with original finish would be worth. Marc

# 14035 - 655 Luger Marking
Howard parker Smolan Ks.

German Luger - P O8 - 9mm - 4 Inch - Blue - 5812 -

Script letter y 3 eagles and two markings 655 on right side one small eagle on barrel What`s the 655 mean and the apprasal value

Howard - 655 is the German WW-II Heerswaffenamt inspector's mark on arms produced at Mauser Werke AG, Oberndorf am Neckar, Germany. Your Luger should also have the following markings:

The serial number:

  • Forward left side of the receiver.
  • Upper front of the frame.
  • Beneath the rear of the barrel.
  • Base of the magazine.
  • The last two digits on most of the small parts.

The four digit year of manufacture on the receiver above the chamber.

The word GELADEN, meaning loaded on the left side of the extractor, this shows when a cartridge is in the chamber.

The bore size in millimeters stamped beneath the rear of the barrel (8.80, 8.81, 8.82, 8.83, or 8.84).

The military acceptance stamp eagle over 655 stamped twice on the forward right side of the receiver, once on the top left side of the barrel one half inch from the receiver, and once on the base of the magazine.

Military test proof eagle over swastika stamped on the forward right side of the receiver, on the left side of the breech block, and on the rear right side of the barrel.

You really did not give me enough information for me to be able to provide a value. If your Luger has mismatched numbers, or it is in poor condition value can be as low as a couple hundred dollars. Value can go up from there for pistols that are in better condition. Let us know if you would like to sell and we can arrange for you to send us some pictures. Marc

# 14009 - Marlin Model 1888 Rifle
John, Slingerlands, NY

Marlin - 1887 - 38-40 - 23''/24'' - Blue - 20265 -

On top of octagon barrel is ''Patented October 11, 1887''. Has ''38W'' on top of barrel just in front of receiver. The rifle is top eject. Magazine, full tube. Stock straight. But plate heavily curved. Everything original. Top of barrel engraved with ''Marlin Fire-Arms Co., New Haven, CT. U.S.A.'' There is a marking just in front of manufactures name that looks like a arrow with a fuse lit... Ammo is 38- 40. I have not been able to find any information on this gun as to it even existing. I am assuming it is a Model 1887, yet I can't find anything to support that contention. Would you have any information on this rifle. According to your serial number dating, it was manufactured in 1888. Thank you for your help.

John- The two key bits of information here are the patent date and the caliber.

Your rifle is the Marlin Model 1888. It is the only one that used just the 1887 patent date, as the replacement Model 1889 included patent dates of both 1887 and 1889. The Model 1887 was Marlin’s first lever action rifle designed for short pistol length cartridges, and only about 4,814 were made between 1888 and 1889, about evenly split between .32, .38 and .44 caliber rifles.

Value of course depends on condition, but Flayderman suggests about $950 in NRA antique very good condition and $3,000 in NRA antique excellent. In our experience Marlins are not nearly as popular as similar Winchester rifles, and bring far less in value. That is bad news for sellers, but good news for collectors looking for an interesting specialty where prices are still fairly reasonable. John Spangler

# 14002 - Starr Revolving Rifle

Starr Arms Company - 21 Inch - Don't Know - 30152 -

Six crosswise lines under barrel. Starr Arms Of New York I can't find any information on this revolving rifle. I have heard that Starr made specials for certain persons in the 1800`s. Can you tell me anything about this gun?

Sir- Revolving arms were very innovative and the only practical solution to multiple shot arms until the metallic cartridges were firmly established.

Colt was well known for their revolving rifles and shotguns, and even Remington made about a thousand revolving rifles between 1866 and 1879. Basically any handheld revolver could be cobbled into a rifle with attachment of a detachable shoulder stock, using the short barrel, or using a longer barrel and permanent shoulder stock.

As far as I know, Starr, who had made thousands of very fine single action and double action revolvers during the Civil War, never even experimented with revolving rifles. That does not prove that they never did, only that I am not aware of them. However, it is also very possible that some gunsmith tried their hand at converting a Starr pistol into a rifle. Having a serial number in the 31,000 range suggests that this is a converted pistol. John Spangler

# 14034 - Steyr SL

Steyr Mannlicher - Model SL - 223 - 60 Cm - Blue - 13792 -

I am corious how is is my rifle? Thanks.

We usually don't deal with this kind of rifle at so I had to do some research. None of my references indicate what date the SL was first introduced but from what I have found, I believe that it was in the late 1960s or the early 1970s. At that time, Steyr offered several models:

  • Model L rifle ('Light').
  • Model M rifle ('Medium').
  • Model S rifle ('Standard') which was offered from 1970.
  • Model SL rifle ('Super Light').

The model SL was made with the shortest of Steyr's three basic actions and it was available in 222 Remington, 222 Remington Magnum, 223 Remington and 5.2x50 Magnum. Double set trigger was standard, though a single trigger could be substituted for special order. Standard sights were a folding-leaf rear type with a ramp blade in front. SL rifles came with half or full-length stocks with skip-line checkering, low Monte Carlo combs, plastic pistol grip caps and rubber shoulder plates. SL Varmint models with heavy barrels were introduced in 1969. References indicate that the SL model was discontinued in 1996.

Steyr SL values in the blue book vary depending on condition and range from about $580 to over $2000.

Hope this helps - Marc

# 14033 - Nylon 66 Value
James, Willis, Texas

Remington - Nylon 66 - 22 Long Rifle - 19 Inches - Blue - 2320599 -

What is the value of this rifle

James, for years Nylon 66 rifles with their lightweight design and futuristic looking stocks were very popular. They were the first rifle for many young shooters and today they have growing popularity with collectors who often try to obtain one of each color and variation.

Remington's Nylon 66 .22 caliber rifles weighed 4 pounds and came with 19 & 5/8-inch barrels, open sights and 14 round tubular magazines that were housed inside the butt stock. Stocks were made from injection-molded DuPont Zytel plastic and were available in black, brown, or green. Remington manufactured about 1,050,336 Nylon 66 rifles from 1959 to 1990 when the model was discontinued.

I think that competition from Ruger's 10-22 rifle was a major cause for Remington’s discontinuance the Nylon 66. The high capacity (50 or more round) magazines that can be easily substituted for stock Ruger 10 round 10-22 magazines are very popular with shooters. This is probably why new designs are not often seen with the old tubular type magazines any more.

Values in the blue book for Nylon 66 rifles range from $60 to $150 depending on condition. Marc

# 13997 - German Used M1 Carbines
William, Denton, NC

M1 Carbine - .30 - Blue -

Did The U.S. lend/lease military arms to Germany after WW2? Saw one with German marks/ owner said the US sold them to Germany and they returned them after they were able to start making arms again. True or False?

William- Germany indeed used a lot of M1 Carbines after WW2.

“Lend Lease” was not the means whereby the Germans got the carbines. Lend Lease was a specific program instituted at the beginning of WW2, prior to U.S. entry in December 1941. International law prohibited the giving of military supplies to belligerents powers.

The British were [and remain!] our natural and traditional allies, and were in real danger of being overrun by the Germans. In order to provide them with military supplies, the U.S. engaged in some “creative accounting” and worked out a deal to trade a bunch of obsolescent destroyers for basing rights in the Caribbean. They also authorized the “lending” or “leasing” of military goods with payments to be made sometime in the future. There Germans were not offered the same terms.

During the Post WW2 period, our former enemies were slowly rearmed for internal police duties and eventually national defense. Over the years occasional small batches of M1 carbines with various German markings have appeared on the surplus market, and sometimes other arms such as S&W Victory Model revolvers.

Recently the Civilian Marksmanship Program acquired a large supply of M1 carbines and is selling them off, including many of the German used ones. The CMP website has a bit of information, quoted here:

“** "BAVARIA MARKED" CARBINES ** In the months after the end of WWII, the Allied Occupation Forces needed the assistance of the German police to maintain order and enforce the laws pertaining to the German population. In October 1945 the Allied Control Council for Germany issued a directive that allowed for rearming the German police. The directive required the weapons they were armed with must not be of German manufacture, and must be marked in a manner that would make the weapons readily identifiable as to which agency they were issued. Office of Military Government Bavaria ordered their M1 Carbines to be marked in English on top of the receiver to the left of the bolt, with the type of agency the weapon was issued too; BAVARIA RURAL POLICE, BAVARIA FORESTRY POLICE, BAVARIA BORDER POLICE, BAVARIA GAME WARDEN, BAVARIA PRISON GUARD, and BAVARIA MUNICIPAL POLICE.

The CMP info also links to another site, which has even more information, including how some of the German used carbines ended up in Austria, and some commercial importations as well. It is well worth the visit to this site to learn more.

The Germans also made some carbines (by ERMA) for the Bundeswehr, and some more for commercial sale. Thus a collector could specialize in just German used or made M1 carbines and end up with a nice collection. John Spangler


We are now in our fourteenth year answering visitors' questions, and we are still learning.

Yes, we sometimes get tired of the same old questions on cheap imported shotguns, Swiss Vetterli rifles made at Bern, or sword bayonets "presented to Lt. Etienne."

However, we really enjoy researching most of the questions, and have learned a lot over the years by digging into subjects that we never explored before. That has made us better prepared to serve collectors as we learn more about various arms, their use, their history, and how collectors see them fitting into collections.

We hope that our visitors have learned as well, so they can better enjoy their own collection.

Yeah, we also hope that you might learn that you suddenly need some other exotic firearms to complete your collection, and hope that you might buy one from us if we have one. As much as we like to pass out free information, we also like to make a few bucks to pay taxes, pay the post office and UPS to deliver stuff to you, and pay previous owners a fair price for items they no longer need for their collections.

Keep sending in your questions, and we will keep answering most of them. I guess if we run out, that means we have finished our task of educating collectors, and that we have nothing more to learn ourselves.

John and Marc

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