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# 2676 - Mauser Rifle 2/29/00 Jim
Bolt Action, carbine style, with a 21" aprox. barrel length. Flip up elevation site, bayonet mount Wood stock with side loops for shoulder strap Serial number is OT- 16176 and is stamped on left side of bolt carriage, on the bottom plate of internal clip, and on the arm of the bolt. Markings on the last 3" of barrel read: OVIEDO SPAIN M1916 SAMCO MIA FL 308 I recently purchased a military rifle. I was told it was a Spanish 7mm. I am trying to find any specific information that will help me date it, identify the manufacturer, confirm the caliber, etc..
Answer: Jim- When all else fails, read the instructions, or the barrel and receiver. Oviedo is a Spanish arsenal, and the Model 1916 is a short rifle or carbine length. These were based on the Model 1893 Mauser action and originally made in 7mm. A lot of them were rebored for a 7.62/.308 NATO round used by the Spanish in their CETME semi auto rifles. Because of the 308 marking, I assume yours falls into this category. In my opinion this is not a safe conversion, and I personally would NEVER shoot one of these. I do shoot my low number M1903 Springfields even though some other people would NEVER shoot one of them. Have your gun checked by a competent gunsmith prior to shooting to determine the proper caliber and if it is safe to shoot. John Spangler
# 2677 - Gun Pricing 2/29/00
Where do I find a site that shows how much my guns are worth? Is there such a site??
Answer: Sir- Sorry, no such site. Recommend you buy a couple of good price guides- My favorites are Flaydermans Guide to Antique American Firearms and their values (for circa 1940 or earlier US made stuff), the Blue Book of Gun Values, and the Standard Catalog of Firearms. The latter two are best on modern guns (US and foreign) but also claim to be helpful for older guns, although I disregard them for the older items and use Flayderman. Each will cost about $35 or so, but will help you identify and put a value on your guns. If you have a lot of collector guns, then we offer appraisal services and will take the time to look at each item, identify the model and give a fair market value on it. We can do this at your location with a minimum charge for one day on site of $500 plus travel expenses, and $50 per hour after that. Some exotic items may be outside our areas of expertise and we would refer you to another appraiser who may charge more, but be worthwhile for an adequate evaluation of extreme rarities. If you just need an appraisal on a couple of items, we can do that based on photos and your description, but the accuracy is not as good as if we actually handle the gun. Our fee for this is $25 per item. Guess you need to figure out how much info you need and what it is worth to you. You can always go to a lot of gun shows or auctions and read all the trade journals and price guides and do it yourself, but your time has to be worth something. You can even check our catalog pages and see what we are asking on items and that won't cost anything. Read our Q&A files to see what we told people about similar guns for even more free opinions. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 2730 - Spanish Smith and Wesson Copy 2/29/00 Alfred, Windcrest, TX. USA.
Jhbea Hermamos - Revolver. Military & Police Special - .38 Special - 4 1/2" - Blue - 53019 -
Dates of manufacture,12 April 1898-23 November 1906. Spain. Logo on right side of frame similar to S&W logo with the letter "H" in center. Repeat of logo in brass inset at the top of the arc of the grips (mother of pearl grips).Workmanship is superb. I cannot find this revolver listed in any catalog. It resembles the S&W model 10. It has been in our family for over 90 years. Can you provide me any data on this weapon? Thank you for any assistance.
Answer: Alfred, I can find no information in any of my reference books on this particular manufacturer. It sounds like you have one of the many Spanish Smith and Wesson copies which were imported into the United States in the first half of the 20th century. Spanish Smith and Wesson copies often had a logo that was similar to the one used by Smith and Wesson. One theory is that the similarity in logos was intentional, designed to deceive the unwary potential buyer into thinking that they were actually purchasing a real Smith and Wesson. Although workmanship may be superb, Spanish Smith and Wesson copies have a reputation in general for making use of low quality, steel which may not be strong enough to handle modern day high- pressure loads. My advise would be to retire this weapon and not fire it. Values for these pistols are in the $50.00 range. Marc
# 2678 - Johnson Rifle 2/26/00
I am looking for information on the manufacturer of a Jensen 30.06 rifle. I would appreciate any information or links you could provide.
Answer: Sir- I think you may be referring to the "Johnson" rifle. This was a semi automatic rifle with a 10 round magazine invented by Melvin M. Johnson prior to WW2. A few were used by the US military. Just about everything worth knowing about this interesting rifle can be found by using the link on our links page to get to the "Johnson 1941 Rifle Page" Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 2679 - "Cadet Rifle" 2/26/00 Phil
I have an uncle living in rural Tennessee in his 80's that I visited last summer. He show me a Springfield Rifle caliber .58 I had an 1863 Springfield dated lockplate and was shorter that the normal 1863 Springfield rifle. He said it was a cadet rifle. The condition is excellent with MHM and DWI or T Inspectors marks stamped on the stock. It is 45" Over all length, and has a 19" wood barrel with an 8" metal barrel on the tip. It appears to have been professionally or factory altered and like I said appeared genuine. I used to collect single shot military rifles some years ago but have never seen or heard of this one. My Uncle wishes to sell it but would like a fair price out of it if it's genuine. I have one photo of it he sent me but the quality is not very good. Can you offer any information or put me in touch with a collector who may wish to acquire this gun? Thank you in advance. Phil
Answer: Phil- I am familiar with these guns. They were assembled from surplus parts after the Civil War by Francis Bannerman and possibly other surplus dealers for sale to youth groups that were sort of a militarized predecessor to the Boy scouts. They are interesting oddities, but most collectors and dealers consider them to be worth little more than the value of the salvageable parts. In my opinion they should be priced at about $150-200, but I have seen people ask a lot more, often with fanciful tales about being genuine US military issue items. Consider it a great decorator item than cannot hurt anybody, and with some nice family history. John
# 2744 - Stevens Marksman 2/26/00 Herb Nf. Canada
Stevens - Marksman - 25 Cal Rimfire - 20 In - Rust Blue - U 258 -
I would like to know the year of production and how much it's worth. Thank you
Answer: Herb, the Stevens "Marksman" Number 12 Rifle was manufactured from 1912 to 1939 in .22, .25 and.32 rimfire calibers. It had a 22 inch tip up barrel which was blued as was the frame. The action was operated by an "S" type under-lever. The design for the Marksman's action was taken form the Maynard rifle of Civil War fame. Values range from $100 to $300 depending upon condition. Marc
# 2595 - Remington Model 41 Targetmaster 2/22/00 Kevin , Orlando
I was just wondering what year it was and if it has any value.
Answer: Kevin, Remington introduced the Model 41 Targetmaster in 1936 to replace the model 33. The 41 was available in two grades, P and A. The P grade had a 27 inch round barrel, one piece American walnut pistol grip stock with a beaver-tail forend, a shotgun style buttplate, hooded front sight and a Remington receiver mounted peep rear sight. Model 41 P grade rifles retailed in 1936 for $6.00. The A grade rifle was the same as the P grade except that the front sight was a white metal bead and the rear sight was a step adjustable sporting type. Model 41 A grade rifles retailed in 1936 for $5.25. Remington discontinued Model 41 production after 306,880 rifles had been produced in December of 1939 when they introduced the Model 510 Targetmaster to replace it. Blue book values for Model 41 A and P grades are in the $85.00 to $150.00 range depending on condition with P grade versions being worth $25 more on average than A grade models. Marc
# 2659 - USMC M1903 Usage 2/22/00 Louis
I have a question for you concerning the 1903 Springfield or other makes of the 1903, the marines used this rifle on Guadal canal during the initial invasion and the following months during the campaign what model 1903 would they have used and what year of manufacture ? What do you suppose happened to these rifles ?
Answer: Louis- Have not had time to dig out dummies, but info is easier. USMC use of M1903s in WW2- They used whatever rifles they had previously acquired. Many, if not most were in traditional M1903 configuration with straight grip finger groove stocks. Most probably had been overhauled one or more times either within the USMC establishment (e.g.- USMC Depot on Broad Street in Philadelphia- the predecessor of the Marine Corps Logistics Bases at Albany, GA and Barstow, CA)) or perhaps by Army ordnance establishments. Some USMC rifles were upgraded to M1903A1 configuration with full pistol grip "C" stocks and usually new barrels. I have seen several with the Sedgley USMC marked barrels but 1941 dates, and usually with A.H.A. cartouche (meaning unknown to me). Frank Mallory's research in the National Archives has turned up serial numbers of a lot of M1903s with USMC usage documented at some point in their history, and these probably remained in use for their full service life. Most were turned in when Garands became available, or at the end of the war. Some were sold off by local commands in the post war surplus sales era, and some probably ended up back in Army hands and got sold through DCM. I doubt if you can document a Guadal canal connection for any. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 2658 - Winchester Model 52 2/22/00 Erl
Winchester - Model 52 - 22 - 28 Inch Heavy - Blue - 31,147 -
NRA emblem imbedded in stock. (3 1/2 inch oval militiaman) This gun is in excellent condition and the NRA emblem installed in the stock looks like a very professional job or maybe even a factory custom job for the NRA. Could Winchester have made any of these for the NRA in 1934 / 1935 ??? I have attached a jpeg picture if you have time to download it. THANKS
Answer: Sir- The NRA was not involved in gun sales at that time, other than its association with the Director of Civilian Marksmanship program In my opinion this was added by a private owner, probably about the same time he changed the buttplate. These were fine target rifles used by serious shooters. In college I had a Winchester Model 52D. Through a friend, I acquired a thumbhole stock (originally made for use on a Remington Model 37) and I adapted that to the 52D. When I added a Freeland hook buttplate that required an allen wrench to adjust I made a brass patchbox for the stock similar to that on the Model 1841 Mississippi rifle. It worked for me, and I could always find my rifle in a rack. We were shooters, not collectors, then. Probably 99.5% of non-standard features on old target rifles are owner alterations, not scarce factory variations. John Spangler
# 2588 - Argentine Model 1927 2/19/00 Rick, Dickinson, ND,USA
REPULICA ARGENTINAMARINA DE GUERRA also have pistol marked AERONAUTICA ARGENTINA #96041 What history can you give me on these Argentine military pistols? They are finely made and shoot quite well when tuned up a bit. They are in good condition and have good tolerances. What would be a price range and could I find an Army model to go with the Air and Navy models?
Answer: Rick, In 1927, Argentina negotiated a contract with Colt for the manufacture of caliber .45 automatic pistols specially marked and serial numbered in its own series, and secured a license agreement giving Argentina the right to manufacture pistols. The agreement specified that:
A. Colt would manufacture 10,000 Colt automatic pistols, caliber .45, Argentine Model 1927, for the Argentine army.
B. Colt would supply Argentina with complete know-how for future Argentine production of Model 1927 pistols, including drawings, manufacturing instructions (operation sheets), material specifications, tool requirements, etc.
C. Colt would train Argentine technicians in manufacturing, operations and inspection.
An Argentine commission was assigned to Colt, however, at that time, Argentina was not prepared to initiate pistol production due to a lack of manufacturing facilities and a shortage of steel.
In Late 1923 Argentina adopted an armaments bill that would eliminate Argentine dependency on foreign arms. Under this bill, the Argentine Congress authorized appropriations for a military modernization program and prepared the infrastructure for a domestic arms industry. In accordance with this new law, an aircraft factory was established in 1927, a munitions factory in 1933, a small steel mill in 1934, and a small arms factory in 1936, all of which were managed by Argentine army officers.
In October of 1941, the General Directorate of Military Factories (Direccion General de Fabricaciones Militares, or DGFM) was formed. This was a government owned enterprise organized under the War Minister to establish a steel industry and build armament plants. The DGFM became a huge industrial empire controlled and operated by the army, similar to the U.S. Ordnance Department and its manufacturing arsenals. All factories operated by the DGFM were managed by army officers. This army-controlled industry produced all military weapons and equipment, and also manufactured a wide variety of nonmilitary products for commercial sales.
As you have observed Argentine Model 1927 quality seems to be high. Unfortunatley collector interest in Argentine model 1927 pistols is quite a bit lower than it is for U.S., Japanese, or European military firearms so you should be able to find the pistol that you need to finish your collection for under $350. Marc
# 2656 - Correct Ammo? 2/19/00 Mark Rochester, MN
I have an old world war two rifle that I inherited from my grandfather. It is a 8x60 magnum FEGYVERGYAR- Budapest gun. I am trying to find a bullet that will fit in the gun so I can shoot it. I have talked to a few gun smiths but they are unable to help. If you might have any suggestions or ideas on how I can find out what kind of bullets it takes or how I can come across some.
Answer: Mark- Thanks for contacting us. Without seeing your rifle we cannot begin to guess what ammunition may be correct for it. You will have to depend on a competent gunsmith in your area to examine the rifle for safety for firing. If it is an unusual caliber (and I believe 8x60 magnum is an oddball) he should make a casting of the chamber and measure it carefully to verify what it actually should take. I do not know what others gunsmiths would charge, but figure on an hour or so of work at about $50 per hour. If they do not do this properly and tell you to use the wrong ammunition and you foolishly go out and injure yourself, some lawyer will gladly sue the gunsmith for a gazillion dollars. The lawyer will want about one third to one half of whatever you get. My recommendation is to pay the gunsmith up front and avoid giving lawyers anything. If you wait a little while you can save a lot of money because Bill and Hillary will direct Janet Reno's Justice Department to confiscate or "buyback" your gun so you won't hurt yourself or anyone else with it. Remember, Waco and Ruby Ridge were both based on supposed illegal firearms charges. The anti-gun fanatics are trying to make all sorts of firearms illegal so perhaps others can expect the BATF to visit. Guess that is more fun than tracking down the several hundred thousand felons and other prohibited persons who attempted to buy guns but were stopped by "Brady checks." Of those hundreds of thousands, less than a dozen were prosecuted and jailed. So much for Clinton's enthusiasm for putting criminals in jail On the bright side, that may leave room for people who lie under oath and suborn perjury. John Spangler
# 2655 - Very Rare Weapons? 2/19/00 Karen
I am searching of info on two items believed to be from the Ottoman Empire in Europe. A Sword very fancy with handle possibly made to be used as a torch. Also a rifle, black powder cap & ball all hand tooled in some kind of colored stone. That is about all we know. Must be rare because can't find any info. Can you help us? Thanks.
Answer: Karen- The Turkish area has been source of huge quantities of reproductions of old weapons for nearly a hundred years now. These range in quality from very good to pretty crude. They do a thriving business selling these to tourists, and have been doing so for many years, so a lot of these have acquired some genuine age to them. While it is possible that you have some genuine old items, I am afraid the odds are very heavily against you. These fool nearly all the non-antique firearms collectors, and even a few of the collectors have been taken as well. There is little or no written information on these, just little tidbits buried in various reference books that are not easy to find. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 2680 - Forehand and Wadsworth 2/15/00 Larry
I acquired a Forehand & Wadsworth pistol in a box of stuff. It says Forehand and Wadsworth Russian 32. I appears old, I don't know anything about weapons. Its small it fits in the palm of my hand. It has no trigger guard. When you cock the hammer the trigger moves forward and then you can fire it. I read other things you said about F&W handguns and I definitely wont attempt to fire it. Was just wondering if you can tell me a little about it. Cant seem to find anything on the internet except your site... Thanks Larry
Answer: Larry- Smith & Wesson got a contract from the Russians around 1870 and introduced their "Russian" model .44 caliber revolver which became very popular. I suspect that Forehand & Wadsworth noted this popularity and came out with their own "Russian" model. The "spur trigger" without a trigger guard was popular from about 1860 on, but pretty well disappeared by about 1890, so I would date your pistol somewhere between about 1875 and 1890. If it is remifre, it is probably toward the early end of that period, and if centerfire, toward the later end. This is one of a large number of F&W products which did not earn space in Flayderman's comprehensive coverage of American Antique arms. I am not sure if you comment about not finding anything else on the internet proves that we are the best informed gun site around, or maybe there is just little competition that gives away free advice and answers questions for guests. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 2681 - Colt 44 Revolver 2/15/00 Ed
Hi Ole guns, Trying to find out more about this revolver, it has a Pat. date Sept.10 1850, cyl. is engraved w/maybe a boat or ship [ lightly rusted] Serial#151203 The barrel say`s [address COL Sam Colt "New York USA America" The trigger is either brass or bronze w/44cal.engraved. Can you tell me more about cleaning this piece up without doing damage? What other info is needed for an approximate valve? A friend found this gun in his dad`s stuff after he passed on! I haven`t seen it, But he say`s it has a round barrel on the outside and a hex. on the inside?????????? If you could tell me anything about this revolver I would appreciate it. THANKS
Answer: Ed- From your description it sounds like it is a Colt Model 1860 "Army" revolver. These were widely used during the Civil War by cavalry troops and many private individuals also bought them. I cannot find anything on your specific serial number to document military use, but it may well have been military issue. These are popular collector items, and value and demand depends on condition. Value may be anywhere from about $300 on up, with $500-1000 being pretty typical. Usually the cylinder scene is pretty faint, so you may have a nicer than average example there. If there is a lot of original blue finish, then the value can get up to $2000 or more. We would need to see the gun, or at least some good detailed photos to get a better idea of the value. As far as cleaning, the best thing to do is use some WD-40 and a rag to clean off any dirt and protect it from rust. DO NOT USE any abrasives (sandpaper, wire brush, steel wool, or anything like that) and do not polish the brass trigger guard. Depending on how much time and effort you spend cleaning it, you can REDUCE the value by anywhere from $50 to $500, so please leave it alone. If your friend decides to sell it, we would be glad to help find a buyer. John Spangler
# 2682 - Slide Rifle" Circa 1850 2/15/00 Brian Ft. Lauderdale
A statement by Bill Hickman, a Mormon Danite in the 1800's, referred to a "slide rifle with slide of six shots". This weapon was used by him in 1850. From the context, it is obviously some kind of magazine-fed rifle, but I never heard of anything like it in that time frame. Can you tell anything about this weapon or where I can get more info on it?
Answer: Brian- You are a victim of evolving words, and asume that slide is about the same as a pump action. This is probably a "harmonica" type action where a flat bar type magazine can slide thru the receiver (manually in most cases) to bring a fresh chamber in line with the barrel. I think John Browning (father of John M.) made some of these in the 1850s, and other makers as well.. John Spangler
# 2578 - Mismatch P.38 2/12/00 Benjamin Owosso, MI
Walther, Manufactured By Mauser - P.38 - 9 Mm - 5 In. - Black - 4605 -
I know nothing about guns but did a little research. The left hand side of the frame serial number 4605 is visible, to the right of that is a lowercase d, followed by an eagle over 35x (can't make out last number). The slide has P.38 followed by byf 43 (I know that's Mauser 1943) and farther to the right is the number 138 2 and a marking. The right side of the slide has three eagles. two eagles are above the number 135, and the middle one is above a swastika. Finally, the barrel has the number 7850, with a lowercase f beneath. It is in good condition. It is entirely black, 95% of the finish remains. What is the approximate value?
Answer: Benjamin, you do have a Mauser manufactured P.38 slide, byf is the WWII German ordnance code assigned to Mauser-Werke, and eagle over 135 is the German WW-II Heerswaffenamt inspector's mark on arms produced at Mauser Werke, but it sounds like some of the other parts are not Mauser manufactured or are mismatched. The serial number on your frame (4605d) does not match the serial number on your barrel (7850f). The German WWII Heerswaffenamt inspector's mark on the frame (eagle over 35x) is not correct for Mauser, eagle over 359 is the German WW-II Heerswaffenamt inspector's mark on arms manufactured at Walther, Zella Mehlis, Germany. Unfortunately values for mismatched P.38 pistols are much lower than for examples that are all marching. I would estimate that value for your P.38 is in the $250 or less range. Marc
# 2654 - Ghurka Knife 2/12/00 Dennis
Do you know anything about a knife used in India called a GURKA (sp?)? My dad bought this in 1944 in India.
Answer: Dennis- the Ghurka troops are/were British mercenaries recruited in some part of India and have a reputation as being ferocious and loyal fighters. In addition to the normal weapons, they carried the Ghurka knives like yours, with all sorts of grisly tales about the actual or intended uses upon the enemy. There has been a healthy market for Ghurka knives among tourists (American GIs qualify in that category), usually of lesser quality. Those officially procured for military issue presumably would have the British broad arrow markings and would be worth more to a collector. For the common versions values seem to run in the under $100 range, perhaps as little as $30-40 for very recent imports. John Spangler
# 2653 - American Bulldog Revolver 2/12/00 Steve
American Bulldog -
My name is Steve Evans and I live in St. Louis , mo. Recently my grandfather passed away and as I was cleaning out his personal belongings I came across a pretty old revolver that I was hoping someone could help me identify. I personally do not know to much about guns , the only identification that is on the pistol are the words "American bull dog" they are located on the top of the gun right above thy cylinder. The barrel is approx. 2.5" long and octagon shaped the caliber is slightly bigger than a .38. It is a five shot revolver . Any help in identifying the caliber or value of this piece would be greatly appreciated. The condition of this gun is not the best. It looks like it hasn't been touched in many, many years. Pretty heavy oxidation and surface rust on one side I assume from laying on a shelf for so long .Could this piece be restored? Once again any help would be appreciated. Thank you, Steve
Answer: Steve- The American Bulldog is one of a number of low quality, cheap pistols made circa 1880-1910 that earned the name "Saturdry night specials, or suicide specials". (The latter inspired by their apparent accuracy and durability potential. There is some collector interest in these, mainly due to the interesting names they are marked with, and a collection can be quite large without investing a whole lot. Retail on this would probably be in the $30-75 range depending on condition. It is probably .32 S&W or .38 S&W caliber, but I would not shoot it with modern ammunition. This might be a good one to hold for a "gun buy back" program and get some money for it. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 2652 - Shotgun- Phoenix 2/9/00 Frank
Phoenix - 12 GA -
I just saw a shotgun in a gunstore. It said 12 gauge phoenix with a date of 1873. Open choke but here is the odd part, the firing pin and the entire back end of the breach hinges to the right similar to a 45/70 Springfield except to the right, and it also had an extractor built into this mechanism. The barrel did not look Damascus, and the hammer was exposed. Any ideas on who made this and when and..... Why? They are asking 150.00 regards Frank
Answer: Frank- Phoenix a brand name used by Whitney. Flayderman's Guide informs us that their shotguns with the hinged breech (more like a Snider than a trapdoor in my opinion) were made in 10,12,14,16, and 22 [sic] gauges with barrels 26, 28, 30, 32 inches long with shorter lengths known. Some of the shotguns were unmarked but most bore the Phoenix markings. Barrels on some early production were worked over from .58 musket barrels, Flayderman says the value is about $175 for NRA antique good condition, and $350 in fine. Interesting old guns, and since the seller thinks it is worth $150 and you have not decided to buy, it may not be worth that much. If you buy with intention to resell, you may have a long wait looking for the guy who wants it worse than you, or even wants it at all. Caveat emptor. John Spangler
Answer: Due to insufficient information we cannot do a full appraisal on your gun. However, we are happy to furnish the following information at no cost. This was manufactured in late 1909 or early 1910,. Apparently the US Marine Corps contract was for 1,400 pistols. Unlike the Army and navy contract which called for smooth walnut grips, the USMC model usually had checkered walnut grips, although some of the early ones may have had checkered hard rubber with "COLT" in an oval at the top. These are desirable collector items. Value in NRA antique very good condition is listed as $950.00 and NRA antique excellent at $3,000. There is no information in official government records as to where this one may have been issued. Since this is a family piece, we urge you to keep it in the family. However, if you decide to sell it, we would be glad to handle it on consignment at a fee of 12% of the actual selling price. John Spangler
# 2650 - Antique Revolver 2/9/00
N.Y. Pistol Co. - Wide Awake -
While working on an Estate Sale, we have run across a small revolver. It reads : N.Y. Pistol Co. New York WIDE AWAKE Pat. April 6, 1873 #8968 Do you know anything about this piece that you can share, approx. value, any interested parties. We know furniture & collectibles, but our knowledge of antique firearms is non-existent.
Answer: Hi- Glad to help. I don't know anything about furniture, so maybe you can help me someday. New York Pistol Co. was a trade name used by Otis A. Smith on revolvers, and WIDE AWAKE was the brand name on one of the inexpensive pistols. Collectors call these "suicide specials" inspired by their likely accuracy and durability. Values for any not in pristine condition will run $30-75. If you find a really nice one maybe double that from an advanced collector looking for a specific brand. Old and collectible, but not very much value to them. John Spangler
German Luger - Mauser (byf) - 9 Mm - Appox. 3-1/4 In. If You Measure The Visible Blue - 4548I -
Barrel: Has a small eagle standing on a swastika inside a circle on the right side. The top part of the barrel somewhat to the left also has an eagle (very small) with 135 under it. Under the barrel is the serial number 4548.Frame: Has P.08 on left side and serial number 4548i in front. Receiver Assembly: On the right side has 2 small eagles w/ 135 under them (like on the barrel but a little bigger) and another eagle standing on a swastika inside a circle (like the one on the barrel but bigger). Above the chamber is the number "42". On the toggle are the letters "byf". On the left side of the breechblock is a small eagle with a swastika. All the other small parts have the number 48 (last 2 digits of the serial no.)Magazine: Has a "fxo" and an eagle w/ the no. 37 underneath. On the side has P.08. On the aluminum bottom has the no. 1166 and what looks like an "r" in script under it. Grips: Checkered wooden grips w/ no marks even on the inside. Inherited this from my father. From what I can tell, it's in good condition and the original blue is probably 85-90%. I wanted to know the history of this luger and what's it worth. Thanks a lot in advance. I came across your site by accident and I found it very interesting and informative.
Answer: Norm, glad that you like our site. It sounds like you have a very nice WWII German military Luger with all of the correct markings. Unfortunately there are no records that I know of to look up who your Luger was issued to or to find anything about it's history but I will tell you what I can. 42 dated Mauser (byf) Lugers are one of the most common of all the German WWII Lugers, thousands were manufactured, standard magazines were "fxo" marked and had an un-numbered plastic bottom. As you already know, byf is the WWII German ordnance code assigned to Mauser-Werke, Oberndorf am Neckar, Germany. The eagle over a swastika inside a circle stampings are military test proofs. The eagle over 135 are German WW-II Heerswaffenamt inspector's marks for arms produced at Mauser Werke AG, Oberndorf am Neckar, Germany. The "fxo" stamping on your magazine is the WWII German ordnance code assigned to C. G. Haenel, Waffenu. Fahrradfabrik, Suhl, Germany. C. G. Haenel was a subcontractor who produced Luger magazines. Blue book values for 42 byf Lugers in 85-90% condition are in the $500 to $550 range. Let us know if you ever decide to sell. Marc
# 2649 - An Old Musket 2/5/00 Mike
Pa---er Snow & Co -
Hi, My name is Mike and I live in New York State. I have an old musket from ,I believe, the Civil War and I wondered if you could steer me in the right direction to research the gun. The markings on the gun are as follows: Pa---er Snow & Co Meridan Conn. and it is dated 1863. The letters in the first word of the name are not clear and I was hoping you could clarify the name of the manufacturer and if it has any known value. Also, I would like to know how I would research the gun and the company to assess the value of the musket for myself. I found you in a search of the internet and , quite frankly, you were the only one to offer an email of questions. I gather the question should be about a specific book you feature, But I was hoping to get the asked for information first. Thank You in advance for any help or direction, Mike
Answer: Mike- Glad to help people out. If we do, and they become collectors, we hope they will buy from us. If they do not want to be collectors and decide to sell the item, we hope to either buy it or help them sell it. If they do neither, we still learn a lot. Parkers' Snow & Co. of Meriden Conn. delivered about 15,000 Model 1861 .58 caliber muskets during the Civil War, most in 1864, but some in 1863. In all regards these are identical to the standard M1861 as made at Springfield except for the markings. There are a few specialized references that will give you a little more information, but nothing very exciting. Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and their values places these as worth $750 in NRA antique good condition (see our links for definitions) or $2250 in NRA antique fine. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 2646 - 30-40 Krag Rifle 2/5/00 Shane
Springfield - Krag - 30-40 -
I just bought a 30-40 Krag. It looks like the end of the stock may have been cut off some years ago? It's numbers are model 1898 Springfield armory 36399. It also has some kind of stamp under the bolt on the stock, a 1902. Can you tell me what I have and what it might be worth? I like to hunt and I just bought the gun because we share the last name, my grandfather was from Norway. Thanks Shane
Answer: Shane- Krags are great rifles with one of the smoothest actions ever made. I really enjoy shooting mine. A lot of Krags were sporterized over the years with the stock cut down, and often the barrel cut from original 30 inch length to about 24 inches, or sometimes the barrel replaced with one made from a M1903 Springfield barrel. Sometimes carbine stocks were used, and these are fairly valuable by themselves. Value on the cut downs runs anywhere from about $125 to $300 depending on condition and overall appearance. The stamp on the stock (usually the left side) is probably JSA 1902 indicating inspection and acceptance at Springfield by J. Sumner Adams who inspected all arms made at that time. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 2657 - Restoration? 2/1/00 Evan
I am trying to find information on two guns that have been passed down in our family. The first is a ww greener 10 gauge double barrel. It has double triggers and has the inscription "WW Greener 68 haymarket London winner at all gun trials 1875 to 1884" down the barrel. It also has a patent number and "wedge fast" written above the inscription. All three pieces of the gun have what I think must be serial numbers. This gun is in good condition but the metal parts while not rusted have some wear. Should I consider restoring this gun or would leaving it alone be better? The second gun is a single shot 22 made by hm Quackenbush. The only writing on this gun is pat in us&eng feb 23'86 & belg, mar.15.86. This gun is in the same condition as the shotgun. It is in good working order but the metal shows some wear. My questions about this gun are the same as the shotgun. Should I have it restored or leave it alone? Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.
Answer: Evan- Greener made high quality shotguns and there is collector interest in them, although the old guns with Damascus barrels should not be fired with modern ammunition. Value will depend on the exact model and quality of work, and condition. The Quackenbush is a clever but cheaply made "Boys' rifle" sold in large numbers in the 1893-1920 period, along with several models of air guns. These came with either a fixed wire stock or one that slid forward for use as a "bicycle rifle" nearly identical with the stock later used on the USAF M4 survival rifle. The Quackenbush rifles are fairly desirable collector items and sell for several hundred dollars depending on the exact model and the condition. As a general rule, a refinished collector gun will only bring about half as much as one with original finish, and demand will be much less. I cannot promise or threaten physical violence if you refinish either of these, but will have to talk to my buddy Guido to see if he is busy. Some guns are worth so little, or are so ugly that refinishing is appropriate, but everyone should refrain from destroying historic old arms. Restoration is a different issue. This would involve replacing or repairing any missing or damaged parts, or perhaps a gentle refinishing using the original style materials or touching up worn finish on exposed areas. Some people like to "touch up" old military arms, but I usually do not approve. In any case, if anything like this has been done, it should be clearly noted so the buyer can decide if the item meets their collecting standards. John Spangler
# 2636 - Detective Special Year Of Manufacture 2/1/00 Dan Poway, California
Colt - Detective Special - 38 Special - 2" - Blue - 24093R -
A small "P" under the serial number I was recently given a Colt Detective Special. The owner could not remember the date of purchase. With only the serial number (24093R), is it possible to find out the manufacture date of this pistol?
Answer: Dan, records indicate that Colt started using serial numbers with an "R" suffix somewhere around 1973. The year of manufacture for serial number 24093R is 1978. Marc
# 2645 - Reichmarks 2/1/00
I have a 100,000 Reichmark bank note (bill ), and I was wondering if it is of any value to a collector. It is in 'fairly' good condition. It was folded in quarters long ago and kept in an envelope in a dry place.
Answer: Sir- My guess is that this dates from the 1920s. It would have taken literally a wheelbarrow load of those to buy a loaf of bread. I am 99.9% certain it has very little if any value other than as a curiosity. Probably on the order of less than $5.00 You might try selling it on Ebay and see what people will bid. I could be way off. John Spangler
# 2644 - Malayan Emergency Study 2/1/00 Fred
Dear Mr. Spangler, You have shown some interest in the combat use of shotguns in previous questions- perhaps you can help me with this one. During the Malayan Emergency the British Security Forces prepared a study (or studies?) regarding the combat effectiveness of various small arms, including shotguns. I think it was produced around 1953. It's mentioned in Thomas Swearengen's "The World's Fighting Shotguns" in several places (esp. pp. 14-17). Do you have a citation for this document? Have you ever seen a copy, and do you know if it is available? It is evident from Swearengen's remarks that he saw a copy at some point. I have queried the USMC Marine Corps University Library regarding the document but have received no answer at this point. Any help from you would be appreciated.
Answer: Fred- Sorry, I have never seen the report or heard of it other than the Swearingen book. I assume this is for semi-official use, or you are military. Try the Special Forces Museum there at Ft. Bragg. (If the curator is still Don DeVere, tell him John Spangler, USN (ret) says hello from Utah!) A couple of other places might be the folks at Rock Island in the Weapons Command or whatever their current name is, in either the R&D area or perhaps they have a technical library, or maybe the John M. Browning museum there might have a copy. Aberdeen Proving Ground at the Ordnance School must have a technical library. There has to be an Army medical school somewhere (Walter Reed?) or the Armed Forces University of Health Sciences if they are still in business The hardest part will be getting past the person who answers the phone and finding the person whose whole life revolves around finding obscure publications from their horde to delight researchers. Good luck. John Spangler