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# 3367 - Remington Mod. 51 Takedown 2/28/01 Garald Green Valley Ill
Remington - 51 - 380 - 2 5/8 - blued - PA 9441 -
manufactured 1918 to 1927 would like Assembly/Disassembly procedure
Answer: Gerald, Remington manufactured approximately 65,000 Model 51 pistols in .32 and .380 calibers from 1918 to 1927. Many experts say that the Remington M51 is the finest pocket automatic pistol ever made, the workmanship is of extremely high quality, and the pistol is well-shaped for instinctive shooting. The pistol was designed by J. B. Pedersen who also designed the "Pedersen Device," for converting the Springfield rifle to a semi-automatic weapon using a special short .30 caliber cartridge. When the Model 51 was designed, hundreds of experiments were made with hand molds to determine the correct shape, length, and pitch to provide the most nearly perfect average grip. The Remington 51 is considered to be the best-balanced, most-instinctive pointing pocket pistol ever made.
Smith's Pistol Book gives the following instructions for disassembly and reassembly:
1- Remove magazine.
2- Pull back slide, cocking gun.
3- Pull slide back about one-fourth of an inch to align cutout on left side of slide with barrel holding pin. Remove barrel holding pin from left side.
4- Pull back slide sufficiently to allow finger grip on end of barrel. With grip safety depressed pull forward on barrel removing barrel and slide.
The rest of the stripping on the assembly is performed with the underside of the slide held upward. These operations are greatly simplified if the slide is held snugly in a vise.
5- With the right hand, catch a fingernail under the extreme rear end of the breechblock. With the left thumb on the rear of the barrel projection, slide the barrel forward against the spring tension. (This operation is facilitated by inserting a drift pin through the hole in the barrel projection.) At same time tilt the breechblock up from the rear and move it forward, removing the breechblock. Tip up the slide assembly allowing the firing pin spring and firing pin to drop out of the muzzle.
6- Move the barrel forward against the spring tension sufficiently to allow the recoil spring bushing to clear the recesses on each slide of the slide. Tip the barrel up just enough to hold the bushing under tension against the rear end of the slide recesses. Pull the barrel to the rear and up, removing the barrel, recoil spring bushing, and recoil spring.
1- Replace the recoil spring and recoil spring bushing. Have the recoil spring under tension and held so by having the recoil spring bushing tilted slightly upward and held against the rear end of the recesses in the slide.
2- Insert the barrel so that rear end just clears the breechblock-holding the projection on the slide. Push rear end of the barrel downward into proper alignment in the slide.
3- With the barrel moved forward, insert the firing pin in the forward end of the breechblock-holding projection. Place the firing pin spring on the from end of the firing pin.
4- With the barrel moved forward, place the forward end of the breechblock over the front end of the firing pin spring and move the breechblock to the rear and down at the rear end, allowing the breechblock to fall into position around the breechblock-holding projection.
5- Allow the barrel to move to the rear being sure that the barrel projection is aligned in the center of the slide in proper relationship with the breed block,
6- Replace the slide on the forward end of the receiver until the rear end of the slide strikes the disconnector. Depress the grip safety, push down the disconnector, and continue to push the slide to the rear until it is in proper alignment.
7- Pull back the slide. Align the cutout in the slide with the hole in the left side of the receiver and replace the barrel holding pin. Replace the magazine and pull the trigger.
I have owned several Model 51 pistols over the years but never had to disassemble one. The disassembly part of these instructions looks complicated but re-assembly looks even worse. I don't think that I would try this if I did not have a very good reason to do so, and a couple hours to kill. If you try it Good Luck! Marc
# 3404 - Australian Lithgow SMLE History 2/28/01 Ken, Tifton, GA, USA
SMLE - Number 1, Mark 3 - .303 - 56855 -
Lithgow Factory marking just below bolt. When was this gun manufactured and where might it have traveled over it's lifetime. My son saw this gun and wanted it, and we got it. Just a little history of it would be nice. Thanks very much.
Answer: Ken- Congratulations to your and your son on becoming gun collectors and military historians. Lithgow Small Arms Factory is the government run arsenal in Australia, located in the industrial city of Lithgow, about 140 KM west of Sydney. (Remember, where the summer Olympic games were held, kangaroos, koala bears, warm beer, funny accents and all that?). The plant was set up with machinery provided by Pratt & Whitney of the U.S. (much to the chagrin of the British military and manufacturing people). The machinery was first used by Colt to make a few sample rifles prior to shipping it to Australia. Production there began in May of 1912, and about 130,000 rifles were made at SAF Lithgow by the end of WW1 in 1918. After WW1, Lithgow diversified into sheep sheering cutters, telephones, and even golf club heads and sporting guns, along with a few thousand SMLE rifles each year. During WW2 another 400,000 SMLE rifles were made. There were minor changes made in sights, barrel weight, use of a magazine cutoff, and other details by the time production ended at the end of WW2 in 1945. Lithogow remained engaged in overhaul of SMLE rifles until 1957 when the semi-automatic L1A1 rifles (designed by FN in Belgium) were introduced into Australian service.
Normally the date of manufacture is marked under the Lithgow marking on the "butt socket" the large metal piece that connects the front and rear of the stock. If that is no longer visible due to wear or refinishing, you can sometimes find dates on some of the smaller parts, usually just the last two digits, and those may reflect the dates replacement parts were made, many years after the rifle was first issued. Careful study of details in Ian Skennerton's superb "The Lee Enfield Story" will help somewhat in dating the rifle. You can have your local library get a copy on interlibrary loan for a very small fee, or you can call IDSA Books on our links page and buy a copy.
The Australian forces used their Lithgow made SMLE rifles throughout WW1,m WW2, and in the Korean War. While there is no way to trace an individual rifle by serial number, sometimes there are unit markings on rifles, especially the early ones that used a brass disc in the stock which would be replaced when the gun was reissued. I have seen photos of Australian troops in WW1 at Gallipoli, in WW2 in North Africa and on Pacific islands, and in the winter shows of Korea armed with the SMLE.
SMLE Enfields are an interesting collecting field with a huge variety of models, places of production, and places they were used. Most of the rifles are fairly inexpensive to buy and surplus ammunition is readily available. (make sure you clean properly afterwards as most of it is corrosive and will badly damage the bore if not cleaned promptly. I have known many Enfield collectors who have had a lot of fun with these interesting old rifles learning about their history and how they were used in military campaigns. We have links to one or two good Enfield sites on our links page and there is a Lee Enfield discussion forum at www.gunandknife.com. I know there is at least one Australian collector there, because he has gotten some items for his collection from us! John Spangler
# 3416 - Allen Pepperbox 2/28/01 Jim Milwaukee
?tarnished steel? -
Engraved, Pat. 1845, Allen I have a pepper-box pistol from 1845. It is pre-civil war and I was looking for information on it's worth and history. Could you tell me about it or where I could find information on it?
Answer: Jim- Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and their Values has a pretty good section on Allen pepperboxes, including details of how to identify the many variations and values. Your best bet would be to buy a copy and see exactly what you have. (We have these on our book catalog page if you want to order from us, but they are available from any good gun book dealer. We are not trying to push you into buying a book instead of answering your question, it is just that there are so many details that it would be better to check while you can compare your gun with the details listed.) John Spangler
# 3919 - British Musket 1774 2/24/01 Roy
John and Marc I have recently obtained a musket that I need some help to get info on. It has the word TOWER on the side. A crown which I believe is British., with VR under the crown. It has a 3/4 inch inside diameter barrel. (75 cal.)? The barrel length is approx. 39 1/2 inches long. The leather is still with the flint on the gun. There is a shoulder strap sling at the trigger. I'd say the condition is approx. 80% . The VR is what I am really having trouble finding info on. King George lll was under rule at the time of 1774. Could you please give me info on the musket and its value if I was to sell it. Thank you, Roy
Answer: Roy- It sounds like you have a musket composed of all original parts made in the reign of Victoria (about 1817 if I recall correctly, but maybe she took over later than that). They were still making flint musket then but not many as they had a huge surplus left from the Napoleanic Wars, and percussion arms soon were introduced. Manufacture of flintlocks for military use ceased, except for some for colonial issue which continued a bit longer. Another option is that you have a composite gun made up of various vintage parts.
I am not sure where you get the 1774 dating, but I assume it is on the lock, as was the usual practice. That could be an attempt by someone to put an old date on a newer gun, probably to sell it as a Revolutionary War piece.
Brown Bess muskets followed a fairly well defined evolutionary course over the years, and if you sent some photos showing both sides of the lock area, the top of the buttplate tang, the trigger guard, and the ramrod pipes we could probably pin it down a little better. One major clue is the barrel length. The 39" length was usually used on the "third" or "India pattern" musket, generally made after about 1800. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 3918 - Advice for New Collectors 2/24/01 Bill
I was wondering why you gentlemen don't deal much with Mosin Nagant rifles? I'd really like to work on my collection but don't have a budget. I have seen auctions sites like gunbroker.com that have a lot of items. What would you suggest to start collecting / selling? In short how did you all get started?
Answer: Bill- Good to hear from you again. Good questions.
We don't deal with a lot of Mosin Nagants because we do not want to try to compete with the surplus dealers who have a ton of them, usually in mediocre condition, and want to sell them as cheaply and quickly as possible. We prefer to deal in guns that are in better condition or more desirable to collectors for some reason. We can make more money that way, and not spend all day trying to peddle greasy rusty surplus stuff with very little profit.
I personally don't like the auction format. Some people love it. I like chocolate ice cream, but some people do not. Guess you do what you like in cases like that.
To start collecting buy good reference books, preferably before you buy a gun. Some say if you buy a gun you should also buy a book. Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and their values is the one I would recommend to anyone regardless of their area of interest. The advice in Flayderman (aside from the accurate descriptions and value guidance) is worth reading several times. We stock his book on our book page.
Collect something that interests YOU, not something recommended by someone else, even us. Collect something your spouse will tolerate, or perhaps enjoy. Collect something you can afford. Hope to maybe have it turn out to be a good investment, but if profit is your motive, there are other better ways to make money (investing in stocks or just saving, or paying off credit debt early).
Enjoy your collection. If your situation permits, have it in a room (not visited by strangers, or susceptible to burglars) neatly displayed. (Okay, so some people need rooms bigger than the rest of the house, but you won't face that problem for a few years.)
Buy good quality items unless they are so very scarce that you will never see another one. Top quality pieces appreciate faster and sell better than lesser condition items. Rare junk is still junk. Buy from reputable sources. If you don't know your diamonds, know your jeweler. A good dealer should be more interested in helping you build a good collection than in selling you whatever they have in stock.
We got started as collectors, and ended up selling stuff as we upgraded our collections. We enjoyed gun shows, and got a table to have a place to sit down and maybe sell a few things. Now we have to get several tables, and never have a chance to sit down. Then we get home and have to take care of customers on our site here at Oldguns.net. John Spangler
# 3401 - Stevens Maynard JR Date Of Manufacture 2/24/01 Bryan Wilburton, Ok
Stevens Maynard JR - Unknown - 22-long Rifle - About 20 To 24 Inches - Blue - unknown -
it is a lever action single shot 22 has half octagon barrel. the rifle has no bolts or screws it is placed together with brass brads. I would like to know the manufacture date of this rifle. This rifle was made in chicorie falls if this helps.
Answer: Bryan, the Stevens Company introduced the Maynard Jr. (No. 15 rifle) in 1900 using the Maynard design which they owed the patent rights to. The Maynard Jr. was a 22 rimfire rifle with an 18 inch part round/part octagon barrel, and blued finish. Early models have a butt stock made from a flat board with the edges slightly rounded off. Later models (manufactured after in April, 1906) have a regular oval type of stock. The Maynard Jr. was an economy model in the Stevens line, very simply designed and cheaply constructed. During it's entire production life, retail prices remained at $3.00. Stevens manufactured the Maynard Jr. from 1900 to about 1912, if your rifle has the flat stock it was manufactured between 1900 and 1906, if it has a rounded stock, it was manufactured between 1906 and 1912. Marc
# 3387 - Burnside Carbine 2/21/01 Jeff Calgary Canada
Breech end of the bbl is engraved with "Burnstead Patent. Model of 1864. #10357.Saddle ring on the left side. Adj rear sigh A friend asked me, a shooter of modern handguns, for an opinion on his very antique rifle. The action is odd. t is a lever action and when you drop down the lever, it reveals a chamber for the powder, wad and ball. I'm out of my league here. What is this rifle and what should he insure it for?
Answer: Jeff- The Burnside carbine was the invention of General, later governor of Rhode Island, Ambrose E. Burnside, wearer of extravagant facial hair which evolved into the term "sideburns." Burnside's carbines were made in four or five different models, depending on which authorities you consult. All used similar breechblocks which allowed use of a brass cartridge case inserted into the front of the breechblock. The case has a large round belt behind the mouth that helps seal the joint between the breechblock and the barrel. There is a tiny hole in the base of the cartridge to allow the flame from the percussion cap to get through to ignite the powder charge. About 54,000 of these were purchased for use during the Civil War, and they were fairly popular with the cavalry troops who used them. The Model 1864 is the fourth (or fifth) model and are by far the most common type encountered. I would recommend insuring it for $750 to $2000 depending on condition. John Spangler
# 3392 - Alert .22 Revolver 2/21/01 Gary P.a. U.S.A.
ALERT ? - 1874 ? - 22 short - 2'' - black ? - 669 -
I've recently found an old pistol and was hoping you could give me some info about it. It's a 7 shot revolver, overall length is just over 5". The only markings I can find on it read( ALERT-1874 )and are located on top of the barrel, and 669 on the bottom of barrel. It's a nice looking gun with dark wood pistol grips which are in surprisingly good shape (the rest of the gun is scratched and nicked).Thank You very much for your time. Gary
Answer: Gary- Your gun is what collectors call a "suicide special". These were made in large numbers and sold at very cheap prices (with quality ranging from execrable to mediocre). Nickel plating was the usual finish on these, and caliber ranged from .22 to .32, .38 and even a few in .41 rimfire. These were all pretty puny blackpowder cartridges, and none of these guns should be fired with modern ammunition, even if you can find some. Fine quality arms were marked with the maker names, lesser quality often used imaginative names such as Tramp's terror, Swamp Angel, Bulldog, etc. The makers of the worst were so embarrassed that they refused to mark their product with anything that would identify them. Hopkins and Allen and Bacon Arms Co. were two of the largest makers, and your gun was probably made by one of them. This can be an interesting collecting field with a huge variety available at modest prices. Donald B. Webster's book "Suicide Specials" is the best reference on them, although Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and Their Values is pretty useful as well. John Spangler
# 3433 - Savage Model 99F In Canada? 2/21/01 Kelli, Alberta, Canada
Savage - 99F - .284 - 27" - Blued - 1084620 -
I would like to know how old this gun is and what the possible value is of it. It is in good condition. Any information would be appreciated as it was passed down to me by my grandfather.
Answer: Kelli, with the new Canadian gun laws, I hope that you are going to be able to keep this bit of family heritage and history but I am afraid that you will not. After the "caring" politicians who just want to protect us, are finished, we won't have any firearms, high cholesterol foods, fattening candy, kitchen knives, baseball bats and who knows what else. All of these thinkgs and more will be denied for our own good. It is only a matter of time before firearms in the USA will also be confiscated unless US citizens become politically active and support politicians who will uphold their oath of office and defend the constitution rather than trying to circumvent it.
I have no specific serial number information for Model 99s manufactured after 1940 and my records indicate that your rifle was manufactured after 1940. I can give you a little history and an approximate value. The Savage model 1899 (99) was an improvement of Model 1895 with several changes including a cocking indicator as opposed to viewing hole indicator. A wide variety of special order features were available including special length barrels up to 30 inches, pistol grip stocks, fancy checkering, special select woods, custom plating, differing grades of engraving, and special custom sights, all of which can command a moderate to sizeable premium. Depending on condition and special features, values can range from $150.00 to over $1000.00 U.S.D. Average Savage Model 99 rifles in average condition usually sell in the $250 to $350 range. Marc
# 3493 - .358 Model 88 Carbine 2/17/01 Jeff, Washington
Carbine, Barrel band I bought this about 10 years ago, I was wondering if you could tell me anything about this gun. I would say it is 96 to 99 percent in condition, I've only shot it 2 times and I don't think it has seen more than a box or two of shells through it, could you tell me what it might be worth? I also have the same rifle in a 284 carbine, same condition. Thank you for your time Jeff.
Answer: Jeff, your carbine was manufactured in the first year of Model 88 carbine production, 1968. The 19 inch Model 88 carbine was initially listed in the Winchester catalog in three calibers: .243, 284. and .308. By 1971, the Winchester catalog listed Model 88 carbines in .243 and .308 calibers only. I can find no mention of the Model 88 carbine ever being offered in .358. Blue book values for Model 88 carbines in .284 range from $475 to $1200. If your carbine is original, and not something put together at a later date, there is probably at least one individual willing to pay more for the unusual caliber. Marc
# 3361 - Flare Pistol, Webley & Scott 2/17/01 Vance, Salem, Oregon, USA
Webley & Scott, Ltd., London & Birmingham - Flare pistol? Stamped III - ? - Flared end, break barrel, about 5 1/2" - Brass with walnut grips - 96525 -
Looks like a grooved bullet or projectile with wings on right side. What in the dickens is it? Father found in Germany during WWII and I inherited it.
Answer: Vance- All countries used various flare pistols until recent years when every soldier and sailor seems to have been equipped with a radio, officers with TVs, and some folks with computers for communications. In the "good old days" when warrior men slogged through the trenches to charge over the top (instead of pressing a button before stepping outside for a smoke break) various numbers and colors of flares would be used to signal things, or just confuse the other guys.
Flare pistols have been military issue since at least the 1860s for ground forces. Other models have been used by naval and merchant vessels, mainly for distress signals, and later by combat aircraft, to signal the need for medical help on landing or other problems. Most fire pyrotechnic shells (that is a big word that means something like the stuff you see on holiday fireworks displays.). An early version was developed by Lt. Edward Very, US Navy, circa 1890, and the name "Very pistol" is often applied to any flare gun. His design was based on a 10 Gauge shell, but in WW1 and WW2 larger sizes were adopted, with most being about 1 inch bore (25mm or 28mm) or 1.5 inch bore (37mm). Webley-Scott was a British maker, and I suspect they made them during both World Wars.
A few people collect nothing but flare guns, and they can be found from many different countries in many different designs, some having two, three or even four barrels. There does not seem to be much in the way of value information on flare guns, but $25-50 seems common for foreign examples in average condition, while exotic multi barrel jobs covered with swastikas fetch several hundred dollars. From time to time surplus dealers have some flare guns for sale. I believe that flare guns, although they are smoothbore, are excluded from the category of "sawed off shotguns" but are still considered to be firearms like other pistols. It would be best to consult your attorney or friendly BATF office to be sure. John Spangler
Recently obtained the above rifle. Only has a symbol and the #17. I think it is a Kregoff Drilling? Around trigger mech. it has silver plating with engraving? Any idea what it is?
Answer: Stephen- I am unable to figure out exactly what you have. Maybe it is some sort of miniature or child's gun, or intended for gallery use. 11mm is about .43 caliber and pretty small for shotgun use. 5mm Bergman is a puny little pistol round only about half as powerful as the not so impressive .25 ACP round. Maybe with some photos and measurements we would be able to come up with better guesses. John Spangler
# 3382 - Tarratt & Sons Percussion Rifle 2/13/01 Ray, Livonia, MI USA
J. Tarratt & Sons - Hawken Type - 44 Cal. - 34 Inches - Browning - none -
Percussion, Remington cast barrel, Tiger Tail Maple stock/German Silver inlays, Double set triggers. May have been strictly a target rifle. Told that it was manufactured early 1800's, possibly in St Louis Can you shed more light on the gunsmiths (J. Tarratt) or origins Thanks
Answer: Ray- Frank Sellers' American Gunsmiths lists Tarratt as an unlocated maker of half stock percussion guns, with markings of either J. Tarratt or J. Tarratt & Sons. Half stock rifles can be called a number of names, the most desirable being Hawken rifles, with less desirable Plain or Plains rifles being similar in many ways but having considerably less collector interest or value. Sam and Jake Hawken made rifles in St. Louis for the buffalo hunters and others in the fur trade era circa 1825-1849. These are distinguished by their markings, large caliber, heavy barrels and robust construction. Copies by other makers or at later dates have much less value. Smaller caliber, lighter weight guns were meant for utility use up until about 1870 or the end of the widespread use of percussion guns. These could have been made just about anywhere, and although they look like Hawkens, they are definitely different when examined closely. These are often called "plain" rifles for their lack of ornamentation, or "plains rifles" for there are of widespread use as that region of the country was transformed from frontier to farmland. It is mot likely that your rifle is in latter category, although everyone hopes they have hit the jackpot and have a Hawken. John Spangler
# 3471 - French SCAM 1935A 2/13/01 Marc, Maribor/Slovenia
S.A.C.M. - M 1935A - 7,65 mm - ??? - Black Enamel - xxxxA -
90-95 % of original black enamel coating remaining, original magazine, original leather holster in average condition, no rust - well maintained, used in WWII, belonged to my deceased grandfather, a WWII veteran. A new law was passed in my country, which allows to register all unregistered weapons. Now I have a potential buyer for this pistol and I don't know, how much to charge for it. Since I don't have much interest in keeping this gun, but don't want to sell it under price, a friend of mine told me to try and ask for advice here. I'd be glad for any advice.
Answer: Marc, The French SCAM (Societe Alsacienne de Constructions Mecanique) Model 1935A is the pre-war version of the French Model 1935, it is very well made with good quality finish and a Browning type swinging-link locking system. Because of wartime demands the French re-designed the Model 1935 pistol for ease of mass-production and it became the 1935S. The 1935S has more angular lines, lower quality finish and a simple lug on the barrel that locks into a single recess in the slide. Here in the U.S.A., Model 1935A values range from $100 to $250 depending on condition, add $50 for Nazi proof marks. The holster is worth an additional $50 if it is of military issue, in good condition and all original with no modifications. Marc
# 3819 - Punt Gun 2/13/01 Tina
I've come in contact with a gun I know NOTHING about and was wondering if you might be able to shed some light on it for me. It is approximately 7 feet long, the bore size is .900 It is a flint lock action, may be known as a punt gun, The proof marks are on the barrel and appear to be two crossed hammers under a crown. No dates are on the gun. the gun as told to me was on review at the San-Francisco World's Fair and has been in the family of the owners for an untraceable amount of time.
Answer: Tina- We would need some good photos to do much more than guess on this. However, here are some guesses, and the reasons behind them. First, you may or may not be correct in assuming it is a "Punt Gun". Contrary to what football fans may think, a punt is a small flat bottom boat, usually camouflaged so that hunters can hide near, or sneak up on, flocks of ducks. A Punt Gun could be mounted on such a boat, and made as big as possible, some even having multiple barrels. Instead of the hunter lifting the gun and pointing at flying ducks, they just pointed the boat towards the ducks resting on the surface and fired, killing lots and lots at one time. Not very "sporting" but a good way to earn a living if you are selling ducks to the meat markets in the cities. These Punt Guns were usually pretty crude, and often home made, some well into the 1930s. Early versions would have been flintlocks, and some could have been made in England. Your "crown over crossed flags" is a pretty good description of English proof marks used on guns after 1813.
Another possibility is that you have a "Wall Gun". These resembled oversized muskets or rifles and were intended for use in defensive positions (like small forts) to give them something to reach out further than a regular musket or rifle, thus keeping the enemy far enough away that their muskets and rifles would not be effective. Quite often the Wall Guns had a hole through the stock for attaching a yoke or something that looks like an oarlock that would fit into a hole in the top of the wall of the fort. (Some Punt Guns had these too, and sometimes neither had them, so it is not proof of which it might be.)
Wall guns are very impressive, and turn up from time to time, mostly as flintlocks, a few in percussion, and even a few cartridge guns (French and Chinese mainly). Some follow regulation patterns, and others are one of a kind items. Value is pretty much a matter of how eager the buyer is to own one, and how badly the seller wants to get rid of it, but three to five times the value of a comparable musket seems to be typical. While really impressive looking items, there is little practical use for them, or even an easy means to display them. They are too long and heavy to hang easily on the wall (unless you live in a small fort), and will not fit in most gun safes. However, true collectors never let such petty annoyances deter them from adding a neat item to their horde. We even sold a restored matchlock wall gun a couple of years ago, and while it was great fun to have it, making the heavy duty oversize crate to ship it was much less fun. Send us some photos and we will try to figure out what you have. John Spangler
# 3479 - Smith And Wesson Lexicon Addition 2/9/01 Buster
S&W - Hand Ejector Revolvers -
Smith and Wesson revolvers questions:#1.When was the pinned barrels discontinued #2.When was the 5th screw at the top of the frames discontinued#3.When was the 4th screw under the trigger guard discontinued Thank you very much for your time.
Answer: Buster, a good question. If you are around guns much, you are bound to hear terms like "pinned and recessed", "five screw", "four screw" and "three screw" when people are talking about Smith and Wesson revolvers. I think that a new term should be added to the S&W lexicon, "total-screw" to identify firearms that were made after the cowardly Smith and Wesson sell out of their friends, allies, supporters and customers to the evil klinton regime.
In answer to your question, S&W hand ejector models made prior to about 1982 were "pinned" and magnum revolvers were "recessed". "Pinned" means that these revolvers had a small pin inserted through the top of the frame and barrel threads where the barrel threads in to the frame, to lock the barrel to the frame more securely. Magnum revolvers had a recessed chamber face to enclose the heads of magnum cartridges. In 1982 S&W eliminated both of these features in an effort to reduce costs.
Determining a 4 or 5 screw is a little confusing, because the earliest S&W hand ejector revolvers made from 1896 to 1905, had only four screws. One might call these early revolvers "pre-five-screw four screws". Some early alloy frame hand ejector revolvers had a "sixth" screw that held in place the top sideplate screw. In general, most S&W hand ejector revolvers manufactured from about 1905 to 1955 have five screws, four in the sideplate, and one screw in the front of the triggerguard, these are called "five screws". About 1955, the top sideplate screw was eliminated on most models, these are called "four-screws". Around 1961, the triggerguard screw was eliminated, and all subsequent production is known as "three-screw." Any S&W product manufactured after the year 2000 is a "TOTAL-SCREW". Marc
# 3820 - Revelation House Brand 2/9/01
Revelations - 12Ga -
I am a fairly knowledgeable collector - but I have a question that I just cannot find the answer to. There is a good friend of mine that acquired a shotgun with the following markings and trade names on it. Revelations - Model number R310AB. It is a 12Ga. Pump. It is also marked Western Auto. I suspect that this was a private label for Sears more than likely J.C. Higgins or Mossberg. Any Detailed Information would be greatly appreciated.
Answer: Andy- The Gun Parts Corp catalog has an extensive listing of house brands and their corresponding sources. From this we learn that the Revelation Model R310 is a variation of the Mossberg 500AB. The Revelation name was indeed used by Western Auto, not Sears. JC Higgins was a Sears house brand, along with Ted Williams, but both were actually made by others (Marlin, Mossberg, Stevens, Winchester, etc). John Spangler
# 3821 - Hollis & Sheath Shotgun 2/9/01 Mark
Hollis And Sheath -
I have acquired a double-barrel, muzzleloading shotgun that I would like more information about, particularly when and where it was manufactured. I have tried to look it up in the "Shooter's Bible" but the company is not listed there as far as I can tell. The plate on the side of the piece says,"Hollis and Sheath" and the only other identifying marks are on the barrel where it is inscribed with the words "London Five Stubb Trust(?)" which makes little or no sense to me.
Answer: Sir- The listing I have on Hollis & Sheath notes them as makers of six shot percussion revolvers in Birmingham, England, circa 1856-1862, but they undoubtedly made (or sold) other arms as well. Circa 1850-1870 is probably a pretty accurate date for your shotgun. London Fine Stubb Twist refers to the "Damascus" or twist steel used in the barrels. At the time it was believed that the forging of small strips of metal into a single mass made it stronger (sort of like with plywood or OSB today), and it also resulted in an attractive grain type pattern to the metal. This was considered to be high quality stuff in the mid 19th century. Later on they would acid etch damascus patterns onto plain iron or steel barrels of cheaper guns. Eventually they figured out that a good steel barrel was much stronger than the Damascus barrels. Today may people are reluctant to shoot any Damascus barrel breechloader. However, a percussion gun using black powder may or may not still be safe, so have it checked by a competent gunsmith prior to firing it. John Spangler
# 3856 - Remington M1917 Picture 2/9/01
Remington - 1917 - don't know -
do you have a picture of this gun and what kind of caliber is it?
Answer: These were manufactured by Remington, Winchester and Eddystone. Check our Collectable Firearms catalog we have pictures of M1917 rifles and information posted there. Marc
# 3613 - Erma .22 "Luger" 2/7/01 Jim
Erma 22 Lr - Luger, Semi Auto, Clip - 22 Cal - Blue -
I have the above pistol and would like to sell it. I purchased it new in about 1966 for about $70.00. It is a replica of the German luger, P-08, but fires a 22 LR. It was made in western Germany. A friend of mine has it now so I don't have access to the S/N or barrel length at this time. I would consider it to be in good condition. Do you have any information on this pistol and approximate value? Thank You, Jim
Answer: Jim, Erma is an acronym derived from 'Erfurter Maschinen und Workzcugfabrik,' which was the firm's original name. Military collectors know Erma for it's WWII era submachine guns, the MP38 and the MP40 and also for a conversion unit they manufactured which turned a standard 7.65mm or 9mm P.08 (Luger) pistol into a .22 automatic. After WWII Erfurt, which was the original location of the Erma factory was in Russian hands, so a new Erma company was established in Munich-Dachau, West Germany. Erma introduced the .22 caliber Luger pistol design in 1964, it utilized the mechanical features of the old Erma Luger conversion unit as a starting point, and copied from the Luger P.08 in general appearance. Numerous models were produced, all of which look alike, and differ only in their finish and sighting arrangements. The Erma line of .22 caliber Luger copies was discontinued in 1969. Values for Erma .22 Luger copies are in the $150 to $250 range depending on condition. Marc
# 3822 - Daisy .22 Rifle 2/7/01 Roger
Daisy - 22 Riffle - 22 -
I have a Daisy 22 riffle, bolt action with a 10 shot clip. This gun looks and feel just like a black plastic bb gun. I have been trying to get any information on this gun for some times now, without any luck. I would greatly appreciate any information you can give me,
Answer: Roger- In 1987-88 Daisy turned out about 30,000 of the "Model 8" .22 caliber rimfire rifles for sale through Wal-Mart. This basically cleaned up the spare parts left over from their V/L rifle project. The V/L rifles used a true "caseless" ammunition system. The ignition system was based on a sudden release of high pressure air. While a pretty good system, it was different so found only slight success in the marketplace, and the BATF decided these were "firearms" and wanted to impose all sorts of bureaucratic nonsense on Daisy, so they quit making them. Remember, in 1987-88 Wal-Mart was just starting its phenomenal growth, and Daisy was located in Rogers, Arkansas, so Sam Walton probably decided to take advantage of a good deal for his customers. These would go nicely in a Daisy collection, or with Boys' Rifles, but the collector value is probably in the well under $100 range. John Spangler
# 3842 - Double Barrel Pump Shotgun 2/7/01 Sharon
Double Barrel Pump Shotgun -
Please help! I'm seeking information on a double barrel pump shotgun - I recall it vaguely as a child being used by my father in the late 50s/60s to kill man-eating tigers in India. I'm writing a short story about it (fiction of course!) but I don't have authentic details about the gun. All I remember is that one could place two bullets in at the same time. Any help will be greatly appreciated. ASAP will be fantastic as my story is due in a few days. Many thanks
Answer: Sharon- As far as I know, there has never been a double barrel pump shotgun made anywhere. However, it has been common for wealthy English (and other) hunters in Africa and probably India to use double barrel rifles when hunting dangerous game. (Lions, tigers, elephants, or any other beast big enough to chomp or stomp a hunter when irritated.) These are similar to a double barrel shotgun but much heavier to withstand the higher pressures of rifle ammunition, and they use REALLY BIG rifle ammunition, anywhere from .450 caliber to .577 caliber, with heavy powder charges and heavy full metal jacket ("solid") bullets.
Winchester did not make any double rifles, as this is mainly a British fetish. Hollis, or Jeffery, or Holland & Holland are probably the best known makers, and the guns were mostly custom made.
If the two shots immediately available were not enough, a trusty gun bearer was expected to be right behind the hunter to hand him another rifle if needed.
At a recent show someone had a number of beautiful rifles used in Africa, along with the skin of a lion shot with one of them. John Spangler
# 3823 - Buntline Special 2/3/01
I wonder if you could help me. My son has to look up information for his history class on a type of gun-the bunt line special. Do you have any info on this? Thanks for your time!
Answer: Sir- Among most gun collectors, or at least Western history buffs, the term "Buntline Special" is considered to be a cowboy revolver with an extra long barrel. The popular myth, based on "Wyatt Earp, Frontier Marshal" by Stuart Lake claims that five of these revolvers were personally presented to famous Dodge City lawmen by Ned Buntline. (Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Bill Tilghman, Neal Brown and Charlie Bassett were the purported recipients). Ned Buntline was the pen name of a popular author of the mid-1870s who wrote what we would call "action-thriller" stories. Buntline was very impressed with himself, and worked hard to make sure others shared an equally high opinion of him (sort of like our outgoing President). As is often the case with such people, the facts do not stand up when closely examined, and a lot of other statements from Lake's book are considered inaccurate.
In any case, about 30 of these guns were made by Colt in late 1876, shortly after the Custer Massacre but that is only a date reference, not a suggestion that there was a cause and effect relationship. The pistols are in the serial number range 28800-28830, with many variations in details. In general, they had long barrels (ten, twelve, or sixteen inches compared to the standard length of 4 3/4" to 7 1/2") a flat top on the frame with a flip up rear sight, and a detachable nickel plated bronze shoulder stock. Nearly all were made in .45 Colt caliber. One of these is on display in the Colt Collection at the Connecticut State Library in Hartford, Connecticut. Most of the others are in private collections, but a few have not been located.
With the increased interest in "cowboy" guns fueled by the popularity of television Westerns, Colt added the "Buntline Special" model to its offerings in 1958 with a 12 inch barrel. They made a Wyatt Earp commemorative with a 16 inch barrel came out in 1970 complete with a reproduction of the shoulder stock. Colt also offered extra long "Buntline" barrels on their .22 caliber versions of the Single Action Army starting about 1960. The "Buntline" story seems to have been spread by Colt about this time to help sales. Most of this information comes from R.L. Wilson's "Book of Colt Firearms."
It might be interesting to track down one of the old books by Ned Buntline and read it together to see what sort of books were popular 125 years ago. Your library probably does NOT have any, but most libraries can get nearly any book ever printed on "interlibrary loan" for you and it only costs a few dollars.
You might also enjoy seeing if you can find out if there is any "Cowboy Action Shooting" taking place in your area. There you could see men and women, and young people safely using all sorts of old style guns, maybe even a long barrel Buntline Special. They usually dress up in old west costumes and have funny names, and have a LOT of fun. They might even allow guests to try out one of their guns (with supervision, of course). The Single Action Shooting Society sponsors this sort of shooting sport and it is extremely popular all over the country. John Spangler
# 3824 - Canada Now USA Next? 2/3/01 Russ
I live in Canada and the new gun laws make owning certain pistols impossible. I am a collector of Luftwaffe items and wish to add a few pistols to my collection. Lugers, P-38s, P-37s & PPKs. I am therefore looking for already deactivated guns or guns that may be deactivated. I do not want to deact a good quality gun, but anything in below average to poor condition would be fine. If you are able to help me with this it would be appreciated. If not, are you able to point me in the right direction to someone who may have these? Or a parts dealer perhaps? Many thanx for your time and help.
Answer: Russ- sorry, we cannot help with that one. There are items sold as "movie prop guns" on Ebay that may be legal and cost effective alternatives.
I suspect some enterprising Canadian blacksmith/welder would be happy to convert some for you now. Or, you can wait another couple of years and your government will happily convert all your guns to the desired configuration. Probably increase your taxes for the privilege.
Please do not publicize the stupid things your politicians are doing, ours have enough bad ideas already. John Spangler
# 3825 - M1 Carbine Book 2/3/01 Steven
I am interested in collecting the M1 carbine. What book would you recommend to assist me in this hobby. I am interested in something that has in-depth and completely accurate information with supporting photographs. Thank you for your time. You have an excellent website.
Answer: Steven- In my opinion you need to get Larry Ruth's two volume set "War Baby." These run about $70 each, but if you are willing to spend $500 and up for a decent gun, you need to have good information to evaluate your purchases and guide your collecting. It would be foolish to try to get a cheap book instead of making the investment in good information right away. There are less expensive books on carbine available from other authors, some of which I consider junk (Harrison's books) and others which are okay for beginners but not the definitive reference a serious collector needs.
Larry Ruth wrote the first substantial book on M1 carbines about 25 years ago and came out with the two volume set about 6 years ago. Volume 1 deals with the military carbines in detail with detailed histories, including listings of virtually every known part variation, marking, and the known sequence of use. It also documents large numbers of parts transfers between makers (so don't "fix" that "incorrect" part- it may be original after all!). Volume 2 has every known carbine accessory, as well as info on all the commercial copies of carbines and foreign made carbines.
You also need to join the Carbine Club for their monthly newsletter with more info from serious collectors. They have been around for over 25 years, and are one of the best bargains in gun collecting today. There was a very nice carbine display at the January 2001 Utah Gun Collectors Association show. You can see more about it at http://UGCA.org Hope this helps. John Spangler