Click here to go to the question and answer monthly index.
Click here to go to the question and answer subject index.
# 4531 - Tigre Copies Of Winchester 1892 Rifles 2/27/02 Peter, Brockton, MA, USA
Garate Anitua Y Cia - Tigre 1892 - CAL 44 L (44-40) - 22" - Blue - A25355 -
A tiger is stamped on the left side of the receiver with the words Marca Registrada beneath. I have learned the rifles were used as recently as 1936 in the Spanish revolution. Could I get a more detailed history and a more specific manufacture date?
Answer: Peter- W.H.B. Smith's "Rifles of the World" notes under Spain that the "Tigre" rifle was made for export, mainly to South America, and is known as the Model of 1923, so presumably that is when it was introduced. These are a direct copy of John M. Browning's Model 1892 Winchester. Since over 900,000 had been sold by Winchester prior to 1923, the Spanish guys knew they had a winner. I have not heard of any military use of the Tigre, especially in Spain, but would not be surprised if a few got used now and then to encourage various despots to seek residence elsewhere after brief periods of misrule. I do not know of any good sources of information about these guns, and this is the most I have found on the subject. John Spangler
# 4532 - Marble Game Getter 18" 2/27/02 Travis, York, NC
I have someone I know recently had one given to them. They wanted me to research info about it and I happened across your website. My question is, if it is the 18" model would it have had to been registered by the ATF or is this model exempted, I know the shorter model would be illegal. Thanks for your help.
Answer: Travis- As far as I know, there has never been any problem with the Game Getters that have 18 inch barrels, or any requirement that they be registered. It is only the guns with shotgun barrels less than 18 inches long or rifles with barrels less than 16 inches that need to be registered. (There is also a minimum overall length of 25 or 26 inches, as I recall). However, in dealing with potentially serious legal issues, it would be best to get an official answer from your friendly neighborhood BATF office. Don't bet your butt on our free guesses as to what many pages of federal law might mean. Your state and local politicians may have further restrictions that conflict with federal laws, so you might want to ask about that as well. John Spangler
# 4707 - Correction To My Schnellfeur Answer 2/27/02 Lynn, SLC Utah
Marc, I saw your response to the gentleman who owns the Mauser Schnellfeur pistol. If the pistol were in the U.S. and was legal to own it would sell for much more than $2500 to $3000. Because of the restriction on importation and manufacture signed into law in May 1986, the price of legally owned full auto weapons has skyrocketed. For example the German MG42 was selling for $650 before the law, but now is priced at about $20,000. Bren guns were selling for $500 to $700, but now are selling for about $15,000. I would expect a similar inflation in price for the Schnellfeur.
Licensed as semi-automatic, but will fire fully- and semi-automatic. 98 % original finish - also in white/yellow text, no scratches or rust anywhere, good wood - hardly any dents or other flaws, 10 shot magazine, ring beneath handle missing. I've had the gun for more than 25 years and have no idea of today's value. Could you help me out with a rough guess?
Answer: Trond, It sounds like you have a very nice pistol, I have always wanted a Schnellfeuer for my collection but have declined to go through the expense and bureaucratic paper work involved with legally obtaining an automatic weapon here in the United States. I would GUESS that your Schnellfeuer is worth between $2500 and $3500. You must remember that at OldGuns.net we do not deal in full automatic weapons so my guess is probably no more accurate than yours. Marc
# 4681 - Marble's Game Getter 2/23/02
Marble's - Game Getter - 19xxx -
Marble's Game Getter Gun, Ser. 19xxx, 12" over/under barrels, upper marked (.22 S.L.LR & N.R.A.); lower barrel marked (.44 GG & .410 2 «"); The folding metal skeleton stock is chrome or nickel plated, grips are nicely figured, dark walnut. Over twenty years ago my Uncle gave me this interesting little firearm. He had been an Army Air Corps pilot in the 20's-30's and got it to carry in the bi-plane as a survival gun. He duly registered it with the ATF after they classified it. He retired as a Col. in the Air Force and kept it on his boat during trips to Alaska and back. When he gave it to me we went to the Sheriff's office and it took a month or so to get all the necessary paperwork for the transfer via ATF, but it was accomplished without much fuss or fanfare. It's been a real keepsake in the family and many of the kids have been introduced to shooting with this lightweight, handy little gun while out on camping or horseback trips. It has bright, color casehardened trigger and hammer, like new dark parkerized type finish that's 99%, or better, bright, shiny upper and lower barrels; a gold bead front sight, open notch leaf rear sight with a flip up peep sight hinged behind the rear leaf. The only flaw is a small abrasion on the right side of the trigger guard where Uncle Ned said it accidentally rubbed on something during a rough, bouncing flight in one of the military bi-planes. My questions are: 1). What sort of cartridge was the .44 GG? A .44 Special case will slip easily into the chamber of the lower barrel, but the rim falls underneath the extractor, so I presume the correct cartridge case has a slightly larger rim diameter? 2) Are there any factory records that would indicate when this gun was made? Shipped? 3) What ballpark value would you assign to this gun, especially since all of the necessary ATF paperwork makes it a transferable firearm? Thank you for your kind assistance.
Answer: Sir- I just finished answering another (different) Game Getter question about 3 minutes ago. First, it is wonderful to hear about one that is properly registered and can be enjoyed and transferred.
The .44 Game Getter cartridge was a .44-40 case loaded with shot. It was also made as a round ball load, and they had an extra long version for a larger shot load. These were basically black powder loads, so I would be very careful to keep the pressures real low if you intend to do any loading for it.
If any factory records exist, they would be in the hands of Marble's, located in Gladstone, MI. The new American Rifleman has an article on them. Flayderman's Guide to American Antique Firearms and their Values indicates that yours would be the Model 1921 which was made 1921-1942, with serial numbers 10001 to about 20000. Therefore I would think it was probably made in the very late 1930s or early 1940s. Flayderman indicates a value of $550 in NRA antique good condition, of $1100 in NRA antique fine. Better or worse condition would be valued up or down from there. That is probably about right for the 18" version not needing registration, but a legal example of the shorter guns may bring a premium from a collector who wants one. John Spangler
# 4682 - Convert 1911 From 455 Eley To 45 ACP.? 2/23/02
Colt - 1911 -
Is it possible to convert a Colt model 1911 in 455 Eley Cal. to 45 ACP.
Answer: Wayne- The .455 M1911 used a slightly different magazine, barrel and slide. If your replace those parts with standard .45 ACP parts, it should work fine. However, the .455 pistols are quite collectible as is and it would be a shame to mess with one just to end up with a shooter. Most of them were used by the British military in WW1 or WW2. I would recommend you sell it as a .455 to a collector and go out and buy a .45 ACP version instead. John Spangler
# 4693 - HELP!! 2/22/02 John Spangler
Need Information -
HELP- Can anyone identify the tool goes in the US ordnance tool set shown in the photo at the arrow? This is the lower tray of a set that has two wooden trays in a "safe deposit box" style metal box. Tools are for M1903, M1, BAR, .30 and.50 BMG. Thanks for your help. John Spangler
Smith and Wesson - ? US Service - .38 Special - 3 1/2 - nickel - 36116 -
US Service 38 S-W Special CTGS Pearl handles What is the model and year? What is the approximate value? Is it a military or police issue? Thanks.
Answer: Bob I am pretty sure "US Service" is a marking used on guns made in either Belgium or Spain hoping to fool buyers into thinking they were getting Colt or S&W products. Definitely not US military issue, and 99% certain not even US made. Although General Patton is said to have liked this type of thing, it is very doubtful that a nickel plated revolver with pearl handles was ever military or police issue. In my opinion the "US Service" that your revolver saw was most likely in a saloon or a bordello. Values for Belgium or Spanish S&W copies is in the $50 range. Marc
# 4524 - Israeli K98k Mauser In 7.62 NATO Caliber 2/20/02 Darian Potchefstroom South Africa
FN Mauser(Israeli) - K98k (military) - 7.62x51mm - 23.62" - Matt Blue - 658740 -
Has Israeli Army (? ) crest on top of front receiver ring, and some peculiar Hebrew markings on receiver. Have recently bought this surplus Israeli K98k, mainly because I have lotsa .308Win ammo and components and was looking for a cheap plinking rifle in this said cal. I thought that the IDF used ex- British Lee Enfield .303 rifles just after independence, when did they use these K98k's ? Why where they re-barreled, or where they bought that way from Fab. Nat in Herstal Belgium? Were they accurate and reliable in actual use? Did they prove durable in Israelis harsh climate and military conditions? I also have a spare stock (original military carbine form) that is made of a very light blonde colored wood, and has a large (enlarged) trigger guard fitted, know any thing about this combo, all it says is "7.62" burned into the heel of the stock? Much thanks, 20D. Mac Donald
Answer: Darian- Robert Ball's highly recommended Mauser Military Rifles of the World provides the only information I can find on this type rifle. The state of Israel was established on May 14, 1948 when the last British troops left the area, and the neighboring Arab states/people began their attacks to drive the Jewish settlers out. The Israelis used virtually every type rifle they could get their hands on, ranging from British SMLEs, assorted French models, and lots of ex-German K98k Mausers in 8mm Mauser (7.92x57mm) caliber. The Czechs were about the only folks willing to sell arms to the Israelis (and then only on a cash basis) and they provided lots of Mausers. Many of the Mausers had been refurbished by the Czechs, but some, ironically, were virtually unchanged Nazi marked arms. During the early days, refugees were given as few as five hours of training, then handed a newly arrived rifle and sent to the frontlines to defend their new homeland. In early 1949 Israeli authorities purchased an entire production line for K98k rifles, but manufacture stopped after a very few were made and semi-automatic rifles became available. (Possibly U.S. foreign aid M1 Garands?) The .308 Winchester was introduced for commercial sale in 1952, although military development had been underway for several years, and it was officially adopted for U.S. military service in 1954 as the 7.62mm NATO cartridge, with the first M14 rifles appearing in 1956. At some point the Israeli Army adopted the 7.62 NATO cartridge, but I do not have an exact date. At that point their Mauser factory was put to work converting the 8mm rifles to use 7.62mm ammunition. Although the finished product is often not real pretty, the important parts all seem to be well made and reliable. A number of years ago these were quite common in the surplus market, but they are not seen too often any more. The basic 98 Mauser design has proven itself to be an excellent choice for military use. Rugged, reliable, easy to maintain, and requiring a minimum of training they are still being used in various insurrections and by sportsmen. John Spangler
# 4512 - British Ferguson Type Breech Loading Fusil 2/20/02 Robert
British Fusil - (Balk? ) - 68? 72? - 36"barrel 493/4 In Total Length - None - NONE -
"BALK Doncaster" on top of barrel near lock Crown with V Crown with GB? (two letters interlocked) one half twist spiral on top of barrel I have a very unique antique fusil supposedly from the 7 years war in Europe [1756-1763- French & Indian War is the common U.S. name], It is a breechloader meaning that the trigger guard unscrews, but it is not a Ferguson conversion as the trigger guard acts as a complete screw and completely comes off as to load ball and powder from the bottom in front of the trigger. Then the firer screws the trigger guard back on and primes. Its last appraisal was VERY vague. stating "British officers Fusil circa 1756-1763 $1260" that was in the eighties. I really feel I have something very valuable, it still has the original wooden ramrod and is in excellent condition with no corrosion. Would this be an early experiment at breechloading before Mr. Ferguson did his thing? If you answer this question it may really be doing history a favor. I am NRA lifetime member.
Answer: Robert- You have a very interesting gun. The Ferguson is the best known of the "screw breech" types, and much of it sex appeal and value comes from its use as a military arm, and its use in the American Revolution. Ferguson himself led the unit armed with his rifles, first at Brandywine in September 1777. He was wounded early in the war, and lot his arm as a result, but remained in active service, finally being killed at the head of his troops at Kings Mountain October 7, 1780, a British defeat. Ferguson's rifle was a rifle, not a smoothbore fusil. Ferguson freely admitted that his design was an improvement over earlier attempts, the most significant being the use of a screw pitch that opened the breech with a single turn of the trigger guard which was actually the lever to open and close the breech. His screw went all the way through the barrel, so it remained engaged instead of being fully removed, and allowed loading from the top of the barrel. Some of the earlier designs required the user to turn the screw several turns. Some did not have the screw extending all the way through the barrel, so loading required removal of the screw, loading of the bullet and powder, then reinstalling the screw and closing it.
Many early breechloaders were rifles, as the breechloading enabled them to solve the problem of loading a ball that would be large enough to engage the rifling. This was difficult to do with a muzzle loader without use of a patch for a snug fit, and after the barrel became fouled by a few rounds was often nearly impossible. This is the reason that rifles were not widely used for military troops prior to the invention of the Minie ball which eliminated the need for a patch and permitted easy loading even after a number of rounds had been fired. Smoothbore muskets, and their slightly smaller cousins called fusils, generally used by officers, were loaded with undersize balls that could be loaded easily, even when dirty. However, it is likely that some breechloading fusils were made as well as rifles. The earliest mention I can find of a screw breech type system is in Howard Blackmore's "British Military Firearms 1650-1850." He notes that the French engineer Isaac de la Chaumette invented such a design in 1704. La Chaumette fled to London in 1721 (to escape religious persecution) and was granted English patents on his design. La Chaumette's guns were mostly made by his compatriot Bidet, and the finest known example is one presented to King George I, with an inscription noting that this terrible device is the means for ending war. (A false prophecy repeated numerous times by other arms inventors with similar accuracy.)
I cannot find any listing for a maker by the name of Balk to help date this piece, but a careful inspection of the proof marks should narrow it down, probably confirming the date you have already been given. While this is certainly a good collector item, and perhaps scarcer than a Ferguson, the actual value is probably quite a bit less due to less collector demand, except among those fascinated by clever designs. I checked with a very knowledgeable friend who indicated that he was aware of a number of various screw breech arms existing and values seem to be in the $1,500-2,500 range. They reportedly are slow sellers, and most of the buyers tend to be European collectors. Value on a Ferguson would probably be many times as much, with feverish excitement among American collectors. Even fine quality reproduction Fergusons have a price tag of $2,000 or more, and I had the privilege of examining one recently. Of course, the availability of reproductions suggests that some day some scoundrel will try to peddle one as an original for a tidy profit.
Hope this helps. This is the sort of question that makes us learn more ourselves. John Spangler.
# 4559 - Remington Model 141 2/16/02 Mark , Olympia, Wa. 98512
Remington - 141 - 35 - Blued - 51741 -
35. cal cartridge base(end) on side of receiver I don't find this gun to be real common. It is my Fathers and is in very good condition . He always used a brass brush to clean after use. He's been very proud of this gun and has taken very good care of it. The muzzle looks very clean and sharp. With this minimal information can you give me any kind of idea as to possible or likely value? ? ? He told me he bought this gun when all the parts of the action were all machined parts, as they were beginning to make them with stamped parts. I don't know what year that was. Any information will be helpful. thanks, Mark
Answer: Mark, OldGuns.net has posted information that should help you determine the date of manufacture for your Remington, we have provided a link to our Remington date of manufacture information near the bottom of the main page and also in the left-hand menu.
Remington introduced the Model 141 (Gamemaster) Slide-Action rifle and carbine in 1935. The Model 141 was based on Remingtons earlier model 14 with some cosmetic changes including a longer barrel, a semi-beavertail forend, and a restyled stock with shotgun-type steel buttplate to improve its appearance. Remington initially offered the 141 chambered in .30 Remington, .32 Remington, and .35 Remington rimless centerfire cartridges. Rifles had twenty four-inch barrels, and carbines had 18.5 inch barrels. When first offered in Standard Grade 141 models sold for $46, Special Grade models sold for $79.75, Peerless Grade models sold for $146.85, and Premier Grade models sold for $300. From 1935 to 1950 Remington manufactured about 76,881 141 Gamemaster rifles and carbines. In 1952 the Model 141 was replaced by the Remington Model 760 Gamemaster Slide-Action Rifle. The blue book lists values for 141 Gamemaster rifles between $150 and $350 depending on condition but I have found it difficult to sell them at anything over $250. Marc
# 4495 - Stevens 52 Rifle 2/16/02 Larry
J. Stevens Arms Co, -Springfield - 52A - .22 - 22 inches - blue - none found -
The number 14 surrounded by a circle is stamped on the side of the barrel just behind the rear sights I'm interested in knowing when this gun was made as it was my fathers passed down to me and was the gun I learned to shoot as a boy
Answer: Larry- I am not sure we are talking about the same thing, but Stevens made a Model 52, the "Stevens-Ideal Schuetzen Junior" between 1897 and 1916. These were fairly fancy rifles with the schuetzen style hook buttplate and often with heavy barrels and engraving. These were offered in various calibers from .22 rimfire to .44-40 centerfire. They are desirable collector items with values in the $1500 and up range in NRA antique very good condition. The 14 in a circle may indicate manufacture in 1914, but that is just a guess. However, your Model 52A may be something quite different, perhaps a later inexpensive variation with far less value. You probably need to consult an advanced Stevens collector, or research it in Jay Kimmel's "Savage & Stevens Arms Collector's History" to tell for sure. John Spangler
# 4680 - New California gun lock law 2/16/02 Casey in California
My son is having a dilemma purchasing a new Winchester Model 94 chambered for .44 mag. After the ten day waiting period we were told that all new gun purchasers must provide a trigger lock for their new firearm. We positively cannot find a trigger lock for the model 94 and Big Five won't release the rifle until we come up with one. This just doesn't seem right. Any suggestions?
Answer: Casey- Thanks for contacting Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters. We extend our condolences on your being stuck in Kalifornia. I stay away from that state as much as possible, and think the time has long passed when the wonderful weather made your stupid laws tolerable to anyone with the IQ of an avocado. Hundreds of thousands of the smarter Kalifornians have fled to freedom in Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and Utah. Unfortunately the refugees drove up the housing prices for the natives and many brought their silly ideas along with their checkbooks and furniture. I hope that this bit of gun lock foolishness makes you mad as hell and unwilling to take it anymore. Time to get busy and elect some smarter politicians than what you have had lately. That means YOUR time, money, and labor must be committed to find and support good candidates, and their campaigns, and to do your part writing letters to the editor, etc. I am doing it here, and expect other people to do so as well.
Now, to fix your problem. Other than a trigger lock, the Kalifornia law also allows sale to be made if the buyer has an APPROVED gun safe. (only certain makes/models qualify). You will need to show them a sales receipt and I think maybe also/alternately a photo with a signed statement that it is really YOUR safe, not your buddy's or something. I may be off a little on details, but an certain that a safe is a way to get around this incredibly stupid law. There are simply not enough approved trigger locks available for the dealers, and it sounds like your dealer would like YOU to find one in order to have the privilege of giving them money to buy a gun from them. Only certain models of locks are approved to be used on certain guns, with the list being over 800 pages long. The list goes through maker by maker, and specifies model, caliber, finish, and barrel length and the lock that can be used on it. (No fooling, it really does, I looked at it on the official Kalifornia site, just out of curiosity!) I predict the next round of anti-gun "gotcha" will be to arrest some schmuck who has the lock approved for a S&W 4" stainless .357 on his S&W 6" blue .38 special where it is not on the list. Of course, if a dealer makes that mistake, his FFL and or the additional Kalifornia mandated licenses, permits, taxes, and other BS will be pulled and he will be out of business.
Of course, the drug dealers who illegally sell stolen guns don't obey this law any more than the dozens of others they violate with near impunity.
Kalifornia is a perfect example of the boiled frog syndrome. A frog put in a pot of boiling water will try to jump out. A frog placed in cold water on the stove with a fire under it, will just sit there as the temperature rises and be boiled to death. From what I hear, Kalifornia's stupid gun laws are typical of many other programs, policies, laws and wishes that are being adopted. Feeling warmer there, is it? Back to your gun safe problem. Any gun owner should have a safe for as many of their guns as can be crammed in it. Besides protection against loss by theft, the guns will also be protected against loss by fire, which is probably a bigger threat anyway. A safe is also a good preventive measure to keep guns away from unauthorized people who might play with them and do something stupid (hurt themselves, or damage the gun). Safe prices vary quite a bit, and I am not sure what they will run for one that meets the official [and CURRENT] Kalifornia state government standards for gun safes. My guess is that about $1,000 will be in the ballpark, plus tax. Most dealers deliver free. Good luck. John Spangler
# 4485 - Spike Bayonet 2/12/02 Ted, Los Angeles, CA
Have a bayonet I am looking for some history on. it is not a blade, but a round spike, about 6" long. It has a black metal scabbard which has a rounded (like a ball) tip. Any ideas?
Answer: Ted- What a difference a few years can make. The bayonets you describe began to flood the surplus market in the 1960s when the British started to sell off their Lee Enfield .303 bolt action rifles. The No. 4 Mark 1 rifles used a spike bayonet as you describe, some being beautifully machined examples, but the vast majority being almost unbelievably crude construction. At the time, these were selling for well under a dollar, and many surplus or outdoors stores found they sold best when advertised as "tent pegs" priced at 2 or 3 for a dollar. For years you could find piles of them at gun shows, but recently you seldom see more than a handful, even at a large show. Collectors have studied these and there are at least five variations of the bayonet and four scabbard types, and when you add in different makers you can quickly justify a collection of dozens of pieces. I believe that "The Brothers" site on our links page, or perhaps one of the Enfield pages there has quite a bit of information on these and a checklist for collectors eager to acquire one of every variation. John Spangler
# 4476 - Rock Island M1903 Matching? 2/12/02 Steve Los Angeles
Receiver: U. S. Rock Island Arsenal Model 1903 199923Barrel: (behind front sight) S. A. Flaming Bomb 11-44Stock: End of stock another flaming bomb Is this an original Rock island Arsenal 1903 with matching parts, and does it have any value to a collector?
Answer: Steve- If you use our handy and FREE date of manufacture search tool on the lower left part of our main page, you can find that your rifle was probably made in 1910. The barrel is dated 1944, so it is most likely one that was installed during a much later overhaul. Most of the time ordnance bombs on the tip of the stock seem to be found on WW2 vintage M1903A3 stocks. A U.S. Army inspector at an overhaul activity probably once said "Yes, this rifle is serviceable" and stuck it in the pile with hundreds of others to be placed back in the supply system for issue to US troops, shipment to allies, or storage for war reserve stocks. However, the U.S. Army inspectors are not picky collectors who get excited about tiny markings on parts, or slight differences in the shape of the machining done on some parts. To them "parts is parts" and they would think that the collectors are a bunch of nut cases. While your rifle may be exactly as last approved for issue by Army inspectors, it may just as well represent the floor sweepings of a surplus dealer or some scam artist. The best way to tell for sure is everything is "original" (meaning exactly how it left the manufacturer) is to read some good books to see what to look for and when small details were changed. Then, take advantage of as many opportunities as you can to examine rifles believed to be original. And a final bit of advice is, "If you don't know your diamonds, then know your jeweler." As far as collector value, just about anything has value to some collector. Someone looking for an "original" Rock Island made in 1910 probably would not be interested at any price. Another looking for a representative M1903 as used in WW1 and probably reissued for use during WW2 would probably be quite happy with it, but value would be far less than what the guy wanting the all original 1910 vintage rifle was willing to pay for an original. John Spangler
# 4538 - Titan .25 2/12/02 Will, Savannah, MO
F. I. E. - Titan - .25 - Abt 2" - Chrome - 157728 -
I would like to find out more information about this pistol, specifically model number and approximate value, if any.
Answer: Will, F.I.E is the acronym for Firearms Import Export. F.I.E was located in Hialeah, Florida until 1990 when they filed bankruptcy and all models are discontinued. Titan and Titan II pistols were offered in several calibers including .22, .25, .32 and .380. The .25 ACP Titan was a single action pistol available with either a blue finish which was discontinued in 1989 or Dyna-chrome finish which was standard in 1990 when the company folded. Values for .25 ACP Titan pistols are in the $100 or less range. Marc
# 4628 - De Mutzig Shotgun 2/9/02 Scott, Franklin, TN
While I was looking for information about a gun I bought at an auction, I found your web site. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find much information about this gun and I was hoping you could help me.
The gun appears to be a 10-gauge breach-loading shotgun, and it says "M.tmp ale de Mutzig" on the gun itself. The gun appears to be quite old (from the 1800s), but I really don't know much more about it. I was told the wood on the gun is Squirrel Walnut.
Is there anything you can tell me about the gun or can you suggest any web sites or other resources where I might learn more about it? I'd appreciate any help you might offer. Thanks and keep up the good work on your web site!
Answer: Scott- I suspect you have what is called a "Zulu shotgun" perhaps made for sale to natives in Africa, or perhaps acquiring an exotic name dreamed up to help sell otherwise undistinguished guns.
These have a big hammer on the right side of the stock. Action is a large block that is hinged to flip over to one side and loaded directly from the rear. These started off as muzzle loading flintlock muskets about 1822-1842 or thereabouts, made for the French army. They were then converted to percussion by the French. In the late 1800s (maybe 1885-1900) they were converted into cheap breechloading shotguns by the Belgians who bought them as surplus from the French..
Neat old guns, with interesting history, but they don't seem to bring a lot on the collector market. At auction, there is no telling what they might be sold as, or what people might pay. John Spangler
# 4608 - Blasphemy! 2/9/02 Greg
I am trying to find a aftermarket fiber stock for my 03-A-3 also any flash suppressors /or compensators that might work. This rifle is inherited and is in full original military condition. Can you tell me if there are any manufacturers of fiber stocks with handguard replacement? I am wanting to convert this rifle to a long range scoped shooter. Thanks; Greg
Answer: Greg- sorry, we cannot help with that one. In our opinion, any 1903 series rifle in its original configuration should be left that way and preserved by collectors. There are plenty of already altered examples and many nice commercial rifles that can be tinkered with for shooting use. However, as owner you are free to do as you please. I suppose if someone owed an original Picasso painting and decided to touch it up with crayons that would be okay too. John Spangler
# 4520 - H&R Revolver Value 2/9/02 Cheryl, Cincinnati, OH
H & R - 1905 - .32 - Unknown - Unknown -
small revolver, silver in color with a black handle. Further markings include: "H & R Double Action" and "32 S & W CTGE" My father-in-law brought this gun home from WWII. He was a seabee. He died several years ago, and my mother-in-law is wanting further information on this gun, and whether it has any value beyond the sentimental.
Answer: Cheryl, H&R was founded in 1874 by Gilbert H. Harrington and William A Richardson. Since then the company has built a reputation of producing fairly good quality firearms at inexpensive prices. I was unable to find any useful information on the Model 1905 but I can tell you that there is not a lot of collector interest in H&R firearms. Value for most H&R models is usually in the $100 or less range. Where there is any family history, we encourage people to keep these old guns for sentimental value. Marc
# 4584 - German Helmet Replicas For Films 2/6/02
I am a film student and I am currently making a documentary about WW2. I was wondering if perhaps you have ties with anyone who can make replicas of German helmets. If so please give me information on how to contact that person. It would be greatly appreciated.
Answer: Sorry, we cannot help with that one. I know that reenactors have sources for such things, both in highly accurate replicas, and cosmetically correct examples suitable for film props. Try www.tmcx.com and look for the section on reenactors and reproduction stuff. Reenactors can be a tremendous asset to filmmakers, as they have highly accurate uniforms, equipment, weapons, etc and are familiar with the basic historical context and maneuvers. I understand that all the big Civil War movies in recent years depended extensively on reenactors for all sorts of things. Many reeenactors seem to have an interest in several time periods, or both sides of a conflict, so once you find a bunch, they can probably put you in touch with all sorts of resources. John Spangler
# 4513 - Whitworth Rifle- Add A Scope? 2/6/02 Patrick
Whitworth - Parker Hale - 451 - 32 -
Is it possible to mount a scope on this rifle
Answer: Patrick- Yes it is possible to add a scope to a perfectly good Navy Arms Whitworth rifle. But why? It is possible and legal to dye ones hair green and/or purple, get a swastika tattooed on your forehead and wear a safety pin through any part of your body you choose. I just don't see the point in any of the above. Just old fashioned, I guess.
c. a. l st. alb. vt. I would like to know who had owned the gun and what the special markings mean.
Answer: James, we get this kind of request quite often at OldGuns.net but I know of no existing records that give information or details on who WWII Lugers were issued to. I can tell you that the "c. a. l st. alb. vt." markings that you are inquiring about stand for Century Arms Inc. or Century Arms Ltd. of St. Albans Vermont. Century has been one of North America's largest importer/exporter of surplus firearms and accessories, for over 40 years. When I was new to the firearms business I ordered Lugers from Century hoping to get a treasure to add to my collection but it has been my experience that most of the Lugers they sell are either mismatched, reblued or both. Values for this type of recent import Luger are usually in the $350 to $400 range. Marc
# 4598 - M1903 with Star markings 2/2/02
M1903 - 1416XXX -
M1903 with Star markings on the stock I'm the lucky owner of a 1932 production \'03. The s/n is 1416XXX, the barrel date is 4-31 (I understand that in 1931, more barrels were made than receivers so this seems correct). The stock is a straight M1903 version. The inspector's stamp is J.F.C. (JF Coyle), who appears to be a vintage 1906-07 inspector. The rest of the stock markings are a bit difficult to read at this point, with the exception of two five-pointed star markings - one just up from the butt plate (under the sling swivel) and the other just ahead of the magazine floor plate. It seems that a gun in this serial # range should have a C-stock (correct for this date of manufacturer). Are all guns manufactured in this date range incorrect if they don't have a C-stock? Also, oral history in the family of the person I purchased this gun from maintains that this particular \'03 has a Navy connection. Is there any way I can prove that? Thanks for your help!
Answer: Sir- If you expect helpful answers at least have the decency to give the full serial number unless you are a despicable thief trying to conceal possession of stolen property, or some sort of black helicopter idiot worried that Elvis is watching. Okay, I feel better now, but you triggered one of my pet peeves.
In nearly every year more parts (especially barrels and handguards) were made than receivers or newly manufactured complete rifles. (Brophy's Arsenal of Freedom has a complete list of Springfield Annual Reports confirming this in great detail.) Frank Mallory's Springfield Research Service has documented rifle number 1417295 as being manufactured July 14, 1932, so it sounds like your barrel and receiver probably match. Other records for numbers in this range are somewhat sparse and what does exist merely shows that those specific rifles were reported on certain dates by certain activities. Absence of records on other serial numbers is not uncommon and could mean that everything was issued to the same unit and only a few records survive, or that every other number was issued to an entirely different unit, location, branch of service and that none of their records survived. Except for NRA Sporters (of which there are many in the 140xxxx-141xxxx range) most other entries in this range are from Coast Guard activities in the late 1930s onward.
The JFC cartouche suggests that the stock has been reused from an earlier rifle, but it may have been put on it in 1931, or perhaps shortly before you acquired it, so the stock markings may or may not be relevant to the rest of the parts.
The use of "star" markings on Springfield weapons is well known in conjunction with the famous "star gauge" marking to show that barrels passed an inspection made with a "star gauge" to measure bore dimensions. (We used to star gauge our 5" guns in the Navy in the 1970s the same way, just a much bigger star gauge.) Star markings were also used on later M1 Garand National Match barrels after star (or later air) gauge measurement.
However, a second little known use of a "star" marking by Springfield is associated with arms assembled using some salvaged or recovered parts. There are relatively large numbers of trapdoor carbines and rifles with a star at the end of the serial number that are basically 1879 models, but using earlier Model 1873 locks and furniture, and perhaps barrels that have been slightly modified to the later specifications. Al Frasca's superbly researched and highly recommended "The .45-70 Springfield" (2 volumes) thoroughly covers these. It is believed that these were star marked to distinguish them from entirely new made arms, perhaps with the intention of designating them second class arms and issuing them to the state militias instead of regulars. There are probably other administrative details concerning appropriations authorized for "repair" of arms versus "manufacture" of arms, and issue priorities important to accountants and auditors at the time, but now lost in the haze of history.
The practice of a "star" marking (open five pointed star, not the "turtle looking star gauge marking on the M1903 barrel) extends at least as far back as the late Civil War era. Springfield Armory museum had a M1861 rifle musket with the star marking on the stock near the breechplug tang, and I have a M1855 rifle musket with the same marking. Both are obviously cleaned and refurbished arms with the star applied after the overhaul. I believe the Springfield curator at the time told me they believed the star indicated an overhauled arm, but were not entirely sure. Two data points are hardly enough to be cited as proof, but they suggest something more than a mere coincidence.
I also have a M1903 rifle with two "star" markings, similar to yours. One star is between the lower swivel and the buttplate, and the other to the rear of the trigger guard overlapping the circle P. This stock is a finger groove type with S.A. over S.P.G. cartouche in a box. Serial number 1491551, it has a SA 8-35 barrel, and appears to be unmessed with. However, the rifle lacks the "Hatcher hole", and has early thin trigger, straight handled bolt, concave elevation knob, early "pinned" trigger guard and a high hump handguard with the fixture cut underneath. The bottom flat of the receiver, behind the recoil lug is marked C-R over what appears to be J101 over S.A. ONLY. The significance of these markings is not known, but my opinion is that they indicate something like "this receiver is for use only at Springfield Armory on rifles in 'clean and repair' operations." Clean and repair being the traditional term for what we now usually call "overhaul". I have no idea if this is due to some quality defect, or is simply to facilitate sorting for some appropriations/accounting reason. Admittedly this is speculation on my part, but when coupled with the likely use of star markings to indicate rebuilt or second class arms, it seems to fit.
That fact that both rifles having stars have straight (finger groove) "S" stocks instead of the expected "C" pistol grip stocks is curious.
It would be most interesting to know what other rifles have been observed with the "star" markings on the stock, or C-R and S.A. ONLY on the bottom of the receiver. We will not see what the full puzzle looks like until we find more pieces and how they fit together. John Spangler
# 4541 - Sharps Old Reliable 2/2/02
Sharps - Old Reliable -
I am looking for info on a gun that was inherited through my family. It is labeled Old Reliable Sharps Rifle Co. Bridgeport CT. Also has the name Bochart on it. It is a 45-70 cal. and holds one shell, loads from behind, breaks down like a 30-30 and safety is right behind the trigger. It also has a steel rod under the barrel used for cleaning. Steel plate on the stock and sites that raise vertically. In original condition. Interested if it was used during the civil war and the value of this gun. Thanks and I really like the web site.
Answer: Glad you like the site. Your rifle was made sometime after 1878, so far too late for the Civil War. It is the military model musket, one of about 6,900 made. A lot went to Michigan National Guard. Value runs about $1,000 for NRA antique very good, and more in better shape, less in lesser condition. John Spangler
# 4489 - Burgo Revolver 2/2/02 Mike, Wilmington, DE
Burgo - 106 S - .32 S & W Long - 4" - Blue - 140933 -
Made in Germany Kal. 32 S. u. W. Long The revolver is a 7 shot. How old is the gun and what is its approximate value?
Answer: Mike the Burgo revolver was manufactured by Rohm , it is their model RG10. Rohm GmbH, of SontheimlBrenz, W. Germany. manufactured a range of cheap (Saturday night special) type revolvers, for sale in the U.S. prior to the Gun Control Act of 1968. Values for this type of revolver are in the $50 range. Marc