On the trigger guard 2 markings; towards the barrel - a small triangle, towards the backstrap the
letter ''J'' The pistol appears to made with different types of metal; the barrel, cylinder and trigger are
blued, but the frame assembly and backstrap are silver colored, possibly stainless. Can you tell me
the year of manufacture and the approximate value? I have tried to look up by the serial number, but
all the listings I have researched have letters at the end of the serial number and this one does not;
can you offer any information? Thank you.
Answer: Patrick, your
description sounds like a Frontier Scout Q model revolver, could the last character in your serial
number be a "Q" instead of a "0"? Frontier Scout Q model revolvers all had a cast aluminum frame
but in some of the early versions the frame was left unfinished or in the white. All pistols were
changed to blue finish after the first two years of production, and a low serial number like 1833Q
would fit with this theory. The blue book lists values for Q series Frontier Scout revolvers between
$150 and $600 depending on condition. They say that models with the bright alloy frame are rare
but until recently, they did not add a premium for them. Now they instruct to add 25% for "Q" suffix
models with the bright frame which they call a "duo-tone" finish.
# 12497 -
Is It Safe?
marked ''Patented Apr 20 1897 Dec 22 1903'' on right side. What would be the date of manufacture
for the above noted serial number? The weapon appears to be in excellent condition (except for
finish). Would this weapon generally be safe to fire?
Answer: Dallas, references indicate that your Colt was manufactured in 1920.
You would be foolish to trust the word of someone who has never even seen your pistol to tell you
weather or not it is safe to fire. In our society where everyone seems to be ready to file a law suit for
even the slightest provocation, I would be just as foolish to answer that kind of question. I hope that
this is not an attempt on your part to hit the jackpot. Marc
# 12435 -
Shooting S&W Ladysmith 1st model
I have a 1st series S & W .22 Ladysmith revolver, circa 1901-03, double action, 7 shot revolver in
grand shape, but have no ammo for it. .22 long won't fit, of course. Do you have or know of
Answer: Mona- I believe they were
chambered for .22 shorts, which were loaded with black powder at that time. I would not
recommend firing it with modern ammo and risk injury to your self and a neat old gun. John
# 12434 -
Springfield Model 1903 Sporter?
I just purchased a Springfield # 1532642 NRA, a Sporter look-alike. It has the correct M-22 stock
with correct profiled butplate and furniture. I can't find much on the Serial # other than 1938-39 date
of manufacture and fits into a category of RCVR sales to DCM. If it isn't a NRA DCM sale someone
went to great lengths to make it look like one. It has the correct lyman site, etc. It has, however,
been drilled for scope blocks.
Any help would be appreciated. I paid $300.00 for it...so a good bore and great fitting gun that looks
like a 1925-34 NRA Sporter isn't a bad thing. Thanks.
Answer: RJ- It looks like you have pretty well researched this and identified
what your rifle is. I suspect it is a handsome gun, and a fine shooter. Sounds like the price was
very reasonable, and it will be one you can shoot and enjoy, without worrying about putting a scratch
on a $$$$ collector gun. Enjoy! John Spangler
# 12433 -
Miroku 22 Caliber 4 Barrel Pistol
Jamie- New York
I am interested in determining how much a collector might pay for this gun. It is a Miroku 22 Caliber
4 barrel pistol. It looks similar to a Sharps Derringer 4 Barrel pistol circa 1859-1874. Thank
Answer: Jamie- Sorry, we cannot help with that one. I
know that these were made, but have no feel for values. Since the originals are not all that
expensive (often $150-250) I think a repro would bring about half that since the repros are "modern"
and subject to all the paperwork nonsense. On the other hand, the modern ones probably could be
shot, so maybe the Cowboy Action shooters would like them. I think that copies are being made in
Italy now. John Spangler
# 12506 -
Identify Sauer Pistol
J.P. Sauer & Sohn. Suhl -
Has 7.65cal. printed on side. and J.P. Sauer & Sohn. Suhl. My father brought back with him from
Germany during WW2 and is a holster with the eagle and swastika on. I can't seem to find is how
much it would be worth with the holster
Answer: Randy, the
answer to your question depends on several bits of information that you did not send me. It is
impossible to give you an accurate value without at lest knowing what model you have and the kind
of condition that the pistol is in.
One often encounters Sauer Model 38 pistols from WWII and there is a good possibility that this is
what you have. You can recognize a Sauer 38 because it has a unique internal hammer which is
linked to a de-cocking lever on the left side of the frame. If the hammer is cocked, pressing the de-
cocking lever will allow it to fall under control without detonating a cartridge. If the hammer is down,
downward pressure on the de-cocking lever will lift the hammer to full-cock. Model 38 lockwork is
double-action and there is a magazine safety, and a chamber-loaded signal pin. Some very early
model 38's and those made in 1944 and 1945 do not have a safety catch. Model 38 slides are
marked 'JP Sauer & Sohn Cal 7,65' on the left, and `Patent' on the right. Model 38 grips carry the
Sauer monogram (S&S) on the left hand side.
Because of the hammer-cocking/de-cocking lever, the Sauer 38 is one of the most advanced pistol
designs ever to be mass-produced. The German designation for the weapon was Sauer Pistole
Model 38 Hahn Selbstspannung (Sauer Pistol Model 38 Hammer Self cocking. Over 200,000 model
38 pistols were procured by the German military, NSDAP and Police before the U.S. overran the
factory in April of 1945.
If your pistol was military issue, it should have the military acceptance stamp (eagle over 37) located
on the upper left side of trigger guard. All pistols should have the commercial test proof (eagle over
n) located on the right side of the slide above the slide grip, on the right side of the frame below the
slide grip, and on the right side of the barrel near the muzzle. Pistols procured by the police will be
marked with police acceptance stamps (eagle over "X" in a circle to the left of "C" or "F") located on
the left trigger guard web.
Value for a Sauer 38 can range from around $250 to over $500, add $25 to $125 for the holster, both
depending on condition. If you want to sell send me some pictures.
# 12502 -
Nickel MAB d
Arlene, Orange City, IA
MAB Brevete -
Modele D -
4 inches -
My father took this gun home after WWII. What does MAB Brevete mean? What is the history
behind this gun. What is the value?
Answer: Arlene, the letters
MAB are the initials of the manufacturer of your father's pistol, they stand for Manufacture D'Armes
Des Bayonne of Bayonne, France. The Model D was first introduced in 1933 and was still being
produced when the company went out of business in the mid 1980s. The Model D was used by the
French military and was also produced for the German military during the German occupation of
France in WWII. Pistols manufactured for the Germans have German proof marks and acceptance
Originally these pistols had a blue finish, the nickel finish that your pistol has will affect it's value. I
would expect to see a pistol like you describe offered for sale at a gunshow in the $175 range.
# 12503 -
Need Barrel For Walther Model ???
Mike Ossipee NH
None Can replacement barrels be bought? And from who?
Answer: Mike, the answer to your question depends on what model your pistol
is. PP and PPK barrels are pinned to the frame and the Numrich Gun Parts catalogue does not list
them as separate items. Your best hope may be to look for a similar pistol that can be purchased
inexpensively because of a heavily worn or damaged exterior. A good gunsmith should be able to
swap the barrel for you. Marc
# 12432 -
UMSC Hospital Bolo
I have a USMC hospital bolo machete 43. Could you explain what the hospital stands for and what
were the uses?
Answer: Jess- Navy Hospital Corpsmen
provided medical care to Marine units, while the Army had their own Army medics. Medical folks
used their bolos to clear areas for aid stations, chop tree branches for use as splints, make
shelters, open supply crates, etc. The Hospital bolos were heavier and capable of more cutting than
the smaller M1910, 1912 or 1917 general purpose bolos carried by some combat troops for utility
purposes. Hope that helps. John Spangler
# 12431 -
Hermann Goering’s Luger
I am curious if anyone knows the fate of H. Goering's Luger. I was able to find one reference online,
which was the story of Goering's surrender to the 36th Division in Kufstein. Purportedly,
Reichmarschall Goering was relieved of his sidearm by Second Lieutenant Gordon Bent, from
which a Major took the pistol and passed it on to a Lt. Colonel and from there who knows. I am
curious because an acquaintance received a Luger from a WWII veteran who claims the pistol was
H. Goerings'. I am sure that this claim has been made many times since WWII. The only info I have
is that the pistol's manufacture number is 5000. Any ideas where the real Luger is? Any information
would be appreciated!
Answer: Richard- We cannot help much
with the specifics on that. Anyone can claim anything, but when they expect people to pay a
premium for an alleged historical connection, the added value depends greatly on the amount of
documentation. A gun with a story and no paperwork is worth little more than the same sort of gun
with no story.
First, you need to confirm that Goering actually had a Luger, not the more modern P38, or the
smaller PP/PPK carried by many senior officers. Then you need to show that the "captor" was
there at the place and time the Goering was captured.
Then you need to prove that this is the gun that was taken from a specific individual.
Serial numbers do not help a lot because the Germans repeated the same numbers with all
makers, and each year they would start at 0001 and go up to 9999 and then go back to 0001and add
a letter "a" so it became 0001a up to 9999a, then 0001b through 9999b, etc. Any document bearing
the serial number would also need to show the maker and date of manufacture to narrow it down to
a specific gun.
It the story possible? Yes. Would I pay tens of thousands of dollars for this gun- NO WAY! John
I'm a US Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal specialist. We've taken possession of a cartridge that
we have limited information about. I'm hoping you can help fill in some useful information for
A local museum curator contacted us because his museum came into possession of an 11mm
Spanish Mauser cartridge. Apparently this round was recovered from a Spanish-American war
battlefield in Puerto Rico Circa 1898. Also apparently, this cartridge was identified in the Hartley &
Graham 1895-1899 ammunition catalog as a "poisonous cartridge". That's all we know about the
cartridge at the moment. He was understandably concerned about danger from any hazardous
substances, so he contacted us and asked us to resolve the issue.
I'm trying to find out specifics about what makes this cartridge "poisonous". Does it contain a toxic
agent intended to harm the target, or does it just contain some hazardous material (i.e. heavy
metals) inherent in the manufacturing or storage process? Unfortunately, none of our service
publications or manuals have data on foreign ammunition that old. I haven't had much luck
searching public sources, And when I ran a google search, your site was the only one I found that
made reference to 11mm Spanish cartridges as "poison bullets" (item 1379 on your website).
I'd like to determine exactly what about the cartridge is toxic, so that I can make an informed
decision as to how to proceed. I'd appreciate any information you might have that you'd be willing to
share. Thanks in advance.
Answer: Charles- First, thank you
for your service to our country. The EOD community is doing a great job, working overtime in the
IED business, with very little publicity, and sadly even less appreciation by the mainstream
The "poison bullet" story has been around since at least 1898 when our troops first encountered
this ammo during the Spanish-American War. Perhaps it seemed reasonable at the time where
wounds were likely to become badly infected in the tropics with the limited medical options available
at the time. The ugly appearance of this ammo led to speculation (later accepted by many) that they
were intentionally causing infection. This was driven by the brass coating on the case and the bullet
which tended to corrode easily in the tropics with a green verdigris substance. There is no
indication that there was actually any material in the bullet core or exterior that is any more
hazardous than any other cartridges of the era. This is common knowledge among cartridge
collectors, and is also documented in numerous editions of Frank Barnes' Cartridges of the World.
This cartridge is most often called the 11.5 x 57mm rimmed Spanish Reformado
No special treatment is required to safely handle or store this ammunition. For museum
purposes, I would recommend wiping with a clean cloth and applying a coat of wax to create a
barrier between the brass and the air to prevent corrosion. John
# 12460 -
Marlin Target Rifle
Doug Weeping Water NE
Marlin 2000 Target Rifle -
.22 Long Rifle -
My son doesn't use this any more and I wondered what it is worth
Answer: Doug, references indicate that the Model 2000 Target was a single
shot bolt action .22 caliber, rifle that could be converted to a repeater. It came with a 22 inch heavy
barrel, Lyman adjustable sights, 2 stage target trigger, molded synthetic stock, adjustable buttplate,
aluminum forearm rail. Weight was about 8 pounds. Marlin manufactured the 2000 Target from 1991
to 1995. Values for this rifle range from $200 to a little over $500 depending on condition but lately
target guns seem to be slow sellers. Marc
# 11912 -
Arisaka in 8 mm Mauser?
Adam, Foster, RI, USA
This firearm never received the traditional ''Mum'' forward of the receiver. It is not chambered in
either 6.5mm or 7.7mm. It appears to be in 8mm Mauser. Chambered fine. Could this be a firearm
made in Manchuria? And is it 8mm Mauser? How much is it worth?
Answer: Adam, the Japanese made several million Arisaka rifles. The action is
one of the strongest of any military rifle made during the 1930s and 1940s. The 8 mm Mauser
caliber was the standard caliber of Chiang Kai Shek's Kuomingtang army in their struggle with Mao
for control of China from 1945-1949. The Japanese army surrendered to Chiang's army in China in
1945. Some of these rifles were rechambered to the 8 mm Mauser round and issued to Chiang's
army. How it got to the U.S. is harder to figure out, but it may have come from Taiwan, or even
China via some intermediate country.
The Type 99 Arisaka rifle was also rechambered for the U.S. 30-06 round by the U.S. military during
the Korean war and issued to some units of the S. Korean army.
# 11908 -
Use The Link!
Richard, Kopperl, TX
Pump Model 90 -
22 Long Rifle -
Hex Barrel -
Would like to know date of manufacture. Has been in my family for over 70 years. Still in excellent
Answer: Richard, the OldGuns.net Winchester date of
manufacture program is a good place to find the information that you are looking for. There is a link
to the our date of manufacture program on the OldGuns.net menu bar. When I entered your serial
number, our program indicated that your rifle was manufactured in 1935.
# 12429 -
1891 Argentine Mauser Value
Modelo Argentino -
I have an 1891 mauser modelo argentino manufactura berlin. I've been trying to sell it but I changed
my mind when a buddy told me it was worth about $900.00. Is this true?
Answer: Chuck- Since you are a nice guy, you should let him have it for $500
before he changes his mind, and he can sell it at $900 and get rich-----if he knows someone crazier
than he is. I see many really minty examples selling in the $300-500 retail range, but can
sometimes still find them for as little as $150. This assumes all original, not sporterized or anything.
Hope that helps. John Spangler
# 12428 -
Tracing History Of Civil War Gun
I was wondering how to trace back a guns owner or history with the serial number. It’s an 1863
Springfield rifle, both number match on barrel and gun. I was wondering what its worth? Its is in
Answer: Vespa- First we need to be sure what
model you have. Model 1863 Springfields were not numbered, but they did have the date of
manufacture on the barrel and the lockplate. 1863 dated locks were later used with Model 1868 and
1870 .50-70 "trapdoor" rifles. All of the Model 1868 rifles had a serial number on the left side of the
receiver and right next to that, the same number on the barrel. Some of the Model 1870 rifles were
serial numbered, but not most of them.
The only known source of information to track U.S. military arms by serial number can be found on
our other side, http://ArmsCollectors.com on the Springfield Research Service page.
You can compare condition of your rifle with those offered for sale on various internet sites and get
an idea of the value that way, but you need to be sure of the model first. John
# 12427 -
Smith Carbine Manual
Been looking every where for Civil War Smith Carbine Manual (manufacturer or military), any
Answer: Will- As far as I know there never were any
manuals, or even broadsheet instructions made for these. The Smith is probably one of the most
simple and intuitive guns ever made so they probably did not think any were necessary. John
# 11900 -
*LEFT SIDE = cursive i following serial # on slide bar and above trigger P.38 followed by 43 under
byf on the slide bar 3line mark above 135 on trigger guard *RIGHT SIDE=3line mark above 135
stamped on slide bar twice *FRONT BARREL PLATE=serial # above the numeral l What is the
make and origin of this gun? Since there is no eagle or swastika emblem, was it accepted for the
military? What are guns of this description in very good condition complete with pigskin shoulder
holster and 1 magazine with 9 silicon coated bullets currently selling for?
Answer: Idus, your P.38 was manufactured by Mauser, "byf" is the WW-II
German ordnance code that was assigned to Mauser-Werke, Oberndorf am Neckar, Germany in
February of 1941 and "43" is the year that the pistol was manufactured (1943).
Your P.38 should also have the serial number stamped on the slide just forward of the safety lever,
on the frame above the trigger, and on the front of the barrel group below the round section of the
barrel. The last three digits of the serial number should be stamped on the base of the barrel locking
block. The letter "l" is the serial number suffix.
P.38, byf/43 and the serial number should be stamped on the left hand side of the slide.
P.38 Should be stamped on the left hand side of the magazine.
The three line mark that you describe is a stylized eagle. Eagle over 135 was the German WW-II
Heerswaffenamt inspector's mark on arms produced at Mauser-Werke AG, Oberndorf am Neckar,
Germany. It should be stamped twice on the right side of the slide, once on the left side of the frame
above the trigger, on the left side of the barrel group, on the right side of the barrel locking block, and
on the upper rear of the magazine.
If you look closer I think that you will find an eagle over swastika in a circle stamped on the right side
of the slide between the two military acceptance stamps, on the barrel group, and on the barrel
locking block. This is a military test proof.
OldGuns.net has been selling nice P.38 pistols in the $650.00 range. Shoulder holsters are not as
popular as regular hard shell holsters, they usually go in the $100 range.
# 11890 -
M1 With Scope?
Gary, Montgomery, NY
This M1 I have has an Inland action, an IBM barrel and a Lyman ''MARKSMAN'' scope on it. The
serial number on the receiver is 00081. Is this an original configuration for M1 carbines? Thanks for
your time... Gary
Answer: Gary, M1 carbines did not originally
come fitted with scopes. Marc
# 11888 -
Win '06 With Unusual Sticker
22 Cal. -
Government issue sticker reads: REGISTERED, OPM. Ft Eustis, Va. NUMBER 493 C.W. LEE (with
signature) Major CMP Provost Marshall. I am trying to find a history on this rifle. Can you tell me
anything. Year manufactured, and is this rifle worth more with this sticker, it appears to be quite old
but very legible. This rifle, in my opinion is in great condition. Thanks Dan
Answer: Daniel, The Winchester Model 1906 was a simplified version of the
earlier Winchester Model 1890, it usually came with a 20 inch round-flat crowned barrel, a straight-
wristed buttstock, and a grooved cylindrical slide handle, average weight was 5.1 pounds. The
M1906 was manufactured form 1906 to 1932, total production reached approximately 848,000 rifles,
your rifle (sn 833816 ) was manufactured at the end of production in 1932. The M1906 was initially
offered only in 22 short, but after April 1908, the design was altered so rifles would chamber 22
Short, Long or Long Rifle. The M1906 was also offered in a deluxe 'Expert' version which was
manufactured from 1917 to 1925. The Expert version had a pistol grip butt stock and a specially-
shaped slide handle. Expert rifles could be ordered in blue, with a nickel-plated receiver and trigger
guard, or with all the metal parts nickel-plated. Values for Winchester Model 1906 rifles range from
$150 to around $800 depending upon condition and configuration.
The sticker reflects that the rifle was registered with the Fort Eustis, Virginia, Provost Marshall's
Office, probably in order to allow the owner to keep the rifle in his quarters, or stored in the unit arms
room. The "CMP" is not related to the current "Civilian Marksmanship Program" but only identifies
that Major Lee was a Major in the Military Police Corps, the Army branch usually assigned to perform
Provost Marshall duties on Army bases. For some collectors the sticker will add some modest
value, but others may consider it an unsightly item that degrades value.
# 12426 -
Mfr Rle de St. Etienne
Mte Rv de Lt. Etienne -
I found a gun in my father's collection which I would like more information about. It appears to be an
old flint hand gun made out of wood and brass. It has a star and the letter H stamped on it in
several places. On the side, above the trigger, it has "Mte Rv de Lt. Etienne" engraved in it. Any
assistance you could offer in identifying the gun would be greatly appreciated. Thank
Answer: Lisa- The markings are "Mfr Rle de St. Etienne"
the short version of Manufacture Royale de St. Etienne, the French Arsenal at St. Etienne. It
probably was made shortly before Napoleon took over when he changed the name to the Imperial
Arsenal instead of the Royal Arsenal. There are several different models that would fit your
description made for army, navy or police use or even a few other odd type groups. Values vary
depending on exact model, condition and any repairs or alterations. In general, there is limited
interest in French military arms, so values tend to be modest, probably in the several hundred dollar
range for most of them in nice condition. Hope that helps. John
# 12425 -
Steel Case .30 Carbine Ammunition
As is often the case this question stems from a heated discussion amongst some gun buff friends
and I. The discussion centered on the suitability of the new Wolf steel cased M1 carbine ammo for
our carbines. I maintain steel cased .30 carbine ammo was common during WW II and even have
an uncle with at least one ammo can of steel cased (I think) .30 Carbine ammo from the early '50's.
They, of course, say the Wolf ammo is the first steel cased Carbine ammo produced.
I was looking at your site hoping to find evidence of steel cased Carbine ammo, but unfortunately
struck out. So the question is: Was steel cased Carbine ammo produced in the WW II and/or
Korean War eras? If so, is the steel cased (I think) ammo my uncle has worth anything more than
blasting ammo? If I recall correctly it is LC 52.
Ian- The definitive study on U.S. Military small Arms Ammunition, Volume 2 by Hackley, Woodin &
Scranton has the following on WW2 steel cased carbine ammunition, which is worth quoting.
Besides the period they discuss, there was a lot of work with steel-cased ammo around 1952-56
when it reached significant production at Frankford Arsenal.
QUOTE In 1943, an Evansville Ordnance Plant recommendation to produce the Cal. .30
Carbine cartridge with steel case was approved and by May of that year Evansville had produced
some handmade sample steel cases, using the same finish as the Cal. .45 steel case production.
Experimental fabrication of steel-cased carbine ammunition had already taken place at the other
contract plants as early as 1942. In fact, Kings Mills Ordnance Plant had produced about 95,000
steel-cased .30 Carbine Ball Ml cartridges during December 1942, but was forced to continue with
brass case production because of steel
manufacturing problems. Early in 1943 all .30 Carbine steel case development was transferred from
Kings Mills to Lake City. Western Cartridge Co. concentrated their steel case development on a
nickel-plated finish during the 1942-1943 period; the first lot of 2,000 rounds was completed during
July 1942. Steel-cased cartridges examined have included the following: E C 43 (zinc-cronak finish),
P C 42 (zinc-cronak finish), WCC 42 (nickel- and copper-plated and zinc-treated finishes), wee 43
(lead-plated, zinc-cronak and lacquered), and W.R.A. 42 (zinc-cronak and copper-plated finishes).
During August 1943 the Office of the Chief of Ordnance ordered Lake City Ordnance Plant to
convert from brass- to steel-cased carbine production as soon as possible because of a copper
shortage. By November the shortage had eased enough to allow reconversion of these lines back to
The pilot lot of Evansville steel-case production was completed in September 1943 (Lot E-S-25607-
X) and was forwarded to Aberdeen Proving Ground for comparison tests with brass-cased
ammunition. It was subjected to a complete functioning test in which 24,000 rounds of steel-cased
ammunition were expended. The total malfunctions and case casualties compared very favorably
with the control brass-cased cartridges. In November 1943 the Ordnance Committee recommended
that steel-cased carbine ammunition be subjected to complete service board tests. The results of
these tests prompted the Chief
of Army Ground Forces to conclude that steel cases were generally acceptable; however, it was
recommended that carbine ammunition be assembled with brass cases so long as brass was
available. The U.S. Marine Corps expended 500,000 rounds of Evansville steel-cased carbine
ammunition in training and concluded it was a satisfactory substitute for brass-cased rounds. On
October 11, 1945, the Ordnance Committee approved the issue of steel-cased carbine ball
cartridges for training use.
Hope that helps. John Spangler
# 12424 -
Inmate Missing From Asylum
I was wondering what the value is on my two rifles: one a 1917 and the other 1921? What do you
think they would be worth if I should decide to sell them?
Answer: We [almost] always try to be polite and helpful, even with barely
intelligible questions. However, in lieu of insulting the parentage, intelligence, age and manners we
simply decline to respond to the above, even though they managed to spell, punctuate and capitalize
appropriately. Note that there is no please or thank you for any info we could provide. They do not
provide the faintest clue as to the make or model of the rifles, or even the nationality. Caliber and
type of action can be anything from a Daisy BB gun to who knows what high grade custom gun.
Condition is open to the wildest speculation as to pristine factory new or totally trashed sporterized
rusty junk that Bubba threw away. In the future we will be happy to discuss values with people like
this. They can call us, but only on a certain day of the week at certain hours, designated as "stupid
question time." After providing their credit card info and agreeing to a $5.00 per minute charge,
we will be glad to try to elicit enough details to provide an estimated value. Except for a few
ungrateful idiots like this, we really do enjoy the collector arms business. John
# 11872 -
Real small on slide W8A140 with eagle above it, another eagle on slide, more 2 more tiny eagles
stamped, dark brown checkered grip. What is the origin of this gun, and how much is it worth, and
what type is it? I received 2 clips with it.
Answer: Dennis, if you
give a close examination to the markings on your pistol, you should find that they read
"WaA140" not "W8A140". Eagle over WaA140 is a late war German WW-II
Heerswaffenamt inspector's mark that was used on arms produced at Fabrique Nationale d'Armes
de Guerre, Herstal, Belgium in 1944. These markings indicate that you have what collectors call a
3rd variation FN M1935 (Browning High Power) that was manufactured in WWII Belgium under Nazi
The High Power pistol was designed by John Moses Browning and manufactured by Fabrique
Nationale (FN) in Herstal, Belgium, it was the last pistol that John M. Browning designed before his
death in 1926. The Belgians were first armed forces to adopt the High Power as an official sidearm,
in 1935 but before 1940 contracts were also filled for the armed forces of several countries
including Belgium, China, Peru, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Sweden and France. The High Power
was eventually adopted by the armies of 68 countries, and was used by both the Germans and the
Canadians during World War II.
After the FN plant was seized by the Germans in May of 1940 High Power production was
earmarked for the German military. The first several thousand pistols were made up from captured
parts and had a high polish finish, a shoulder stock slot cut into the rear grip strap and tangent rear
sight. To speed production, the Germans eliminated the shoulder stock slot and then the tangent
sight at about serial number 145000. As production continued, the quality of finish was reduced to
dull blue over a progressively less polished metal. The Germans used three Waffenenamt stamps
on High Power pistols:
Eagle over WaA613
Eagle over WaA103
Eagle over WaA140
Third variation pistols like yours were stamped with eagle over WaA140, had fixed 50-meter
sights, wood or brown plastic grips and dull military-blue finish over rough machine marks. The
approximate serial range for this variation is 145000 to 210000, then 01a to 100000a and finally 01b
Third variation FN M1935 High Power pistols should have the following markings:
Right side of the slide below the ejection port.
Last three digits on the upper right side of the frame above the trigger
Last three digits on the right side of the chamber (barrel).
FABRIQUE NATIONALE D'ARMES DE GUERRE HERSTAL BELGIQUE BROWNING'S
Military acceptance stamp WaA140:
Left side of the slide above the slide stop
Upper left side of the frame to the rear of the trigger pin
Front of the slide below the muzzle
Left side of the chamber (barrel).
Military test proof eagle over swastika in a circle:
Left side of the slide above the slide lock notch
Upper left side of the frame to the rear of the trigger pin
Right side of the chamber (barrel).
There was no commercial test proof mark.
Values for 3rd variation Nazi Proofed High Power pistols are in the $300 to $900 range
depending on condition, let me know if you want to sell. Marc