Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters OldGuns.net FineOldGuns.com

 

 

Questions And Answers Page

If you have a question about firearms and you want it posted on this page click here.

Return to Collectors Headquarters.

Click here to go to the question and answer monthly index.

Click here to go to the question and answer subject index.


# 13663 - MBA Gyrojet Firearms
2/27/2010
Dan - Aptos, CA - USA

MB Associate - GyroJet Pistol - 12 Mm Or .49 Caliber - Other -

I own a 12 mm GyroJet pistol manufactured by MB Associates in the 1960s. Unfortunately, the mechanism that locks the slide in the forward position is missing. I am in need of a source to purchase this locking subassembly, or would appreciate any source where I can get the original engineering drawings, with measurements, so I can have one made. I would also like to know of any source for owner's manuals for this firearm. Thanks in advance.

Answer:
Dan- The Gyrojet arms and ammunition are a fascinating bit of arms history. Their key feature is the ammunition which was basically a small rocket with a primer so it could be “fired” when a trigger is pulled. Since the projectile was a rocket with the propelling charge inside, instead of depending on gas expansion within the barrel as in regular ammunition, there was virtually no recoil. The Gyrojets were made in pistol and carbine models with many different variations.

Although marketed as a “space age” innovation, the concept is very similar to the Hunt “rocket ball” or the similar ammunition used in the Volcanic arms that were the predecessor of the Winchester lever action arms.

There is very little reliable published information on Gyrojets other than a few articles in gun magazines of the early 1960s. However, that is about to change!

My friend Mel Carpenter has the definitive book on everything related to Gyrojets and MBA Associates nearly ready for the publication. It is mind-boggling to see the full scope of this story, and the numerous innovative ideas they tried- some successfully, others not so much. When this book hits the market, I highly recommend everyone interested in arms history get a copy to learn more.

The bad news is that I do not know of any source for repair parts or literature at this time. John Spangler


# 13850 - Jim And The Dark Side
2/27/2010
Jim Minerva Ohio United States

Buffalo Scout - TA76 - 22 Long Or Short / 22 Mag. - 6'' - Blue -

Who makes this gun and what is the value with the original box and both cylinders. I can purchase this for $200.00 just not sure about it. Buffalo Scout single action revolver 22L,22S,22Mag. Made Armif.LLi Tanfoglio Garoone V.T Italy Model TA 76. Also I have a Texas Ranger Model Tex 22 Cal. L.R. Fie Miami Florida any help would be appreciated.

Answer:
Luke (sorry I mean Jim), you seem to have an attaction to the dark side (the lower end of the .22 revolver market) lucky that you checked with us before you blew your $200. There is no collector interest in Buffalo Scout revolvers, and the quality of materials and workmanship used to produce them is questionable. The last one that we had at OldGuns.net went for $40 and we were happy to see it gone. My advise would be to turn away from the dark side and get a better quality gun. $200 will put you a long way towards the purchase price of a good quality revolver like a Ruger. Obi-Wan (Marc)


# 13760 - Remington Rolling Block
2/23/2010
Dennis, La Porte, IN

Remington - 1927 Rolling Block - 22 Short - 20'' - Blue -

I am looking for an estimated value of this rifle. It does work. It was described to me as a 1927 Remington Rolling Block 22 rifle with octagon barrel.

Answer:
Dennis, I don't believe that Remington ever manufactured a model 1927 rolling block rifle. There were three rolling block models were offered in .22 short, the No. 4, the No. 6 and the No. 7 so your rifle is probably one of those. Out of these three rifles, the only one that had a 20 inch barrel was the No. 6, unless your barrel has been cut down, you probably have a No. 6 rolling block rifle.

The No. 6 was a take down design, it was manufactured from 1901 to 1933, total production was about 500,000. Rifles were available in 22 Short, Long or Long Rifle and also in 32 Short or Long rimfire calibers. The No. 6 was intended to be a boy´s rifles it was designed with small dimensions. Early No. 6 rifles had a color case hardened receiver, this was changed to a blue finish on later models. No. 6 rifles were also available in smooth bore. No. 6 values range from about $200 to over $650 depending on condition and caliber. Rifles chambered in .22 Long Rifle are the most valuable. Marc.


# 13662 - Prussian Musket In Iowa
2/23/2010
Jim, Handout

Unknown - Unknown - Unknown - Approx 41 Inches - Don't Know - SEE SPECIAL MARKINGS BELOW -

Butt Plate has markings: 20648 and 111580 and 1833. Top of butt plate and rear of trigger guard has what appears to be a 10 or a line above a zero. On the side of the butt is an impression of a crown above the letters FW. On the barrel is a stamped marking of FW and 1833. Power Horn with patriotic marking that include a date of 1846 and Eplubibus and liberty. I would like to know manufacturer, history of this type of gun as I do know my great grandfather owned this gun and the information will add to his history. There is an article in our home town (in Iowa) saying my great grandfather (one of the earliest settlers crossing the Mississippi River) only owning his musket and powder horn.

Answer:
Jim- The markings sound like those found on the Prussian muskets which were imported for use during the Civil War. These are originally old flintlocks made in the 1820s or 1830s and later converted to percussion. During 1861 most nations in Europe emptied their arsenals of all sort of obsolete arms as Union and Confederate buyers engaged in bidding wars to obtain enough arms for their large, and largely unarmed, armies at the start of the Civil War.

I do not know the date when Iowa was settled, but I think it was prior to the Civil War, so that casts some doubt on this musket being available to accompany your great grandfather at the time. The powder horn markings may relate to the date it was made, or be a later item with the dates commemorating some event.

My gut feeling that that this may be a case where your ancestor owned a rifle and powder horn when he went to Iowa, and that he may have owned this rifle and horn, but they are not necessarily the ones he owned when he traveled to Iowa. It is quite common for oral histories to be confused like this over the years. John Spangler


# 13648 - American Arms Co. Wheeler .22 And .32
2/20/2010
Wayne,Chesapeake,Virginia

American Arms Co. - Wheeler's Patent Over/under Derringer - 32 Ball And Cap - 3 3/8'' - Nickel - 50835 -

Can only find this gun in 22&32 rimfire. My gun is a Ball and Cap. Spoke with other Collectors and they have never seen this gun. Stated maybe it's a prototype. Help Please!

Answer:
Wayne- Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms and their Values has the answers to most old gun questions. Wheeler’s derringers used a double barrel, “swivel breech” type design, where the barrels would pivot around a central pin to expose the chambers for loading or to rotate the barrels to firing position. About 5,000 of these were made circa 1866 to 1878 by the American Arms Company of Boston, Mass. Of those, the ones with one barrel in .22 rimfire and the other in .32 rimfire are the most common with about 3,000 made. Some of those has “birds head” type grips and are very scarce, while the more common version has a flat bottom grip. A very small number (maybe 50) were made with both barrels in .22 caliber. Another 1,500 were made with both barrels in .32 rimfire. Some other variations in .32 or .41 rimfire are known and possibly some in .38 rimfire. Flayderman lists your combination type as worth about $275 in NRA antique good condition or $850 in fine. John Spangler


# 13764 - Gecado 9mm Rimfire
2/20/2010
Ken, Grand Rapids, MN

Gecado - Unknown - 9mm Rimfire - Unknown - Don't Know - 26272 -

I have been searching to find any reference to this rifle. Where and when was the rifle made and is it worth anything?

Answer:
Ken, references indicate that Mauser type sporting rifles were marketed under the Gecado brand name by Dornheim of Suhl, Germany between WWI and WWII. Dornheim was one of Germany's principal wholesalers of guns and hunting goods during that time period. The business purchased by Albrecht Kind in 1940. The Gecado rifles were invariably made elsewhere but I have not been able to find any information on who the original manufacturer was or the quality of the rifles. Marc


# 13759 - High Power ''wba140'' Markings
2/16/2010
Mark Kansas City, KS

Fabrique National D`Armes De Guerre - Hi-Power - 9mm - 4'' - Other - 67892A -

WBA140 with Small Nazi proof. The character at the end of the serial number looks like a lowercase a, but I can't really tell what it is. I bought this from a friend who claims that his father brought it back from Germany. Finish is a little rough, original grips and it functions. I'm curious about the ''WBA140'' markings and anything else about this pistol.

Answer:
Your Browning High Power was made at the FN factory in Belgium sometime in 1943 for the German army. The 140 under an eagle is actually the weapons inspector's stamp (waffenamt), not a proof mark. The proof mark will be an eagle over a swastika. The pistol should have matching serial numbers on the right side of the barrel, the slide and the frame. Grips should be checkered wood. These pistols were issued as standard sidearms to the German army right up until the plant was overrun by the Allies in August 1944. They are eagerly sought after by World War II collectors. Marc


# 13639 - Belgian Percussion Pistols “Simon Au Havre”
2/16/2010
Eugene, Bethlehem, Georgia

ELG - Percussion Cased Pistols - .50 Cal Ball (muzzle Loader) - Approximately 8'' - Other -

ELG mark on the Barrel and inscription ''Simon Au Havre''. Cased percussion pistols with intricate inlays and rifled barrels. I am curious about the inscription ''Simon Au Havre'' and manufacture of the pistols. I have been able to determine that the ELG mark indicates Belgian manufacture but do not know anything beyond that. thx.

Answer:
Eugene- This sounds like a nice pair of pistols, being cased and all. These are probably what most people would call “Dueling Pistols” although in the pre-revolver period it was considered a good idea to have more than one gun handy for home defense or in your pockets when traveling the unprotected roads, so a “pair” of pistols was not always for duels.

Simon au Havre is not a name I know anything about. “Havre” is Frogspeak for “harbor” with a French city of that name, but also other cities around the world incorporating it in their names, such as Havre de Grace, Maryland. This is probably a case of a dealer named Simon selling guns in Havre, either the French city or at a harbor location in a French speaking settlement. I would bet it is for the French city, but cannot be certain. John Spangler


# 13622 - Gun Used By The Dalton Gang?
2/14/2010
Lori, Blaine, WA

F&W - Unknown 5 Shooter - 38 - 4'' - Stainless Steel - 144281 -

Forehand Arms Co,Worcester,Mass Pat'd Dec-86 &Jan 11,87 My great Grandfather claims he took this gun from the Dalton gang in Beloit, Ks. He was a sheriff back then and his name was John P Cochran. I was wondering if there is any validity to this story, (he has long passed away) and if the gun is worth anything to collectors?

Answer:
Lori- Collectors really seem to like guns with connections to famous or notorious individuals. Some will “buy the story”, while others “buy the gun.” A lot of the value will depend on how strong the historical connection is. A verbal attribution based on a long ago statement from a deceased ancestor has some weight, but not a whole lot. A notarized statement made by an individual with first hand knowledge about where the gun came from helps more. Any police records or court documentation that list a gun by serial number and a specific crime or event is almost positive proof. However, the market is strong for these “historical” guns, although buyers tend to range from picky folks who want proof before paying big bucks, to gullible suckers who can be sold just about any story with a gun to go with it. (Hey, wanna buy George Washington’s M1911 .45 automatic that Gen. Custer used at Little Big Horn and was then stolen by Bonnie and Clyde? It’s a real steal at only $50,000!)

Your gun is probably nickel plated, not stainless. Without the story, it sounds like one that might bring $100 or so, but with the story, who knows what people would pay. Jim Supica (now curator of the NRA Museum, and a genuine good guy has a good analysis of guns with historical attributions at

http://armscollectors.com/provenance_supica.htm that is well worth reading.) John Spangler


# 13734 - Mod 1934 Beretta
2/14/2010
Jason, Tallassee, AL

Pietro Beretta - Gardone V.T-Cal 9 Corto - 380 ACP - 3'' Maybe 3 And A Quarter In. - Blue - E66725 -

On the left side of the frame just above the trigger is what appears to be a star with a circle around it, there is a crest of some sort next to that and then there is another star surrounded by a circle. Next is the letters PSF, then the roman numerals XIX. Acquired gun after my father died, and just wanted some history on firearm and maybe what it's worth.

Answer:
Jason, your pistol is Model 1934 and was made in 1941 by the Beretta factory probably for the Italian Army. The year XIX stands for the 19th year from the time Benito Mussolini started his reign (1922). Check the left side of the frame for the letter RE or RA. The first stands for the Italian Army the second for the Italian air force. Value will depend on condition and can be anywhere from about $100 to around $550. Marc


# 13709 - Winchester Model 1886 Production
2/9/2010
Dan

Winchester - 1886 - 38-70 - 32 - Don't Know -

how many were manufactured?

Answer:
Dan, about 160,000 Model 1886 Winchesters rifles were made between 1886 and 1922 when production ceased. They were the second design John Browning sold to Winchester and are eager sought after by Winchester collectors. Marc


# 13620 - Triplett & Boone (not Scott)
2/9/2010
Vicki, State College, PA

Tripplet & Boone - .50 - .56 - Not Sure - Don't Know - 2037 -

The gun is marked: Tripplet & Boone, Dec. 6, 1864, Meriden Manufacturing Co., Meriden Connecticut, 2037, Kentucky I am wondering about the value of this gun. All (scarce enough) references I can find on the internet point to ''Tripplet & Scott'' not ''Tripplet & Boone''. I know it is a Civil War carbine. It looks to be in useable condition, but no one has tried to fire it. Just wondering if you know someone in Central/Western PA who has knowledge about these weapons. It would be fun to know some of the history.

Answer:
Vicki- I can not find any references to Triplett & Boone, or even any makers named Boone in the Kentucky area who might have been a partner with Triplett. I don’t know anyone to recommend who might be able to help with this one. John Spangler


# 13600 - Atkinson Warranted Muzzle Loading Rifle
2/6/2010
Rich-Arlington, TX

Atkinson Warranted - .36 Maybe .35 - 31.5'' - Other -

Percussion lock says only Atkinson Warranted. There are two engraved lines around the edge of the lock. There is a small eagle just in front of the hammer and two small rococo designs in the front plate. No opposing side plate. There are two small ducks in flight and a crane in water and tall grass in the back section of the lock. I believe the heavy barrel to be browned not rusted, and is 1.063'' across the flats. The rifling has 5 narrow grooves. The second thimble is missing and therefore shows how it attached to the barrel. The thimbles are plain steel tubes welded into a recesses ground or filed into the bottom land. Front sight is brass mounted on a wedge. Rear sight is about 4'' long mount with wedge in the barrel. The bottom of the sight has a slit to raise for long shot. Has Double set triggers. Stock is half I think cherry reddish brown finish no patch box. Brass nose piece has a 1'' V pointing to the rear on bottom of stock. Brass butt plate is highly curved and would be painful for a ''full sized'' man to shoot. Brass trigger guard has two tails pointing down. Rifle weighs 10.3 lbs. I would enjoy knowing several things. Approximate date of manufacture, Maker and maker's locale, school if possible from the description I've given. And would like a realistic value for insurance purposes. Thank you so much rneusse@tx.rr.com

Answer:
Rich- It certainly sounds like a nice rifle. I regret that we cannot tell you much about that one. It sounds like it may be more of a target rifle than a hunting gun. The weight, barrel thickness, double set triggers and extreme butt plate and trigger guard almost sound like a Schuetzen style target rifle. The lock markings are probably from the maker of the lock, not necessarily the rifle maker. My guess is that the date would be sometime in the mid to late 19th Century. We will not even attempt to guess at the value without photos. John Spangler


# 13699 - What Model Is It?
2/6/2010
Canada

Walther - Model 2? - 35 - Don't Know - 64343 -

I have come in contact with a small handgun that has the following markings: Left side has ''Selbstlade-Pistole Cal.6,35 Walther's-Patent.'' Underneath this is a small banner with the word ''Walther'' inscribed in the banner. The right side has the markings ''Carl Walther Waffen Fabrik Zella-Melhis I. It has no front or rear sight and has the numbers 64343 stamped between the trigger guard and the grip on the left side. It also has a small safety located on the left side with the letter ''S'' that when covered indicates the safety is on. Ejection camber is on the right side as well. I have been trying to determine what model this gun is in the Walther collection but keep finding small details that tells me it is not the model 2 (ie. F on the safety instead of S). Can you provide any further details for me?

Answer:
Sir, your pistol was made before 1945 by the Walther Company at Zella-Melhis. After 1945 Walther moved to Ulm so it is either a Model 2 or a Model 8. The Model 2 has knurled barrel ring, the Model 8 does not. Marc


# 13789 - Who Manufactured My Nickel P.38?
2/2/2010
Matt Milwaukee

P-38 - Walther - 9mm - 4'' - Nickel - 805H -

above trigger is a ''135'' and above this is a what looks like a roman numeral ''V'' with three lines. Also the h in the ser no is cursive. The nickel looks original. In good shape. Is this a Walther, or the Mauser? How many were made? Do you know if this was the Police or regular model? Value? What year?

Answer:
Matt, the 135 above the trigger is the weapons inspector's marking or waffenamt for the Mauser factory. If the pistol is not a mismatch the same stamp should be found on the right side of the slide and on the barrel. The other waffenamts used by Walther were 359 and by Spreewerk 88. It should also have a year of manufacture if it is a Mauser or Walther, and this will stamped on the slide. Spreewerk did not stamp a date on their pistols.

No P.38s were ever nickel plated by the factory or by the German army. Many captured guns were nickel plated after the war. Nickel plating destroys the originality of the pistol. If it is mismatch with nickel plating it hurts the value even more. Currently P.38s are selling in the $600 to $900 for all correct original pistols. If yours is mismatched and nickel I would place it in the shooter category and the value would be in the $300 range. Marc


# 13596 - Sharps 4 Barrel .22 Derringer Model 1B
2/2/2010
TJ

Sharps - Patent 1859 4 Barrel Derringer - .22 Short - 2 1/2 Inches - Nickel - 2590 -

C. Sharps Patent 1859 (Left side) C. Sharps & Co Philada PA (right side) The Barrel Release button is on the left side. Serial number matches on barrel and the Frame. The barrel is steel with Nickel plating. The plating at the muzzle has worn off and the steel is dark but not rusted. There are two very small chips out of the plating and two rust spots on the left side of the barrel. The right side of the barrel has a chip out of the plating, but no rust. The frame appears to be silver plate over bronze. 80 to 85% of the silver plating remains. The grip is smooth wood in very good condition. The rotating hammer works perfectly. The barrels themselves are clean. I know after doing research on your website and several others, that I have a Sharps & Co Patent 1859 Derringer model 1B, and that only 3200 of them were made. My questions are threefold. How many of the 3200 Type 1B’s were produced with a Nickel plated barrel? What year (approx.) was it manufactured? And of course, what's a good estimate as to value? I haven't had it to a gunsmith yet to see if it's in good enough shape to shoot, but that's next on my list! Thanks!

Answer:
TJ- Thanks for doing some research before asking for more help. Unfortunately, we do no know how many of the 3,200 of that variation were made with the nickeled barrels. However, just based on the ones we have seen, a rough guess is maybe 10-20%. While scarcer than the blued barrel versions, collectors really prefer that the nickel be in nice shape, so peeling and flaking finish will reduce demand considerably. The four barrel production lasted from 1859-1874, with manufacture of about 60,000 of the Model 1A serial numbered from 1 to 60,000. The Model 1B numbers ran from 1 to about 23,000. The subsequent Models 1C, 1D and 1E started at number 1 again and continued up to around 26,000. Therefore my guess is that the Model 1B was made circa 1862-1864.

Value is probably several hundred dollars.

PLEASE- do NOT try to shoot this old gun. These were made for lightly loaded .22 short size ammunition loaded with black powder which develops much lower pressures than any of the modern smokeless powder loads. John Spangler


Return to Collectors Headquarters.