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# 1107 - Shotgun, Hibbard Spencer Bartlett 20 GA
2/27/98
John, Cincinnati, Oh., U.S.A

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Hibbard Spencer Bartlett & Co. Of Chicago, P 20 GA Shotgun Single Shot Unknown Blue, I Believe none that i know of

HSB & Co Rooster design with letter P inside the design Can you tell me the year of manufacture and it's approx. worth assuming an NRA condition of "Good". I understand that this company was in business in the 1880-1925 or so era. Any help will be appreciated and will gladly donate to the NRA.

Answer:
John- 1889-1923 are the dates of operation for Hibbard, Spencer & Bartlett, and they were only dealers, not makers. The gun was probably made by Crescent or one of the other makers of cheap "house brand" guns. 1900 sounds like a good date of manufacture, and probably under $50 for value may not sound good to you, but it sounds maybe even a little high to me... John Spangler


# 1099 - Flare Gun- Firefly .45-70
2/27/98
John

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Firefly Signal Flare Gun F-1 45-70 Govt. 4 Inches Chrome N\A

MODEL F-1FIREFLY SIGNAL FLARE GUNSAFETY RESEARCH & MFG. CO. INC.SEATTLE, WASH. 1. The Flares used in this flare gun are based on a 45-70 GOVT. cartridge. Do you know where to purchase replacement flares or reloading data? 2. Does any company still produce replacement parts?

Answer:
John- Sorry, no bright ideas lighting up the sky for me on this one. How about a call to the information operator in Seattle to see if they are in business.?... John Spangler


# 1098 - Shotguns- Use In Hunting or Warfare
2/27/98
Rob Bottass, Parsippany, NJ

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Can you please recommend any books or websites regarding to the history or development of the shotgun? I am interested in it's initial uses for hunting or warfare. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Rob Bottass

Answer:
Rob- For the warfare part, check out Thomas Swearengen's "World's Fighting Shotguns" or buy a copy for about $40. For sporting uses, W.W. Greener's "The Gun and its Development" is probably as good as anything I can think of. Hope this helps... John Spangler


# 1088 - Model 1860 Light Cavalry Saber, Millard
2/27/98
Eric , Victoria, B.C. Canada,

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Civil War Saber? Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Have a saber with following markings; On the blade: 'D.J. Millard' 'Glayvill - E.D.NY'On the other side of the blade is: 'US' 'C.E.W.' '1862' This saber is owned by me and is in very good condition. I would like to know to what military group this type of saber was issued as well as details of the lettering on the blade.

Answer:
Eric- You have a Model 1860 light cavalry saber. This is one delivered under a December 13, 1861 contract with David J. Millard or Clayville, New York for 10,000. These "wristbreakers" were the standard arm of Union cavalry troopers. Realistically, their use was very rare during the Civil Warm but the sight of a few dozen guys swinging these, mounted on big horses, headed my way would certainly remind me of urgent commitments elsewhere. The same general pattern of saber was used by most countries from about 1840 until just before World War One. Forces of the British Empire had their own patterns which differed slightly... John Spangler


# 1097 - Winchester Model 55
2/25/98
LeRoy Harrisonburg, Va. USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester 55 .22 29" Blue none

I received this rifle for Christmas in 1960. It is a .22 single shot which is loaded from the top and the empty casing is ejected automatically straight down through the stock. The rifle is automatically cocked when it is fired and all you need to do is load another shell and you are ready to fire again. Also when you load the rifle the safety is automatically placed in the on position and you have to manually click it off in order to fire the rifle. I have never encountered anyone who has ever seen a rifle of this type. I can not locate the serial number on any of the exposed parts of the rifle and do not want to dismantle it. The rifle is in excellent condition. I would like to know if this is a rare model? How many were manufactured? The years of manufacture? The approximate worth of the rifle.

Answer:
LeRoy, You gave us an excellent description of your rifle. Winchester manufactured 45,000 Model 55 rifles between 1958 and 1961. The reason that you can not find a serial number is because model 55s were not numbered. Unfortunately there is not much collector interest in the model 55, the blue book lists values for them in new condition at $175.00... Marc


# 1087 - Pistol- Screw-barrel Flintlock Collicott
2/25/98
Bill, Plainville, Ma. wsheph8241@AOL.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Collicott ? 50 Approx. 5" Bell Metal (brass / Copper) none - we're talking 1735

Bristol - Collicott This is a small British pistol flintlock / screw barrel which I've been told was manufactured around 1735, presumably in Bristol England. There is a British lion head on the butt and silver inlay in a "pineapple" design on the sides. It has been suggested that the inlay was added over here. I'm fairly certain it's not a reproduction as it's been in my family since at least 1800 that I know of. The story goes that the inlay was a "practice piece" for an apprentice silversmith working in the shop of Paul Revere around the time of the revolution. (At least part of the story is true - this particular ancestor in fact did work for that particular shop. If the gun was worked on at that time is anyone's guess). Not being an active collector I'm curious about the history and use of these small screw barrel pistols and the value if any of these pieces.

Answer:
Bill- Screw-barrel pistols were the equivalent of "Saturday Night Specials' or "Affordable self defense guns" depending on your vocabulary. Quality ranged from pretty good to pretty primitive, although yours sounds like it is toward the upper end. These could be carried in the pocket or ladies' purses (or whatever manner of luggage they hauled all their stuff around in back then). Iron barrels were more common, and generally shorter lengths, so again yours is a little out of the ordinary. The listing I found for Collicott in Bristol merely states "before and after 1700" but it is possible that other members of the family could have continued in the gun business for many years. The pistol certainly sounds like it is of the correct style and period to have been in possession of someone working as a craftsman in the 1770s, although perhaps a trifle fancier than his economic circumstances could support. Bet there is an interesting story about where and how he obtained it: lucky at cards, bartered for services, fleet of foot, or who knows? Anyway, the owner could well have decorated it in any way they wanted to. I think "practice piece" may be a bit of overstatement for a bit of decoration the owner wanted to do to show off their handy work. Heck, in college I decided I needed a place to keep the Allen wrench for adjusting the buttplate on my thumbhole stocked Winchester Model 52D. In a couple of hours I had the only one in the country with a brass patchbox (Zouave style). Worked great, and only a few people laughed at it in my presence. Bet folks go nuts trying to figure that one out 50 years from now! While silversmiths were talented folks, the gunsmith was a unique marriage of most of the skills of the blacksmith, furniture maker, brass or silversmith, and a touch of artist thrown in... John Spangler


# 1086 - CVA Flintlock Rifle
2/25/98
nathan / sunbury, pa

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
CVA Flintlock Unknown .50 Unknown Unknown Unknown

I have a CVA flintlock, among many other flintlocks, but this one simply will not spark -- at all. I have good success with my other flintlocks, so I know the basics, but this one baffles me. I am told that CVA frizzens are often soft and will need case hardened, but my attempts at case hardening have proven unsuccessful. Is this what this gun needs? If so, can you describe some methods of case hardening? Thanks.

Answer:
Nathan- I don't know anything about CVA products, but the flintlock is a much more sophisticated mechanism than most people appreciate. The frizzen has to be hard enough to create a spark when struck by the flint. The mainspring has to be strong enough to force the flint onto the frizzen hard enough to create a spark. The geometry of the lock is important, so the flint will hit at the proper angle to spark, at the same time it must be forcing the frizzen open, and timed so that the sparks will fall into the pan to ignite the priming charge. Kasenite is a case hardening compound that has been around for years and seems to work pretty well, although it helps to have something hotter than your average propane torch. Just follow the instruction on the package. If you tried that without success, I would hang that one on the wall and go find another rifle that sparks a little better. Good luck... John Spangler


# 1096 - Remington Model 8
2/23/98
Craig, Radnor, PA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Remington Model 8 .32? About 28" Blue Unknown

I have recently come across this rifle. It may be a Browning design. It is a semiautomatic with a small box magazine. It has a barrel of about 1" dia. which is stepped down to about 3/4" about 1" back from the muzzle. It is not a pretty gun. I am interested in its history. What was it designed for? When was it built and for whom? I'd appreciate any information you can give me. Thanks!

Answer:
Craig, I agree with you, the Remington Model 8 is an ugly rifle. One of the main contributing factors to the model 8's ugliness is that the barrel is covered by a full length tube which encloses the recoil spring. Remington manufactured about 60,000 Model 8 rifles between 1906 and 1936. The Model 8 came with open sights, it had a 5 round box magazine, a 22 inch barrel and a plain walnut stock. The Model 8 was offered in .25, .30, .32 and .35 Remington. Due to it's ugliness (in my opinion) there is just about no collectors interest in the Model 8, values fall in the $175 to $225 range... Marc


# 1074 - M1903 Springfield Marked "FOX"
2/23/98
Scott, Joplin, MO, USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Springfield 1903 30-06 Unknown Unknown LISTED IN BOOKS AS JAN. 1910 PRODUCTION

9-12 barrel date, FOX stamped on stock (not factory quality), standard marking for period Appears to be correct and original except for bolt. Large block E stamped in groove of handguard. This 03 Springfield bolt action rifle has a handguard that has the groove cut in the top but no spring clamps. Inside the grove is stamped with a large E. The handguard also has a slightly higher hump than a 03 I own with a barrel date of 9-18. Any info?

Answer:
Scott- I am pretty sure that the "FOX" marking refers to Fox Studios, the old movie folks. The handguard "humps" on the earlier M1903 rifles (up to about 1920) were quite a bit higher than on later rifles. The earliest handguards on the M1903 Springfields (after the alterations for the M1905 bayonet) were flat on top in front of the sight. About 1910 a groove was added in the center to give a better view of the front sight. Shortly thereafter the metal "handguard clips" were added to the front section. I have seen a number of early handguards with letters in the groove, although I don't have a good explanation for them. The 1912 barrel date and 1910 receiver date is close enough to be possible, although this could also be a later parts assembly, perhaps even a WW1 era rebuild. Some of the movie studio guns used handguards that were made by salvaging two pieces with the cut hidden under the band. Handguard were a VERY high usage item with tens of thousands made every year as spares... John Spangler


# 1072 - .450 Revolver- British?
2/23/98
Rick, Hubbard Lake, MI

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown 6 Shot Double Action Revolver .450 2 7/8" Nickel(?) 61XX

Name "J. Lawson" and address "10 Argyle St, Glasgow" stamped on top of frame, "Steel" stamped on cylinder, and a small crescent moon stamped on side of hammer, visible only when hammer is cocked. Also, four tins of .450 caliber cartridges, labeled "Eley's Patent Central-Fire cartridges for Revolvers, .450, Eley Bros Limited, Manufacturers, London. Can you identify the maker and/or vintage of this piece? If not, is the name on the top of the frame likely to be the name of the maker, or the name of an owner for whom the gun may have been made? Also, do the cartridges have any notable collectable value? Thank you for any information you may be able to provide.

Answer:
Rick- I can not find anything on Lawson. However, the book most likely to have any information seems to be misplaced. This sounds like the general type known as a "British Bulldog" revolver, popular circa 1870-1890. These were made by various makers and ranged in quality from quite nice to pretty awful. Generally a name with an address in England or the British Empire is probably the retailer, not the maker or the owner. Depending on quality, this may be an inexpensive piece or one worth many hundred dollars. The four tins of Eley ammo are nice, and probably worth a pretty good amount themselves. How much? Depends on the condition, the markings, the condition, the exact type of packaging, and condition. Nice outfit... John Spangler


# 1122 - Lefever Shotgun
2/20/98
Pat

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Lefever Unknown 16 Ga Unknown Unknown Unknown

Hi there, One of my students has a Lefever special that was made in Ithaca, NY. It is a 16 gauge double barrel shotgun, 2 triggers, good bores, and is in fair to good shape. Could you give us any possible information as to it's approximate value (a possible low-high range)? Any information that you may have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Pat

Answer:
Pat- Thanks for contacting Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters. The real valuable Lefevers are the ones made prior to the company's sale to Ithaca about 1916. A later example in fair to good condition in16 gauge is probably in the $200-300 range. Condition is very important, and unfortunately 16 GA guns are not at all popular anymore. Probably a very good gun for hunting, but not a high dollar piece... John Spangler-


# 1121 - Revolutionary War Rifle
2/20/98
Deborah

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I found an old "Revolutionary War" rifle in the attic of my old house in New Jersey when we were moving to Florida. It has a mark that says "Her majesty the Queen" and a crown engraved upon it. It appears in excellent condition. Is this gun worth any big money? And where should I take it to find out?? Thanks.

Answer:
Deborah- Thanks for contacting Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters. Your gun may very well be a "big money" piece (depending on your definition of "big".) Revolutionary War era pieces have a pretty good demand especially in the eastern states. Exact values depend on condition, the specific model, and the maker. We would need some photos and rubbings of all markings in order to identify your gun. Please send to me at Box 711282, Salt Lake City, UT 84171 and we will do what we can. If it has something related to "HER majesty the QUEEN" is may be extremely early, or more likely something from the Victorian era. Most arms from the Revolutionary era fell under the reigns of various Kings,most from George III. If we can get a good identification than I can try to put you in touch with a reputable dealer in your area (NJ or FLA?), or recommend other sources of information or help...John Spangler


# 1120 - 1911 Colt 45
2/20/98
ltd140@hotmail.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Colt 1911 45 Unknown Unknown Unknown

Have had in my family for years a 1911 Colt 45 Hartford arms - Patented Apr. 20, 1807 Sept. 9, 1902 Dec. 19, 1905 Feb 14, 1911, Aug. 19 1918 -- it is stamped United States Property - The gun is 85% condition. Could you give me some history and what the gun is worth now days. Please send E-Mail to ltd140@hotmail.com Thank you

Answer:
ltd140@hotmail.com- Thanks for contacting Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters. Your pistol in the condition you described would probably sell at retail in the $450-650 range, depending on any alterations or mixing of parts, and of course condition. Without a serial number we cannot tell you anything other than that these were the standard side sidearm of the U.S. forces during WW1 andWW2 with many remaining in use through the Vietnam era. Hope this helps... John


# 1095 - Astra Constable
2/20/98
Jeff Arkansas, USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Astra Constable .380 Approx. 3" Blue 1199XXX

plastic grips 100% finish windage adj. rear sight I would like to know when this gun was made and/or imported. Interarms imported it, although they no longer import Astra's I'm told. Is there any particular value to this gun other than as a shooter? Thank you.

Answer:
Jeff, The Astra Model 5000 (Constable) was announced in I969 and was imported to the US between 1965 and 1991. The Constable was a major design change in the Astra line. The Constable's shape is streamlined and bears a resemblance to the Walther PP. Constables were produced in .22LR (discontinued in 1990) , .32 (discontinued in 1984) and .380. There was also a .22LR target model , the "Constable Sport" which had an extended barrel with a ramp front sight and a micrometer rear sight. The Constable is a very well made little pistol but there is no collectors interest in it. Values for the Constable in 380 fall in the $200 range... Marc


# 1085 - Winchester Mod. 190
2/18/98
Bryce, Buellton, CA, USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester 190 .22 Long And Long Rifle 20.5" Blue/Anodized Alum. Receiver B1492XXX

Nothing worth mentioning. I inherited this rifle from my grandfather about a year ago, and I have never been able to find out exactly what year this gun was made. No one lists this gun in the Winchester serial number records. I was hoping you could help me date this rifle. It has a late type rear sight (not the early screw-adjustable type). I was also wondering how much this gun might be worth. It's in excellent condition and has the original manual. I enjoy reading your web site and find it very informative. Thanks, Bryce Youngman

Answer:
Bryce, glad to hear that you enjoy our site. The Winchester Model 190 is a .22 caliber semi automatic rifle with a tubular magazine that was designed to chamber .22 Short, Long or Long Rifle. The 190 was offered as a carbine with a 20.5 inch barrel or as a rifle with a 24 inch barrel. The 190 had a plain un-checkered hardwood stock. Winchester offered a deluxe version of the 190 (the 290) that had a select Monte Carlo Stock. Winchester manufactured about 2,150,000 model 1 and 290s between 1967 and 1980. The blue book lists values for the 190 in the $125 range. If you want another 190 to keep yours company, there is one for sale in our Modern Firearms catalog... Marc


# 1053 - French Berthier Carbine
2/18/98
Bob

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Dear Sir's I have a rifle I need some information on. On the side of the bolt is stamped Lt Etiemme M le M 16 Numbers on the bolt are D41360 & on the butt the #'s 26 /1046 A friend wants to sell it and I would like to know what it is worth. Thanks for any information you can give me.

Answer:
Bob- Hope you have not invested too deeply in this little jewel yet. Saint Etienne is the name of the French Arsenal where this was made. Mle 16 indicates it is Model 1916, which is probably a Berthier Carbine in 8mm Lebel caliber. The French, perhaps after indulging in their wine ration loved to stamp additional curious dates and numbers all over their arms. (Reminds me of old Navy days when a French carrier pulled into port, and along with fuel and water they requested several thousand liters of wine. U.S. Navy vessels had been "dry" since WW1 when Josephus Daniels, curse his memory banned alcoholic beverages. OF course, the daily rum ration was abolished in September 1862 despite dire predictions of mutinies, disease, boredom, or whatever. But, we digress...) Value of most of the older French rifles is in the well under $100 range unless in unusually nice condition or some exotic model, such at the .22 caliber conversion of a Model 1874 Gras rifle we recently sold.) I think Century Arms was selling a number of different French rifles or carbines at about $40 each in recent years. I have a friend who continues to collect French arms, despite my repeated insults. Are you really sure you still want to get one of these? ... John Spangler


# 1048 - Revolver, Pinfire, Lefaucheaux
2/18/98
George Groves,Texas

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Lefaucheaux Unknown Unknown 6 Inch None LF100XXX

C on back of the barrel sectionLF100883 on right side lower part of the barrel section54 and 1 on back of the cylinder54 and 1 and M on the frame between grips54 and 1 on front of the frame where cylinder meets it some words including Lefaucheaux and Paris on the barrel Page 12 and 13 of the February issue of Guns and Ammo caught my eye. There was a question about an old revolver that was a copy of a French Model 1858 Lefaucheaux Navy Revolver. It was a nice looking version of a old junker I own and knew nothing about. This old gun was bought at a junk shop in Istanbul, Turkey in 1965.It was all rusted up, had a couple of screws missing, and the rest were either frozen or misshapen from twisting. It is missing the latch off of the ejection port. The mechanisms that rotate the cylinder and hold it in position are worn off. I know nothing about its history. What can you tell me and where can I look for more information? I am a member of the NRA and I enjoy reading all your good answers.

Answer:
George- Glad you are helping support the NRA. These old pinfires were popular from about 1860 until near the end of the 19th century when pinfires were finally recognized as far more trouble to mess with than either rimfire or centerfire ammunition. There has never been much (if any) collector interest in these, and values are still very low, even for very old ones in good condition. I think there is a book out called "The Pinfire System" by Smith & Curtis, which is now out of print. (I think I even own a copy, but confess that I never cared enough to read it!) That may be where I saw an extensive series of pictures of pinfire revolvers, all different in some detail. Hope you enjoy this souvenir of your trip to Turkey... John Spangler


# 1083 - Winchester Model 1886
2/16/98
Patrick

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester 1886 50-110 28 Inches Molted Blue And Gray 81XXX

An extra sight attached to the stock that elevates. What year was this rifle made, does it have any collector value?

Answer:
Patrick, The Winchester Model 1886 was John Browning's first high power lever action rifle design, it had a 26 in. round or octagon barrel, tubular magazine, steel forend cap, and a straight walnut stock. The 1886 was offered in .33 WCF, .30-56 WCF, .38-70 WCF, .40-65 WCF, .40-70 WCF, .40-82 WCF, .45-70, .45-90, .50-110 Express, and .50-100-450. The 1886 is distinguishable by the vertical locking bars that it employs. Winchester manufactured approximately 159,990, model 1886 rifles between 1886 and 1935. Our Winchester Dates of Manufacture page will tell you that your model 1886 was manufactured in 1893. Things that are old and have "Winchester" stamped on them are just about always valuable. Values for Winchester 1886 rifles chambered in 50-110 can go as high as $6000 depending upon condition. Let us know if you want to sell it... Marc


# 1044 - Artillery Shell
2/16/98
Robert, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

At the bottom there is a "3"inside of a triangle a circle, divided in two, a "3" in one half, and a "6" in the other a "B 21" (note: this is a little rusted and I could be wrong) and two little symbols under the "B 21" that look pretty almost the same I received a 75mm-76mm (3in?)shell for Christmas and am planning to start a collection with it. But first I would like to know what it is. The details from the person who gave it to me were vague at best. He thinks its a WW2 American shell. The shell is a little over 12" long and the fuse is a bit under 8" long. The "driving band" is 2 1/2" above the base with the markings listed above, if that helps. Any help at all would be appreciated. After you answer I would love to continue my collection with your fair prices!

Answer:
Robert- Usually these have enough markings that they can be identified without too much trouble. Unfortunately, yours doesn't have anything that makes it sound like U.S. round. Most nations had some sort of artillery piece in the basic 75mm or 3 inch size. A short, straight (not bottlenecked) case tends to indicate something fairly early or low powered. My guesses are (a) French 75mm gun of WW1 era (or US copy), (b) US 75mm pack howitzer of WW2 period or (c) a 75mm saluting case and a projectile married up although never issued together. Remember, all our free information comes with a full money back guarantee, so you cannot lose! ... John Spangler


# 1033 - Rifle- Muzzle loading A. Munson
2/16/98
Steve

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Hi, I have a muzzleloader that my dad gave me under the stock is written 1871 A. Munson it's a 36 cal 37in.barrel 7/8in hex smooth bore about 4in.in and rifled the rest trigger is jager double action double set English style back action percussion was wondering if you could help with any details on where it was made and if there are any more of these beautiful guns around thank you very much for your co-op please help can't find anyone who knows anything about this weapon thanks again have a happy holiday

Answer:
Steve- Albert Munson worked in Burlington, VT from about 1826 to 1900, and the last 16 years was with his brother George, so the marking they used then was "Munson & Brother" Vermont was also the home to George C. Munson and Russell D. Munson. but they lived in Williston in the 1880s. Undoubtedly there are many more of his/their guns around, but probably each one is a little different, and fall into the category of nice old hunting guns and a few others made for target shooting. These were made when the muzzle loading era was rapidly being replaced by cartridge arms. Some folks didn't want to change to new-fangled stuff, or thought they could save a few pennies by sticking with the old style stuff a little longer. Ned Roberts wrote a book (you can get it through interlibrary loan for almost nothing) called The Muzzle Loading Cap Lock Rifle which describes in great detail the shooting activities and theories of that period. Sharps, Ballard, and Remington breechloaders were becoming the main target arms, replacing the fine old "40 rod" muzzle loaders. Competition was keen in learning about the newly emerging science of interior and exterior ballistics. New powders were developed, bullet shapes changed, paper patching was used, all sorts of fancy sights and stock designs were tried, different steels, barrel lengths, rifling twists rates and depths, loading procedures. Basketball and baseball were not any big deal yet, and shooting sports were very popular all across the country, and even internationally. Now the news media try to make you feel ashamed to admit that you own a gun, even an old family piece. Guess they think you should be doing all the vile behavior that is glorified on TV instead of playing safely with your guns... John Spangler


# 1039 - Sword
2/14/98
Dave, Coquitlam, B.C., Canada;

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Sword Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Recently, I sent you descriptions of four old long guns I have. These have been in my family for so long that no one remembers who acquired them or what they were used for; so I really appreciate the opportunity to get an expert opinion. As it happens, there is also an old sword which appears to me to be a Dragoon's saber probably of the Civil War era, judging by the hilt and the guard. It has scabbard as well, in v. good condition. The only markings I can find on the sword or the scabbard are on the blade, near the hilt. The place of manufacture is clearly Philadelphia. The manufacturer's name is less clear. It looks like HCASTMANN (I am pretty certain about the CASTMANN, the first two letters are difficult to read). Any ideas? Many thanks for your help.

Answer:
Dave- Couldn't trip us up on guns, so now your weapon of choice is a sword? Well, "En Garde!" as French speakers say. Heck, I don't know what it means, but guys with swords in the movies always say it, so it must be something cool. Your sword was undoubtedly made (or sold) by William H. Horstmann Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They operated from 1816 to 1947, and also had a branch in New York City. They had several minor name changes over the years, but probably not reflected in the markings on the swords. They sold all sorts of military goods and supplies for many fraternal or quasi-military organizations. With pictures of the sword we could probably identify the model for you, but it may be hard to pinpoint any actual date of manufacture or sale. Hope this helps. Have your politicians banned swords yet? Guess that sounds crazy, just like banning of semi-auto arms did a couple of years ago... John Spangler


# 1040 - Japanese Murata Shotgun
2/14/98
John, Westboro, MA, USA,

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown, Japanese Unknown 36-37 Gauge, Unknown Exactly 32" Blue Unknown

"28" on base of barrel, Japanese characters on base of barrel, serial numbers on bolt assembly

Answer:
John- Sure sounds like a Murata bolt action shotgun to me. These were similar to the Murata rifles made for Japanese military use circa 1875-1890. Reportedly, many were sold to farmers in Brazil. I have seen several at shows in the last couple of years, but they didn't seem to attract much interest from buyers. These were in rough shape, if yours is pretty nice, someone may be interested. Incidentally, one of the early foreign visitors to this site was the great grandson of the Murata who invented these. He was seeking information on the early arms, but unfortunately we were unable to help. Guess we have not gotten much smarter since then... John Spangler


# 1052 - WWI Browning Pistol
2/14/98
Andrew New Zealand

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I was wondering if you could help me, I'm not overly familiar with guns and I'm having trouble finding any information on a World War 1 handgun used by German officers. The inscription stamped on the gun reads - fabrique-national-herstal-belgique Browning's pat brevete sgdg It is a pistol with the magazine fitting into the grip. There is an inscription (looks like three overlapping letters - possibly makers insignia?) surrounded by an oval on the handle. Thanx

Answer:
Andrew, the overlapping letters on your grips are FN which stands for Frabrique National. The information that you furnished me with could possibly describe several different Browning models that were manufactured prior to and during WWI, but I think that it is most likely that your pistol is either a Model 1900 or a Model 1903.

The Model 1900 Browning was chambered in 7.65mm. About one million 1900 Brownings were manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre in Herstal, Belgium between 1900 and 1912. Some 1900's have German safety markings and it is likely that several thousand were made for a German military contract. The 1900 was procured by the Belgium army as an officers' weapon and for the Calvary and gendarmie. Some Belgium military pistols were undoubtedly captured and used or reissued by the German military during its advance through Belgium in 1914 or during the four year occupation of Belgium. It was with a 1900 Browning that Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in 1914.

The 1903 Browning was chambered in 9mm Browning Long. About 100,000 model 1903 Brownings were manufactured between 1903 and 1914 and manufacture of the 1903 continued until 1923. The 1903 pistol was adopted by the Belgium military in 1904 and like the model 1900 some were undoubtedly captured and used by the German military. The 1903 is the only pistol made before 1920 that chambers the 9mm Browning Long ammunition... Marc


# 1123 - Black Oxidizing Solution
2/14/98

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Please can you provide me with a formula for a super saturated solution of caustic soda, potassium nitrate and distilled water. I used to have the correct ratio of ingredients to make a black oxidizing solution, but can not find my notes and have a model 1917 Enfield 30.06 rifle that needs refinishing. Any help would be gratefully received. Thanking you. Maurice Smith.

Answer:
Maurice- Thanks for contacting Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters I don't know nothing about alchemy or other potions. Heck, I even avoided taking chemistry in high school. I think you use "eye of bat and wing of newt" or something. R.H. Angier's "Firearms Bluing and Browning" is loaded with various recipes. If you don't have a copy, your local library can get one on interlibrary loan for a very modest charge... John Spangler

**Note** - If any of our visitors know the formula and how to use it please let me know, I would like to try it... Marc


# 1079 - Savage 1904 Single Shot.
2/11/98
Mark, Grafton, ND USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Savage 1904 .22 S, L, LR 18 In. Blue 148XXX

This appears to be a youth's rifle. How old is this gun? ps: I am a member of the NRA and support its efforts through the gun, and shooting clubs I belong to.

Answer:
Mark, we are glad to be able to try to answer a question for an NRA member who supports shooting sports. Savage manufactured the Model 1904 from 1904 to 1917, values are in the $100 range... Marc


# 1038 - German Target Rifle
2/11/98
Frank Montreal Quebec Canada

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown (Schuetzen) 8.15 X 46 Schuetzen 26.25 Inches Blue SCH.32XX

Under what I believe to be the serial number are the letters "BIG". Although I have and use 8.15 x 46 mm ammo for this rifle, the markings indicate 7.7mmover) 46 . there is the numbers 232 as well as a 40 and 80. there is what appears to be a crown with the letter N under it and under that another crown with the letter B under it and under that yet another crown with the letter Under it. There are other markings similar to a sun with rays with a C under it (the sun might be a part of a crown which was not well stamped. The rifle is engraved and has a double trigger system ( the back trigger makes the front one feather touch). The gun comes from Germany Could you give me as much information as possible as to the gunsmith, year of fabrication, ammo%!2C City of fabrication, and any thing else you can tell me.

Answer:
Frank- Wish we could tell you something interesting or useful but these fine old target rifles were mostly one of a kind pieces made by talented gunsmiths in pre-WW2 Germany. As you have figured out, 8.15x46mm was one of the most popular calibers for target shooters, and although the markings tend to indicate another caliber, this may have been rebored at some point. I suspect Canadian troops "liberated" many of these as souvenirs at the end of WW2, much like the U.S. GIs... John


# 1037 - U.S. .58 Musket By Savage
2/11/98
Morris, Ludowici, GA, USA,

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Savage RFA Company, Middletown Conn. Original Issue U.S. Black Powder Rifle (1864) ? ?(long) Blue(worn) N.A.

Gun has U.S. symbol with the eagle. The rifle has printed Savage RFA company; Middleton Conn. (1864) .The rifle has a long barrel with the ram rod under it, and has a wooden plug in the end of the barrel. I think this is a original civil war issue rifle(or this is what I have been told)I looked up some information on savage and found they did not get started until around 1900. If you could tell me anything about the rifle it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Answer:
Morris- Say, they still got those speed traps down in Ludowici? Your Model 1861 .58 caliber rifle-musket is one of 25,250 made by Savage Revolving Fire Arms Company of Middletown, Connecticut about 1862-1864. This outfit was started by Edward Savage who invented one of the ugliest revolvers ever purchased by the U.S. military. His company operated from 1860 to 1866. The much better known Arthur W. Savage was a British citizen living in the U.S. who invented the well known Savage 99 lever action rifle. He started the Savage Repeating Arms Company in Utica, NY in 1893, which went through several name changes before being absorbed by Stevens. The wooden plug is called a "tompion" and was used to keep crud and critters out of the barrel. Your musket should have three bands holding the barrel and stock together, and the stock should come to within about 4 inches of the muzzle of the 40 inch barrel. Many of these were cut down and had the rifling (three wide grooves) reamed out to make cheap shotguns after the Civil War... John Spangler


# 1090 -
2/8/98
Jim, Huntsville, AL

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Springfield Armory M1903 - M1903A1 30-06 24" Parkerized N/A

SA 3-39 with Ordnance Bomb, Star Gauge Mark on muzzle at 6 o'clockJ2 marked horizontally on left side of barrel about 2 inches from rear sight base. Rear Sight Base marked C63934Wrapper marked:3005-55-63932 (possibly an 8)1 ea. Barrel, Rifle, M1903-M1903A1Cond 1:NIR 1893-164PROD 9/55 ANVCI Code A2-MIL-L-644B (possibly an 8)Badge No 5793 As a fellow M1903 Springfield collector maybe you can help me out. I recently purchased a new in the wrap, 3-39 dated, M1903 Springfield barrel with the markings described above. This barrel has what appears to be a star gauge mark on the muzzle at 6 o'clock however, only the top half of the mark is present. There is NOT a star gauge number stamped on the barrel near the rear sight where you would expect to find one. The barrel was advertised as a National Match barrel by a well known militaria dealer here in the states. Any information you can provide as to authenticity and value would be appreciated.

Answer:
1090 Springfield M1903 Star Gauge barrel Jim- The drawing number for the standard (non-star gauge) M1903/1903A1 barrel assembly with front and rear sight bases is C63932. The rear sight base drawing number is C45025. The drawing number for M1903/1903A1 barrel and receiver assembly is C63934, the number which appears on your rear sight base. This info is from ORD9-SNL B3 of May 1944. Clark Campbell's superbly researched "The '03 Era" lists the drawing number for the star gauged National Match barrel assembly as C64111. Your barrel has a poorly stuck star gauge mark on the muzzle, not a problem by itself, as many are poorly struck. However, an incorrect number on the rear sight base, the lack of a star gauge number on the barrel are worrisome. Drawing numbers were incorporated into stock numbers in the post-WW2 era, and the presence of a standard barrel drawing number makes National Match or star gauge quality highly suspect. Some of the other markings are also inconsistent with what I would expect, (3005 instead of 1005 in the stock number; PROD 9/55 unless printed on the wrap instead of the label). I would be real interested in knowing the "well known militaria dealer" who sold this. Most are reputable, many know what they are selling, a few conveniently forget to mention important details unless (or even if) asked, and a very few are outright crooks. Based on the information you provided, I think it is at best an amazing accumulations of irregular events, and at worst an outright fake. If it came from South Carolina, I'd really lean toward "fake". As the late Harold Peterson said "I don't worry about the fakes I recognize, but I worry a lot about those I don't recognize." John Spangler


# 1081 - Shotgun, Hiawatha .410
2/8/98
srhoads@bellsouth.net

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Hiawatha 130vr .410 30" Blue NONE

I bought this gun at a pawn shop for my kids to use, but I can't find out if it has any collector value. Ive looked in "the" bluebook of guns and several other gun journals, and I can't find a listing. I don't want to turn my kids loose beating briars with this gun if it is collectable. thanks Steve

Answer:
Steve- Thanks for checking to make sure you are not destroying a valuable collector item. You can sleep easy. It is not a valuable collector piece. May they enjoy many hours safely and happily using it to appreciate nature's bounty and mysteries... John Spangler


# 1076 - Winchester 95 Rifle .303 British
2/8/98
Terry , Tyndall,MB,Canada

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester 1895 .303 British 22 Inches Shiny Steel 79XXX

ladder type rear sight graduated to 1800 yds..Front sight is a blade with a brass bead on the top. On the right side of the blade the word "KING" is visible Just above the trigger on the left side (side with the saddle ring) are the numbers 52.Under the lever below the SN and below the two screw heads and before the third screw is the letter "B" The hole for the saddle ring is there but the saddle ring is missing. This rifle was handed down from my grandfather to my father and now to myself. My grandfather claimed that the man he bought the rifle from said that it had at one time belonged to a Texas Ranger.(I believe this to be very unlikely). In the limited amount of research I have been able to do, I cannot find any reference to a barrel length of 22 !inches. Is this a factory length, or was it shortened after it left the factory? Also, are there any records of this rifle being issued to the TEXAS RANGERS ?

Answer:
Terry- Your rifle was made in 1915. Standard barrel length for .303 British caliber rifles was 28 inches after the caliber was added in 1898. The standard length for carbines was 22 inches, although it is not clear if .303 British was offered in carbine length. I am pretty sure that the Texas Rangers used some 1895 Winchesters, but I would be absolutely astonished if they every even thought of getting them in .303 British. Now it is not impossible that the rifle belonged to a guy was once was a Ranger, but highly unlikely it was an issue piece. I suspect it has been north of the Canadian border a whole lot longer than it was close to the Mexican border. While a factory letter would tell for sure, I suspect it is also a rifle (or musket) that got cut down from 28 inches to the handy carbine length of 22 inches... John Spangler


# 1075 - Remington Military Shotgun
2/8/98
Darwin Layton, UT

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Remington Unsure 12ga 25" Blue (I'm Not Sure What Parkerized Finish Is) 488XXX

The left side of the receiver has U.S followed by a bomb with a flame on top followed by MILITARY FINISH. The barrel also has U.S. followed by the bomb symbol. On the side of the barrel IMP CYL also R.M.M followed by and anchor and a four pointed star. When was this shotgun made and what are the markings?

Answer:
Darwin- Remington provided both the standard Model 11 with a 5 round magazine, and the very similar "Sportsman" model which only had a 3 round magazine. The Sportsman is so marked on the bolt. Both models were originally finished in blue, although the polishing before bluing was not up to commercial standards. Hence the "Military Finish" markings. These were purchased during WW2 in riot gun lengths (about 20-22 inch barrels) and in longer versions for use in training. Aerial gunners did a lot of trap or skeet style shooting to get used to leading the target, etc. Some of the shotguns were equipped with Cutts compensators and chokes at the factory. Others were added to make the guns more salable hunting arms after being sold off as surplus after 1945. The barrel markings are standard Remington markings except the flaming bomb indicates inspection and acceptance by the military inspector. Parkerized finish is a phosphate type finish which is usually applied over sandblasted metal, and is then treated with chemicals that give is a darker color. It will range from a light gray to nearly black, and sometimes even a light to dark green tint. Many military guns that were originally blued were parkerized when overhauled later in military arsenals. Some worn-out surplus guns were parkerized before or after being imported into the U.S. to make them look much nicer than they are. (Check out a Blue Sky import some time!)...John


# 1067 - Winchester 1873 Rifle .32-30
2/8/98
Dee - Alexandria - La - USA -

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester 1873 32 24 Blue(?) 469XXX-B

32 W.C.F. (behind sight) Model 1873 (behind hammer) 32 Cal (underneath rifle, gold inset plate, in front of lever) What is the general history, age and value?

Answer:
Dee- Your rifle was made in 1894. Guess that makes it about 104 years old now. These were very popular general purpose hunting, ranching, and farming guns all over the world, and especially in the U.S. western states. .32-30 is a little small for deer, but probably good enough for gators in the bayous, and most small to medium game. Value for one in NRA antique "good" condition (see our links for definition) is about $500... John Spangler


# 1065 - How Can You Tell If The Rings Are Military?
2/6/98
Andy

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

How can you tell if the rings are military? My understanding is that scopes (M81 & M82), and rings were first filled from commercial production, so would the early procured rings be blue and later ones be parkerized, or maybe the rings were parkerized when the rifle was reworked? Did any have any type of markings? My A4 is a late rifle, #4993742, with a Weaver 330 scope. would it be better to have a M81 (or M82), possibly a M84, or leave the 330 on it? The29S scope came on it. The reparked rings for the A4/Weaver combination that you have for sale, are they split on the top or sides? This turned out to be more than one question, sorry. I don't know if you have time to answer it, but a friend might be interested in the rings for his A4.

Answer:
Andy- I believe that some early 3/4" rings for 330 scopes were blue, and later ones parkerized. I have seen them unissued in the GI box parkerized. All 3/4 for 330 were split at the top. I believe (but cannot prove) that all 7/8 rings for the early M81/82scopes were parkerized, and were split at the top only. The slide on just fine when the eyepiece is removed (and scopes were not sealed, so no problem doing that). Later they may have switched to side split rings(as used on M84) after addition of larger diameter sun shield on the front of the M81/82 scopes. I am positive that all 7/8 rings for the M84 were parkerized, and all were split on the sides. All the above were flat sides, not streamlined rings ( a much later commercial style). Reparked 330 rings I have will only work on 330, not M81/82/84. As far as I know, all WW2 production of M1903A4s was with the M73B1(330) scope. Others were fitted during overhaul or when replacement of scope was necessary/desired. I would recommend you keep watching our pages, and buy three more M1903A4s and have one with each type of scope used on them!...John


# 1064 - Shotgun, Sears .410 Bolt Action
2/6/98
Ben, Oakland TN USA - Emudaddy@aol.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Sears, Roebuck And Co. 10125 .410 Gauge 25" Blue Barrel, One Piece Walnut Stock none shown on it

Next to the Sears, Roebuck and Co. name, there is a diamond shape, followed by the word "Sears" and that is followed by another diamond shape. Also says "Proof tested 410 bore 3" chambered" written on the barrel. It is a bolt action with a five shot magazine. (loaded from underside of barrel) A friend of mine purchased this shotgun from a widow of an old friend here locally. His widow could not remember when her deceased husband acquired it. It is in excellent condition and we know it is old. We have contacted Sears, but they were unable to assist us in establishing the date of manufacture. They said they do not have catalogs "that go back that far." Can you assist us and give us an idea of it's age? We have a pool going and we would like to know who is closest. Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

Answer:
Ben- If you guys agree to send half of the pot to the NRA we will give you the answer. If not, don't bother reading the rest of this. The Sear Model 101.25 is really the same as the Stevens Model 39 or 59. These were probably made in the late 1940s through the 1970s. The three inch version of the .410 shell was not introduced until 1934, so it has to be newer than that. Okay, how much does the NRA get, and who won?... John Spangler


# 1063 - Colt Model 1902 Military Model
2/6/98
Andy

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Colt 1902 Military .38 Automatic Uncertain Blue 15XXX

I am aware that Colt made their 1902s beginning from serial numbers beginning with somewhere in the 15000s and headed the numbers down, and when they reached 1000, they started again with 30000 and went up. In a few books it says that I have looked in some say that serial numbers began at 15200 down, with numbers 15200-15001 being the front slide checkering and military marked. My question is that in some books, my guns number doesn't exist. Could this maybe be a prototype, or maybe even one of the first ones made. Thank you for your time, Andy Morton.

Answer:
Andy- According to the best reference, R.L. Wilson's "Book of Colt Firearms" they didn't the serial number on your pistol. I have no explanation for why you have something like that. It would probably be well worth the cost of getting a Colt Factory letter. (Details on how to do this in another answer not too long ago.) Hope it turns out to be a treasure... John Spangler


# 1060 - FFL Costs
2/6/98
Walter Faynberg

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

How much cost FF License Curios or Relics for California (Los Angeles)?Thank you.

Answer:
Walter- BATF gets $90 for a 3 year Curio & Relic FFL, or $200 for a regular dealer FFL. State and local governments may have additional charges and requirements ranging from minimal in some places to totally ridiculous (as in California). There are several pages on the net which discuss C&R licenses, and you should check them out.... John


# 1061 - Engrave A Winchester 62? (Two Differing Opinions)
2/4/98
Neil Preston

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester 62 22 Short Unknown Was Blue 203XXX

Description: Winchester Model 62 S/N 203XXX 22-Short Take-Down Can you tell me anything about this rifle? I recently had it moderately engraved and inlaid as a gift to my daughter. When it was reblued, I was told that it was relatively rare, that even though Winchester made 450,000 of these gallery-style guns, only about 10% were of this type. What is difference between Model 62 and 62A? Any information you might provide would be appreciated. Thank you

Answer:
Neil- I think that what makes your gun special is the work you had done on it and the fact that it was a gift to your daughter. Originally the gun was made about 1947. The Model 62 was a evolutionary descendent of the old Model 1890 pump, but with the ability to fire .22 short, long, or long rifle cartridges interchangeably. The early model 62 bolts had three pins visible in the top, while the 62A only had a single pin visible. This evolved slowly but was standard by about serial number 99,200. I don't know of anything real rare or special about your gun that should make you feel bad about dressing it up, but some Winchester guy may spot some detail we missed. Go ahead and enjoy... John Spangler

I was heart broken to hear that you had ruined a very popular, and one of my favorite types of classic old Winchesters. Winchester is not making any more of these and when the ones out there are gone there will be no more. I once purchased the inventory of a pawn shop that was going out of business. The owner had paid a local jeweler $40.00 each to engrave many of his firearms (probably the reason that he went bankrupt). When I bought the inventory I paid $150 to $200 each less for the engraved firearms than I would have if they had been left original. The pawn shop owner had paid $40 per firearm to decrease their value by an average of $175 each. When I tried to resell the engraved firearms I had a difficult time with most of them even at discounted prices. I think that it is a shame that a classic Winchester and a piece of history has been ruined... Marc


# 1059 - Winchester 52 Scope Mounting
2/4/98
Jim

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester 52 (early Mod., Std Barrel, Mil. Type Stock) 22 28" Blue 11XX

This particular gun has the original folding leaf peep rear sight and has drilled & tapped holes in barrel for the long target scope. I would like to know if anyone manufactured a scope base that will fit the dovetail that the rear peep uses and a complimenting front base that would use the holes just in front of the receiver? I would like to install a modern hunting scope on this rifle and do not want to drill the receiver. Any suggestions that can be offered will be appreciated.

Answer:
Jim- First, please check with a couple of Winchester collectors to make sure you are not going to mess up a classic collectable old rifle. You might be able to sell it for about the cost of one of the new Model 52 sporter. Several makers made sight bases that fit in the big wide dovetail on the back of the early Model 52 receivers, but that was 50-75 years ago. Probably your best bet is to check with someone like Garry Fellers in Texas who specializes in older sights and scopes. Great selection and a real nice guy. (817)346-9633 but sometimes hard to contact because he is off at shows buying the stuff you need. Tell him I sent you... John Spangler


# 1058 - BAR Value
2/4/98

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I was wondering what kind of value would be put on a mint condition ww1 BAR would be. Any idea's.

Answer:
Sir- WITHOUT proper BATF registration the price is $10,000 of your money and/or up to 10 years as a guest of Bill and Hillary. WITH proper paperwork, I would guess in the $5-8,000 range, but that is purely a guess. We don't really follow prices in the Class three (full auto) world. I know there are some sites that are interested in such things, but don't have addresses. I do have a Class 3 dealer friend who has a consecutive number pair of minty WW1 BARs. I got my fill of them in the Navy when I was responsible for making sure that all three I had signed for were still there when I left. Good luck... John Spangler & Marc Wade--


# 1056 - Ithaca Muzzleloader .50 Cal Rifle
2/4/98
Steve

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Ithaca Muzzleloader .50 30 Blue NONE

I bought this gun a couple of years ago in an attempt to start hunting deer with primitive weapons. I've had several people tell me that an Ithaca muzzle loader is rare and I should not use it for a shooter in the woods. I cannot find any info in any of my gun books, and I was hoping you could tell me if this gun is rare, and if it has any collector value.

Answer:
Steve- Sorry we don't know anything at all about Ithaca muzzle loading rifles. You ask a very good PAIR of questions. Is it rare? Probably. Any collector value? Probably not much. However, modern made muzzle loaders might be an interesting collecting field where things are relatively available, not very expensive (compared to Colts and Winchesters) and probably not likely to be legislated too much for a while. Now for your test: You have (a) a good deer rifle; (b) the start of a collection, or: (c) something uncommon to sell someone else who thinks they need it worse than you do. Pick one. There is no wrong answer. John Spangler


# 1036 - Wartime Commercial Mauser
2/2/98
Lynn

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Mauser C 96 7.63x25 5 Inches Unknown 383XXX

Standard Mauser Oberndorf am Neckar markings. Two proof marks (crowns) over the chamber area. What is the date of manufacture? Any information on which country might have purchased this pistol? Thanks, Lynn

Answer:
Lynn, It sounds like you have one of the most frequently encountered types of 96 Mauser, a standard wartime commercial model. Most wartime commercial model serial numbers fall in the 290,000 to 440,000 range. Wartime commercial models were manufactured between 1914 and 1921, and many were exported to China. This was the first 96 Mauser to utilize the "new safety" design and hammers of these pistols are marked "NS" to reflect the design change. Many wartime commercial 96 Mausers have recently been imported into the United States but the condition of these recent imports is usually very poor, so many have been refinished (I have done several myself). If you want to buy one of these Mausers, make sure to check it for signs of having been refinished... Marc


# 1049 - Stevens "Favorite"
2/2/98
Drew, Milton, WA, USA,

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Stevens This Is The Question. .22 Long Rifle 20 3/8" From Receiver To End Of Barrel Brown P XXX

Rolling block, single shot rifle with a "V" type, flip up rear sight, "S" shaped tang, and a knurled, slotted knob for securing the barrel in the receiver. The first 6" of the barrel is octagon on top, rounded on the bottom and is inscribed: Stevens Arms Co. Chicoppee Falls, Mass. .22 Long Rifle The serial # is located on the bottom part of the receiver, under the tang. I have heard this rifle referred to as a "Favorite" or a "Boy's Rifle", but I have yet to find one identical with a definitive model name. Can you tell me what model this is and approximately when it was manufactured?

Answer:
Drew- Listen closely to your buddies. They know what they are talking about. Sure sounds like a Stevens "favorite" (model name) which was one of many inexpensive .22 rifles known as "Boy's rifles." They made these for most of this century, and had lots of minor changes over the years so you may see a lot that are slightly different. Most of these did not have serial numbers, but only batch or assembly numbers assigned in no specific sequence to allow matching of fitted parts after the guns were blued or finished. Probably the peak production period was 1910 to 1940. Nice old guns, if properly cared for... John Spangler


# 1050 - HW 660 Rifle Trigger Spring
2/2/98
Jeff

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
HWM HW 660 .22 Unknown Blue ?

This is a match rifle. A girl in our gun club received this rifle from her grandparents for her Jr. shooting. It currently has a 1# trigger spring. for competition it has to be at least 3#. We've been told by some gunsmiths that a 3# spring isn't made. Is there one out there that can be used for this rifle? Thank you.

Answer:
Jeff- Great to see young ladies getting involved in rifle shooting. It teaches gun safety, mental discipline, goal setting and achievement, and requires a lot more physical effort and skill than most people realize. My experience in college was that women make excellent shooters because they have few bad habits to break and do NOT think they already know all about guns and shooting like some guys do. Get a couple of photos of her and her team mates to show to the politicians in your area when they propose some dumb new law that will essentially end youthful target shooting as a "child gun violence protection act" or some such drivel. Anyway, we don't have a clue about what to do about the light trigger pull. You should check with one of the big dealers in target rifles (preferable someone who handles the HWM brand) and see what they can tell you. Check our links for "Hollow point" and see if that will lead you somewhere helpful... John Spangler


# 1051 - Berthier
2/2/98
Jef

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Hi there!! I've recently inherited a WW1 bolt action rifle. I believe it's a 30-06, but there's nothing on the barrel. The left side of the barrel says: Remington MLE 1907-15. The right side says: RAG 1907-15. The rifle is in great shape and has the bayonet and original leather sling. It's missing the clip and also the slide of the rear sight. Can you tell me more about this rifle? Where can I get the clip and slide? What's this worth(not that I'd ever sell it)? Thanks in advance for the info!!! Jeff Mxoff1lt@aol.com

Answer:
Jeff- That is a nice rifle. It is the French Model 1907 with modifications of 1915, usually called the "Berthier." A relatively small number were made in the US by Remington Arms Co., Ilion, NY, but the date of this contract is believed by some to be during WW1, while other research indicates it was in the late 1920s. These were made for the standard French 8mm Lebel cartridge, NOT .30-06!!!!. The typical French rifle of this model is usually rusty, pitted, oil soaked and shoot out (in addition to having the usual French military rifle trait of being ugly). However the Remington rifles are often seen in good condition and were well made. The French versions usually run well under $200, while the Remington will probably go for $250-350 to a collector looking for one. It is a little known fact that during WWI some of the U.S. troops were assigned to serve under French command, and were given Berthier rifles like these (but probably of French manufacture, not Remington) and used French helmets and web gear as well. Several NY National Guard units, including those redesignated369th and 370th Infantry performed extremely well in this arrangement, and earned great praise, despite the general prejudice against black soldiers at that time. Some other US troops briefly were issued SMLE Enfields. The American troops sent to northern Russia to fight with the "White" Russians against the Communist "Red" Russians nearly mutinied when their Springfields were taken away and they were issued M1891Mosin-Nagant rifles. Some were even used by U.S. Naval landing parties there. Gun Parts Corporation or Springfield Sporters are your best parts sources. or you could list your needs on our free "Wanted" page... John Spangler


# 1054 - Winchester Model 1892 Rifle
2/2/98

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I am researching the history of 1892 model Winchester in 44WCF, serial number 105748. Any information will be gratefully received. This rifle was involved in the fatal accidental shooting of my mother's grandfather in 1902 near the site of Canberra, Australia. It is a part of history, so I am greatly interested in it's story.

Answer:
Sir- Your rifle was made in New Haven, Connecticut, USA in 1895. The Winchester factory records may indicate where it was initially shipped, but there is probably little information past that point. Undoubtedly the gun performed exactly as it was designed to. When someone loaded it and pulled the trigger it discharged the .44 caliber bullet in the direction it was pointed. That is the story of what the gun did. The true story of the person who loaded it and caused it to fire may be difficult to uncover. Really an accident? Perhaps, but maybe too much warm beer, another woman, a dispute over land or cattle, unpaid debts, or just totally senseless violence. Many people have produced the same deadly consequences with knives, clubs, rocks, or bare fists. Perhaps someone operated this mechanical device without understanding how to do so properly, letting the hammer slip, but having it pointed in an unsafe direction. Sure, this gun may have some sorrowful event in its past, but it may have also performed laudable deeds providing food for the hungry, defending the owners against criminal or savage assault, ended the suffering of horses or pets injured in accidents, or stood ready for use against foreign invaders. Your gun is also a bit of history, showing the advances in metallurgy, mechanical design, use of interchangeable parts manufactured to close tolerences. It demonstrates advances in the sciences of chemistry for propellants and ballistics for cartridge and bullet design. This relic shows that shipping lanes were being used for commercial traffic between two great English-speaking nations at the beginning of this century, which undoubtedly required systems of banking and commerce to support transactions. Yes, your gun has a story, in fact many of them. However, most of them are not the fiction about "evil guns" that the news media like to hype when they support schemes to outlaw private ownership of firearms. Private ownership of firearms is all but ended in England, nearly so in Australia, and our Canadian neighbors are not far behind. Unless Americans shift their focus from "evil (or ugly) guns" to "evil people who misuse guns" we will not be able to own these pieces of history much longer. The threat is real folks!... John Spangler


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