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.


# 4712 - Ruger Blackhawk 357 Maximum
3/30/02
Janice, Orlando, FL

Ruger - New Model Blackhawk - 357 Maximum - Appears To Be 10.5 - Black Glossy - 600-04974 -

Recent inheritance. Is any ammo available? What would be approx. value, possibly unfired. No box.

Answer:
Janice, development of the 357 Maximum cartridge was as a joint venture between Remington Arms and Sturm Ruger, it was designed to be used mainly as a silhouette round. The cartridge is 3/10 of an inch longer than the 357 Magnum so as to make it difficult to chamber in regular 357 Magnum firearms. The first handgun built for 357 Maximum was the Ruger Blackhawk 357 Maximum single-action revolver which Ruger produced in 1982 only. Ruger suspended 357 Maximum production after about 11,500 revolvers were manufactured due to excessive gas-cutting on the top strap, just forward of the cylinder. Gas-cutting generally occurs within the first 1,000 rounds when the revolver is fired with full factory loads. To preserve your revolvers value, I would advise you to never fire it. The blue book lists value for Ruger Blackhawk 357 Maximum revolvers in 98% condition at $450. Because of the limited production I suspect value will increase for unfired examples in excellent condition. Marc


# 4585 - Krag Serial Number- Carbine Vs Rifle
3/30/02
Rich, Sundance, WY, U. S. A

Springfield Armory(Krag-Jorgensen) - 1898 Carbine - .30-40 - 22" - Blue - ALL -

Dear sirs, I was wondering if you could give me any information on: were the serial #'s on carbines different than on long guns, 22" vs. 30"? ; Is there a specific location I can go to find information on a single gun with a serial #? ; Can you tell me where you find your information on weapon differences, modifications (factory), serial #'s, and production information on Krag-Jorgensen carbines? Thank You!

Answer:
Rich- All U.S. military Krags were made in a single series of numbers, starting at 1 and getting up to about 480,000. Receivers for rifles and carbines were identical with the markings U.S. Springfield, the serial number, and a date/model marking. Initially this was the date of manufacture (1895 and 1895, 1896), then the word MODEL was added to make it MODEL 1896. Adoption of the Model 1898 caused the marking to change to MODEL 1898. Adoption of the Model 1899 carbine threw a monkey wrench in the works as they began marking receivers intended for these MODEL 1899, even though the receiver was identical to that of the Model 1898 rifles. The MODEL 1899 marked receivers fall into fairly well defined blocks, starting about 223,000. Most other carbines, although marked the same as rifles, will tend to fall into specific serial number ranges, although there is some overlap with rifles. Therefore, it is impossible to say for certain if a Model 1896 or 1898 carbine is a true carbine unless it has been documented in the government records covered by Springfield Research Service. An experienced collector can usually be pretty sure, but documentation is better than even expert opinions, although some allowance must be made for possible errors in records. Model 1899 carbines are easier as they are marked on the receiver, and any purported Krag carbine with a serial number above 223,000 that is NOT marked MODEL 1899 is 99.9% likely to be a cut down rifle. The full listing of serial numbers for ALL Krag rifles and carbines which have been found in the National Archives thus far is contained in Frank Mallory's superb "Krag Rifle Story" book available on our books page.

There is also a government arsenal produced "NRA carbine" made for sale to NRA members in the 1920s or 30s. (See the book for exact details). Nearly identical guns were made by local gunsmiths for decades and Krags remain very popular with hunters due to their smooth actions. While cut down rifles are good guns, the collector value is obviously MUCH less than for a real carbine. Anyone wanting to purchase a Krag carbine should become very familiar with the details of the muzzle crown, front sight base and blade, rear sights, and the stock. If you don't know your diamonds, then you better know your jeweler, and buy one from a reputable source. In my opinion probably well over half the Krag "carbines" being offered today are cut down rifles. John Spangler


# 4771 - Firearm Manufacture Term
3/27/02
Bob, Dallas, Texas

In the 1860's, in Birmingham, England there was an occupation titled "gun nipple borer", which I think is related to the manufacture of muzzle loading rifles. Am I anywhere near correct? Can you tell me, if I am correct, what a person in this occupation would do?

Answer:
Bob- Percussion arms were generally made circa 1840-1890, and there are probably several other job classifications created by the technology of that period that are unfamiliar to modern researchers.

The "nipple" is the small piece that screws into the barrel (or indirectly using a drum that is screwed into the barrel) and is hit by the hammer. When a percussion cap is placed on the nipple and struck by the hammer, the ignition compound in the cap is ignited and a flash passed through a hole in the nipple into the powder charge in the barrel, causing the gun to fire.

A gun nipple borer would probably be responsible for making the hole in the axis of the nipple to allow the flash to pass through to reach the powder. There were several theories as to what the best shape for the nipple hole (constant diameter, tapered from one end to the other, large at the top and a small hole at the bottom, etc). The nipple also had a threaded portion at the bottom, a square shoulder for the nipple wrench to hold while installing or removing the nipple and a carefully sized tapered top to fit one of the specific size percussion caps in use. Thus, the nipple is a somewhat more complex and critical part than some might believe, and they had to be made of high quality material to stand the beating from the hammer, and erosion and corrosion associated with the fulminate of mercury ignition compounds in use. John Spangler


# 4664 - CZ 52 Ammo
3/27/02
Kevin Levan UT

CZ - 52 - 7.62x25 - 6" - Blue Barrel - N/A -

Is it possible to reload ammo. for this type of gun--I have a hard time locating ammo for this pistol. Do you have any ideas of where I can purchase ammo for this type of pistol. (websites relating to this pistol would be helpful)20Thanks, Kevin!

Answer:
Kevin, the CZ 52 is a single action semi-automatic pistol with a roller locking breech system, 4.9 inch. barrel, and 8 round magazine capacity. The model 52 has been sold in the USA chambered in both 7.62 Tokarev and 9mm calibers and I believe that some pistols came with interchangeable 7.62 and 9mm barrels. We are not re-loading experts at OldGuns.net, I suggest that you check some of the reloading manuals to see if they have data and instructions for reloading for 7.62 Tokarev. It may be easier and more cost effective to purchase ammunition, 7.62 Tokarev can often be found at gunshows, you can also check with Old Western Scrounger Ammunition Inc. (http://www.ows-ammunition.com/), they are an excellent source for some of the more hard to find calibers.


# 4583 - Mystery Gun
3/27/02
Don, Innisfail, Alberta, Canada

PI MAIHFRBT Cte - 60 - 26 1/2 Inch - Blue - 84 -

uncertain of PI MAIHFRBT, could be different letters. on Barrel a "GVA" and a crown"A Leige" printed below PI MAIHFRBT I believe this is called a breechloading muzzleloader. The back end of the barrel opens up where put powder, wad and slug. You cock the hammer underneath. It is a functioning rifle, although it has a serious kick. What is the proper name for this gun? How old is? What is it worth? Who made it? Any other information available.

Answer:
Don- The only part of your question that we can come close to answering is where it was made. Liege is the historic center of the Belgian gun industry, so we can say with some certainty that it was made in Belgium. Without a photo we cannot even guess about anything else. Sounds like an interesting piece. My guess would have been a Zulu shotgun except for the description of the hammer makes it sound like an underhammer type. John Spangler


# 4670 - Cuskaro Revolver
3/23/02
Kraig

Cuskaro? ? ? - Revolver - .38 - 3.25" - Blue - 4061 -

Pearl handles; may contain words ". . . . . Smithe & Wesson cartridges that fit best the Cuskaro Revolver" on top ridge of barrel". Also says "SPAIN" right behind trigger on metal frame. Appears to also say "Marka Registrada". I cannot find any info on this old gun that belonged to my wife's grandmother. Was Cuskaro a mfg? Any other info on this gun?

Answer:
Kraig, I was unable to find any specific information on the Cuskaro company but it is a pretty good bet that you have what is known to gun enthusiasts as a Spanish S&W copy. Many of these inexpensive Spanish revolvers looked like S&W models and sported trademarks suspiciously similar to the official S&W trademark. Uninformed handgun buyers were sometimes fooled into thinking that they were getting a far better quality handgun than they actually were, by the close resemblance that these revolvers have to Smith & Wesson models. Many of these revolvers were manufactured using inferior quality steel and are not considered safe to fire. Demand is very low for Spanish copies, value is probably in the $100 or less range. Marc


# 4727 - My Mauser
3/23/02
J. Wilson

Mauser -

Sirs, I have an old Mauser it's serial # is x3972 that's on the receiver the #189 is on the safety switch, on the bolt is an E ( circled ) with the # 1 by it. Can you tell me how old it is and if it was used in combat. If you can't, do you know where can I get this information. Also can you tell me where I can get replacement parts for it. Thank You for your time and effort.

Answer:
There are literally hundreds of different models of Mauser rifles, made for dozens of different countries between about 1871 and 1950. Nearly all were made for military use and a large number of those saw combat. Without knowing the exact model and nationality, we cannot tell you any more than that. Gun Parts Corp on our links page is a good source of parts, but you will need to identify the model first. Recommend you invest in a copy of Robert Ball's superb "Mauser Military Rifles of the World" for further research. John Spangler


# 4647 - Remington Model 14
3/23/02
Gary, Ocean Springs, MS.

Remington - 14 - 30 - 22" - Blue - 114435 -

There is a marking of R. E. P. with a six pointed star to the right, on the base of the barrel. Behind the trigger guard, inside a circle, it reads UMC. Lyman is stamped on the pop-up peep site. Best of all is the brass, .30 shell casing end (without primer) on the left side of receiver. I would like to know if the bolt assembly for this rifle can be purchased or does it have to be made? Also, the patents are from '09 until '13. . . when was this gun made and what was it used for? Hunting perhaps? What is it's value and where might I find parts for it?

Answer:
Gary Remington's Model 14 Sporting Rifle was the first truly successful slide-action centerfire sporting rifle. Remington manufactured the Model 14 from 1912 to 1936. If you would like to narrow the date manufacture for your rifle, take a look at the OldGuns.net "When was your Remington made" information, there is a link near the bottom of our main page.

The Model 14 was a modification of Remington's Model 12 tipping-bolt 22 rifle with an enlarged action strong enough to withstand the pressures of centerfire ammunition. The spiral magazine was used to prevent pointed cartridge noses from igniting the primer ahead of them. Standard rifles were capable of handling regular and high-speed ammunition, they had a straight-wrist butt, a ribbed slide handle, and round barrels. Overall length was 42.8 inches, weight was 7.15 pounds empty, the barrel was 24 inches. The magazine held 5 rounds. Factory sights were spring-leaf and elevator rear.

The "Blue Book Of Gun Values" lists values for model 14 rifles in the $150 to $300 range depending on condition but I have found them to be slow sellers. For parts try Gun Parts Corporation, there is a link to them on our links page. Marc


# 4726 - Remington Model 6
3/20/02
Grant

Hi I have a Remington 22 model 6 do you have any idea where I could find out some info on it just out of interest.

Answer:
Grant- Remington introduced the Model 6 in 1902 and total production was at least 250,000 before ending in 1933. These were "Boys' rifles" intended for youngsters to engage in recreational shooting in woods, or hunting, or at target ranges. The rifles were made in .22 rimfire (short, long, long rifle) and also in .32 rimfire (short or long). A few were made with smooth bores for shooting shot cartridges. It is amazing to consider that prior to WW2, nearly every boy had one or more guns while growing up. While it is true that the accidental shooting rate was higher than today, deliberate killings were nearly unheard of. That should surely tell people that it is not the availability of guns that causes violent criminal acts, it is something else. Perhaps the very liberals who want to ban guns, but defend disgusting violence and filth as "entertainment" and arrest parents who discipline their children and object to any sense of right or wrong in our decaying educational system are wrong on every issue. Just a thought. John Spangler


# 4706 - Research For My P-51D Scale Model
3/20/02
Ron

I'm doing research for my P-51D scale model and I have a question about the Browning machine guns used. The P-51D uses six .50 calibre machine guns -3 in each wing. The guns use a disintegrating metallic link belt. On the bottom of the wing under each gun is a port where the casings are ejected. Also just forward and inboard is a port where the links are ejected for the outboard and center guns. The inboard gun has no port for its links. Where do they go? Also how does a disintegrating metallic link disintegrate when it goes through the Browning?

Answer:
Ron- I know nothing about aircraft, but will do what we can for you. Browning machine guns can be set up to feed from the right hand side or the left hand side, so the links will naturally go out the opposite side. My GUESS is that the inboard gun and the next one fed from opposite directions and shared a single link discharge port in the wing. The traditional feed system was a cloth belt which worked fine, but had the disadvantage (especially for aircraft use) of having the used portion of the belt crawling out the discharge side of the gun. The disintegrating link was a simple piece of very thin flat spring steel, bent in a figure 8 shape. Each loop of the "8" was large enough to surround the cartridge case, and overall length and width are about 1.5" x 1.5" The feed side of the "8" had a single loop, while the other side had two loops, spaced far enough apart that the single loop from the next link would fit between them. Thus each round was connected to the one before it and the one after it by the overlapping figure 8s. When a fresh round in the feed position in the gun was pulled to the rear for loading, that released the link the had connected that cartridge to the previous round and that link was pushed out as the belt advanced to position the next cartridge in the feed position. (The advancing taking place as the bolt cycle back and forth stripping the round from the belt and pushing it into the chamber. Thus, each time a round was loaded, the link that held it disintegrated from the belt. John Spangler


# 4641 - Silenced Remington Model 24
3/20/02

Remington - 24 107970 - 22 -

Rifle, factory equipped with a silencer. I would like to know the time frame in which it might have been manufactured. It was originally tube fed through the stock. The stock has been broken and will only shoot one bullet at a time now. Is there anyone who could give an estimate on the repair ?

Answer:
Remington introduced the Model 24 Autoloading Rifle in April of 1922. The Model 24 was a John M. Browning design with improvements by Remington's Crawford C. Loomis. When first introduced, the new autoloader sold for $28. Initially the model 24 was chambered for .22 short rimfire only but in 1923 Remington began offering a choice either .22 Short or .22 Long Rifle (not interchangeable). The Model 24A Standard Grade Rifle was loaded through an opening on the right hand side of the stock just behind the semi-pistol grip, the internal magazine held fifteen cartridges. The Model 24 was first offered with a nineteen-inch round barrel, overall length was thirty-seven inches and weight was four pounds, twelve ounces. The barrel length was later increased to twenty-one inches, the overall length became thirty-nine inches, weight increased to five pounds. Remington sold a total of 130,415 Model 24 Autoloading Rifles between 1922 and 1935, when it was replaced by the Model 241 Speedmaster.

Now for the bad news, possessing a silencer is federal felony violation unless it is has been registered with the BATF. If you do not have registration papers, you should call the nearest BATF office (listed in phone book blue pages under US Govt Treasury Dept) and inform them that you have this and suspect that it is not legal and want to turn it in to them. I am sure you will feel better knowing that crime will drop significantly in your area with this evil item out of circulation. Marc


# 4662 - Colt Revolver- dug up
3/16/02
Justin

Colt - 1851 Navy - 17626 -

I was recently given an old Colt pistol and wanted to try to find some information on it. I'm guessing it is an old Navy Colt revolver. It's in pretty good condition with the serial number being 17626. This particular pistol was found in a creek bed about forty years ago but could not have been there for any length of time because of the good condition it is in. If you can tell me anything about this pistol from the serial number please let me know

Answer:
If your gun is in fact a Colt 1851 Navy, it was made in 1852. We would need to see some photos, and know all markings and the barrel length in order to confirm that it is that model and not one of several others. However, be warned that reproductions have also been available for at least 40 years, so there is a remote possibility that it may be a modern replica.

An item made in 1852 could have fallen off the wagon on the way from the factory the day after it was made and landed in the creek bed, or it could have been dumped there by Billy Burglar who stole it three days ago and decided he did not want to get caught with it. Any number of other possibilities exist, with greater or lesser chances of actually having occurred, depending on exactly where it was found, and the sorts of events that have taken place in the neighborhood. Is it a Civil War campsite, railroad or mining town, local dump, landfill for dirt from construction sites many miles away? All sorts of things could have happened, most not very exciting. However, if Jesse James was wounded running away from a bank holdup in the area on a certain date (after 1852, of course) then it could get more exciting, especially if old records in the courthouse show that George Generalstore testified that James first robbed him and took a Colt Navy pistol, serial number 17626.

This sounds like one of those "If only this gun could talk" cases. Unfortunately, nearly all such guns take advantage of their right to remain silent. Still, it would be an interesting collector piece to some people. I know some people who have spent years gathering one example of each model of Colt percussion revolver, but in horrible rusty, dug up condition. Go figure! John Spangler


# 4653 - Movie Gun Question
3/16/02
Rodney Alvin, Texas

I happened on to your website looking for information on how to takedown a Winchester Model 1897 shotgun. You offered to answer questions which is great for gun owners and especially people like me who enjoy hunting, target practice and collecting, but are not "gun experts." I can find information on the shotgun, but I cannot find out the type of revolvers used in the movie THE MUMMY. The hero carried two revolvers in shoulder holsters and for two years I have been researching what they were. No luck. Can you help. This is not of great importance, but I usually recognize guns in movies or can find out what they were if I do not know. These revolvers have stumped me.

Answer:
Rodney, I enjoyed both of The Mummy movies and was also interested in the weapons that were used in them. I noticed at least 2 different types of revolvers being used by the hero (Fraser), I think that he also used a pair of Colt 1911 pistols. One set of revolvers looked to me like they were Smith and Wesson large frame double action models possibly M1917s. I never could get a good enough look at the other set to properly identify them, but I believe that they were French service revolvers, possibly models of 1873 or 1892. I will post your question and my answer on the OldGuns.net Q&A page and maybe one of our visitors will send us better information. Marc


# 4636 - Machete
3/16/02
John

I have a machete approx. 3 feet in length with a bone handle I don't suppose you can tell me anything about it or it's value if any, with out seeing it.

Answer:
John- Sorry, we cannot help with that one. Collins made a ton of different machete models of varying lengths and handle types. So did a bunch of foreign makers. Unless in exceptional condition and well marked, it probably is not a valuable collectors item, but can come in handy around the yard. John Spangler-


# 4620 - Old Mod. 94
3/13/02
Todd Reno Nevada

Winchester - 1894 - 25/35 WCF - 26" - Nickel, Steel - 368289 -

Octagon shaped barrel My grandfather passed away about 2 years ago, and he passed his gun onto me, It looks to be in excellent shape, and I was wondering on the market today what it would be worth and what year was the gun manufactured? Thank you for your help, Todd

Answer:
Todd, OldGuns.net has provided a program so our visitors can look up dates of manufacture for most Winchester rifles, there is a link to our Winchester dates of manufacture program on the OldGuns.net menu bar near the bottom and another link near the bottom of our main page. The OldGuns.net dates of manufacture program tells me that your Winchester was manufactured in 1906. Without a more detailed description of the condition of your rifle and not knowing any special features that it might have, it is hard to set a price. I can tell you that values for Winchester Model 1894 rifles can be quite high for examples that are all original and in excellent condition. Blue book values for pre-1929 Winchester Model 94's range from $350 to about $1000 and can go even higher for deluxe models and rifles with special features. Marc


# 4629 - Another FR-8 Spanish Mauser
3/13/02

Spanish Mauser - Carbine -

I am trying to identify a Spanish Mauser carbine. It is part of a dear friend's estate, and I have never seen anything like it. It is a type 1898 Mauser bolt action with an internal 5 round magazine, has an 18 inch barrel with a flash suppressor, and (So Help Me!), a short tube under the barrel protruding from the fore-end like a tubular magazine or a gas tube! There is what appears to be a bayonet lug on the end of the tube. The caliber appears to be 7 X 57mm. The markings on the receiver are "Fabrica de Armas La Caruna 1950". It has a most unusual rear sight with a vertical disk that rotates to a choice of buckhorn-type V-notch or the choice of two apertures. Elevation is controlled by screwing the front pin up or down through a hole in the front sight hood. Also, the front sight assembly looks like it came right off a Heckler & Koch Model 91. What is this thing? It is in Excellent condition, with cosmolene still in the bore. Can you give a ballpark estimate of it's value?

Answer:
Your rifle is called the FR-8. It is a training rifle although I am not exactly certain of the details. I think it was modified to resemble the CETME semi auto or selective fire assault rifle. Therefore they could use these for basic training, manual of arms, and perhaps even basic marksmanship training without messing up their shiny brand new rifles.

These have been on the market in the US for at least 10-15 years and are very slow movers. I think they usually bring something the $50-100 range, usually toward the lower end. I would not want one under any circumstances.

They may be in 7x57 Mauser, but I seem to recall that some or all were also converted to .308. I believe that was the Spanish CEMTE version of 7.62 NATO which had the same size case, but was loaded to lower pressures. I would NEVER fire any of the Spanish Mausers converted to .308. Although I have never heard of any blowing up, I am not impressed with the workmanship on the Spanish Mausers to start with, and conversion did nothing to improve their margin of safety. John Spangler


# 4572 - Dreyse Needle Fire Carbine
3/13/02
Jim Nashville Mich

Dreyse - Needle Fire - .65 - About 14" - Patina -

Is there any info on a Dreyse needle fire 1856 cav. carbine? I have not seen anything on them in years. I have one and I can't even find a range of values or anything else. "Dreyse" entered just gets me stories an chassepots. Help please!!

Answer:
Jim- I have found four books to be very helpful on guns of that period. The first, Steve Frey's "Imported Military Firearms 1866-1899" is a spiral bound 100 page treasure trove of facts, trivia and tips which really help in identifying all sorts of oddball European arms of that period. This is a handy book aimed at the beginning collector/shooter who wants to clean up these treasures and perhaps risk life and limb by shooting them using some of the ingenious improvised cartridge loads he explains. He gives some values (as of 1995) but at least it is a clue as to trash or treasure relative to other items. He puts a value of about $300 on a Chassepot, and about $1,000 on a military Dreyse, presumably a rifle, and in my opinion, carbines usually tend to bring more than rifles. Fair market value will be determined when a willing buyer and willing seller agree on a price. His sections on the Chassepot and Dreyse include improvised ammunition for them, if you feel adventuresome and have a good insurance policy.

The second, Massimo Pagani's "Ordnance Shoulder Arms 1841-1890" is a more scholarly approach, and is well illustrated with dual text in Italian and English. This gets into a lot of guns I have never seen discussed anywhere else, usually with a page or two of data, history and comments on each. This has descriptions of the infantry model Dreyse needle gun, two rifle variations plus the 1855 carbine. It indicates that 90,000 carbines were made, and that they remained in use by Prussian and a few Bavarian cavalry, dragoon and hussar regiments as late as 1876.

Third, the most detailed information on German longarms of the period will be found in "The German Rifle: A comprehensive illustrated history of the standard Bolt action designs, 1871-1945." John Walter is highly respected for his thorough and detailed analysis of various types of arms and this is a great reference. However the 1871 date in the title is misleading, as it included copious detail on nine variations of the needle guns first introduced in 1841, plus a "Beck" alteration. His info on the 1855 carbine provides details on usage within units, and some variations encountered with sling swivels in lieu of saddle rings.

Finally, a similar book by Hans Dieter Gotz (Goetz), "German Military Rifles and Machine Pistols 1871-1945" skips the needle guns, but I usually check both this and the Walter book above and often find a few added tidbits with the extra work. Both, by the way, also many of the captured arms (French, Czech, Hungarian, etc) taken into German military use.

Needle guns are a strange beast, and few collectors have ever seen one. I did not get a chance to play with one until I found a unconverted Chassepot a couple of years ago. Along with the Dreyse, they used a paper cartridge with the primer stuck on the bas of the bullet. The "needle" is just a really long firing pin that has to poke all the way up through the paper cartridge and powder to hit the primer to ignite the powder. This was a very novel concept with some great advantages, especially in speed of loading. More important, it allowed firing from prone position or from behind cover, a distinct advantage over troops armed with muzzle loaders who were forced to remain standing while loading. However use of a rubber washer (like a hose washer) to seal the joint between the bolt and breech of the barrel left a lot to be desired. Most needle guns were easily converted to use metallic cartridges, and thus few have survived in their original form. Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 4580 - Burnside Carbine Markings
3/9/02
Chris, Stow, OH

Burnside - 4th Ed. , 1864 - 56 (.565 Bullet) - 21 Inch - Single Blued Oval Barrel - on barrel breech top #13516 -

What do the numbers on the side of the stock mean? These are located just above the breech lever on the left side of the stock. Both are in rectangular block outline. The one directly above the trigger appears to be "3CD80" or 'SCD80" the other, also in a rectangular outline appears to be"_PKK _" in larger sprict letters - cannot tell if there is a letter or number before the P or after the K.

Answer:
Chris- Most U.S. military arms have one or more "cartouches" stamped on the wood, usually on the left side above the trigger area, to show that they were passed inspection by someone assigned to do that job. (And, if problems were later found, the inspector would be in deep doo doo.) In many cases there were several inspectors assigned, to check things at various stages of completion, so one marking might be for the guy who checked the stock to make sure it was good quality woo, not cracked anywhere, and all the inletting was proper size. Another would be from the final inspector who checked the whole gun after it was accepted. The person who did the proof testing usually indicated that was done by another stamp, most often a large P behind the trigger guard. (On a recent tour of the Remington factory, it was neat to see workmen on the proof firing area fire each gun, then immediately stamp it with the marking that they use to show it had been proof tested, just as for the last 150+ years.) I am pretty sure that the markings you have are simply inspector cartouches. In the Civil War era they were almost always two to four initials, usually script, not block letters, in a rectangle or oval. Of course, anyone with a set of stamps could have marked your stock at any time since 1864. A military unit "rack number, museum inventory number, a collector number, police registration or evidence number, a pre-spray paint graffiti artist, or reasons unfathomable? Visible cartouches help value, but the other possibilities would not. John Spangler


# 4582 - Davis Warner Infallible Shotgun
3/9/02
Nance, Chicago, IL

Davis-Warner Arms Corp. - Infallible (? ) - Unknown - Unsure - Unsure - 4341 (? ) -

On the grip it has a circular symbol which appears to be the company logo and ahs the words "BLOCKS" at the top and "THE SEAR" at the bottom of the circle. INFALLIBLE appears above the company name. Pat. July 10, 1910 - March 9, 1915 (? ) Let me start out by saying I know nothing about guns. I am curious about it's history and wonder if it has any value.

Answer:
Nance- Davis-Warner was formed in 1916 with the acquisition of N.R. Davis by the Warner Arms Corporation, and they ceased to exist in 1930 when Savage bought them out. Many of their guns had names suggesting strength, safety, high quality, or the like, but in reality, they were all pretty basic guns of average quality. The marking "blocks the sear" refers to some sort of safety device to keep the sear from allowing the hammer to fall. (You really do not need to understand that, but the gun people will know what it means.) Collector value in this gun is probably very slight, with value to match. Shooters probably would not be interested, so value is mainly for sentimental, or decorative use. John Spangler


# 4622 -
3/6/02
Ed, USA

H & R Arms Company - Young American Bull Dog - .32 Revolver - 2 Inch - Nickel - 436096 -

The name "Young American Bull Dog" on the top of the cylinder guard and the letter "R" is imprinted on a part of the front of the cylinder and has an octangular barrel. I would like to know any information that can be provided about this type of gun.

Answer:
Ed, H & R manufactured the Young American from 1887 to about 1941, it was an inexpensive revolver chambered in .22 Long, or .32 S&W. with fixed sights and blue or nickel finish. For more information try querying our Q&A search engine as we have answered several questions about these in the past. Marc


# 4562 - James Kerr Rifle
3/6/02

James Kerr - 45 - 36.5" - Blue - CAN'T FIND -

James Kerr 54 King William St. E. C. I am looking for information about this gun. Age, value, the manufactures history. Thanks Dan

Answer:
Sir- Our best detectives have been hard at work on this one, but having only a partial elbow print and the eyewitness account of a blind man they have given up. Police artists have prepared a sketch of a "volunteer rifle" which might have a .45 caliber bore and 36.5" barrel and blue finish, but the blind man cannot see it. The only information we can provide is that James Kerr of London, England, was granted two revolver related patents in 1855-57, and was later associated with the Massachusetts Arms Company. He later was in business in London as J. Kerr & Company, from 1870 to 1894. (Note- James' brother John Kerr was also active about the same time, so J. Kerr markings can be confusing. One source indicates the brothers worked together as Kerr & Co. 1855-1894, but another insists there were two separate companies.) Value is about the same as similar guns in similar condition, but we cannot identify them either. John Spangler


# 4566 - Mexican War Use Of Percussion Shotgun
3/6/02
Jeff Illinois US

? ? ? ? ? ? - Double Barrel Percussion - ? ? ? ? - 30.75" - ? ? ? ? - ? ? ? ? (221? ) -

This is a family hand me down and supposedly my GGGrandfather carried it in the Mexican War (1847). It is a muzzle loader percussion double barrel shotgun. "London Twist" is stamped between the barrels on top. It has a "pistol grip" type buttstock. There is a steel plate on the end of the buttstock held in place by a single large screw. There are two triggers and on the bottom of the steel trigger gaurd in the number "221" which is in scribed in what I will call an "oval". However the "oval" is open on the left hand side and the top part of the oval extends further to the left than the bottom part of the oval. (I am assuming it is some sort of manufacturer's mark). I am guessing the 221 refers to a model rather than a serial number. All part's appear to be orginal and in reasonably good shape.

Answer:
Jeff- I very much doubt that this gun was used in the Mexican War. Percussion shotguns were certainly available at that time, but not in huge numbers, but they were used very little, if at all, in military service. An exception might be if the ancestor was a settler in Tejas at the time, and forced to use his one (and only) gun for militia use due to lack of more suitable arms. Until about the middle of the Civil War, the most common military arm was the smoothbore .69 caliber musket. Ammunition was provided in both "ball" loads with a single round lead ball abut .65 caliber, and in "buck and ball" which had the large ball plus three smaller lead balls about .30 caliber. Another regulation load "buck" consisted of nine or twelve of the small balls. The .30 caliber balls are pretty much the same as those used in )) buckshot loads to this day. Small numbers of shotguns were used in the Civil War, primarily by mounted troops who had not acquired breechloading carbines of any sort, and probably for prison guards or the like. There is some combat usage of shotguns in later wars as well, but not a whole lot. I suspect that facts have become twisted together. So and so fought in the Mexican War. This was so and so's gun [that he bought 30 years later from farmer Jones who got it from the new Sears Roebuck mail order catalog]. The value will be mainly sentimental. The markings are typical of thousands of guns made in the period. 1850-1890. John Spangler


# 4652 - C. J. Hamilton Model 42
3/2/02
D. A. El Paso, TX

C. J. Hamilton - 43 - .22 - Blued - NONE -

single shot, bolt action. barrel has no serial number, but reads "Model no. 43" "Pat. Oct. 30, 1900 Aug. 10, 1910" I have a C. J. Hamilton model 43 in .22 cal. it is in pretty rough shape, but of interest to me because of its age, and probable limited production. Although I don't anticipate that it is worth much, I would like to know anything you can tell me about this firearm. Barrel indicates that it was made in Plymouth, Michigan.

Answer:
In it's 47 years of production, the Hamilton Rifle Company of Plymouth, Michigan sold fourteen different models of boys rifles. The goal of Clarence James Hamilton and his son, Coello, was to make a good, low cost boys' rifle. It is said that there was usually at least one envied Hamilton rifle in every neighborhood. Hamilton rifles were usually sold to merchandisers who used them as premiums. In exchange for door-to-door selling, a young boy could obtain a Hamilton rifle. Ads offering Hamiltons as premiums were familiar in such magazines as McClure's, Liberty, and Youth Companion. The Model 43 was manufactured from 1924 to 1943, it was a modification of an earlier design (the model 23) with the loading port on the top where the barrel joins the frame. The 43 was chambered in .22 short and long, it weighed about 3 pounds and came with a 15 3/4 inch 12 groove barrel. The stock was walnut. Overall length was 35 inches. Sights were non-adjustable open rear with a blade front. There was no external cocking knob, instead, the bolt itself is pulled to the rear after being turned down to the locking position. Marking on top of barrel read: No. 43,.22 cal. L. & S. Pat. Oct. 30, 1900. August 9,1910. C. J. Hamilton & Son, Plymouth, Mich., U.S.A. Marc


# 4542 - M1911A1 Markings
3/2/02
Richard, Schaumburg, IL

Remington Rand - M1911A1 - .45 ACP - Parkerized / Blued - 1963646, 2380050 -

196XXXX - Trigger guard - 1 in upper right, 7 in lower left (left side), 4 in upper left (right side)238XXXX - Trigger guard - M in upper right, possible Y in lower left (left side), "O" or "0" in upper left (right side), 238XXXX - Right side, near hammer, what looks to be a gear-shaped stamp, mostly faded. I'm trying to identify the special markings listed above on two Vietnam-era 45 ACPs. I've found references for the barrel markings, the serial numbers, and markings on the top of the slide and by the magazine release, as well as the inspector's mark. The only marks I can't identify are those given above. Can you identify what those marks are or point me to some non-Internet reference material? I've thoroughly plumbed the Internet for information and references. Thanks!

Answer:
Richard- The single digits/letters are probably subinspector markings applied at the time of manufacture. On the right side of the frame near the hammer there is usually a very lightly struck "ordnance escutcheon" symbolizing final inspection and acceptance by the ordnance department. This is a design consisting of two crossed cannons superimposed on a round belt or ribbon so it looks like a X and O in the same place. You can see the design on one of our other sites http://M1903.com The 2380050 is a mystery to me if it is on the frame. Perhaps a local "rack number" (although generally not stamped on metal parts) or perhaps a post-military owner's driver license number or a police evidence number. If on the slide, it could also be one of the above, but some very late replacement parts were marked with a manufacturer's code number and sometimes the part or stock number for the supply folks' convenience. Those are my guesses. John Spangler


# 4534 - Lebel Pistol
3/2/02
Scott, Seattle, WA

Lebel - Break Barrel Target Pistol - 8mm? - 9 Inches Approx. - Parkerized - NA -

Single shot, break barrel, octagonal barrel, adjustable sites. No cartridge identification or serial number. Ornate wood grip. Only visible information is Lebel and 78. Do you have any idea what this gun may be? It was found in a friends recently deceased mother's house and was allegedly in the family for quite some time. I have been unable to find any information on a single shot Lebel target pistol. Any information would be appreciated.

Answer:
Scott- Sorry, we have no information on that one. John Spangler


# 4536 - Cleaning A Trapdoor
3/2/02
Jeff, Neptune, NJ

Springfield - U. S. Model 1873 - 45-70 - 326409 -

"SWP" and ineligible date struck on left side of stock We'd like to know if it is appropriate to clean or restore this rifle. The barrel and hardware is pitted and dirty, but all markings are clear. Does it enhance or reduce the value for resale if it is cleaned?

Answer:
Jeff- Your rifle can be documented as being used by Company H,1st Kentucky Volunteer Infantry in 1898. That adds a bit to its value and historical interest. While most likely the documentation will show little more than a record exists showing that it was among the rifles assigned to that unit, sometimes the records can pin it down to a specific soldier, and sometimes it is possible to get the service record of that soldier. I ended up with one that a guy carried in the Philippines, and his unit was involved in a nasty skirmish there, and at one point in his brief career he was court martialed for some improper conduct. Springfield Research Service can provide you with whatever documentation exists about your rifle and its history. You can email frank@mbz.org and he will quote you the current price for a letter with the information from the National Archives. Anyway, if you watch the Antiques Roadshow, you will see them all the time telling people their chair, teapot, or toy tractor or whatever is a real neat item and would have been worth a bizillion dollars, except since it has been cleaned, it is now only worth about $3.00. Same thing generally applies to guns. It is okay to remove dirt and a little crud, and maybe even some surface rust to get to the finish underneath, but probably not much more than that. John Spangler


# 4717 -
3/2/02
Jim , Inwood WV

Springfield Armory - 1898 - ? - aprox 29 inches - ? - 207821 -

The rifle has a P in a circle behind the trigger , unfamiliar with guns , has a odd sight thats adjustable on a hinge with numbers up to 20 Wondering when it was made , the value if any and if it's original?

Answer:
Jim, you have what is commonly known as a Krag rifle. the OldGuns.net date of manufacture program tells me that your


Return to Collectors Headquarters.