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# 6868 - Musket- Trash Or Treasure Guessing Game
Emily Bayfield, CO

Spring Field - Carbine - 40 1/2'' From Hammer - Don't Know -

1853 is stamped on the face plate all so an eagle holding olive branch with US under it. 1853 all so stamped on top near the hammer. I all so see the initials V P stamped on top/ side near the hammer. Has 2 strap loops looks complete but missing strap. Dark wood and maybe nickel? In good condition and very heavy! I would like to know just what I may have. The age and model of this rifle and where I can get it appraised for insurance.

Emily- Without further info this is pretty tough. Springfield was usually busy making a number of different guns at any time, for various uses. In 1853 they were making the following: Model 1842 musket, Model 1847 artillery musketoon, Model 1847 cavalry musketoon, and the Model 1851 cadet musket. Barrel length (measured from the square edge at the back of the barrel, but not counting the "tang" that goes back for the screw) on these would be 42", 26", 26", and 40" respectively. That pretty much narrows it down to the two muskets, and it is most likely the M1842 musket. The M1842 was .69 caliber, about the same as a 12 GA shotgun. These were finished "bright" which might look like nickel if the surface has not rusted, but it is possible that some were later nickel plated for use by the local veterans color guard or circus or something. If in original bright finish, this would be a great collector item and I would insure it for about $2500-3000. If it has been refinished or buffed up, then it would be more like maybe $500 or so. Send us some photos and we can probably help a bit more with this one. John Spangler

# 6877 - M1903 With HS Barrel
Ray St Paul Minnesota

Rock Island Arsenal - 1903 Springfield - 30-06 - 20'' - Blue - 388651 -

Below front sight is HS below that flaming bomb and below that 7 44 I bought this rifle in 1976 and it has a rear peep sight as well as an elevation sight in the middle. It has been sporterized and the person that sold it to me said it was packed in cozmoline when he bought it. The book I bought from Mr. Ferris indicates the receiver was made in 1918 but the 7 44 tells me the barrel is from 1944. My father in law (WW II age 87) state's that no military arm was produced with a peep sight for infantry use. My question is, how did this rifle come about with a 1918 receiver and a barrel that probably was made in 1944 with the peep sight-sporterized?

Ray- Your rifle was made in 1918, but the barrel was made in 1944. Many of the barrels made during WW2 were used to overhaul rifles before reissue to our troops or shipment to allies. Some barrels have also been sold in later years as surplus, and used by gunsmiths to replace worn out barrels. Your father in law is basically right about military arms not being made with sporting peep type sights, although many special purpose arms were made with such sights at Springfield (M1922 trainers, M1903 sporters and some National Match rifles). My guess is that Bubba, and or his gunsmith buddy get the credit or blame for the sight being installed, at the time it was sporterized, but the barrel could have been installed then, or at an earlier arsenal overhaul. While probably a good hunting gun, it would not have much appeal to collectors now. John Spangler

# 9966 - Old Weaver Scope

Weaver - 344 - Nickel -

I have an old Weaver scope on a Remington .22 pump would like to know the date of manufacture.

Ron, W.R. Weaver was the first company to offer an affordable, well-made and dependable telescopic rifle sight to the American shooting public. Within 10 years of their inception, Weaver was the largest single telescopic sight maker in the world.

The Weaver Model 344 was manufactured from 1933 to 1947. The scope was 12.25 inches long with a .75 inch tube and weight of 10.5 ounces. Magnification was 4X with a field of view of 28 feet at 100 yards. My reference lists values for model 344 scopes at $60 to $125 depending on condition. Marc

# 6880 - Rem. Maynard Musket Conv. By Frankford Arsenal
John Las Animas Colo.

Remington Arms Co. - Maynard Conversion By Frankford Arsenal - Don't Know - 42 Inches - Rusty - NONE -

Has an S on opposite side of hammer in front of chin rest on a S shaped metal piece. On hammer side (behind hammer it has Rimington ilion N.Y. 18-- USA and in front of trigger guard it has obc or cbc. How do I find out how much this gun is worth and what year it was made. How rare is it how many were made. Thank you John

John- Between 1855 and 1858 Remington provided 20,000 percussion locks to Frankford Arsenal with the "Maynard tape primer system". Frankford Arsenal then converted 20,000 Model 1816 smoothbore .69 caliber flintlock muskets (made circa 1820-1840) into much more modern arms. This included converting them from flint to percussion, rifling the barrels and applying long range rear sights. Most of these conversion undoubtedly saw use during the Civil War. Of course the value will vary according to condition, but most will probably fall in the $750 to $1500 range. John Spangler

# 9968 - Audie Murphy Gun
Craig, Clarksville, TN

Winchester - 94 -

I saw the damndest Winchester 94 yesterday in the safe of an older guy here in TN. It is a '94 about '51 vintage that has a leather wrapped stock and foregrip, all hand tooled by an outfit in Van Nuys, CA. Has Audie Murphy's initials carved in the stock leather as well as maker and location. In small letters it says something like \"Made for Audie Murphy.\" Anyway how does one authenticate this? I don't want it but am just trying to help this friend out. When he showed me that I was more interested in the leather work than the collectability of it, but thought I would check into value for him.

Craig- There are a number of people who like guns that are connected with historical figures and/or celebrities. Personally, a gun that was USED by Audie Murphy when he earned the Congressional Medal of Honor would be most desirable, but later items presented to him would probably be much less valuable. Still, there is a market for such items. However, the problem as you have correctly noticed, is how to authenticate such items. My guess is that such a presentation piece would have been noted in records of the company doing the custom work, and which is marked on it. If they are still in business you may be able to find something in their records. If not, you have a starting point (date of manufacture of the gun) and ending point (his death in a plan crash in 1971). There is a good biography of his remarkable life at Maybe you can find newspaper accounts or something in one of the gun magazines of the period describing a presentation which matches your gun. John Spangler

# 9967 - Gunshow Find?
Jim, St Croix Falls, WI

EXCam - GT - .380 - Blue -

A friend bought one at a gun show and paid $100 US with the original box (nice bluing, no scratches), I should have gotten more info on it but I do know that it is a .380 semi auto (also says double action) plastic grips with GT molded in them did he pay to much?

Jim, the Excam company imported inexpensive Saturday night special type firearms during the 1980's and went out of business in about 1990. The GT was available in several calibers including .22, .32 and .380. GT pistols chambered in .380 had a steel frame, 6 shot magazine, 3.88-inch barrel and weighed 26 ounces. GT 380C pistols had a satin chrome finish and GT 380B pistols came with a standard blue finish. Wood grips became standard in 1986. Blue book values for Excam GT 380 pistols ranges from $95 to about $135, so the price that your friend paid was about average. Marc

# 6953 - Marlin 81-DL
Larry, Edinburg, Va.

Marlin - 81-DL - 22 S.L.LR - 24 Inches - Blue - COULD NOT FIND -

none This rifle belonged to my father who passed away in 1950. I would like to know when this rifle was made I am not really bothered about the value because of where it came from I will not be selling it.

Larry, Marlin manufactured the Model 81-DL from 1941 to about 1964, the DL differed from the standard model 81 in that it had a special aperture sight on the receiver and a hooded bead sight at the muzzle. Model 81s were not serial numbered so the best way to narrow down the date of manufacture is by your rifle's features. Rifles manufactured prior to W.W.II had a plastic trigger guard and a broad semi-beavertail forend. Post-war guns had a standard forend. Rifles manufactured after 1957 had a walnut Monte Carlo half-stock and a more streamlined trigger guard. Marc

# 6980 - WWII Beretta
Anthony, Washington, DC

Beretta - Gardone Brevet - .38 - Other -

PBeretta .9 Corto MI 1934 Brevet Gardone V.T. 1943 xxi My father served in North Africa in WWII, he passed away recently and I found this in the house, is this gun worth anything at all?

Anthony, you have a W.W.II vintage Beretta Model 1934 pistol. The Beretta models 1934 and 1935 were Italy's main service sidearms during W.W.II. The two models were basically the same except that Model 1934 was chambered for 9MM Corto (380) while the Model 1935 was chambered for 7.65 mm Brevettata (.32 Auto). Military Model 1934 pistols were marked on the left hand side of the slide "P. Beretta Cal 9 Corto - Mo 1934 Brevet Gardone VT" followed by the date of manufacture. The date of manufacture was marked in two systems (except on late wartime production models), the Christian calendar (1943) and a Roman numeral denoting the year of the Fascist calendar which began in 1922 (XXI). For example, a date marking might read 1942 XX or 1937 XV. W.W.II vintage military pistols were also marked "RE" for Army (Regia Esercito), "RA" for Airforce (Regia Aeronautica), or "RM" for Navy (Regia Marine), while police weapons were marked "PS" (Publica Sicurezza) at the left rear of the frame.

The common myth is that these pistols were issued only to officers, but evidence shows that they were also issued to personnel such as artillerymen, machine gunners, guards, drivers, pilots and others. Values for Beretta Model 1934/35 pistols are in the $150 to $400 range depending upon condition. Add another $100 to $150 if you have a nice original military holster. Marc

# 6904 - Colt Gun Used By USMC
John Brookville, In.

Blue -

What is a ''Colt's gun'' used by the Marine Corps in the early 1900s? I am writing an article about Roswell Winans, a Medal of Honor winner who ''then arrived with his Colt's gun which he placed in a most exposed position, coolly opened fire on the trenches and when the gun jammed, stood up and repaired it under fire.''

John- I am positive that this refers to what collectors now call the "potato digger" machine gun designed by John M. Browning, but actually made by Colt. This was virtually the only machine gun in the US prior to WW1 except for a few wretched Benet Mercie machine guns (a cousin of the French and Japanese used Hotchkiss design) made at Springfield Armory after 1909, but never inflicted upon the Marine Corps. The Colt-Browning remained in service from about 1895 when first adopted right up into WW1, although largely relegated to training use by then. Interestingly, this gun was made initially for the same 6mm cartridge as the Winchester Lee Navy rifle, and later the machine guns were converted to .30-40 and .30-06 to match the rifles used by the Marines. Here is a fuller description of the engagement in the Dominican Republic where First Sgt Winans earned his Medal of Honor. John Spangler

"Rank and organization: Brigadier General (then First Sergeant), U.S. Marine Corps. Place and date: Guayacanas, Dominican Republic, 3 July 1916. Entered service at: Washington. Born. 9 December 1887, Brookville, Ind. G.O. No.: 244, 30 October 1916. Citation: During an engagement at Guavacanas on 3 July 1916, 1st Sgt. Winans participated in action against a considerable force of rebels on the line of march. During a running fight of 1,200 yards, our forces reached the enemy entrenchments and Cpl. Joseph A. Glowin, U.S.M.C., placed the machinegun, of which he had charge, behind a large log across the road and immediately opened fire on the trenches. He was struck once but continued firing his gun, but a moment later he was again struck and had to be dragged out of the position into cover. 1st Sgt. Winans, U.S.M.C., then arrived with a Colt's gun which he placed in a most exposed position, coolly opened fire on the trenches and when the gun jammed, stood up and repaired it under fire. All the time Glowin and Winans were handling their guns they were exposed to a very heavy fire which was striking into the logs and around the men, 7 men being wounded and 1 killed within 20 feet. 1st Sgt. Winans continued firing his gun until the enemy had abandoned the trenches."

# 6998 - Thompson M1927A1 Submachine Gun

Thompson - M1927A1 -

I recently acquired an un-fired Thompson model 1927 A-1 sub-machine gun with the original case, drum and straight clips, owners manual and several boxes of old 45 ACP ammunition. Also stamped on the gun is No. 14418 and Auto-Ordinance Corporation West Hurley, New York, U.S.A. with all of the stamping on the gun in a gold color. The gun is for display only but I would like to find the date of manufacture of the gun and the approximate value for insurance purposes. Any assistance would be appreciated.

Tom- I am assuming that this is in deed a full auto SMG, not one of the long barreled semi-auto "commemoratives". I believe that a full auto, properly registered M1927A1 as you described would retail in the $15,000-25,000 range. However, since we do not deal in any class 3 items, that is just my very poorly educated guess, and you should check with some reputable class 3 dealers to see what they think. Note that I said "properly registered". If you do not have the BATF paperwork approving transfer of this item to you, then you have something that can get you in very serious trouble. Check the info at for starters. The good news is that the case and accessories (and all parts except the receiver) are probably legal to own and sell separately, and could be worth quite a bit on their own.

If it is a semi-auto long barrel commemorative item, then it would bring a tiny fraction of that, and frankly I don't know why anyone would want one at any price. Maybe that is just a matter of personal preference, but at least there are no legal problems with them. John Spangler

# 6999 - Astra Cub Information For Lawyer
Vanessa London, UK

Astra - Cub -

I am a lawyer acting for a gun shop owner who is charged with various firearms offences here in London. I need to find out the date of manufacture for a particular gun and wonder if you can help or advise me whom I should contact. The firearm is a .25 calibre automatic Astra Cub self-loading pistol, Index No. K5936. Any help you can give would be much appreciated.

Vanessa- We do not know enough about Astra guns to be much help. I recommend you contact the National Automatic Pistol Collectors Association. They have members who are true experts in this field an should be able to help. They have an email address for submitting questions on one of their pages:

I have noted with dismay the total failure of the UK gun laws to reduce the number of violent crimes being committed with firearms. Perversely, we take great pleasure in providing this to our politicians as proof that they should reject all gun control schemes as they simply do not work. Hopefully we will not make the same mistakes and end up where unarmed victims are provided for easy victimization by the criminal class who will never obey any gun control laws. That's why they are called criminals. John Spangler

# 7027 - Savage 29 Information
Jessica, Jerome, Idaho

Savage - 29 - .22 - Other -

It has a hexagonal barrel, I don't know if that is significant My question is of the year of this gun. I don't have the serial number, I just want a general idea of the era it was made in. All I know is that it is a Savage Model 29, Pump, And was made in Utica NY. It is of very thick and heavy Black Steel.

Jessica, Savage manufactured the Model 29 rifle from 1929 to 1942 and then again after W.W.II from 1945 to 1967. The 29 was an improvement of their earlier Model 25, with a modified take-down action. The receiver was round-backed with an ejection port on the right hand side. Rifles were chambered in .22 Short, .22 Long or .22 Long Rifle rimfire, interchangeably. Overall length was 40.5 inches, weight was 5.75 pounds empty and the barrel was 24 inches with 6-groove right hand twist concentric rifling. The tubular magazine ran lengthwise beneath the barrel and held 15-20 rounds depending on which cartridge was loaded. The rear sight was spring-leaf and elevator type. Pre-war rifles had octagonal barrels while post-war rifles had round barrels and ribbed slide handles. Your barrel is octagonal, this tells us that the rifle was manufactured between 1929 and 1942. The blue book lists values for Savage Model 29 rifles from about $90.00 to about $250.00 depending on condition. Marc

# 6959 - Refinished Luger
DB, Camden, AR

LUGER - 1939 - 9MM - 4'' - Nickel - 3950 -

Front receiver year stamped 1939, Right Side 3 eagles with outspread wings. First two have number 63 underneath and third has swastika. Underneath barrel on front of receiver is a cursive letter ''v'' Rear of receiver in front of toggle has 3750 - all other serials are matching 50 I would like to know where it was manufactured - I was told that this weapon was a presentation piece If there is any documentation as to who it was presented to I would like to know. It appears to have been nickel-plated initially and not after the original markings were made. It is in mint condition and strike marks are deep. Any information will be helpful. Thank you

DB, your Luger was manufactured at Mauser Werke AG, Oberndorf am Neckar, Germany. I am able to tell you this because 63 is a German WW-II Heerswaffenamt inspector's mark used on arms produced at the Mauser plant. The cursive "w" is part of the serial number, which consist of four digits and a letter for Lugers of this type and vintage. Unfortunately, no matter what you assume, or have been told, your pistols original finish would have been blue, not nickel. Even if the pistol is some sort of presentation piece ( I think this is doubtful), value would not be increased unless the circumstances or person presented to had some sort of historical significance. The fact that your Luger has been re-finished ruins it's collectors appeal and in my opinion, lowers value to under $300. Marc

# 6969 - Refinished K98
John, Myrtle Beach, SC

Mauser - K98 - 8mm - Other - 3962 -

byf 42 I have inherited a 98 Mauser that was a vet bring back. It appears to have a chrome finish. My question is that I was curious if there was any chance this was an original finish or done later state side. Has all Nazi markings and all serial #'s match. Was told owner probably had it done to participate in his local VFW ceremonies. Hate he is no longer here to ask. Can you help ?

John, Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but the original finish for K98k byf 42 (Mauser) rifles is blue. In my opinion, there is no chance that the chrome finish is original. It is possible that the rifle was plated for ceremonial purposes but this will not help collector interest or value. Perhaps you should get together with DB from the previous question, you could make a shiny pistol and rifle set. Marc

# 7000 - Flaigs Bolt Action Rifle

Flaigs -

A friend of mine suggested that I write to you folks on a question. He also suggested that I tell you that I am an avid NRA member to include the NRAILA, and contribute a whole lot each year to their efforts. Anyway, my problem is this... I have a Mauser 98 rifle, 8mm, SN 1528, with a Flaig 220 Swift barrel. The weapon is EXTREMELY ACCURATE (1 1/2 inch groups at 200 meters, 5 round groups. The weapon has a very fancy Monte Carlo stock that was made for range shooting, not hunting. It is heavy... The weapon is in excellent condition, and when I take it to the range people always ask me about it, and where did I get it. It was purchased from a man that was helping an old lady sell her deceased husband's things. She said the weapon had been in the family for a long time, but she knew nothing about it. My question is: Who is Flaig, where are they, do they still exist, what did they make. This question has my interest up. I am a retired US Army Special Forces (Green Beret) officer that is a collector of weapons. I have many weapons, but this one has me confused, AND VERY INTERESTED.

Gordon- Thank you for your service to our country, and for your support of NRA-ILA. Flaigs was located in Millvale, PA, near Pittsburgh, and I believe they operated from shortly after WW2 until maybe the 1980s. Their market niche was the conversion of military surplus rifles (or souvenirs brought home by returning GI's) into good quality sporting rifles. They also sold barrel and stocks and other items for other gunsmiths and hobbyists to use. I think they also did general gunsmithing type work, and were fairly highly regarded among shooters. For decades nearly every issue of the American Rifleman had a Flaigs ad in there somewhere. While there probably is not a lot of collector interest or value in your rifle, it probably is a good one, so enjoy using it. John Spangler

# 7001 - American Arms In The Revolutionary War
Judy Los Angeles, CA

I want a resource for pictures and diagrams of the rifles, and also about the need for a soldier to make his own bullets. I think that it is a great way to hook my history students. Thank you for any help you can provide.

When the colonies began their fight for independence, they had no army or navy, but were hoping to win their freedom from the most powerful nation on earth at that time. Most people at that time owned guns, often because they lived in dangerous areas on the frontier where attacks by wild animals or Indians sometimes took place. Also, hunting was a very common activity, not so much for sport, but as a source of food for their families, or perhaps for shipment to markets in the cities or towns. Many of the long guns were smooth bore arms that could be used as a "musket" firing a large round lead ball, like the military arms of the period. Or, when loaded with smaller lead "shot pellets" they could be used in hunting small game (rabbits, squirrel, etc) or birds, and were often called "fowling pieces." Some people, especially on the frontier, or regions with large populations of immigrants from Germany, had guns with rifled barrels, that were much slower to load, but much more accurate at a much greater range. A smoothbore musket was effective to about 100 yards (length of a football field) while a rifle could hit a man-sized target at over twice the range.

Some of the colonies had small supplies of guns and ammunition purchased during times of danger, but often in poor condition, and stored in arsenals. Indeed, it was the British movement to seize guns and ammunition stored in the village of Concord on April 19, 1775 that began the actual fighting.

Despite tiny supplies of community owned guns, nearly all the arms used by the Colonists were their own privately owned guns. Some had been in their families for many years, some were relatively new hunting or self defense guns. Others were hurriedly made by local gunsmiths, bought by local "Committees of Safety" or the colonies.

With this wide background of sources, the guns used by the Americans were of many different calibers (or sizes of barrels), and each needed to have bullets that fit that size gun. Most gun owners then had bullet molds that came with their guns, and could be used to cast lead bullets the proper size. Lead (which melts at about 630 degrees F) could be melted over a campfire in an iron pot, or even an iron spoon or small ladle. When melted, the lead would be poured into the bullet mold, and then as soon as it hardened (only a few seconds) the mold would be opened and the bullet would drop out. the "sprue" or waste metal from the opening in the mold would be cut off leaving a round bullet ready for use.

Americans who fought for their freedom were mostly part time, volunteer soldiers, like today's National Guard and Army Reservists. They could be called up on a minute's notice ("The Minutemen") or show up for longer periods of duty when their services were needed. Often times they left when they thought that they could be spared, or when they absolutely had to get back to their families to plant crops or tend to urgent business.

Since most brought their own guns with them to the army, they took them home again when the fighting was over. They knew that if they had not had their own privately owned guns, they never would have been able to defeat the oppressive British government, and win their freedom. It was this valuable experience that resulted in the passage of the Militia Act of 1792 that called for every man to provide himself with a gun and ammunition suitable for military use, and made every man subject to being called up if we needed to defend our newly won freedom.

Today the guns used in the Revolutionary War are highly prized by museums and private collectors. Few have survived, because as private property, they tended to be used for many years afterwards in hunting and for sport. Eventually they wore out, or became obsolete as better guns were designed, and were passed on to younger family members, often to bend up being broken and finally thrown away. But, to the families that kept these old guns for sentimental value, or the collectors and museums who have acquired them, they are vivid reminders of the tools which were needed to win our freedom. Today there are "living history" groups sometimes called "reenactors", who use modern made copies of the old guns to teach people about how they were used, and to show the other aspects of a soldier's life back then. While the guns are pretty interesting, so are the other things, such as food, shelter, clothing, recreation activities, and medicine that were used.

Some reference materials:

Sketchbook '76 (Robert Klinger?) Detailed sketches of clothing and equipment of the period. History Written with Pick and Shovel- Archeological excavations of Rev War sites in the New York City area circa 1900-1920 relearning much of what had been forgotten. Private Yankee Doodle- Joseph Plumb Martin (Rev War private's account, one of my top 5 favorite accounts of private soldier's experiences of any period) John Spangler

# 7002 - M1 Carbine References

I'm going to buy an m1 carbine, and I want one with good collectable value. I'd like to know where can I find some information about the m1 carbine markings, so I'm going to be prepared to choose the best one. Thank you for your attention and for this great site.

Mark- The best book is the two volume set "War Baby" by Larry Ruth, and an essential reference if you expect to get more than one carbine. There is a North Cape "for collectors only" book on carbines that is a lot cheaper, but I am unimpressed with the info, although it is probably okay. I believe that Bruce Canfield's "Collectors Guide to the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine is an excellent introductory book on both types, and is probably the best book for a new collector. Canfield's really great "U.S. Infantry Weapons of WW2" covers virtually every type of weapon used by the U.S. in WW2 and has excellent info on each, although it does not go into detail on all the different markings on the tiny parts. There are some spiral bound things by Harrison that I consider to be worthless.

If you don't know your diamonds, know your jeweler. Buy from a reputable dealer. Don't be too eager to spend money, but spend some time looking at carbines at gun shows and ask the sellers to point out ones that are original finish, and compare them with refinished examples. Most dealers (especially guys who are really collectors ,not full time dealers, will be glad to help you out, but a few are ignorant, or BS artists, so you might want to ask a couple of people who they would recommend to talk to for reliable information on carbines.

Most carbines had parts mixed while in service at the unit level, and to a much greater degree during overhauls and upgrades. While not quite as desirable (or expensive) as an "all correct as it left the factory" example, these are the guns that actually got issued and are excellent representative examples. I would advise against any that are marked BLUE SKY or EXCEL on the left side of the barrel, and to a lesser extent any that have any import markings.

Only you can decide how much "originality" you want to pay for. I tell people to collect what they like and appreciate the guns for their historical value, and not consider them as investments. If doing it strictly for possible increases in value you will not have nearly as much fun. John Spangler

# 6984 - Marlin 37
Carl Stanberry Missouri

Marlin - 37 - 22 - 23 Inch - Blue - 133 -

What year was it made? What is the value? The rifle looks good, all original, I think. Barrel is worn at chamber. It is still operational.

Carl, Marlin manufactured the Model 37 rifle, from 1923 to 1931. References tell me that the Model 37 was exactly the same as the earlier Model 29 with a post-war (WW I ) name. Marlin introduced the Model 37 as a 'new' product but the changes from pre-1917 guns were confined largely to markings. Taking your low serial number into consideration, I would estimate that your rifle was probably manufactured some time in 1923. The blue book lists values for Marlin Model 37 rifles in the $100 to $300 range depending on condition. Marc

# 6936 - Mauser 43 P.38
Lynn St. Charles, IL

Walther - P-38 - 9mm Luger - 3 Inches? - Don't Know - 552D -

This is my father's WWII war ''trophy'', which I recently came into possession of. All S/N's match, of 552d and I think the stamp of byf 43 means mfg by Mauser in 1943. I have only recently with a magnifying glass seen the ''spread eagle'' with swastika stamped in 2 places. I am just wondering what the value range of such a pistol may be? Original clip and holster. Still shoots great!


Lynn, the P.38 was adopted by Germany as it's standard service pistol in 1938. P.38's were manufactured for the German military by Walther, Mauser and Spreewerke. Your conclusions about your pistol's markings are correct, "byf" is the WW-II German ordnance code that was assigned to Mauser-Werke, Oberndorf am Neckar, Germany in February of 1941 and "43" is the year that the pistol was manufactured (1943).

Your P.38 should also have the following markings:

  • The serial number stamped on the slide just forward of the safety lever, on the frame above the trigger, and on the front of the barrel group below the round section of the barrel. The last three digits of the serial number should be stamped on the base of the barrel locking block.
  • P.38, byf/43 and the serial number should be stamped on the left hand side of the slide.
  • P.38 Should be stamped on the left hand side of the magazine.
  • The military acceptance stamp eagle over 135 or WaA135 should be stamped twice on the right side of the slide, once on the left side of the frame above the trigger, on the left side of the barrel group, on the right side of the barrel locking block, and on the upper rear of the magazine. 135 is a German WW-II Heerswaffenamt inspector's mark assigned to arms produced at Mauser Werke AG, Oberndorf am Neckar.
  • An eagle over swastika in a circle military test proof should be stamped on the right side of the slide between the two military acceptance stamps, on the barrel group, and on the barrel locking block. has been selling nice P.38 pistols in the $650.00 to $750.00 range, add $150.00 to $250.00 for a nice military marked hardshell P.38 holster. Marc

# 6944 - Frog Pistol
Wayne, Flat Rock, MI

Unknown - Pistolet Automatique Brevete Modele D - 7.65 - Approx. 5 1/2 - Blue - 110456 -

Where would this come from and is there ammunition available

Wayne, it sounds like you have a MAB Model D pistol. The Model D was a French design, first introduced in 1933 by Manufacture d'Armes de Bayonne, France (MAB). MAB manufactured the Model D for sales on the commercial market from 1933-1940 and during the WW-II French collaboration with the Nazis many thousands were manufactured for the German Wehrmacht. Pistols manufactured for the Wehrmacht were marked "Pistole MAB Kaliber 7.65mm" and will have German WW-II Heerswaffenamt inspectors mark "WaA251".

Before you attempt to fire it, you should have your pistol checked by a competent gunsmith for safety and to verify the proper type of ammunition to use. This is important, especially with this pistol because MAB 7.65mm Model D pistols were chambered for the obsolete 7.65mm French Long caliber, which is difficult to find. The rarity of ammunition has prompted some owners to have Model D pistols re-chambered to fire a more common cartridge. If your gunsmith determines that your pistol is chambered in 7.65mm French Long, a good place to look for obsolete ammunition is Ye Olde Western Scrounger, there is a link to him on our links page. Marc

# 7003 - 1897 United States Bayonet

I was just wondering what my 1897 U.S. bayonet is and what war it was used in. It is similar in looks to the "1905 Springfield Bayonet" except for the fact that on one side of the blade is says "US" and on the other side of the blade it says "1897". I cannot find a serial number under the letters "US". It came with a leather scabbard and is exactly 16 inches long overall and the blade is almost 12 inches long. I would really like this information A.S.A.P. because it is for my history project. Thank you very much.

Sir- Your bayonet is the Model 1892 bayonet adopted for use with the U.S. Rifle Model 1892 in .30-40 caliber, the first magazine fed smokeless powder bolt action rifle adopted for the U.S. Army. These rifles were used in the Spanish American War, and in the Philippine Insurrection afterwards, and again, to a very limited extent during WW1. After being sold as surplus, thousands of the rifles were converted into hunting rifles, and many are still in use today, prized for their exceptionally smooth actions. (How many other products over 100 years old can you name that are being used?)

The bayonets were copied from a Swiss design, differing only in small details, to be used on the rifles, which were based on a Danish/Norwegian design. These were deemed to be the best weapons available at the time, so we adopted them.

In 1903 the Krag rifle was replaced by a Mauser style bolt action rifle, the famous Model 1903 Springfield. At first these were made with a sliding "rod bayonet" that pushed back into the stock. President Teddy Roosevelt in 1905 called this "about as useless a device as I ever saw" and directed the army to adopt a knife type bayonet. They modified the rifle so that a Krag type bayonet would fit. However, since the M1903 rifle was much shorter, they made the blade longer so that the soldier would have the same "reach" as with the old Krag rifle/bayonet combination.

The leather holder is undoubtedly a "picket pin scabbard" designed for cavalrymen to carry a picket pin which was a stake to put into the ground to tie your horse up at night. Someone discovered that the bayonet would fit in the picket pin scabbard, and eventually when they ran out of bayonet scabbards they sometimes used the picket pin scabbards. Since your bayonet was made in 1897 (when the did not put serial numbers or ordnance bomb inspector marks on them) it could have been issued to troops who went to Cuba, Puerto Rico, or the Philippines to drive out the Spanish who were mistreating their native populations at the time. The U.S. turned Cuba an d the Philippines into independent nations and Puerto Rico became a "freely associated commonwealth" where they enjoy all the benefits of U.S. citizenship, but none of the responsibilities (they pay no federal income taxes and were not required to be drafted into the military). Hope this helps.

A lot of people enjoy collecting old weapons to learn about the historical events that are associated with them. One of my first collection items was a Civil War sword that an ancestor picked up from the battlefield at Antietam, and I now have guns that saw action in all of America's wars. John Spangler

# 6894 - Monkey Gun

I have yet to find anyone who knows of or ever heard of a monkey gun. Supposedly it was used to shoot and kill monkeys for food when ships landed. A friend of mine came into possession of one. It's very old- no markings on it at all. The barrel is "normal" rifle length, it has a pistol grip styled rear stock instead of a shoulder stock. It appears to have been custom carved. The caliber seems to be in the 32-38 range, it is a black powder, flint lock. Any ideas w/o seeing a photo? Thanks.

Charlie- I THINK I have heard of these, but I have not seen any (or was not paying attention as I was running away while they were trying to shoot me with one....). I believe that are relatively modern, and used in the Philippines by the natives. I understand they are also made (highly decorated but poor mechanical quality) for sale to the tourists, including WW2 GIs. There is also a possibility that these were some sort of device for gathering specimens for scientific study, and intended for shooting all sorts of small beasties, either with ball or a load of shot. It was quite fashionable in the 1800s for gentlemen to cruise abroad and perform pseudo scientific studies as they observed the various cultures and engaged in debauchery amongst the natives. (Competing with sailors of the day- modern sailors are much better behaved, or the Clintonian women at sea nonsense eliminates the need to go ashore for debauchery. Reportedly during Gulf War 1 a high percentage of women sailors came home pregnant at the end of a 12 month deployment, with no time in port, so they must have been miraculous conceptions.) John Spangler

# 6895 - Guns- Why Made And How Used

Could you please tell me why guns were made and how are they used? This is for my research project.

Garik- This is a topic which could fill thousands of pages. Guns are the logical technological improvement of man's earlier methods of throwing a projectile with force and accuracy. Earlier methods include throwing rocks by hand, and later attaching a sharp rock to a stick and throwing it as a spear. Mechanical power replaced arm motion to launch the pointed rock on a stick in the form of the bow and arrow. Greater mechanical advantage with the more powerful crossbow threw the arrow with more force.

While there may be earlier Chinese references to gunpowder, the earliest use in Europe is about 1247, and guns were being widely used in the mid 1300s. (See the excellent list of "Important Dates in Gun History on our other site

The earliest guns essentially replaced the mechanical force of the crossbow with the chemical power of burning gunpowder to throw an arrow or spear type projectile. Rocks and eventually lead projectiles were used, and the weapons size reduced to what we would now call rifles or pistols.

Subsequent improvements in guns included better methods to ignite the gunpowder (burning match, matchlock, wheellock, flintlock. percussion lock) and better methods to hold the ammunition for loading (paper cartridges, metallic cartridges with external ignition, self contained cartridge with built in primer). As cartridges were improved, methods for loading were improved with breechloaders, then various mechanical actions to remove and reload cartridges. At first these were manually operated lever, slide, or bolt actions, and later semi-automatic and fully automatic mechanisms were developed. Most people do not realize that many of the most popular guns sold today are designs that are about 100 years old. These would include the 1873 Colt Single Action revolver used by cowboys; the Winchester lever action rifles 1886, 1892 and 1894 the latter being the most popular "deer rifle" ever. The Colt "45 automatic" model 1911 and its dozens of imitators is popular with law enforcement, target shooters, and citizens carrying guns for legal self defense. Even the .50 caliber machine gun used in Iraq today is 85 years old. Interestingly, all those mentioned above except the Colt single action were invented by American inventor John M. Browning.

Guns, like the rocks and other projectile weapons before them (which remain in use to the present day) can be used for whatever purpose the human having them desires. They can be used to defend against attacking animals in the wilderness, or to kill animals for food. They can be used to defend against attacks by evil humans seeking to rob, rape, or murder. They can also be used by evil men seeking to rob, rape, or murder. They can be used to demonstrate athletic skill. Competition from the high school level through the Olympics have events involving throwing objects (shot put and javelin), use of bow and arrow (archery) and shooting guns (bullseye, running target, skeet, and biathlon among others) involving use of pistols, rifles or shotguns. Guns are also widely used by military forces to kill people are break things to defend or conquer forces of another nation to achieve political goals.

Guns also have been used as a medium to display artistic ability involving diverse skills involving engraving, carving or inlay with precious metals in a highly complicated mechanical device, and have been used as gifts for centuries. John Spangler

# 6988 - Nickel Remington Rand 1911A1 in Iraq
Jeff , Fayetteville, NC

Remington Rand - 1911A1 - .45 ACP - Blue - 2105929 -

Gentlemen: This is likely to be one of the strangest requests that you may ever receive. I am a businessman in IRAQ and I just purchased a Remington Rand .45 ACP 1911A1, serial number 2105929. It is still quite functional, unfortunately it has been chromed sometime in the past. Is it possible to ascertain the manufacturing history of this particular firearm. I am very sure that Remington Rand was quite proud of this weapon. I believe that it was manufactured during WWI. After all these years it is still a quality pistol. As a point of trivia, as an Infantry officer in Korea in 1980, I carried a Remington .45 auto and loved it. If you will e-mail me a preferred address, I will e-mail a photo of this weapon. I am trying to legally bring it back from Iraq to the US. Jeff Murray

Jeff, your pistol was made in early 1945 (WWII not WWI) by Remington Rand, one of the world's largest manufacturers of typewriters. It may seem strange to you that a typewriter maker would be in the pistol business, but the ability to mass produce metal parts to precise tolerances makes it possible to divert company output to firearms manufacturing in times of great need. As a result, you will find the Smith Corona typewriter company making the U. S. Model 1903A3 rifle, and IBM and the Rockola Juke Box Company making the M1 Carbine. Remington Rand was one of the many manufacturers who entered firearms production for World War II.

I checked the serial numbers on, but your number is not listed. This is really the only source where there is any hope of obtaining any history of a particular US military firearm.

Remington Rand pistols used barrels made by the High Standard firearms company. If your barrel is correct for the pistol the initials HS will be stamped on the leg of the barrel lug.

Remington Rand had a reputation for maintaining extremely high standards of quality control. Since your pistol has had the original parkerized (phosphate) finish replaced with chrome plating it has no collector value and should be used for what it is, a well made shooting pistol. Marc

# 6528 - Virginian Revolver

Virginian By Interarms - Produced By Hammern Switzerland - 357 - 4 To 5and 1/2 Not Sure - Blue - C3970 -

It's a single action rev. I was trying to find appr. when made and value was going to purchase gun , but would like to know what value is Thank you (cant' seem to find to much info on net)

Todd, the Virginian was a six-shot, single action cowboy/western style revolver that was manufactured from 1982 to 1984 by Hammerli Hdmmerli SA of Lenzburg, Switzerland. Revolvers were available in .357 Magnum, or.45 Long Colt with 7 & 1/2 inch, 8 & 3/8 inch, or 12 inch (Buntline) barrels. The company has a good reputation and is well known for their high quality single-shot free pistols. Virginian revolvers have a reputation for quality workmanship and reliability but resale values are not high. Blue book value for standard Virginian Dragoon revolvers is $160 to $225 depending on condition. Because of low resale values and the possible difficulty of finding replacement parts if ever needed, I would advise you to purchase a Ruger single action instead. Marc

# 6447 - Mod 94 Info
Gary, Tehachapi, Calif

Winchester - 94 - 30/30 - Blue - 1845955 -

None I purchased this rifle in 1969 when I was a boy, I am told that they are not made in the USA any more. I curious as to when is was made and its present value. Thank you very much.

Gary, my records indicate that the year of manufacture for your Winchester (serial number 1845955) is 1951. This means that your rifle is what collectors call a "pre-64" model. In 1964 Winchester made significant design changes in most of the firearm lines that they were producing. The changes were intended to lower production costs but most collectors agree that quality suffered. Because of the 1964 changes, value for most models of pre-64 Winchester firearms is significantly higher than it is for post-64 production Winchester firearms. Value for your Winchester will depend on condition, it can range from around $150 for a well used example or one that has been modified and/or reblued, to over $500 for an example that is in excellent condition. Many Winchester models are/ have been manufactured in Japan. Winchester firearms are currently manufactured by the U.S. Repeating Arms Company. As far as I have been able to determine, the Model 94 is still made in the USA. Marc

# 6494 - Winchester 1873 Rifle
Kenny, Wilson AR.

Winchester - 1873 - 44-40 - 25 3/16 - Don't Know - 236517B -

Front site is copper or brass, Brass inlay, double ridge slide dust cover,38wcf located behind back site, adj. rear site, stock has a brass slide for hidden compartment, octagon barrel. I am trying to find history of gun and trying to determine value of gun any info you could supply would be appreciated.

Kenny- I don't know if we should be nice to people from Arkansas or not. First you sent Bill Clinton to screw up the country for 8 years, then you ran Hillary the Witch out of town and the naive people of New York adopted her. Now you are trying to dump Bill Clinton's pet egomaniacal general on us, despite the fact that this brilliant but stupid general got fired by Clinton's own Secretary of Defense. How about keeping your trash at home for a change?

Your rifle has a slightly longer than normal barrel, but many different lengths were available on special order, (24 inch barrel length was standard for rifles, and carbines had a standard length of 20 inches). You say it is .44-40 caliber, but the 38 WCF marking on the barrel indicates it was made as a .38-40, so you need to verify the caliber before attempting to load or fire it, as well as its general safety for shooting. According to the serial number it was made about 1888, and the sliding trap in the butt is standard, providing storage space for a cleaning rod. The folks at Cody Firearms Museum in the Buffalo Bill Historical Center (see our links page) may be able to provide a letter stating the date your rifle was shipped, and listing any unusual features. Value will depend on condition, and any special features or alterations. We often see 1873 Winchesters offered anywhere from $600 up with really superb examples sometimes in the several thousand dollar range. John Spangler

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