Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters



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.

# 12340 - Winchester Model 1873 Serial Number
Mark, Minneapolis, MN

Winchester - Lever Action Rifle - .38-40 - Blue - THAT'S WHAT I NEED TO KNOW -

I am having trouble locating the serial # on an old Winchester lever action rifle. The only info I can pull off of it is .38-40 carbine, Kings improvement, pat. 1866 & 1860, Winchester repeating arms, New Haven Conn. Any idea where I should be looking for the serial #? Thanks

Mark- the serial number on the Model 1873 was usually located on the lower tang, sometimes visible with the lever close, or sometimes partially hidden by the lever. They were lightly marked on many of the early guns. Replacement parts were not numbered. John Spangler

# 12332 - Hartford Arms Co
Chad, Lansing, MI

Hartford Arms Co. - New 32 Cal. No. 3 - 32 - 2.5 - Don't Know - 7469 -

Barrel stampings - Warranted Cast Steel and PAT D APR 23 187? Doing research on this piece to repair the trigger and cylinder. I can't find anything on the Internet. I am looking for any information that might help? Thanks in advance, >Chad

Chad- Hartford Arms Company was the name used by an outfit in Norwich Connecticut on cheaply made “suicide special” type handguns, circa 1870-1890. They are unrelated to a later company of the same name which made a good quality .22 semi-auto target pistol which evolved into the familiar High Standard models. Frankly, I would not waste much time or effort trying to fix your pistol and I absolutely would NEVER even consider trying to shoot it with ANY ammunition. John Spangler

# 12601 - Sharp Shooter .25

Sharpshooter - 6.35-.25 - 2.5-3.0 - Nickel - NONE -

shield & a lion what is this handgun worth

The Sharp-Shooter was first marketed in about 1918, the design was based on a Spanish patent, number 68,027 of 1917. Slides were marked 'SHARP-SHOOTER' (or in some cases 'SHARP-SOOTER') 'PATENT NO. 68027'. The pistol was sold by Arrizabalaga and also by Ojanguren y Vidosa of Eibar. Those sold by Ojanguren have a small white metal medallion in the grips with an 'OV' monogram. Manufacture of the model ceased about 1930.

There is not much collector interest in most Eibar Spanish automatic pistols, I would expect to see a .25 caliber Sharp-Shooter sell at a gunshow for under $100. Marc

# 12574 - Franz Stock .25
Craig, Harristown, Illinois

Franz Stock - Berlin D.R.P. - 6.35 - 3'' - Blue -

Franz Stock-Berlin D.R.P. What period of time is this pistol from? What is the value of this handgun? The story is that my Grandfather brought this handgun back form Germany during WWII

Craig, Franz Stock manufactured pistols in Berlin from 1923 to the early 1930s. Stock pistols were based on designs patented by Walter Decker and they were available chambered in 22LR, 6.35mm and 7.65mm. Stock pistols could be stripped for cleaning by lifting the front of the extractor and pressing in a screwed on cap which allowed the breech block to come loose and enabled it to be lifted through the top of the slide. The pistols were said to have been well made but they do not command a lot of collector interest. I would expect to see one offered at a gunshow for under $175.00. Marc

# 12580 - Early Winchester Model 67
Dennis, Muskegon, MI

Winchester, Model 67 - .22 - 27 inches - Blue - none -

chrome bolt and trigger, grooved forestock Could you tell me the date of manufacture, value and any other info on this rifle. It is in very good condition.

Dennis, the Model 67 was introduced in 1934 and finger grooves were omitted from the forend of stocks in 1935, so it sounds like you have an early rifle. The last 67 that we sold here at went for around $150, you may be able to find a collector willing to pay more for an early finger groove rifle. If you want more information on the model, check our previous answers in the Q&A section. Marc

# 12318 - M1 Carbine Marking
Randy, Melbourne Fla

M1 Rockolla Carbine - Other -

38 stamped on the barrel My dad just recently purchased a m1 rockolla carbine and he noticed that the number 38 is stamped on the barrel and elsewhere on the guns well. Could you tell me if that number 38 has any special meaning to the gun?

Randy- I do not know if the number 38 on your carbine has any meaning beyond some sort of inventory or “rack” number placed on it at the local level sometime, somewhere, for some reason long forgotten. I am sure it does not add anything to the value, and may reduce it somewhat. John Spangler

# 12313 - 12313 Rebuild Turkish Mausers?
Chuck, Louisville, Ky.

Turkish Mauser - 8 Mm. - Unknown - Other - DON'T KNOW -

This is a general question. I read the question and answer forum you folks host with great interest; it's great! Loads of information. The question: After seeing all the Turkish Mausers for sale in Shotgun News at 60-70 bucks, I got all excited and was planning on buying a few, thinking I could rebarrel the actions and come up with a reasonable 30/06, a 270 Win., and maybe a 7 by 57 at economical prices. This would have given me an excuse for buying a barrel vise and action wrench, something I'm itching to do. But what I've read in this column has made me wary. What is wrong with them? Is it bad metallurgy? Bad gunsmithing? Bad industrial quality control? Or something else? Are the receivers usable? I realize that the Czech and Yugo rifles are good guns and are not that much more expensive, so there is raw material there. It's simply that if the Turkish guns are totally unusable, it means that I would be restricted to building 2 rifles, rather than the 3 or 4 I was thinking about. Thanks, gentlemen.

Chuck- You can do this if you want to. Someone can also take a rusted out Yugo and totally restore it, put in a big engine, an expensive stereo system and then give it a super fancy paint job. It will still be a Yugo and not worth much, and probably not really work very well either. A similar investment in a bit better vehicle with more appeal to collectors or drivers would be a much more profitable investment of time and money. Further, you would not be embarrassed to be seen driving it. Junk will always be junk, and refinished reworked junk will still be junk. All Turkish Mausers are junk in my opinion, perhaps good enough when made (in Germany) but subject to mistreatment and unknown abuses over extended periods which may render them unsafe as well as ugly. John Spangler

# 12311 - 12311 Rem Double Barrel Derringer .41 Rimfire

Remington Arms Co. ILION .N.Y. - 41 Rimfire - 4'' ? - Nickel - 77 -

I came across a Nickel plated derringer in my family estate that has the markings ''Remington Arms CO. ILION. N.Y. on the top of the barrel. I believe this is a rimfire weapon but I am not sure. Underneath the barrel is the number 77. My question is does anyone know when this gun was manufactured what does the 77 mean what type of ammunition does this gun use and is it still currently available and what price can this gun go for in the gun market as it is in very good condition.

Leonardo- About 150,000 of these were made from 1866 to 1935. They fired a puny .41 caliber rimfire cartridge which was sort of the standard for derringers during that period. It has not been made for years, and is pretty hard to find, so figure on paying a dollar or two per round if you can find any at all (not guaranteed to work, either!). They were not serial numbered, and the numbers are just assembly numbers. The name marked on them helps narrow the date, with “Remington Arms Co. Ilion, NY” being used circa 1888-1911. Value depends greatly on condition, and age. Flayderman’s Guide lists those matching your description as worth $225 to $600 in NRA antique good to fine condition respectively. Check the tiny hinge loops where the barrel tips up, they are often broken and this will hurt demand and value. John Spangler

# 12585 - Commander DOM
Jon, Granbury, TX

Colt - Commander - .45 - Stock - Blue - 21170-LW -

I have had this weapon for 33 years. Truly it is my pride and joy. I paid $75 and a case of shotgun shells back in 74. Question: When was this gun manufactured? Where can I go to find this information? Thanks in advance. -Jon

Jon, glad to hear that you are so happy with your Commander. The model is one of my favorites although I am more partial to steel frame pistols because of their greater durability. For Colts, I use serial number data provided by R L Wilson. Wilson indicates that Commanders with numbers between 20300LW and 30100LW were manufactured in 1952. Marc

# 12579 - Restore Grandfather's 22?
James, Omaha, NE

Marlin - Bolt Action - 22 - 23 1/4+ - Rusty - unknown -

''The Marlin Firearms Corporation'' New Haven Conn. U.S.A Patented-on top of the barrel in front of the rear adjustable sight. 22 S''L&L.R just bellow the same sight. Bolt action single shot with a pull cocking lever on the back. Metal curved butt plate with white rubber underneath. ''S'' shaped trigger guard. Round barrel and looks to have no rifling. Reddish/Brown wood. I have just received my Great Grandfather's 22 bolt action rifle and I cannot find a serial number to even start to find what model number and production year that it is. The barrel is slightly rusted and pitted so I would like to restore it but I need to know what it looked like originally and what it is valued at. Any ideas. Thank you.

James your grandfather's rifle probably never had a serial number. It was not mandatory for firearms in the US to have serial numbers before 1968 and It is quite common to see inexpensive rifles and shotguns manufactured prior to that without them. I would advise you not to try to restore the rifle, just keep it well oiled and maybe rub the barrel a little with oil and fine steel wool to remove some of the rust. Marc

# 12582 - 572 Lightweight
Arlington, Pensacola, Florida

Remington Feildmaster 572 - .22 - 22in - Don't Know - None -

Copper colored barrel, Checkered pattern grip What year is the Remington feildmaster 572 .22 pump with a copper colored barrel, tan casing, light colored wood stock and a wood pump grip. Do you have a price range for the Remington.

Arlington, you have a Model 572 Lightweight. Remington manufactured this model from 1958 to 1962. The Lightweight differed from the regular model 572 in that instead of a steel barrel and receiver, it came with an aluminum alloy barrel that had a steel liner and an aluminum alloy receiver. The use of special light weight materials in the construction of this rifle resulted in a weight only about 4 pounds as opposed to 5.5 pounds for the regular steel counterpart. The 572 Lightweight was offered in three colors, buckskin tan, crow-wing black, and teal- wing blue. 572 Lightweight values are different for the three different colors, about $100-300 for the tan, a bit more for the black, and about $150-500 for the teal blue, with a premium if the receiver is in especially nice condition. Marc

# 12306 - 12306 3 Inch Projectile
Phil, VA Beach, VA

? - 3'' ? - ? - Rusty - ? -

Rotating band is part of one-piece solid steel/iron projo ID this 3'' projo? I've got a projo here that I haven't been able to ID. Seems to be from an earlier era that is not my area of expertise. :) The thing has a body diameter of 2.950'', rotating band 3.050'' dia. Projo is 10'' long overall, flat base. What's got me puzzled is that the rotating band and body appear to be all one piece of solid iron/steel! There's a flaw in the flat base that may from casting it, but otherwise it's uniformly rusted to the point of pitting. I recalled that the Palliser projos were cast in one piece in special molds to produce a hardness gradient. Apparently Holtzer did the same? But I can't find any pic of projos with a rotating band of modern size and type made entirely from the same piece of ferrous material as the projo body! Links to some pics I took of this projo: TIA!

Phil- I am not sure what it is. The photos show a narrow rotating band maybe 3/8” wide cast as part of the projectile body, perhaps lather turned afterwards. They also show an irregular cavity in the base, probably from shrinkage as the casting cooled. That leads me to believe that this is not actually a projectile, as they are very sensitive to keeping weights the same, and any irregular distribution of weight will hurt accuracy. My gut feeling is that these may have been made up as decorative fillers to put into empty shell cases for sale as “trench art” in the post WW1 era. They may also have been part of ornamental castings for some sort of ornamental iron work (gates, building edifices, cemetery monuments, etc). It is not uncommon for collectors to assume that anything that looks gun or military related MUST be, and ignore other possible explanations. Others may know exactly what these are, but that is my best guess. John Spangler

# 12302 - Browning Automatic Rifle Model 1918
Jay from Pittsburgh

Blue -

The 1917/18 Browning Automatic Rifle was made by what companies and how many did they make

Bruce Canfield’s superb “U.S. Infantry Weapons of The First World War” is a convenient source of that info, as well as just about everything a general collector needs to know about WW1 arms. He lists WW1 production of the BAR as being 47,123 from Winchester; 39,002 from Marlin-Rockwell 16,000 from Colt. If you find one, I hope you have saved enough to be able to afford one! John Spangler

# 12296 - Brown Bess Capabilities
Rob, Victoria Australia

Brown Bess - Blue -

Hi, My name is Rob and I am writing a novel about Battle of Culloden in Scotland, 1746. I am wondering if the Hanovarian (Government Forces from England) would have used the Brown Bess? Were they rifled? Also, how would the troops load their guns if it was raining? And what was the loading/aiming/firing orders for the Government soldiers at the time? Would any of your members be conversant with the artillery used on both sides of that battle? If so, could I get in contact with them when I am writing about the battle itself.? Hope you can answer these questions. Regards, Rob

Rob- I do not know the specifics of some of what you are looking for, but let me provide some general background info that may help.

Hanovarian forces may have had Brown Bess muskets, but more likely used arms procured in their native region. These would have been similar in capabilities and mechanics, although stylistic details (type of bands, length, minor dimensional differences, etc) would differ. The exact commands for loading varied with each army, and often each regiment, but all involved multiple steps, perhaps 10-18 steps. They would have gone like this with commands varying somewhat but the actual steps being roughly: half-cock hammer; ground firearm; handle cartridge; bite cartridge; pour powder in pan; close frizzen; pour powder in barrel; place ball in barrel; withdraw rammer; ram cartridge; return rammer; cock musket; raise musket; aim [more or less, but not as we know it today- the emphasis was more on neat alignment with other troops in the formation]; and finally FIRE!

Loading in the rain was almost useless as any water in or near the pan and frizzen were likely to prevent sparks from the flint striking the hardened steel frizzen from igniting the priming powder. This was one of the prime reasons that infantry depended on bayonets almost as much as firepower. It also explains why in the American Revolution the British infantry defeated a force of American riflemen whom normally decimated British ranks- It was raining and the rifles and muskets were equally unable to fire, but the Brits had bayonets, while the American rifles did not.

I really don’t know enough about artillery of that era to help with that. John Spangler

# 12575 - Stolen Rifle Value
Chris Evans, Owasso, OK

Firearms Intl. Corp - 30-06 - Blue - 5567 -

I had this gun stolen, and I'm trying to find out what it is/was worth so I can turn it in to the insurance company. This was a handed down to me from my Grandfather and is priceless to me, but the insurance company will think different I'm sure. Any information would be nice, since I can't find anything on it. Thank you, Chris

Chris, sorry to hear that your rifle was stolen. Firearms International Corporation of Washington, DC imported standard Finnish-made Sako rifles and also the 'Musketeer' rifle which was built on a FN Mauser action. The Musketeer rifles dated from 1963 to about 1972 and usually came with no open sights, in favor of mounting a scope, a pistol grip half-stock with Monte Carlo comb and a turned down bolt handle. If the rifle was a Sako I would put an insurance value for it in the $850 range, a little less if it was one of the FN action models. Marc

# 12544 - Mod 25 Value
Dale, Somerset, Pa

Remington - Model 25 - 25-20 - Blue - AA-8394 -

Lyman peep sites, January 3,1909. Pump and on side of gun REP I have this gun and was curious about the value?

Dale, Remington Model 25/25a Slide Action Rifles, were manufactured from 1923 to 1935. They were available chambered in .25-20 and .32-20 and originally came with a pistol grip stock and a 24 inch barrel with open sights. The blue book lists values for this model between $295 - $585 depending on condition. If your rifle was permanently modified for the Lyman sights, value will be lower. Marc

# 12550 - Erma Copy
Frank, Pleasant Plains, Illinois

Lur - 22cal LR - 4 Inches - Blue - 78577 -

On the left side of the slide is an ea in a circle and the word LUR made in Spain. On the grips it say Panzer .The pistol looks like an Erma Luger . Was it made by the Erma Company and is it actually an Erma Luger or something else. Thanks

Frank, the Lur Panzer was manufactured by Echasa-Echave, Arizmendi y Cia SA of Eibar Spain. The company was founded about 1911 as Echave y Arizmendi, and their main focus was the manufacture of automatic pistols. The company folded in 1979 after implementation of the 1968 Gun Control Act in the USA curtailed most of their export business to the U.S.

The Lur Panzer was a copy of the German Erma LA-22 pistol which was itself designed to look allot like a real Luger. Panzer barrel extensions were marked LUR CAL .22 LR MADE IN SPAIN and with the 'EYA' mark and as you indicated, the grips have the word 'PANZER' molded inside a diamond. Marc

# 12290 - 12290 M1 Carbine Markings
John, Los Angeles, CA

Saginaw S.G. - 30 Caliber - Blue - 3531038 -

Davidson, Greensboro NC and Saginaw S.G. Div General Motors on barrel, RSG on wooden top of barrel, Cross Cannon Cartouche and serial number 3531038 on stock, also stock has same number on the other side, I.R. Co 7160060 on rear sight, S.T. stamped on receiver. A1 stamped on barrel/bayonet band I recently bought this weapon and noticed that most of the numbers matched. From what I have learned it looks like it is a Saginaw S.G. M-1 carbine circa 1943 (?) weapon. I was curious about the markings of Davidson, Greensboro NC on the barrel. It also is marked with the Saginaw G.M. Division below the front sight so I don't quite know how to interpret this. Is this an all original part weapon or were some of the pieces replaced. Everything looks like it is dated around the same time period. It is in very good condition and did not know what it is worth. Thanks for your help.

John- During WW2 around a dozen manufacturers made M1 Carbines, some made all the parts, and others only made a few critical parts and subcontracted the rest. Nearly all carbine parts (except for pins, springs and similar small parts) were marked with a alpha-numeric code indicating the maker, and in some cases a drawing number (e.g.- the long number on the rear sight). The different codes and which makers used them are covered in detail in Larry Ruth’s definitive study “War Baby.” Later other marks were added at various times. The stocks were never serial numbered in U.S. service, but apparently the Israelis (who received many carbines as military aid from the U.S.) consistently marked the serial numbers on the stocks. U.S. laws passed in 1968 require the importers name to be marked on guns imported into the U.S. Davidson’s Guns of Greensboro, NC imported thousands of carbines in the 1980s, and added their marking to comply with the law. Value depends on condition, but carbines are popular collector items, and fun shooters as well. Many seem to sell in the $600-1200 range currently. John Spangler

# 12259 - Trapdoor Date Of Manufacture

Springfield - 45/70 - Blue - 200111 -

has a Bayonet Would like to know the year and value of my Fathers estate Military Rifle s

Richard- Your rifle was made in 1882. Value depends on condition, and could be from very little to a whole lot depending on condition. John Spangler

# 12258 - R.E. TERNI 7.35mm Cacao Rifle
Jim, Elkhart, IN

Berretta...? - 7.35 - 21.5 To Firing Pin - Blue - 02769 -

It is a bolt action 7.35 caliber. It has an SA in a square on the left of the barrel above the stamped number 02769, In the center is says R.E TERNI and has a royal hat or crest symbol in the center above the name. On the right is 1939 XVII (which I understand). It takes a clip from below which is missing. The stock appears to have been refinished many years ago or is just is in really good condition except for a chipped off section to the left of the bolt action. Is this gun worth anything? Where can I get a clip and or ammunition for it. It was given to me for taking care of someone's house over the winter.

Jim- Terni was a WW2 era Italian military arsenal. The 7.35mm rifle they made is known as a “Cacao” or Mannlicher-Carcano and these were made in various lengths but the short rifle is the most commonly seen variation. Yours was made in 1938, or year XVII under the fascist calendar. (What is it with dictators setting up their own calendars, Napoleon tried that too?)

These used an “en bloc” clip where the whole clip with six rounds is inserted into the magazine from the top. After the last round is chambered, the empty clip drops out the slot in the bottom of the magazine. Clips and ammo are around, but the ammo is mostly old surplus stuff that is notoriously unreliable, or newly custom made and very expensive. Many of these were sent from Italy to Finland during 1940-41 when the Finns were busy fighting the Russians, at a time when the Russians were also fighting Germany, which was Italy’s ally. These are marked with a SA in a block, usually on the barrel. Value depends on condition, but these seem to fetch a few hundred dollars at best. John Spangler

# 12552 - Another Cheap Import Question.
Adam, Phoenix, AZ

Germany - Revolver - 22LR/22MAG - 6 - Blue - 226188 -

''OMEGA Model 900'' is stamped on butt ''GERMANY 226188'' is stamped on the barrel German eagle fire proof stamp and ''67'' stamped next to eagle stamp on the lower frame I have recently acquired this revolver thru an inheritance, and I can't find it listed anywhere on the Net. Can you please help me track it's origin/value/age?

Adam, time to dig out my cheap import answer again, I wish people would follow instructions and check the archives before sending in a question. Your gun is a cheap import revolver that was probably manufactured for sale in the U.S. prior to the Gun Control Act of 1968 which severely curtailed the importation of this type of firearm. There are a variety of things that commonly go wrong with cheap revolvers like this one and I would strongly advise you to have it checked by a competent gunsmith before attempting to fire it. Values for this type of revolver are usually in the under $50.00. Marc

# 12553 - Frog Bayonet
Tammy, Lima, Ohio

Bayonet - Blue -

Bayonet reads '' Mone d' Armes de Lt Etienne Juillet 1878 '' I Have a Bayonet w/wooden Handle, In good shape. I want to sell this, I'm trying to find out a value ?? Please respond, thanks.

Tammy, it sounds like a French Model 1874 Gras. This bayonet was produced in very large quantities by a number of French arsenals and also by the Austrian firm of Steyr for the French Gras rifle . The Model 1874 bayonet introduced a T-back blade design which was widely copied by other countries. The back of Model 1874 blades are marked with the date and arsenal of manufacture.

Depending on condition, I would expect to see one of these bayonets sell in the $50 to $100 range. Marc

# 12496 - Luger Without The Lug
Mike, Durand, Michigan, United States

S/42 Mauser Luger - 9 Mm. - 4 In. - Blue - 4903F -

S/42 marked. All Matching numbers, Weimar and Nazi proofs, Both Matching number magazines 1 with a + mark. Chamber Date 1938. This Luger is not refinished and is beautiful. The only question that I have about the Luger is that it has no stock lug? I have purchased books and I have read everything that I can find online to try and find out why the Luger doesn't have 1. Every picture of a 1938 S/42 Luger I can find has a stock lug. Please If you could help try and shed some light on this for me. Thank You For Your Time, Mike

Mike, it would not be hard for a talented gunsmith to remove the lug from a Luger and to then touch up the area where the work was done so that it is almost impossible to detect that any modifications were ever made. I think that the only reason your Luger would not have a stock lug is that someone removed it. I can't remember the particulars, but there was some concern after World War II, or maybe even a law that made handguns that accepted a shoulder stock illegal. If a Luger had a 4 inch barrel and a shoulder stock could be fitted, it could be considered a prohibited short barreled rifle. Because of this, some Luger owners had the stock lug ground off. This is so common an occurrence that one of the gun value books warns potential Luger purchasers to look for the stock lug and deduct accordingly if it is missing. A friend who is a little older than me, tells a story that the first pistol he ever owned was a 1918 DWM Luger that his older brother helped him find. This was 1955 (the year that I was born) and he searched at several pawn shops until he found a Luger that still had the lug. His brother had explained to him that this was a desirable feature but most of the Lugers he looked at had the lug removed. He says that his brother had also explained that the lug might be illegal, and advised him to not to display the pistol around anyone who might be a policeman. Based on this advice he says that he passed on a mint condition 1896 Mauser pistol with the shoulder stock holster for fear of going to jail. The seller was a neighbor of his who had picked up the pistol in China in 1945, he only wanted $35. Marc

# 12512 - Singer 1911A1 Identification
Bobby -- St. Francisville, LA

Colt 1911 - 45 - Nickel - 352600 -

How do you identify a model 1911 colt that was made by Singer Sewing Machine Co.? Is Singer stamped on the firearm anywhere?

Bobby, Singer pistols are uncommon, they only manufactured 500 and this makes them one of the rarest and most valuable of all the 1911A1 variations. I have never seen one in person so I have to get my information from Charles W Clason's excellent book on 1911 and 1911A1 pistols. Clawson states that one way to identify a Singer frame is that serial numbers started at S800,001 and ended at S800,500, frames were also marked on the left side with the Inspector's mark - ''JKC'' which stands for Col. John K. Clement. Singer slides are marked S. MFG. CO. ELIZABETH, N.J.U.S. A. On the left side.

If one were fortunate enough to come across a Singer 1911A1, the slide and frame are not the only components that may or may not be original. Clawson states that Singer safety locks and slide stops were checkered, triggers should be the short, milled kind, and mainspring housings had fine checkering. The original grips had no reinforcement rings around screw holes and were hollow underneath without ribs. On front, the grips had 31 rows of checkering between the screw holes. Barrels, stocks, magazines and all other parts were not stamped with any identifying marks.

Original finish was a high-gloss Du-Lite bluing (not nickel). Magazines were full Du-Lite blued. Let us know if you ever find one! Marc

# 12438 - WW1 Compass

I am trying to get some information on a item I found in my fathers belongings. Both of my parents have recently passed away so I cannot get any answers there. Hopefully you may shed some light so we may pass it down to his grandson who is a pilot. It's a Compass. It opens like a pocket watch. It may be made of nickel or silver as I have not tried to clean it. Their is no maker or markings but the letters U.S.C.E. is on the outside. Inside the compass has a clear lens over it. I no my father was stationed over in England during the war at one time, but do not know if that is from his era or maybe my grandfather from WW1. Any information on this item or maybe where else I could look would be greatly appreciated. Thank You.

Beverly- The compass is a WWI issue item, and remained in use in WW2 as a substitute item. They are fairly common on the collector market and seem to sell in the $40-95 range depending on condition. The outside finish is usually a dull nickel and it does not polish, so don't waste your time trying to make it look pretty. John Spangler

# 12519 - Parts Gun With A Condenser?
Ricardo, Phoenix, AZ

Remington/Essex - .45 - 6.5'' - Stainless Steel - 20856 -

Essex frame and Remington slide. Serial number on frame. What is the origin of the firearm and if it has a condenser on it, where would I pickup a good shoulder/other holster? Thanks. Having trouble finding out about this firearm.

Ricardo, It sounds like you have a parts gun that was built using a military surplus slide and a modern commercial Essex frame. If this is the case, the frame may be made from stainless steel but the slide is not. Essex Arms of Island Pond, VT has manufactured good quality after market replacement parts, including frames and slides for 1911/A1 type pistols since 1970. I have seen some nice pistols that were built with Essex parts.

I have never seen a pistol with a condenser. If your condenser lengthens the pistol a few inches like a compensator would, your best bet for locating a holster may be to take the pistol with you to a gunshow and try fitting it to the holsters that you find for sale there. It may take a few shows to come up with a holster that you really like, but what possible better way is there to spend some time than at a gunshow? Marc

# 12437 - G I Carrying Case For M1 Garand

Hi, do you happen to have or ever come across M1 Garand carrying cases? Thanks.

Scott- Despite what some of the surplus dealers claim, there was never a canvas carrying case made for the Garand. The lengthened carbine cases seen are locally modified items (without official sanction) but have now been "replicated" so often that people think that there really were some. The repros are fine for going to the range but a $6 gun sleeve works just as well. Hope that helps. John Spangler

# 12436 - Grandpa’s Colt Single Action revolver history

I have my Grandfathers Colt 45, nickel plated, pearl handle revolver. How can I trace the serial numbers on the gun to find out the date it was manufactured, and is there a way to track down the guns history? Please give me a site to go to, or a book that would list this information. The revolver has a 7 1/2 inch barrel. Thank You.

Susan- Determining the date of manufacture is easy, from several different sources. As far as tracking its history, that can be difficult or impossible, and expensive.

Colt can provide a "factory letter" which will list the configuration of the gun (barrel length, finish, caliber, etc) and when it as shipped, and possibly where it was shipped to. However, the cost for this letter is several hundred dollars for a Colt Single Action Army model, and quite often they were shipped to a large wholesaler or a large firm like Sears Roebuck, and less often to a specific dealer in the west somewhere. Almost never do the letters indicate shipment to a specific individual. Even if you could find out where it was shipped, the subsequent sales or shipment records have almost all been lost or destroyed over the years. Even a professional researcher spending many hours is unlikely to turn up any info.

Hope that helps a little bit. Your best bet is to gather whatever information you can from family members and write that down and keep it with the gun. Add some photos, letters, etc from people associated with the gun if you can. You may be able to put it all on a computer with scanned photos, etc, but do make a hard copy printout to go with the gun. John Spangler

Return to Collectors Headquarters.