"C" stock(pistol grip) in walnut, serial number on receiver with Springfield Armory stamping, serial number-last 4 digits stamped into stock on bottom of pistol grip and top wooden forearms, butplate with minor metal black checkering, cleaning kit inside-original GI issue, original leather sling, drilled and tapped for scope-front tap is under wooden handguard-professional drill and tap job, custom trigger job, green parkerized finish, 9-40 and S/A stamped on top of barrel near end, no star on crown, Lyman c48 sights-one with peep sight on rear to right of receiver-wood has been cut out of stock for it, Lyman sight on front with inserts-unable to see under front sight for additional markings, letters "BIA" and a large "P" both on barrel under wood, metal and barrel in 100% condition. I bought this rifle which came with cleaning kit-original GI issue, original sights-Lyman were on it, and paper that indicated that it was bought in 1955 from DCM from Letterkenney Arsenal in Penn. for cost of $17.82. The box of Lyman inserts came with it also from arsenal. Can you tell me what I have an approximate worth? Thanks.
Answer: Ken- I am not sure what you have. The serial number has seven documented National Match rifles within a range of plus or minus 10 numbers, sold between 1925 and 1931. It is likely that your rifle started as a National Match rifle, perhaps used by a military team. Apparently the barrel was replaced sometime after 1940, perhaps still in use by a military team, or maybe just for reissue as a service grade rifle. Teams may have added scopes for use in "any sight" match competition, and sometimes such rifles were used for sniping purposes, although such use is not common by the Army. The sale documentation may indicate something about the type of rifle, or may be little more than a date, and "rifle, 1903 ser no.1267783" and a price. Some sales were well organized and advertised (to NRA members only them while now almost anyone can buy from CMP- see www.ODCMP.com for bargain prices on M1 Garand rifles) while other "spot sales" took place where local supply people sold stuff for whatever they thought it was worth. Unfortunately, most of the alterations you describe were also popular with civilian shooters and could have been done by anyone at any time prior to your obtaining it. Demand for altered match rifles is weak and prices much less than unaltered examples. We have a couple on our catalog page to compare prices. John Spangler
# 2767 - Savage Model 19 NRA Value 4/29/00 Ron Fairfield, CT USA
Savage - 19 - NRA - 22 LR - 25 - Blued - 45394 -
Manufactured by Savage Arms Co. Patented - November 20, 1917 Can you give me a rough idea of it's value. The condition is very good. Some scratches on original walnut stock finish. It has, what I believe to be, the original aperture sight with covered front sight.
Answer: Ron, the Savage Model 19 NRA Target Rifle was manufactured by the Savage Arms Company of Utica, New York from 1919 to 1933, total production was about 50,000 rifles. The Model 19 NRA rifle had a military style half stock with a straight comb, an enlarged pistol grip and a plain beavertail forend held by a single swivel-fitted barrel band. Sights were a Micro-adjustable aperture rear with an open blade front. Total length was 45.5 inches overall, with a 25 in barrel with 6-groove rifling. The detachable box magazine had a 5 rounds capacity. The action was locked by two lugs on the bolt sleeve engaging recesses at the mid-point of the receiver. Spent cartridges were ejected forward and to the right through a port cut into the upper surface of the tubular receiver. Fjestad's Blue Book Of Gun Values lists prices in the $120 to $140 range for examples in the condition that you describe. Marc
# 2615 - Swiss Bayonet 4/29/00 John Fresno, CA, USA
Waffenfabrick Neuhausen - 871017 -
+ sign on guard, the blade is 19" long with a sawtooth edge along the top. Hi, my grandfather gave me this bayonet with metal sheath, along with 2 swords, and I would like to find out more about it.
Answer: John- You probably have the fairly common, but still really neat, Swiss Model 1911 Pioneer bayonet. These fit on the Swiss Schmidt-Rubin rifles. Earlier models with similar blades but different handles were designated Model 1878 and 1887. "Pioneers" were the old-time equivalent of "Engineer" troops who built roads, fortifications, bridges, etc. These bayonets are really sharp and can probably cut down trees and stuff with some effort. (No one had gas powered chain saws then, so people were used to working hard.) The Germans, and I believe the British also had pioneer bayonets in the late 1800s with sawback blades. The Germans ground off the saw teeth from most of their bayonets during WW1, and I think this was after Allied protests against the "inhumanity" of such evil weapons. They compassionately wanted to limit the death and dismemberment of opposing forces to bullets, machine guns, aerial bombs, hand grenades, and stabbing, slicing or skewering with knives or bayonets without the sawtooth feature. Of course, a large percentage of deaths on both sides came from non-combat causes, mainly diseases. Typhoid, dysentery, measles, smallpox, plus assorted infections, gangrene, food poisoning, and of course the ever popular syphilis and gonnereah killed many troops. No MEDEVAC helicopters, no anti-biotics, not much in the way of pain killers, and few surgical techniques beyond simple stuff all kept the misery and suffering levels high, even if medical help was available. However, the ban on saw tooth bayonets probably did not increase any suffering. The Swiss were not party to this agreement, and perhaps because of that, plus the fact that for about 100 years virtually every Swiss adult male has had a government issued rifle and ammunition in their home, so no one has bothered to invade their country. Coincidentally, their rate of gun violence is miniscule, even lower than Japan and other countries cited as examples to show that the presence of guns causes violent crime. Uzi-toting Israelis also disprove that nonsense. Certain societies or ethnic groups have long traditions of violent behavior and others have very little. Japanese do not kill people in Japan, nor in the United States. Tribal warfare in Africa is only little worse than in certain cities in the US but the senseless slaughter here is more visible. Sorry for the digressions. John Spangler
# 2517 - Neat Old Gun And Helmet 4/25/00 Jane
1917 Erfurt on butt plate My grandmother has an old bolt-action rifle in her basement. We think it was brought back from WWII by her brother-in-law. I have no idea what kind it is or what kind of markings to look for to help identify the rifle. The only obvious marking was the 1917 Erfurt on the butt plate. What other kinds of markings should I look for (and where)? How do I measure the barrel length? How do you determine the caliber? Where would I look for the serial number? It is in ok shape, but is missing the bayonet and the straps. Supposedly it was taken off a dead German soldier. We also have a German helmet that was taken from the same soldier (it has two large holes in it, so the guy was definitely dead). Anything you can tell me would be great. Even pointers to books I could use to research it further, or a reputable gun dealer in my area I could go to. I'm in Gaithersburg, MD (it didn't fit in the field above). Thanks. Jane
Answer: Jane- Sounds like a neat old gun and helmet, and story. Undoubtedly it is a souvenir brought home by a family member who fought inWW1, and would therefore have sentimental value. Erfurt was a German arsenal, and 1917 is probably the date the rifle was made. There were a number of variations, and the most common ones have very long barrels (about 29") and are called "Gewehr" or rifle 98 since the basic design was model 1898. You measure the barrel length from the muzzle (front where the bullet comes out) to the face of the bolt whan it is closed (at the back where you put the bullet in). You can mark a long stick stick or rod stuck down the barrel for an exact measurement, or you can probably get it accurate to within an inch by estimating where the front of the bolt is realative to the outside. Most German military rifles were made in 8mm Mauser caliber, but that is the term that American shooters use. The German military called it 7.92x57mm which indicates the diameter of the bullet and the length of the case in millimeters. Sometimes this will be expressed as 7.9x57 or 8x57 Mauser. The serial number is usually on the receiver (main part where the bolt fits into the back of the barrel.) German military rifles usually had a letter as part of the serial number at the end. (87654 f). Your local library probably has a book "Small Arms of the World" which should have information on these and most other military guns.
From Gaithersburg you have a really great gun show nearby on 18-19 March at the Timonium Fairgrounds. This is the Maryland Arms Collectors "Baltimore Show" probably the best in the country. While most of the guns are older antiques, there will be people who would know about your rifle, and could tell you more, and would buy it if you want to sell. This show does not allow any modern pistols at all.. Have fun. John Spangler
# 2749 - Mauser 1910 OSS Pistol? 4/25/00 Paul Salem, CT, USA
Mauser - 1910 - 6.35 - 3" - Parkerized - 419790 -
Mauser logo over safety on left side of frame. Serial number on left side of slide near muzzle. 'Mauser-Werke A-G Oberndorf A.N.' on left side of slide. 'Cal. 6,35 - D.R.P.u.A.P.' on right of slide. Crown over U on right side of slide near muzzle. '3' on bottom of slide near guide pin entrance. My mother-in-law gave me this pistol, which my father-in-law brought back from Germany after WWII (he had served with the OSS). The pistol is in near perfect condition with one clip and a leather holster (also in excellent condition) which has pocket for a spare clip. Based on your answers to other inquiries about Mauser 1910 and 1934 models, I assume this pistol was manufactured towards the end of the Model 1910 production run. Are you able to narrow the manufacture date? What does the 'crown over U' proof mark mean? Do you know of any potential sources for clips for the pistol? Can you give me an idea of its value? Thanks for any information you can provide.
Answer: Paul, first of all I would like to compliment and thank you for reading our answers to questions about similar firearms before sending in your question, not everyone does this. Unfortunately, I have no information that would help to narrow down the date of manufacture for your pistol further than you already know. I can tell you that the Crown over "U" proof was a final or definitive German proof used on firearms proofed in the finished state from 1891 to 1939. As for value, original finish for pistols like yours was a deep cold rust blue, not Parkerization. Unless there is some sort of documentation that this pistol was issued by the OSS, values in re-finished Parkerized condition will fall in the $150 to $200 range. Marc
# 2671 - Eastern Arms Shotgun 4/25/00 Gil
A fellow co-worker asked if I could go on the internet and find out something about a gun he just purchased. He has an Eastern Arms 16GA. double barrel, and he has not been able to find out anything about it in books and magazines he has at home. He is curious about Eastern Arms since he has never heard of this company. Can you help?
Answer: Gil- Eastern Arms was a trade name used on guns made for Sears Roebuck for many years. From 1905 to 1915 they were made by Meriden Firearms Co, (and 1905-1907 also by Andrew Fyrberg & Sons Mfg. Co) and after 1915 by J.Stevens Arms Co. The Stevens made guns were the same as the Stevens Model 311 which remained in production for a very long time. John Spangler
# 2751 - High Number Winchester Model 1890 4/22/00 Scott WA USA
Winchester - 90 - .22 - 23.5" - 777018 -
MODEL 90-.22 LONG What is the year that this serial number was manufactured? Independent data indicates the last manufacture was in 1932; another source indicates about 1942-1943; family history suggests earlier than 1932 Please help us with this uncertainty in our family tree. Original owner my grandfather, born in 1866; died about 1956.
Answer: Scott, the Winchester, slide-action MODEL 1890 SPORTING RIFLE was a John M Browning design that was manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company of New Haven, Connecticut (officially) from 1890 to 1932. The serial number range for the 1890 to 1932 production run was 1 through 752044 and year of manufacture data is only available for serial numbers which fall inside this range. Although Model 1890 production officially ceased in 1932, a cleanup of the production run lasted another 8 or more years. Unfortunately, your serial number (777018) falls outside the numbers which I have data for. My GUESS is that your rifle was manufactured somewhere around 1940. Marc
# 2607 - M1 Carbine- USMC 4/22/00 George, Springfield, MA
Inland - M1 Carbine - .30 - Blue - 5480XXX -
Right side of stock has "43" and "ordinance symbol (firebomb)" stamped on it...Under the pistol grip there is stamped "USMC" and the "circle P".. My son recently purchased the above and all parts match.... However the stock stampings I have listed are unusual for him and for others who have looked at them... can send electronic pics if interested... George
Answer: George- United States Marines are wonderful people, very proud, ferocious fighters in combat or at the budget table, and a tremendous asset to protecting our freedom. They are largely very attentive to regulations and refrain from doing prohibited things like applying unapproved markings to ordnance equipment. However, they are also known for their eagerness to paint everything in sight red and yellow, and apply various Marine Corps decals and bumper stickers in prominent locations.
Collectors are appreciative of all Marine things, and given the Corps' small numbers and high collector interest the laws of supply and demand dictate a premium price for Marine stuff. A few despicable souls are eager to profit from gullible collectors and will mark just about anything USMC in order to charge a higher price for it. Personally, I am very suspicious of any USMC markings, especially on guns. Some fakers feel obligated to use the full assortment of phony marking stamps in their inventory, resulting in a ludicrous excess of markings. A Garand Collectors Association newsletter some time back reported a fake National Match rifle with both phony Air Force Premium Grade and USMC markings.
The best guide for markings as applied to the M1 carbine at time of manufacture is Larry Ruth's "War Baby" volumes 1 and 2. We cannot rule out the possibility of your USMC markings being authentic (perhaps applied to readily identify USMC arms from similar ones that belonged to the Navy ship they were embarked on), but I am very doubtful. I too have a carbine with USMC markings on the stock, and consider them to be phony, for whatever that is worth.
If the Ordnance markings is the crossed cannons surrounded by a belt with a small flaming bomb above, that is normal for most carbines. If it is JUST the flaming bomb, them I am very suspicious. Hope this helps. John Spangler
Three barrels side by side with only one hammer. Looks very old but in really good shape. I found this in a pawn shop, not sure what type of gun it is? Could you give me a few ideas on which way to narrow it down?
Answer: John- When people ask questions like this, it really helps if they send a photo. There have been several reproduction multi-barrel pistols made in the last 40 years as kits or finished guns. My initial guess is that you have one of these. Old guns usually have some sort of makers name, or proof markings, although some very cheap ones did not. Serial numbers are not common on cheaper old guns, but have been required on new guns since the Gun Control Act of 1968, so an 8 digit number also points to recent manufacture. You may have a $35 trinket or a several hundred dollar treasure, but without seeing it, we cannot tell you much more. John Spangler
# 2724 - Pre-64 Winchester Model 88 In .284? 4/18/00 Jerry, Florence, Co. , USA
Winchester - 88 - .284 - 22 - Blue -
Did Winchester make any model 88s in .284 prior to 1964?
Answer: Jerry, The Winchester model 88 was manufactured from 1955 to 1973, and was offered in several calibers including .243, .308, 284 and .358. The Model 88 differed from other Winchester lever action rifles in that it made use of a box magazine instead of the customary Winchester tubular type. Because of it's box magazine, the Model 88 could fire pointed-nose cartridges which are dangerous to load in tubular magazines for obvious reasons. My references tell me that Winchester made the .284 chambering available in 1963. The only difference between pre-64 and post-64 model 88 Winchesters is that Model 88-s manufactured prior to 1964 had diamond cut checkering, while examples produced after had an impressed basket weave pattern type checkering. Marc
# 2670 - Winchester Model 70 4/18/00 Mark
Howdy, Is there anyway you gentleman can tell the caliber of the following gun, its a model 70, pre64, serial number is 53581. Recently purchased it in an auction and am wanting to be sure it is the real thing and not a fake, supposedly a rare caliber.
Answer: Mark- We are not experts on the Model 70, and there is much fakery in the rarer calibers. I suggest you should have already gotten a copy of the definitive book on the Model 70 by Roger Rule to check the gun out. I also trust that you are dealing with a reputable auction house that guarantees the authenticity of their items and has a liberal return policy for items misrepresented in their descriptions. If you have not protected yourself by these two important steps, then you may find that you are very lucky and got a good deal, or you may have been a victim and need to spend a lot of time and effort in a likely futile attempt to remedy the problem. Wish we could be more helpful, but it is a little late now. You may want to request a formal appraisal from someone who is a recognized expert in Model 70s, and willing to testify in court as to the authenticity of the gun if not as represented. Even so, you would have to be able to prove that the seller INTENDED to defraud you, which is nearly impossible. Good luck. John Spangler
# 2669 - Stevens Model 22-410 4/18/00 Bob
We have been trying to find a serial # on the above mentioned gun. We know it's at least 60 years old. There is a circle with an I in it - could that be the serial #? If it isn't, where would it be? How can we find out the actual age of the gun? Is Stevens still in business? We appreciate any information you can give us.
Answer: Bob- It is hard to find something that does not exist. Prior to 1968 there was not requirement for serial numbers on guns. Many manufacturers used them for their own reasons, and many, especially makers of shotguns or .22 rifles, did not. The circle I logo is some sort of proof marking, definitely not a serial number. The Stevens .22-410 in my collection has a serial number that was apparently applied by the USAF when they bought a number of them for use as survival guns in the 1950s. Military accountability practices demanded that guns have serial numbers, so they marked one on the bottom of the frame, just behind the hinged part. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 2721 - Sleeve or Re-bore My C-96? 4/15/00 Eric, Lisle, IL, USA
Mauser - C-96 - 7.63 - 3.5" - Blue - 573720 -
Markings consistent with a late post war Bolo. This Broomhandle isn't much to look at but inside it's in great shape. I've replaced all the springs and the firing pin but the bore is in really bad condition (no surprise). The bore is so bad that the first and only time I shot it the round passed through the target sideways at 25 ft. What method would you recommend for repairing my bore, Sleeving or Re-boring (to 9mm)? I have heard that Re-boring can lead to headspacing problems. Also could you recommend a good place to have this work done. It dose not have matching numbers. Thanks and I really enjoy your site!
Answer: Eric, glad that you enjoy our site. I did quite a few restorations of Broomhandle Mauser pistols back when they were first starting to import them from China. My "restoration" work was mostly cosmetic, I would re-cut the milling marks on the side panels, polish out what pitting that I could without effacing markings, ruining the firearm or changing the lines too much, sharpen all of the edges and re-blue using the original cold-rust method. I never got into re-boring or sleeving barrels myself. I purchased my Broomhandle pistols for restoration already re-bored to 9mm from a company in Madison CT, named EBCO. EBCO's address and telephone number is 24 Green Springs Dr., (203)-245-2883. EBCO always dealt fairly with me and I never had any problems with the pistols that I purchased from them. I am sorry to say that I have heard rumors that EBCO is now out of business. Marc
Smith and Wesson The shells are 44s.w.r. What does s.w.r. mean? Is the gun a antique or just a pistol? Is it a model 3 made for the Russian attach‚ or what? It has a 6 1/2 inch barrel. It is a blue finish and is in fair shape. 1927 is the serial number 44 is the caliber Do you know the value or history?
Answer: Julie- Smith and Wesson's Model No. 3 revolver was a large .44 caliber design that had several variations and was made in many calibers. The first appeared in 1870 and the last were made in 1898 although a few leftovers did not get shipped from the factory until 1912. Since they were all made in 1898 or earlier these are considered to be antiques and do not fall under the same rules as "modern" guns. There are a couple of minor variations that were made later that would be classified as "modern guns". .44 S&W R indicates the .44 caliber Smith & Wesson Russian cartridge. Although introduced to fill contracts for pistols for the Russian government under the Czar in 1871, the cartridge was a fairly popular one, and ended up being used to fill contracts for several other foreign countries as well. Colt even made a handful of their Single Action Army revolvers in this caliber, one of which turned up at a local show recently. The serial numbering in the variations is pretty complicated and they often started over again at 1 for a foreign contract or new model, so it is hard to date yours without a detailed examination. Value on this model usually starts at about $600 or so, and goes up depending on condition and which variation it is. If you decide to sell this, let us know and we can help find it a good home. John Spangler
I'm sending this msg on behalf of one of our clients, who asked the following question: "Could you provide me with any information about Russian made flintlock pistols (16th - 19th centuries) & coaching pistols made by Henry Mortimer, also known as percussion pistols" After a search of our collections, I can find no info on the above. I discovered your website using the above terms, and was wondering if you could provide any info and/or refer us to other likely sources. Regards, David Berry Information Request Service State Library of New South Wales Macquarie Street Sydney NSW 2OOO firstname.lastname@example.org
Answer: Sir- We cannot offer any help with the Russian pistols. The Mortimer family of gunsmiths in London were noted for their very high quality pieces and operated from various addresses (in London) from about 1780 to 1880. I have no listing for Henry Mortimer, although there are listings for Harvey Westlake Mortimer (98 Fleet St. 1780-1802) and Harvey Westlake Mortimer, Junior, his son, at the same address 1800-1820. The younger Harvey was a gunmaker to George III. He would have operated at the very beginning of the percussion period, although it is likely that many of his flintlock pistols were later "updated" to the more reliable percussion ignition. In the old script engraving it would be quite easy to misread Harvey as Henry. Source of this information is Robert Gardner, Small Arms Makers, New York, 1962, p.295. With the recent Australian frenzy to disarm the law abiding citizens and consign all the evil old guns to the scrap heap, I hope this is not just idle curiosity before these too are destroyed. I note with concern that your criminals are not complying with the requirements to turn in their arms, and that invasions of occupied residences are on the rise. Unfortunately, I fear that American politicians are no less stupid, and we will likely follow your example in a few years, unless American gunowners wake up and fight a relentless political battle to preserve our more clearly defined right to bear arms. Hope this helps. John Spangler, Captain, U.S. Navy (retired)
# 2712 - Urrejola Y Cia 4/11/00 Donald, Plains, PA, USA
Eibar - Urrejola YCA - 7.65 - ? - Blue - 4034 -
On the clip of the gun there is an oval with an "A" in the center. I just obtained this gun and I would like more information about it. I would like to know the location it was made and the year it was made. I have searched for information on it but I cannot find any.
Answer: Donald, Urrejola y Cia was one of many small gun manufacturing firms located in Eibar Spain that did sub-contract work from 1915 to 1918 for Gabilondo y Urresti, who had received an open-ended contract from the French Army for 30,000 'Ruby' pistols every month. Urrejola y Cia continued to make the Ruby 7.65mm pistol until the early 1920s. Due to the poor quality of their product and high competition from other firms in the area the company was forced out of business before 1925. Marc
# 2666 - Marlin Model '97 4/11/00 Greg
Marlin - 97 - 22 - 24" - A3926 -
On barrel: "MARLIN FIRE-ARMS Co. NEW-HAVEN, CT. U.S.A." "PAT'D NOV, 19, 1878, APRIL 2, 1889, AUG. 12, 1890 MARCH 1, 1892." On tang: "MARLIN MODEL '97 Could you please provide a date of manufacture and approximate value for this rile? Condition is N.R.A. Excellent. Your Web site is the best overall firearms page I have seen.
Answer: Greg- Glad you like the site. The late Bill Brophy's superb "Marlin Firearms" book is the best source of info on anything relating to this innovative and under-appreciated (and under-collected and under-valued) maker. Marlin made the Model 1897 .22 caliber lever action rifle from 1897 (big surprise!) until about 1916 when Marlin production was shifted to military production, although the Model 1897 was still listed in their 1917 catalog. Post 1906 Marlin serial number records do not exist. Since your rifle has the tang markings Model '97 instead of 1897, we can tell it was made no earlier than mid-1905. Known serial numbers for the '97 run from about 293,000 to 450,000 and A441 through A7938, so your serial number places it near the end of production. We must caution that Marlin used a single block of serial numbers for ALL of the guns in production in those days, so the serial number spread does not tell much about total production on a specific model. Brophy figures that over 81,000 model 1897/97 rifles were made. "Flayderman's Guide to American Antique Firearms and their values" lists the later examples of this model as worth $250 in NRA antique very good and $875 in excellent. The Brophy book sells for $75 and Flayderman for $35, so we just saved you $110 in book purchases. Your email address indicates an interest in megabuck high grade shotguns. I bought the books but still managed to send $100 to the NRA, so I am counting on you to send at least that much to them. If we don't support NRA, especially NRA-ILA and NRA-PVF your right to own those high grade shotguns and cute Marlins will be ended. Give generously and often! John Spangler
# 2665 - Mess Kit 4/11/00 Jim
I recently acquired at an estate sale a mess kit with US JQMD 1948 markings. Did Jeffersonville QM Depot actually manufacture metallic items. Or did the depot confine activities to textiles. What is something like this worth. Could be considered excellent condition. Thanks Jim
Answer: Jim- Military facilities made some unlikely stuff over the years for various reasons. Sometimes experimental items, other times just make-work projects to keep from laying people off. I have seen a lot of web gear and leather products with JQMD markings, but confess I have not seen mess gear (but have not looked very hard either). It sounds like you know a lot more than I do about JQMD activities. There is probably some sort of history of the place written since WW2, perhaps in MO Historical Journal or something like that, or in a local paper. The Reference librarian in nearby towns may be able to help, or the QM Museum at Ft Lee, Petersburg VA. Reference librarians just love for people to call up and ask really weird questions so they have to dig around in new/old books. Good luck. John Spangler
# 2717 - Winchester Model 1892 Value 4/8/00 John, Worland, WY, U.S.
Winchester - 1892 - 44-40 - 24 In. - NA - 142146 -
This old Winchester is in excellent shape and puts the bullet where you aim every time. I was wondering about how much it could be worth.
Answer: John, to be able to give you a realistic estimate of the value of your firearm I need to know it's condition. I have been in the gun business for many years and had many firearms described to me as "excellent", only to find upon examination that excellent really means "excellent shooting condition", or that a bullet will come out of the front when the trigger is pulled. I recently went to look at a P.38 that I made an offer on over the telephone based on the fact that it was described to be in "excellent", "just like new" condition. Bubba actually got angry when I pointed out that firearms are not considered to be in "excellent", "just like new" condition if they have rust all over them.
The following questions help to give a more realistic picture of the condition of a firearm:
* Has the firearm been modified or changed from it's original configuration in any way?
* Has the firearm been reblued or refinished?
* Are there any rust or even small "pin prick" like spots on any of the metal surfaces?
* Is there any wear on the metal surfaces or places where the blue has worn off and silver metal is showing through?
* What does the bore look like (bores should be bright and shiny) are there pits? Is it dark?
* If the firearm has a blue finish, the finish on the metal surfaces should be a nice dark shade of blue, is it turning brown or gray?
* What condition is the wood in? Are there any dents, scratches or dings? Are there any places where the finish is wearing thin?
If the answer to any of the proceeding questions is yes, then your firearm is not in excellent condition.
Now, to answer your question. Based on your statement that your Model 1892 Winchester serial number 142146 (manufactured in 1896) is in excellent condition, blue book value for early antique serial number range (under 168,000) is $1920.00. If your Model 1892 is in anything less than excellent condition, values will drop off sharply, down to $1050.00 for firearms in 60% condition. Marc
# 2601 - Bannerman Springfield Rifle 4/8/00 Pete, Clayton, GA
Springfield Armory Model 1903 on receiver. RIA 2-10 behind sight. C 57 over P below sight(underside of barrel). At first glance this appears to be a Model 1917. The stock, trigger-guard and bolt are, but the receiver is a 1903, as is the barrel
Answer: Pete- It is amazing what combinations of gun parts can be cobbled together to make a functioning rifle. If you have a large enough pile of parts, with little prospect of selling them individually, it makes good economic sense to tinker with various combinations until you arrive at a mix that can be sold. Francis Bannerman and W. Stokes Kirk and R.F. Sedgley were big surplus dealers in the 1900-1945 era, and together or singly bought huge quantities of surplus guns and parts. Sedgley's efforts were rather modest, assembling M1903 Springfield style rifles with assorted parts made of inferior materials (pot metal castings) and crudely finished stocks. Many of these were sold during WW2 for "plant protection" guard forces and the like, and occasionally turn up on the market today. Of course, a really serious Springfield collector can probably justify buying one as a curiosity, but otherwise they have little appeal or value. Francis Bannerman Sons, 501 Broadway, New York City (later at Blue Point, Long Island) had a much longer history and larger stocks of surplus and junque parts, some dating back to the Civil War. About 1937 they assembled "Bannerman Special 37 Model rifles" advertised in their 1938 catalogs at a price of $18.00, with Krag bayonets to fit at $1.50 extra. Your rifle is one of these, and there are a couple of minor variations. The common factors seem to be use of the M1903 low numbered receivers, and M1917 bolts and magazines, and usually M1917 stocks. Some used M1903 barrels, others used .30 caliber barrels adapted from various rifles. Rear sights are usually Krag sights forced into M1903(M1905) sight base sleeves with the results looking like the sights on rod bayonet rifles. Sometimes the upper bands are M1903, other times Krag or sometimes M1917 types. While the Sedgley "ersatz" Springfields are curiosities, the Bannerman rifles are even more curious and odd, but still appealing to some collectors. (Yes, I own one of each!) Bill Brophy's unsurpassed "The 1903 Springfield Rifles" has a good section on these on pages 77-79. Seriously committed (or commitable) collectors will also want one of the Krag "carbines" made by Bannerman using M1903 stocks to fill out the gaps in the oddity section of their collection. John Spangler
# 2604 - Ames Sword 4/8/00 Gary, St. Louis, MO
Ames Sword -
Ames Sword Co. One side has the inscription "Louisiana Purchase Exposition" The other side is inscribe "Jefferson Barracks" It is numbered 471 on handle Could you tell me the history behind it? Or could you tell me where I could go to find out? Do you know how much it is worth?
Answer: Gary- The Louisiana Purchase Exposition was held in 1903 in St. Louis, if I remember correctly. This was sort of a World's fair type thing that gave people something to do on vacations before television, jet planes and National Jello Week raised the standards for vacations and celebrations. John D. Hamilton's "The Ames Sword Company" undoubtedly has production figures and illustrations of your sword. I have misplaced my copy, so cannot look it up for you. These were probably worn as part of the uniform for guards or drill team type units which performed at the Exposition. These would have little or no appeal to folks who collect military items, but there may be some sword collectors who think they are neat, and there are undoubtedly a few people fascinated by Louisiana Purchase Exposition things and willing to pay a good price. We do not pretend to understand their thinking, just as they probably cannot fathom why anyone would want to buy an old gun or military sword. You might want to check Ebay to see if a similar item has sold recently. John Spangler
# 2707 - Beretta Model 948 Information 4/4/00 Ken, San Antonio, TX, USA
Beretta - 948 - 22LR - 6 Inch - Blue Barrel, Brown Slide - 079564N -
Left side of slide; P Beretta-Gardone VT.-Cal.22LR-Mod.948. Below the slide stamped perpendicular to the slide; A star in a circle. Under that, PSF, below that another star in a circle. Below that a shield with either a bird or something X-shaped. Below that is 1957. Just for of the grip and under the slide, F in a circle. The right side of the slide says Made in Italy. The serial number is stamped below the slide. This is a very smooth, quiet, straight-shooting .22. I would like to know about what the gun is worth, but more importantly, where might I find spare clips? Thanks in advance for your consideration. I just discovered your website this evening. I am happily impressed!
Answer: Ken, I am glad that you like our site and I hope that you come back often, you may even find something here to add to your collection. The Beretta Model 948 ("Featherweight" or "Plinker") is based on a classic tried and true Beretta design, the Model 1934 which was the sidearm used by Italy's armed forces during WWII. The Model 948 differs from the 1934 in that it is chambered for .22LR, and may be found with either an 85mm (standard) or 150mm barrel. Model 948 grips are different form earlier Beretta models, instead of the usual 'PB' monogram at the bottom portion of the grip, the word 'Beretta' is embossed across the top. Unfortunately blue book values for the Model 948 are not high, they range from 50.00 to $150.00 depending upon condition. For spare parts, try Gun Parts Corporation, there is a link to them on our links page. Marc
# 2587 - 1093A3 Originality 4/4/00 Jeff Flushing NY
Smith Corona - 03A3 - 30.06 - Standard - Parkerized - 3680815 -
Barrel SC 4 43,Stock in back of trigger guard (P inside circle), (FJA left side of stock, In front of trigger guard # 5 inside circle, #5 inside diamond, unk # inside triangle, possible 8 inside square, bolt is stamped r at under bolt handle and right side of safety has a r stamp. Can you tell me the originality of this rifle. I suspect that the bolt is not. Do you think it may have been arsenal rebuilt? What would be the value of this rifle?
Answer: Jeff- Without seeing it, I cannot tell how much might have been changed on your rifle. Despite some books on the market which assert they know everything and stuff must always be one way or never another way, it is hard to be certain about many US military arms produced during WW2. The object was to make as many guns as quickly as possible, and there was a major, dedicated effort to "integrate" parts from other makers to fill the need when one maker was in danger of falling behind due to shortages of some parts. As a rule of thumb, I recommend that people NEVER "fix" things that look incorrect unless they are darn sure of what they are doing. After initial manufacture, parts were parts, and in the field, or during overhaul at any level there was absolutely NO attempt to sort parts by a single maker, or (in most cases) to even keep the parts from the same gun together. As far as value, it can run from very little for one with badly mixed parts, import marks, and a lousy bore, or salvaged from a drill rifle, to quite a bit for a really nice all matching Smith Corona. Most US martial arms have increased in price in the last year or two, and as a rough estimate, $450-550 is in the ball park for a good Smith Corona. You can always find out what it is worth by putting a price tag on it and seeing if there is a buyer. You can check our catalog page and see what we think ours are worth. John Spangler
# 2586 - Onfo On Cogswell Musket 4/4/00 Nick , Trenton, GA
B. Cogswell - 58 Cal. Smoothbore - 28" - Blue -
Next to the B. Cogswell is and address 224 street London, England Any Info on this Musket would be helpful.
Answer: Nick- Benjamin Cogswell worked at 224 Strand, London from 1850-1862 and is best known for his single action percussion revolvers, although he possibly made or sold muskets as well. It is possible that this is an arm imported for use during the War of Northern Aggression by the losing side, or by the winners. It is probably a variant of the .577 Enfield. However, being smoothbore is unusual, perhaps a sign that someone decided they needed a smoothbore shotgun type arm after the Civil War for hunting game or shooting hogs or something and had it bored out smooth. It probably had three groove rifling (very wide, equal size lands and grooves) if a full length musket, but more likely five narrow lands and wide grooves if one of the short carbines or musketoons. Many Civil War muskets were cut to shorter lengths ("sporterized" in modern terms) so the present barrel length may or may not be the original length. There should be British proof marks somewhere on the rear of the barrel (two crown over crossed flag markings probably over the number 24 or 25). If in original configuration and proven to be Confederate, collectors willingly shell out wheelbarrows full of Yankee money for these. If cut down and not convincingly Confederate, you may have a nice wall hanger worth about the cost of a plane ticket from Atlanta to New York (but why anyone would want to go to New York City escapes me, unless doing their civic duty to vote against the evil woman seeking to be a Senator from there.) John Spangler
# 2692 - Firearms Serial Number Check 4/1/00
Before I buy a firearm how can I check the serial # ,so I know the gun is not hot.
Answer: Sir, this is a question that I do not have a good answer for. I have often wished that there was a place on the internet where an individual could type in a serial number, press enter and see weather a firearm has been reported stolen within a few seconds. I understand that the information exists in the FBI's National Crime Information Center NCIC computer. (I think that is the right name, but it may be something close to that.) This is what the police check for stolen property. However, unless you know someone in law enforcement who is willing to run a check for you, there is no way the average citizen or even a dealer can get access to the information. It would be nice to be able to do this when buying a gun from anyone.
If someone knows something else on this subject, we sure would like to know, send us an e-mail. Marc
# 2693 - Baby Browning Informaiton 4/1/00 Tom Shelby, NC, USA
Browning - Baby Browning - 25 -
While cleaning out the contents of a house I inherited I came across two Baby Browning 25 cal pistols, which belonged to my late Father. In doing a web search I have determined that these guns are no longer manufactured. I also discovered that they are banned due to the gun control legislation. My question, do they have any value as collectors items and, if so what is the approximate value. Thanks.
Answer: Tom, the Frabique National Baby Browning is a lighter, smaller version of the Browning Model 1906 Vest Pocket, without the grip safety or separate slide lock lever. The Baby Browning's frame is different than most other semi automatic pistols in that it reaches all the way to the front of the slide instead of stopping slightly short. The Baby Browning's longer frame results in a boxy appearance because the slide lower edge is straight from front to back, not stepped at the front like many other semi-automatic pistols. The Baby Browning's safety catch is a long lever running beneath the left grip, which end extends to, and is actuated just behind the trigger on the left hand side. Early models have the word 'Baby' molded into the lower portion of the grips, in addition to the usual FN monogram on the upper part. Pistols manufactured after 1945 omit the 'Baby' inscription, and those made for export to the United States have the word 'Browning' substituted for the FN monogram. Baby Browning pistols were imported under the Browning Arms Cooperation trademark from 1954 to 1970 when the implementation of new gun legislation in the United States made importation against the law. Records indicate that over 510,000 Baby Browning's were manufactured form 1931 to 1983. Values for Baby Browning pistols are in the $150 to $300 range depending upon markings and condition. Marc
# 2582 - Custom 22-250 4/1/00 Bob Laporte Co. USA
Custom - Fn Action Single Shot - 22/250 - Blue -
C. E. Durham I have just gotten a rifle it was a custom made 22-250 single shot with a Fn action , nice walnut stock ,heavy barrel and stock for bench type shooting . The blue is like new and the stock does not have a scratch It has a special trigger that you can set for little or almost no pull or you can leave it standard. Have you heard of this gunsmith C.E. Durham I believe the gun was made in the late 50's or early 60's . What kind of value would this gun have, It has a weaver V8 scope. Any thing you can tell me about the gun or the gunsmith would be helpful. Thank you Bob
Answer: Bob- Custom made varmint or target rifles are usually made to fit the taste and desires of a single individual in terms of design, caliber, weight, sights, stock fit, and type of finish. If someone else has identical taste the gun would have some market appeal. Someone with different tastes may not like the gun at all. Generally, custom guns being resold do not seem to fetch anywhere near the cost of making them. It sounds like you have a nice quality piece made with good components, but I cannot place any sort of value on it. I have not heard of the gunsmith, but since I do not pay much attention to that field that is neither good nor bad. John Spangler
# 2575 - Enfield Markings 4/1/00 John, Palestine, Texas, USA.
"S" an up arrow followed by "A" on the right side of the stock. A crown over crossed flags with a 'P' in the bottom for the cross. What is the significance of the "S up arrow A"?
Answer: John- The "broad arrow" marking has been a British military property marking for several centuries. Many British commonwealth nations used variations as their military property marking. The Canadians use the broad arrow within a large "C" or in early days between the letters "D" and "C" for Dominion of Canada. New Zealand has it between the letters "N" and "Z". Australia used the arrow within the letter "D" or between two "D" letters or between the letters "A" and "F" for Australian Forces. The Queensland government of Australia used the arrow between the letters "Q" and "G". South Africa, in the days of the Cape Government used the arrow between "C" and "G" and later as the Union of South Africa an arrow within a "U". The Indian government used a variety of marks under British colonial rule and post-1948 as an independent nation- these include the arrow between "S" and "A" over "I"; the arrow between "M" and "D" over "P"; arrow between "I" and "C" over "I". Anyone seeking to understand or decipher the myriad of markings on Lee Enfields needs to own a copy of Ian Skennerton's superb "Lee-Enfield Story". Although specifically aimed at the Lee Enfield, it is valuable background that can often tell a lot about other British arms. John Spangler