Click here to go to the question and answer monthly index.
Click here to go to the question and answer subject index.
# 3809 - Savage 250-3000 4/28/01 Ric, Cedar City, Utah
Savage - 99 - 250-3000 - 22 inches - blue - 219483 -
it has Lyman peep sight, large blade front sight, checkered grip/fore arm. Good condition, original. I would like to know when it was made and an approx. value.
Answer: Ric, Savage manufactured the model 99 rifle in 250-3000 from 1914 to 1921. The Model 99, 250-3000 was a take down rifle with pistol grip checkered stock and forend, corrugated steel butt and a fine cross-checkered trigger which was unique to this model. My records indicate that the year of manufacture for your Savage serial number 219483 is 1920. Blue book values for Model 99, 250-3000 rifles range from $375 to $850 depending on condition. Marc
# 3803 - Maynard 4/28/01 Lewis Maynard, Mooloolaba, QLD, Australia
Maynard Pattern Weapons And History -
John or Marc, Having been a very keen student of firearms and firearms history for many a moon now, I am very keen to find out any and all information pertaining to Maynard (my family name) and his patents. I do know of the tape primer, and of the break open single shot carbine, but beyond these, I have been able to find very little at all. Were his products 9besides the tape primer) a commercial success, and were they considered serviceable arms? I realize some militia used the carbine during "The War of Northern Aggression" (when just about any rifle was deemed serviceable), but anything else of consequence? It would be great to see if there is any family connection, as some of our family did emigrate to the US from the UK, as well as obviously coming here (yes, as convicts for stealing church roofing lead!)Thanks John and Marc.
Answer: Lewis- I regret that I really do not have a lot of info on Edward Maynard, or his numerous gun designs. His tape priming system was a financial success (due to royalties form the U.S. government), but after the novelty wore off it was largely ignored in favor of conventional percussion caps. His carbines were not used by militia, but rather full fledged Union cavalrymen suppressing rebellion against the lawful government. They were fairly well regarded, although inferior to the Spencer. During post-Civil War years, he continued to use the basic action but modified for conventional ammunition instead of separate primed cartridges. These were popular through the 1870s and perhaps somewhat later in a variety of rifle and shotgun calibers. These are sometimes encountered with multiple barrels so the gun could be fired using different calibers for different purposes. There was a tremendous display of Maynards by a collector at the Colorado Gun Collectors' superb show last May, but I do not recall his name. Sorry we cannot tell you more. John Spangler
# 3792 - Trapdoor Stock Dates 4/28/01 Fred, Placerville, CA
Springfield - 1884 Rifle - 45-70 - 32.6" - Blued With Case Hardening On Breech Block - 401194 -
Stock cartouch "ESA" (not "JSA")in oval with date of 1879, "60" & "17" on top of stock at Butt Plate A script "P" and the numeral "60" on stock to the rear of the trigger plate. "U. S. Springfield with an engraved Eagle on the Lock Plate. "US" stamped on butt plate tang. The stock does not seem to be a replacement nor refinished ( furniture stands proud of the metal). Just why do I have a cartouche of 1979 with a model number of 1884? Except for a few "dings" on the stock and blueing off the butt plate is in fine condition.
Answer: Fred- Your rifle was probably made about 1888, based on the serial number. The stock was originally on a rifle made in 1879. Thanks to the miracle of interchangeable parts, it takes about two minutes to change stocks from one trapdoor to another. That is how your 1888 vintage rifle ended up with a vintage 1879 stock. WHY? Who knows- maybe a bunch of rifles were disassembled at some point for cleaning and parts got switched when putting them back together. Maybe the stock was broken on your rifle, and the bore was rusty on the other one, so they combined the parts to end up with one nice rifle and one dog. WHO? Maybe some National Guard unit, an old time gun store who bought trapdoors by the case for a few dollars each, maybe the collector down the street. Some people get very upset about parts mismatched like this, and others accept it as the natural result of arms being issued to hordes of soldiers who have no idea what all the little markings mean (and care even less). Parts is parts. Probably 95% of all M1 Garands or M1 Carbines have mixed parts, maybe 80% of the M1903s, 99% of the M1917s, about 70% of the Krags, and maybe 40% of the trapdoors. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 3778 - Stock Finish Recommendations 4/25/01 Ron, St. Louis, MO
Garand - M-1 - 30-06 - 1281536 -
I have a pretty nice Winchester Garand with what appear to be British proofs (NP, raised arm with sword, 30/06 2.49" 18 TONS) marked on the barrel between the handguard and the muzzle. Major parts are WRA marked but the bolt may be from a Springfield (marked in 2 lines: 128287-18SA/B4C). The problem: A prior owner applied a shiny finish to the stock and handguards. Unless you tell me it's a bad idea, I propose to carefully restore the piece by stripping off the finish and then applying raw linseed oil. As a side issue, when I consulted my trusty FM 23-5 to refresh my memory on field stripping, I found a precautionary remark: "Do not attempt to remove the rear hand guard. " Is this because some special removal procedure is needed to avoid damage or is this merely Uncle's way of telling a lowly GI not to mess with something without good reason? Thanks for your great service. I promise to suspend this project until I hear from you.
Answer: Ron- Except for a few rifles fancied up to look flashy for color guards or ceremonial use, and a handful of specially prepared match rifles, all U.S. military rifle stocks have traditionally depended on coats of hand rubbed raw linseed oil. This has been the case since about 1799 when Springfield got into the rifle business, and lasted until about WW2 when they used "chinawood" oil instead. We now call this Tung oil, but it was the real stuff, before they added dryers, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners etc and sold it under Formby's or Minwax brand names. Of course, the U.S. military rifle which remained in service for the longest period of time used neither type of oil on the stock. As for what is used on the aluminum and plastic M16, as Rhett Butler said- "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!"
As for removing the old glossy finish, you can try a couple of things. Assuming it is varnish, any sort of liquid paint remover/stripper should work. I prefer ones that do NOT require the item to be flushed with water. Most just get brushed on with a cheap old paint brush, and after about 5-10 minutes you can wipe it off with real coarse steel wool. Follow it up with another coat to get any spots you missed, and then go over the whole stock with some real fine steel wool and some lacquer thinner to get out any lingering crud or oil. A toothbrush is good to get into many areas. Usually the wood will be pretty light looking and you may want to apply some stain to even out the color. I like a witches brew of medium brown Tandy leather dye, thinned about 50-50 with their thinner or alcohol, and a bit of Birchwood Casey Walnut stain with other stuff added or substituted as the whims of a brilliant artiste dictates. Then you can go with your oil finish. Raw linseed, tung oil, or whatever, perhaps thinned with lacquer thinner for greater penetration. Sometimes one coat is enough, other times two or three are needed for a good result. It is always good to feed as much as you can into the exposed end grains, to help block escape of moisture from the wood which will eventually cause it to shrink, and get some on all the interior areas too for the same reason.
Sometimes just working the varnished stock with Formby's furniture refinisher is enough, as it will remove the old stuff and leave the wood looking pretty good, but not "too new."
If a stock has some dents and dings, try a sloppy wet washcloth on the wood and using your wife's iron (when she is NOT around to protest) to raise many of the dents. Some suggest soaking the stock, weighted down in the bathtub, or other tricks. Sometimes people think you should sand the stock, but I try to avoid that. IF it has been previously sanded to a glossy finish, maybe hitting it with some 220 sandpaper won't do too much damage and will get it closer to original appearance. Be careful to keep away from any cartouche markings and be careful not to round over sharp corners or the wood near the buttplate or other parts. You may need to rub the stock with a wet rag to raise the "whiskers" and sand again very lightly with a finer grit. Of course, you do all this stuff BEFORE you put on any stain or oil. Find a junky old stock to practice on before you work on your good guns.
Any stock refinishing should be done only when absolutely necessary, usually to undo something done by a previous owner, and doing as little to the wood as possible. Some collectors like their guns to look like a new piano with a shiny finish, others abhor anything that changes the "raised grain" of an old stock that had a few coats of oil and nothing else. Like doctors are taught- "First, do no harm." John Spangler
# 3776 - Krag Markings OALW 4/25/01 Ron, St. Louis, MO
Krag Carbine - M-1898/99 - 30-40 - 125648 -
My carbine has a 1-3/4"x5/8" blued steel plate screwed to the butt stock about where a sling swivel would be located on some models. The plate is neatly marked in two lines : OALW/149. Any idea what this marking means. Springfield Research could offer no help but a Krag specialist I met at a recent gun show thought that the marking meant that the carbine had been issued to an artillery unit. He couldn't provide a specific reference, however. I just stumbled across your web site with a Q & A feature and I'm amazed at the breadth of your knowledge. Many thanks.
Answer: Ron- We amaze ourselves with the apparent breadth of our knowledge, and are even more amazed at the questions people come up with, and how hard we have to dig to find answers. (I was fortunate enough to be a history major and discovered that I really did not have to know much about anything, as long as I know where to look it up. That was among the most valuable things I ever learned. The others being- buy low, sell high and marry rich. Well, enough sharing of our secrets.)
I disagree with the opinion that the OALW relates to an artillery unit, but have nothing to back that up other than the absence of anything to support that belief. If there is something, I would be glad to learn more about it.
I am pretty certain that the marking are a unit or "rack" mark, probably applied after it left regular army usage. Perhaps they are from some sort of local National Guard type unit, or perhaps some non-military outfit such as a military school, veteran organization, color guard, railroad or industrial company's security force, or the like. There are a number of Krag carbines known with Pennsylvania State Police markings, but they are marked on the receiver and entirely different contents. There are an endless range of options to explore. Collectors often mistakenly assume that just because a military item has odd features that it was done while the item was still in military use. John Spangler
# 3985 - Winchester Model 1902 4/25/01 Harold
Winchester - 1902 - 22 -
I have a 22 cal bolt action rifle left behind from my grandfathers estate. It is rather used, has original stock(looks as if it is made of cedar). The rifling is no longer visible. Stamping is very visible, however no serial can I detect. Other than "intrinsic and sentimental value" is this puppy worth anything? I know that it has to have at least 40 years or more, perhaps my dad even used it when in his teens, if so then this piece is over 60 yrs old. Can you give me a approx. time when this rifle was made? thx Harold
Answer: Harold, Winchester manufactured approximately 640,299 Model 1902 rifles from 1902 to 1931. Model 1902 values range from $75 to about $250. I would estimate your rifle's value to be in the $75 range because of the poor condition that you describe it to be in. Model 1902 rifles were not serial numbered. Marc
National Arms Co Brooklyn NY - .31? ? not marked - 3" - steel gray - 20687 -
etched brass - 6 shot black wooden grip I inherited this pistol/derringer from my mother who had inherited it from her father. Would like to know the model and any history you have for it - keep up the great work - I know we'll get Ashcroft in
Answer: Garth- National Arms Company operated in Brooklyn, NY from 1866 to 1869. They evolved from the earlier operations of Moore's Patent Fire Arms Company which operated in Brooklyn from 1860 to 1866. In 1869 National sold out to Colt. Moore's and National made several reasonably well made and popular items during the Civil War era and later. National is best known for an all metal single shot .41 caliber derringer design which was continued in production under the Colt name. Moore is best known for their cartridge revolvers using a "teat fire" cartridge. These cartridges did not have a rim at the back like conventional cartridges, but were rounded at the rear, with a small "teat" that would protrude through a tiny opening in the rear of the cylinder. The priming mixture was contained in the "teat" and when the hammer struck it, the cartridge would fire. (Sort of like a rimfire, but instead of having priming all the way around the edge of the rim, it is centrally located in the teat.)
Moore did not adopt "teat fire" ammunition because it was a wonderful idea, but out of necessity. Smith & Wesson owned Rollin White's patent covering the use of a cylinder bored all the way through for inserting a cartridge from the rear. Unlike the cowardly idiots who run the company today and surrender to blackmail threats from bureaucrats, Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson were intelligent and aggressive firearms makers. They also had a bunch of "hired guns" in the form of lawyers who diligently pursued every gun maker who infringed on their patent rights. They acquired the total assets of several gun-making firms that way, and royalties from some others. Moore had been making seven shot revolvers using .32 rimfire ammunition from about 1860-1863, but got nailed by S&W's lawyers. The remaining stocks of this design were sold marked "Mfd for Smith & Wesson". Moore's plan was one of several innovative schemes to "evade" the S&W patents, which can be an interesting collecting specialty by itself.
It sounds like you have one of Moore's Teat fire revolvers. These were six shot, with 3.25" barrels, and silver plated brass frames. Some had walnut grips, and others used gutta percha (sort of like hard rubber or an early form of plastic.) About 30,000 were made circa 1864-1870, at first under the Moore name, but after 1866 with the National Arms Co. markings. Flayderman's Guide is an excellent source of info on these designs, and lists values of $200 in NRA antique good condition or $425 in fine. Frank Sellers' American Gunsmiths has some more details on the firms. John Spangler
# 3759 - WW2 Submachine Gun Collecting 4/21/01
This is a silly question, I'm sure, but is it possible for a civilian to collect WWII-era submachine guns like the M3? I recently acquired an old M1 Thompson from my grandfather's estate and, though I don't want to fire it, I would like to collect other guns similar to it, like the M3. Can anyone help me with this?
Answer: It is not a silly question, but the answer does not make a lot of sense. First, it is legal for people to collect (and shoot) all sorts of WW2 machine guns and submachine guns, but ONLY if they comply with all sorts of bureaucratic requirements under federal law plus whatever novel schemes state or local politicians have piled on top of the federal hoops.
We are not experts on laws concerning full auto stuff, but our understanding is that you must basically get approval from the head of your local law enforcement agency, assuming that full auto guns can be legally owned under your state/local laws. (Some of the top cops will sign off routinely, others simply refuse and there is not a darn thing you can do to make them sign.) If you have local approval, then you also need to get federal approval for transfer of a full auto firearm by submitting all sorts of paperwork, fingerprints, photos, notes from deceased ancestors, contributions to political candidates and indecent acts with former Presidents. (Well, maybe not the last three, but there is a lot involved). Don't forget to pay a $200 "transfer tax" for each gun you acquire. After several to many months delay, and satisfactory completion of a FBI background check, transfers get approved and you can take delivery of your new toy.
However, the supply of "toys" that can be legally transferred is relatively small, and prices seem to run about $3,000 or more for just about anything that goes "ratta-tat-tat" and can be legally transferred. Really popular items in excellent condition will require some serious money.
It is illegal to own (or even possess) any gun capable of firing full auto unless you have gone through all the hoops above, and most importantly, have the paperwork from BATF to prove it. (We are assuming that your Thompson was transferred to you with BATF approval, otherwise you need to call them and turn it in for destruction.) There is no way to register anything that is not already registered, so don't even bother to ask.
Some enterprising people are making semi-auto only versions of such things as the M1918A2 BAR, the M1919 series Browning Machine Guns, the .45 Thompson SMGs, and recently the M3A1 "grease gun". These are (currently) subject to only the same requirements as any other semi-auto "non-ugly" gun. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 3999 - U. S. Arms Co. Revolver 4/21/01 Bill Richford Vt.
US Arms - 38 Short Colt - 38 Short Colt - 4 in. - Nickel - 505 -
It is a break open 5 shot revolver I am trying to get some idea of the age of this revolver
Answer: The early U. S. Arms company produced solid frame sheath trigger non-ejecting revolvers in New York form 1870 to 1880. A modern U.S. Arms Company marketed single action revolvers in .357 and .44 magnum calibers from 1976 to 1983. There was also a U.S. Revolver Company. U.S. Revolver Company firearms were cheaper versions of the Iver Johnson line manufactured from around 1900 to the late 1940s. These were marked 'U.S. Revolver Co.' on the barrel, and had 'US' molded into the grips. Marc
# 3995 - Source For Inspectors And Manufacturers Code Info. 4/18/01 Alan - Tampa, FL
P-38 Holster - Military - 9MM - Black, Leather -
WaA145, P.38, German Ordnance Code " ljp" - I think. It is very faint I recently acquired a German P-38 Black leather holster. The ordnance code appears to be very faint and may be " ljp". The German WWII Heerswaffenamt inspectors mark is very clear and is stamped WaA145. My question is, was this inspectors stamp assigned to more than one manufacturer as I have seen it on another holster with the code of "Jln". Who made my holster and whom are the other companies with this same inspectors mark ? Also where can reference material be obtained regarding manufacturers of other inspectors marks.20Thank you very much.
Answer: Alan, I have recently found a place on the Internet that is an excellent resource for researching gun and militaria markings, it is called "The Book of Marks" by Thomas Burnell located at http://www.militariaworld.com/features/marks. The Book of Marks has a database of gun markings and codes that can be searched by visitors. When I enter "145", The Book of Marks tells me that WaA145 is an inspectors code for Deutsche Lederwarenfabrik GmbH, Pirmasens used in 1942 and 1942. The results for a search on "Jln" are WW2 German Ordnance code for Deutsche LederWerkstatten GmbH Pirmasens. The Book of Marks had no information on "ljp" but I was able to find another source (which may not be completely accurate) that assigns the code to Karl Knauer KG, Lettingen bei Urach. I would theorize that "145" was an inspectors code used for manufactures in the Pirmasens. Marc
Harrington and Richardson - 365 - 22 - Unknown- Original - Blue - 3621 -
No marks-special or otherwise. Has a flip-up sight. Found in an attic - like new. Can you tell me about it and what it is worth?
Answer: Doug, here in the U.S.A., there is not a lot of collectors interest in H&R firearms, values are usually in the $75 or less range. In Canada value is whatever your corrupt, liberal politicians want to give you for it (if anything) when they steal it and your rights from you. I hope that you are not put in prison for possessing this evil device. I also hope that people in the U.S.A will be able to prevent the infection from spreading here although I am afraid that Kalifornia, Michigan and several other states are close to already being lost. Marc
# 4003 - 200th Year Of American Liberty 10-22 Ruger Carbine 4/18/01 Marv -Cave Spring GA
Ruger - 10/22 Carbine - 22. LR - Rifle-18-in - Blue - 116-47897 -
Made in the 200th year of American Liberty Can you tell me if this gun was indeed made in 1976 and if so does this make it more of a collectors item. Any ideal of value, Thank You. Marv
Answer: Marv, all Ruger firearms that were manufactured in 1976 have "Made in the 200th Year of American Liberty" stamped on their barrels. While surfing the Internet one sometimes hears about urban legends, a Ruger urban legend says that 200th year models which are unfired and in the original box will bring a premium. This is one urban legend that I can refute from personal experience, I have never had any success in getting anyone to pay more for a 200-th year model but I do plan to keep trying. Value for 10-22 carbines is in the $100 to $125 range. Marc
# 4011 - Follow-Up From A Friend 4/14/01 Lynn
3475 - Japanese Rifle Markings Question
Answer: The Japanese arsenal known as Toyo Kogyo produced Type 99 rifles between 1939-45. I own a rifle produced there in the 33 series. It has the mum on the receiver, but the Japanese characters for Type 99 were never stamped on the receiver. This was the standard practice for Type 99 rifles made in the late war years at this arsenal. The rifle does have the serial number with the series mark.The internet site www.radix.net~/bbrown/japanese_markings.html has pictures of the arsenal markings, the series markings, and approximate number of rifles produced at each Japanese arsenal.
The gentleman who wrote in about his grandfather's rifle did not identify whether the rifle was a Type 38 or Type 99. I'm not sure what he meant when he said the rifle had no proof marks. As you know proof marks vary tremendously from country to country. A picture would certainly help. Lynn Lyon
# 4020 - M. Zulaica Pistol 4/14/01 N. Northrup, Northport , FL
? M. Zulica & co Eibar - 1914 automatic pistol - 7.65mm - 4" - blue - 3412x -
ZC on weapon/RH on magazine>7.65 1914 model automatic pistol. . . . M. Zulica & Co-Eibar This pistols design is similar to the Browning m1906 pistol. Can you provide any insight as the actual manufacturer and history of this model of pistol and the approx time of manufacture. Any help available would be most appreciated. thank you
Answer: M. Zulaica y Cia., Eibar, Spain. began manufacturing 'Velo-Dog' type pocket revolvers in the early 1900s. In 1905, Zulaica patented an unusual automatic revolver design, but few were ever manufactured and even fewer have survived. Zulaica started manufacturing 'Eibar' type automatic pistols under French army contracts in 1915 and 1916, and continued to market them commercially up to the 1920s. Zulaica's last venture was a copy of the C96 Mauser in about 1930. Marc
# 4010 - Cartridge Headstamp 4/14/01 Martin
Markings 98 on head stamp found in box with span American war paraphernalia on a very long shell silver in color a blunt round head not a common ballistic style like a hunting riffle of today, any insight?
Answer: Martin- This sounds like the date part of a headstamp, many of which were very lightly struck and hard to see. Usually it consisted of the maker (F for Frankford Arsenal most common) an a one or two number month code and the last two numbers of the year. At that time tinned cases were generally used, to protect the brass so it could be reloaded (in the field or at the arsenal.). This applies to both the round nosed .30-40 Krag cartridges with a silvery or copper colored bullet jacket, and to the .45-70 cartridges with a round nosed lead bullet. John Spangler
# 4016 - Pistola Sistema "Colt" Modelo Argentino 1927 Info 4/11/01 John
On right side of slide is marked, 20 sist. colt cal. 11.25mm mod. 1927 on the left side of slide is marked, D. G. F. M -(F M A. P. ) ALSO ON THE INSTRUCTIONAL Manual it say'sSistema Colt Pistol and M1927 Hartford Colt Pistol, This pistol has been rearsenaled. Please give all info you can about this model or where I can be directed. Thank You John
Answer: John, it sounds like you have an arsenal refinished Sistema "Colt" Model 1927 pistol, a large number of these have been imported into the U.S. over the last 20 years. Clawson's book "Colt .45 Government Models (Commercial Series)" lists that your pistol (serial number 97524) was manufactured in 1958. For more information on this model, I can direct you to our OldGuns.net question and answer number 2588 on the OldGuns.net Feb 2000 Questions And Answers page. You can find question number 2588 by using the OldGuns.net search engine, just enter FMAP or 2588. Marc
# 4012 - WW2 Sniper Rifles 4/11/01 Tyler
I recently saw the film Enemy at the Gates, and it has me intrigued about German and U.S. sniper rifles of WWII. I know that the U.S. used M1903 rifles as snipers, but how could I identify them? Also, what sniper rifles did the Wehrmacht use? I am interested in getting one and learning how to shoot myself- where could I find one? Do people still shoot WWII German and U.S. sniper rifles? Thank you very much.
Answer: Tyler- Sniper rifles of any sort are very popular with collectors, and due to the relatively small numbers made they bring high prices. (The law of supply and demand.) There are many fakes being offered by ignorant or deceptive dealers so be very careful.
US M1903A4 sniper rifles run in the $1500-2500 range. German K98k sniper rifles will run from about $1500-$6000. Values depend on condition, type of scope installed and many other small details.
People sometimes shoot these, but unless done very carefully to avoid even tiny scratches to the wood or metal, it can result in minor to serious harm to resale value.
There are some good gun shows in Virginia where you may see some of these- try the ones at Roanoke, Richmond, or Hampton, and maybe ones at Leesburg or other locations.
Bruce Canfield's excellent "U.S. Infantry Weapons of WW2" would be a great book for you to get to study the U.S. arms. German sniper rifles are covered in Richard Law's Sniper "Variations of the K98k". Anyone contemplating investing several thousand dollars in rifles would be foolish not to invest about $95 in these two great books FIRST. Your school library may have copies, or can get them on interlibrary loan if you want to look them over before buying. John Spangler
# 4028 - Indian Trade Rifle? 4/11/01 Mary Beth, Florida
Hello. I visited your website and thought maybe you could help me find some information about a rifle I am trying to identify. It was excavated by a university professor from an Indian burial in Florida. Attached are pictures of the butt plate, side plate, and trigger guard. The ramrod pipes are made of sheet brass and have two parallel lines at either end. The trigger plate is diamond shaped with a rectangular projection at one end (7.4 cm long). the lock is missing. Any comments you might have would be greatly appreciated! Thanks
Answer: Mary Beth- One of the most enjoyable courses I ever had was Historical Archaeology at the University of Florida in 1977 when I was working on my MA. The final paper I did for the course related to identification of various military firearms based on buttplates, trigger guards and sideplates.
Thank your for the excellent detailed sketches of the parts, including dimensions. Your artifacts probably came from a rifle (not a smoothbore musket) made circa 1760-1790. They have strong characteristics of the mid-Atlantic region "Pennsylvania" (or later "Kentucky") rifles. These were derived from earlier Germanic tastes, and as each was hand made to the builder or purchaser's tastes, precise dating is difficult.
The trigger guard bow appears to be wide enough for double set triggers, commonly used on higher grade pieces, although it was not uncommon for makers to use the same style trigger guards on both single or double set trigger guns. The buttplate is relatively wide and flat, and has the notch on the side for a sliding wooden patchbox cover. These features were found almost exclusively on rifles. By about 1790 sliding wooden patchboxes had been almost completely replaced by the hinged metal patchbox. Most American made rifles of this period had relatively long barrels (about 40-46 inches) and would have used about four ramrod pipes or thimbles. German made guns (often called "Jaeger" or "Yeager" rifles) tended to have shorter barrels, perhaps 30-36 inches long, and probably would have had a total of 3 pipes.
Rifles of this type would have been made mainly in Pennsylvania (if American made) and used on the frontier areas, including the Ohio River valley, and the southward flow of commerce to the mouth of the Mississippi could have accounted for its reaching Florida, especially the panhandle region. As far as I know, these were not commonly used as trade good with the Indians/Native Americans/Indigenous Peoples/Amerindians. Traders used a much plainer (and cheaper) grade of smoothbore musket. Of course, instead of being a trade item, it could have been seized by force, or recovered from abandoned property.
Not knowing the context of the site, or any other related artifacts recovered, that is about the best I can do on this. I am sure there will be other pieces of the puzzle to help put it all into the proper historical context. John Spangler
# 4023 - Winchester Model 69A 4/7/01 scootter celina OH USA
Winchester - 69A - 22. - 25 in - Blued -
5 round clip, clip release is aroud butten on left side how meany are there, how old, what the prise is and thank YOU
Answer: Scooter, Winchester manufactured approximately 355,000 Model 69 and 69A rifles from 1935 to 1963. The first Model 69 rifles were designed with a mechanism that cocked the rifle when the bolt was closed. In 1937 Winchester redesigned the Model 69 action so the rifle would cock when the bolt was opened, the resulting rifle was designated the Model 69A. Since Model 69A rifles were not serial numbered, the most that I can tell you about date of manufacture is that your rifle was manufactured some time between 1937 and 1963. Values for model 69A rifles range from $50.00 for one in poor condition to over $300 for an example in excellent condition with original box and papers. Marc
# 4034 - Musket With Wooden Barrel 4/7/01
Springfield - Wooden Barrel Musket -
I have an 1864 Springfield wooden barrel musket. There are 2 sets of initials in the stock. One may be GWH. There is a large #6 at the end of the breach. The musket is in good shape with only a little surface rust. It was my fathers who said it was a training musket.
Answer: Jim- There are a lot of stories told about these guns, and most of them are wrong. These were NOT military made items. These were assembled from various surplus parts and a few newly made parts to end up with a toy gun suitable for kids to play with or for very young students at schools or youth groups which included some quasi-military activities. In the 1870-1910 period "Boys Brigades" and similar groups were sort of a junior GAR or UCV group (Grand Army of the Republic and United Confederate Veterans- the Civil War version of the American Legion or VFW posts). Boy scouts were not founded until about 1910 and they eventually became the predominant youth group. Surplus dealers like Francis Bannerman Sons of New York City offered real guns of various sizes as well as the wooden barreled guns at modest prices to any group or school which wanted them.
Anyway, the wooden barrel muskets are known variously as cadet muskets, or Quaker guns (after fake wooden barrel cannons sometimes placed in field fortifications to fool the enemy). The single common feature seems to be a Civil War musket stock, complete with whatever inspector markings were applied on them when manufactured as muskets circa 1861-65, These stocks flooding the surplus market as tens of thousands of muskets were broken up and many parts reused in producing .50-70 and .45-70 "trapdoor" rifles from about 1868 to 1893. Since the buttplates and trigger guards were among the parts being reused, those on the wooden barreled muskets are often crude cast iron parts. While original Civil War era lockplates and hammers are used, the internals are usually missing the bridle, and the mainspring may be adapted from some other muskets. The breech section is a cast iron piece drilled for a nipple, and the muzzle may be just about anything with a wooden dowel turned and tapered to fill up the barrel channel between the breech and muzzle. Metal parts often have a black painted finish. While these are almost always made along the lines of a Civil War musket, I have seen one or two similar guns made using .45-70 parts, including a complete breech action.
These are interesting decorator items, but to most collectors, they have little value beyond that of any parts that might be salvaged from them. I have seen them priced between $150 (where they actually sell) up to wildly optimistic or fantasyland prices in the $500-700 range. Antique stores fascinated by "old" are often good places to sell such items. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 4035 - 1911A1 Serial Numbers 4/7/01 Craig
I use your web site from time to time to check on Serial numbers and dates of Military arms. I recently purchased a M1911A1 Union Switch & Signal 1943 serial NO # 10063XX. Your web site tells me the frame is Remington-Rand, however the gun dealer I purchased the pistol from had a Published Colt pistol fire arms book. In the back of the book it shows the makers in conjunction with the serial numbers and dates for the M1911's & 1911A1's. Did Remington-Rand supply frames to US&S ? in WW2 Your web site is correct with the book until it gets to1943 and after1943 it's correct again. Which is correct, the book or web site? I'm giving you the serial numbers that are in the book for the 1943 date. I can also get the publisher of the book if you need it. I have a copy of the page but not the book in hand.
The book shows for 1943 Serial Numbers:
Colt: 801001-958100 Union Signal & Switch: 958101-1088725 Colt: 1088726-1208673 Ithaca Gun Co.: 1208674-1279673 Renumbered at arsenals: 1279674-1279698 Remington-Rand: 1279699-1441430 Ithaca Gun Co.: 1441431-1471430 Remington-Rand: 1471431-1609528
Answer: Craig- There are all sorts of serial number lists floating around. Our date of manufacture list is probably not 100% accurate, but it is pretty close. However for serious matters you should consult the best information available.
Serious collectors all acknowledge that the definitive work on the .45 automatic is Charles Clawson's "Colt .45 Service Pistols." It is out of print, and if anyone is lucky enough to find a copy for sale, they will probably have to pay $350-450 for the book. That is how highly it is regarded. As for the other books---- no one pays too much for them, so I think that shows the relative value of the information in them.
Clawson states on page 327 that the last US&S pistols were shipped from the factory on November 27, 1943. "Exactly 55,000 pistols were delivered to the government, serial numbered from 1041405 to 1096404 inclusive." He repeats these numbers as the US&S serial number range on page 299. On that page he also lists one of several Remington Rand serial number ranges as 916405-1041404 (contract dated May 22, 1942). Therefore I would say that a pistol with a serial number of 10063xx has a frame made by Remington-Rand.
He also notes two oddities associated with US&S pistols:
"1. They were not stamped with the "crossed cannon" of the Ordnance inspection mark, even though the procedure was standardized in October 1942.
2. They were not stamped with the "P" proof mark on either the receiver or slide until about serial number 1060000. They were, however, all proof fired in accordance with Ordnance procedures and there is no explanation why they were not marked."
He further notes on page 369 that the inspector marking on all Remington-Rand pistols was FJA and on US&S it was always RCD.
It is possible that your dealer was misinformed, or inadequately informed about what he was selling. (We have made mistakes too, and no one can know everything about all types of collector guns.). It is also possible that he is engaged in fraud, as US&S pistols usually sell at a premium over other makers. I know of one California dealer who sells a lot of .45 autos who has a reputation for deceptive practices if not outright fraud.
The difficulty with proving fraud is to show that the seller knew that what he had was something other than what he represented it to be. I hope you are able to resolve this transaction to your satisfaction without going to court where only the lawyers will come out ahead. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 3807 - Remington 721 Year of Manufacture 4/4/01 Ross, Oklahoma City, OK
Remington - 721 - 30.06 - 23000 -
What year was this produced? The serial# is on the opposite side from our other 721's. Is this an early or special edition? All information is greatly appreciated.
Answer: Ross, Remington manufactured approximately 125,000 Model 721 rifles from 1948 to 1962. The first rifles introduced were chambered in 270 Win. and 30-06. Standard model 721 rifles were configured with a round barrel and a straight bolt handle. The stock was a plain straight-comb type with a pistol grip and a round tipped forend. The trigger guard and floorplate were fabricated from a steel stamping. The safety catch protruded on the right side of the action behind the bolt handle, and the bolt-stop catch projected into the trigger guard immediately ahead of the trigger. I have been unable to find any information pertaining to location of serial number and other markings on 721 rifles. There is a method to determine the date of manufacture for Remington firearms which I have listed in our questions and answers several times in the past. Rather than re-listing the Remington dating information all over again, I will direct you to the new site search engine that we have installed at OldGuns.net. To use our new search engine, just click on the search link. This search link is located towards the top the OldGuns.net menu frame at the left hand side of our site. When the search engine has finished loading, enter the search term "Remington Manufacture Dates". You will be directed to a link to our April 1997 questions and answers. Good Luck, Marc
# 3790 - French Model 1866 Chassepot Bayonet 4/4/01 Lisa, Placida Fl.
Sabre? For Gun? -
Mre, d'Armes de St. Etiemme 1878 I was wondering if you knew anything of the sabers that went onto French weapons in 1878 and what I might have here. the engraving is on the top of the blade. looks like a very common piece but I was just interested in the history of the signature writing. and if it was used in a certain confrontation etc. thanks. Lisa
Answer: Lisa, I suspect that what you have is a French Model 1866 Chassepot bayonet. These were manufactured in large quantities by a number of French arsenals. People often mistake the marking that you mention "Mre, d'Armes de St. Etienne 1878" on the back of the blade to be the name of the soldier the bayonet was issued to. "Mre, d'Armes de St. Etienne " is actually the arsenal where the bayonet was manufactured and "1878" is the year of manufacture. Values for 1866 Chassepot bayonets are in the $50 to $100 range depending on condition. Marc
# 3752 - .40-82 Kangaroo Cartridge Case 4/4/01 Paul, Port Washington, Wisconsin
I received a shell case from a friend and would like any info you have regarding it. It is a rimmed centerfire cartridge with the following information on the back of the case: two kangaroos, 40-82 and BB
Answer: Paul- The .40-82 cartridge was introduced in 1885 for the Winchester- Browning single shot rifles, and later used in the Model 1886 lever action rifles. It was a good solid big game cartridge for elk and similar critters, with a little better ballistics and trajectory than many other cartridges of its era, so it was later loaded with smokeless powder. It was dropped from production shortly before WW2. The BB and kangaroo headstamp is one I have seen before, but am uncertain about the details. I think it is from an Australian firm circa 1960s-1980s. That was back in the good old days before the Australian politicians decided that many types of guns shold be outlawed and confiscated. John Spangler
Emblem on stock with a W with a crown, with Maastricht written on it on the stock The gun is dated 1878, it is a rifle with a top loading clip, it has a bayonet, it is wood with what looks like brass finish. Not totally sure about the caliber just what tag on gun says. The man that has it for sale does not know much about it. Can you please help me with any information and possible retail value. I would appreciate it so very much. Thank you. Dee
Answer: Dee- Your rifle was made for the Netherlands (Holland or Dutch are also terms used to describe this country) using the bolt action designed by Beaumont. When first made these were single shot rifles and used a 11x50mm rimmed cartridge, somewhat like a .45-70 but with a much larger case diameter at the rear. In 1878 the cartridges and chambers were modified for use of the 11x52mm rimmed cartridges, nearly the same as the earlier, but just different enough that they are not interchangeable, although the .43 Egyptian cartridge is pretty darn close to both of them. (None of these three are readily available for shooting purposes, and although it is possible to cobble together some sort of stuff to use, we do not think that is a safe or smart thing to do. (We rather have you spending money with us than helping a doctor buy a new Mercedes.). In 1888 the rifles were converted to use a magazine that sticks down below the stock, designed by Vitali, and these are known as the Beaumont-Vitali rifles. The single shot versions are pretty scarce while the Vitali conversions are pretty common. The latter seem to sellinthe $150-250 range, depending on condition. All parts were iron or steel, or walnut, so I do not know what appears to be brass. Perhaps it is an old coat of dried varnish or something that may have protected the bright finish underneath. Hope this helps. John Spangler