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# 6724 - Loyalist Arms Doglock Pistol
4/28/2004
Tom, Costa Mesa, Ca

Loyalist Arms - 1690's Doglock Pistol - .64 Caliber - 12'' - Blue -

Is Loyalist Arms a legit company that make good firearms? Thanx

Answer:
Tom- I must confess that I have never heard of Loyalist Arms, but since I do not pay much attention to modern made replicas, that should not imply that they are or are not any good. Now, many of our visitors are probably asking "What the heck is a 'dog lock'". Most have heard of match locks, wheel locks, and flint locks. A "dog", besides being a furry canine critter, is also a mechanical catch. When used in guns, this took the form of a safety catch on the outside of the lockplate on a flintlock. This was attached by a screw and shaped sort of like a dog's leg, with a hook on the end that would engage in a notch in the hammer to keep is from moving until after the "dog" was disengaged. This was sort of a primitive "safety" lock, but aside from a brief period of popularity circa 1700-1760 they were little used. Apparently Ye Olde Hand Gonne Safety League was unable to get them mandated to protect The Children from firearms accidents. John Spangler


# 10050 - Old Savage
4/28/2004
john Chambersburg Pa.

Savage - Model 1899 - 30-30 - 26 - Blue - 81.431 -

Lever action, How old is this gun, and where was it made, as well as what is the value of it

Answer:
John, your rifle was manufactured in Utica New York. There is a problem with the serial number that you sent, it should not have the dot in it. If the correct number is 81431, my references indicate that the year of manufacture is 1909. If the correct number is 81?431, references indicate that the rifle was manufactured after 1940.

Early model 1899 rifles with perch belly stocks, and high gloss bluing are the most valuable. The value of your rifle will depend on several factors including special features, age, whether any modifications have been made and condition. If the rifle is an early example in excellent condition, value can go as high as $1000. If the rifle is well used and/or if modifications have been made like it has been drilled and tapped for a scope or if a recoil pad has been added, value can go as low as $150. Marc


# 10062 - Old Luger Holster
4/28/2004
Scott, Richmond, VA

Luger - Blue -

I have a holster for a Luger. Wondering what the markings mean, and what the value may be. It is chocolate brown, has a pocket for an extra clip on the front edge, and a small pocket on the inside flap for a tool. There are markings on the inside flap: BAXIV is stamped on the flap, also, the numerals 1916. There is also a couple of words, hard to make out. I am missing the first few letters of each word, but the first word end in ....GEN and the second word ends in ....LSRUHE. The leather is worn and has some of the finish worn off, but there are no rips or tears, all stitching is intact, strap and buckle ok. Thanks for any info or help you can give.

Answer:
Scott, brown Luger holsters are usually of WWI vintage. The date stamping (1916) that you mention confirms this assumption. The other markings are hard to decipher from the information that you provided, most likely, they are the holster's manufacturer. Good Luger holsters usually sell in the $100 to $200 range. WWI vintage holsters are a little less popular than their WWII counterparts. Let us know if you decide to sell. Marc


# 6729 - Ammo For Italian Terni 7.35mmm Rifle
4/24/2004
Bill, Schertz, Texas

R.E. Terni - Italian Carbine - 7.35 - Unknown - Blue - P878 -

My father in law has this rifle he said he bought from a store after the WWII. He would like to find where he can get some ammunition for this gun. I did see your Q & A on this same weapon in an earlier question, but it did not tell me anything on the ammo. Can you help? Thanks

Answer:
Bill- Surplus WW2 Italian ammo is sometimes available from surplus dealers such as Old Western Scrounger on our links page. That ammo is OLD and was not noted for its reliability even when not nearly as old as it is now. OWS may have some that has been loaded more recently that would be much better to use but also a lot more expensive. Frankly, I don't think the Italian rifles are worth the cost or trouble of shooting. John Spangler


# 6752 - Krag NRA Carbine
4/24/2004
Don Copperopolis, CA

Springfield - Model 1896 Krag - .30 - 22 Inches - Blue - 48242 -

I have a Model 1896 30-40 Krag manufactured by Springfield Armory. This gun has a 22 in. barrel with a banded front sight(blade pinned on ramp attached to band).No top hand guard & has std military rear sight .Stock is 30 in. long with a single stock/barrel band approx. 4 in. back from the forend of the stock .No other changes from stock Krag rifle. Would this Krag be a cut off rifle from the Benicia Arsenal sold through the DCM approx. 76 years ago? Ref. American Rifleman, Sept issue page 116. Thank you.

Answer:
Don- I do not have the American Rifleman handy, but assume it talked about the "NRA Carbine" which was nothing more than a Krag rifle cut down to carbine size for sale to NRA members through what later became the DCM, then the CMP program. In my opinion most, if not all, of those were made from M1898 rifles, not M1896. The barrels were either cut down from rifle length, or replaced with carbine barrels on hand. When cut down barrels were used, the front sights were M1903 Springfield sights, which did not have much of a ramp. Also, the sight base had a dovetail on the upper edge and a moveable part fit in there and was held by a screw from the front and the front sight blade was held in the upper part, secured with a small pin from the side. Many cut down rifles were altered by various gunsmiths but used a cheaply made front sight made of sheet metal bent around the barrel and pinched together at the top with a sight blade sandwiched between the side pieces. Those are definitely NOT the arsenal produced NRA Carbines. Unless there is some documentation available to show that your gun was one of the arsenal made conversions, there is no positive way to tell one from a well done gunsmith conversion. John Spangler


# 10070 - Dump It
4/24/2004
Kevin, Pikeville, KY

BURGO - 22 - 1/2 inch - Don't Know - 06395 -

West Germany on trigger! Silver Color not sure of finish with wood handles with diamond shape imprints around screws. The wheel is loose and I would like to know how fix it. Also the value it is a six shot .22 revolver

Answer:
Kevin, I am not surprised that that there are problems with your revolver. Burgos were inexpensive (cheap Saturday night special type) firearms manufactured in the 1960's by Karl Burgsmuller of Kreiensen, West Germany for export to the United States. U.S. import of his type of revolver was ended by the gun control act of 1968. There is no collector demand for Burgo revolvers, values fall in the $25 to $50 range. Your gun is probably not safe to fire and definitely not worth repairing. My free advise would be to turn it into the police for destruction. Marc


# 10016 - Late P.38
4/20/2004
Mark, Fort Collins, CO, USA

Walther - P.38 - 9mm - 5 In - Blue - 34C -

''34c'' serial number consistent throughout weapon Proof mark on right side of slide appears to be eagle with swastika in circle beneath Additional proof mark on all major parts appears to be multi-lined figure with ''359'' beneath Left side of slide marked ''P.38'' and ''34c ac45'' I recently received this P38 from a friend of my father's (deceased WWII vet) who in turn had received it from an infantry officer returning from the ETO in 1945. The pistol is in overall very good condition with some holster wear on the bluing. The weapon operates beautifully and I noted the locking block is polished silver in color. The pistol contains a blued magazine bearing only ''05488+'' on the lower left side. A spare magazine is also included that appears to be parkerized and bears ''P38'' and ''U'' on the right side, with some type of incomplete stamp on the left side that appears to be 3 letters. The pistol is in a black rigid leather flap-over holster with a buckle strap for the flap. The back of the holster is stamped with an ''S'' and also a stamp of an eagle with a swastika in a circle in the eagle's talons. From my research (with great help from your website)I understand that the ac45 indicates a Walther manufacture in 1945. I have also read that the ''359'' proof mark also indicates this weapon was assembled and test fired, again at the Walther plant; and that the Waffenampt indicated the acceptance of the weapon by the German military. My understanding, however, was that the ''B Block'' numbered weapons were the last Walther produced P.38's assembled and proofed before April 1945, and that the ''C Block'' numbered weapons were generally believed to be non-proofed pistols assembled from leftover parts. (Sorry to be so long-winded) Is it possible that this weapon, bearing serial number ''34c'' is one of the very last proofed and accepted wartime P.38's produced by Walther? If it would be helpful I can take digital photographs of the weapon and markings and forward them to you. Thanks so much for any advice. I truly enjoy your website. Mark

Answer:
Mark, it is my understanding that Walther pistols in the 1945 "c" block were assembled by American soldiers for souvenirs after the Walther factory had taken over. I own a Walther (ac) 45 c block pistol with a serial number in the 6000 range and none of the serial numbers on the major components match. I believe that this is because GIs who made no effort to match part numbers assembled my pistol.

The standard marking procedure for pistols destined for the Germany military required two waffenamts (an eagle over 359) to be applied to the left hand side of the slide, and a firing proof (a Nazi eagle holding a swastika) to be applied to the slide, barrel, takedown block and frame. If these markings are missing then the pistol was not accepted by the German military. If present, then the pistol was accepted.

It sounds like you may have a rare pistol that may be of interest to P38 collectors. If you have access to a digital camera send us some pictures. Marc


# 10017 - 1917 Sporter
4/20/2004
Donna, Calverton, VA

Eddystone - 1917 - 30.06 - Don't Know - 184663 -

The letter 'E' on the bolt Rifle belonged to my father. I have been told the rifle had been sporterized. It does have a scope ( which I had to remove to read the name) Curious as to value of such a rifle.

Answer:
Donna, a common way to mount a scope on an old military rifle is to drill and thread holes in the receiver to accept a scope mount. M1917 rifles had protective "ears" on both sides of the rear sights that are often removed or ground off when scopes are added. If any permanent or irreversible modifications have been made to your rifle, collector value has been destroyed. Sporterized M1917 rifles commonly sell in the $200 or less range. Marc


# 6831 - Springfield Assembled Rock Island M1903
4/20/2004
Mike, Wrightsville, Pa.

Springfield - 1903 - 30.06 ? - Don't Know - 412621 -

Rock Island Arsenal marked above serial #. Stock is pressure stamped R.R.A. on the left side above trigger guard and also marked C-S.A.A. on right side of stock between trigger guard area and bolt. Rear sight is not a peep but one that can be raised and adjusted. Stock Butt plate has round lid to a compartment. Stock is C type not straight. I believe Springfield may have completed this gun from parts they received from Rock Island. I was particularly interested in what the stock markings mean and where the gun was made. Thanks for your help. My Dad gave me this gun recently and said he bought it in the 50's

Answer:
Mike- If the barrel date is about 1928 or 1929 or thereabouts it may be one of the receivers shipped from Rock Island as spares and assembled later at Springfield. It is possible that it was merely inspected later leading to the cartouches you mention, or it could have been entirely rebuilt once using a stock from a rifle that had also been rebuilt previously, or it could have been rebuilt multiple times before ending up in this stock. The C-SAA is from a visit to San Antonio Arsenal, and the RRA is from Red River Arsenal. John Spangler


# 6830 - M1903 Springfield .32-40 Target Rifle
4/17/2004
Chance, Mary Esther ,FLorida

Springfield - 1903 - .32-40 - Don't Know - 99384 -

I just purchased a M1903 rifle from a ''friend of a friend'' who needed some money. I am having a hard time finding any information on the type of 03 it is. Supposedly his grandfather was on the Army shooting team and it was his rifle. The rifle has a very thick barrel for competition shooting, a rear sight that looks like a sextant, and a brass shoulder brace. The rifle is a .32-40 caliber, I found that very odd. The rifle is in very good condition and he has a uniform patch that says ''1921 International shooting competition'', or something of that nature, This was the competition the gun was used in. The SER# is 99384. I don't have anymore marking off the gun right now, it will be a while before I actually have the gun in my possession. Any information you could give me would be wonderful. Even if you could point me in the right direction to research it I would be grateful. Thank you, Chance

Answer:
Chance- I am certain this was not made at Springfield in that configuration. The .32-40 was a very highly regarded cartridge for target shooters from about 1880 onwards, and a wide variety of rifle can be found chambered for it. The heavy barrel and fancy sight and buttplate were all fashionable among the better target shooters. I suspect that this was made up by a gunsmith to the owner's specifications. While it may have some sentimental value, it would have little interest to most collectors, it would appeal to those who collect target rifles, or like one I know, who only collects rifles in .32-40 caliber. There were some later mid 1920s target rifles made at Springfield with heavy barrels and other unique features, and those are very desirable and valuable collector items, but they were in .30-06 caliber. John Spangler


# 6832 - Colt 1849 Pocket Model History
4/17/2004
Adom

Colt - Civil War Revolver -

I recently acquired a well used Colt Civil War revolver that belonged to one of my ancestors. All of the numbers are matching (I found the number in six places). It has got some faded but readable engravings on the barrel of a stage coach and a battle. The serial number is 257869. Could you help me find out how to track down information and history of the gun and how to care for it so that I maximize its show quality without hurting its value? I always thought that the US Army had very good records of the guns they issued during the Civil War. Are there any websites that have information about the history, who it was issued to or information about the gun in general? Thank you very much. Adom

Answer:
Adom- First, we encourage you to keep this in the family.

Available records are virtually nil on this scenario. To begin with, the Model 1849 pocket model Colt in .31 caliber was NOT a military issue pistol, although 50 in the 203,000-204,000 range were purchased by the US Navy in 1861. Thus, military records, which, contrary to what you have been told, were not kept in great detail, and have survived in only very fragmented forms, would not tell you anything. We host the site http://ArmsCollectors.com which has made available all of the documented serial numbers for U.S. military related arms that have been found in the National Archives and other sources during over 25 years of diligent research. This way anyone who wants to check, can go to that site and see if any information at all has been found. If so, you can get a letter stating the information, the source, and if there is a service record for a specific individual related to a gun, you can get a copy of that. Mr. Frank Mallory of the Springfield Research Service does this for a very modest fee, considering the vast amount of time he has invested in locating this information. The most useful information is from widely published lists of Colt serial numbers compared to date of manufacture. In this case, your serial number puts it in about the middle of 1864, just in time for commercial sale to some soldier or officer before the final battles that ended the Civil War. If you know your ancestor's name and state and hopefully his regiment, you can get a copy of his service records directly from the National Archives. Colt has few records of this period, as most were destroyed when the factory was destroyed by fire in 1864.

As far as caring for it, I would recommend a light coat of good gun oil on the metal parts, or some WD-40. Better is a good coat of clear paste wax. Renaissance brand is best, and used by many museums, but Minwax brand would probably be okay. Just about any good paste wax that does not have "cleaners" in it might be okay. Store the gun in a dry location not subject to extreme temperatures (i.e.- not in the attic or basement). To prevent damage or theft, it is a good idea to keep it locked up so kids and crooks cannot just walk away with it. Some parents with an overabundance of hoplophobic concerns may worry about kiddies shooting each other with this, but that is pretty unlikely. It is still a good idea to teach age-appropriate gun safety practices to all kids, and it keeps their Moms happier too. John Spangler


# 9995 - Post War M1934 Beretta
4/17/2004
Paul, Michigan

Berettas - M1934 - .380 - ? - Blue - ? -

I have come across a Beretta M1934 with a date of 1967 on the left side of the slide. It is in at least very good condition and I will probably purchase it. There are two things I would like to change. It has some quite nice looking wood grips that I would like to replace with original or replica of original. The finger rest on the magazine is plastic. I would like to know what the original grips looked like and also will older magazines with metal finger rest work in this later production pistol. The asking price is $274.95 which seems reasonable to me. What do you think? Thank you.

Answer:
Paul, the M1934 , was Italy's service weapon in WWII and it is one of the most common Beretta pistols ever produced. Over one million M1934 pistols were manufactured between 1934 and when productions ended 1980. I don't pay a lot of attention to modern M1934 pistols so I cant tell you much about their grips, magazines and/or finger rests. Original grips that I have observed on wartime production M1934 pistols have been made of black plastic with a metal backing. Since there is little or no collector interest in post-war production M1934 pistols, I would advise you to not waist time by trying to restore the pistol to original configuration. If you are looking for a collectible pistol, you would be far better off to pass on this pistol and to purchase a pistol that was produced prior to the end of the war. With a little searching, you will probably be able to find a war time pistol that is in good condition for about the same price or just a little more. .Marc


# 9999 - G98/40 Information
4/13/2004
Gary Atlanta, Georgia

Mauser ? - G98/40 - 8mm - 11 1/4'' Tip To Stock - Blue - 1982 -

Red-eagle profile standing on swastika. Just beneath is what appears to be ''W&A56.'' I am least sure about the ''&,'' the rest I am pretty confident about. On the top of the receiver is stamped ''41,'' and the letters ''jhv.'' The barrel bluing is about 50%-60%. All wood is in excellent condition, finish is in fair to good condition. Gun is in working order, bore is clean. Cleaning rod is missing. Bolt is only part not stamped ''1982.'' It is stamped 4515. Dad sent this home from Skoda munitions in Czechoslovakia in 1944, gleaned from ''thousands'' of weapons stockpiled there. He does not believe that it was manufactured there. Where was this gun produced and what do you estimate it's value to be?

Answer:
Gary, your rifle was made in Hungary, the 41 that is stamped on the receiver stands for 1941, it is the rifle's year of manufacture. The letters jhv are a WW-II German ordnance code assigned to Metallwaren. Waffenund Maschinenfabrik AG, Budapest, Hungary. This code is also seen on WWII vintage Femaru pistols. The WaA 56 is a German WW-II Heerswaffenamt inspector's mark on arms produced at Waffenund Maschinenfabrik.

The G98/40 was a Hungarian military rifle that was in use at the time that Hungary joined Hitler's alliance. The name G98/40 was designated by the German's, the G stands for Gewehr, (the German word for rifle), 98 is the models original year of adoption (1898) and 40 is the year that Hungary aligned itself with Germany (1940).

The allies did not invade the European continent till June 1944 so your father was probably at the Skoda works in Czechoslovakia in April-May 1945, not 1944. Your father is correct the rifle was not made at the Skoda works, they were busy making the standard German Army rifle, the Kar 98k. Marc


# 10003 - Commercial Wartime PPK
4/13/2004
Chris, Espoo, Finland

Walther - PPK - 7,65 mm - Blue - 295518K -

Eagle over ''N'' I have a Walther PPK in almost mint condition with 99% finish left and a mirror bore. What I would like to know is when it was manufactured and if its worth the 300$ I paid for it. I think I made a bargain.

Answer:
Chris, the eagle over ''N'' marking that you describe sounds like a German proof that was set forth in the German National Proof Law of 7 June 1939. The "N" was the abbreviation for Nitro, meaning smokeless Powder. The 1939 German proof law became effective on April 1, 1940 so I would estimate that your PPK was manufactured sometime between then and the end of WWII in 1945. Your serial number (295518K) falls into the variation 2 range for wartime PPK pistols. Variation 2 PPK pistols have a high-polish (commercial grade) blue finish and military models will bare an Eagle over WaA359 acceptance stamp.

The lack of military acceptance stampings or police markings would indicate that your pistol is a model that was sold on the commercial market to a private individual. Commercial PPK pistols are less valuable then their military or police counterparts but it still sounds like you got a good deal. Marc


# 6833 - M1 Grand Rifle History
4/13/2004
Mike

I have a M1 Grand Rifle ,I would to know if is possible to trace its history, like were its been and what action it has been in ?

Answer:
Mike- The short answer is- it is almost impossible to do that. The exception is that a few thousand are documented in one way or another at one period of their possibly 30 year service life from documents uncovered by Springfield Research Service. If they do not have info, then none exists, or none has yet been found.

Go to http://ArmsCollectors.com site we sponsor, and you can look up your serial number. The search will return the info available on the 10 closest numbers above and below the number entered, but info on those probably has no relevance to your rifle as they were not issued in serial number sequence to a certain unit or anything like that. John Spangler


# 6834 - Antique Shotgun I Want To Buy
4/10/2004
Larry

Could you tell me if you have any information on a antique gun that I want to buy? I was told that this gun was made before the civil war - during the western age. It is a stage coach gun and has the name on it of WIC. HAM. STAGE CO.

Answer:
Larry- In my opinion 99% of all "stage coach guns" being sold are merely junk shotguns with little value otherwise that someone has embellished with sexy markings. I would either buy based on the value of the gun (with no value for the markings), or demand written documentation that this was indeed used by whoever, whenever, with statement of what references support this assertion. I am sure the seller will claim I don't know what I am talking about, but it is your money, so invest as you see fit. John Spangler


# 6835 - 1930's Armenius [Arminius] Revolver
4/10/2004
Steve

I'm hoping you can help me. I'm writing a novel and in an attempt to be factually accurate, I am trying to find out what type of bullets were typically used with a 1030'3 German Armenius revolver. Specifically, I am trying to find out the color of the bullets and their size. Can you help me? It would be tremendously appreciated!

Answer:
Steve- The Arminius (note spelling) revolvers were made in several calibers: .25 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) known in Europe as 6.35mm; .32 ACP- 7.65mm also a few in 5.5mm Velo Dog (no US designation) or in .38 S&W.

The .32 ACP is the most typical, with a thumb safety on the left side of the frame. Some had a trap in the butt that you could flip open for storage of some extra ammo. It was possible to fire .32 S&W cartridges in the .32 ACP guns, sort of unusual as the .32 S&W is a rimmed cartridge (usually used in revolvers) while the .32 ACP is a rimless cartridge almost always used in semi-automatics. The use of rimmed or rimless ammo was possible because the cartridge case seated against the front of the chamber, instead of depending on the rim to hold it in place. Normally revolvers would extract all the fired cases at once, with a star shaped part pressing against the rims, but the Arminius used an ejector rod that pivoted from its storage position under the barrel and could then be used to poke out the fired cases by pushing back through the cylinder from the front, one at a time.

.32 ACP ammo has a brass case, and the bullet could be either copper jacketed (copper color) or if a different type jacket was used, the bullet would look more like silver; or a lead bullet (dark gray) could be used. .32 S&W almost always used the lead bullet and a brass case. Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 10000 - Checkered Model 63
4/10/2004
dale buffalo Missouri

Winchester - 63 - 22 - 22 - Blue - 49321 -

checkered, and grip cap Did Winchester ever make a 63 deluxe rifle? The checkering looks really old and fits the gun. It looks to be an original checkering. And also the rifle has a cap on the stock grip, and no finish underneath it. thanks dale

Answer:
Dale, recent production Grade l Model 63 rifles (manufactured between 1997 and 1998) had checkered walnut stocks and forearms, blue finish and engraved receivers. The OldGuns.net date of manufacture program indicates that the year of manufacture for your rifle, serial number 49321 is 1941. My references indicate that original production (1933 to1958) Winchester Model 63 rifles came with plain pistol grip stocks. There is no mention of a deluxe original production Model 63 with checkering anywhere that I can find.

Perhaps your rifle was a special order gun, or maybe the checkering and grip cap can be attributed to a subsequent owner. A factory letter from the Winchester records at the Cody Firearms Museum may be able to shed some light on the matter. Factory letters will tell the date of shipment, and in some cases the destination of a gun, along with notes on any special features noted in the records. These records are somewhat incomplete, but are considered to be the best information available. There is a fee for the letters (about $50) so it may not be worth it to you to peruse the matter further. Marc.


# 9974 - Webley Mk. III Information
4/6/2004
Tony Australia

Webley - MARK III Commercial - 38. cal - 4 inch - Blue - 24242 -

Could you please tell me what years where the Webley revolver (Commercial) MARK III 38.Cal produced .

Answer:
Tony, references indicate that Webley manufactured the Mk. III from 1896 to 1939, it was a single / double action, hinged frame, top break, 6 shot revolver with blue finish. Revolvers were available chambered in .32 S&W, .320 S&W, or .38 S&W calibers. Service model Mk. III revolvers had fixed sights and 3 or 4 inch barrels. A Target Model was also available that came with adjustable sights and 6 or 10 inch barrel. Service model revolvers had regular wood grips while target models had special competition grips. Marc


# 9981 - HSc Information
4/6/2004
Mark, Aberdeen, S.D.

Mauser-Werke A.G. Oberndorf a.N. - HSc - 7.65 - Blue - 908423 -

A friend of mines dad brought this pistol back from WW 11, I can't find anything about it. could you help. Mark in South Dakota

Answer:
Mark, Mauser manufactured over 250,000 HSc pistols from 1941 until the war ended in 1945. German military issue pistols were marked with Heerswaffenamt inspector's proof stamp for arms produced at Mauser Werke (eagle over "WaA135"). HSc pistols issued to police departments were marked with police proof marks (an eagle over an "x" inside a circle with the letter "L" to the right) on the left side of the trigger guard. Pistols that were sold commercially do not have military or police proofs.

Military marked HSc pistols are the most valuable, after those come pistols that bare police markings, least valuable are the commercial models. Values for HSc pistols ranges from $100 to around $450 depending on condition and markings. Marc


# 6837 - Device To Convert M1903 Springfield To Automatic
4/6/2004
Stephen Mc Donough GA.

Blue -

Dear Sir. I read somewhere that there was an adapter made for the 1903 Springfield rifle that would convert it to automatic. Is this true and where would I find more info?

Answer:
Stephen- You are probably referring to the secret U.S. Pistol, caliber .30 Model of 1918, better known as the "Pedersen Device" which was made for use on the Model 1903 Mark I Springfields. These were made in the closing months of WW1, and never saw action. Initially about 165,000 rifles and 100,000 devices were made. The rifles have an ejection port on the left side of the receiver, and there are minor modifications to the trigger, sear and cutoff assemblies as well. The rifle could be used normally with .30-06 ammunition. The concept was that the devices would be issued prior to an assault, and just before entering the German trenches, the troops would remove the regular bolt, insert the Pedersen device, snap on its 40 round magazine, and be ready to kill any Germans in the trenches. This was actually a semi-automatic, not a full auto conversion, and it uses a puny cartridge similar to the .32 ACP (but actually closer to the slightly hotter and longer French 7.65 pistol round). While not powerful enough to perform as a regular rifle for all uses, the Pedersen configuration was probably okay (in theory) for the very limited combat role envisioned for it. However, by the 1930s, the Army got tired of paying for the storage costs of the devices, and ordered them destroyed, and the rifles issued as regular M1903 rifles after replacement of the special parts with standard parts. Al but a few of the devices were destroyed, making them extremely scarce (and pricey) collector items today. There is a lot of technical information on these in William S. Brophy's book on 1903 Springfields, and Bruce Canfield did an excellent article on the in the American Rifleman in 2002 or 2003. We will be adding an extended analysis of one on our other site M1903.com when we get some time for that project. John Spangler


# 6854 - British Brown Bess Musket
4/3/2004
George, Arlington, VA

British - Brown Bess - Unknown - Don't Know - STAMPED ''G.R.'' AND ''TOWER'' -

Officer's initials carved into brass plate near trigger guard. I am looking for information about my family's Brown Bess that reportedly dates back to the Revolutionary War--dropped at Breed's Hill. Would not be surprised, as my family settled in the Boston area in the late 1600s. The gun was standard British Army issue and includes the officer's initials. Condition is remarkably good. Is there someone in the Washington, DC area who might be able to provide an appraisal or some additional details about this antique?

Answer:
George- That sounds like a great gun, and if it can be documented to have been at Breed's [Bunker] Hill, that would be the centerpiece of any Revolutionary War collection. Unfortunately, most of the folks I know who have the expertise to evaluate your musket are connected with museums. Museums have a policy that forbids employees from commenting on value of items, so their expertise is somewhat muzzled by ethical standards. I think your best bet would be to take it to the Maryland Arms Collectors world famous "Baltimore gun show" on March 20-21, 2004. (See their website at http://baltimoreshow.com) Some of the leading experts in the field will be there (ask for George Neumann or Erik Goldstein) and can probably help you. That show is at the Timonium Fairgrounds off I-83 just north of the Beltway around Baltimore. Decide now if it is for sale, because I would expect that numerous people will want to buy it, but I always prefer to see family pieces stay in the family. John Spangler


# 9991 - Projectile Identification
4/3/2004
Ken

Dear Sir- I was hoping you could help me identify a projectile. It is made of brass, 5 inch diameter base, 21 inches high and weighs about 55 lbs. The markings on the bottom are as follows: 5 \"DRILL\" MKII 161064-D-3 and 161064-D-2, WFM. There is also a ships anchor and U. S. I am assuming this is a U. S. Navy projectile. I am unsure if the word DRILL is correct as there are numerous scratches. The top of the projectile's nose is drilled about 0.5 inches and has a threaded rod running into which screws into a brass ball that is about an inch in diameter. The bottom plate of the projectile has two circular holes that penetrate about 1/4-1/2 inch into the metal and it appears that this plate can be unscrewed. Any information you could supply as to age (1964?) or use would be appreciated. I do not know if this thing has been disarmed and would appreciate recommendations. Thanks for your time-Ken

Answer:
Ken- I am pretty sure that you have a "5 inch drill projectile" made for use by gun crews with the "loading machine". These were devices that were similar to the breech of a 5"/38 gun as used on Destroyers as main armament and as secondary armament on larger ships like cruisers and battleships. Loading machines allowed the gun crews to practice all the moves needed to load and fire the gun, and build up their speed and strength. A good crew could get off about 12-15 rounds per minute.

The gun captain would ensure the rammer spade was dropped, then the powderman would grab a cartridge case with the powder in it from the chute coming up through the deck of the gun mount, and drop it into the tray of the gun. The projectile man would grab the projectile from the left or right side of the projectile hoist where it was sitting with the nose fuse down, engaged in the fuse setter so that it had the proper time set on the mechanical time fuze, and then he would drop it into the tray ahead of the powder. As he brought his hands clear, he would trip the latch for the rammer to drive the projectile and cartridge case into the breech. As the case made its final movement into the chamber, the rim would engage the extractors and trip the breechbllock so it would slide up vertically (just about like the breech of a Sharps rifle). If the firing keys were set for automatic fire, the gun would fire as soon as the breech was fully closed. As the gun recoiled in the carriage, the cam latch would trip the breechblock to lower it, and the extractors would fling the empty brass case straight back with considerable force (and hopefully out the shell chutes at the rear of the mount. If not, the hot case man with asbestos gloves would grab it and get rid of it.) The twin gun mounts had a crew of about 12 men working inside the mount, and a single mount probably had about 7 men. Another 4-5 men worked in the upper handling room underneath the gun mount, keeping the powder and projectile hoists filled with the proper types of ammunition. If required, an additional crew would be in the magazines several decks below sending ammo up the dredger hoists to keep the upper handling room topped off. This was hard work and of course each man had to be ready to fill in at any other job in case of a casualty, so loading machine drills were a necessity. Some of the key positions were filled by Gunners Mates, but most of the gun crews were made up of very junior cooks and seamen who only worked with the guns at General Quarters battle stations. Obviously it would not be a good idea to use live projectiles filled with explosives, so special brass "drill projectiles" were made. Similarly, the cartridge cases for loading machine use had a steel base and nose section and wooden body between, so that the weight was about right, but the critical areas were made of steel for durability.

I am not sure there is a lot of collector interest in drill projectiles, but if people collect beanie babies and toilet paper, someone must be motivated to accumulate drill projectiles. Those are wonderful relics of the days when the Navy's hundreds and hundreds of warships had real guns (not missiles), oil fired boilers (not sissy jet engines) and the crews were real men (not the politically correct boys and girls crews that must be a nightmare of problems for the officers and chiefs to control). There is nothing finer than to do a full power run at 30+ knots on an old DD at night in the Caribbean under a full moon. Unforgettable fun with the wind in your face, the throbbing of the entire ship, and a huge rooster tail in the wake. Of course, that is usually followed by the "crash back" which is maximum pucker factor for the engineers as they try to balance water level, burners in the boilers and throttles as you go from all ahead flank to all back full in about 30 seconds. Great fun when it is all over (if the lights stay on and you don't pop the safeties!) It was much more fun being the Weapons Officer than the Chief Engineer, at least in my experience. Fair winds and following seas to all my shipmates, and our now scrapped ships. John Spangler


# 9988 - FN 1922 Markings
4/3/2004
Dave, Kansas City, Mo.

Fabrique Nationale - model 1922 - 7.65 - guess, 4 1/2 inches - Blue - 29839 -

I have been trying to research this gun for a neighbor. She says her husband brought it home at the end of WW II What markings would there be on a run of the mill pistol like this and any idea on current value

Answer:
Dave, FN 1922 pistols will have the serial number stamped on the right hand side of the frame just above the trigger, on the right hand side of the chamber, on the inside rear of the slide, and on the right hand side of the slide extension at the muzzle. The left-hand side of the slide should read "FABRIQUE NATIONALE D'ARMES DE GUERRE HERSTAL BELGIQUE BROWNING'S PATENT DEPOSE". Magazines should be stamped with the FN trademark and "7.65" mm or "9mm" on the right hand side.

Pistols issued to the German military are the most valuable, they will be bear military acceptance marks (eagle over "WaA103" eagle over "WaA140" or eagle over "WaA613"). The military acceptance marks will be stamped two or three times on the left side of the slide and/or frame, once or twice on the left side of the chamber (barrel), and in some cases on the upper left side of the trigger guard. Military pistols will also be marked with test proof markings (eagle over swastika in a circle) on the left side of the slide, on the upper left side of the frame above the trigger, and on the right side of the barrel at the chamber.

Military marked pistols are the most valuable, I have seen nice examples sell for as much as $375. Pistols without military markings usually sell for $250 or less. Marc


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