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# 2049 - Spanish Pistol
4/27/99
robbib

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Spanish Dueling Pistol Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

My husband was given a old Dueling Pistol, that was found in the Mountains North of Sante Fe NM, it seems to be of Spanish Origin, we were wondering how or where we could get it appraised. Attached are some pictures of it. We don't want to sell it, we just want to learn more about it.

Answer:
robbib- Your photos are a little dark and may not reveal all the details. In my opinion your pistol is probably one made in the 20th century for sale to the tourist trade. These are popular items in several countries in the Mediterranean region and seem to be found everywhere from Turkey, Italy, and probably Spain and North Africa. There are some subtle regional differences but I am not able to tell them apart. These have been produced since the early 1900s, based on designs of guns made as far back as the 1600s. The common factor seems to be an (over) abundance of ornamentation. This includes fittings such as trigger guards and side plates with cast relief carving; wire decoration in the wood, and inlays of various metals, shell or stones. While impressive by their quantity, they usually are of very poor workmanship. Careful inspection of the interior of the barrel usually show these to be inconsistent with "real guns" and the internals of the locks may be functional, but far below what would be expected for a working weapon. It appears that it is difficult to operate the trigger in your gun due to being located so far forward in the guard, a design flaw that no qualified gun maker would have ever made. There is no provision for a ramrod to load the gun. Sometimes these were provided separately in a cased pair of "dueling pistols" but I doubt that this was ever a cased gun. There does not appear to be the amount of wear one would expect to see. In my opinion this has a value of $150-300. Hope you didn't pay a lot for it. John


# 2048 - Bayonet Scabbard
4/27/99

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Springfield M1905 Bayonet Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

John, I noticed on your web site you had movie-prop 1910 scabbards. What are the odds of finding a real one? I have a 1905 bayonet that is dated 1908 and it is in mint, unissued condition. It was refinished blued and it is very nice. It came with a M3 scabbard and I would like to get a 1910 scabbard for it. Did they refinish them at the arsenals during WW1? What year did the M3 scabbard come out? I will look forward to hearing from you.

Answer:
Dale - M1905 bayonets were made with blued hilts and bright blades until about 1918 when they began to be finished dark overall. During WW1 and later older bayonets were refinished with overall dark finish- blue/black/parkerize depending on where the work was done. The M1905 scabbard (leather with Krag type belt loop) was used until adoption of M1910 (rawhide covered wood with removable canvas cover and M1910 belt hook). After 1910 the earlier scabbards were altered by removing Krag type belt loop and adding a leather band around the top with M1910 belt hook. These were substitute standard until mid-WW2 when these and the then standard M1910 were made obsolete by the M3 scabbard. The plastic M3 scabbard was introduced about 1942, and continued in use as long as the 16 inch M1905 bayonets were in use. Some of the M3 scabbards were altered in 1943 and later when the long M1905 bayonets were shortened to the newly approved 10 inch M1 bayonet design. (Note the M1 designation was given to the bayonet as the first model adopted after the change in model designations circa 1930, and is not related to "Rifle, Caliber .30 M1", although they can be used together.) On the shortened scabbards, the metal throat piece is crimped at the bottom to lock the plastic body in place. Unaltered scabbards have a metal tab on the lower edge of each side that is folded over. Decent M1910 scabbards are very hard to find , and almost impossible to find loose. I have not seen a loose one for a couple of years and even scabbards with bayonets have nearly vanished. Keep looking and you will eventually find one, but unfortunately the supply and demand equation means that they are not as big a bargain as they used to be. John Spangler


# 1976 - Revolver Found, Treasure Or Trash?
4/27/99
Jason, Columbus, GA, USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
SONTHEIN/BRENZ ROHM GMBH 22. SHORT APPROX 2" BLUE 871263

"65*" is stamped on frame. Some crest and the letter "z" is stamped on the barrel, frame, and cylinder. Double Action, white grips. I found this weapon wrapped in an oilcloth under loose floorboards in the bedroom of my house. Could you please tell me of it's origin, value, etc.? It is in better than average condition, although it doesn't seem to constructed all that well. It looks like a starters pistol. Thank You

Answer:
Jason, unfortunately you have not found a treasure. The Rohm company (Rohm GmbH of Sontheim/Brenz West Germany) produced a large range of pistols under their own name, and then sold them under a dozen other names as well, most of these names were for American export sales in the days prior to the gun control Act of 1968. The passage of the 1968 gun Control act, with its restrictions on pistol dimensions, severely curtailed the importation of Rohm pistols into the United States and many of the sales names promptly ceased to exist. In addition to cheap revolvers, Rohm produced starting pistols, gas pistols and alarm pistols for the U.S. marketplace during the late 1960s, this is probably the reason that your revolver reminds you of a starting pistol. Rohm revolvers are usually identifiable by a round medallion in the grip carrying 'RG' and the model number. Rohm values fall in the $25.00 or less range. If you intend to fire this revolver I would strongly advise you to have it checked by a competent gunsmith first. Marc


# 2047 - Japanese Items For Sale
4/24/99
John

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Japan Unknown Several Unknown Unknown Unknown

I have a WW2 Japanese officer's pistol, military rifle, and a Japanese sword. These were all brought back from the WW2 occupation in 1945 by my wife's father. I don't know their value, or even how to properly identify them. Can you direct me to someone who knows about such things, so I can learn more about them and determine if they have any value?

Answer:
John- We can help you with these. As with most collectible items there are lots of variations that influence value. Without actually seeing the items, or at least some good close up photos, it is impossible to place a firm value on them. However, for general ballpark purposes, assuming that they are the typical model in average condition here are some estimates of retail value:.

a. WW2 Japanese military pistol (8mm Nambu Type 14 semi automatic with magazine) about $150-200, maybe $50-75 more with holster.

b. WW2 Japanese military rifle (bolt action 6.5mm Type 38 or 7.7mm Type 99) about $75-125. (Lower figure if markings on the receiver are defaced by grinding or chisel markings, higher if they are undamaged.) Sling, muzzle cover or other small attachments are a plus. It is amazing that these rifles bring so little, but that is the way it is.

c. WW2 Japanese sword- (1) If the police model with a light weight curved blade, a nickel plated metal scabbard and a brass guard around the handle like most "cavalry swords" about $75. (2) If a "Samurai sword" with a wider blade and a long handle without a guard (only a round disc type thing in front of the grip) the value can fluctuate dramatically. The Non-Commissioned Officer version has a cast aluminum handle and has a value of about $200-300. If an officer model with fancier handle covered with fish skin or other material and wrapped with something that looks like shoe laces from a sneaker, but brown in color, value is about $400-500. Some of the fancier officer swords used ancient family heirloom blades hand made by famous old makers and can be worth really big bucks, but they are also very rare. If the blades on any of these have been damaged with nicks etc or someone has polished the blades, values are lower. DO NOT DO ANYTHING TO CLEAN THESE! Put a little oil or WD40 on them and no more.

If anyone in the family has any interest in history we would encourage you to keep these in the family as reminders of service and sacrifice. You should try to record as much as you can about how they came into you possession, who obtained them, dates, the units they served in, any battles they were in, etc. If you decide to sell these, we will be glad to handle them on a consignment basis. We have information about various selling options at Oldguns.net/ that may be helpful. Let us know if you would like more information about consignment sales, or references. John Spangler


# 2046 - Inert Ordnance
4/24/99
Morris

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

We are currently conducting research for the US Army for the detection of unexploded ordinance. Due to bureaucratic complications, we are having trouble acquiring large ordinance items. Can you obtain any inert items (bombs or shells) larger than 105 mm up to 1000 lb. bombs.

Answer:
Morris- We may have a few items, but shipping large items is a real pain and very expensive. Here are some other options: I don't know what part of the Army you are working with/for, but you need to tell them to get off their butts and make a couple of phone calls for you if they want to get a good product. You need some help getting beyond the bureaucrats and out to the real people who can make things happen. If they don't have a clue about who can help, they must be recent Clinton political appointees rather than career soldiers or Civil Service types. (As a retired US Navy officer and former GS-12 I feel qualified to make such statements!) Here are some alternate suggestions:

a. Contact the state Adjutant General's office (probably in blue pages under State Govt) and ask to talk with someone about ordnance or EOD matters. They probably have a unit that has some inert artillery ammo/bombs for display purposes, or for training people to operate fork lifts or ammo supply outfits, etc. Air National Guard should fall under the Adjutant General's office too, so make sure you ask if the Air Guard has anything. Check adjacent states too.

b. Find out who has EOD responsibility for your area and talk to the team members. They will probably be the biggest help. I worked with many EOD types and they were ALL great people who really enjoy their work, and like talking with people with a sincere interest in ordnance matters.

c. Check nearby major military installations (Fort Benning, etc).

d. Besides Army, check with other services, USMC, USN, USAF, both active and reserve.

e. There is an Army Ammunition plant located at the Stennis Space Center down on the Gulf coast. Check and see if they have any inert shapes. (I know they make a lot of bomblet type munitions, and detection of those may be outside the scope of your project, but if not....)

f. Going a bit further afield, check with the Navy folks in Pensacola. If the Ordnance Department cannot help, try the Naval Aviation Museum. They probably have done some scrounging and know where goodies can be found. They may have some stuff in storage not yet cleaned up for mounting on display aircraft. Good luck. John Spangler


# 1955 - Unique Kriegsmodell
4/24/99
Allen

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unique Unknown 7 .65mm 4" Blue 67586

Manufacture Date 6/44, Barrel has small stamping of eagle on swastika. Frame has stamp W?AD2? with German eagle on top. Brown leather holster with top flap and spare clip pouch. What were these pistols intended for? I know this gun was produced in France. What is there value if any?

Answer:
Allen, you have a Unique Kriegsmodell (War model) pistol. The Unique Kriegsmodell was manufactured under German occupation in WWII by Manufacture D'Armes Des Pyrenees of Hendaye, France. The Kriegsmodell is a very rudimentary single action, semi-automatic, blowback operated design with no positive locking of the breech and a slide which does not remain to the rear after the last cartridge is fired. Total cartridge capacity is ten with rounds with one in the chamber. Barrel length is 3.18 inches with an overall pistol length of 5.93 inches. The safety is a thumb lever on the upper left side of the frame which is pushed down to fire and up for safe. The safety is also used in disassembly and assembly. There is also a magazine safety which prevents the pistol from being fired unless a magazine is inserted. The magazine release catch is located at the base of the frame to the rear of the magazine well and a there is a lanyard ring on the lower left side of the frame above the magazine release catch. The serial number is located on the right side of the frame above the trigger, with the last three digits of the serial number stamped on the inside rear of the slide and beneath the barrel near the muzzle. German military acceptance stamps (eagle over WaD20) are located on the upper right side of the frame to the rear of the right grip with a military test proof (eagle over swastika in a circle) at the right side of the barrel near the muzzle. The Unique Kriegsmodell was developed by the German Heereswaffenamt for use by the German military as an improved modification of an earlier design (the Unique model 17). Over 25,000 of the Kriegsmodell were produced prior to the liberation of France in 1944, the German designation for the weapon was Die Selbstladepistole Unique Kriegsmodell (The Self loading pistol Unique War model). Marc


# 1954 - Ortgies Disassembly
4/20/99
Ed

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Ortgies Unknown 7.65 Unknown Blue Unknown

How does one disassemble this pistol to clean?

Answer:
Ed, the principal parts of the Ortgies pistol are the receiver, the slide, the barrel, and the striker mechanism, there is no hammer, it fires on the striker principle, as in the case of most high-power rifles. The slide is shaped to completely inclose the barrel and working mechanism. The Ortgies pistol is a straight blowback design in which the rear end of the slide forms the breechblock. The recoil spring wraps around the barrel under the slide and is compressed as the slide travels backwards. The magazine is the standard box type inserted in the handle from below and the magazine catch is at the rear at the bottom of the weapon. The pistol is fitted with a grip safety that does not operate until the small button on the left-hand side of the receiver near the trigger guard is pressed in, this causes the grip safety to spring out. When the weapon is firmly gripped, the grip safety is pushed in and the weapon will fire. W.H.B. Smith's book of pistols and revolvers has the following instructions for field stripping the Ortgies:

Unless you know where to start, this is probably the most difficult pistol to disassemble that will ever be encountered. It is very simple when you know the trick, but almost impossible to fathom unless you are familiar with it.

1. First, withdraw the magazine and draw back the slide to see that there is no cartridge in the firing chamber.

2. Then holding the pistol in the right hand push in the grip safety release button with the right thumb. While holding this in, with the left hand push the slide back about one-half inch and lift it up. It may now be lifted off the receiver.

3. The striker pin and spring may be pushed forward and pulled out of the breechblock section of the slide. The remainder of the take down is quite simple.

Reassembling: in reassembling this weapon, there is also a trick, in the top of the breechblock end of the slide is a small semi-circular cut. When the firing pin spring is pushed forward, a small stem which is inserted in the rear end of this spring can be pushed down into this semicircular cut where it will lock the spring into place to permit reassembly. If this spring is not locked into position the slide cannot be remounted on the receiver since the spring will project out the rear end. The slide must be replaced very carefully, and care taken to see that this spring and its rod do not leap out. Both pieces are so small that they can be easily lost. The grips of this weapon are held in place by a spring catch on the rear of the receiver inside the magazine well. Insert a screw driver or a stick in the magazine well and about halfway up it will strike against the spring catch and release the grips (stocks) which then may be lifted off.

Hope that this helps. Marc


# 2045 - Spanish Cannon/Ball?
4/20/99
Pat

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I am interested in selling an item that I have in my possession and am unsure as how exactly to go about it, and would like any information you could add. it is a cannon ball found in the San Antonio region of Texas possibly dating to the 1500 or 1600s brass cannon era Spanish origin or Spanish American war I am currently researching the item and would greatly appreciate any advice you could give Sincerely,

Answer:
Pat- All round metal objects are not necessarily cannon balls, so the context in which is was found is important. Iron balls were used as bearings for various industrial applications, and I recall hearing them being associated with sugar mills and other devices for crushing materials in rotating drums, so there are probably other uses as well. Cannon balls are usually in relatively standard sizes. If you can give me the diameter I can tell you what the "pound" designation would have been and perhaps narrow down the approximate dates that size was in service. Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 2044 - Shotgun, King Nitro
4/20/99

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
King Nitro Unknown 10-gauge Unknown Unknown Unknown

My brother is looking for any information you might be able to provide on a shotgun that belonged to our grandfather. It is a 10-gauge, double-barrel w/hammers (side-by-side), King Nitro model that breaks down into three pieces, has 30" barrels, and the serial number on it is 17501. He is interested in any information you can provide on this specific brand/model of shotgun. Thank you for help you can give.

Answer:
Sir- King Nitor was a "house brand" name used by Shapleigh Hardware Company of St Louis for many years. Circa 1920-1940 their double barrel shotguns were Stevens model 315 but marked with the King Nitro name. Other makers may have made guns for them at different times. Charles Carder's excellent "Side By Sides of the World" is the source of this information. John Spangler


# 2043 - Trapdoor Rifles Were Converted To Shotguns
4/17/99
Terry

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Springfield 1873 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I have an 1873 Springfield trapdoor that has been converted to .28 gauge. Was this common? Thanks.

Answer:
Terry- Many trapdoor rifles were converted to shotguns either by their owners or by surplus firms who thought they might be able to unload some of their piles of old trapdoors by making them into cheap shotguns. Many people have shot .410 shot shells in .45-70 rifles (although we do not recommend it) when they needed a shotgun. I have not previously heard of alteration to 28 gauge but suppose it is easy enough. More common was the conversion to 20 Ga. Springfield Armory actually made 1376 trapdoor "Forager" shotguns between 1881 and 1885. Nearly every part was salvaged from earlier model trapdoors or even Civil War muskets, so the cost was very low. The easiest way to distinguish these from the civilian conversions is that the Springfield product does NOT have an ejector in the bottom of the receiver (looks like a 1/4 inch diameter plug in the bottom, near the back, with a sloping flat face towards the front. Breech blocks were marked 1881 instead of 1873 or 1884, and serial number on the receiver can be no higher than 1376. Locks usually are marked US/Springfield/1873. Barrel length is 28 inches with brass bead front sight. Flayderman lists the value of these at $1200-2500, but they actually seem to bring a little less than that. The civilian conversions are curiosities and in my opinion are only worth about $200-400, mainly for parts. John


# 2010 - British Snider Rifle
4/17/99
Robert

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Enfield Snider Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I have in my possession an Enfield long rifle dated 1870. I am seeking information on this rifle, and any and all help would be appreciated. My rifle has the name Snider with Pate(?) under it on the breech. There is also a crown with the initials (?) V.R.(?) engraved on it. This rifle has a ram rod attached; and has a sight that flips up for elevation and yardage. Again, any and all information you could give me; or direct me to someone that may be of help, would be greatly appreciated. Thanking you in advance, Robert.

Answer:
Robert- The years from 1860 to 1870 saw a dramatic change in military armament as the world's armies shifted from muzzle loaders to cartridge arms. In most cases cost and tradition dictated that the new arms were either simple (i.e.-cheap) conversions of existing muskets, or could be made using mush of the existing machinery and retain traditional appearances. The British "Snider's Patent" was essentially a separate breech section that could be substituted at the rear of a musket barrel. The has a breechblock that is hinged on the right side and is comparable to the U.S. "Trapdoor" system with a breech block hinged at the front-invented by Springfield Armory's Erskine S. Allin. After the initial simple conversions were completed, rifles were made with more and more new parts, hence the 1870 date on your rifle. The Crown and initials were used on British military arms from the 1700s until about 1940. The crown indicating the item is government property, and the initials indicating the King or Queen of the time- VR being Victoria, GR for any of the Georges, etc. There are probably all sorts of smaller markings with broad arrows, tiny crowns above crossed flags, etc which are inspector or proof markings. The stock at one time had a round marking of the place that made it (probably Enfield Arsenal) and may have a bunch of markings showing units to which the rifle was assigned over the years. Perhaps a militia unit that never did anything exciting, or maybe it saw action in one of the famous campaigns in India or Africa. Each gun has a story, sometimes recorded in its markings, sometimes lost forever. These were front line military arms for only a decade or so before newer designs were adopted with smaller calibers and stronger actions. Many of the Sniders were sent to Canada and other British Commonwealth nations for issue to militia or volunteer troops. The Sniders have only limited collector interest with values running about half or less of a comparable U.S. "trapdoor" rifle. John Spangler


# 1946 - Stevens Visible Loading Sporting Rifle
4/17/99
Bruce, Los Angeles, CA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
J. Stevens Arms Company Visible Loading Repeater .22 24 Inch Octagonal Unknown D168 (OR MAYBE 0168)

Barrel is marked "J. Stevens Arms Company Chicopee Falls, Mass. USA" and below that line is "22 Cal short, long or long rifle" about midway along the barrel is the statement "regular cartridge only". There also appears to be a small "20" in a circle near the rear end of the barrel. On the side of the gun there his a 1/2 inch circle with the letter "sVg" I would like to know the approximate age of this gun. I am 46 and we have had it in the family as long as I can remember. We used it regularly for plinking until about 8 years ago when some internal part of the firing mechanism broke. I am thinking of having it repaired just for the sentimental value.

Answer:
Bruce, the Stevens Visible Loading Sporting Rifle, also known as the 'No. 70' was manufactured from 1907 to 1934. The Visible Loading rifle has an exposed hammer and breech block, half length tube magazine beneath a 22 inch barrel, pistol grip stock, and ribbed slide handle. Magazine capacity was 11-15 rounds, depending upon weather 22 Short, 22 Long or 22 Long Rifle rimfire cartridges were loaded which could be used interchangeably. Sights were conventional front bead and rear leaf spring type. The Visible Loading rifle was made in a number of patterns each with a different model number, but the differences between the models is not clearly understood, sights, finish and barrel configuration are the most probable model arbitrators. Later rifles were offered with a take-down feature, but this was really only a readily detachable butt stock. Visible Loading Rifle values are in the $50 to $150 range depending upon condition and features. Marc


# 1945 - Marlin Model 29
4/14/99
Bruce, Los Angeles, CA USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Marlin No. 29 .22 23 Inch Round Barrel Unknown unknown

basic simple pump repeater I would appreciate any information on when this gun was made. It is one of two .22 that we have owned as long as I can remember. I am 46. My older brother thought my grandfather gave it to us but could not remember whether it was a new or used gun when it was given to us. Thanks for any information you may have.

Answer:
Bruce, the Marlin Model 29 rifle is a larger version of the Marlin Model 18 three screw type take down system that was patented by Lewis Hepburn in March of 1908. The Model 29 was manufactured from 1913 to 1917, and it is fundamentally the same design as the earlier Marlin Model 20 except that it came with a 23 inch round rather than octagon barrel and a smooth slide handle. The Model 29 will chamber 22 Short, Long and Long Rifle cartridges interchangeably and the half length magazine will hold 10-15 rounds. A full length magazine version was also offered that would hold 18-25 rounds, depending upon which type cartridges are loaded. After WWI Marlin introduced the Model 37 rifle as a "new product", but the changes from the Model 29 were mainly in the markings. Marc


# 2008 - Winchester Cartridge Belt
4/14/99
Gordon

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Mills Company Of Worcester Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Seeking info on a Winchester webbed cartridge belt with a brass clasp, engraved with bears head.

Answer:
Gordon- The Mills Company of Worcester, Massachusetts had a patented process of weaving cartridge belts and other web gear with various pockets or loops. They began circa 1887 and continued until at least 1918. While they obviously liked large U.S. government contracts (and received many) they also received many foreign orders, and made a number of items for the civilian market. I do not know the specifics of you belt, but civilian belts are quite often for 10 or 12 gage shotgun shells. They probably exist with rifle or pistol size loops as well. Sometimes the early shotgun belts are offered as scarce items for use with US military trench guns, but I know of no documentation that any were ever used by the US military. The fine folks at S&S Firearms, 74-11 Myrtle Ave, Glendale, NY 11385 have reproduction Mills rifle belts in blue or khaki color for about $35. They also have lots of stamped brass reproduction buckles to go with them, at about $15, One design features a dog. If the bear on yours is sort ugly with a long nose and floppy ears, it may well be the "dog design." Someone who knows more about Winchesters can probably give you a better answer, and we would welcome their information. John Spangler


# 2009 - Knife, Cattaraugus 225Q
4/14/99
Stephen

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I have this knife: Cattaraugus 225Q, that came from my Grandfather. How could I find out some kind of information about it and the maker. This particular knife is 10.5" long with a 6" blade. Thanks for any information you might provide.

Answer:
Stephen- This was a general purpose hunting/camping type knife. Exact dates of production are not available, but large numbers were purchased for military issue during World War 2. They are popular with military collectors, as well as knife collectors, especially if they have the sheath and can be identified to a specific soldier and unit. Commonly referred to as a "combat" knife, most were used for opening boxes or cans of food, cutting rope and other unexciting housekeeping chores. Of the few that drew blood, most of it was probably of the owner (through carelessness or failure to keep the blade sharp) or from comrades in fights over whatever it is that soldiers/sailors/Marines or airmen might fight over. A few may even have been used in nighttime raids on sentry posts and the like, but that is much more common in the movies than in the real world. Cattaraugus is one of a number of cutlery companies located in western New York (along Route 17 the Southern Tier Expressway, a beautiful drive with no tolls and quicker than the Thruway!) Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 1925 - German Unit Markings
4/10/99
Rick SLC, UT

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Erfurt P.08 Luger 9mm 4 inch Blued 8680(t or I?)

Date stamped 1917 for manufacture and 1920 for post-armistice re-issue. Unit marked on front strap of grip as follows 2./R.R.18.44. with the "8" and the "44" in smaller font (but different smalled fonts than each other!). I understand you have a reference book on German unit marks such as the one listed above. Can you help

Answer:
Rick, when I first saw your question I had just received a shipment of new books in the mail that I had ordered including, "The Imperial German Regimental Marking" by Jeff Noll and "German Small Arms Markings From Authentic Sources" by Joachim Gortz & Don L. Bryans, so I was excited to try and decipher your markings. In scanning through "The Imperial German Regimental Marking", I was unable to find any reference to a slash " / " like the one stamped between the "2" and the first "R" on your Luger, I did find that German WWI "Official Regulation's" guidance dictated that regimental numbers be placed in order of precedence: Regiment, Company, and then Weapon and that "R.R." was a code that could have been used for:

R.R. "Rekrutendepot des Infanterie-Regiments" ( Recruiting Depot of an Infantry Regiment)

R.R. "Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment" ( Reserve Infantry Regiment)

R.R. "Rekrutendepot des Reserve-Infanterie-Regiments" [Post 1900] (Recruiting Depot of a Reserve Infantry Regiment)

R.R. "Reserve-Reiter-Regiment" (Reserve Heavy Cavalry Regiment)

Depending upon whether the letter "R" is stamped in script or regular lettering. You did not mention that the "R.R." was script so I made an initial (incorrect) impression that your Luger markings are for Recruiting Depot of Infantry Regiment 2, Company 18, Weapon #44. The slash still bothered me but I could find no satisfactory explanation for it. When I started reading "German Small Arms Markings From Authentic Sources", I found an explanation for the slash. Gortz & Bryans state that a slash is typically used in Reichwer era markings and that it is not likely to be seen in original imperial unit markings. That explained the slash and the Weimar association fits in nicely with the 1920 re-issue stamping that you mentioned. In Weimar era markings, "R.R." stands for Eskadron (PreuBischen) Reiter-Regiment. My new and improved interpretation of your markings, offered as usual with a full money back guarantee, is that they are Weimar era for "2. Eskadron of 18. (PreuBischen) Reiter-Regiment, Weapon #44". Hope that this helps, let us know if you ever decide to sell your Luger. Marc


# 2007 - Belt Buckle And Bullet ID
4/10/99
Pat

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Here is a photo of some items that I found near Fort Bridger WY. I am curious what the "buckle" looking item is. The photo is hard to see but it has an eagle with a shield and is surrounded by what could be stars. I also have a dozen or so of the bullets. Do these items have any value? Thank you.

Answer:
Pat- Thanks for contacting Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters. You have an interesting assortment. It is too bad there is no archaeological context to help further identify them. The buckle is of the pattern first adopted about 1822 for US Army officers. The other half would provide a large wreath to surround the male half, and provide the loop for attachment to the other end of the belt. For a short time after 1822 these were generally cast of copper and silver plated. Later they were cast of brass and sometimes gilt plated when the regulations shifted from "white metal" trim to "yellow metal" trim, circa 1839-42. I suspect yours is later in the period at the loop for the belt has not fancy ornamentation which seems to be common on earlier belt plates. It appears that there are 24 stars around the edge. Well prior to the Civil War the pattern had changed to 13 stars. Dating these is difficult as they were mainly private purchase items and older patterns could remain in service for a long time after they were no longer "regulation." Also, suppliers of military goods may have continued to provide non regulation items to militia units for many years beyond the time of use by the regular army. I believe these belt plates continued to be used until the Civil War, although the official pattern changed in 1851 to specify the rectangular plate with an eagle and a silvered wreath which continued well into the 20th century. I would speculate that the belt plate could date to Johnson's Army which passed through the Ft. Bridger area in 1858, or to troops stationed there up until about 1868. It could also have been property of a former military officer passing through the area, or a souvenir taken by an Indian. Or, a rendezvous participant could have dropped a reproduction sometime in the last 20 years. From right to left the bullets you show are a .45-70 500 grain bullet of the type first issued in about 1882. The center bullet is a "ring tail" Sharps for the .54 caliber percussion Sharps Carbine or rifle. The recessed ring at the base was to simplify attachment of the paper cartridge case to the bullet with a wrapping of string. The bullet on the left I cannot exactly identify. If it has a hollow base it could be from a .54 caliber rifle such as the M1841 "Mississippi" which sometimes fired a ""Minie" ball. It may also be from a Spencer carbine widely used by the cavalry in the west after the Civil War. These nominally fired .56-56, .56-.52 or .56-50 ammunition, but .530 is pretty close to what the actual bore size would be. There may be other explanations for this one, but I think these are the most logical for a 1855-85 context. If these were recovered from federal or state park lands, I think it was done so illegally and they should be donated to the Ft. Bridger museum. If recovered from private property I think they are legal to sell. For a collector interested in Fort Bridger, the buckle might bring something in the $50-150 range, and the bullets maybe a couple of dollars each. If archaeological information had provided a better identification of the historical context, the value could be even more for the right collectors. Without history, old scrap metal doesn't bring much. Interesting stuff. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. We may be able to help you market it. (See Oldguns.netCnsgnSale.htm for more information). Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 2005 - 1897 Shotgun
4/10/99
Alan

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester 1897 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Recently purchased an 1897 shotgun and was wondering if I got a good deal? How much is one worth? My serial number is between 125000 and 126000.Very good condition. Hope to hear from you soon.

Answer:
Alan- Fair market value is what a willing buyer will pay a willing seller with neither being under pressure to buy or sell. It looks like whatever you paid was a fair price. I have seen Model 97s offered (and not sell) at $125 and others at $3500. It really depends on the exact model, the condition, and how badly the buyer wants that particular gun. A junker for parts? A rare trench gun in superb condition? A custom trap or skeet gun? A "black diamond" Pigeon grade? A 16 gauge in a world that no longer loves 16 GA? One owned by Theodore Roosevelt or one of the Browning brothers? Sarah Brady (the big US anti-gun crusader) wouldn't give yo a nickel for all of them. Some big city mayors will give you $25 for any one during a "gun buy-back" campaign. A drug dealing motor cycle gang member prohibited from owning any gun might pay double what someone else would (or just kill you and take it for free.) If people want to know if they are getting a good deal, we suggest they invest in one of the numerous gun price guides on the market BEFORE buying a gun. Or, they can shop around and see what other people are selling comparable items for. We think our prices are pretty fair, so it you pay more, you may have been snookered. If you get it for less you obviously spent time haggling in the bazaar or the orient. John Spangler


# 2004 - Dummy Gun- M1911 Pistol
4/6/99
combated

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Hello, I am looking for a NON-Functional dummy M1911 pistol (Probably without the receiver) for reenactments. Would you know where I could find one or who to ask?

Answer:
Combated- Your choices are many, but not readily found. Solid cast aluminum dummy pistols of various makes and models have been around for at least 50 years. About 25 years ago a Japanese maker produced "non-guns" that were basically pot metal copies of real guns with dummy bullets. They look, cycle, and feel just about like the real thing but had smaller chambers and the like to prevent some idiot from trying to load real ammo in one. I think some of these are still in production, or something very similar. Another choice is a copy cast from rubber or a resin (epoxy) type material. The U.S. Army made copies of M9 pistols (see our firearms catalog page if you want to buy one) as well as M16 rifles and many Soviet bloc weapons. I read where a prisoner carved pistol from a bar of soap then coated it with shoe polish, but that may not work well if you are caught in a rainstorm on your next event. Of course, you are welcome to post your need on our free wanted page and maybe someone will contact you about something they are willing to part with. Good luck. John Spangler


# 2003 - Grandpa's Gun
4/6/99
Jessica

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester Unknown 38/40 Unknown Unknown Unknown

My grandpa has a rifle that on the barrel has the date 1880 and 1886-. I believe it is a 38/40 Winchester. Do you know were I can find some info on this gun? thank you

Answer:
Jessica- Thanks for contacting Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters. We would need more information before we could do any research for you. Besides the patent dates, there should be a maker name either on the barrel or on the "tang" (metal part that goes back into the wood near where the lever is located. How long is the barrel? Does it say .38-40 or .38 WCF, or ???? What is the serial number (may be on the lower tang, or maybe on the bottom of the receiver (big metal part that holds the barrel). One obvious question- have you checked with your Grandpa to see what he can tell you. While we might be able to tell you the model and when it was made, I am sure he could tell you more about how he got it, how he learned to use it safely, and what he has used it for. An old gun with history in YOUR family is much more interesting than the same gun that no one knows anything about. John Spangler


# 2017 - Azanza & Arrizabalaga Pistol
4/6/99
Craig, Portland, OR

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Azanza y Arrizabalaga Modelo 1916 32 Unknown Black? 21291

Markings: AA in a circle I am interested in finding out more about this pistol. I have been told that it was manufactured in the 30s during the Spanish Civil War and it may have been used by a German battalion in that conflict. My father somehow obtained it while he was in Europe during WWII. It has been cleaned up and test fired by a gunsmith and appears to be in good working order. I am interested in finding out about its reputation for durability, reliability, and accuracy, but I can't find it in any of the reference books I have checked. Can you provide any information on this handgun? Also, if you have any idea of its value, I'd be grateful for that as well.

Answer:
Craig, Azanza & Arrizabalaga of Eibar, Spain. operated briefly during the First World War, manufacturing automatic pistols of the 'Eibar' pattern. The Modelo 1916 was a rather large 7.65mm pistol with a nine-shot magazine, which was designed for use as a military or police weapon and then continued as a commercial offering. The Modelo 1916 slide is marked 'Azanza & Arrizabalaga Modelo 1916 Eibar (Espana)', and has the company's trademark, 'AA' in an oval, on the left rear of the frame. Unfortunately, there is no collector interest in Azanza & Arrizabalaga pistols that I know of and values will be in the $75 or less (probably less) range. Marc


# 1888 - WWII Vintage M1917 Bayonet Scabbard
4/3/99
Bill, Round Rock TX USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Remington Bayonet Unknown 16 5/16 Parkerized Unknown

I inherited a bayonet and know nothing about them. Item #2811 1917 Bayonet by Remington sounds like the one I have with few exceptions. 1917 dated with Remington in circle on one side of blade. Ordnance bomb, US and "chickenhead" /7 on the other. Scratched wood grips with two groves and two screws. Catch is at the rear of handle. The scabbard is excellent but is green plastic marked US-1917, VZM. Blade is 16 5/16 long and 5/16 wide and shows no wear other than scabbard wear. What do I have and what is the market range?

Answer:
Bill, your description sounds like a US WWI Model of 1917 (M1917) bayonet in a WWII or later era scabbard. The M1917 bayonet was mainly used with the US M1917 (1917 US Enfield) rifle, but by making use of a special handguard and bayonet adapter the M1917 bayonet could also be fitted to a short riot type shotgun. These short riot shotguns are called trench guns when they are fitted with the handguard and bayonet adapter. By 1944, the US military was running low on scabbards for the M1917 bayonet so Beckwith Manufacturing Company who had been manufacturing M3 scabbards for the M1905 bayonet and M7 scabbards for the M1 bayonet was asked to modify their M3 scabbards for use with the M1917 Bayonet. The modification was accomplished by lengthening the metal throat of an M3 scabbard and using the same olive drab woven cloth reinforced plastic body. Beckwith manufactured a total of 179,000, M1917 scabbards, but due to late production, very few of these scabbards saw active service in WWII. Continued use of the combat (trench) shotgun caused this type of M1917 scabbard to be used on a limited scale in Korea and into the 1960s during the Vietnam War period. WWII vintage M1917 scabbards are all marked with "U.S.-M1917" over the manufacturers initials "B.M.CO." for Beckwith Manufacturing Company , and "V.P.CO" for Victory Plastics company. Two other manufactures that no information is available about are "B.A.INC." and your scabbard's manufacturer "V.Z.M." Trench gun collectors like the WWII plastic scabbards and consider them far more desirable than the WWI leather jobs. Marc


# 2002 - S&W & Colt Serial Numbers
4/3/99
Howie

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Dear John, I have purchased from your site on the web before, and I intend to again in the future. However, I have a question for you which only a knowledgeable firearms dealer would know. I have a friend that insists that ALL S&W firearms and well as ALL Colt firearms have serial numbers. Which is to imply that they used serial numbers even before the government required them to stamp them with such. My response (hopefully not out of ignorance) was that I didn't think that was the case. Every firearm from Colt or S&W that I have seen has a serial number. But what about those early firearms (Civil War or before)? I know that you would have the answer to this question. Thanks- Howie Johnson

Answer:
Howie- Good to hear from you again. We do not know everything but do a good imitation sometimes. I do not like to use "always" or "never". However, I cannot think of ANY Colt or S&W that did not have serial numbers. Except- M1861 special muskets, which were not numbered. Made under govt. contract and presumably that was way the govt. contract wanted things. It is possible that some of the extreme low end cartridge derringers circa 1860-1880 may not have been serialized. Civil War era Colt and S&Ws were definitely serial numbered. Recommend you check Flayderman's guide to check any you think might not have numbers. He is very thorough about such things. One caveat- serial numbers often started at "1" for each model and went up, hence you can end up with the same number found on lots of different guns by Colt. The Gun Control Act of 1968 required the manufacturer to use a unique serial number so you now have all sorts of combinations to avoid duplication within a manufacturer. Hope you didn't lose too much. John Spangler


# 2001 - Buying WW2 M1 Garand
4/3/99
David

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown M1 Garand 30-06 Unknown Unknown Unknown

Do you have any advice on purchasing a World War II Garand?

Answer:
David- Lots of advice. First decide what you want:

(a) A Garand made during WW2 and later overhauled and perhaps used by some US allies, that you can shoot. Decide if "import markings" are something you can live with. This is the least expensive option.

(b) A Garand made in WW2 and pretty much restored to have "correct" parts of the period, and perhaps refinished. Maybe shoot this one once in a while. More expensive.

(c) A Garand with all original parts and finish as made in WW2 and not messed with at all. (You better not shoot this one!) This can get real expensive, especially if you insist on having a Winchester.

Next, invest about $32 in Scott Duff's book "M1 Garand of World War 2" and find someone with a Garand to study and compare against all the stuff in the book. Now you will have some basis for comparing potential guns against "original" configuration. Visit some dealers and shows and look at every Garand you can find. Do not buy one until you have carefully examined at least a dozen. See what import marks and original finish and refinish looks like. Listen to what dealers tell you about their guns, and if possible get someone who knows something about Garands to take a look at them with you and give their opinion. Reputable dealers probably won't mind, but the "other" kind will be very unhappy, so you may have to have your ally check the rifle out separately and report back to you. Forget about mail order unless you have a lot of confidence in the dealer AND they offer an inspection period and refund if you are dissatisfied. Rather than buying from a dealer (even us) I strongly recommend you follow our link to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) and qualify to purchase a rifle from them. These are shipped straight from government arsenals and are "the real thing" no shot out imported junkers or rewelds floating awaiting the unwary buyer from a few sources. CMP prices are very reasonable, and rifles come in several grades- mainly "service grade" meaning a good working rifle, but probably rebuilt at some point or used a bit. "Collector" grade" rifles are basically original guns, but may be WW2 production, or later Korean War era guns. Active duty military do not have to shoot to qualify to buy one but other people have to shoot in a match or qualification clinic. You can find details at the CMP site, with a listing of events in most states that meet the requirements. You will have to pass a FBI background check and submit fingerprints before being allowed to buy a rifle from CMP. Hope this helps. John Spangler


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