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# 2941 - Spencer Shotguns- Made By Bannerman 5/30/00
Bannerman's - Shotgun -
Hi - I was wondering if you could help me with some information on a Bannerman's Island Collection Shotgun. I'm trying to find out any information on the Spencer RPTG. Shotgun which was patented in April of 1882 and manufactured by F. Bannerman, New York, USA Model 1890. My question is are there any of these models still in existance and what are they worth. Any information you have would be greatly appreciated.
Answer: I see these fairly often (maybe 3 or 4 a year), some model 1890, some 1906, as I recall. They do not tend to bring a whole lot as few collectors are interested in them. People who are familiar with Bannerman or Christopher Spencer all think they are kind of neat, but few go out of their way to buy one. Value will depend on condition and may be anywhere from about $200 to 600 depending on condition. Other than Bannerman owning their island, I don't think I have ever heard people trying to connect these guns with the island before. They are usually just called Spencer shotguns- made by Bannerman. Roy Marcot's superb book "Spencer Firearms" has quite a bit on them, and your local library can probably get a copy on inter-library loan for you. John Spangler
I am trying to locate information on the Harrington & Richardson Arms Co. M4 22 Hornet Survival Rifle. If you can assist please let me know. V/R Robert
Answer: Robert- These are a sort of obscure area. The best info comes from the Gun Parts Corp catalog and some old Army Ordnance pubs. GPC catalog (which includes many parts for these) says: "These rifles were rushed into service during WW2 as part of the survival package for downed pilots. The guns were essentially an H&R .22 rimfire rifle (M265 series) modified to be compact and in the more powerful .22 Hornet cartridge. It used a 14" removable barrel, had a telescoping stock, and weighed in at just 4 lbs. It is interesting to note that rather than develop their own magazine, they merely used a .22 Hornet magazine that Savage/Stevens already had for the M23D (later used on the Savage M322 and 340 rifles)." I have never seen mention of these in any WW2 period ordnance dept material, and Hackley, Woodin & Scranton do not include any mention of .22 Hornet ammo in their exceptionally thorough and well documented History of Modern US Military Small Arms Ammunition. Therefore, these are more likely circa 1950s. ORD 7-8 SNL B-43 , "Organizational, Field and Depot Maintenance Allowances for Rifle, Survival, cal..22, M4 (T38) (Hornet Cartridge)" dated November 1951 does not supercede any previous publications, and inclusion of the "T38" designation implies it was just then being standardized. The M6 survival rifles (over under .22 Hornet/.410) are covered by ORD SNL B-45 dated June 1951, and include a T39 designation, so they may have both been under development about the same time. This may also be about the time that the lightweight M13 revolvers were being developed for the USAF. I think that "survival" guns were a hot topic about that time, where previously aircrews were either unarmed, or issued some sort of sidearm from standard stocks but as more of a combat weapon than intended for survival use. Of course, the M12 and M15 .45 ACP shot cartridges developed during WW2 are exceptions. This is a field where someone like yourself may be able to dig into old NAVAIR/BUAERO/ or comparable USAF pubs and find some neat stuff. For what it is worth, I owned some sort of orange aluminum USAF survival kit container with late 1950s dates that included "M1A1 gun ser no. xxxxxxx" markings. M1A1 carbine would just barely fit in one. I can probably dig out full nomenclature if you are REALLY interested. Have had indications from some visitors that RCAF interceptor pilots also carried survival rifles (connected to ejection seat?) in 1960-70s. I forget if they mentioned that they were the M4 or M6. Both M4 and M6 are scarce on the collector market, as they must be either (a) registered with BATF during 1968 amnesty period, or (b) rebarreled to meet minimum barrel length of 16" for rifles or 18" for shotguns. I own a rebarreled M14 (plus a DEMIL scrap one) and recently saw a M6 without any barrels offered, but it was pretty rough. John Spangler
# 2884 - Stenda Auto Pistols 5/30/00 Bill, Slidell, La. USA
Stenda - Auto - 7.65 - 3" - Chrome - 60XXX -
One side of slide is marked "Stenda" Cal. 7.65 D.R.P. Grips are Marked ST.W in an oval design. Grips are black plastic with a checkered finish. Pistol has several proof marks, A crown over the letter N. Slide is "hump Back" design, that is that the back of the slide is higher then the front. Who made the gun, i.e. country. When mfg. and where might I find a firing pin. Thanks Bill
Answer: Bill, Stendawerke Waffenfabrik GmbH of Suhl, Germany took over production of the Beholla pistol from Becker & Hollander shortly after the end of the First World War and after some design changes to simplify field stripping, manufactured Stenda pistols until about 1926. Stenda pistols with serial numbers into the 70000 range have been observed but it is thought that the numbering continued from the Beholla period and so probably only about 25,000 pistols were manufactured by Stenda. Try Gun Parts Corp for a replacement firing pin, we have a link to them on our links page. Marc
G Sharpes patent 1859 - 4 barrel Pepperpot single action pistol - .22 - 2 1/2" - Engraved brass frame, iron barrels - 4186 -
Hammer rotates 90 degrees each time it is cocked. Believe it uses short shells. Interested in date of manufacture, any history, approximate value, tales or stories.
Answer: These were made by C. Shaprs & Co. and later by their successor Sharps & Hankins, both in Philadelphia, PA between 1859 and 1874. These were made in large quantities and in several variations including grip shape, barrel length (2.5" or 3.5"), and material used for the frames (usually brass-sometimes iron), grip materials (wood or hard rubber), and embellishment (pplainor engraved). They were only offered chambered for rimfire ammunition, in caliber .22, .30 and .32, although the vast majority were in .22. Value for the common models in good condition starts at about $200 and get higher for better condition and scarcer variations. "Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and their values" has an excellent section detailing all the variations and values on these (and most other collectible American gun). John Spangle
# 2901 - Henry M. Quackenbush History 5/27/00 Ron, Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
H. M. Quackenbush - ? - 20 Cal. Air - 17 Inch Approx. - Nickel - 7831 -
Patent Date June 6. 1876 Walnut stock. Nickel plated barrel, receiver and butt plate. Barrel slides part way into the receiver to load. Made in Herkimer NY. Would you have any info on this maker, or the length of time this Gun was manufactured?
Answer: Ron, In early 1871, Henry M. Quackenbush began manufacturing an air pistol of his own design, in a small frame building behind the Quackenbush family home. Demand for the Quackenbush air pistol turned out to be so great that in the autumn of the same year pistol manufacturing operations had to move to a larger building and four men were hired to keep up. Business continued to grow rapidly and in 1874, a new two-story frame building was erected, across the street from the Quackenbush family home and the business was moved there.
The first Quackenbush .22 rifle was produced in 1886, and again a larger factory was needed. This time the new building was brick and had three stories and a basement. New machinery, tools and appliances were installed and the work force was increased to one hundred men. Small arms manufacturing continued at the Quackenbush factory until early World War II when production was discontinued so the entire plant could be converted to the manufacture of steel cores for .50 caliber machine gun bullets. After WWII armament production was discontinued and the business changed over completely to the manufacture of nutpicks, nutcrackers and seafood forks which the company had been manufacturing as a sideline since 1878 and still manufactures today. Marc
# 2933 - WWII K98 5/27/00 Mark
Mauser - 98 - 7MM - 8717 -
Based on your website (very interesting, by the way) you seem to be a leading authority on the Mauser rifle (and many, many others) ... My father-in-Law pulled out this gun he's "had for 45 years" last night and we got to talking about it and I suggested a little Internet research ... I hope you can find the time to help us out?
This seems to be a German-made Mauser Mod. 98 ... 7mm ... All the serial numbers (8717) are matching on all parts (very unusual from what I've read so far) ... some other numbers and markings on the piece include:
WaA135 byf 42 (on the barrel) 2 d (on the stock) many Third Reich symbols (Eagles with Swastikas in a circle at the Eagles feet)
Thanks for whatever help you can offer ... I'm not sure he wants to sell it, but probably would like to know something of its value?
Answer: Mark- Thanks for contacting us. We appreciate your compliments, but disclaim any notion of being "experts." We just know a little bit, and have a lot of books to look up more, and are willing to share it all with those who know less. You rifle is the standard German military rifle of WW2, known as the Karabiner 98 kurz, or K98k. It uses the bolt action designed by the Mauser brothers, adopted by the German army in 1898. Until WW1 they made rifles with barrels about 30 inches long and known as the Gewehr or Gew98- gewehr meaning rifle.. After WW1 they decided that barrels about 24 inches long were sufficient, and the Karabiner (carbine) name had already been used on a special model with a shorter barrel for a few specialized troops, hence the Karabiner 98 kurz name. All these were made in what we call 8mm Mauser caliber, but the Germans (and most Europeans) call 7.92 x57mm or 7.9x57mm or 8x57mm. This is simply the bullet diameter in millimeters and the length of the cartridge case. Of course many rifles have been rebarreled or rechambered over the years, so it is possible your is now 7mm, but I suspect it is actually 8mm. Always have a gun inspected by a competent gunsmith to determine the proper caliber and safety for shooting before attempting to shoot it. Many million K98k rifles were made from the mid 1930s until the collapse of Nazi German in 1945, with a steady evolution of features to simplify or speed production, and productions expanding to many different factories. All these provide fascinating possibilities for the collector obsessed with finding one of everything. The most important markings are byf 42. Under the Treaty of Versailles ending WW1, German arms production was severely limited, and when they began making rifles, they attempted to hide the identity of the makers, and later it was probably some sort of secrecy move to keep the Allies from bombing the factories. The code byf was assigned to the main Mauser factory at Oberndorf am Neckar. The 42 indicates it was made in 1942. Perhaps your rifle stayed In a barracks in the interior of German during the war. Maybe is was used in the snows of the eastern front, or perhaps was there in France in June of 1944 saving Private Rheinholdt. Maybe it got to North Africa with Rommel, or perhaps it was carried in a U-boat. Sometimes small markings can indicate what branch of service it was issued to, but seldom anything more detailed than that. Hundreds of thousands of these Mauser rifles were shipped home by American soldiers after WW2 as souvenirs. Many of these have the stock cut under the barrel band. This is known by collectors as a "duffel bag cut." The standard GI duffel bag was just big enough that if the rifle was taken apart, the barreled action would fit in okay but the stock was too long. However, cutting the stock under the band made it short enough to fit in, and the band hid the damage. These are nice sturdy rifles, and hundreds of thousands were refurbished after WW2 by the victors and sold or given ,or reissued to armies around the world until the semi-auto rifles or later the full ato/selective fire assault rifles rendered the old bolt actions obsolete. Of course, obsolete is a relative term. Various guerilla (or freedom fighter) groups have used them for years, and they are still being used as various warring tribal factions, ethnicities, political groups or other advocates attempt to convince their enemies of the errors of their ways. You own a piece of history. Collectors desire to own such a relic can vary from someone seeking a specific variation to fill a collection of k98k rifles, to a reenactor looking for a representative WW2 German rifle, or to the barbarians who think they can make a good deer rifle by butchering some history. Values can range from about $100 for "sporterized" debris, to $200 or so for one of the refurbished and remarked examples to maybe $400-800 for a matching example that has not been messed with. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 2823 - Remington Model 51 5/23/00 George Brooksville. KY
Remington UMC - semi-auto pistol - .380 - Blue Steel - PA 29413 -
I have the above .380 pistol and would like any information, or where I can find information on this pistol.
Answer: George it sounds like you are asking about the Remington Model 51. Remington manufactured the Model 51 in .32 ACP and .380 ACP calibers. Approximately 65,000 Model 51 pistols were produced from 1918 to 1927. In the opinion of many experts, the Remington M51 is the finest pocket automatic pistol ever made, workmanship is of extremely high quality, and the pistol is well-shaped for instinctive shooting. The design utilizes a delayed blowback system to reduce the apparent recoil force, making it pleasant to shoot. The M51 has a grip safety which also acts as a cocked indicator. If the grip safety is flush with the grip, the pistol is not cocked, if it stands out from the grip, the pistol is cocked. The safety catch on the left rear of the frame can only be set to the safe position when the hammer is cocked. Model 51 production called for very precise machining and fitting of intricate components. Unfortunately, there were not sufficient buyers prepared to pay the extra cost which was required to build this complicated design so the pistol production was discontinued. Marc
# 2848 - Gattling Gun Information 5/23/00 Bob, Descanso, Ca. USA,
Gattling Gun -
Dr. John Gattlin's "Gattling Gun" was of what caliber. 45/70 or what. Was the ammunition specially made just for this? I'm doing some research for an article and really need this info. Any help will be deeply appreciated. Thank you, Bob
Answer: Bob- I suggest you get a copy of "The Gatling Gun" by Toppel & Wahl to read up on these before you do any writing. Dr. Richard J. Gatling's first model in 1862 used steel "cartridges" that had percussion caps, not self contained metallic cartridges as we know them. Later Gatlings were made (primarily by Colt) in a variety of calibers ranging from .30-40 Krag up to a special 1 inch cartridge. Some of the calibers included .50-70, .45-70, and various foreign calibers. Modern descendents of the Gatling are used in aircraft and aboard ships in 7.62 NATO and 20mm calibers. In recent years many people have made copies of Gatling guns ranging from 1/4 scale guns in .22 caliber such as those by Dick Furr in Utah, up to full scale guns. There is a gentleman in Colorado who offers plans and parts kits that look like a lot of fun, but I do not recall his name or address. John Spangler
# 2810 - Stevens Marksman 5/23/00 Ted cold lake AB Canada
I would like to know how old this rifle is? Also hope I go about restoring it to it true color and how to fix the butt which was damaged some time ago.
Answer: Ted, the Stevens Marksman was manufactured from 1911 to 1930 in 22, 25 and 32 rimfire calibers. Original finish was blued barrel and frame. It is hard to advise you on how to repair the butt stock without more information about what kind of damage it has sustained, the typical way to repair cracks is to glue them and clamp with surgical tubing. Values for a restored Stevens Marksman will fall in the $100 range so it may not be economically feasible to go the expense and effort of restoration. Marc
# 2796 - Destroyer Pistol 5/20/00 Jack Jacobson. NYC, NY
I. GAZTANAGA - 7.65 -
I. GAZTANAGA "DESTROYER" on side. EIBAR on rear of handle Small semi auto, can you tell me anything about this piece. thanks, J.J.
Answer: Jack, Gaztanaga of Eibar, Spain began in the pistol business in the early 1900s, with a cheap pocket revolver, the Puppy. Shortly before the First World War, the Puppy was abandoned for an automatic pistol that was a cheap copy of the Browning 1906. During the first World War, Gaztanaga became one of the many Spanish companies supplying Ruby pistols to the French Army, though they were not an official subcontractor to on the Ruby pistol contract. Destroyer was Gaztanaga's 'house name' for their automatic pistols, beginning with the 6.35mm Model of 1913, a 7.65mm 'Destroyer' was also produced for the French Army, this was an Eibar type with a 9-shot magazine. The slide was marked 'Cal 7,65m/m Pistolet Automatique Destroyer I Gaztanaga Eibar'. It is reported that these pistols have been found with 7-shot magazines and marked 'Mle 1916 Destroyer', indicating their commercial sale, probably immediately after the war. Destroyer pistols are notorious for their poor quality and workmanship, I would advise that you do not try to fire it as "serious injury or loss of life may occur". Marc
# 2841 - Rolling Block- M1867 Danish 5/20/00
Remington - Rolling Block - 45-70 - Long - Military -
M-1867, number on stock 88821, kjgbcnhavns toihwws.1884 is on the tang. crown on the barrel and has a armory medal on the stock. who was it made for and what caliber is it? where can I get bayonet for it?
Answer: Sir- You have a Model 1867 rifle made at the Danish Arsenal in Copenhagen in 1884 under license from Remington. This are very well made rifles and use a cartridge similar to the .45-70, but not close enough to be safely shot with factory ammo. See our collectible firearms catalog page for a similar rifle, and we have a bayonet on our edged weapons catalog page. John Spangler
# 2845 - Harpers Ferry Musket 5/20/00 Ralph Julian, Asheville
Harpers Ferry - 1851 - Smooth Bore 11/16" I.D. - 32" - Brown - NA -
America Eagle with arrows in claws, U.S , Harpers Ferry 1851. No rear site only a bead on the barrel end. What kind of a gun is it? Shotgun? Does it have any value. Can it be restored?
Answer: Ralph- the 11/16 bore suggests that this is .69 caliber, and therefore was originally a Model 1842 musket. They had 42 inch barrels, so yours has been cut down. This is quite common as these were "sporterized: and sold for use as cheap shotguns up until about 1900. The value is mainly for parts or as decoration, probably in the $150-250 range. Since the barrel has been shortened it is probably not cost effective to restore it. However I have seen a number of .69 caliber muskets with barrels "stretched" using hunks of 12 Ga. shotgun barrels. These fool some people, so always use a drop down type bore light to check the barrels of muzzle loaders. There is a really small Maglite (available at WalMart among other places) that is great for this. John Spangler
# 2835 - Mauser- VZ24/K98 5/16/00 Bob Bismarck ND USA
Mauser - 98/22? - 8mm - Long Not Carbine - Brown - ? -
top of receiver, CESKOSLOVENSKA ZBROJOVKA BRNO, left side E 28360748.The 3048 has been restamped with larger numbers. All rear site parts are stamped 3048. Right side , cal 8mm Turkey. The bolt handle is straight 3 lug. I would like to know the year of this gun. I always wanted a Mauser, bought it at a gun show. I'm asking the same question as at another site and he sent me to a picture site and told me my gun was a vz24, but the stock was different, it has straight grip under site, not the recessed one. Also. What is the difference between small and large ring stock? So far your site is great!
Answer: Bob- Without some photos it is hard to tell what you have. The Brno folks made a number of 98 Mauser variants with whatever features the purchaser wanted, so there are several minor variations, and most are considered to be just K98 or VZ24 Mausers. It would have been best to ask the seller what it was before you bought it, although sometimes the seller does not know what they are selling, and you might get a good deal. If you asked another site for their opinion, I am sure that they will be able to add something, but with we many other knowledgeable people involved already, we cannot tell you much. John Spangler
# 2832 - Restoration and cleaning 5/16/00 Rick, Dallas, TX, USA
Colt - Army Model 1909 - 45 Long Colt - 5.5 inches - Blue - 38751 -
All expected R.A.C. stamps, FB on right side of frame behind cylinder, U.S. Property on bottom of barrel I have recently acquired an old Colt Model 1909 in fairly rough shape. A substantial amount of finish remains, but it also has a good bit of rust. It looks like much of the rust might come off without pitting. What process or product(s) do you recommend for cleaning up one of these and leaving behind as much blue as possible? Should I disassemble the gun or does that just enhance the likelihood of leaving a bright edge where the parts were separated? The grips have dried out some and show shrinkage from their original size. They have their original finish. What is the best method of cleaning/treating the grips or should I just leave them alone?
Answer: In the words of Hippocrites- "First do no harm" or loosely translated, "Don't screw it up worse!"
The following advice is given in the context of military type arms from 30 to 200 years old, and up to about the 80% condition level or $2000 price range. If you want to mess with the real high dollar stuff, top condition pieces, or wheelocks, or gold encrusted engraved stuff, then you probably need a different approach. (Spending the bucks for a real professional to do the work instead of using them for amateur hour practice projects might be a good start!)
There are a number of good books on gunsmithing that have solid advice, and apply equally to the home tinkerer and the well-equipped shop. Techniques that worked 50 or 100 years ago can still work now as long as you are not messing the plastic and aluminum space guns. Heck, nobody will ever collect them, so who cares! One especially useful and basic book is "Antique Firearm Care and Restoration" by Lister. Gunsmithing books by MacFarland, Baker, Sharpe, Dunlap, and others are also useful if you ignore the sections on brain surgery and stick with the stuff on first aid until you are ready to do brain surgery.
Your best bet for rust removal is to soak things with WD40, and then holding an artist's pallet knife (about $3 at WalMart) at an angle scrape off the rust bumps and flakes. Maybe start with some 0000 steel wool if it just real light stuff. Amyway stainless steel type scrubby pads are also popular. Working carefully you can often remove a lot of rust with little or no damage to the blue underneath, although most often you will end up with brown underneath. Rub too hard and you will leave shiny scratches or rub all the finish off.
If you can take the gun apart without buggering any screws, and are sure you can get it back together again, it probably won't hurt to disassemble things. The "NRA Firearms Disassembly Guide" books are a big help for both the take apart and put back together adventures.
For wood, oil finished parts respond well to a coat of linseed carefully rubbed in, but some prefer tung oil. Sometimes it helps to remove all the metal parts and apply repeated applications of linseed or tung oil to the end grain areas to help fill the pores and slow the drying process that leads to shrinkage. Varnish finish is harder and I don't work on those often enough to have any good ideas.
If the gun doesn't have much collector value, and you mainly want to use it, then go ahead and read up on polishing and reblueing and that sort of thing. A wonderful book by Steve Frey "Imported Military Firearms 1866-1899" has a great section on somewhat primitive gunsmithing, refinishing and reloading with really basic equipment. It is useful for the bargain basement bow-wows that most of us cannot resist because they are cheap. With a little practice on these, you can progress to the more sophisticated methods described in the more technical books, and slightly more valuable guns.
Some people think this sort of work is great fun, others find it a real pain. Good luck in your endeavors. The ghosts of former owners and users of your gun will visit often and congratulate you on a careful and appropriate job, and haunt you mercilessly if you screw up. John Spangler
# 2789 - Egyptian model 951 5/16/00 Rick
Beretta - 1951 - E004XX -
I am in need of finding out something about an old Beretta pistol I recently acquired and you guys seem to be pretty knowledgeable about older guns. I cannot find anything on this pistol anywhere. I have had allot of educated guesses offered, but nobody seems to really know much. It's a Beretta model 1951E 9mm semi auto. It also says "P. Beretta 1955" on it. Has two very small, what looks like eagles, stamped on it. Serial number is E004XX. I was told that this may be an Egyptian model that may be worth quit a bit. The only thing close to it was a model 951 found in a book, but it's not it. It's really mysterious at this point. I would appreciate it if you might could shed some light on this for me. Thanking you in advance...
Answer: Rick, According to J.B. Wood's book "Beretta Automatic Pistols" Egyptian model 951 pistols had the following characteristics which differ from regular commercial models:
1. A lower-rear type magazine catch, made from strap-steel, and the left had a slot on the lower rear edge for a lanyard loop which protruded from the frame.
2. Frame and slide were about one-quarter-inch shorter than the ones in later use, the shorter slide caused the forward end of the barrel protruded more, about one-half inch.
3. The magazine catch was a lower-rear type, made of formed strap steel.
4. The left grip had a slot in its lower rear edge for the protrusion of a lanyard loop.
5. The grips had an irregularly-shaped checkered area at the center, containing the arrows-and-circles Beretta trademark near the top.
6. In the backstrap area, the meeting grip panels formed a straight line, instead of the curve of the regular Model 951.
7. The grips were retained with two screws on each side.
8. The Egyptian pistols were numbered in a separate series, with four-digit numbers and alphabetical prefix letters.
The finish of the Egyptian version was either a matte blue or a phosphate-type surface. One observed gun had the following markings on the left side of the slide in two lines:
Markings "MODELLO 1951E CAL. 9mm PARA", and "P. BERETTA 1956". To the rear of this, near the slide serrations, was an Egyptian crest. The serial number appeared in the usual positions on the right side of the slide and frame, and the number had an "E" prefix on the gun seen.
Fjestad's "Blue Book of Gun values lists a premium for Israeli models but none for the Egyptian. I don't think that there is a lot of collector interest in Egyptian Model 951 pistols so don't feel too bad if yours is not one. Marc
Has 1863 on the frame. As you can see I don't have much info but it is a black powder percussion rifle. I would appreciate any suggestions of what you think it might be. Thanks for your help. James
Answer: James- Colt made about 100,000 .58 caliber rifled muskets between 1861 and 1865. These have 40 inch barrels and three bands holding the barrel in the stock. These are called "Model 1861 Special" as they are very similar to the U.S. Model 1861 rifle musket made at Springfield with a few minor differences in stock hardware, and a radically different lock. The internal lock parts are interchangeable with the British Pattern 1853 .577 Enfield. As crazy as this sounds, there is a very logical explanation- the machine tools provided to the British armory at Enfield were actually made by Robbins & Lawrence in Windsor, Vermont. Robbins & Lawrence was a leader in the machine tool industry at the time, as got the machinery contract after delivering a large quantity of interchangeable P1853 Enfield rifles under contract for use in the Crimean War. Apparently they had, or made additional, tooling for Enfield style lock components, which were accepted by the US Ordnance Department as the basis for the Model 1861 Special design. In addition to Colt, some 25,000 were made by Amoskeag Manufaturing Company of Manchester, New Hampshire, and another 50,000 by Lamson, Goodnow & Yale, of Windsor Vermont. The relationship between the various companies, and even individual craftsmen and inventors during the emergence of the :American system" of interchangeable parts, concentrated in the Connecticut River Valley is a fascinating story, and little known to most collectors. This small geographic area from New Haven, Connecticut ran northward through Massachusetts and into the southern end of Vermont. Collector will recognize the names, but perhaps not the incestuous or at least supportive nature of gun makers there. These include: Eli Whitney and Winchester (New Haven); Colt and Sharps (Hartford, CT); R. Johnson and Savage (Middletown, CT); Springfield Armory and Smith & Wesson (Springfield, Mass); Ames Manufacturing, Chicopee, Mass); and Robbins & Lawrence and LG&Y (Windsor, VT). Throw in the related industries of machine tools, sewing machines and bicycles and you get an amazing mix. Synergy describes it well. One word of caution on your rifle. These have been reproduced for several years (inferior to the quality of the originals in my opinion). Some people may try to peddle the repros as originals. Be careful. John Spangler
# 2818 - National Ordnance 1903A3? 5/13/00 Terry Dardanelle, AR USA
On your "US Military manufacture dates" page, the serial number for my rifle was manufactured in 1942-43, but my barrel is marked RA 5-44. When was my rifle made? The only history I have on it is that it was purchased buy my father in 1968-69 packed in cosmoline.
Answer: Terry- The barrel markings only indicate when the barrel was made. It could have been installed in a rifle at any time since then. The 5 million serial number range is outside that assigned for US military use, and was used by "National Ordnance" of South El Monte, California starting in 1967. Stephen Fuller's wonderful (but long out of print) "U.S. Martial and Collector's Arms" booklet indicates that your rifle was probably made in 1969, and that about 20,000 rifles were made by the end of 1970. These used mostly surplus parts, but the receivers were newly made (mainly investment castings) and somewhat crude, but serviceable. There is absolutely no collector interest in these, so feel free to use it as much as you like. John Spangler
# 2784 - Erfurt Luger Matching Magazine 5/13/00 Bob Emlenton PA
Erfurt Luger - 1911 - 9mm - 4" - Blue - 8702 -
I have this gun in very nice condition and one clip but am missing the extra clip, how bad does this affect the value, the clip has the same # 8702 so it is the original one
Answer: Bob, the value of your Luger will not be lowered at all by the fact that you do not have two magazines. You are fortunate to even have one matching magazine, it is unusual enough to have a matching magazine that the Blue Books tells us to add 10% to the value for Luger pistols that have one. Let me know if you ever decide to sell. Marc
Kreighoff (suhl) - Luger - 9mm - 4 Inch - Chrome And Brass - 33XX -
Seems to have small eagle over a "2" on the right side of the frame. Also the number "36" on the left side of the frame. Very attractive luger The gun shows what appears to be rough tool and or casting marks, but is as tight as a new Luger should be. Magazine also chromed it seems. What is this gun? The blue book talks about Kreighoff's but not a fancy model like this. Reportedly the pistol came from Germany after the war, but no other info. Owner (a friend) says pistol shoots well. I have never seen a chrome Luger, and question if it is really a Kreighoff Luger.. Any way to make this determination?
Answer: Roger, Kreighoff manufactured Lugers are one of the most sought after of the WWII Luger variations, values are usually more than twice that of comparable Lugers by other makers. The Luger that you are describing is probably a real Kreighoff. The eagle over '2' marking is one of the correct Kreighoff military test proofs. Unfortunately, I do not think that the chrome and brass plating is the original finish and this will have a big affect on the value of the Luger. My free estimate of value (offered as usual with a full money back guarantee) is in the $200-$300 range. Marc
# 2629 - Stonewall Derringer 5/9/00 John, Pyote, TX., USA
Under side of barrel is stamped "10.0", which I believe to indicate the powder charge in grains. Other proof marks are IIV, like backwards Roman numerals. Can you provide any information as to where I might be able to find out where this Philadelphia style derringer was made, and the approximate year of manufacture. Thanks.
Answer: John- The "Stonewall" name was used on percussion derringers imported by Thomas F. Guion who was a retailer and importer in New Orleans circa 1838-1861. The "Stonewall" name was also used on cartridge derringers made by Marlin circa 1880. Frank Sellers' "American Gunsmiths" is a great place to find this information when you get into obscure makers not listed in Flayderman's Guide. John Spangler
# 2630 - Different Stars 5/9/00
lee Enfield - #1 mark 3 - .303 British - short wood stock - D54432 -
On the receiver under the bolt handle, it has a crown under crown GR under gr. BSAco. 1917 ShtLE III and a star of David I am interested in getting any information on this rifle. I have seen quite a few with an * but never a star of David.
Answer: Sir- Perhaps the folks who specialize in Lee Enfields know more about this, but I believe that this is just a variation in the "star" used to denote a modification to a "Mark". These are most often encountered looking more like an asterisk, but Ian Skennerton's definitive "Lee Enfield Story" does show an example of a six pointed star on page 482 on an early Mark I* Lee Enfield. Two other star variations have different connections. The Australians often included a seven pointed star as part of their markings. The Indonesians used a large five pointed star as part of the markings applied to overhauled rifles. I believe I have seen six pointed stars on some Brazilian or Argentine Mauser rifles. While some may describe these as a "Star of David" I doubt if there is any religious connection to them. John Spangler
# 2772 - Winchester Model 67 First Year Of Manufacture? 5/6/00 Larry Boston, IN USA
Winchester - Model 67 - .22 Rimfire -
I would like to know the first year the model 67 was manufactured. Thank you for your reply.
Answer: Larry, Model 67 Rifles were not serial numbered, approximately 383,000 were manufactured from 1934 to 1963. They were available in .22 LR or .22 WRF (in 1935) calibers and came with the choice of 20, 24 or 27 inch rifled or smooth bore round barrels. Hope this helps. Marc
National Ordinance - M1 Carbine - 30 Cal - Unknown - Blue - 33772 -
Nothing of note on receiver except a stamp on the mag release that has a large M and a ma under the M When was it made and where can parts be found.
Answer: Lynn- National Ordnance operated in South El Monte, CA from about 1960 to the mid 1970s and is believed to have made about 50,000 M1 carbines, strictly for commercial sale, not under any US military contracts. At first they used all surplus parts except for receivers and one or two small parts they made themselves, but later made (or subcontracted) nearly all parts. Since parts are essentially interchangeable with US military parts, spares should not be a problem. Your carbine falls the fourth (and largest) batch of serial numbers. The markings you mention are standard markings found on surplus parts, and there are probably other small letters marked on any other GI parts used. The ties between National Ordnance, Federal Ordnance, and Golden State Arms are not clear (to me anyway) but it is pretty obvious that they were all connected, and involved at various times in making ersatz M1903A3 Springfields, M1 Garands, M1 carbines and M14 (type) rifles. Some were very well done, others fairly crude (but apparently safe) pieces. Some may have used salvaged or "rewelded" receivers, but most apparently used newly made receivers. Larry Ruth's "War Baby- Vol 2" covers the numerous copies of the M1 carbine, with close to two dozen various makers turning out their versions of these popular guns at various times. This would be an interesting collecting niche with lots of variety, and generally reasonable prices as there is little collector interest compared to the GI models. Anyone interested in M1 carbines, really should own both volumes of Larry Ruth's "War Baby" and also be a member of the Carbine Club. (Send us an email for more info on the Carbine Club.) John Spangler
# 2620 - Pistol Knife 5/6/00 Deborah, Coatesville, PA, USA
I am looking for information on an unusual weapon used during the American Civil War. It is called a Pistol Knife. A picture of this weapon can be found "Civil War Collector's Encyclopedia, Volume II" page 140. My husband builds weapons from kits and we located a kit in the Dixie Gun catalog labeled as a Pistol Knife. This item doesn't look much like the one in the book. I cannot find any history or other information on this weapon. As I present Living History programs and participate in re-enactment's, I must be able to document any items I use or display. Can you help me locate information on this weapon?
Answer: Deborah- "knife pistols" were (with one minor exception) non-regulation arms made according to the skill and taste of the maker and the buyer. While very ferocious looking, their actual value as either a knife or pistol was probably minimal, and as relatively heavy and bulky objects I suspect that many (of the relatively small number which may have been carried at all during the Civil War) were discarded by weary troops after long marches. Francis Lord's multi-volume "Civil War Collector's Encyclopedia" is a pretty good reference, and I doubt if you will find much beyond that. The one exception is an order for 150 "Cutlass pistols" procured by the US Navy in 1838 for use in the "South Seas Exploring Expedition". This design was patented by George Elgin of Macon, GA in 1837, but it s unlikely that any of these were still in use during the Civil War. Robert M. Reilly's superb "U.S. Military Small Arms 1816-1865" has the best information on these, and should be in the library of anyone interested in Civil War guns. John Spangle
# 2812 - Old Gun 5/6/00 Peggy, Des Moines, Iowa U.S.
DWM - Luger - 9 MM - About 3 3/4 Inches - Blue - ?? 3105 ?? -
Dated 1920 on top of chamber near barrel, and right behind that, 1914. Four markings on right side of chamber: the most forward looks like the eagle; not sure what the others are but the second looks a bit like an a serpent with a crown; the back two are identical and look like half-moons with a crown. Under the safety is the word "Gesichert." My cousin owned this and he acquired it in Germany when he was a US soldier during WWII. He recently passed away and willed it to his brother who asked me to find any information about it. What can you tell me about it? Would it be wrong to fire it?
Answer: Dave, you have what is commonly known as a "Double Dated" Luger. Double Dated Lugers are usually WWI German military issue Lugers that were factory reworked and reissued after the war to German Army and Police units, as permitted by the treaty of Versailles. The 1914 date stamped on your Luger is the original year of manufacture, the 1920 date is the year that the Luger was reworked. The markings on the right hand side of the chamber are various proof marks, and "Gesichert" is the German word for safe. Blue book values for Double Date Lugers are in the $250 to $750 range depending upon condition. If you are careful, use nor-corrosive ammunition and make sure to thoroughly clean your Luger afterwards, firing it should not affect the value. Make sure to have your Luger checked out for safety by a competent gunsmith before your fire it. Marc
# 2904 - Ammunition Question 5/2/00
I want to settle an argument (sort of) I had with a fellow I met. He said the US Military changed to color tips on bullets and I think he is correct. I found some green tipped 223's ammo at a local store and I thought that meant it was armor piercing or tracer. But I was told it meant it was a 69gr load by one guy and an AP by another fellow. I did not know what to think ? Guess I still don't. What about WWII era ammo ? What's the color codes for that era ? Did the codes change ? Did other countries follow the color rules ?
Answer: Sir- US ammo ID practices began about WW1 when AP and tracer were introduced, and used a chemical staining of the bullet and/or ctg case for ID purposes. Sometime prior to WW2 the familiar painted bullet tip color codes were adopted. Meanings have changed over the years. Green originally meant duplex ball (two bullets instead of one in a ctg) for 7.62mm NATO ammo but in the 1980s was adopted to indicate a heavier ball bullet for 5.56mm cartridges intended for use in barrels with different rate of twist. NATO essentially adopted the US color codes, and while other countries have used bullet tip color codes, the meanings differ from US practice.
In US practice the most common colors on WW2 and later ammo are:
No color- ball
Black- armor piercing (AP)
Silver- armor piercing incendiary (API)
Green and white- frangible (bullet breaks up on impact for training).
Folks interested in this sort of stuff should read the two volume History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition (1880-1940 in Vol 1, 1941-1945 in Vol 2) by Hackley, Woodin & Scranton. They should also join the International Ammunition Association. Hope this helps. John Spangler
# 2903 - Remington Rolling Block 5/2/00 Stan
I have a Remington rolling block made in NY. With dates stamped;5/30 1864, 5/7,6/11, 11/12, 12/24 1874,12/31 1872,9/8 1873,AND 1/12 1874, 3/18 1874. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT CAL. IT IS and if it is blackpowder or smokeless. Any info where I can find out would be appreciated.
Answer: Stan-These were made in a wide variety of calibers, and many were further altered for even odder calibers. The only way to be sure is to have a competent gunsmith check it out, probably involving making a casting of the chamber. Most will turn out to be oddball foreign calibers. Without actually seeing the gun, we cannot even guess. John Spangler