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# 5583 - Colt New Army & Navy Revolver
5/31/03
Ken, Elgin, Pa

Colt - New Navy? - .38 - 6'' - Blue - 5718 -

The top of the barrel is stamped: COLT'S PT F.A. MFG. HARTFORD CT. U.S.A. PATENTED AUG. 5 1884 NOV. 6 88 MAR. 5 95. Directly above the ejector rod the barrel is stamped: COLT D.A. 38 When you swing the cylinder out the frame is marked an R, and a U with 5718 under those two letters and the letters are spaced out. The swing arm is marked on the inside with the letter K and 5718 below it. The cylinder release lever is marked with the letter K and 5718 below it. The rear of the cylinder has the letter C between two cylinders, the K between two other cylinders, 743 or possibly 4743, between two of the cylinders and the letters R.A.C. stamped between the two cylinders directly across from it. R.A.C. is also stamped just above the pistol grips on the receiver and also stamped into the wooden grips on the bottom. Grips are wooden and do not have an emblem. There is no Colt emblem anywhere on the gun. There is what looks to be a threaded hole in the bottom of the handle also. It looks like the number 10 beneath the hole also, I am assuming the hole was for a lanyard. All writing is on the left side of the gun. It has a round front sight and a groove rear sight....non-adjustable. Can be fired single or doulble action. Cylinder rotates counter clockwise when operating. Cylilnder also has grooves to stop the rotation and dents to lock it into place. Barrel length is 6 inches and overall length looks like it's around 11 1/2 inches. I have been searching the internet trying to find what kind of gun this is and I can't find an exact match and was wondering if you could help me out. I'd like to know a little about the gun and if it's worth hanging on to for collectability or if I should go ahead and have my local gunsmith tighten up the action on it. It shoots well but is slightly loose in the cylinder. He is the one who told me to investigate the gun first before he would touch it. Thank you for your time. Ken

Answer:
Ken- Your description fits the Colt New Army & Navy model, and the RAC markings are those of Army Ordnance Department inspector Rinaldo A. Carr. Those with inspector marks were purchased by the U.S. Army as Models 1892, 1894, 1896, 1901 or 1903. All these were marked on the bottom of the butt U.S./ Army/ Model/ [1892-1903] and serial number broken into two groups of numbers. The 1896 and later had the swivel on the butt. It sounds like someone removed the swivel and also the military markings on the butt of yours. The alterations hurt the already modest collector value, dropping it down to about $100-150 in my opinion. I would definitely advise against trying to mess with this as a shooter. These take a hard to find .38 Colt cartridge, not .38 special or .38 S&W, so ammo will be costly. If you need a shooter, there are loads of other more modern double action revolvers by S&W, Colt, or Ruger made of far better and stronger materials, better mechanics, and chambered for cheap and plentiful ammunition. Any of those others can be found for modest prices when used, but it would be a much better choice than wasting time or effort on this one, at least in my opinion. John Spangler


# 5580 - Canadian Marked U.S. M1917 Enfield
5/31/03
Bill, Monroe, NC

Eddystone - 1917 - 30-06 - 25 - Blue - 834328 -

C broad arrow stamps on the stock. One on the right side of the buttstock and one forward of the trigger guard. There is a small 96 stamped on top of the wrist and what appears to be an eagle just behind the trigger guard. My rifle is in excellent condition with the original bluing, E-5-18 dated barrel and possibly lightly sanded stock. What information is there on the collectibility of Canadian Lend Lease 1917 US rifles. Do the Canadian acceptance marks contribute at all to it's overall value or is condition and original finish more important? The rifle has some Remington parts one or two Winchester but most are E marked for Eddystone. Any information you can supply me about this rifle will be much appreciated. ParallaxBill

Answer:
Bill- Most M1917 rifles were used in WW1 and then overhauled to some extent afterwards and placed in war reserve storage. During early WW2 hundreds of thousands of M1917 rifles were shipped to Allies including Canada, England, China, and eventually some to the ungrateful French. I think that examples of lend lease arms are interesting collector items, but many other collectors would be unhappy at the "foreign marks" added to deface a nice collector item. I guess the added markings may help or hurt the value depending on the views of the buyer. The good news is that M1917 rifles with original blue finish are hard to find, and even with a few mixed parts, so it should have a lot of appeal. John Spangler


# 5497 - Nickeled (ugh) Radom
5/31/03
Pat, Martinsville, Indiana

RB.RADOM VIS - P35 - 9mm - 5 - Nickel - S4553 -

German bird/77 on slide and receiver, German Eagle on slide. I recently received a Radom P35. It looks to be nickel plated with some pitting on the slide and receiver in front of the trigger guard. The pistol is in good working order, 9mm, all of the parts have matching numbers, 3 notch slide with the take down lever and black plastic grips. Could you give me some insight on the age and worth of this pistol? Thanks

Answer:
Pat, Radom pistols were manufactured from 1935 through the end of WWII, first for the Polish military and then during Nazi occupation for the German military. Polish military pistols are the most valuable, they have a high quality blue finish and are marked with the Polish eagle. Some have a slot for a shoulder stock and tangent sights. Under German supervision the quality of finish on Radom pistols was decreased and features were eliminated to speed production. Collectors recognize three types of these pistols.

Type I pistols had all parts except the recoil spring and recoil spring guide blued with high quality commercial type blue finish. The barrel, recoil spring, and recoil spring guide were polished white. Grips were checkered hard rubber. A shoulder stock slot and a lanyard ring may or may not be present.

Type II pistols also had all parts except the barrel, recoil spring, and recoil spring guide blued, but the blue was over an improperly polished surface. The barrel, recoil spring, and recoil spring guide were polished white. Grips were checkered black plastic, checkered brown plastic, fine checkered hardwood, or coarse checkered hardwood. The lanyard ring and disassembly lever were retained but the shoulder stock slot was omitted.

Type III pistols had a parkerized frame, slide, and magazine. The rear sight, hammer, hammer release, magazine release catch, slide stop, and grip screws were blued over an improperly polished surface. The barrel, recoil spring, and recoil spring guide were polished white. The lanyard ring was retained but the shoulder stock slot and disassembly lever were omitted. Grips were checkered black plastic, checkered brown plastic, fine checkered hardwood, coarse checkered hardwood, or grooved hardwood.

Your pistol sounds like it is a type II Nazi Radom. Values for these pistols in good condition is in the $400 to $600 range. Unfortunately the nickel finish is not original and this will lower value to the $200 or less range. Marc


# 5491 - Page Lewis Sharpshooter
5/27/03
Henry Sareta, La

Page Lewis - Model B Sharpshooter - 22LR - 24in. - Don't Know - NONE -

none I would like to know how old the gun is , and value.

Answer:
Henry, the model B sharpshooter was what collectors call a "boy's rifle". It was the second of three models (A, B & C) manufactured by Page-Lewis that used a common under lever, falling block, single-shot frame. The Model B rifle was manufactured from 1921 to 1926, it had a 24 inch barrel, bead front sight, open adjustable rear sight, walnut stock and walnut forearm which was slightly longer than that of the model A. The frame was blued and marked on the left hand side "MODEL B SHARPSHOOTER". Weight was 4.75 pounds and overall length was 38.5 inches.

Lately there seems to have been growing collector interest in boy's rifles. I would expect to see a rifle like yours for sale at a gunshow in the $100 to $300 range. Marc


# 5480 - Police Luger
5/27/03
Rickey, Wauchula, FL

Luger - 9mm - Blue - 4173 -

on grip is S.D. II or III, an R with an X marked over it and the Number 24. Under the barrel is the number 4173. On the top are the initials DMC or DWM (not sure) Under the safety is Gesichert. I believe it is a 9mm German Luger. It has the holster and it is marked P38 with (it looks like) swastika (sp) on it. The magazine is wood. Would like to know more about the gun.. when it was made and when used. Also what the value of the gun is. Thanks, Rickey

Answer:
Rickey, the initials on the toggle of your Luger are "DWM" they are the logo for Deutsche Waffen u. Munitionswerke of Berlin-Borsigwalde, Germany. DWM was a major German arms manufacturer during WWI. Gesichert is the German word for safe, it becomes visible on the left side of the frame when the safety is engaged. It is stamped on the pistol to indicate that the safety is on. The number (4173) stamped on your barrel is the pistol's serial number, it should also be stamped on the frame and the last two digits of the number (73) should be stamped on various small parts. If any of these numbers do not match, your Luger's parts are not all original and value will be greatly diminished.

The stampings on the front strap of the grip are police markings. They were stamped there in accordance with police instruction of 1932. The stampings indicate that the pistol was issued to the "Schutzpolizei in the administrative district of Diisseldorf, precinct II (or III), pistol number 24". I am not sure what the Xed out "R" is for, possibly it was stamped by mistake then crossed out, I would have to see a picture or examine the pistol in person to be sure.

Your holster was not made for a Luger, it is probably a military issue P.38 holster.

Value for Police issue Lugers range from about $450 to about $700 depending on condition. Values for P.38 holsters range from $75 to $175 also depending on condition. Marc


# 5578 - Winchester 1886 With P.O. Ackley Barrel
5/27/03
John,Sarasota,Florida

Winchester - 1886 - 45-70 - 22 1/2'' - Blue - 72035 -

P.O.Ackley on barrel and G.H.P.or L. stamped on the left of the receiver I bought a Model 1886 Winchester lever action rifle 15 years ago that had a nonoriginal Ackley barrel installed in the past. It had been reblued but seems in good condition with good stock although the stock must have been refinished. I paid $200 for it and used it for hog hunting until about 10 years ago. Recently, I was cleaning it and wondered about it's history and value. I had assumed that the barrel change and reblueing had depressed it's value but wonder if the Ackley barrel would enhance the value. Did P.O.Ackley install all Ackley barrels? What general range of values would apply to this rifle? Is there any source to find out when the Ackley barrel might have been installed? Thanks

Answer:
John- Sounds like a neat gun being used for exactly the purpose intended by John M. Browning, the designer, Winchester the manufacturer and Parker O. Ackley the barrel maker. As far as I know, Ackley mainly did gunsmithing work converting various war trophy rifles into sporters and probably general work like barrel replacements and refinishing. I don't think he was in the barrel selling business, but he may have sold some. He lived right here in Salt Lake City, and we occasionally see examples of his work. In my opinion it is of excellent quality as far as technical aspects, but not great artistic merit..That may be skewed by my dislike of the fancy rollover cheekpieces and garish stock ornamentation popular in the 1950s. There is no good history of Ackley or his work that I know of. As far as value, I think that a shooter will only want to know how well it performs, and a collector would be turned off enough by the refinishing that the barrel replacement would only solidify their desire to look for a different gun. My guess is that a retail price in the $400-500 range might be a good starting point. John Spangler


# 5911 -
5/24/03
Mike

I have found a cartridge with the stamping DWM 1913. It's brass, and it appears, by length, to be a rifle shell. Any idea how old it is?

Answer:
Mike- DWM stands for Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken- basically German Weapon and Ammunition Factory. 1913 is probably the date it was made. I suspect it was ammunition captured during WW1 and brought home by some Doughboy, or sold on the surplus market. It may have been made by DWM for sport to one of the hundreds of other countries that had adopted Mauser rifles in various calibers, but mostly 7mm, 7.65mm, or 8mm Mauser. In some cases DWM used a number code on their ammunition to designate the caliber, but I am pretty sure this is just a date. Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 5952 - Confederate Markings On Enfield Muskets
5/24/03
Bob

How were the Enfield muskets used by the Confederacy marked?

Answer:
Bob- most were not marked in any way, so be VERY suspicious of any that are prominently marked CSA, etc. A few were marked with numbers ENGRAVED on the buttplate tang and ramrod and sometimes a JS with anchor between the letters was stamped on the bottom of the stock behind the trigger guard. Conversely, those that have British broad arrow acceptance markings were likely NOT sold as surplus during the Civil War, but in later years, so they would NOT be Confederate used. Hope this helps. There is all sorts of info, often conflicting, from various sources, with varying degrees of credibility on this subject. A recent Man at Arms article on British bayonet markings is long and detailed, but solidly researched and the conclusions apply to muskets as well, and you may want to check that out first. John Spangler


# 5478 - Bernadelli Model 60
5/24/03
Steve Houston, TX

Vincenzo Bernadelli - 60 - 9 - 3'' - Blue - 6142 -

My father purchased this pistol in Okinawa while serving in the Korean conflict. It is still in it's original box. I'm curious as to it's value. Thanks

Answer:
Steve references indicate that the model 60 was first introduced in 1959. It was an updated version of Bernadelli's earlier "Pocket Model" available in 22 LR, 32 ACP, and .380 ACP with a 3.5 inch barrel, fixed sights, blue finish and Bakelite grips. Model 60 frame forgings were improved to give a better angle to the grip and streamline the appearance, it also used twin return springs to soften the recoil movement of the slide. The blue book lists model 60 values between $120 and $220 depending on condition. Marc


# 5855 - Walther PP
5/20/03
Traci, Cleveland, OH

Walther - PP - 7.65 - Unknown - Blue - 3126XX P -

Eagle over an N on the slide and barrel/breach on the right side of the gun and on the left side is ''Waffenfabrik Walther, Zella-Mehlis (Thur) Walther's Patent Cal. 7.65 m/m and Mod. PP. The Walther banner is on the left side. There are no other markings on the gun. Can you please give me as much information as possible about this gun. Including approximate value. Thank you in advance for helping me.

Answer:
Traci, The Walther PP pistol was first manufactured by Waffenfabrik Walther at Zella-Mehlis, Germany, from 1929 to 1945, PP stands for Police Pistol. The eagle over N marking that you describe is a German commercial test proof whose design was set forth in the National Proof Law of June 7, 1939, and which became effective April 1 1940. The 'N' is an abbreviation for Nitro (smokeless) powder. Early PP pistols were manufactured with the a high quality Walther commercial finish and slides were marked with the Walther legend on the left side. The first Walther PP serial number was 750000, numbers increased from there until they reached one million, then a new series was initiated which began at 100000 with the added letter suffix "P", your pistol probably falls into this block. Values for PP pistols depends on condition and markings, and can range from around $200.00 for one that has been refinished or is in poor condition to over $1000.00 for a Nazi party political leader pistol or a pistol with other special markings. Marc


# 5860 - 62 A Gallery Rifle
5/20/03
David

Winchester - 62A - 22 Short - 23 - Don't Know - 369425 -

It has two # on it. One is 369425 which is on metal piece used to connect the stock. The other is 369402. Could these both be serial numbers. Being a gallery gun, parts were probably interchanged with others? I would like to know the year in which this gallery special was made. It was last used at Edgewater Amusement Park in Detroit, MI around the 1950's. As a teenager, I filled tubes with ammo that was then fed into the rifle. I kept one of them and have had it ever since the park closed in 1982.

Answer:
David, Winchester manufactured the Model 62A rifle from 1940 to 1941 and then again from 1945 to 1958. Model 62A serial numbers started at about 99200. 62A gallery rifles had an enlarged loading port so that the cartridge-retaining tubes used in shooting galleries could be inserted more easily. The two numbers that you mention are both serial numbers, 62A rifles were numbered on both the tang (the metal piece used to connect the stock) and the receiver. The serial number on the tang and the serial number on the receiver should be the same. The year of manufacture for both of your numbers (serial number 369425 and number 369402) is 1956, the gallery probably bought both rifles at the same time. Gallery model 62A rifles with the enlarged loading port are more valuable then regular models that were manufactured for sporting use. Collectors will also pay a premium for the gallery cartridge tubes. Unfortunately due to the fact that the serial numbers on your rifle do not match, value will be reduced by as much as 50 percent. Marc


# 5577 - Thompson Submachine Gun Inspector Initials
5/20/03
Larry, Flora, IL

Thompson - M1A1 SMG - 45 - Blue -

What do the letters GEG surrounded by a circle stand for? I have found this stamped on various parts of a Thompson M1A1 sub machine gun.

Answer:
Larry- Good question, but one I do not know the answer to. Normally the initials stamped once would indicate the ordnance inspector. However, if found on numerous parts, it probably is a subcontractor code, similar to those used on M1 carbines. I believe there is a book by Frank Ianmucca (the Small Arms Review guy) which would probably enlighten anyone interested. John Spangler


# 5576 - Merwin & Hulbert
5/17/03
Thomas, El Paso, TX

Hopkins&Allen Norwich Conn USA - Not Marked - ''Calibre 1873 Winchester'' - Aprox. 8'' - Nickel - 17987 -

Pistol. Bone Handles. Ring at the bottom of grip to attach lanard ?? Left side of barrel ''Hopkins & Allen Manufacturing Co. Norwich Conn USA. Top of barrel: Merwin Hulbert & Co. New York USA Pat Jan.24 Apr.21 Dec.15 74 Aug 3 76 Jul 11 76 Apr 17 77 Pats Mar 6 77 Breaks down into three part, Barrel, cylinder, hammer and grip assembly. I have pictures if it helps. My father had this pistol all my life. Always told the story that this was an officers gun that used the same ammo as the rifles issue to the foot soldiers. I have been unable to locate any information up to this point. Do you know its history ?

Answer:
Thomas- Merwin & Hulbert revolvers were made circa 1876-1880 using an innovative design that you described. The reference to "Winchester 1873 caliber" indicates it is .44-40 caliber. They hoped to get a military contract but were unsuccessful. Yours is called the "Army Model" even though they were never adopted. These were made in several variations with square and round butts, mostly in single action but some in double action. They were also made in other calibers, and they also made a smaller "Pocket Army" model as well as more conventional revolvers in the 1880s. There is a small cult of Merwin & Hulbert enthusiasts who like all of these. About 15 years ago I bought a book on these guns hoping to learn more. Well, that book was one of only three gun books that I considered so worthless that I got rid of it. (The others were R.L. Wilson's execrable attempt at a price guide and Harrison's partly trash/partly treasure guesswork on M1903 Springfields.) I think that Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and their Values will give you most of the information you need, as well as loads of other good facts. John Spangler


# 5563 - Springfield Model 1878 [1873] Rifle
5/17/03
Christine, Burbank, CA USA

Springfield Rifle - US Model 1878 - Don't Know - Don't Know How To Measure - Don't Know - 419461 -

V P and Eagle head on barrel (about 1/4'') , a very small letter nearby that which could be an R but possibly another letter, (about 1/16'' high) and a letter A (about 1/4''). It looks like a letter P in a circle on the bottom of the Butt. there are two rings which wrap around the barrel, the one closest to the end of the barrel has two oblong metal rings attached from which a strap would go through with a single matching oblong strap ring on the area near the trigger. In between is a round metal ring, both the round rings have a ''U'' stamped on them. On the right side is a metal plate between the trigger and hammer with an Eagle and ''U.S. SPRINGFIELD'' stamped on this. The eagle's head faces towards the front of the rifle and arrows are coming out one foot and possibly a branch on the other side. On the bottom of the long barrel, the wood part, has a channel cutout which possibly held a cleaning rod. The overall length of the gun is 51-1/2''. The metal part of the barrel is 36'' (31'' if you count where it stomps at the bullet mechanism). I know nothing about the parts of a gun so I did the best I could with the measurements and descriptions. A magnet sticks to the metal and the metal is blackish in color. The wood is brown and warn, with black oil marks where probably a hand had to stead the end of the barrel. Can this serial number tell when or where this gun was likely used, can you give me a value range, and can you tell me the best way to sell an item like this. My father passed away and I'm seeking to sell this for my mother. Thank you.

Answer:
Christine- I want to commend you for the EXCELLENT job on your detailed and accurate description. We need to show this as an example to a lot of guys who consider themselves to be gun authorities but send us a description "I have an old gun, long and rusty but in excellent condition, what is it and what is it worth." I checked and there is no documented history available on this rifle, which was made in 1888, but it is typical of those used by volunteer forces in the Spanish American War. They are .45-70 caliber, and you have the standard infantry model, not the slightly shorter cadet model or the cavalry carbine. The value will depend on the condition, and could range from about $400 for a well used example that has been refinished up to about $1000 for an excellent example. This is an antique firearm. made prior to 1898, and therefore not subject to most of the laws concerning modern guns. However, in California, everyone is paranoid about guns, so you may want to sell it to a dealer and let them worry about making sure they follow all the silly rules. (Gangbangers just steal their guns or buy them from the drug dealers, so they are not inconvenienced at all.) Most dealers pay about 2/3 of expected retail when buying items. We buy things like this and could provide a prepaid box for shipping if you want to send it to us for our evaluation and offer. John Spangler


# 5461 - Trounds
5/17/03
Reno, Hailey Idaho

Unknown - Unknown - Unknown - Unknown - Don't Know - NA -

Some time ago I read an article about a weapon system called a tround. If memory serves me correctly the idea was to allow for reloading in the field by using a composite or plastic casing in the shape of a triangle. It used a detachable magazine and was similar in design to an older auto loading slide gun. I would be greatly interested in any information on this product or the technology behind it. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Answer:
Reno, I am not sure what the advantages of reloading in the field are, I thought that went out of style with black powder, cap and ball. I think I saw somewhere that experiments were being conducted with triangular shaped caseless ammunition but I loose interest when they start talking about black plastic guns so I can't tell you much about it.

I can tell you a little about the older pistol you mention, it was a Dardick. Dardick trounds were made by taking a commercial cartridge of the right caliber and encasing it in a tough polycarbonate plastic sleeve. Dardick manufactured two pistols, the Model 1100 and the Model 1500. The 1100 had a small grip and a capacity of 11 trounds. The 1500 was larger with a magazine capacity of 15 trounds. Both firearms were chambered in .38 Dardick Special (38 Special, encased in plastic to form a tround). One of the special features of the Dardick system is that by the use of adapters and interchangeable barrels, they could be made to fire. 38 S & W Long, 9mm Parabellum and .22LR cartridges. The 1100 came with a 3 inch barrel, the standard 1500 barrel was 6 inches, but other barrel lengths were available. The pistol could be converted into a carbine by attaching a shoulder stock and long barrel.

Sorry that I could not be of more help with your question. Beyond the few pistols made for commercial sale, the Dardic concept was applied to a wide range of weapons, up to and including .50 caliber, I believe, but stricly for experimental purposes. That is more of an oddball ammunition question, outside our area of expertise. I suggest that you visit the International Ammunition Collectors Association site at www.cartridgecollectors.org. The site has a wealth of information about all kinds of ammunition and a forum where visitors can post questions. Marc


# 5869 - Frog Pistol
5/13/03

M A B - C - 9mm Short - ? - Nickel - 435272 -

What is the guns history? Would also like to know the value.

Answer:
There are no records that I know of to tell the history of individual MAB pistols. I can tell you that your pistol was made by Manufacture d'Armes de Bayonne (MAB) of Bayonne, France who started business in 1921. MAB introduced the Model C in 1933, it was their first pistol design to employ a recoil spring around the barrel, essentially copying the Browning 1910. Like most French firearms the pistol has an odd appearance with an unusually deep grip from front to rear. The Model C was originally produced in 7.65mm and later in 9mm Short (380 auto). The 9mm model may be stamped '9mm' or '.38', depending upon whether it was intended for export to the United States or for sale in Europe.

Collectors interest in most French firearms is low, this is possibly due to the well deserved French reputation for cowderlyness and treachery. Your pistol's nickel finish will also hurt salability. I would expect to see a pistol like yours for sale at a gunshow in the $100 range. Marc


# 5876 - Sporterized Lee Enfield
5/13/03
Luis Huntsville Texas

Lee Enfield - Mark III - .303 - 25 - Blue - NOT LEGIBLE -

I inherited this relic of a war rifle recently in bad condition, its stock had been cut to a sport shooting length and no longer has the bayonet attachment. I've reblued and conditioned all steel parts as well as refinished the wood, my two questions are these, is the historical and monetary value of this weapon destroyed because of the modifications my uncle made, and second how do you sight this weapon vertically, I don't think the bolt can be removed, is there a scientific way to sight the weapon in? thank you

Answer:
Luis, the collector value of the rifle was destroyed when the wood was cut, and the original parts discarded. This was a commonly done modification to provide hunters with low cost sporting rifles from surplus military rifles. The bolt can be removed. You pull it all the way to the rear, then lift the bolt head forcefully. It will pop over a small spring on the right side of the rifle. You can then remove it. You replace it the same way.

Most people sight these rifles in by trial and error. You fire a group, check the sights, and the group, and then move the sights till you get it zeroed. To adjust for windage (vertically), move the front sight. I have found that this is best done with a soft (aluminum or brass) punch or hammer. Marc


# 5562 - Tranter .450 Revolver John Blisset & Sons
5/13/03
Peter ,Sydney ,Australia

John Blissett And Son - Tranters - .45 ? - Blue - 5828 -

'John Blisset & Sons'.'Tranters Patent 5828'. In box with oil bottle and firing pin spanner. An empty casing was in the revolving chamber marked 'ELEY'S 450' Having inherited the above firearm from my Great Uncle, I am interested in it's origins including date of manufacture. Legend has it that my Great Great Grandmother was given the gun when she was sixteen to protect herself on the sailing voyage from England to Australia. My research so far indicates that it is a 6 shot revolving percussion gun possibly manufactured in the mid 1800's. I have not been able to find information on the manufacturer, John Blisset & Son. (perhaps Blissett)

Answer:
Peter- You realize of course that anyone giving a 16 year old a gun today would be locked up for child abuse, and the 16 year old would be deemed so irresponsible and so likely to wantonly kill people that they would be locked up too. It is not the availability of guns that cause problems in society, the blame belongs to other factors. John Blisset operated at 321-322 High Holborn, London, starting in 1850. In 1867 the firm became John Blisset and Son, and in 1878 it became John Blisset, Son & Tomes. Therefore we can date your pistol to the period between 1867 and 1878. You state it is percussion, but also mention a .450 cartridge case found in the cylinder, so I am going to assume it is in fact a .450 cartridge revolver, which was introduced about 1865, although percussion arms continued in production for several years for folks opposed to new fangled ideas. You have a most interesting piece of family history, and I hope that the increasingly extreme Australian gun laws (which have the proven, albeit counter-intuitive, to result of increased violent crime) do not force you to part with this heirloom. John Spangler


# 5561 - Winchester 1876 .50-95 Express- Holland & Holland
5/9/03
John, Phoenix, AZ

Winchester - 1876 - 50-95 Express - 26'' - Blue - 39941 -

''Sighted and Shot Regulated by Holland & Holland, London, Winners 1883 Field Trials'' on barrel - also half/button magazine, 3 leaf express sight and case color receiver I know the year made, etc., I was more interested in Holland & Holland's involvement and how common this was for a Winchester rifle? Also, what you think the value may be? Thank You.

Answer:
John- WOW! Great gun! And that is before getting to the H&H part. Frankly, I do not know the answer to either part of your question. However, if you are looking for a suitable heir to take care of this, feel free to add my name. You probably should get a letter from the Winchester factory records at the Cody Firearms Museum, and the $55 cost is well worth it for a gun like this. They have records on all the 1876 model. Details can be found at http://www.bbhc.org/firearms/membership.cfm I would also suggest you contact George Madis through the Winchester Arms Collectors Association. and see if he can tell you more. As the guy who wrote the Winchester Book, he knows most of what there its to know about Winchesters, and he also has a fine reputation as a ethical and reliable dealer. You may be able to find some information about the 1883 Field Trails in old sporting periodicals, or from some English collectors. Good luck and congratulations on owning such a great gun. John Spangler


# 5560 - British Lee Enfield Headspace Adjustment
5/9/03
Darrel Salem Or

Lithgow 1917/ (2)No. 5 - .303 - Blue -

I am trying to bring these up to shooting condition. Where can I find bolt heads. The No. 5 head space fails on a bolt head ''1''. The Lithgow has a bolt head ''M'' that fails the head space check. Any recommendations? Thanks, Darrel

Answer:
Darrel- You might check with the big surplus parts dealers (Gun Parts Corp, SARCO, Northridge, etc to see if they have the various size boltheads. The Brits made the bolt head of the Lee Enfield in several different sizes, so they could be used to ensure the correct headspace distance between the bolt face and the rear of the barrel, as the .303 British is a rimmed cartridge. On rimless cartridges the headspace is measured differently, but the whole deal about headspace is that you want to have the base of the cartridge nearly tight against the face of the bolt when it is fired. If there is excessive headspace, the base of the cartridge will be pushed to the rear when the powder is ignited, stretching the brass. Some stretching is expected and perfectly safe, but if the distance is too great, the head will pull loose from the rest of the case. This has several undesirable results, besides the soiled trousers of the unlucky shooter. Huge amounts of hot gas escape into the breech area at about 30,000-50,000 pounds per square inch, along with tiny bits of brass from the failed case. This normally does very nasty things to any adjacent parts, shattering stocks, magazines, eyeballs and facial features. Somewhat less catastrophic releases of gas can occur from defective cases, and thus the frequent use of "gas escape" holes in various parts, most notably the "Hatcher hole" or left side gas escape added to the M1903 Springfield in the mid 1930s. If the head ruptures from the case, and the rifle escapes too much damage, there is the remaining problem. of the front part of the case stuck in the chamber, rendering the rifle a very good handle for a bayonet, but useless as a firearm. To solve this problem, most military forces had tools called "ruptured cartridge extractors" or "headless shell extractors" that could be used to grip the remaining part of the cartridge case and force it out. Headspace is serious stuff, and that is one reason we sell all guns as collector items only, and insist that you have them checked by a competent gunsmith prior to firing. Be careful out there, you are responsible for taking care of those historic old arms, and they cannot be fixed, even if a good trauma center might be able to fix the shooter. John Spangler


# 5873 - Nickel Detective Special
5/9/03
Stephen, Miami, Florida

Colt - Detective Special - 38 - 3'' - Nickel - 663908 -

There are two number 4' and a K stamped on the frame under the serial number, but no extra stamps under the second serial number. The gun is nickel but I believe it was done after market as the name on the barrel is hard to read I would like to know when the gun was manufactured and if it was offered with a nickel finish

Answer:
Stephen, Colt manufactured the first Detective Specials from 1927 to 1946. They were a .38 Special 2 inch revolver with wood grips. A square butt was standard through 1933, and a round butt was standard from 1934 to 1936. Manufacture of second model Detective Specials started in 1947, they were offered in .32 New Police, .38 New Police, or .38 Special with 2 or 3 inch barrels ( 3 inch barrels are rare) and plastic grips from 1947 to 1954 and wood grips that wrapped under the frame from 1954 to 1972. Your revolver was manufactured in 1955.

Although it has a different name, the Detective Special was actually the same design as the Police Special except that it was fitted with a standard 2 inch barrel. There is some inconsistency in my reference books as to weather Colt offered Detective Specials with a nickel finish. Fjistad's blue book of gun values does not list nickel as a standard finish but R.L. Wilson's Colt book does. I think that the light markings on your barrel are a good indicator that your finish is not original. Marc


# 5680 - Colt Revolver Serial Number 1?
5/6/03
Joseph, Birmingham, Al

Colt - 38 -

I have a Colt nickel plated .38 caliber revolver that my grand father gave to me when I went to Korea in 1951, saying "This gun saw me through one war, hope it sees you through this one". The family legend is that he "liberated" this gun from the army when he was in Cuba during the Spanish American War. The butt plate is engraved " U. S. ARMY MODEL 1898 No. 1". Most parts of it have a "1" engraved on them although several do not. I sent photos of it and a description of it to Colt about 25 years ago and they forwarded same to the supposed "Expert" on this gun. I received no reply from him or Colt ,so I contacted Colt and they gave me his Telephone number. I called him and he said the my gun was "obviously a forgery"---which I know is not true. I later found that he supposedly owns "Serial No. 1". Is my gun valuable and how do I go about authenticating it?

Answer:
Sorry, we cannot help with that one without a detailed examination of the pistol. I am not a Colt expert, but I have never heard of one marked U. S. Army Model 1898. (Model 1892, 1894, 1901 and 1903 yes, but not 1898). Nickel plating would have been done after it left the factory, as the contract called for them all to be blued, so that suggests that it is possible that other things were done. One possible explanation is that someone purposely changed the numbers due to the dubious circumstances of its acquisition. Most likely this involved removing most of the numbers, leaving only a 1, but that is just a guess on my part. They do have some good gun shows in Birmingham, and I suspect you can find some knowledgeable Colt collectors there who may be able to tell you more. Just ask a couple of the dealers to point out someone reputable who knows a lot about Colts. While a nice family heirloom, my hunch is that it probably does not have a lot of collector value. Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 5762 - Pre WWII SKS?
5/6/03
Paul St. Louis Mo.

SKS Military - Carbine - 7.62 - ? - Blue - ? -

Equipped with bayonet I inherited this rifle and I have no use for it and before I sell it I would like to get some kind of idea of what it is worth and I think it may be pre WWII. It seems to shoot good and be in fare condition.

Answer:
Paul, your SKS is defiantly not pre-WWII, the first SKS pre-production run was completed in the spring of 1944. The carbines from this run were sent to front line troops fighting in Byelorussian for testing under battlefield conditions. Reports from the troops were enthusiastic and the SKS was adopted by the Red Army with only minor changes in 1945. Regular SKS production did not commence until 1949 at Tula arsenal and not until 1953 at Izhevskin.

SKS carbines have been manufactured by many Soviet Block nations and hundreds of thousands have been imported into the United States. SKS carbines have retailed for as little as $99.00 brand new in the box with bayonet bandoleer sling and oilier included. The value of your SKS can depend on several factors, it's condition and where it was made are probably the most important. Carbines with capture papers from the Vietnam era bring a premium. If the reason that you assumed your SKS to be old, is because it is in poor condition, value will probably be in the $100 range. Marc


# 5769 - Sporterized VZ
5/6/03
Richard, Auroa, CO

Mauser? - Rifle - .30-06 - Approx. 24 Inch - Don't Know - UNKNOWN -

On one side of the gun, it has: ''.30-06''; next, a bird of some type holding the Nazi symbol in a ring; next, the numbers ''8351'' with the letter ''J'' centered under the four digits; and then ''G.24(t)'' followed. On the other side of the gun, it has: the numbers ''490''; and the letters ''ABC'' with some type of symbol directly over the three letters. Also, it does not have a site on the barrel. The barrel is smooth, but has a scope for the sighting. I would like to know more about the gun: When and where it was made? What was its purpose (i.e. military)? Was a large quantity made of the same type and model? Was it a sniper rifle that was used in World War II? How valuable is it? Other words, is it a rare rifle and should I worry about insuring it? Is it a Mauser?

Answer:
Richard, your rifle has provided income for one or more gunsmiths since it was built. It started life sometime between 1939 and about 1941 in Czechoslovakia. The marking G24(t) stands for the Czech military rifle VZ 24 and the letter (t) was added when the rifle was taken into German military service to indicate that it was a weapon of foreign manufacture from Czechoslovakia. The eagle was the German military firing proof adopted in 1939, and applied to weapons destined for the their military. Somewhere in its history the rifle was sportized, the rear sight base removed, and a scope added. Whatever collector value this rifle had disappeared when this was done. The Czech VZ 24 rifle was indeed a Mauser design. German military sniping rifles were made from standard rifles, and were left in full military configuration with front and rear sights present. The scope was usually detachable. Marc


# 5681 - Rusty 1833 Musket
5/3/03
John Donora Pa 15033

U.S. - U. S. 1833 - 57 Inches - Rusty -

A H on the barrel History of this musket

Answer:
John- Our answer is limited by the amount of information provided. However, we are happy to report that your gun was made in 1833, and someone applied the initials AH on it somewhere at some time, in some manner. AH may be their initials, perhaps a maker, an inspector, an owner, their true love, or an abbreviation for their social esteem. The gun is now 57 inches long, and is unlikely to have been shorter, but could have been longer. It got wet and got rusty. It may have a very exciting history, or a very boring one, and is certainly worth whatever a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on. Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 5686 - J. Roop long rifle
5/3/03
Ray, Indiana, PA

Pennsylvania Longrifle - 42 inches - Don't Know -

Has stamped on barrel J. Roop Can you tell me who J. Roop was? Where was the rifle made?

Answer:
Ray- With a 42 inch barrel this sounds like a nice gun, and probably dates to sometime prior to about 1855. I can find a listing for I. Roop as a maker of a flintlock rifle in an undetermined location. Remember that the letter "I" was often substituted for the letter "J" in the olde times, so this may be the same maker. There is also a listing for J. Roop from Bellefonte, PA, circa 1800-1840 as maker of a percussion fullstock rifle, based on information in John Dillon's "The Kentucky Rifle." Rifles of this period can sometimes be identified by the design of the stocks and various other details, and fit into "schools" of makers who used similar styles in a certain geographic area. Markings on the locks are most often those of the lock maker, and many (perhaps most) gunsmiths bought locks rather than making them as being a more cost effective way of doing business. Names on barrels tend to be those of the maker, so your rifle was probably made by J. Roop. You do not say if it is a flintlock or a percussion rifle. The flintlocks tend to have a lot more collector value and interest than the later percussion guns, and also more than guns that were originally flintlocks and later converted to percussion. Among Kentucky rifle collectors there seems to be an acceptance of the practice of "reconverting" guns from percussion to flintlock. Unfortunately, the demand for higher quality pieces has apparently resulted in some guns made as percussion rifles being converted into flintlocks, and rather plain rifles have acquired some fancy inlays to make them more beautiful. Shortened rifles have miraculously been stretched back to their original (or is it merely desired?) length. There are a lot of good books on Pennsylvania or Kentucky rifles, including those by Dillon (mentioned above) Henry Kauffman (The Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle); Joe Kindig (Thoughts on the Kentucky Rifle) and a number of books by Jim Whisker and his friends on longrifles from specific schools or areas of the mid Atlantic region. A nice Kentucky rifle is a necessity for many gun collectors. While my interest is in U.S. military arms, I was happy to get a nice quality (but newly made) long rifle to represent the type which was used to some extent during the American Revolution. Anyway, that is how I rationalized the need for it, but my wife was happy because it is a "pretty gun." so she did not object to me getting it. Since that coup, I have been trying to get he to appreciate the beauty of a Gatling gun, but without luck. John Spangler


# 5875 - Winchester 1873
5/3/03
Charles, McKinney, TX

Winchester - 1873 - .32-20 - 28 inch octagon - 220743 -

WINCHESTER'S-REPEATING ARMS. New Haven CT. KING'S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29, 1856. OCTOBER 16,1860 32 CAL (on a brass plate on the bottom) What would be the approximate worth of a rifle like this in good condition? It has the original wood finish.

Answer:
Charles, value for this model is hard to estimate without seeing your Winchester. The Model 1873 was manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company of New Haven, Connecticut from 1873 to about 1924. Your rifle was manufactured in 1885. Winchester discontinued normal M1873 production after World War I but a few guns were assembled from parts into the mid 1920s, total production is estimated to be over 720,000. Originally rifles were chambered in 32-20, 38-40, or 44-40, 38-40 chambering was introduced in 1880 and in 1882 32-20 was added. The M1873 was initially offered as a Sporting Rifle, Musket or Carbine, decoration, barrel length and type of finish could be special ordered by the customer. As a result, examples can be found in many different configurations with any combination of special finish, sights, half-length magazine tubes, set triggers, extra short or long barrels, and shotgun-type butt plates. Values for Model 1873 Winchesters can very greatly depending on condition, caliber and special features with some selling for as much as $15,000.00 or more. Marc


# 5786 - Nazi HP In 45?
5/3/03

Browning???? - 45 Cal - 45? - 4 3/4 - Blue - 27.162 -

Has ''MR'' stamp on the trigger guard. FABRIQUE NATIONALE D'ARMES DE,GUERRE HERSTAL-BELGIQUE stamped on barrel with ''BROWNING'S PATENT DEPOSE'' below it. Back from the text and on the same line as ''herstal-belgique'' is the following stamp ''WaA140'' and next to it is an eagle stamped on the barrel with the eagle holding a circle with the German swastika in the circle, above the ''WaA140'' is the eagle wings. This same numbers and stamp are on the lower part of the barrel and the full eagle is set back further, again with the eagle holding the circle and swastika. On the bottom of the grip there is the stamped letter ''F'' and a ''5'' with a backwards checkmark and there are 2 other markings I can not make out. It also has plastic grips, one grip has a small hairline crack What do all the markings mean and when and where was it manufactured (year/place)? Are there instructions on how to break it down and clean it? What is it worth?

Answer:
The WaA140 marking that you describe, leads me to believe that you have an FN (Browning) Hi-Power pistol, WaA140 is a German Army acceptance stamp that was used towards the end of WWII on pistols of this type. The High Power was designed by John Moses Browning and manufactured by Fabrique Nationale (FN) in Herstal, Belgium. The Hi- Power is famous for its durability and accuracy, it is one of the few designs that was issued during WWII to both Allied and Axis troops. Hi- Power pistols of this vintage were originally chambered in 9mm so if you intend to fire your pistol it would be a good idea to have it checked by a competent gunsmith to verify the correct type of ammunition to use.

Hi-Power pistols that bear German Army acceptance stamps were manufactured under German control of the FN plant between May of 1940 and September of 1944. During this period over 319,000 High Powers were manufactured for the German Wehrmacht.


Values for Nazi marked High Power pistols in original condition are in the $350.00 to $750.00 or more range depending on condition and type. For disassembly instructions try the NRA Firearms Disassembly Guide, there is probably one available at your local library. Marc


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