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# 12137 -
MODEL 94 -
JOHN, PLUMAS LAKE, CA
FAIR SHAPE,BLUE MOSTLY GONE, NICE BORE, ACTION & HEADSPACE GOOD, STOCK OK-NO GOUGES OR MAJOR DENTS WHAT IS
VALUE-PRIVATE PARTY SALE. THANKS
John, you are probably not aware that
when communicating on the internet, ALL CAPS is often used to express shouting or anger. Many people consider use
of ALL CAPS to be rude or insulting. I refuse to answer free questions that are submitted in all caps or all
lower case letters. Just thought you might like to know. Marc
# 11614 -
M. Zulaica & Co., Eibar -
765 1914 Model Automatic Pistol -
Not sure -
Not sure -
Jerry, Chalfont PA, USA
This is an old gun, that was my wifes deceased fathers. It is not very long, maybe 7 or so inches, is black in
color. Is this pistol worth anything? I can't seem to track it down in any gun encyclopedia at all - -not even
the manufacturer - was this manf'd under a different ''main'' comapny besides ZULAICA? Thanks a
Jerry, "Pistols of the World Volume II" tells me that M. Zulaica y
of Eibar, Spain began business in the early 1900s with a Velo-Dog pattern pocket revolver. In 1905 they patented
an automatic revolver but few appear to have been made. They also manufactured Eibar type automatics which may
have been sold to the French for military use during the First World War, and continued to market these
commercially into the 1920s. Their last model was a copy of the Mauser C/96 which was introduced around 1930.
Sorry to say, but your pistol is not a collectors prize. Is this pistol worth anything? Not much, probably $50 or
less if you can find a buyer at all. Marc
# 11785 -
Whitney .32 Pocket Revolver
Whitneyville Armory CT -
Possibly 32 -
3.5 Inches -
Steve Wonder Lake Illinois
Barrel and cylinder appear to be steel. Frame appears to be brass finished. Grip may be walnut. Grandfather had
this gun and we looking for more information on this type of weapon. We found a similar gun in Guns America
website and it was called a Whitney Iron Frame 38 RF. However this one we think is a 32 RF. Any help would be
appreciated. WE can also send pictures if that may assist you. Thank you.
Steve- Whitney (yes, the firm started by our old Friend Eli Whitney of cotton gin fame)
made about 30,000 revolvers circa 1871-1879 in .22, .32 or .38 caliber, all for rimfire cartridges. Some had iron
frames, others had brass frames and there are a number of minor variations among these. Most have modest
collector value, probably in the $100-$250 range in NRA antique very good to excellent condition. Hope that
helps. John Spangler
# 11783 -
Winchester 52D Bolt Removal
Winchester 52D -
John, Hope, NJ
None How do you remove bolt?
John- I believe that you have to manipulate
the trigger in order to remove the bolt, and I think it is not the same for all the variations of the Winchester
Model 52. On the D model, I think you need to hold the trigger back while closing the bolt so the firing pin will
be in the forward (fired) position. Then, continue to hold the trigger back and open the bolt and it should
slide all the way out. If that does not work, try dropping the firing pin as above, and then hold the trigger
FORWARD while opening the bolt and pulling it out. Of course if neither of those work, a really big hammer swung
forcefully will probably get it out, but we make no guarantee that you will ever get it to work again. John
# 11779 -
Double Firing Pin Marks On Cartridge Case
40 Or 41 -
Scott, Wheatland, WY
I found a case with a double strike rimfire indentations in a region of Wyoming often visited by Tom Horn. The
case measures .405 to .410 inside diam., .825 in height, and has a raised ''H'' on the base measuring .125 x .125.
The base is distinctively convex at the center (.845 overall). The strike marks are 180 degrees apart from each
other. The case appears to be brass. Any help in identification would be greatly appreciated. Thank
Scott- There are two likely explanations for your cartridge case. If
it is a bottle necked case, then it is probably from a Swiss Vetterli rifle which was .41 rimfire caliber. Large
numbers of these were sold surplus in the early 1900s and Winchester made ammo for them up until 1941. The other
possibility is that it is from a .44 caliber Henry rifle made in the early 1860s, but which continued in use until
near the end of the 19th century. Winchester made this ammo for a long period of time, but I don't have the final
production date handy. Winchester has used the "H" headstamp marking on its rimfire ammunition for nearly the
entire time. A good set of dimensions of the case (length, rim diameter, base diameter and mouth diameter would
also allow a positive ID. John Spangler
# 12126 -
Help On Plinker Homicide Case
Larry, Great Falls, Montana
Plinker? I am working on an old homicide case. A person of interest told me that he held the murder weapon (22
caliber semi-auto pistol with a 10 round clip)He said that he saw the name plinker engraved along the side of the
barrel. If this is possible, who were the makers of such a weapon? The ballistics report in this case identify at
least 6 makers but the Plinker identification was not known at the time.
Larry, High Standard had a model called the Plinker that was the Successor to their
Duramatic. High Standard marketed the Plinker between 1970 and 1973, it was a Semi-Auto, .22 caliber pistol with
fixed sights, oversized trigger guard, push-button magazine release, oversized plastic grips and a thumb screw
takedown system. Pistols were available with 4.5 or 6.75 inch barrels.
High Standard Manufacturing Company of Houston, TX (the successor to the original High Standard) introduced a
Plinker model in late 2003. References indicate that this Plinker is of the same design as the former Ram-Line
pistol with interchangeable 4, 6, or 8 inch barrels. The new Plinker makes use of modern space-age type
materials including an injected molded grip, polymer vent rib barrel with steel liner and a unique two-motion
safety featuring blocks on hammer, trigger, and sear. Hope this helps - Marc
# 11608 -
Inherited Wilkinson Revolver
6.5 Inch -
I have a handgun that came from my father's estate. My father has been dead for 40 years so the gun is much older
than that. I do not know what kind of pistol it is. It is a six shooter and has "WILKINSON & SON PALL MALL LONDON"
engraved on the top of the barrel. I believe my father used it on civilian patrols in World War 2. I am
interested in identifying it and if it is worth anything I would consider selling it. Can you assist me in either
of these activities. I could email a picture of it to help identify it, if you wish.
Don, it sounds like a 1st Model Wilkinson revolver circa 1886-1892, probably 1891-92
vintage based on the Wilkinson number on the left side of the grip. Wilkinson supplied swords to officers and
reasoned that when an officer bought a sword, it would be good business to sell him a revolver. The Wilkinson No.1
Model was manufactured in Belgium, later Wilkinson revolvers were manufactured in England by Webley. The 1st
Model was .476 caliber, it was introduced in 1878, and had a 6.5 inch barrel that was rifled with five grooves.
The 1st Model differed from the later Webley manufactured revolvers in the cylinder stops, to the rear of the
cylinder, and in the design of the cylinder release. A later 1880 pattern was introduced in .450 caliber. Your
revolver is probably .476 caliber, probably sold for private purchase by officers for late African campaigns and
Boer War. If it was carried by auxiliary cop in WW2, it was as a privately owned gun. Possibly passed down from
his father. Values for this type of revolver can range from $300 to over $800 depending on condition.
# 11597 -
Dickson Bulldog -
2 Inch -
Wayne, Hendersonville, TN
It says Made in Germany: It has a profile of a man's head; It also has a 66 on it This was my father-in-law's gun.
He has been dead for over 30 years. I can find no one who can give me any information on this gun. Please
Wayne, the Dickson Bulldog was a cheap a .22 rimfire Saturday night
special type revolver made by Hermann Weihrauch of Mellrichstadt, Germany circa 1955-65 period. Values for this
type of handgun are usually in the $25 to $50 range if you can find anyone foolish enough to buy it.
# 12120 -
Afghanistan Souvenir Rifles
Gilbert Ramon, Kabul, Afghanistan
I am in the Marine Corps stationed in Afghanistan and they sell a lot of old Enfields here ranging from 1859 to
1875. Some are lever action and some are muzzle loaded. Most of the have V.R. marked with a crown next to it.
Most are in good condition and can be shipped back if over 100 years old. Which one should I be looking for?
Gunny- Thanks for your service to our country! Frankly, most
of the guns we have seen come out of A'stan are not very good investments as collector items. Many are in poor
condition, and probably 50% or more are (pitifully crude to quite convincing) copies of old guns, but actually
made in the last few years. Here is a link to an old article in Guns Magazine that is well worth reading BEFORE
you go off buying "old guns" there. http://www.armscollectors.com/darra/darra.htm
If you see something that you personally like as a souvenir to hang on your "I love me" wall with your other
Marine memorabilia in the future, then by al means get it if you like the price. However, on the collector market
here in the U.S. few of the guns coming from A'stan seem to sell for any more than what was paid for them---if a
buyer can be found at all.
Be careful, as the clever Muj merchants sometimes take post-1898 guns and stamp old dates on them and sell them to
Americans as "antiques" but the customs guys will not let them take them home. We have been helping the Bagram
customs folks ID stuff and had to give them bad news on a number of guns (a coupe of which were really good
collector items but not eligible for return to the US.)
Please thank your fellow Marines, and of course, your Navy "doc" for their service as well. The progress against
terrorists is real, and important, despite the dreadfully inaccurate coverage in the traditional news media. John
Spangler, CAPT, USN (ret)
# 11774 -
Wards Western Field Shotgun Military Marked
Stevens Mod.520 Pump Shotgun -
Wards, Western Field Mod 30 -
12 Ga. -
Aprox. 30'' -
Richard, Mobile Al.
US marked left bottom rear of receiver. Ordinance bomb left, lower front of receiver. Barrel has ordnance bomb
left side near receiver. Did US Gov. ever purchase contract shotguns and mark them as described above. My
references show the Stevens Mod. 520 as the most widely encountered trench, riot, and long barrel shotgun of WW2.
I was told by the owner of the piece that the long barrel version was used to teach aerial gunners in the
techniques of leading targets... What do you think and is it worth 400.00. It is apox 95% condition. Thanks in
advance for any help you can give.
Richard- The Wards Western Field Model 30 was the Montgomery Ward
"store brand" version of the Stevens 520-30, differing only in markings and maybe the checkering pattern on the
stock. As far as I know, there were no contracts made for new production of the Wards Western Field guns, but
some were undoubtedly purchased "off the shelf" when the military scoured the country for shotguns for use in
training, combat or security assignments. This program picked up all sorts of single barrel, double barrel, pump
and semi auto shotguns by many makers. Some not deemed suitable for combat or guard or training use ended up
being assigned for use by recreation departments at various bases. I think that Bruce Canfield's excellent book on
U.S. military shotguns cover the most common type pretty well, there is some excellent information in Eric
Archer's article in the 1988 Gun Digest, and even more details in an Army historical study available from
Springfield Research Service. While most collectors are interested in the sexy "trench" or "riot" guns, the long
barreled guns used for training, or the various types used for security purposes are also legitimate U.S. martial
arms, and an advanced collector will (naturally) want to get examples of all those as well. Value is something to
be worked out between the buyer and seller, but it sounds like you are in the right ballpark if you want one.
# 11773 -
Venezuealan Mauser Rifle
Venezuelan 98 Mauser -
7.65 Argentine -
23 Inches -
HAS NO VISIBLE NUMBER OTHER THAN CALIBER -
Mike, Mount Vernon WA
Has Venezuelan crest on the receiver ring Picked up this sporterized Mauser at a gun show last weekend. Was told
it was an Argentine and is indeed 7.65x53 Caliber. Stamp marked 7.65 Arg. on barrel chamber. Gun metal has been
Parkerized. Could see crest on receiver ring so polished it out, checked library book and find it is a Venezuelan
crest. I find no reference to this caliber being used there. Does not appear to have been fired much. May have
been built up from parts, all original wood is gone. Would like to have an idea of where it came from or if it is
a complete original barrel and action from Venezuela.
Mike- As far as I
know, Venezuela never used the 7.65mm Mauser caliber, so I am pretty certain that your gun is, as you suspect, a
parts gun. It is probably a pretty good sporting rifle, but has no collector value any more. John
# 11596 -
Winchester 62 Value
22 inches -
Steve, Austin, TX
.22 S.L. or L.R. This 22 was passed down to me by my grandfather. I have fond memories of hunting with him and it
in Louisiana during my childhood summers. I was wondering if you could give me an approximate value. It has
been hunted with and most of the bluing has worn off. Thanks.
references indicate that your rifle was manufactured in 1934. The Model 62 is an excellent design and if in good
condition, the little 22 rifles are very popular with collectors. I am afraid that if most of the bluing is gone
from your rifle, most of the collectors interest is also gone. I would expect a Model 62 with little or no bluing
to sell in the $200 to $250 range. The rifle probably has much more sentimental value to you than that. Where
there is any family history, we encourage people to keep old guns for sentimental value.
# 11607 -
Savage Replacement Stock
Damien, Massillon, Ohio
M Design On Forearm Checkering Under, Palm And Hand Area .Small Compass Mounted In Top Of Stock. My Stock Is
Cracked On The Top Between Thumb And Index Finger Area. Can I Purchase A Replacement And If So Where? This Was A
Gift From My Oldest Brother He Didn't Care For It I Personally Like It. Can You Help.
Damien, before replacing your stock I think that you should try to glue it. Brownells is one of the biggest
suppliers of gunsmithing tools, parts and supplies, they have a web site at:
Brownells sells some high quality 2 part epoxy that will probably do the trick for you if you apply it
If that does not work Brownells lists a "Savage 99 Pistol Grip" stock at the following URL:
Price is only $49.52, I am not sure if any fitting will be required. If fitting is required gluing may be
easier and produce better results if done properly. Marc
# 11604 -
Whitney .22 Pistol
Semi- Automatic -
.22 LR. -
Bill Port St. John, Fl
I just received this pistol from my grandfathers estate. I would like to know the year of manufacture and any
other info possible. Purpose ? Value ? It was enclosed in a leather cotton lined zippered carrying
William, it sounds like you have a Whitney Wolverine Or Lightning
pistol. Whitney Firearms, Inc., of North Haven, Connecticut manufactured this unique futuristic looking .22
semi-automatic design from 1955 to 1962. The Whitney pistol had a light alloy frame with raked-back butt and
tubular receiver with cylindrical slide. Some say that the Whitney was among the most handsome pistols ever made,
it looked a little too much like a Buck Rogers ray-gun for my taste.
Whitney called their pistols the "Lightning" in early sales literature, but they were marked
"WOLVERINE WHITNEY FIREARMS INC" on the right side of the receiver and "WHITNEY" on the left.
The Wolverine name was eventually dropped after the Lyman Sight Company claimed previous use on a telescope sight.
The left-side markings were changed to "CALIBER ,22 PATENT PENDING THE WHITNEY FIREARMS CO, HARTFORD CONN,
USA" around serial number 24000.
Purpose? To put holes in things.
Value? Blue book values for Whitney Wolverine/Lightning pistols with blue finish range from $185 to $445
depending on condition. Marc
# 11963 -
Mod 1901 With Short Barrel
10 Gauge -
As you can tell I measure a barrel length of 30'' from muzzle to where the back of the shell would sit in
chamber. Guess I got a butchered one huh? The only way I get 32 is if I measure right back to hammer end of
breech, they wouldn't be getting there 32 that way I wouldn't think. So were there any 30's produced as we measure
today, or have I got a hacker?
Doug, Henshaw's book "The History of
Winchester Firearms 1866 - 1992 " tells that standard barrel length for this model was 32 inches with full choke,
modified, and cylinder bores available. Shorter barrels were supplied in these chokes and bore at extra cost.
Your shotgun could have been a special order item with a shorter barrel. If your shotgun is full choke or
modified, you could have the choke measured to see if the barrel has been shortened.
# 11954 -
2.5 Or Less -
None I am a prosecuting attorney in Las Vegas, NV, investigating an older murder case involving the use of the
above-referenced gun. If you can - would this weapon have had a hand-tooled barrel or would it have been a
factory line production barrel? My understanding is that hand-tooled barrels leave very individual like markings
on bullets whereas more modern production methods make it difficult to relate a particular bullet to a specific
Heidi, I believe that EXCAM pistols, and indeed virtually all
guns sold in the last 50 years or so, have mass produced barrels. The exceptions would generally be a handful of
custom made barrels for muzzle loading firearms, or a few extreme high grade arms, or experimental or prototype
weapons with unique barrel requirements.
However, it is almost universally accepted that even mass produced barrels leave unique identifying
characteristics on the bullets fired in a specific barrel, even differing between barrels made by the same machine
on the same day. Your state (or even local?) crime lab or forensics lab or whatever it is called should have
someone qualified to examine a crime scene bullet and scientifically compare it with a bullet fired in a suspect
gun to determine if it is a match. These people are usually members of or certified by the Association of
Firearms and Tool Mark Examiners. Their testimony is usually accepted in court as being from a qualified expert
witness, and is generally very hard to dispute.
Good luck on getting another perp off the streets and behind bars. It's not the guns, it's the criminals!
# 12091 -
Refinished Savage 250-3000
Chris, Calgary Alberta Canada
What is the approximate value of this rifle? I have refinished the wood and re blued the steel.
Chris, the blue book shows that values for this model if in original condition top out
at over $750. Values for a refinished rifle here in the U.S. would be in the $300 or less range depending upon
how well the refinish job was done and if any modifications were added like a recoil pad or drilling the receiver
for scope mounts or aftermarket sights. If you made any of the following mistakes when refinishing the metal:
- Buffed out lettering
- Rounded corners that are supposed to be sharp
- Wavy flat surfaces that are supposed to be smooth
- Dished out screw holes
- Polishing marks that still show under the new blue job
- Pitting that was not completely removed and still shows under the new blue job
Values will be in the $175 or less range.
I am not sure what the rifle would be worth in liberal Canada of even if you will be allowed to keep it much
longer there. Marc
# 11583 -
Early Winchester 94
Scott, Lexington, SC
Half round barrel, half magazine (3 shot), Lyman(?) sight, crescent (?) butt My father recently gave me a couple
of firearms that were my grandfather's, one of which is a Winchester model 94 that I believe was made in 1905.
It's certainly not in pristine condition, it was a ''work'' gun, most of the bluing is gone, no major nicks,
''scabbard wear'', and the wood looks good. No modifications or restoration. Dad pointed out some minor
pitting in the chamber, said it was due to corrosive materials in old primers. I fired it recently and got nice
tight groupings. Just holding it makes you feel like a cowboy! And knowing it was out riding the range 100 years
ago makes you wish it could talk... I'm interested in the approximate value not because I'm interested in
selling but just to know.
Scott, early Model 1894 Winchesters have good
demand on the collector market, values range from around $800 to well over $2000 depending on condition and
special features. Glad that you enjoy shooting your 94 and I hope that you are able to keep this valuable piece of
heritage in the family. Marc
# 11579 -
Remington Model 34 Information
Bill or Marci Helena Mt.
We recently were given this rifle by a family member and would like info on it. Thank You.
Remington manufactured about 162,941 Model 34-P rifles between 1932 and 1936. The rifle
was an improved repeating version of the earlier Model 33, with a modified action and a tube magazine beneath the
barrel. Early 34-P stocks had finger grooves in the forend which are not found on later guns. Blue book values
range from $110 to about $300 depending on condition. Marc
# 11915 -
Whitney .36 Caliber Percussion Revolver
E. Whitney -
7 5/8 -
1108 (LAST DIGIT UNCERTAIN) -
Stephen Houston TX
E. Whitney N. Haven Cap and ball revolver. octagon Barrel. Three screws, one large and two smaller ones.
Appears to be fireable. Grips are rounded at the top (next to frame). Brass/Bronze trigger guard. Loading rod
uses a non-ball type retainer near the front of barrel. The front sight looks to be brass/bronze. Is this
revolver of any real value (i.e. would a museum want it)?
Stephen- This is
known as the "Navy Model" a term applied to most percussion revolvers in .36 caliber from that era. About 33,000
were made in the late 1850s and early 1860s, with about half being purchased for military use by the Army, Navy,
or state units. Many of the rest were privately purchased by officers or enlisted men during the Civil War.
Yours is probably the variation called "Second model, First type". Value will depend on condition, but probably
is in the $500 range in good condition and more to a LOT more, if better, or a LOT better than that. Unless
there is some historical connection that is linked to a Museum's main purpose, it may not be a great gift for a
museum, and just get stuck back in a storage area for a few decades. It may be better to sell this to a collector
who will enjoy it and take care of it. You could then donate the proceeds to a museum (probably deductible as a
charitable contribution) and they usually need money a lot more than another old gun. We have information about
selling options at http://oldguns.net/selling.htm that may be helpful. We would be glad to buy this item
outright, or sell on consignment, but would need to see some photos first. Contact us using one of the links on
our main page at http://OldGuns.net if you want more info. John Spangler
# 11911 -
Armi Sport Model 1842 Musket
Army-Sport ?? -
1847 Springfield -
Debbie Manassas Park, VA
Eagle/Sheild with US stamped below it on breech plate. SPRINGFIELD on two lines behind the trigger with the year
1847 stamped below that. The year 1847 is stamped on the barrel just behind the nipple. There is a VP stamped on
the left side of the barrel just above the stock. The barrel also contains the following markings: the initials
AC in a circle, and ARMI SPORT-ITALY Black powder only CAL ..69. There is a US stamped on the buttplate also.
There are several small markings that I cannot quite make out without removing the stock. I am desperately trying
to find out when this weapon was manufactured. I think it may be a replica but am not sure. Could you tell me if
this is a replica, or perhaps a remanufactured weapon? I would appreciate any help you could provide me with.
Thank you Debbie -- Gun Collector.
Debbie- Your musket is an Italian made
copy of the U.S. Model 1842 musket. These were first made around 1990, and are reportedly good quality and are
poplar with living history or reenactors, and possibly with "Skirmish" shooters as well. There are a few subtle
manufacturing differences between the modern replicas and the originals made 1842-1855 so an experienced collector
can quickly tell them apart. John Spangler
# 11909 -
Oddball Trapdoor Springfield
Robert Granger IA
Large D above chamber in front of breech hinge. letters N.J on the left side directly below the D Letter U on
right side of front barrel band. stock length os 30.5'' No front stock cap, ram rod hole plugged. barrel appears
to be unfired or excellent used. Is this a cadet or carbine? was told it may have been a parade gun. Appreciate
any info as to what it really is
Robert- The best way to identify the
difference between the standard Infantry rifle and the Cadet model trapdoor is to measure the barrel length. This
is measured from the face of the closed breechblock (stick a rod or skinny tape measure down the barrel until it
hits the breech) and it should be either 32 5/8" or 29 «" long. The cadet model is the shorter of the two. The
other standard barrel length is 22" for carbines. There are a very few experimental arms with oddball barrel
lengths, but as far as I know, none of those were issued to New Jersey. Your rifle probably saw service in the
Spanish American War, but there is no specific history on that number. Once these rifles were sold off as
surplus, virtually any sort of alteration could have taken place for just about any reason or lack of reason. If
yours is not in a standard configuration, it was probably altered outside military custody. John
# 11569 -
Galesi Automatic Pistol -
Don't Know -
Sheila, Valdosta, GA
The handgrip is white and has a silver round emblem with AG on it. I would like to know the date this particular
gun was made, and if it is worth anything?
Sheila, it sounds like you have
a Galesi Model 6 Pocket Auto. These were first available starting in 1930 in .22 LR and .25 ACP calibers.
Pistols had a 6 shot magazine capacity, 2 & 1/4 inch barrel, blue finish, fixed sights and plastic grips. There is
little or no collectors interest in these little pistols, I would expect to see one offered for sale at a gunshow
in the $50 range. Marc
# 11577 -
Marlin 336 SC Information
336 SC -
The letters ''JM'' with an oval around them is stamped on the barrel where it meets the receiver. My uncle left
this weapon to me when he died. Could you tell me how old it is and where I can get an owner's manual for it?
Brophie's "Marlin Firearms" book indicates that Model 336 rifles and carbines manufactured before 1969
have an alphabetical year code prefix to their serial numbers. Your serial number's "G" prefix is the
year code for Model 336 rifles and carbines that were manufactured in 1950. The "JM" in a circle marking
that you mention, is a Marlin proof mark.
In my search for an owners manual, I visited the Marlin web site at http://www.marlinfirearms.com. Marlin gives
the following instructions in their FAQ:
2. Q) How can I get a product catalog or Owner's Manual?
To obtain an Owner's Manual
Please send your name and address to:
P.O. Box 248
North Haven, CT 06473
Be sure to specify the model name and serial number of the specific firearms.
Hope this helps. Marc
# 11561 -
.32 caliber -
Approx. 4-5 inches -
Steve Stephenville TX
Any information about this pistol would be appreciated including current value. Condition was fair.
Steve, the paramount name was used circa 1920 to 1935 by Spanish firearms manufactures
for several different models of 6.35mm and 7.65mm semi-automatic pistol. Most of the 6.35mm pistols were
manufactured by Apaolozo Hermanos and Beistegui Hermanos, of Eibar and most of the 7.65mm pistols were
manufactured by Retolaza Hermanos. Collector interest in these pistols is low or nonexistent, I would expect to
see an example in fair condition offered for sale at a gunshow in the $50 or less range.
# 11907 -
Frank Wesson Derringer
Frank Wesson -
Over/under Derringer -
Tom, Spokane, WA
On the rotating barrel is: Frank Wesson Worchester Mass PT DEC 15/68 (There is no serial number on this gun.)
Can you tell me when this gun was made? Also does the DEC 15/68 have anything to do with when it was
Tom- Frank Wesson and his family were deeply involved with arms
making and innovation. Frank made several rifle models based on tip up or lever operated falling block actions,
and also a series of "pocket rifles" and single shot and multi barrel pistols. Frank later teamed up with
Harrington to make revolvers and that firm went on to become Harrington & Richardson. Frank's brother Daniel B.
Wesson was the guy who teamed up with Horace Smith to form S&W. Frank's other brother Edwin was also a noted gun
maker, but his specialty was exceptionally high quality muzzle loading target rifles.
Frank's "over and under" derringers all look like they have three barrels stacked on top of each other, but the
center "barrel" is actually the pivot for the barrels to rotate so that the upper barrel is fired by a fairly
conventional hammer, unlike the Remington double derringers where the barrels are fixed. Some of Wesson's pistols
had a short knife blade on the side that could be extended for use if a gun fight deteriorated into a knife fight
after all ammo was expended without effect. Three very similar models were made circa 1868 to 1880 in .22 caliber
(about 3,000 made), in .32 short rimfire (3,000 made) and in .41 short rimfire (about 2,000 made). Advanced
collectors divide each of these into two or three subvarieties based on the markings. The December 15, 1868
refers to the patent date for the design, and a July 20, 1869 date will be found on some late production guns.
The serial number pattern used is not understood, but may be 1 to 2,000 and then restarted at 1 again. It is not
clear from the info in Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and their Values if only the .32 caliber
"medium frame" models were numbered, or if the number series were shared by all three models. In any case this is
a neat old gun and values seem to be in the several hundred dollar range. John
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