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# 14952 - Melior 25
6/28/2014
Dominican Republic

Melior Belgium - 25 - Blue - 64805 -

My grandpa was a general fro Trujillo in the 50`s he claims this was a gift from the dictator at the time, my question is what yr is this gun, its got to be from the 1940`s in my mind I just want to be sure and I cant find any information

Answer:
Records indicate that the Melior name was first used on a pistol in 1907 by the Robar company of Liege, Belgium. The Robar Melior was a copy of the "Jieffeco" pistol which was manufactured by Jannsen Fils et Cie. In 1920, a totally new design was introduced as the "New Model Melior". The New Model Melior was first offered in 6.35mm and 7.65mm calibers and later in .22LR and a 9mm short all of which used the basic framework of the original 7.65mm model. Melior pistols sold steadily, from their introduction to the 1950s, and were exported all over the world. It is wise to have any old gun checked by a gunsmith to verify caliber and safety before firing. Most competent gunsmiths should be able to do the evaluation for you. Marc


# 14830 - New York Club Rifle
6/28/2014
Dave, Maxwell, Ia

32 Rim Fire - 22 - /2'' - Blue - 702 -

''new York Club'' Pat. Apr 14 1891 The H & D Folsom Arms Co. N.Y. USA Crescent Fire Arms Co. Norwich, Conn. Manufacturers This was my great grandfathers rifle. I plan on passing it onto my grandson. Looking for some info about rifle. It still fires.

Answer:
Dave- Your rifle is a fairly typical “rolling block” style rifle with a small frame, suitable for the smaller rimfire calibers, and was made in .22 Short or .22 Long; and .32 Short or .32 Long rimfire, and 24 inch octagon barrels. These were sold by Montgomery Ward in their 1895 Catalog number 57, and probably several years before and after that date. I am pretty sure that they were also sold by other retailers, since Folsom and Crescent were the major supplier of guns for most of the hardware and small sporting goods retailers of that period. At first glance these could be confused with the small Remington rolling block “boys rifles.”

H&D Folsom Arms Company was one of the largest mass retailers of firearms circa 1900. Their lineage goes back to the Bacon Arms Company, and they were later acquired by Savage, all key players in the mass-marketing of inexpensive guns.

The 27th edition of the Blue Book of Gun Values tells us more about Crescent: “CRESCENT FIRE ARMS CO. & CRESCENT-DAVIS ARMS CO. Previous manufacturers and trademarks manufactured circa 1888-1931 in Norwich, CT. In 1888, George W. Cilley bought out the defunct Bacon Arms Co. of Norwich, CT. He then formed an alliance with Frank Foster, and borrowed enough money to form the Crescent Fire Arms Company. Cilley and Foster each held several firearms patents, and both were highly qualified in firearms design and manufacture. Production began with single shot tip-up shotguns that had an external side hammer. Double barrel shotgun production was started in 1891. In 1893, they began making bicycle chains, and that same year, H&D Folsom took over the company's financial control. Early in the 1890s, Crescent built a rifle that resembled the Remington No. 4. A very rare Crescent was the .410 bore shotgun pistol, which was introduced in the 1920s. In 1929, N.R. Davis Firearms Co., then owned by Warner Arms Corp., merged with Cresent to become Crescent-Davis Arms Co. Because of financial crisis, business continued to decline, and they were forced to sell out. Savage Arms Co. acquired Davis-Cresent in 1931, assembled guns from the remaining parts, and these guns were sold under the Crescent name only. In 1932, the city of Norwich, CT, took over the Crescent property for non-payment of back taxes. After the Norwich facility was closed, manufacture was moved to Chicopee Falls.”

Crescent made shotgun guns under roughly 100 different “house brand” names but I do not see anything to indicate that the “New York Club Rifle” was sold under other names. There is not really any collector interest in any of the Folsom or Crescent arms, so they have mainly sentimental or decorative value which is modest. John Spangler


# 14824 - J. Chaineux Brevette Revolver
6/25/2014
Jesse, Thomasville, Ga, USA

J. Chaineux - Unknown - Approx 11mm - 8 Inches - Other - NONE -

Marked J. Chaineux. Brevete Hello, I recently inherited an old revolver that has a ''history'' of having served with an ancestor in the Confederate Army during The War of Northern Aggression. It is a large caliber revolver approx 11mm, 6 shot, very ornately engraved but worn, and appears to function fine. I am not sure of the original finish, it is now silver in color but the original finish is likely long gone. It has no other marking except the ones listed above( no inspection stamps, import marks etc..) I have not been able to find anything about this pistol. It does appear to be single action only. I did find a picture of one similar to it on the web but that pistol was a pin fire and mine is not. My question is...Is this pistol of the correct type/manufacture/etc to have been used during the time claimed. Do they have any value? Were they considered quality guns or ''Saturday night specials''. Finally I would like to thank you for your website and the sharing of your knowledge! Thank you, Jesse

Answer:
Jesse- I don’t have any really good information for you, but it looks like you are doing a good job searching on your own. For anyone who has not figured it out, “brevette” means “patent.”

To start, the definitive list of European makers, Heer der Neue Støckel: lists J. Chaineux as working in Liège, Belgium, circa 1860 - 1870, and receiving patents in 1858, 1859, 1863 and 1864 for cartridge revolvers made for 6, 12 and 20 shots. Most of the examples I could find are pinfires, but he may have made some rimfires as well. By 1865 pinfires were widely used in Europe, and a lot more imported for use in the Civil War than most people realize. Rimfire handguns were still in their infancy, and while some .22 and .30 or .32 caliber pistols were being sold in the U.S. they seem to have been less common in Europe with their pinfire fascination.

Thus, there is a good chance your gun was made in time for use in the Civil War, but confirming it was imported then is harder to do, either into the South, or by some Yankee who subsequently lost it. The fact that it has been in the family with a fairly plausible history makes it a lot more likely than if some dealer was trying to peddle it with and hyping the “Confederate used!” connection.

As far as value, European pinfires usually have modest values, perhaps a few hundred dollars, but I think yours might bring a little more. However, I would like to see it stay in the family. John Spangler


# 14938 - Gerstenberger Gussenstadt
6/25/2014
Michael, Mohawk, ny

Gerstenberger Gussenstadt - Modell 22k - 22 Short - 2.5 Inch - Blue - 1563 -

Has the German phoenix stamped on barrel and in front of cylinder About how old is this gun? There are pics we have of my great grandfather with a pistol and I know he came over from Germany.

Answer:
Michael, I do not think that your revolver is all that old. If memory serves me correctly, after WWII Gerstenberger manufactured several models of cheap solid-frame, double action, revolvers that were marketed under a verity of different brand names. There is little if any collector interest in this type of firearm and values are usually in the $50 or less range. Marc


# 14937 - Webley-Greener
6/21/2014
Edward Patterson N.Y

Webley Green - Army Model - .455 Cal. - Six Inches - Blue - 9758 -

455/476 on barrel, WG army model on top strap,9049 on bottom of trigger guard, nitro proof on frame. Allow me to say that I enjoy Your Web site and find it very informative Thank You. In what year was my revolver made? is the number on the trigger guard a military I.D number? In what years was the Webley green army model manufactured? Again thank you.

Answer:
The pistol was made by Webley- Greener, a private manufacture of pistols. British officers, those who entered the British Colonial Service as administrator and police all purchased pistols from Webley to take to their assignments in the countries that Britain controlled. Webley-Greener had developed the break top design first created by Smith and Wesson and added some features of their own. Their revolvers were sturdy, quick to reload and able to function from the arctic to heat of Africa or India. The British Army adopted the Webley pistol as their issue pistol in the 1890's and used it until into the 1950's.

I'm not aware of any records of date of manufacture of WG pistols, but would guess this one dates to the late 1880's or early 1890s. Marc


# 14823 - Guns For Sale In Afghanistan
6/21/2014
Tim, Bagram, Afghanistan.

Blue -

Hi Guys, I wanted to say thank you for your page about spotting fake guns here in Afghanistan. There are many ''Enfields'' for sale on daily basis and I was tempted to bring one home with me. After a little education from your web site, it is clear that they are fakes. (some better than others) I may still bring one of the Camel Guns home for decoration but at least now I will know what I am buying. Thanks again for your help.

Answer:
Tim- Thanks for the kind words. We are always happy to help our troops. Thank you even more for your service defending our country. We just hope that we can help those kicking enemy butt to make informed decisions about souvenir purchases. John Spangler


# 14936 - Springfield 1903 Mark 1 Rifle, Nickel Plated
6/18/2014
JW

Springfield - 1903 Mark 1 - Nickel Plated -

I have a Springfield 1903 Mark 1, .30-06 caliber Nickel Plated, parade rifle serial number 1192640in very nice condition. I am having a hard time finding information on this rifle. I was wondering if you could help? Thank you. JW

Answer:
Sir- Sorry, we cannot help much with that one. No listing for that number in the SRS database. However there are two nearby rifles connected with a VFW post circa 1947. I suspect yours may have ended up with a veterans group which then plated it, but there is no way to get any confirmation. In any case, the plating pretty much destroys the collector value. John Spangler


# 14934 - Hunter 20 Gauge
6/18/2014
Susan

Hunter Arms Co - The Fulton - 20g - Don't Know - 36728 -

The Fulton . What is the history and value of this gun

Answer:
Susan, your shotgun was made by the same people who manufactured the famous L.C. Smith shotguns (and later M1903A3 rifles). Fulton-Hunter Arms shotguns were the economy model, just a good basic shotgun. The last Hunter shotgun that we had sold for around $200 but it was a 12 gauge. It looks like they are going in the $200 to $300 range on Gun Broker. Marc


# 14931 - Capture Papers
6/14/2014
Dave

I have noticed recently, that every so often a captured WW2 or Vietnam firearm or other militaria is listed with "capture papers" that allow the individual soldier to bring the weapon back to the states. There seems to be many different formats to these "papers", with some being issued on a Platoon or Company level and others all the way to "Theatre Command" level. I would estimate that less than one in twenty captured/surrendered military firearms that are for sale have this documentation. I notice that sometimes the weapon is listed on the paper by serial number, sometimes it isn't, (depending on who wrote the certificate). Since you are a resident expert in scarcity and military firearms in general, my questions are. What do you think the companionship of these papers to a particular firearm? How much value to you when buying or selling, would this add to a particular piece...20%...40%?? It would seem, (for a change), that these would be hard to fake, given the ability to check out the authenticity of the individuals, signatures, and units that are mentioned on the paper and the general aging of the paper too. Have you ever seen any fakes of these or heard of them? What is your general comments about the papers with the weapons and how they help to document history. I have a hankering for something with some written history instead of the thousands of stories I'm sure that you've heard like;..."Uncle Joe-Bob got this when he killed a platoon of SS officers". These papers add an air of authenticity to the provenance of any given piece. An comments? I am a staunch member of NRA and GOA and encourage everyone to vote during every election cycle, (this one in particular). Thanks much, Dave

Answer:
Dave- Your question is a good one, "capture papers" is a collector term for, as you correctly point out, a variety of official documents prepared at various levels, usually the local unit. These were required or authorized by orders or directives from various levels in the military hierarchy which probably evolved over time and probably overlapped and conflicted to some degree. All this is speculation on my part, but based on a nearly 30 year career struggling to implement or issue military orders on a vast array of serious and silly matters. Apparently the purpose of "capture papers" was to show that a specific GI had approval to have some sort of captured military gear in their possession and/or ship it home. Apparently under international law and the customs of war in general, captured enemy property is assumed to become government property of the victorious side, not personal booty, hence the need for something to transfer ownership/authorize possession on the individual level. As far as value goes, "capture papers" add maybe 10-25% above the value of a similar item with no history. This is a guess, and will vary with the condition of the item and the background or information provided by the documents. A "sporterized" Japanese rifle will probably not have any premium. A 98% condition P-38 pistol with holster, and documented to someone awarded a silver star or higher award, and as part of a grouping of his awards, uniforms, service record etc would add a lot more value than an undocumented gun. USMC, Airborne, or Ranger stuff always has more demand and higher prices than less popular units. The only sure way to tell is to put an item up for sale and see where buyer and seller reach an agreement on value. Bottom line is, every collector needs to evaluate this for themselves. Some collect hardware, others collect history, some like both. John Spangler


# 14929 - Chinese C96
6/14/2014
David, MD

Mauser Copy - C96 - 9mm? - 7'' - Blue - 30019 -

On one side is a round gear like symbol with a bow and arrow inside of it; on the other side is a ying and yang symbol with five oriental characters above it; surreal number is located behind the rear site. I have a C96 pistol with marking that I have not been able to identify, can you help me out and tell me who and where was this pistol made and in about what year was it manufactured?

Answer:
David, the symbol you are asking about is one used by the government of Chiang Kai Shek for its arms, it would have been used from the 1920s until 1949. The symbol was stamped on arms imported for the Chiang Kai Shek military, and also on arms made in Chinese arsenals. The Chinese made copies of the Mauser C96 pistol and marked them with Chinese characters so there is a good possibility that you have a Chinese copy, but the pistol could also be an import that was marked with military markings. Without pictures it's just about impossible for me to tell for sure what you have. You may want to double check the caliber. If it's 9 mm Luger or 45 ACP then it's almost certainly a Chinese copy. Copies chambered for 45 ACP are quite popular among collectors. Marc


# 14932 - Marlin ``HS`` Model 39
6/14/2014
Steve, Rawlins, WY

Marlin - Model 39 - 22 SL & LR - 24'' - Blue - HS 4319 -

The Marlins Firearms Corporation, New Haven Conn. USA Patented. Lever Action/ Octagonal Barrel/Un-checkered Walnut Pistol Grip Stock/ Sights-Bead Front-Adjustable Notch Rear leaf/ Overall condition is good. Is this rifle considered an antique / collectable and what in your honest opinion and estimate is the approximate appraisal/value/worth, please. Thanks Steve.

Answer:
Steve, the prefix "HS" was added to Marlin Model 39 serial numbers in 1932, it indicates that the rifle was approved for high speed ammo. The prefix was discontinued in 1936 so your rifle was manufactured between 1932 & 1936.

Although Marlins are not as popular with collectors as Winchesters, for instance, they do have a pretty good following. Values can range from a few hundred dollars to many thousands depending on condition and special features. The blue book of gun values indicates that later HS prefix (High Speed) rifles like yours are not quite as valuable as earlier guns, but offer practical shooting value. Marc


# 14928 - Model B Value
6/11/2014
Harold IL

Hi-Standard - B - .22 LR - 6.75 - Blue - 52034 -

My mother gave me this pistol after my father died in 1977. He had received it when my mothers dad died in 1964. It is in very good condition, and I have an extra magazine and a brown leather Triumph holster that was with it. I would like to know when it was manufactured and an approximate idea of its value. I had a gun dealer at swap meet look at it about 10 years ago, and he said '' Old .22s like that aren't worth much. I have looked on the Web and found a few of these with 4'' barrels that were priced from $675.00 to $895.00, with no extras.

Answer:
Harold, approximately 65,000 High Standard Model B pistols were manufactured between when they were first introduced in 1932 and 1942 when the model was discontinued. Records indicate that your pistol (serial number 52034) was manufactured in 1940. Model B pistols had fixed-partridge type front and rear sights, checkered hard rubber grips with or without the H.S. monogram and 10 shot magazines. Both 4½ and 6¾ inch barrel lengths were available on this model.

When High Standard went out of business in 1985, demand and values for their pistols sky- rocketed. Now 20 years later demand seems to have peaked. Although I still see dealers asking exorbitant prices for High Standard pistols, I don't often see them selling. The blue book lists prices for Model B pistols between $120 and about $550, and I think that range is fairly realistic. Marc


# 14930 - Selling Guns At A Gun Show
6/11/2014
John

Just curious, I know you have a broad knowledge of firearms and their history. Have you ever taken any to a CrossRoads of the West gunshow or attended one as an exhibitor? I have several old rifles primarily rim fire and of course my 1938 Carcano. Still no luck on finding en clips for it. There"s a gun show in Costa Mesa this weekend and I am considering going to see if I can find some and learn more on what I have. Appreciate any opinions on this matter

Answer:
John- I have attended probably an average of 3-5 Crossroads shows a year for the last 20 years. Plus lots of others by other sponsors as well, all over the country. I have never been to any of their Kalifornia shows, but in general they attract large crowds, and have lots of dealers with a good assortment, although light on serious collector guns.

If you take your guns, figure out what you want for them. You can take one or more in and they will check them at the door to be sure they are unloaded, put a safety tie on them and a tag so you can get it back out if you don't sell it. They will stamp your hand when you go out, so you can get back in with a different gun, or after showing someone what you have in the car. Carrying more t

han one at a time is a real pain, unless you can talk a friend/wife/kid into hauling guns too. You can wear a cardboard sign on your back (or back and front sandwich board style) listing what you have and the prices, so people will know and you won't have to lug all of them around with you, only 1 at a time. Or, you can use a pencil or something that will fit in the muzzle and tape a sign to that for just the one you are carrying. Be prepared for people to offer less, so maybe jack up your asking price to start. I believe that all gun sales have to be made to or through a dealer in Kalifornia, and people there can explain how that works, as I don't know the details. DO NOT TRY TO EVADE THE HASSLE OF OBEYING THE LAW! They have undercover cops working trying to set up innocent people to do stuff like that. It is a lot easier for them to get convictions that way than going out and busting drug dealers and illegals with guns. Most states do not require the foolishness of going through a dealer as long as buyer and seller are residents of that state. However be sure that the prospective buyer is at least 18 for a rifle, 21 for a handguns, and a resident of your state, and does not have any convictions for a felony or domestic violence or any other prohibiting factors (drug user, mental case, dishonorable discharge, etc) or you would be in trouble too. Good luck. John Spangler


# 14845 - Springfield Research Service Status
6/7/2014
Don

Whatever happened to these folks? Used to be able to go to their web site, select a firearm, enter the serial number and (often) find out what unit it had been issued to. If they're not still around, is there a successor to that wealth of info?

Answer:
Don- Thanks for contacting Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters.

Springfield Research Service is still in business, but the current owner decided to pull the website (which we had developed and managed for the SRS founder). Their policy is now that first you must subscribe to their newsletter, and then, and ONLY then, they will check the database to see if a number is listed and tell you yes or no. If you want to find out the date and nature of the usage, then you need to order one of their letters.

In the past, people were able to purchase the four volumes of serial number data, but those are now long out of print (last set I saw sold for over $560) and SRS insists they will not reprint them.

It is their data, so they get to choose their business policies. Maybe it works well for the owner, but it certainly is not nearly as helpful to collectors.

If you would like to visit their new website, Google Springfield Research Service.

Sorry it was not better news.

The alternative, is to become a nearly full time resident in the National Archives, sift through millions of musty and poorly indexed documents and patiently rediscover all the data that Frank Mallory gleaned in over 20 years work there, and publish it yourself or post it on line for others to use conveniently.

Rejoice for the times when we had it posted and available, but sadly, that looks like it will never be done again. John Spangler


# 14927 - Restored Collector Guns
6/7/2014
Normand, canton, nc.

Mauser - C96 - 7.63 - 6'' - Blue - 250000914 -

I have purchased a completely restored ( to original factory ) shape a c96 early flat side, which I believe to be a 1901 - 902 model. Extremely well done. Does this increase the value, or does this take away from it. As you know, most fall into the 5900.00 range as is etc. Should I be staying away from restored guns in the future ? ( best guess ) On another note: If you look back at your answer to a man ( your no 4246 ), you corrected him in the thinking that he had misread the '' cvq'' stamp, and told him that it should read cyq. You were only partcially correct there. Late war Spreewerk pistols continued to be produced with the use of a broken stamp. The y extenstion broken off at the base, leaving the appearance of it being a vee instead of a q. That can be verified. Hope that that may help some future inquiry. Hope to have your best guess on the restored value issue. Thanks in advance, Norm.

Answer:
Norm, my rule of thumb with restorations is that they decrease the value by 50% or more depending on the quality of the restoration. I usually try to stay away from items that have been restored. We recently tried to sell a very well done Walther HP (Heeres Pistole) pre war commercial restoration on consignment. Even though the pistol is a beautiful restoration, we were not able to find a buyer. The owner finally gave up trying to sell after about a year and the pistol is still in his collection. Marc


# 14922 - WWI Luger?
6/4/2014
Bill

Luger - 9MM - 4" - Blue -

Luger has five numbers on the bottom of the barrel. Same numbers on the front of the trigger assembly. Block letters that say "Germany" on the butt of the chamber. There is an 'N' along the side, with a 'crown' over the N. Where there are a series of five numbers there is an "N" with a crown over the "N". No numbers found on the top of the chamber, but instead, there seem to be three initials in script. They are hard to read, not that they are 'worn', just the old type of script. The Luger belonged to my father in law, he fought in WWI and he always said it belonged to an Officer. What do you think? Thanks, Bill

Answer:
Bill, The "DWM" stamping on the toggle of your Luger is the manufactures trademark, it stands for Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionswerke of Berlin-Borsigwalde. The crown over N markings are German commercial nitro proofs. "Germany" was stamped on Lugers that were imported into the U.S. for commercial sales, the German military did not stamp Germany (in English) on any of their weapons. The absence of a chamber date, the commercial proof mark and the Germany stamping on your Luger all lead me to believe that you have a WWI military Luger that was reworked after the war for commercial sales in the U.S. Your father in law is correct that many German officers carried Lugers, but most would have had different markings. I suspect that this was a pistol that he obtained after WW1, not a souvenir brought home from the battlefield. Marc


# 14923 - Antique Revolver
6/4/2014

N.Y. Pistol Co. - Wide Awake -

While working on an Estate Sale, we have run across a small revolver. It reads : N.Y. Pistol Co. New York WIDE AWAKE Pat. April 6, 1873 #8968 Do you know anything about this piece that you can share, approx. value, any interested parties. We know furniture & collectibles, but our knowledge of antique firearms is non-existent.

Answer:
Hi- Glad to help. I don't know anything about furniture, so maybe you can help me someday. New York Pistol Co. was a trade name used by Otis A. Smith on revolvers, and WIDE AWAKE was the brand name on one of the inexpensive pistols. Collectors call these "suicide specials" inspired by their likely accuracy and durability. Values for any not in pristine condition will run $30-75. If you find a really nice one maybe double that from an advanced collector looking for a specific brand. Old and collectible, but not very much value to them. John Spangler


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