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# 10432 - Don't Be Cheap Get Something Good

EIG - E4 - 22 Short - 2-1/2 - Blue -

I have an opportunity to purchase this revolver, but I can't find any info on it. I don't have the serial number. Any clue on where to get info would be appreciated.

Tommy, EIG revolvers were cheap foreign import handguns, which were sold in the USA in the days prior to being banned by the gun control act of 1968. All EIG revolvers are of poor quality and ambiguous safety. I would advise you to stick with one of the major firearms brands that are known to be reliable, and of good quality, even if you have to pay a little more for it. Marc

# 10456 - Refinish My Winchester?
Merrill, Anza, CA

Winchester - 1894 - 30-30 - 20'' - Blue - 804887 -

This firearm belonged to my Grandfather and has been used by myself and my son. My question is whether restoration work could possibly enhance its value and what is the current value? My estimation of its current NRA grade is 'good' to 'fair'

Merrill, you should start watching the Antiques Road Show, if you did you would never consider refinishing an antique! According to my records, your Winchester was manufactured in 1915. There is good collector interest in Winchester rifles from this era that are in original condition. I am glad that you asked for advise before having your rifle refinished because doing so would ruin all interest for collectors and lower value by one half or more. Instead of having your rifle refinished give it a good cleaning and apply a light coat of oil to prevent rust. Marc

# 10454 - Belgian Breech Loader Trapdoor?
John, Tulsa, Okla.

Belgium ELG - Carbine Trapdoor - Large?? - 24'' - Blue - 53 -

ELG in oval with star and crown, all parts are marked with a capitol A and a star on top. Metric sights. The hammer has a locking pin attached to it and as the hammer falls the pin locks the trap door closed. Is this a reproduction of a Springfield or competition to the Springfield? How many made, value in poor condition, Caliber? Any information on this gun would be helpful.

John- You correctly identify this as a Belgian made or altered gun from the proofmarks, but I do not recognize the model from your description. In addition to making new guns, the Belgian makers also converted lots of old muzzle loaders into breechloaders, and I suspect it is one of these. It was probably made in about the same period as trapdoor Springfields (circa late 1860s through 1890s) but not really as a competitor. In poor condition, it probably has some value as a decorator, but the market place will probably determine how badly someone wants it and how badly you might not want it. John Spangler

# 10459 - Joshua Stevens (of Stevens Arms) Family History
Vicki, Portland, OR USA

J Stevens - GGG-grandfather - Other -

Do you have any suggestions for finding out more history about J. Stevens and his descendents? I am one of them and know a grim story about his daughter, who was my GGgrandmother. Please send reply to and thanks in advance. I've Googled myself into total frustration.

Vicki- About the only biographical information I have on Joshua Stevens is that from Jay Kimmel's "Savage and Stevens Arms." You can read this as part of a display I did of "Savage & Stevens U.S. Military Rifles & Shotguns" at

I know nothing about genealogical research, but there are a lot of professionals who do that and can probably help. It should not be too hard for people of that period to the present. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) are really into genealogy and have excellent reference libraries in may parts of the country, staffed by friendly people eager to help you, if you want to try researching on your own. John Spangler

# 10460 - Harrington & Richardson Lawyer Question
Matt, Venice, Florida

Harrington & Richardson - 11 Inches -

I am criminal defense lawyer in Venice Florida. I have a client who is charged with possession of a short barreled shotgun, which by statute is any shotgun with a barrel less than 18''. Second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. There is an exception to the statute for antique firearms. The serial number on the shotgun is 7xxxx. Can you tell me what date this gun was manufactured and where I can get some official documentation of the manufacture date that may help to satisfy the prosecutor that my client is just a gun collector and should not be charged with a second degree felony?? Thanks for your help!

Matt- I regret to inform you that to the best of our knowledge, and that of an advanced collector and researcher familiar with H&R arms, that a shotgun with that serial number was probably made well after 1898, and thus is not an antique. But, that is a statement that may be hard to document as correct or incorrect in court. I believe that the H&R manufacturing serial number records were turned over to the BATF when they went out of business (in the 1970s?). I understand that BATF has refused to make these records available to the public for research, although I do not know the grounds for denial. I would recommend that you file a Freedom of Information Act request with BATF seeking any records they have on date of manufacture of a H&R shotgun with that serial number. If they claim they cannot find any info, then you may be able to use that to raise reasonable doubt about the date of manufacture. If they can produce the info, than that will not help at all. However they respond, we would certainly like to get copies of that correspondence. It may help the researcher who has been denied access to the records to write a good book on H&R. If there is no specific record, then you will be facing an expert witness who will testify that it is post-1898, perhaps based on non-specific "records and archives of the BATF and the Association of Firearm Toolmark Examiners". Although they may be right much of the time, I have heard enough stories to suspect that their information is not always as good as they claim. John Spangler

# 10416 - Unregistered Machine Gun?

Japanese - Type 96 6.5MM Light Machinegun - Blue -

My father owns a Japanese Type 96 6.5MM Light Machinegun brought back from the South Pacific after the end of WWII. I'd like to get it appraised for him. Can you lead me to a list of qualified appraisers for this item? Eventually, I'll need to contact a maybe you might have a list of these too.

We do not deal in machine guns at so I can not tell you much about machine gun dealers or values. I can tell you that if your machine gun is not registered, it is not legal to possess in the US. Most of the following information is already posted on our FAQ:

The National Firearms Act of 1934 outlawed machine guns. People who had them were required to register them with the Treasury Department. The Gun Control Act of 1968 included an "Amnesty Period" for people who had not previously registered their machine gun to do so without any penalty. That amnesty Period expired in 1968, there has never been another, and it is highly unlikely that there will ever be.

When machine guns were registered in 1934 or 1968 the owners were given papers to prove that the guns were registered. If you do not have registration papers, possession of your machine gun is a federal felony and value is something like 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

If you do have the proper papers, registered machine guns are very desirable collector items and values usually start at several thousand dollars. Marc

# 10417 - Ranger Value
Robert Kempner, TX.

Ranger - 35 - 22cal. - 24in. - Blue - N/A -

It has a number 14 with a circle around it on the base of the barrel I received this rifle from my uncle whom passed away. I know nothing about it and would love to know what it's worth and how to go about getting some kind of book on it. This rifle is in excellent shape and been well taken care of.

Robert, Sears firearms were manufactured under contract by many different firearms companies to be marketed under the Sears brand name. Collectors call this type of firearm "house brand" guns. My records indicate that the Stevens model 66A was sold by Sears as their Ranger Model 35A.

There is no collector interest in house brand firearms, their values are always lower than counterparts that carry the original manufactures brand name. Since there is no collector interest, it will not hurt value, it if you use the rifle. I would recommend that you keep it for it's sentimental value and enjoy shooting it. Marc

# 10406 - Colt Single Action Army Gripstraps
Bill, Smithfield, Virginia

Colt - 1873 Single Action Army - .45 Colt - 4 3/4 Inch - Blue - 111552 -

Serial number on frame as listed above. Worn off trigger guard. Has three line patent dates. First is 19 1871, next show only 72, third line is 10 75. Not other visible markings Believe this revolver dates at 1884. Has ''bulls eye'' ejector head and round ejector rod. Stocks are one-piece oiled walnut. Back strap is brass will dull green patina. Did 1884 guns still have old ejector mechanisms? Did Colt ever use brass back-straps on SAAs? Suspect this old piece is a conglomeration of pieces.

Bill- Colt SAA revolvers are a highly specialized field, with lots of subtle details that excite others, but never kept me awake long enough to understand them. Unfortunately, the obscene prices for SAAs has led to rampant fakery in the field, compounded by decades of tinkering and repairs by shooters and ranchers without any greedy intent to deceive. I understand that the grips straps, grips, trigger guards and internal parts of the SAA and earlier M1860 Army, and to some extent the M1851 Navy will fit each other. I suspect that you gun has been assembled from mixed parts over the years, including a brass backstrap from one of the earlier models. As far as using an earlier style ejector, most manufacturers will continue to use "last year's" parts if some are found in a dark corner, instead of throwing them away and losing money. However, given the likely undistinguished pedigree of the rest of the gun, I think that may just be a case of a later owner using whatever he could scrounge up. The numerous reproductions, copies, clones and imitations of the SAA made for the last 30 years means that you may find parts not just from old Colts, but from Uberti, Great Western, Hammerli, and who knows else. You may want to take it to the Richmond Gun Show and see if someone there can help. John Spangler

# 10425 - M1903A4 Markings A3 Or A4?

Remington - 1903A4 - 30 Cal - Parkerized - 4995XXX -

03-A3 on side or receiver Were the 1903A4 sniper rifles ever marked 1903A4 or were they just marked 03-A3 on the side of the receiver?

Greg- Use of "xxx" in a serial number is usually a sign of paranoid people and I usually get mad at them and just trash their questions. I will give a short answer, because I know you don't have much time before the black helicopters show up to take you away. All M1903A4 rifle were manufactured by Remington and marked "MODEL 03-A3". Some were later restamped (probably at the local level by people trying to make it easier to reconcile their supply records with the guns on hand) to read "MODEL 03-A4" by stamping a 4 over the original 3. I have never seen or heard of official authorization to do this, but have heard of a number marked that way. In my collection, I have two rifles with consecutive serial numbers, one marked the normal way, and the other with the overstamped marking. John Spangler

# 10332 - French Rifle
Brian, great falls Mt.

Remington - MLE 1907\15 - 8mm - na - Blue - na -

Left side- it says Remington MLE 1907\15 Right side-it says RAG 1907-15 I was told this was a Lebel french army rifle and only a few thousand was ever made. Is this true and if so, what would something like this be worth. ( good condition ) Thanks!

Brian, You are partly correct. It is a French Army rifle, but it is not a Lebel, it is a Berthier. The Lebel was adopted in the 1880's and was the first military rifle to use smokeless powder. It loaded through the action into a tube magazine that ran under the barrel. This meant the magazine had to be loaded one round at a time.

The development of en bloc loading magazine rifles quickly made the Lebel obsolete. The Germans adopted a en bloc loaded rifle, the Gewehr 88 in 1888, using the Mannlicher system. Mauser introduced their stripper clip loading system in 1889 and the German Army adopted it in 1898.

Since Germany was France's main enemy the French reacted by producing an entirely new rifle, the Berthier, and adopting it in 1907. For unknown reasons the Berthier's magazine capacity was three rounds while German rifles held five rounds, and British 10 rounds. When World War I began the French quickly realized the problems with the Berthier. The Model 1907 was modified by adding a metal extension to the bottom of the rifle so a five round clip could be loaded. Thus the rifle Model 07/15. It became the primary rifle of the French army during World War I.

Because the demand for rifles could not be met by their own industry, France contracted with Remington Arms to manufacture the Model 07/15. Many of these rifles were reimported after the end of World War I and sold on the surplus market. This is probably the case with your rifle.

Few people collect French military arms, this is probably due to the well deserved French reputation for cowardliness and treachery. Remington manufactured Berthier rifles are more desirable than those made in France. Value will range from $50 to about $550 depending on condition. Marc

# 10333 - P.38 History
Bryan Port Allen, LA

Walther - P-38 - 9MM P - 5'' - Blue - 3302c -

ac44 on left rear side of slide Any history regarding this particular sidearm: Year of mfg., for whom, etc.

Bryan, your P.38 was manufactured by Walther in 1944. The "ac" marking is a WW-II German ordnance code assigned to Carl Walther of Zella-Mehlis Germany and 44 is the year of manufacture. The pistol should have other markings, eagle over 359 inspector's marks should be stamped twice on the right side of the slide, once on the left side of the frame above the trigger, on the left side of the barrel group, on the right side of the barrel locking block and on the upper rear of the magazine. An eagle over a swastika in a circle military test proof, should be located on the right side of the slide between the two inspector's marks, on the left side of the barrel group and on the left side of the barrel locking block.

There are no records that I know of that would enable one to trace the individual history of any German military small arm. Marc

# 10383 - Frog Gun
Jeff Columbus, OH

MAB Brevete - Modele D - 7.65 - 4'' - Don't Know - 52556 -

I recently inherited this handgun and have never heard of it. Any Information or links you might be able to provide me about it would be extremely helpful. Specifically any information on field stripping, cleaning, or manuals would be gratefully appreciative.

Jeff, the MAB Model D is a French design, which was first introduced in 1933 and was kept in production up until when the company went out of business in the mid 1980s. The frogs copied much of the Model D design from the 1922 Browning and the Colt Pocket automatic. The Model D recoil spring was held in place around the barrel by a retaining bushing that was mounted on the barrel and locked into the slide by a bayonet type catch. The slide and barrel are removed by rotating the barrel so that the lugs on the bottom disengage their mating grooves in the receiver.

The Model D was used by the French military and also by the German military during the French colloraboration with the Germans in WWII. There is not much collector interest in French military firearms, if your pistol has any German WWII military markings, collector interest and value will increase. Marc

# 10450 - Italian Carcano Rifles in 8x57 Mauser caliber
Ray, Beasley, Texas

Carcano - Modified to use 7.92x57JS ammo -

Not Applicable Question: I have heard two explanations for Italian Carcano carbines chambered in 7.92x57JS (8mm Mauser). 1. They were so chambered to allow use of German Supplies in North Africa. 2. They were rebroached and chambered by Egypt as cheap weapons for anti Israeli activities after WW2. Are either of these explanations correct, or is there another reason?

Ray- There is an excellent study by Richard Hobbs "The Carcano: Italy's Military Rifle" that seems to be the only really thorough study of the Carcanos, which were made in a bewildering array of models. On pages 28-30 he discusses one type made at Terni and Brescia where each was ordered to produce 10,000 rifles/carbines chambered for 8mm Mauser (7.92x57)ammunition. Apparently all were made, and can be identified by a notch in the receiver ring for the bullet to feed into the magazine, and the rear sight being marked "7.9" or "7.92" instead of the usual 6.5 or 7.35 of the Italian calibers. Hobbs found documentation indicating limited use on the Russian front, but not in Africa or anywhere else. He also has fired one of these (four rounds and then unloaded the remaining two instead of inflicting further pain on his shoulder from the ferocious recoil) and surmises that they would have been very unpopular with the troops. He notes that some of these ended up in Israel and that those can be identified by a Star of David marking.

Hobbs then has two pages devoted to some conversions made by the Germans in 1945. Heinrich Kriefhoff was operating a plant in South Tyrol, Italy, and converted approximately 3,000 Carcanos that were on hand to use 8mm Mauser ammo. These can be identified by a HK in a circle logo on the receiver ring, and a small 7.9 on the top of the barrel, just ahead of the receiver. Some had a notch in the receiver ring to allow loading of the magazine, while others lacked that notch and could only be used as single shots. Apparently these were intended for last ditch use by German Volkssturm units. I think that Hobbs' research pretty well rules out any Afrika Korps use. It is possible that the Egyptians purchased some of the conversion (or the clever Israelis suckered them into "capturing" some) or possibly they even converted some in Egypt. However, during and after WW2, Egypt was closely aligned with the British who had plenty of SMLE rifles to share, so I doubt that even the Egyptians would have been reduced to using converted Carcanos.

Anyone looking for a collecting field with many variations to chase, while spending little money (and gaining little envy from other collectors) would do well to get a copy of Hobbs' book and start buying Carcanos. John Spangler

# 10388 - M903A3 Found In England

As a matter of interest, I have an 03-A3 Springfield made by Remington. It was found in somebody's loft and they sold it to a gun shop and I bought it. The serial number is 4174827. It is completely authentic with all the correct ordinance stamps, and stamped with Remington's manufacturing marks, it was made 1-44. Do you have any information on what regiment it was with or how on earth it got in somebody' loft? Thanks.

Sir- There are no records indicating anything on the history of this rifle (now presumably deactivated, kept safely stored, etc so The Children will remain unscathed).

I suspect that it arrived in the UK in late 1944 or sometime in 1945, probably with a support or other unit not intended for front line combat, as supplies of M1 Garands were fairly adequate for Infantry units by then. M1903A3s were more likely to be issued to supply, maintenance, airfield security, naval vessels, etc. It may have been provided to an Allied nation as well. The trip from unit weapons rack to loft probably involved some sort of misbehavior, although it is perfectly possible that it was legally sold off in post-war surplus sales. However, it is much more fun to think of some amorous GI sneaking off from his unit to meet an English maiden in the loft, only to be surprised by a jealous boyfriend/spouse/father, whereupon he remembered important duties elsewhere, and left the rifle behind. We can only imagine the explanation given to the supply sergeant about how he lost his rifle. Perhaps it was stolen by children from a maneuver area; or it was lost in a card game. Perhaps forgotten by an ale-soaked GI in some pub, and the pub owner left it in the loft (chased by the jealous.....)

In any case it is a reminder of the long partnership shared by our two countries opposing the evil forces in the world, despite the naive protests of appeasers, or rantings of cowards, or threats from dictators. Instead of criticizing the very real accomplishments, risks, and sacrifices of US and British forces, the Europeans (especially the ungrateful Frogs!) should be thankful that there are leaders in the world willing to oppose evil tyranny in its many forms. As always, UK forces have proven themselves to be bold, brave and effective professional warriors in Afghanistan and Iraq. Our troops are proud to serve with them, and mourn their losses with our own. John Spangler

# 10389 - Enemy Combat Use Of American Made Commercial Guns
Steve, Mike and Dennis

[NOTE: The following question and comments were posted on a forum on our other site We though that they were pretty interesting, and worth sharing. We appreciate the posters on those forums who share their knowledge- none of us know all the answers, so sometimes it is best just to listen to someone else. John Spangler]

I know that H & R revolvers are listed under non-military, but I have an interesting twist to that. I have posted this question there, and cross-posted this question here so military experts might see it and respond. Any assistance is appreciated,

An elderly friend has a Harrington and Richardson .38S revolver which he claims was removed from a Japanese soldier by his brother after one of the bloody west Pacific island battles of WWII. (My friend was fighting in Europe at the same time his brother was in the Pacific). It is in very poor shape and the model information is almost unreadable.

Can anyone advise:

Were H&R .38S revolvers ever issued to the U. S. military in the Pacific in WWII? Perhaps it was carried into battle by a US soldier as a "backup" weapon? I am doubting that the Japanese soldier had access to such a weapon unless he had previously removed it from an American soldier. Maybe it was just being returned to the right side of the battlefield.

Any speculation from anyone who knows more about this weapon or WWII? Thanks for your response. Steve


There were Japanese Americans who returned to Japan and found themselves in the Japanese military - the Japanese overran US protectorates with civilian populations before this period - the Philipino troops were armed with US arms and lots of 2nd line pieces - there are lots of possibilities and then there are the inevitable stories families attach to various items that pass on and get embellished a bit , that's why most advise you buy the item not the story- Michael


Steve: I think Michael may be close to the mark. As an example, while with the 4th DIV LRRP's [Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols] in the Viet Nam Central Highlands, we established an ambush one night. We had movement on the trail and opened up, receiving return fire from a small unit. After all said and done, we had five Viet Cong dead on the trail. While going thru their stuff for Intel purposes, one was found to be carrying a 4" blue (believe it or not but in very good condition) Colt Python with five GI .38 Special rounds in it. We took the piece back to the base and after a couple weeks sent a letter to Colt asking for info on the weapon. About a month later we received a reply from Colt stating it was sold about a year earlier to a Seattle Sporting Goods firm. We then sent a letter to the Seattle Company. About two months later, we got a reply stating that this and one other revolver was sold to a man from a small city just outside Seattle and they supplied the address. We then sent an inquiry to the address. About three weeks later, we received a very sad letter from the man's mother. It appears the man was a young Marine recruit who bought this piece while on leave on the way to Viet Nam The other revolver was for his mom's home protection. The Marine was killed about five months prior to us obtaining the piece along the DMZ when his artillery unit was overrun one night. That piece made it all the way from the DMZ to our AO in five months. A long way on foot. We later sent the piece back to the mother with some other memorabilia from our unit. She was very grateful and stated she had given the Colt to the man's younger brother. So, moral of the story, you NEVER know where a piece could come from in the fog of war. Dennis

# 6552 - Looking A Gift Horse In The Mouth?

Remington - 141 - 35 - Blue -

I was given a Remington model 141 last year as a gift after the '02 season. I don't have much information on it because it is a third generation gun. I cannot seem to find anything on it and I am not sure if it is a good hunting rifle anymore, considering its age. Can you shed any light on this for me? Jake

Jake, The Model 141 was manufactured by the Remington Arms Company of Ilion, New York from 1936 to 1950. Model 141 overall length was 42.8 inches and weight was 7.15 pounds empty. Barrels were 24 inches long with 6-grooves and right-hand twist concentric rifling. The tubular magazine that was located beneath the barrel held 5 rounds. Original rear sights were spring and leaf elevator type and stocks were plain walnut.

It is always best to have any old firearm checked for safety by a competent gunsmith before firing it. If your rifle checks out to be safe, I can not imagine why you would think that it is not suited for hunting just because it is old or because you can't find information on it. I think that more important considerations would include:

  • Is the rifle accurate?
  • Does it function properly without jamming?
  • Does it handle well?
  • Is the caliber appropriate for the type of game you are hunting?

If your 141 is safe, functions properly and is reasonably accurate, I would advise you to be greatfull for the good fortune of getting a free rifle. If accuracy is an issue maybe more target practice is in order. Marc

# 10353 - Gerstenberger Revolver
Charles, NC

Gerstenberger - After 1939 - .32 Calibur - 1'' - Don't Know - 21626 -

Small Stamp on barrel and frame, also on frame reads Gerstenberger and below that looks like J Eberwein. Has white Valor grips. When was it made, about the Gerstenberger Company, was it a safe and reliable revolver, and is there any collectors value?

Charles, in my opinion, your revolver is not safe or reliable. After WWII Gerstenberger manufactured several models of cheap solid-frame, double action, short barreled 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

# 10356 - My Guess, M1937 Femaru
Donna, Nahunta, GA

Pistole - M 37 - 7,65 mm - Blue - 2141 -

WaA41 under some design above trigger & small eagle on barrel I was told that this was a Polish officer's pistol from the Spanish-American War. Any info would be helpful. Thanks

Donna, an interesting theory but I am not sure what the Polish connection with the Spanish-American War is supposed to be.

My guess is that your pistol is a WWII vintage Hungarian Femaru Model M1937. The Femaru Model M1937 pistol was manufactured by Femaru-Fegyver-es Gepgyar R. T. of Budapest, Hungary. Approximately 200,000 were produced from 1937 to 1944-1945. M1937 sides that were manufactured under German supervision are marked "Pistole M.37, CAL 7.65 mm jhv 41" or "P.MOD. 37, KAL. 7.65 jhv 41" on the left hand side. The "WaA41" marking that you mention sounds like a WWII German Heerswaffenamt inspectors stamp but Model M1937 pistols should be marked with Eagle over 58, Eagle over WaA58 or Eagle over WaA173 on left trigger guard web. I was unable to find any information at all for a WWII German WaA41 inspector's mark. Perhaps you confused the jhv 41 marking on the slide with a WaA Heerswaffenamt inspector's mark. Marc

# 10390 - M1903A4 Sniper Telescopes

I would like to know the correct scopes that were used on the M1903A4 sniper rifles. I have an 03A4 from the CMP drawing, and have been trying to find the correct one. I have heard it was a Lyman and some Weavers, but I want to make it 100% correct. The date on the end of the barrel is 4-44. Could you please head me in the right direction for the correct one, and where I might possibly find the correct one? Thank you.

Randy- The 4-44 barrel is a bit unusual, as most are 3-43 and 9-43, so it was probably overhauled at some point, but a good collector item in any case with the CMP paperwork. ALL M1903A4s were initially issued with the Weaver M73B1 scope (except for markings identical to the commercial Weaver 330C). Later the M81 and M82 scopes (one had post other had crosshairs, but I forget which was which) were approved for use. These were basically a Lyman Alaskan, although most had the forward sunshade added, and all had military markings "Telescope M81..." etc and part numbers on some of the parts, otherwise not much difference from the Alaskan. The final scope approved for use was the M84, same as used with some of the M1C, most of the M1D and even later with some of the M21 sniper rifles. Above the info can all be documented from military manuals. Additionally it is possible that a very few of the Weaver 330S or commercial Lyman Alsakans may have been procured (probably at the unit level) as replacements, and unmarked to identify them from other commercial scopes.

Any scope that will fit a 03A4 is pretty expensive any more, and a real M73B1 will probably be $400-700 if you can find one. A lot of stuff is offered on eBay, and prices get crazy, and some of the stuff is not as described, so be careful. We get a few scopes, but very infrequently. John Spangler

# 10393 - 16 GA Shotguns

A collector friend has a beautiful old 16 GA shotgun in his collection for sale but he is discouraging us from buying it because, he says, 16 GA ammunition is very difficult to get and will soon be impossible to get. Are his comments accurate and should we look to purchase something in a different size? Thank you

Sir- You should admire your friend's honesty. For reasons I do not comprehend, no one seems to like 16 GA guns any more, and ammo is indeed getting harder to find. However, I think it will always be available, but just not as easy to get (or as cheap) as 12 or 20 GA. There is also a possible problem with some guns being capable of safely using steel shot, if that is an issue. Most European 16 GA guns were made with shorter chambers than needed for safe use of American made ammo, but this can be corrected by a gunsmith. If you like the gun, there is no reason to pass it up just because there may be some difficulties with ammo, as long as you are not using the food and rent money to do so. It is really your choice, but it is great that your friend wanted you to make the decision after being fully informed. Many people would have kept quiet and happily taken your money. John Spangler-

# 10394 - Enfield 1861 Snider
Rebecca, Texas

We believe we have a Civil War Model 1861 Enfield Rifle that we are trying to figure out if it is an authentic rifle, and if it is, we are trying to find meanings to some of the markings as well as the value of the rifle or where we could go get it appraised. We would also like to know if this piece would have a serial number and where we would look to find it. The rifle is a muzzle and cartridge loader with a bayonet. With out the bayonet the rifle is between 54 and 55 inches long. The bayonet is 18 inches long. The lock is marked"1861 Enfield" and a small crown, with the initials "V.R.". To the right is a small rectangular box with an arrow downwards out of the box with what appears to be a number "4". There is a marking near the butt "1878" and a diamond with "DC" inside the diamond. The buttplate has numbers: "155" underneath "23". The bayonet is marked "44 and 117". On the barrel of the rifle between the hammer and the sight is "Snider Patent". There are some other markings that appear to be a brand on the wood part of the butt of the rifle, but we are unable to make them out. Any and all help and or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Rebecca- Your rifle was made in 1861 at the British arsenal at Enfield as a Pattern 1853 .577 caliber muzzle loader. About 1867 it was converted to a breech-loader using the Snider breech mechanism, to use the .577 Snider cartridge. The DC indicates it was issued to the Dominion of Canada for use by their militia. The 1878 is probably a date that it went through an arsenal for repairs or storage or something. The 23 and 155 are unit marks of some sort. The numbers on the bayonet are probably unit numbers, or perhaps inspector marks. These guns were not serial numbered, except for a small number on the bottom of the breechblock (you will have to open it up to see it). Canadian used Sniders are seen fairly often, and values tend to be modest (especially since Canada passed a bunch of stupid gun laws which have discouraged collectors there from buying any more guns. Value depends on condition but I often see these offered in the $400-800 range. Bayonet is probably about $100 by itself as it is the same as used by both sides during the Civil War on the .577 Enfield muskets. John Spangler

# 10381 - Nylon 12 Value

Remington - Nylon12 - 22 - Don't Know -

What is the price on a Remington 22Caliber Nylon12 bolt action that shoots long rifle bullets

Remington manufactured about 27,551 Nylon 12 rifles from 1962 to 1964. They were similar to the Nylon 11 model except that they had a tubular magazine rather than a removable clip. The blue book lists Nylon 11 values between $75 and $175 but I usually see them for sale at gunshows in the $125 or less range. Marc

# 10382 - Browning .22 Trombone

Browning Manufactured By FN - Pump - 22 - Blue - 113667 -

Hi, my late father left me this gun. I wanted to fins out as much as I can about it. Can you help or show me where to start looking. The Bowning Collector assoc could not help me.

Gordon, from the serial number you provided, it sounds like you have a Browning .22 "Trombone" or Slide Action Rifle that was made by Fabrlque Natlonale d' Armes de Guerre, Herstal-Iez-Llege, sometime between 1921 and 1969. The Browning .22 Trombone was a hammerless, takedown rifle similar to Winchester Model 61, with fixed sights and a 24 inch barrel. F.N. produced about 150,000 of these rifles between 1922 and 1974. There is no known serial number information available for early rifles. Serial numbers prior to 1969 had no product code so it is only possible to say that your rifle was manufactured before then. Marc

# 6546 - Remington Model 514 Serial Number
Marin, Zagreb, Croatia

Remington Arms Co. Inc. Ilion, N.Y. - 514 - 22 SHORT, LONG OR LONG RIFLE - Unknown - Don't Know - UNKNOWN -

''PM 25'' on left side of the barrel and ''PAT. NO. 2,490,922'' on the top of the barrel I have this rifle, but I can not find serial number on it. I would like registration this rifle in my country but I can not do it without serial number. Please, tell me, do these rifles have serial number and where is it on the rifle? Thanks a lot!

Marin, Remington manufactured the Model 514 from 1948 to 1970. The ''PM" marking on your barrel is a Remington date code which indicates that your rifle was manufactured in June of 1965.

Prior to 1968 there were no requirements for U.S. manufacturers to put serial numbers on their firearms. Many manufacturers added serial numbers to various models for their own reasons, but many models, especially shotguns and .22 rifles, did not have them. My records indicate that Model 514 rifles manufactured before 1968 (as yours was) were not numbered. Marc

# 10234 - 4.5 Inch Pre-Woodsman?
William. Kalkaska, MI, USA

Colt 22 - Automatic long rifle - 22 cal - 4 1/2 in - Blue - 20674 -

This pistol was my brother-in-laws and I'm doing this research for my sister. I have taken the gun to the police station for a safety check and was told it is a very old gun in very good condition. Can you give me any information on it, like age, worth, etc. Thank you for your help, Bill

William, it sounds like you have a "Colt Automatic Pistol, Caliber .22 Target Model", this model was manufactured from 1915 to 1927 when Colt changed the name to The Woodsman. My records indicate that the year of manufacture for Colt Automatic Pistol, Caliber .22 Target Model, serial number 20674 is 1920. Colt collectors have shortened the name of this model to "Pre-Woodsman". Pre-Woodsman pistols should have a blue finish, 10 shot magazine with bottom magazine release, checkered walnut grips and adjustable front and rear sights. Pre-Woodsman barrels were 6 & 5/8 inches in length. I can find no mention in any of my reference books of these pistols being sold with a 4 & 1/2-inch barrel. The 4 & 1/2-inch barrel was first introduced in 1932 on the Woodsman Sport Model. Possibly you measured incorrectly, or the barrel was shortened, or (heaven forbid) I have guessed the wrong model.

Values for Pre-Woodsman pistols range from $200 to over $1000 depending on condition. If the barrel has been shortened, collector interest is pretty much ruined and value for this pistol will be in the lower end of the range.

If you decide shoot the pistol, take care to use the proper ammunition. Pre-Woodsman pistols were designed to fire standard velocity .22 ammunition only, high velocity ammunition may be dangerous to shoot and will damage the pistol. Marc

# 6551 - Remington Pistol Value Dispute
Joan Pittsburgh Pa

Remington - Don't Know -

I am wondering about the value of a 100-yr old Remington pistol. My father recently passed away at 88 and the pistol belonged to his father. My sister, the estate executrix, claims it is worth $60 and won't let anyone have it appraised. Does anyone know what this gun could be worth? I can't get hold of it for detailed info. She won't let anyone have the gun or have it looked at. Thanks.

Joan- Without knowing the model and condition we cannot even guess at what this might be worth. It sounds like your sister is about as kind, loving and ethical as Hillary Clinton. Rather than worrying about a gun that might be worth anywhere from nothing to a couple thousand dollars at best, it may be better to investigate getting your name changed and quietly moving away and establishing a new life where you will not be bothered by silly people. John Spangler

# 10291 - Sears 53A

Sears - 53A - 30-06 - 21 in - Blue - U 171125 -

The year rifle was manufactured. Thank you

Louis, references indicate that the the Winchester Model 70 was marketed as the Sears Model 53A. The year of manufacture for a Winchester Model 70 with the serial number 171125 is 1950. I was unable to find if Winchester Model 70 rifles manufactured for sale under the Sears brand name had their own separate serial number range, so the 1950 manufacture date may not be correct. Marc

# 10311 - Savage 1914
Debbie Montana

Savage Arms - 1914 - 22 - octagon 23'' pump - Blue - 52260 -

What year was it made and what is its present value for insurance purposes? Thank you.

Debbie, Savage manufactured the Model 1914 from 1914 to 1926, it was a pump action rifle with 24 inch octagon barrel and plain pistol grip stock that would chamber .22 Short, Long, and Long Rifle cartridges interchangeably. Model 1914 values range from $50 to a little over $350 depending on condition. Marc

# 6570 - Unidentified Rifle
JoAnne Wellington, Co

Don't Know - Don't Know - Don't Know - 22 1/2'' - Blue - O5432 I THINK -

vc with 03 above it, D plus sign 74, St.82, 3: 50 stamped 3x on rifle, Capitol B inside a Diamond, 77, A hand holding a Queens Crown, WG with a Capital E above it and a Crescent Moon facing left with Capital E next to it. Entire wood surface are ornately hand engraved. Need to identify this gun have had no luck on my own Please Help!!!!!!

JoAnne- Without photos we cannot do much more than guess, but here goes. The crescent moon is usually used by Moslem countries, most often Turkey, and less often Egypt. With the letter E nearby, I am guessing that this may be Egyptian. Ornate hand engraving does not seem to be common on Egyptian arms, but more common on arms from Turkey and nearby countries. John Spangler

# 6649 - Scholefield Marked English Rifle
John, Arizona, USA

Scholefield - Unknown - 450 Express - 24 Inches - Blue - 1927 -

120-270, a BV over a crown, and a BP over a crown and Scholefield London & Birmingham on the barrel. I have a British ''Field patent'' falling block action single shot rifle in 450 3 1/4'' BPE with Scholefield stamped on it. There are no other markings except proofs and loading information. I'd like to know more about this maker/retailer. I have a feeling they sold guns under their name that were made by other makers. Thank you. John

John- I cannot find anything very specific on Scholefield. You would probably enjoy reading Jonathan Kirton's "The British Falling Block Breechloading Rifle from 1865" This at least mentions Scholefield several times, and has a chapter on the Field's patnet rifles. They also mention Scholefield, Goodman & Company who apparently were the successors to Scholefield about 1890-95. Fields patent was granted in 1877, and had the patent number 1927 assigned which Field regularly used in marking the actions they made for sale tot he trade (Scholefield, Holland & Holland, Rigby, etc. It may be that the number 1927 is not a serial number after all unless it appears on several parts. It was common for some of the popular actions to be made by a maker and then sold to someone else for final assembly into a complete gun, and either marked with that maker's name, or the name of a retailer who would actually sell to a [wealthy] customer. This is sort of the upscale cousin of the junky shotguns made by Crescent and sold under various retailer's "trade name" brands which revealed little about the real maker. Further research in the period 1870-1890 would likely turn up more information about Scholefield, and their actual role as makers or retailers. In any case, it sounds like a neat gun, but in a field without a lot of collector interest, as few can afford the high grade guns of that era made for the African or Indian safari trade. John Spangler

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