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# 11850 - M1 Garand With Solid Buttplate
David, Enid OK

M1 Garand - M1 Garand Butt Plate? - 30-06 - Standard - Parkerized - 4609 -

I have a M1 Garand that has a solid butt plate with a nice patina color, I have never seen a solid M1 Garand butt plate. Are these standard or something that has been added to the rifle? I have a M1 Garand that has a solid butt plate with a nice patina color, I have never seen a solid M1 Garand butt plate. Are these standard or something that has been added to the rifle?

David- You potentially have a very valuable rifle. The early Garands had a solid buttplate. In late 1939 when they changed from the early "gas trap" arrangement to the common "gas port" system they also adopted a new buttplate with a trapdoor for access to cleaning gear to be stored there. This hinged buttplate was not actually put into production until mid-fall 1940, and many of the early stocks were modified to this type buttplate when the early rifles were overhauled.

The fact that your rifle is such a low serial number and still has the solid buttplate suggest that is MAY be an unmodified :\"gas trap" Garand. Collectors love these and values are in the five figure range depending on exact configuration and condition. Send some photos and we will be glad to tell you if you have a winner. These do turn up from time to time (mine came into a small gun show late on Sunday...) John Spangler

# 11677 - Constabulary Revolver
Charlie, Dallas, TX

Unknown - 38 S&W? - 3 Inches - Nickel - 5581 -

BRITISH / CONSTABULARY marked on top strap This six shot revolver is double action and seems very crude. There is what appears to be a sideways Z with a star over it on the left side of the frame where the barrel is attached and the letters DF with an arrow through them on the right side of the frame. On the cylinder rear is the same Z star mark and the letters E over LG over a star in an oval. Other than the serial number on the right side of the frame above the trigger and the BRITISH CONSTABULARY markings on the top strap, there are no other markings. Any information about this pistol including manufacturer or even country of origin would be appreciated. Thank you.

Charlie, the Constabulary name was used on numerous revolvers that were manufactured in Belgium and France during the 1875-1900 time period. Most of these revolvers were large-calibre, short-barrelled, solid frame type that were loaded through a gate, or by removing the cylinder. The designs were based, on the Webley Royal Irish Constabulary revolver of 1872. Your revolver was made in Belgium, hence the E over LG Belgian proof mark. Marc

# 11802 - Prussian Danzig Musket
Brian, Machias, NY, USA

Danzig - Prussian Smooth Bore - .72 - Shortened ?? - Blue - NONE -

Danzig with a crown logo with 1827 beneath. It appears notches have been inscribed to keep score of kills. Underside of barrel directly under breech plug is stamp-dated 1841. It is a percussion cap musket. What is the difference from the 1825 and the 1827? Is there someplace I can purchase the screw that secures the hammer?

Brian- I really do not know the difference between Prussian muskets with model or manufacture dates of 1827 and 1827. The "notches inscribed to keep track of kills" is an old story, but I don't think there is much to show that it is accurate. Many thousand of these muskets were imported for use during the Civil War, after having been converted to percussion by the Prussians in the 1840s. Union and Confederate forces virtually emptied the European arsenals of all manner of obsolete guns to arm troops during the Civil War. While they were adequate for holding bayonets and throwing large chunks of lead at the other side with fatal velocity, they were not well liked. Spare parts can be hard to find, and non-interchangeable. Try S&S Firearms on our links page and I think they have some parts for Prussian muskets. John Spangler

# 11672 - Mod 1892 Info
Bob Brazoria Tx

Winchester - 1892 - 32 wcf - Don't Know - 163107 -

My father-in-law left to me this rifle which appears to be in excellent condition. I don't know what the finish type is but it has a dull copper-looking finish. Can you tell me what year it was manufactured along with a ball park estimate of it's value? Thanks in advance.

Bob, Winchester manufactured about 1,004,067 Model 1892 rifles and carbines between 1892 and 1941, your Winchester was manufactured in 1898. Model 1892s were available in several different chamberings including .218 Bee (rare, if original), .25-20 WCF, .32-20 WCF, .38-40 WCF, or .44-40 WCF.

The original Model 1892 finish was blue. I am not sure how yours came to be copper colored but I can tell you that this will lower it's value. You did not tell me your 1892s barrel length, this will make giving you a ball-park value a little more difficult. Blue book values for rifles with 24 inch round or octagon barrel, tube magazine, forend cap and crescent butt range from about $1000 to about $2400. Blue book values for Trapper's Model carbines with 14, 15, or 16 inch barrels can go as high as $7700 depending on condition. Blue book values for Model 1892 Muskets with 30 inch round barrel, full length military style forearm and military style rear sight can go as high as $16,000. Marc

# 11670 - Unidentified Colt Revolver
Les, Greenville, SC

Colt - 1917 - 45 ACP - 5''+ - Blue - 51461 on Butt -

Has a rampant colt on left side of frame. Has a circle around a J 4(I think 4) on left side at the top just behind the cylinder. Barrel has Colt DA .45 on left side just ahead of the frame and the number 2187 just above the ejector rod on the left side. The pistol is in VERY good condition. I have had it for almost a decade. Please let me know some things about the weapon. How old, is it a parts gun, approximate value. Thank you for taking the time to let me know.


Les, if your revolver is a U.S. Military M1917, it was manufactured in April of 1918. The number on the frame that is only visible when the cylinder is open is an assembly number. The fact that the assembly number does not match the serial number on the butt does not necessarily mean that the revolver is a parts gun.

Given the information that I have, it is hard to identify your revolver. Model 1917 Colts that were issued to the U.S. military have the following markings and characteristics:

  • Lanyard ring.
  • American Walnut smooth grips.
  • Rough machining marks that have not been polished out.
  • Tapered barrel.
  • Rampant Colt on the left side of the frame.
  • " U.S./ARMY/MODEL/1917" and the serial number stamped on the butt.
  • " UNITED STATES PROPERTY" stamped on the bottom of the barrel.
  • U.S. inspectors mark stamped on the top left of the receiver near the hammer:
    • Col. Gilbert H. Stewart (GHS) from Serial Number 1 to about 30,000.
    • Colonel John M. Gilbert (JMG) from about serial number about 29,000 to about 64,000 .
    • Eagles head with a number from 64,000 (May, 1918) to end of production.

You did not mention any of these, except for possibly the inspectors mark which would be a stylized JMG in a circle for your revolver. This might lead one to conclude that you have a New Service Model 1917 Civilian/Commercial revolver or a New Service Model 1917 Civilian/Commercial Piece Parts Model revolver except that serial numbers for these models are all above 335,000.

The fact that the revolver is in very good condition could possibly indicate that it has been re-finished and that many of the markings and rough machining have been ground off or polished out. If this is the case, value will be in the $200 range as a shooter. If the revolver is original, it's value will be quite a bit higher. A good way to find out what you have would be to take the revolver to a gunshow and get the opinion of several dealers. You can also send some good detailed photographs to us at and we will be happy to provide an appraisal with detailed information for a modest fee. Marc


# 12110 - Remington Model 4 Caliber

Remington - 32 - 23.5 Inches - Blue - 91217 -

On top of barrel: ''Remington Arms Co. Ilion N.Y.'' No other markings except the serial number''91217'' and the caliber''32'' on bottom of barrel.

A colleague of mine has this rifle for which I have made a casting of the chamber and barrel throat, but I am still trying to figure out for him just exactly which .32 caliber cartridge his rifle was intended to shoot. I have consulted Cartridges of the World, and that book indicates that the ''32 long (cf)'' was a caliber for which small single shot rifles like the Remington Mod. 4 and Stevens were chambered. My casting indicates that the chamber is indeed long enough for this cartridge (maybe a bit longer?) and definitely too long for any of the short 32s like the short colt. The barrel diameter appears to be .312-.313. I understand that some of the colt and S&W cartridges were NOT interchangeable because of differences in their bullet diameters. Can you tell us which .32 caliber cartridge(s) the Model 4 was chambered (around that serial number if possible)?

Robert- According to my information, the Remington Model 4 was only offered in RIMFIRE calibers, and both .32 long and .32 short [rimfire] are listed. It will be nearly impossible to find any shooting quantities of .32 rimfire ammo. Hope that helps. John Spangler-

# 12109 - ERMA Mystery Rifle Found In Old House

ERMA - 22 Rifle -

I was recently cleaning out a abandoned house that had fell in on my property, when we stumbled across a gun bag. Inside this bag was a .22 rifle made in Germany. we got online and cant find anything about this gun. we found a picture of one that it resembles. It was a .22training rifle made by Erma dating 1929. we found markings on this gun they are as follows: on top of the barrel it reads paatz kleinkaliberbushse this was found by the bolt. just past that on the side of the barrel are the #'s 12857 there is also some writing past that I cant make out it looks like a n with a diamond above it and the word nitro. when you take the barrel off the number 43 is etched on the wood part of the gun and there is more symbols on the bottom of barrel they are: d 43g with crown b then a crown over a u and three more symbols I cant make out something with a slash beside I, and maybe two more numbers. We have nothing to go on about this gun. We would really love some kind of information on it. It is really in good condition considering it has been in the weather for some 23yrs. That's the last time anyone lived in the house it was found in. it has very little water damage on the butt of gun that's it and its missing the bolt. We have no info on the owner or where it came from. The house was abandoned in 1981 and there is no information on an owner. Please help us solve our mystery. Thank you.

Sunshine- Sorry, we cannot help with that one. With the varying descriptions of this gun, it is impossible to put any sort of accurate value on a gun without actually seeing it in person. John Spangler

# 12108 - Sommerda Reichsrevolver

F. V. Dreyse Sommerda 1883 - Reichsrevolver -

I have a F. v. Dreyse hand gun. From what I can gather it is a 1883 model Officers gun. However; in all the photos I find on the internet none seem to be the same as mine. The one I have has two (2) triggers....and an extra finger grip under the trigger guard.

I read your response # 717 - Model 1883 Reichrevolver dated 8/1/97 ...and the Description and answer Matches with the exception listed above. Have I possibly mistaken the identity of this gun? Please help if you have any additional information. Thank You for Your Time

Gail- I suspect that this gun has had the triggers modified for target shooting, making it a "match gun" instead of a "service issue" gun. The value would be higher than for a service model to a handful of collectors who want an oddball variation. However, most collectors would not be interested due to the modifications. I really don't have any reference that would help tell us more about this. John Spangler

# 11667 - Excam .22
Jeff Gulf Shore, Al.

unknown - 22 LR. - Stainless Steel - C36658 -

My grandfather died and he left me this revolver and I have no idea who makes it or how old it is. It says MOD TA76 CAL .22LR on one side and it is made by Excam Hialeah, FL. I cannot find any info about it. I was wondering how old it was and just how much it is worth. Thank for any help you can give.

Jeff, sorry I can't tell you that you have a real treasure. Excam was an importer and distributor of mostly inexpensive firearms durring the 1980s if I remember correctley. Their offices were located in Hialeah, FL and they went out of business late 1990. The Model TA 76 was manufactured by Tanarmi MFG., it was a .22 cabler, 6 shot, single action revolver with 4.75 inch barrel, blue finish and wood grips. The last manufactures suggested retail price for the TA 76 was $95.00, I would expect to see one sell at a gunshow in the $40.00 range. Marc

# 11661 - Is It A Winchester?

Alpine - Firearms Co. (Made In England) - .270 Win. - 23 Inches - Blue - 1193 -

''Crown'' over BNP I bought the rifle from a senior who told me that it was an Winchester rifle, but the engraving on the barrel were ''Firearms Co. Alpine'' and ''made in England'', I would be grateful if you could tell me any information of the rifle. Thanks.

Sir, it does not sound like a Winchester, possibly the previous owner was confused by the caliber designation ".270 Win." I would guess that your rifle was manufactured by The Firearms Co. Ltd. of Bridgwater, England. They have been making the Alpine Mauser-action sporting rifle since about 1965. Rifles came with a plastic-finished wood stock in 243 Winchester, 270 Winchester, 30-06 or 308 Winchester. Rifles weighed about 7.5 pounds and had a five round magazine. Barrels were 24 inches and the sights were a hooded ramped blade and an adjustable Williams ramp. The K98k actions for Alpine rifles were originally refurbished war surplus, but later they were purchased from Belgium (FN) and Spain (Santa Barbara).

# 11660 - Police PPK

Walther - PPK - 7.65 - Blue - 390388K -

Left side of frame behind the trigger is a German looking Eagle or some type of bird with the letter C under the right wing. The pistol grip is wooden and there is a gold eagle with the word SILE under the eagle. I was hoping you can give me any information about this gun. Is this gun ordinary? when it was manufactured was I military gun etc.........

Kareem, the mark that you are asking about (eagle/C) is a German WWII vintage police acceptance stamp, these were located on the left side of the frame to the rear of the trigger. In my opinion, police issue pistols are not as desirable as military issue pistols but I'll bet that there are a few collectors who disagree. Sorry but I can't tell you more about the grips without seeing them, none of my reference books list such a marking. Marc

# 12107 - Battle Rattle Meaning

My son is currently serving in the US Army and uses the term "battle rattle." In researching it's origin I find sites like yours offering a battle rattle. [A type of hand held noisemaker, which when swung by the handle creates loud noise by the action of reeds or slats acting against a gear tooth design on the handle. These date back well before the Civil War, and were used as late as WW1 as "gas alarms."] Do you have any history as to how that term transitioned from a thing, like the one you offer, to meaning full battle gear. Thanks, Cindy

Cindy- Please thank your son (and his nervous Mom) for his service to our country. The troops are doing a great job and making good progress, despite what you may (or may not) see in the media.

I cannot explain the way the term got transferred from the noise maker tool to the combat gear. I believe there is an intermediate step where the term was applied from the WW2 era onward to the "National Infantry Team" shooting competitions where a squad of men would maneuver and shoot at various distances in full gear.

The use to describe combat gear seems to be a very recent thing, and I first heard it a few months ago. As a career Navy officer and lifelong student of military history I think I would have heard it earlier if it has been used in that context. Hope that helps. John Spangler

# 12106 - Cannon Breech Shotgun Update

In Q&A # 308 - Shotguns- Simmons Hardware "Cannon Breech" 1/28/1997) I wrote and asked about these shotguns. After working on it from time to time, I think I have the answer as to the manufacturer. I just wanted to share the information with you so you would have it if it comes up again. I appreciated your assistance then and appreciate reading your site now. The information is below. Thanks again. Ed

1. Cannon Breech: Trade name used by the Hopkins and Allen Company on shotguns.

2. From the "HAAMS NEWSLETTER" (Hopkins & Allen Memorabilia Society): "Hopkins & Allen did make the 'cannon breech' shotgun and they sold guns to Simmons Hardware Co. with a reinforced breech. It was first introduced about 1908 for export only. Then it came to the USA market about 1910. The first reference we can find in out archives, to 'Cannon Breech' was in their 1913 sales catalog. Export price was $9.75 & USA price was $8.00 The 1910 H&A catalog stated that the breech was 3/8" thick and it weighed 7 pounds

Ed- Thanks for the very well researched update. John Spangler

# 12105 - Who Is My Gun Registered To?

I found a Model 64 30-30 Winchester in my Grandfathers basement and I found out that it was made in 1954 but how can I find out Who my gun is registered to. When was it first bought, where was it first bought and who bought it? I can't find any answers to my questions, if you guys can help me I would appreciate it. Thanks

Sir- Unless you have some papers somewhere from the original place of purchase, I am afraid that information is not easily available.

Only a few areas run by idiots have the silly requirement that guns be registered, especially rifles. If you live in one of those, then the local law enforcement officials MAY be able to find out for you. There may or may not be any hassle involved with getting it transferred to you as an inheritance item, but it MAY require you to get whatever silly paperwork they require with fingerprints, photos, etc. Of course none of the criminals bother with any of that. They just steal their guns or get them on the black market from drug dealers and the like. John Spangler

# 11659 - J C Higgins Model 10116
Daryl, Longview, TX

J C Higgins - Model 10116 - .22 - 23 1/2 - Blue - 2094577 -

Attached W R Weaver 4X Scope I received this rifle from my father after his passing. Was wondering if it is of any value. Not interested in selling it, but was curious. I can remember him having it as far back as 1958. Any info would be appreciated.

Daryl, I went to the House Brands program and entered your model number (10116). The program spit out that the "Sears Model 10116 is the Savage model 6,87". That's about all that I could find. Values for this type of firearm are usually in the $50 range. The J C Higgins brand name won't help much. Marc

# 11658 - Old Sword or Old Bayonet?

Old Sword - Old Sword - N/A - N/A - Other - 71449 -

Mre di Armes de St. Ettienne Tevrier 1875 (on blunt side of sword) Where is it from and what war or military was it used in?

James, it sounds like you have a French Model 1866 Saber Bayonet (Sabre Baionnette Modele 1866 Skrie 'Z') The markings on the back of the blade are the arsenal where the bayonet was manufactured and the year of manufacture. The Mle 66 was used with the Chassepot needle-gun which was the principal French firearm of the Franco-Prussian war. It continued to be manufactured for the French armies after the war and many were reissued for service in World War 1. Some Mle 66 bayonets even saw service in World War 2 in the hands of the Garde Nationale. The Mle 66 design influenced the weapons of many European powers, including the Dutch Beaumont, the Belgian Mle 68, and the Bavarian Werder of 1869-which are close copies. Quantities of similar bayonets were also manufactured in Germany for use with Remington rolling block rifles and distributed throughout South America. Marc

# 11657 - Walther PPK Need More Info.

Walther - PPK - 7.65 - Blue - 318499K -

On the left front of the trigger guard, the number 667 is stamped. Eagle over 'N' proof marks on the barrel and slide. I have a Walther PPK with one piece molded brown grips. In addition to the serial number, there is a number 667 stamped on the front left side of the trigger guard. It was purchased at a New Orleans Estate sale and was supposedly brought back by a WWII soldier stationed in Germany after WWII. I am interested in determining where it was used and the value. Thanks, Chuck!

Chuck, the most that I can tell you with the information that you provided is that the eagle over N proof mark was used on pistols manufactured in Germany after 1940. There are no records that I know of, to document where WWII German small arms were issued or to whom. Value of the pistol will depend on condition, it could be anywhere from $100 for a rusty pistol in poor condition to around $1000 for pistols with military markings in excellent condition. Marc

# 12104 - Barrel Differences For Murder Weapon
Las Vegas, NV

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 weapon. If you can, please respond to my email:

Sir- 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. However, I have heard that some courts are now recognizing challenges that claim that mass produced barrels leave markings that are really not all that different after all.

Try them all and let the judges and jury sort them out.

Good luck on getting another perp off the streets and behind bars. It's not the guns, it's the criminals! John Spangler

# 12103 - Rifles Used By Wisconsin Volunteers In 1898

My great-grandfather fought in Porto Rico during the Spanish-American War. According to his diary (translated from German to English) his unit, the 2nd Wisconsin Company C got new Krags on the morning of August 21, 1898 to replace their Springfield Trapdoors (they did not like the new Krags). Anyway, how can I find out which Springfields were issued to his unit? I know about the Springfield Research Service webpage but I am really doing this backwards. I do not have 1 gun to look up. I want to know the range of guns sent to the Wisconsin Units. Is there an easy way of doing this? Thanks for any help that you may offer.

Sir- Fortunately, I have access to the SRS files and can sort and search them in different ways than you can on the SRS site. I understand Charlie Pate is working on making them available in Microsoft Access format when they are redone for sale on CDs. There is only one rifle listed connected to the "2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Militia" serial number 39112 reported on September 30, 1898. I do not know what the report said (lost, stolen, mechanical problem, etc???). There several dozen entries each for Companies C and F of the 3rd Wisconsin, at an unspecified date in 1898. These list rifles falling in a very broad range from about 48,000 to 100,000 with no number pattern evident. All are Model 1896 rifles.

In case the question was about TRAPDOOR Springfields as opposed to Springfield KRAGS (as the term "Springfield" is sometimes applied to either model, as well as many others there..) - the Only Wisconsin associated Trapdoor is serial number 80008 noted as a Model 1884 donated by the Wisconsin National Guard to the U.S. Navy March 31, 1943. Hope that helps. John Spangler

# 12102 - Colt Lightning Rifles And Smokeless Ammo

Was hoping you might be able to help me find the answers to a few questions I have. If you don't know, perhaps you could direct me to a website, or someone who might know. One question is: In the manufacture of Colt Lightning Rifles, did Colt make any provision for switching from black powder to smokeless powder? I would appreciate any direction you might give

Sam- I don't think they made any distinctions, but Lightning rifle production was pretty well ended by the time smokeless ammo became widespread. The basic design is pretty robust and Colt generally used good materials and ample safety margins, so I would not think that any changes would have been needed. Strictly my opinion and no guarantee that it would be safe to consider using smokeless ammo in any of them. Consult a competent gunsmith or personal injury attorney for professional advice on this issue. John Spangler

# 11655 - Buffalo Revolver

Omega - 900 - 22 LR - 4.75 ? - Blue - 409065 -

Barrel underside- Germany 409065; Barrel left side- Cal. 22 LR; Gripstrap bottom- Omega Model-900; Left side of frame under cylinder are 3 stamped symbols, or 1 stamp of 3 symbols, which appear to be double-stamped and overlap a little; Grips are black plastic with a raised buffalo on each side near the top; The hammer is non-blued on the sides and has a few markings that make it look like it was made from a ground down metal file. I would like to know exactly who made this gun, where, when, and the value. I know it is at least 35 years old because the lady I got it from has had it that long. Even though the cylinder locks up snug and the hammer/trigger are tight, I don't think it can be worth much. It appears to be made from cheap materials. I contribute the tightness of it to a lack of use. It hasn't been shot for at least 35 years, and probably did not see much action before that. Thanks for whatever info you can give me.

Alan, there are two main possibilities for the manufacturer of your revolver. The first, and I think most likely, is Em-Ge Sportgerate GmbH & Co. KG, Gerstenberger Eberwein, Germany. Em-Ge marketed a line of cheap .22 rimfire and .32 center-fire double action and single action solid frame six-shot revolvers with 2.25 inch through 6 inch barrels under the names Em-Ge, G&E, Omega and PIC. These revolvers were marketed with a bewildering collection of model names and numbers which were of no vital significance. The basic Em-Ge pattern is gate-loaded, with ejection performed by removing a pin carried in the cylinder arbor and punching out the cases. The second Em-Ge pattern was western style, it had a spring-loaded ejector rod on the bottom right side of the barrel where it aligns with the loading gate. Em-Ge revolvers were widely sold in the USA before the passing of the Gun Control Act of 1968.

The second possibility is Herbert Schmidt of Ostheim an der Rhon Germany. Schmidt has marketed firearms under a long list of trade names in Europe and the USA including Deputy Marshal, EIG, E8, PIC, Geroco, Madison, Bison, Omega, RG, AMCO, Spesco, Valor, Liberty, LA's Deputy, Liberty Scout, Deputy Magnum, Deputy Adjuster, NATO, Western, Burgo Mod 21, Gecado Model 21 , Indian Scout, VOL, Eusta, Cheyenne Scout, Texas Scout, and Buffalo Scout. The basic Schmidt pattern was a six-shot double action solid frame revolver, with a swing-out cylinder and a short barrel. Schmidt's other principal pattern was a western-style .22 revolver with either no ejector and a removable cylinder arbor, or with a rod ejector beneath the barrel. All Schmidt revolvers have the maker's name stamped into the lower edge of the butt grip frame, visible when the grips are removed. As with Em-Ge, Schmidt revolvers were also widely sold in the USA before the passing of the Gun Control Act of 1968.

The last gun of this type that I sold also had the buffalo logo on the grips. I was not too enthusiastic about purchasing the revolver, but it came with a package deal so I did not have much of a choice. It sat around the shop for a long time and finally went for $40.00. I felt fortunate to sell it any price and made the purchaser sign a liability waver. Marc

# 11654 - Source For S&W Dates Of Manufacture
Rob, Berlin, CT

Smith & Wesson Model 19-4 - 357 Magnum - 4'' - Nickel - 42K7452 -

Is there a web site that I can find out when my gun was manufactured?

Rob, I am afraid that there is no place that I know of on the Web that will provide Smith & Wesson dates of manufacture. I suggest that you invest in a book. The 'Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson ' by Jim Supica and Richard Nahas would be a good choice, it can be purchased online at Amazon. Marc

# 11653 - FIE 22
Richard, Okeechobee, Florida

F.I.E. Corp. - Model - 72 - 22-Lr. 22-Mag. - 6'' - Blue - S/N-10623 -

This pistol is two tone Grip seems to be brass? How well are these guns made? Is F.I.E. Corp still in Miami?

Richard, FIE stands for Firearms Import Export company, they operated out of Hialeah, Florida from about 1980 until 1990 when they declared bankruptcy. I have never been impressed with the .22 revolvers that FIE imported. My free advise (offered with a full money back guarantee) would be to sell the FIE and invest in something with a little more quality, like a Ruger Single Six. Marc

# 12101 - Colt Police Positive Ammo

My father just acquired a colt 32 police positive. We are having a difficult time finding ammo for it. The patent date on it is 1863 His quest so far, goes something like this- no 32 will go in the chamber We called Colt and they suggested we ask for 32 colt cartridge. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Denver- While the Police Positive is a well made gun, it is chambered for the .32 Colt cartridge, which is very hard to find. That was the only model gun which used it and it has been obsolete for many years. You may find a box or two at a cartridge collector show or buried in the back room of an old gun store, but I do not recall seeing any for sale in many years. There is no safe substitute cartridge which you could use, and you cannot even reload any without a supply of empty cases.

If you got this as a shooter, I am afraid it will not be much good without ammo. That is one of the reasons that this model gun can be found at extremely low prices (often under $150 for superb condition examples). Hope that helps. John Spangler

# 12100 - USMC Marked Shoe Last

I'm just guessing on some stuff here (like this is military related), but I found a pair of shoe lasts, the sort of things you need for building shoes, made of wood and stamped with USMC (letters tight together and even overlapping). I'd like some further history, like approximate era, where they might've been used, and so on. They are a matching pair in men's 7, slits cut through the ball-of-the-foot area, have a metal strap joint between with heel and the rest of the foot (giving a solid working surface around the sole, but low-cut as for dress shoes), and a hole in the top of the arch (probably to mount for working). Any ideas? Or who else should I go to?

Linda- People automatically think of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children when they see the letters USMC. However, I am certain that your shoe lasts are marked with the initials of the makers, United Shoe Machinery Corporation of Beverly, Mass. Their logo was the letters USMC run together and usually at a slight angle like italics font.

Value is strictly to a shoe collector or decorator, not a Marine Corps collector.

Their logo also can be found on items such as M1917 rifle bolts and 20mm gun parts made by them during WW2, leading many collectors to believe that they have rare Marine Corps items. John Spangler

# 12099 - Shoot Around The Corner Guns

I am an Activities Director for a group of Senior Citizens in upstate NY. In a recent Trivia game the question asked "Did WWII German Infantrymen have curved extensions for their rifles to allow them to shoot around corners? \" The answer was "yes" and many of our veterans questioned this answer. Do you have any articles about this weapon I can share with them or even a picture. I thank you in advance for helping these very curious veterans!

Kathy- Please tell the vets that we thank them for their service to our country, either in front line combat units, or in the huge numbers needed to train, support and supply the combat troops. All who served helped win their wars.

The correct answer is "yes." There were "shoot around the corner" devices for some small arms in WW2. However, the numbers made were extremely small, basically just for experimental use. Thus it is very unlikely to be encountered by probably 99% of our troops, hence their unfamiliarity with them. I have never seen one in private collections, but a few are in military museums.

While it was not very difficult to bend a barrel to shoot around a corner, the problem is that there was no practical way to aim at anything around the corner, so such devices were pretty ineffective. As in most armies, troops quickly decide what equipment adds sufficiently to their effectiveness and survival to justify carrying it around with them. Apparently the "shoot around the corner" stuff was not deemed worth lugging around.

While apparently a German innovation, the U.S. Army tried a "shoot around the corner" device intended for attachment to the M3 submachine gun ("grease gun") thinking that it may be handy for tank crews to clean enemy troops from the area around their tank. As with the German devices, this never progressed past the experimental stage.

I have seen photos of the devices, but it would take some digging to find them and I cannot spare the time right now. John Spangler

# 11651 - Walther PP Manufacture Dates

Walther - PP Pistol - 7.65 Mm - Other - 971143 -

Dear Sirs, I'm an amateur arms collector from Chile and I would like to obtain the dating of a PP pistol, 7.65 mm that I'm about to acquire. Could you be so kind in helping me on the dating of such gun, since I'm interested in early stages of manufacturing (1929-1945)? The serial number of this pistol is: Zeller Mehlis (Thr ) 971143 Thanks in advance for all the help you could provide and best regards, Miguel H

Miguel, there are no surviving serial number records available that I know of, that would enable one to date wartime and pre-war Walther pistols. It is known that the first Walther PP serial number was 750000. When the numbers reached one million, a new series was initiated. The letter P was added the to the second series of serial numbers which began with 100000. One way to narrow the date of manufacture down a little is that early PP pistols that were manufactured before 1940 should have a crown over 'N' proof mark. Pistols manufactured after 1940 will have eagle over 'N' proofs. Marc

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