Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters



Questions And Answers Page

If you have a question about firearms and you want it posted on this page click here.

Return to Collectors Headquarters.

Click here to go to the question and answer monthly index.

Click here to go to the question and answer subject index.

# 14594 - Springfield Model 1870 .50-70 Carbine—or Not?

Springfield - Model 1863 - 50 - Blue - XX167 -

Flayderman confirmed markings in 2001 1870 Model 1863 US Springfield (50Cal)-- CARBINE xx167 Described in Flaydreman Guide -- 1980 edition -- page 458* Value range. Have long gun and CARBINE --- QUESTION CONCERNS THE CARBINE... Description Complete --- worn bluing --- wood very good --all makings easily legible.

Jim- The Model 1870s are the least common of the .50-70 trapdoors, with only 11,533 of the rifles made and the tiny number of a mere 341 carbines made. These all used surplus Civil War locks, so the 1863 date is correct. However, the Model 1870 carbines were NOT serial numbered, and certainly not up as far as xx167. I strongly suspect you have a Model 1868, which was serial numbered. However, they did not make ANY Model 1868 carbines. Also, the standard finish for both the Model 1868 and 1870 was an oil quenched blackened receiver, case hardened block, and bright barrel. If your gun has “worn bluing” anywhere but possibly the receiver and block, then it has certainly been refinished at least, and in my opinion is much more likely to be some sort of Frankenfield assembled by the surplus guys in the late 19th century. I urge you to discuss this on over on Al Frasca’s site and the smart folks there will be able to help determine exactly what you have. A cut down 1868 rifle is worth a few hundred dollars as a fun shooter or for the value of salvageable parts, but a genuine M1870 carbine is more like 5 figures, so it is important to be sure of exactly what you have. John Spangler

# 14734 - Marlin
David Edinburg Texas

Marlin - Marlin Safety - 30-30 - 20 In. - Blue - 9787 -

What is the value

David, "Marlin Safety" is not a model and you did not supply me with any information about condition. Sorry but with the information that you provided, I can not tell you much about your Marlin. Your question is kind of like telling me that you have a Chevrolet. I have no way of knowing whether your Chevy is a crappy old Vega or a brand new Corvette. Marc

# 14590 - Joseph Simmons Percussion Pistol

Joseph Simmons - Muzzle Load, Perc. Cap, Pistol - .65 - 9'' - Other -

Joseph (Royal Crown) Simmons - just in front of the rear sight. I would like to know if this is a ''Houda pistol'', the age and value.

Bob- I would need to see some photos on this one. The only Joseph Simmons I can find any info on are one who worked at 57 Weamon Street in Birmingham, England circa 1811-1815, well before the start of percussion arms, and another located on High Street in Birmingham from 1807 to 1831. This extends far enough into the Percussion era that I suspect he is the maker. I am not sure when the Howdah pistol originated, after Brits hunting tigers for sport in India decided they might like a big honking pistol, preferably a double barrel one, as a last ditch defense against tigers jumping into the Howdah baskets atop their elephant transportation. I suspect yours is a much less sexy holster pistol designed for use by ordinary folk in England traveling the highways and seeking to even the odds against the highwaymen, or to teach robbers to stay the heck out of their humble homes. Still, likely a nice old gun worth preserving, but not one with the great Howdah story. John Spangler

# 14733 - Erma EP 459
Dave, Berlin, NH

ERMA - EP 459 - .380 - Other - EXP002 -

Can you tell me anything about this gun and what would it be worth, the gun is Mint, Thank you

Dave, I was unable to find the Erma EP 459 in any of my reference books, so I did a quick internet search and found that it is a Colt 1911 clone that is chambered in .380. I saw several EP 459s listed on various auction sites with prices ranging from $500 to $700 but there were bids, and no takers. The EP 459 seems to me to be an odd combination of a pocket pistol caliber on a full size pistol frame. I am not surprised that there is not much interest in them. Marc

# 14731 - Bohmische Waffenfabrik 27

Bohmische Waffenfabrik - 27 - 7.65 - 4in - Blue - 241670 -

How much is it worth in dollars

mike, it sounds like you have a Ceska Zbrojovka (better known as 'CZ') Model 1927 pistol. The CZ 27 was adopted by the Czechoslovakian armed forces in 1927 and was due to be replaced by the Model 1938 in October of 1938. On October 1, 1938 German forces entered the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia and most of the remaining Czech territory was occupied in March of 1939. The CZ factory was taken over by the Germans and Model 27 production was continued under German supervision for the German armed forces. Approx. 475,000 CZ Model 27 pistols were produced under German supervision before hostilities in Europe ceased in May of 1945. The German name for the CZ factory was Boehmische Waffenfabrik A.G. (Bohemian Weapons Factory Inc.) Early CZ 27's were marked "Bohmische Waffenfabrik A.G. in Prag " this marking was dropped on later models. Pistols manufactured after June 1941 under German occupation, are marked "fnh" "Pistole Modell 27 Kal. 7.65". "fnh" was the WW-II German ordnance code assigned to Bohmische Waffenfabrik, Strkonitz plant, Prague, Czechoslovakia.

The value of your pistol will depend on it's condition. I believe that we have one or two CZ 27 pistols listed in our online catalog that you can compare to your pistol to determine it's value. Marc

# 14588 - Smokeless Ammo In A “black Powder” Rifle
Jim, Hilton, NY

Marlin - 1893 - 38/55 - 25 1/2 Inches - Blue - 347828 -

On the barrel its marked ''For Black Powder''. Can today's ammo like Winchesters super x 255 grain be used in it safely ? Is there a temperature issue ? Thanks

Jim- I defer to Clint Eastwood on this one: "You've got to ask yourself a question: 'do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"

Let’s get real here, it is not that hard to reload for an obsolete caliber like the .38-55, so why not honor tradition, and common sense and the tensile strength of old metals and load your own with black powder? Perhaps some of the reloading forums have discussed this issue, but I don’t hang around boring places like that, so I don’t know for sure. Perhaps you can work up a smokeless load that is safe (like they have for the .45-70 trapdoors) but I just don’t know. So, well, do you feel lucky? John Spangler

# 14587 - U.S. Navy Remington-Lee Bolt Action Rifle

Lee Arms - ? - 45/70 - 29inches - Blue - 653 -

stamped WMN with an anchor underneath on the barrel stamped HN on the bolt I would like to find the caliber and value of this rifle.

Mike- You correctly surmised it is .45-70 caliber. If the serial number is 653, then this is probably the one collectors (but not Remington or the Navy) designate as the Model 1879. The U.S. Navy bought about 1,300 of these. They also bought about 1,500 of the later model 1882 (or 1885) which were pretty similar. Remington military arms are among the few areas of U.S. martial arms which have not yet received their due collector attention, so prices tend to be modest. Flayderman’s 9th edition suggests a value of $675 in NRA antique good and $2,000 in excellent condition, but I think that might be a bit on the low side relative to today’s market. However, there are fewer people collecting U.S. Navy items than there are U.S Army martial arms, so maybe he is not too far off. Hope that helps. John Spangler

# 14732 - PP Info

Walther PP - .32cal - 3 7/8'' - Blue - 360617 P -

There are several; Wa359 on left side of slide, and left side of frame near the trigger Under what looks like an eagle. Also and eagle stamp on the chamber on right side near the ejection port. Pistol was given to me about a week ago. Our friends' husband passed away and she didn't want it in the house anymore. It's in super condition with an original holster. The holster is dried to not keeping the leather oiled, but still in pretty good shape. Could you help me and let me know what it might be worth? Also the year of manufacture and possible history about the pistol? I didn't know you had this site, and a friend of mine told me to write to you and that you could help. Thanks for your assistance. Don St. Aubin

Sam, W.W.II vintage PP pistols like yours were manufactured by Walther from 1940 to 1945. Early PP pistols were made with a High-polish commercial grade blue finish but as the war progressed the quality of finish was degraded to speed production. The Wa359 markings that you describe are military acceptance stamps, they should actually read WaA359.

Collectors classify military procured PP pistols into several variations:

  • First variation pistols had eagle over "359" military acceptance stamps, high- polish blue finish, side mounted magazine release button, and were in the 165126P-168190P serial number range. Estimated procurement was about 1,000.
  • Second variation pistols had a bottom mounted magazine release button, high-polish blue finish, eagle over "WaA359" military acceptance stamp and were in the 198359P- 199812P or 202005P-202472P serial number range. Estimated procurement was about 1,500.
  • Third variation pistols had a high-polish blue finish, eagle over "WaA359" military acceptance stamps, side mounted magazine release button, and were in the 216305P- 234705P serial range. Estimated procurement was about 13,000.
  • Your serial number ( 360617P) falls into the fourth variation block. Fourth variation pistols had a lower quality military-blue finish, eagle over "WaA359" military acceptance stamps, side mounted magazine release button, and were in the 235879P-368899P serial range. Estimated procurement was about 66,000.
  • Late fifth variation pistols were stamped with the "ac" Walther code on right hand side of the slide. They had a low quality military-blue finish, eagle over "WaA359" military acceptance stamps, side mounted magazine release button. Some of the last production pistols had mismatched numbers, and no proofs or legend.

Blue book values for fourth variation military issue PP pistols like yours are in the $150 to $550 range depending on condition, add another $75 to $150 for the holster if it bears military markings. If the or holster is not military marked, values will be in the $25 - $50 range. Marc

# 14712 - Page-Lewis Model A Target Value

Page-Lewis - Model A Target - 22 L.R. - 20 Inch - Don't Know -

PA.PD APR 23 1923 Triangle with capital P inside on rear of left barrel Couldn't find serial number. Condition poor to fair Value?

James, Page- Lewis Arms Company started business in 1921 with about 150 workers. The Page-Lewis factory was located in manufacturing facilities that were previously used by the automobile company, Stevens Duryea. The first shipment of Page-Lewis rifles left the factory in July of 1921.

Page-Lewis introduced the Model A Target Rifle, the Model B Sharpshooter, and the Model C Olympic Rifle in 1921. All three rifles shared the same type of under lever, falling block action which was fabricated from steel plate, and housed the lockwork inside the breechblock. A single coil spring was used to drive both the hammer and the trigger and the butt was attached by a large longitudinal bolt. Rifles could be dissembled by use of a take-down bolt which lay beneath the frame ahead of the trigger guard.

The Model A was manufactured from 1921 to 1926 and total production was around 15000. The Model A was single shot only, with a 20 inch barrel and standing-block rear sight. The action was fabricated from steel plate, and the lockwork was contained within the breechblock. These rifles had a round barrel, straight-wrist walnut butt, and a short rounded forend. There was a take-down bolt was beneath the frame ahead of the trigger guard.

My blue book does not have a listing for Page-Lewis so it is a little more difficult than usual to give you a value. I checked some of the bigger auctions sites on the internet and average value for the Page-Lewis models that were listed seems to be about $250. Marc

# 14584 - Remington Model 1903A3 Questions
Phyllis Ione, CA 95640

Remington - 03-A3 - 30 06 - Don't Know - 3974559 -

All marks appear engraved? This gun has 2 encircled letter P`s but one P looks Different than the other, OG mark, RA 9-43 mark, very beautiful dark wood in great condition too What is the approx. value of the gun and any other information you provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

Phyllis- Your description sounds like a fairly typical Model 1903A3 rifle made by Remington. We usually have one or more of these for sale on our U.S. longarms page and I think our descriptions and photos there will pretty much tell you everything you want to know. John Spangler

# 14583 - Heiser “holster” Or Scope Case?

H.h.heiser - H.h.heiser 139 - Unknown - 14.25 Inches - Other - UNKNOWN -

5[above]the logo of H.H.HEISER,with the model #139 below the logo I was hoping someone would be able to identify what this model[H.H.HEISER,139]holster was made for. The holster has a belt loop, button down flap and is a little over 14inchs long from opened throat to toe. It is unusual in that there is no cut out for a pistol grip. Could it be for a shoulder stock? At first glance I thought it was some sort of slim Jim holster. Thank you for your time John.

John- Hermann H. Heiser of Denver, Colorado, made fine quality leather goods that are very collectable, but they are not an area that I know (or care) much about. Several places offer copies of Heiser catalogs from the mid 20th century for a price if someone wants to really dig into the subject. I did find one site ( that mentioned that Abercrombie & Fitch got some of their leather goods from Heiser, and that a Heiser 139 case was not for a pistol, but rather for carrying a Lyman Alaskan scope with a Griffen & Howe mount. I do not know if that is correct, but it sounds like it might be a correct ID for your item. Hope that helps. John Spangler

# 14722 - Remington Model 51

Remington UMC - Semi-auto Pistol - .380 - Blue Steel - PA 29413 -

I have the above .380 pistol and would like any information, or where I can find information on this pistol.

Ed it sounds like you are asking about the Remington Model 51. Remington manufactured the Model 51 in .32 ACP and .380 ACP calibers. Approximately 65,000 Model 51 pistols were produced from 1918 to 1927. In the opinion of many experts, the Remington M51 is the finest pocket automatic pistol ever made, workmanship is of extremely high quality, and the pistol is well-shaped for instinctive shooting. The design utilizes a delayed blowback system to reduce the apparent recoil force, making it pleasant to shoot. The M51 has a grip safety which also acts as a cocked indicator. If the grip safety is flush with the grip, the pistol is not cocked, if it stands out from the grip, the pistol is cocked. The safety catch on the left rear of the frame can only be set to the safe position when the hammer is cocked. Model 51 production called for very precise machining and fitting of intricate components. Unfortunately, there were not sufficient buyers prepared to pay the extra cost which was required to build this complicated design so the pistol production was discontinued. Marc

# 14714 - Marlin 80 DOM
Chris, Lancaster, PA

Marlin - Model 80 - .22 S/l/l-r - 22'' - Don't Know - DON'T KNOW -

one of them is marked ''Micro-Groove'' the other is not, but this one has Peep Sights I inherited both rifles and have tried with no success as to find out how old these two are. Since I can find no serial number on either, I don't know where to turn. I'd like to know when both Marlin Model 80 rifles were made.

Chris, the Marlin Model 80 was similar to the Model 100, with a split bridge receiver and a magazine which protruded beneath the stock ahead of the trigger guard. The stock had a straight-comb, pistol grip and finger grooves in the the forend until 1937. A few guns made in 1939 had Tenite synthetic trigger guards.

The blue book lists the following dates ranges for Model 80 variations:

  • Model 80 - 1934-1939
  • Model 80E - 1934-1940
  • Model 80C - 1940-1970
  • Model 80DL - 1940-1965
  • Model 80G - 1960-1965, Marlin Glenfield

For more information, try the Marlin Collectors forum at Hope this helps. Marc

# 14582 - Italian Carcano Rifle Made At Gardone
Kurt, Sandpoint, ID

Unknown - 1950 - Unknown - Unknown - Blue - F872 -

''1950'', ''ARDONF'', ''VIII'' printed on flat surfaces at beginning of barrel. Also ''L'', ''57'', and ''39'' printed just a bit further up the barrel. ''F872'' printed on side of receiver. Absolutely no other markings on the metal or wood stock. Recovered suspected stolen property, hoping to get an identification on it to try to track down the rightful owner. All internet searches have come up empty. This bolt action rifle appears to take a smaller caliber round. Closest I could find for ARDONF would be Ardon, France. Thank you for any help you can give.

Kurt- Thank you for your service. Several clues all add up to solve this mystery. The Roman numeral VIII is not found on many guns, but they do appear on some Italian guns made during WW2 reflecting the new “fascist calendar” adopted by Mussolini. The three largest Italian makers then were Terni, Beretta, and Gardone, so I am pretty sure that this was made at Gardone, and that the name is just poorly struck so the G is missing. The mention of “smaller caliber” suggests that it is likely the 6.5mm version, as these were also made in 7.35mm which would look pretty much like a .30 caliber barrel. The serial number may be the F872, or possibly the 1950. If looking it up (or reporting it to) a stolen or recovered property database, it is hard to tell what might have been entered for the serial number or maker. John Spangler

# 14580 - Cut Down Springfield .45-70 Trapdoor Rifle
Ken, Lincoln, CA

Springfield - Trapdoor - 45-70 - 22'' - Rusty - 388798 -

Cartouche on stock ''SWP 1887'' This gun is very confusing. I suspect it is a cut down rifle because it has a sling swivel on the trigger guard, no saddle ring fixture on the left side of the rifle, and a groove under the front of the stock ahead of the retainer ring forward of the Buffington sight (which leads me to believe that it once had a space for a cleaning rod under the longer rifle stock). The breach block says ''U.S. Model 1873'', but the serial number would place it as 1888 production. The cartouche on the stock says 1877. The butt plate does not have a door for a storage compartment for a cleaning rod which is characteristic of a carbine. The bore shows some minor corrosion and some pretty shallow rifling. The metal is lightly rusted and, I think, restorable with a little elbow grease, some 0000 steel wool and some restoration oil. My question is, why does the rifle have an 1873 breach block and the 1888 serial number? Is that possible as issued or did someone replace the breach block years ago (the breach block has about the same amount of patina as the rest of the gun). I realize that you can only offer a subjective opinion, but I'm thinking about restoring the gun and am wondering if the prize is worth the race. TIA

Ken- First, I want to thank you for the excellent description, and your efforts to research it. You are correct that it is indeed a cut down rifle. Available information shows that other serial numbers in this general range were all rifles, and also that the date of manufacture was probably around August 1887. Therefore, I think the stock is original to the gun, and it got cut down at the same time as the barrel. The breechblock is typically found on guns made a bit earlier, but parts were parts and interchangeable, so older parts are sometimes found on later guns, or may have been switched out at a later date, either while still in military use, or in Bubba’s basement. It sounds like this would be a fun shooter, after you get it cleaned up and approved by a competent gunsmith. The rifling on these is odd looking to modern shooters, with only three very wide and shallow grooves. The secret to good accuracy is to use lead bullets with a diameter about .459 or .460 which are better suited for the old rifling than the .458 diameter bullets usually found. The damage to collector value has already been done, so let your secret gunsmith fantasies loose, and refinish the stock, get a repro saddle ring and install it. Clean up the metal and try your hand a rebluing it with one of the cold blues (adequate but not great) or the slower but much nicer looking “rust blue” process. And, by all means enjoy it! John Spangler

# 14713 - Winchester 1904A
Seth, Friona, Texas

Winchester - 04 A - 22 Long / Short - 23 1/2 In. - Don't Know -

What is the age of this gun? I think was patented in 1898 but I can't be sure.

Seth, Winchester Models 1900, 1902 and 1904 were all single-shot bolt-action .22 caliber rifles that were based on a design by the famous Utah gun maker, John M. Browning. The Model 1904 was a slightly more expensive version that featured a one-piece plain gumwood straight-grip stock with a metal trigger guard that gave the rifle a pistol grip feel, and a Schnabel tip forend. The 1904 had a 21 inch barrel and weighed about 4 pounds empty. Rifles were chambered for .22 Short and Long until 1914 when the .22 Extra Long was added. The .22 LR cartridge was added in place of the Extra Long in 1927. Factory records indicate that the first delivery of Model 1904 rifles to warehouse stock was made on July 5 1904.

The Model 1904A was manufactured from 1928 to 1931. This was a 'New Pattern' rifle with a re- designed sear. The 'New Pattern' designation was used only until Winchester had sold all the old original-style rifles. Total production of 1904 and 1904A rifles was about 302,860. Marc

# 14715 - Pieper 22
Dakota, Vernon, NY

Anciens Establishment Pieper - Herstal-Belgium - .22 - 18''? - Don't Know - 81763 -

A little horse with a man on it I would like to know when this gun was made, and also would like to know how much it is worth?

Dakota, I did a quick Google search and found that Henri Pieper was born 1840 in Westfalen/Germany where he learned his trade with a mechanical engineering company. After his apprenticeship, he moved to Belgium and in 1866 started a factory which produced gun parts. He later opened a second factory in Nessonveaux, which was specialized in gun barrels. Henri Pieper died in 1898 and the company under his son, Nicolas Pieper was reorganized as SA Etablissements Pieper. In 1905 the company was reorganized again, this time under the name Anciens Establishments Pieper.

It sounds like you have what is best known as a "Flobert" rifle, although made by Pieper. These were very inexpensive guns sold by the thousands (actually several hundred thousand) from about 1870 to 1920 for export throughout the world. Sears, Roebuck and other large retailers sold them by mail order and they were used as "premiums" in various youth oriented advertising schemes. They used .22 caliber ammunition but often it was a special low powered variety, and should not be shot with modern ammunition. These rifles have very little collector interest, and value for complete examples is probably under $50.00, if you can find anyone who wants one. Therefore they are not seen often and most dealers are not familiar with them. Marc

# 14576 - Harrington & Richardson M1 Garand Information
Kevin, Madison, Ohio

H&R - M1 Garand - 30-06 - Blue - 57868897 -

I would like more information on this M1 Garand which I just purchased.

Kevin- If your rifle has a blue finish, then someone has refinished it as these originally had a grayish parkerized finish. It was made around 1955-56, but we cannot be exactly sure as there is a typo in the serial number with an extra digit. John Spangler

Return to Collectors Headquarters.