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.

# 14860 - 1873 Springfield Trapdoor Value
Rodney, St.Francis, KS

Springfield - U. S. Modle 1873 - .45-70 Trapdoor - Don't Know - Blue - 101920 -

Has bayonet and it is in excellent shape. Can you tell me the value of this gun?

Rodney- Value will depend on condition. Based on your description, it sounds like ones I see at gun shows welling for about $800-1100 retail. If your ide of “excellent” differs from mine, it may be higher or lower than that. John Spangler

# 14974 - Stainless PPK Date Of Manufacture
Norman Reisig Lacombe La.

Walther - PPK - 380 - 3 - Stainless Steel - AO16207 -


Norman, the world's first factory-production all stainless-steel firearm was the S&W Model 60 Chiefs Special which was introduced in 1965. If your Walther is stainless steel, it must have been made after 1965, it can not be a WWII military pistol, it has to be more modern than that. That helps us narrow our search down a little bit. I did a quick Google search and found that modern Walther pistols have a date code, the information for determining Walther dates of manufacture can be found on the Walther web site at the following link: Walther dates of manufacture. Unfortunately at the bottom of the page Walther indicates that "NOTE: The PPK does not use this letter code for manufacturing year."

I have been unable to find much more information about dates of manufacture for modern PPK pistols than that. We know that your pistol was manufactured after 1965 and if memory serves me correctly I believe that the first I started seeing stainless Walther pistols was sometime in the 1980s. For more information, try posting a question on the Walther forum, it can be found at: Good luck, Marc

# 14972 - Deactivated Unused PPS43s

Pps43 - Blue -

Just one simple question: why are there so very many deactivated unused pps43 guns for sale? A lot of them have production dates on them from, for example the fifties... And they have never been used! Why haven't they? I believe a lot of them have been produced in Poland... You find them everywhere on the net and they are not too expensive also.... I would really like to know... Thanks!

The PPS43 was the low cost version of the PPSH41. It had more sheet metal and stamping and fewer machined parts. When the Russians ended up controlling a number of eastern European countries in 1945 they required standardization of weapons with these countries, so the Poles made their own. The Soviet army moved to the Kalashnikov assault rifle in the 1950's and phased out submachine guns. The other Communist bloc countries followed and so would have sold off their sub machine guns. The U.S. may have been trying to get the Poles to distance themselves from Russia and given them the necessary import licenses to bring out SMG parts sets. Marc

# 14858 - .44 H&R Shotgun (pre- .410 Gage)
Dan, Audubon, NJ

Harrington & Richardson - ? - .44 - 26'' - Blue - 56108 -

'' Pat. Feb 26 & 27 1900'' ''Pat.May 14 1901'' I have 6 shells for this gun two are shotshells with the markings ''W.R.A.CO. .44 G.G.'', the other 4 read ''U.S.C.CO. 44 W.C.F.'' I was told by a local gunsmith with a great reputation that this was known as a ''game getter'', which my subsequent research has confirmed was the name of Marble Arms version of the same gun -SC- the nickname took and became the generic label of all guns of this type. My question is whether H & R had their own model designation, and is there any of the aforementioned ammo still made?

Dan- Your shotgun was made for use with .44 caliber cartridges, as a relatively small bore shotgun in the days before 1911 when the .410 bore cartridge was introduced. In those days, the smallbore niche was filled by l44 caliber shotshells, basically variations on the .44-40 Winchester case. These were used in various rifles, handguns and smoothbores, often for shooting exhibitions, such as Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show where the would shoot at glass balls filled with talcum powder, while galloping across the arena on horseback. As a combination of marketing gimmickry and product improvement, several variations of the cartridges existed, such at the Marble’s “Game Getter” which had the advantage of not having to worry about overall length or shape of the case mouth since it was a break open design, not needing to feed through a lever rifle, or constrained by cylinder length.

There is a really excellent discussion of the various .44 shotshells and origin of the .410 shotshell at and anyone looking for loading info needs to check out their subsequent page since this ammo is not commercially available anymore.

I really recommend everyone take a few minutes and read the first of those articles. Before heading to the catalog pages to buy all the cool stuff you never knew you wanted or needed. John Spangler

# 14973 - Serial Number 315xxx

???? - M10911 - 0.45 - 5.0 - Blue - 315XXX -

Eagle inspectors mark, S8 underneath Have receiver. Was it made by Springfield or Colt

Lew, I will phrase my reply in kind. Serial numbers 223xxx - 573xxx were manufactured in 1918 by Colt. Marc

# 14854 - GECO Sportbuchse Rear Sight
Stuart Bourbonnais Il.

Geco Sportbuchse - Mod.37 - 22 Long Rifle - 27.58 Inchs - Blue - 1724 -

Missing rear sight. Having no luck finding org. part. Like to know if there is other rail type open sight I can look for to fit this gun. I don't want to alter the gun.

Stuart- Sorry we cannot help with that one, especially if you insist on keeping it original. About the only places you might try would be Garry Fellers (on our links page) who deals exclusively in sights, and he might have one. Or, try the German Gun Collectors Association (Google them) to see if anyone there has something, perhaps even an otherwise trashed rifle to cannibalize. John Spangler

# 14968 - Totally Out Of Luck
Mark - Cypress, CA

Colt - 1911? - 45 - Standard Issue - Don`t Know - UNK -

How would I go about searching for the above item - it was sold to a gun collector in either Newton or Hutchinson, KS around the year 2000 - the item belonged to my maternal great uncle, who was killed in action and is buried in France. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Mark, finding your great uncle's pistol would be very difficult to almost impossible even if you had the serial number, without the serial number I am afraid that you are totally out of luck. Marc

# 14969 - Do You Do Gunsmithing?

Hey was just wondering do you do gunsmithing to the point you can help me with a op rod replacement?

Sorry, we do not do gunsithing. Recommend that you try East Creek Precision, here is a link to their website:

Hope this helps, Marc

# 14852 - Hercules Brand Pen Gun For Gas Shells

Hercules - 35 - 38 - 1.5 Inches - Blue - F7707 -

My husband found this in his mothers things. We were wondering if it has any value. It is a Hercules 38 gas munitions pen gun. It does not have any cartridges and is not in a box. It fits in your pocket of your shirt and looks like a fat pen. We can not find information on this on the internet and were looking to sell it. please contact us if you have any use for such a thing.

Ariel- Such items were popular in the 1920s, the concept being that a “pen” with a spring loaded firing pin could be used to fire a cartridge containing a capsule of tear gas (or a lead bullet) to incapacitate an attacker. They reportedly worked okay with special tear gas cartridges, but even small ones made in .22 caliber instead of .38 caliber were pretty dangerous for use with a regular bullet due to their flimsy construction. Although not intended for use with real bullets, the mere fact that they COULD be loaded with one, even if likely to self destruct on firing) they BATF places them in the same category as a sawed off shotgun.

Not, the bad news for you. Unless that is already registered with BATF it is contraband and can only get you in serious trouble. They cannot be owned or transferred without a special permit from BATF.

You should call them and arrange to turn it in for destruction. Or, if you think they should be out taking guns away from drug dealers and the like instead of worrying about stuff like this, you may want to just get rid of it on your own and not bother them.

I suspect that yours was chambered for a very weak .38 S&W cartridge loaded with black powder to fire a tear gas charge, not any of the higher pressure loads with a real bullet, and certainly not any modern loads. It would be unsafe to shoot with ANY ammo as far as I am concerned. Hope that helps. John Spangler

# 14849 - M351 Sight
Susan, Indian River, MI, United States

?????? - Sight M-351 - None - None - Blue - 6-8606 -

Sight M-351. Number on front plate 6-8606. Number on back plate 2-8607. Number on Mounting plate 1-8607 I would like to know if you can identify this sight. What it may have been mounted to at one time. And possible the age of the sight. Any information you could provide would be appreciated. We have a small machine shop and manufacture various ''modern'' gun parts. It has been knocking around the shop for several years and has been a great conversation piece but no one seems to know its story. Thank you in advance. -Susan

Susan- You have me stumped on this one. I am pretty sure it is not small arms related. It may be artillery related, but may be from a tank, or even for aligning optical or radio equipment or antennas. Photos would help narrow it down a bit. The nomenclature sounds U.S. military, and the numbers on the parts are similar to part numbers based on a drawing number. Sorry. John Spangler

# 14966 - Winchester Model 100
Athena Moriarty, NM

Winchester - 100 - .308 - 24'' - Other - A248968 -

I inherited my .308 Winchester from my mother who she received it from her father. I would like to find out where and when the rifle was made. I do not want to get rid of it, just want to find the history on it.

Athena, over 262,000 Winchester Model 100 rifles were made between 1961 and 1973, your Model 100 was manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1972.

Model 100 rifles had 22 inch barrels and checkered pistol grip stocks before 1964, the stock checkering was changed to an impressed basket weave pattern after 1964. Carbines had 19 inch barrels with a plane pistol grip stock that had a front barrel band. Model 100 carbines were produced from 1967 to 1973.

You should know that there was a recall on Winchester Model 100's, it was found that the Winchester Model 100 firing pin may break due to use and metal fatigue and become lodged in the breech bolt face. If this occurs, the firearm may fire before the action is locked causing damage to the firearm and injury to the shooter and/or bystanders.

A new firing pin was designed to replace the original. The old firing pin was lathe turned - round. The new style is similar on the front and back but in the front midsection, it has two flats milled, one on each side making the center section much stronger. Winchester advised against use of Model 100 rifles until a replacement pin could be installed and asked Model 100 owners to send rifles to an authorized service center for firing pin replacement.

Upon completion of the recall/repair, the shop doing the work was to have test fired the gun and stamped an assigned letter on the inside top of the receiver as seen through the magazine well with the bolt retracted. These letters were assigned to various repair centers and are important in helping you determine if the repair was made to your rifle.

You can obtain additional info from Winchester and find out if your rifle has already had the modifications added by calling 1-800-852-5734. This is a dedicated line/number for owners of the Winchester 100 concerning the firing pin recall issue. Marc

# 14847 - DWM Berlin In .243 Caliber
Rick Fitzgerald Lewistown Pa

Deutsche Waffen Und 703 - 243 - 23'' - Blue - R4695 -

The stock has a stamp with the year 1805 on it in a circle , Can't make out what is in the circle I just purchased this Rifle , it is a 243 Cal and would like to know value and Manufacture Date, Not sure about the Serial Number as the number 4 is very hard to read. The Rifle is in Real good Condition ,

Rick- I regret we cannot help much on this one. First, I doubt if it was made in its current configuration, and suspect it was originally a military rifle that got “sporterized” along the way. It was made in Germany by DWM, but they also made tens of thousands of rifles for other countries, and the rifles made for Argentina are frequently used as the basis for sporting rifles. The letter before the serial number is not typical German military format, but I cannot tell who did use it. Value- no idea, outside my area of expertise (and interest). John Spangler

# 14924 - Maker - Marca Registrada?
David, Talladega, Al

Marca Registrada - ? - 32 auto - 2 in. - Blue - FA69336 -

has several proof marks can anyone tell me what this gun is and where it came from. my friend found it in a box of things her husband had. thanks for the help.

David, I am not a Spanish speaker but I believe that Marca Registrada means trademark, it is not the brand name. My guess, as always offered with a full money back guarantee, is that this is one of the cheap Spanish "Saturday Night Special" types that were mostly imported before WWII. Marc

# 14846 - Navy Arms Henry Rifle- Engraved
Patrick, St. Martinville, La.

Henry - 1860 - .44 Cal. Rimfire - Correct To Specs. - Blue - 147 -

Reproduction by Navy Arms circa mid 1950`s. Brass receiver finely etched with name Lettler centered on the left side of receiver. Weapon is in excellent condition. All old records at Navy Arms are gone. Supposedly only 50 were engraved. Can you shed any further info on this gun? Is the name on the receiver the artist or a recipient for some honor or award? If only 50 were ordered, then by whom? For what purpose? What is a possible value of the gun. I can send a photo.

Patrick- First a little history lesson. Navy Arms Company was founded by the late Val Forgett, and was the earliest maker (or actually importer from Italy) of replica Civil War arms. In 1956 he began dealing in mainly surplus military arms, and had prior Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) training. In 1958 he got a contract to clear the famous “Bannerman’s Island Arsenal” of all the live explosive artillery ammunition stored there. That provided the funding which he used to get into the replica arms business. (There is a fascinating account by one of Forgett’s helpers on this experience at Note that the Val Forgett who started Navy arms is the father of “Val, III” the owner of the Gibbs Rifle Company in West Virginia, also a great guy and major collector.

Navy Arms first products were replica Colt Navy and Confederate brass frame copies and Remington “Zouave” rifles, arriving on the market just in time for the burst of interest in these old guns with the Civil War Centennial in 1961. William B. Edwards’ excellent “Civil War Guns” tells the full story of how Forgett got into the replica arms business (with Edwards not fare behind him!). The earliest copies of the Henry rifle were indeed made by (or for) Navy Arms, but in the late 1970s, not the 1950s. An excellent site on all the replica Henry rifles, including shooting them and use of the originals during the Civil War, is which I highly recommend. They indicate that the first run of Navy Arms Henry rifles was 500 rifles, followed by 1,000 carbines with 21 inch barrels, all in .44-40 centerfire. They also mention that a few were offered in .44 Henry rimfire caliber. These early guns used two sideplate screws, unlike the originals and the newer copies which only had one screw. The Blue Book of Gun Values indicates that only 50 of the early rifles were engraved. My guess is that maybe the engraved ones were also the ones made in .44 rimfire. As far as the “Lettler” inscribed on the gun, I think you are correct that it was presented as some sort of honor or award. My guess it that it may have been to a winner of a shooting match, possibly in the North-South Skirmish Association competitions. In any case, I don’t think the name adds to, or detracts from the value of the gun. I don’t follow value on any of the replicas, so cannot help with that, but they are neat guns, and since the price of any of the 14,000 original Henry rifles starts in the low five figure range, most of us will have to be content with a replica like this.

Remember, brass frames are easily engraved, and while many were factory (or period) engraved, many more have been “enhanced” by con artists seeking to make a quick profit from some cheap engraving. Reminds me of the old Winchester collector joke- “I just saw a rare Henry rifle- it is NOT engraved.” John Spangler

# 14965 - Kodiak 158
Cary TN

Kodiak - 158 - .243 - 20-24in.?? - Blue - K 232? -

There is a marking on the bolt, but it's hard to see. Could be a crown and/or a lion? My dad gave me this awesome little rifle for my birthday last year. All I know is the make and model (It has Kodiak New Haven, Ct. Model 158 stamped on the barrel.) and that he bought it new in he thinks either 1964 or 1965. I don't immediately see what looks to be a serial number, but the only other thing I see stamped on it is K 232. Possible serial number? Anyways, I have tried researching this rifle for any other info I can find on it, but no such luck. I've see a few posts on forums stating the same few bits of information on Kodiak rifles. Can anyone please give me some new info or a lead or two on where to research? I can't even find an actual website to search. Please help! Thanks in advance!

Cary, I was unable to find much information on this brand, only that Kodiak manufactured the Model 158 centerfire bolt action rifle and the Model 458 slide action shotgun. They also manufactured the Kodiak model 260 which was the first semi-automatic rifle to be chambered in .22 magnum. Sources indicate that Kodiak firearms were well made but there is not much collector interest. Marc

# 14839 - Remington Rolling Block Rifle ( Danish? )
Pete- Dafter Mich.

Remington Rolling Block - 1864/66 - 45/11mm - 35.5 - Blue - 71XXX -

all metal parts are marked with a crown stamp similar to the Liege proof mark. Chamber casting puts it at .458 bore dia. but longer and larger dia. chamber than 45/70 What caliber is it and what army used it?

Pete- In addition to being used in the U.S., the Remington rolling block rifles were widely used around the world. As a result, they were made in a wide variety of calibers, and some of the foreign users also bought manufacturing rights, so they will be found with a variety of maker, proof, inspection, acceptance or unit markings. You really need to get a copy of George Layman’s book “Remington Rolling Block Military Rifles of the World” and go through there country by country to compare the markings and other details.

I don’t have time to do that right now, but I have a pretty strong hunch that you have a Model 1867 rifle made for or by Denmark. These were chambered for a 11.7 x 51mm Rimmed cartridge very similar to, but not interchangeable with the .45-70 (although a lot of people have survived shooting .45-70 ammo in them- a matter of luck more than anything else in my opinion.) These usually have a crown on the left side of the receiver, often over the date 1867. The rear sights usually have a very long leaf, and the breech blocks show that they were once set up for a rimfire cartridge, and later converted to centerfire. If that matches yours, what do I win? John Spangler

# 14964 - Crack-Shot 22
Peter Sewell, NJ

J Stevens arms and tool - 22 long rifle - 22 - 19''? - Don't Know - H 159 -

Chicopee Falls, Ma. *Crack-Shot* I'm trying to figure out the date of manufacture and any other information that might be of interest about this gun I received from my father. It's hard to tell the serial number as it looks to be H 0159 or perhaps just H 159. This is the first gun I ever fired. Likely about 40 years ago. My father got it from his father. Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

Peter, Stevens first offered the Crack-Shot rifle in about 1900, it was an inexpensive boys type rifle with a 20 inch round barrel and weight of about 3.75 pounds. Early Crack-Shot rifles had an automatic safety-slide behind the hammer, which had to be held back manually as the trigger was pressed. The automatic safety was not popular and most owners removed the safety-slide spring to alter safety operation from automatic to manual. Production of Crack-Shots rifles ceased by 1913. Marc

# 14835 - Unmarked Old “pirate Gun”
mike Padilla Lutz fl

Don't Know -

I have what looks like an old pirate gun. Where do I find the markings on it.

Mike- Federal laws did not require manufacturers to mark guns with serial numbers until 1968, although most put their names on guns from the time they started business. However, in the era of pirates, gun making was till pretty much all hand work and markings were limited, with many gunsmiths illiterate, or with no incentive to mark their name on their products. Thus, it is quite possible that there never were any markings applied for you to find. If we had some photos we could probably make a guess as to when and where it was made. John Spangler

# 14954 - Winchester Model 1886

Winchester - 1886 - 50-110 - 28 Inches - Molted Blue And Gray - 81XXX -

An extra sight attached to the stock that elevates. What year was this rifle made, does it have any collector value?

Patrick, The Winchester Model 1886 was John Browning's first high power lever action rifle design, it had a 26 in. round or octagon barrel, tubular magazine, steel forend cap, and a straight walnut stock. The 1886 was offered in .33 WCF, .30-56 WCF, .38-70 WCF, .40-65 WCF, .40-70 WCF, .40-82 WCF, .45-70, .45-90, .50- 110 Express, and .50-100-450. The 1886 is distinguishable by the vertical locking bars that it employs. Winchester manufactured approximately 159,990, model 1886 rifles between 1886 and 1935. Our Winchester Dates of Manufacture page will tell you that your model 1886 was manufactured in 1893. Things that are old and have "Winchester" stamped on them are just about always valuable. Values for Winchester 1886 rifles chambered in 50-110 can go as high as $6000 depending upon condition. Let us know if you want to sell it... Marc

Return to Collectors Headquarters.