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# 1340 - Rifle- French Lebel
7/28/98
Thijs Heslenfeld, Holland,

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Lebel 8?? Unknown Unknown Unknown

I'm a collector of WW-1-relics, travelling to France together with a friend once or twice a year. Last trip, about a month ago, I found a Lebel rifle in pretty good condition, especially considering the fact that it has been resting in the mud for over80 years! (We found 4-5 rifles before, but all of these were in bad condition).I am now considering the possibility of restoring this Lebel (especially since I found the fitting bayonet a couple of years ago). So my question is simple: do you have any information available on the technical details from this rifle or do you know any links that could help me? I'd appreciate it if you could mail me the answer! Thank you very much in advance, This

Answer:
Thijs- Sorry, we don't usually provide individual responses for our free answers. The only info I have on the Lebel would come from "Small Arms of the World" or "French Military Weapons." There may be a site with info on the Lebel, but I am not aware of it. One of our customers, Dr. Mike Kerrigan, is working on a site with info on many military rifles, so check our links and see if he has something... John Spangler


# 1337 - Springfield .45-70 Carbine
7/28/98
James , Corpus Christi, Texas

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
U.S. Springfield 1878 45-70 22" Unknown 343433

Markings: LM 1886 above trigger on left side and a V above a P on the barrel. This rifle was given to me in Fla. in 1956 by my uncle. I, was told it had been in the family for years. The saddle ring is missing otherwise the rifle is in great shape. Any info. would be of great help. Thanks

Answer:
James- This sounds like a typical standard .45-70 carbine. The serial number is in a range with mostly other carbines, and the barrel length is correct, and even if the ring is missing, the presence of the bar is standard for a carbine. It is usually hard to read the script letters in the inspector cartouche, but if is probably SWP for Samuel W. Porter who was responsible for inspection of most of the trapdoors after Erskine S. Allin (ESA) died. There is no specific information available on where your carbine might have served. If you ever want to sell it, we would be glad to help... John Spangler


# 1328 - Winchester 1894 Rifle
7/28/98
Matt, Brenham, Texas,

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester 1894 30-30 26 0ctagonal Blue 809623

It has FS and then another letter, which is scratched out, stamped into the right side of the stock, about 2" from the buttplate. I know from the serial number that this gun was made in 1917, but I wonder what the complete marking in the stock is, and what does it stand for?

Answer:
Matt- This is one we cannot help with. You may be able to get a Winchester" Factory Letter" from the museum at Cody which would indicate where the gun was originally shipped. That might help decipher the FS? Mystery. There were some Model 94 carbines purchased during WW1 for use by folks involved with harvesting timber for the aircraft industry (made from wood frames and covered with fabric in those days). These carbines are marked with U.S and an ordnance bomb on the barrel. Beyond that I do not know of any peculiar markings. Maybe it belonged to Florence Smith-Jones who got divorced and got rid of the offending initial... John Spangler


# 1325 - Winchester Model 94 .32WCF Rifle
7/25/98
M Smith Jax, FL

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester 94 32 Special Unknown Unknown 233XXXX

In 1980 my grandfather bought a gun from a man who said it had never been fired , it is a Winchester model 94 rifle chambered for a .32 special it has a number on the receiver 233xxxx the rifle is in factory new condition by NRA standards. It also came with an original box of ammunition. I was wondering if you may be able to tell me when it was made , value, and any thing else of interest about the rifle. It is not a special edition, just a standard rifle, blue finish, no special markings, but in factory new condition. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Answer:
Sir- Your rifle was made in 1958. (I found that out by looking it up in our link over on the left side of the page, way down at the bottom for checking dates of manufacture for Winchesters. Got one for US military stuff too! Love it!) The "pre 1964" Winchesters are excellent quality and good collector items. A good price guide lists it at about $450 in 100% condition. If you have the box and tags collectors would be very interested. Minus box and tags, and adding some scratches and nicks and you quickly get into the nice shooter category. Add a whole lot of wear and you get into the pickup truck category and a $200 price tag. Hope this helps... John Spangler


# 1324 - Springfield .45-70 Carbine
7/25/98
Bill, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
U.S. Springfield Trapdoor Carbine .45-70 20.75" Blue 112661

U.S. Springfield with eagle on lockplate, Model of 1884 on front of breechblock, V P (symbol that looks like a hieroglyphic) P all arranged vertically on left rear of barrel, A centered on top rear of barrel, no markings on stock at all (no visible cartouches). I have an odd ball Trapdoor that I bought for $100 in 1967 (with Rock Island arsenal market saddle scabbard). It is it really nice shape, but I seriously wonder if it is an original carbine. The blue finish on the breechblock and lockplate is "bluer" than the barrel. It has a trapdoor opening in the buttstock, with a three-piece cleaning rod inside. There is a saddle ring mounted on a round metal bar inset into the stock on the left hand side. The rear site is hooded in front (to make replacing in the scabbard easier ?), and the sight has etched numbers for both windage and elevation adjustments (screw for windage, knurled set-screw to lock in elevation adjustment). The adjustment lines running along the rear sight run up to 19 on the right side, topped with the letter C (at the barrel end of the sight), and then 19 is repeated at the receiver end on the left side, followed by 20. The wood is unmarked, but is in really nice shape, with a single barrel band running under the front end of the rear sight, with the hood running over the front end of the sight. Hope all this gibberish makes sense to you. My question: any chance this is a real carbine, or is it a cut-down rifle? I have heard there is a quasi-official "Model of 1890", which was a carbine assembled at the Springfield Armory from leftover parts of previous model runs. Could this be what I have? Any real value to it? would be funny if the short scabbard (about 18" or so long, in real good shape) is worth more than the gun.....*grin*. Thanks for your help!!!

Answer:
Bill- Sounds like a real carbine except for the barrel length. It should be 22 inches measured from the face of the closed breech to the muzzle. Check again. If that is okay, then check the front sight. It should slope inward toward the top on all four sides, and the blade is held in by a transverse pin. The serial number is in a range that has mostly rifles in documents that have been discovered so far. An "out of range" example is not impossible, but calls for caution. The band in front of the sight with the ramp section was adopted in 1890 to reduce the number of sights being broken if the leaf were opened up and bent back when inserting in the scabbard. These were replaced in the field and are no big deal. There is no indication that any carbines were assembled from left over parts as model 1890. (The did make some carbines and rifles by recycling most parts except for new receivers, breechblocks and stocks mated to the rest of the parts from early Model 1873 arms. These usually have a "star" following the serial number, but all that is beyond the scope of your question.) Assuming everything checks out, a real carbine is worth about $650 in NRA antique good, and as much as $1750 in NRA antique fine. If a cut down rifle, value is much less, but with repro carbines from Italy selling for over $600, it would still have some value for a reenactor or collector with a real tight budget. The scabbard (assuming it is the type with the brass throat piece) is worth about $100-300 depending on condition. We have a couple on our catalog page if you want to stock up on some more... John Spangler


# 1323 - Browning .50 BMG M1921
7/25/98
Chris, Wellington, New Zealand.

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Browning M1921A1 Water Cooled 12.7mm (50 Cal) 66 Inch ? ?

Where do we look for technical drawings or details of these weapons? Specific information is needed in order to assist a museum in restoring some of these water cooled 50 cal anti aircraft guns. They arrived in NZ about 1942/43 after being removed from US Navy ships being refitted at Pearl Harbor, they were replaced by the standard M2HB. These weapons or mainly the barrels and water jackets are being recovered from a swamp where they have lain since about 1946.

Answer:
Chris- Sounds like an interesting project. I do not know of a good source for manuals on this model. However, everything but the water cooling parts should be nearly identical to the standard M2 air cooled model that has been used by most countries for the last 50 plus years. The cooling system is probably made on the same principle as the M1917A1 .30 caliber. Manuals for both those should be much easier to get. From 26 years experience, I know the US Navy has very little interest in small arms, and especially those no longer in service. I think it would be a waste of time to contact them. Since New Zealand no longer permits US warships to stop in your ports, they are not likely to go out of their way to assist, even though we were once close friends. There are a couple of web sites focused on machine guns, and they might be more helpful. Wish we could do more, we like to support museum projects when we can... John Spangler


# 1322 - Colt "Extra American" Pistol
7/21/98
Les, West Milford, NJ, USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Colt Colt Extra American 35 On Left Side--#40 On Barrel 5-1/2" Blue- Engraved SG1913

Colt Extra American on top of barrel, patent system under cylinder5 shot cylinder, R & W stamped on right side.#94 on ram also under ivory handle. #775 on bottom of end of barrel. engraved with crossflags and crowns, cylinder engraved with ships and what looks like train cars, also has #40 ON IT The gun was taken off a German soldier in 1944 in the Rhine. I seen an antique show a little while ago and got my curiosity up. I think the gun is in decent shape with the exception that one side of the ivory handle split from tightening the screw too tight. If you could tell me something about this gun it would sure make me happy thanks a million les

Answer:
Les- I am certain that this was not made by Colt in Hartford, Conn, USA. I believe it is a copy made in Belgium or perhaps Spain, but marked to fool buyers into thinking they were getting a real Colt. I think the most likely period is 1890-1930. These were inexpensive pieces when new, and although it is engraved, it is likely that it is not high quality engraving. I do not know of any collector interest in guns like this... John Spangler


# 1319 - Lindner's Patent Rifle(?)
7/21/98
Ted, Antioch, Ca,

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown About 12 Inches Wood Stock, Little Brass Unknown

Gun: Edward Lindner's Patent, March 29, 1859 Just received a family hand down, interested in it's history, where it was made, etc. The only markings on the gun are above. It has a screw opening in the breach to load the gun, it is a cap and ball type, caliber looks like about 60. This may be a cutdown from a rifle, but if so done very well.

Answer:
Ted- Sounds very interesting. This could be a rifle cut down to pistol size. However, I have a hunch it may be a patent model or an inventor's sample to show the mechanism. The Lindner design I am familiar with was applied to several different arms as a means of converting them to breechloaders, and I believe some were also made from scratch. All of these are fairly scarce. If just a cut down, the value will not be great (but not junk either). If a patent model or inventor's sample it would probably have a fair amount of interest and value, but to a limited number of advanced collectors. Please send a photo (as close as possible) and a note with all markings and we will try to figure out exactly what you have. If you decide to sell, we could help with that as well... John Spangler


# 1318 - Rifle- Mosin Nagant 91/44 Sniper
7/21/98
Rolando

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Nagant 91/44 Sniper(?) Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I got a Russian Moisin Nagant 91/44 Sniper(?). I heard about the 91/30 Sniper but never heard about a 91/44 Sniper. Does the 91/44 really exist or was this made just to increase the value by the previous owner?

Answer:
Rolando- There are a lot of real Mosin Nagant snipers available. Unfortunately also a lot of fakes made from rifles selling for well under $100 and a scope and mount selling for about the same, so people trip over themselves paying much, much more than that for the two pieces cobbled together. Here is a place to get some good info. :"The Russian Mosin Nagant Page" http://home.eznet.net/~rwheel Good luck... John Spangler


# 1317 - Rifle- Lee Enfield "US PROPERTY"
7/18/98
Rolando

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Enfield #4 MK1 Unknown Unknown Unknown 23C9706

I got an Enfield #4 MK1 made by Savage in 1942(?) serial # 23C9706. It has the letter S between the serial # an the year of manufacture. It says "U.S. PROPERTY" on the receiver and the stamp of U.S. Ordnance. I got four other #4s but this one has red paint around the receiver, around the handguards and around the stock. It also has a white stripe on the left side of the stock. What is the meaning of this paint? Is this some kind of personal identification made by the soldier who carried this rifle?

Answer:
Rolando- Your Enfield was made by Savage Arms Co. and paid for by the U.S. taxpayers (hence the US PROPERTY and ordnance bomb markings) but strictly for shipment to the British under the "Lend Lease" program. These saw service in various Commonwealth countries and remotely friendly states over the next 40 years. Marking practices varied among different users, but colored stripes usually marked arms as restricted to use for drill purposes or roles other than first line equipment. I doubt that Privates Arthur, Erin, Ahab, or Zawilli would have been permitted to paint stripes on for personalization as it made its way from British to South African to Egyptian to Rhodesian service. Of course, perhaps a circus felt decoration was appropriate at some later point. I once saw a play which had a number of actors carrying SMLE Enfields, (minus stock decorations). "Oh What a Lovely War" was a musical about WW1 that really drove home the point that war is a horrible ugly thing. You owe it to those who have served to see it if you ever get the chance, I think it may be available as an obscure video. Wish our Coward-in Chief had seen it before sending troops to Somolia for purposeless sacrifices while he stayed in the oval office getting b.... (well, kids might be reading so we won't go on.). Check our links for some sites that specialize in the Lee Enfield and they may be able to tell you more useful information... John Spangler


# 1313 - Telescope Repair
7/18/98
Sid

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Prcar-Berlin 3x7 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I have a Pecar-Berlin 3x7 scope with a broken reticule. Do you know who can repair or replace the reticule for me? The scope has sentimental value and would prefer not to discard it.

Answer:
Sid- You came to the wrong guy. I can break crosshairs, but not fix them. Usually they are tiny thin wires or pieces of spider web stretched in a holder inside the scope. Sometimes they are etched into the face of a lens, harder to break and fix). Unertl and Weaver and Leuepold scopes are easy to get fixed by their makers, but yours may be tougher. Recommend you post on our free "Wanted" page "Looking for recommendations for good scope repair person". Good luck... John Spangler


# 1312 - Colt Revolving Carbine
7/18/98
Rick, Lititz, Pa., USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Colt Civil War Revolver Carbine 50 21 3/4 Brown 6217

Need help in finding picture or plans for reproduction of wooden forearm. I do have a picture (JPG) if needed. Any help would be appreciated and compensated for. Thank you

Answer:
Rick- These are fine guns, and pretty pricey. One of the most awesome displays I ever saw at a gun show was in Pottstown PA (where they still have great shows at the Sunnybrook Ballroom). The late Henry M. Stewart had three tables on the stage with virtually every variation of Colt revolving Rifle known. UNBELIEVABLE! Fortunately they are all now with the rest of his collection at the Virginia Military Institute, where they have a long tradition of excellence in preparing military and civic leaders. If they have not wasted all their money building women's rest rooms and handicapped ramps to comply with goofy equal rights requirements, they will eventually build an addition to their excellent museum to put his collection on display. Until then, the best source of info would be illustrations in Robert Reilly's "U.S. Military Small Arms 1816-1865" and Larry Wilson's superb "Book of Colt Firearms." Maybe you can justify a visit (after making prior arrangements) to the Cody Firearms Museum Cody, Wyoming... John Spangler


# 1310 - Shotgun- Iver Johnson "Knox-all"
7/18/98

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I would like any information about a Knox-all Iver Johnson shotgun.

Answer:
Dear Mystery man- I can understand your reluctance to give your name. I would be embarrassed to own one of these too. No mention in my reference books, but undoubtedly one of the cheap jobs sold circa 1890-1930... John


# 1297 - Springfield .45-70 Rifle
7/14/98
Robert, Richmond, VA, US

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Springfield US Model 1878 (on Trapdoor) Unknown 32 5/8 (Inside Barrel) Blue ?? I Think 347769

"V" and "P" and Eagle Head on barrel behind sight slightly to the left, "A" behind sight on barrel top, "F" on barrel near the Eagle Head, "P" in circle behind trigger guard, "SWP 1886"stamped on left side of stock above trigger. What is best way to free up 2 knurled screws on sight? WD 40, or some lighter oil? Does the cleaning rod unscrew before pulling it out, or does it come out only by pulling? Date of manufacture (looks like 1886)caliber, and would like any specific info about to whom rifle was issued if available. Thanks very much. Bob McEachern for any info that can be supplied

Answer:
Robert- Your rifle was made about 1886 and inspected by Samuel W. Porter as indicated by the inspector "cartouche" on the left side of the stock. There is no available history on where this specific rifle was used, although many were issued to volunteer units during the Spanish American War. All markings are standard for this model. I am a great fan of WD-40 for lots of things, so that would be a good choice for freeing the knobs on the Model 1884 "Buffington" rear sight. The cleaning rod (you used the correct term, as these were no longer "ramrods" used for loading, but merely for cleaning) is only held by a small catch that engages in the groove visible about 6 inches back from the tip. Simply bend the rod slightly downward, away from the barrel and pull out. Hope you make it a point to get out to the Richmond Fairgrounds for the "Great Southern Gun Shows" Excellent shows, and some of the few in the country that keep out non-gun related vendors. Tell Courtney Smith that John Spangler sent you, and he will still charge you to get in, but it will be worth it... John Spangler


# 1292 - Shotgun, High Standard Model 10A/B Bullpup
7/14/98
Joshua Barach

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Hi-Standard Model 10A Or B 12 Gauge Legal, I Forget-16 Or 18 Inches Parkerized don't have time to look up

Police Shotgun, Bullpup style, does not have the integral flashlight but has a mount with two pegs and a screw for a flashlight/scope/whatever. Also has a top mounted carrying handle. This is a semi-automatic shotgun with a swivel shoulder/inner elbow rest and a flip up site on the front. Please tell me if you know where I can get a flashlight mount, preferably original, for my Hi-Standard Police Riot shotgun. The mount is near the front of the gun and has two alignment pegs on either side of a thumb operated swivel bolt that was apparently made for an optional flashlight mount. I would like to buy the mount and if possible a flashlight or at least find a picture of this original accessory so that I can arrange to have a custom machinist manufacture this part. This gun is rather rare. I hear that some people carried similar guns as part of their tunnel clearing duties in the Vietnam war. The gun is essentially a standard semi-automatic gun in a black polymer bull-pup frame with a collapsible carrying handle on top and a swiveling shoulder/inner-elbow rest and a flip-up front sight. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Joshua Barach, Charlotte NC hood.prospects@mci2000.com

Answer:
Joshua- I can not confirm any official military usage of these in Vietnam. (Hey check with CNN/Time Magazine, they can probably prove that one was used to assassinate President Lincoln) Check with Gun Parts Corp (see our links) as they have many parts for these in their latest catalog, but I am not sure if they have exactly what you need... John Spangler


# 1291 - Rifle, German Sniper SSG-82
7/14/98
bill white salmon WA. Us

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
East German Sniper Rifle Ssg-82 5.45x39 23 Inches Blued W/birch Type Stock Unknown

These rifles were made in suhl Germany in the early 80's for the east German security forces. have a 4x ziess scope, w/detach mounts. have hammer forged barrels, chambered for 5.45x39. no other markings except caliber exist on the rifle. I need a source to research this further, I want to know who exactly made these firearms, and how many were made. The scopes by the way are dated 1956. Thanks.

Answer:
Bill- I know notheeng! Even if you haff vays to make me talk, I still know notheeng! You might ask over on the Century Arms page. They seem to attract people interested in that sort of item... John Spangler


# 1290 - Artillery Shell Fragment
7/14/98
Lachlan

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I've just been given a WW1 shell fuse by my friend, he found it near Lilles in France. I have taken it to my local militaria shop and they have managed to tell me that it is British and nothing else. The item is approx. 70mm high by 70mm at it's widest point, constructed of 6 sections in brass and copper. Third from the bottom there is a graduated ring with numbers up to 21 (timer?) and what appears to be a button, there are several markings on it which are as follows. Lot No. 3031No. 851ALCO (beside this a superimposed A and V in a circle) L (diamond with upward pointing arrow in it) L 7 And, on the largest section the number 52 in a circle and an up arrow and a circle. There are some more markings but these are obscured by damage, it has obviously went off at some point. It is threaded at the base and there are 2 grooves for a spanner of some sort , which I assume are to screw onto shell. I would greatly appreciate any information you could provide on this item I imagine that it is not valuable but I am interested in whatever you can tell me about it. Yours sincerely Lachlan

Answer:
Lachlan- Even seeing this we probably could not help much. Brass was commonly used in manufacture of artillery fuses as it is easy to machine, will not spark, and does not corrode easily. A series of numbers up to 21 probably indicates the number of seconds that the fuse could be set for. Then, when fired, the shock of firing would start a clockwork mechanism that would ignite the powder charge at the desired time of flight. Ideally this would be right over the heads of the bad guys. These are called "mechanical time fuzzes" a vast improvement over earlier fuzzes that simply had a slow burning powder train that was not as accurate or reliable. With several arrow markings, it certainly sounds British (a "broad arrow" marking being used to denote government property of all sorts), although they could be pointers to assist in lining up moving parts of the fuse. A 21 second limit was used on US (and probably French) three inch or 75mm shells in the WW1 period. However, those fuses are only about 50mm x 50mm. Yours could be from a 105mm or 155mm shell. The British had various comparable sizes by different names (18 pounder perhaps?) There is very little readily available info on artillery items outside of a few seldom seen government manuals. Hicks' "French Military Weapons" is very good, and Ian Hogg has several artillery related books with a wealth of information. After that, start looking in dark corners of musty old bookstores. Be very careful with any ordnance item to ensure it does not have any explosive elements in it. These can be primers, powder trains, igniters, booster charges, or even the main explosive charge. Some folks have Civil War shells by the fireplace that still have powder charges in them, and we occasionally find old muzzle loading arms that have been loaded for decades. Artillery items can be an interesting collecting hobby, but only for careful people... John Spangler


# 1282 - Rifle, Double Barrel Muzzle - Loading
7/11/98
Sue, Potomac, Md. USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
R Ashmore & Son? Muzzle Loader Over And Under ? 36" Maybe Nickel ?

Muzzle loader; curly maple; 2 barrels, one on top of other; engraved brass on stock; raised brass cheekplate with elongated8 pt star above it; brass lid opens on stock for small compartment; decorative pewter plate above brass trigger says RAShMORE & SON. Small plate at beginning of barrel says W LIN& CO. Bottom of barrel is stamped J. HILLEGAS. Sights on both barrels; single ramrod held in place by brass holders. Recently inherited. Was grandfather's who was born in 1847. Family was German>Penn.>KY>Ind. and suspect it may be a PA/KY long rifle? Gun was passed from oldest son to my father(youngest) and we think it may have been in the family for several generations. Any history you could tell us about this gun would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Answer:
Sue- Wow! Nice Gun!!! Let's see what it can tell us. Joseph Hillegas worked in Pottsville, PA circa 1810-1841 as a maker of flintlock pistols and rifles according to Frank Sellers "American Gunsmiths" (citing Dillon's "Kentucky Rifle" book. Most long rifles (we can call them either Pennsylvania or Kentucky, and let the specialists fight about the right name while we continue on) had only a single barrel, usually about 40-44 inches long and ranging in caliber from about .32 to .54. A small number of rifles were made with two barrels, in an over under arrangement, with a pivot between then and the rear portion of the rifle. However, the rifle only had a single lock and after firing the first barrel, the shooter had to turn the barrels so that the lower one now lined up with the lock. This is the reason it has sights on both barrels. These are usually called "Swivel breech" rifles, and are a neat variation of the long rifle. Since the barrel is the heaviest part of a muzzle loader, the use of two barrels required that they be shorter than the single barrel or the weight becomes excessive, hence your 36 inch length. Some "swivel breech" guns even had a combination of one rifle barrel and one smoothbore barrel for use as a shotgun. R. Ashmore is known to have been a gunmaker in London circa 1768-1785, "and son" probably dates around 1800, although there may be other Ashmores of a later period who made only locks. The "decorative pewter plate above the brass trigger[guard]" is probably what we would call the "lockplate". It is probably steel, and frequently locks were marked with the name of the lock maker, and sold to gunsmiths who would then make all the remaining pieces of the rifle themselves. Although most could also make locks, it was cheaper and faster to buy them already made. There is a great video available from Colonial Williamsburg which shows every step in making a long rifle. These were true craftsmen with expertise in blacksmithing, woodworking, silversmith/engraving, and a bit of an artist thrown in as well. A few modern gunsmiths have preserved this art and are to be admired. Check out our links for Contemporary Longrifle Association to learn more about these. I can find no information on W. Lin & Co. There was a family of gun makers in the Philadelphia area prior to the Civil War by the name of Lins, but none with initial W. Long rifles can best be identified by examining the design of the stock and the inlays. Each maker had their own style, and those in a geographic area tended to be somewhat similar, often having apprenticed to learn the craft under the same master. These are known as "schools" and advanced collectors can often identify the region or the maker with a quick look. Send some good photos (the closer the better plus an overall shot) to us at Box 711282, Salt Lake City, UT 84171 and we can get a expert to help us out. That gun should stay in your family. You need to write down as much history you can about the gun, and its previous owners, before it becomes "an old gun". Looking forward to the photos and digging into this some more... John Spangler


# 1281 - Lefever Shotgun Grade-??
7/11/98
armeans@msn.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Lefever DB Sidelock 12 GA 28 Blue 58495

"2" after the SN# on the water table. Highly engraved, with cocking indicators. There is no grade stamped in the usual place, only the aforementioned "2". What grade is the gun??

Answer:
Sir- Sounds like a pretty nice gun, far above my level of expertise to help with. About 36 years ago I fired a couple of shots from a Winchester Model 21 belonging to a friend's dad (JWR- you know who you are!) and have never fired another double in my life. You need to talk with someone who likes that kind of stuff and sees them on a regular basis. I believe there is an outfit in Findlay, Ohio by the name of Jaquay's that specializes in nice shotguns. Give them a call and see what they say. Sorry... John Spangler


# 1279 - Colt Army Special .38
7/11/98
Scott

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Colt New Army 38 4" Blue 429914

Greetings O Wise Ones: I have a Colt Army Special, originally my Grandfather's, passed down to me. After perusing Ron Wilson's book, "Colt, An American Legend", I am a bit confused about the serial number. He mentions serial numbers for some DA Colts as being on the butt, not the crane or frame, which is where I got the numbers above. Is 429914 indeed my serial number, or is it an assembly number? It is odd, as the number appears as: 429 91 4.If this is NOT the correct number, where in the heck is it? And if this is a proper number, I presume that it was made in 1918 or thereabouts, and is a relatively common model, worth around $250-300. I humbly await your learned counsel.

Answer:
Scott- Sorry, the Wise Ones don't live here. Our learned counsel isn't around either- he is busy chasing ambulances or cheating widows and orphans. Marc and I will try to help anyway. Larry Wilson's "Book of Colt Firearms" is an absolutely superb reference on all things Colt, and everyone who ever intends to buy a collectable Colt should invest $150 in this book. It may save you thousands, and has loads of pretty pictures to boot. I cannot say enough good about this book, even though I think his recent "Official Price Guide to Gun Collecting" is one of the most useless pieces of excrement to hit the collector market, and should be avoided at all costs. Anyway, page 343 clearly states that for the Army Special Model "The serial number [is] stamped on the crane and on the frame facing the crane. Serial # also appears written inside the grips." The serial number/date table confirms 1918 as your date of manufacture. The many models of Colt double action revolvers purchased by the military had serial numbers on the butt. In the case of the early (1889-1903) these were generally the same as the Colt serial number in the crane/frame. In the later 1909 Army ,Navy, and Marine Corps models and the Model 1917 revolvers, separate military serial numbers were on the butt quite different from the Colt numbers on the crane/frame... John Spangler


# 1278 - Kynoch Rifle .380 Caliber
7/11/98
Ed

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
KYNOCH Musket 380 Unknown Unknown Unknown

I have a single shot rifle manufactured by the KYNOCH gun factory I think it is a 380 caliber with the word "musket" misprinted. Can anyone tell me the era that this gun is and where it came from? It has been in my family for 50 years and I finally thought I try the Internet. My mother says my father got the gun from a curio shop when I was young and the guy told them it was from the Spanish- American war. Any help would be great thanks, Ed

Answer:
Ed- Sorry, we cannot help a lot on this one from the information you provided. It would have been helpful to know the type of action (falling block like a Martini, bolt action, break open) and ALL markings. My guess is that it is a Martini type action, or perhaps some other type that the Kynoch had available at low cost. The .380 Long (Rifle) cartridge is one that began in the 1870s, and was mainly popular in Germany for some rifles and cheap handguns. For all practical purposes it is the same as the old .38 Long Colt revolver cartridge. (Check with a competent gunsmith before shooting any ammunition in a gun not specifically marked as taking that type ammunition., or shooting any old gun of unknown caliber or condition.) This was mainly a short range target or small game cartridge. Probably not a valuable collector prize, but a nice old family gun... John Spangler


# 1396 - Japanese Arisaka Type 99
7/7/98
Allen

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Japan Type 99 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Maybe you can answer this: I just saw a Arisaka Type 99 7.7 rifle in a gunshop. This looked good because it had a sling, cleaning rod, bipod, aircraft sights, and the chrysanthemum! The only thing that threw me off was that the bolt did not have a serial number and the safety cap didn't have the small metal points that dig into your hand; it had concentric small rings instead. Looks like a vet bring-back since it has all the above pluses. Is it possible that Japanese didn't number some bolts? I appreciate any info you have on this because I'm thinking of buying it. Thanks

Answer:
Allen- Sounds like a good one. There are at least four different variations of the safety, knurled, grooved, smooth, and smooth with weld. Not a major factor. I don't recall Japanese bolts being numbered, but may be wrong on that. Lack of number would not stop me if it otherwise looked correct. If interested in Japanese rifles, you should invest in a copy of Japanese Military Rifles (5th ed) by Fred Honeycutt and Pat Anthony. Really great coverage and you can discover a zillion variations most of which are still fairly cheap. Good luck John


# 1394 - Unrealistic Expectations?
7/7/98
Dave

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Colt Rifle 50 Unknown Unknown Unknown

I have been commissioned to broker to the highest bidder a very rare Colt rifle. However, I need to find out more about the gun itself in order to knowledgeably accept offers. Here's what I know: In 1864, Springfield began producing a breach load, or trap-door, rifle. Colt, in an effort to match that took their muzzle load 57 cal and converted it to an experimental trap-door rifle. The original 57 barrel was cut, bored and sleeved with a 50 cal. insert. According to the Colt museum curator, there were only 120 of these rifles made with only 3 left to be known in existence. My client has 1 of these 3. The gun is in good condition and will actually still fire. Included is the bayonet w/ scabbard and four 50 cal-70 grain shells. Some museums have offered tax receipts of up to $200,000 for the donation of this rifle to their institutions, and, a major auction house has estimated an auction value of twice that. What else can you tell me about the gun, and what legitimate price range offers should I entertain? Your assistance is appreciated!

Answer:
Dave- Thanks for contacting Antique and Collectible Firearms and Militaria Headquarters. Lots of makers made lots of low production trial pieces. While the Colt name adds to interest and value, I think that the information you have received is inaccurate. The only sure way to know the value will be to put it on the market and see what someone will pay. In my opinion it is more like $5,000 to $10,000. Maybe $20,000 tops. If you have a valid offer of $200,000 take it! If you have an estimated auction value of twice that, I would love to know the auction house, as I consider that to be totally absurd, and want to make sure I do not waste time with them. I would recommend you seek a formal appraisal from Eric Vaule, Larry Wilson, Norm Flayderman or other acknowledged expert, rather than seeking information on this at no charge over the internet. They will charge several hundred or perhaps a thousand dollars for their service, but you will get what you pay for. (Remember all our free advice comes with a full money back guarantee!) They would also be excellent people to handle the sale of extreme high end collector firearms. They routinely handle items of far greater rarity, greater collector interest, and in price ranges far above what I feel this is worth. Rarity alone does not make something extraordinarily valuable, and the demand for early breech loader conversions is not overwhelming. Good luck. I think you and your client have very unrealistic expectations... John Spangler


# 1338 - 1921 Dated Mod 1920 Luger
7/7/98
Alvaro Poyatos; Madrid; SPAIN

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
DWM P 08 9mm 4" Black not sure

Dated 1921 on the chamber and DWM on the toggle. It's a gun I'd like to buy because it's in beautiful condition; all parts numbers matching including wooden-based mag. The detail that baffles me is that according to my books on Lugers there can't be a DWM Luger made in 1921. I've been told that it can be a Luger taken from the military after the war and sent to the civil market; but in that case, I think, it would be double dated on the chamber, which it is not. It has not been reblued or buffed. What do you think? Best regards.

Answer:
Alvaro, after WWI, the Treaty of Versailles limited Luger production to calibers of no more than 8m/m and barrels no longer than l00m/m, (3&15/16 inches). The standard military issue Luger barrel length was 4 inches, 1/l6th of an inch longer than the terms of the Treaty would allow, so to conform to the Treaty of Versailles, barrels had to be shortened. Germany chose to produce a Luger chambered in 7.76mm, with a barrel length of 3 & 5/8 inches which became known as Model 1923 and was produced almost exclusively for export outside of Germany. The Germans themselves, though theoretically restricted by the Treaty of Versailles, continued to manufacture 4 inch barreled 9mm Lugers for military and police use inside German borders. DWM manufactured Lugers for the Army and police that were dated 1920, 1921 and 1922 and are most commonly known as the Model 1920. Model 1920 Lugers were of very fine workmanship and appear to have been made entirely of new parts. There is a 1921 dated DWM Luger pictured on page 148 of "Luger Variations" by Harry E Jones... Marc


# 1335 - PPK Date Of Manufacture
7/4/98
Doug Hamilton Ont. Can

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Walther PPK 7.65 ? Blue 234292K

Crown over N on Slide and chamber on right side Could you give me a date of manufacture and any relevant info to that date of production. What does the crown over N represent for its production date? P.S. Great site.

Answer:
Doug, the Walther PPK was manufactured by Waffenfabrik Walther at Zella-Mehlis, Germany from 1930 to 1945. The Crown over N proof mark that you describe is most likely a German commercial proof mark set forth in the National Proof Law of May 19, 1891, which became effective April 1, 1893 . The "N" was the abbreviation for Nitro meaning smokeless powder. The Crown over N proof mark was replaced in 1940 by an Eagle over N proof mark when the National Proof Law of June 7, 1939, became effective on April 1st of that year. The Crown over N proof mark is most commonly found on Commercial, Police and NSDAP Walther PPK pistols produced between 1930 and 1940... Marc


# 1369 - A New Bayonet Collector
7/4/98
Thomas

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I have a SMLE WWII spike bayonet. It is a No.4 MKII. When I bought it, the tag said British infield WWII spike bayonet. Is that the same one? I also have a Bayonet with a 15 1/2 inch long blade, 20 1/4 overall. It has a hooked quillon on the crossguard and opposite of that ,there's a hole where the muzzle of a rifle would go. The hilt grips are made of steel, at the pommel there's an spring button where a piece of metal sticks out on other side when pushed. Slot in back where button is for attaching to rifle. the pommel is brown and on the tang between the grips are what seems to be fancy n's with a six point star stamped on the tang under the hooked quillon. on both sides of the steel grip are M's w/ acircle around them. on the pommel there are the letters RA in an oval which stand for Republica Argentina.Also N on spring button. On the crossguard , there is an horizontal R just above the grip, on the other side and horizontal is an (P)and a star (*) . On the top of the croosguard, under the hooked quillon where the pointer finger goes, are the letters CX the x connecting to the C at its bottom. Above the croosguard on the base of the blade, it says MODELO ARGENTINO, with what looks like an pineapple with an arrow pointing up in the middle,K2938 serial # with (the year 1891) following the Modelo Argentino name. On the other side it says : WEYERSBERG KIRSCHBAUM & Co. SOLINGEN It also has an A with a star (*) above on the spine close to the crossguard where the rifle muzzle goes. The spine being the opposite of the edge of the sharp side is what I meant. It also has a fuller or grove in the blade on both sides. It looks to have been used quite a bit for the tiny dents in the hilt , blade and crossguard. The nicks in the blades sharp edge, note to me, a long history of service. These are my first two bayonets I have ever had and am only 26. I think the larger sword bayonet is a beautiful piece of work, but I'd like to know about how old it is and when , if not 1891, was it made. It is very similar to the Maddox bayonet, the one W/ a hooked quillon. Please let me know if you can assist!

Answer:
Tom- Congratulations, I think you have become a bayonet collector. Many people enjoy it, but then again, some people collect other strange things like stamps, coins, losing lottery tickets, parking tickets, ex-wives, etc. Be sure to point that out if anyone hints that we folks who accumulate sharp pointy things are a bit odd. Your spike bayonet can be accurately described by either of the terms you mention. A few especially enthusiastic folks specialize in variations of the spike bayonet! Follow our links page to "The Brothers" in Canada for more info on their passionate musings. Your other item is one of the Argentine Model 1891 bayonets, made circa 1891-1899, which you probably already figured out from all the markings. We suggest a beginning bayonet collector invest in the book "Bayonets from Janzen's Notebook" by Jerry Janzen. It is a wonderful resource with drawings of most bayonets seen by collectors today. It is organized by country, then chronologically within each country. The detailed drawings enable you to identify most bayonets pretty easily. Severely addicted victims will then build a more extensive library depending on the depth and width of their interests. Robert Reilly's "America Socket Bayonets and Scabbards" and Gary Cunningham's "American Military Bayonets of the 20th Century" are highly recommended. Ian Skennerton's "British and Commonwealth Bayonets" superbly covers those from the empire upon which the sun never sets. John Walter's "The German Bayonet" is excellent. Jerry Janzen has contributed again with "Bayonets of the Remington Cartridge Period" covering a vast and otherwise little known field that touched an amazing number of countries. (Highly recommended for gun collectors use too!) There are many other books on bayonets. An exhaustive bibliography can be found on the web site of the Society of American Bayonet Collectors (SABC-see our links page). While the focus in on bayonets made or used in North America, this is good therapy for anyone with a bayonet problem. (As a member of the SABC Board of Directors, I obviously think it is a damn fine outfit!) Jim Maddox, Shawn Gibson, and the K98k Bayonet Collectors Network are just some of the good bayonet sites that can be reached though our links or the SABC site. You should do as I say, not as I do, and try to focus on a particular period, nation, or type of bayonet and not just chase anything that can be stuck on the end of a rifle. You are now the owner if bits of history. You have an obligation to learn, share your knowledge with others, and to appreciate and preserve the history which is connected with these weapons. Check the PBS series on the Revolution for a sample of George Neumann's stirring account of the significant role of bayonets in the founding of our country. Then recognize that similar tales are lurking behind the polished steel or aged rust of these tools. Many of us remember that in the 1960s, a common image was the National Guardsmen with fixed bayonets holding back the despicable Vietnam War protestors (less despicable than those who fled the country, even if only to "study" abroad and later return to a life of political deceit.) It is not only the old ones that have some history behind them. There is even a town in Florida called "Bayonet Point" (what a great location to start a business selling, well you know what.) Enjoy!... John Spangler


# 1365 - Hollis & Sons Percussion Cap Double Barrel
7/4/98
Jan

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Isaac Hollis & Sons Double Barrel Shotgun & Rifle Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I have recently acquired an Isaac Hollis & Sons Percussion Cap double barrel ( shotgun & rifle) I'm guessing that it's dated around 1850's. It's in it's original wooden case with 2 horns and shot. I have no idea what this might be worth.

Answer:
Jan- Thanks for contacting us. Sounds like a very nice piece. Isaac Hollis & Sons operated in London from 1862 until 1900 when they merged with Bentley & Playfair to become Hollis, Bentley & Playfair. As a percussion piece, it probably dates prior to 1875, although a few very traditional buyers may have ordered percussion guns at later dates. I cannot help much on the value. My interest is more in old military arms, and I don't spend much time with folks who are excited by fine double guns. These people are usually interested in shooting them, or at least fantasizing about shooting Purdeys, etc. There are some who are interested in muzzle-loaders, but the numbers are rather small. Most gun enthusiasts recognize and appreciate fine quality pieces, and cased sets are always admired. Combination guns are always interesting oddities, and attract interest. How all of that would translate into a gentleman actually pulling out money to purchase such a piece is a great unknown. For the right buyer, price might not be a consideration. For most, it would be a matter of how much they are willing to spend on a neat old odd item, and how they can justify that to an unappreciative spouse. With the recent gun bans in England, interest in muzzle-loaders may increase as one of the few legal firearms for private ownership (but for how much longer?), or people may just give up on all guns. For comparison, I saw an apparently unfired cased 16 GA percussion double gun by one of the best English makers offered at something like US$1600-2000. I think the owner had a hard time selling it. Still, it sounds like a delightful item to own and admire. Congratulations. We would be glad to handle sale of such items on a consignment basis for U.S. residents, but do not want to engage in the bureaucratic gyrations necessary for foreign transfers... John Spangler


# 1364 - Long Tom Shotguns
7/4/98
Joe

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Long Tom Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Hello, I'm looking for a shotgun by the name of Long Tom. Have you ever run across one of these? I'm especially looking for one with a 40 inch barrel. Also would appreciate any history on Long Tom shotguns or if you could refer me to someone who would know about them. Thank You

Answer:
Joe- Wish we could help on this. Long Tom is one of the trade names used during the cartridge era. I suspect it is more of a local unofficial name applied to any gun with a long barrel. I have heard it applied to all sorts of long barreled weaponry, and the origin seems to be lost in antiquity. Some flintlock and early percussion fowling pieces had barrels at least 40 inches long, occasionally even 60 or 70 inches long. Many old muskets were used as shotguns (after being bored out smooth if originally rifled) and the barrels on these started off in the 39-42 inch range. Most were cut to 30-33 inches, but some were left full length. Hope this helps... John Spangler


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