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# 3053 - Winchester Model 1910? 8/29/00 Ken Costa Mesa, CA
Winchester - 1911 - .401 - Unknown -
Semi-Automatic This is from my wife's father. I have never come across this caliber and this type of action before in a rifle. Can you tell me anything about it. Thanks.
Answer: Ken, the Winchester model 1911 is a semi-automatic shotgun, perhaps you wanted to ask about the model 1910. The Model 1910 Sporting Rifle was manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company of New Haven, Connecticut from 1910 to 1936, during which time, a total of 20,790 were produced. The Model 1910 was patterned on an earlier model, the 1907 with larger and heavier action and a larger ejection port to handle the 200 to 250 grain 2135 feet per second .410 caliber cartridge which was developed especially for it. Standard Model 1910 rifles were equipped with a plain pistol grip stock with a rubber buttplate, and a half-length forend from which the cocking rod protruded. The detachable box magazine held 4 rounds, overall length was 39.5 inches, barrel length was 20 inches, weight was 8.22 pounds empty, sights were spring-leaf and elevator type. Fancy sporting models could be special ordered with special wood and fine cut checkering. Although the Model 1910 never gained great popularity, it was quite accurate at relatively short ranges and was considered an excellent deer gun. Model 1910 values range from $200 to over $600, but it has been my experience that they are slow sellers. Marc
# 3046 - Musket- Tracking History 8/29/00 Glen, Atoka, Ok, USA
Springfield - Springfield 1845 (stamped On Lock) - ? .75" Bore - 42" - Blue - no serial number -
on the stock the letters "XX" have been stamped. "H" "15" Is there any way to trace the history of this rifle, as to perhaps it's military history?
Answer: Glen- Sorry, there is no way to track the history of this gun. Even with serial numbered U.S. military arms, the chances are surprisingly slim of finding out anything at all. On those made prior to 1868 the chances are practically zero, unless there is some written history accompanying the gun that goes back a long time. Something saying that my great-great grandfather carried this to General Custer in 1882 is probably not worth more than the paper it is written on. Names, initials, dates and the like carved in the stock may indicate a soldier who carried it, or uncle Bubba's marking his favorite hog shooting rifle after he bought it at a surplus store 50 years later. Worse, most stuff with elaborate CSA or Wells Fargo stuff marked all over it (especially on a really doggy gun) is probably some con-artist's attempt to make a few bucks snookering the unwary into thinking they are getting a rare old gun with exciting history. A good rule of thumb is to believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see. Of course, you can believe this half..John Spangler
# 3030 - S&W Belgian Copy 8/29/00 Carl, Blue Ridge Summit, PA, USA
S&W (Copy?) - Mod #1 - 44-45 (?) - Nickel - NA -
By the pivot point, there is a crown, a "R", and a mark that looks like and "AE" crammed together. The top of the barrel is stamped Belgium. I think I have a copy of a S&W Mod 1 that was made in Belgium. Is this a gun that was copied by that government, did S&W make it for them, what's the deal? Is it worth anything? I have pictures. Thanks!
Answer: Carl- S&W revolvers had a reputation for high quality and were very popular (at least in the days before they cowardly sold out every American's rights). International copyright and patent protections were weak and often ignored, so good stuff of all sorts got copied in many places. The Spanish were the most notorious copiers of S&W designs well into the 20th century, but craftsmen in many countries also tried their hand at making copies, including in Belgium. The best reference on S&W's is "The Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson" by Supica and Nahas, and it could tell you more about any foreign purchases or licensed copies of S&W products. As far as value, there is come collector interest in these, as cowboys were not paid or educated very well, so many bought cheap copies of the big S&W revolvers. Despite what you see in the movies, the old west was blessed with a very diverse mix of armament among cowboys, Indians, ranchers, outlaws, saloon keepers, etc, not just brands "C" and "W". John Spangler
# 3059 - J. Stevens Little Scout 8/26/00 Eva, St. Joseph, MO
.22 Long - J. Stevens - .22 - 14 1/2 - Nickel - can't find one -
Little Scout .22 long rifle PAT. July 2, 07 Where can we find parts for this? Any idea when this was made and how much approximately is it worth?
Answer: Eva, J. Stevens introduced the Little Scout Sporting Rifle (also known as No. 14) in 1906 and discontinued it in 1908. The Little Scout had an 18" stepped barrel that was slip fit into the cast iron frame. The barrel was held in place by a set screw located at the bottom of the frame. The one piece Little Scout stock was made from a 3/4 inch thick walnut board with rounded edges. The Little Scout weighed only 2.8 pounds, sights were a small bead front and a simple fixed notch rear. For parts, check with Gun Parts Corporation, there is a link to them on our links page. If Gun Parts Corp. does not have the parts that you need, try posting a free add on our Wanted page. Little Scout values are in the $100 to $200 range depending on condition. Marc
A few years ago a company named bmf/york activator produced a kit for modifying the Garand to a straight pull non-semi-auto action. Do you know how I can get hold of them?
Answer: Chuck- I have never seen or heard of the kit you mention. I do know that the US government converted a number (exact number unknown, but enough that they were given a specific nomenclature and stock number) of rifle to "Ceremonial Rifles" incapable of semi-auto fire. Apparently these were intended for use by funeral details and the like. The alteration consisted of removing the poppet valve from the gas cylinder lock screw so there will not be enough gas pressure to cycle the operating rod. To prevent easy conversion back to semi-auto fire, they welded the gas cylinder lock screw and gas cylinder lock together and welded the barrel to the receiver. You can probably get by with just drilling out the poppet valve. That is the technical solution to achieve something that makes absolutely no sense to me. John Spangler
# 3021 - Golden State Arms Santa Fe Mountaineer 8/26/00 Jeffrey Stillwater, MN US
Golden State Arms - Santa Fe Mountaineer - .303 British - 26" - Blued - none i could find -
The magazine is stamped Santa Fe made in Japan I bought this gun from a friend who knew nothing about it as far as age or history. What can you tell me about this arm? I am not looking for a value as much as a little history.
Answer: Jeffrey- I don't have any specific info on your rifle, however the following background may be helpful. Golden State was one of the big surplus dealers/importers in the golden age of military surplus arms circa 1960-64 when millions of military surplus rifles were dumped at unbelievable prices. Remington Rolling blocks were 62 cents a pound, .303 Lee Enfields were retailing at $9.95 in local department stores; M1917 Enfields were $29.95 and M1 Garands made in 1941 were being sold in 100% original condition with about 98-99% finish for $79.95 after being brought back from England where they had been sent as Lend Lease supplies in the very dark days of 1942.
With the market flooded with surplus military arms, one good way to sell some of them, and squeeze a little more money out of them was to "sporterize" them, or alter them in some way to create new models that may appeal to some buyers not turned on by the straight military version. I believe that Golden State was the firm that coined the term "Jungle Carbine" for the British No 5 Mk 1 rifle, and showed them being carried by a dapper looking Australian with turned-up bush hat and snappy moustache and goatee. Another outfit created the "Tanker" version of the M1 Garand. Someone chopped down some of the (previously $9.95) .303 Enfields and fixed them up with flash hiders and recoil pads to resemble the "Jungle Carbines." Something most of these guns had in common was that they are all really handy to wave around, and light to carry. However, the fun comes to a bruising halt if anyone ever fires any of these. The nifty short barrels become decidedly less attractive when the horrendous muzzle blast and deafening roar and abusive recoil remind the shooter that perhaps they should have paid more attention to Newton's laws of physics before volunteering to conduct such science experiments.
Golden State operated circa 1960-1974 and it would be an interesting collecting goal to try to assemble all the different models they peddled or created. I believe that they were connected in some way (probably with some of the same people involved) in such firms as Santa Fe, National Ordnance, and Federal Ordnance. All seem to have been innovative and creative in finding ways to market surplus stuff. All operated out of the southern California area before it was reduced to being the crime-ridden northern province of Mexico causing the exodus of so many law abiding citizens. John Spangler
# 3085 - Herter's Revolver 8/22/00 Sandi
Herter's - H R 22 Cal - 4" - Blue - 617XX -
Year was made ...anything.
Answer: Sandi, I have no information (or even a guess) about the particular model of Herter's revolver that you have. Herter's Inc. was a company headquartered in Waseca, Minnesota who imported and distributed mostly European made, firearms. Herter's contracted with various manufacturers to fabricate firearms which were usually patterned after more famous original models. Even though the quality of Herter's imports was usually quite good, consumer sales were not strong. Collectibility of Herter's firearms is small, they usually sell well under the value of the original from which they were derived. Marc
Herters stuff is WAY COOL! My first reload gear (that I still use) was from Herters, and I remember poring over their catalog loaded with "World famous, odd European secret formula" stuff ranging from canoe paddles, decoys, snowshoes, to bullets, powder and guns. All at pretty decent prices and everything I was nice quality. This would be a fascinating collecting field with endless variety and challenge. There is already a (very) small cult of people engaged in this search. Condition is everything, so new in box items will have high demand, while well used items will be less popular. John Spangler
# 3098 - Colt Single Action Value 8/22/00 Bob, Charlotte, NC
Colt - 1st. Gen 1873 SAA - .45 cal. - 4 3/4 - blue - 155805 -
I am being offered this old Colt at an attractive price. The gun has been re-blued at some point but it appears to be an old re-finish (75% remaining). The gun is in good working order. Barrel markings are weak but the patent lines are good. The bore is dark but has good rifling. The grips are newer pearl grips. The seller is asking $1150 for the gun. This seems like a good deal but I am new to collecting and don't know how much to subtract for the re-finish or the non-original grips. Does this sound like a good deal and is there anything else I should be wary of? I am new to collecting so any help would be appreciated.
Answer: Bob- If you and the seller know what the item is and neither of you are under any pressure and you agree on a price, it is a fair market value. I recommend every new collector get a copy of Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and Their Value. Read the first few chapters that discuss gun collecting and values and conditions before you go looking up a specific model. That said, please recognize that old Colt single actions are a nutty field with subtle nuances that few understand and minor details making a really big cash difference. The Colt collectors march off in one direction worrying about parts being replaced, while "old west" or cowboy collectors get excited by dents and dings, and the more rust the better for a few people. What may be fine for your collecting desires may not excite someone else, so you need to think in terms of resale as well as purchase price. Personally I hate pearl type grips, or horn, or much of anything but walnut. (Don't even ask about stainless steel guns with plastic stocks!) I could probably live with an old refinish for a well used cowboy gun, and have no problems at all with arsenal overhauled military guns. A military gun that was commercially refinished in a glossy blue- NO WAY! In this wonderful country we have the freedom to choose (except for schools!) and you and I can buy whatever we like at whatever price we think they are worth. I want a new minivan, not a Corvette, but others may choose differently. John Spangler
# 3097 - Ammunition For Old Guns 8/22/00 Julie MI US
1891 - Remington - 32 Caliber Rim-fire Single Shot -
Where can I purchase shells for this type of gun? Perhaps a phone number or an address that you could share with me. Thank-you!
Answer: Julie- We sometimes have oddball ammo on our "ammunition for Collectors" catalog page (click on the title in the frame to the left of our page.). However, for one of the largest selections of obsolete and oddball ammo, go to our links page and click on Old Western Scrounger. He specializes in that field and has it in quantities for shooters, although scarce stuff is usually not as cheap as ammo that is easy to find. For people just looking for a single round, or maybe a single example of every variation of a certain cartridge, the best bet is to check with the folks on the Ammunition Web Ring. John Spangler
# 3073 - Remington Model 513T Matchmaster 8/19/00 Benjamin Muscatine, IA
Remington - 513T - .22 LR - 26" - Blue -
Near the base of the barrel there is a star and then the letters RPP then a different symbol that looks like a Greek letter. I obtained this gun from my grandfather and I am wondering its approximate age and value.
Answer: Benjamin, Remington manufactured the Model 513T Matchmaster bolt action rifle from 1940 to 1968. Model 513T rifles came equipped with Redfield aperture sights, 27 inch barrel, target stock, 6 shot magazine and sling swivels. The "T" suffix indicates that your rifle was the target model, originally equipped with target sites. Model 513TS or 513S rifles were sporter models equipped with regular sporting style sights. The Model 513TX was set up for a scope and came with no sights.
Remingtons manufactured between 1921 and 1972 have a code located on the left side of the barrel near the frame that identifies the year and month of manufacture. The following letters correspond to the months of the year, for example B=January, L= February and so on [ B - L - A - C - K - P - O - W - D - E - R - X ]. The following letters correspond to the year of manufacture starting in 1921 and ending in 1972. [ M - N - P - R - S - T - U -W - X - Y - Z - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - J - K - L - MM - NN - PP - RR - SS - TT - UU -WW - XX - YY - ZZ - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - J - K - L - M - N - P - R - S - T - U - W ]. From these codes, I calculate that your rifle, code "RPP" was manufactured in November of 1945. Blue book values for Model 513T Matchmaster rifles ranges from $95 to $300 depending on condition. Marc
# 3075 - Springfield Armory M6 Scout 8/19/00 JD, Valdosta, GA, USA
Springfield Armory, Inc. - M6 Scout - .22 Hornet/.410 - stainless -
Czech Republic cartouche on left side of receiver. Matching factory red dot scope(marked "Springfield Armory M6 Scout"). "98" marking in several places on the rifle. Approx. value of this weapon? possibly 1998 model? any history on the cartouche? only one I've seen w/ cartouche. import/export? First timer to the site. love the layout. Very informative, keep up the good work!!
Answer: JD- Glad you like the site but even with extra brownie points, I still don't know anything about these. Your guesses sound reasonable. John Spangler
# 3077 - Krag-Jorgensen 8/19/00 Rick Minden, NV USA
Krag - 1898 - .30-40 - 30" - blue - 204xxx -
Q1: Why would my stock that looks original and unrefinished not have a cartouche? It does have the circled script "P" behind the trigger guard.
Q2: Can you recommend a Krag disassembly manual? Or, at least, tell me how to remove the bolt. Thanks for your help. Rick.
Answer: Rick- There are a couple of possible explanations for the presence of a circle P but no cartouche. The most likely is that the rifle was in fact arsenal overhauled ("cleaned and repaired" in the terminology of the day). This included rebluing everything and refinishing stock and usually updating the sights to the M1901 or M1902 type. The original Krag receiver finish was a mottled gray and black case hardened finish, very smooth and glassy in appearance. C&R refinishing usually ended up with a splotchy but often quite nice rust blue finish, and they were careful to leave the bolt contact areas bright. It is hard for many people to tell these refinish jobs from the original. The stocks were scraped to remove various dings, and sometimes all of most of the cartouche went. Often the stocks were given a coat of shellac, instead of the linseed oil specified for new rifles, so they have a sort of yellowish color to the stock. Note that some Krags made 1901 and later used Italian walnut that was a lighter color than the American Black Walnut usually used by Springfield.
I have also heard that rifles overhauled for sale to NRA members through the DCM program were sometimes proof fired if new barrels were installed, but as this was not a "manufacture and accept" type situation, no cartouches were applied. I have never seen anything to document this, but it sounds plausible.
We normally charge $50.00 for the secret of removing the Krag bolt, but will give it away free just this once. Just think of the money you can make showing this trick to other people! It may even be a good way to pick up a date- "Wanna see me take a Krag bolt out?"
a. Open the bolt and pull it all the way back
b. Lift up on the front of the extractor until it is about 1/8" up
c. Rotate the bolt to the left and pull it out to the rear.
To replace the bolt the extractor must be lifted up slightly and swung over to the right. Insert the bolt so that the locking lug fits between the sides of the slot in the receiver. You may have to press the ejector down to let the bolt slide forward until the lug clears the right side of the receiver. Guide the extractor left into position while you rotate the bolt to the right. John Spangler
How was this break-apart, survival rifle stored or packed?
Answer: Marty- I have no info on this other than a recollection that someone once told me they were carried in a survival kit that was attached to the ejection seat on fighter type aircraft. John Spangler
B arrel has following markings "R. Cuerpo de Guard,de la Persora del Rey" Also has a Coat of Arms at the rear of the barrel and a building with an Onioncapped roof. Ramrod is hinged underneath barrel. It has a brass barrel band, triggerguard, and butt. It is a flintlock pistol with a hardwood stock. Overall length is 14". Please tell me the manufacturer of this pistol and approximate age. Also tell me its approximate value.
Answer: Carl- I think you have something good there. We would need to see some photos to better identify it, but the markings translate into something roughly along the lines of "King's Own Body Guard Regiment". If in flintlock (not percussion) it is probably from the very end of the flintlock period as swivel ramrods were uncommon before about the 1820s. It is likely one of a pair, which were probably numbers 302a and 302b. Please send us some photos and we will do some more research. Value depends on exactly what it is and the condition, and we cannot make much more than a guess based on what we know now. There is also the possibility that this is something made for sale to tourists in recent years and has far less value than an original. Hope you have a good one! John Spangler
# 3076 - FIE Titan Info 8/15/00 Earl, Tylertown, MS
How old is this revolver, Any other history about it.
Answer: Earl, FIE (Firearms Import Export) was a firearms import/export company that went out of business in November of 1990. The Titan Tiger (discontinued in 1990) was a fixed sight, .38 Special revolver manufactured for FIE by Arminus of Germany. The Titan Tiger could be ordered with blue or chrome finish and either a 2 or 4 inch barrel. Values range form $60 to about $100 depending on condition. Marc
# 3039 - M1911A1 Itahca .45 Auto 8/12/00 Bill Round Rock TX USA
FJA, P, 2, Factory Box. Flaming Bomb under firing pin stop, bottom of barrel channel. This piece appears new, unfired, unissued in the factory box, packed in a shipping box. It was wrapped in heavy dark brown wax paper. The bore is pristine, as well as the whole piece. There are traces of heavy dark brown grease around and under the thumb safety and plunger tube. The breach face has a new and un fired appearance. It has two mags, one still mummy wrapped in a brown paper with a thread running through it. The unwrapped mag has an "S" on the lip. The serial number reflects production in 1944, the first year of Ithaca's contract. The shipping box reveals, under the front flap, "Please make sure you properly clean out the chamber and barrel before firing". The factory !box has "One Cal. 45 Pistol M1911-A1, SNL-B-1, 01-00040, With 2 spare magazine assemblies, ORD. DWG. No. C8694- B-6 -01 -00210, ITHACA GUN COMPANY, INC." Question: Could this be what it appears to be? What would the value be?
Answer: Bill- It sure sounds like a good one (unless it was ever near a California dealer with initials DB, in which case I would be very suspicious). These still turn up in this condition from time to time. I would think that it would bring at least $1100-1200 and if there are not even the slightest hints of scratches on the barrel or from the slide stop on the frame, maybe more. Absolutely pristine top end pieces do command a premium over their only slightly less beautiful cousins. Congratulations on a great addition to your collection. I believe that you can find out from the generous people at the Ithaca site when and where it was initially shipped. John Spangler
# 3054 - M1 Carbine Folding Stock 8/12/00 Alex
Saginaw - M-1 Carbine - 30 - Blue - 3236832 -
There is a SG stamped above a screw under the sight I have recently acquired a M-1 Carbine that has a what the person I bought it from called it a paratrooper stock on it. I have found that the maker was Saginaw due to the SG stamped above a small screw below the sight. I was wondering if you could tell me if there were different variations of the paratrooper stock that were used, because the other paratrooper stocks I have seen operated/looked differently. It has two flat bars on one side and a single bar on the opposite side. You must push a button on each side to fold it. When it folds it swings down and meets with the underside of the gun. Are there any markings that would show that it is original or not? Also I was curious what the value is. thanks alex
Answer: Alex- The manufacturer of your carbine is marked on the receiver, probably hidden by the rear sight. The early "flip" sights left the markings exposed, but when the improved adjustable rear sights were installed, they covered the maker name. The SG on the recoil plate only indicates that Saginaw made that part, not the whole gun. We could also identify the maker from the serial number. The only mass produced military folding stock was the M1A1 that folds to the side. Lots of reproduction folding stocks of this type have been made over the years too, so be careful when buying one of them. There were military experiments with various other designs, and they are pretty valuable collector items. There have been a number of commercial folding stock designs also made, and those have a little interest among shooters, or collectors determined to have one of everything ever made for a carbine by anyone, anywhere. Value on these would be only a tiny fraction of one of the military experimentals. Send us a photo and we can tell for sure what you have. Hope it is a treasure! John Spangler
# 3078 - J. C. Higgins Model 85 8/12/00 Paul
J. C. Higgins - Model 85 - .22 LR - 4.25" - Blue - 537737 -
590.850 is stamped on the slide under the J.C. Higgins mark. Looking for a bit of history and a set of grips
Answer: Paul, J.C. Higgins is a Tradename of Sears, Roebuck & Company used on firearms made by various manufacturers. I was unable to find any information on the Model 85. I can tell you that the number "590.850" is probably a Sears stock number. For grips, I suggest that you check with Gun Parts Corp (the old Numrich Arms people) at http://www.gunpartscorp.com/. Gun Parts Corp has just about everything. If that doesn't work, try posting it on our free "Wanted" page. Marc
# 3081 - RG Derringer 8/8/00 Joe
RG - 17???? - 38 Special - 3" - Nickel - 55418 -
eagle with letter z on top by fixed rear site eagle with letter z on left side top barrel with number 66 which has what appears to be a sideways leaf top of barrel has the writing RoHM GMBH SONTHEIM/BRENZ As in a few other previous posts you stated that this gun is basically junk. The one in my possession is a Derringer. Is this Derringer also considered junk and be fired sparingly to avoid injury? I also assume there is no value to this Derringer? Is the company still in business and if so do they have a web page?
Answer: Joe, I appreciate the fact that you read some of our previous answers before you asked your question. Many people do not take the time to read our answers before they ask their question, and as a result, John and I are deluged by questions that we have already answered. We often get 20 or more questions a week about cheap single shot shotguns, US, Iver Johnson, Harrington Richardson revolvers, etc. which we just do not have the time to answer.
My free opinion, as always offered with a full money back guarantee, is that all RG firearms should be checked for safety by a competent gunsmith before firing. Personally, I would never hold a loaded RG derringer in my hand and pull the trigger, especially one chambered for a center fire cartridge. I need all of my fingers for when I try to type the answers to these questions. There is very little demand for RG firearms, value is in the $50 or less range. Marc
# 3049 - Burgo Revolver 8/5/00 David
Burgo - revolver - 22 lr - 2" - blue - A18079 -
Buffalo on both sides of handgrip, A figure of a man w/a n under a shield and an encircled 68 worth and date
Answer: David, the Burgo was one of two models of inexpensive revolvers (the Burgo and the Regent) manufactured in the 1960's by Karl Burgsmuller of Kreiensen, West Germany for export to the United States. These revolvers were banned by the gun control act of 1968. There is no demand for Burgo revolvers, values fall in the $25 to $50 range. Marc
Winchester - Cowboy Commemorative - Model 1894/94 - 30-30 - 19.25 in - non blued barrel, polished receiver - cb12773 -
Right side, saddle ring etched cowboy on bucking horse. Words brave land, bold men. Left side Lariat w/ spurs. On receiver above stock " Model 1894, Winchester". On Barrel "Circle PW" stamp on top center by receiver. Left side " Cowboy Commemorative" stamped. Right side "Winchester Model 94 30-30 WIN" Rear sights, slip type. sights, fixed. Shoulder pad, molded plastic with "Bishop" molded into it. I have been looking for any information on this rifle and have had no luck. What I am looking for is the date manufactured what significance the "Cowboy Commemorative" is and possibly what is worth. Do I need to keep it away from possible thieves or is it just another rifle. It has been in the family for a while but how long, is the question. And the final question is where can I get it cleaned up. It still fires true but it has carbon fouling in places I can't get to. Thank You Barba
Answer: Mr. Barba, I am not a big commemorative fan, in my opinion, commemorative firearms are poor investments and I almost never willingly purchase them. Although some commemoratives have pretty hefty book values, actually selling them for listed prices is about impossible, even for the few relatively scarce models. Cowboy Commemorative rifles are not scarce, Winchester manufactured 27,549 of them in 1970. Blue book values for Cowboy Commemoratives, unfired, in mint condition with the original box and papers is $450.00. Unfortunately, it sounds like your rifle has been fired and it has also been modified by the addition of a Bishop recoil pad. I would estimate the value for your rifle to be in the $150 to $225 range because it has been fired and modified. Marc
# 3016 - Colt Richards-Mason Conversions 8/5/00 Richard
This SN appears to be within the later SN range of the Richards Conversions ( OMC)The most recent literature (Mcdowel?) indicates these conversions started about SN 5900.This appears to be a long transition?? What ever happened to SNs 5000 to 5900??? The same literature show the Original Metallic Cartridge Richards Conversions ending at about 5000?
Answer: Richard- You raise some interesting questions, but I have no idea what the answers might be. The whole area of the transition from percussion to cartridge arms, and the means used by various makers to adapt to the obviously better approach is a truly fascinating area. While modern collectors get buried in the tiny technical details, we need to remember the historical context. Most of this was taking place right after the end of the Civil War. Huge quantities of surplus arms were flooding the market with cheap guns than many people were familiar with from military service. Cartridges were still somewhat hard to get in remoter regions, and the economy was not very good, so their higher cost was an important consideration as well as the higher cost of a brand new gun instead of a surplus gun. This was further compounded by Smith & Wesson's ownership of Rollin White's patent on a bored through cylinder which for many years prevented makers from using what we now consider to be the normal cylinder design. Numerous court cases squashed several makers who violated these patent rights.
Bruce McDowell's excellent "A Study of Colt Conversions and Other Percussion Revolvers" is an outstanding contribution to knowledge in this area. If he does not explain the reason for these apparent inconsistencies, I certainly should not attempt to guess. However, a few possibilities might include: a decision to leave a series of numbers for one system in hopes of future sales and start another at a higher point rather than overlapping; or perhaps starting at a higher number to give the impression that a larger number had been produced. This may have been a business driven decision with good logical reasons, or some spur of the moment (bad) judgement call by some worker who misunderstood something and started using a new serial number block. We can all hope that McDowell or other Colt students will someday provide the answers. We can also hope that someone is busy gathering up all the historical data on Smith & Wesson production so that after their hopefully imminent demise caused by their incomprehensible capitulation to Clinton's demands we will have a clear understanding of their history. John Spangle
# 3000 - M1898 Krag Rifle History 8/5/00 B.J. Malcom Eustis, NE, USA
Springfield - 1898 - 30-40 Krag - 30 Inches - Blue - 369414 -
Decent condition. This gun was given to me by a WWII veteran. I was wondering if there is any way that I can trace it's history before the war. I hope you can help!
Answer: BJ- Sorry, we cannot tell you much about this one. It was made about 1902, too late for the Spanish American War. Rifles with nearby serial numbers were used by the USMC team in the Hilton Trophy Match in 1902 (whatever that was), and others were reported as being in the hands of the Veterans Administration in the 1930s, probably used for color guards or funeral salutes at burials. Some further away were being used by the US Coast Guard in 1911, and others were being destroyed at an Army depot in the late 1920s. All of those may have absolutely nothing to do with your rifle, but it is interesting to see what some of its cousins were up to. We are grateful to Frank Mallory, Springfield Research Service for digging up this info and making it available. Every serious US military collector should subscribe to his US Martial Arms Collector magazine (a bargain at $25 per year) as well as own his 4 volumes of serial number information (now available on CD as well SRS, Box 4181, Silver Spring, MD 20904. Please don't pester Frank to look up stuff for you, buy the books and stuff and you can look it up yourself, and he can go find more. John Spangler
Gun has Fabrique Nationale D Armes De Guerre Herstal Belcique over Browning's Patent Depose Could you tell me when this gun was made and any history that maybe of interest? Also, If it has any significant value? Thanks for any information that you may have.
Answer: Delories, you didn't give me a lot to go by, my guess it that you have a FN Model 1910 or a Model 1922. The Model 1910 is striker fired, has a 7 shot magazine, and "Triple Safety" features. The recoil spring wraps around the 3.42 inch barrel and is retained by a bayonet jointed collar at the muzzle giving the pistol a tubular rather than a slab-sided appearance. The Model 1910 was widely adopted by police forces all over the world, but attained little military success.
In 1922 FN performed a major redesign of the Model 1910 to improve accuracy and power. The new pistol was offered as the Model 1910/22. The Model 1910/22 barrel was lengthened to 4.5 inches and a slide extension piece which bayoneted into the recesses used for the original spring locking collar was added. The slide extension piece served as a spring retainer as well as the front portion of the slide, the grip frame was lengthened to take an 8 shot magazine. The model 1910/22 in 7.65mm was adopted by the Belgian Army in 1923, and by the Dutch in 1925, it remained in production during the Second World War, and was adopted as substitute to the standard sidearm by the German forces. Depending on condition and markings values will be in the $125 to $250 range. Marc
# 2993 - Marvel .22 Rifle 8/1/00 Marlene OK
Marvel - 22 - Approx. 18 Inches - Blue - COULDN'T FIND ONE -
The only markings on the gun are - The 22 Marvel Pat. Appl'd For I would like to know how old this gun is and how much it is worth.
Answer: Marlene- Marvel is one of the brand names used by Stevens on their "Crack Shot No. 16" rifle which was made from 1900 to 1913. (The other names were "the .22 Spencer" and "The Keystone"). The Sears Roebuck catalog of 1900 priced both the Stevens model and the Keystone at $3.00 each. Value today depends on condition, and most have been ehavily used. Figure about $150 in NRA antique Very good condition or $400 in NRA antique excellent for the Stevens marked examples. The oddball brands although scarcer probably won't bring as much. These .22 rolling block rifles are typical of dozens of models made by many manufacturers circa 1890-1940 to satisfy the huge demand by parents and youngsters eager to enjoy the fun and responsibility of owning a real gun and learning to use it safely. People intereseted in collecting these neat old rifles can find all the information they need in Jim Perkins' wonderful book "American Boys' Rifles 1890-1945." John Spangler
# 2994 - Ammunition- US Military .30-06 8/1/00 Ashley, Carrollton, TX
240 CartridgesCal.30 Ball M28rd Clips Bandoleers Lot R.A. C.-33700Unfit Food ContainerM8 Can Letter C inside of a diamond I recently purchased an OD painted "spam" can of 30.06 M1 rifle ammunition. Based on the markings, can you determine the date of manufacture and the maker of this ammo. Thanks very much for your assistance.
Answer: Ashley- The "Spam can" packaging was used for most US military small arms ammunition from about late 1944 up through the mid 1950s. Usually two Spam cans were packed in a wooden box with a lid secured by wing nuts. The Span cans and boxes varied slightly in size depending on the caliber of ammunition, but the goal was to provide weatherproof storage in boxes that could be easily carried by one man. (Remember, this was in the days of unequal opportunity before allowing girls to play solider got in the way of the serious business of killing the enemy.) Previously large wooden boxes holding 1200 rounds of .30-06 and weighing about 100-120 pounds were used, but suffered a lot of damage in shipping and were really difficult to move (even by men). In the mid-1950s US military ammunition began to be packed in the familiar .30 or .50 caliber size ammo cans. Four of the .30 caliber cans or two of the .50 caliber size were packed in a cheap wooden crate with wire reinforcement to hold them together.
Information about the ammo was marked on the cans themselves as well as on the wooden container. This was the same sort of information as you list from your Spam can. These always include the quantity and type of ammunition (240 cartridges caliber .30 Ball M2) and how it is packed (in 8 round clips and bandoleers) so you could be sure it was what you needed for your weapon. If you give a bunch of soldiers with Garand rifles cans full of .30-06 ammo in machine gun links they will be very unhappy, and trying to get a belt fed Browning to eat 8 round clips makes machine gun crews equally grumpy. Common choices included cartons, 5 round clips (for M1903, or 1917 rifles or BARs) or 8 round clips for the M1 Garand, or belted or linked for machine guns.
Finally, every possible container includes the ammunition lot number, and on larger ammunition it is marked on every single round. Occasionally a bad lot of ammo is detected (misfires, missing powder charges, double loads, deteriorated primers, tracer elements not working properly, etc, especially after the ammo sits around in storage for years, maybe twenty to forty years. Depending on what the problem is the lot of ammo may be declared unserviceable or use may be restricted. (For training use only; do not fire over friendly troops; not suitable for machine gun use, etc.) During the Vietnam era every military command with ammunition was notified by message of any changes in ammunition status, sometimes requiring several messages a week, covering everything from .22 rimfire to 155 howitzer ammo.
Lot numbers include a manufacturer's code and a lot number. Your Lot RA C-33700 indicates that it was made by Remington Arms Company and was packed in clips, Undoubtedly some Army file buried away lists the date every lot number was accepted by the Army, but that information is not available anywhere for the public. Army TM9-1305-200 "Small Arms Ammunition" dated June 1961 does have a table listing the dates and lot numbers for each caliber and type of ammunition after which all were made with non-corrosive primers. This shows RA lot 33853 accepted in November 1951 was the magic number for Remington made .30 Ball M2. Therefore it looks like yours was made prior to that and most likely is corrosive primed. There is nothing inherently wrong with corrosive primers, as long as you promptly, thoroughly, and repeatedly clean your gun. If not, it will rot out the bore in a matter of days or weeks.
It is possible that they used a separate series of lot numbers for "clipped lots" than the "ammunition lots" and that your ammo is actually later. If you open the can and the ammo is headstamped 1952 or later it is probably non-corrosive. John Spangler