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# 4940 - Hi-Standard Model B Disassembly
Bill, Pensacola, FL

Hi-Standard - B - .22 Long Rifle - 5 1/4 - Blued - 28057 -

This was my father's gun from, I believe, the 1930's. I removed the slide by using the release tab. When I put the slide back on the gun, I can't get the tab to return to the full, up and locked position in order to lock the slide back onto the rails. I was actually wondering if I might be able to find a copy of the pistols "manual/instructions" online for download, or can you give me a "tip" on what to do? Thanks.

Bill, I looked in both the DBI and NRA firearms assembly guides but I was unable to find any takedown instructions for the Hi-Standard Model B. A Hi-Standard collector friend tells me that you may have broken a small spring inside the slide. I would advise you to take your pistol to a gunsmith who is familiar with Hi-Standard pistols. Marc

# 4827 - Mauser Rifle Parts

Mauser - 1936 Mexican - N/A - N/A - Blue - 1946 -

What other Mauser model parts will interchange with action parts fm the 1936 Mod. Mauser. (such as cocking piece, firing pin, shroud, follower spring, etc. )

Sir- "Mauser rifles" are a confusing field with literally millions made in hundreds of different models for dozens of countries. That is just the military models. Add in sporters and conversions and the possibilities are nearly infinite. We do not know enough about these to help with your specific question. However, "The Mauser M91 Through M98 Bolt Actions A Shop Manual" by Jerry Kuhnhausen is an excellent book on gunsmithing all the Mauser bolt action rifles and thoroughly covers all this sort of stuff. John Spangler

# 4822 - M1 Garand History (by Serial Number)
Tom, Portage, IN.

Springfield Armory - M-1 Garand - 30-06 - Parkerized - 7005227 -

Bolt #6528287-SA, Trigger assembly #D28290-14-SA, Trigger Sear#C46015-9SA, No markings on stock or other wood parts. Has a trap door in butt plate (2 holes in stock). The wood appears to be a hardwood and in excellent shape When was this made? Is there a internet site to research by serial number? It came in a Springfield Armory Box. What is the value? I have been looking for a gun like my father carried in WWII and I finally have one like it now and was curios on the history of this gun. I obtained the gun from an estate sale. Thank You for the help

Tom- Your Garand is probably a good shooter, and mechanically identical to that used in WW2. However, it was made in recent years as a commercial product by Springfield Armory, Geneseo, IL, not the famous government run Springfield Armory at Springfield Massachusetts. The government produced M1 Garand serial numbers stopped in the 6 million range, and the commercial numbers started in the 7 million range, using newly made receivers. Commercial rifles have also been made using receivers from Century Arms, and Lithgow and mostly GI surplus parts. None of these commercially made rifle shave any collector value (in my opinion, but I don't think beanie babies are collectible either). You can check for known history of most U.S. military arms on our new site Look for the Springfield Research Service link and then pick the model, enter your serial number and you will see if there is any documented history available. While documentation has survived for only a tiny percentage of the millions of guns made, it is really great when you can find it. John Spangler

# 4998 - Holly Water Plug?

I have recently ran across a large bore rifle it is a flap that opens on top of the breach for loading also there is a place on the stock where a wooden plug has been inserted. The lady that has it is in her 70s and she told me her great Grandfather gave it to her and told her the plug was there because the gun had been used by the missionaries and they put holly water in the stock so god would forgive them for killing the Indians. How would I go about finding out the age and if this thing is for real. Please respond I have no Idea where to go for Info I can't find anything like it in any of the gun books I can find.

Jim- Rifles with a wooden plug in the stock are almost uniquely French military arms. The plugs were part of the markings to identify them as government property and the maker, and had no religious significance. It impossible that you have something else, but without a photo, we cannot be sure. Most French military arms have relatively low values, and many were later converted to other uses. The most common is known as a "Zulu" shotgun, and has a breechblock that is hinged to the side. These have very limited collector value, in the range of $75-150. John Spangler

# 4997 - Dance Dragoon Revolver

Dance - Dragoon Revolver -

I'd like some history on this weapon

Robert - Dance was a Confederate maker during the Civil War. The guns are extremely valuable, and unfortunately also frequently faked. We lack the expertise to properly authenticate one. There are some good books on Confederate Arms that would be a good starting point for the history. Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and their values at $35 would be a worthwhile investment to get some basic background. John Spangler

# 4944 - Remington Model No. 4 Rolling Block Rifle
Patrick, Hanson, Mass.

Remington Rolling Block - MODEL 4 - .22 Long Rifle - 21 7/8" - Blue - 334652 -

Remington arms co. , inc. , remington ilion works, ilion, n. y. made in usa (on top of barrel)remmington umc trademark (on buttplate)model 4 & serial number (on left side of receiver) Can you tell me how old this gun is, if its rare, approx. value (very good condition)

Patrick, the Model Number 4 Rolling Block Rifle was Remington's lightest and smallest rolling block design. Number 4 rifles were chambered for 22, short, long and long rifle; 25 Stevens; 32 short and long rimfire calibers. Finish on these rifles was blue with case hardened frames and iron mountings. Standard rifles were sold with V-notch rear and bead front sights and 22.5 inch octagonal barrels for most of production and 24 inch barrels for rifles chambered in 32 caliber. Round barrels became available in latter years towards end of production. Take-down rifles were introduced after the turn of the century and these can bring slight premium for rifles in better grades of condition. Remington manufactured about 50,000 Model 4 Rolling Block Rifles from 1890 to 1933, values range from $100 to about $600 depending on condition, configuration and caliber. Marc

# 4996 - W. R. Weaver Scope

Weaver - Model 330 -

I am trying to find some history on a scope a have. It's a W.R. Weaver model 330. I don't see a serial number on it. On the plate it says:

It has a side mount attached to it that says "T2" Any information would be appreciated!

Jay- Weaver sold thousand of these 330 scopes from about 1933 to 1948. They are well made and rugged little scopes, although nowhere near as good as modern scopes. Some were bought for military use on M1903A4 sniper rifles, and marked Telescope M73B1, and others were reportedly used for other weapons and non-weapons applications. The T2 mount was capable of being mounted on a wide variety of rifles, but these had no military use. The scopes are in high demand for people restoring (or making imitation) sniper rifles. Let us know if you decide to sell. John Spangler

# 4992 - 1870 Enfield Appraisal

Enfield - 1870 -

John, I want an appraisal on my 1870 Enfield. I am a retired Air Force pilot and I purchased the gun in Pashawa, Pakistan in 1966. It is in excellent condition. If you can't give me an appraisal, please advise.

Matt- Sorry, we cannot help with that one without seeing the gun. The folks in the neighborhood where you got it are notorious for their innovative craftsmanship making ALL sorts of firearms of virtually any vintage, with a variety of spurious, or even impossible markings. In general, a Enfield made rifle dated 1870 would be a breech loading "Snider" with retail value in the $250-600 range depending on exact variation and condition. They may have made some muzzle loaders for colonial use that late, but I am doubtful. Therefore I am pretty sure it is a "Khyber Pass" copy of some sort, and of unknown age. Values on those would be quite a bit less. However, I think they are neat guns and that whole genre would be a fun collecting field. John Spangler, Captain, US Navy (retired).

# 4942 - Model 1935 Browning
Jim, Melbourne, Florida

Browning - Pistol - 9mm - Nickel - 6482 -

FABRIQUE NATIONALE D'ARMES DE GUERREHERSTAL BELGIQUEBROWINING PATENT DEPOSE This pistol belonged to my father who recently passed away. I would like to know as much about this gun as possible. Your help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much,

Jim, it sounds like you have a Model 1935 Browning, these are more commonly known as Browning High Power pistols. The High Power name derives from the pistols high capacity (13 round) magazine which was uncommon at the time that the pistol was first introduced. Work on the High Power pistol was begun by John Browning who died suddenly of a heart attack in 1926 and was completed by engineers at the FN factory. Because of this the High Power is known as John Browning's last design. The High Power was first announced in 1935 and was almost immediately taken into service by the armies of several nations including Belgium, Lithuania, Latvia and Romania. In the ensuing years the pistol has been used by military, and police in over 68 different nations. Well over a million have been manufactured and the design is still in production today. Marc

# 4991 - 1863 Trapdoor Springfield

Springfield - Trapdoor -

I have a 1863 trapdoor Springfield cal. 45/70 , I did not think they made trapdoors in 1863. could you tell me something about this, It was my grandfathers gun and has been in the family for over 100 yrs.

Bob- Springfield did not make any "trapdoors" in any caliber in 1863.They began with a .58 rimfire trapdoor model in 1865, a .50-70 centerfire in 1866 with more .50-70s as models 1868 and 1870. All these used locks which were originally made for use on Civil War .58 caliber muzzle loading rifle muskets, mostly dated 1863. The Civil War muskets were broken up for parts to be salvaged for use on the new rifles, and this continued during production of the .45-70 rifles which started in 1873. The 1873 used a new lockplate which was thinner, but the internal parts were the same, so a 1863 dated lock will fit in a .45-70 stock. Once again the miracle of interchangeable parts has resulted in a seemingly impossible creation. John Spangler

# 4985 - Johnson Question

Johnson - M1941 - 30-06 -

I have a question that you might be able to help me with. I have a Johnson M1941, however it is presently locked up in my gun safe. The serial number, from memory, is 3882, without the A, B, or C prefix. My question, or problem, is the bolt not remaining open when pulled back when charging.. I saw a Johnson B prefix at the South Carolina State Museum on Saturday and pulled the bolt back which held like most all guns would. Although the bolt does not need to be held back to use the gun, I always thought it was odd, or broken. I started digging in all my reference material and then looked on the web. Did those Johnson people make them both ways, as I found some conflicting information saying some would lock open, and others saying some wouldn't. Then, if mine should, I could use some help in locating the parts to repair, or fix. The gun at the museum and mine looked very similar in the bolt area where it would catch so I couldn't discern what should be replaced. Thanks for any and all help.

Joel- We have had about 7 Johnsons in the last 4 years, and some would stay open and others did not. As I recall, the early guns did not include the hold open feature, but I am a bit fuzzy on that. With a handful of exceptions, most Johnsons seen today have probably had lots of parts switched or replaced, so it is hard to be sure exactly what is correct and what is not.

I suggest you check with Jim Pullen at the superb Johnson Rifle page on our links page. He is THE expert on these. I would appreciate a copy of whatever you find out, so I will be smarter about this in the future.

I do have a small stash of Johnson parts (and SARCO has some in their on line catalog, as does Gun Parts Corp), so one of us may be able to help with whatever you need, if it turns out it is a defect instead of a variation. I just don't know what parts might be involved. John Spangler

# 4939 - Western Field Mod 37 Parts
Lynn, Huntsburg, Ohio

Wards Western Field - 37 - .22 -

Where can I find a manual for this rifle? Do you know of any place that would have parts for this model? Thank you.

Lynn, Western Field marketed the Mossberg Model 30 as their Model 37. Mossberg manufactured the Model 30 from 1933 to 1935. The Model 30/37 was a single shot .22 caliber rifle with a 24 inch barrel, sling swivels, rear peep and ramp front sights chambered in .22 Short, Long and Long Rifle calibers. For parts check with Gun Parts Corp (the old Numrich Arms people) at: . Gun Parts Corp has just about everything. If that doesn't work, try posting on our free "Wanted" page and at the new forum at Values for these rifles are in the $20 to $50 range so it may not be worth the cost of the parts and shipping to fix it. Marc

# 4966 - 1903 Springfield - Sporterized

Springfield - 1903 -

I have a 1903 Springfield that has been blued and restocked. The bolt, follower and rear sight have been polished. Whoever did it did a wonderful job. I was told that this was a rifle that was given to a person of rank upon their retirement from the military. The rifle was made in 1918.My question is, were any 1903 Springfield's given in this manner that would explain why this rifle was reworked.

It is possible that the rifle was fancied up as you describe as some sort of retirement presentation. However, it is almost certain that this was not arsenal work, and was locally done. There have been various methods, legal and otherwise to acquire military arms, and perhaps they purchased (or otherwise) obtained the rifle and decided to have the local gunsmith make it look pretty. Also, large numbers of Springfield's were reworked into sporters by talented gunsmiths in Germany after WW2, so it may be one of those. Unless the recipient can be documented, and is someone collectors would be excited about, the rifle has very little collector interest or value. Perhaps it has some greater sentimental value to the recipient's family. John Spangler

# 4965 - M14 by AR Sales, South El Monte, CA

Back in the late 1960's and early 1970's across the street from National Ordnance Co., there existed a small manufacturer named AR Sales. They made 1911 frames (aluminum), re-welded Garand receivers, and made their own M 14 type rifle that was called the Mark IV (I think). As I remember it was owned by a woman named Ilia Karnes. Her husband, Jack Karnes, was the machinist. Do you know what happened to this company? Any idea how many M 14 type rifles they made?

Joe- Good history lesson, and excellent question. I do not know the answer. I suspect that you could find out if you gained access to the BATF records in West Virginia for out of business manufacturers. I have not idea how (un)cooperative they may be in responding to a request for such information, or even copies of the records themselves. I had heard that someone was able to make copies of the old Ithaca Gun Company records from WW2, but am not sure that was the source. Maybe if you made it a "Freedom of Information Act" request or had a lawyer request it "to research manufacturing quantities" related to some case they would be more likely to respond. Who knows? John Spangler

UPDATE: (12/19/04) It turns out that the Karnes' son read this and kindly provided the following information:
"I was looking thru you site when I came accress this question. I have first hand info on this subject as both Ilia and Jack Karnes are my parents. I grew up watching and learning while these rifles were built. AR Sales Co made 225 rifles all total the serial range was 0001 to 0199 and 0220 to 0245. The skip in the middle was for test rifles and tooling models. The rifles were all built using USGI parts and checked with Goverment gauges than test fired. The manufacturing end was disolved at the time of my perents divorce in 1979. Hope this clears some fog on this little but proud company. Thanks Steve Karnes "

# 4930 - Excam Revolver
Tom Stephens City VA. 22655

Excam Inc. (ARMI F. LLI TANFOGLIO GARDONE V. TA 76 - 22lr. Single Action - 4.75 - Blued - C43263 -

PSF stamped on the right hand side, then there is a square with "AS" in it. There is "Cat. 885" below the cylinder on the right hand side. There is a marking that I cant tell what it is it looks like a "V" with fire or smoke in it. There is also what I think to be the Italian Shield stamped on the right hand side of the action and right over the ejector tube right in front of the receiver on the barrel. How old is this gun and can/where do I find parts (cylinders mainly) for it. Thanks for any help.

Tom, Excam of Hialeah Florida, went out of business in about 1990, if I remember correctly, they imported and distributed mostly low quality inexpensive firearms. I believe that the Excam 22 revolvers were manufactured in Italy. I do not know of a source for parts for Excam revolvers, and I think that it would be a waste of time and money to try to repair one. Your time and money would be much better spent investing in a good quality revolver like a Ruger Single Six. Marc

# 4962 - BM59 Rifle

At a gun show this past weekend, I saw a rifle about which I have a question. It was at first glance an M1. However, it was magazine fed, and the receiver was marked Springfield Armory M59, and then a serial number. The bolt was marked P.B. M59 and the stock had a cartouche P.B. M59. Do these markings mean anything to you, and have you an idea of what it was I was looking at.

Matt- Pietro Beretta (yes, THAT Beretta company) modified a large number of M1 Garands to take 20 round box magazines and I think concurrently altered them to 7.62mm NATO starting about 1959. Either the official Italian military designation was BM59, or this was a commercial designation that they used while trying to drum up civilian sales. Some of these were imported into the US many years ago, and in recent years some more have either been imported into the US, or manufactured to a similar design here in the US and sold through the commercial Springfield Armory folks of Geneseo, IL. I guess these have some collector appeal to those fascinated by "assault weapons" (whatever that might mean to someone), but I don't really care about them enough to learn more about them. John Spangler

# 4950 - Rifle Question

I saw a Rifle for sale a few days ago and I was wondering if you could help me find out what it is. It looks exactly the same as a Lithgow BSA MK3 Rifle. I remember seeing Lithgow and something else stamped on it. The year on it was 1916 and I saw "Schmidt 3" imprinted on it also. I also saw "BR" on the stock. It had a brass opening in the back of the stock. It was bolt action and it had a clip. The guy doesn't know his head from his ass but wants 175 for it. I was wondering if u can help me out, thanks.

Adam- It may be a rare treasure, or total junk. If you think it is a good deal, go ahead and get it. However, most collectors are much happier when they either buy from reputable dealers who know their head from their butt, and describe their stuff accurately and price it fairly. Or, they invest the money and time to study some good books so they will know what they are looking at, and how good the price might be. John Spangler

# 4929 - Ugly Chrome (Ugh) 1935 Beretta?

Beretta - Brevettata - 7.65 - 3.25" - Chrome? - 578980 -

P. BERETTA-CAL 765-BEREVETTATA, GARDONE VT 1940 Can you advise me on information and value on this weapon? Thank You in Advance!

It sounds like you have a Model 1935. The Model 1935 Beretta was chambered in 7.65mm, it had a blue or parkerized finish with a 3 & 3/8 inch barrel, fixed sights, and plastic grips. The models 1934 (the same pistol in 380) and 1935 were Italy's service weapon in WWII, with over one million manufactured between 1934-1980. Wartime military slides were marked "P. BERETTA-CAL 765-BEREVETTATA, GARDONE VT" followed by the date of manufacture. The date of manufacture is usually given in two systems (except on late wartime production pistols) the Christian calendar - e.g. 1942 - followed by a Roman numeral denoting the year of the Fascist calendar which began in 1922. Thus, an inscription might read 1942 XX or 1937 XV. Military weapons were also marked `RE' (Regia Esercito); RA (Regia Aeronautica); or RM (Regia Marine), while police weapons were marked PS (Publica Sicurezza) at the left rear of the frame. These pistols were also sold commercially during the war but only in relatively small numbers, since most of the production was taken by the Italian forces. Later production model serial numbers have an alphabetical prefix. Post war production models have serial numbers that start with C00001.

It's too bad that your pistol has a chrome finish. I do not believe that this finish is original and it will hurt value which I would estimate to be in the $100 to $150.00 range. Marc

# 4949 - Japanese Rifle with Elmer Keith Cartouche

I would appreciate any info you could provide on a formal or informal inspection of captured enemy weapons by Elmer Keith at the Ogden Arsenal in Utah during WW2.

This is what I know. There is a Type 99 at the Marine Corp museum in Quantico that has Elmer Keith's Ogden Arsenal inspection stamp stamped on the left side of the stock bellow the S# on the receiver. It is his wartime O.G.E.K. inspection stamp within a box. I know that rifle has been in the museum since at least 1974.

Do you know the history of where the rifle was captured and the path it took to the Ogden Arsenal in Utah where Elmer Keith proceeded to inspect it and mark it as such?

Have you seen any similarly marked Arisakas (or German Rifles) and do you know the history of them?

The belief is that these rifles were captured examples that were passed up the ordnance chain, eventually arriving in the capable hands of Mr. Keith who proceeded to examine them and mark them with his inspectors stamp. There aren't enough of these rifles around to lend credence to the thought they are fakes. But more than one, so it is known they isn't a single example. I'd like to learn anything any of you might know about these rifles.

Can you tell me what years Mr. Keith was at Ogden Arsenal as an inspector? I'm hypothesizing that these captured rifles were from early in the war? Was Mr. Keith at Ogden in late 1942?

Again I'd appreciate any info you can provide.

Lastly, the following links are to a matching/mummed 26th series Nagoya Type 38 rifle with Mr. Keith's OGEK stamp on the left side of the stock, bellow the S# area of the receiver. I was recently lucky enough to add this interesting specimen to my collection.

Earl- Elmer Keith's service in WW2 is well described by him in his "Hell, I was there!" on pages 184-191. He spent three and a half years at Ogden Arsenal, with stints at Frankford Arsenal and Rock Island for various reasons. He was a friend of General Julian S. Hatcher (of Hatcher's Notebook fame) as well as a few other high ranking Ordnance Corps officers. He was also very unpopular with many others, mainly ignorant recently commissioned types who resented some scruffy old rancher type guy acting like he knew it all and trying to run things. Well, they just did not understand that he actually DID know it all (or darn close) and seemed to do a damn fine job of running things if the brass would keep out of his way and back him up. I am sure it was a very interesting workplace environment under those circumstances.

The actual dates of Keith's service at Ogden are unclear, but appear to be from some time in 1942 until near the end of the war.

There is nothing in his book that implies he was involved in any way with inspection or testing of any captured equipment. I will try to find a more scholarly study of activities at Ogden Arsenal that may be more detailed and include mention of such activities if they were in fact performed there. I believe that all ordnance technical intelligence type activities were conducted at Aberdeen Proving Ground. It would be interesting to know if they have ANY Pacific theater captured arms with OGEK markings. If so, that would add credence to this being an official marking.

It is possible that Keith looked at one or more Japanese rifles brought back as a souvenir (any gun guy would want to see something unusual) and perhaps as a joke, or a favor to the owner, or just to be ornery, went ahead and stamped it/them. I am not certain that he alone personally had the only stamp with his initials, or if there were a number of them and used by the inspectors actually doing the work. If the latter, then it is also possible it was someone other than Keith who applied the marking.

This assumes the marking is authentic and done prior to 1945. However, there is an incredible number of various inspector and other marking stamps in the possession of assorted collectors, restoration artists and outright fakers. These cover virtually every period from the trapdoor era to the present, and if you need something made up, there are some nice old guys who set up at some of the major gun shows who make the stamps to do fake, er REPRODUCTION markings.

My guess is that it is probably an authentic, but extra-curricular marking. John Spangler

# 4947 - USMC Markings On M1917 Bolt
Todd, State College, PA

Eddystone - M1917 - .30 Cal - 26 Inches - Parkerized -

"USMC" in addition to the flaming ordnance bomb I know you are suspicious of any USMC markings, especially on guns. But I would like your opinion on this. In 1969 I purchased an Eddystone M1917 from Gault's Gun Shop in Harrisburg, PA for $30. I purchased the rifle to get some high-power rifle experience before beginning West Point in 1970. The rifle was rebarreled and marked "HS" with the ordnance mark (no date). The barrel appears to never to have been finished. The receiver and the rest of the parts seem to be black parkerized. I can attest that the rifle has been unaltered in the past 33 years other than the stock was lightly sanded (OK, I know I should not have done that but it was 1969 and I was 17 years old). For the past 33 years the rifle has been largely ignored. In the process listing some items for sale, I noticed that the bolt handle is clearly marked with "USMC" and the ordnance bomb. Given the fact that is exceedingly unlikely that someone would have faked the "USMC" mark on the rifle before I purchased it in 1969 and the fact that the Marines were not supposed to have used M1917s, does this make the rifle rare and more valuable?

Todd- I am happy to report that the USMC markings on the bolt of your rifle are authentic, applied to the bolt at the time of manufacture. However, despite their coinciding with the abbreviation for the United States Marine Corps, THEY DO NOT INDICATE ANY CONNECTION WITH THE U.S. MARINE CORPS!

During WW2, virtually every establishment in the country with any manufacturing capability was engaged in manufacture of items to support he war effort, often quite removed from their pre-was endeavors. Recall for a moment that M1 carbine makers had previously been in the business of making such things as juke boxes (Rock Ola); adding machines (IBM); typewriters (Underwood); steering wheels (Inland); industrial manufacturing tools (Quality Hardware); automobile steering gears (Saginaw); mailing machines (National Postal Meter); and automotive trim pieces (Standard Products). There was only one gun making outfit, (Winchester) who made carbines. The sewing machine people at Singer made some M1911A1 pistols, and the refrigerator makers at Hotpoint turned out machine guns.

The United Shoe Machinery Corporation was founded in 1905 and soon built a huge plant in Beverly, Massachusetts. They specialized in making the machinery that was used to make shoes, and were also involved at various times in such things as rubber overshoes, and the "foot-o-scope" x ray machines that many shoe stores had 50 years ago. They dominated the show machinery business and were involved in numerous lawsuits alleging unfair business practices, and are considered to be a forerunner of the attacks on Microsoft. (Yep, lawyers sure fixed that big evil shoe machinery company, and as a result there are almost no shoe making companies left in the U.S.- but plenty of rich lawyers!) The remnants of USMC were acquired by Emhart Corporation in 1976, and they in turn were gobbled up by Black and Decker in 1989. Some USMC records are in the University of Connecticut Library if anyone wants to research USMC's ordnance work further. A good history of the company can be found at

USMC made bolts for the Model 1917 rifles during World War 2, as these rifles were being used to some extent for rear echelon U.S. troops, and they were also being sent in huge numbers to our allies.

I believe USMC also made various 20mm Oerlikon cannon parts during WW2. I recall their being made at Lowell, not Beverly, but may be mistaken, or perhaps USMC had several production facilities. They also had a large headquarters building in Boston. John Spangler

# 4880 - Rusted And Busted
Bob, Jacksonville, Oregon

Winchester - 1886 - 45-90 - 25 1/4 - Rusted - UNKNOWN -

This rifle is a battlefield relic, found in Oregon. It is completely rusted. The stock is gone. The rifle is rusted (frozen) with the hammer back and the lever broken. Looks like a bullet struck the frame. I can only surmise that it was dropped during a fight. Do rifles in this condition have any value?

Bob, There are people who collect such guns as you describe. The guns are referred to by collectors as "rusted and busted". The demand for firearms recovered on battlefields has became so great that some unscrupulous individuals purchased new Italian replica Colt and Remington black powder revolvers, artificially aged them, then "found" them while "digging" at famous battlefields, and offered them for sale. There are several dimensional differences between the Italian replicas and the originals that finally gave the deception away. Since the Winchester 45-90 was not used as a U.S. military rifle it is unlikely yours was used in battle by the U.S. troops. It could have been used by Indians or have been lost, misplaced, stolen and abandoned long ago. The site where the rifle was found would certainly help you in establishing a price. I would suggest showing your Winchester to dealers who handle "rusted and busted" firearms, you can probably find some on the internet or at the next gunshow. Marc

# 4945 - Hamilton No. 15 Short Barreled Rifle

Hamilton - No. 15 -

I have a Hamilton Rifle No.15, it only has 8" of true barrel, how does BATF feel about this. Thanks for any help you can provide, also you have a great site glad I run across it. Jim

Jim- Congress makes some dumb laws and the BATF interprets and enforces them. You need to talk with them to get an official interpretation, and my guess is that much like the IRS interpretation of the tax laws, the advice you get may or may not be the same from any two people you talk to. Since they can throw your butt in the slammer, it is well to be cautious, and if possible get any advice in writing, or at least make a note of name, ID number etc of agent who tells you something, just in case someone disagrees later. My understanding is that any shotgun (smooth bore) must have a barrel at least 18 inches long, and rifles must have barrels at least 16 inches long. Otherwise you get into the "sawed off shotgun/short barrel rifle" category with all sorts of registration paperwork, etc. (That is what got Randy Weaver's family killed when a BATF guy got him to make a barrel about 1/2 inch too short.) However, certain guns with barrels less than the approve minimum length have been officially exempted from the National Firearms Act covering such details "and classified as Curios or Relics under the Gun Control Act" That allows them to be treated just like any other ordinary gun you might buy or sell, and people with Curio & Relic FFLs are eligible to buy them. The BATF periodically publishes the listing of such Curio & Relic items, and they also have it available on line at This list includes eleven different Hamilton models, including the Model 15. Therefore I think you are okay, but it does not matter what I think, only what your friendly neighborhood BATF agent thinks their rules mean. John Spangler

# 4938 - Item Identification

Hi, in cleaning out my fathers house we came across an item which we have no knowledge of, any help would be appreciated. It is a greenish looking tin can like the kind prince Albert pipe tobacco use to come in but heavier metal than the pipe tobacco can with an opening latch at both ends. Size wise just a little bigger than the above mentioned pipe can. Inside is a heavy metal chain with metal beads, sort of like a set of catholic Rosary beads but all metal and heavy. Lastly there is a small bristle brush that somehow fits the chain. On the chain if you look with a magnifying glass there is a nazi emblem. Any idea? I thought it might be a cleaning chain for a machine gun or something of that sort

Bob - That is a WW2 German cleaning kit which was used for both (I think) rifles and machine guns in 8mm Mauser caliber. They are fairly common items and seem to sell in the $10-30 range depending on condition, completeness, and any exotic markings. John Spangler

# 4912 - Smith & Wesson 455 Revolver

S & W - Smith & Wesson 455 Mk2? - 455 - 6, 5 - 43119 -

British proof marks What model is this? I can`t find it at Gunparts. Model number?

Kjell, according to "The Standard Catalogue of Smith and Wesson" by Jim Supica and Dick Nahas, Smith and Wesson manufactured 2 revolvers in 455 caliber. Both revolvers were manufactured between 1915-1918 and were called.455 1st and 2nd Models. Your serial number falls in the range for the 2nd model. The main difference between the first and second model was the elimination of the extractor shroud on the second model. Almost all of these.455 revolvers went to the British military. U.S. revolvers accepted into British service have a crossed flag proof on the frame and cylinder, and a British broad arrow (actually only the arrow head) inspector's mark the on the frame. Parts for this revolver should be identical to other Smith and Wesson revolvers in 44 or 45 caliber with the exception of the barrel and cylinder. Marc

# 4937 - Meridian 22

Meridian -

Have in my possession a 22 rifle , single shot, bolt action , says it shoots 22 short, & it is a center fire rifle, & says on the barrel Meridian Fire Arms Co., Model " O " .. it has some paint on it, & I believe that it was made by Remington a long time ago???? Appreciate your input as to value & any other information you have.

Steve- Meridian Firearms Company operated from about 1908 to 1916 in Meridian, CT. This was set up to manufacture guns specifically for Sears Roebuck Company. They had no connection with Remington, although the rolling block action resembles that used on many Remington guns. As far as I know, all their rifles were rimfire, not centerfire, and is it says .22 short, it started as a rimfire. There were Models 6 and Model 10, but no Model 0 that I could find. (Models reflect introduction in 1906 and 1910 respectively.) Value would depend greatly on condition and exact model and any alterations. My guess is that the unaltered version of either the Model 6 or 10 would be in the $50-150 range depending on condition. John Spangler

# 4928 - 1st California Cavalry History

I am a historian writing about accusations by Indians that in 1863 a company of California Volunteers used their Sharpe's carbines (or perhaps Maynards which had just been assigned to Cal Vols) bayoneted Indians on a removal to a reservation. 1. Did these two types have bayonets? 2. To support accusations that soldiers killed Indians by smashing their heads with rocks the myth, I believe it is a myth, says that the soldiers wanted to save their powder or found it too hard or inconvenient to make the "bullets" so bludgeoned the Indians who slowed their course. I am interested in challenging these allegations but am equipped by background only to do so on the basis of common sense. Can you help?

Michele- Minor technical point- despite any TV shows to the contrary, the correct spelling is Sharps without the e or the apostrophe.

It just so happens that a dealer friend earlier this week sold a Sharps carbine documented to Charles Williams, of Co. E, 1st California Cavalry. You can see a photo of it at You may want to download the photo and info quickly as he will probably remove it shortly and put up something else for sale. Serial numbers are known for quite a few Sharps carbines assigned to that regiment, but no Maynards have been documented to them.

The Sharps Model 1853 carbine, and the Maynard carbine were NOT fitted for bayonets. Therefore, any reported use of bayonets is inaccurate. However, most soldiers carried knives of some sort, and use of knives to stab people may have been incorrectly interpreted as use of bayonets when translated from Indian accounts.

As for the use of rocks versus bullets. The Sharps used a paper cartridge inserted into the breech and a percussion cap applied once the breech was closed. In a pinch, the bullet could be inserted by hand, and then loose powder poured into the chamber, in lieu of using a paper cartridge. If these arms were newly issued, the troops may have been unfamiliar with them, or concerned about resupply of cartridges, or lacking any molds to cast new bullets (assuming that loose powder was available), and therefore felt compelled to conserve ammunition when in hostile territory. In such circumstances other weapons would have been used, but smashing heads with rocks seems like a very last choice after spears or knives. However, atrocities by both sides were common in conflict between the whites and the Indians so it is hard to tell what weapons were used and for what reasons.

I hope this helps. Although I know nothing of the 1st California Cavalry, I have a passing knowledge of Colonel Connor's 1st California Infantry, as they established Fort Douglas here in Salt Lake City. I am the web master for John Spangler

# 4897 - Universal M-1 Carbine
M. J. , Phoenix, Arizona

Universal - M-1 Carbine - .30 Carbine - 15-18 Inches - Blue - 171205 -

Where would I be able to find parts for a Universal M-1 Carbine that was left to me by my father, I am looking for an operating slide since the one I have is cracked. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Universal Firearms Corporation was the successor to the Bullseye Company. Universal produced M-1 Carbine copies for commercial sales. The quality of Universal carbines for the most part was not bad, but was defiantly not up to the standards of U.S. government issue carbines. Initially the bulk of the components Universal used in their carbines were U.S. government surplus except for the forged receivers which were made by Repp Steel Company of Buffalo. Surplus slides and trigger housings were used as long as possible but toward the end of the Korean Conflict, when the surplus part market dried up, Universal started manufacturing all of their own parts including barrels, die cast trigger housings, recoil plates, recoil plate screw, and springs. I do not know of a source for a Universal slide for your carbine but there is a possibility that a U.S. military surplus slide will work instead. Gun Parts Corp. should have some military surplus slides for sale, there is a link to their web site on our links page. Marc

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