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# 4940 -
Hi-Standard Model B Disassembly
Bill, Pensacola, FL
.22 Long Rifle -
5 1/4 -
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.
Answer: 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
1936 Mexican -
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. )
Answer: 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.
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
Answer: 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 http://armscollectors.com. 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.
Answer: 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
# 4997 -
Dance Dragoon Revolver
Dragoon Revolver -
I'd like some history on this weapon
Answer: 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" -
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)
Answer: 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
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:
W. R. WEAVER CO.
EL PASO, TEXAS., USA
It has a side mount attached to it that says "T2" Any information would be appreciated!
Answer: 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
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.
Answer: 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
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,
Answer: 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
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.
Answer: 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
# 4985 -
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
Answer: 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 -
Where can I find a manual for this rifle? Do you know of any place that would have parts for this model? Thank
Answer: 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
For parts 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 on our free "Wanted" page and at the new forum
at WWW.ArmsCollectors.com. 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
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.
Answer: 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 8/17/02
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 -
Tom Stephens City VA. 22655
Excam Inc. (ARMI F. LLI TANFOGLIO GARDONE V.
TA 76 -
22lr. Single Action -
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.
Answer: 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.
# 4962 -
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.
Answer: 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
# 4950 -
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.
Answer: 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
P. BERETTA-CAL 765-BEREVETTATA, GARDONE VT 1940 Can you advise me on information and value on this weapon? Thank
You in Advance!
Answer: 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.
Answer: 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
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
# 4947 -
USMC Markings On M1917 Bolt
Todd, State College, PA
"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?
Answer: 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
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
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?
Answer: 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
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
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 http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/curios/index.htm
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
# 4938 -
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
Answer: 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
# 4912 -
Smith & Wesson 455 Revolver
S & W -
Smith & Wesson 455 Mk2? -
6, 5 -
British proof marks What model is this? I can`t find it at Gunparts. Model number?
Answer: 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 -
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
Answer: 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
# 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?
Answer: 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 http://www.19thcenturyweapons.com/ 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 www.FortDouglas.org. John Spangler
# 4897 -
Universal M-1 Carbine
M. J. , Phoenix, Arizona
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.
Answer: 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