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# 6654 - Another House Brand Gun
8/31/2004

Sears Roebuck - Bolt Action - 22 - Blue - 43-103.19811-22SLLR -

Trying to find out manufacture date and value if possible. Thank you.

Answer:
Sears firearms were manufactured under contract by several firearms companies to be marketed under the Sears brand name. Collectors call this type of firearm "house brand" guns. The numbers that you gave me "103.19811" are model numbers not the serial number, and "22SLLR" designates the rifles caliber, it stands for 22 Short, Long, or Long Rifle. I am not sure what the "43" means, possibly a model sub type. My references indicate that the Sears Model 103.19811 is the Marlin model 81.

The Model 81 was manufactured by the Marlin Firearms Company of New Haven, Connecticut from about 1939 to about 1964, total production numbers are not known.

There is no collector interest in house brand firearms, their values are always lower than their counterparts that carry the original manufactures brand name. I would estimate value for your 43-103.19811 to be in the $50.00 or less range. Marc


# 6601 - $8000 Nickel Plated Luger?
8/31/2004
Alex, White Salmon. WA.

DWM - ? - 9MM - 4'' - Nickel - 2873 -

On the left side thumb safety the word ''Gesichert'' is on the frame. Also over the chamber area it is marked 1921. On the right front side near the barrel chamber it appears to have two, ''butterfly'' or ''Mexican Eagle'' symbols and at the left rear of the bolt group the same marking with the letters '' NaRL '', by the way the first letter looks like a backwards capitol N or NoAL. There is a third marking with the front two, but it is not very distinguishable. All of the number on the gun match, except for the clip. It shoots very well, to boot. My dad and I have tried to learn the history of the gun, dad bought it in 1951, when he was in Korea. The ''story'' was, it came from a German officer in North Africa. The gun appears to be factory nickel. We would like to know the true history of the gun. Do you have any suggestions as to where we could look. We have been offered more than 8K for it at one point, and the value is not so much our interest, as it will not be sold, but it made us very curious, how rare it may be, since the man that offered us the money, is a gun collector, and a complete tight ass. Any suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated. Thank You.

Answer:
Alex, we get questions like yours, asking for the history of various German small arms on a regular basis. I do not know of any existing records that would enable me to look up the history of your Luger. I have heard that all pertinent records were destroyed during WWI and WWII. I do have some information about German unit markings on African colonial service Lugers but the markings you describe sound more like inspection and proof marks than unit marks. I can tell you that nickel IS NOT an original factory finish. Original finish for Lugers of this vintage is rust blue. If I owned your pistol and someone offered me $8000+ for it, I would sell it IMMEDIATELY! In my opinion fair value for a nickel plated Luger is in the $250 to $300 range. Marc


# 6457 - Dress Sword ID
8/31/2004
Curtis, Moreno Valley, CA

Pettibone Bros. - Dress Sword - N/A - N/A - Blue -

Pettibone Bros Mfg. Co. at the base of the blade near the hilt. Scabbard has a ''NPIJ'' stamped on the backside. Engraved Sword & Scabbard with ''Edgar Louis Johnson'' I am trying to find the origin an purpose of this dress sword. Very ornate 32'' blade x 7/8'', engraved blade with decorative hilt with crown & cross motif & iron crosses with knights head at the base of the handle. Scabbard matches with the same decorations and engraving of ''Edgar Louis Johnson''. I saw one similar to this at the little big horn monument as part of Custers dress uniform.

Answer:
Curtis- The cross and sword motif identifies this as one of the fraternal groups popular in the late 19th and early 20th century, such as the Knights of Pythias and may others. I do not know (or care) enough about the various groups to distinguish between them, but in general they seem to be a hard sell on the collector market, although they are very decorative. Unless identified to a colorful owner or interesting geographic location, values seem to be rather modest (although eternal optimism among some dealers results in some astronomical asking prices). Lodge and fraternal swords were made by the same firms which made military and presentation swords and as thrifty businessmen, they tried to make maximum use of various parts to reduce costs. Thus the blades and many of the fittings were identical across the various types, with unique trimmings added here and there to maker each group's sword a little bit different. Therefore the sword you saw that belonged to Custer may have looked very similar, but was probably not the same as yours. John Spangler


# 6434 - Whitney .36 Caliber Navy Revolver History
8/27/2004
Robert J. Walter

Whitney Arms 6 Shot Revolver - 1st Model 3rd Type Navy - .36 - 6 Inches - Don't Know - A395 -

Lt. R.D. Andrews is the name on the barrel. There are three notches on the hand grip. Is there any history about this gun that might increase the value?

Answer:
Robert- If you checked the Springfield Research Service database on our other site (http://ArmsCollectors.com) and did not find anything, then I think you are unlikely to find anything. You may be able to do a search of Civil War soldiers to see if you can find anything on Lt. Andrews. But, names inscribed on guns are not very convincing as anyone with a few minutes of spare time and strange or evil intent can add their own, or someone else's name, and it is hard to know if it was done last week, or a hundred years ago. John Spangler


# 6429 - Spencer Rifle- Ammunition And Shooting
8/27/2004
Ralph - Fayetteville PA

Spencer - Model 1860 - 56/52 - 30'' - Other - 23970 -

Where can I get shootable ammunition for the Spencer Army Rifle Model 1860? It fires a rimfire 56/52 caliber cartridge, they're ridiculously priced, but this rifle is such a kick-ass gun, I'm dying to shoot it again. I found 7 cartridges 2 years ago for roughly $8.50 a piece and shot 3 of them one time and the other 4 on my next birthday 7 months later, and were they GREAT shoots! I have been looking for re-loads for YEARS and never found any, so I'm just going to figure on locating some great quality antique rounds and shoot them. It's a beautiful weapon and dead-on accurate, even after 140 years - I placed the 4 shot group in a 12-inch bull at 150 yards, so what does that tell ya? Any help will be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!!!

Answer:
Ralph- You got a good deal on the ammo you shot up. Plan on being closer to $20 a round if you can find some now. It is simply impractical to reload rimfire ammunition, so that is why you have not found any. I trust you understand that the very early ammunition had primers that used fulminate of mercury, and the mercury residue is extremely nasty and will cause great harm to iron and steel if not thoroughly cleaned, preferably for several days in a row. I know there are some people with the "I won't own a gun I don't shoot" attitude, and I would prefer that they stick with mass produced 20th century guns that can be easily replaced, or will not lose much value from the inevitable tiny dings that accumulate when guns are taken out for shooting. John Spangler


# 6600 - Colt Police Positive
8/27/2004
Dave, Foley, Alabama

Colt - Police Positive - .38 Cal (short Or S&W) - 4 Inches - Blue - 8531 (STAMPED) -

Stamped on the trigger guard (left forward side) is a stylized logo that looks like a VP inside a triangle (the p is made on the right side of the v). ''Colt Police Positive .38'' stamped on the barrel on the same side as the VP is on the trigger guard. Patent dates are listed on the top of the barrel ''Pat Aug 5, 1884, Jun 5, 1900, Jul 4, 1905. The serial number is stamped inside the cylinder (hinge?) both on the part that swings down and the body (possibly by hand as the numbers are not lined up neatly.) Above the serial number on the body is the letter R (possibly a B) How common are these revolvers and on (approx.) what date (year) did manufacturing stop? This pistol will not accept .38 special shells as the cylinder is too short. Only .38 Smith & Wesson (shorts)

Answer:
Dave, you are correct, Colt Police Positive revolvers were chambered for a variety of cartridges including .32 Colt, .32 New Police, .38 New Police, and .38 S&W, none of these are interchangeable with .38 Special. This is probably one reason for the models unpopularity with shooters. Colt manufactured the Police Positive from 1905 to 1943, my records indicate that the year of manufacture for your revolver (serial number 8531) is 1906. Colt firearms in general usually have a lot of collector interest, but the early double action revolvers are often an exception. I see revolvers like yours on a regular basis offered for sale at gunshows in the $125 to $150 range. Marc


# 6598 - Dutch Marked 1922 FN
8/24/2004
Eric,Inman,SC,USA

FN Browning - 1922 - .32 - Blue - 49163 -

Queen Wilhelmina Crown on top of slide and rear of gun under slide 21 on left trigger guard, what looks to be D 7 5 on right of trigger guard...Lion figure(?) above P.V in various locations with letter Y with star above Y located below P.V under Lion figure(?) FN logo on black grips Have documentation of captured enemy equipment from Feb.15,1946(original and duplicate)...wondering age and round about value of gun, slightly worn, no holster

Answer:
The Browning designed, FN Model 1922 was initially produced for the Yugoslavian military. The pistol is an elongated FN Model 1910 with the additional length gained by adding a removal piece to the front of the slide. Model 1922 pistols were used by both military and police and I have not been able to determine if pistols bearing Dutch markings were issued to police departments or military units. (I own serial number 13138, and it is in 380 caliber rather than 32 caliber).

The markings you describe are proof and inspectors' markings that were stamped at the time of manufacture. Values for Model 1922 pistols range from $125 to about $350 depending on condition and markings. Nazi marked military issue (rather than police issue) pistols are usually the most valuable. The capture papers that come with your pistol will add at least $50 to the value maybe more to the right collector. Marc


# 6591 - Can't Find My Serial Number
8/24/2004
Marin, Zagreb, Croatia

Western Field - 880A-ECH - .22 Long Rifle - Don't Know -

Where is the serial number on rifle ''WESTERN FIELD'' MODEL 880A-ECH, caliber: .22 long rifle?

Answer:
Marin, the brand "Western Field" is what is known to gun collectors as a "house brand". House brand firearms were sold under the brad name of the retailer who marketed them but they were manufactured by other companies, usually one of the major firearms manufacturers. My records indicate that the Western Field Model 880 was manufactured by Colt. Colt's name for the Model 880 was the Colteer, these were manufactured by Colt from 1957 to 1966. Before 1968 there was no requirement for firearms manufactured in the USA to have serial numbers. Many American firearms manufactured prior to 1968, especially inexpensive shotguns and .22 rifles, were never given a serial number. If you can not find a number on your rifle, it is a good bet that it does not have one. Marc


# 6400 - S&W M1917 Revolver
8/24/2004
Liz Gainesville, Florida

Model 1917 - Don't Know -

On the barrel; S.& W. D.A. 45 US Army Model 1917 No 121 811 My stepfather passed away at 97 and had this pistol in his possession; it was passed on to me and I really need to know what its value might be.. Also, have the old holster which says ''US'' Any help will be appreciated.

Answer:
Liz- We really cannot comment on the value without a better idea of the condition. If it has been altered in any way, or refinished, the collector value will be very little. If all original, and in like new condition, it could be worth quite a bit. If the holster is unaltered, ti would probably be in the $50-150 range depending on condition. Many of these were sold to soldiers at the end of WW1, and were in excellent condition and with a proven connection to a WW1 soldier and unit, would have a lot more collector interest and value. Others may have been purchased on the surplus market in recent years, and would have less interest. John Spangler


# 6398 - 1903A3 Finishes
8/21/2004
Mike, Burlington, VT

Remington - M1903A3 - .30-06 - 24'' - Blue - 3,918,XXX -

I recently purchased the above described M1903A3 from the CMP. It had a very solid, dark black, shiny (Blued?)finish on all the metal parts (extractor, rear sight and front sight band were just slightly lighter). No parts except possibly the front sight band appeared to be parkerized. I traced the seria l# and found it to be around Sept. 1943 and the barrel was dated 7-43. Also the bolt had the last 4 digits of the serial number etched into the top of the handle and it matched the receiver serial #. When I took the rifle apart and cleaned it, all parts had a little ''R'' and there was absolutely no wear of the finish on any parts or of the metal under the finish, and every part, even each small part inside the bolt, seemed to be the same flawless shiny solid black finish with no metal wear underneath, even on the caming surfaces of the bolt. I was told that this was probably a rifle that was refinished while it was lent to the Greeks, since original finishes were usually a combination of bluing and gray Parkerizing, but I have a hard time believing this rifle was ever refinished. Is it possible that this rifle was completely blued from Remington, or that it somehow received a very smooth dark black Parkerizing there rather than the normal dull gray park? Were all Remington 1903A3's gray parked receivers with blued bolts?

Answer:
Mike- The M1903 series rifles being sold by CMP that have dark, almost black finishes were indeed refinished in Greece. That is also where they acquired numbers added on the bolts, and usually on the buttstock as well. Remington did NOT use a black type finish during original production of M1903 or M1903A3 or M1903A4 rifles, only a medium gray-green parkerize, with some small parts either blued or parkerized. I have seen one or two old DCM sale M1903A3s that had an almost black finish that was the work of some unknown overhaul facility, but undoubtedly U.S. military, not Greek or commercial work. John Spangler


# 6397 - Kentucky Rifle From Cincinnati
8/21/2004
John, Austin, TX

.53 - 46'' - Don't Know -

lock plate: T. Davidson Cincinnati trigger set: Stein I inherited a ''Kentucky rifle'' that has been a family heirloom. I am not interested in its worth or selling it, but am trying to find out any possible history other than what I know. The owners came from Bedford County, MD to Casey County, KY about 1810. By 1850 the owner and rifle were in Central Texas. It is a percussion, half stock (pinned), 61'' long overall, octagonal barrel, curly maple stock with no inlays and pewter (?) nose cap, brass trigger and butt plate, no patch box. The barrel is 46'' long, swamped at 1 1/16'' - 1'' - 11/16'', and about a .53 caliber in the grooves. The lock was made by T. Davidson and has an engraved hunting scene on it. No plate opposite; only one bolt/washer. The double set trigger mechanism has ''Stein'' marked inside. I can find no markings on the barrel. Without showing you a picture this is about the best I can do. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Answer:
John- That sounds like an interesting gun. The large caliber and long barrel are typical of the pre-1820 period. Swamped barrels, where the width across the flats is large at the breech, tapering about 3/4 of the way to the muzzle, and then flaring back again to a larger measurement is also an early characteristic. However, use of a single screw/bolt to hold the lock, and absence of a side plate is a later or more southern characteristic. As one went further south, the trigger guard and buttplate were often made of iron instead of brass, so this sounds like it may have been made in the southern Ohio area. Half stocks were popular from the mid 19th century on, and it is possible that the original stock was either cut down (possibly after being broken) or replaced in order to be more fashionable. Many makers bought locks from specialist lock makers, so it is possible that Davidson is only the lock maker, not the gun maker. Frank Sellers "American Gunmakers" lists Tyler Davidson as a lockmaker only in Cincinnati from 1834 to 1866. I suspect that perhaps the barrel was salvaged from an earlier gun and reassembled at some point, accounting for the disparity of styles and time periods. I have no information on Stein. John Spangler


# 6590 - Transitional Gold Cup
8/21/2004
Dan, Portland, Oregon

Colt - 1911 National Match - .45 - 5'' - Blue - 17994-NM -

BBL: COLT .45 AUTO N.M. MkVI/SERIES 70 I have a 1911 .45 with the 5 digit serial number an NM (National Match) suffix. It has the Elliason sight. The slide reads National Match, Colt Automatic Caliber .45. It has gold medallions in the grips, adjustable trigger, The slide rib has fine serrations running lengthwise. The mainspring housing is flat, with vertical cuts, as is the front of the grip. What year would this be? is it a pre-70 with a series 70 bbl? I might add that I believe this to be original, and un-fired.

Answer:
Dan, my records indicate that your Colt was manufactured in 1966. Colt changed standard Gold Cup sights from Micro pattern to Colt - Elliason type in 1965 so the sights are correct for this year pistol. Colt introduced the Gold Cup MKI/Series 70 National Match in 1970. Series 70 Colt Gold Cup pistols incorporated Colt's "Accurizor" barrel and bushing which used a spring-steel, "finger collet" bushing that gripped the end of the barrel, which had a slight belled end to accommodate the collet bushing. Since Series 70 barrels were not introduced until 1970, I do not think that your barrel is original to a pistol that was manufactured four years earlier. Marc


# 6583 - H&R Restoration?
8/17/2004
Leon, Omaha, NE

Harrington and Richardson - unknown, breakdown - 32 0r 3(9most likely) - 5 inches - Rusty - 54649 -

none I would like to restore this gun to at least to a show status. Is there place where I can obtain prints or drawings of it.

Answer:
Leon, restoration of firearms is just about never a good idea, both from a monetary and from a collectors standpoint. People who restore firearms usually find that even though a firearm may look better after restoration, it is usually worth less, sometimes much less.

There is little collector interest in H&R firearms. Even if your H&R were in brand new unfired condition value would probably be in the $150 or less range. My free advice, offered as always with a full money back guarantee is, don't waste your time and/or money. Marc


# 6576 - Captured PP Pistol
8/17/2004
David, Seal Beach, Ca

Walther - PP - 32 - Other - 239715P -

I would like to know when this gun was produced, and what the approx. value of it would be. My grandfather took it off a German soldier in 1945. I have both of the clips and the original holster.

Answer:

David, W.W.II vintage PP pistols were manufactured by Walther from 1940 to 1945. Early PP pistols were made with a High-polish commercial grade blue finish but as the war progressed the quality of finish was degraded to speed production.

You did not provide me with your pistols markings so I can not tell you if it is military issue or if it was purchased commercially. Pistols with military markings usually sell for more than commercial models.

Collectors classify military procured PP pistols into several variations:

  • First variation pistols had eagle over "359" military acceptance stamps, high-polish blue finish, side mounted magazine release button, and were in the 165126P-168190P serial number range. Estimated procurement was about 1,000.
  • Second variation pistols had a bottom mounted magazine release button, high-polish blue finish, eagle over "WaA359" military acceptance stamp and were in the 198359P-199812P or 202005P-202472P serial number range. Estimated procurement was about 1,500.
  • Third variation pistols had a high-polish blue finish, eagle over "WaA359" military acceptance stamps, side mounted magazine release button, and were in the 216305P-234705P serial range. Estimated procurement was about 13,000.
  • Your serial number (239715P) falls into the fourth variation block. Fourth variation pistols had a lower quality military-blue finish, eagle over "WaA359" military acceptance stamps, side mounted magazine release button, and were in the 235879P-368899P serial range. Estimated procurement was about 66,000.
  • Late fifth variation pistols were stamped with the "ac" Walther code on right hand side of the slide, low quality military-blue finish, eagle over "WaA359" military acceptance stamps, side mounted magazine release button, and some of the last production pistols had mismatched numbers, and no proofs or legend.

If your pistol is stamped with eagle over WaA359 military acceptance stamps, then it is military issue. Values for fourth variation military issue PP pistols like yours are in the $150 to $550 range depending on condition, add another $75 to $150 for the holster if it bears military markings. If the pistol and/or holster is not military marked, values will be in the $150 to $300 range for the pistol and the $25 range for the holster. Marc


# 6386 - Enfield .577 Musket With Odd Markings
8/17/2004
Wayne, Vienna, VA

Enfield - 1853 (3-band) - .577 - 39'' (plus Tang) - Rusty - NONE -

Top of buttplate: ''E'' over crown over ''29'' middle barrel band: crown over ''B'' over ''15'' barrel (near breech): ''x-ed out'' then 25 then ''x-ed out'' then 25 then ''xed out'' no marks on lockplate; no engraved double line around edge of lockplate I was just wondering whether you know if any model P-53 Enfield rifled muskets were imported from Great Britain with blank lockplates (as mine is)? Even with a microscope I can find no evidence of any engravings on the lock plate. I suppose it could be a replacement lockplate (?) but if so, it was done a LOOOOOONG time ago - same patina as the rest of the iron on the rifle. Also, the barrel markings (except the two caliber markings) were visibly ''X-ed out'' long ago - you can still see the ''x'' stamp mark from the stamp used to remove the three markings. Is this from its removal from British service?

Answer:
Wayne- I am not sure what you have, but we can make some guesses. It sounds like most of the parts were indeed British military inspected, but they may or may not have been on the same gun all the time. British practice was to stamp a "canceled property mark" consisting of two broad arrows tip-to-tip to indicate when an item had been officially released from government ownership. It is possible that the "x-ed out" markings are simply the normal British proof marks on the barrel which consist of crossed swords or scepters or something with tiny letters in the intersections. Locks were normally marked with the decorative lines around the border, and the maker name, and if made at the government arsenal at Enfield, with the Crown as well. Absence of any markings makes it sound like it is a much later replacement. A few high grade guns were made for sale to elite volunteer units which may have had plain locks and maker marks on the barrel instead. A more likely explanation is that the lock was made in the "Khyber Pass" region on the Afghanistan-Indian border. The craftsmen there often cobbled together imitations of British arms, sometimes using surplus, salvaged, or stolen parts. Other times they made parts from scratch, and applied excellent copies, or crude copies, or fanciful guesses of what official markings might look like. A large number of such guns have been brought into the U.S. since American troops started serving in Afghanistan, and the arms are either very old, or sometimes not very old, but artfully aged. Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 6380 - Bronze Cannon "Rail Gun"
8/14/2004
Bud

Bronze Cannon (circa 1650) - Rail Gun - ? - 4 Ft - Other - ? -

An engraving in Arabic ''This cannon is an indication of my stay in Riau'' Who would I contact that deals in ancient cannons and is there a market for them? Thanks

Answer:
Bud- Three is a market for canons of any type, much to the chagrin of a number of spouses. However the older ornate bronze guns were made with very primitive equipment, and thus are readily copied in primitive shops around the world today. Reportedly there are a lot of them made in Asian countries, aged and then offered to suckers on eBay and other places. Of course, there are a lot of originals that have been recovered from palaces, shipwrecks and other out of the way places. There may be customs problems associated with :looting of national treasures" to contend with, or officious bureaucrats determined to prevent ANY guns from entering through their petty domain. I recently saw a nifty site that seemed to have a bunch of these "rail guns" (so named for their customary mounting on the rail of a ship, rather than on the wheeled carriages of the larger cannons. We may have added them to our links page, but I am not sure. Just do a Google search for "bronze cannon for sale" and you can probably find several places that specialize in them. My wife is pretty watchful about interior decor, so I don't think I can slip one into the den without it being noticed. John Spangler


# 6375 - Barnett London Enfield- Confederate? Musket
8/14/2004
Gary, Portland, OR

Enfield / Barnett-London - P53 Rifle Musket - .58 - 39 - Don't Know -

Carving on stock - Large ''DR'' - 1 to 1.5 inches in height Carving on stock by trigger guard - Small ''AR'' - .5 inch in height small ''21'' stamped on the brass butt plate I purchased my Enfield P53 for display purposes from a reputable antique arms dealer. It is in very nice condition, but without any kind of historical connection as far as its owner is concerned. I do not even know where to locate the serial number. Since my family has Southern connections, I wanted to purchase a kind of rifle musket that was commonly used by southern soldiers. I was told that the Enfield P53 with the Barnett-London marking was common among Southern solders. I am not attempting to prove anything specific about my rife, but I would simply like to know if Enfield Barnett-London was a more common Southern weapon ... or used by both sides. Just wondering. Anything in general that you can tell me about my rifle would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.

Answer:
Gary- For starters, .577 caliber Enfield rifle muskets were NOT serial numbered (my one complaint about otherwise excellent attention to arms details in the move "Glory" about the 54th Massachusetts.) Enfields were used in huge numbers by both North and South during the Civil War, and as a result of captures, the original purchases often ended up on the receiving end instead. There are all sorts of experts and some self proclaimed know-it-alls who will insist that "all" or "none" of a particular maker were used by the Confederates, but I am not aware of any real solid evidence for most of them. The exception being muskets that had the English broad arrow markings indicating acceptance by the British Government for their military use. They were busy at the time and not inclined to march about unarmed so their American cousins might slaughter each other. Fortunately the private trade had ample capacity to facilitate the fratricide, and thus the muskets with the broad arrow are the ones that can be argued over. I would jokingly, but an unscrupulous dealer might insist with a straight face that the DR and AR are the very markings used by the Famous "Dixie Rangers, Alabama Regiment" who almost stopped that nasty General Sherman as he conducted urban renewal operations in Atlanta. I would expect that if you bought this from a reputable antique arms dealer that they would be happy to tell you what they knew about the gun at the time of the purchase. I would suggest that you would enjoy reading the classic "Civil War Guns" by William B. Edwards which still is one of the finest works on the whole range of American made and imported arms of all types used in the Civil War. John Spangler


# 6571 - 1931 Remington Model 572? Don't Think So
8/14/2004
Rusty Moon Victoria TX

Remington - 572 - .22 - Blue - 1852485 -

How rare is 1931 Remington Model 572 Pump .22 cal., and what is the value of such a gun?

Answer:
Rusty, Remington introduced the Model 572 Fieldmaster in 1955 so your rifle could not have been manufactured in 1931. The Fieldmaster was a slide-action, .22-caliber rifle with a tubular magazine that held twenty - .22 Short, seventeen - .22 Long, or fifteen - .22 Long Rifle rimfire cartridges. The rifle could fire any of these cartridge lengths interchangeably and could be single-loaded through the side ejection port. Barrel length was twenty-three inches. Sights were step-adjustable rear and metal bead front and the receiver was grooved for scope mounts. There is not a lot of collector interest in Fieldmaster rifles, they commonly sell at gunshows in the $75.00 to $125.00 range. Marc


# 6568 - Winchester Mod 52
8/10/2004
Jesse, Rushville, Oh

Winchester - 52 - .22 - unknown - Don't Know - unknown -

bullgun(?) barrel My grandfather bought this gun new in the early '50's for competitions. He shaped the stock a little to make it more comfortable, and now wants to put the original finish back on it. What did they use as a finish, and will doing this retract from the value? Also, I'd like to get an approximate idea of the gun's value.

Answer:
Jesse, Winchester manufactured the Model 52 rifle from 1919 to 1979. Total production of all different types of 52 rifles was about 125,200. The original Model 52 was a simple bolt-action design with an Alvin barrel that had an integrally forged front-sight base and was drilled to accept telescopic-sights. Receivers originally had a flat top, slotted for the No. 82 Winchester rear sight. Stocks were walnut with a plain pistol grip, steel buttplate, and a finger groove forend. Weight was about 9.8 pounds.

Model 52B Bull Guns were manufacture from 1939 to 1941 and then again from 1945 to 1947, they were made with an extra-heavy barrel, used a plain high-comb Marksman No. 1 stock, and weighed about 13 pounds. The blue book places values for Bull Guns between $400 and $1000 depending on condition. Value for your rifle will probably be in the lower end of the range because of the stock modification.

Re-finishing your stock will not hurt collector value much, the majority of damage was done years ago when it was re-shaped by your grandfather. For a finish that will look close to the original, I recommend tung oil. I have heard that Formby's works well. Marc


# 6270 - French Naval Mle 1842 Tulle Percussion Pistol
8/10/2004
William Ossining, N.Y.

French - Naval 1842 - About 54 - 6in - Other - NONE SAYS MLE RLE DE TULLE -

Similar to US Ashton Would like any information

Answer:
William- French arms are something of a mystery. I fear that the firearms designers were under the influence of the fashion fairies, as they seemed to have annual collections of new designs. Of course every elite French unit (weren't they all elite, or was that effete?) insisted that it's particular martial prowess be recognized by suitable gaudy uniforms and flashy firearms. Now, for the Naval pistols, I have never quite figured out how they attached them there.... However, I digress, in honour of our ungrateful former Ally's demise into a petty and petulant socialist society. I believe Monty Python or Bart Simpson aptly described them as cheese eating surrender monkeys, but further evolution seems to have stopped since we saved their butts from becoming German speakers twice in the 20th century.

Anyway, the Mle 1842 pistol is probably very similar to our Model 1841, but up until the advent of the breechloader, most military arms had a lot in common with just about every country at the similar period. There are only two really good references on French Arms that I am familiar with, and either one would have more info about these pistols. James classic, and long out of print French Military Weapons is the one in English that is very comprehensive in scope, but lacking in much detail about any specific item. The line drawings by Andre Jandot are superb. (We often have copies of this on our gun book catalog page.) The other reference is a multi volume set, by Boudroit (If I recall correctly) with even better and more detailed drawings and lots of great information in frogspeak that I can not read. There seem to be few people who admit to collecting French arms specifically, although many own one or more in conjunction with other collecting themes. (I will admit under torture that I have Chassepot needle gun for my "technology" collection, a MAS 49 sniper rifle if I want to pretend to be a sniper collector, and a Remington made Mle 1907/15 for when I think I collect Remingtons.) John Spangler


# 6373 - Long Rifle With 43" Octagon Barrel & Brass
8/10/2004
Patrick, Rushville, New York

Unknown - Unknown - Unknown - Approximately 43'' - Don't Know - NONE VISIBLE -

Right side plate near hammer/trigger group is stamped London warranted. My father recently passed down a muzzleloader that belonged to his great grandfather. I know very little about the gun, other than the above stamp. I believe it is from the civil war era. it resembles what I would consider to be a PA long gun, as it measures 58'' in total length with nearly a full wood length stock. It has a double trigger/hexagonal barrel/compartment in shoulder stock for extra patches/rounds...All metal parts save the barrel, appear to be brass. What if any information can you give me w/ regards to this gun.

Answer:
Patrick- This sounds like a nice old gun, and "Pennsylvania Long Rifle" is probably a pretty close guess. Based on the barrel length, I would think that it may be much earlier than the Civil War (1861-1865 for those who served time in govt skools in recent years). The barrel is probably actually eight sided, making it octagonal, not hexagon, and that and the 43 inch length sound like the type popular from about 1840 back to maybe 1760, although there are a lot of difference over the time span, as well as numerous geographic differences. It was very common for locks made in London to be used on guns made in the U.S., as most gunsmiths found it more economical to buy a finished lock than to make one from scratch, and there was a well established trade in England to supply this demand. The brass mountings are typical more northern traits, while the folks down south often used iron, and in later periods silvery "German silver" was used on a lot of the decorative features. If you want to send a couple of photos we would be glad to see what esle we can tell you, but it does sound like a nice old gun. John Spangler


# 6358 - Asa Waters M1836 Flintlock Pistol
8/7/2004
Per, Raleigh, NC

Other -

US above LS markings on top of barrel near flintlock I have a flintlock pistol manufactured by, I believe, Asa Waters. It is a smooth-bore with the markings ''A. Waters, Milbury, MS, 1840''. There is also a letter ''H'' stamped just underneath where the flint strikes the plate to produce the spark. At the handle end of the barrel is stamped ''US'' and beneath that, ''LS''. It's in very good condition. Do you have any history and current value for this gun? I inherited it from my grandfather, Larry T. Crenshaw of Greer, SC, an amazing talented in his own right.

Answer:
Per- There is no way to trace the history of this pistol, as they were not serial numbered, and even with later weapons with numbers very seldom have any verifiable history. About the only history that can be determined comes from the markings. Asa Waters was indeed the maker in 1840, and it was inspected by Luther Sage and accepted as part of a U.S. contract. Arms being procured at that time were both for issue to the regular Army, and also for issue to the various states to assist in arming the militia. Therefore, your pistol's history is open for a great deal of speculation. One could suppose that it was delivered to North Carolina for militia use, perhaps carried to Mexico, and returned home as a souvenir. It may have remained in the state's armories, even during the Civil War as Governor Zebulon Vance reportedly had the habit of hoarding material for North Carolina's exclusive use, even when other Confederate states were desperately short. On the other hand, the pistol could have been used by brave Union forces putting down the rebellion in the southern states. John Spangler


# 6357 - Fenian Raid Bridesburg Musket
8/7/2004
Jonathan, Burlington, VT

Bridesburg - 1864 - 58? - 36'' - Don't Know -

Has the marking of a 3 leaf clover with an I and an R on either side of the clover. The marking is on the left side. It has a eagle with a shield holding arrows on the right side. It also has the attached bayonet, with 12+ rounds unfired This gun was hanging in my wife's farmhouse on the Canadian Border where the Fenians battled. The story passed down is that they took over the house and after they left this was found behind a stone wall. Is there any way to authenticate this and any value, also what do I do with the rounds?

Answer:
Jonathan- I saw something in a gun magazine within the last year or so dealing with arms of the Fenians, but I do not recall where. It would be great if all the major gun periodicals (American Rifleman, Man at Arms; Gun Report; and some others) had their index available on line. Even better, if they could be integrated into a single searchable index so that the wealth of historical information would be readily available. While I do not recall the specifics, it sure sounds like your gun is likely a Fenian gun, and although a small niche in history, there are likely collectors who would like to own a piece of history from that episode. The Fenians were a group of Irish folks seeking independence for Ireland, and not content with warring on their home soil, decided to attack the British oppressors in their Canadian colony shortly after the Civil War. Irishmen who had served in the Union army were experienced combatants and easily induced to seek further violence furthering their patriotic goals. Loads of surplus arms were available on the market. A number of muskets (mainly made by Bridesburg) were converted to breechloaders using the "Needham" system, to fire .58 caliber rimfire cartridges, and many of these were procured by the Fenians. The merry band of Irishmen headed north with their arms and in May 1870 made an abortive raid across the border from Vermont. However, they were stopped, their leader arrested and the remainder escaped or were sent back to the U.S. and their arms seized. As far as the disposition of the ammunition, I would recommend you keep it as part of the history of this gun. Individual rounds have a fair collector value but add a great deal to the history of the complete package. John Spangler


# 6555 - Mod 721 Value
8/7/2004
Nathan Cochran

Remington - 721 - 30-06 - Blue - 167980 -

I just want to know some history about my gun and when it was made and how many of the model 721 there are. also what its worth.

Answer:
Nathan, Remington introduced in the Model 721 in January of 1949. Rifles were originally offered in 270 and 30-06, 280 was added in 1959. Standard rifles were 44.25 inches in length, weighed about 7.5 pounds and had a 24 inch round barrel. Stocks were plain walnut with a straight-comb, pistol grip and round tipped forend. Trigger guards were stamped steel and doubled as a non-hinged floorplate for the internal box type four round magazine. Safeties were on the right side of the action behind the bolt handle, and the bolt stop catch projected into the trigger guard just ahead of the trigger.

Remington manufactured about 125,000 Model 721 rifles from 1949 to 1962 when they were discontinued. Although they are good rifles, there is not a lot of collectors interest in the 721 I often see them selling at gunshows in the $175 to $300 range. Marc


# 10451 - Stevens Off-Hand
8/3/2004

J.STEVENS A. & T. CC. - #35 OFF HANDED TARGET PISTOL - .22LC - 6'' - Blue - 41049 -

I'm just trying to put a date to this old gun.

Answer:
The Stevens Off-Hand or Model 35 was the last handgun that Stevens ever manufactured. It was a reversion of the early 1880s Stevens Gallery models, with a separate trigger guard instead of a sheathed trigger like earlier pistols had. The Model 35 had an external hammer, octagonal tip-down 6, 8, 10, or 12 inch barrel, blue finish and walnut grips.

The Off-Hand model was manufactured from about 1907 to WWII when Stevens facilities were turned to military production. With the end of the war Stevens decided against reviving their single-shot designs, and focused their activities to shoulder arms. Marc


# 10481 - Winchester M1 Carbine Value
8/3/2004
Russell, Shreveport, La

Winchester - M1 Carbine - .30 - Blue - 6457753 -

I found the Winchester designation under the rear adjustable sight and just above the serial number. How do I know when it was manufactured? Are there other markings I should be able to find? Was this WWII or post WWII. It has a sling, ammo pouch on butt, flash suppressor and the stock is in very good shape. Also any idea what of it's value?

Answer:
Russell, Winchester made the M1 carbine for the U.S. military between 1942 and 1945. Yours falls into the second to last serial number block assigned to Winchester so was made in 1944. If the carbine has all the original parts it should have a W stamped on the barrel. (If it has the bayonet lug the sleeve may hide the W.) The stock will also have the letters WRA over a set of cross cannons in a circle on the right side of the butt stock. Various other parts such as the bolt, trigger assembly, hammer, recoil block, and operating rod should have a W stamped on them. The carbine manufacturing program using 10 private contractors was so successful it was ended in before the end of World War II. No carbines were made after the end of the war, but many were upgraded to the later features such as adjustable rear sight, bayonet lug, and lever type safety.

An all correct (all correct matching parts), excellent condition Winchester carbine is one that attracts buyers quickly. Mismatched parts, poor condition of metal or wood, or alterations to metal or wood can cause the price to drop substantially. I've seen all matching excellent condition carbines selling for over $1000 recently. Marc


# 10463 - Confederate Marine Corps Tower Musket
8/3/2004
Roger ,Blue Ridge GA

Tower - Percussion - .65 Smooth - 31 5/8'' - Blue - 1860 -

fixed rear sight, steel barrel bands, brass furniture, perfectly straight S&K Bayonet, several markings obliterated I can find no information about this particular gun, and have never seen another one. Could it be Confederate Marine? I understand the bayonet is associated with Confederate Marines.

Answer:
Roger- I do not remember learning any specifics about CSMC arms, but maybe I just was not reading the right books. However, the field of Confederate used arms seems to be prone to massive fakery, fraud and misinformation. Given the diminutive size of the CSMC, and the premiums paid for any USMC items, let alone their rebellious cousins, I would expect the value of a PROVEN CSMC musket to be extremely high. Incentive for faking and deception would probably be at similar levels. It is a good practice to pay attention to what reproductions and foreign imports are on the market, as many later turn up with fancy markings added (and tell-tale markings removed) and impressive sounding histories and pedigrees. In the 1980s and 1990s there was a steady stream of very inexpensive, recently made, "Tower" muskets of the "India Pattern" which included smooth bores and fixed sights, and short barrels. (Are you starting to feel nervous, palms getting sweaty, stomach churning, wallet gasping?) Also, in the last few years, large numbers of "Khyber Pass" copies of British military arms have been brought home by troops returning from Afghanistan, some very old, others merely appearing very old. S&K made lots of bayonets, for many countries for many models of guns, and if this fits it may be original, pure coincidence, or some skillful fitting. I would urge you to read C.H. Roads' excellent study on British percussion era arms "The British Soldier's Firearm" to become familiar with the regulation, volunteer, and India pattern arms. If the seller has this priced very inexpensively, it may be worth a gamble and then you can study up. If the seller is making a big deal out of "The CSMC used bayonets like this" and implying (or carefully refraining from implying, but allowing you to make the jump) that the gun is therefore a CSMC gun, I would not have anything to do with it. The exception would be if the seller is a highly respected dealer specializing in Confederate items, and willing to give a written bill of sale stating it is a CSMC item, and a full money back guarantee. Several of "Confederate" experts formerly on the Antiques Roadshow were exposed as crooks, so be very careful. Just because a guy wears a Rolex does not mean that he is honest. (The guys there now are okay, and Bill Guthman is a real gentleman as well as a superbly qualified expert.) John Spangler


# 10464 - Burnside Carbine Serial Number Mismatch
8/3/2004
David, Tampa, Florida USA

Burnside Arms Company - 1863 - .54 - 21'' - Blue - 17130 -

Sharp cartouche stamps on stock, stamps on receiver. Condition of shell cavity and mirror bore my indicate unfired. The serial number on the receiver is 171130, and the serial number on the breech block is 171886. Is it possible that the carbine came from the factory assembled with different numbers, or was the breech block switched? Thanks hope you can answer.

Answer:
Yes, due to the miracle of interchangeable parts it is POSSIBLE that the carbine came from the factory with a breech block which should have gone into another gun. However, it is pretty unlikely, as workmen took more pride in their work then (and were easier to fire if they screwed up). In recent years workers reportedly were so careless that you did not want to buy cars made on a certain day of the week because of problems with beer cans rattling around inside the fenders. It is possible that the breechblock got switched after acceptance while in storage at an armory, or perhaps a number of arms got slightly rusty or damaged and were taken apart to be cleaned and parts mixed then. In any case, the mismatch will hurt the collector value and demand a little, but only the buyer can tell you how badly. John Spangler


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