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# 13671 - What Does 5 Inch 38 Caliber Mean?

I presume a 5 inch gun is 5 inch diameter but what does the 38 caliber stand for? I see them on the history channel & read about them in WW2 books but I don’t know what it means, If you can explain what it means I would appreciate it. Thanks for your time.

Sir- "Caliber" has multiple meanings. Most people are familiar with .22 caliber rifles or .50 caliber machine guns where the number indicates the diameter of the bore expressed in hundredths of inches. In British practice they carry it out one more decimal place to thousandths of an inch, so that .30 caliber is expressed as .300 caliber, or in the familiar .303 British rifle caliber.

However, in the U.S. Navy, "caliber" when talking about "big" guns means something different. It means the length of the barrel expressed in terms of bore diameter- so a 3"/50 caliber gun would have a bore 150 inches long.

The Navy had several different 5 inch guns (as was as the case with other calibers) and to tell one from another the designated the guns by the bore diameter and also the length of the barrel. Thus the Navy had in service at more or less the same time 5"/25 caliber, 5"/38, and 5"/54 caliber guns. Usually both the projectile and the powder (“cartridge”) case were different for each type of gun. John Spangler

# 13593 - Liberty German Import
Kelly Salem CT

Liberty - Unsure - 22 Lr - 5.25'' - Blue - 46626 -

it has a round gold plate that says liberty on it and it says made in Germany. Its a 8 shot revolver. I just want to know more about this gun. I am trying to find a new stock for it.

Kelly, references list many revolvers that were marketed with the Liberty name. Here are two possibilities that I selected because of their German manufacture:

  • The Liberty - A solid frame non-ejecting .22 double-action revolver made by Herbert Schmidt of Ostheim/Rhon, Germany, in the 1960s. Some had a loading gate on the right side, but no ejector.
  • Liberty was a North American sales name for the Rohm RG-12 revolver. The revolver was cheap-quality solid-frame .22 model cylinder opening to the right. It is believed to have been made by Rohm from 1955 to about 1965 for sale in the USA by the fictitious Liberty Arms Company.

Withoug seeing it, it is hard to say who your revolver was manufactured by. My guess that it is an expensive German import and probably not worth replacing the stock. Hope this helps. Marc

# 13590 - BREVMOD9 Value
Stephanie, Hickory Flat, MS

Brescia - BREVMOD9 - 25 - Unknown - Stainless Steel - 174320 -

AnitaImagaal ESI Would like to know the history and value of this pistol. This gun was owned by my Father, he passed away 2 years ago, left the gun to my stupid ass greedy brother who now wishes to sell this pistol along with several other pistols. This one has the most detailed work on the barrel and is really beautiful. I'd rather keep it and don't mind buying it from my brother at a fair price. Thanks in advance for any information provided.

Stephanie, Brescia is a city in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. The city is at the center of the third-largest Italian industrial area, concentrating on mechanical, firearms and automotive engineering. There have been many types and brands of firearms over the last 100 years that were marked Brescia. One search that I did for Brescia came up with over 100 firearms but several searches for BREVMOD9 and / or AnitaImagaal ESI came up with nothing.

Since my searches for information on your pistol have not been successful, I can not tell you much about the history of your pistol. I can tell you that I would expect to see a little .25 caliber pistol like you are describing being offered for sale at a gunshow in the $150 to $250 range.

Have your boother contact us, we may be interested in purchasing some of the firearms from your father's estate. Marc

# 13677 - S&W Manufacture Dates

S&W -

I have recently developed an interest in collecting older [sic] handguns, particularly pre 2000, WWII and Pre WWII back to 1900. I would like information on means of dating Handguns particularly military and police such as the Model 10 and Pre 10. Is there an accessible database to do this given characteristics, ser. no. where available, finishes, barrel characteristics, grips, etc. I currently have a couple of Model 10's and a Pre 10!

Tom- I recommend you get a copy of Jim Supica's "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, 3rd edition." I think that will answer most of your questions, as far as S&W products. You may also want to consider joining the S&W Collectors Association. I believe that S&W still provides "factory letters" with dates of manufacture for a specific number at a very reasonable cost (unlike Colt's rapacious rates). Hope that helps. John Spangler

# 13670 - Colt Navy Used By Texas Ranger

Colt - 1851 Navy -

I am trying to trace history and value of 1851 navy colt pistol owned by Texas Ranger William Hager Cooper. Pistol is in excellent condition. If you can provide any information or have any questions that could be helpful, please be in touch.

Mark- Value of the pistol (disregarding the history) is fairly easy to establish from sales of comparable guns.

The history adds to the value, but varying greatly according to how well documented it is. Texas guns are a special breed for collectors and we do not deal in those, so I am afraid we really cannot help much more than that.

I believe the Texas Ranger Museum has some records, but no idea what they might have, or where to go after that. Good luck. John Spangler

# 13587 - To Fix Or Not To Fix?
Chuck U.S.A

Wapfen Mauser - C-96 Broom Handle - ? 9mm---or 7.63mm - 5--6 '' - Blue - 272179 -

Oberndorf A/N Oberndorf A. Neckar This gun belongs to my son! It is missing some parts, extractor, firing pin, lock frame, hammer, safety lever, ( the entire lock assembly ) Is this gun worth fixing ?? Thanks

Chuck, a few years back a lot of C96 Mausers were imported from China and sold as surplus here in the USA. Many, if not most of the Chinese import pistols were in terrible condition. You may be able to find a complete C96 with shot out bore and zero finish at a reasonable price to cannibalize for parts. I see this kind of C96 at gunshows pretty often selling in the $200 to $300 range. Purchasing a complete pistol for parts would be much less expensive than the cost of purchasing individual parts would be.

Whether or not your son's pistol is worth fixing depends on it's condition. No matter how nice it is, it will probably never be a valuable collectors item because it is a good bet that the numbers on any replacement parts that you find will not match the numbers on the pistol. Even though most collectors are not interested in Frankenstein guns with parts numbers that do not match, if your son's pistol has a good bore and if it is in reasonable condition, it could still make a good shooter. In that case, it may be worth the effort of searching out an inexpensive pistol to cannibalize. Good luck, Marc

# 13584 - MAB Mod C
Bob Hereford Tx U S A

M.A.B. - Modele C - 9mm - 3.25 Inch - Blue - 14839 -

Made in France for W.A.C. Barrel marked 9mm. Modele C (number) 38 above rear safety notch in slide and on magazine. wood grips Would love to Know approx. date of build. Approx value would also be nice.

Bob, I do not have any serial number data that would allow me to give you a date of manufacture for your MAB. The best I can tell you is that the Model C was introduced in 1933. Much of the Model C design was copied from the Browning 1910 and the grip is unusually deep from front to rear, which gives the pistol a typical French ungainly appearance.

The Model C was originally produced in the anemic French 7.65mm caliber, but later it was available in 9mm Short (.380). Model C slide markings vary (.380 or 9mm Short) depending upon whether the pistol was intended for export to the United States or for sale in Europe.

Collector interest and values for most French firearms is low. The blue book lists MAB Model C values between about $100 and a little over $200 depending on condition. Marc

# 13669 - Argentine Colt “ACE” .22 Caliber Pistol

Argentine - ACE -

I found your website doing an Internet search for "Argentine ACE .22 pistol diagrams". I purchased an Argentine ACE pistol from a Gunbroker auction site a few weeks ago, and fired it Sunday past for the first time. I had some failures to feed, and feel as if there are problems with the magazine springs. I have been attempting to find information on the pistol, looking for a diagram, or parts list.

I know the Argentine produced 1911's had some parts differences from the US Colts, and wonder if I could assume the Argentine ACE has differences from the US Colt ACE? Your answers to other reader's questions are very impressive, and I hope you can help me too!

Tom- I believe that the Argentine and U.S. ACE parts should be interchangeable.

Feeding problems may indicate a need for cleaning or lubrication. It may be worth checking by manually cycling the slide to see if the magazines feed every time. (Since this is with live ammo, be very careful and do it is a safe area, with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction and fingers away from the trigger!) The ACE is notorious for building up fouling and crud which will result in less recoil force on the slide so it may not be cycling the full distance needed to feed every time. A good cleaning and lubrication job may fix that.

Gun Parts Corp, or the M1911 site on our links page may have parts diagrams. John Spangler

# 13668 - Original Or Reproduction Colt Navy Revolver?

Colt - 1851 Navy -

I will be going to an auction where an 1851 Navy Colt is for sale. The Colt has the proper New York address on the top of the barrel and a serial number 22226. It is obviously either an 1853 manufacture or a 1976 manufacture for Colt. Both series start at 20000. I got my info from the auctioneer over the phone, and he is not an expert. I will have an opportunity to preview the Colt a day before the auction. What should I look for to clarify the date of manufacture. If it is 1853, then I will bid a lot higher. If it is 1976, then it is worth max $500 maybe. I am really at a loss here, as I have exhausted every search on the internet I can think of, and the time window won't allow for me to order and receive any good books on the subject such as Swayze wrote, and no the Library doesn't have or can't find it. I would be very grateful for any advice, otherwise $500 will be my maximum bid.

Don- Some good advice is: "If you don't know your diamonds, you better know your jeweler."

Most of the replicas are pretty easy to spot, just by looking too "new" and polished all over, with no signs of age or use. However, crooks are quite clever at artificially aging replicas, and some makers now offer "antique finish" replicas with worn finish and dings and scratches that would fool many people. It was my understanding that Colt's modern percussion replica revolvers started their serial numbers where the original left off and did NOT duplicate them, but I may be mistaken.

Frankly, I think you need to spend some money on an education before rushing off to buy a gun, or you may find yourself purchasing a very expensive education.

I would recommend that you buy a copy of "Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and their Values", and READ CAREFULLY the introductory chapters, before even looking at the sections on the various makers and models and individual values. We sell this fine book, but it is also available from most of the large book selling chains as well.

Then, I would recommend you attend a few gun shows and look around, and if you see something you are interested in, ask the seller to point out key features on it, and ask for tips on how to recognize reproductions, or refinished guns. Most collectors at shows would be glad to take some time to help you learn, even if you are not buying anything today. (Some dealers with a large number of items for sale and other cash customers waiting may be less willing to spend the time, so ask a few people to find someone you think you can trust and is willing to spend the time with you.)

Auctions are notoriously poor places to buy guns. A few bargains may be found, but quite often the items are misrepresented, have the prices run up by shill bidders, or uninformed bidders eagerly spend money on stuff they really don't know anything about.

Although we are obviously biased in favor of people buying from a knowledgeable dealer, we think that most collectors are better served going this route. You may not find many screaming bargains, but you are very unlikely to overpay for a piece of misrepresented junk. Dealers usually sell with an inspection period and a full refund (less shipping) if the item is returned in the time allowed. At auctions or gun shows, sales are usually final and without recourse.

Gun collecting is great fun, and may even be as good an investment as the stock market, but neither are things to jump into with a fist full of money and no clear idea of what is going on, or the customs and rules associated with such dealings.

If you want to see some gun show exhibits (including some with some old Colts) check out John Spangler

# 13581 - Winchester Mod 94 Value
Steven, Rainsville, Alabama

Winchester - 1894 - 30-30 - 19 1/2 - Blue - 3809014 -

Made in New Haven Conn. U.S.A. I did some research on my own and found out it was manufactured in 1973. There is a small number of dents in the stock and grip, but no rust at all anywhere on the gun. I also added a side-mounted scope. What is the value of my gun?

Steven, it sounds like you know that value depends on condition. The blue book lists values for post 1964 production standard Model 94 rifles between $150 and about $350.

It has been my experience that scopes are not popular on Winchester Model 94 rifles. If a Model 94 comes in with one, I always take the scope off before I try to sell. If you drilled and tapped the receiver when you added the scope, or if the scope mount made scratches on the receiver, value is in the $150 range. Marc

# 13667 - Artillery Primer

I have a 105mm M14B1 cartridge case marked, RVP-4-250, 1968. The cartridge has what looks like a primer in the base with a metal rod running up thru the center. The primer does not have an indentation on it. What is this metal rod and is it dangerous?

Sir- The metal rod is a "flash tube" which allows the flash from the primer to pass most of the way into the powder charge, and ignite it at multiple points through the numerous holes in the tube. This ensures more reliable, rapid and complete ignition of the powder charge in artillery ammunition.

The tube itself is harmless. The primer may or may not have been inerted by heat or chemical action, so I cannot tell you if the primer is still live. If it is, it is a very minimal risk, in my opinion, about the same as having any centerfire rifle caliber cartridge around. Of course, I am not EOD qualified or anything like that so you should make your own assessment of the danger from the primer or seek help from a professional.. Hope that helps. John Spangler

# 13577 - Sporterized 98 Value
Nick Venice Fl

Mauser - 98 - 30 06 - Blue -

tamping around this stamping 2.67 9G B.P. St.M.G. This Rifle 98 Mauser has been professionally sporterised , double set triggers 30 06, Monte Carlo cheek rest, I would like to know the origin and value Thank you

Sorry Nick, I don't pay much attention to sporterized rifles unless I get them in a package deal. I like it better when old military rifles are left in original condition. There is noting that I can tell you about the history.

Value depends on condition and the quality of the sporterization job. Try taking your rifle to the next local gunshow and show it to several dealers. Look for dealers who have similar items on their tables. Good luck - Marc

# 13562 - Sharps Percussion Rifle Info

Sharps -

Hi! I can't tell how to post a question, so I'll ask you here, and you can tell me if I need to post it somewhere. We have a Sharps Civil War percussion rifle, double set triggers, octagon heavy barrel, with all the Sharps names on receiver. From your answer on a post I already searched on your site, I assume this is a target or sporting rifle, but would like to be more sure. In Earl J. Coates & John D McAulay "Civil War Sharps Carbine & Rifles" (published 1996), the serial number of our Sharps (C34124) is one number away from one made for "5th Veteran Volunteers US" (pg 97) unit. Other numbers on it are 77GR (underneath the barrel), 18000 JSG (also under the handle, forearm), S46143 (also underneath), and on top of the barrel by the breech is 455. Any help you can give us to identify if the barrel was made by Sharps, & if this is a sporting rifle or what it's intended use was. Thank you, Judy

Judy- Sorry, we cannot help with that one. You are getting into advanced Sharps areas where we do not know enough to tell you anything useful or reliable. .

With serial numbers and history, it is good to remember that "close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." Unless it is an exact match, you cannot count on the nearby number to have had anything similar to the usage found for the other number. John Spangler

# 13575 - Ortgies .32 Serial Number Location
Bob McHenry County IL

Ortgies - 7.65mm - Blue -

Cat insignia on hand grips. Germany on clip. Crown N nitro proof mark. All capital letters on slide. Where do I locate the serial number? Could not locate it anywhere on the outside surface of the gun.

Bob, I checked pictures that I have in my database of a couple of Ortgies .32 automatics that I have had in inventory over the years. The serial numbers were located on the bottom front of the frame just ahead of the trigger guard. Guns World shows pictures of an Ortgies serial number in the same location. You can see a picture of an Ortgies serial number at the following link: Hope that this helps, Marc

# 13563 - Lyman Front Sights XNA XNB

At a recent gun show I bought a Lyman 17a XNB sight. it turns out that is actually a lyman 17a XNA as it is stamped on the bottom, it was in the wrong box. What is the difference? Also what method or product would you recommend to reblue or touch up Lyman sights?

Sir- The Lyman 17 XNA fits into the dovetail on the front sight base of the M1903 Springfields. .

The XNB includes the entire lower portion so that it slips onto the barrel to replace the whole front sight assembly of the M1903A3. .

You can use the XNA on the M1903A3 by removing the M1903A3 front sight assembly, then installing a M1903 front sight base. This will require drilling a hole in the base to match the center location of the retaining pin (it is almost at the rear on the M1903 and centered on the M1903A3). .

Brownell's has several good cold blue agents, but I like their Dichropan or Oxphoblue. John Spangler

# 13579 - Quackenbush .22 Rifle Value
John, Allegan, MI.

H.M. Quackenbush - N/a - .22 - 20'' - Nickel - N/A -

Made in Herkimer, NY Pat. in U.S. Feb.23, 1886, June 23, 1896 England Feb.23, 1886, Belgium Mar.15,1886 Rifle is in fair to good condition. Can give me any idea as to the value of this piece?

John, Quackenbush manufactured .22 caliber rifles from 1896 to about 1920. The blue book lists three different models, the Safety Rifle, the Junior Safety Rifle and the Bicycle Rifle. All the models were a swinging breech single shot design. Quackenbush rifles did not have serial numbers but they sold many variations which can add a premium to the value, and can also be used to estimate date of manufacture.

Quackenbush rifles were supplied in several different boxes, and often came with a cleaning rod. Original boxes, cleaning rods and other accessories can significantly add to the value.

Blue book values for the Safety Rifle range from about $200 to over $800

Blue book values for the Junior Safety Rifle range from about $300 to over $900

Blue book values for the Bicycle Rifle range from about $700 to over $1800

I would advise you to have an expert look at your rifle to really get a good estimate of it's value. You may want to take it to the next local gunshow and show it several dealers. Look for dealers who have similar items on their tables. Good luck - Marc

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