Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters



Questions And Answers Page

If you have a question about firearms and you want it posted on this page click here.

Return to Collectors Headquarters.

Click here to go to the question and answer monthly index.

Click here to go to the question and answer subject index.

# 14526 - RIA M1 Carbine

Inland - M1 Carbine - 30 - ? - Blue - 6910202 -

RIA on the receiver. P in the sling well Does a refurbished M1 carbine lose it's value? It was redone by Rock Island arsenal.

Joe, often for collectors, a refinished M1 Carbine is worth about 1/2 of the value that a similar carbine in original condition is worth.

You mention that your receiver is marked "RIA". I have seen M1 Carbines that are assembled from US GI parts on post war reproduction receivers that were manufactured by a commercial company who used the RIA name. These reproduction carbines are marked "RIA" on the receiver near the serial number. If your carbine is one of the parts guns that was put together on a reproduction RIA receiver, value will be in the $300 range. Marc

# 14387 - Italian Carcano Rifle Made At Terni
Bill Dean, Los Alamitos Va.

RE Terin, IENNI - 1939 XVII A - Unknown - 22'' - Blue - 60236 -LT- UNKNOWN -

It is a bolt action rifle with a slot for an ammunition clip. (I do not have the clip.) The only other identification I can find on it is the letter ''A'' with what looks like an upside down ''J'' after it. Who made it, What caliber is it, Is it worth anything? Any answers would be appreciated. Thank you.

Bill- Your rifle is an Italian military rifle made at their Terni arsenal in 1939. The XVII is the year under Mussolini’s fascist calendar. They made these originally in 6.5mm, and later in 7.35mm and they are hard to tell apart without checking carefully. Some were later modified to 8mm Mauaer (a very dangerous conversion in my opinion) so I cannot tell you exactly what caliber yours might be. It is a Mannlicher-Carcano design, usually just called a Carcano. These are pretty common on the collector market and values tend to be rather modest, a few hundred dollars at most, on a good day for a superb example, but many are priced well under $100. Hope that helps. John Spangler

# 14384 - Crude Vietnam Jungle Gun
Stan, Corrigan, Texas

Home Made - None - Unknown - Other - NONE -

''AX'' carved into the stock. ''VL'' painted in white on the stock Home made from Viet Nam. Barrel is pipe, stock held together with sheet metal bands and bolts, single shot apparently fired from open bolt position, remnants of red cloth on the cartridge case embedded in stock under the muzzle. Any value? Anyone interested in such a piece?

Stan- Collectors often call these “monkey guns” and their interest is mainly limited to vets who served in Vietnam, or lunatics escaped from the asylum. These were extremely crude muzzle loading guns with primitive firing mechanisms, often matchlock or flint or percussion, or sometimes a “slam fire” type deal for breech loading of cartridges. NONE are safe to shoot in our opinion. We recently had two from a vet’s estate and were quite happy to get something like $125 for the pair. John Spangler

# 14509 - Excel Shotgun
Bill, Poinciana Florida

EXCEL - 12 Ga. - 30'' - Blue - 66954 CF -

This has been passed down in my family for 3 generations. I am curious about it's origin and value.

Excel is a trade name that was used by Iver Johnson on single shot shotguns sold by Montgomery Ward c 1900 - 1950. It is one of a huge number made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and sold through various retail outlets. This type of firearm falls into the category of "old guns" that no one seems to be interested in as shooters, but collectors do not want them either. Generally these were basic inexpensive simple guns which sold at modest prices when they were new and still have little interest or value on market today. On the retail market they usually sell in the $25-125 range depending on condition and general appearance for use as a "wall hanger" over a fireplace. Where there is any family history, we encourage people to keep these old guns for sentimental value. Please be warned that most of these are not considered safe to shoot.

# 14507 - Chicago Arms 32
Preston Largo Florida

Chicago Arms Co - Not Sure - 32 - 3.25 - Don't Know - 193915 -

Chicago Arms Co on the barrel, 193915 on the bottom of the grip, revolver, no hammer, top pen to break down barrel, hold five rounds Would like to find out any info you could give me on this gun, around value year or any other information you can give.

Preston, Chicago Arms Company was a name that was applied to revolvers made in the late 1800s by Meriden Firearms for sale by the Frederick Bifflar Company of Chicago. The .32 and 38 calibre top break five-shot guns had double-action locks and ribbed barrels.

The Meriden Firearms Company operated roughly between 1895 and 1915 and sold a line of low quality "suicide special" type revolvers under various trade names. There is a good possibility that an inexpensive old revolver like this is unsafe, it should be checked by a competent gunsmith before firing. This type of firearm falls into the category of "old guns" that no one seems to be interested in as shooters, but collectors do not want them either. Values for this type of revolver are usually in the $25 to $50 range. Marc

# 14381 - Percussion Musket Or Fowler
Blackburn, Jonesboro, Arkansas

Brown Bess Barrel Maybe - Flintlock Converted To Percussion - About .80 - 39 Inches - Don't Know - NONE -

This is a colonial American era gun, full stock, now converted to percussion -SC- full stock, three British Proof marks on barrel (cannot identify crown/WA) other two are Crown/Cp, and Crown/V - SC- half octagon/half round barrel with two rings at changeover point -SC- marked on top of barrel ''WASTON'' in bold letters, and also Winchister (or Winchester) in script -SC- also on bottom of barrel is ''STUBS'' -SC- has a metal butt plate that continues onto top of stock for 4 inches, with some decoration -SC- on right side around hammer and on hammer is some modest decoration -SC- hammer styled like a dolphin or whale with tail in air -SC- no metal plate on left side, just two screws -SC- stock is pinned at three locations below barrel -SC- has wooden ramrod below barrel -SC- has a silver sight half inch from mussel apparently set in an X shape cut into barrel -SC- very old checkering on wrist -SC- patina, but no rust on outside of gun -SC- stock does not look like maple, probably walnut. I would like info on the correct identification of this very old gun, American maker, location, date, etc. Any other interesting info. Appreciate any assistance. -Blackie 501 691-9430

Blackburn- Thanks for your excellent detailed description when asking about this one. However, without photos I cannot tell you much, but even with photos I am not sure I could tell you much more. The large bore and 39 inch barrel would be consistent with a 3rd model Brown Bess musket (sometimes called the India Pattern) as made from shortly after 1800 on up to the 1830s. However, it could also reflect an earlier First or Second Model barrel of 46 or 42 inches that was cut down to 39 inches. The presence of a front sight and wooden ramrod suggest that this was made mainly for use as a fowler, or perhaps a dual purpose fowler and militia musket. It is possible that this is a recycled military musket barrel where markings on the top of the barrel are often unit markings, those of Regiments in British service, or the county to which assigned (as in Virginia militia use). It sounds like the gun is in the general style of a Brown Bess, but colonial era fowling pieces were often similar. Both those made in America and those in England for domestic or export sale.

Nominal bore size on the Brown Bess were about .75 caliber, so if yours is .80 caliber, that may indicate an overly large bore custom ordered perhaps for use in hunting waterfowl, but that is just a guess. John Spangler

# 14502 - Stainless Steel Winchester Handgun
Allan, Normal, IL.

Winchester - Ctg - 32 - 4 - Stainless Steel - 32698 -

The right side has a faint shield. Also, the buttons on both sides of the grip has the word `FRANZITE` and an Eagle in flight holding a shied I've had many people state, Winchester never made a pistol, but I have one. What can you tell me about this model. Value $$$$

Allan, the grips are certainly replacements, Franzite made a line of ugly (in my opinion) replacement grips for a number of pistols. The only Winchester handgun I have ever heard of is in a display at the Cody, Wyoming museum. It is a single action revolver, and according to the museum was never put into production. The story is that Winchester used it as a threat against Colt to get them to stop making their slide action rifles.

Because of the lack of markings, my guess is that you have an inexpensive "suicide special" type handgun that is chambered for the Winchester 32-20 "ctg". If this handgun was made by Winchester it will have the Winchester proof on the barrel, and the Winchester name and patent dates associated with it stamped there also. Marc

# 14380 - Whitney Navy Revolver In A Case
Debbie, Ocala, Florida

Ely Whitney - US Navy Cap & Ball Pistol - 36 Caliber - Don't Know -

My father has this gun in the original box, containing the bullet mold and bullets. Would like to know approximate worth.

Debbie- I do not have enough information to give any sort of accurate value as there are a number of subtle variations in the different Whitney percussion revolvers, and the presence or absence of military markings are also a big factor. Just as a rough range, the least expensive can be found around $400, and the scarcer ones around $800 in average condition. Exceptionally nice examples will bring about 3 times those values, with a premium for any military marked guns. If the case and accessories are original period pieces (not some of the thousands of nice replicas made since the 1960s) that would add some more to the value, maybe another $200-400. Whitneys were fine guns, but they lack the collector following that exists for anything marked Colt, so it may take a while to find a buyer. John Spangler

# 14498 - Smith And Wesson 32, Issued To?

Smith And Wesson - Model 2 - .32 - 10 Inches - Blue - 6158 -

I am trying to determine who may have been issued this firearm and its possible value. Thank you in advance.

Ron, I'm not aware of the U.S. military ever accepting a 32 caliber Smith and Wesson for service. They did accept the 45 caliber Schofield revolver in the 1880s. Marc

# 14377 - W.L. Evans Valley Forge Musket

US AH - US1833 - 69 - Blue - VALLEY FORGE ? -

On the Gun it says Valley Forge 1833 American Arms WT EVANS What would the value of this gun be

Terry- this was a Model 1816 .69 caliber flint lock musket with a 42 inch barrel when it was made at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. (Yes, the same Valley Forge made famous by the winter suffering of Washington’s band of freedom loving patriots who risked, and often lost, their lives to seize our freedom from British tyranny.)

Many of these muskets were converted to percussion and used during the Civil War, and later many were “sporterized” into cheap shotguns for farmers. Value depends on current configuration and condition. A well abused “sporterized” example would make a nice wall hanger at $150, but a full length percussion conversion might be found at a gun show in better condition at $500-800, but one still in original flint may bring $1,500-2,500. Hope that helps. John Spangler

# 14354 - Early Stevens Single Shot

J. Stevens - Single Shot?? - .25? - Just Under 3 1/2'' - Blue - 9521 -

Pat. Sept. 6th, 1864 How much is this pistol worth.?

Ron- Based on the patent date and the barrel length, this can be narrowed down to either the “Stevens Old Model Pocket Pistol,” with about 15,000 made circa 1864-1886; or the “Stevens Single Shot Pistol,” with 25,000 made circa 1886-1896. The former are marked on the Barrel “J. Stevens & Co., Chicopee Falls, Mass” while the latter use “J. Stevens A & T Co.” These were made in both .22 rimfire and .30 short rimfire. Values tend to be modest, perhaps $100-150 in NRA antique very good condition, and double that in excellent. John Spangler

# 14497 - Ranger 30/30
Elizabeth, Canton, Texas

Winchester - Ranger - 30/30 - 19 In - Stainless Steel - 6047491 -

Not that I can tell other than it was made in New Haven Conn, and says Winchester Proof Steel. This rifle belonged to my dad and I would like some information on this rifle before it is given to my son on my dads passing. I would like to know about dads rifle. When it was mad and any other information you can share. I can't ask dad, who is 88, because he has Alzheimer's. Thank you for your time.

Elizabeth, sorry that I can't tell you that you have a real treasure. The Winchester Ranger series was introduced in 1985 and discontinued in 2000. Ranger rifles were the economy versions of the Winchester line. Most had less expensive "hardwood" stocks instead of walnut and a cheaper finish. The standard Ranger Model 94 came with a 20 inch barrel in caliber .30-30 only, and is basically an inexpensive version of the traditional Model 94 rifle. There is no collector interest in this model and values in the blue book range from around $100 to a little over $250. Marc

# 14496 - Low Number 54 With Nickel Receiver
Steve, Brisbane, Qld., Australia

Winchester - 54 - 250 Savage - 24 - Blue - 2574 -

Action is nickel plated Does this rifle have any special significance as a collectible?

Steve, the Winchester model 54 was based on the U.S. M1903 Springfield rifle. The design had twin opposed locking lugs, a Mauser type extractor, and a special guide lug designed to smooth the bolt stroke. The safety was a three-position type that was mounted on the bolt cocking-piece shroud. When first introduced rifles were only available in 270 Winchester or 30-06 with 24 inch barrels. Stocks were walnut with straight combs, and checkering on the pistol grip and forend. Winchester manufactured about 50,150 Model 54 rifles from 1925 to 1936, your rifle was manufactured in 1926.

Blue book values for Model 54 rifles range from about $300 to over $1000. It has been my experience that collector demand for Model 54 rifles is much lower than it is for the popular Model 70s, as a result, they are often slow sellers. I do not believe that the nickel finish that you mention is original, if it is not, most collectors will not be interested and value will be mainly as a shooter at the low end of the range. Marc

# 14375 - Parts For French Lady’s Saddle Rifle
Gary Glens Falls,NY

Brevete - SGDG Model 1912 - 22 LR Rifle - 21'' - Blue - NO SERIAL NUMBER -

Fleur d lis -SC- crown with an R It is my understanding this is a womans saddle gun. I need a trigger assembly and a bolt. Are they available.

Gary- No, they are not available. Anyone who might have the parts probably has them in a box full of old junk parts that they do not know what they fit, so your quest is probably hopeless. John Spangler

# 14374 - Winchester Model 1895 Lee Navy Rifle
Todd, Jacksonville, FL

Winchester - 1895 Lee Navy - 6mm Lee - ?? - Blue - CLOSE TO 5000 -

Navy Anchor and the initials ''N.C.T'' on front receiver ring, with serial number. The rifle appears complete, except missing the rear sight. Even though it has the Navy Anchor and the inspectors initials, it has what looks to be a correct Winchester Sporter stock. The barrel may be cut down and the front blade sight silver soldered on. What happened? Any guesses how the rifle got to this configuration? Does it have any collector's value? It's a mix of military and sporter?

Todd- Your rifle started off as a Navy issue rifle with full length stock and bayonet lug. The civilian “sporter” models were not big sellers, and even today have very low demand (I saw three at a recent show, and two of them had been to that show on previous occasions.) One way to check the type of stock is to look closely at the point about five inches ahead of the forward hole for the rear sight. The barrel band would have been located at about that point, and they were secured ay a small screw (about 1/8” diameter) that passed from side to side. You may find traces of the hole if it is a military stock. The sporter stocks had grasping (“finger”) grooves on both sides of the forend for about eight inches. The military barrels were 28 inches long, but sporter barrels were 28 inches long. Winchester Lee rifles have strong demand and good values in their original configuration, but butchered examples will sell for much less. Restoration parts are very difficult to find, so that keeps the value low. John Spangler

# 14493 - Parkerized Model 36
Steve, Olympia, WA

Smith And Wesson - 36 - 38 Spl - 1.25 - Parkerized - 528143 -

Hi, I have a S&W mod 36. Their are two screws showing on the non ejector side, the barrel is pinned and It is Parkerized with a two tone look. Its in nice shape with some light rub marks from the leather shoulder holster it came with. The barrel and cylinder are a grayish color but the frame is a green. The frame color can be seen well under a light. I have been looking to find another but I can't... Why? What would a fair price be for this gun? I would also like to know why S&W dose not list this color in any of my gun books? This just seems to be a special gun... Help me please!!!!

Steve, the revolver may not be all that special. I have not been able to find any mention of factory Parkerized S&W Model 36 revolvers in my references including Pate's secondary handguns book. The obvious conclusion is that the revolver that you are asking about does not have an original factory finish. If the finish is not original, value is 1/2 or less what a similar revolver with original finish would be. I would expect to see a Parked Model 36 sell in the $200 to $300 range as a shooter. Marc

Return to Collectors Headquarters.