Click here to go to the question
and answer monthly index.
Click here to go to the question
and answer subject index.
# 14615 -
L.C. Smith Barrel Marks USA-F
LC Smith -
12 Gauge -
barrel flat right barrel marked with a capital letter C other barrel flat is marked USA-F-- The C
stands for the maker- London Steel barrels made by crucible Steel Corp in Syracuse- what does
the USA-F stand for? This gun was sold 5 months before Pearl Harbor This is not a later Smith
made with the ordnance bursting bombshell marking- what does the pre-WW2 mark of USA-F
Answer: Gunny- Sorry, I just do not know the answer to
that. I am almost certain it is not any sort of military property mark, but may be a subcontractor,
inspection or assembly mark. Strictly my guess.
Ones that were military purchased guns (usually from retailers or factory inventory, not contract
made guns) were simply marked US, or sometimes US PROPERTY with or without a flaming
bomb. John Spangler
# 14746 -
Teddy Roosevelt Commemorative
Casey Bronson Spring city TN USA
Teddy Roosevelt Commemorative What year was it made and released please, My Father passed
and I have it and all boxes and paper. Thank you Col Casey Bronson ''USMC
Answer: Casey, thank you four service. The Teddy
Roosevelt Commemorative was released in 1969, total manufacture of both the rifle and carbine
variations was 52,386. Hope that this helps, Marc
# 14612 -
Winchester Model 24 Shotgun Barrels
12 GA -
30'' And 26'' -
what was the year of manufacture? how do you exchange the barrels?
Answer: Ken- The Winchester Model 24 was a fine gun, but plain and mass
produced and therefore less expensive than Winchester’s top of the line Model 21 which was more
or less a “custom shop special order” item. About 116,000 were made between 1939 and 1957.
Most were 12 gauge, a fair number in 16 GA, many fewer in 20 GA and less than a handful in
.410 gauge. The 12 Gauge guns were initially offered with 30 or 28 inch barrels, and in late
1939 the 26 inch barrel was added. The vast majority of guns were made with just a single set of
barrels, but, like with most Winchester items, if a customer wanted something special and would
pay for it, they could get it, so some were sold as two barrel sets, and perhaps maybe a few with
more than two sets of barrels.
I am not an expert on shotguns, and don’t think I have ever actually Handled a Model 24, but
they almost certainly work the same as most others of the period.
After being sure the gun is unloaded, slip your finger under the front tip of the forend and pull
down away from the barrel and the forend will snap off. Then you can open the breech and the
barrels will come off. Put the new barrels in place, close the action and put the forend back in
position against the front of the action and push it up into place and spring pressure will snap it
Remember, all my free advice comes with a full money back guarantee, so if that does not work,
check with someone who actually knows about this specific model. John
# 14748 -
Lunch Box 1911
Donnie, Port St. Lucien, Fl, St. Lucien Cty
Did Colt produce a ''lunchbox'' version of the 1911.
Answer: Donnie, my definition of a lunch box gun is one that is manufactured
from parts that were smuggled out of a factory by employees in their lunch boxes. I find it hard to
imagine that Colt ever smuggled parts out of it's own factory to produce lunch box versions of it's
firearms with, so I doubt that Colt ever produced a lunch box version of the 1911. I do not know if
Colt employees ever smuggled parts out of the factory in their lunch boxes to manufacture 1911
pistols with. One of the necessary requirements of a lunch box gun is secrecy about the pilfering
of parts. I would not be surprised to see this sort of thing happen but your guess is as good as
# 14610 -
Little Big Horn Cartridges?
headstamp r 7 i purchased a shell that was supposedly fired at the little big horn battle during the
reno-benteen valley fight. it looks like a 45/55 case but i can't find any identifiers except that
the head stamp has an r in the 12 o'clock position and a 7 in the three o'clock position. what is
the manufacturer and is this documented anywhere? if it is real it would have to have been
manufactured prior to june 25th 1876?
Answer: James- Well,
P.T. Barnum was right, there is a sucker born every minute. Maybe that is not you, but you at
least fall into the category of someone who has been suckered. Here are some tips to avoid
similar mistakes in the future.
To start with, all pre-June 25, 1876, U.S. military .45-70 cartridges were inside primed, so you will
not see a primer in the back of the case like with modern center fire ammunition.
Second, Frankford Arsenal did not start with the four part headstamp until March 1877. Both the
rifle and carbine cartridges used 405 grain bullets, and when loaded looked visually the same,
although the rifle had 70 grains of powder, while the carbine only used 55 grains. Of course, the
cardboard boxes identified which type of ammunition it was, but once removed from the box
there was no way to know. So, they adopted headstamp codes which identified Rifle or Carbine
with a R or C at the 12 o’clock position. The month of manufacture was placed at the 9 o’clock
position and the last two digits of the year at 3 o’clock. The maker was identified by a code at the
6 o’clock position, such as F for Frankford Arsenal, B or L for Remington’s Bridgeport plants, or W
Prior to March 1877 the .45 caliber rifle and carbine cartridges had NO HEADSTAMPS, except
briefly from March to July 1874 when carbine loads had a US CARBINE headstamp.
Just to complete the story, after adoption of the 500 grain bullet for rifles, while keeping the
shorter 405 grain for the carbines, this provided visual identification and the R or C mark was
dropped from the headstamps, leaving it a three part marking at 12, 4 and 8 o’clock. Late
contract production (circa 1898) just used the normal commercial headstamps.
Be wary also of people reportedly selling artifacts they “picked up from xxxx battlefield.” They
may have done so, but perhaps they dropped them there a minute earlier, so they are not lying,
just letting one of P.T. Barnum’s suckers jump to the conclusion that “if it came from the battle
field, it must have gotten there during the battle.” There is a good example of a Model 1877
carbine being sold by a major auction house that came off a Custer related site. While it may
have been found there, and even many decades ago, guns made after 1877 simply could not
have been there in 1876.
Hope that helps. John Spangler
# 14750 -
US Marked A5 History
Justin, Moscow, Idaho
12 Gauge -
''US'' stamp on the receiver and a circle with what looks like a flame above it to the left of the
''US'' stamp. Both are stamped on the left front side of the receiver. I have been told those
markings mean it was in service. Can you tell me its service history and maybe the soldier it
Answer: Justin, no records exist that could provide
us with the information that you are looking for. The closest shotguns that records are available
for are 74723 and 75714.
74723 USN AIR TRANS SQDN 1 (MISSING)
75714 USS LST-603, STOLEN
# 14609 -
Reference Books For U.S. Martial Arms Markings
Joe, Leesburg VA
What is a good general reference book for interpreting the proof, inspection, and other
manufacturing marks on US military weapons, primarily antiques, ideally organized by Model and
Type of weapon?
Answer: Joe- That is an excellent question,
but not an easy one to answer. Of the many books available, each has advantages and
drawbacks, so a serious scholar or collector will probably need most of the following.
Here is my list:
1. Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms and Their Values- Although not the most
detailed, it is the most comprehensive and conveniently used source for a first look on
configuration, serial number ranges, and some markings. If it is in there it is almost certainly
2. Probably the most detailed, but massive and expensive is George Moller’s American Military
Shoulder Arms, thus far appearing in three volumes covering the earliest period through about
the end of the Civil War, with additional volumes being worked on. Meticulous research and
detail, including much on internal and sub inspector markings. Believe everything in Moller’s
books, he is one of the best researchers with precise attention to detail! You need to get these in
hardback if possible, but the first two volumes are now only available from the publisher in soft
cover versions. These books are an investment, so go for the hardbacks if you can find them.
3. James E. Hicks’ U.S. Military Firearms features superb drawings by Andre Jandot taken from
actual examples and showing every detail, including markings. Text is not very useful, but the
drawings are superb, and cover virtually all significant standard U.S. martial arms 1776-1956.
Now we get into books that are more specialized, but essential for the advanced collector getting
into the fine details of U.S. weaponry.
4. Robert M. Reilly’s U.S Military Small Arms 1816-1865 is the definitive work on arms of the Civil
War and post 1812 era. A fair amount on markings, and extremely reliable information.
5. Peter Schmidt’s excellent works on U.S. Military Flintlock Muskets and Their Bayonets (two
volumes covering 1790-1815 and 1816-1865) and Hall’s Military Breechloaders are extremely
well researched and detailed. The Hall book is out of print and expensive, so you can buy the
book, or buy an education from a flawed gun, but unless you get into the more exotic guns, you
can live without it.
6. Al Frasca’s superb research and attention to detail makes his two volume The .45-70
Springfield the definitive work on that model in its many variations. Must have these! There is a
single volume Trapdoor Springfield book by Ernst & Waite, which is a good introduction, but
7. The Krag Rifle Story by Frank Mallory (2nd edition) is the definitive work, building on Mallory’s
initial research with assistance from Tom Pearce and Bill Mook, the trio of most advanced Krag
collectors. This is detailed and accurate, but out of print, although some are still around, so get
one while you can. Hold out for the 2nd edition. Bill Brophy’s The Krag Rifle is a decent second
choice substitute, but Mallory has more and better information.
8. William Brophy’s The 1903 Springfield Rifles is a must have for anyone who yearns to own
more than one M1903 series rifle. Massive, and solidly researched, it is the definitive work on the
subject. I have worn out two copies and am about to replace my current copy. Essential.
9. M1917 rifles- get Nick Ferris’ book on these which is the best on the U.S. Model 1917. Ian
Skennerton’s U.S. Enfield is pretty good on the British predecessors, but badly dated, and
reportedly a revised edition will appear someday.
10. For the M1 Garand collector, you must have Scott Duff’s books on Garands, as well as a
membership to the Garand Collectors Association (http:// thegca.org) and their newsletters.
11. M1 Carbines are best covered by Larry Ruth’s first two volumes, and topped off with a massive
third volume. Get them all.
For some more specialized arms there are specific books. Roy Marcot’s Spencer Repeaters.
Charles Pate’s superb U.S. Handguns of World War II, and Charles Clawson’s “big book” on Colt
.45 Service Pistols come to mind. (Clawson’s book is out of print and selling for huge prices, but
that is because it is worth it for the information it contains.) Get Pate’s book if you can find a
copy, as it is (or soon will be) out of print. Bruce Canfield’s book on Johnson Rifles is superb.
Now, here are some books that I DO NOT recommend; simply because I do not trust the
information in them, or quibble with the way it is presented and the conclusions drawn. Other
people seem to like some of them, but you asked my opinion. Jesse Harrison’s spiral bound books
with lots of pretty drawings are worthless in my opinion because while they have some excellent
info they also have a lot of inaccurate BS and much speculation, but you have to guess which is
which. In general I dislike the North Cape “For Collectors Only” series. They may be cheap and
handy to carry around, but I just don’t believe everything I see in print in these, and they seem to
mislead some collectors with their invented “type 1,2 3..” stuff, and firm statements about exact
changes and the like. Not bad books, and largely correct, but I just do not like them Buy them if
you like. However, I DO LIKE the North Cape book .58 and .58 Caliber Springfield Rifles by Dick
Hosmer, whose information is much more reliable. He is working on a second volume covering
some of the oddball Springfield products of the 1870s which should be a very good addition to
our knowledge base.
There are a lot of other books out there to select from, and you need to pick and choose which
will best support your collecting interests. In addition, there are some excellent sources of
information on line. However, much of what passes for “information” on the internet is no more
accurate than some gun show Bubba babbling about something they know nothing about, or
repeat from some other uninformed person. Seek second opinions, and see what other advanced
collectors think about a source before you buy into it as being accurate.
Of course, periodicals like Man At Arms, The American Rifleman, and Arms Heritage magazine
are all excellent sources, and you should subscribe to all those. The now defunct Gun Report
magazine was an excellent source, and worth picking up if you find a set and have the room for
Hope that helps. Happy reading! John Spangler
# 14745 -
Walther Mod. 8
Model ''B'' Or ''8'' -
.25 Or .32 -
''F'' stamped on left side behind trigger. Left side of grip has a blue circular emblem with a ''W''
superimposed on top of a ''C''. Right side of grip has a blue circular emblem with ''6.35'' inside.
Right side of slide is marked ''Waffenfabrik Walther Zella-Mehlis(Thur.)Right side of frame & slide
has an ''N'' lying on its side with what looks like a crown with a cross on top of it just to the right of
the ''N''. Can you please offer some history and approximate original value and current value of
this handgun? It was purchased in Germany by a friend many years ago. I apologize for not
knowing the exact calibur. It looks as though it could be a .25 or a .32.
Answer: Edwin, it sounds like this pistol is a Model 8. Walter introduced the
Model 8 in 1920, it was chambered in .25 ACP, and had a 2 & 7/8 inch barrel, fixed sights, black
checkered plastic grips with round medallions and blue or nickel finish.
The Model 8 was the first Walter to use the trigger guard as a stripping catch. The guard pivots
and an extension of the front edge passes through a slot in the frame below the barrel where it
limits movement of the slide to the rear. To remove the slide, the guard is released by depressing
a spring catch on the right front side and then pulled away from the frame. After that the slide
can be pulled back far enough to free it from the frame at the rear so it can be lifted and
Walter produced about 250,000 Model 8 pistols from their introduction in 1920, until 1943 when
the model was discontinued.
I have been unable to find any information about prices when the model was first introduced but
current blue book values range between $125 and about $700 depending on condition, markings
and type of finish. Although bluebook prices are high for this model, it has been my experience
that it is often hard to sell most .25 caliber pistols. Marc
# 14744 -
Navy Replica Value
Their I a navy theme on the cylinder. Also it is stamped engaged may 1843 around the cylinder
across it is stamped PATENT NO. with no numbers. The only barrel markings are CAL .36 NAVY
MODEL-MADE IN ITALY on the other side it says BLACK POWDER ONLY underneath the
numbers 50027 match the pistol grip. The barrel and cylinder are blued the grip is wood and the
rest has a brass coating. Also on the left side of barrel it is stamped KI. I inherited this pistol and
had wondered if it is a replica. I am not sure what brand or how old. I will never sell but also how
much it is worth? Sorry for the lack of information. Thank you for your time.
Answer: Steve, the "MADE IN ITALY" markings are a dead-giveaway, your
revolver is a replica. Thousands of this type of revolver have been imported into the USA since
the late 1960s. I often see them offered at yard sales for around $50.
Flintlock converted to percussion black powder. Barrel silver inlay and scroll with Joh Andre
Kutchenreiter. Original flint lockplate with J A Kutchenreuter engraved. Dark Walnut stock with
carving of deer head. Brass butt plate. Barrel has 7 deep straight grooves. handmade screws, and
carved patchbox. Trying to find more information on this gun. Unable to locate another one of it's
kind anywhere. have found that it was made by above named individual from Germany and
dates of above named individual was 1716 - 795.
Answer: Floyd- I have no information on the name the way you spelled it, but
I am certain it is actually one of a family of gunmakers from Steinweg bei Regensburg in
Bavaria, Germany. Successive generations began with Johann Christoph Kuchenreuter (or
Kuchelreiter) who lived 1670-1743. Later generations included Johann Andreas Kuchenreuter
(1716-1795) and his son Johann Andreas Kuchenreuter (1758-1808). Either of the last two may be
the maker you are interested in. (We will ignore Adam, Andreas, Bartolomaeus, Bartolomaeus
Joseph, and Johann Adam who were also gun making members of this family.)
Hope that helps. John Spangler
# 14738 -
Ulm PP Pistol
Robert, Oklahoma City, OK
72 next to an odd symbol (like a deer rack), plus Nazi Eagle on ejector slide, another eagle over N
just in front of Serial number, Carl Walther Waffenfabrik Ulm/Do. Modell PP cal. 7,65mm on
slide. What does serial lower than 750K mean if there is no ''P''. Is this worth
Answer: Robert, I do not believe that your pistol is a
war time model. My guess is that you may be mistaken about the eagle markings you are
describing being war-time Nazi.
The Walther PP pistol was first manufactured by Waffenfabrik Walther at Zella-Mehlis, Germany,
from 1929 to 1945, PP stands for Police Pistol. As you probably know, the first Walther PP serial
number was 750000 and numbers increased from there until they reached one million when a
new series was initiated which began at 100000 with the added letter suffix "P".
The original Walther factory in Zella-Mehlis was destroyed in WWII, and a new factory was built
in the city of Ulm in 1953. The antler marking is probably an Ulm proofmark which has been used
since 1952. I am not absolutely positive about the "72" marking, but it may be the year of
manufacture. As always my free answers come with a full money back guarantee.
# 14605 -
LeMat Revolver Minus Shotgun Barrel
LeMat Type -
4 To 5 Inch -
no markings I have seen an antique LeMat type revolver that does not have the shotgun barrel,
wasn't made with it. It has no markings and no numbers. No spur on the hammer and is double
action. The loading rod is flat. Who would have made this revolver? British copy perhaps?
Answer: Gary- An eagle without the hooked beak, large
wingspan and limited flying skills is probably a chicken, not an eagle, but they are both some sort
of large bird.
Likewise, a LeMat revolver minus the shotgun barrel is not a Lemat. In the 1850s and 1860s,
dozens of European makers were turning out revolvers of all sorts. These ranged from licensed
interchangeable Colt models and unlicensed crude copies of them to a plethora of Adams, Dean,
Webley, Tranter and others in England, plus an even more diverse flock of copies and inventions
from the continent. Many of these bear a passing resemblance to a LeMat, especially those from
France or Belgium. LeMats are highly priced and prized collector items, both for the novelty of
having the shotgun barrel in addition to a more or less conventional revolver cylinder, and
because some were used by the Confederates, including cavalry commander Gen J.E.B. Stuart.
However, the assorted conventional European revolvers attract only minimal to modest collector
interest or prices.
Hope that helps. John Spangler
# 14599 -
Danish Rolling Block Rifle Caliber
Steve La Salle MI
Danish Rolling Block -
Rolling Block Full Size -
Kjobenhuus Toihuus 1883 Unit mkng 3AB889 What is the caliber? Previous owner has fired 45-
70, 45-70 wiggles in chamber. Read that many were converted 11.7 rimfire, this one shows no
signs of weld. Grateful for any info you can provide. Nice piece, curious about its`
Answer: Steve- A very good question, which can be
paraphrased as “It almost fits, is it okay to use it?” The usual answer, from someone like the
previous owner is something like “Here, hold my beer and watch this….”
About 30,000 of these rolling block rifles were made at the Danish Arsenal at Copenhagen 1870-
1908, under license from Remington. Usual markings are Kjobenhavns toihuus and date on the
tang, with a crown and M-1867 on left side of receiver and a serial number on the barrel and
stock. These were made for an 11.7 x 41.5mmR rimfire blackpowder cartridge. If the barrel is
marked at top rear with a crown that indicates conversion in 1896 to an improved 11.5 x 51R
center fire smokeless powder centerfire cartridge, earning a Model 1867/96 designation. An
interesting feature is that the breechblock retains a hole to allow firing pin installation for use with
the earlier blackpowder rimfire cartridges. The Danish round is slightly shorter than the .45-70
cartridge, and a bit fatter near the head. While we do not recommend shooting these, some
people reportedly fire light loads using trimmed .45-70 cases and only neck size them afterwards.
In my opinion it is unsafe and foolish, albeit possibly a Darwin Award winning idea, to shoot .45-
70 ammunition in these. However, given the scarcity of any of the ammo in the Danish caliber,
that is pretty much your only option if you want to shoot one. Eye protection is an absolute must
if you insist on trying this. I’d also suggest a paid up life insurance policy with we me as the
These are pretty common guns in the U.S. and usually found in nice condition at reasonable
prices, so a lot of people have the same quandary. John
# 14739 -
Famous Gunsmith M Re D`armes St. Etienne
Daniel, Jacksonville, Florida
Chamelot - Delvigne -
S. 1884 Double Action -
11.4 Mm -
6 `` -
This pistol was made by the Russians and sold to the Swedish Navy . But they were flawed , the
barrel's would explode when fired. So they were recalled to be fixed by the Russian
manufacturer. However somehow this pistol was fixed by a famous gunsmith ,and he signed it .It's
hard to read but here goes, M re d`armes from St. Etienne , France How do I find a reputable
appraiser to tell me what it is worth ? I took it to a local appraiser , and he said it was out of his
league . And told me that I should contact the Historical Society .
Answer: Daniel, "Mfr Rle de St. Etienne" is the short version of Manufacture
Royale de St. Etienne. This is NOT the name of a famous gunsmith, Manufacture d'armes de
Saint-Étienne was the name of a French state-owned, government arsenal that was located in the
town of Saint-Étienne.
St. Etienne markings are by no means rare, they can be found on many weapons that were
produced at the St. Etienne arsenal including bayonets, rifles and handguns. Bayonets that were
produced there from the 1840s to the 1890s had the St. Etienne markings on the top flat of the
blade. The marks included the place and date of manufacture so many people think that they
have found something that was presented to or owned by a Lieutenant Etienne based on a
misreading of the maker name.
If you need more information about your revolver, try taking it to the next gunshow that is held in
your area, ask 3 or 4 different dealers who have similar merchandise on their tables about it.
# 14591 -
Allen Gainesville Ga.
Looks hand stamped Mowery,9760, 50. cresset butt. 2 piece stock. Looks like a Mowery but it isn't.
I don't have and can't find any info on this gun. Please send anything you know. Thank You....I
can forward images.
Answer: Allen- I am sending you
everything I know about Mowrey arms.
Here it is: “ .“
Sorry I don’t know more.
# 14598 -
Thomson (or Thompson?) Flintlock Pistol
Steve Perth, Western Australia, Australia
My flintlock is engraved `Thomson` ( not Thompson ) and can't seem to find any reference to that
gunsmith in any book or via the Internet. Just wondering if you have any knowledge of this make.
Answer: Steve- Remember, in the flintlock era, spelling
was not as standardized as it is now, and the literacy rate among gun makers, or those who did
their engraving was not high. So, it is possible to find misspelled names, your gun may well have
been made by someone named Thompson, not Thomson.
However, there appear to have been regional difference in spelling of the name. Thompson
seems to have been the customary spelling in England. However the guys up to the north who
dress up in skirts seem to have dropped their “P” and at least 13 makers in Scotland spelled the
name Thomson, along with one miscreant, Alexander Thomson, who moved (from somewhere) to
Australia in the early 1800s, ending up in Sydney.
To add further confusion, the names Thomson, Thomsin, Tomsin, Thoumson, Toumson,
Toumsen, Tomson and Toumeson were used by gunmakers in Rotterdam or Liege. Examination
of any proof marks on the gun (or their absence) may help confirm or eliminate some countries as
This information is from the very useful three volume “Heer der Nueue Stoeckel.”
Hope that helps. John Spangler
# 14728 -
The Paris Life Protector
The Paris Life Protector -
Engraved ''The Paris Life Protector'' on the top This is a very interesting piece that I am
researching for a friend it was handed down to. I would like to know how old is the revolver? Who
manufactured this piece? What`s the approximate value of this piece?
The author of the article, Mr. Orr, indicates that ``This piece belongs to the family of vintage
handguns known as "puppy" revolvers, which are generally smaller cousins to the well-known
'bulldog' short-barrel side-arms. Puppies generally have folding triggers with no guard, to fit in the
waist-coat pocket or lady's purse rather than a trouser-pocket or holster, and are usually .38-calibre
or less, whereas Bulldogs are invariably .44 or .450.``
Mr. Orr seems to be fairly impressed with the quality of the little revolver but to me it looks like a
``Suicide Special`` from the late 1800s or early 1900s. Maybe my opinion is a little biased
because my tastes in collecting lean more toward firearms used by military organizations, but I
would expect to see a revolver like this one offered for sale at a gunshow in the $200 or less