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.

# 52 - British Proofed Ithaca 1911A1
Peter Clancy -

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Ithaca 1911A1 45 4 Park. ? 207XXXX

British BNP Marks

I have an Ithaca M1911 A1 S/N 207XXXX with a number of BNP proof marks. I believe these are British military proofs. This is a WWII gun but the BNP proof wasn't used until 1954 according to the Blue Book section on proof marks. Thought it might be a WWII lend lease gun but not sure due to later British proof marks. Also, the S/N does not appear in the range shown in the Blue Book. Maybe you can shed some light on both matters. Thanks.

Your Ithaca M1911A1 falls in the Ithaca range, according to Clawson's Colt .45 Service Pistols book. The section on pages 148-153 show that 39,592 M1911 and M1911A1 pistols were sent to the British Empire as lend lease material during WW2 (plus another 1,515 to Canada). England declared theirs surplus in 1952, and other parts of the Empire probably followed suit. Clawson shows pistols with English proofs circa 1952, 53 and 58. Other sources mention that Sam Cummings, of Interarmco, the largest surplus arms dealer in the world had a major storage operation in England. Per English law, everything shipped out of there had to be proofed. Thus your gun may have been lend lease direct to England, then proofed prior to return to U.S.. Or, it may have taken a longer journey and passed through England while part of a lot of surplus arms circa 1954 or more recently. My experience has been that most of the Lend Lease guns came back in near new condition (both .45s and the superb late 1941 M1 rifles sometimes found)... John Spangler.

# 51 - WW-II K98k
Ken Erion -

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Mauser Mod. 98 8mm 24" ?? Blue 6744

6744 is stamped on the two metal fitting toward the front of the rifle. (Sorry, I don't know my rifle anatomy very well) It is also stamped twice on the base of the internal magazine. 306 is stamped twice on the bolt assembly. On the top of the barrel(or just before the barrel) is a byf (lower case)To the side of that same area is an slightly crooked 46306A (? on the A)Further down toward the bolt is engraved Mod. 98

Just wondering the relative age of the rifle, where it was made and possible value. I got it from a friend and just wanted to know more about it. I understand from my research so far that this rifle was produced for many, many years, in various countries. I was hoping you could narrow it down a little for me. There are some other marks that are difficult to describe. The rifle has %0D! %0Aan adjustable rear site that is numbered from 1 to 20 (2000 meters??) It also has some interesting devices on the stock. Anyway, anything you could tell me about this rifle would be wonderful. Thanks in advance.

Ken it sounds like you have a WW-II K98k. The K98k over its lifetime has been manufactured at many factories. Total K98k production is estimated at 11,500,000. During WW-II most factories that manufactured the K98k were designated with codes to conceal their identities. The byf code that is on your K98k was assigned to Mauser-Werke, Oberndorf on the Neckar. In most cases the year of production of a K98k will be stamped on the receiver over the chamber. The year was usually stamped in full until 1941/42 at which time it was changed to the last two digits of the year. The value of your Mauser depends on many things, the most important of which being condition. Many K98k's have been "sporterized" over the years. From your description of the numbers stamped on your barrel bands it sounds like there is a good chance that your Mauser is still in original condition, but if your Mauser has been "sporterized", I would value it at under $100.00. Most K98k's have numbers stamped on their parts that should match the serial number or the last two or three digits of the serial number. On early K98k's most of the parts were stamped with a number including the screws holding on the trigger guard and the butt plate. As the war progressed less of the parts were stamped with a number. From your description your numbers do not match and this lowers the value. Assuming that your Mauser it is in good, all original condition but with non-matching numbers, I would value it in the $175.00 to $225.00 price range... Marc

Return to Collectors Headquarters.

This page was last updated 1/1/97 5:06:21 PM