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.

# 3144 - Colt Peacemaker .41 caliber
Lyle, Lake Havasu City, AZ

Colt Manufacturing - Colt Peacemaker - .41 - 5 1/2 inches - steel - 195280 -

It was manufactured under a September 19, 1871 patent number with the dates Jul 2, 72 Jan 19, 75 and the number 195280 stamped on frame. What is the general history of this series of gun? Is there anything unique about a 41 colt single action as opposed to a 45 cal.?

Lyle- Your pistol was made in 1900 (as we found out by using the nifty "Date of Manufacture link over on the left side of out page). The basic Colt "cowboy gun" we see in the movies all the time is the Model 1873 Single Action Army revolver originally made in .45 caliber with 7 inch barrel, or one of the many variations. When made in .44-40 (.44 WCF) caliber they were called a "Frontier Six-Shooter" and the barrel marked that way. Over the years they have also been marketed as or called Peacemakers, or New Frontier revolvers. There are collectors who specialize in nothing but these old single action Colts, and they have been made in at least 36 different calibers from .22 rimfire to various .45 caliber cartridges. The .41 Colt cartridge was briefly popular in the 1880-1920 period but has been out of favor for many years now and ammo has been very scarce. I believe I heard it is being made again, but that may be incorrect.

The Colt single action design is very attractive, and has been the basis for artistic accomplishments by some of the finest craftsmen (and women) in the engraving field, as well as the object of abuse for a number of untalented amateurs.

First introduced in 1873 (at about the time that Smith & Wesson's patent on the bored through cylinder used for metallic cartridges expired) this basic pistol design has been in nearly continuous production for 127 years. Sure, they started using better grade steel about 1898 and have changed some minor details that only Colt collectors can spot, but essentially it is the same gun. Bill Ruger has [quite justifiably!] become a wealthy man making similar looking guns since the 1950s when Colt foolishly ceased production of the single actions for a while. Ruger made reduced size models as the Single-six in .22 caliber and the Bearcat, and in .357 and .44 magnum as the Blackhawk series. In recent years the Vaquero line took the same basic gun but with traditional color case hardened frames instead of blue, and have been very popular with the Cowboy Action shooters. All of Ruger's pistols feature improved guts and a neat internal safety gizmo that prevents firing if dropped on the hammer, and coil springs instead of older fashioned and breakage-prone flat springs. I heard that Colt has now introduced a model of their single action with Ruger's transfer bar safety system, so the people who originally made the guns are now paying a royalty to the guy who made a better copy. Of course, the guys in Italy have now made more copies of the Colts than Colt ever made. Values of Colt single actions range from high to astronomical for the pre-1898 models, and the prices on their current products are several times that of the usually better made Ruger or Italian cousins. It is amazing that a mechanical devise has been so successful that it remains nearly unchanged since 1873. How many other products being made today can make that claim? Of course now some sleazy politicians think that after over 100 years the guns are suddenly causing people to go out and commit illegal acts. Maybe they should review the old John Wayne movies and see how crime was kept low in the "good old days." (a) Victims defended themselves (with guns in most cases); schools and families taught respect for the law and human life, and demanded people be held accountable for their actions; (c) Criminals were apprehended. Prosecuted, convicted and punished promptly with the focus on justice and protecting society, not enriching devious lawyers dedicated to absurd defense theories blaming everyone but the SOB who did the deed.

Anyway, enjoy your neat old gun before Al Gore and his pals insist you turn it in for destruction and render you defenseless against the criminal scum who will NOT turn in their illegal guns. John Spangler

# 3148 - Canadian C8 .303 Rifle By BSA
Ron Vancouver, B.C. Canada

BSA - C8 - 303 - BLUE - B0922 -

Military army rifle Can you give me some history about this rifle. I know of the Ross and Lee Enfield rifles, and have hears of BSA making weapons, but very little I can find..

Ron- Good question. BSA is Birmingham Small Arms [and motorcycle] Company located in England, but the Canadians have been quite capable of meeting their own small arms needs since about 1940. Ian Skennerton's definitive "Lee Enfield Story" on the .303 SMLE series has nothing on a .303 caliber C No. 8 rifle. The "C" designation indicates a Canadian Pattern to avoid confusion with similar stuff from the UK. The highest Skennerton goes is the C No. 7 rifle which is a .22 caliber variant of the No. 4 Mark 1 rifle. Since you have stumped the "experts" here, we recommend you check with the folks who really know about this sort of stuff, listed on the Lee Enfield site on our links page. John Spangler

# 3156 - Dutch Model 1922 Browning
Shane, Hobbs, NM, US

FN - Browning - 1922 - .380 ACP - 4 1/2" - Blue - 44389 -

Large W with decorative crown located above it. This is located top of slide near the slide extension. There is a small one located on back of frame just below the slide. This gun was taken off of a German soldier and has the shoulder holster along with a matching belt dual magazine holder with magazines. It also has the papers were it was released to US soldier to bring home. Does the paperwork and holsters add much value? Are the above described markings a variation of the Waffenampt proof? Does this proofing add any value? All three magazines have FN stamps but only one has a SN stamped on bottom. Was SN's not common on all magazines? What year was it produced?

Shane, Your Browning pistol is from Holland, the large "W" with the crown above is a Dutch Queen Wilhelmina crest. During the 1930's, thousands of these pistols were purchased by the Dutch for their armed forces. When the Dutch surrendered to Germany on May 15, 1940, Dutch arms were captured by the Germans and reissued to the German military. A few Dutch M1922 pistols (in the 63000-64000 serial range) bear the German E/613 Army acceptance stamp on the left trigger guard web, these were probably captured by the German Army at the FN plant in Belgium and acceptance stamped there. Nazi stamped Dutch M1922 pistols do not have the Dutch Crown/W acceptance stamp on the slide above the rear grip strap. Values for Dutch M1922 pistols are in the $150 to $250 range depending on condition. Add about 10% for your matching magazine. Values for Nazi proofed M1922 pistols are in the $400 to $600 range. Marc

# 3193 - Snider? Trade

I just traded my .22 for an antique carbine marked "Snider Patent" on top and J C & A Lord on the side plate. The barrel is marked J C & A Lord London, Birmingham & Bombay. Its really ugly but interesting and is of an enormous center fire caliber. I really don't know what all this means but I understand that Sniders were 19th century pieces. I don't know if this is another Pakistani or Indian copy or it was supposed to be made there or what.

Jim- I once traded two $5 cats for a $10 dog. The Snider system was popular in the British Emore from about 1867 until about 1885 when the Martini pretty well replaced it. Most were in .577 Snider caliber, which was essentially little more than some sort of metallic base for a cartridge holding the primer and providing a rim for extraction, and a paper, cardboard or thin metal foil (or composite of these) case body, something akin to a shotgun shell to hold the black powder charge and a .577 minie bullet all together in a single self contained unit. Most Sniders were made in England, but a large number were made in "India" which at the time included chunks of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Those made in India are generally of lower quality, and most I have seen over the years show signs of a lot of use and very little cleaning or preservation. I have never encountered the J.C and A Lord name as a maker, and their multiple addresses suggests that they may be the retailer rather than the maker. If this is really the dealer, and not just a "Tiffany" name applied to costume jewelry, then this may be a decent quality English made gun. Sniders are still fairly common, and the lower condition pieces fairly inexpensive. John Spangler

# 3194 - Found A Cannon Ball?

John, I don't know where to turn for help, so I'll try you fellas. If you don't have an answer, maybe you can guide me to someone who can. I teach 5th grade social studies in Jefferson County, Nebraska. During our study of the Civil War, a student brought in what appears to be a cannon ball. He tells me his great-grandfather found it in a pasture on his farm. After reading some of the history of our county, it is believable that it could be a cannon ball. U.S. troops passing through sometime in the 1840-1860's range did take target practice in the area. The iron ball has a diameter of close to 3 inches, 10 inch circumference, and weighs 3-4 lbs. There is an interesting mark on it. On a small, flat area, like the sprue on a musket ball there is a dime sized stamp of a horse and rider. It is not detailed. Can you help me? The family of the boy believes it is a cannon ball. The kids and I have had great fun speculating about it. I would greatly appreciate any help you might be able to give. Thank you, Dave H

Dave- You may have a cannon ball. The standard bore diameter of a six pounder smooth bore cannon was 3.65 inches, and for a 12 pounder 4.62 inches. Cannon balls were slightly smaller so they could be loaded into the barrel (from the muzzle, of course) when the bore was dirty. Six pounders were the smallest used by the US Army from about 1812 onwards. Cannons with rifles barrels did not use "cannon balls" but more "bullet shaped" projectiles, and due to different way they figured out the names a 10 pound Parrot rifle had a bore diameter of 3.00 inches, so even though the diameter is close, it does not explain yours. . (Parrot rifles were named after the inventor, Col. Robert P. Parrot, not as an indicator of intended use). Don't forget that as iron or steel rusts, the iron oxide formed is much thicker, so it increases the apparent diameter of the cannon ball.

However, numerous private individuals and trading concerns also had cannons, and the bore of a 4 pounder smoothbore was 3.156 inches in diameter, so that is pretty close to what you have. I believe that the Mormons had some cannon when they traveled across much of Nebraska in 1847. If some of the US Army passed through there around 1858 it was probably Johnson's army en route to Utah to keep an eye on the Mormons. They may have had some non-standard types of cannons, or maybe the army's presence was recorded but no one was there taking notes when the Mormons passed through.

When archaeologist dig up stuff from the ground they look for a lot of items and while each one may be a mystery, they sometimes reveal a lot when taken as a group rather than as individual items. Were other items found at the same time or location? Was this a campground, a battlefield, or the location of an old an iron foundry, or site of a train wreck?

Round iron balls have also been used for purposes other than being fired from cannons. I have heard of them being used as ball bearings for really big things (windmills, or industrial machinery). Someone reported they are used in big rotating drums (sort of like a cement mixer) to break up gravel or limestone or something like that.

There are also games played with iron balls. I believe that Italians play something call "Bacchi" or something close to that which is sort of like bowling on the grass.

The presence of a stamp probably indicates the maker, and would not be expected on a cannon ball, or one of the industrial type balls. I would tend to lean towards the Bacchi ball theory. Using the scientific theory we could call this a hypothesis, and then do some research to prove it is right or wrong. I don't know anything about Bacchi balls (among many things) but I be someone on the internet has a site dedicated to this sport. John Spangler

# 3192 - Winchester Dado Or Rabbet Plane

Hi I would like to know about a tool I have that was made by Winchester gun co. It is called a datto plainer and it is very old could you tell me anything on this item.

Bill- During the 1920s-30s the gun business was pretty slow and Winchester management decided their manufacturing capability was a good match for the hardware business and they made a wide variety of tools and even roller skates and flashlights. One of the most amazing displays I have ever seen at a gun show covered two tables with Winchester flashlights, complete with the original boxes, advertising posters, and about a zillion different variations of the flashlights themselves. Obviously there are some folks who collect ANYTHING that says Winchester, and some of them will pay big bucks for it. Most people don't get excited, but I know there are a lot of Ruger collectors who have one of Bill Ruger's early hand drills as part of their collection, so it may not be a formally diagnosed form of mental illness. I believe you actually have a Dado or Rabbet plane. These usually have a number of different blades and were used to cut fancy shapes on the ends of wood panels. Basically they do the same jobs that we use routers for today, except they take a lot longer and a lot more work. Harold Williamson's 50 year old book "Winchester- The Gun That Won the West" is an excellent account of the history of Winchester and gets into the reasons for various business decisions, and the results of getting into such things as hardware sales. It is an essential book for a full understanding of "the rest of the story" beyond just the details of minor variations in the guns themselves. Many libraries have copies, and you can get one on interlibrary loan. We often have copies in our book catalog. John Spangler

# 3138 - Tigre Winchester Rifle
Terreur Thierry, Belgium

El Tigre - 1892 - 44WCF - nickel -

Last year, I bought a El Tigre 44/40 Winchester rifle model 1892I try to find the origin of the rifle. Can you help my in my search ?Thank you very much for your help

Terreur- The lever action rifles marked "El Tigre" are near exact copies of the Winchester Model 1892 rifles, but they were not made by Winchester, although they are in Winchester calibers. These rifles were made in Spain circa 1920, apparently for sale in the South American market or perhaps elsewhere as well. Values tend to be much less than for a real Winchester made 1892, and demand is a lot less. Sometimes copies are more popular than the originals. I have heard that in the last 40 years more "Colt" percussion revolvers and Single Action Army revolvers have been made by the Italian makers than Colt originally made! John Spangler

# 3140 - Colt{?} Single Action
Dan, Cleveland, Ohio

Colt - ? - .45 - 5.5 - Blue - 349066 -

What do I have? Any information would be appreciated. Colt .45revolver, 5.5 inch barrel, dated Dec 19, 1871, also says July 2,72 - Jan 9, 75. PTFA Manufacturing Co. Serial #349066. Rubber grips w/holster. Good condition. Just wondering if it's genuine, how many were made, how could I increase it's value? Thank you in advance for your time!

Dan- Based on the serial number and markings you probably have a "first generation" Colt Single Action Army revolver made in 1926. About 360,000 were made prior to WW2, including a number of variations. All these are avidly sought after by hordes of fanatic and often financially secure Colt collectors intrigued by subtle marking variations, cryptic inspector stampings, exciting historical contexts, and spectacular condition. Many people (at least me and a couple others who were never seduced by the Colt cult) are astounded at the many hundreds of dollars paid for the totally rusted, pitted relic remains of these guns. If your gun was made before 1898, people would be visibly fighting over it. Being made in 1926 it falls more into the category of "cowboy type gun" instead of a "real cowboy gun." Still, with the holster it is probably a nice set and still worth a significant figure. Old western style holsters with lots of "character" or a famous saddle maker's name bring similarly obscene and unfathomable sums. As far as increasing value, there are several options widely used that you should be aware of and buyers absolutely need to be aware of. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND ANY OF THESE, and think that a vigilante mob should send invitations to "necktie parties" to the varmints engaged in such activities. (a) All numbers can be restamped to match, and other markings reapplied. (b) Barrels can be replaced or "stretched" to the more desirable longer lengths. (c) Finishes can be "touched up" (maybe not a hanging offense, but a good horsewhipping is in order!) or the capital offense of refinishing the gun completely (all without telling buyers, of course.) How do you know when it is original? "When I tell you it is" one very accomplished old faker is reported to have said! (d) Add a "US" marking to a civilian revolver to make it a cavalry or artillery model. (e) Create a "factory letter" telling how the gun was shipped somewhere famous or important. It is much easier to fake a letter than to fake a gun. (f) Offer it at auction with photos of a couple of old geezers and a letter saying it belonged to "Blue Barbara" or "William the junior" or any other real or imaginary person allegedly famous or infamous. Throw in an old hand written letter from a family member saying it is real. (f) Any combination of the above. If you do not have an affinity for neckties, then perhaps the best way to increase the value is to just take real good care of it (store it lightly oiled in a cool dry place) and wait a while. The value on these just seems to keep going higher and higher. Of course if Al Gore and his pals get elected every gun you own may be worth no more than $50 at a "buy back." On the other hand, if you just keep quiet and keep the gun and some ammo, it may save your life, and that may be the best value of all. The courts have held that (a) the police have no duty to protect anyone, and (b) Criminals cannot be compelled to register illegally possessed guns. So where does that leave the honest citizens? Make sure you and all your friends VOTE! John Spangler

# 3162 - S&W Model 1 First Issue Revolver Sixth Type
John,Hendersonville, N.C.

Smith And Wesson - Seven Shot Pistol - .22 - 3.25 Inches - Blue And Brass? - 114888 -

octagon shaped barrel Would you please tell me the approximate value of this pistol? Thank you for your time and effort.

John, your description and serial number lead me to believe that you have a Smith and Wesson Model 1 First Issue revolver, these were manufactured from 1857 to 1860, total production was about 11,671. Collectors recognize six different types of Smith and Wesson Model 1 First Issue revolvers, your serial number falls in the range of the sixth type (5500 to about 11671). The Model 1 First Issue was a .22 Rimfire Short, single action, 7-shot revolver with a non-fluted cylinder, a 3 & 3/16 inch octagonal barrel, and spur trigger. The barrel was hinged to the forward end of the topstrap and pivoted upwards to load. Frames were usually silver plated brass. Barrel and cylinder were blued and grips were rosewood, pearl or ivory grips could be specially ordered. The Model No. 1 was Smith & Wesson's first firearm designed to fire metallic cartridges, this gives it special collector appeal. Sixth Type Smith and Wesson Model 1 First Issue revolver values fall in the $450 to $2200 range depending on condition. Marc

# 3135 - Charleville
J.D. Walop, Rotterdam

What is the correct name for the musket and/or pistol: Charleville or Charlesville?

JD- I believe the French spell it Charleville, and used this spelling from the very early flintlock period up until WW1. The exact name of the facility changed somewhat under the control of Kings, Emperors, Republics, etc. but not the name of the location. I am not good at languages, but there may be some European languages which use the Charlesville spelling as more suitable in their context. John Spangler

# 3122 - British Caplock pistol
Dan Davis, Hockley, TX, USA

British Caplock Pistol - Unknown - Approximately .60 - 10" - Plumb Brown - none -

GR and crown on lock. Name of Tower stamped into tang. Smoothbore. Brass butt cap and scrollwork on side opposite lock. Is this a trade pistol? What is the approximate year it was manufactured?

Dan- The date of manufacture is sometimes conveniently inscribed on the lock. If not, then you have to do some research. GR indicates the lock was made during the reign of King George (and presumably the whole pistol- but not always as locks could be reused and some old British pistol locks are still being sold to make cheap muzzle loading pistols.) Unfortunately if I recall my history correctly there was a sting of King Georges from about 1730 up until about 1817 when Victoria ascended the throne. There are stylistic changes in hardware and stock design over the years and checking some books willhelp pin it down. George Neumann's Battle Weapons of the American Revolution is especially good for all arms of that period and loaded with detailed photos. Just as a rough guess I would date it at about 1780, but that could be off by 30 years in either direction.

"Trade Pistol" is a term coined by collectors for guns made to be traded to settlers, Indians, or whoever for something of value (rum, furs, wicked women, land, food, etc). In general trade arms were cheaply made and followed certain design traits that were popular with the intended trading partners. There are some good books on arms of that period (Arms of the Fur Trade maybe?) and examples have turned up in various archaeological excavations that have been published.

I doubt if the Crown over GR would be found on a trade gun, unless it was already on a log being recycled. More likely markings would be the sitting fox of the Hudson's Bay Company or the EIC in a heart logo of the British East India Company. John Spangler

# 3136 - Hopkins and Allen Forehand Revolver
Mark, Robert, LA

Hopkins & Allen - "Forehand D.A." - 32 - 3in. - nickel - 7387 -

F&W above a shield with American flag in the shield, on both sides of the grips My grandfather past away last March, and I found this gun while going through his possessions. I can't find any reference to this gun anywhere. I know that H&A pistols are not in demand as collector's items, I really just want to know the year made and any additional info. you could provide. Thanks, Mark

Mark, the Hopkins and Allen, Forehand revolver was first introduced in 1891 at a time when Hopkins and Allen was going through some financial difficulties. The Forehand was an inexpensive solid frame non-ejecting gate loaded five shot revolver chambered in .32 caliber that could be ordered in either a hammer or hammerless version. Hopkins and Allen hoped that the new Forehand design which was and simple and did not require much capital expenditure would help to boost sales and increase profits. As you suspected, there is not much collector interest for this type of revolver, blue book values are in the $50 or less range. Marc

# 3107 - Remington 541-S
Brian, Pisgah, AL

Remington - 541-S Custom Sporter - 22Short, Long, LR. - 24-inch bbl. - Blue - 1160743 -

Scroll engraving on receiver and trigger guard. Supplied w/o sights. Checkered walnut stock w/rosewood-finished forend tip 20 The rifle I have has screw in plugs were the sights are suppose to be, was this done at the factory or has someone added this? If you could, please give me a close value of this rifle and the year it was built. Thank You!

Brian, this may be more than you wanted to know. The Remington Model 541-S Custom Sporter was first introduced in 1972. The Model 541-S was an attractive .22 caliber bolt action rifle which looked a lot like a bigger center fire hunting rifle. The 541-S was based on the Model 540-XR action and came equipped with a tapered twenty-four inch barrel and a one piece American walnut stock with cut checkering and simulated rosewood buttplate, forend tip, and grip cap. Other special features included a five-shot box magazine, dual extractors on the rear lock-up bolt, adjustable trigger and fancy scroll engraved receiver. When introduced in 1972, the 541-S retailed for $134.95. In answer to your question, Model 541-S rifles came without sights, they were factory drilled and tapped for custom aperture sights or scope mounts. The Model 541-S was discontinued in December 1983, after about 31,000 rifles had been manufactured. In 1986 the 541-S was reintroduced with slightly different features as the Model 541-T, Remington added a heavy-barrel version 1993. Blue book values for the 541-S range from $275 to over $600 depending on condition. Marc

# 3166 - H&R 410 Handy gun

H&R - Handy Gun - 410 -

I am a gunsmith and have been asked about an H&R 410 Handy gun. The customer said it has been in their family for three generations and that they would like to keep it as a collectable. I told them that the barrel, is too short but it possibly could be modified and they might be able to keep. I would appreciate the history on this shotgun ... pistol...and the date of mfg. or any other info. Thanks in advance for your input.

Sir- These were made from about 1920 to 1934. Blue book of Gun Values has a brief section on the history and variations. Unregistered H&R Handy Guns have been illegal since 1934, if not registered then, or during a brief 1968 amnesty period. For three generations their family members have been risking prosecution for a serious federal felony (possession of a sawed off shotgun). If so inclined, they can keep it, make moonshine, marry their cousins, or perform any other illegal acts they want to, and may or may not get caught or prosecuted. We do not make the silly laws, and work our butts off to prevent any more dumb laws from being passed. We cannot do anything to help these folks. I don't like the amount of money the greedy government confiscates for taxes but I have to pay it if we cannot get it changed. Hope this helps. John Spangler

# 3165 - Martson 3 Shot Pistol

Name Of William W Marston -

Several years ago my father found a three barreled 22 caliber handgun three feet underground. The only information that we have collected is the date it was made was 1857. I was just trying to see if anyone dealing with older weapons would be able to point me in some kind of direction. Anything would help me right now so if you can help me I would appreciate it very much and if you cant thank you very much for taking the time to read this. Thank you,

Travis- William W. Martson was active in New York city in the mid 1850s until the mid 1870s and made several different types of handguns, showing a surprising degree of inventiveness. Among these was a three shot percussion pistol in .31 caliber and these are quite rare, with examples in good condition listed at about $3,000. However, a pistol found three feet underground is more likely to be in horrible to poor condition, and worth only a small fraction of that from even a really desperate collector eager to get ANY example of this rare pistol. The only thing scarcer than such a rare pistol might be a collector wanting to buy it in rough condition. A similar gun was made in .32 rimfire circa 1864-1872. About 3,000 of these were made, and value in good condition would be about $475, but again a dug relic would bring much less. Marston also made a .22 caliber three barrel derringer from about 1858 to 1864, with about 1,400 made. These run about $500 in good condition (not a dug relic). About two-thirds of the 1,400 made had a retractable knife mounted on the left side of the pistol with a couple of minor variations in the blade shape. The pistol-knife combinations bring about $1100 in good condition and are really neat looking weapons. You may think I am really smart to know all this cool stuff. I must confess that I merely looked it up in "Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and their values" which is where we find the info to answer questions on many old guns. Collectors owe a tremendous debt to Norm Flayderman for his work on this book, which is loaded with history and accurate data. If my extensive library of gun books was limited to one book, this would be the one. Hope you appreciate what Flayderman has done also. John Spangler

# 3114 - Export Mauser
Robert. Colo-Springs, Co.

SPANDAU - 8mm - 36 in. - Blued with wood stock - 2079 -

Markings in Chinese or Asian Have been looking for info on this rifle with no luck. I would be thankful for any info you may be able to provide. E-mail is

Robert- It sounds like you have one of the Mausers made for export. They sold hundreds of thousands of rifles of just about every model to various countries with strange alphabets. Likely candidates are Turkey, China, Siam (Thailand) and perhaps Japan Throw in a few places like Afghanistan or Pakistan for good measure. The long barrel and Spandau markings suggest it is one of the early models, probably either the Gewehr 88 or Gewehr 98. That is about all we can tell you without seeing the rifle or a good photo. John Spangler

# 3111 - Hercules Shotgun
Joe Riverside CA United States

Montgomery Wards - Hercules - 12 gauge Single Shot - 32inches - Blue - None Found -

My grandfather gave this gun to me, it's brand new and never been fired. I can tell it's old, because the recoil pad has rotted. I need to find a replacement pad. On the old one, it's says Western Fields. By chance is this the manufacturer of the gun? If so, where can I find information on such items as, how old is it?, What kind of shells it takes?, etc...Thank You

Joe- Although there was a Hercules brand shotgun made in Belgium and imported for sale in the U.S. the ones sold by Montgomery Ward were made by Stevens. These are proably from the period 1910 into the 1930s. Western Field was a brand name used by Ward's on their products, similar to Sears using Craftsman or J.C. Higgins names on their items. Generally there is very little collector interest or value. However, collectors like stuff in really great condition, so that is a big help. It would be best not to do anything to the recoil pad, since it is the original. As is, I would think that a collector interested in these (there are not many) might pay $100-150 for your gun, while normally these only bring $30-50 when well used. Save it for the collectors and go get a modern gun for shooting. John Spangler

# 3079 - Stevens Handgun

Stevens Arms - ? - 22 - 5 7/8" - Blue Barrel, Steel Frame -

I would like any information about this gun.

You did not give me much to go by, not even your name. Rather then guessing about what you have, I am going to try something special. I am closing my eyes and concentrating, going into a trance. Ah there it is, I see that your name is Ed. Ed, a picture is forming in my mind, I see .. I see Slick Willie and Allgore being horsewhipped and sentenced to life in prison for selling national defense secretes to the Chinese!! Oh sorry just wishful thinking (I'll try again). I see that you have a Stevens model 35. The Stevens model 35 was a single shot external hammer pistol with a tip-down barrel either six or eight inches in length. The Model 35 was also made with an 8 inch or 12.5 inch full-choke smoothbore barrel, chambered for the .410 shot cartridge. These smooth bore pistols were known as the 'Autoshot 35' and are illegal to posses unless they were registered with the ATF during the amnesty period. Stevens manufactured Model 35 pistols from 1907 to 1939, values are in the $100 to $300 range depending on condition. Marc

# 3112 - German Plane
Jeremy, Dawson, yuokon, Canada,

unknown - model 1 - 22 long rifle - 27 inches - black - none -

There is a hand plane with a snake like creature beside it in the shape of an "S" together they look like "LS". There is also the markings D.R.P. Germany on the side. It is a falling block system. On the top there is the markings "DEUTSHE WERKE-WERKERFURD". There is also a crown with the letter "B" under it. I would like to know what "D.R.P." stands for and what the make and year it was made in are.

Jeremy- If your plane has a sharp blade, you better be careful. The ever-concerned Canadian government will probably want you to register it and get a license to own it because I am sure someone somewhere once injured someone with it. Your politicians, (and ours) have entirely too much time and power and too little common sense. Regardless of all that, all I can tell you is that DRP probably stands for the equivalent of German Patent. Beyond that I cannot help as I know nothing about old tools, or even airplanes. John Spangler

# 3101 - Belgium Pistol
Mike; Quebec, Canada

unknown - unknown - 320 - 1 5/8" - deep black - 57 -

Crown on oval with "E"over"LG" over star, on frame and cylinder rear, no number on frame but ALL other parts stamped 57 including inside right wooden grip panel, "crown on R" on frame, star over "W" on frame and cylinder rear, "F" on right frame, folding trigger and manual safety, horseshoe stamped on left side of grip frame with four "nails" and a D ?(not sure) inside horseshoe, handwriting styled "L" followed by "T" (unsure) on right side of grip frame. I am very happy to have found your site John, specially since I have been reading your articles in gun magazines for years. I was shown this 6 shot, very small pocket or purse pistol, with folding trigger and manual safety on left side recently and am unable to identify its manufacturer. It has an original brown-black finish 95% remaining, in almost like new condition, except for a weak trigger return vee spring. The finish is crude by today's standards, file marks are visible. The cylinder is removed by pulling out the ejector rod, swinging it to the left and pulling out the center shaft. It is marked "cal. 320" on right frame side below front of cylinder. I have seen engravings of such pistols in an old German catalog dating to the end of the last century. The hammer's style is certainly old. Who built it, and is it worth anything at all? (it reminds me of a pocket version of the "Deutshe Armee" revolver). Thanks for your great site. Mike

Mike- First, let me deflect your compliments on "my" articles in gun magazines for years. Although I regularly contribute tidbits to various collector groups I am associated with, I have not written anything for any of the gun magazines. I suspect you are confusing me with Phil Spangenberger who has written a lot, often on cowboy era subjects. He is really good at what he does, and deserves full credit for that, but none of his expertise has rubbed off on me. Further, he should not be saddled with blame for anything I have done. Your pistol was made in Belgium (ELG proofmark tells us that). It sounds typical of the folding trigger pocket pistols that were very popular in Europe circa 1870-1900 in a bewildering mix of calibers (pinfire, rimfire and centerfire) and quality ranging from exquisite to abysmal. Makers proud of their product usually marked their names on these, but those less proud omitted any identification with them- even before lawyers made it fashionable to sue makers of defective products. This is one of those guns that sounds like its main virtue is the neat appearance and "character". John Spangler

# 3072 - MAB Model A
Greg, New Orleans, LA

Pistolet Automatique 6 35 "MAB" Brevete - Pistolet Automatique 6 35 "MAB" Brevete - .25 - Approximately 2-1/8" long - Blue - Cannot find a serial number -

The end of the barrel has 10 oval shaped slots around it. Each are approximately 1/4" long and 1/8" wide. The gun is 4-1/2" long at the slide. I'm curious about the history of this gun...where did it come from, how old is it, etc?

Greg, Manufacture d'Armes de Bayonne (MAB) of Bayonne, France has been in business since 1921. From 1940 to 1944 the MAB factory was under German control, and they manufactured pistols for the German military and police. After WWII, MAB resumed production of commercial pistols. I believe that you have a MAB Model A, the Model A was a well made 6.35mm blowback semi-automatic pistol based on the Browning 1906 design with grip and magazine safety. I have no serial number information on the Model A, it was the first model produced by MAB in 1921 and it has remained in production up to the present, this makes it hard to pin down a date of manufacture. Marc

# 3067 - French Model 1873 Ordnance Revolver
Sean Leitchfield, KY USA

45 - 4" - Blue -

My father-in-law has acquired a gun with the following wording: M d'ArmesLt Etienne1883Can you tell us what this is and how much it might be worth? Thanks Sean

Sean- Your pistol is a French Model 1873 Ordnance revolver which used an 11mm blackpowder cartridge.. This is what the French issued their troops at the time when we were issuing the Colt Single Action Army revolvers in .45 long colt caliber. The arsenal at St. Etienne did pretty good job making these, and many have been altered to fire potentially unsafe modern ammunition with surprisingly few imbeciles destroying themselves although many of the pistols have not survived the experience. Value would depend on condition and something in the $250-450 range is probably about right. These pistols were used by French Colonial police until the 1960s in distant corners of the globe., and some were even used to shoot .45 ACP ammo by French Resistance fighters in WW2. John Spangler

# 3074 - Spanish Revolver
Kyle, Paris, TN. USA

Eibar?? - Revolver - .32 Long - Unknown - Blue - 4817 -

A crest of some sort just above the trigger. An animal is carved into the barrel and between barrel and cylinder. Writing on top of barrel reads: Manuel Escodin Eibar Spain. Age of gun and approximate value? My father says gun has been in family at least since 1920-21. Thanks in advance.

Kyle, I could not find any information about your revolver, my guess is that it is one of many inexpensive revolvers manufactured in Eibar Spain in the first half of the last century. Many Eibar revolvers were manufactured using inferior quality steel and are not considered safe to fire. Demand for these revolvers, especially in .32 caliber is very low, probably in the $50 or less range. Marc

# 3065 - Rifle, Muzzle Loading Percussion
Brad, DuBois, Pa, USA

Percussion - Muzzleloader - 45 - 46"?? - Black Iron - N/A -

name William Elders etched on barrel. opposite side of hammer has a side ways H. Can anyone provide use with any information on this please???? Where it came from, how old it is, and possible value.

Brad- There is no American gunsmith with the name Elders listed in Frank Sellers "American Gunsmiths" book. The closest possible match would be John Elder, known to have worked in Indiana County, PA circa 1826-1828. Photos might reveal stylistic clues as to age and geographic origin. Otherwise we would only be guessing. John Spangler

# 3061 - Winchester Model 58 Manufacture Date
JC Monroe Burna, KY USA

Winchester: Repeating Arms Company - 58-22 short - 22 caliber - 23 inch - Blue - Cannot find a serial number -

This gun was patented in August 29, 1898. New Haven, Conn. is listed on the gun barrel. When was this gun most likely made?

JC, The Winchester Model 58 was of an economy version of the earlier Model 1902. In an effort to keep costs down, Winchester equipped the Model 58 with a small butt stock and forearm which were fabricated from a flat board with the corners rounded off instead of using the customary turned type stock used on the Model 1902. Model 58 rifles were not serial numbered, factory records indicate that the first delivery of Model 58 rifles to warehouse stock was made in January of 1928, and that manufacture was discontinued in 1931. Total Model 58 production was about 38,992. Marc

# 3056 - German G29/40 Rifle
Francis, Montreal Canada

Gewehr - G.29/40 -

Bottom markings(77; 856; 2221; WaA77)Left side (Nazi symbols with 2221, and rifle model G.29/40)Tip (823)Top (833; 2221; Gemany; 7'5; 660; 1940; 21; 2221)Right side (77; 334; WA823 shown 4x; WaA823; 77) A friend of mine has this rifle and is looking to sell it but would like to know where and how much this rifle is worth...Quebec needs all rifles registered by January 2001 so he is looking to sell it before then. Found lots of info on G.98/40and on Gewehr 41 but cannot find anything on G.29/40. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Francis- The full designation on this would be Gewehr 29/40 (O). The Germans were very good about adopting arms from countries they occupied, and giving them German names, and in some cases, keeping the production lines running using the new designations. In most cases, the country of origin was included in parentheses after the model number. "O" (actually with the umlaut, but too hard for me to type that) designated arms from Osterreich, or Austria in English. Mechanically these were about the same as the standard German Kar98k rifles, but they had a full length handguard, a funny upper band/nose cap, and a pointed shape on the pistol grip. The Austrians called these a model 1929 service rifle. The Germans called them the G29/40 (presumably 40 indicating the year of German adoption) and most were apparently issued to the Luftwaffe. I am sure there is collector interest in these rifles, but we do not engage in import of arms from other countries due to the bureaucratic restrictions involved. I suspect that many Canadians will surrender their guns for destruction, and many otherwise law abiding citizens will not. I can guarantee that NO criminals will be registering or surrendering any of their guns. Only an idiot or a politician (there is only a slight difference between the two) would think otherwise. John Spangler

# 3057 - Ashmore Percussion Rifle

Ashmore - 40? - 32 -

R Ashmore Warranted This gun an old rifle it was bought in the 70'S in Napa Kalifornia by my Uncle. Can you tell me more about this Rifle? Thank you, Dave. Pictures:

Dave- I could only get two of the three photos to open up, so I saw the one with part of the lock, and the one of the buttstock. From what I could tell it has the characteristics of a Pennsylvania made long rifle circa 1830-1850. Many of these used imported locks, and one R. Ashmore is noted as working 1827-1855 which would be a plausible match. Most of these rifles had barrel lengths in the 38 to 42 inch range, but many were later cut to shorter length. Th patch box appears to be the classic sheet brass type which perhaps had some modest engraving at one time, which tends to place this towards the earlier part of this period as later they often used smaller simple cast patch boxes in round or oval shape. Someone who specializes in Pennsylvania or "Kentucky" rifles can probably use the shape of the buttstock and the patchbox design to identify the county or "school" which used those characteristics. These often are found elsewhere are gunsmiths or their apprentices moved to new areas to ply their trades, so exact identification is not always possible. However, their has been great interest in making and shooting reproductions of these rifles for at least 40-50 years, and many people have turned out rifles using kits or parts assembled with the same primitive tools that the old timers used. I note that the nipple in your rifle is a new one, and I think that locks marked "Ashmore" have been one of the popular offerings by suppliers for decades. It is possible that your rifle is a fairly recently made piece, and an easy way to check is to remove the lock (put hammer at half-cock, removed the lock screws and it should come right out). Olde timey locks had pretty primitive screws while the reproductions use mass produced machine screws with nice uniform heads and slots, so you should be able to tell pretty quickly if it is a new lock. In any case it is a handsome piece which probably has a long and interesting history. Perhaps it got to Kalifornia during the gold rush days, cut to shorter length and given to a family member lusting for wealth and determined to hike across the plains and over the Rockies and Sierra Nevada's to the promised land. Maybe it was later and made the voyage around Cape Horn in a Clipper ship, or after 1869 in the relative luxury of the newly completed railroad. Until well into the 20th century a gun was considered to be one of the essential tools necessary for any family striking out into the rural areas, or even in the seedy cities. Your speculation is as good as mine. John Spangler

Return to Collectors Headquarters.