Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters OldGuns.net FineOldGuns.com

 

 

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.


# 6325 - Springfield Rifle Marked 1870
9/27/2003
Roger ,Bonifay, Fl.

Springfield - 1870 - 50-70 - 30'' - Other - L676 -

U.S. Springfield on lock plate with 1864 behind hammer. 1870 with eagles head above crossed arrows with U.S. on forward end of breechblock. L 676 on side of receiver at base of rear sight. What is the actual model designation? 1866, or 1870? It is in very good condition, the metal being a very even shade of plum brown. with not cracks in the wood. Bore is in very good condition with sharp riffling and no pitting anywhere in bore or breech area. The cleaning rod is present. There are no provisions for mounting a sling of any kind. What would be the value of this arm?

Answer:
Roger- I think you have a Model 1869 Cadet rifle. These are the only .50-70s that had no sling swivels on the trigger guard bow (nor a hole where one would be attached) and the upper band had no swivels of any sort. These had an overall length of 49 inches, and the barrel (measured from the face of the close breechblock) of 29.6 inches. These used surplus Civil War era locks, and breechblocks dated 1869 or 1870. However, most were serial numbered on the left side with the same number on both the barrel and receiver. If the barrel length is about 32 5/8" then you probably have a Model 1868 or 1870, and distinguishing between them is a bit hard to explain. The real guru on all things related to "trapdoor" Springfields is Al Frasca, who runs the superb website www.trapdoorcollector.com where you will find detailed photos of the various models, estimated value ranges, and a great forum. You may be able to learn more there where you can check examples against your rifle. There is also a chance that it is a rifle made up from parts by Francis Bannerman Sons, or one of the other surplus firms. The number sounds like either a "rack number" applied at the unit level, or perhaps a serial number applied by the French, to whom we sold lots of semi-obsolete .50 caliber arms during the Franco Prussian War. John Spangler


# 6346 - Ammunition- Old, Assorted
9/27/2003
Joe

I will try to keep this short, I have had in my possession around 1500 rounds of assorted cartriges. I also have an old bag (20 to 30) of if I recall correctly 44 cal. black powder cartriges,(no head stamp) also a wooden training round with a metal head attached, for the 3"/50 cal. I was wondering if, or how I could get some type of price guess on any of these items. Any information would be appreciated.

Answer:
Joe- The wood/metal 3"/50 dummy is a fairly common item and I think we have one on our heavy ordnance page (and it has been there for a long time). Individual cartridges are a real pain to price and sell. I probably have 5-8 of the .50 cal ammo cans full of the stuff myself I have not had time to try to sort out and price and sell. These are leftovers from various collections I have bought in recent years. I generally sort through and pull out any that are older, larger cartridges especially rimfires as they are fairly easy to identify and usually bring several dollars each. Fairly common stuff like various .38 special, .30-30, .30-06 or assorted military surplus ammo seems to vary from nearly worthless (bag up 10-20 of the same caliber for shooters and price it at $1 or so) to maybe individual items to price at 25 cent to 50 cents each, or maybe a dollar or so. The trouble is that most gun shows do not allow loose ammo any more, so you almost have to go to a cartridge collector show, where they like the stuff and people will spend hours looking through big piles of stuff. But, that is a lot of time and work to sell a lot of really inexpensive stuff.

I usually set aside all the .30-06 and .30-40 and .30 carbine ammo and shoot it up when our gun collector club has a fun shoot twice a year. I have a couple of ratty rifles with lousy bores, so that even though I clean them, I really am not too concerned that some of the ammo is probably corrosive.

I am also reluctant to sell ammo for shooting purposes due to the abundance of idiots and lawyers who will find a way to blame someone else for stupid actions.

If you want to send a couple of photos of what you think might be the "best" of the ammo I may be able to tell if you have some potentially worthwhile stuff, or just "old ammo" that probably has little commercial value. John Spangler


# 5702 - Savage Takedown Instructions
9/27/2003
Matt, San Rafael, CA

Savage - .32 Cal - 2 1/2 Inch - Blue - 1S650 -

PAT-NOV. 21. 1905 disassembly/assembly instructions

Answer:

Matt, Savage manufactured several different small semi-automatic pistol designs in the first part of the twentieth century.

  • The model 1907 can be identified by the circular serrated tip of the safety catch, and because there is no lettering on the pistol to indicate the safety catch positions. It also had unusual sheet steel grip panels that snapped into place on the grip frame. The company name, caliber, and patent date were marked on top of the slide, and the grips bore a circular motif with the head of an American Indian and the words 'Savage Quality'.
  • The Model 1915,had a concealed hammer, a grip safety and a hold open catch that locked the slide open after the last round was fired. The word 'Savage' was stamped in large letters on the frame above the left grip.
  • The Model 1917 had no grip safety and a visible cocking piece (hammer). The grip frame was wedge-shaped and the grips were held in place by screws.

You did not say which model your Savage is. The following instructions are from Smith's pistol book, they are for the Model 1917. If yours is a different model, possibly the instructions are close enough for you to use them as a starting point.

 

  1. Press the magazine catch at the forward front end of the handle section of the receiver. This will release the magazine which may be withdrawn from the bottom of the weapon.
  2. Draw the slide back as far as it will go with the left hand while holding the grip securely with the right and, holding it in its rearward position, push the thumb safety up until it locks and holds back the slide.
  3. Grasp the breechblock firmly and give it a half turn to the right. It may now be drawn straight to the rear out of its grooves in the slide.
  4. While holding firmly to the slide, which is under compression of the recoil spring, ease down the thumb safety. As it comes out of engagement with the slide, the slide and recoil spring can be moved forward and withdrawn from the receiver.
  5. The barrel may now be lifted straight up out of the receiver, as it is merely mounted in a recess there by an anchor lug on the bottom of the barrel. Normally the recoil spring will be around the barrel and will have to be removed from it.
  6. Pushing back on the trigger will permit the rear end of the attached trigger bar to be lifted up. It may then be drawn out of engagement and the other trigger mechanism components lifted out of their well in the receiver. These parts are all very small and very delicate, and it is not advisable to remove them except when necessary for cleaning or for possible replacement.
  7. If necessary, the axis pin of the cocking lever may be driven out to remove the mainspring, striker, and striker lever. The extractor may be lifted off the top of the breechblock. As the sear and extractor and their springs are very small and fragile, it is not advisable to remove them.
  8. The magazine in this pistol, while of the standard box type, is wider than usual and is fitted with a special platform and spring to permit the cartridges to stagger in double rows, the cartridges moving automatically first to one side of the magazine well then to the other. This staggered box gives greater magazine capacity. Naturally the thickness of the grip is also increased. However, in this weapon this is a distinct advantage as it makes for a firm grip and better instinctive pointing

Good Luck! Marc


# 6081 - Sears Model 53
9/24/2003

Sears and Roebuck (Winchester) - Model 53 - .243 - Blue -

Question: I just bought this Winchester / Sears and Roebuck Model 53 .243 Bolt action Rifle. I can not seem to find any history on this rifle. Can anyone give me any facts as to when they were made, ratings, value etc?

Answer:
By checking the OldGuns.net house brands lookup program, I discovered that the Sears Model 53 was Winchester's model 70. Since you did not provide a serial number, that is about all that I can tell you about history or manufacture date. There is very little collector interest in firearms marked under the Sears brand name, values for Sears guns are often as much as 50% lower than they would be for the same firearm marketed under the original manufacturers brand name, hope that you didn't pay too much. Marc


# 6107 - Titanic 32
9/24/2003
Len, York, PA

Titanic - 1914 - 32 - Stainless Steel -

Automatica Espanola Bufalo patent # 62004 and 67577 1914 Automatic Pistol TITANIC Patent I have recently acquired this handgun from my Grandfather, and I have been unable to find any detailed information about it. It has the following identifying markings; Automatica Espanola Bufalo patent # 62004 and 67577 1914 Automatic Pistol TITANIC Patent Any help in finding detailed info for this model would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:
Len, I was able to find information about two different pistols that were sold under the Titanic name. Both pistols were Spanish made copies of the Browning 1906 which were introduced about 1914. One Titanic pistol was manufactured by Retolaza Hermanos, it had a recessed rib on the top of the breech-block portion of the slide. The slide inscription read '6.35 1914 Model Automatic Pistol Titanic Eibar'. On the grips was the word 'Titanic' over a circle, with an 'RH' monogram, flanked by 'Cal 7.65'.

It is unsure who manufactured the other Titanic pistol, but it may have been Francisco Arizmendi. These pistols had a smooth toped slide that bore the inscription '1914 Model Automatic Pistol 7.65 Titanic Patent', and on the grips, a shield with the monogram 'FA' inside trade mark.

Stainless steel was not used in this vintage of pistol so your finish may be nickel or chrome, or it may be completely worn down to bare metal.

Collector interest in this type of pistol is low, they often sell at gunshows for less than $125. Marc


# 5675 - Assassin Use Of Ice Bullets
9/24/2003
Alice, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Blue -

Hello, I am researching a TV program for the Discovery Channel called Mythbusters. I am hoping that you might be able to help me with a 2 Myths that I am trying to research at the moment. 1) One of the myths we'd like to put to the test is the story of assassins using ice bullets to eliminate their victims. The idea is that the bullets melt after impact and therefore cannot be traced back to the assassin. 2) In medieval Hungry the villagers of a place called PAKS built and fired a cannon made out of a tree trunk. This is apparently the first wooden cannon in history and it is reported to have killed at least 20 people standing behind it. In investigating each myth I'm looking for A) EVIDENCE- anything to help me prove that it did or did not happen Eg: articles, research papers, government documents, historical texts or better still in the case of the ice bullet someone who has actually been involved in their use. B) ADVISE- we will test each myth out ourselves to see if its possible so we will try to build a cannon from a tree and fire it. We will try to make an ice bullet and fire it. If anyone has any pointers on how to go about doing it, or thinks there are factors we should take into consideration I'd love to hear their thoughts C) EXPERTS- Down the line we'd like to conduct some interviews with experts. If you can put me in contact with a cannon expert or an expert suitable for the ice bullet story I'd love to get in contact with them. Any information, contacts or advise would be gratefully received. Warm Regards Alice Dallow MYTH BUSTERS Researcher Beyond Productions 109 reserve Rd Artarmon NSW 2064 AUSTRALIA Tel:61 2 9437 2053 Fax: 61 2 9437 2001 alice_dallow@beyond.com.au --

Answer:
Alice- If the Brady bunch finds out about this, they will try to ban water, but it will "save the children" so I guess that is okay. Then we will all have to drink beer, because the alcohol will prevent it from being frozen for use in ice bullets.

In theory, a bullet made from ice sounds like a good idea, since it will melt in the victim and leave no evidence other than a hole through tissue. However, there are a few minor practical problems to be overcome before James Bond can hop out of bed and plug a bad guy with a cold one. How does one keep an ice bullet frozen while carrying it around tracking the victim? How do you make an ice bullet (cast it in a mold like an ice cube, then stuff it in the cartridge case?) How do you keep the gun cold enough to prevent it from transferring its heat to the ice and melting it? Assuming all those hurdles are overcome, what about the nature of ice being very brittle and crystalline- would it come out of a cartridge as an intact "bullet" or as a spray of ice crystals? If travelling through a barrel would the friction from that (in addition to the heat and pressure from the powder charge, or even hot air if expelled from an air gun) cause the ice bullet to melt? Beyond all the technical problems, what would be the advantage of an ice bullet over a dirty old lead bullet for an assassination? If the object is to "ice" a victim, it would be rather obvious that some sort of foul play took place. Inquiring minds want to know, I guess, but we cannot tell them much. John Spangler


# 6347 - Old Colt Single Actions
9/20/2003
Richard

I'm looking for either a very nice Colt Single Action Army (SAA) 1st Generation or a nice Colt Peacemaker. Am not looking for anything with historical value, just a nice Colt at a reasonable price. I've been in touch with an organization that usually has some good sources; which led me to your company. Would appreciate a response to my email address if you have available either Colt: Thanking you in advance - Richard

Answer:
Richard- Sorry, we cannot help with that one. SAA Colts are a highly specialized field, with rampant fakery and enhancements, and prices starting at obscene and going up from there. We have only had a few honest old SAA revolvers, and usually stumble on to those as part of a collection.

I would suggest Jim Supica, owner of Old Town Station in Lenexa, KS (see our links page) as a reputable dealer with fair prices who may be able to help. There are many other people with lots of Colts, but prices are usually outrageous, and I do not know others well enough to endorse them, or warn you to stay away.

At risk of being branded a heretic, let me suggest you get a Ruger Vaquero or Uberti copy of the SAA for about $300 and have a heck of a good time shooting it while waiting for a reasonably priced original to show up. At least you can have fun that way. (I must confess I don't own a SAA Colt myself but am perfectly content with an Italian made "Hartford Model!" that I bought used.) John Spangler


# 6348 - Bayonet Relic From Battle Of The Alamo
9/20/2003
Cindy

I have a bayonet from the Battle of the Alamo, in perfect condition as far as not being broken, etc, however it is rusty, from age. I obtained it while I lived in San Antonio, Texas while I was working downtown. Do you know of anyone interested in this item and an approximate value?

Answer:
Cindy- Without thorough documentation virtually any old bayonet could be offered as coming from the Battle of the Alamo. Without documentation, it may be worth almost nothing, but properly documented, I am sure some Texan would gladly exchange large sums of cash for it, but I have no idea how large. It would be prudent to try to have it identified as to make/model and date of production first. Obviously a bayonet made after the Alamo thing (sorry, not a Texican and don't remember every date in history) could not have been used there. Send a photo and overall length measurement and maybe we can narrow it down for you. Also when selling items with claimed historical connections, one should be very confident as the their authenticity, so that an unhappy buyer cannot come back later and claim fraud. We generally refuse to handle "Confederate" items for that reason and the rampant fakery of such things. I suspect that Early Texas items are also prime candidates for fakery. John Spangler


# 5694 - Luger Information
9/20/2003
D.J. Ennis, TX

Not Sure - Luger - 9MM - 3.5'' - 4'' Apx. - Blue - 552 OR 52 -

Eagle on the right side (as holding the gun) and one on the top left side. At the safety switched when switched down to safety, it says, GESICHERT. On the right side there are three letters before the eagle, what appears to be a ''B'' or ''R'' and two ''S'''s with crowns over each letter. The writing is in a old style thats why I can't make out its a ''B'' or an ''R''. on top there is writing that is in a squiggly pattern, I know one is a ''D'', that is the first one. On almost every part a number 52 is stamped except on the front below the barrel, it's 552 with a ''n'' below the number. Then on the top before the barrel, the date of 1916 is stamped. I was told by my grandpa before he past away that it was a genuine German luger, he acquired it when he was in WWII. I was just curious of how much this gun would be worth. It has to metal magazines that the bottoms are made of wood. I also have a leather holster for it, with a pull strap to bring the pistol out of the enclosure and at the top of the holster there is a pouch that contains a gun tool. How much would all of this be worth? I wanna see if I have bragging rights.

Answer:
D.J., you have a WWI vintage German P-08 (Luger) pistol manufactured in 1916 by DWM - Deutsche Waffen u. Munitionswerke of Berlin-Borsigwalde, Germany. The squiggly pattern on top of your Luger are , the Deutsche Waffen u. Munitionswerke logo (the letters "DWM"). The numbers "552 / n" on bottom of your Luger's barrel are the serial number, the bore size in millimeters should also be stamped there. The tiny markings on the right side of the frame are proof and military acceptance markings. The numbers "52" that are on various parts should all match the last two digits of your serial number. These numbers were stamped on the parts of the pistol while it was being assembled, they were used to verify that the parts are matching and original to the pistol. Wood bottomed magazines are the correct type for a Luger of this vintage. If your two magazines are the original ones that came with the pistol, they will be stamped on the bottom with the number 52.

The value of your Luger depends on several factors but the most important is condition. I would expect to see a WWI Luger in excellent condition with holster, takedown tool, and extra magazine sell in the $900 or more range at a gunshow. Add around 10% for each if the numbers on the magazines match. Let us know if you ever decide to sell. Marc


# 5684 - Miltech M1903 Mk 1
9/16/2003
John, Pensacola, Florida

Springfield Armory - M1903 Mk 1 - 30-06 - Standard - Parkerized - 1149162 -

has MK1 following serial number I purchased this rifle from Miltech Arms. It is a modification of the standard M1903 in that it has a cutout in the right side of the receiver to facilitate use of the Perdersen (Pederson) Device. The rifle is in like new condition. I wonder (1 what time frame the M1903 MK1 Springfield was issued? and (2 what is the approximate worth of the rifle?

Answer:
John, Mark I rifles were built in 1919 and 1920. The original plan was to issue them to front line troops for use in assaults, but the rifles with their associated inserts got into production after the war ended, and never were used in combat. After the war the U.S. Army conducted troop trials with the Mark I device, and finally abandoned the concept. Most of the Mark I inserts and its magazine were destroyed. The last insert I knew about sold for $20,000.

The Germans came up with a similar idea, but built a separate weapon, the Machine Pistol 18 with a 32 round snailshell magazine, and actually issued some to their front line assault troops. They were used by these units during the series of German offensives that began March 21, 1918 and ended in June 1918. The German Machine Pistol 18 became the forefather of most European submachineguns.

You asked about the value of a Mark I Springfield. Mark I Springfields that have the correct stock (cut down on the left side), cut off lever, and trigger, have sold for around $1000 for those in near perfect condition. If the trigger or cut off lever are not correct then the price drops by $200 to $300. You mentioned the rifle had been "restored" by Miltech. For collectors this restoration is undesirable. Most collectors would view this as a refinished rifle and cut their price by 30 % to 50%. Marc


# 5651 - Browning Pistol ID
9/16/2003
Oregon USA

Fabrique Nationale - ????? - .32 - 4.5'' Approx. - Nickel - 555390 -

Has marking all over don't know anything about them. On the side of the slide the markings ''FABRIQUE-NATIONALE-D'ARMESdeGUERRE.HERSTAL-BELGIQUE.'' appear. Above the Trigger ''Browning's Patent Brevete S.G.D.G'' I'm curious what model .32 cal Fabrique Nationale I have. Its a 7 shot magazine has F N overlapped in an oval on the handle. Original Holster with magazine pocket. Holster has markings ''HSY 1941'' any information would be great. thanx

Answer:
It sounds like you have a FN Model 1900, this was the weapon used by Gavrilo Princip to assassinate the Archduke Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo, thus precipitating the First World War. The 1900 was the first automatic pistol designed by John M. Browning of Ogden, Utah. Browning also designed the 7.65mm cartridge for use with this pistol.

This 1900 was adopted by the Belgian Army in March of 1900. It was also sold commercially and later adopted by many other continental military and police forces. The 1900 design was so successful that the name for automatic pistol in French is "Browning". About 725,000 pistols were manufactured between 1900 and 1914 when production was discontinued. Marc


# 5671 - Lan-Cay M11 EOD Knife
9/16/2003
John San Gabriel, Ca.

Lan-Cay - M-11 EOD Field Knife - Blue -

I recently bought three of the above. The black Had the markings LAN-CAY EOD M-11. The camo and od color ones no markings whatsoever. Why is that? Thank-you.

Answer:
John- I do not know for sure, but think that in addition to the real thing being made by Lan-Cay, there may be cheap knock off copies coming from other sources. I know that several members of the Society of American Bayonet Collectors are into the M9/M11 series of knives and bayonets. I recommend you ask on the SABC forum at http://bayonetcollectors.org. John Spangler


# 6339 - Pinfire Double BBL Pistol With Folding Knife
9/13/2003
Glenn, Tucson AZ

Unknown - Unknown - .38 / 10mm - 4.5'' - Other - NONE -

None This unique pistol belongs to a friend. It has a blade that folds back along the top of the barrel. It has exposed hammers and disappearing triggers that appear to take a pin fire cartridge. It has a lanyard ring on the butt, and a checkerboard pattern cut on the bias, on both sides of the lockplates. It is a break open model which is in excellent condition with limited patina, or wear of any kind, however the butt appears to have been replaced at on time.

Answer:
Glenn- We really cannot tell you much about your gun that you do not already know. Pinfires were popular circa 1860-1890, mainly among European makers, and the double barrel versions seem to have been popular for the export market. Folding triggers were also popular circa 1880-1900, so we would guess it was made about 1880-1900. The folding knife blade or bayonet is a neat extra feature, surely very impressive (or threatening) looking, but the practical use as a weapon is probably minimal. These seem to appeal to collectors of oddities, and value seems to be a matter between buyer and seller, but perhaps in the $100-250 range depending on condition and visual appeal. John Spangler


# 6343 - Stevens 416 Rifle U.S. Property
9/13/2003
Dan Mt. Shasta CA

Stevens - 416 - 22 Long Rifle - 25'' - Blue - 201629 -

U.S. PROPERTY Greetings, I recently acquired this ''target'' rifle and wondered the story behind it. When was it used, by what service. There is no sights on it but it does have sight blocks as well as a drilled receiver. Are the original sights available? Are these rifles in demand to collectors? The trigger has a lot of travel in it, is that normal? Thanks - Dan

Answer:
Dan- These were procured during WW2 for use as military training rifles. Between 1941 and 1943 some 10,338 were purchased at a cost of $17.98 each. They were the Model 416-2, which had metallic sights. They also had factory installed scope blocks, so many buyers of the postwar surplus rifles simply threw away the iron sights and put a scope on for varmint hunting or plinking. The triggers have a "two stage pull" common on most military rifles, but not on finer target rifles. There is modest collectorinterest in these, primarily among U.S. military collectors and a few Savage Stevens collectors, but a lot are still sold as shooters. Photos showing this and other Savage or Stevens military arms can be found at http://ugca.org/03mar/savage.htm which site of the Utah Gun Collectors Association. John Spangler


# 5727 - Standard Arms Rifle
9/13/2003
Jason, Pasco, WA.

Standard Arms Co. - G? - 30 Rem - ? - Blue - NONE FOUND -

M.F. Smith pat. mar.6,apr.10,apr.24 1906 I was given this rifle by grandfather, Was wondering when it was made and some history on the rifle and or company.

Answer:
Jason, the Standard Arms Company of Wilmington, Delaware manufactured rifles from about 1909 to 1911. Their main claim to fame is that they marketed the first gas-operated autoloading rifle to be sold commercially in the U.S.A. The Standard Arms autoloader (the Model G) was patented by Morris Smith in 1906. Unfortunately the design was susceptible to variations in ammunition pressures and as a result it tended to jam frequently. Because of the jamming problems, model G sales were slow, total production is estimated to be a few thousand. Marc


# 5666 - Mod 94 Cutoff Date
9/13/2003
Larry, Butte, Montana

Winchester - 94 - 30-30 - Blue -

Is there a serial number point that separates pre 64 from post 64 model 1894's?

Answer:
Larry, The Model 1894 lever action rifle is one of John M. Browning's designs, it is still in production over 100 years after the first one was made. When Winchester asked for a lever action rifle capable of handling smokeless powder to compete with Marlin's Model 1893, Browning gave them the design in two weeks. Browning's design was patented in August of 1894. The first rifles were chambered for 32-40, 38-55 or 44-40 cartridges, the Sporting Rifle (solid-frame or take-down) offered a 26 inch round, octagon or half-octagon barrel and straight-wrist or pistol grip butts. Most rifles had full length eight-round magazines, though a four-cartridge half-length magazine was common on take-down guns. Barrels, finish and accessories varied greatly. Post 1964 model 94 production began with serial number 2,700,000 when "improvements" were made to Browning's design to speed production and lower costs. Marc


# 6109 - Galesi Pistol
9/10/2003
Jeff Summerfield NC USA

Galesi-Brescia - Blue -

Soc It F.lli Galesi-Brescia 635 Cal serial #475065 Made in Italy stamped in English pfs on top and xxi stamped on right body next to handgrip I have found a lot of these pistols that are 22 caliber but I cant seem to find any information on the 635 caliber models If you have any information on these 635 calibers please post it for me . thanks Jeff B

Answer:
Jeff, Industria Armi Galesi, Collebeato of Brescia, Italy was founded before the First World War, and began manufacturing pistols in 1914. The first Galesi pistol was a 6.35mm-blowback design based on the Browning 1906, but without the grip safety. In 1923 improvements were made and a 7.65mm chambering was added.

In 1930, the Model 6, which was based on the Browning 1910, was introduced in 6.35mm and 7.65mm calibres. The Model 6 was striker fired, with concentric recoil spring and no grip safety, sights were a groove in the top of the slide. In 1936, a 9mm short chambering was added which was adopted in small numbers as a substitute for the standard pistol of the Italian armed forces.

In 1950, the Model 6 was overhauled, the principal change being a modification to the rear of the frame, to allow for easier slide removal. The modification became known as the Model 9 and it was produced in .22, 6.35mm and 7.65mm calibres. Hope this helps. Marc


# 6184 - 666 K98 Mauser?
9/10/2003
Paul

Mauser - MOD98 - 8mm - Blue - 2026 -

Right front receiver-3 spread eagles with the numbers 666 under each one. Left front receiver spread eagle with swastika in claws. Left front receiver under serial number are two backward lower case letter es. floorplate has 2 spread eagles with numbers under them. On top of receiver is 1940 and under 1940 is the number 42 Left side receiver is Mod.98 Can you please identify this rifle for me? Thanks

Answer:
Paul, your rifle is a Karbiner 98 kurtz, these were standard issue for all German military personnel (army, navy and air force) from 1934 to May 1945. Your rifle was made at the Mauser factory at Oberndorf am Neckar in 1940. The K98 original action was adopted in 1898, thus the 98 designation, and the Mod 98 marking on the left side of your receiver.

The S42 marking is a code that Germany used to disguise the identity of their weapons manufacturers. Mauser codes were S42, 42, byf, and finally svw. If you look closely at the three eagles on the right side of your receiver you'll see that the number is really 655, not 666. Number 655 was assigned to the German military inspector responsible for final approval of rifles at the Mauser factory.

If your rifle is all original and matching, it is highly desirable and collectible. Check the stock, bolt, rear sight and slider, magazine/triggerguard assembly, screw heads and the barrel bands. All should be numbered to the main serial number of the rifle. If any of the numbers on these parts do not match or if the rifle has been modified (sporterized) it's value will be reduced. Marc


# 5669 - Model 1822 French St. Etienne Pistol
9/10/2003
Phil R., Las Vegas, NV

St. Etienne - 1822/1865 - 58-60 - 8'' - Rusty -

Barrel has date of M 1822 behind rear sight. Forward of sight, barrel is stamped S. 1865 on right side and markings C De 17-7 N on the left. Lock plate has Fx ESCOFFIRE, ENTREP MRE IMP LE DE ST-ETIENNE with a winged eagle standing above another 1865 date. There is a ''C'' stamped on the brass buttplate, a ''D'' stamped on the brass trigger guard and tang, and two ''M'''s within a star stamped on the brass barrel band. Can you tell me more about the M 1822 St. Etienne pistol? Is it a French flintlock manufactured in 1822 and then later converted to a percussion in 1865 for use by the Confederates at the end of the Civil War? What is the fair market value?

Answer:
Phil- The French (whom I shall refrain from damning with deservedly faint praise) were very good about marking their arms. The M1822 is indeed the model, which was a single shot flintlock pistol with a 17.1mm bore. and the S 1865 indicates either manufacture, or more likely modification at St. Etienne in 1865. There were two modification of the 1822 pistols. The 1842 involved conversion to percussion, but retained the button head ramrod that was not attached to the barrel. A modification adopted in 1857 also included conversion to percussion (if not already converted, I would assume) and the addition of a front and rear sight, and a stud on the bottom of the barrel at the muzzle with a link or swivel to hold the ramrod in place. These may have been rifled as well, but I am not sure. The C De 17-7 N is probably some sort of unit mark and the Fx ESCOFFIRE, ENTREP is probably a later marking by a surplus dealer. As far as Confederate use, I find that most unlikely, especially if it was still in French military hands at any time in 1865. By that time the Confederate ports had been pretty well sealed by the blockading Union Navy, and single shot percussion pistols were not high on the priority list for blockade runners, although some revolvers and medicine, and other items were in greater demand. As far as values, the old French percussion pistols seem to be very common, with few people excited about buying them, except as inexpensive decorators. As a rough guess, I would think you could see something like this offered in the $150-300 price range. You might want to take this to the "Big Reno Gun Show" at the Hilton to see what people there tell you. That is an excellent show and you will find a number of people who would know about these. John Spangler


# 6259 - Winchester 54 Value
9/6/2003
John, Cridersville, OH

Winchester - 54 - 270 - 23 - Blue - 2028 -

What is the average value?

Answer:
John, 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 1925. Blue book values for Model 54 rifles range from about $300 to over $800. It has been my experience that collector demand for Model 54 rifles is much lower than it is for the more popular Model 70s, as a result they are often slow sellers. Marc


# 6268 - S&W / Husqvarna Rifle
9/6/2003
Ken, Ronan, Montana

Husqvarna - A - 22-250 - 23'' - Blue - 365996 -

This rifle was purchased back in the mid-70's. It has ''Husqvarna Vapenfabrinks A B - Sweden'' stamped on the receiver and ''Smith & Wesson'' stamped on the barrel. What gives?

Answer:
Ken, S&W Model A - bolt action rifles were available in 22-250, 243, 270, 308, 30-06, 7mm Remington Magnum and 300 Winchester Magnum. Rifles weighed 7 pounds and had a checkered Monte Carlo stock with rosewood forend tip and pistol gripcap. Barrels were 23 & 3/4 inches long with adjustable folding leaf rear sight and hooded German silver bead front sight. Receivers were drilled and tapped for scope mounts. Magazines were five-shot except for rifles chambered in 7mm Remington Magnum and 300 Winchester Magnum which had three round magazines.

Model A rifles were manufactured for S&W under contract by Husqvarna of Sweden, this is the reason for the S&W and Husqvarna markings on the barrel & receiver. S&W marketed Husqvarna manufactured Model A rifles in the U.S.A. from 1969 to 1972. Marc


# 6292 - Trenton 1865 Musket
9/6/2003
Frank ,Beachwood, N. J.

1865 Springfield Rifled Musket - Don't Know -

From what I can make out on stamp Trenton N.J. Feb. 1865 It is in original condition. What is the above Springfield Rifled Musket worth in it's original condition?

Answer:
Frank- Beachwood is a nice town (except for being in PRNJ) and my sister used to live there. Your musket is probably a Model 1861 .58 caliber Springfield rifle musket. The 1865 is probably the date of manufacture (although 1863-64 dates are more commonly seen). Trenton refers to J.T. Hodge and A.M. Burton of the Trenton Locomotive and Machine Company in Trenton NJ. Reports indicate 11,495 were made, but I am not sure if that reflects the numbers delivered on federal contracts or if they had additional state contracts. During the Civil War era, New Jersey marked most of its longarms with "N.J." on the left side of the stock and barrel, and if thus marked, your musket probably was used by the NJ militia or National Guard in the post-war period. Value depends on the condition, and amount of use and any alterations, and is probably in the range of $800 for one in NRA antique good condition and $2,500 in NRA antique fine condition. John Spangler


# 6302 - Military History Book Recommendations
9/6/2003
Pat

I realize that you guys are very busy, but I just wanted to thank you for your recommendation to read Charles Johnson Post's "The Little War of Private Post." In the Q&A section of the website, you had mentioned that this was one of the three best first-person accounts of an enlisted man's experiences in war. What are your other two top picks?

Answer:
Pat- Glad you found my advice helpful. My all time favorite is Martin Russ- "The Last Parallel", by an candid USMC BAR man in Korea with a sense of humor. It was a book of the month club selection (decades ago) so there are copies all over the place. My other favorite is Joseph Plumb Martin- "Private Yankee Doodle" a Revolutionary War account. (This first appeared circa 1830 under a mouthful title, but the 20th century edition is readily available. Do not confuse with Yankee Doodle Boy, a much abridged juvenile version.)

There is also an excellent volume of accounts of soldier life from Roman Legions to modern times called "The Universal Soldier", compiled by a number of the finest military historians, with a chapter devoted to each era/individual.

Another great work that looks daunting but is a joy to read just for the sheer use of the language is Douglas S. Freeman- "Lee's Lieutenants" (all three volumes!) This provides tremendous insights into the challenges of one of the all time great commanders trying to juggle not only strategy, tactics and logistics, but the conflicting skills and personalities of his subordinate commanders, further mucked about by politics.

For the gun nut I recommend Roy Dunlap- "Ordnance Went Up Front" which is loaded with astute observations based on the North African and European theater, and also for the Pacific theater John George- "Shots fired in Anger", both WW2 accounts by well known gun authorities. Herbert McBride- "A Rifleman Went to War" is a WW1 equivalent, although much more focused on sniping matters. Enjoy. There will be a quiz later. John Spangler


# 5645 - Remington Pump
9/3/2003
Gerald, Lawrenceburg, IN

Remington Arms - Union Meatlic Cartridge Co. I don't know - it's not on the gun - 30 REM - Blue - C 5XXX -

Brass inlay on the side that has the appearance of a cartridge end and is inscribed ''U.M.C. 30 REM'' Inscribed on top of barrel near breech - ''REMINGTON ARMS--UNION METALIC CARTIDGE CO, REMINGTON WORKS, ILION, NEW YORK, USA. PEDERSEN'S PATENTS OCT 12, 1909 AND JULY 5 1910'' What is the approx. year of manufacture what special precautions should be taken when caring for this gun? It is a slide action 30 Remington with a helical twist magazine tube which slides with the pump grip and which extends to within 5 inches of the barrel end when cocked.

Answer:
Gerald, you did not give me a lot of information, my guess is that you have a Model 141 Gamemaster. The Gamemaster was a modification of an earlier John D. Pedersen design with cosmetic changes to improve the appearance. The Model 141 was initially offered in .30 Remington, .32 Remington, and .35 Remington rimless centerfire. Rifles had twenty four inch barrels and carbines had 18.5 inch barrels. Changes included a longer barrel, a semi-beaver tail forend, and a restyled stock with shotgun-type steel buttplate. When first introduced, Remington offered the Model 141A Standard Grade Rifle for $46, the Model 141C Special Grade for $79.75, the Model 141D Peerless Grade for $146.85, and the Model 141F Premier Grade for $300. Remington also introduced the Model 141R Carbine in 1936, retailing for $46, chambered only for.30 and .32 Remington ammunition. The Model 141R carbine was discontinued after 1945. A total of 76,881 Model 141 Gamemaster rifles and carbines were manufactured through 1950, in 1952 the Model 141 was replaced by the Remington Model 760 Gamemaster. It is difficult to give you a date of manufacture from the serial number you provided ( C 5XXX). I can go one x better and tell you that your rifle was manufactured in 19XX. Marc


# 5639 - Rifle Number 1, Mark III
9/3/2003
Adam, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada

Lee Enfield - #1 Mark3 - .303 - ? - Don't Know - ? -

Small crown stamped on side of steel band by the bolt along with 1916, and it has a two piece stalk I would like any info on it

Answer:
The rifle you describe was known in official British military terminology as the Rifle Number 1, Mark III. The metal buttstock where you found the date of manufacture should also be stamped with the manufacturer's name, and the letters Sht. L. E. This stood for Short, Magazine, Lee Enfield. These initials were often shortened to SMLE, and given the creativity of soldiers the rifle was often referred to as the SMILEY or SMELLY depending on how your day was going. The crown you refer to is monarch's cipher, and would have stood for King George V, the reigning monarch during World War I. The Lee Enfield rifle, like many British firearms began as a foreign design. James Lee was a Scottish emigrant to the United States. He developed a number of firearms, the earliest during the Civil War, and by the 1870's had a successful bolt action rifle that was tested in troop trials by the U. S. He also developed the concept of the detachable box magazine that is now used on all military rifles world wide. These all came together in the rifle he designed for the British army which was initially adopted in 1892. The rifle went through a number of changes primarily driven by the bitter experience of the Boer War till it became the Mark III. This was the main battle rifle of the British Army during World War I. After World War I the rifle was changed to speed manufacture, but it was still the Lee Enfield design, and continued in British service till about 1955 when replaced by the FN FAL rifle. The Lee Enfield rifle has one of the smoothest bolt actions ever designed. The 10 round magazine capacity was double that of any other country that fought in World War I. When the German Army first confronted the British Army in northern France in August 1914 they thought they were armed with machine guns because of the rapid accurate fire soldiers were able to deliver with their SMLE's. Marc


# 5660 - Automatic Weapons?
9/3/2003
Amanda

I have a question regarding automatic firearms, which I hope you may be able to help me with. I am interested in the period of prohibition, that is the period between 1920-1933. I have recently watched two movies were they use an automatic pistol or revolver with what I know as a clip, where the bullets are in a sort of cartridge which appears to be loaded in through the handle(please excuse me if I appear ignorant). I was led to believe that this kind of weapon was not around in this period, but having seen it depicted in two movies, I was wondering whether you could tell me when this particular weapon was invented and when it came to be used? If you can help me with this question, I should be very grateful.

Answer:
Amanda- Although Hollywood often gets their firearms facts fouled up, it would be appropriate to include semi-automatic pistols in Prohibition era portrayals. Also. watch out for deliberate falsehoods from the gun ban extremists who want people to believe that somehow guns made in the last 10 years are much more powerful and deadly than those available 50 or 100 years ago. The first term to understand is "semi-automatic", which means each time you pull the trigger, the gun will shoot one cartridge, reload itself and be ready to fire when the trigger is pulled again. These are often (but incorrectly) called "automatic pistols" but self loading is a better description, or semi automatic. "Automatic" actually means you pull the trigger once and the gun fires until all ammunition is used up, as in a machine gun. The basic designs for semi automatic pistols have been around for over 100 years. The first widely used design was the 1896 Mauser, often called the "broom handle" and Sir Winston Churchill carried one of these in a cavalry charge at the Battle of Omdurman in South Africa in 1898. The Luger, famous for use by the Germans in two World Wars was basically perfected in 1900. American John M. Browning had one semi automatic pistol in commercial production by Colt in 1900, and several more in the next three years. The Mauser was loaded from a strip of cartridges loaded from the top, although later variation had a "clip" or "magazine" that was loaded from the bottom, but ahead of the trigger guard. The Luger and Colt designs, and most others since then all used a clip or magazine that is inserted into the grip or handle from the bottom. So, yes, semi automatic pistols were used by both good guys and bad guys during Prohibition. Prohibition was a failed experiment where do-gooders tried to outlaw alcohol, but criminals did not obey the law and there was plenty of alcohol available. Some near poison rotgut home brew. Some very fine Scotch, the importation of which was the source of wealth for the Kennedy family. You would think that they, of all people, would understand that firearms prohibition is no more likely to work than the other type. But, they are politicians, not honest observers. John Spangler


# 5654 - Sowers & Smith Muzzle Loader
9/3/2003
Sherman, Daly City, Ca.

Sowers & Smith - Muzzle Loader - Not Sure - 38 1/4 - Don't Know -

Brass butt at end of stock, octagon barrel, wooden ram rod, has two triggers, scrollwork engravings on area by hammer, percussion cap. Barrel is very heavy maybe cast iron? Any info you have on this I would appreciate.

Answer:
Sherman- The only info I can find on Sowers & Smith is that they were in a Philadelphia directory about 1855 listed as importers. There was a John Sowers who worked in Philadelphia, so that may be another clue, but there is little info on him either. John Spangler


Return to Collectors Headquarters.