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.


# 821 - Remington Single Shot Shotgun
9/30/97
Randy Brewer

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Remington ??? 12 GA 32 Inch Blue? Worn Bad ONLY NUMBER ON GUN IS 150XXX

Hammer on side of gun body and lever to breach is on top where the hammer is on newer single shot guns. How old is this gun and any info you may have? It was my grandfathers he had the gun as long as any one can remember it was used when he bought it. I do not want to sell it but would like to know an app. value.

Answer:
Randy- Remington made single barrel shotguns with outside hammers from 1893-1903 as the Model 1893, and a slightly different one from 1902-1910 as the Model 9. Made in 10, 12, 16, 20, 24, and 28 gauges with 28-34 inch barrels. Flayderman places a value on the larger sizes as $125 in NRA antique very good to $250 in NRA antique excellent. About 50,000 were made, and I have no further information that would allow us to track an individual gun by serial number... John


# 818 - Winchester Commemorative- Teddy Roosevelt
9/30/97
Jason, Waynsville Mo, USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester Roosevelt 30-30 Unknown Blue Unknown

It says Theodore Roosevelt 26th President on it. It is a lever action. Has a coin type thing in the stock. is 100% new never been fired. I was wondering if you had any info on this gun. How many where made and when. And what it might be worth.

Answer:
Jason- Your Teddy Roosevelt Commemorative is one of 52,386 rifles and carbines made in 1969. In the late 60's Winchester made commemorative for just about everything but National Jell-O Week, which essentially killed most interest in commemoratives. (Hey, on the firearms page we've got a Wyoming Diamond Jubilee Carbine, one of 1500 made in 1964 and can't hardly give it away!). If yours is absolutely unfired, not scratches at all anywhere, with the box and papers and the cover for the box in excellent shape, it would probably sell (slowly) for about $400.00... John Spangler.


# 817 - Colt New Service .455
9/30/97
Mike Taunton Ma.

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Colt New Service 455 Eley 5 1/2" Blue # 110XXX

"NOTENGLISHMADE" stamped on barrel and frame. English proof marks on barrel and chambers. This gun is in original mint condition looking like it just came from the factory. My questions are: How many guns of this caliber did Colt make? Were the proof marks done in England or the US? If these guns were shipped to England what was the usual manner by which they made their way back to the states? Keep up the good work. This is a great web site!

Answer:
Mike- Thanks for the kind words. Don't forget to support the NRA, elections are coming up. You guys in MASS almost got clobbered this time, so you gotta keep on fighting or else you won't care about guns you won't be able to own anymore. .455 was one of the standard calibers for the New Service model. They are fairly common (but not terribly popular) in .455. English proofs were applied in England, probably at the time it was shipped OUT of the country, rather than at time of receipt. The British purchased significant numbers of these in the early days of WWI and again at the outbreak of WW2. Your serial number indicates production in 1916, so it was probably part of the WWI purchase, although it could have been sold commercially through English trade channels at that time. After being used in England the usual manner by which they made their way back to the US was by ship. Usually as part of a bunch of surplus arms brought back to keep us collectors happy, and give shooters some inexpensive toys to use in a safe manner, and hopefully make the importer and dealers enough profit to pay their taxes, feed their kids and so on... John Spangler


# 845 - Winchester Modle 100 Recall
9/30/97
Jim, South Amboy, NJ

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester 100 Semi-Auto Carbine .308 Approximately 18" Blue 156XXX

I bought this model from a reputable gun dealer about a week ago. I took it to a local gun range, and the operator of this range remembered a detail of this model. He showed me an old, faded-out document that Winchester sent out sometime ago concerning this model. He called my rifle a "widow maker", because the breech would not lock before the round was fired, causing the breech to literally "explode" and could cause serious injury or even death to the shooter or someone near by. So, I have two requests; one, could you give me a general history of this model, and two, is there any documentation I can ask for from the gun dealer to verify that the rifle was fixed according to Winchester specifications? Thanks a lot.

Answer:
Jim, over 262,000 Winchester Model 100 rifles were made between 1961 and 1973, your Model 100 was manufactured in 1967. Model 100 rifles had 22 inch barrels and checkered pistol grip stocks before 1964, the stock checkering was changed to an impressed basket weave pattern after 1964. Carbines had 19 inch barrels with a plane pistol grip stock that had a front barrel band. Model 100 carbines were produced from 1967 to1973. There was a recall on Winchester Model 100's about 5 years ago. When I sent my Model 100 in, the work was done absolutely free, Winchester paid all costs for repairs and shipping. I would advise that you contact Winchester and see if their recall program for the Model 100 is still active... Marc


# 816 - Ithaca M1911A1 .45 Auto Pistol
9/26/97
Roger

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Ithaca 1911A1 45 4" Unknown 2075XXX

First of all, I would like to compliment you on your page. Very nicely done. I've recently been given a .45 auto. This isn't the first one I've owned, but I'm curious about this one. It's an Ithaca, marked US Property and US Army, serial # 2075819. Model 1911A1. It is stamped in2 places, in very small letters "noenglishparts" Could you please give me some information on this piece. Of course, if you could give me a rough idea of it's value, it would be appreciated. Thank You.

Answer:
Roger- Glad you like the site. Your Model 1911A1 pistol is one of about 81,375 made by Ithaca during WW2. It was probably made in January 1945. I have no details on the travels of this gun. The few documented locations I could find in the 2075XXX range included one in Canada in 1946, and some later listings with National Guard units, and one converted for National Match use. However, the "no English parts" marking is a new one to me, but undoubtedly put there during a visit to England. This could have been as part of a Lend Lease shipment to England, or as part of a surplus bunch of arms purchased by Sam Cummings of INTERARMCO ("Ye Olde Hunter" in the 1960s) and stored in his English warehouses. Prior to shipment elsewhere, they had to be proofed/marked under the English Proof laws in effect at the time. Value for .45s seems to run from $200 for a clunky mixed parts shooter to around $1,000 for new in the box WW2 production. The important factors are condition, condition, and condition. I'd guess about $500 for a nice matching gun worth having in a collection, adjusted up or down as noted above... John Spangler


# 814 - Excam .25
9/26/97
Jeff, Paducah, Ky, USA,

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Tanfoglio Giuseppe GT 27 .25 Cal About 2 1/2 Inches Silver Barrell, Black Body, Yellowish Plastic G724XX

When you take the slide off, the barrel, has a "A24680" and on the same side of the gun as the safety, and back by the hammer, is the letter "A". On the other side "EXCAM - HIALEAH, FLA". Also on the slide, "MOD. GT 27 Cal. .25 PATENTED"and on the other side of the slide "ARMI TANFOGLIO GIUSEPPE MADE IN ITALY". there are some other markings on the barrel, but I'm not quite sure how to describe them. There is one that kind of looks like a circle with a star inside of it, with the letters "SF". And another symbol with the circle and star with a square with an x in it. I was wanting to know about when this gun was produced, and also to see if I specifications about it. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:
Sorry Jeff , I have been unable to find any information or specifications on Tanfoglio Giuseppe or Excam. From what I can remember Excam was an importer of inexpensive pistols in the 1980's. There is no collector interest in Excam firearms, and values fall in the $40 dollar range... Marc


Grip

# 811 - Stevens And Winchester High Wall
9/26/97
Hokan, Vasteras, Sweden

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Stevens Single Shot Rifle 22 - 32 Unknown Unknown Unknown

The Stevens breech loaded .22 & .32 rifles, is that system based on Browning's "High wall" / " Low wall" ?

Answer:
Hokan- The Winchester action, patented by John M. Browning in 1879, uses a very strong breechblock that moves up and down in slots in the receiver. These were made in calibers from .22 rimfire to .50 caliber centerfire. These Winchester actions are called high wall or low wall, or just the Model 1885. The Stevens actions used much weaker breechblocks that pivot on a pin at the front. These were usually not made in any caliber larger than .44-40. Stevens used many different model numbers including many numbers between 44 and 56. They also made rifles in .22 and .32 rimfire using smaller, weaker actions. James Grant has written five books, all with the words "Single Shot Rifles" as part of the title, describing these various actions in detail. Many fine European single shot designs exist... John Spangler


# 810 - Spreewerke / Mauser P-38
9/26/97
Robert

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Walther P38 9mm 12.5cm Blue? 12XX S

Several eagles over nazi cross swastika on slide also what looks like part of an eagle or a WWI bi-plane over an 88. Has a CYQ on several places including the slide and the barrel. On the left side of the frame it has a capital M and what looks like an eagle over the number 135. There is marked pitting on the slide and frame but it shoots great! There is also what looks to be X'd out numbers on the frame, four of them and an x over the 1259 on the frame. You can see marked machining tool marks on the slice. Tell me about this gun please.

Answer:
Robert, CYQ is the WW-II German ordnance code assigned to Spreewerke GmbH, Metallwarenfabrik, Berlin Spandau, Germany, the eagle over 88 is the German WW-II Heerswaffenamt inspectors mark for the Spreewerke P-38. So far all the markings of your P-38 are correct for a Spreewerke made model, the frame is where we run into problems. The eagle over 135 stamping on your frame is the German WW-II Heerswaffenamt inspector's mark on arms produced at Mauser Werke AG, Oberndorf am Neckar, Germany. If the serial number on your frame didn't match the number on your slide, the most likely assumption would be that your pistol has been assembled with parts from two different pistols. The serial numbers on your frame and slide match, so I think that your P-38 was assembled by Spreewerke using a frame supplied by Mauser. It is rumored that Spreewerke sometimes used parts that were supplied by other manufactures to increase wartime production. The "M" stamped on the frame could be a Kreigsmarine (navy) marking (although P-38 Kreigsmarine markings are normally stamped on the right trigger guard web). As to why the serial number on your frame is X'ed out, I don't know, but I would guess that it happened sometime after the end of the war, maybe one of our readers can help with that question... Marc


# 809 - Smith Civil War Carbine
9/23/97
Jim, Raleigh, NC, USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Smiths Patent, June 23,1857 ? Breech Loading 0.50 21" Unknown 94XX

MFG by AMN M'CH'N.WKS Springfield, Mass. Poultny & Trimble Baltimore, USA. I have been told this is from the Civil War and would like to know what it was called and when it was used.

Answer:
Jim- You have a Smith carbine of the type used by Union cavalry troops during the Civil War. These were simple, rugged, and fairly popular, although the Sharps and Spencers were better liked. The Smith used a rubber cartridge holding the bullet at the front, a charge of black powder inside, and had a small hole at the back. A percussion cap was placed in the nipple, and when hit by the hammer, the flash went through the hole in the back of the cartridge and the carbine fired. My room mate at Allegheny College had a Smith and we took one of the history professors out to shoot some Civil War guns one time, including the Smith, a Remington "Army" revolver, and a .58 caliber Springfield musket. Even though he was already a highly respected author on the Civil War, the steps involved in loading the various arms, and the smoke from black powder and the relatively good accuracy of the weapons gave him a much better understanding of the history he had studied and written about so much. He later went on to be a guest professor at West Point and the Army's history operation at Carlisle, PA. I certainly learned a lot from Dr. Jay Luvaas, and am glad to think he may have learned something from us too. Of course now any students with 6 to 10 guns in their dorm room would be expelled, jailed or worse... John


# 808 - Remington 513T
9/23/97
Jeff Atascadero Ca

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Remington 513T .22 26" Parkerized NONE

U.S.PROPERTY on both barrel and receiver "military finish" on barrel. I just picked up this rifle and have some questions. When were these rifles in service with the government? Also isn't it unusual that this rifle has no serial number? I also have a Stevens 416 target rifle with U.S. Property markings and no serial # (this one is blued). The gun is in 95% condition what is the value of this for insurance purposes? Thanks for taking the time to produce this site as I believe that the only thing that will save our hobby is for more people to get involved and see that the history that these firearms represent needs to be preserved. Thanks-Jeff

Answer:
Jeff- (Hey, Marc, here's a customer, saying nice stuff about us, probably hoping we'll give him a deal on his next order! We already give everybody a good deal, all the time! Guess we better help him out.) The Remington 513T rifles were purchased during WW2 for training purposes, and used for that until recently. This included issue to DCM affiliated clubs for training juniors, and to ROTC units. Many of them were being fed to the shredder in Anniston until Congress put a halt to that this year. That is why there are so many surplus stocks on the market, because they strip the stocks off before feeding guns into the cruncher. I bet your rifle has a serial number. Mine is 20534, but you gotta look in a strange place to find it. Look on the bottom of the barrel just ahead of the forend. The Stevens 416 should have a serial number on the receiver ring. (205230 is in my collection.) Insure it for what you think will be needed to replace it, adjusted by how big you think the risk is. The military .22 trainers are the last undiscovered inexpensive area of US Military firearms collecting left. This year you might replace it for $150-250, but who knows what it will take next year? You are absolutely right that the challenge is getting people to understand that collectors own firearms for their historical, technical or artistic value. Unfortunately even the NRA is largely oblivious to that and fails to aggressively promote this very palatable aspect of gun ownership. Unless that is overcome, this may be the last generation of Americans able to collect guns. BULL---- you say? Look at England, Canada and Australia but try not to cry or have nightmares. We all need to get hot and support the NRA and other pro gun groups, and especially work damn hard getting politicians educated and the least objectionable ones elected. Also keep the letters going to the liberal mainstream media. Gun collectors are among a very small group of people who actually own, study, and appreciate tangible items associated with our country's great history, be it from the Revolutionary War to gain our freedom; the Civil War which extinguished slavery; the westward expansion of the frontier; modern military history where our grandfathers, fathers, and occasionally mothers served; or tracing the rise of American industry which was driven by the small arms industry... John Spangler

Jeff did some research on his own and sent us the following e-mail:

FYI: I sent a question in about this rifle the other day. Since then I found the serial number (underside of the barrel near forearm). I also talked to a collector know, and he filed in some facts about this piece. There was a contract from the government to Remington for 10,000 .22 target rifles in 1940. They took delivery of half of them canceling the rest of the order. These are in the 21,000 to 27,000 serial range. There is a possibility that they also took delivery of more rifles in 1941-1942but there isn't any real poof of this. What makes this one unique is the "military finish"stamp on it. All of the documented rifles from the first shipment do not have this mark. I am not sure if this is one of the rifles from the second shipment, but there certainly is seems to be just enough difference for it to be a possibility. Jeff


# 807 - Springfield Model 1873 .45-70 Rifle
9/23/97
Scott

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Springfield 1873 1873 .45-.70 Rifle Brown APPROX. 450000

Has Cartouche on stock - 3 script letter. Have to check when I get home . The date below the script is 189?. I purchased a Springfield .45-.70 from my late Uncle collection. He had it in his collection for many years It is in mint condition. I have been doing some research on it and it definitely is somewhat unusual as it has the pencil type bayonet built in the rifle as the model 1886 but it is a model 1873. The serial number I believe from memory was in the order of 450000. Any clues why this is supposedly an 1873 model with the 1886 bayonet. Thank You

Answer:
Scott- Several models of .45-70 Springfield were made with sliding "ramrod bayonets". Let's limit this to rifles (that means barrel length of 32 5/8 inches measured from the front of the breech block to the muzzle.) The Model 1880 experimental model had a triangular shape to the bayonet, and about 1,000 were made in 1881 in the mid-150,000 serial range. A version with a round bayonet was made as the Model 1884 experimental with about 1,000 made in 1885-86 in the low-300,000 serial range. The "Model 1888" was mass produced from late 1889 to 1893 with a slightly different round bayonet. About 65,000 made starting around serial number 500,000. The first two mentioned here are very scarce and valuable, while the 1888 version is much more common and less valuable. Check your date and serial number and then we can pin down what you have. If you have a shorter barrel gun with a ramrod bayonet, then we have some other choices, all pretty valuable. (I am looking for a Model 1884 experimental for my collection. Anyone got one that I can afford?)... John Spangler


# 806 - Star-Bonifacio Echeverria SA. Eibar, Spain Model B
9/23/97
Bryan

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Star Model B 9mm Unknown Blue 548XX

Left side marking: "B. Echeverria Eibar Espana S.A. Cal 9m/mP" I was interested in finding when this pistol was made, and information on the manufacturer

Answer:
Star-Bonifacio Echeverria SA. Eibar, Spain began operation in about 1908 with a design of automatic pistol attributed to Jean Echeverria, unfortunately the history of the company is imprecisely known since all the company records were destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. Although the name Star was used from the first, it was not actually registered as the company trade mark until late in 1919, at which time, the name of Bonifacia Echeverria was registered as patentee and company director. In the early 1920s, the original pattern of Star pistol, with and open-topped slide, was augmented by a new model, based on the Colt M1911, this new design appeared in various patterns, including several with selective-fire capability. During the Civil War, the Star factory suffered damage and the company records were destroyed by fire. After the war, the company was one of the three permitted to continue with pistol manufacture, and at the present time their products have a high reputation for quality and reliability.

The Star Model B appeared in about 1928, and owes many of it's design features to the Colt 1911A1. The Model B has a slide shaped like that of the Colt 1911 with vertical serrations at the rear end for finger grips and a Colt-type safety catch on the left rear of the frame. The butt backstrap is humped like the Colt M1911A1 and there is a full length grip safety behind the grip. Unlike the Colt, the Model B rear sight is mounted in a rounded slot in the slide and acts as a firing pin retainer. The Model B is chambered for 9mm Parabellum... Marc


# 805 - S&W .38 Caliber Safety Revolver Second Model
9/19/97
BABYDEVORE@aol.com

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Smith-Wesson Safety Revolver 38 3 1/2 Nickel 22XXX

I, have a Smith-Wesson, Safety Revolver, 38 cal.? 3 1/2 inch barrel Nickel finish. Markings on top of barrel say U.S. Patd. Springfield, Mass. Issued Jun 17,24, 63, July 31,65 Aug 24,69 jan,19,1873, reissue, July 25 ,1871 only # on the gun are 22673, they are located on almost, Every separate piece, of the gun. Please tell me any info. You can. History, $ value. Thank you babydevore@.com.)

Answer:
Baby, your S&W .38 Caliber Safety Revolver is a second model and was manufactured between 1887 and 1890. The Safety Revolver is also known as the New Departure or the "Lemon Squeezer". The S&W .38 Caliber Safety Revolver is still highly regarded as being one of the safest guns of its type. Although The hammerless revolver design was not new, (it had been employed on a few cap and ball revolvers), the Smith & Wesson version was the first successful one to be made in more than experimental quantities. The Lemon Squeezer had an entirely new safety feature, a grip safety lever which projected through the back tang of the but and ran for most of the length of the tang. The safety lever fitted into the palm of the shooter's hand and was directly linked to a safety latch, which prevented any cocking action by the hammer until the lever was squeezed. When the safety lever was squeezed, the safety latch then moved out of the way and the hammer could be cocked by pulling the trigger. The hammer was a small internal one, and it fired the cartridge by striking a small firing pin. An ingenious arrangement of the sear angles allowed a short hesitation just before the hammer fell, so that the hammer could be practically fully cocked by a strong pull on the trigger, and when the dwell point was reached, the firer could correct his aim and complete the pull. This last part of the motion required a markedly lower pull, and allowed a reasonably accurate shot to be made. The barrel, cylinder and ejector were all but identical with the .38 DA models, and the same ammunition was used. Barrel lengths were 3 1/4, 4 and 5 inches. The U.S. Cavalry carried out tests to see if the New Departure was suitable for them, but concluded that it was too fragile and complicated, and chose the Colt instead. Lemon Squeezer values range from approx.. $100 to $350 depending on condition... Marc


# 702 - I Got A Mauser Auto, Tell Me Everything About It
9/19/97
Edward E. SLC, UT

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Mauser Auto Pistol Unknown Aprox. 3 in. Shiny Unknown

Would like to know the history, when it was made and the value and anything else that you could tell me about it.

Answer:
Ed, from the information that you supplied me, it is difficult to give you much useful information. Your Mauser could be any one of a number of models --- Wait just a minute, I think that I am starting to see a light in my crystal ball (I keep the crystal ball on my desk next to my PC so that I can answer this type of question)-- Ah there it is! Your Mauser is a very rare prototype Model HSa that was presented to Adolph Hitler in 1937 by Paul Mauser himself. If the history of your Mauser can be documented it will be worth many thousands of dollars! --Wait, my crystal ball is showing me more-- Too bad Ed, it looks like all records about your Mauser were destroyed during an air raid in 1945. Your Mauser was "liberated" and brought to the US by a GI who gave it to his 16 year old nephew in 1977. The nephew (who fancied himself a gunsmith) decided to re-blue your HSa. He buffed it thoroughly (removing most of the markings in the process) and then reblued it with a bottle of touch up blue that he purchased at a local hardware store. What a shame Ed, your Mauser is now only worth about 50 bucks, better luck next time... Marc


# 803 - Shotgun, HUGO AV TUFEKLERI KOOPERATIFI
9/19/97
Steve

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
HUGLU AV TUFEKLERI KOOPERATIFI Over/Under Shotgun 12 Gauge 29 7/8" Blue 70XXX

It has a safety with Over/Under selector and single trigger double pull action. On the upper barrel it has 4/4 18.4 On the lower barrel it has 3/4 18.4 OO 12-70 T.S.870 N.B.D. On the receiver with fancy scroll work is the number 103DForegrip and receiver has matching serial number Nice scroll work with a two headed eagle on bottom of the receiver and T.S. 870 TM. I have been unable to find any information on this gun. can you tell me anything about this shotgun? What choke is it? Where can I get a replacement barrel for it? When was it made? How much is it worth? I also have a Savage 12 gauge pump with variable choke model 30L that I would like to get any information about. Thanks for your help. PS both shoot like a dream but the O/U has a very%!0D tight pattern.

Answer:
Steve- Sounds a little too new for most collectors. The two headed eagle is usually associated with Russia, and "Cooperative" sounds like the way their industry was [dis]organized until recently. The "12-70" may be the metric equivalent of 12 gage 2 3/4 inch chamber designation. I can't find a thing on this gun, so can't help much. There is a web site that specializes in modern shotgun shooting that would be a better place to ask... John Spangler


# 798 - Colt London Navy, Civil War Inscribed
9/19/97
Jim Manalapan NJ, USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Colt Colt 2nd Model 1851 36 Cal Unknown Blued 41XXX

Marked Col. Colt London Inscribed on butt Lt. Col. Mark W. Collett 3rd NJ Volunteers. Need to know how to get this gun appraised, and could it be restored (by Colt?).History Col. Mark W. Collett KIA at Salem Hts (Chancellorsville) with 1st NJ, Attacking force 9th Alabama. Gun condition fair to good, split butt, 1 loaded cyl.

Answer:
Jim- You have a very neat gun there. If you dare do anything at all to restore it the ghosts COL Collett and hordes of gun collectors will never let you sleep. It has a legitimate place in history now in its present condition, and lots of what is called "character". Fix the grip, unload the remaining charge, and refinish it and you will cut the value in half, and collector interest by 90%. I hope the markings and history are authentic. Sorry to raise some doubts, but if the gun has not been in the family in that condition since May 1863, someone may have added the inscription to help sell an otherwise rusty old gun. Mrs. Villa made a nice living selling all sorts of guns "owned" by the late Pancho Villa to tourists, and even a few present day dealers reportedly place fraudulent markings on guns. Legitimately marked guns identified to specific soldiers have a good demand among Civil War collectors, often at amazing prices. Gun people would probably think in terms of $300-600 for the gun, but the history probably doubles that. Civil War collectors may double that again to $1200-2400. This is a very strange market, driven by individual collector's passions. A New Jersey enthusiast, or Chancellorsville buff might mortgage their soul to own it, while a Confederate collector might not be interested at all. I'd recommend you take it to a good gun show (PA. Antique Gun Collectors show in Pottstown, PA, or MD Arms Collectors at Timonium MD in March) or Civil War shows in Richmond or other locations. Show it around and see what people offer. I bet it will run from very, very little to quite a bit. Good Luck. (You may want to get a copy of military records on COL Collett from the National Archives if you don't already have them.)... John Spangler


# 797 - Hamilton Model 027 Boys Rifle
9/15/97
charlie

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Hamilton Mfd By C.j. Hamilton&Son No 027/22 Cal Patented Oct 30,1900- Aug13 22 15" Blue Unknown

Single shot 22 break action Does this rifle have any value. The firing pin is missing

Answer:
Charlie- The Model 027 was the "higher grade" version of the model 27 boys' rifle made by Hamilton. The 027 was introduced in 1908 and in the first three years they made 35,000 of them, while several hundred thousand of the "cheaper" model 27s had been made. These old guns are very seldom found in good condition, but when they are, there is a strong collector interest in them. If the stock is not cracked or dinged too badly, and everything but the firing pin is there and okay, a collector may pay $150-200 for it, may be even more if really nice. As condition declines the value drops rapidly, along with the demand. Hope this helps... John


# 796 - Winchester Model 1885 "High Wall Or Low Wall"
9/15/97
Bryan Wis. USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Winchester Repeating Arms CO New Haven Conn ? 32 Short 26in Octagon Case/blue? 64XXX

Only markings are the Manufactured By Winchester (exactly as above), and the serial number and patent that reads "Pat. Oct. 7th 79(75?)". It is a single shot breech load with a low wall, open rear sight, and not exactly a rolling block but not a lever action. Could you provide a better idea of what model this is and if it is of any significant value? It is in reasonably good condition except for missing the butt plate. It has a very good quality walnut stock. Also, would it decrease the value to refinish the stock? Thanks!

Answer:
Bryan- You have a Winchester Model 1885 single shot rifle based on a design by John M. Browning. (His original is about 50 miles north of here at a museum in Ogden, UT) Browning and his brothers made these in their own shop for several years before selling Winchester the rights in 1883. Yours was made in 1893. The trigger guard serves as a lever to lower the breechblock. A color case hardened receiver and blued barrel would be typical. Collectors recognize two major variations based on how high the "walls" on the side of the receiver are. All sorts of special features were available, including barrel weights, fancy grades of wood for the stocks. A "factory letter" could confirm what your rifle's original configuration was. I would recommend you do NOT refnish the stock. Most collectors would prefer to have 50% of the original varnish instead of a shiny new finish. Several different butt plates were used, but you should be able to find one. It is probably worth tracking down a specialist in Winchester parts and getting an original if you can. Flayderman lists the value for this model ranging between $375 in NRA antique very good (see links for definition) for the more common version up to $5,000 or so for the scarcer variations in NRA antique excellent condition. Send some good photos to us at Box 711282, Salt Lake City, UT 84171 and we will help identify it a little further. If you take the time to do that, I will see if I can get information from the original factory records for you... John Spangler


# 794 - Savage 99 Rifle In .22 High-Power
9/15/97
Scott, Wheatland, WY, USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Savage 99 .22 High Power 19" Blue 128XXX

I received this rifle as a gift from a great aunt. As far as I know it is a model 99. It has the lever action, and it has a counter on the left side for the number of shells in the magazine. I would like to know information about how many of these were made, is .22 Cal. High Power ammunition available and what is the approximate value of a rifle such as this. It is in excellent condition with no marks or abrasions anywhere on the rifle. I thank you for your time.

Answer:
Scott- You have a very good item there. Your rifle is a Model 99, made in 1912. They made over 560,000 by 1950, and just like that pink bunny on TV they kept on going, and going, and going at least until 1983. The .22 High-Power cartridge was introduced in 1912, and then available only in the 20 inch featherweight barrel takedown model. The best reference on Savage rifles (Douglas Murray's "The Ninety-Nine") identifies this as the 1899-H. My value guides do not list this model, so placing an exact value on it will be difficult. There are a number of other features which might influence value, besides all-important condition. I know a Savage collector here in Utah who might like to add your rifle to his collection. I would guess that in super nice condition this is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000, but will see if I can find out more. Ammunition is not available, as the cartridge has basically been obsolete since the mid-1930s. If you are interested in selling the rifle let me know. I helped a family in Laramie sell off a collection last year, and do several Wyoming gun shows each year (Riverton, Casper, etc) and could arrange to inspect the rifle on one of our frequent trips to Denver. Hope this helps... John Spangler


# 799 - (M1884) Ramrod
9/15/97
Matthew Day

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown 1884 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Why does my rifle (M1884) have a ramrod? Thanks

Answer:
Matt- Old names die hard. Cartridge arms have "cleaning rods" not ramrods. Black powder and corrosive primers required frequent cleaning if fired extensively, and in any case needed to be cleaned the same day they were shot or rust would begin devouring the barrel. Krags all had cleaning rods too, the M1892 had a long single piece one, and the later versions had a three piece rod that fit in the butt. The M1903 and M1rifles had a "thong" or "pull thru" carried in the metal oiler in the butt stock for cleaning in the field, and one soldier per squad carried a 3 piece metal cleaning rod to be shared with others. Good question... John Spangler-


# 800 - Savage Made No.4 Mk I Enfields
9/12/97
E&B Hindmarch

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

John, A shop nearby has an Enfield with very few markings, but it does say US Property and it also has what appears to be ammo data stamped near the muzzle(pressure, 303 cal, etc) on the side of the receiver is No. 4 MkI and the US Property. The finish is a strong parkerized gray and there are no marks on the stock (except painted numbers). Did the US ever buy Enfields for our use? Do you think it might have any special value? Thank you, Bruce

Answer:
Bruce- the Savage made No.4 Mk I Enfields are a potential item for US military collectors. (I owned one for a while). About 1 million were made, and were stamped "U.S. PROPERTY" and ordnance bomb on the left receiver rail. They were paid for by the US government and sent to England as "Lend Lease" material. This was an arrangement for sending arms to our future allies before the US entered the war and was restricted by neutrality laws from selling them arms, so we simply "lent" them some. These were never intended for, nor actually issued to any US troops anywhere at anytime. US marked Savage Enfields will bring a premium, Minty ones should have a "square-S" marking on nearly every piece, and I think started with a black paint finish over gray parkerize. You can still make a huge collection of various Enfields for a modest investment... John


# 802 - G-43 With No Scope Rail Dovetail
9/12/97
Robert ABensl@worldnet.att.net

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown G-43 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I have a G-43 (vet bring-back) that doesn't have a scope rail dovetail. It has a solid bar of steel that looks just like it should, but it isn't grooved out on the inside so I can't slide the scope on. I know the mount is good; it fits on my other one. It is still heavily blued, and doesn't look like it's been modified. The rest of the rifle looks like a typical mid-war rifle in finish and function - what gives? The rifle also has a bakelite upper handguard, numbers match except for safety, which is missing. Any info would really be appreciated - S/F Robert EnsleyABensl@worldnet.att.net

Answer:
Robert- I cannot say for sure. If this were a real late example (dateof "45" along with manufacturer's code of "ac" or whoever) I would guess they just eliminated the machining of the rail as unnecessary, but you indicate mid war production. At this point I can offer only two possible explanations: (a) factory error that just skipped the step unintentionally, but this is unlikely. (b) Receiver rejected at some point prior to machining of the rail and thrown aside as scrap during mid war period, but later assembled into complete rifle when things got desperate. Sorry I cannot provide better answer. Maybe someone else knows and will make us all a little smarter... John Spangler


# 804 - I Need Information On Shotguns
9/12/97
James Seattle Wash.

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I am writing a book about a fictional person who was born in 1815 and dies in 1902. I am trying to keep the story historically accurate in every aspect as to places, stage lines and weapons. Information on rifles and pistols is easy to find, but I need information in shotguns, particularly stage coach guns and when was the breach loading shotgun available for the people out west? If brass cartridges were not available, did they have breach loading paper cartridges like the sharps rifle? Thank you for your time. J Ted Rescindable

Answer:
Ted- Thanks for contacting Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters. We will do what we can to help. Our mental images of shotgun toting stage coach drivers may be more a product of Hollywood than of historical records. While a few breech-loading shotguns were made before about 1874, they were produced in very small numbers, with very high prices, and clearly were intended to serve the genteel sportsman's needs for "fowling pieces" rather than serve as guard weapons. The Remington-Whitmore model 1874 double barrel shotgun made as models1874, 1876, and 1878 were "one of the very first mass-produced, reasonably priced, double barrel shotguns made in the U.S. Pulling upward on a breech lever at the top of the frame opened the barrels." Options available (and lacking on utilitarian grades) included fancy grain walnut, checkered stocks or engraving on action and locks. These were offered in both 10 and 12 gauge. Barrel length 28 or 30 inches, blued finish. Locks and breech had color-casehardened finish. Stocks were straight grip or had a pistol grip. Breech loading shotgun popularity was delayed more by the slow development of suitable ammunition than by design of suitable guns. Rimfire cartridges had proven successful in the Civil War in the Spencer and Henry rifles, but the copper cases would not withstand high pressures. Without the specific ammunition for a gun, the weapons were useless. Without large numbers of guns, ammunition production was not economically feasible and only the demand for arms during the Civil War resulted in production of both arms and ammunition in quantities that became self-sustaining. Center fire ammunition was being made in quantity in 1866 for rifles, but the primer was contained inside the copper case, not a removable external primer like we use today. Hence cases could not be reloaded, and factory ammunition was needed. It was the early 1870s before externally primed centerfire cases were in widespread use, allowing reloading of cases and creating the conditions for successful sales of breechloading shotguns. Sawed-off stage coach guns are good for shooting robbers, but long barrel guns were also good for shooting game to eat. Eating is a daily habit, robberies were infrequent, so my belief is that conventional long barrel guns would have been most common throughout the western period, regardless of Hollywood's ideas. Various arms were provided as smoothbores for shotgun use, but probably not in numbers of prices which would have resulted in use by stage drivers. Colt made many revolving rifles and shotguns from 1856 operating in the same manner as other percussion revolvers. These were unpopular due to occasional discharge of adjacent chambers in the cylinder which would be hazardous to the hand/arm holding such a weapon ahead of the cylinder as long arms are usually held. Other than shotguns, the most commonly available weapon for "guard" type uses was a common .69 caliber smoothbore musket loaded with buckshot (9 or 12 round lead balls about .30 caliber) or with "buck and ball" consisting of a .69 caliber lead ball and 3 buckshot. These we issued in paper cartridges similar to those used in the Civil War where the user would tear off the end (with the teeth) dump the powder and ball(s) into the barrel followed by the paper and then seat it with the ramrod. Placing a percussion cap on the nipple then made the gun ready to fire. Paper cartridges could be easily made by just about anyone. Tens of thousands of the .69 smoothbore muskets were sold as surplus after the Civil War, often having the stocks cut down, and sometimes the barrels cut from their original 42 inch length to about 30-36 inches (we call it "sporterizing" when done to surplus military arms today.) These altered muskets were still being sold through Sears and other retailers until about 1900. Typically these .69 muskets were either made as percussion after 1844 at either Springfield or Harper's Ferry. If made earlier by those govt. armories or numerous contractors they started as flintlocks and were converted to percussion generally in the late 1850s during the early days of the Civil War. In some cases , troops were allowed to purchase, or simply keep, the arms they have been issued. Hope this helps. Will be glad to provide additional info on specific items if needed... John Spangler


# 801 - S & W Model 1917 Marked "No.2 U.S.S. New York"
9/12/97
Chris

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
S&W 1917 .45 Unknown Unknown Unknown

I just recently acquired a S & W model 1917, .45 cal. revolver with an unusual engraving on the left side of the frame, it reads: " No.2 U.S.S. New York". It is U.S. property marked on the underside of the barrel and also marked U.S. Army on the butt of the grip. It is in the original blue and has not been arsenal re-worked. Are there any U.S. or Navy Pistol collectors who might know about the authenticity of this engraving.

Answer:
Chris, 100 M1911 pistols were shipped from Colt to the Brooklyn Navy Yard on August 27, 1913 for outfitting USS New York (BB-34) then under construction. These were serial number 43901 through 44000. Additional pistols may have been shipped later, but are not specifically noted.(Clawson "Colt .45 Service Pistols" p. 117). Following service in WWI,USS New York was home ported in San Diego until 1935. Routine peace-time duties followed until the outbreak of WW2 when she engaged in convoy duty and gunfire support for the North African landings. She was engaged in gunnery training and midshipmen cruises in the western Atlantic until departing in Nov 1944 to provide gunfire support in the Pacific, at both Iwo Jima and Okinawa. One of the target ships for nuclear tests at Bikini in 1946, she survived those, and flowing study of damage at Pearl Harbor, was finally sunk as a target for US fleet units about 40 miles off Hawaii on 8 July 1948. There is nothing in her operational history that would indicate need for an abnormally high allowance of small arms that might result in issue of M1917 revolvers. Frank Mallory's research in the National Archives records has located only three S&W M1917 revolvers with even remote naval connections, one sold to an Ensign, and two which were the subject of inquiries from the USN Bureau of Ordnance, events typically related to discovery of small arms with dubious claim to private ownership. In the 1920s, many thousand of these pistols we transferred to the Post Office and numerous other federal agencies, but none to the Navy in the existing records. About 10-20 years ago there were many US bayonets with various ships names fraudulently engraved on them sold by a dealer in Virginia. Very neatly done work, and the second edition of "Bayonets from Janglers" pointed out that these were fakes. I have never seen any hint of USN usage of M1917 revolvers, and with the known fakery of bayonet markings, suspect your pistol markings may have the same origin. Up until the last 3-5 years, there has been very little demand for M1917 revolvers, and neat markings may have helped sell one. However, it is remotely possible that some small arms were acquired for recreation use or competitive shooting and marked to identify them as ship's property, although not part of their official armament. After 26 years in the Navy, I know that just about anything is possible, depending on the ingenuity, motivation or stupidity of the people involved. Reminds me of the time we sent a gunner's mate to the place they overhauled 3"/50 mounts with two sea bag to fill up with part we needed but couldn't get through the supply system. The mount shot quite well with the new parts! I think the statute of limitations has expired on that episode.... John Spangler


# 792 - Whitney Navy Revolver
9/12/97
bill,huntington beach,ca.,USA.

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
E Whitney Navy Revolver, Second Model,3rd Or 4th Type 36 6.8" From Frame,7.7" Total Barrel Length None-old Slight Pitted Patina 17XXX

Inspector mark next to serial # on frame, walnut grips- L.A. no cylinder engraving visible. serial # on bottom flat of octangular barrel has an "A" about an eighth inch from it. a "B" on the right barrel flat next to frame. left side of frame front of cylinder has engraved wings/arrows where cylinder pin hole is. top barrel flat next to frame marking: E.WHITNEY N.HAVEN .brass trigger guard with ser.# and L.A.. trigger, loading lever assembly, main spring and mechanicals missing. 1. Any further identity to this pistol? 2. A hat is the meaning of "L.A."? 3. Where might I find parts? 4. I got this pistol in Alabama and I reckon that it was used in the war of northern aggression in the 1860s and while the sentimental value is such that I wouldn't sell-what would you place the worth of this piece? Thanks

Answer:
Bill- Let's see if we can answer some of your four part question. First, I think you have it correctly identified as Whitney Navy, second model, fourth type. Flayderman assigns a code number to every gun listed in his superb book (we have them for sale if you need a copy), so you can go by number and skip all the boring description we just went through. So, we are talking about a 5J-101. Second- "L.A." certainly sounds like inspector markings. Its been a while since I played with a Whitney, so I don't remember if that is common or not. Lucius C. Allin, kinfolk of the "trapdoor" Allin, is known to have been an armory subinspector on Colt, Massachusetts Arms Company, Adams, and Starr revolvers around 1859. While he is believed to have used "LCA" he may have used only "LA" at some time. If it were only stamped in one location, or even in several and in larger letters, I would have to add the possibility of being a unit marking of some sort. Possibilities are endless- Louisiana, Light Artillery, Lexington Artillery, etc. Third- parts may be a problem. We have lots of old long-arm parts, but not much for percussion handguns. Try Frank Higginson, USMC(ret) who is also good for old Colt and Winchester parts. Knows his parts, fair prices and all around good guy. He is in Nevada (California time zone) (702)265-7009. He can probably recommend someone else if he cannot help. Fourth- Yes, indeed, a nice relic from the time when violent suppression of rebellious zealots was regrettably necessary. In fact, a great many Whitneys in the 17,000 serial number range (but not your specific pistol) are documented as being used by the 19th and 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry regiments in 1864. I don't know if they had to kick butt all they way to Alabama, or if the pistol got there some other way, but they were certainly highly regarded weapons at the time. Lastly- the sentimental value may be great, but collector value in the condition you describe is probably around $150-300, mainly as parts... John Spangler


# 791 - 1884 Springfield Trapdoor Rifle
9/6/97
Matthew Day, Massachusetts

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Springfield 1884 Trapdoor Unknown Unknown Unknown 204XXX

Matt in I was just given a 1884 Springfield Trapdoor Rifle , I think that's what they call it .I was wondering if you could give me some info on this rifle and if you can tell me any thing from the serial number 204xxx. I also found some other markings on the Barrel. VP and what I think is a picture of a Eagle head and a P then next to this is a R on the barrel of the rifle .I hope you can tell me something about my rifle! I never had a rifles serial number looked up before. How do you do this ? Thanks

Answer:
Matt- I check several sources depending on exactly what type rifle is involved. First I look up the serial number in a privately developed database showing dates of manufacture for many of the more popular collector guns. This shows that yours was probably made in 1883. Note probably, not definitely because Springfield numbered the receivers well ahead of the point where rifles were assembled and shipped, so some could get lost for several months or even years before being assembled. Second, I check Serial Numbers of U.S. Martial Arms, by my friend Frank Mallory of the Springfield Research Service, Silver Spring MD. This four volume set lists all the U.S. military arms serial numbers which he has located in records at the National Archives in Washington DC and some of their regional repositories. These are arms that are stolen, issued for tests, returned for repairs, or any one of a number of other things that got written down. Most local records at the unit level of rifle serial number xxxxx being issued to PVT Joe Jones were destroyed after PVT Jones turned the gun back in at the end of his assignment to the unit, so it is unusual to get them down to the level of a gun and a specific individual. (However, two of my trapdoors were documented to two soldiers in the same Company of an Illinois volunteer unit in the Spanish American War. I got the guns in Utah and Missouri about 5 years apart. Small World!) The four volume set is available for sale at about $85 per set, if you would like to get a copy. Volume 2 lists 15 model 1884 rifles between 204301 and 204398 as being issued to Company G of the 22nd Kansas Volunteer Infantry in 1898. Your rifle (204390) is NOT one of the numbers listed.) No further information is available. These numbers fall in with other large blocks of numbers of rifles issued to various units in 1898. They usually are in blocks of 20, reflecting the issue of arms in boxes which held 20,and confirm that although the serial numbers may be close, they are not consecutive numbers. Your rifle could have been in another box to the same company or regiment, or perhaps left in storage, or who knows what. Even if made in 1883, your rifle could be considered a model 1884 if it has the following features, all of which were adopted before the Model 1884 designation became official: grooved trigger, Buffington rear sight (small locking knob at top of flip up ladder and windage knob at front of the sight), rear band with clearance cut in top for Burlington to fit into. Later, breech blocks ere made marked "MODEL 1884" but these are not absolutely essential to be considered a model 1884 rifle. For exotic examples or experimental rifles I would check a couple of other sources, but they don't add anything for standards rifles. The barrel of your rifle has the normal marks expected. the upper V and P show that the barrel was visually inspected ("Viewed") and proof fired in unfinished condition. The eagle head and second P were applied after successful proof firing of the completed rifle. The stock was also marked with a "P" in a circle behind the trigger guard. The Inspector, Samuel W. Porter, then marked the left side of the stock with a stamp containing his initials and the year. Quite often the stock markings are not visible on arms that went through "Arsenal Clean and Repair" in the early 1900s. The small "R" on the top of the barrel is a sub inspector mark whose exact meaning is not certain. The small "R" on the sight indicates it is for a rifle, and the carbine sights were marked with a"C". Hope this helps... John Spangler


# 787 - German Import Six Shooter
9/6/97
Mike, Spanish Fork,Ut. USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
HY HUNTER INC.FIREARMSMFG.CO. FRONTIER SIX-SHOOTER .22 S.L.LR 5 3/8" BLUE 13XXX

Manufactured in West Germany, barrel and chambers appear to be sleeved aluminum or diecast. This revolver has sentimental value in a friends family, are parts available for it, and is it worth repairing, missing screws, cyl. pin ruined, grips broken

Answer:
Mike, I am sorry to tell you that your friends revolver is not worth repairing. Even if the revolver was restored to new condition it would only be worth about $40.00 or less. My advise would be to retire the revolver and hold on to it because of it's sentimental value. If you want a good quality revolver to shoot with a similar look and feel, buy a Ruger Single Six. Ruger Single Six revovlers are well made and fairly inexpensive, many come with two cylinders so that they can chamber ether 22 long rifle or 22 magnum cartridges. A Single Six should last you a lifetime if you give it proper care... Marc


# 786 - Forehand And Wadsworth Revolver
9/6/97
Sheila, Grse Pte MI USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Forehand & Wadsworth Unknown Hammerless, 6 Rounds 32 Or 32 Special Unknown Unknown 10XX

Made in Worchester, MASS USA Has patent dates of 1-11-1887 and 11-28-1888on the grip is a shield with F & W above it. Near the screw hole there is a star. This has been in my family for 4 generations and has just been given to my father. I would appreciate any information you could give me regarding this gun it is of great interest to me historically. I have not seen it yet so I am not sure of the finish or of the barrel length. But could find out if necessary. Thank you for any help you could give me.

Answer:
Sheila- You have given a good description. While this gun has a lot of sentimental value to you, it does not have a lot of cash value on the collector market. It falls in a category known as "suicide specials" or very inexpensive, poorly made handguns which originally sold at very low prices. In excellent to factory new condition they only bring about $60 to $125 according to Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and their Values. They have been in many homes as protection against intruders for decades now. Contrary to the propaganda by the anti-gunners, your ancestors have not shot each other, the neighbors, and everyone's dogs and cats with this gun. Responsible gun owners just don't do that sort of stuff. I'd recommend you keep this one as an heirloom but not shoot it. If you want a gun for home protection, invest in a new one, and take one of the NRA approved home firearms safety courses to learn more about how to safely store and use it. Teach your kids about gun safety also. Hope this helps... John Spangler


# 783 - Springfield Model 1888 Ramrod Bayonet Rifle
9/6/97
Randy, Mylo,N.D., USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Springfield Model 1888?? Ramrod Bayonet .45-70 Just Under 32.5 Inches Blue 537XXX

Special markings include: cartouche marking on left side of stock above trigger of SWP 1892, a P inside a circle on the bottom of the stock, a small letter s in the stock behind the trigger guard, number 474 on top of the stock right behind the breech, large number 23 on right hand side of stock, U.S. stamped below the screw on top side of the stock in the buttplate, VP, eagle head, and another P on the left topside of the barrel, an A(?) on top of the barrel, and a smaller R on the left side of the barrel, all right in front of the breech, a U stamped on the right side of both barrel bands.

I picked up this rifle at an auction and believed it to be a Model 1884because of the marking on the breechlock. However, now I think it is! a Model 1888 because the rod bayonet has the double locking shoulders. Didn't they make a breechlock marked for the Model 1888? When I looked in the Blue Book for the value, there was no Model 1888 listed. Do you know why that would be? Is it considered a Model 1884 because they are basically the same gun? I believe all parts to be original, and it does have the Buffington rear sight with a R in the top right corner. Is there any way of telling for sure whether or not all of the parts are original? Were these guns sent back to the factory to be reworked like the Model 1903's so there would be a chance some of the parts are not original? Is there any way to find out where or at what outpost the rifle was issued or used at. Do you have any idea as to the value of this rifle? It is in very good condition with all markings easily read. The finish is starting to turn brown, but !there is some bluing left. This is my first Trapdoor and I am sure I have allot to learn. Any information you could supply wouldbe greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Answer:
Randy- Thanks for the detailed description and well thought out questions. Everything points to your having one of the approximately 65,000 ramrod bayonet rifles commonly called "Model 1888" or sometimes "Model 1889". This will not be found marked on the rifle anywhere, but was used by the Ordnance Department to distinguish them from the Model 1884 rifle which used the old socket style bayonet. They switched to the ramrod bayonet for two reasons: first- to eliminate a few ounces from the soldier's load by eliminating the need to carry a separate bayonet and scabbard, and secondly- they were running out of surplus Civil War musket bayonets to squeeze down to fit the .45-70 rifles. (See our edged weapons listing for a bayonet with the alterations partially completed.) The "1888" marking was only used about 100 of the very rare "positive cam" rifles made in 1889 (I am fortunate to have one in my collection---someone was selling it as a shooter!) A number of rifles in the 537XXX range were being issued to New York volunteer units raised during the Spanish-American War but your was not specifically listed in the records found by the Springfield Research Service in the National Archives. Many trapdoor rifles were overhauled at various times, but most of the rod bayonet models seem to have been issued late enough that they escaped this fate. However, vast numbers of rod bayonet rifles have been cut down for sporters over the years. My estimate is that probably 30-50% have been lost to collectors this way. I think they are scarcer than Carbines now, and probably undervalued. You probably got a good deal. If you want to collect more trapdoors, invest in a great book by Waite & Ernst "Trapdoor Springfield" Even a Flayderman's Guide is a good way to study up on a rifle before bidding on one at an auction. Hope this helps... John Spangler


# 774 - US Military Ithaca Model 37 Shotguns
9/6/97
Troy, Flagstaff, AZ, USA

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Ithaca Model 37 12 Gauge Shotgun Approx. 30 Inches Unknown 45XXX

I understand the Ithaca Mod 37 was used by US forces in WW2. I am curious if the old model 37 I have might be one of them, or how I might be able to find out if it is.

Answer:
Troy, when the Ithaca Model 37 was standardized on August 7, 1941, it was envisioned that the company would turn out large numbers of the weapons in the event of war. After Pearl Harbor, Ithaca was given several contracts for the production of military shotguns, but after the delivery of 12,433 shotguns, it was decided that Ithaca should concentrate on increasing its production of the M1911A1 .45 pistol and the production of shotguns was halted. Ithaca delivered three types of model 37 shotguns to the military during WWII, trench guns, riot guns and training guns.

Ithaca Model 37 trench guns manufactured under government contract during WWII were fitted with ventilated metal handguard/bayonet adapter assemblies. The Ithaca handguard had six rows of ventilation holes. The WWII Model 37 Ithaca trench gun was finished in commercial grade blue, including the handguard/adapter assembly and had standard sling swivels. The stock was plain and unadorned and was not stamped with an inspector's cartouche. The forend had parallel grasping grooves. The only martial markings observed on the trench guns were "RLB" stamped on the left side of the receiver next to a small Ordnance Department flaming bomb and a small "p" proof mark on the left side of the barrel. The "RLB" initials were those of inspector Lt. Col. Roy L. Bowlin, Chief of the Rochester Ordnance District. Observed trench gun serial numbers range from: #61038 to #61856. All known original WWII Model 37 trench guns have the "RLB" marking on the left side of the receiver.

Ithaca delivered a number of riot gun versions of its Model 37 to the government during WWII. Most of the WWII M37 riot guns were converted from commercial shotguns and will have such features as checkered wood and finely blued metal. Riot gun martial markings varied somewhat and many of the early riot guns did not have the "RLB" marking found on the M37 trench guns. A few of the later riot guns were essentially identical to the WWII Model 37 trench guns except for the ventilated metal handguard/bayonet adapter and sling swivels. Some Model 37 riot guns underwent arsenal rebuilding during and after WWII. There were large numbers of Ithaca Model37 riot guns manufactured after the Second World War. Most of them were for police and civilian use but some were made under government contract for use in Vietnam.

There were a number of skeet/trap type Model 37 shotguns delivered during WWII for training purposes. Some of these guns were standard civilian production guns with no modifications except government ownership markings. Training shot gun barrel lengths were 28" and 30". John tells me that most serial numbers of the examples of these that he has seen are in the 51,000 range. There is a "U.S." under the "R.L.B./ordnance bomb" on some of these.

If your Model 37 does not have any government markings it is unlikely that it is US Military issue... Marc


# 778 - Stevens "Favorite" Rifle
9/1/97
Tim Monath Balto. MD

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Stevens Arms & Tool Co. Favorite .22 Long Unknown Unknown 786

A family member recently purchased this rifle. It is not listed in any books we own on antique firearms. Any Information you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance Tim Monath

Answer:
Tim- Stevens made about one million (no fooling, that is the true number) of this model between 1893 and 1939, in calibers ranging from .22, .25, and .32 rimfire .22 WRF The first 1,000 or so had a removable plate on the right side of the receiver. This model is worth a premium (Flayderman states $475 in NRA antique very good and $1,000 in excellent). The later standard model value runs in the $150 and $350 range for VG and excellent. There were also shotgun (smoothbore), bicycle rifle, and ladies' models made. These generally were not serial numbered, so the 786 may be an assembly number or batch number and not help with dating. A 22 inch barrel part octagon and part round was standard as were plain open sights. Hope this helps... John


# 772 - Shotgun, German 16 GA
9/1/97
Tom Fontaine, Killeen, TX

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Miller & Val. Greiss Munchen SxS Shotgun, With Greener Crossbolt 16 Gauge 29" Blued Barrels, Color Case Hardened Receiver 33XXX

FLUSSSTAL-KRUPP-LSSEN; RW stamped inside a circle; Large K with small F above the large K and a small W below it; MGM on the barrel; a crown with a U beneath it; a crown with S beneath it; a crown with W beneath it; several bird proofmarks; a bird proofmark with nitro next to it on barrel; "16/1" on 1 barrel and other barrel "16/1" and "10/26". Has European style cheek piece on stock. Has large dove tail slot on the rear of the barrels. Seems to be some type of mount for a scope. Light to moderate engraving, fine checkering. Has 2 site on beads, center and end of barrel. Has an interesting feature of a leather pad tacked on to cheekpiece area of stock. Don't believe this is an add-on as I when it was somewhat removed, found the stock to be of concave shape approx. 1/2" deep to accept this padding.

Cannot locate any information on this gunmaker or history of this gun. Time period is unknown, however speculated to be made between 1920 - 1930. Would like to know of approximate value, do you believe this shotgun warrants an appraisal? Quality of workmanship seems to be better than my Merkel. This shotgun has 70% of finish remaining on it. Would appreciate any information pertaining to this piece. Thank you.--Tom Fontaine

Answer:
Tom- Certainly sounds like a fine gun, high quality workmanship and materials and reasonably well cared for. Unfortunately, no one likes 16 GA shotguns. (Except me, and I don't buy them). The things that are neat European features don't appeal to most American shooters. These guns were largely custom work with little or no information available on the makers. Each gun has to be evaluated individually, and almost from the viewpoint of a prospective buyer's individual likes and dislikes. Afraid we cannot tell you much more. For insurance purposes, you might want to place a value of $1,000 on it. It may cost that much (or more) to replace it with a similar one, but you might have a real hard time finding someone eager to buy yours at that price. Which we could be more helpful, but this is a pretty limited and specialized area... John Spangler


# 770 - US M1911A1 Pistol From WW2 B-17 Crash
9/1/97
Luc, Temse, Belgium

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Remington Rand Inc. M1911A1 U.S. ARMY .45 Unknown Military Green NO. 197XXXX

LEFT SIDE: REMINGTON RAND INC. SYRACUSE, N.Y. U.S.A.RIGHT SIDE: UNITED STATES PROPERTY M1911A1 U.S. ARMY NO. 197xxxx. The gun probably dates from WW2, it was found in my granddad's attic after he died. There was a B17 crash during the war close to where he lived, so it may come from there. What I want to find out is if there is a way to trace the gun, who it belonged to, in general: the history behind it. Are records being kept having the numbers and who the guns went to? It's in 100% good condition, I use it for target practice, and it's very accurate on a 25 m. track. I fell in love with it long ago, especially cause it's a WW2 issue, and I have always been interested in that war. I hope you can give me some answers, thanks in advance! %0!ALuc HemelaerAzalealaan 23cB9140 Temse BELGIUM EUROPE

Answer:
Luc- U.S. military records do not exist for most small arms to link them with specific units or individuals. These were considered to be temporary records and were usually discarded when the weapons were returned. If missing, lost, stolen, or lost in combat, they would be "surveyed" and dropped from the records with no permanent record kept. There are a few exceptions, and Mr. Frank Mallory of the Springifield Research Service does a lot of research in the U.S. National Archives looking for serial number information. I checked, and your pistol is not among the numbers he has located. Exact dates of delivery from Remington Rand are not known, but it is very likely that it was issued to a U.S. Army Air Force crew member. It would be interesting to know the rest of the story. Did the crewmember survive the crash and hide in the attic, or was the pistol recovered from the wreck? Guess we will never know. Enjoy it!... John Spangler


# 767 - Bayonet- U.S. Model 1873 For .45-70 Trapdoor
9/1/97
Walton Hinson

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

I have a bayonet and scabbard with leather attached. The bayonet is marked "U S" near the top. The leather has some lettering that appears to be WATER????T ARSENAL. As you can see, some of the letters are difficult to read. I was told that the bayonet came off of an 1873 Trap Door rifle. The bayonet is a dark iron color and is in good condition. The scabbard is iron and is pitted in places. The leather is aged but whole. I would appreciate any information regarding this item.

Answer:
Walton- Your information is probably correct. The Model 1873 bayonet for the .45-70 trapdoor rifles had a blue finish, and was marked "U.S." (and sometimes another letter) on the face of the 18 inch blade. A few were made from scratch but most were converted from Civil War surplus Model 1855 bayonets made for use on .58 caliber muskets. The sockets were "squeezed" down to fit the smaller .45 caliber barrel, and then blued. There are a couple of other very similar bayonets with slightly different socket dimensions, so if one does not fit on a trapdoor, it should be checked further. The scabbards had a triangular sheet metal body, usually with a blue finish, although some variations were painted black. A leather piece at the top of the body has a swivel the held a belt attachment on. Watervliet Arsenal near Troy, New York made a lot of the U.S. Army's leather goods before this shifted mainly to Rock Island Arsenal. Watervliet spent most of their efforts on artillery items after that. The very earliest scabbards had a leather loop (for the waist belt to slide through) at nearly the same level as the top of the scabbard, and the brass swivel was unmarked. The second type ("Model 1873") had a leather loop that sticks up about 2 inches, and the brass swivel has a nice "US" cast into it. The final type adopted about 1885 used a long thin brass hook with a "US" cast at the swivel. These were used with the Mills cartridge belts with loops on them. The brass hook would slip into one of the loops to hold it in place. The late Robert M. Reilly's book "American Socket Bayonets and Scabbards" is the best reference on this subject. Bayonet enthusiasts should join the Society of American Bayonet Collectors so they can get therapy with others suffering from this addiction. Check out their web site on our links page under "SABC." Anyone needing a nice bayonet for their .45-70 should check our edged weapons page... John Spangler


# 765 - Springfield .45-70, Nickel Plated
9/1/97
Doug, Newton, MA, US

Maker Model Caliber Barrel Length Finish Serial Number
US Springfield 1884 Unknown Unknown Nickel S27xx

On stock left hand side: SWP 1891. What is the history of this gun or this type of gun? Thanks, Doug

Answer:
Doug- Not sure what you have. Wish you had included barrel length. The stock marking shows it was inspected by Samuel W. Porter in 1891, when they were making mostly the Model 1888 rifles with the ramrod bayonets, along with a few cadet rifles. The 1884 marking, if on the breech block, would be correct for this period. If on the lock plate, it indicates a bunch of parts assembled by surplus dealers of the period (much like the National Ordnance 1903A3 rifles). I have never seen a serial number beginning with "S". If it is 52705, that would indicate manufacture in 1875. If the last digit is worn off, and the number is something like 527055, that would be correct for 1891. These rifles were not originally nickel plated. A handful may have been done for color guard use in later years, but this is an unofficial modification. However, a great many were later cut down and nickel or chrome plated for color guards or youth groups. Recently I purchased four cutdown stocks with 1890-92 cartouches, and nickeled barrels cut down to about 24 inches, but stripped of all other parts. I suspect you have something like this with the rest of the parts still there... John Spangler


Return to Collectors Headquarters.