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16061  - Custom Colt Commander
6/25/2019
Greg, Casselton, ND, US,

Maker: Colt, Model: Commander, Caliber: 45, Barrel Length: 3 1/2 Or 4¨, Finish: Stainless Slide, Hammer, Safety. Rest Is Black, SN: 48XXX-LW

Markings:
On the front of the pistol under the barrel is WILSON'S.

Question:
This pistol is in excellent shape with a couple of tiny nicks in the black finish. It is available for sale and I was wondering if the WILSON'S gave it a higher value? I'm assuming the marking means it has been worked over to improve it. What would a ballpark value be?

Answer:
Greg, customized 1911 types are hard to put a value on. There are many modifications that can be made to a 1911 type pistol and the value of the pistol varies depending upon which modifications have been made, then you have to find a buyer who is willing to pay more for the modifications. When I see a Colt pistol that has been modified I usually think what a shame it is that some igit ruined a perfectly good classic Colt. If you are planning on buying this Commander I would advise you to check it over carefully, trigger pull modifications are very popular and even when done properly, can contribute to all kinds of problems as the pistol ages and gets more wear on it. The value that the WILSON'S stamping adds to the pistol, is very little or none unless there is some type of documentation like a receipt to prove that the work was done by Wilson and what modifications were made. From your description I understand that Wilson's is stamped on the bottom of the slide? It is entirely possible that someone purchased a Wilson slide and installed it on the pistol... Marc



16057  - Springfield .45-70, Nickel Plated
6/25/2019
Doug, Newton, MA, US

Maker: US Springfield, Model: 1884, Caliber: ?, Barrel Length: ?, Finish: Nickel, SN: S27xx

Question:
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



16056  -
6/22/2019
Dmitry Baranov

Maker: German, Model: Mauser Mod. 1910/14, Caliber: .32 ACP, Barrel Length: ???, Finish: Blue, SN: ?

Markings:
The gun has a mark ¨SA¨ on every part of it (barrel, clip etc.)

Question:
What does this marking mean ?

Answer:
Dmitry - without seeing your pistol, it is hard to say for sure what the SA markings might signify. Pistols issued to Nazi party officials were sometimes marked with an SA, but the Nazi party SA marking was usually something like "SA der NSDAP Gruppe Alpenland" and it was usually stamped on the slide or the front grip strap, not on every individual part of the firearm. If your Mauser is a NSDAP pistol it could be quite valuable depending upon it's condition. If you would like to send us some pictures we could probably give you a better answer... Marc



16055  - R.F. Sedgley Sporter Model 1903 Springfield
6/22/2019
Jeff Mansfield Ohio

Maker: Sedgley Springfield 1903, Model: Sporter, Caliber: 30.06, Barrel Length: 24'', Finish: Blue, SN: 719

Question:
I recently acquired a 1903 Springfield 30.06 rifle converted to a sporter, by R.F. Sedgley, Inc. I’ve read he only offered these conversions from around 1929 to sometime around WWII. The original serial number was removed, so I assume it was done before ‘34. The rifle has a serial number of 719 stamped inside the back of the receiver, in the race track. I’d be curious to know if this means it was a very early conversion, maybe ‘29? Also somebody added a Redfield 4X scope and mount, in what I would guess was the early sixties, based on what I have seen of early Redfield scopes, and white line spacers. What really concerns me about someone adding stuff later, are the white line spacers, which I detest. I’ve made handmade knives as a hobby for about twenty years, so removing these spacers, won’t be a problem, provided they were added later. Any information you care to provide in confirming or correcting my assumptions will be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Jeff Clutter

Answer:
Jeff- R.F. Sedgley company of Philadelphia made a wide variety of guns and gun related items, and in large quantities, probably mostly in the 1920s-1960s. Besides cobbling together cheap “plant guard” M1903 rifles for sale during WW2 from salvaged scrap and pot metal parts, they also made thousands of flare guns for the Navy, and repair parts for the U.S. Marine Corps. In addition, they had a long career making M1903 style sporting rifles. Most of these apparently used “low number” M1903 receivers which had been scrapped. While I personally would not risk firing ANY OF THESE, they do not seem to have a reputation for failure, so maybe buyers go lucky, or maybe Sedgley figured out some what to tell good low number receivers from bad ones, although I have no confirmation that is even possible.

The Sedgley sporting rifles range from very modest quality plain guns up to exceptionally well made and highly decorated arms with all the sportsman desired bells and whistles and the latest (circa 1930s) sights or scopes, etc. I really do not know much about these other than having seen a few over the years, but there was an excellent display of them at the Colorado Gun Collectors show in Denver this year. If you can track down the guy who did that, I am sure he could tell you a lot more.

If it were my gun, I think I would trash the white line spacers, even if they are original. John Spangler




16054  - Dreyse "Deuling Pistol"
6/18/2019
Rolf

Maker: V. Dreyse Sommerda, Model: ?, Caliber: ?, Barrel Length: ?, Finish: ?, SN: 37XX

Markings:
Cal:d.Zdsp: 0,35) 1/24Pulv: 1 1/2/24 Schroot

Question:
This is a dueling pistol which was found in Germany during WWII by an American soldier. It is a pinfire non-rifled barrel. I'm looking for any information concerning this gun.

Answer:
Rolf- We need a picture to be sure, but I would bet that you have a "Zimmerzchutzen" or "parlor pistol" used in indoor target shooting in the late 1800s and early 1900s. You didn't mention caliber, but I would bet it is about .22 caliber. Pinfires are not well-like by American Collectors. (Hey a great idea for something to collect that might be cheap enough to be affordable!) They generally have very traditional "dueling pistol" type stocks, so it would be easy to confuse. True dueling pistols came in precisely matched pairs, in calibers large enough to kill the execrable swine who insulted one's honor. However, dueling was rapidly falling off by the time pinfires came into widespread use... John Spangler



16053  - Nickel Luger
6/18/2019


Maker: German, Model: Luger, Caliber: 9MM, Barrel Length: ?, Finish: Nickel, SN: ?

Question:
I have a nickel luger that has no manufacture markings. It bears a serial number of 973 with all matching numbers of 973 or 73 on all parts including magazine. It has a G above the breech face and a S/42 on the top of the action. It has 3 small markings on the right side of the frame ( w145, s92, and what I believe to be an eagle marking). Any help would be appreciated. I can send photos if needed.

Answer:
Your pistol was made in 1935 at the Mauser factory in Oberndorf, Germany. The code S42 was assigned to Mauser, and the G stood for 1935. Hitler had not yet broken the Treaty of Versailles and so the Germans were trying to hide their manufacture of rifles and pistols for their military. Mauser first started making Lugers for the German military in 1934 and these have the letter K stamped on the receiver ring. After 1935 the Germans began stamping the actual year of production.

The good news about your pistol is that K and G dated Lugers are rare and so bring a higher price on the collector market. The bad news is that some one nickel plated the pistol. After the war many returning soldiers had their Lugers nickel plated, but no researcher has been able to find evidence that any Lugers were nickel plated at the factory. This means that your pistol would be classed as a shooter, rather than a collectible, and the price drops accordingly. I would estimate its value would be in the $400 to $600 range.




16025  - SCREWED?
6/15/2019
Steve

Maker: William Parkhurst, Model: ?, Caliber: 16 Ga, Barrel Length: ?, Finish: ?, SN: ?

Question:
Hi, I have an old (1895) William Parkhurst 16 ga. SxS. Do you have the various screws that will work for this gun, are they just common screws or would they be specific to this gun? My barrel release lever spring is also getting weak would you have this also? Thanks.

Answer:
Steve- William Parkhurst is a name found on guns made in England circa 1920. It is hard to tell what screws might have been used then and there. By that time it is likely that the screws were subcontracted items bought in bulk rather than individually made with a die or threading plate by the gunmaker. But, while U.S. screw threads have been reduced down to a manageable number of variations in diameter, thread pitch and thread shape, the Brits seem to have stuck with a variety all their own, and perhaps to some extent also borrowed European metric sizes. Finding a replacement screw in the U.S. will be difficult.

First you have to find a screw with matching threads for your needs. Then you have to worry about it being the proper length, but you can always cut or file some off if it is too long. Then you need to worry about if there is a smooth portion needed for some part to pivot properly. Finally you have to worry about a head that is the correct size and contour to fit in the recess in the gun. And, generally screws should be hardened for long life, but not so hard they are brittle and likely to break.

A good gunsmith (which eliminates about 90% of today`s ``gunsmiths`` whose skills are limited to switching parts on an AR-15, or putting sights on a plastic pistol) will probably have a treasure box full of oddball screws salvaged from past projects and may find what you need. Or, for a price they may be able to make you one. Figure about $50 per hour, minimum one hour charge, less than a good auto mechanic or plumber, so don`t whine about the cost.

There are no catalogs or parts lists for the oddball shotguns and their parts, and most were not even 100% machine made interchangeable, but largely hand fitted. And, materials and workmanship were often not the best and the same parts tend to fail on all of them. Good luck! John Spangler




16047  - High Number Winchester Model 1890
6/15/2019
Scott WA USA

Maker: Winchester, Model: 90, Caliber: .22, Barrel Length: 23.5¨, Finish: ?, SN: 777018

Markings:
MODEL 90-.22 LONG

Question:
What is the year that this serial number was manufactured? Independent data indicates the last manufacture was in 1932; another source indicates about 1942-1943; family history suggests earlier than 1932 Please help us with this uncertainty in our family tree. Original owner my grandfather, born in 1866; died about 1956.

Answer:
Scott, the Winchester, slide-action MODEL 1890 SPORTING RIFLE was a John M Browning design that was manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company of New Haven, Connecticut (officially) from 1890 to 1932. The serial number range for the 1890 to 1932 production run was 1 through 752044 and year of manufacture data is only available for serial numbers which fall inside this range. Although Model 1890 production officially ceased in 1932, a cleanup of the production run lasted another 8 or more years. Unfortunately, your serial number (777018) falls outside the numbers which I have data for. My GUESS is that your rifle was manufactured somewhere around 1940. Marc



16024  - S&W M1917 BRAZILIAN CONTRACT
6/11/2019


Maker: Smith And Wesson, Model: M1917, Caliber: ?, Barrel Length: ?, Finish: ?, SN: ?

Question:
Some time back, I acquired a M1917 revolver Smith and Wesson. It came with a Brazilian side plate installed. That plate is about 1mm shy of correct fit in the area of the trigger guard, which is proud of the area where the side plate is. I`d like to replace the side plate, and understand that this would require hand fitting.

Answer:
Rick- Sorry, we cannot help with that one. Fitting sideplates is a very skilled operation, and if you find a used one, it may not be able to be modified to fit your gun. My option would be to use it as is, or sell it and get one that you like better. Cost for the part and gunsmith time will be more than the improved condition would be worth, at least in my opinion. John Spangler



16046  - 1873 Winchester Information
6/11/2019
USA

Maker: Winchester, Model: 1873 Lever-action Rifle, Caliber: .32, Barrel Length: ?, Finish: Other, SN: 343173B

Markings:
king's improvement 1860 - 866

Question:
What is age plus value of a Winchester lever action 1873 serial 343173B?

Answer:
The value of a firearm depends greatly on condition, markings and special features. You did not send me any of this kind of information so I don't have allot of data to base my answer on. The best that I can tell you is that your rifle is probably worth somewhere between $100 and $15,000.

You can find the date of manufacture by looking up your serial number in FineOldGuns.com Winchester dates of manufacture program. There is a link on the FineOldGuns.com menu strip that runs down the left hand side of our website.

Good Luck - Marc




16023  - ANTIQUE WINCHESTER SHOTGUN
6/8/2019


Maker: WINCHESTER, Model: ?, Caliber: ?, Barrel Length: ?, Finish: ?, SN: ?

Question:
Can you please help me with ID and value on the rifle in the attached photos? I think I would like to sell it. There is a problem with the lever not shutting properly.

Answer:
Sir- Your shotgun (not rifle) is a Winchester Model 1887, made in October 1892. These were made in both 10 and 12 GA and I don`t know how many parts are interchangeable between the two calibers, or with the later Model 1901 which was 10 GA only. Barrels were 20, 30 or 32 inches, this one looks shorter than 30 inches but longer than 20 inches. The 12 GA used 2 5/8`` not 2 3/4`` shells, blackpowder ONLY.

It is in overall mediocre condition, but heavy rust on left side of barrel may conceal deep pitting. Missing tang screw or stripped wood screw, and looks like some chipping and wobbly fit of the stock from being loose? The lever problem is a major concern. I don`t know anything about the mechanics on these. Problem may be simple as dirt and crud, or small parts broken. Screws are not buggered, so Bubba has not attempted to ``fix`` anything. Cowboy action shooters like these, but prefer the copies made by Norinco or Chiappa. Parts from those will not interchange with original Winchesters. We will pass on this one. John Spangler




16038  - 8.25 Inch Broomhandle
6/8/2019
ronald dent

Maker: MAUSER, Model: 96C BROOMHANDLE, Caliber: 9mm, Barrel Length: 8 1/4, Finish: Blue, SN: 803782

Question:
IS the length of the BARREL 8 1/4 right.? for THIS GUN.

Answer:
I just got out my "Red 9" Mauser C96 pistol usually referred to as "the Broom handle" and measured the barrel length. From the front of the bolt to the tip of the barrel was 5.5 inches. From the back of the ejection port it measures 7.5 inches.

I'm not an expert on all of the variations of C96 pistols, but I've never seen an original with as long a barrel as you describe. The barrel of the C96 pistol is part of the forging that includes the rear end of the upper frame, and because of this cannot be replaced by screwing in a new barrel. There were several gunsmiths in the 1980's and 1990's who set up restoration services for the glut of Chinese import Broom Handle pistols that were on the market at the time. They would cut off shot out barrels, leaving a stub, then make a new barrel that screwed in to the stub at the base of the barrel. If I remember correctly, I think that FedOrd was doing this. I've seen two C96's where this was done. The workmanship one was so good it was extremely difficult to detect the newly made barrel was joined to the old frame. These guns were always re-chambered to 9 mm Luger.

A much longer than normal barrel makes me wonder if you do not have one that someone added an after market barrel. The fact that the gun is in 9mm and the serial number is not in the range of the "Red 9" pistols made for the German Army makes me think you have a pistol that has acquired a new barrel sometime after it left the factory. Marc




16022  - M1903 RIFLE RELATIVE CARRIED IN WW1
6/4/2019
Charles

Maker: Rock Island, Model: M1903, Caliber: ?, Barrel Length: ?, Finish: ?, SN: ?

Question:
I contacted you last month about this gun and you requested pictures to tell me more about it. My father died in 1972 and I seem to recall him saying it was his uncles gun he carried in WW1. I was young when Dad died and only remember snippets of family history. Any information you provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Answer:
Charles- Based on the photos, we can tell a lot about the gun. Your rifle started off as a M1903 Springfield made at Rock Island Arsenal circa 1904 as a rod bayonet model. It was later scrapped and then rebuilt using a variety of parts, some original and many improvised from other uses. This work was probably done by Francis Bannerman Sons of 501 Broadway, New York City, and then sold in their store, or via mail order. These were sold as their ``Model 1937 rifle`` introduced in that year.

If you look closely, it is obvious that the gun has been refinished with the receiver marking partially removed in the process. The rear sight is a Krag Model 1902 base welded to the top of a M1903 rear sight sleeve and fitted with the M1902 sight leaf. The front barrel band/bayonet lug is from a M1917 ``Enfield`` along with the trigger guard. Some minor modifications were required to make these work. The barrel may be from a M1903 Springfield (and would have SA or RIA over flaming bomb over date behind the front sight) or one salvaged from some other rifle.

There are numerous variations of these, with this one being pretty close to the M1903 Springfield, while others used many more scrounged parts cobbled together to make a complete gun- including M1917 Enfield stocks and bolts, but with M1903 receivers but more resembling M1917 rifles except for the receiver and sights.

The early receivers used were ``low numbers`` with potentially fatally flawed heat treatment and were removed from service for that reason. Bannerman, and some of his peers bought various surplus parts and made a tidy profit buying junk scrap metal and selling complete rifles. R.F. Sedgley of Philadelphia also made some of these in cahoots with Bannerman or on their own, and they often marked one or more parts with their S inside a circle logo.

Here is a link to a display I did which included one of the ``more 1917 than M1903`` variations:

http://m1903.com/odd1903/

Most people agree it is NOT SAFE to fire any of these Bannerman M1903 rifles, but they are an interesting oddity for the collector who has to have one of everything.

Family stories like yours about ``this being Grandpa`s rifle from the war`` are pretty common.

Usually it is a shift over time and generations starting from ``This is just like the gun I carried when I fought in WW1`` (or sort of close to it in this case). Ten it becomes ``Grandpa carried a rifle like this and fought in WW1.`` Finally it is remembered as ``This is Grandpa`s gun from WW1.``

Enjoy it for the sentimental value of family ownership, even if it does not quite get back to his actual service rifle. John Spangler




16037  - Winchester Model 100
6/4/2019
Athena Moriarty, NM

Maker: Winchester, Model: 100, Caliber: .308, Barrel Length: 24'', Finish: Other, SN: A248968

Question:
I inherited my .308 Winchester from my mother who she received it from her father. I would like to find out where and when the rifle was made. I do not want to get rid of it, just want to find the history on it.

Answer:
Athena, over 262,000 Winchester Model 100 rifles were made between 1961 and 1973, your Model 100 was manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1972.

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 to 1973.

You should know that there was a recall on Winchester Model 100's, it was found that the Winchester Model 100 firing pin may break due to use and metal fatigue and become lodged in the breech bolt face. If this occurs, the firearm may fire before the action is locked causing damage to the firearm and injury to the shooter and/or bystanders.

A new firing pin was designed to replace the original. The old firing pin was lathe turned - round. The new style is similar on the front and back but in the front midsection, it has two flats milled, one on each side making the center section much stronger. Winchester advised against use of Model 100 rifles until a replacement pin could be installed and asked Model 100 owners to send rifles to an authorized service center for firing pin replacement.

Upon completion of the recall/repair, the shop doing the work was to have test fired the gun and stamped an assigned letter on the inside top of the receiver as seen through the magazine well with the bolt retracted. These letters were assigned to various repair centers and are important in helping you determine if the repair was made to your rifle.

You can obtain additional info from Winchester and find out if your rifle has already had the modifications added by calling 1-800-852-5734. This is a dedicated line/number for owners of the Winchester 100 concerning the firing pin recall issue. Marc




16021  - CORRODED AMMUNITION
6/1/2019
Chuck-

Maker: ?, Model: ?, Caliber: ?, Barrel Length: ?, Finish: ?, SN: ?

Question:
I was given several stripper clips full of 1918 dated 30`06. It is all heavily tarnished but the clip tabs on all but one are intact. Would you advise cleaning and if so how? Thanks for any help you can provide

Answer:
Chuck- I recommend against trying to clean old ammo. If it just tarnish, a quick wipe with an oily rag is about all I would do. If it has the green and white corrosion that is the result of breakdown of the primer/powder, that is irreversible, and can spread to adjacent rounds. You might be able to rub some of it off using the rim of another cartridge (but not a steel object). This would remove the surface crud, but if the source in internal it will reappear. Best thing for cartridges with internal corrosion is to trash them. Some people claim that you can use vinegar to remove it, but others say no. Hope that helps. John Spangler



16040  - Winchester 1902 Barrel Lengths
6/1/2019
Keith, Canton, Ohio

Maker: Winchester, Model: 1902-22, Caliber: 22, Barrel Length: ?, Finish: Blue, SN: X

Question:
what barrel lengths were these made in? did they make them really short?

Answer:
Keith, the Winchester Model 1902 was an improvement of an earlier John M Browning design, the model 1900, which was Winchesters first low priced rimfire 22. The model 1900 was not very successful because it was too light and cheaply constructed to compete well with other single shot 22`s of the day. Winchester modified the Model 1900 by adding a blued steel buttplate and a special shaped trigger guard that extended to the rear and could be used like a pistol grip, shortening the trigger pull, replacing the open rear sight with a peep sight, and making the barrel heavier. Because of the improvements and the low price, the Model 1902 sold well. Winchester manufactured approximately 640,299 Model 1902 rifles from 1902 to 1931, when Model 1902 production was discontinued.

All of my reference books indicate that the model 1902 came with an 18 inch barrel but Thomas Henshaw`s book shows a picture of a 1902 target pistol. Henshaw indicates that some of these 1902 target pistols were manufactured by Winchester employees for their own use. Marc