Question: Found @ garage sale. Cleaned up enough to pour some balls which measured .600 to .620. Flashing from not fitting too close. Old. Deep rust. Soft iron. Bends easily.
Question. What gun would require that size ball? Why would it be in Lufkin, Texas? Does it have any historical significance?
Answer: James- I agree that you have a mold, possibly a bullet mold, but possibly for something else. Molds that look like bullet molds were used to cast other objects from various materials. Druggists used them to make suppositories, but those were usually more "bullet" shape than round ball. They have may have been used to cast brass or other low alloy metal spheres for industrial applications such as ball mills where a bunch would be put in a drum with some material to be pulverized or softened. (This process is used a lot in mining operations, but generally using iron balls which are frequently mistaken for cannon balls.) Perhaps the objects were to be used as some sort of crude ball bearings for farm or transportation machinery, or for use in the oil fields. Or, perhaps for casting some sort sulfur or other non-metallic solid like clay into spherical shapes for something, perhaps later smelting operations. So, while I will address this as if it is a "Bullet mold" keep in mind we may be chasing down the wrong track.
If it is a bullet mold, balls about .600" to .620" are a bit extreme in size variation for use in rifle with any sort of accuracy, and most muskets were about .69 caliber and used a .650" diameter ball. Of course, many oddball muskets were used during the Texas colonial days, the Republic days, and in the Civil War when muskets from various European sources were imported by both sides, as well as locally made arms. So, it could be a round ball mold for muskets circa 1700-1865.
Also, later hunters in the cartridge sometimes wanted to use some sort of slugs ("pumpkin balls") in shotguns, and as long as they were under bore diameter they would more or less work okay.
Another use for round lead balls, but where they were not quite as fussy about exact size was for loading shells during the muzzle loading artillery period. Lead balls were placed inside hollow iron cannon balls ("spherical case shot") or inside "bullet" shaped projectiles, along with some gunpowder and then the filling hole where the balls were dropped in was sealed up with some sort of fuze. They also made "canister" rounds, essentially super-size shotguns shells sort of a tin can filled with large iron or lead balls. This would date the mold to about the same muzzle loading era, ending about 1865, but probably not made locally before the 1830s.
My gut feeling is that it is probably not a bullet mold, but if so, then my guess would be possibly Civil War era for artillery ammunition.
I would be glad to send your photos (when received) to a friend with expertise in early Texas arms. John Spangler
Determining Model From Serial Number 6/23/2015 Tom
Question: hello, i have several shotguns that were removed from a relative’s house. i have the serial number and manufacture but no model. i tried the manufacturer’s web site with minimal results, so is there some other place to look?
really appreciate any direction here.
thank you, tom
Answer: Tom- Sorry, we cannot help much with that one.
Most makers made several different models, each numbered starting at 1 and working up. In a few cases, you may be able to figure it out if your number is a very high one and only one of that maker's models got that high. Of course, some makers (especially Marlin, used a single series of numbers and applied them to different models in production at the same time, resulting in total chaos. But, since 1968 there has been a requirement for guns to have unique serial numbers, and many makers use a combination of numbers and letters and those may be easier to figure out.
If you or the relatives recognize the gun from pictures of guns made by that maker, that might identify the model? Other than that, I cannot think of any way to pin down a model.
If this is for an insurance claim, use the same info as on the police report, or maybe you just want to use the most common model made by that maker, and odds are in your favor that would be the right answer. Good luck. John Spangler
Markings: On one side it says Spencer Gun Co. and on the barrel where you load it say fully choked . Underneath by the trigger area is the serial # 4375
Question: I was just curious of the history of the rifle I studied a little about Spencer himself but really could not get detailed history. Was also wanting to know an approximate value of the rifle It is in fair to good condition? I would greatly appreciate your input.
Answer: Kimberly, these were invented by Christopher M. Spencer, who also invented one of the best Civil War Carbines, the seven shot Spencer Carbine. The Spencer shotguns were one of the first successful pump action shotguns made, although they rapidly became obsolete when John M. Browning came out with the Model 1893 and its improved cousin the Model 1897. The Spencer shotgun certainly looks strange to us today, but it was a pretty slick piece of machinery in 1882 when most men (and women) were only a few years away from using muzzle loading shotguns. A few Spencers were purchased by the U.S. Army for guarding prisoners, but most were sold for hunting use. About 1890 Sencer's company had financial problems and they sold everything to Francis Bannerman Sons, of New York. Bannerman continued to make them until about 1903 but with their name on the side of the receiver. The Bannerman guns are worth less than the ones made by Spencer. In good to very good condition the will bring about $300-400. I have owned about 4 of these, and the last one we sold was a very nice one with lots of finish. Hope this helps. Marc Wade
Figuring Value On Old Winchester 6/20/2015
Question: I have my Dads old Winchester Rifle, model 1886, and the serial # is 112098. It is in good condition. Having trouble finding out how to appraise it. Could you let me know the correct way to go about that? Thanks.
Answer: Sir- Your best bet is to go to http://GunBroker.com and click on the advanced search tab. Then click on "completed" and search for "1886 Winchester." That will show all that have been listed. Then look through and you will see that many have 0 bids, and did not sell, so ignore those. Look for the ones that actually sold, and then click on that item to see what it sold for and get a better idea of condition and features. Some will be recent production, but you want to find an older one, in the same caliber, same condition, same barrel length, and that will tell you what price a willing buyer and seller agreed was fair market value. Hope that helps. John Spangler
Remington Rand History 6/20/2015 Charles, Seymour Indiana
Question: Could you tell me what branch of service and unit this pistol was issued to during WWII?
Answer: Charles, records simply do not exist for probably 90% or more of all the military small arms. For U.S. military small arms, the Springfield Research Service, (SRS) is the only source that I know of where information of the sort that you are looking for can be obtained. In the past Springfield Research Service has been a good resource, but ownership passed to new people a few years back and since that happened, I have not felt that any of my interactions with them have been of any value. I still have a copy of old SRS database which was obtained before the change of hands at SRS and I can tell you that there is no information available for your Remington Rand pistol serial number 1024863. Marc
Question: I am looking for any information on this gun. Any information would be greatly appreciated thank you. Raymond
Answer: Sorry, we cannot help with that one. I have found very little info on cane guns except for those made by Remington. Be advised there may be restrictions on possession or transfer of cane guns, so consult BATFE regulations carefully. John Spangler
Markings: Wings above waA173 left of trigger, 58000 on slide, 57000 above grip, 37m bottom of the clip and c stamp on Barrel.
Question: I am not sure what it is or its age and its worth? Very clean blue gun. Would like to know what ammunition to use for test fire. I also seen others with jhv and stamp on slider which mine dose not have. Thanks in advance
Answer: Bryan, the Femaru Model M1937 pistol was manufactured by Femaru-Fegyver-es Gepgyar R. T. of Budapest, Hungary. Many more than 4000 of these pistols were produced, there were approximately 200,000 of them made from 1937 to 1944-1945.
M1937 sides that were manufactured under German supervision are marked "Pistole M.37, CAL 7.65 mm jhv 41" or "P.MOD. 37, KAL. 7.65 jhv 41" on the left hand side. These model M1937 pistols should also be marked with Eagle over 58, Eagle over WaA58 or Eagle over WaA173 on left trigger guard web.
Your magazines should have serial numbers that match number of the pistol. The magazine numbers are stamped on the bottom of the magazine but they are difficult to see and easily overlooked unless one is specifically looking for them.
M37 pistols were well made and they are popular with collectors. Jan C. Still's book, "Axis Pistols" book indicates that most of the jhv 41 variation M37 pistols went to the Luftwaffe. All the reported M37 holsters bear Luftwaffe acceptance stamps; however, it is probable that some of the jhv 43 variation went to the German Army. In all, about 80,000 M37's were procured by the German military.
I value for a M37 pistols that are all matching and in excellent condition is in the $650 to $750 range. if your slide does not match the frame of your pistol value will be more in the $300 range. I find it strange that the numbers are exactly 1000 apart, it may pay for you to look at them more closely with a magnifying glass, maybe you misread one of them. Marc
22 Ranger 6/13/2015 Steven Tyler, TX
Maker: Ranger, Model: M34, Caliber: .22, Barrel Length: Im Sorry No Measurer Available, Finish: Blue, SN: WAS NOT MADE WITH ONE
Markings: Ranger 22 S-L-LR-M34. The it has two front sights. The shorter is stationary and the other is taller by 1/8'' rests against it and folds down. It is an all original single shot. No serial numbers
Question: my granddad gave me this gun when I was 10, fast forward 22 years I wanted to learn it`s history. My questions are as follows if marlin made two versions and both accepted clips why is mine a bolt action single shot? Why I`ve scoured the internet and never found another with a second flip down front sight. There are no bolts missing or modifications done to this firearm. Can you please tell me why I can`t find any information on this gun. In a previous question you stated marlin made them for Sears and both accepted clips. Mine is an honest to goodness all original single shot. Thank you in advance for any answers you may have for me.
Answer: Steven, Ranger seems to be a popular name for inexpensive 22 house brand and knock-off rifles. My guess is that your .22 is a different model than the one that I mentioned in the answer that you are referring to, it could have even been made by a different manufacturer altogether. There is little or no collector interest in this type of firearm which would explain the lack of information available on the Internet. I suggest you try posting your question on some of the gun forums. Sorry that I could not be of more assistance, bear in mind that my free advise as always comes with a full money back guarantee and may be worth exactly what you paid for it. Good luck. Marc
Question: I have this artillery shell with the following markings. FLP A-2 1966 76MM AP-T M339. Just wondering if you might be able to tell me what this is.
Answer: Sir- Your shell is one used in the M32 or M48 76mm guns on the post-WW2 "Super Sherman" tanks, which replaced the less powerful and lower velocity guns originally used on the M4 Sherman tanks during WW2. Your case was originally loaded with the 76mm Armor Piercing-Tracer M339 and was made in 1966 with lot number FLP A2.
Basically, the M339 projectile was made of solid tungsten carbide which punches through armor by brute force. It has a cavity in the base for a tracer element, and a thin sheet metal pointed ballistic cap for better aerodynamics, but the cap is crushed on impact and the blunt nose of the projectile body does the work. There is no explosive material in the projectile. The projectile is painted black with white stencil markings, in addition to those stamped into the metal. John Spangler
Markings: H.W.Mortimer London Gun Maker to His Majesty
Question: A couple of things puzzle me. There is no checkering on the but and the wooden ramrod appears never to have had a tip using different material. Would this be classed as a holster pistol or a dueling pistol? There are no sights. The pan has no waterproofing. Full stock.
Answer: Howard- That sounds like a very nice gun! Mortimer was one of the classic makers of fine quality arms.
During the flintlock era, guns, especially from the better makers, were often made to the buyer’s specifications, and if he wanted pistols without checkering for some reason, I am sure Mortimer would have been happy to oblige. Ramrods are frequently broken or lost, so it may be a replacement, or may be an original. Again, personal preference may have specified it that way.
The distinctions between holster and dueling pistols are somewhat blurred, but in my opinion, a cased pistol with a ramrod in the case, but no provisions for a ramrod on the gun itself would be considered a dueling pistol. A holster pistol, meant to be carried when traveling, might need to be loaded or reloaded and therefore should have a ramrod with the gun without the need to haul around a case full of fancy accessories.
During the flintlock era pistol sights were more or less optional, so that does not help much. “Waterproofing” of the pan on a flintlock involves designing the pan for the priming powder so that it is completely covered by the frizzen, and any “fence” to deflect the flash away from the shooter’s face has a slight gap from the pan, and everything is a precise fit to keep water from seeping into the powder. Mortimer was especially noted for his “waterproof locks” so the absence of that feature, sights, checkering and plain wood ramrod suggest this may have been one of his lesser grade guns. But, that is sort of like comparing the various models of Rolls Royce automobiles- none are bad!
Shotgun Question 6/9/2015 Dan Jasper Georgia
Question: I was wondering the value of this shotgun. It`s the 20G flues side by side with automatic ejectors. I know it`s a field grade. I`m just trying to figure out what people are actually spending on them.
Answer: The following links are good resources to help you find a value:
Markings: ''U.S.M.C.'' stamped (top of barrel just rear of front sight -SC- ''12-43'' (centered just below the USMC) -SC- ''S'' (centered inside a circle just below the 12-43). Letter ''P'' inside a line square stamped in the wood just rear of the trigger guard. Proof mark inside a line rectangle stamped left side stock towards rear of received with four initials ''C (or G). S (hard to read). A.A.'' (last two letters very clear. Barrel Parkerized with lighter color metal on top between receiver and start of wood top hand-guard. looks like everything else is original (stock, bolt, magazine follower and spring, checkered butt plate, etc. Nothing missing even stacking swivel is original.
Question: Is this a genuine U.S.M.C. rifle that was re-barreled in 12-43 then issued to the Corps?
Answer: Art- Short answer- Maybe.
The serial number is in a range that has a heavy USMC usage pattern, but since there are many other non-USMC units, you need to remember that close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades.
The usual format for barrels made for the USMC contracts was U.S.M.C. over date (such as 12-43) over the Sedgley trademark of S in a circle. (The “-SC-“ in the question was inserted by the submission software, and does not appear in what you typed, so readers should ignore that. Normally “SC” indicates manufacture by Smith Corona, and they did not make ANY M1903 barrels, only M1903A3.)
USMC overhauled rifles often have receiver Parkerizing which is more of a light greenish-gray and having a different finish on the barrel is okay. The USMC rifles usually have the “Hatcher hole” for gas escape drilled on the left side of the receiver. There are a number of other indicators, not all obvious, and usually only a handful are found on any individual rifle.
The CSAA cartouche is well known as a San Antonio Arsenal rework cartouche, but one that I would not normally associate with USMC usage. The 12-43 date is date the barrel was made, and large quantities of later 1943 and 1944 dated barrels were sold as surplus and never installed by the Marine Corps. However, it seems that most of the 1941 and 1942 dated Sedgley barrels were actually installed by the Marines. The barrel date only indicates the date it was made, and it could have been installed a few weeks or months later (especially for newly made rifles). But, for replacement barrels, the installation could have been years or decades later.
You say your rifle has a blue finish, so that tells me that it was probably refinished after it left military service, and perhaps the barrel was installed then.
So, my bet would be that this is NOT a rifle used by the USMC in this configuration. John Spangler
Question: Hello I have a Remington umc 1911 looks to be all there with all the right markings ,the barrel has the P on the bottom where a rowing ring is. Sorry don`t know what`s it`s called Saw on a forum on early models that. Would be Correct It is in a nickel finish wondering if it`s worth re-storing it.
Answer: Brian, Remington UMC 1911 pistols are getting hard to find and examples that have the original finish and are in good condition can be quite rare and valuable for collectors. Unfortunately nickel is not the original finish and there is not much collector interest in these pistols if they have been modified in any way. Even if you were to have the pistol restored, the finish would still not be original, so there is probably not much to be gained there. With no collector demand, this pistols value will come as a shooter and it will depend greatly upon how well it shoots and how good that it looks. Marc
Sorry No History 6/2/2015 Tony Wichita, Ks. U.S.A
Maker: Smith And Wesson, Model: M1917, Caliber: .45 ACP, Barrel Length: 5.5'', Finish: Blue, SN: 81987
Markings: Flaming bomb proof numbers 52743 on gate and adjoining flange possible ''eagle head'' proof marks with S3 and S7 United States Property USARMY Model 1917 and No 81987
Question: Can you tell me any history of this particular sidearm? War issued? To whom? Thank you in advance.
Answer: Tony, handguns chambered for 45 ACP were desperately needed once the USA had entered the First World War. To meet wartime demands, both Smith and Wesson and Colt modified their standard large caliber revolvers to chamber 45 ACP. The Smith and Wesson Mod. 1917 was just a Second Model .44 Hand Ejector chambered in .45 ACP, with the cylinder shortened to accept the special half-moon clips required for speedy ejection of spent .45 ACP casings. The first Model Smith and Wesson Model 1917 was completed on September 6 1917. Model 1917 revolvers were serial numbered in a separate sequence beginning with serial number 1. According to production records 163,476 Model 1917's were manufactured during WWI. Smith and Wesson sold some Model 1917's that had been produced during WWI on the commercial market after the war had ended. Commercial sales of wartime production Model 1917's ended after Smith and Wesson had depleted it's wartime production supply on January 5th 1921. After January 5th 1921 Smith and Wesson began producing a commercial model 1917 that was the same as the wartime model except that it had checkered walnut grips.
Unfortunately records simply do not exist for probably 90% or more of all the military small arms. For U.S. military small arms, the Springfield Research Service, (SRS) is the only source that I know of where information of the sort that you are looking for can be obtained. In the past Springfield Research Service has been a good resource, but ownership passed to new people a few years back and since that happened, I have not felt that any of my interactions with them have been of any value. I still have a copy of old SRS database which was obtained before the change of hands at SRS and I can tell you that there is no information available for your S&W 1917 revolver serial number 81987. Marc
Pistol “R`Cuerpo De Guard, De La Persona Del Rey” 6/2/2015 Nick Crawford, Fresno, CA
Markings: R`Cuerpo de Guard, de la Persona del Rey. It has two crest engravings. One reads, ''ZULU AGA''.
Question: My grandfather has handed down to me what appears to be a Spanish flintlock pistol. He was only able to tell me that it has been handed down several generations. I am curious as to what era it is from and would greatly appreciate any information you can share with me. I can provide pictures if necessary. Thank you.
Answer: Nick- Yours is the third question we have received on guns like this, the first in 2000, the second in 2008 and now yours. I have not learned anything new on these since the first question, so I will just repeat that entire question and answer here: The “Zulu Aga” marking suggests there may be some African, or South African, connection, or perhaps it was the name of a previous owner. John Spangler
Barrel has following markings "R. Cuerpo de Guard,de la Persora del Rey" Also has a Coat of Arms at the rear of the barrel and a building with an Onion capped roof. Ramrod is hinged underneath barrel. It has a brass barrel band, trigger guard, and butt. It is a flintlock pistol with a hardwood stock. Overall length is 14". Please tell me the manufacturer of this pistol and approximate age. Also tell me its approximate value.
Carl- I think you have something good there. We would need to see some photos to better identify it, but the markings translate into something roughly along the lines of "King's Own Body Guard Regiment". If in flintlock (not percussion) it is probably from the very end of the flintlock period as swivel ramrods were uncommon before about the 1820s. It is likely one of a pair, which were probably numbers 302a and 302b. Please send us some photos and we will do some more research. Value depends on exactly what it is and the condition, and we cannot make much more than a guess based on what we know now. There is also the possibility that this is something made for sale to tourists in recent years and has far less value than an original. Hope you have a good one! John Spangler