FIREARMS Q&A

Your source for firearms, ammunition and reloading information.

Do you have a question? Submit to editorial@outdoorgroupmedia.com today — and watch for the answer in an upcoming issue of Western Sportsman magazine! (Note: we cannot personally respond to each query).

Click on the question to read to the answer! Check back often for new entries! (Newest on bottom)

(Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to Western Sportsman Magazine Print Edition Today For Even More Firearms Q&A — With Every Issue!)

Fire Arms (55)

Q: Stevens Dread Naught
I have a Stevens Dread Naught single-shot 12-gauge shotgun (36-inch barrel — 3/4 choke) with a broken trigger. Do you know where I could find parts? The only other identifying marks are:
1. Patented Aug 12, 1913.
2. When you break the gun open there is the number “104XV” inside the breach/receiver.
There is no visible serial number anywhere on this gun.
—Gil Hurtubise

Try Western Gun Parts: 18124-107th Avenue, Edmonton, AB T5S 1K5; 780.489.5711; www.westerngunparts.com.

I believe your shotgun was made in the era 1916 to 1943. Stevens firearms are generally considered as safe, serviceable working guns, assuming of course they are in sound condition. There is no particular collector interest at this time and their main value is as practical shooters and family heirlooms.

I’ve seen these old single-shots listed as being similar to the Stevens model 89, the Dread Naught marking was for distribution to hardware chain stores.

Gun Parts Corp (P.O. Box 299, West Hurley, NY 12491-0299; 845.699.2417; www.gunpartscorp.com) lists various parts for the Stevens model 89 including hammer, hammer screw, trigger, trigger pin, trigger spring, and trigger spring pin as being in stock.

I’m not sure if there would be any problems importing these parts into Canada, but a gunsmith would know. In any event a qualified gunsmith should do installation of these parts, and any type of trigger work. The fire control mechanism of any firearm is not the place for “home handyman” tinkering. —Dave Anderson

Q: 1894 Winchester .38-55
I have a model 1894 Winchester — .38-55. It is missing the rear sight ramp. Would you know where I might get one? The serial number is 349038. Might you know when it was made and an approximate value?
—Syd Young

Your rifle was manufactured in 1906. There is considerable collector interest in vintage Winchester rifles, though values vary widely with condition. A collector axiom is, “Guns aren’t rare. Condition is rare.” Non-collectors find it hard to understand why there should be such a difference in value between a firearm with 80 per cent remaining original finish and one with 95 per cent original finish. If both are in safe, functional condition why should it matter?

Well, it does matter to collectors. There may well be 100 guns in 80 per cent condition for every one in 95 per cent condition. And the thing about condition is, time never makes it better.

Assuming it is complete, not rusted, and functional a rifle of the same vintage of yours could run from $500 US in 19 per cent condition to well over $3,000 in 95 to 98 per cent condition. These values are for the more common calibres (.30-30 and .32 Special) while other calibers such as .38-55 would add a premium of about 50 per cent.

Brownells catalog lists universal rear sight elevator in four sizes. Individual sight elevators are inexpensive, but the catalog lists them only as packages of six for $9.97 US, or kits of six each of all four sizes for $29.95. The sizes they show are 0.080 inches wide single step, 0.050 inches wide, single step, short double-step and long double-step. I’m afraid I can’t tell you which one you need, but at the next gun show I’m at I’ll see if I can find a similar rifle on exhibit and I’ll check the sight elevator.

The other possibility is to ask at local gun shops if you have one nearby, or attend a gun show. Often you’ll find trays or bins of old parts, it’s kind of fun to dig around for useful parts, and it shouldn’t cost very much. Contact: Brownells, 200 South Front Street, Montezuma, Iowa 50171; phone 1.800.741.0015; www.brownells.com. —Dave Anderson

Q: Single Shot, Shotgun
I purchased five firearms from a friend back in the late-60s and one of the guns was this single-shot, break-open .410 shotgun. I would be very interested in finding out what the make, model, where and when it was manufactured. Looks like about a 2-1/2-inch chamber on it. Also, could you tell me what this shotgun might be worth?
— James Hornan

The shotgun you have was made in Belgium, indicated by the proof marks. The letters ELG inside an oval with a crown on the oval indicate the gun was proved at the proof house in Liege, Belgium. The style of markings suggests it was proved after 1898.

I don’t have any source to indicate who the maker was. A lot of inexpensive single and double shotguns were made in the early 1900s. Your shotgun appears to be better made than many of these inexpensive shotguns. The checkering on the butt stock, for example, appears quite nicely done.

I found a similar shotgun for sale on the Internet priced at $395 US. The forearm on the one shown is different from yours and I think you are right in saying it was a replacement. With this plus the broken hammer the value of yours would be substantially less.

The one shown on the internet is stated to have a 2” chamber and is stamped “G. Mariette” on the bottom side barrel flat. If you have internet access and want to look at it go to www.joesalter.com.

It’s an interesting old piece, certainly not junk, but not highly collectible either especially with a broken part. —Dave Anderson

Q: Whitworth from England
I must say I truly enjoy your magazine. Although I have been puzzled for years trying to get information on a rifle I obtain some years back and was hoping that you may be able to help. The rifle is a Whitworth from England. The markings are on the top of the barrel in front of the rear site Whitworth Rifle Company Manchester England, in front of the bolt area the markings are: “.30-06, 2.494 inches. BMP 18 Tons per square.” The rear site is a Williams.
Can you please give me as much information as possible, such as how old is the rifle and possibly a value as my son was wanting to use it as a spare rifle for moose hunting for those wet and dirty days. We are not sure if it would be a good idea if it was a valuable piece. Thank You.
—Lawrence Mask

Bolt-action sporting rifles in various popular calibers carrying the Whitworth name were made from the late 1960s to 1997. The information I have indicates they were assembled at Manchester, England until 1980, using Mark X Mauser-type actions imported from Yugoslavia. After 1980 the complete rifles were made in Yugoslavia. Some models still carried the Whitworth name but were marked as made in Yugoslavia rather than at Manchester.
I’ve also heard of Whitworth rifles made at Manchester using military surplus model 1917 “Enfield” actions, but have never seen one, even in pictures.

Your rifle appears to have been made at Manchester and the markings you mention are British proof marks. I don’t know what action your rifle has, but if it is the Mark X action it would be a Mauser type with a swept-back bolt handle. Also, 1917 actions had a dogleg bolt handle.

From about 1970 to 1997 Interarms imported these rifles into the US with various model names such as Viscount, Cavalier, and Whitworth Express. They are considered to be good quality hunting rifles comparable to popular US made bolt-action hunting rifles. The current Blue Book suggests values of $375 to $475 for 100 per cent condition Mark X Whitworth rifles made in Yugoslavia, and a “slight premium” for those made in England. There is no particular collector interest at this time and their value is as well made sporting rifles. —Dave Anderson

Q: Second World War Pistol
I own a pistol with the following information on it: “Bohmische Waffenfrabrik; 7.65 A.G in Prag #36216; Pistole Model 27; K215628.” I would appreciate any details you could provide on the history of this pistol.
—Terry Blooner

I believe your pistol is a Second World War-era version of the CZ (Ceska Zbrojovka) Model 27. This is an improved version of the model 24 and was introduced in 1927 and made in what was then called Czechoslovakia.
After Germany took control of Czechoslovakia they converted arms manufacture for the use of the German military and police. Up until July 1941 the pistols were marked Bohmische Waffenfabrik, which translates as Bohemian Weapons Manufacturing. After July 1941, for security reasons Germany stopped the practice of having the manufacturers’ names on weapons and instead assigned three-letter codes, the code for CZ production was FNH.
Calibre 7.65mm is interchangeable with the cartridge we call .32 ACP. Magazine capacity is eight cartridges. These pistols were used by the German armed forces and by police departments. Your pistol should have the German acceptance mark (the waffenamt, sometimes called the “stick bird” mark).

An estimated 455,000 were produced. This was a well-designed and well-made pistol, though quality of fit and finish declined toward the end of the war. Yours must have been an earlier pistol and likely has a polished finish; later models had a phosphate finish. A few were made with longer barrels (extending past the end of the slide), threaded for a suppressor and were reportedly issued to the Gestapo.

These pistols are in demand with collectors of Second World War firearms. Prices are relatively low, as a great many were made. They seem to have been issued largely to police, political figures and rear-echelon military officers as a many are found in very good condition. A couple of US military collectors suggested values in the $300 to $400 range. Those that can be established as Gestapo models, or those with Luftwaffe acceptance mark, carry a premium. —Dave Anderson

Q: Black Powder Rifle
I have inherited a black powder rifle, from my Uncle, he had it stored and forgot about it. It was bought as a gift to my uncle by his brother, in the early 1970s. I would like knowing what I have here, and its value. It’s in immaculate condition, was stored and wrapped in an original navy blanket, and to the best of his recollection it has been shot twice and then put away (he didn’t like recoil). Thanks in advance and keep up the excellent work in this magazine.
Gun Particulars:
ANTON, O ZOLI & Co made in Italy
58 calibre
Black powder only
Xx9 9126 PN [and has a star to the right]
The rifle is in 98 per cent original condition.
—Allan Laktin

Your rifle was made by the Antonio Zoli company located in Brescia, Italy. It appears to be a replica of the 1863 Remington Zouave rifle. The PN and star marking is a blackpowder proof mark used by the Brescia-Gardone proof house.

The year of manufacture is marked on Italian-made firearms using a letter code. Your letter says a code “Xx9” is stamped on the rifle. All those I’ve seen used Roman numerals. That is, the number nine would be “IX,” not “9.” The “XX” code was used from 1964 to 1973. XX was 1964, XXI 1965 and so forth. XXIX indicated 1973 production. In 1974 the mark was XXX, then they changed to a different two-letter code.

It is interesting that the name marked on your rifle appears to be “Anton o Zoli.” I have seen rifles like yours on which the letter “i” in Antonio is very faint though you can usually see it if you look closely in the right light. I don’t know why this is, there must have been some fault in the stamping tool!

The Antonio Zoli company was established in 1945 and continues to make high quality rifles (bolt-action and double-barrel) and over-under and side-by-side shotguns. At this time there does not appear to be any significant collector interest in their blackpowder reproduction guns and value is primarily as a well-made hunting and sporting arm.

I found a couple of rifles very similar to yours on US firearm auction websites. One in near-new condition had a minimum bid set at $250 and hadn’t as yet attracted any bids, another showing considerable use had an asking price of $200. —Dave Anderson

Q: Lincoln Six-Shot
I would like to get information on the following revolver:
• Lincoln Six-Shot
• Serial Number 2354
• Calibre 32 C
• Barrel Length 1-5/8”
• Foldaway Trigger
• Appears to be stainless steel.
Can you tell me know manufactured this gun? What is it worth?
—Joe Reimer

Many revolvers such as this one were made in Belgium circa 1900 and sold under various names. I’m sure it is not stainless steel. Quite often these revolvers had a nickel finish. If it is functional with no broken or badly worn parts there may be some modest collector interest, especially if the grips are ivory or mother of pearl. I have no records available to estimate value but it would not be high. —DA

 

Q: Remington Rolling Block
I have a rifle my friend purchased for $250. I would greatly appreciate it if you could address the following questions/observations:
• Could it be a Military V.J. Whitney?
• Top band is not marked “PAT NOV. 4 1874,” although bands have crown proof marks on the side.
• What is the current value?
• What is the calibre?
• Any other information would be greatly appreciated.
—Joseph J. Rebizant

The rifle your friend purchased appears to be a Danish-made Remington Rolling Block model 1867. Denmark adopted this rifle for military duty; Denmark purchased approximately 40,000 rifles manufactured by Remington. (Incidentally Remington charged $13.42 per rifle for the first 20,000, $18.50 each for the next 20,000.)

Denmark also made the rifles under license from Remington, producing approximately 31,500 rifles and 7,000 carbines. These were marked (on the top tang) Kjobenhavns Toihuus (Copenhagen Arsenal) and the year of manufacture, in this case 1878. Above the model number on the left side of the receiver is a crown over the royal cipher of King Christian IX.

In their testing the arsenal found their rifles would withstand higher pressures than the Remington-made rifles, which they attributed to the use of a higher quality steel.

The rifles were originally chambered for a black powder rimfire cartridge (11.7mm or about .45 calibre). These rifles remained the Denmark military first-line rifle until the adoption of M1889 Krag-Jorgensen.

The M1867 rifles were withdrawn from service in 1896, returned to the arsenal and converted to centrefire. The new cartridge was the 11.7x51R, which is similar (but not identical) to the US .45-70 cartridge.

The converted rifles had firing pinholes for both rimfire and center fire and in fact could have the firing pin changed to work with either type of ammunition. The converted rifles were issued to artillery units.

The converted rifles were also fitted with a longer rear sight. Your friend’s rifle appears to be a converted model as the hammer appears to have two firing pin holes and the barrel has the long rear sight. The disk in the butt stock indicates the military unit to which the rifle was issued.

I’m not sure how long they remained in service, probably to the early 1900s. They were then stored until after The Second World War when they were released as surplus, with many being sold in Canada and the US. I can’t find any information on comparable sales or valuations. It is certainly a quality arm for its era and worth taking care of to preserve its remaining finish. Ammunition would be hard to find and in any case I wouldn’t shoot it, due to its age and the possibility of damage to rifle and shooter. —Dave Anderson

Q: 12-Gauge Nikko
I own a 12-gauge Nikko over-and-under shotgun. It is chambered for three-inch shells and the model number is EVB712. It was made in Japan and the serial number is 10876. This firearm is in excellent shape and I was wondering what it might be worth. Any other information about this firearm would be appreciated.
—Ed Yarjou

Your Nikko shotgun was made by the Kodensha Co. Ltd., located at Tochigo City in the Nikko district (roughly equivalent to a county or municipality) of Japan. The factory was in business from 1955 to 1989 but no longer exists.

In North America, Kodensha is likely best known as the manufacturer of shotguns for Winchester: the models 101, 23 and 96. Starting in 1962 Olin/Winchester provided a lot of manufacturing expertise and investment capital to establish a very modern, up-to-date manufacturing facility. The association with Olin/Winchester lasted until 1987.

Originally the deal was for Kodensha to manufacture export firearms exclusively for Winchester, and only for the Japanese market under any other trade names. By the mid-1960s the Kodensha facility was running smoothly and no longer needed Winchester expertise very badly, while Winchester needed shotguns from Kodensha. At any rate Kodensha began exporting firearms under the Nikko trade name and other brand names (e.g. Golden Eagle, Shadow, Miida).

Nikko shotguns were assembled in a building near but separate from the manufacturing facility, using parts identical in quality to those of the Olin/Winchester shotguns. One source says Kodensha took first pick of walnut stock blanks as they arrived from France, while Olin got those left over. Without seeing your shotgun I’d guess it has quite nice wood, at least the Nikkos I’ve seen pictured in articles, and for sale at gun shows and dealers, always seem to have exceptionally good wood.

I don’t have current information on Nikko values but would consider them comparable in value to Winchester 101 shotguns having similar features. I don’t know of any particular collector interest but they are certainly well made, durable, reliable, and high quality sporting shotguns.

The current Blue Book suggests a value of around $850 to $900 US with 98 per cent original finish. I’ve seen them priced higher at US guns shows, but maybe some “bargaining room” was built into the price! Later Winchesters were equipped with interchangeable Winchoke tubes. Your shotgun likely doesn’t have interchangeable tubes that would reduce value a bit, though a really nice piece of wood in the stock might increase value. This information was obtained from the Fjestad Blue Book, from information supplied by the Golden Eagle Collectors Association. —Dave Anderson

Q: Husqvarna Browning
I have a 9mm Browning made by Husqvarna at Vapenfabriks Aktiebolag. It is hammerless and the back of the frame is stamped with a crown and “GB.” Serial number is 54274.
I would be interested to know what branch of the service it was issued to and what year it was manufactured.
—Ray Thibodeau

I believe what you have is a Browning Swedish Model 1907. It is virtually identical to the 1903 pistol designed by John Browning and made by FN in Belgium. This model was adopted as the M1907 by the Swedish military. The first 10,000 pistols were made by FN and shipped to Sweden. When The First World War interrupted supply the pistols were manufactured in Sweden (under license from FN) by Husqvarna Vapenfabriks Aktiebolag (Husqvarna Weapons Factory, Incorporated).

Manufacture ended in 1942 when the Swedish military adopted the M40 pistol. Sorry I can’t pin down the exact year your pistol was made, but it was between 1917 and 1942. Early models had a high polished blue finish while later models had a dull blue matte finish. The model 1907 remained in service as a substitute standard for several years after 1942. In the mid-1950s many were sold as military surplus.

The crown stamp indicates the pistol was inspected and accepted by the Swedish military. The initials under the crown are those of the individual inspector, in this case Gustav Bjorkenstam.

The 9mm Browning Long cartridge uses a semi-rimmed straight case a bit longer than the .380 ACP. Original ballistics were a 110-grain jacketed bullet at 1,000 feet per second from a five-inch barrel. Many of those imported to North America were converted to fire the less powerful but readily available .380 ACP cartridge. Often these conversions didn’t work very well as standard .380 loads were underpowered for the 1907’s blowback action, at least when the original recoil spring was used.

The 1907 was issued to all units of the Swedish military. These were very well made pistols, accurate and reliable. Since Sweden was neutral in the World Wars, they weren’t used under combat conditions, and those issued were well maintained by Swedish arsenals. Generally they are found in very good condition. Basic dimensions: Length overall eight inches (20 centimetres); barrel, five inches (13 centimetres) with six-groove, right-hand twist rifling; weight is 32 ounces (900 grams); magazine capacity seven rounds; manual safety; grip safety; and slide stop locks on empty magazine. —Dave Anderson

Q: Winchester Pump
I own a Winchester 22 pump, Model 62A, with hammer. It is a takedown model, tube magazine. Serial number is 147050.
I would like to know what year this was made and value. Thank you.
—Terry Thompson

Your Winchester 62A was made in 1942, most likely fairly early in the year. As the US shifted to a war economy following Pearl Harbor, production of sporting rifles slowed to a trickle as Winchester and other firearms manufacturers ramped up production of military arms.

The Model 62 was introduced in 1932. The 62A with minor modifications appeared in 1940. Production ended in 1958. Approximately 409,000 model 62/62A rifles were made.

Value varies widely with condition. An example in safe functional condition (no rust or broken/missing parts) but with 50 per cent remaining original finish is valued at $200 US according to the current Fjestad Blue Book. An example in new unused condition is valued at $1,500 in the same book.

Online, I saw a model 62A claimed to be in 96 per cent condition offered for sale at an asking price of $995. —Dave Anderson

Q: Pump or Pump-Action?
I have a 22 that needed some repairs, I stopped at a gun shop in Calgary and the clerk, a seasoned gentleman, asked the make of the gun. I told him it was a Mossberg and Sons Pump. The clerk’s reply was Mossberg and Sons never made a pump-action, only Mossberg made the pump. I then went home and brought the gun to him, his reply was that the gun was a Mossberg not a Mossberg and Son. Upon inspection of the gun he offered to trade any gun in the store for my rifle. I wonder if I should have taken his offer — or do I have a one of a kind rifle?
Make: Of Mossberg and Sons; New Haven; Conn; USA PAT-D.
Serial #28808; hexagon barrel.
Please advise me on this rifle. Thank you.
—Roger Dendy

Oscar Mossberg established the firm of O.F. Mossberg and Sons in 1919 at New Haven, CT, the first product being a .22-calibre four-barreled derringer-type handgun called the Brownie. The firm made three slide-action hammerless .22 rifles, the model K (1922-1931) with 22-inch round barrel, model M (1928-1931 with 24-inch octagon barrel, and the model S (1927-1931) with 19-3/4-inch octagon barrel.

All would accept .22 Short, Long, and Long Rifle cartridges. The model S is rare compared to the other two, though I don’t have total production numbers. The Fjestad Blue Book suggests values in 100 per cent condition of around $300 US for the model M, $350 for the model S. Values are about half that for 80 per cent condition.

The Mossberg and Sons marking is correct. I don’t know what the clerk meant by “Mossberg and Sons never made a pump action, only Mossberg made the pump,” maybe you could ask him to explain. —Dave Anderson

Q: Rare Gem
I own a Browning FN 9mm Mark 1* serial number 8T9151, which also has “Inglis” and “Canada” on the slide. The pistol has the same serial number on the frame, slide and barrel. The barrel has an additional marking — it looks like a “tied ribbon” above the serial number. I received this pistol from my father who was issued it in the 1950s when he was an officer with the Canadian Army and was going to be posted to Korea.
I believe that the pistol has had less than a box of ammo shot through it. It has been stored in a clean, dry environment and is in excellent condition. The seal on the butt is a bit worn from handling but has three languages including English, surrounding the maple leaf. I would be interested in knowing the potential value of this piece to a collector.
Thanks for your help.
— Jeff Fell

You have a real gem there. It would be of interest to military collectors and as a relic of Canadian military history. Of course to you and your family it also has personal value as a family memento.

The John Inglis Company of Toronto made the Inglis FN pistols, from February 1944 to September 1945. The “T” series had fixed sights. They were made and numbered in lots of 10,000 and identified with a number from 0 to 10, followed by the letter T, then the individual number.

These pistols were patterned after the famous FN/Browning High Power pistol designed by John Browning and Dieudonn Saive at the Fabriique Nationale factory in Belgium. During The Second World War, Belgium was occupied by Germany so FN production went to the German armed forces. Some FN people (including Saive) got out of Belgium before it was occupied and helped with the Allied war effort.

The Inglis pistols are well made of good materials. Your pistol appears to be in exceptionally good condition. The decal on the front strap is still in very good condition and adds significantly to value. I’m no expert on holster values but the holster also appears to be original military issue and would also add significant value.

The current Fjestad Blue Book suggests values of $750 US in 98 per cent condition to $1,000 in 100 per cent condition. Add 10 to 20 per cent for the original decal. I think these values are low. Military collectibles are in great demand in recent years, and excellent condition such as your pistol is not common. Although the excellent condition indicates it is unlikely it saw use in The Second World War, it dates to The Second World War era. I’d be surprised if the gun with decal and original holster didn’t bring the equivalent of $1,500 to $2,000 US at a well-publicized auction.

I commend you for taking such good care of this interesting Canadian artifact and maintaining its excellent condition. Should you decide to sell it I hope it can find a home with a Canadian collector or military museum that will continue your high standard of care. —Dave Anderson

Q: Engraved Marlin
I picked up a Marlin Model R.C. .30-30 made in 1951.
It is hand engraved, with a waterfowl scene on the receiver along with a pointing dog, and I’d like to find out more about who engraved it. Can you help?
—Brian Varner

I’m sorry I cannot tell you who did the engraving on your Marlin rifle. One thing struck me immediately; the engraving would seem to be more appropriate for a shotgun than a rifle. I’m referring to the waterfowl on the receiver, and the pointing dog and bird (woodcock?).

The Marlin rifle itself is getting to be quite collectible, especially as it is an early 336. The current Blue Book suggests a value of up to $500 US for Marlin 336s in 100 per cent condition plus an additional 20 per cent for 1948 to 1952 production.

I recently saw a 1948 model for sale in the US in what I would call about 90 to 95 per cent condition, the asking price was $650.

Perhaps a reader can identify who did the engraving on your rifle. —David Anderson

Q: O/U Mystery
I have come across a 20-gauge over-under shotgun in very nice condition, and I would appreciate some information on it, and its approximate value.
On it is inscribed: F.R.W HEYM Munnerstadt, Bayern; and the serial number is 256.
— Bob Ostergard

This highly respected firm was established by F.W. Heym in 1865. Their products have consistently been of high quality. Location of manufacture has changed several times. The firm was located at Muennerstadt, Germany from 1952 to 1995. Currently Heym makes shotgun/rifle combinations, drillings, over/under and side-by-side rifles and shotguns, and bolt-action rifles.

The 25th edition Fjestad Blue Book shows two Heym over-unders listed, a model 200 with suggested value in 100 per cent condition of $895 and a model 55 with suggested value in 100 per cent condition of $5,100. From your information, I can’t tell which you have. —Dave Anderson

Q: Proud Father
An overpowering firearm adoption instinct and commitment to continue my missionary work forced me to enter the gun shop. Once inside, I spotted a lonely Smith and Wesson revolver resting in a sterile glass-topped display case. Inquiry confirmed my worst fears, she was an estate gun. Her lover had passed on to that great shooting range in the sky and the heirs in an act of cruelty beyond description had put her up for adoption. Upon application, the Canadian Firearms Centre approved the adoption and recognized me as her new custodian. A search into her ancestry has left me a bit confused and I would appreciate your assistance in determining her age and parentage.
• Six-shot .38 Special revolver
• Six-inch barrel with full rib
• Micrometer rear sight
• Checkered wooden grip panels
• Left Frame: Made in U.S.A; Marcus Registradas; Smith & Wesson; Springfield, Mass.
• Inside Cylinder Yoke: 22K1487; MOD 14-4.
• Bottom of pistol grip: 22K1487.
Is she a 22K or a MOD 14-4 or possibly a product of mixed parentage?
—Fred Tait

Your revolver is a Smith and Wesson Model 14-4. This was Smith and Wesson’s top-of-the-line target revolver in .38 Special and was made from 1947 to 1981. The number 22K1487 is the serial number. Incidentally the 22K prefix indicates it was manufactured in 1978.

Smith and Wesson made three models in this series. The others were the Model 16 in .32 Smith and Wesson long and the Model 17 in .22LR. They are often referred to as the K38, K32, and K22 Masterpiece revolvers. All weighed 38-1/2 ounces. The idea was to offer target shooters identical weight and balance in both rimfire and centrefire target revolvers.

The K38 and K22 were made in substantial numbers and are not particularly rare. The model 16 didn’t sell very well, only 3,630 were made. As a result a K38 or K22 in 100 per cent condition currently is valued in the Blue Book at around $400 US, while the K32 is valued at $1,600 in the same condition.

I’ve owned a couple of K22s and once borrowed a K38 for a PPC match. These are superb revolvers, very well made and very accurate. Congratulations on the adoption! —Dave Anderson

Q: Italian Shotgun
If possible I would like some information on this shotgun:
It is a 12-gauge over/under with 30-inch tubed barrels. On it, there are the names: “Arni Silma Gardone V.T. Italy.” Also the name “Supreme,” which is probably the model. This appears along with the numbers 39673. The gun is in excellent condition — can you give me some information on the maker ad possible value?
—Jim Battams

Gardone is a city in the Italian province of Val Trompe (V.T.) and is a centre of fine gun making. Quoting from the current Blue Book: “All Silma shotguns…are of high quality and utilize premium materials in their manufacture.”

Currently the company is known as Silma Sporting Arms with headquarters in Brescia, Italy. The factory address is: Silma s.r.l., Via I Maggio, 74, I-25060 Zanano di Sarezzo, (BS), Italy. (www.silma.net)

I can’t find a listing for the Supreme model, however the current model 70 standard o/u sporting model is valued at $625 US with 98 per cent original finish, $775 in 100 per cent condition. —Dave Anderson

Q: German Mauser:
I have an older model of Mauser HSc 7.65mm that was used by the German Military. I acquired the gun from an elderly widow in the early 1950s in Chicago. Her husband had brought it back from Germany at the end of World War One. On one side, Mauser-7.65 is stamped and on the other side the number: 290386 Waffenfabrik Mauser A-G Oberndorf A.N Mauser patent. There is also a marking just behind the rear sight and repeated on the front bracket of the cannon. It looks like a large “U” with two small horizontal “eights” on top. The number 290386 is also stamped on the cannon’s front bracket. The inside of the case, on the left of the BAXI, is stamped “1918.”
Can the gun be positively identified?
— Marcel Jolin

I believe your pistol is a Mauser model 1914. It is the 7.65 mm (the cartridge often called a .32 ACP in North America) version of the original model 1910 that was in caliber 6.35 mm (same as .25 ACP). Mauser designed this pistol before The First World War, intending to market it as a police duty and private citizen personal defence arm. With the outbreak of the war it was adopted by the military. Those used by the military had an acceptance mark stamped near the rear sight, either the Prussian eagle or a “Crown D,” occasionally both. Most likely the marking you mention near the rear sight is a military acceptance stamp, it sounds like it could be the “Crown D” stamp.

These were beautifully made pistols with excellent workmanship; even under the pressure of wartime needs it seems the quality remained high. In the book Military Small Arms of the 20th Century authors Ian V. Hogg and John Weeks comment: “a typical example of Mauser craftsmanship is the butt grip, a one-piece wrap around unit usually carved from wood (some were of hard rubber) and fitted with the utmost precision.” This pistol was made from 1914 to 1934 and was succeeded by the model 1934 which had a somewhat reshaped grip frame. Even after the development of the double-action Mauser HSc, both the model 1914 and the model 1934 saw service as substitute standards in The Second World War and can be found with German Kreigsmarine (Navy) and Luftwaffe (Air Force) markings. Certainly it is a quality pistol and an interesting historical artifact. —Dave Anderson

Q: Lost Bolt
I am enquiring about a 1950 model Husqvarnava Penfabriks AB featherweight, serial number: 238358A. I need a new bolt action as I have lost mine.
Do you know where I may get one?
—Frank Pongracz

Ouch. I hate to learn of rifle bolts being lost, as they can be difficult or impossible to replace. Many shooters think, as I once did, that the bolt is just another interchangeable component that can be readily replaced, like a trigger guard or rear sight assembly. In fact replacement bolts are hard to come by. When the factory assembles a rifle, usually bolts are individually fitted to receivers so that headspace is set correctly.

If headspace is insufficient, the bolt won’t close on a cartridge. If it is excessive, the cartridge case can stretch so far it fails, letting high-pressure gas loose to damage the rifle, possibly to injure or even kill the shooter or bystanders. Once matched to the receiver, bolts usually have the serial number of the receiver engraved somewhere on the bolt body.

Most factories currently won’t sell bolts to anyone, not even gunsmiths. If a new bolt is needed they insist the rifle be sent back to the factory for fitting. An RCMP armourer once told me they had replacement bolts for their rifles at the armoury but it had taken a lot of persuasion to get the factory to provide bolts even to this federal  police agency.

If your rifle was still in production, in the US for example, it would still be expensive to ship the rifle to the factory and have the bolt replaced, not to mention the legal issues involved in complying with all the regulations of two countries. In this case the problem is complicated by the fact Husqvarna has not made rifles in many years and the current company likely couldn’t do the work. I am providing the addresses of two companies with large stocks of spare parts (below). There is a chance some gunsmith or importer laid in a supply of bolts back in the 1950s and eventually sold them to one of these companies. Frankly I think the chances are slim, but it’s worth a try. Just don’t blame them if they don’t have it.

Your Husqvarna rifles were made on a Mauser-designed action. There are a lot of Mauser bolts kicking around, often from military rifles, and varying in quality depending on where and when they were made. There is a chance a good gunsmith can locate a sound Mauser bolt and fit it to your action. It would mean getting the right length and bolt face size, setting headspace, getting the trigger, safety, extractor and ejector to function properly. It might also require cutting off the bolt handle and welding on a handle to clear a scope sight. Again, this is something of a long shot and if it could be done, it won’t be cheap. I know many gun owners remove the bolt from their rifles for storage or transport. I’ve done so myself — but I make darn sure not to lose the bolt. Your Husqvarna is a fine quality rifle, certainly one of the better Mauser-action sporting rifles. I’d certainly consider it worth spending some time and money on to get back in action but I doubt it will be easy or cheap. Contact:

Western Gun Parts, 18124-107th Avenue, Edmonton, AB T5S 1K5; 780.489.5711; www.westerngunparts.com. Or:

Gun Parts Corp., 226 Williams Lane, W. Hurley, NY 12491; 845.679.2417; www.gunpartscorp.com. —Dave Anderson

Q: William Evans From Purdy’s
I have a shotgun that you may find interesting! This is the information I took off the gun: William Evans from Purdy’s; 65 Pall Mall St. James London.
Serial number: 65506 5805; 12-guage; hammer gun with side plates; 32-inch barrels; three-inch chambers; choked full and full; proofed 3-1/2-ton; load 1-1/2-ounce; round pistol grip, I believe the gun was made around 1930.
Any information you can give me would be appreciated.
—J. Battams

William Evans is a very highly respected name in fine English rifles and shotguns. The company is still in business. A current best quality side-by-side double from William Evans is priced at 35,000 British pounds.

The shotgun you have was evidently intended as a long-range waterfowl gun, judging from the barrel length, barrel chokes and the three-inch chambers. I have no doubt it is a very well made gun. Hammer guns are generally valued less than hammerless models. I bet this fine old gun has been on many a duck and goose hunt.

You might want to get in touch with the company to see what their records indicate. The current address is William Evans Limited, 67 St. James Street, London SW1A 1P, England. Fax: 011-44-171-499-1912. Their website is: www.williamevans.com, or e-mail at sales@williamevans.com.

I had a letter recently from my African hunting companion, Cameron Hopkins. Cameron bought a William Evans 500 Nitro double rifle, a well used but safe “shooter,” and took buffalo and hippo with it in Africa. On a business trip in Missouri he discovered “in the tine hamlet of Ozark, MO, lives a white-bearded gunsmith… his name is Nick Tooth, and he explained in a crisp British accent that he was a Purdy-trained gunsmith who specializes in the repair and restoration of classic English rifles and shotguns. Nick is one of six gunsmiths holding Royal Warrants to allow him to work on guns belonging to the royal family…”

Cameron had Mr. Tooth completely restore the William Evans double to new condition, including re-doing the engraving and stock checkering. He did a fabulous job, for a fee of around $5,000, which is not unreasonable for this quality of work. Cameron says the rifle looks absolutely new, just as it left Evans in 1919.

Sorry I’m not up on the current regulations for shipping guns across the border for repair, however I pass the name on for anyone with a fine English rifle or shotgun in need of restoration. —Dave Anderson

Q: Muzzleloader Buyer’s Guide
I am interested in purchasing a new inline muzzleloader and was wondering if Dave Anderson could give any insight in to what to look for when contemplating a purchase.
—Bob McLellan

If I was shopping for an inline muzzleloader, I’d look for one using 209 shotgun primers for ignition (more reliable than caps, especially in wet weather) and stainless steel construction. Current inline muzzleloaders are as accurate and flat-shooting as many centrefire cartridges. No recommendations as to make/model — but I know those from Ruger, Thompson-Center, and Knight are offer excellent quality and I’m sure several other models are as well.

I saw somewhere recently that Boone & Crockett will not accept trophies taken with muzzleloaders if the rifle is fitted with a scope, or if sabots or blackpowder substitute pellets are used. Check this out if it is important to you. —DA

Q: M-14 Military Rifle
Could you give me some info on these two rifles and one scope? The first is an M14, serial number is 009174. Can you tell me how old this gun is and how much it is worth? The scope was on the gun when I bought it, but it doesn’t have a manufacturer’s name. Can you tell me who makes it, I want to get in touch with the manufacturer to see if it is still covered by warranty, the illuminated reticle doesn’t illuminate any more, the “knob” used for turning it on is very loose?
The other rifle is a Marlin lever-action .30-30 that I bought used, can you tell me the age and value of this gun. I took it to the range last summer with the new Marlin lever evolution bullets and was very happy with its accuracy. Three-shot group was about one-inch in size at 100 yards. Thank you very much for any information you can give me.
—Wes Plett

 

The first rifle is a copy of the US military M-14 rifle, made in China by Norinco. It differs from the original M-14 in that there is no provision for full-automatic fire. I have never fired one of these rifles so cannot comment on their quality. There is no collector demand and according to the most recent information I have they cannot be exported to the US. I have no information on current value, however in 2004 they were being advertised for sale new at around $400 US. I don’t know who to refer you to for repairs on the Chinese-made scope.

The Marlin rifle appears to be the model 336RC, the letters stand for “regular carbine.” The model was in production from 1948 to 1968. Yours was manufactured in 1952. Marlin firearms are well made; all the 336s I’ve shot or handled from this era were nicely fitted and finished with smooth-operating and reliable actions. With side ejection they were easier to scope than the top-ejecting Winchester 94s from the same era.

Mostly these are valued as sporting rifles rather than as collectibles, but there is starting to be some collector interest especially in those made from 1948 to 1952. The current Fjestad Blue Book suggests prices with 90 per cent original finish of $175 US, with 95 per cent finish at $200 (plus 10 per cent for 1948-52 manufacture). I think this is a bit out of date as I see them at US gun shows and gun-trader publications in 95 per cent condition with asking prices of around $400 US.

The three-shot group you shot indicates an accurate rifle and excellent ammunition, not to mention some darn good shooting — especially if it was with iron sights! —Dave Anderson

 

Q: Winchester Model 12
I own a Winchester Model 12, 28-gauge shotgun, serial #749420 (full choke).
This gun is functioning and in remarkably good original condition. What is the value of this gun as a collector’s item or otherwise?
—Howard Malm

Your shotgun is certainly collectible, as 28-gauge is the rarest gauge in the model 12 line. This gauge was only offered from 1934 to 1960. According to the records I have your shotgun was made in 1937. The lowest serial number known for 28-gauge shotguns is 720XXX so yours is among the earlier 28s made.

To show what a difference gauge makes, the current Fjestad Blue Book suggests a value for a 100 per cent condition standard model in 12-gauge at U.S. $700. For a 28-gauge in 100% per cent condition, suggested value is $5,500. Even with only 60 per cent remaining original finish value is suggested at $2,500.

Your shotgun really should be examined by a knowledgeable Winchester collector as there are several features, which can affect value significantly (condition being paramount, of course). For example, a Cutts compensator, even if factory installed, can reduce value by as much as 50 per cent. Barrel length, choke, chamber length, barrel rib type (if present) are other factors.

Because of their rarity there have been some fake 28-gauge shotguns made, by installing non-original barrels on 16- or 20-gauge frames. Unfortunately most Winchester factory records from 1907 to 1961 were destroyed in a 1961 fire so the factory cannot help in establishing authenticity. On model 12s the original gauge was marked on the stock screw boss, the marking can be seen when the butt stock is removed.

It really is too potentially valuable to risk damage by hunting with it. I did once hunt quail on a resort near Jacksonville, Florida with a fellow who was using one. Cute little gun and he could really shoot it.  —Dave Anderson

 

Q: Sauer 12
Can you please tell me about a Sauer 12 x ¾ shotgun, it looks like new, is a side-by-side, serial number 280052.
On the gun, it reads: “12-70.” It is made in Germany, and appears to be well-made. If you can tell me anything about this firearm- age, value, is it still made?
Thanks a lot.
— J.A. Bradley

Sauer firearms are invariably well made and of high quality The firm of J.P. Sauer & Sohn has been making fine sporting arms since 1751 and is still very much in business, making hunting rifles and shotguns.

The “12-70” marking indicates 12-gauge for 70mm (2-3/4”) shot shells. The lowest-priced model is the model 60 with box lock action, double triggers and extractors. Current Blue Book valuation in 100 per cent condition is in the $1,000 range.

Move to the Royal Grade with single selective trigger, ejectors, and some frame engraving and values are in the $1,650-plus range. Artemis grade on a sidelock action start at around $6,000 and if you go to the high grade guns with fancy wood and hand engraving, values can go between $20,000 to 25,000.

The factory address is: J.P. Sauer & Sohn GmbH, Sauerstrasse 2-6, D-24340 Eckernforde, Germany and their website is www.sauer-waffen.de. —Dave Anderson

 

Q: Pistol Question
I have Harrington and Richardson five-shot .32 calibre revolver my grandfather owned in Saskatchewan early in the 1900s. I was told he had it for protection.
On the barrel it’s marked: “Harrington & Richardson Arms Company, Worcester Mass USA, Pat Oct 4 ‘87 Apr 2′ 95 Apr 7 ’96.” It has a small grip. Any information you can give me would be appreciated.
—Ivan Swedberg

Harrington & Richardson made several models of revolvers in .32 S&W and .32 S&W Long in the time era you mention. There was the model four and five, the American, the automatic ejecting and the hammerless. Most were available in blue or nickel finish, hard rubber grips, and with various barrel lengths from 2-1/2 to six inches.

Basis the information provided I can’t tell what model you have, a the patent dates could have appeared on later production models. The automatic ejecting model was one of the earliest models, introduced in 1896 and was a five-shot, hinged frame model in .32 S&W. —Dave Anderson

 

Q: A.H. Fox Shotgun
I’d like to receive some information on the following firearm:
It is a double-barrel, 12-guage, two-trigger, full-ejector shotgun. Made by A.H. Fox Co.; Phila, PA, USA. Stamped on the barrel is: “Sterlingworth Fluid Compressed Steel.” Serial number: 118443. Also, on the bottom of the takedown plate reads: “Serial No. 118443, Patd. Aug 10—1904—May 11—1909—May 2—1911.”
Can you advise as to the year, model and possible value? I also own a .22 calibre single-shot rifle, with a 17-inch barrel. The only markings on this firearm are: “Sport .22 Long Rifle.” I have been unable to locate it in the gun books.
—Hank Gosselin

A.H. Fox shotguns were made in Philadelphia from 1905 to 1930. In 1930 the company was purchased by Savage and production moved to Utica, New York. Production ended in 1942. A low-priced utility model called the Fox Model B was introduced by Savage in 1940, and made in various configurations until 1988.

Your shotgun was made in 1927. Yours is unusual in having ejectors, as extractors were much more common. A.H. Fox shotguns are considered American classics, along with such makes as Parker and L.C. Smith, and there is considerable collector interest.

You can get a letter authenticating the original factory configuration of A.H. Fox shotguns by writing to Mr. John Callahan, 53 Old Quarry Road, Westfield, MA 01085. Currently the fee for researching a Sterlingworth model is $25.

The current Fjestad Blue Book suggests values from $750 with 70 per cent remaining original finish to $1,475 with 98 per cent original finish, plus an additional 33 per cent for the automatic ejectors. Actually from the prices asked for those models I see occasionally at US gun shows I’d say these values are on the low side if anything.

I’m sorry to say I have no information on your .22 rifle. For many years there was no legal requirement for firearms to carry a serial number, and many modestly priced .22s and shotguns were not numbered. —Dave Anderson

 

Q: Ithaca SKB Shotgun
Last year, I came into possession of a side-by-side Ithaca, which I have yet to use. The elderly gentleman sold it to me because he was fed up with the restrictions and laws regarding long guns.
The gun came from his collection. It is as follows: Ithaca Gun Co. Inc.; Ithaca, NY; Made in Japan, Roto Forged; Custom Crafted for Ithaca by SKB; Model #100; 30-inch barrels, chambered for 2-3/4 inch shells; Serial #S5128111; 1204 Under Mod. Barrel; S512811 Under Fill Barrel; Selective Single Trigger; Manual Extractors. The firearm has never been fired.
Could you provide the approximate current value? Also, would you advise not to use it for future value’s sake? (I have two Browning Autos to use.) Thanks for your great column, and thanks for a wonderful magazine that I have enjoyed for many years.
—Ed Grimm

SKB Arms Company is located in Tokyo and is still in operation. During the 1970s several models were imported by Ithaca. SKB shotguns have an excellent reputation as quality sporting arms, very well made, durable and reliable.

The model 100 side by side was imported until about 1980. It is a good quality boxlock double with single selective trigger and extractors. The more expensive model 200 added automatic ejectors.

The current Blue Book shows a value of about $700 US in new condition plus 10 per cent if you have the original box and papers. I have seen these at U.S. gun shows priced more around the $900 to $1,000 mark, though maybe the sellers were leaving some “bargaining room” in the price.

Whether to use it or not is an interesting question. Currently its best use is likely as a quality sporting arm, and most buyers are going to want it to use in the field rather than store away as an investment. Certainly its value as a collectible may increase someday in the future, but most likely long after you and me (me, at least) no longer have to worry about such things.

Of course if it is used extensively in the field, it may get blue-worn and scratched up, which would reduce its value, but on the other hand, it would have provided a lot of enjoyment along the way. If it were my gun and I liked it, I’d go on and enjoy using it, though I’d take care to keep it in top condition (but then I do that with any firearm).

If you don’t have much interest in hunting with it, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it unfired. It won’t likely go down and may slowly increase in value. I doubt it will ever increase at the rate of guns more in demand by collectors (Colt, Winchester, Parker, Fox, Savage, L.C. Smith, etc.). —Dave Anderson

 

Q: H. Spencer
My name is Maxwell Wayne, and I’m a member of the NFA. Can you give me information on my shotgun?
It’s an H. Spencer and Co. Serial number 2745 and it’s double barrelled.
—Maxwell Wayne

I believe H. Spencer was a trade name used by a Chicago firm that imported guns under various names. It was most likely manufactured in Belgium by the Henri Pieper company. If you look under the barrels (under the chambers) you should see Belgian proof marks.

One proof mark generally found is from the Liege proof house. It is an oval with a crown on top. Inside the oval is the letter E and beneath it the letters “LG.” These stand for epreuve Liege.

A great many of these Belgian-made doubles were imported to Canada and the United States circa 1900 and I would put date of manufacture in that era. There is no collector interest in these old shotguns and I would advise against shooting them. Their value is as family keepsakes and as relics of an era long ago. —Dave Anderson

 

Q: Second World War Pistol
I own a pistol with the following information on it: “Bohmische Waffenfrabrik; 7.65 A.G in Prag #36216; Pistole Model 27; K215628.”
I would appreciate any details you could provide on the history of this pistol.
—Terry Blooner

I believe your pistol is a Second World War-era version of the CZ (Ceska Zbrojovka) Model 27. This is an improved version of the model 24 and was introduced in 1927 and made in what was then called Czechoslovakia.

After Germany took control of Czechoslovakia they converted arms manufacture for the use of the German military and police. Up until July 1941 the pistols were marked Bohmische Waffenfabrik, which translates as Bohemian Weapons Manufacturing. After July 1941, for security reasons Germany stopped the practice of having the manufacturers’ names on weapons and instead assigned three-letter codes, the code for CZ production was FNH.

Calibre 7.65mm is interchangeable with the cartridge we call .32 ACP. Magazine capacity is eight cartridges. These pistols were used by the German armed forces and by police departments. Your pistol should have the German acceptance mark (the waffenamt, sometimes called the “stick bird” mark).

An estimated 455,000 were produced. This was a well-designed and well-made pistol, though quality of fit and finish declined toward the end of the war. Yours must have been an earlier pistol and likely has a polished finish; later models had a phosphate finish. A few were made with longer barrels (extending past the end of the slide), threaded for a suppressor and were reportedly issued to the Gestapo.

These pistols are in demand with collectors of Second World War firearms. Prices are relatively low, as a great many were made. They seem to have been issued largely to police, political figures and rear-echelon military officers as a many are found in very good condition. A couple of US military collectors suggested values in the $300 to $400 range. Those that can be established as Gestapo models, or those with Luftwaffe acceptance mark, carry a premium. —Dave Anderson

 

Q: .32 Remington
I have a .32 Remington pump action centrefire – I’m trying to locate ammo.
I used to use a 170-grain bullet, “mushroom type” and “regular type.” My former brand was “Dominion.”
—Bert Suknasky

There are a couple of US websites showing this ammunition available but I don’t know if they have export permits to ship to Canada. Perhaps if any readers are aware of this ammunition being available in Canada they could advise and we can post the information on the Western Sportsman Facebook Page. —Dave Anderson

 

Q: Midland Gun Co.
I was wondering if you could give me any information on my shotgun. It is from the Midland Gun Co., Birmingham & London, and is a 12 gauge.
—Bob Gurr

Midland Gun Co. was founded in 1887 and remained in business until the late 1950s or early 1960s when it was bought out by Parker Hale. Currently the “Midland” name is being used on some new shotguns made in Turkey.

Midland Gun Co. was headquartered in Birmingham and later had an office in London. They were quite a large company, at one time in addition to making shotguns they also marketed firearms (such as Winchesters) imported from the US. Though not considered a “prestige” brand on the order of Purdey, Holland & Holland, or Westley Richards, Midland shotguns were considered to be sound, well made, reliable sporting guns at a reasonable price. Examples are known with fairly extensive engraving.

The proof marks you provided are from the Birmingham proof house. Serial number/date of production records are hard to find for Midland guns, one source suggests they were lost in a fire. Based on what information I can find, and the style of the proof marks, I’d estimate a production date in the 1920s. Many of their doubles used an action with a Greener-style crossbolt lock, as yours does.

I can’t find much information on value. Midland shotguns are seen for sale occasionally on the websites of British firearms dealers, the prices I see are usually in the range of 250 to 500 British Pounds. —DA

 

Q: Iver Johnson
Please advise if the following firearm has any antique value:
•20 Gauge double-barrel, rib site in good condition
• Make is Iver Johnson
• Arms & Cycle Works Canada Ltd.
• Montreal, QC
• Made in Coburg.
• Hercules Grade
— Gary Kelley

This is an interesting old piece, and does have collector value. The Hercules grade was made from approximately 1924 to 1935. They were made on a boxlock action, usually with 30-inch barrels. Most were double trigger models with extractors though ejectors and a single trigger were options. Most were made in the US while some (such as yours) were made under license in Canada. All are considered to be well made, quality firearms with excellent fit and finish.

The current Blue Book values run from $450 with 60 per cent remaining original finish, to $1,100 in 100 per cent condition. For ejectors add 15 per cent and for single trigger add 25 per cent. There is no premium for 20 gauge though values double for those in 28 gauge. —DA

 

Q: Marlin .30-30
I have a Marlin 30-30 Model 336, serial # Kx6953.
Firstly, what can you tell me about this rifle? Also, is there a market for it?
Do you have any advice for selling such a gun?
—Tom Pilgrim

The Marlin 336 remains a very popular rifle. It was introduced in 1948 and has been made in a wide range of model variations and calibres. The K prefix indicates yours was made in 1953. There were several variations in 1953 including the 336A with 2/3 length magazine, 336ADL with checkered stock, 336RC with straight stock and full-length magazine, and 336SC with pistol grip stock and 2/3 magazine.

There is increasing collector interest in the 336, especially those made from 1948 to 1952 and to a lesser extent those from 1953 to 1962. They also have value as practical hunting rifles.

I’m not the one to ask for advice on selling guns, except to say I’ve seldom sold a gun and not regretted it later. —DA

 

Q: Open-Hammer 12-Gauge
I own an old double-barrel, open-hammer 12-gauge shotgun that I would appreciate finding some information on. Engraved on the side is “Fred Williams – London & Birmingham,” and under the foregrip are several symbols, as well as the serial number 117950 (I think), nitro proof 11/8, and number 13. The symbols are all topped with a crown and appear to read “BP” “BV” “NP” JP.” Both barrels are choke and the outside appears to have a spiral look.
I would like to know about this old family gun and as well a possible value.
—Clarence Buckley

Fred Williams was a gunmaker from 1873 to 1886. The marks you indicate are Birmingham proof marks. The barrels are likely Damascus steel and it may have 2½-inch chambers, which were common in that era. These are considered well made guns and have collector appeal. There was also a Frederick W. Williams who built guns into the mid-20th century.

In the British double-gun hierarchy famous names such as Purdey, Holland & Holland, and Westley Richards are more in demand than less well known names; hammerless guns more than those with external hammers; modern steel more than Damascus; 2¾-inch chambers more than two-inch or 2½-inch chambers.

I can’t help much with value but did see a Fred Williams double with features much as you describe being offered by a US dealer for $800. Of course condition varies, and asking price doesn’t mean it will sell for that. —DA

 

 

Q: Auto 5 Question
I have a Browning Auto 5, 12-gauge shotgun with the following markings on it:
• On the top of the barrel: “Manufactured by the Remington Arms Co, Ilion. NY-USA Browning’s Patents Oct 9 1900, Dec 17.01 and June 10. 03.”
• “RP” in a oval on the right side of barrel close to the receiver, and “full” on the left side of barrel close to receiver.
• “D2” and “B 75512” on under side of the barrel. • The receiver is marked with “75512” just in front of the carrier opening • This shotgun is not equipped with the “Quick load” feature.
• The NRA guide lists it as Remington’s model 11. The gun is in excellent condition except for some deep rust pits on the last quarter inch of the bore. I suspect that this may be the cause for poor patterns and would like to replace the barrel. Would a new or used barrel manufactured by Browning fit this gun or would it be necessary to locate one of Remington manufacture?
—Terry Kyte

The Remington model 11 was made from 1911 to 1948 with total production of around 300,000 units. Though it is based on John Browning patents and is similar in appearance and operation to the Browning Auto 5, it is not identical and not many parts interchange.

On Remington barrels, the ejector is a single hook brazed to the barrel extension, while Browning barrels have two hooks. Bolts are cut to fit the appropriate barrel so the barrels cannot be interchanged.

Savage made an automatic shotgun similar in design in various models from 720 to 775. These barrels sometimes interchange though minor manufacturing variation over the years may cause them not to fit.

To find a barrel for your model 11 try: Western Gun Parts Ltd., 19124 107th Ave. Northwest, Edmonton, AB T5S 1K5; 780.489.5711. In the US, Corson’s Barrels has many shotgun barrels in stock. Their web site (www.corsonsbarrels.com; 928.718.4282) shows Remington 11 barrels available for around $200 US.

Another possibility would be to have a gunsmith cut the barrel off behind the pitted section and fit your barrel to accept interchangeable choke tubes. Sometimes the barrels are too thin or the steel not suitable for installing tubes, the gunsmith would have to determine this. —DA

 

Q: Winchester Model 101
I have a Winchester Model 101, 20-gauge, three-inch Magnum, full and mod choke shotgun. The serial number is 200679. The only modification is that the butt plate has been replaced with a Pachmayr Presentation Grade. I’d love to find out more about this gun.
—Herb Cook

The records I have available indicate the shotgun was made in March of 1966, the first year of production for this model. The model was discontinued in 1981.

Value varies with condition. The 20-gauge models are generally more in demand and carry a higher value than 12 gauge models. Assuming it retains 95 per cent original finish the current Blue Book suggests a value of approximately $1,000 US.

These models with three-inch chambers came from the factory with a rubber recoil pad, though I don’t know if Pachmayr was standard. At any rate an added recoil pad should not reduce value significantly assuming the work was well done. Though there is getting to be some collector interest in the Model 101, their value is mainly as very well made, quality sporting arms. A buyer is more likely to be concerned with how well the shotgun fits than whether it has an aftermarket recoil pad. —Dave Anderson

 

Q: Schultz & Larsen
I enjoy reading your column, there is always something new and informative. My grandfather very kindly gave me a gun just two weeks ago, and I intend to hunt with it this fall and hopefully send him a picture of my son chase and I with a big bull moose.
The gun in question is a Schultz & Larsen, 7.61mm. I’ve had it out already and it’s shooting tight at the 100-yard mark, I can hardly wait!
What can you tell me about this gun, it’s an M60 model, I suppose, info on the Internet is scarce.
—Gordon Pozer

 

Your grandfather was kind indeed. That is a fine rifle he gave you. Schultz & Larsen made the model 60 from 1957 to 1960 at Otterup, Denmark. It replaced the model 54J and was replaced in turn by the model 65.

The model 60 was chambered only for one calibre, the 7×61 Sharpe and Hart. The current Blue Book suggest values of $825 US with 100 per cent original finish, $690 with 95 per cent finish, $605 with 90 per cent finish.

Incidentally it is not 7.61 calibre as was printed in your letter, it is 7mm calibre (bore diameter). Correct bullet diameter in inches is .284. Case length is 61mm. This is the European way of designating cartridges. The .308 Win., for example, in Europe is known as the 7.62×51.

The cartridge was designed by Richard Hart, a competitive marksman, and Phil Sharpe, a well-known expert and author on reloading and firearms in the 1930s through the 1950s. Sharpe was an officer in US Army Intelligence in The Second World War.

The 7×61 was one of the first 7mm “magnum” cartridges, though I believe the 7mm Weatherby Magnum preceded it by a few years. The 7×61 has slightly less case capacity than the 7mm Rem. Mag. that came out in 1962, and performance is very similar.

The 7×61 was popular for a while with knowledgeable riflemen and reloaders. It is a very good cartridge but did not receive wide acceptance as it was not loaded or chambered by any of the big American companies, so rifles and ammunition were expensive and not readily available. The tremendous success of the 7mm Rem. Mag. sealed the fate of the 7×61. I used to work with a fellow who owned one and even 25 years ago he was having trouble finding ammunition.

Since you’re shooting it you obviously have some ammunition. I would suggest you treat the fired cases like gold and save them for reloading. Norma loaded ammunition for many years but I don’t see it on the current Norma website. Cases are shown as still available from Midway USA (www.midway.com). If I had a rifle in this calibre I’d stockpile 250 or so cases along with loading dies. You can always rechamber or rebarrel but I’d personally hate to do that if the barrel is still good, especially with a family heirloom.

You may see reference to 7×61 Super. These cases have the same external dimensions as the original 7×61 but are said to be made of slightly thinner brass and therefore have slightly more case capacity.

Schultz & Larsen rifles have always been very well made with excellent materials and workmanship. The company is still in business making the high-grade model 97 rifle for the European market, I don’t know if they are imported to North America.

In the 1950s, before he developed his Mark V action, Roy Weatherby was having rifles built in .378 Weatherby by Schultz & Larsen. These were made with typical S&L quality. Roy Weatherby reportedly was very impressed but once production of the Mark V was in progress this relationship ended. Around 2,275 of these .378s were made.

Your grandfather must be a man with good taste and an appreciation for quality to have bought this rifle long ago. I hope you and your son use it with great success for many years to come. —DA

 

Q: Sako & Enfield
I read an article in your “Collector’s Corner,” on old Sakos (Jan/Feb 2008). I have a Sako Model L57, serial number 8951.
It is in very good condition. I put a custom stock on it (my own), but I do have the original stock, in good condition. This rifle is in the .308 Winchester calibre, and shoots very well with proper handloads.
Would you be able to give me an approximate value of this rifle? I also have a P14-.303 BR Enfield R.E. Brass Medallion on the right side, with R.A.F. PD29T, serial number 44985. B. SA Aperture, six different rotating chambers (as per picture). Would the fore-end have been shortened? What is the approximated value?
—Herb Cook

The Sako L57 was made in Finland during the 1960s and is also called the “Forester.” Later models had a couple of minor changes and were called L579. The Forester was a medium Sako action for .308 length cartridges. Sako also made the short L46 and L461 “Vixen” action (.222 Rem. class cartridges) and the long L61 R “Finnbear” (.30-’06 length cartridges) action. Production of these models ended in the early 1970s.

These were excellent hunting rifles, very well made of high quality materials. Other models of Sako rifles are still in production today and continue to be recognized for high quality workmanship.

Early Sako rifles such as yours are becoming collectible and are still in demand as practical hunting rifles. You were wise to hang on to the original stock as collectors would want the original, though I must say you did a nice job on the stock you made.

Your rifle looks to have very little blue wear; in 95 to 98 per cent condition the current Blue Book suggests a value of $725 US. Based on what I occasionally see at gun shows and used gun racks I’d say this is low if anything, especially for an early Sako such as yours in such good condition.

The P14 was designed in Britain, initially in .276 cal. as a replacement for the Lee-Enfield. It uses a lot of features borrowed from the Mauser 98. However when The First World War broke out in 1914, Britain needed all the rifles it could get. The P14 was converted to use the standard .303 British service cartridge.

Britain contracted with American companies to produce the P14 (Eddystone, Remington and Winchester) and these three companies made most P14s. Though the Lee Enfield was Britain’s main battle rifle, the P14 was issued as well. In The Second World War P14s were issued primarily to the Home Guard.

Original condition P14s are of interest to military collectors. The Blue Book suggests values of $600 in 95 per cent condition. I am intrigued by the rear aperture sight, which seems to be a target sight. I think it would add to value but I can’t guess by how much. —DA

 

Q: Daisy Caseless .22
A friend of mine has a Daisy .22 — but the bullets have no casing. There is a powder wad stuck to the .22 lead. He has a couple of boxes of shells. I think there are 100 shells in a box and they’re fastened together in a strip. The price on the shell-box is 75 cents.
Can you tell me how old this gun is, the value and if you can you still buy ammunition?
Also, I contacted Daisy, and all they could tell me was that it sounds like their VL caseless .22, made 1968 to 1970.
—Russ Denise

The rifle was an effort to introduce caseless ammunition, with the propellant attached to the bullet. Pressing the trigger released a piston that heated a column of air by compression. The hot air then ignited the propellant which accelerated the bullet to about 1,100 feet per second, similar to a .22 rimfire.

They weren’t very accurate and never really got a chance to be popular — the ATF ruled they were firearms, which would have required Daisy to get a firearms manufacturing licence, much more costly than a BB-gun manufacturing licence.

There were three models. The Fjestad Blue Book values for each in 100 and 90 per cent condition, respectively, are: Standard, 19,000 produced, $250/150; Collectors Kit, with case, 300 rounds of ammunition, gun cradle, gold-plated brass butt-plate engraved with owner’s name, 4,000 produced, $545/350; Presentation, similar to Collectors but without name engraving, 4,000 produced, $325/235. —Dave Anderson

 

Q: Reloading Supplies Needed
Would you be able to provide the name and address where I could purchase the following: .577 Snider — dies, mold and brass. I enjoy Sportsman very much, and thank you in advance.
—Tony Wiseman

There are a couple of websites you could check: www.huntingtons.com lists dies for .577 Snider as part number 56627 and a .578 calibre rifle bullet mold as part number 82161. Another site, www.oldyoti.com, lists brass, bullet molds and loading dies for .577 Snider. Both sites indicate they ship to Canada. None of these items are cheap, but you probably knew that. Good luck in getting your old rifle back out on the range. —Dave Anderson

 

Q: Winchester Model 25
I have a Winchester Model 25, 12-gauge, 2-3/4-inch chamber shotgun.
I inherited this firearm from a guide, Ed Shapka, when I was 12 years old, back in 1971. I’m hoping you can shed some light on the history and value of this model. —Dennis Spendelow

The Winchester 25 was introduced in 1949. This was during the post-war economic boom, during which manufacturers of all sorts of consumer goods were working night and day to meet demand.

The Model 25 was virtually identical to the famous Model 12, but did not have the takedown feature of the Model 12. Nor was it offered in as many variations. To simplify production and marketing, the Model 25 was made only in 12-gauge, the only options being either a 26- or 28-inch barrel.

Like the Model 12, the Model 25 was very well made, reliable and durable. A total of 87,937 were produced before the model was discontinued in 1954. Currently there is not a lot of collectors’ interest unless in near-new condition. For used models, the value is as a good quality, sporting arm. — Dave Anderson

 

Q: Mystery Mauser
I have a Mauser 8×57 rifle. It has a one-piece Monte Carlo Walnut stock with a Schnabel forearm and a 24-inch barrel that looks as if it has been thinned down. The scope mounts are for a claw-type. I believe it was put together in Germany in the 1930s. The stock was very dry so I used a lot of linseed oil on it — it now looks excellent. I would like to know the value of the gun and any information on its origin.
— Alan Amos

It’s possible your rifle is a Mauser sporting rifle. Approximately 125,000 Mauser sporters were made at Oberndorf, Germany from 1898 to 1946. The Type B sporter is described as having a 24-inch barrel, Schnabel forearm, steel-capped pistol grip, sling swivels and hinged floor plate. The claw-type scope bases are also typical of German manufacturing. Mauser sporters are highly collectible and (assuming they are in good condition and safe to shoot) they are very practical and useful hunting rifles.

I’m curious about the Monte Carlo buttstock. Cheekpieces on European sporting rifles are usually quite different from the Monte Carlo design that became popular in North America after the Second World War and into the 1970s.

Many Mauser actions were re-barreled (or had military stepped barrels turned down) and restocked to produce sporting rifles by various firms and gunmakers after the Second World War. It’s possible that your rifle was built by an American, British, or Canadian custom gunmaker on a surplus military Mauser. — Dave Anderson

 

Q: Italian Shotgun
I would like some information on my shotgun. It is a 12-gauge over/under with 30-inch, tubed barrels. On it, there are the names: “Arni Silma Gardone V.T. Italy.” Also the name, “Supreme,” which is probably the model. This appears along with the numbers 39673. The gun is in excellent condition — can you give me some information on the maker ad possible value?
— Jim Battams

Gardone is a city in the Italian province of Val Trompe (V.T.) and is a centre of fine gun making. Quoting from the current Blue Book: “All Silma shotguns…are of high quality and utilize premium materials in their manufacture.”

Currently the company is known as Silma Sporting Arms with headquarters in Brescia, Italy. The factory address is: Silma s.r.l., Via I Maggio, 74, I-25060 Zanano di Sarezzo, (BS), Italy. (www.silma.net; info@silma.net.)

I can’t find a listing for the Supreme model, however the current Model 70 standard over-under sporting model is valued at $625 US with 98 per cent original finish, $775 in 100 per cent condition. — Dave Anderson

 

Q: 16-gauge Question
I was looking at some back issues and the letter on the Winchester 28-gauge (November/December 2010) reminded me that I have two 16-gauge shotguns:
• Winchester 16 gauge, 2-3/4 pump (modified choke) serial #1047526
• Ithaca 16 gauge, 2-3/4 pump (full choke) serial #160141
Both seem to be in good condition. Is it possible to tell how old these are? Not sure how many people still hunt with 16-gauge or if they are still manufactured.
—Henry K.

You didn’t mention the model numbers. Assuming these are a Winchester model 12 and an Ithaca 37, they are from the same era. The Winchester dates to 1947, the Ithaca to 1946. Both are among the best and most popular pump shotguns ever made, and both were produced in numbers over two million.

Back when these were made, the 16-gauge was quite popular. Articles I’ve read from the 1950s indicate shotgun sales about like this: 12 gauge, 50 to 52 per cent; 16-gauge, 23 to 25 per cent; 20-gauge, and .410 dividing up the remainder. The 28-gauge was barely alive. For various reasons (type of game hunted, competition shooting, the lead-shot ban for waterfowling) the popularity of shotgun gauges has shifted considerably.

At present, the ammunition companies which will share information on sales indicate popularity as follows: 12-gauge, 80 per cent; 20-gauge, 15 per cent; with 16, 28 and .410 dividing up the remaining five per cent. The 28-gauge seems to be enjoying a mild renaissance among upland bird hunters. In bigger gunshops I’ve seen a better selection of 28-gauge shotshells than of 16s.

Although I don’t see the 16 regaining its popularity, it won’t disappear either. There are many 16-gauge shotguns in use, and many loyal fans of the gauge. Major manufacturers still produce 16-gauge shotshells, which can be purchased at any well-stocked gun store. Downsides? If you run out of ammunition on a bird hunt it’s unlikely the small-town gas station will have any in stock. Also, because 12-gauge sales are so high, volume production and competition helps keep prices down, while you don’t find too many discounts on less popular gauges.

Still, times change. In the early 1960s writers predicted the 12-gauge would slowly decline while the 20-gauge would continue to increase in popularity, with the three-inch option making it a good all-around choice. But large-scale farming practices reduced upland bird habitat; more “no hunting” signs on private land reduced upland hunting opportunities; the lead-shot ban came into effect; gas-operated semi-autos helped reduce recoil, making the 12-gauge easier to shoot; and goose populations and hunting opportunities increased dramatically. Instead of declining, the popularity of the 12-gauge increased considerably. Times changed, and will no doubt change again. So don’t count the 16 out yet! —Dave Anderson

 

 

Q: Picatinny Rail/Scope Mounts
I am looking for a Picatinny/rail scope mount that could be adapted to fit a Mauser 98 action. Leupold has Mark IV rail mounts. What is out there that could be close to fit? I have a gunsmith that could mount — or modify and/or machine any mount — to fit the action. Where else could I look?
— Roy Lemcke

Brownell’s catalogue #60 has “Moulds Picatinny Base Stock” listed on page 377. It is offered in either steel or aluminum. There are two versions: wide is 0.875 inches wide, narrow is 0.615 inches wide.

Both are 10 inches long and 5/8-inch high. The description describes it as, “Pre-contoured . . . to let you create true custom bases for most tactical and sporting applications.”

Prices vary from $71.25 for the narrow aluminum model to $84 for the wide steel model (USD). Brownell’s address is: 200 South Front Street, Montezuma, IA 50171, US; 1.800.741.0015; www.brownells.com. —Dave Anderson

 

Q: Remington 600
I have a Remington 600-350 Magnum, serial #47874 and I need a new ventilated rib, after mine was broken on a rack in a truck. Could you tell me where I can get a new one?
— D. Lefferson

A company called Heritage Arms makes replacement ribs for Remington 600 rifles. The originals were made of a synthetic (Remington ads at the time called it “structural nylon”). The Heritage Arms replacements are offered in either steel or aluminum alloy.

I think the easiest way to get one is from Brownell’s. My current (#60) Brownell’s catalogue shows them on page 101, available in steel for $124.95 and in aluminum for $109.95 (USD).

Brownell’s address is listed above, in my response to Roy Lemcke’s question. Everyone interested in firearms should have the Brownell’s catalogue, the current edition is 528 pages long and it is full of quality parts and accessories. They refund the catalogue cost with the first purchase. Great people to deal with — there isn’t a more respected company in the firearms industry. —Dave Anderson

 

Q: .25 Ammo Question
I have the following cartridges, and I would like to know the year of manufacture, and any other information you have:
.25-20 D.C. Co.; copper primer, silver jacket
.25-20 D.C. Co.; pneumatic brass primer, copper jacket
.25-20 D.C. Co.; silver primer, copper jacket
.25-20 D.C. Co.; brass primer brass Jacket
.25-20 D.C. Co.; copper primer brass jacket
.25-20 WMC; copper primer (with U on it), silver jacket
.25-20 W.R.A.C.O.
—Marlin L.R. Malenoski

I can’t give the exact years your ammunition was produced, only the approximate era. It is likely the ammunition you have is calibre .25-20 Winchester Centrefire. This cartridge was introduced for the Winchester 92 rifle around 1893 to 1895 (sources differ). There was an earlier cartridge called the .25-20 Single Shot dating to around 1890.

Winchester’s version was based on the .32-20 case necked down to .25 calibre. It was for many years a popular small game cartridge.

D.C. Co. likely stands for the Dominion Cartridge Company. Captain A.L. Howard formed it in 1886 at Brownsberg, P.Q. Captain Howard had the nickname “Gat” as he commanded a battery of two Gatling guns during the Riel Rebellion.

The Dominion Cartridge Company along with several explosives manufacturers joined to form Canadian Explosives Ltd. Around 1910 to 1911. It would seem your DCC-marked cartridges must have been made somewhere from around 1895 to 1910.

I’m not sure about the WMC marking. I wonder if it could be UMC for Union Metallic Cartridges, a US-based company. The other cartridge was likely made by Winchester (Winchester Repeating Arms). The Marlin Company made rifles but did not actually manufacture ammunition. Rather, from about 1916 to 1935 it had large ammunition companies, including Winchester, that make ammunition to its specifications and carry the Marlin name. The .25-20 cartridge carrying the Marlin name should have a smaller primer than those stamped Winchester.

I’ve read there was a bit of a scandal in the early 1900s when Marlin accused Winchester of seating the primers in the Marlin ammunition too deep, so there would be misfires that shooters would then blame on Marlin rifles. Winchester insisted any problems were caused by the rifles. As the saying goes “nothing was ever proved.” —Dave Anderson

 

Q: Arni Silma Shotgun
I would like to receive some information on my shotgun — it is a 12-gauge O/U with 30-inch tubed barrels. It has the names Arni Silma Gardone VT Italy on it. Also the name “Supreme,” which is probably the model. There is an “S” along with the numbers “39673.” The gun is in excellent condition, can you give me some information on the maker and possible value?
— Jim Battams

The Arni Silma Company was established in 1949. There is a website at www.silma.net. Silma currently makes an over/under rifle as well as both over/under and side-by-side shotguns. The company has an excellent reputation for building high quality firearms.

Values vary depending on model and condition, from around $800 to $1,000 for sporting models in used but excellent condition to over $6,000 for clay target models. Models with ejectors will bring a bit more than those with just extractors.

Gardone is a city in the province of Val Trompe (VT) in Italy and is a centre of fine gun making, rather like Leige in Belgium. Certainly your shotgun is fine quality sporting arm. —Dave Anderson

 

Q: Mystery Handgun
I would like information on an unusual handgun that I can’t identify.
The handgun is a revolver, about .44 cal. or 11 millimetre centrefire. It has a round barrel with about the first couple of inches octagonal — about 18 centimetres long — and has fixed sights and a flare; or more like a rim shape at the end of the muzzle.
It is a single-action, six-shot with a loading gate on the right hand side. The cylinder is removed by lowering a small lever on the left side of the frame ahead of the cylinder and pulling out the retaining rod under the barrel.
There is an oval shape circle on the lower left frame with the following inscribed inside: S&S. V.C.S.C.C.H. Underneath this is the word SUHL. There is a serial number on all parts: 5301.
There is a small lever on the left rear frame that prevents the hammer from being cocked when it is pushed down. The gun has a metal butt plate and wooden grips with a lanyard ring. On the metal butt plate the following is inscribed: A.M.IX.3.6. The gun appears in mint condition and is in a leather holster with a top flap and buckle.
It would appear to me that the gun may have been made in Germany and could have been worn by a military officer or soldier during one of the wars. Any information you could give me with respect to its origin, use and value would be much appreciated.
— Donald Bailey

I believe your revolver is a model 1879 Reichs Commissions Revolver, calibre 10.6mm with 178-millimetre barrel. These were also called Trooper or Cavalry models. There was also a model 1883 revolver, identical except for having a shorter (127 mm) barrel that was sometimes called the Officer or Infantry model.

The initials refer to the various companies that manufactured these revolvers for the German military. These were Spangenburg & Sauer (S&S), V.C. Schilling & Co. and C.G. Haenel & Co., all located at Suhl, Germany.

The other markings refer to the military unit to which the revolver was issued; however, I cannot find a reference indicating to which unit these markings refer. The last numbers indicate the specific weapon, i.e.: 3rd company, weapon #6.

These were very well made, robust and durable weapons that provided good service even after double-action revolvers and semi-automatic pistols were developed. Although replaced as the German military sidearm by the Luger in 1908, many of these revolvers saw service in The First World War when Luger production could not keep up with demand.

Loading is through the gate on the right side. For unloading the cylinder is removed as you indicate and the cylinder base pin is used to punch out fired cases. Ammunition was loaded in Germany until 1939, however, it is unlikely you could find any such ammunition today.

I saw a similar revolver advertised on a website for $375 US. Given the condition of yours, plus the holster, I would expect it would have somewhat more value to a military collector. There isn’t the level of interest as there is in old Lugers and 1911s, still it is an interesting and historical piece. —Dave Anderson

 

Q: British Firearm
I own a double-barrel, open hammer 12-gauge, shotgun, that I would appreciate finding some information on.
Engraved on the side is “Fred Williams — London and Birmingham” are under the foregrip and under the foregrip are several symbols as well as a serial number 117950, nitro proof 11/8, and number 13. There are symbols “BP” “BV” “NP” and “JJ,” each topped with a crown. Both barrels are choked and the outside appears to have a “spiral” look.
—Clarence Buckley

Frederick Williams was a well-respected English gunmaker, producing side-by-side shotguns. His primary manufacturing facility was in Birmingham. I have seen differing dates for years of production. One source says it was from 1881 to 1947; another has the dates from 1884-1950. In addition to making guns under his own name Williams made components for other makers and marketed guns under the Army & Navy trademark.

Some shotguns had external hammers, others had internal hammers. The proof marks are from the Birmingham proof house. The crown over BP (Birmingham proof), BV (Birmingham view) and NP (nitro proof) are a marking style, which began in 1904.

Several collectors and admirers of Fred Williams shotguns have formed “The Society for the Preservation of Frederick Williams Shotguns.” They can be found on Facebook. —Dave Anderson

Q: Recoil Query
This year, I have a chance to go moose hunting. I have shot the .300 Mag, but found it to be a little much for me. I was thinking of the .30-06 or Browning .308, would you say these are better choices for a shooter looking for less recoil? Which, in your opinion, would be a better gun for moose? Or would a .270 be even better?
—Gary Boughner

Gary my friend, you are a wise man. If more shooters had the good judgment to know when they have reached their recoil limits (and stayed within those limits) they would enjoy shooting more, practice more often, shoot better, place their shots more accurately and take their game cleanly.

Any of the cartridges you’ve named will kill moose cleanly if you place your shot well and use a good bullet. It would be easy to list another 40 to 50 cartridges, which would do just as well. I personally like controlled-expansion bullets, which retain all or most of their weight.

In 2006 I talked with a couple of African PHs (professional hunters). A third PH, no longer with them, had for a couple of years insisted they all record a detailed accounting of every animal shot. Including all their clients’ game, plus animals taken for food or for the market by the PHs, it amounted to many hundreds of animals. As I recall they got the best results with these bullets: Winchester Fail Safe (discontinued, replaced with XP3); Barnes X and variants (XLC, TSX, TTSX); Nosler Partition; Swift A-Frame; Trophy Bonded Bear Claw.

There are other controlled-expansion bullets they hadn’t seen used much or which weren’t around in 2006, such as the Hornady GMX, Nosler Accu-Bond, and Northfork bullets which seem to be earning good reputations.

Actually the plain old Remington Core-Lokt and Winchester Power Point loads have been working fine for decades. Though the makers don’t make a fuss about it they have been continually making small improvements (e.g. in jacket material, jacket thickness, core hardness) over the years.

On a 2008 African hunt I used a .300 Win. Mag. with 180 gr. Barnes TSX bullets. One of my hunting partners used a .30-06 with 165 gr. Barnes TTSX bullets. Frankly we couldn’t see a nickel’s worth of difference in results. I like the .300 for its flatter trajectory but can’t recall it ever made a difference. I do know my .300 weighed 1½ pounds or so more than her ’06 and got a bit heavy on long treks. If I go again I’ll take a light .270 or .30-06.

If you need a specific recommendation I’d say either a .308 or .30-06, depending on which specific rifle you like better and can shoot well. If possible I’d use premium bullets but if such are not readily available I’d use a 180 gr. Core-Lokt. Good luck with your moose hunt. —Dave Anderson

Q: Reloading Problem
I have an old Herters press that I picked up for dirt cheap so I could start loading rounds for my .45 long colt. Problem is, I do not know what shell holder to get that will hold the cases. I can find several for sale online, but do not know the number stamped on the shell holder to try to get. If you have any ideas for me, I would like to hear from you. Thank you for any info that you may be able to share.
—Steve Chadwick

The Herter’s shell holder for .45 Colt cartridges is number 23. Herter’s went out of business long ago. You may be able to find a #23 online at EBay. Alternatively, a company called Vega Tool makes shell holders for Herter’s loading tools. They have them available for most standard calibres, including the #23 for .45 Colt. Price on their website is $18.95 plus $2.50 for shipping.

Vega Tool also offers spare parts for the priming system of Herter’s presses. The address is Vega Tool Co., 4865 Tanglewood Court, Boulder. CO 80301 and the website is www.vegatool.com.

If you plan to load a number of cartridges with your Herter’s press, it might be more economical to get an RCBS adapter that would allow you to use currently available RCBS shell holders. The adapter is available from Midway USA (1.800.243.3220, www.midwayusa.com) and the current price shown is $22.99.

With the adapter you cannot use the priming tool on your Herter’s press so you would have to have a separate priming tool such as the Lee hand-held unit. —Dave Anderson

Q: Value Added?
W.H.B. Smith states in his Book of Rifles that first issues of M96 Mausers for Sweden came from the Mauser factory before production was passed to Husquvarna and Carl Gustafstads. Frank de Haas states in Bolt Action Rifles that Mauser received a contract to produce 45,000 M96s in 1899. I have a M96 dated 1900 with a serial number in the low 44,000 range, made by Waffenfabrik Mauser Oberndorf am Neckar.
Assuming this is one of that contract, would it be of any more value than a Swedish made M96? Thanks for any help.
—Cal Myatt

I’m not aware of any significant collectors’ premium for M96 rifles made by Mauser.  All these Swedish M96 rifles were very well made; certainly Mauser workmanship was excellent, however the rifles produced by Husqvarna and Carl Gustaf were also of very high quality. A collector who wanted an example from each maker might have to pay a little more for a Mauser manufacture since there were fewer of them, but I doubt there are many such collectors.

It is sometimes claimed the “Swedish steel” used in making these rifles was of particularly high quality. I don’t know if this has ever been proven conclusively, but it is generally recognized that the steel was very good. Several sources say that the Mauser-produced rifles were made from Swedish steel imported for their production.

M96 rifles and carbines were quite popular in North America for conversion to sporting rifles in the 1950s and ‘60s due to their fine workmanship and design, and the usefulness of the 6.5×55 Swedish Mauser cartridge.

They weren’t in great demand with military collectors for a while, I suppose because Sweden was a neutral country in both world wars, so the rifles didn’t see much use in battle. There is a growing number of military collectors that is likely increasing demand. Certainly no collection of Mauser military rifles would be complete without an M96. —Dave Anderson 

Q: Black Powder Rifle
I have inherited a black powder rifle, from my Uncle, he had it stored and forgot about it. It was bought as a gift to my uncle by his brother, in the early 1970s. I would like knowing what I have here, and its value. It’s in immaculate condition, was stored and wrapped in an original navy blanket, and to the best of his recollection it has been shot twice and then put away (he didn’t like recoil). T thanks in advance and keep up the excellent work in this magazine.
Gun Particulars:
ANTON, O ZOLI & Co
made in Italy
58 calibre
Black powder only
Xx9 9126 PN [and has a star to the right]
The rifle is in 98 per cent original condition.
— Allan Laktin

Your rifle was made by the Antonio Zoli company located in Brescia, Italy. It appears to be a replica of the 1863 Remington Zouave rifle. The PN and star marking is a blackpowder proof mark used by the Brescia-Gardone proof house.

The year of manufacture is marked on Italian-made firearms using a letter code. Your letter says a code “Xx9” is stamped on the rifle. All those I’ve seen used Roman numerals. That is, the number nine would be “IX,” not “9.” The “XX” code was used from 1964 to 1973. XX was 1964, XXI 1965 and so forth. XXIX indicated 1973 production. In 1974 the mark was XXX, then they changed to a different two-letter code.

It is interesting that the name marked on your rifle appears to be “Anton o Zoli.” I have seen rifles like yours on which the letter “i” in Antonio is very faint though you can usually see it if you look closely in the right light. I don’t know why this is, there must have been some fault in the stamping tool!

The Antonio Zoli company was established in 1945 and continues to make high quality rifles (bolt-action and double-barrel) and over-under and side-by-side shotguns. At this time there does not appear to be any significant collector interest in their blackpowder reproduction guns and value is primarily as a well-made hunting and sporting arm.

I found a couple of rifles very similar to yours on US firearm auction websites. One in near-new condition had a minimum bid set at $250 and hadn’t as yet attracted any bids, another showing considerable use had an asking price of $200. — Dave Anderson

Q: Auto 5 Question
I have a Browning Auto 5, 12-gauge shotgun with the following markings on it:
• On the top of the barrel: “Manufactured by the Remington Arms Co, Ilion. NY-USA Browning’s Patents Oct 9 1900, Dec 17.01 and June 10. 03.”
• “RP” in a oval on the right side of barrel close to the receiver, and “full” on the left side of barrel close to receiver.
• “D2” and “B 75512” on under side of the barrel.
• The receiver is marked with “75512” just in front of the carrier opening
• This shotgun is not equipped with the “Quick load” feature.
• The NRA guide lists it as Remington’s model 11. The gun is in excellent condition except for some deep rust pits on the last quarter inch of the bore. I suspect that this may be the cause for poor patterns and would like to replace the barrel. Would a new or used barrel manufactured by Browning fit this gun or would it be necessary to locate one of Remington manufacture?
— Terry Kyte

The Remington model 11 was made from 1911 to 1948 with total production of around 300,000 units. Though it is based on John Browning patents and is similar in appearance and operation to the Browning Auto 5, it is not identical and not many parts interchange.

On Remington barrels, the ejector is a single hook brazed to the barrel extension, while Browning barrels have two hooks. Bolts are cut to fit the appropriate barrel so the barrels cannot be interchanged.

Savage made an automatic shotgun similar in design in various models from 720 to 775. These barrels sometimes interchange though minor manufacturing variation over the years may cause them not to fit.

To find a barrel for your model 11 try: Western Gun Parts Ltd., 19124 107th Ave. Northwest, Edmonton, AB T5S 1K5; 780.489.5711. In the US, Corson’s Barrels has many shotgun barrels in stock. Their web site (www.corsonsbarrels.com; 928.718.4282) shows Remington 11 barrels available for around $200 US.

Another possibility would be to have a gunsmith cut the barrel off behind the pitted section and fit your barrel to accept interchangeable choke tubes. Sometimes the barrels are too thin or the steel not suitable for installing tubes, the gunsmith would have to determine this. —Dave Anderson