Sunday, February 11, 2018

My Oldest Gun and Some New Acquisitions?

My oldest weapon, by not all that far, is an English Enfield, 1858 Pattern (I think) pistol. It has a manufacture date of 1863. I understand that there are evidently a lot of knockoffs going around that were made in one or more of the Stan counties like Pakistan and Afghanistan and some others made in India. This one though has all the qualities of the real McCoy as I understand it. The proof marks abound and are correct for the era. In addition the great majority of the stampings appear to be fairly deep, a sign of good craftsmanship. Whatever, I believe it is real - so it must be real cause I just said so on the Intraweb!

It's already for dale on GunBroker.com at:
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/747109432.


This 92FS is in pristine condition and looks to be unfired.
The Glock 30 also appears to be in unfired new condition.
I have no clue if it is safe to shoot or not. I don't want to find out either - no desire to shoot it. I probably will not keep it all that long, already have it up for sale being I was just at another Hessney auction this weekend and bought three modern pistols while there. The three new ones are a Beretta 92FS in 9mm (looks to have never been fired), a Glock 30 in 45 Auto (allegedly new), and a Colt Detective Special, 1st issue.


When I say first issue, I do not mean a first issue from the recent version of the Colt Detective Special but an original pre-war (as in pre WWII) first issue. It is in what I consider good condition, which means at least 70% of metal finish remaining in my untrained gun rating opinion. I am hopeful it is a real first issue and not a put together from parts gun; everything except the ejector rod seems right - that groove in the knurled part of the rod gives me pause for concern - otherwise, the square butt, the stampings on the barrel, and the serial number date it to 1932 or in other words signify it is indeed a pre-war first issue Colt DS. I'll have to see what Colt would want in the way of a fee to authenticate it (just found out it is going to be $75 but I'll have to wait until I have it in hand to get some information off of it that Colt requires for an archive letter). It may well be worth the cost because if it is a real first issue, then it is worth a lot more than I paid for it - maybe three or more times as much and that would be a very good thing. And yes, that would mean I got a steal on a cop gun!

I believe, I believe, I believe - so it must be a first issue - right!
Maybe though, I ought to have it checked by Colt to make sure.
Yes indeed, it was the cop gun of its time and whoever Christened it with the moniker of Detective Special should have been given a huge bonus by Colt; it was their best selling revolver for decades. Of course, while I paid for those three handguns - I do not have them yet, I need to get a purchase document from my county PD and then return to the auction house with it to take possession. maybe this weekend or maybe in late march at the next Hessney auction.



Speaking of old weapons, that Colt DS is pretty old but not my oldest firearm. My oldest gun is a Chilean Model 1895 Mauser in 7mm Mauser (7x57mm). My next oldest gun is my Ortgies pistol in 32 Auto; it was made in the mid to late 1920s as best I can tell. Pre-war first issue Detective Specials were made from around 1926 through 1936. Mine was made in 1932 according to Colt's 'Firearm Serial Number Lookup - Year of Manufacture' page (an excellent tool to date old Colts). Being it was manufactured in 1932, it is probably my third oldest gun. No wait a minute, I have a European pinfire revolver, that I picked up in January, that is possibly the second oldest gun I own but I do not know the date it was produced so am guessing there. I did not even think o it at first because it is not functional, is basically a rusted and broken POS, and is only good as a wall hangar at best. So let me clarify thusly, my oldest, second oldest and third oldest functioning firearms are as I listed them above before remembering that pinfire revolver which may or may not be the second oldest of my guns (but as I said, it does not count because it is a non-functioning POS).
 
All the best,
Glenn B

1 comment:

Bob Tamewitz said...

Nothing like some of the oldies. The oldest one that I have is a Savage M1899 in .303 Savage that according to the serial number was made in 1908. I picked it up really cheap better than three decades back. The curious thing is that it's a takedown which was not available until 1909 as a special order. Not a collector by any means since it was in such rough shape. The original buttplate was missing which I replaced with the correct period one, albeit with a different serial number from the rest of the gun. The worst transgression is that someone did a botched drill and tap for a scope. No way to fill the holes and match the finish on the receiver. What I ended up doing was to put in brass screws and snip them off, then peen and polish to make little gold dots. Never did get around to doing much else with it though. You know how those kind of projects go. You always mean to get around to finishing it one of these days. At least it shoots very nicely for its age......................