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I HAVE THIS GUN
Question: Christopher, via the Internet
I noticed that you had a Q&A in the December Arms Heritage about a Model 1922 Browning with a crest on the slide. was for the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (Yugoslavia).
I have a .380 cal Browning Model 1922 pistol. It looks just like the one you showed in December, except that mine has a Crown over a large W on the top of the slide in the same place that the crest for Yugoslavia was on the other. My gun also has a very small crown over H on the very back end of the pistol. What is the meaning of these marks?
Yugoslavia was the rst to order the FN 1922 pistol (it was a modified Model 1910 to their specifications), and the Dutch were the next to place an order.
The W under the crown is for Wilhelmina, Queen of the Netherlands from 1890 to 1948. Note that she reigned through WW1 and WW2. e small crown/H on the back end of your pistol is the mark of ordnance inspector Captain Holscher.
The Dutch government placed their rst order for this pistol in October 1924 for a batch of 2000. they named it “Pistool M25 No.1.” is rst order was for caliber 7.65 mm and was intended for two law enforcement agencies: Koninklijke Marechaussee (Royal Military Constabulary) for 1200 pistols and Politi Troepen (Police Troops) for the balance of 800 pistols.
The Army placed the next order, and because theirs were in 9 mm Short, it was called Pistool M25, No. 2. All the Army pistols were in 9 mm Short. e Crown over W appears on the Army pistols
There are many interesting markings on the pistols on the Dutch Contracts that lasted until the German Army took over the factory in 1940. More than 50,000 pistols were purchased by the Dutch Army and Law Enforcement Agencies. One could assemble an interesting collection just with the pistols of this contract. Anyone interested in FN Browning pistols must obtain FN BROWNING PISTOLS: SIDE-ARMS THAT SHAPED WORLD HISTORY by Anthony Vanderlinden, MFC
I have the military rie shown in the photos attached. I can see it is some sort of a Krag action, and I would guess it is Danish. Can you tell me more?
This is a Danish Krag-Jorgensen M1889/24 Artillery Carbine that was originally manufactured in 1892 as an infantry rifle and modified as an Artillery carbine sometime aer 1924. Chambered for the 8x58R cartridge, the Danish Krag has some features that are quite different from the more familiar American Krag. Some of these differences include a forward-thinking magazine cover, a barrel jacket similar to the Mauser M1888, and the added safety behind the bolt handle.
This weapon can be identified as an Artillery Carbine by the “A” prex on the barrel serial number, the 24” barrel, turned down bolt handle, nger-grooved forend, triangular front sling swivel and the stud on the le side of the stock wrist. MFC
Question: Dr. Wayne Johnson via the Internet
I have the “Flintlock” Trapdoor Springfield rifle shown in the attached photos. It looks like too much trouble has been taken for this to be a “one off,” but who in the world would do something like this? The gun can still be fired with .45-70 ammunition, and the brass flintlock hammer is just a sham---there is a projection on the inside that hits the firing pin. I haven’t fired it, but it has all the working parts, and seems to be ready to shoot. Have you seen any guns like this?
Yes, I’ve seen about seventy-ve of them. Some were ries like yours, and some were cut down to carbine size. I had the opportunity to inspect several hundred Trapdoor Springelds bought from a large movie prop-house that had gone out of business. Some were original, and some were re-manufactured to simulate various other guns such as blunderbusses, Arab Guns, and these intlocks.
the owner of the guns had various movie “still” photos showing the guns in use. These intlocks were pictured in e Man From the Alamo (1953), starring Glenn Ford, and in John Wayne’s the Alamo (1960). ese converted Trapdoor ries are shown very clearly in the photos.
Stembridge was a major prop house. Here is a photo of a box of blackpowder blank cartridges made up for Trapdoor guns. The original box is Remington, but Stembridge has re-labeled it for their blank cartridges. ink back on these movies and consider what a great business it would have been just to supply the blank cartridges. MFC
Question: from Dan Lewin, via the Internet
I have the very foreign looking rie you can see in the attached photos, but the receiver is marked Hopkins and Allen Arms Co., Norwich, Conn. U.S.A. It has a circular stamp on the le side of the buttstock with fancy initials inside that I can’t identify. What was the purpose of this ride?
You have a Belgian Model 1889 Infantry Rifle in caliber 7.65 x 53 mm Mauser made by the Hopkins and Allen Arms Company on a contract for the Government of Belgium. there should be a very small cartouche on the le side of the receiver with E G B over a small star. It is the proof mark for the Belgian Government, “Epreuve du Gouvernement Belge.” I’m not sure what the circular stamp on the buttstock should read, but it is most likely the stock inspector’s mark. It looks like yours is in the original condition. Later reworking added another barrel band between the two on yours to hold a stacking swivel.
His rifle was being manufactured for the Belgian Army by Fabrique Nationale until the German Army took over the factory during the invasion in August 1914. By 1915 the Belgian Government had purchased a factory in Birmingham, England, and resumed production of the Model 1889, and production began in 1916.
A Belgian purchasing commission was sent to the U.S.A. to seek a manufacturer for the Model 1889. A contract was signed with Hopkins & Allen on August 4, 1915. By October 1916 H&A had delivered the rst shipment against a contract for 140,000 ries and bayonets, and 10,000 carbines. Unfortunately, Hopkins & Allen miscalculated their costs and they went into
receivership June 27, 1917 aer making approximately 12,000 ries.
The Marlin-Rockwell Arms Company of New Haven, Connecticut bought the H&A Company in October 1917 and continued to supply arms for the Belgian Contract as well as to manufacture Browning BAR ries for the U.S. Government. Including the 12,000 made by H&A, Marlin-Rockwell supplied approximately 140,000 Belgian Mauser ries and 10,000 carbines by the end of September, 1918. The excellent book, Allied Rie Contracts in America, by Luke Mercaldo, has about 40 pages of information on the Hopkins & Allen and Marlin-Rockwell production. MFC
Question from Bob Coffelt, Texas
Here are several photos of a very nice double rie/shotgun that I have. Using calipers, the rifle measures 15 mm bore, and the shotgun bore is 12 ga. the erie chamber measured 1.490” in length. As the pictures show, the bbls. are of a damascus pattern and measure 28-1/2 inches long. e rib includes a two-leaf sight. e lever to unlock the barrels is carved horn. e markings on the gun are “PH. KIRCHNER in Homburg v.d.H” and are inlaid in gold on the rib of the bbls. e letters “DS” are stamped on the underside of the bbls. Upon close examination the name “Meinhard” was noted within the carving on the butt stock. is name is stamped in letters about 1/16th inch tall at the bottom border of the carving. Can you tell me anything about the maker?
All that I could end was this entry in Stockel: “Ph Kirchner, Homburg vor der Höhe, Hessen-Nassau, ca. 1840-1845.” I wrote to a friend in Germany, Dr. Dirk Ziesing, and he wrote to the City Archives of Homburg v.d.H. Here is his reply:
“The Homburg city archives have sent me all the information they have about the Kirchner armorers.
In their local museum they have two single shot target ries (images from a catalog attached) being of the same quality like the one you sent pictures of.
By the way, they also had two Kirchner pistols but these have been stolen recently.
e rst Kirchner was B. Martin Kirchner who became a master-armorer from Saxony to Kronberg near Homburg around 1800. His son was J. P. Kirchner, listed between 1820 and 1840. e third and best-known was Philipp, born in 1820, died in Homburg on 20 September 1890. Between 1840
Courtesy Museum Of Homburg
and in 1845 he worked for the Hessian lord Philipp August. From 1873, he was listed as the owner of a house in Homburg. Starting in 1886, his son named Heinrich Kirchner was listed, too, as a gunsmith.” MFC
Question from General Francis Brossard, Paris, France
I have a Winchester Model 1866 Musket that has been in our family since 1935. The serial number indicates it was made in the early 1870s. Both France and Turkey received shipments of Winchester Model 1866 muskets during that period. As far as I know, there were no special markings on those sent to France, and the ones to Turkey should have some Arabic numbers on the le side of the receiver. Mine does not have those marks, but it does have a crudely made rear sight with Arabic numbers on it. But what is most interesting is the mark on the le side of the buttstock near the buttplate that looks very much like a U.S. Inspector’s cartouche. I am not sure of the three initials, but they might be GKJ. Do you recognize this mark, and why would a U.S. inspector’s stamp be in this position on the musket?
I agree that it looks like a typical U.S. Ordnance Department inspector’s mark, but I don’t know the meaning of it, so I asked a couple of experts, Charles Pate and Tony Daum. Here is their enlightening reply: Mike, that was George K. Jacobs. He inspected Winchester ries bought by the Turkish government in 1870-1871 and he was assisted by a Mr. Sinclair (either Alan G. Sinclair or Adams O. Sinclair). I have not seen that cartouche before, although Jacobs’ Civil War cartouche may have been (probably was) dierent. The Turkish government asked the Ordnance Department to provide inspectors and Turkey paid for their labor and travel.
He used a rectangular cartouche with rounded ends during the Civil War, but the design of the letters was quite similar (see below). This is the rst example of this particular design that I’ve seen, and I’m glad to have the picture. there seems to have been a vogue for riband-style cartouches in the late 1860s and early 1870s, and this is yet another example.
Here is biographical data on Jacobs:
George K. Jacobs was born on October 16, 1824 in Barnstead, New Hampshire, the son of Nathanial W. and Cynthia (Adams) Jacobs. It can be deduced from his later career that he was trained as a machinist; however, nothing is known about his early life. In August of 1850 at the time of the 1850 federal census he was living in the 4th Ward of the District of Columbia and working as a machinist. His name is not included in the 1855 Massachusetts census, and based on his children’s birth places, it is apparent that he moved to Springfield sometime between 1856 and 1859. His father may have preceded him there as both Jacobses were working at the Springfield Armory at the time of the 1865 Massachusetts census. Jacobs’ activity as an inspector is not well documented. He signed the oath required of all sub-inspectors of contract arms on October 1, 1862; but the place of signing was not indicated, and his whereabouts during 1862 and 1863 is largely a mystery. e documentation pertaining to his service that has so far been discovered covers only 1864 and places him in Manchester, New Hampshire, during a good portion of that year. Coincidentally, all of the weapons bearing his mark that the author has seen, whether from early or late in the War (Linder carbines and Amoskeag rie-muskets), likewise come from there. Treasury Department payment records now housed in the National Archives (as extracted by Charles Pate) show that between the 1st of April and the 25th of August 1864 Jacobs inspected 6 lots of Amoskeag rie-muskets consisting of 1000 guns each. An additional 1000-gun lot was inspected in October and two more lots of the same size in December. Apart from that, it is known that he served on the Springfield City Council as the representative from Ward Five in 1862, and that he continued to work at the Springfield Armory aer the war. On December 7, 1870 the commander of the Springfield Armory, Major J. G. Benton wrote the following in a letter to Oliver Winchester.
I have selected two inspectors of experience, Messrs. Clark and Jacobs, to report to you on the 20th inst., for duty in inspecting arms for the Turkish Government. e pay I presume will be the same as has been previously paid for Govt. inspectors at Providence and Ilion, viz. ve dollars per day, [Sundays included] and six cents a mile from this place to New Haven, going and returning. Messrs. Clark and Jacobs are among our most worthy men.
The “Clark and Jacobs” referred to are undoubtedly George K. Jacobs and David F. Clark. At the conclusion of the assignment at Winchester Jacobs seems to have gone to the Providence Tool Company to inspect the Peabody ries that were likewise being supplied to the Ottoman Turks, as the following item from the Springfield Republican of March 16, 1874 attests: “George K. Jacobs, formerly of this city, now chief inspector of Turkish arms at Providence, is in town, rumor says, aer workmen.” He does not appear to have worked at the Springfield Armory aer nishing in Providence as he is absent from the rolls during the .45/70 era from 1873 to 1893. The 1880 census ends with him living in Boston and working as a machinist. In 1886 he sold his house and lot on East Union Street in Springfield to one Sarah F. Read for $1400. He died in Cambridge, Massachusetts on September 11, 1898 of cerebral hyperemia. He was buried in Manchester, New Hampshire. (ank you, Tony and Charlie). MFC