Vintage pic thread: Your oldest firearms

USMCSGT0331

Sergeant of the Hide
Mar 23, 2013
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#1
This is the vintage section, so how about an all encompassing vintage thread. Your task is simple, show us your oldest firearms. Tell some stories, teach some history, share some pics; all vintage guns are welcome here.

To kick off this thread, I'd like to share something that is very old. Circa 1360-70's, approximately 650 years old! This is an original band-iron hand cannon that was found at the Aljubarrota battlefield in Portugal (the battle took place on August 14, 1385). Due to the extreme age of this firearm, only the barrel remains. It was originally mounted to a primitive stock called a "tiller," the end of which was tucked under the arm of the shooter.

There are a few older Chinese firearms, but I'm only aware of 1 older European firearm - the Loshult Gun. The Loshult Gun dates to about the 1340-50's and is much larger than this hand cannon. Aljubarrota barrels weight about 3+ pounds, whereas the Loshult Gun tips the scales close to 20 pounds. The earlier Loshult Gun is cast bronze, but the Aljubarrota guns were made from bands of iron that have been twisted and forged around a mandrel.

You can see the iron twisting in the pics below, the last pic is a composite that shows what the gun looks like "unwrapped." The 4th pic shows the inside of the barrel, with light shining through the touch hole in the rear (lol).

https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Loshult_Gun.jpg

 
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Spooky68

Private Parts
Aug 24, 2014
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Fulshear, Tx
#5
Yup.... I’ve got a 1894 Winchester I’ve been wanting to ask about. Hopefully there are some old western lever gun experts around.... more when I get home.
 
Jan 25, 2013
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Utah
#6
A 1941 date Walther P38. It has Swastikas stamped in it and everything. Its a surprisingly nice shooting gun. Ill try to dig up some pics
 
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Apr 28, 2012
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Van Wert, Ohio
#7
The oldest Sniper rifle I have is a design that was first used by the US Marines in 1917 and the US Army in 1918.

The only A5 Marine variant discussed in books is the Mann Niedner and it's long been assumed that was the main Marine sniper rifle during WWI. But when we went back and researched it, the Mann Niedner was more a variant during WWI and the main one used would have been the one done by Winchester.

In 1917 Niedner mounted 150 rifles at the Philly Arsenal, but was caught making un-american comments and was investigated as a German Saboteur, including an investigation by the FBI that his rifles were sabotaged. This cancelled Niedner's contact in late June 1917 to mount scopes. On July 2nd 1917 the contract to mount 500 A5 scopes was given to Winchester. Winchester mounted 500 scopes on m1903's provided by the US Marines. These shipped to France by fall 1917 and it appears they shipped to the 5th Marine regiment.

The Army also procured 900 of these rifles in early to mid 1918 bc of delays in the WRA model of 1918 sniper, and a 4000 Warner Swasey order that wasn't fullfilled. There were no differences in the Marine vs Army versions. The blocks on these rifles were called the Winchester Springfield Marine mount.

Here is the rifle in France in late 1917, though it coule be possibly as late as the first 2 weeks of 1918.

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The rifle in the picture is a pre 1910 M1903. As evidenced by the highwood stock and no reinforcing clips in the handguard. Below is an original 1909 with Winchester Springfield MArine mounts (blocks). One of four known to exist. One is at the museum at Cody, and two others in private hands besides this one. Even thought this could be Army since there is no difference between the version the Army and Marines received, I do believe it's Marine bc of very close serial hits to documented Marine sniper rifles. But without a direct serial hit, it will be impossible to prove. This is probably one of my favorite rifles because this is an example of when you actually research something at the National Archives, many of our books have screwed up a lot of our history.

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pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
7,348
3,899
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MA
#8
The oldest Sniper rifle I have is a design that was first used by the US Marines in 1917 and the US Army in 1918.

The only A5 Marine variant discussed in books is the Mann Niedner and it's long been assumed that was the main Marine sniper rifle during WWI. But when we went back and researched it, the Mann Niedner was more a variant during WWI and the main one used would have been the one done by Winchester.

In 1917 Niedner mounted 150 rifles at the Philly Arsenal, but was caught making un-american comments and was investigated as a German Saboteur, including an investigation by the FBI that his rifles were sabotaged. This cancelled Niedner's contact in late June 1917 to mount scopes. On July 2nd 1917 the contract to mount 500 A5 scopes was given to Winchester. Winchester mounted 500 scopes on m1903's provided by the US Marines. These shipped to France by fall 1917 and it appears they shipped to the 5th Marine regiment.

The Army also procured 900 of these rifles in early to mid 1918 bc of delays in the WRA model of 1918 sniper, and a 4000 Warner Swasey order that wasn't fullfilled. There were no differences in the Marine vs Army versions. The blocks on these rifles were called the Winchester Springfield Marine mount.

Here is the rifle in France in late 1917, though it coule be possibly as late as the first 2 weeks of 1918.

View attachment 6947956


The rifle in the picture is a pre 1910 M1903. As evidenced by the highwood stock and no reinforcing clips in the handguard. Below is an original 1909 with Winchester Springfield MArine mounts (blocks). One of four known to exist. One is at the museum at Cody, and two others in private hands besides this one. Even thought this could be Army since there is no difference between the version the Army and Marines received, I do believe it's Marine bc of very close serial hits to documented Marine sniper rifles. But without a direct serial hit, it will be impossible to prove. This is probably one of my favorite rifles because this is an example of when you actually research something at the National Archives, many of our books have screwed up a lot of our history.

View attachment 6947959
View attachment 6947960

View attachment 6947962
Its got to burn your soul that the period photo is not clear enough to read the serial number of that Marines rifle.

Those two look like identical twins if not the same rifle.
 
Likes: Stevo86
Apr 28, 2012
153
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Van Wert, Ohio
#10
Its got to burn your soul that the period photo is not clear enough to read the serial number of that Marines rifle.

Those two look like identical twins if not the same rifle.
You have no idea. The original pictures are on glass plates. There were two pics taken of this Marine. I even paid a researcher almost a $100 to go to the archives, pull the 2 glass plates and make high definition scans of them in the hope I might notice a scratch or dent in the stock and be able to find the same one in mine. But no luck, you can't make out anything for certain.
 
Jan 14, 2012
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Left Hand, WV
#14
Here's my very oldest, though it's a project in progress. Parts for these are a bit hard to find. But what I can tell this is a Smith and Wesson Model 1-1/2. I have a few parts put away for it but had this handy for a pic. I bought this when i was 12yrs old at a gun show from a parts box for $10. 4 digit serial on the butt. I'm still hunting a cylinder, grips and other small parts. From what I can tell it's from the mid to late 1800s. Maybe very late/post Civil War.

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Jan 14, 2012
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Left Hand, WV
#15
My oldest working firearm that's not in my father's safe is this fine old rimfire. It's a Mossberg 42m(b). This one is not US Property marked like a lot of these were. This one has no serial number, it wasn't filed off or anything like that. It's never had one engraved and maybe some of these didn't have serial numbers? Cant say for sure. Its surprisingly accurate and very reliable. I've carried it all over, had it buried in mud, it's been through the ringer. Still has the factory sights and is original down to the screws in the scope mount and target sight tapped holes. It is the rifle my kids learned to shoot with. One of my very favorites. I've dated it to between 1945-1947 manufacture. But cant confirm that. I've also heard it may be older? It's a fine gun anyway and will soon have an original Mossberg scope/mount mounted. I am also looking for an original Parker Hale peep sight like the British lease trainers were fitted with. The camp sling is of course not original, but it's my father's old sling and its comfortable. 20181010_221050.jpg
 

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Vodoun daVinci

Sergeant of the Hide
Dec 17, 2017
202
48
28
#18
My oldest gun ain't all that old but it's cool, totally functional and loved. Inherited a Colt 1903 Model M built in 1918 and carried by 3 generations of my Wife's kin. Pocket carried by her Grandfather on Saturday Night Go to Town trips in the 1930's and used hard and put away dirty.

PointShooting.jpg

Hasn't got much finish left but it shoots like a top especially at rapid fire point shooting. Locks up solid and has never missed a lick...like a sharp pair of scissors it just works. .32 acp and all original. She's 100 years old this year and my Wife and I will run 100 rounds thru her here shortly as a celebration of 100 years of protecting her (and our) family. This gun has a Soul.

VooDoo
 
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Likes: davidb187
Mar 26, 2006
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#19
My pic hosting site is down, but I have a muzzleloader (fowling piece?) which was carried by my great-great-great grandfather in the Ontario Militia during the little-known post-Civil War Feinian Raids, when Irish-American Civil War veterans attempted to invade Canada in an ill-fated attempt to goad Britain into diverting troops from Ireland so that the Irish could re-take the homeland. After a couple years of attempts US Grant decided it was not worth inflaming Britain and cut off supply lines at the border, ending the raids.

My GGG grandfather subsequently came to the US and brought the rifle with him. I built a shadow box for it, including the belt and buckle from his uniform.

This rifle is not functional. I've inherited all of my extended family's firearms and have multiple early 1900 examples in working order, mostly 22s and shotguns.
 
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