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Stephen

Anyone remember the ol days of fun finds

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On 5/15/2021 at 6:05 PM, Dave R said:

"Ethnic" weapons were a bit of an odd collecting area back in the early 70's, and Japanese stuff was considered "Ethnic".... There was in fact a bit of a prejudice against them, and so prices were low. I do remember prices going up tenfold in just one year, and a katana that was priced at £18 would be £180 in just about twelve months. 

Percussion guns were cheap and despised, flintlocks were collectable, British military swords were stuck in the umbrella stand, foreign swords went into a bucket. I paid £10 for a gold koftgari decorated Indian dagger with Ivory grips. 

 I still have the first Kukri I bought for £1.10 shillings from a small junk-antiques shop called "the exchange and mart"...... Hmm, coming over all nostalgic! 

Khukri 1.JPG

 

Ah Dave...memories eh.

Here is my own little kukri that was given to me by a local family.

The kukri was a gift to this Aussie soldier (ambulanceman in pic) from a wounded  Nepalese Gurkha whom he saved after their attack on the Turkish lines on Sari Bair hill, Gallipoli, Aug. 1915.

The 6th Gurkhas were the only allies who reached the top of the hill (the Aussies and Kiwis being shot to pieces) and when the RN warships out at sea saw movement on the hilltop, thinking they were Turks, shelled them off again. Thus our Aussie medics had to go in and bring out the wounded. This Gurkha gave this kukri to Staff/Sgt Alex Hood (standing rear left) as a "thank you" for getting him out.

This is probably the only identified kukri to come back from Gallipoli?

Regards,

AHood RBorstel 4Fld Amb.jpg

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Hi Chris,

Yes, amazing indeed. I know this is a nihonto board, but I couldn't resist adding to Dave's post....in fact, the same family gave me their mother's settler revolver also. Women back then often carried arms when driving wagons or were passengers in coaches...this is a little Belgian Francotte revolver cal 297/230 which is about 22 cal but with a more powerful charge. (this was a common cadet rifle round in the British Empire 1890-1930).

The owner was Ida Borstel, married to the soldier Sgt Dick Borstel in the pic (standing rear middle). She was born Natal South Africa 1881 and came to Western Australia 1907. She married Mr Borstel in 1923 and they were rural settlers. The Hood and Borstel families intermarried.

(sorry for this Brian)...

Regards,

Dick & Ida Borstel.jpg

 

IMG_5821 (3).JPG

 

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I have a box of ammo for that. Unusual..like you say, it was a Martini-action rifle caliber. Or sub-caliber conversion. Unusual to be found as a revolver. Cute!

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A little pocket rocket!

My second love is antique firearms. I have a great affinity for oddball calibers and design concepts. My favorite being the Walther Model 1 and 2 .22 autoloader rifles. They're WILD in that they're both bolt-action 5 or 10 round magazine fed .22 rifles; but if you turn the bolt up, they fire in semi-automatic! I have both, and I cherish them. Plus they get some looks at the range when I switch them over to semi-auto!

I found my Model 1 in a local  shop, broken and in pieces. Bought for $100 and had a gunsmith who specializes in antique firearms repair it; charged me $125. Best $225 I ever spent. Loved it so much, I bought a Model 2 (which is much beefier)
 

 

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They turn up here fairly regularly. Lovely plinkers.

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Really? They're pretty scarce here. I'd love to own a model 1 or 2 tapped and mounted with an original scope. That or a G/K43 rifle or an SVT-40. Something about 10 round semi-autos are just so much fun at the range!

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> Something about 10 round semi-autos are just so much fun at the range!

 

Heartily agree.  We used to be able to do this in the State of Victoria in Australia until our Federal Government banned 'em.  My two Winchester '03 semi-autos in .22 WRF went to the crusher, thence to the furnace where I presume they were cast into brake shoes for our local rail services.  RIP 10-shot semi-auto .22 RF.

 

BaZZa.

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That is heart-breaking. Those are $800 in the poorest of shape even around these parts and another fun target plinker. Sorry to hear that!

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Commiserations to all Aus shooters.... RIP my .22 LR semi-auto Ruger (carbine), 10 round circular and flush mag with 25 curved after market mag.  Small Tasco scope. Controlled much of the small introduced vermin and built solid shooting skills for the F88 Austeyr later in life.  Now that is a nice personal weapon!

Rob

 

 

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22 hours ago, Brian said:

I have a box of ammo for that. Unusual..like you say, it was a Martini-action rifle caliber. Or sub-caliber conversion. Unusual to be found as a revolver. Cute!

Yes, that is correct Brian. There were still a lot of these cadet rifles around when I was a kid.

Just a South Africa question Brian...

That little revolver has a serial number, but (like some other South African owned firearms I have seen), has an extra number punched on the frame (in photo this is Z7325).

Do you know what these "Z' numbers are Brian?   Maybe Z = Zuid Afrika?. Maybe you have seen them also?

Just wondering...

Regards,

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They are called "Smuts" numbers. From my understanding, at some point in the distant past, all firearms were registered at certain districts. Many had an additional serial number added during this registration process, and the letter referred to the district. Maybe done during the rule of Jan Smuts.

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ChrisW said: “ That or a G/K43 rifle or an SVT-40. Something about 10 round semi-autos are just so much fun at the range!”

 
My SVT40

D5885C6F-F35E-451E-8036-E0F744954936.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Brian said:

They are called "Smuts" numbers. From my understanding, at some point in the distant past, all firearms were registered at certain districts. Many had an additional serial number added during this registration process, and the letter referred to the district. Maybe done during the rule of Jan Smuts.

Thanks  Brian, that is helpful.

Jan Smuts was certainly in positions of power during the acquisition of this revolver by Ida (nee Hornby) who is said to have carried it in SA as a young woman when she was 'out and about' on horseback or in a trap. She brought it with her when she came to WA in 1907 and it was her personal/house revolver while on the land c.1910-1938.

Just one more favour if you can manage it...can you ask your SA gun mates if they have any more detail about the  the Z number?...reason...province/district etc/ date? I have seen half a dozen of these, and ALL have been  'Z'...all from one province?

Interesting,

regards,

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55 minutes ago, Mark S. said:

ChrisW said: “ That or a G/K43 rifle or an SVT-40. Something about 10 round semi-autos are just so much fun at the range!”

 
My SVT40

D5885C6F-F35E-451E-8036-E0F744954936.jpeg


Maaaan. That makes me so jealous. That condition looks really nice. How does it shoot? You can't get them anymore for less than 3k.

I have a really nice M44 Mosin Carbine with its brass pass-through loops and side-affixed bayonet. I also have a Type I Arisaka (I as in eye), they were made in Italy for the Japanese out of Carcano and Arisaka parts.

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1 hour ago, george trotter said:

Thanks  Brian, that is helpful.

Jan Smuts was certainly in positions of power during the acquisition of this revolver by Ida (nee Hornby) who is said to have carried it in SA as a young woman when she was 'out and about' on horseback or in a trap. She brought it with her when she came to WA in 1907 and it was her personal/house revolver while on the land c.1910-1938.

Just one more favour if you can manage it...can you ask your SA gun mates if they have any more detail about the  the Z number?...reason...province/district etc/ date? I have seen half a dozen of these, and ALL have been  'Z'...all from one province?

Interesting,

regards,

I think the registration laws that required them were about 1937. So that would fit in.
I think the Z is just the district. Maybe one of the larger ones like Johannesburg etc. I don't have a list of the numbers and prefixes, but have seen a handful of different ones. I think one or 2 of my C96's have them. They could have been symbols rather than letters too. A diamond for Kimberly rings a bell.

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1 hour ago, ChrisW said:


Maaaan. That makes me so jealous. That condition looks really nice. How does it shoot? 
 


Condition is good, although it has purple colored bolt when it went through arsenal refinish.  Shoots well.  As most things Russian that have to deal with Russian winters and less than optimally trained conscripts, it’s robustly built and designed for function over form.  

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That's why I love my Mosin carbine. Robust, durable, and packs a punch with that 7.62x54R.

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18 hours ago, Mark S. said:

ChrisW said: “ That or a G/K43 rifle or an SVT-40. Something about 10 round semi-autos are just so much fun at the range!”

 
My SVT40

D5885C6F-F35E-451E-8036-E0F744954936.jpeg

There is a series of vid's on You Tube made by a group called "Yuri Gagarin", they excavate Russian Battlefields of WW2. Amongst other stuff they brought one of these up out of a swamp.... along with the remains of the soldier who carried it. Chilling stuff, but absorbing.

yuri gagarin.jpg

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Thanks for that info Brian...if you learn any more about the Smutts numbers, please pass it on to me.

Great stuff, very helpful.

Thanks.

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On 5/20/2021 at 2:27 AM, Dave R said:

There is a series of vid's on You Tube made by a group called "Yuri Gagarin", they excavate Russian Battlefields of WW2. Amongst other stuff they brought one of these up out of a swamp.... along with the remains of the soldier who carried it. Chilling stuff, but absorbing.

yuri gagarin.jpg

 

I follow them as well. Its amazing what they find and how respectful they are with the remains as well. They said WW2 was on such a large scale that they could dig forever and not find everything

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I still acquire fun finds though it gets harder every year, At shows I look under the dealers table, and every so often take a punt online. 

 Most recently two complete East African spears of the type with iron ends and a wooden grip in the centre. Only one other bidder and they didn't realise how valuable these are now. Nicely forged and the heads as sharp as razors... What I had failed to comprehend was the length of the b'ggers when assembled

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