The previous owner said he got it from an old vet, just don't know.
Take those stories with a huge grain of salt. Many years ago, I was offered what was supposed to be a Persian marked Mauser broomhandle. The seller swore he got it from "an old man who got it in North Africa in WWII." At the time, I had no resources to determine if it was authentic, and I bought it. Luckily, the price I paid was not out of line for even a run of the mill broomhandle, so I didn't get hurt too badly.
It turns out that the Persian contract fell within a very specific serial number range, and this broom was a complete and total fake, albeit extremely well done.
Moral? Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see.