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Old October 28, 2010, 11:45 PM   #1
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Join Date: November 5, 2002
Location: Nevada
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European parlor/target pistols

I'm helping an elderly relative down-size his collection and he is interested in selling four parlor/target pistols (and a rifle which I will post separately) he purchased many years ago. He will be taking these to a buyer in a few days and I'd like to make sure he is not getting taken to the cleaners and will get a fair value for these guns.

Attached are photos (apologies for the large images...on the road and am uploading directly from camera) and the best descriptions I can give.

1) Pistol 1: Breech-loading. Guessing a .22 caliber. Has initials "JB" and "L&C Bils" (in a circle) stamped on the bottom of the barrel, just forward of the trigger guard. Stamped on the left side of the barrel is a circle with an "E" at the 12 o'clock position, an "L" at the 7 o'clock position and a "G" at the 5 o'clock position.

2) Pistol 2: Tulip barrel muzzle loader. Stamped on the right receiver plate is "IN WIEN" and stamped on top of the barrel is "JOHANN CONTRINER IN WIEN"

3) Pistols 3 & 4 are in wood box that includes a screwdriver and a cleaning brush. Both shoot 22 "BB caps" (?) and are breech-loaded.

Pistol 3 (top in box) has "ML 23" stamped on the barrel. On the bottom of the barrel is stamped "305 UR".

Pistol 4 (bottom in box) has "MANUFACTURE FRANCAISE D'ARMES & CYCLES ST. ETIENNE" stamped on the barrel. "732" is stamped on the inside of the trigger guard.

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Old November 3, 2010, 04:39 PM   #2
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Sorry I can't help with values, but here's my best shot at identifications:

1- looks to be made by J.B. Ronge & Fils ("J.B. Ronge & Sons"), of Liege, Belgium. This might or might not be 22, as many of these pistols were chambered for 6mm Flobert, a rimfire cartridge whose chamber will accept a 22 cartridge, but which is a lot less powerful; PLEASE DON'T ALLOW THIS TO BE FIRED UNTIL YOU MAKE SURE OF THE CHAMBERING.

2 - is marked as being made by Johann Contriner, of Vienna ("Wien"), Austria, sometime between 1870 and 1876. It's not unheard of for a pistol like this to still be loaded, so make sure the barrel and breech are clear with a rod.

3 & 4 - these have the same breech design, but you might need to take them out of the wood to get a better look at any markings; they both are marked as French, by Manufacture Francaise D'Armes (MF), but were likely put together as a "set" sometime after they were built.
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