Found a nice little gunshop

Discussion in 'Camp Wordforge' started by Forbin, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. Forbin

    Forbin Do you feel fluffy, punk?

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    The Yankee Armorer in Mahwah, NJ. I was looking for a gunsmith to fix a broken screw on my great-great-grandfather's civil war musket, and the place's name leapt out at me as quite appropriate.

    I took the musket up there this week. Tiny little shop squeezed between two others in a small strip of stores. One gun case chock-full of antiques, mainly WWII era - lots of Lugers and Broomhandle Mausers with stocks (asking up to $4k for the latter!). The owner is 87, a veteran of the Pacific war, and got screwed out of his pension when he was fired from (ironically) Panasonic. He was extremely knowledgeable about my musket and told me a few things I didn't know (it was the only Bridesburg he's seen that hadn't been converted to a trap-door cartridge gun). I got talking about the other guns Dad left me, and he seemed interested. I feel the need to get rid of some, since I'm passing 60 and have no one to leave them to.

    I described Dad's Luger. At first he said he had enough Lugers, but I mentioned Dad got it from a Japanese officer he killed. The guy immediately thought I had a Nambu, of course, but I told him no, Mauser-built 1939 Luger. My research showed it belonged to the Dutch East Indies army, which explains its presence in the Pacific. Maybe the officer appropriated it from a Dutch soldier. The guy expanded on that and told me the Japanese officers had to buy their own sidearms from approved inventory, so it's likely it was confiscated and put into said inventory. Now he seems interested. So when I go to get the musket back, I'll pack up a half dozen of the handguns Dad left behind and see if he wants them. He seemed especially interested in the 1940s Walther PP I have (no, not PPK, PP).

    Not lookin' to make a bundle, just thinking the guns deserve a better home than my basement. And no, dammit, he wasn't interested in that S&W Model 1 I mentioned in the other thread. He said it might be worth $300 in original condition, but the replacement sideplate kills the value. Dammit.

    Also - 87? I hope to hell he lives long enough to fix my musket!
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  2. Paladin

    Paladin Overjoyed Man of Liberty

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  3. Elwood

    Elwood I know what I'm about, son.

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    I know that name! There's a Seiko Service Center there. I have to triple check that I spelled it correctly on the package before I ship broken watches up there to them.
  4. Forbin

    Forbin Do you feel fluffy, punk?

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    The local Native American town names around here are occasionally difficult for the white man's forked tongue.
    Also near here: Hohokus.
    The business center of the town I grew up in (Franklin Lakes) was known as "Campgaw" for a few generations, because it was literally where Lenape Indian chief Gaw had his camp when the area was settled. I don't think the youngsters and transplants know that, but my father's parents probably knew people who knew Gaw!
  5. Lanzman

    Lanzman Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Formerly Important

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    You should try some of the dutch and german names from where I grew up. Valatie. Tsawasa. Like that. And every creek is a "kill."
  6. Captain X

    Captain X Responsible cookie control

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    [​IMG]
  7. Forbin

    Forbin Do you feel fluffy, punk?

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    Oh, heck, the Dutch settled the area where I grew up! My great-grandparents were Demerest. There's all sorts of Steensma and Van Blarkam and Van Der Roll and around here. I pass Kuiken Brothers hardware store every day.
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  8. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon outta my way Administrator Formerly Important

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    We've got a lot of Salish names out here.

    Snoqualmie
    Snohomish
    Skykomish
    Duwamish (whose chief at the time the first settlers [The Denny Party] came to the area was Chief Sealth [Seattle])
    Sequim
    Lushootseed
    Puyallup
    Walla Walla
    Yakima (Krieg's people)
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  9. Forbin

    Forbin Do you feel fluffy, punk?

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    I was starting to worry about my musket, but they finally called. Only about $35 to drill out the broken screw and make a new one. Gonna go up next week with some of Dad's guns and see if he'll buy them, and pass the cash on the Mom, who really needs it.
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  10. Forbin

    Forbin Do you feel fluffy, punk?

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    Picked up grandpappy's musket. The new screw they made is identical to the old one. Perfect.

    I learned a bunch about Dad's Luger, and Dad's Walther PP, and then sold them. I also took along a couple of crappy old H&R revolvers that Dad got from his uncle, and the guy took the 7-shot top-break .22 also, because he thought his wife might like it.

    $850 for the three, which, since they were Dad's guns, I'm gonna give to Mom, who needs it a lot more than I do.

    He was going to give me a better price on the Luger based on its unusual history, before he started examining it closely. Turns out the toggle mechanism serial # doesn't match the rest of the gun. Must be a rebuild. The magazine had a wooden floorplate, which is WWI issue and obviously not original to a 1939 Luger. And the bore is rusty from being carried around the Pacific by a Dutch soldier, Japanese officer, and Dad.

    The PP was a 1940s civilian model with no Nazi markings, but he liked it, and I have no attachment to it. Off it went.

    I also brought along a truly crappy little Vesta .25 auto, which I have no clue where Dad got it. The guy pulled out a book and turned to a section with 3 pages full of Spanish .25 autos that looked exactly like it, including a perfect drawing of mine. Turns out Spanish factories cranked out parts for these guns in the millions, and hundreds of different manufacturers slapped the parts together and stuck a pair of grips with their name molded on. Their as common as house keys. So, no value and no interest. Likewise the three falling-apart Iver Johnson .32 revolvers that have been in a shoebox in the basement or three or four generations. They're literally junk, missing parts, mechanisms that donn't work... The guy had the same thought I had - wait for a "gun buy back" in the area and get $50 apiece for junk.

    I told him I also had an '03 Springfield and a 7.7mm Arisaka, and he said he's interested in the '03, but Arisakas aren't in vogue right now. I'll run back up in a couple of weeks with then and see what I can get.
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  11. shootER

    shootER Insubordinate...and churlish Administrator

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    What condition is the Springfield? :soholy:
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  12. Forbin

    Forbin Do you feel fluffy, punk?

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    Well, old :lol:. I'd say fair - our local VFW shot blanks thru it it for the salute on Memorial Day every year for a few decades. I think Dad reconditioned it at some point. it may have been de-miled and Dad re-miled it for the VFW - my memory is fuzzy on that. Then "somehow" when he retired as post commander, the rifles ended up coming home with him. I've fired live ammo thru it a few times and it's a good accurate shooter. I'll take some pics.
  13. Captain X

    Captain X Responsible cookie control

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    What condition is the Arisaka in?
  14. Forbin

    Forbin Do you feel fluffy, punk?

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    As it happens I showed it to the gunshop guy, and he wasn't interested because is has a "dufflebag cut" stock. I'm learning interesting shit from this guy. In order to get the gun home, a GI would take it apart, and saw the forend off under a barrel band so the stock was short enough to fit in his duffle bag. I knew the gun had a separate forend, but I didn't know it wasn't supposed to, and that Dad cut it. The guy said if he could scare up a complete replacement stock, he might give me a call. He already had Arisaka's up on the wall.

    Other than that, it's in decent enough shape - certainly in good mechanical condition. I've shot it a few times (powerful damn round, the 7.7, on such a light gun); it has the flip-up anti-aircraft sight. The stock ain't pretty. I can't swear to the bore, I haven't looked.

    I sold the guy my '03 Springfield for $250. Coincidentally, just about enough to pay for getting Mom's central air fixed. Fire ants ate her wiring away! :soma:
  15. Captain X

    Captain X Responsible cookie control

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    I have one that looks in decent shape. I'm having a smith check it out for me, but he seems to have a bias against Japanese guns and tried to convince me I should turn it into a wall-hanger without even taking a look at it yet. I kind of wished I could have found a decent Type 38, which fires a 6.5mm round instead, but I haven't come across any in my state.

    Was there anything majorly wrong with that '03 Springfield?
  16. Forbin

    Forbin Do you feel fluffy, punk?

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    Stock wasn't great, and the bore was very worn. Mechanically it was sound (I've shot it), but I doubt it was 100% original - if I remember correctly (from 50 years ago), our VFW got three of them demilled (I don't know how), and my father (who was a talented machinist) fixed them up into working condition. Probably got replacement bolts, at the least. Knowing him, he could have even made brand new firing pins on his lathe (if they were missing). Dad was post commander during the 1970s, and they used the rifles for the salute at the Memorial Day ceremonies. I guess he decided to keep them when he retired and moved away, and gave me one.
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  17. Forbin

    Forbin Do you feel fluffy, punk?

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    There's one of them! Dad's carrying the flag. This is probably about 1976.

    memorial day 2.jpg
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