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Great Grandfather's old WWI and Spanish American War guns

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So all together, I need to make sure that I legally can keep the guns and legally get rid of the ammo.


So far, here is the entire find in my dad's Study.



  • M12 Shotgun manufactured 1919
  • Winchester Model 1890 .22 Short rifle manufactured 1917-1919
  • Krag .30-40 manufactured 1900
  • Springfield Model 1903 manufactured 1918
  • Spanish knock-off of Smith and Wesson Model 3 made between 1884 until the 1920s
  • Colt Model 1908 Pistol manufactured 1915


  • Full clip of .25 ammunition and a half full box
  • 3 boxes of .22 ammunition
  • Partial 2 boxes and two clips of .30 ammo?


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Those green Remington Ammo boxes are known as "Dog Bone" Logos and date from the 1920s to 1930s. The .25 ammo in the box is the next logo design. I would need to see the box and sides but could be either pre or post war production. Although the ammo is not super collectable, the condition of the boxes are very good. The ammo has value.



Looking for CV-7 Wasp groupings

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I'm a bit confused. Is there some kind of draconian law in MA that says you cannot have ammunition for your firearms? I'd put away the collectible ammo and buy some plinking rounds. You might find that you enjoy a newfound hobby.

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I believe it's just that one needs an Firearms ID card to have guns or ammo. My neighbor does skeet shooting. He was telling me that one needs to take a 3 hour class on gun safety and then apply at the local police station. IMO not draconian. Just a step I need to take in the process.

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I had read earlier on that for guns 100 year old or more and if ammo was no longer readily commercially available that the guns could be declared antiques and that I would not need to get an FID card. But it looks like most or even all of these would not meet the "ammo no longer easily commercially available" criteria so I've pretty much given up hope that I could skip the FID card process.


I also can't skip the locked gun box or trigger lock requirement for storage.

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I want to thank everyone who has replied to this topic even though not all appear to be military items. The Spanish knock off of the S&W Model 3 almost certainly confirms the family story that my great grandfather did disarm a Spanish Lieutenant in Cuba in the Spanish American war.


My guess is that the .22 and the M12 were not directly associated with my great grandfather's Navy career but may have been extra curricular.


I don't know about the Krag .30-40 or the Smithfield 1903 rifles. My great grandfather was a US Navy officer during the Spanish American War and WWI. I do know that he spent significant time off of ships in the Spanish American war, both in the Philippians and Cuba. I don't know how much in WWI. By WWI the was a ship captain at least for a time.


After the war he went into Naval engineering and Naval ship building and would have had plenty of time for recreational hunting. I need more on my great Grandfather's service record.


The Cold .25 is a serious mystery. Perhaps I can jog my Uncle's memory. I wish my dad was still around to ask these questions but I suspect he wouldn't know either. I don't know that my dad ever mat his grandfather.

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A lot of us here enjoy researching veterans. If you have your grandfathers name and DOB we could tell you more about his service. Ancestry.com, Fold3, newspapers.com, all are helpful for researching a veteran. If your grandfather did serve in all of those places he would also have had some early campaign medals.

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A lot of us here enjoy researching veterans. If you have your grandfathers name and DOB we could tell you more about his service. Ancestry.com, Fold3, newspapers.com, all are helpful for researching a veteran. If your grandfather did serve in all of those places he would also have had some early campaign medals.


I hate to ask people to go to any trouble. But if its fun... he was Louis Shane, born on April 9, 1877 in Austria/Hungary. Came to the US with his family at the age of 3. He entered the US Naval Academy Sept. 6, 1894 and graduated June, 1898


A member here, aerialbridge, wrote up a nice story about him at the link below.




As to any of his service medals, aerialbridge actually has one of them. The others? Sadly I expect that those went into circulation along with the one aerialbridge has. But we have not fully gone though my Dad's study and there could be some other things yet to find.

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I have learned from my uncle that the Colt pistol was actually owned by my grandmother! Wife of my grandfather whose WWII medals i posted here. http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/333938-my-grandfathers-wwii-medals/


My Uncle also tells me that he has my Great Grandfathers Navel officers sward! We had discussed generally that he regard me as the keeper of our family history. I guess his daughters are not really interested in the stories and artifacts. And my son and daughter show good promise for carrying the history forward.


I've asked my Uncle if at some point I might take posession of the sward. He is in his mid eighties. I think he'll agree.


That Naval officers sward of my great grandfather would be worth more to me than the entire collection of items I've so far posted.

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Your 30-40 Krag looks like it might be a carbine and not a sporterized rifle. It should have a "C" marked on the rear sight. These rifles and carbine were used during the Spanish - American War period.




WANTED- hallmarked US Army Jump wings:            WANTED -Combat Infantryman Badges:


Bell Trading Post Master (with star in wreath).      F.W. Assmann Germany full size marked 191

12C Coro Senior clutchback (with star).                            CREST CRAFT Sterling EIB & CIB

CrestCraft 14C Master w/bubble canopy CB.                    Denmark’s Sterling 2nd Award D22

Emblem Supply 1E Senior pinback                                      Wilbur Kiff Co Attleboro Ma. Sterling

GP General Products Master CB                                          D&H Manufacturing, provenance RI

Military Post Supply M21/MPS-21 Senior CB                 C.P. Company NYC 1P C. Polk New York

Robbins Senior pinback                                                       Gemsco Sterling 3rd award

Robbins Attleboro Mass. Basic pinback                              Simon Sterling 3rd Award

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The Krag is a cut-down rifle. The front sight is for the M1903, a common use of that sight on Krag barrels that have been cut. The stock is missing the barrel band spring common to Carbine stocks; I can't see if there is a pin but the absence of the barrel band spring is consistent with a cut-down rifle stock.


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  • 4 weeks later...



You should consider taking the class, and getting whatever licensing is required now in MA to own firearms and ammo. I would hate to see the ammo thrown away. I would also think that whomever is the executor of the estate may have special rights and/or timeframes regarding disposition/resolution. You could potentially research this subject further, locally.


It looks like much of this was changed by a law that was enacted in MA in 2014. According to one of your state's websites, "In August of 2014, Chapter 284 of the Acts of 2014 was signed into law. This action amended the Massachusetts gun law and made changes to many of the law's provisions."


In May 2013, I was inducted into the American Society of Arms Collectors at a meeting that we held in Sturbridge, MA. We are always sent a summary of the local gun laws prior to traveling, as we bring firearms for display at meetings around the country. I don't recall the MA ammo and firearm laws that you mentioned, and was interested to learn that major changes took place in 2014. This is truly unfortunate.


I hope you are able to resolve the issues, and keep these items in your family collection.


Happy New Year!


David Albert


NRA Life Member
Past President, The American Thompson Association
American Society of Arms Collectors
Ohio Gun Collectors Association
Carbine Club
Garand Collectors Association

International Ammunition Association
Contributing Writer, Small Arms Review Magazine
Co-Author, "Thompson Manuals, Catalogs, & Other Paper Items" Collector Guide
One of the "Other Authors" of "The Ultimate Thompson Book," by Tracie L. Hill
Eagle Scout, and Member of NESA

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Thanks. We are not rushing to sell the house. I am co-trustee along with the trust bank. The bank has no interest in anything other than the financial assets.


As it is the house itself is deeded to my mom. She keeps telling me it's my house now and I keep telling her that it's actually hers. Regardless, the house won't be sold until I decide to sell it.


Technically speaking, the guns belong to my mom now but she has no way to keep them being in assisted living.


I don't know that I mentioned this but my neighbor is on the board of a shooting club just 10 minutes walk down my own street. They conduct these 3 hour gun safety training classes at their shooting range on Sundays.


I expect that just doing and getting my FID card is both the legal path as well as the path of least resistence. I'll likely do it in the spring.


I don't know if as trustee of the estate if I have any particular privileges but just getting the card is probably still the easiest.

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By the way, as for the ammo, I am definitely not keeping it. But I hear what people here are telling me that others would value the old ammo. So I will do my best to give or sell the ammo to someone who would value it for it's historical value.

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Just to clarify, my parents estate is roughly equally divided into my dad's trust and my mom's trust. The will states that all goes to the surviving spouse and when both are gone it all goes to me as their only child.


I don't really know if the guns are part of my dad's trust or my mom's. As I mentioned, the house is in my mom's.


But for both trusts I am co-trustee. The trust bank and their financial adviser at the bank will continue to invest the money to make a profit for my mom so long as she lives and probably I will keep him when the balance comes to me when my mom dies.


Probably TMI but I don't really know which trust the guns are in but at the end of the day, i have control of the guns and the house so the FID card is the best way to preserve our history.

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The Orbea Hermanos Revolver might be in .44 Russian caliber. I have a Orbea Hermanos break top similar to the one you show, The one I have is nickel plated and was my Great Grand Fathers. It is in .44 Russian.


I thought it might have been from the Spanish American War , But it turned out my GGF ran numbers and was a bar tender at a speak easy during those times. So No war connection for mine.


Semper Fi





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  • 7 months later...

You’ve got a really good family collection and I hope you are able to pass them on to your children who will appreciate their history.

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Very nice sword as well as the other items. The sword is  a great family heirloom. I wish I lived closer to MA to see it.  Thank you for posting, Beat navy!  

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