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ASK THE GUN GUY ARCHIVES -- Fall 2000
Q&A column by Jim Supica, as originally published in Shotgun News.
On this page:
HOW TO SELL COLLECTOR FIREARMS Featured essay
W. Richards Shotguns
S&W Model 36 - Made in the USA
U.S. Revolver Co.
Merwin Hulbert - model classifications
Captain Jack spurtrigger revolver
Remington 1875 Single Action Army value
Double barrel muzzleloading shotguns
Double barrel Garrucha pistols
Japanese Arisaka rifle values
SELLING COLLECTOR GUNS
Q - Please advise how it is possible to sell valuable collector type guns.
A - There are several approaches you can take, each has it's strengths and weaknesses. As you might expect, it will often take you more effort & "risk" (security concerns should be considered when advertising guns for sale) to realize more $$$ for your guns.
As a first step, it is essential that you know what you have and what it's worth. Even many people very familiar with shooting may not be good at figuring this out. If not, they definitely need trustworthy advice from someone who does. At a minimum, invest $30 in one of the better price guides -- I recommend Blue Book of Gun Values, Standard Catalog of Firearms, or, for antique American guns - Flayderman's Guide.
Here are some methods --
* SELL THEM YOURSELF ONLINE --
Gunsamerica.com is one of the major "want ad" type services. There are also several auction format sales venues online, although none of them are dominant in the way that ebay is (ebay does not accept gun listings).
* SELL THEM THRU WANT ADS --
For this approach I would prefer to use specialty firearms papers such as Shotgun News & Gun List. Their rates are very reasonable. I personally would NOT sell in a local newspaper want format, due to security concerns.
* SELL AT A GUN SHOW --
You can either take them in & walk them around asking for offers from the tableholders, or rent a table yourself to sell them yourself. This is a good route if you are a collector yourself, and enjoy gunshows, and do not put a dollar value on your time spent there.
SELLING YOURSELF by any of the above routes has the special risk that your collection will be "cherry picked" unless you know values well -- i.e., the beginning amateur dealer will invariably underprice some desirable pieces and overprice some dogs. His gems will quickly disappear to savvy buyers, and his clunkers will remain with him.
Also, in any format where you are selling the guns directly yourself, you want to be sure you are complying with all laws, and this can be a bit tricky unless you know what you're doing. It is perhaps easiest with antique guns made before 1899, which for all practical purposes are exempt from federal regulation.
* SELL ON CONSIGNMENT AT AUCTION --
If they are scarce collectible guns, I'd strongly recommend a specialty firearms auctioneer with an illustrated auction catalog who accepts absentee bids. If they are common sporting arms, a local auctioneer can do a good job for you. Be sure he knows & complies with firearms laws -- many don't.
* SELL ON CONSIGNMENT THRU A DEALER --
If yours are specialty collectible guns, there are some well established dealers around the country who accept guns to sell on consignment. In this format, you don't have the price risk (nor upside opportunity) of an auction. You do need to be comfortable that the dealer you use is honest & knows your type of guns. Many of these dealers advertise in this paper.
* SELL TO A DEALER --
Most dealers specializing in collectible arms are anxious to buy good collections. This is probably the easiest route. It can be a good idea to get several bids if you have a desirable collection.
Hope that helps. -- Jim
W. RICHARDS SHOTGUNS
Q - To whom this concerns: I have a W. Richards double barrel shotgun. The barrel is 31" long, wood stock. I can not find ANY info regarding this gun. Please email me with: who manufactured this gun, year, value now, etc. Any info you send will be greatly appreciated. Have looked everywhere that I can think of, but to no avail on info.
A - Barb, shotguns made by Westley Richards are high quality and have good value. However, they always spelled out "Westley" in their brand marking. A number of other firms used similar sounding names such as "Richards" and "W. Richards" on low grade Belgian made shotguns. There’s a good possibility that they wanted to take advantage of the well known Westley Richards name, fooling unwary buyers. Look for small "ELG" proof marks -- if you find them you probably have one of the "wanna-be" copies. If so, I find that they usually retail in the $150 to $250 range, assuming simple field grade & average condition. A rough one might bring less - an ornate one in excellent condition more.
Q - If you have time, I would like to know anything you can tell me about the value of a double-barrel shotgun used in the Civil War. I do not know how to judge it's condition. It has not been refinished, and would not be safe to fire. I know it was used in the 2nd battle of Manassas-1865. To my knowledge it has never been altered in any way, just cleaned. Thanks for any feedback. The gun belonged to a relative who fought in the Confederate Army and was wounded at that battle.
A - You have a toughie there to evaluate. Here's why --
Most plain grade, average to rough condition old double barrel percussion shotguns are not worth high figures, with many retailing in the $150 to $300 range.
However, any Confederate used firearm can be quite valuable, with some worth many thousands of dollars. Generally the highest value guns would be ones made by Confederate makers, and unfortunately this is a field where fakes abound. Even if not Confederate made, an old double that could be PROVEN to have been Confederate used would have considerable collector interest and value.
The amount of premium your gun could bring as a Confederate gun would depend on how well documented the Confederate usage was. At a minimum, you might want to get notarized statements from any family members as to the "oral history" that has been passed down with regards to the gun.
The best possible documentation for an historically attributed gun such as yours would have to date from the actual period of use, and identify the specific firearm. Such documentation is quite rare.
Another type of documentation that helps the value of historic firearms is “provenance” - a term usually used to mean the gun’s “pedigree” of previous owners. The farther back the ownership can be proven (with the same historical claim by each previous owner), the more credible the piece. Ideally, there would be specific documentation from each previous owner, but this is very rarely the case - usually there are gaps in the provenance chain of documentation.
Hope this helps -- Jim
S&W MODEL 36 “MADE IN U.S.A.”
Q - I have a S&W Model 36 with "Made in U. S. A." marking and butt swivel. Can you help me place a value on this revolver?
A - This is a rare variation of the Model 36, with an interesting story behind it. These were originally part of a 2,000 gun run for the Army in 1977, marked “U.S.” on the backstrap. There was an overrun of about 112 guns. It was decided to change the “U.S.” to “Made in U.S.A.” by adding “Made in _ _ A.” to the marking, and release them on the commercial market.
That type of gun is tough to value -- very scarce gun, but how many guys know & care?
If you had to sell quick, might be tough to get $250 for it. If you found a guy who collected 36’s, and had to have it, he might give double that or more in a heartbeat.
Another question on collectible S&W’s is whether consumer resentment over S&W’s agreement with the Clinton administration will dampen the market for pre-agreement Smith & Wesson handguns.
Q - Hello,
I am working on an insurance appraisal for a client who owns an unusual antique gun and am wondering if you might be able to tell us anything about it. In particular, we are seeking a retail value for the gun. Unfortunately, I don't have much information about it, but I have attached an image to this email. We believe that it is a 19th century gun, and the curved wooden handle is inlaid with ivory birds and flowers.
A - Jill, the gun you picture is one of the most difficult types to appraise with any degree of accuracy. The primary reason is that guns of this general style have been made in Southeastern Europe, the Mid East, and Northern Africa for three centuries. Those which are original 17th or 18th century flintlocks made for actual usage can have substantial value, especially if ornately decorated and showing fine workmanship.
However, the VAST majority of this style gun encountered on the collector market are guns made for the tourist trade, and have relatively little value. They are made using the same tools & techniques as the originals, and as often as not will have been artificially aged to some degree. In addition, "Tourist" guns can have genuine age to them - they've been made for that market for over 150 years. Generally, they will have flashy decoration, but the work will be crude - often the firing mechanism will not be designed so as to be shootable.
It takes a hands on inspection by someone who has studied a few of these to make the determination as to authenticity, quality, and age. I also suspect that large degree of guesswork is involved.
I am far from an expert in this field, but exercising some of that guesswork on your gun, I would suspect that it is a relatively recently made (i.e. sometime in 20th century) tourist gun. The decoration seems flashy but quickly & crudely executed from the photo, but a hands-on inspection might tell more.
The general style of the gun - a one-handed blunderbus with a generously belled muzzle and a short stock resembling that of a long gun - is called a "dag". Some sources report that these guns had the buttstock pressed against the breastbone to fire, calling them "breast" guns. Other reports indicate one-handed firing like a pistol.
The dag was popular in Albania & Turkey and the other gun pictured with this answer is more typical of that style - note the lack of extreme curve in the stock.
Your gun differs from the one pictured, in that it has a deep curve in the stock which suggests Afghan or Arabic origin. However, your gun also has bird shaped inlays in the stock, and I would not expect to see "realistic" representation of birds on a gun made in a Muslim country. I would think that this combination of regional styles might also be indicative of a Tourist gun.
If I'm right in that guess, "retail" value would probably be in the $100 to $400 range. Hope that's of some help.
Q - I have a gun that I am trying to sell. I can tell that its very old and at one time was beautiful and fully chromed. It is still some chrome left mostly around the barrel. The middle section is somewhat oxidized probably from a lot of shooting or perhaps just normal wear. However it is a beautiful weapon and I am sure that its antique. The only make that I see is on the top of the barrel. It says "US Revolver Co."
Its a five shooter and look like a small Schofield. If I have stirred up some interest please let me know and I will send you a picture. Thank you ahead for your time.
A - Hi John,
US Revolver Co. was a trade name used by Iver Johnson in the early 20th century to use up some old parts it had on hand w/ a model that didn't feature it's "hammer the hammer" safety system.
Since they are legally considered a post-1898 "modern" firearm, and most collectors don't want to hassle with the paperwork for what is usually a "shadow-box" decorator gun, they are hard for most dealers to sell. I'm lucky if I can get $50 retail for an average one.
The bright finish on all the old top-break revolvers from various makers is nearly always nickel instead of chrome.
Hope that helps. - Jim
Q - Jim, I just received a pistol from my recently deceased uncle and I am having trouble finding anything out about it. It is a Maltby Henley and Co .22 cal pistol. It says Maltby Henley and Co., New York USA on top of the barrel. It's nickel plated, a revolver, double action only (hammerless), solid frame (removable cylinder)2 1/2" barrel, 6" overall, 7 shot. The action is very loose. With the pistol came some .22 cal ammunition that is only about 3/8 of an inch long. Do you have any idea what that was used for or called. I assumed that it was for target shooting in your basement or something like that. Any info would be appreciated. Just trying to find out the history on it. It's a keeper since it was my uncle's. Thanks. Jeff
A - Jeff, Maltby Henley’s were interesting little hammerless pocket pistols in the late 1800's. They were made in three frame sizes for .22, .32 & .38 caliber cartridges, and most of their guns will feature an Oct. 24, 1889, patent marking. Flayderman’s Guide reports that these were made the Otis A. Smith company, whose product quality was generally a cut above many other makers of cheap pocket pistols in the late 1800’s. Maltby Henley was the marketing agent for these guns. The same patent date is also found on nearly identical revolvers marked Spencer, J.N. Scott, and N.Y. Arms Co., suggesting those were also Otis A. Smith products.
The design included a number of unusual features. Unlike a majority of hammerless revolvers from the era, these were solid frame designs rather than top-breaks, with the barrel and frame a single integral piece. They included a manual safety in the form of a serrated wheel at the top of the backstrap knuckle. The .32 & .38 models also include a cylinder lock on the topstrap that is depressed to allow the cylinder to freewheel to load & unload cartridges. Finally, some of the models had the integral frame & barrel assembly made of brass rather than steel.
As to use, I suppose that plinking & informal target shooting may have been one intended role for Maltby Henleys, but I suspect that a primary usage was personal defense. It sounds as if yours is chambered for .22 short (one of the first metallic cartridges, and a black powder load at the time yours was produced). That chambering is a bit scarce - Malby Henleys are most commonly found in .32 cal.
Although today we don't consider the .22 short much as a defensive round, it's original role when it was first introduced in the S&W Model One in 1857 was doubtless for personal protection. It's not much of a powerhouse, but I'm sure no one would volunteer to be shot with a greasy dirty little .22 bullet. The .22 short might not be much of a "stopper", but it was quite capable of inflicting an eventually lethal wound even with a marginal hit in the days before antibiotics.
Of course most of these 19th century .22 rimfire pocket pistols were made for the original blackpowder loading. I wouldn’t advise shooting modern smokeless loads in them.
Q - I have a small old revolver marked “Captain Jack”. What can you tell me about it? - Julie
A - Julie, you have a spur-trigger revolver from the 1870-1900 era. These were inexpensive "pocket pistols", and are commonly called "Suicide Specials". Like yours, many had colorful names, and did not indicate the name of the manufacturer.
The Capt. Jack revolvers were made by Hopkins & Allen - a well known American manufacturer - probably in the 1870's. Retail value today is probably in the $75-$200 range.
Q - I have a question about my Merwin Hulbert that's making me crazy.
The latest issue of Flayderman's and the latest issue of The Blue Book of Gun Values conflict on a certain important detail of my MH .44-40 -- and I thought they were two pretty good reference books. Using Flayderman's, I was convinced the gun was the "Third (Model) Pocket Army Automatic Ejection Revolver." Reading the Blue Book, I learn that there was a 4th Model, which Flayderman's doesn't even mention. Unfortunately, the Blue Book doesn't tell how the 4th Model differs from the 3rd, but says it is very rare. I really need an expert or more refined reference source to get a definitive answer, because this little detail changes the gun's value by several thousand dollars.
For the record, this is the description of the gun I put together for my firearms inventory:
"Revolver; Merwin Hulbert 3rd Pocket Army Automatic Ejection Revolver; .44-40 caliber Double Action; Hopkins & Allen for Merwin Hulbert; six-shot fully fluted cylinder; 7" barrel. On the frame, below the cylinder, "Caliber Winchester 1873." On the opposite side of the frame is, "Merwin Hulbert & Co. NY, Pocket Army." On top of the barrel is, "Merwin Hulbert & Co. New York U.S.A. Pat. Jan 24. Apr 21. Dec 15.74. Aug 3.75. Jul 11.76. Apr 17.77. Pat's Mar 6.77." On the side of the barrel is, "THE HOPKINS & ALLEN Manufacturing Co. Norwich, Conn. U.S.A." ; black hard-rubber grips with hole for lanyard (Pocket-Army configuration bird's head); all mechanisms work perfectly; overall condition is excellent; comes with heavy leather holster that if not original to the gun is certainly contemporary to it."
A - Hi Norman - both Blue Book & Flayderman's are excellent sources, but interest in Merwins has developed rapidly over the past ten years. The primary problem is that there is not a widespread consensus as to the model variations & terminology, and most price guides are still struggling to represent the evolution of sensibilities & interest in Merwin Hulbert firearms.
The only major reference is Art Phelps book on Merwin Hulbert. Most MH collectors tend to use his terminology, but it is not universally accepted outside that small fraternity.
The primary difference between the 3rd Model and the scarcer 4th Model of the large frame Merwins is the presence of a barrel rib on the 4th Model. Using Phelps system, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd models have round barrels -- the 4th Model has a rib.
Let me also add that, although the 4th Model will bring a premium over the 3rd from advanced Merwin collectors, it would have to be a hell of a piece to make "several thousand dollars" difference. Most "average" large frame Merwins sell in the $700 to $1500 range. A really nice piece can bring a few thousand, but it's hard for me to imagine the difference between an excellent 3rd & an excellent 4th making the value difference you report.
Here's a quick breakdown of Phelps classification of large frame Merwin Hulberts, as I understand it:
1st Model -- Open top, scoop flutes, two screws above trigger guard, round barrel.
2nd Model -- Same as first, but with one screw above trigger guard.
3rd Model -- Topstrap, conventional flutes (although I've seen exceptions), round barrel.
4th Model -- Same as 3rd, but with ribbed barrel.
Within that system, the square butt variation is the Frontier Model and the birdshead butt is the Pocket Army (even when equipped with a long 7" barrel -- odd terminology, but that's how the factory marked them). Frontiers are found in 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Models. Pocket Armies started with the 2nd Model.
You also have to distinguish between Single Action and Double Action models. DA's were available only in 3rd & 4th Models.
So, to properly identify a large frame Merwin Hulbert revolver using Phelps' terminology, you would have to include the following:
* 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th Model
* Frontier or Pocket Army
* SA or DA
* Caliber -- 1873 Winchester (i.e., .44-40), .44 Russian, or .44 Merwin
* Barrel length.
The same terminology does NOT apply to the small frame .32 & .38 twist-open Merwins, nor, obviously, to the tip-up .22 Model.
There are also Spanish made copies of the MH design, which bring less than original US made Merwin Hulberts. Most if not all US made MH's will have the Hopkins & Allen marking on the barrel in addition to the Merwin Hulbert markings. The Spanish copies will sometimes be marked "Sistema Merwin Hulbert", or similar.
Hope that helps! -- Jim
REMINGTON 1875 VALUE
Q - At first let me thank you for taking the time to read my e.mail.
I recently acquired a very old gun which I purchased in Colorado.
It's a Remington model 1875 revolver with a 7" barrel. It's condition is
not great unfortunately with only bluing on the around the back of the
barrel (where it meets the body of the gun), around the trigger guard, in
the fluting of the cylinder & wherever attached parts hid areas from
sunlight like on the barrel where I had removed the "webbing" with the
ejector rod. Also there is some light rusting which I have attempted to
carefully remove. Pitting is also present. The gun also shows signs of
usage as far as small dents & dings & of course cowboy abuse when the gun
was used as a hammer. The inside of the barrel shows severe use & is
pitted. The rifling is marginal, but I don't plan on shooting the gun.
The gun has an old repair where the screw on the frame located under the
back of the cylinder was replaced with a pin. The wear of this pin matches
the coloring of the rest of the frame & the strike marks also look very
I am an armchair collector & I almost did not buy the gun until I
removed the original wood grips & noticed that the serial # was possibly a
first year production (in the 700‘s). At that point I forked over $1500. The
gun is marked as a 44, but I'm not sure if this is a 44-40 or a 44
Remington. Also I believe I over paid for the gun. If you could shed an
more light I would be grateful
Thank you again for your insight & I hope to hear from you soon . -- David
A - Hi David,
I wouldn't add much value for the serial number. Remington used "batch numbers" on most of their guns from that era rather than serial numbers. This means, they would start with "1", and go up to a certain point (often 999 apparently), and then start over with "1" again. On the 1875's, the first 14,000 or so were numbered sequentially, and then went to batch numbering, with most of the remaining 15,000 or so produced having three digit numbers, per Flayderman's Guide. Accordingly, a Remington 1875 with a five digit number could easily be older than one with a three digit number!
It's always hard to tell without seeing the gun, but from your description, its sounds as if you probably paid pretty much "full retail" for your gun. However, the price is probably not totally unreasonable if you feel it's an honest old cowboy gun, and, most importantly, if you like it. Of course, Remington 1875’s with more finish remaining go up rapidly in price from there. At the worst, you can always take consolation in the Collector's Commiseration Corollary -- "You can't pay too much for a nice antique gun -- you only pay too soon." I.e., antique guns have a good history of increasing in value over the years.
Q - I have an antique gun and I was wondering how much it was worth. The gun is a revolver with a marking on top that says "alert-1874". I was told that it was made by Hood Firearms in 1874. The serial number on the bottom of the barrel is 213. It has a hammer and looks like a solid frame revolver. It is a .22 rimfire. Cylinder does spin freely, hammer and trigger both work. Looks like the gun could be fired if I tried. The barrel length is 2 in. and the overall length is 5 1/2 in. The wood on the handle is in very good condition and the metal surface is in fair condition some surface rust inside barrel and cylinders. Could easily be cleaned up but has never been reconditioned, it is completely original. It would be greatly appreciated if you could give me the value of this gun and if it would be of any interest to the market.
Thank you for your time,
A - Kevin, Hood was one of a number of makers in the late 1800's who produced small inexpensive spur-trigger revolvers. Collectively, these are called "Suicide Specials", and the best reference on them is an out-of-print book by the same name, written by Donald B. Webster, Jr. While most tend not to bring high dollars, there is some collector interest in them -- the wide variety and colorful names appeal to many.
I'd think that an "Alert" in the condition you describe would retain in the $75 to $200 range. Hope that helps! -- Jim
IS THIS GUN STOLEN DOT COM
Q - Years ago I had two Colts stolen from my residence. I do have their serial number and photos of the guns. They belonged to my grandfather who was a dentist and Samuel Colt presented them to grandfather for dental work he performed. Is there any place that can assist me in recovering them? Thank you.
Colt 44-40 frame 102796 cylinder and butt same number
Colt 32-20 Pat. Sept. 19 , 1871 frame and trigger guard 287155
Thank you for you assistance, Alex
A - Alex, it always saddens me when I hear of family heirlooms lost to theft.
However, your question may illustrate why it is difficult to track stolen guns. You don’t specifically mention which model these Colts were. Your .44-40 could be a Single Action Army or a New Service. A Colt .32-20 with a serial number in the 287,000 range could be an SAA or New Army or Navy DA model, although the patent date you report suggests a Single Action Army. As nice as it would be to recover your guns, it would be a shame if someone apprehended the wrong gun on your behalf. At a bare minimum, you should include make, model & serial number. Caliber, barrel length, and unusual features can also help.
When a police report is made on stolen guns, you want to be sure that the information has been reported to the national NCIC computer system. This will help with recovery if the guns are ever recovered anywhere in the country. Also, you might want to put “Stolen” ads in gun publications such as this one.
For what it's worth the family history may be a bit off. Samuel Colt died in 1862, well before either of those guns were made. -- Jim
DOUBLE BARREL MUZZLE LOADING SHOTGUN
Q - I have an old double barrel flint lock muzzleloader
shotgun in fair condition. It is about 100 years old.
There are no makings other than ELG.
I believe that the stock has been replaced. Any idea where I can get an approx value?
A - Not enough info is provided to give a meaningful answer, but maybe the following will help. Are you sure your shotgun is a flintlock & not a percussion muzzle-loader?
If flintlock, it would be older than your estimate (unless it‘s a reproduction), since the percussion system had pretty much replaced flintlocks by the mid 1800‘s. Original double barrel flintlocks are a bit scarce, and might bring some money.
“ELG” markings generally indicate Belgian manufacture. Many, but not all, Belgian guns from the late 1800’s were fairly simple inexpensive guns. If percussion, and if it's a plain grade gun in the well used condition most often found, it would probably retail in the $100 to $250 range. Better condition or higher grades will bring more. . -- Jim
GARRUCHA DOUBLE BARREL PISTOL
Q - Jim - have an unusual piece - "Casa Laport Superior" double
barreled handgun - cal 380 - top break.
The release lever is just below the frame, forward of the trigger
guard - external hammers and dual triggers - pearl grips. Bore is a bit pitted -
front sight missing. Original chrome finish is 80/90% (maybe more) -
engraving is sharp. Has some proof marks on back strap.
Like to know what it is and if it has any
significant value. Excellent mechanical condition and very nice
quality. 5" barrels, 91/2" OA
A - Marty, these side by side double-barrel pistols are called garruchas, and were popular in South America around the turn of the century. You don't see a lot of them in this country.
I can usually retail them in the $150 to $350 range depending on quality & condition. You have to be a bit careful with these, since some were smoothbore and I suppose technically might be considers NFA smooth bore pistols - very illegal to own unless registered w/ the BATF. Rifled garruchas are treated as any other handgun - modern if made after 1898, antique if made before 1899.
Hope that helps! - Jim
Q - I have an ARISAKA Model 99, Paratrooper Type 2.
H E L P !!
Through a little research, I have found a little...and I mean LITTLE...information on it. But, most of the Arisaka 99's I find are not the Paratrooper types...
A good friend has seen the same rifle sell at a local gun show sell for $1,100. The seller said he has sold 4 since the first of the year for the same price. Unfortunately, my friend didn't get the sellers name. gggrrrrrr....
This rifle was brought back from the war by my uncle, and given to my step-father, who put it in a closet and more-or-less forgot about it. My step-father said he had never fired it, and we had it checked by a local gunsmith, who told us the caliber, but didn't have a clue as to what he was looking at...
About 4 years ago, I FINALLY found a box of shells for it (a very dusty box i might add). I put 20 rounds through it. So, as far as I know, in the last 55(?) years, it's had 20 rounds.
As I said, I have had one **** of a time trying to find anything out about this rifle.
When I started my search, an individual (through email) offered my $500 sight unseen for it. That really made me curious. If I was to drop $500 on something, I would like to at least see it first!!
Everyone else that I ask keeps telling me that it's worth about $125-150...but I think they keep thinking about the simple Arista's...that don't break down...
I am looking for a price range for this rifle.
Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
A - Hi Russ,
I used to always think of Arisakas as guns you could pick up for $25 to $40 at a gun show. However, collectors have finally come to appreciate these Japanese WWII battle rifles, and today a common Type 99 in 7.7mm or Type 38 in 6.5 mm can bring $150 to $300 if in decent shape. Rough ones can still be had for under $100 if you look.
Quick features which usually (but not always) indicate that you are looking at a Japanese Arisaka are the distinctive plum shaped knob on the bolt handle, and the large diameter round piece at the rear of the bolt.
Factors which help bring up the value of an Arisaka include the presence of a dust cover, mono-pod, "aircraft" rear sight (arms which fold out from either side of the sight), and, of course, an "intact mum". This latter refers to the chrysanthemum marked on top of the chamber at the rear of the barrel, symbol of the Japanese emperor. On the majority of Japanese rifles which were surrendered at the end of WWII, the symbol was obliterated -- collector shorthand for this is "ground mum".
There are several rare variations which will bring considerably more --
Type 44's are 6.5 mm carbines with a short 19" barrel and will bring about double. Type 30's are early predecessors (ca. 1899-1906) of the Type 38, and bring a small premium. Type 97 sniper rifles can bring over $2000, if in nice condition with scope. Very occasionally one will find a Type 38-1905 that was a special "Love of Country" marked presentation rifle, and these can bring around $1000.
Another group of Japanese military rifles that will bring good money are Muratas - large caliber late 19th century bolt action predecessors of the Arisaka series. Models were made in both 8mm and 11mm.
As to your Type Two takedown paratrooper, the last time I sold any was about four years ago at auction. They brought $750 for one in excellent condition, and $575 for one with a few problems. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if a really nice one would break $1,000 today.
Finally, according to Standard Catalog of Firearms, a few hundred of an earlier Japanese paratrooper rifle were made. It was called the Type 100, and featured a detachable bolt hand and interrupted thread disconnector, and are supposed to bring in the $3000 to $4500 range.
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