So what's your oldest useable firearm you own?

Just found this website :

& thought I might find the DOB of a few of my firearms, long story short I have a Colt Lighting Small Frame 22 long manufactured ( or born) in 1888 2nd year of production. I still shoot it with CCI long and Winchester Z rounds.

So what’s your oldest useable firearm?

Post some pictures too if you have any

1866 Wanzl 13.9 x 33R rimfire. I have a number of 1870’s rifles that all work, The oldest usable handgun is an 1882 S&W 1st Model in 44Russian.

My oldest is my Remington 32-20 model 25. The closest that I can figure is in the 1920’s.
Bit hard to find anything on them.

Both Snider and Martini Henry are from 1860’s upwards.

I have some rimfire (22LR) rifles and milsurp from 1915 - 1930s, then a few milsurps from of 1940 - 1946 bracket. then a few more vintage 22s around 1950s and 1970s. And then the rest is all modern.

3rd June 1871 for 1st approval of the M-H Mk 1, and the Sniders from 1866, my oldest Snider is 1868 so the Wanzl wins!


I can’t tell if this is a ‘6’ or an ‘8’ or a ‘3’.

(open in new tab for full size)

Looks like 1865 to me. Has that caused enough confusion? Lol

No, just wanted an objective observer tell @no1mk3 that I won hehehehehe

There are plenty of functional firearms that are not able to be dated.
I have a circa 1840’s boxlock pistol that has a functioning lock and a usable barrel. I imagine others here have earlier flintlock or even matchlock guns that would still function.
As far as it goes my 1872 Martini, converted in 1901 to 303 is the oldest dateable gun I have that’s functional.

I have a couple of milsurps from around 1915 , quite new compared to other firearms in this thread!

A 1911 issued cadet…

Not sure of exact dates without trawling through the safes but I have a snider, a french gras, 2 mausers mod 71’s converted into 12ga. A martini enfield 303 and a comblain converted to 410.
All in shootable condition.
And an 1840’s (I think) 8ga muzzle loading shotgun (Not shootable though).
Oh and a 3 band Enfield bored out to .64 smooth Bore.

G’day juststarting,
I tend to agree with Oldbloke that your Snider bears an 1865 lockplate, but your rifle cannot be earlier than 1869 due to the combination of flat face hammer and Mk III breech. Further, it is not British issue but a commercial pattern made with an earlier Tower lockplate and fraudulent Royal Cypher probably intended for sale to the Middle East or Africa so is likely to have been made post 1870. Would like to see clear pics of proof marks and sight markings, Cheers.

In response to a query for info, I will put up some pics of the Wanzl. if you think they should be in another thread, js, please use your discretion to move them Cheers


I’ll post more pics in the Snider thread. Would love to know a lot more history about it.

That said, I take the age as the oldest part, so nah nah nah lol

Not in the race for having the oldest. But to the thread topic Whats the oldest firearm you own mine is a 1916 Lithgow 303 all matching numbers. Not sure which 303 is which I have another Lithgow made one that is 1942 again all matching numbers even the butt. Not sure which one it is but one has two sets of all matching numbers it may be the older one it is not marked with a FTR peerhaps if used by another service other than the army it may have had a referb or a check up and issues a second set of serial numbers. @no1mk3 can you shed any light on why a second set of complete numbers would be present?

tower lock on my Nepalese snider.

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G’day mate,
Your Nepalese uses a lockplate from a British rifle, having the correct Royal Cypher and the Lock Viewers mark. Would suggest either a use of older parts in it’s construction or a transferred rifle. What is it that determines it is Nepalese? Does it have Sanskrit numbers on the rear sight? The date is a bit funny, seems to be some overstamping and an 1849 looking date on a Pattern 1853 lockplate is a bit strange, but not that uncommon for that part of the world.

G’day sungazer,
You have more or less answered your own question, it was a common practice to re-number rifles that were FTR’d and such a stamp may not have been applied to earlier rifles such as your 1916. Also many rifles were re-numbered if they went into service with another country and the previous numbers were not always ground off, I have a No4 Long Branch with 2 complete sets of numbers as well as a Sparkbrook rifle No1 which was re-numbered after being sent to Ireland. Another source, particularly with your 1916, is the change of “Master Number” from the barrel number to the action number from January 1925, so if a rifle was repaired after that date using a later body the whole thing would be re-numbered, again either with or without removing the old numbers. Chasing Enfield serial numbers is a study in itself and can easily lead to madness, (or alcohol if your lucky!) Cheers.