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  #1  
Old 11-12-2010, 06:01 PM
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Default Model 19 and Evaluaters Ltd Quantico VA

I recently picked up a Model 19 no dash with the box. On the box is a sticker that says

Ready for Service
Evaluated
Evaluaters Ltd.
Quantico Va.

Was Evaluaters Ltd. just a dealer or did they do something more and the sticker is a bit of marketing.





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Old 11-12-2010, 07:31 PM
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great find and nice condition. don't see many of the early ones with the box and in that nice a condition. someone will be along to tell you about evaluators ltd. in my view that would add to the value of the package.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:41 PM
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All the guys who are at Tulsa can tell you a lot more. I think Evaluators was a jobber, but may be wrong about that - maybe just a dealer. Given the flavor of the "local clientele," I suppose they had a staff gunsmith who checked out the product just to be sure they were all in good shape before turning them over to the various customer LE-types, thus the "Ready for Service - Evaluated." The company name frequently turns up in S&W stories from the 60s and 70s.

That is certainly a nice looking specimen you have there. You didn't mention it but I assume the holster came with the gun... ?
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:53 PM
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Beautiful gun B.B. - if you decide that you don't like it or won't shoot it, please drop me a line. I have a 19-2 that would pair up nicely!
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:17 PM
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Evaluators Ld. was a Winchester distributor and may have also been a S&W distributor. Owned and operated by USMC General Van Orden(Retired), and his wife, Flora.In my collection, I have a Winchester Van Orden M70 Sniper Rifle shipped through him to the 1954 National Matches and sold to the US Army. Nice to have docs as this is a pretty famous Marine. Docs are always good to prove provenance. Need more info, send me a email. Big Larry
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M29since14 View Post
That is certainly a nice looking specimen you have there. You didn't mention it but I assume the holster came with the gun... ?
The holster which is also stamped Evaluater Ltd. did come with the model 19. When I slid the 19 into the holster I think it was the first time the holster had seen a gun.

I don't plan on parting with this 19 anytime soon and I will shoot it now and then. I've been looking for an early Combat Magnum to long to let this one go.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:44 PM
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Default Model 19 and Evaluaters Ltd Quantico VA

Evaluators Ltd. was a S&W distributor & supplied military,CIA,FBI & other
like minded individuals with firearms,holsters & related items.Some other members,likely Tulsa bound at the present, may weigh in with more info.
Your M 19 is outstanding-congratulations.The holster shown was made by Heiser-Evaluators sold Heiser & Berns Martin holsters marked with their stamp & frequently marked "Quick Draw".I have a S&W All Models circular stamped
Evaluators Ltd. & a number of holsters bearing their imprint.I also have a copy of a file of US Navy trials conducted in the 1950's evaluating revolvers & holsters for pilots' survival use-Evaluators Ltd. provided the revolvers & holsters for the trial & a fellow SWCA member is to be thanked for sharing the file with me.
Evaluators Ltd. was a fascinating quasi-military/spook outfitter-the sticker is unusual & I would prize it if it were mine,especially wrapped around a box with that .357 in it.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:18 PM
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I had a 1955 K38 that lettered as coming from Evaluators Ltd. I contacted the original owner of the gun (which is who sold it to me) and asked him about it. He said it was a retail gunshop back in Quantico and that he bought it from them when he got out of the Navy back in 1956.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turnerriver View Post
Evaluators Ltd. was a S&W distributor & supplied military,CIA,FBI & other
like minded individuals with firearms,holsters & related items.Some other members,likely Tulsa bound at the present, may weigh in with more info.
Your M 19 is outstanding-congratulations.The holster shown was made by Heiser-Evaluators sold Heiser & Berns Martin holsters marked with their stamp & frequently marked "Quick Draw"...
John Witty
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I, too have a Berns Martin holster, some say the fastest revolver holster ever, which is marked with the Evaluators' stamp. I was told at a VA gun show that they furnished items such as this for the FBI, and this holster certainly looks like it was used by someone to carry a typical 4" K-frame service revolver. It was just a skosh short for my M-66 (no dash) 4 1/8" revolver until I ruined the holster's originality by removing a little leather horseshoe shaped spacer in the bottom. OK, I admit I'm a Philistine, but it was almost current back then, and I needed that holster for that gun! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

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Old 11-12-2010, 10:45 PM
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It was also Flora Van Orden that suggested the name of the Highway Patrolman to then president Carl Helstrom.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:48 AM
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Think this holster was designd by Hank Sloan at the FBI.

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Old 11-13-2010, 06:52 AM
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Default Model 19 and Evaluaters Ltd Quantico VA

The model 459 holster first appears in Heiser's number 50 catalog which I believe is their first post WW II catalog.The description says "F.B.I. Holster designed for Federal Bureau of Investigation." The holster's predecessor,the model 457 first appeared in the number 32 catalog,sometime in the mid 1930's,also "designed for the F.B. I." The model 457 is the same holster without the hammer protector.Again,thanks for showing us your revolver & holster.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:11 AM
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Fantastic Model 19, I'm envious! This is one of my favorite models.
I've researched some info on Evaluators but everything I know has already been posted above by John Witty and others.
Enjoy that one, it's a real gem with some nice provenance.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:35 AM
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Thanks everyone. It has been interesting learning about the holster and a little more about Evaluators Limited.

You know one of the fun parts about collecting is the wondering where and why of some guns. Here we have a near new Model 19 with a new holster. These were working man's tools from a dealer that sold to working men and woman. Yet, this piece never saw one day of work in its 50 or so years of life.

Why, why was it put away? What happened, what's its story. Was it a graduation gift and the owner couldn't bare to use it. Did something happen to the original owner and they never had a chance to use this fine old revolver. Who ever put it away still lovingly cared for this fine revolver. Even guns sitting in the box if neglected show the years of neglect. They make me wonder as I hold them.

It is kind of to bad these fine old guns can't talk.

Again thank you all for the information.
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:40 AM
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That's a beautiful M19 with interesting background!
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Bates View Post
...It is kind of to bad these fine old guns can't talk.
That is sure the truth. I probably have a small number of them in my safe now with tales to tell, but no such luck. Maybe this is one of those things that really is best left to the imagination?
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:50 PM
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I have some gun's that lead me to believe that I don't want to know their past. But I figure it's at no fault of their own. And leave it at that. Yet I have others that I wish could tell their tail.
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:07 PM
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Here is an original Evaluators Ltd. receipt for my M70 Van Orden Sniper Rifle. Does not get much better than this for provenance. Big Larry



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Old 11-13-2010, 04:52 PM
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You know, I looked at that holster again, and don't see the adjustment screw of the Sloan model. I think it's just what Turnerriver said, a Heiser model with a hammer protector.

I have seen a few FBI holsters by Heiser, but don't think the leather came up high enough to protect the coat lining from the hammer. This was evidently just an alternative version, with a hammer protector.

That Combat Magnum/M-19 is gorgeous, and in wondeful condition!

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Old 11-13-2010, 07:56 PM
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That is a beautiful Combat Magnum. I also noticed the tapered tip sight adjustment tool. Those are much harder to find than the later hollow ground tip tools. Given the rising prices on the hollow ground tip tools, I hope the tapered versions don't go the way of the black knurled handle tools and start selling for close to $100 !
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:53 AM
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I was at Quantico for OCS and TBS from 5/74 to 2/75. During TBS, I got to visit Mrs. Van Orden at her home. Her husband had been an Ordinance Officer in the Corps (then deceased) and her son was either a Major or Lt. Col at the time and shooting on the Marine Corps rifle team IIRC. She knew everybody in the business (called Elmer Keith "Beetle Brow" and had great stories). She loved to entertain young 2nd Lt.'s that had a love of guns/shooting--I think that we reminded her of her husband and son. She showed us the original evaluation that her husband had done for the Gov't on the S&W Model 39 when they were considering it for issue to aviators--she claimed that that's how they came up with the name "Evaluators" for their company. She was a grand lady. I haven't thought of her for years---thanks for bringing up fond memories!!
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Old 11-15-2010, 11:42 AM
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I got to Quantico in June of '75. I needed a holster for a Goverment Model Colt and was sent out to Mrs. Van Orden. Still have the Bucheimer "Federal Man" holster I bought from her. Being young and dumb, I didn't spend near the time I should have around her . I heard several tales from her in the short time I was there and would have probably learned a lot had I been smart enough to return for more visits. Sweet, spare little lady with a lot of experience always more than willing to share. Instructors at the range had been known to send lieutenants who had trouble mastering the .45 Auto to Mrs. Van Orden for remedial training. Anyone remember the Mayco Gunshop run by Archie Mayer and Ed Bright just off the post East of the Main Gate on Fuller Heights Road?

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Old 11-15-2010, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlmccann View Post
I got to Quantico in June of '75....
...Having left there in February, I was in the old Corps!!
(Where in Ks. are you located??? I'm in Overland Park)
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Old 11-15-2010, 02:04 PM
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45forme. Since we are walking down memory lane, I will have to start this one with the standard reply, which is "If your 782 gear wasn't a sword and shield, don't talk to me about the Old Corps". I was a Sgt. a year into my second hitch when I got to Quantico. Currently I am South of Arcadia which is about halfway between Fort Scott and Pittsburg and within rifle shot of the Missouri line.I was born and raised in Paola. I have been running away from Kansas City and other urban areas my whole life. My maternal grandfathers North 80 is now the Hillsdale Lake Headquarters.

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Old 11-15-2010, 03:54 PM
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Wow, our paths have crossed---my son's Eagle scout project was at the Hillsdale Hdq. and my daughter played basketball for Pitt State.

Where were you assigned after Quantico??? I was with 2nd Btn, 5th Marines at Pendleton.
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:13 PM
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I will PM you with an email address shortly. I think we're stealing the thread.
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:22 PM
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You gentlemen are doing fine! I grew up in NOVA and did a bit of shooting at Quantico from about 72 to 76 in the small bore teams. Ever get out to Fairfax Rod & Gun Club? I remember the name Mayco and what about the brothers that had the gun shop out by Warrington? From one Veteran too you both and all our Veterans, Thank you for your service! Kyle
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:26 PM
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alaskavett. I never made it anywhere near the Fairfax Rod and Gun Club. Didn't even take much advantage of the hunting and fishing on post. Both because I was living in the barracks with the resulting restrictions on firearms storage and, as mentioned earlier, I was young and dumb. You are thinking Clark Brothers Guns at Warrenton. I still have the 2 guns I bought there. A .455 New Service converted to .45 Colt and a Krag. The New Service had cylinder problems and got a new Christy Gun Works( San Francisco) cylinder installed by Archie Mayer at Mayco. Archie and his partner Ed Bright, both retired Marines,are gone now. I didn't get to do any competitive shooting until, after having gotten out with 8 years service and attending the Colorado School of Trades, I enlisted in the Army National Guard . The Guard let me shoot, at least until I got commissioned, whereupon there was always something to interfere with team practices and matches. Electronics Support at Quantico wouldn't even let me go try out for the team. I believe the exact wording of the refusal was "(insert appropriate profanity) you McCann.We need you here.You're not going out to the range to (profanity) off.".I appreciate the thank you and extend it also to you. I never heard that until one of the VA doctors said it well after my retirement.
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlmccann View Post
Anyone remember the Mayco Gunshop run by Archie Mayer and Ed Bright just off the post East of the Main Gate on Fuller Heights Road?
I was assigned to MCDEC from 78 to 81 as the Army instructor at the Communication Officers School in Edson Hall.

I sure remember Archie and Ed. I lived in Triangle, a few blocks from their shop. Used to go with Archie to the Silhouette matches at Orange, VA. Bought a number of Smiths (all of which I still own) from Archie.

I'd stopped in at their little shop just after Ed had his accident. That really shook me up. You could still smell the powder smoke.

Memories...

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Old 11-16-2010, 12:24 PM
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I talked to Archie very shortly after Ed got hurt. Kinda shook me too as I was in gunsmithing school at the time. As I remember the story, they got a Remington 11-48 in for repair. Being a recoil operated firearm, Ed pushed down on the end of the barrel to operate the action instead of grasping the outside. Apparently the firing pin was jammed forward and as the gun went into battery it fired. Ed's hand and forearm were in the way. I don't want to knock Ed as even the most experienced of us make mistakes, but Ed made 2 that day. He used a live cartridge to check and pushed on the muzzle with the heel of his hand to operate the action. From what Archie said much later, I think it almost directly related to the end of their partnership. It's too complicated to go into here, and Ed never gave me much of his side of it so I won't speculate any further.
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Old 11-16-2010, 02:18 PM
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I lived in Prince William County near Quantico and did alot of business with Flora at her shop( Evaluarors Ltd). Great lady, I would stop in very often just to talk...My brother went thru the FBI academy and got a early S&W .357 from her while he was there, his son has it now...Mayco and Clark Bros gun shops....Knew them well.
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:13 PM
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Default Model 19 and Evaluaters Ltd Quantico VA

I have a Model 36 S&W Chiefs Special with 2 inch barrel and square butt that I bought from Evaluators Limited in 1970. I still have the original box with the bill of sale signed by Flora Mae Van Orden. She gave me a LE discount since I was a District of Columbia Corrections Officer, and the price before sales tax was $75.60.
I went back there a number of times over the years, to buy target grips for it and also to buy reloading supplies when I started reloading. It was a real hoot listening to her stories about competitive shooting in the 1920's and 30's, and going to Central America with her husband during the Banana War years. She was a truly great lady!
When Evaluators LTD went out of business, Archie Mayer of Mayco Guns and later Triangle Reloading Bench bought up all her S&W parts, which came in handy when my Model 19 needed a couple of parts in the late '80's.
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:50 PM
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I called Archie from time to time to check in and BS and continued to talk to Marie once in a long while after Archie passed on. Sent a Christmas card a couple years ago and it came back. Phone was out of service. Finally got through to Jim Land at NRA Headquarters in the last few months as he was a friend of Archies. Jim did some checking and found Marie had been in a nursing home for a while. Unfortunately, Marie had passed a day or so before Jim found her, just a couple of months ago. I asked Jim to pass on my contact information to Marie's daughter Irene and have heard nothing from her. Just a shot in the dark, but if anyone on the forum should happen to know Irene, I really would like to talk to her for a few minutes.

Post Script:
I found an online obituary for Marie and I was wrong on time. Marie passed on 2 February 2011.

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Old 03-27-2011, 03:33 PM
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Well that explains why Archie always had the parts for my revolvers. He installed 3 Ts on my model 14 and 17.
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:34 AM
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I knew Van Orden well. He operated from his home on Rt 1 just North of Quantico on the Northbound side. His "shop" was in his Southside Sun Room. In the early 60's and late 50's he was utilized by the Marine shooters for equipment one could not get from the Corps, especially competitive shooting gear. I used him as did the greats of that time before a sniping MOS existed. Top John Boitnot, then Capt. Bill McMillan, Baker, V.D. Mitchell etc. and others, as indicated, knew of him also and a hand full of Pros from WW2 and Korea held the shooters together unofficially. A great man among great men. I was recruited one Sunday at the end of a 2700 aggregate match at LeJune by 'Top Boitnot' (1961 or 2) along with Cpl Carlos Hathcock and two others at Camp LeJune during a regional match. We all went to the Naval academy the summer of 1962 as weapons instructors to the Plebes. Our equipment was not good and was a little bit of everything including Model 70 Winchesters! Anyone remember Sgt Creech? He was the Marine expert in instinctive shooting with a .45.
Gordon Ferrie, former USMC and Presidential Protective Details for Eisenhower and Kennedy.

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Old 07-14-2012, 09:17 AM
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Gordon, Do you remember Major Dick Culver? good friend of Jim Lands, he's not doing well now, health problems....
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:02 AM
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I was assigned to our HQ in Washington DC in 1974-77, lived in Dale City, VA and spent as much time at Mayco gun shop as I could. They did some work on a 1911 for me, pure genious. Like an idiot I traded it years later......... I never had the honor of meeting the Van Ordens, that was my loss.

To the OP: Very, very nice M-19. Keep shootin' and check 6

Last edited by galena; 07-14-2012 at 10:04 AM.
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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 Thread, Model 19 and Evaluaters Ltd Quantico VA in Smith & Wesson Revolvers; I recently picked up a Model 19 no dash with the box. On the box is a sticker that says ...
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