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Tell Model-3


Garvin
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Tell Model-3

Re. a question about springs for this pistol on the BBS, Don R said:

"My records show Tell 3 spring dimensions to be: flat wire .195 X .048", OD .80", approx 20 coils total, free length just over 4", cocked length 1.3".

As a replacement on a Tell whose spring was broken I once used a portion of a Britannia spring (flat wire .150 X .075, OD .80, cut to 14 coils total, free length 3.44. My choice of length was aimed at replicating the solid height of the original ( ~ 1.07) and a note says this gave "quite powerful" performance.

An old Quackenbush spring I have is about .170 X .047, OD .72 which does not fit over the Tell 3 piston rod of .392 dia - maybe a long-reach boring tool could reduce the rod diameter to use such a spring?

Hope this helps,
Don R."


   
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Garvin
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Tell Model-3 Air Pistol.

 

With thanks for the following two pics to John G.

 

With thanks for these pics to Trev.

 

With thanks to John Z for this pic:

 

These are the internal parts:

And the markings:

 

 

With thanks to George for these pics:

 

 

 

 

With thanks to Michael for these pics:


   
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Garvin
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Tell Model-3 Air Pistol - Patent Information.

 

With thanks to Peter for the scan of patent information by Dennis Commins.


   
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Garvin
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Tell Model-3 Air Pistol - Patent.

 

With thanks to Steffen.


   
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Garvin
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Tell Model-3 Air Pistol - Instructions (early and late).

 

These are for the Tell 3 patent pending:

And these are for the patented Tell 3 and do not contain trigger adjustment instructions, but instead has the addition of general instructions in Swedish(?):


   
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Garvin
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Tell Model-3 Air Pistol - Parkerised - Serial No.4.

 

With thanks to Mick for these pics.

Note the pistol has a Parkerised finish and there are no traces of red paint on the 'Tell' grip badges - maybe this touch followed later? It also has 'FOREIGN' stamped on the underside of the barrel, so might have been made with export in mind - although curiously it has 'MADE IN GERMANY' stamped on the cylinder in the usual place too.


   
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Garvin
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Tell Model-3 Air Pistol - Boxed - Serial No.496.

 

With thanks to Chris for these pics:


   
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Garvin
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Tell Model-3 Air Pistol - Boxed - Claimed to be Serial No.926.

 

This pistol sold at Holts Auctioneers in London in March 2017 for a hammer price of £1,300, total to pay £1,690. Note: the serial number is unverified.

Auction blurb:

"AN EXCEPTIONALLY RARE BOXED .177 BREAK-BARREL AIR-PISTOL, MODEL 'TELL 3', serial no. 926,
one of only approximately 50 produced between 1936-1940, with round tapering 5 3/8in. barrel marked 'KAL 4 1/2mm' over 'CAL .177' , blued air-chamber stamped 'VENUS WAFFENWERK ZELLA-MEHLIS' on the left hand side, articulated flush-fitting blued cocking link laying along the top of cylinder and stamped 'TELL 3' together with a depiction of a man holding a break-barrel air-rifle above an apple, dove-tailed blade fore-sight, elevating rear-sight, blued frame with brown mottled chequered bakelite one-piece grip, both sides of grip inlet with red and gold 'TELL' trademark medallions (small corrosion patches to blued finish from storage, paint worn to grip medallions, bluing gone on back-strap), complete with its makers black crocodile skin effect card carton, the lid embossed with the Tell trademark, a silhouette of the pistol and the wording 'TELL 3' in gothic script, all picked out in gilt wash and further embossed 'MADE IN GERMANY' to bottom right hand corner, the interior of box lid with pink pasted instruction label in German, English and French, the tray with pale blue card compartments for the pistol, targets, pellets and cleaning rod (all absent bar last), some small scuffs and wear, together with a card box of period pellets by 'H. UTENDOERFFER, NÜRNBERG' (partial contents only)."


   
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Garvin
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Tell Model-3 Air Pistol - Serial No.169 - Grip Repairs.

 

With thanks to Steve for these pics.


   
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Garvin
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Tell Model-3 Air Pistol - Serial No.319.

 

Tell 3 serial no. 319.

 

 


   
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Garvin
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Tell Model-3 Air Pistol - Serial No.822.

 


   
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Garvin
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Tell Model-3 Air Pistol - Boxed - Claimed to be Serial No.1000.

 

This pistol sold recently for a high price on eGun.de.

The Swedish seller claimed it was stamped '1000', which would make it the highest serial number known if true.

Note that the seller advertises it as a 'DRPa' (ie. very early model) yet the 'DRP' model instructions inside the box lid (plus the high serial no., obviously) suggest it's a late model.

 


   
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Garvin
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Tell Model-3 Air Pistol - Serial No.215 - David Swan Collection.

 

With thanks to Rod Meek of Anderson & Garland Auctioneers ( http://www.andersonandgarland.com) for permission to post these pics of a gun auctioned in 2015.

Auction blurb: "A Tell model 3 .177cal. air pistol, no. 215 circa 1937, fitted break barrel action to patinated steel body, wood effect plastic chequer cut grip, 10in. long overall."

Hammer price: £520

 


   
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Garvin
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Tell Model-3 Air Pistol - Serial No.406.

 

This pistol was up for auction at Holts Auctioneers (the day after this entry was posted) in September 2017.

Edit: hammer price was £1,800.

Auction blurb:

"VENUS WAFFENWERK, GERMANY
AN EXCEPTIONALLY RARE BOXED .177 BREAK-BARREL AIR-PISTOL, MODEL 'TELL 3', serial no. 406,
one of only approximately 50 produced between 1936-1940, with round tapering 5in. barrel marked 'KAL 4.5mm' over 'CAL .177', blued air-chamber stamped 'VENUS WAFFENWERK ZELLA-MEHLIS' over 'MADE IN GERMANY' on the left hand side, articulated flush-fitting blued cocking link laying along the top of cylinder and stamped 'TELL 3' together with a depiction of a man holding a break-barrel air-rifle above an apple, dove-tailed blade fore-sight, elevating rear-sight, blued frame with brown mottled chequered bakelite one-piece grip, both sides of grip inlet with red and gold 'TELL' trademark medallions (slight speckling to the blued finish from storage but much finish throughout) together with its makers black crocodile skin effect card carton, the lid embossed with the Tell trademark, a silhouette of the pistol and the wording 'TELL 3' in gothic script, all picked out in gilt (lid corners gone), the interior of box lid with pink pasted instruction label in German, English and French overstamped with a retailer's stamp 'F. KAISER, BUCHSENMACHER, KLAGENFURT', the tray with pale blue card compartments and including a period tin for pellets and the original cleaning rod, some scuffs and tears"

 


   
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Garvin
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 Tell Model-3 Air Pistol - Serial No.147

 

3740beaff3df80c024a6d9824a033d21.jpg 19d0d4c0c8756d61624dc2bb52d2c5c6.jpg 59deddd4af280631a560dc44dfd5744c.jpg 9a40a67e2ce2b4f06a668a3b26a9955e.jpg 102ac12d9816fb2135677ca0ad3ab688.jpg 3bf69f95e033f5d35e9c1ce2f833ca4f.jpg 4a8b9888c84f099a0bce4ae7a8c67133.jpg 621d152b0b21e3c5822897fde4f4f7d1.jpg c26955f9445f4e2eeb6de21d256d15c1.jpg


   
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Garvin
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Tell 3 serial no. 412

This air pistol sold recently on eGun.de for 312 euro (for parts)

The seller said: "Rarität Tell Mod.3 Luftpistole produziert von 1936 - 1940 im VENUS WAFFENWERK ZELLA MEHLIS - cal. 4,5mm Lauf gezogen - Lt. div. Luftgewehrsammler Seiten und Amerikanischen Foren sowie dem Blue Book Airguns sind wohl nicht mehr als 1000 Stück davon produziert worden.

2017 wurde eine dieser seltenen LP in gutem Zustand hier angeboten und für 1700 Euro verkauft. Die Auktion habe ich abgespeichert und kann das daher auch Nachweisen.

Bei dem hier angebotenen Exemplar handelt es sich um eine defekte Pistole mit Fehlteilen und einer gebrochenen Griffschale in allgemein nicht so gutem Zustand -   Siehe Bilder.

Auf Grund der Seltenheit sehe ich diese rare LP jedoch auch auf jeden Fall als Belegstück / Ersatzteilspender oder zum Herrichten immer noch gut geeignet. 

Mehr Bilder gern auf Anfrage.

Versand versichert mit DHL und Nachweis.

Am 20.08.2018 um 00:04:59 Uhr fügte der Verkäufer folgende Ergänzung hinzu:

Die Serien Nr. ist 412 - Soweit ich sehen kann ist die LP Nummerngleich. 

Am 20.08.2018 um 21:20:25 Uhr fügte der Verkäufer folgende Ergänzung hinzu:

Auf Grund von diversen Anfragen zur Funktionsfähigkeit etc. möchte ich nochmals eindeutig mitteilen :  Wie bereits im Angebotstext beschrieben ist die LP defekt, nicht funktionsfähig und hat Fehlteile siehe Bilder. Daher wird Sie auch als Belegstück  / Ersatzteilspender oder zum Herrichten angeboten.

Sollten weiterhin noch Fragen oder Unklarheiten sein, können Sie mich selbstverständlich jederzeit gern anschreiben.

Google translate:

"Rarity Tell Mod.3 air pistol produced from 1936 - 1940 in the VENUS WEAPONS ZELLA MEHLIS - cal. 4.5mm barrel drawn - Lt. Various Airgun Collectors Pages and American Forums as well as the Blue Book Airguns have probably produced no more than 1000 pieces of it.


In 2017, one of these rare LPs in good condition was offered here and sold for 1700 euros. I have saved the auction and can therefore prove that.

 

The copy offered here is a defective pistol with missing parts and a broken grip in generally not so good condition - see pictures.

 

Due to the rarity, I see this rare LP, however, in any case as a sample piece / spare parts or for preparing still well suited.

 

More pictures on request.

 

Shipping insured with DHL and proof.

 

On 20.08.2018 at 00:04:59 the seller added the following supplement:

 

The serial number is 412 - As far as I can see the LP is the same number.

 

On 20.08.2018 at 21:20:25 pm the seller added the following supplement:

 

On the basis of various requests for functionality, etc., I would like to say again clearly: As already described in the offer text is the LP broken, not functional and has missing parts see pictures. Therefore, it is also offered as a sample / spare parts dispenser or to prepare.

 

Should there still be questions or ambiguities, you can of course contact me at any time."

 


   
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Garvin
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Tell 3 - eGun.de 

With thanks to Eberhard for the heads up on this eGun sale.

The pistol sold for 1,245 euro.

 

 


   
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Garvin
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Tell 3 serial no. 837 

This pistol was sold by Holts Auctioneers for £1,100 hammer (£1,430 with commission) in September 2018.


   
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Garvin
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Tell 3s with broken grips

Enough of these have turned up to show the Bakelite grip is extremely fragile.

The second pistol shown is the one expertly repaired on this thread:

https://forum.vintageairgunsgallery.com/tell/tell-model-3-air-pistol/#post-383

 

 

And another:

 


   
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Garvin
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Two Tell 3s auctioned on eGun.de

The first one, which the seller says is in the serial no. range of 5XX.

Auction blurb:

"Die Luftpistole Tell Modell 3 erschien vermutlich ab 1938 (Fertigungszeitraum: ca. 1936 bis ca. 1940) vom Hersteller Venus-Waffenverk Zella-Mehlis in Thüringen, Deutschland. Schön orig. gestempelt Nr. 5XX. Kal. 4,5mm. Länge 260 mm Gewicht 950 g Höhe 130 mm. Funktionsfähig. Gebrauchter Zustand. Es wurde getestet: Schussenergie ca. 0,68 Joule, Geschwindigkeit ca. 77 m/s mit Ballistischer Chronograph R2 (Gewicht der Kugel 0,47 g). Siehe bilder. Die Luftpistole kommt aus einer Sammlung."

Edit: sold for 671 Euros.




The second, in the serial range 3XX:

Auction blurb:

"Die Luftpistole Tell Modell 3 mit Formgriff rechts erschien vermutlich ab 1937 (Fertigungszeitraum: ca. 1936 bis ca. 1940) vom Hersteller Venus-Waffenverk Zella-Mehlis in Thüringen, Deutschland. Schön orig. gestempelt Nr. 3XX. Kal. 4,5mm. Länge 260 mm Gewicht 950 g Höhe 130 mm. Funktionsfähig. Gebrauchter Zustand. Es wurde getestet: Schussenergie ca. 0,51 Joule, Geschwindigkeit ca. 46,6 m/s mit Ballistischer Chronograph R2 (Gewicht der Kugel 0,47 g). Siehe bilder. Die Luftpistole kommt aus einer Sammlung. Keine zusätzlichen Informationen zum diese Tell 3"





   
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Garvin
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Tell 3 serial no.926 

Sold by Holts Auctioneers in March 2019 for £500. Their blurb was: 

"A RARE .177 BARREL-COCKING AIR-PISTOL, MODEL 'TELL 3', serial no. 926, 
one of a limited number produced between 1936-1940, with re-blued round tapering 5in. barrel marked 'KAL 4.5mm' over 'CAL .177', re-blued air-chamber stamped 'VENUS WAFFENWERK ZELLA-MEHLIS' over 'MADE IN GERMANY' on the left hand side, articulated flush-fitting re-blued cocking link laying along the top of cylinder and stamped 'TELL MOD. 3', together with a depiction of a man holding a break-barrel air-rifle above an apple, dove-tailed blade fore-sight, elevating rear-sight, re-blued frame with brown mottled chequered bakelite one-piece grip, both sides of grip inlet with 'TELL' trademark medallions with red painted infill (some slight loss to detail through refinishing) "








   
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Garvin
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Tell model 3 serial number 2xx 

Sold recently on eGun.de for 898.00 euros hammer.

Note that the box seems to have cover text in silver rather than the usual gold type, although this may just be the pics. But the 'Tell' decal in the grips appears to be gold, as expected...

Translated auction blurb: "1936 Air pistol Tell 3 with cardboard packaging VERY RARE!

The air pistol Tell Model 3 with cardboard packaging (is an absolute rarity) right appeared probably from 1936 (production period: about 1936 to about 1940) by the manufacturer Venus-Waffenverk Zella-Mehlis in Thuringia, Germany. Nice orig. stamped No. 2XX. Cal. 4.5 mm. Length 260 mm Weight 950 g Height 130 mm. Mechanics work, also has quite a lot of pressure.

It was tested: The kinetic energy about 1.5 joules, speed about 80 m / s with Ballistic Chronograph R2 (weight of the ball 0.47 g). See pictures. The air pistol comes from a collection. Accessories as shown."

 





   
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Garvin
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Tell 3 serial no. 145 









   
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Tell Model 3 serial no.446 

Pics copyright Holts Auctioneers

 




   
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Garvin
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Boxed Tell Model-3 




   
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Tell 3 air pistol (eGun December 2019) 







   
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Tell Model 3 serial no. 369 

With thanks to Florian.

Note that this example lacks the usual markings.







   
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Garvin
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Tell Model-3 serial no. 383 

With thanks to Janne.

 





   
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Garvin
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Tell Model-3 (x2 in large calibres - 6mm and 61/3mm) 

It's a mystery as to who produced these pistols in larger calibres than the usual 4.5mm.

 












John Griffiths, author of The Ecyclopedia of Spring Air Pistols, spotted this IMPORT stamp on the 6 1/3 mm pistol:

 

This appears to be the latter pistol sold in a Swedish auction in May 2020:





 

John says about this pistol:

This is my take on the 6⅓ mm pistol. This gun would most probably have started off as a war-years export from Germany to Sweden, as it is known that many were exported there up to 1944. I have copies of early 1940’s Swedish catalogues advertising them, but in .177 calibre only. The word IMPORT has the same meaning in Swedish as in English, and would serve the same role as the word FOREIGN found on many of our imports.

The calibre, expressed in the form “6⅓ “, is peculiarly German and is found in many vintage German catalogues, but I have never come across it in Swedish catalogues. It seems most likely therefore that the gun barrel was made and stamped in Germany, by Venuswaffenwerk, and the stamping has obviously been made with a purpose-made die. A Swedish company is unlikely to have any need to drill out a .177 barrel to such an odd calibre, and is also unlikely to have had access to such a specialist die.

I can only assume that in the war years, Venuswaffenwerk were making do with whatever materials they could get for airgun production, which had to take second place to main weapons production, and was only tolerated to earn a bit of much needed foreign currency for the Reich. The 6⅓ mm calibre barrelling used on this Tell 3 pistol was just a result of expediency, making use of what happened to be available at a very difficult time. The pistol, perhaps part of a small batch, was shipped off to Sweden and then we know the rest of the story.

 

 


   
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Garvin
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Tell Model-3 (in VGC box) 

With thanks to Eberhard for the heads up.

Spotted on Swedish auction site Tradera. 

 







   
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Garvin
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Tell Model-3 (plated) 

With thanks to Brian.

John Griffiths, author of The Encyclopedia of Spring Air Pistols, says:

Whatever the plating technique used, I would still be very suspicious of the originality of any vintage airgun less than 100 years old if it has lost most of its plating, as this suggests that the original plating process was an amateur job and not something sanctioned by the manufacturer of the gun.






   
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Garvin
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Tell Model-3 (boxed) 

With thanks to Eberhard.






   
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Garvin
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Tell Model-3 (boxed) 

With thanks to Eberhard.

 






   
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