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                                                BILL GOODMAN,  P. O. BOX 2002,  BOZEMAN,  MONTANA  59771

   TEL. (406) 587-3131        FAX (406) 219-3415 

                                              EMAIL:  montanaraven@hotmail.com

      Bill Goodman has been a collector of antique/collector firearms for well over 40 years and a full time dealer for over 30 years.  Traveling around the country constantly seeking good quality collector arms at REALISTIC PRICES, Bill sells exclusively by mail order.  He has advertised in every issue of The Gun List  (now Gun Digest the Magazine) since it's first small issues in the early 1980s (as well as The Shotgun News before that). All items are photographed. To view them just click the text of the item you want to see. Be sure to scroll down as most items have more than one photo.  All guns are sold as collector's items, not shooters.  If you wish to shoot an item listed here, it is strongly recommended that you have the item checked out by a competent gunsmith who specializes in antique firearms. All items are sold with the usual three (3) day inspection.  If for any reason you are not satisfied with your purchase, call to say you are returning the item and you will receive an immediate refund when the item is received back in the same condition it was originally shipped. This list will be constantly updated as new items become available.  Use the above phone number to call to check availability and for Info on any item you wish to purchase. Prices do not include shipping. All federal/state laws concerning the transfer of firearms are strictly followed.  Modern firearms must be shipped to an FFL dealer (or "Curio & Relics" license holders where applicable).  Pre-1899 antiques may be shipped to non-FFL holders. All Layaway sales are final. AND PLEASE, MAKE CHECKS TO WILLIAM (OR BILL) GOODMAN AND NOT GOODMANGUNS. 

 

 

 MORE GUNS WERE POSTED ON 8/11/18. WATCH FOR FREQUENT POSTINGS THROUGH AUGUST.

 

 

 

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: FINALLY, MY SECOND NOVEL IS OUT! First, I'd like to thank everyone who read my first novel, DESERT SUNDAYS, and kept after me to get the second one done and published! So, after the usual delays and hitches, here it is. This one is called AN OBVIOUS SLAM DUNK and if you like courtroom scenes and a story that not only makes you think, but surprises you...well, this is a page turner I know you'll like. And before anyone asks, yes, the third novel is almost done and I hope to get that one out before too long. All three form a trilogy, but each stands alone, so it doesn't matter which you read first. Both are available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble (Kindle downloads too). If you want to save some money and have a signed copy, I have books here that I can sell cheaper than online at $13 each including shipping. Click here to see both books front and back with a synopsis of each.  Don't bother to call to reserve a copy, just toss a check in the mail with shipping instructions. Thanks, Bill Goodman

 

 

 

COLT FIRE ARMS (click text for photo)

1) SINGLE ACTION ARMY, .38-40, 4 3/4" BARREL, #187XXX, WITH FACTORY LETTER SHOWING SHIPMENT TO SIMMONS HARDWARE COMPANY, ST LOUIS, MISSOURI ON JULY 31, 1899. Amazingly only 86 numbers away from the above SAA! And both came out of Arizona. This is a typical cowboy gun that now is mostly gray/brown overall. Good markings with correct two line barrel address, strong patent dates with rampant colt on the frame. Matching numbers. Very tight action and good screws. The grips show wear- especially the right panel which is typical as this is the outside grip that would see more wear. Bore will clean excellent, front sight filed flat on top for sighting in. some aged blue in the protected areas of the cylinder flutes, ejector housing flute etc. butt appears to have had some pitting on it at one time that was filed or heavily cleaned- most of the serial number remains and matches. Good appearance. (4 photos) $2100

2) SUPERB BLUE AND CASE COLOR SINGLE ACTION ARMY .32-20, 5 ½” BARREL, #344XXX, MADE 1923. This is a really spectacular example that retains nearly all the vivid case color on the frame and hammer with maybe just a touch of fading to the colors on the top strap- even the back of the recoil shield and outside of the loading gate retain the factory colors. Nearly full blue remains with a hint of thinning on the back strap, barely a touch of wear at the muzzle and outside edge of the ejector…all too minor to describe, but just enough to easily confirm that all the blue and case color are factory original. About perfect grips are matching numbered to the frame, trigger guard and grip straps. Untouched blued screws and cylinder pin. About as nice a Single Action as I’ve offered. (6 photos- lots of light reflection made it difficult) $6850..

3) A TRUE HISTORICAL COLT RARITY! NEW SERVICE VERY EARLY ROYAL NORTHWEST MOUNTED POLICE MARKED REVOLVER IN ORIGINAL AND UNALTERED .455 ELEY CALIBER, #59XXX, MADE 1913! The early New Service revolvers sold to Canada for the mounted police were all .455 Eley caliber. Soon after this first lot were shipped, all orders were for .45 Colt chambered guns. Most of the .455 Eley caliber revolvers were bored out to take the longer .45 Colt cartridge making an original chambered .455 extremely rare. Even the converted ones are scarce, but one like this is a seldom seen item. A fine example with correct back strap markings of “R N W M P 766”  and the butt is correctly stamped “MP” by the original lanyard swivel. While this example shows normal holster wear (as it should!), there is still fine blue on the frame, barrel and cylinder with most of the blue wear to the grip straps, barrel sides, some on the bottom of the trigger guard  and on edges. Still retains fine fire blue on the trigger and hammer back, exc. bore, very tight action and lock up. Fine grips with small repair to the back corners- perfect fit and I believe are the originals. One is scratched “I H L E” inside (the “I” could be a “1”) and the frame under the grips is stamped “MP” as on the butt. Exc. markings including the barrel address and patent dates ending in 1905 and the rampant colt on the frame. Unaltered front sight. (As an aside, Starline Brass is now producing .455 Eley brass for reloading!) These are extremely hard to find historical Colts that don’t come up for sale often. $1895.

4) SELDOM SEEN .22 LONG RIFLE CHAMBERED OFFICIAL POLICE WITH VERY RARE 4” BARREL, #43XXX, MADE 1957. Only about 30,000 of these were made from 1930-1966 and almost all were with 6” barrels. Many, if not most, of these were used by law enforcement agencies as inexpensive “training guns” for their officers firing non-recoiling and cheap .22 LR ammo. This extremely scarce 4” example is in near new condition overall and shows almost no real use. Most of the blue is still on the face of the cylinder showing that this particular revolver was rarely if ever fired as the blast from the cartridges quickly takes the blue off the front of the cylinder. The only flaw to this one is that there is some very shallow scratching on the butt that appears to be three initials and the date “10/25/66.” I actually owned this revolver for quite some time and never even noticed this until the light hit it at an angle and it showed up- that’s how minor it is. Super condition inside and out. A very difficult Colt model to locate even with the standard 6” barrel. $975.

5) UNUSUAL AND EXTREMELY RARE VARIATION COBRA LIGHTWEIGHT REVOLVER WITH 3" BARREL AND IN CALIBER .32 NEW POLICE, MADE IN 1967, IN ORIGINAL NUMBERED BOX WITH ALL PAPERS! The first series Cobra was made from 1950-1972. The standard model was a .38 Special caliber, blued finish with 2” barrel. Anything else is seldom seen. According to the excellent new book SEVEN SERPENTS, THE HISTORY OF COLT’S SNAKE GUNS by Gurney Brown, the author rates rarity of features from 1 (standard) to 5 (extremely rare). The .32 New Police chambering (which is the same as the .32 S&W Long, but loaded with a flat nose lead slug) is rated as a “4” and the three inch barrel also rates a “4” on the rarity scale. I actually don’t recall seeing another like this before. The gun is in near new condition with only a slight handling mark here or there in the soft anodized aluminum black finish etc. The wood grain box is numbered to the gun and is like new (!) with a full label showing the caliber and barrel length etc. It also contains the original hang tag, warranty card, Colt booklets etc. Truly a remarkable find especially with the original box etc. (3 photos- note: what looks like edge wear in bottom photo is just light reflection) $1495.

                       

MARLIN  (click text for photos).

1) FINE CONDITION 1889 OCTAGON RIFLE IN DESIRABLE .44-40 CALIBER, #41XXX, MADE 1890. This was Marlin’s first solid receiver top lever action rifle with side ejection and was only until the Model 1894 replaced it a few years into production. Of the 55,000 that were made only 20,934 were in .44-40 caliber. This model seems to have seen very hard use as most that I’ve encountered over the years have been in the lower ends of condition with the smaller .32-20 caliber typically being better as they were more farm and ranch guns that were kept indoors for pest control. The .44s in particular seem to have been the true frontier rifle with survival rates being limited. This example came out of right here in Montana and still retains fine deep barrel and magazine blue with the mag tube showing a little more plum. The receiver shows strong bright blue  on  about 70% of the left side and toward the back portion of the right side also on the receiver top with the balance mixing/ageing plum/brown. Original buckhorn rear sight with Rocky Mountain blade front sight. Fine stock and forend shows only normal light handling with very tight wood to metal fit. The top right of the butt stock has ten shallow and small “kill notches” that have to make one wonder and imagine the adventures associated with this fine early rifle! Fine bore with strong rifling all the way through and any roughness scattered and surface. A nice example in a hard to find caliber with an especially nice appearance, $1695.

2) LIMITED PRODUCTION MODEL ’94 SADDLE RING CARBINE IN .32-20 CALIBER, #425XXX, MADE APPROX. 1909. Marlin saddle ring carbines are much more rare than most people realize and are very difficult to find in all models and calibers. I try to get them whenever I can, but just don’t see them often. This example came out of here in Montana and while it shows typical Montana ranch use, it is not altered or abused. Overall metal is a very aged/thinned blue that is mainly an uncleaned gray/brown. Markings are all fine and it still retains the correct carbine rear sight with slide intact. The wood is sound, but shows normal handling and saddle carry- there are normal dings and scratches, but the wood to metal fit is fine and there are no cracks. The action is tight and all springs are strong- needs only one filler screw that is missing from the factory drilled and tapped tang sight holes. When I got this one it hadn’t been cleaned in years. I ran a few patches through the bore and they came out full of black crud. The bore is dark with good rifling and needs a good thorough scrubbing out to remove more of the leading and crud that has accumulated. The bore won’t be excellent, but should be “a shootable bore.”  I’ve had very few .32-20 Marlin saddle ring carbines over the years. $1195.

3) MODEL ’94 .38-40 OCTAGON RIFLE, #412XXX, MADE C.1909. A fine example that retains most of the deep factory blue on the barrel and magazine showing only light darkening from age, exc. markings, receiver case colors have faded to a heavily mottled gray with good blue on the bolt and loading gate, original Rocky Mountain blade front sight with original buckhorn rear sight, excellent walnut butt stock and forend with tight wood to metal fit and only a little spot of surface chipping by the side of the butt plate near the toe on the right side- very minor and hardly worth mentioning. Fine+ bore with some very light scattered surface roughness that ought to brush out better, tight action. Very attractive overall appearance, $1595.

4) VERY FINE CONDITION, EARLY ANTIQUE SERIAL NUMBER 1895 OCTAGON RIFLE, .45-90 CALIBER, #141847, MADE 1896. This was the biggest caliber offered in the Model 1895 and one of the most desirable. The receiver has naturally aged to a slightly mottled dark color, the 26” barrel retains fine deep blue with the magazine tube mixing more plum and brown and one small area on the right side of the mag tube ahead of the forend cap that looks like it once had some old rust on it and was wiped off- old and blends in well. All screw heads are excellent and look like they haven‘t been turned, near excellent bore had deep rifling all the way through with any scattered roughness very minor and might scrub out. Original buckhorn rear sight with factory Rocky Mountain blade front, fine wood with very tight wood to metal fir and only the butt stock appears to have very light surface rasp marks on it which is odd as the wood to metal fit is so good and it doesn’t look like a replacement. I carefully removed the butt plate and it is numbered to the gun. It is very surface and only visible when the light hits it a certain way- a bit baffling and I wonder if it left the factory that way but had stock finish on it that filled any fitting marks? Either way, it is very minor and if one wanted to, it would be easy to do a little fine sanding and refinishing. I’d leave it as is. Tight action with light trigger pull and a good safety notch in the hammer. A difficult model to find especially in .45 caliber. $2950.

 

 

                A NOTE ABOUT "MODERN MARLINS": Marlin has closed its doors for good in North Haven, Connecticut and been bought out by the folks who own Remington. It looks like some models have been put back into production with the barrels marked "Utica, New York."  I did see one of the new ones with the old North Haven barrel address so I assume they had left over barrels they were using up.  Quality in wood  to metal fit was fair at best and trigger pulls were off the scale heavy!  I don't know if any of the octagon barrel "cowboy models" will be produced again, although their online catalogue does show a model 1894 cowboy-type with octagon barrel in .45 Colt.

1) SCARCE MODEL 375, CHAMBERED FOR THE FINE .375 WCF CARTRIDGE AND ONLY MADE IN LIMITED QUANTITIES FROM 1980-1983, a really great short to medium range caliber (I have one in a Ruger No.3 single shot that shoots amazingly small groups), 20" barrel with 2/3 mag., factory sling swivels and factory drilled and tapped for scope mounting, this one is in near new condition, $795.

2) PRE-SAFETY SCARCE 1894 .357 CARBINE, MADE 1982. These are particularly hard to find now, correct 18 ½” barrel, buckhorn rear sight with bead front sight, has a scope base correctly mounted in the factory holes, retains nearly all the blue, excellent wood and has a single quick detachable sling swivel stud in the “bullseye” in the bottom of the stock. If you wanted to, you could remove it and replace the little bullseye inlay that is available through several sources. Tight action and perfect bore. $995.

 

 

ANTIQUE & CLASSIC RIFLES, SHOTGUNS AND PISTOLS (click text for photos)   

  1. CUSTOMIZED, FACTORY ENGRAVED REMINGTON HEPBURN SINGLE SHOT RIFLE CONVERTED TO MEDIUM HEAVY VARMINT RIFLE IN .219 IMPROVED ZIPPER CALIBER, probably done in the 1930s-1950s when these rifles didn’t seem to hold a lot of value to collectors (lots of converted single shot rifles during this time!). This one is unusual in that the receiver appears to be factory engraved with scrolls and game scenes (rabbit on one side and a fox on the other) with reblued at time of conversion over the engraving, meaning the engraving was on the gun before refinishing/customizing! It was also converted to under-lever breech block opening (like on a Highwall or Sharps), it is fitted with a 24: medium heavy varmint barrel, nicely grained pistol grip stock with cheek piece and accent line, flat bottom varmint forend, sling swivels and topped with a (more modern) 6-24X BSA Platinum scope (here’s the factory info on the scope: “Extremely tight optical and mechanical tolerances give these scopes consistency a nd superb accuracy. Features multi-coated lenses, finger adjustable windage and elevation target turrets, generous eye relief and an adjustable objective that adjusts from 25 yards out to infinity. Completely waterproof, fogproof and shockproof. Comes with a limited lifetime factory warranty.”). Unmarked barrel, I was told by the previous owner that the caliber is .219 Imp. Zipper and that appears correct- it was also the most popular varmint caliber for rifles like this. Tight action, target crowned muzzle, light trigger and all in exc. condition overall. Would cost a fortune to have made today…if you could even find the action (not to mention engraving!) NOTE: three photos- the engraving didn't show up in the first two from light reflection, but you see it in the last photo- same on both sides.  $2150.

  2.  ONE OF THE RAREST SHARPS MILITARY RIFLES IS THIS .50-70 CALIBER SHARPS/SPRINGFIELD MODEL 1870 2ND TYPE, BUILT ON THE TRUE 1874 SHARPS ACTION, ONLY 300 MADE AND SERIAL NUMBERED 1-300. THIS EXAMPLE IS NUMBER 1XX.  Made in the very early days of cartridge breech loading rifles, Springfield actually contracted with the Sharps company in 1870-1871 to buy 300 complete 1874 actions. Springfield then added their own stocks, barrels, sights etc. to complete the rifles. They also purchased 1000 used converted percussion Civil War 1863 actions- these too were made into rifles (FIRST TYPE). All had 32 ½” barrels and had stocks secured by two barrel bands. Obviously, all of these Sharps-Springfields are extremely rare today, with the 2nd. Type especially so with so few made on the desirable factory 1874 action. I don’t know what the survival rate is for these, but it must be very small as I’ve seen very few of these in the last couple of decades! These were made as trial arms along with some made on the Remington Rolling Block action. All were shipped west and saw hard usage in the Indian Wars. The Trapdoor design eventually won out and the Sharps and Remingtons never saw further Springfield production. This is a very fine example that has never been cleaned or “helped” in any way that I can see. It is truly an “attic condition” example. All metal parts are a deep and uncleaned brown patina with some evidence of old rust that was wiped off years ago (not steel wooled or buffed)- this is mainly on the lock plate and receiver and some scattered lightly on the barrel etc. I would call it heavy freckling as opposed to deep pitting and has a fine appearance overall. Only the butt plate has serious pitting- probably stood in a rack somewhere for years- and the barrel bands show some pitting too. Matching serial number on upper tang and left side of the barrel. Receiver retains the Sharps markings on the left side. Generally excellent stock and forend with only one small, worn-in chip on top of the butt stock just ahead of the butt plate- minor. Sharp and clear ESA cartouche in the left side of the stock. Bore is MINTY BRIGHT! Tight action, correct front swivel with correct matching inletted swivel stud in butt (needs the sling loop only), typical early .50-70 Trapdoor rear sight with ladder and slide intact as well as the cleaning rod. A really rare, attractive and historical Sharps/Springfield in original condition! (4 photos) $4850.

 

 

                               

MODERN AND CUSTOM CLASSIC FIREARMS (click text for photos)

1) ED BROWN PRODUCTS, MODEL 1911 EXECUTIVE TARGET .45 ACP, one of the finest custom 1911s on the market, this one is brand new in the original Ed Brown Products zipper case with lock, bottle of Ed Brown Firearm Lubricant, owners manual etc., these are stainless guns and this one has the attractive optional Gen4 black coating finish, Ed Brown Custom marked slide, with correct Ed Brown marked magazine, right out of the box about as superb a 1911 as you can buy and this one is brand new, there is one available on the Ed Brown website (without the optional Gen4 black coating) for $2895. My price on this exceptional 1911 target sighted auto without the long wait for a custom order is $2295.

2) BROWNING BLR LEVER ACTION RIFLE IN LIMITED PRODUCTION AND DESIRABLE .358 WIN. CALIBER. This is a Miroku of Japan made rifle that is unusual in that it has a much fancier than standard grade of walnut in the butt stock. Usually the wood on these is a plain piece of blonde walnut where this one has some nice figure/fiddleback in it. Checkered forend and wrist, exc. blue overall, original Browning marked rubber butt plate, gold trigger and comes with one extra factory magazine. There is one tiny smudge of blue wear at the muzzle and a few light marks in the stock finish which is all that keeps this one from appearing new. Comes with a Leupold scope base installed along with the factory open sights on the 20” barrel. I think if I were going to keep this rifle, I’d strip the stock finish and replace it with an oil rubbed finish. With the figured walnut of this rifle that would be a knock-out! $895.

 

 

 REMINGTON (click text for photos)

1) EXTREMELY RARE AND DESIRABLE "BABY SADDLE RING CARBINE" .44-40 ROLLING BLOCK IN SUPER CONDITION! These were very popular in the Southwest as well as across the border in Mexico, this example, like most, has Remington's full nickel plate finish that amazingly is still in excellent condition!  Nearly all the nickel remains with only some frostiness/light peeling to some edges etc., even the upper and lower tangs retain bright nickel, barrel band shows most nickel with only minor peeling/wear, exc. wood with the desirable "44  CF" stamping on the left side of the wrist (I've seen this before on this model- some have it and some don't- correct blued carbine leaf sight with blade front, correct 20" barrel, exc. Remington markings on the upper tang, tight wood to metal fit, exc. screws, fine bore looks to have the usual light roughness ahead of the chamber with good rifling throughout (needs a good scrubbing out), one of the best of these rare carbines that I've seen, seldom offered for sale, $2750.

2) ROLLING BLOCK .50-70 CALIBER, NEW YORK STATE CONTRACT MUSKET, C.1871. This one has the last patent date of 1871 stamped on the upper tang indicating it was from the first New York contract of that year. Later guns have the last date of 1874. Overall metal is an uncleaned gray/brown, cleaning rod intact, correct rear sight with ladder and slide intact. Fine wood with tight wood to metal fit shows normal handling marks, but no chips, cracks or abuse. Has the standard inspector stamps in the wood along with the usual rack/unit numbers. Tight action with good bore that has strong rifling throughout with scattered light/surface roughness that will probably scrub out better. Many of these fine and historic Rollers are still being shot today. $995.

3) EXCELLENT CONDITION HEPBURN 30" OCTAGON SPORTING RIFLE IN DESIRABLE CALIBER 38-55 WITH BRIGHT EXCELLENT BORE. This rifle in the 9XXX serial range has the later ebony wedge/schnable forend tip where the earlier rifles had steel tips. One of the more scarce calibers for the Hepburn, the .38-55 is much less common than most calibers normally encountered in this model. Barrel and receiver serial numbers match, correct Remington barrel address, exc. barrel blue, fine blue on the hammer and breech block, still retains some aged case color on the butt plate, receiver ring and left side of the receiver with the right side having some color mainly around the lever and in the protected areas. Rocky mountain blade front sight with Remington buckhorn rear sight, tight wood to metal fit and generally excellent stock and forend with fine factory checkering on the pistol grip. There is one tiny hole in the left side of the forend by the forend screw that seems to go nowhere and I don’t understand why it is there, yet I’ve seen an identical one in other Hepburn rifles. On close inspection it appears to go to where the cut out in the wood inside the forend is that houses the forend screw. I wonder if it was somehow to hold a pin that connected with the forend screw to keep it tight…but that seems odd. A touch of wood fill would make it disappear, but I’ve left it. If someone knows what this was for I’d sure like to know! Regardless, it is so minor it is hardly worth mentioning. Hepburn sporters are really hard to find these days and this is a fine one with a great bore. $3450.

4) U.S. GOVERNMENT WORLD WAR II ISSUE MODEL 11, 12 GA. RIOTGUN. These U.S. marked riotguns are becoming very hard to find now as all W.W.II firearms are popular with collectors and investors. This one has the correct U.S. and flaming bomb markings on the receiver as well as on the barrel. It also has a "C D" stamping on the right side of the receiver just ahead of the ejection port that may stand for Civil Defense. Additionally, the barrel and receiver serial numbers DO MATCH which is both very unusual and very desirable on this model as usually when the guns were taken apart for cleaning barrels and receivers got switched. This example is an early one in that it was a commercial Remington with the typical pheasant and duck hunting scenes roll engraved on each side along with a blue finish. The later Model 11s have a dull finish without the roll engraving. Later guns actually say “Military Finish” on the side of the receivers. Has the correct “CYL” choke marking on the left side of the 20 inch barrel. Butt stock has the original Remington butt plate as well as a light but visible crossed cannon cartouche etc. on the left center of the stock. Fine lightly aged blue overall on receiver and barrel, exc. mechanically, bright bore, forend shows one age crack coming back from the tip on the right side and goes nowhere. There is a similar one on the left side only of the butt stock coming forward from the middle of the butt plate that also goes nowhere- minor and simply from the wood drying. All excellent markings and a very fine example. $1395.

5) CUSTOM HEPBURN VARMINT RIFLE (see above in custom & classic section above)

 

RUGER FIREARMS (click text for photos)

1) CLASSIC MODEL 77 IN 7MM REMINGTON MAGNUM CALIBER, MADE 1981, a truly great rifle in every way that is no longer in production, this is the variation without open barrel sights, 24" barrel, comes with a sling and Ruger scope rings, seen very little use as about all the blue is present with barely any edge wear to the trigger guard, original Ruger rubber butt pad and grip cap, sharp checkering, there are some very shallow scratches to the wood on the left side of the receiver which are minor and hardly worth mentioning, classic tang mounted safety, exc. inside, about the most perfect "do anything" caliber available, if you wanted one rifle to hunt anything from antelope to big elk, this one would do it very nicely, $575.

 

 

SHILOH SHARPS AND OTHER REPRODUCTIONS.  Note: I am a Shiloh Sharps dealer and can order you any Shiloh you want. Check out my other website for Shilohs: www.shiloh-ballard.com (click text for photos).

1) SHILOH SHARPS 1863 FULL LENGTH  THREE BAND MILITARY RIFLE, .54 CALIBER PERCUSSION, #9XX MADE IN FARMINGDALE, NEW YORK. These percussion models are now discontinued and not found in the Shiloh catalog which is a real shame as they are wonderfully accurate and loads of fun to shoot! (I have several!). This excellent condition example was probably made in the late 1970s and has the small "wolf's head" stamping on the right side of the barrel ahead of the receiver- it is my understanding that rifles with this stamp were actually made by Wolfgang ("Wolf) Droge who founded the company . It has really attractive reddish/brown walnut and sports the optional steel patchbox and polished barrel. Aside from a few tiny and minor handling marks in the wood, it is in remarkably near new condition. Bright bore, very light trigger pull, vivid case colors (on the receiver, hammer, lever, butt plate, barrel bands and patch box), correct original Lawrence ladder rear sight with slide, deep barrel blue, original sling swivels with military style leather sling. These are now really hard to find especially with patchbox. $2550.

2) ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS SHILOH SHARPS BULL BARREL SPORTER IN .50-90 CALIBER! MADE IN BIG TIMBER, MONTANA. Shiloh only makes the extra heavy bull barrel rifles every few years or so. When they do, all other production has to stop. Few of these special rifles ever come up for sale. This one is a straight stock No.3 Sporter with just about all the bells and whistles one could order. It has double set triggers and a full buckhorn rear sight (drilled and tapped at the factory for any tang sight you might want to put on this one) and has the desirable 1-22" twist rate that will stabilize any bullet up to 700 grains in weight. Truly spectacular exhibition grade walnut with AA finish, checkered steel shotgun butt plate, No.2, 30” full octagon bull barrel (total rifle weight 14 ½ lbs), polished blue barrel, polished and fire-blued screws, brass escutcheons, bone and charcoal pack harden case colors on the receiver, hammer, lever and butt plate etc., pewter forend tip and all in about unfired, new condition. This is the Big .50 Buffalo Gun of 1870s fame, but built super fancy.  New price on this rifle after waiting several years would be around $5,000 or more. Not many seen like this!  This one is priced at (4 photos) $4500.

 

 

SMITH AND WESSON (click text for photos)

1) EXCELLENT, HIGH CONDITION AND RARE 1899 U.S. ARMY MARKED FIRST MODEL .38 COLT SERVICE CARTRIDGE, HAND EJECTOR REVOLVER, only 1,000 of these were made c.1901 and are a distinct variation with checkered walnut grips with "J.T.T. 1901" inspector stamping in the top lefty grip and "K.S.M." in the top right grip along with "K.S.M." on the frame, under the barrel and on the cylinder face etc., butt clearly marked "U.S. Army Model 1899" with lanyard ring intact, excellent deep blue overall with only dulling plum on the grip straps, minor holster wear on the barrel sides toward the muzzle, front sight has not been altered, minor edge wear to the deep blue on the cylinder with some light flaking from age, fine vivid case colors on the hammer and trigger, exc. sharp checkering on the original grips (when these grips are missing or wrong they are about impossible to find to replace), all correct and in the correct 13XXX serial range, almost never encountered, (Note: bottom photo has photo light reflection that makes the S&W logo look weak, it is sharp and clear) $2150.

2) A GREAT SMITH AND WESSON FIND!!! A VERY SCARCE 5TH MODEL .38 DOUBLE ACTION REVOLVER, 4” WITH NICKEL FINISH, IN THE ORIGINAL MATCHING NUMBERED BOX! THESE WERE ONLY MADE 1909-1911.  As stated in the last edition of  Flayderman’s Guide (It’s a shame nobody has picked up on this great book with much needed new editions since Norm Flayderman died several years ago), “…production run of about 15,000 (however, specimens available on the collectors’ market always scarce).” Aside from some internal improvements over earlier models, the 5th Model is easily identified by having the front sight integral with the barrel and not pinned as before. The barrel also does not contain patent markings. Caliber .38 S&W, this example retains most of the original nickel with only some minor freckling/peeling mainly on the extreme front edge of part of the cylinder- very minor. The hammer retains nice case color and about all the deep blue remains on the trigger guard and barrel latch. Excellent grips and tight action with all matching numbers on the frame, latch, cylinder and barrel. Remarkably, the box is in excellent condition with all intact corners and only one small inch section of the wrap around inner-box that fits inside the lid when closed is missing- minor. All instructions in the inside of the lid and inside the box are intact as is the end label stating in thee lines:  “Smith and Wesson; DOUBLE 38 ACTION; Nickel 4 inch.” The bottom of the box is numbered with the matching serial number 542XXX and has a factory stamping in red ink stating that "This arm is guaranteed with either black or smokeless powder factory loaded ammunition."  It is interesting to note that this model was serialized from 539001-554077. This example falls right in the middle of production, probably 1910. Amazing that a 108 year old cardboard box survived to the present time, let alone in this condition! This should prove to be an excellent investment S&W! (four photos) $1295.

3) ONE OF THE RAREST POST W.W.II MODELS! THIS IS THE PRE-MODEL 37 CHIEF SPECIAL AIRWEIGHT WITH THE EARLY AND QUICKLY DISCONTINUED ALUMINUM CYLINDER, MADE 1953! This model was introduced in 1952 and by 1954 the aluminum cylinder was replaced with steel as the aluminum was prone to crack (or worse!) when used with anything more powerful than standard .38 Special "mid-range" loads, I believe most of these revolvers were either destroyed or returned to S&W for a steel cylinder. I can't recall seeing another of these with the original numbered cylinder intact. All matching numbers on frame, cylinder, barrel AND INSIDE THE GRIPS, beautiful condition overall with nearly all the blue intact on the barrel, case colors on the hammer and trigger and "black" finish on the aluminum frame and cylinder, an extremely difficult to find flat latch S&W in superb condition, (note: light reflection makes it look like there is blue wear/edge wear. It is near full blue overall) $1100.

4) LIMITED PRODUCTION AND HARD TO FIND EARLY FIRST MODEL MILITARY AND POLICE "MODEL 1899 HAND EJECTOR" IN .38 SPECIAL CALIBER, these "Grandfather of all the M&Ps" were only made from 1899-1902 and are immediately recognizable because it is the only Hand Ejector made without a locking lug on the bottom of the barrel for the ejector rod to catch, also, all had round grip frames, this one with 5" barrel is in the 19XXX serial range and has matching serial numbers, very tight action and exc. bore, nice bright case colors on the hammer sides, case color on the trigger a bit dulled but shows some color, exc. correct hard rubber grips with patent dates on the bottom left grip panel, fine S&W logo marking on frame, fine blue in all the usual protected areas with thinning/ageing blue on the more exposed parts- like the outside of the cylinder, back strap etc. yet retains plenty of blue overall on the frame, trigger guard and barrel, front sight has not been filed or altered, exc. screws and markings, a limited production fairly scarce model to locate, $795.

5) PRE-WAR .44 SPECIAL SECOND MODEL HAND EJECTOR REVOLVER, 6 ½” BARREL, SCARCE NICKEL FINISH, MADE 1921. Only 15,510 of this model were made from 1915-1940 and I’m sure that low number reflects limited manufacture and demand during the Great Depression of the 1930s.The classic book STANDARD CATALOG OF SMITH  WESSON indicates that nickel finish in this model is worth "a premium." This one retains nearly all the original nickel finish with only some scattered freckling mainly on the edges of the grip straps and on the right side of the frame behind the cylinder (this is typical as this is the area that holster straps rub), still retains some light case color on the hammer and trigger, sharp bright bore with only a spot or two of light surface corrosion that might brush out, tight action, exc. markings, matching numbers, exc. diamond checkered walnut grips, unaltered front sight, lanyard ring intact, these big frame pre-war .44sd are becoming very difficult to locate and this is a particularly fine example in desirable nickel finish. (4 photos) $1495.

6) EARLY .32-20 1905 HAND EJECTOR, 4TH CHANGE, 5 " BARREL,  #78XXX. This model was made from 1915 to 1940 and in serial numbers fromm65701-144684. This one was probably made around 1917 or so. All matching numbers. Fine blue overall with some very light handling and holster wear only. Even the back strap retains nearly all the original blue.  Barrel sides show minimal thinning and only the lightest of edge wear showing. Front sight has not been filed, action is crisp and tight (nothing like these pre-war hand fitted actions!), exc. bore.  Exc. original diamond checkered grips with deep S&W medallions are numbered to the gun. Nice case colors on the trigger and hammer. Very fine example getting hard to find in this caliber. (note: some light reflection off oil on frame in top photo especially) ( $875.

7) EARLY PRE-29, FIVE SCREW .44 MAGNUM WITH RARE 4” BARREL WITH FACTORY LETTER. This one turned up in Arizona and I sent for the S&W historical letter myself. The letter states: “…that the 44 Magnum pre-Model 29, five screw variation, serial number S169XXX was shipped on March 6, 1957 and delivered to Belknap Hardware Co., Louisville, KY. The records indicate tat this revolver was shipped with a 4 inch barrel red ramp front sight, white outline rear sight, target hammer and target trigger, blue finish and checkered Goncalo Alves target grips. This shipment was for 10 units of this model in the above configuration.” This example has seen only light use and shows some minor muzzle wear and high edge wear to the cylinder. The blue is bright, grips excellent and retains the original sights, hammer and trigger with about all the case color remaining. Excellent inside with tight action. The latest STANDARD CATALOG OF SMITH AND WESSON, 4th Edition states the 4” barrel should command a 25% premium in value. Original factory letter included. $3650.

8) BIG AND ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT MODEL 329 PD "AIRLIGHT" .44 MAGNUM REVOLVER, 4" barrel with finger groove wood grips. When you want a lot of power, but don't want to lug around a heavy steel sixgun, this is the one to have! In fact, I do have one of these and carry it hiking here in Montana. The only .44 mag. I can carry for miles in the mountains and not even notice it's there! Not very pleasant to shoot, but it's not really made for that. Rather, it's to be carried a lot and fired a little. Adjustable rear sight with high visibility fiber optic front sight, wide checkered target hammer, great single action and double action trigger pull, this one has just a very  little carry wear, but is as tight as new. Interesting tip: these fit the Bianchi U.S. flap holsters made for the M-9 Beretta! I often use this holster with mine as it keeps debris out and also keeps me from catching my arm on the hammer or sight when hiking. $795.

 

U.S. MILITARY AND SPRINGFIELD (click text for photos

1) VERY HIGH CONDITION 1884 TRAPDOOR SPRINGFIELD .45-70 RIFLE, #472XXX, MADE 1889, one of the better Trapdoor rifles I've offered in a long time, this one retains most of the deep blue on the barrel and barrel bands, correct cleaning rod intact, exc. blue on the trigger guard, retains nearly all the "oil quench" black case hardening on the lock and hammer, exc. markings, FINE CASE COLORS ON THE BREECH BLOCK! Sharp "SWP 1889" stock cartouche and Circle P cartouche, minty bright bore, correct Buffington rear sight, exc. wood with hardly any handling marks, these are really getting hard to find this nice and still a bargain on the antique market today! (3 photos) $1195.

2) 1898 KRAG RIFLE, #239XXX, MADE 1899. An unusual example in that it has fairly highly figured walnut through the butt stock and running past the receiver- I’ve seen this before on a few Krags. This one has a clear and sharp corresponding 1899 stock cartouche. Fine medium colored walnut with unusual and distinct gold color running through it with dark fiddle back striping. Wood shows numerous normal handling marks, but is solid and needs only a good clean to bring out the full colors and grain. Barrel blue thinning and mixing heavily with gray, mottled silver/gray receiver with excellent markings and some aged blue on the extractor. Tight action and excellent sharp bore. Uncracked, exc. handguard. Correct tangent rear sight. Needs only the front stacking swivel- should be an easy find. Getting hard to find in nice condition and this one is especially attractive because of the unusual walnut stock. (4 photos) $975.

3) SMITH & WESSON 1899 U.S. ARMY .38 HAND EJECTOR FIRST MODEL (see above in S&W section)

4) SHARPS-SPRINGFIELD MODEL 1870 .50-70 RIFLE (see above in antique/classic section)

5) U.S. GOVERNMENT WORLD WAR II ISSUE MODEL 11, 12 GA. RIOTGUN (see above in Remington section)

 

 

WINCHESTERS (click text for photo)

  1. VERY DESIRABLE 1885 THICK SIDE HIGHWALL OCTAGON SPORTING RIFLE IN LOW PRODUCTION .40-65 CALIBER, WITH CODY VERIFICATION SHOWING SHIPMENT IN AUGUST 1894. Interestingly, with over 115,000 1885 Single Shot Rifles made, only 518 were made in this fine caliber (the .40-65 is simply the .45-70 case tapered to .40 caliber. They are easy to form or correctly headstamped excellent quality cases are currently made by Starline). This is the rare “thick side” receiver variation that is seldom seen. The No.3 weight barrel is 30” long and retains a fine+ bright bore that shows only light scattered roughness mainly ahead of the chamber. Full buckhorn rear barrel sight with Rocky Mountain blade front and sharp barrel markings. Barrel is a mixture of gray/brown with some small amount of very aged blue. Receiver is silvery-gray. Fine butt stock and forend with ebony wedge inlay intact. Only the lever shows slight bending and has the small under-piece ahead of the trigger broken off- not easily noticed unless looked at the bottom of the receiver with the lever down (you can see the flat piece on the lever bottom that I'm referring to in the bottom photo). Nice overall appearance. Seldom encountered variation in a scarce and useful caliber. My Cody Museum call-in sheet included. (3 photos) $2850.

  2. FINE CONDITION, SPECIAL ORDER 1886 .45-90 CALIBER ROUND BARREL RIFLE WITH HALF MAGAZINE AND CRESCENT BUTT, #136XXX, WITH FACTORY LETTER showing this rifle was received in the warehouse November 6, 1905 and shipped July 13, 1906. Interestingly, aside from verifying that this is a .45-90, round barrel, half magazine rifle it lists it as “Shotgun Butt Rifle butt fitted.”  Perhaps it was received in the warehouse as a shotgun butt rifle and then a special order changed it to a rifle butt. This may be why it wasn’t shipped for another 8 months. During this late stage of production, most 1886s were of the extra light variation in .33WCF or .45-70 with shotgun butts standard. It is unusual to find a .45-90 with full 26” barrel and crescent butt plate during this time. This one still shows more than half of the deep blue on the receiver sides with the balance turning plum and brown with excellent blue on the bolt. Barrel and short mag. tube retain fine aged  blue mixing lightly with brown. Buckhorn and typical Winchester blade front sight, fine+ wood shows tight wood to metal fit and only normal handling marks. Exc. markings and screws, tight action and fine+ bore with minor scattered very surface roughness that ought to scrub out even better. A really honest special order 1886 in a great caliber with fine appearance. Factory letter included. $3650

  3. VERY UNUSUAL SPECIAL ORDER 1886 .33WCF TAKEDOWN SMOKELESS RIFLE. This is a very late rifle in the 155XXX range that I believe was probably a parts clean-up rifle. The serial number would indicate a 1918 manufacture date, however many of these high numbered receivers were not built into rifles and shipped until much later. By this time in production, Winchester was turning out only a few hundred 1886s or less per year. This unusual takedown rifle has a full magazine which is a rare feature on the Extra Lightweight .33WCF rifles that came standard with half magazines. Also the butt stock is of fancy with dense grain/burl walnut with Winchester embossed hard rubber shotgun butt plate. The forend is not as fancy but has the matching “golden” color found in the butt stock.  A call to the Cody Museum found that this serial number application date was not available and the record was blank. Again, this points to a parts clean-up rifle where Winchester wanted to use up some special walnut and a full magazine with takedown feature. As this is an extra lightweight rifle, the full magazine end is actually quite a bit larger in diameter than the barrel! (That’s why they came standard with a half magazine). About all the deep blue remains on the barrel and mag tube, takedown is very tight, flattop buckhorn rear sight with Lyman half moon with ivory bead front sight (called a “Jack Sight). Fine blue on the bolt with the receiver sides getting that flaky plum/gray look with good blue on the rear of the loading gate and in the more protected areas- typical of 1920s receiver blue finishes that tended to flake and turn brown very easily. Forend cap displays some good blue mixing plum/brown. Exc. wood with tight wood to metal fit. Bore a little dark but should clean out exc. An unusual 1886 in very fine condition. (3 photos) $2495.

  4. SELDOM SEEN SPECIAL ORDER EXTRA LONG BARREL 1892, .38-40 CALIBER OCTAGON RIFLE WITH 26” BARREL, #262XXX, MADE 1904. A call to the Cody Museum verified all aspects of this unusual rifle and showing a shipping date of October 13, 1904. According to the standard reference The Winchester Handbook by George Madis, the longer than standard barrels were only offered until 1908 and that only 744 rifles had longer than the standard 24” barrels. Interestingly, most of the few 1892s I’ve seen have been 28” or 30” and almost always in the smaller calibers- .25-20 and .32-20. The 26” length is almost never encountered especially in .38-40. Overall barrel and magazine are a fairly even aged blue mixing plum/brown with the receiver more brown with blue in the protected areas and loading gate. Wood shows light handling only with very tight wood to metal fit. Original buckhorn rear sight with typical Winchester blade front sight. Tight action with fine bore showing good rifling all the way through with scattered light roughness toward the middle of the bore that might scrub out better. Excellent markings. Nice, unmessed with appearance and extremely rare barrel length/caliber configuration! $2450.

  5. 1892 .44-40 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, #344XXX, MADE 1906. A nice rifle that has seen use, but no abuse, barrel and mag tube blue has thinned and has mixed heavily with plum and brown, all markings are clear and excellent, similarly the receiver shows good thinning blue with brighter blue on the left side and in protected areas with fine blue on the bolt and loading gate, exc. screws, exc. action, butt stock and forend show normal light handling with excellent tight wood to metal fit, bore is fairly bright with scattered surface roughness only and good rifling, original buckhorn rear sight with Winchester blade front, an really honest rifle in a very desirable and difficult to find caliber these days. $1895.

  6. HIGH CONDITION 1892 32-20 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, MADE 1903, a really beautiful example that shows excellent deep barrel and mag blue with only the most minor of wear on the bottom of the mag tube and very slight ageing of the blue, receiver shows excellent deep blue with minor edge wear and a little plum mixing on the bottom and upper tang, but shows most of the bright blue with the lightest of wear only, exc. stock and forend with very minor handling marks only, tight wood to metal fit, still retains some good dark case color on the upper portions of the lever and on hammer, bore appears a little worn and may have some leading in it that should scrub out to fine or better, original buckhorn rear sight with standard Winchester blade front sight, exc. markings, unfooled with overall and super attractive. $2250.

  7. FINE 1894 20” OCTAGON SHORT RIFLE, .30WCF, #787XXX, MADE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION YEARS (1910-1920) IN 1916, AND THIS ONE CAME OUT OF ARIZONA. These 20” short rifles were very popular in the Southwest and across the border in Mexico at this time. The interesting thing about this rifle is that it shows that it was carried and stored most of the time in a saddle scabbard as the butt stock has a somewhat dry and weathered look while the forend shows none of this. Obviously, it is the butt stock that protrudes from the leather scabbard and is exposed to the heat and dry as well as the wet weather. The forend is the correct 1 inch shorter than standard length 26” rifles with the wood measuring 8 3/8” compared to standard 9 3/8”.  Fine deep barrel and mag blue, receiver blue has aged to an uncleaned brown mixing gray, tight wood to metal fit, rear sight is a very large high-winged full buckhorn paired with a Lyman blade/bead front sight. Exc. markings on the barrel and upper tang, fine screws, tight action and bright excellent bore. Lots of history in this one! $2395.

  8.  INTERESTING IDENTIFIED 1894 .38-55 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, #192XXX, MADE 1900. This early 1894 is stamped in tiny letters on the barrel ahead of the receiver “V. KINDLER” and “SAGINAW.”  Vincent Kindler was a gunsmith/outfitter in North Central Michigan (Saginaw, MI) in the late 1800s to very early 1900s. It seems he stamped his name and “Saginaw” on every rifle she shipped as I’ve had Winchesters, Colt Lightning rifles etc. with this exact stamping. This part of Michigan was pretty wild at that time and some huge deer were hunted and taken from this area in years past. No doubt, this fine rifle accounted for a number of them! The barrel is an uncleaned aged and thinned blue mixing plum with deeper blue on the bottom above the magazine. Flattop buckhorn rear sight is matched with a Lyman "Jack Sight" which is a half-moon with ivory bead. The mag tube has stronger blue overall. The receiver is mainly gray with good blue on the loading gate and shows some very light scratching mainly on the left side- visible when bright light hits it. All correct sharp markings. Fine stock and forend shows only normal light handling and has tight wood to metal fit. Tight action. Bore will clean excellent- appears to have some light scattered leading in the grooves only that should brush out. Nice to know some history in this fine early 1894! $1495.

  9. LATE, TRANSITION 1894 CARBINE, #1059XXX, .32WS CALIBER, MADE 1929. This is another Winchester that came out of right here in Montana and was probably a ranch gun. Interesting variation made just after the saddle ring was dropped as a standard feature, yet the classic curved steel carbine butt plate was retained. This one has fine deep barrel and mag blue with light wear and exc.  late markings. Has a D. W. King patent ‘07  buckhorn rear sight and a Sheard No.6 blade/bead carbine front sight. The receiver still retains some fine1920s blue/black finish that was known to flake easily and rapidly- this receiver is in the stage where the flaking has turned plum/brown before it silvers with brighter and deeper blue in the more protected areas and exc. blue on the loading gate. Exc. walnut stock and forend with only light handling and very tight wood to metal fit, tight action, exc. screws, and bright excellent bore! Nice appearance overall. $1195.

  10. UNCLEANED AND ATTIC CONDITION MODEL 1895, .30 ARMY CALIBER (.30-40 KRAG),  #87XXX, MADE RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION IN 1915! I found this one in Arizona and the previous owner said it “came out of Mexico.” The 1895 in .30-40 was one of the most popular rifles used in the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). While obviously cared for, this one has seen some real use. Mostly a gray/brown patina overall with some areas of aged blue, this 1895 still retains a dark but fine bore with good rifling all the way through and no pitting. The butt stock shows some “weathering” and has a 3/8 inch hole drilled from side to side- no doubt for a sling or for a thong to secure the rifle in a saddle scabbard. Tight wood to metal fit, forearm shows some honest saddle wear mainly on the upper right side just ahead of the receiver and on the upper left side near the rear sight where the wood is typically thinned a little. Forend also has a small crack staring on the right side coming back from the forend tip and a small and shallow sliver out on the opposite side. Excellent screws, tight action and uncleaned metal that has excellent markings. Buckhorn rear sight with correct small blade front sight. Loads of history and character in this action-packed Winchester! $1395.

  11. EXCELLENT CONDITION, EARLY 1897 12 GA. TAKEDOWN RIOTGUN, #754XXX, MADE 1926. Very hard to find ORIGINAL FACTORY riotguns these days as almost all that show up are cut down full length shotguns. This one has the factory 20” barrel marked “CYL” for cylinder choke, on the left side of the barrel, matching serial number on receiver and barrel. Excellent butt stock and forend with original Winchester embossed hard rubber butt plate and only one slight age crack coming forward from the top butt plate screw- typical and minor. Retains about all the original deep blue on the receiver, mag tube and barrel with only some normal flaking on the takedown ring on the rear of the barrel in front of the receiver as well as some very light edge wear only. Tight action, exc. markings, bright bore. One of the better ones I’ve seen in a long while. These just don’t show up much any more. $1295.

  12. DELUXE PISTOL GRIPPED, CHECKERED MODEL 1903 .22 AUTO RIFLE, MADE 1915, fairly plain but uncracked walnut stock and forend, this was someone's well used and taken care of "pride and joy" rifle as the checkering is all there, but fairly worn, the blue on the receiver is pretty well worn off to an uncleaned gray with good blue in the most protected of areas, has the correct pistol grip cap, interestingly, this one was returned to the factory for a new barrel as the barrel has both the oval P "Mail Order" proof as well as the Winchester proof- this means, the rifle was sent back to Winchester who took a "Mail Order" replacement barrel out of stock and fitted it to the returned rifle, has all the correct Winchester and Model 1903 markings on the barrel, fine deep barrel blue, retains some thinning blue on the forend cap, exc. mech., exc. bright bore, buckhorn with blade/bead front sights, I believe I still sells .22 Auto ammo (different from .22 LR), pistol gripped/checkered Model 1903s are quite rare, $950.

  13. SCARCE WORLD WAR II PRODUCTION M-64 RIFLE, .30WCF, #1320XXX, MADE 1943. Serial numbers reached 1,317,450 at the end of 1942 which probably puts production of this rifle just after that date. These Pre-War Model 64s are fairly scarce as production during the Great Depression years leading up to the war was small- usually less than 3,000 rifles made per year. This is a fine example that has seen light use only and retains nearly all the blue with the exception of the lower edges of the receiver, forend cap and some very small and light scuffing/wear to the barrel- all minor. Exc. blue to the upper tang, bolt etc., exc. stock and forearm, original checkered steel shotgun butt plate, buckhorn rear sight with original hooded front sight, exc. bright and sharp bore, a nice wartime example. $1195.

  14. MODEL 53 IN SCARCE .32-20 CALIBER, #7XX, MADE THE FIRST YEAR OF PRODUCTION IN 1924. These were only made from 1924-1932 with .25-20 the standard chambering with nearly 17,000 made in that caliber and only about 4,700 made in .32-20. This was another limited production Winchester killed off by the Great Depression of the 1930s. Well, that’s all the good news I have on this one… Another hard used rifle that came out of here in Wild Montana, this one has a well worn carbine butt stock that shows some cracking at the wrist, a sling swivel hole in the bottom of the stock and general nicks and dings, the forend shows some repaired/glued long cracks mainly on the right side, but both stock and forend basically solid. Mostly gray receiver and barrel with fine correct markings, fine screws and fine blue on the loading gate. There is a period correct receiver sight mounted on the left side of the receiver and original blade/bead front sight mounted in the correct factory short ramp and an empty rear sight dovetail. Bore shows some small areas of light roughness, but is certainly a “shootable bore.” Action is tight. I’m sure there are lots of stories in this one! $595.

  15. LOW SERIAL NUMBER, EARLY MODEL 55 TAKEDOWN RIFLE IN .30WCF CALIBER, #3XXX, MADE SECOND YEAR OF PRODUCTION IN 1926. Another very limited production Winchester that got decimated in the Great Depression of the 1930s with only 20,580 produced in all calibers and solid frame and takedown versions. More scarce than most Winchester collectors are aware of, the Model 55 is becoming more popular with collectors than in years past. This is a fine unaltered example with original steel butt plate, excellent stock and forend with tight wood to metal fit and tight takedown. Receiver shows fine 1920s blue/black finish typical of rifles made during this time. Usually this finish flaked off very rapidly, yet this one still retains most of the finish on the left side of the receiver, the right side shows a little less with some plum and brown mixing, good blue on the upper tang and receiver top with some light flaking/browning. Even the forend cap shows some good blue. Fine barrel and mag blue, exc. markings, tight action with excellent bright bore. Excellent screws and original buckhorn rear sight with correct short ramp front sight.Much better than usually seen. $1495.

  16. MODEL 71 DELUXE .348 WCF RIFLE, #44XXX, MADE 1956. One of the last of the big .348s. This example has seen normal light carry wear, but is excellent overall. This one came out of here in Montana and probably accounted for loads of deer, moose and elk! Retains fine deep barrel blue with only light and minor scuffing. Most of the blue wear is at the balance point on the bottom of the receiver and some on the receiver ring. Has buckhorn rear sight with hooded front sight- hood intact. Exc. wood shows only some finish wear around the butt plate and a few normal very light and minor handling marks. Has the correct checkered steel butt plate, steel grip cap, fine checkering and super grade inletted swivel studs WITH CORRECT SWIVELS. Tight action and bright sharp excellent bore. $2650.

  17. MODEL 100 SEMI-AUTO RIFLE IN RARE .284 WIN. CALIBER, MADE 1967. This one came out of here in Montana and no doubt has accounted for lots of game! Excellent wood showing very light handling with almost no marks. Exc. blue on the barrel with original folding Lyman rear sight and hooded front sight. It must have had a scope mounted at one time as the factory drilled scope mount holes are lacking the filler screws and there is a light outline were a scope base was once mounted. Correct .284 marked magazine shows some blue wear. The bottom of the aluminum trigger guard has a slight ding and wear to the anodized blue/black finish. Overall a nice rifle in a great caliber (I’m a fan of the .284 and have used it quite a bit here in Montana for deer and antelope). $875.

     

 

    BILL GOODMAN,  P. O. BOX 2002,  BOZEMAN,  MONTANA  59771           TEL.  (406) 587-3131          FAX  (406) 219-3415           montanaraven@hotmail.com

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

THESE  WERE SUCH  GOOD NOTES FROM THE FIELD I'M KEEPING THEM HERE.

 

 CRACKED STOCKS! Seems like an odd thing to write about, but this is something I've not seen in print before. I've observed a lot of rifles with cracks coming straight back toward the butt plate from the upper and lower tangs. Sometimes the cracks are severe enough to warrant repairs (like cross bolts etc. through the wrist or extensive gluing) and other times the stock remains pretty solid as is.  So what caused this condition in the first place?  I've hunted with all kinds of rifles in all kinds of weather and terrain and never had a gun get damaged like all these I've seen.  And I've taken some pretty bad falls too. Once, on ice I couldn't see beneath a couple inches of fresh snow, my feet went out from under me and my rifle landed a number of yards away!  Still, no cracks like these. So I've been puzzled by this for some time.  Then it hit me, since these guns all seemed like Western big game rifles- large lever actions like 1876 and 1886 Winchesters or Marlin 1881 and 1895s as well as all over while the rifles were in saddle scabbards- fairly common in icy winter conditions, especially in the mountains. Also, sometimes horses will walk so close to trees that they rub against them.  If a rifle is in a butt-forward position scabbard, the rifle can go on one side of the tree and the horse the other causing a stress cracked stock.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think so.  The wrists are fairly strong on most rifles and it takes a lot to crack one.  If anyone else has a different theory about this condition, I'd like to hear it!

 "GUNS OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION YEARS" When the Great Depression began with the Stock Market Crash of 1929 America was taken by surprise.  Prior to this pivotal event, in the gun industry production was high and sales were brisk.  Almost overnight sales fell off hugely.  The Winchester Handbook by George Madis shows production numbers by years of some of the major models.  This is pretty illuminating.  Here are some examples: Model 1890 .22RF had 12,367 produced in 1928 and 696 made in 1932; Model 1892 saw 64,833 produced in 1910 and 491 in 1930; Model 53 had 2,861 produced in 1925 and 30 made in 1937; Model 1894 had 29,967 made in 1927 and only1,192 made in 1934; Model 55 had 3,064 made in 1927 and 42 made in 1936. Colt, Marlin, Savage, Remington and Smith & Wesson etc. all f elt the same pressure.  With production down to a fraction of what it was, the big manufacturers had no choice but to fire employees.  Those lucky enough to be retained were the most highly skilled and experienced craftsmen.  They also had time to put extra fine fitting and finishing into each firearm.  Generally, the quality of these guns is truly exceptionally.  With production numbers of these late pre-war arms relatively small and quality without peer, their value should be assured.  Some of the scarce large frame Colt and S&W handguns- especially the target sighted versions- are almost breathtaking in their fit an  d finish.  This has been an under-appreciated niche in arms collecting/investing. It is my belief Great Depression era  arms are often "sleepers" on the antique market today and are bound to increase in value at a rapid pace making them excellent long term investments.

I have found a new shooting activity that I'm sure a number of folks who check out my website will either want to try themselves or will at least find interesting reading.  I've discovered the fun of BLACK POWDER SHOTSHELLS. And no, I'm not new to black powder.  I've been shooting muzzle loaders since I was a kid (I was too young to buy ammo, but a can of black powder and a single shot muzzle loading pistol kept me shooting!) I've shot black powder cartridge rifles and some handguns since the 1970s.  I've also tried a few muzzle loading shotguns, but a while back I noticed Midway was offering reloadable brass shotshells made by Magtech in Brazil.  They cost about a buck a piece and come in a box of 25.  So I thought this looked interesting and bought a box.  They prime with a large pistol primer (I use CCI  Large Pistol Mag. Primers) and require no special tools to load.  I did buy a "cowboy 12 ga. shell holder" by RCBS which makes priming easier, but one can prime using a dowel, hammer and a flat surface to seat the primer. Anyway, I loaded with various loads of black powder as well as Alliant Black MZ black powder substitute. 27.3 grains equals one dram, so a typical field load of 3 1/2 drams equals about 95 grains of black powder or substitute.  I load that through a drop tube to better settle the powder, using a wood dowel I seat an over powder card wad, then a cushion wad, pour in 1 1/8 oz. of shot from an antique shot dipper I picked up somewhere along the line, top with another over powder wad and then put about three small drops of Elmer's glue on this top wad at the edge. Last, using a Q-tip sweep it around the wad edge. It dries making a nice seal with the inside of the brass case and holds everything together. Firing removes any glue residue from the case.  I picked up a particularly nice Remington 1889 double barrel with exposed hammers (damascus with exc. bores) and tried out my loads on some thrown clays.  I'm not a good shot with a scattergun, but when I felt I was on, the clay targets broke as nicely as if I'd been using a modern smokeless shotgun. I used this double on a pheasant hunt last fall and did just fine with it.  Truthfully, it made the hunt so much more fun I don't know if I'd go again with one of my modern guns! Today I tried the same shells in a Winchester 1887 Lever Action 12 ga. that was made in 1888. It fed beautifully and was a blast to shoot (no pun intended). The brass cases de-prime with a simple Lee type punch and clean up with hot soapy water. No resizing is required for the next loading.  Pretty simple.  The 12 ga. cases are 2 1/2" long, which is exactly what a modern 2 3/4" case measures LOADED AND UNFIRED. Remember, many of the older guns, like the Winchester 1887, have 2 5/8" chambers. You don't want to shoot a 2 3/4" shell in them as they won't be able to open up all the way causing pressures to jump etc. I don't think Magtech offers brass cases in 10 ga. but they do in the smaller gauges.  There are a lot of older shotguns out there that can often be purchased inexpensively and make wonderful shooters.  Be sure to have any gun checked out by a gunsmith if you have doubts about it. With these brass cases and ease of loading, it's worth trying.  Buffalo Arms in Idaho sells the correct size wads for these brass cases- they actually take 11 ga. wads. If you give this a try, I think you'll be glad you did-   Bill Goodman