`                   

                                                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.  Until recently, 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 1/13/19. WATCH FOR FREQUENT POSTINGS THROUGH JANUARY.

 

 

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) ONE OF THE SCARCEST OF THE EARLY COLT CARTRIDGE REVOLVERS: THIS IS THE MODEL 1861 CARTRIDGE “CONVERSION” IN .38 COLT CENTER FIRE. Only 2200 made of this model in .38 Rim Fire and .38 Center Fire. I put the word conversion in quotation marks because these were not converted from an original percussion revolver, but were made by Colt in cartridge form using up earlier new parts from percussion models. In doing some research on this rare model in Bruce McDowell’s detailed book THE STUDY OF COLT CONVERSIONS, he states that in the early 1870s when this model was introduced there wasn’t a good supply of .38 Center Fire ammunition, so Colt made the early revolvers in .38 Rim Fire.  By about 1873-74 center fire ammo became plentiful and that’s when Colt began making this model in the center fire version. All of this model were serial numbered below 3300 and this example is in the 28XX range. Bruce McDowell also states that the standard finish was blue with walnut grips and that any other finish and stock material was special order and extremely rare. This revolver IS IN THE RARE SPECIAL ORDER NICKEL FINISH WITH GORGEOUS ONE-PIECE IVORY GRIPS! All numbers match on barrel, frame, trigger guard, cylinder and back strap. Only the barrel wedge number is different. Interestingly, McDowell also states that often there is a number “1” stamped under the serial number on the frame, trigger guard and back strap. He gives no reason for this and this revolver has that stamping.  All the sharp roll engraved cylinder scene remains depicting a naval engagement. The trigger guard/front strap, butt and back strap retain nearly all the bright original nickel and the left front of the trigger guard is stamped “38 CAL.”  The bottom left side of the frame has the correct two line patent dates and retains bright nickel. The barrel and cylinder and remainder of the frame show about half the nickel, but where the nickel is worn/flaked the metal underneath is fairly bright making this all blend nicely into a most attractive overall appearance. Correct barrel marking, fine nickel on the hammer, exc. screws, beautiful mellow ivory grips fit perfectly and appear to be factory original- which would seem probable as this was a special order nickel finish revolver. Tight mechanics and matching assembly numbers on the loading gate and the cylinder arbor. McDowell states that roughly half of this model were rim fire and half were center fire. Considering this there are only 1100 of this model in .38 Center Fire caliber. Of this 1100 there can be only a handful made in nickel finish with ivory grips! An outstandingly rare and attractive Colt! (4 photos) $3850.

2) EARLY SINGLE ACTION ARMY .44-40, 7 ½”ETCHED BARREL REVOLVER WITH GORGEOUS MELLOW IVORY GRIPS, FACTORY LETTER, #98XXX, SHIPPED TO SCHOVERLING, DALY & GALES, NEW YORK, NY ON AUGUST 1, 1884.  This is really attractive example that remarkably still shows the original (not restored or doctored)  clear and fully readable etched panel “COLT FRONTIER SIX SHOOTER.” The panel is only lightly aged and worn, but fully intact (the photo has light reflection/glare on the left portion of the panel- it's as clear as the right side shows in the photo). All matching numbers on the frame, trigger guard, back strap and cylinder. Fine one line barrel address with clear patent dates on the left side of the frame. It also has the correct tiny “44” stamped on the bottom of the barrel ahead of the correct early style cylinder pin.  The left front trigger guard bow is stamped “44 CF”  The factory letter lists this as: .44/40, barrel length not listed, blue, type of stocks not listed and then the above mentioned shipping info and date. The ivory grips fit perfectly and were probably fitted by Schoverling, Daly & Gales when the gun was new. Overall metal is a smooth gray/brown with fine markings and screws. The hammer is correct and the front sight has not been filed or altered. It has an excellent, tight action with four clicks and an excellent bore. I believe this one was in storage for a long time as the factory letter is dated 1987 and when I got this one there was still old dried grease on it. These early etched panel .44-40s were almost all used in the Old West and don’t show up often with good panels. This is a nice, attractive example. (5 photos) $5800.

3) VERY HIGH CONDITION 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) $5800.

4) HIGH CONDITION EARLY NEW SERVICE .45 COLT, 5 ½” BARREL, #14XXX, MADE 1905. This is a really great example that shows most of the original high polish early Colt blue with only some thinning/dulling on the backstrap and some light brown spotting mainly on the left side of the barrel and a little on the top strap and cylinder- all very minor and what you’d expect from a 114 year old big bore revolver. Front sight has not been filed. All markings sharp and clear including the early frame stamping consisting of the rampant colt with COLT’S NEW SERVICE stamped in a circle around the horse and last patent date of 1900 on the barrel top. Excellent fire blue on the hammer back and trigger sides, Lanyard swivel intact and excellent grips with only one very tiny edge chip on the right extreme bottom edge that is hardly noticeable or worth mentioning. The grips are numbered to the gun. Tight action and exc. bright bore. Hard not to like these grand Colts- I think if I’d been around in 1905 and needed a big bore sidearm, this is the one I’d have bought (along with a Bisley Flattop Target revolver, of course)! $1495.

5) ONE OF COLT’S EARLIEST SIDE-SWING CYLINDER SNUB NOSE REVOLVERS! THIS IS THE NEW NAVY .38 COLT CALIBER MODEL WITH EXTREMELY RARE 3” BARREL, #79XXX MADE 1897! This one turned up at a small Montana gun show and has probably always been here in the Wild West. All correct short barrel markings with the Colt address in three lines on the barrel top and the “COLT DA 38” marking on the left side. Good, clear rampant colt above the left grip on the side of the frame. Unaltered half moon front sight, exc. bore and screws, tight action that correctly locks up when the trigger is pulled, early left turning cylinder, good thinning blue with blue wear on the cylinder outside (good in the flutes), sides of the barrel, grip straps etc., still some fire blue on the lower hammer back and trigger sides. Grips are checkered walnut with Colt medallions that are obviously a later replacement and have a small chip on the right lower corner. This is an extremely rare antique serial number Colt that is seldom encountered in any condition. A Colt letter might be interesting for this one.  $895.

6) MODEL 1908 .380 ACP HAMMERLESS AUTO PISTOL, #46XXX, MADE 1921. Mechanics and bore are excellent on this one, but his has been completely refinished in a military-style Parkerizing. All of this finish is intact. It still retains good markings and the grips have been replaced with checkered walnut panels that are in perfect condition. Sights are original and I can’t help but wonder if this might have been an officer’s personal handgun during World War II or perhaps Korea or Vietnam who had it arsenal refinished.  Possible, but no way of knowing. Original, unaltered sights. Magazine is Colt marked and has a matching Parkerized finish. $695.

7) GORGEOUS WOOLY MAMMOTH IVORY GRIPS FOR COLT (AND OTHER) MODEL 1911 FULL SIZE AUTO PISTOLS! With elephant ivory in  a "gray area" as for legality, this is the best and most interesting option for exotic grips. I have a set on my main 1911 and they get lots of attention! The Wooly Mammoth became extinct over 10,000 years ago and the great tusks and ivory from these magnificent beasts is getting harder and harder to find. The way to tell the difference between elephant ivory and mammoth ivory is in the grain structure. Elephant ivory has a straight grain pattern and mammoth ivory is "cross hatched" in the grain. Each is unique and displays colors absorbed from the minerals in the soil in which the tusks lay for thousands of years. When these are gone, I don't know if I'll ever be able to offer any again. Perfectly legal to own and transfer.  Price is $495 per set. (If you are emailing or calling, please let me know 2nd. and 3rd choices as these probably won't last too long!)

 

                      

MARLIN  (click text for photos).

1) FANCY WALNUT STOCKED 1881 .45-70 OCTAGON RIFLE WITH DOUBLE SET TRIGGERS, #8XXX, MADE 1884. This is a fine rifle that has a surprisingly excellent bore with sharp rifling throughout and only lightly dark. The standard 28” octagon barrel shows good thinning and ageing blue with excellent markings and has the original buckhorn and Rocky Mountain blade sights. The mag tube blue has thinned and aged to mostly brown. The receiver shows some very thin and aged blue but is mostly a brown/gray mixture. Fine butt stock with fiddleback grain throughout and shows only normal light handling with one small chip at the lower tang/receiver juncture- minor. Forend also has matching fiddleback grain and shows similar handling with maybe only a hind of the usual crack ahead of the sliding loading gate (almost all Marlin 1881s crack in this area where the wood is thin). Tight action, correct smooth steel shotgun butt plate, double set triggers function properly and a great bore! This is a fancier than standard big frontier rifle with double set triggers with a very attractive appearance. $3250.

2) EARLY, ANTIQUE SERIAL NUMBER 1893 SPECIAL ORDER RIFLE, HALF OCTAGON BARREL, HALF MAGAZINE, .30-30 CALIBER, #124XXX, MADE 1895.  Interesting in that this was the first year of introduction of the .30WCF caliber in the Winchester 1894. Marlin refused to acknowledge Winchester, so they called the same cartridge the “.30-30” even though it was a Winchester design. This has to be one of the first Marlin 1893s to be .30-30 chambered!  The 26” barrel shows most of the original blue with only light ageing, receiver case colors faded to a cloudy gray/brown with some color in the most protected areas. Fine wood showing only light handling marks. On the bottom of the receiver on the right side just behind the serial number is very lightly stamped “#244 – 9-21-95.” So, I’m assuming the #244 is perhaps a badge number or rack number of some kind with the date Sept. 21, 1895. Obviously, a hint to the history in this fine rifle that will probably always remain a mystery. Exc. markings, tight action, exc. bore that is a little dark only, original buckhorn rear sight with correct Rocky Mountain blade front sight and nice blue on the loading gate.  A very attractive early special order Marlin. $1495.

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.

 

                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) 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.

2) MODEL 1895CB, .45-70 WITH 26" OCTAGON BARREL, MADE 2008.  This model has the "Ballard style" rifling that works well with cast or jacketed bullets. These are getting very hard to find now as shooters who own them aren't parting with them! This one is in near new condition with no extra holes or alterations. Aside from some very, very light handling marks on the forend (you have to look carefully to see them), it is basically like new. I have one like this that shoots great! $1195.

 

 

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) RARE MERWIN, HULBERT & COMPANY SINGLE ACTION POCKET ARMY .44-40 REVOLVER WITH 3 ½” BARREL, MADE 1876-1880s. Most of these that I have seen over the years have been in much used and often abused condition, this one is in much finer condition than normally encountered. Further, it has the scarce and desirable marking on the right side of the frame, “MERWIN, HULBERT & CO. N.Y.” over “POCKET ARMY.”  According to Flayderman’s Guide (unfortunately the latest edition is 11 years old now and since Norm Flayderman’s passing will probably be the last updated edition- too bad, this is still the best resource for antique firearms) this “Pocket Army” marking is worth a 20% to 40% premium. Left side of frame correctly marked for the .44-40 caliber, “CALIBRE WINCHESTER 1873.” The barrel has the usual Hopkins & Allen markings with patent dates. Nickel plated finish was standard on this model and this example shows fine nickel interspersed  with fairly bright metal where the nickel has peeled- this makes it difficult to determine exactly how much nickel remains, but gives the entire handgun an even and attractive appearance. I would estimate at least half of the nickel remains and possibly a good bit more. The original hard rubber grips are excellent and all numbers match- I believe the number on the “knuckle extension” is the serial number with all other parts stamped with a matching assembly number. All screws are excellent and all markings are fine with nice aged blue on the trigger guard. This unique action revolver was considered ahead of its time and was of superb quality.  By putting the hammer to half cock, the sliding latch under the frame ahead of the trigger guard could be slid forward. This released the barrel and cylinder.  Turning the barrel clockwise and pulling forward ejected all cartridges simultaneously. Then, pressing the spring loaded latch on the left side of the barrel assembly allowed for the barrel and cylinder to come completely off the frame for reloading or cleaning. Truly an amazing design! These were also made in double action which are less rare and desirable than the single action variety like this one. Fine mechanically with near excellent bore, this is a really fine example of one of the more interesting high quality Old West handguns that competed with the big Colt and S&W revolvers of the day. (3 photos) $2350.

3) VERY HIGH CONDITION SAVAGE 1899 26” ROUND BARREL SOLID FRAME RIFLE IN DESIRABLE .30-30 CALIBER, #257XXX, MADE 1924. One of the best I’ve encountered in a very long time, this example retains about all the blue on the receiver and barrel with excellent vivid case color on the lever- which still retains most of the lacquer over the colors! Excellent crescent butt stock and forend with one typical hairline crack coming back from the upper left side of the tang for a couple of inches- hard to detect unless you are looking for it. Almost all Savage 1899s have this as the stock is held to the receiver by a cross bolt running under the butt plate and through the stock. As the wood naturally swells and shrinks with changing humidity and temperature, the wood has no place to go… so these fairly meaningless stress cracks form. Savage marked buckhorn rear sight with correct Rocky Mountain blade front sight. Exc. bore and correct brass rotary magazine with strong spring and cartridge counter on the side. Savage 1899s seem to have nearly disappeared from the market and superior examples like this are really hard to locate. This is a great ’99 in desirable .30-30 caliber. (3 photos) $1395.

                               

MODERN AND CUSTOM CLASSIC FIREARMS (click text for photos)

1) WOOLY MAMMOTH IVORY GRIPS FOR 1911 STYLE AUTO PISTOLS (see above in the Colt section)

 

 

 REMINGTON (click text for photos)

1) OUTSTANDING MODEL 1901 ROLLING BLOCK MUSKET IN 7MM MAUSER CALIBER. One of the best I’ve seen in a long time, this example shows fine case colors on the receiver, excellent blue on the barrel, exc. walnut stock and handguard, correct sling swivels and cleaning rod intact (these often missing), original military style ladder rear sight with slide intact (again, these often missing), excellent deep blue on the hammer and breech block as well as on the two main receiver pins and retainer on the left side, exc. deep barrel blue, tight action, bore needs a good scrub but will be excellent, sharp markings on the tang with last patent date 1901 with no foreign proofs or foreign cartouche stampings in the stock, and all in about as nice as one could hope to find without somehow being brand new! (4 photos) $1050.

2) HEPBURN SINGLE SHOT SPORTING RIFLE, 32-40 CALIBER, #55XX, MADE C.1880s. This one came out of right here in Montana. I’d say this is a good rifle to have and enjoy as it is, or a perfect example just right for a restoration or ready for customizing. The barrel is half octagon that appears to be turned from a full octagon as it lacks the caliber markings on the bottom and has a decorative “ring” ahead of the octagon part that does not look like factory work. The barrel measures 27 ½” so I assume it was cut back and re-crowned from a 28” or 30” standard barrel. Bore condition is fine with good rifling all the way through that looks a little worn, but still nice. The original butt stock has had a crack repaired in the wrist area and has had the checkering removed by  light sanding. The forend is also original and numbered to the receiver (as is the barrel) and has a filled sling swivel hole just ahead of the forend screw (I assume it was a swivel hole, yet there is none in the butt stock). Correct butt plate and forend tip. There is a second dovetail just under the buckhorn part of the rear sight about 2” ahead of the receiver that may have been for a long telescope mount to be used with the dovetail holding the small blade front sight. Remington Markings on the barrel and receiver are fine. Tight action, gray brown receiver and mostly gray barrel. Again, a usable rifle as is…but I see lots of potential in this one…perhaps new wood and case coloring on the receiver, rebored and reblued barrel. Lots of potential here! $1795.

3) 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) GORGEOUS  FANCY BURL WALNUT ON THIS LIMITED PRODUCTION THOMPSON/CENTER HAWKEN “COUGAR” SPECIAL EDITION .50 CALIBER PERCUSSION HALF STOCK SPORTER.  I believe T/C made a small number of these in the mid-1980s for only one year. They are distinctive in that they had upgraded walnut in the stock and “French Gray” steel furniture instead of the usual blued and brass fixtures like butt plate, trigger guard, ramrod thimbles, forend cap etc.  This example has superior burl walnut in the stock along with the correct “Cougar” disc inlay. The barrel is blued and has the standard adjustable rear sight and blade front sight. These almost never seem to come up for sale and the wood alone in this one makes it an outstanding looking muzzle loader! Seen very little use and ready to be shot! If you don’t have at least one traditional styled muzzle loading rifle, you need one! These are simply too much fun not to own and shoot. (4 photos)  $695.

 

 

SMITH AND WESSON (click text for photos)

1) 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.

2) SCARCE, LIMITED PRODUCTION PRE-WAR CIVILIAN OR COMMERCIAL MODEL 1917 .45 ACP (OR .45 AUTO RIM) REVOLVER, #178XXX.  According to the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson by Supica and Nahas, aside from a brief explanation of the commercial version of this famed World War I military revolver having checkered commercial grips and the small S&W logo on the frame (etc.) it states “Commercial variation: Considered rare.”  This one is in particularly excellent condition retaining nearly all the original blue- even on the grip straps with only the most minor or wear being a touch at the muzzle, a normal cylinder ring and possibly a tiny ding on the left side of the top strap ahead of the hammer- hardly noticeable and not really worth mentioning. Still retains some light case colors on the hammer and trigger sides. Tight action, excellent checkered S&W diamond grips that fit perfectly, lanyard ring intact, bright bore, matching numbers on the frame, barrel and cylinder. About as nice as one could hope to find. These don’t turn up very often in any condition. $1595.

3) 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.

4) VERY HARD TO FIND HIGH CONDITION PRE-WAR BIG N-FRAME .38-44 OUTDOORSMAN TARGET REVOLVER, .38 SPECIAL CALIBER, #55XXX, MADE 1938. Only 4,761 of these massive revolvers were made during the Great Depression years of 1931-1941. As sales were slow for all models at S&W during this time, only the finest craftsmen were retained to build, fit and polish the small number of guns turned out each year. Special care was taken with the target models and the action and trigger pull on these exquisite arms must be experienced to be believed! This example has all matching numbers including on the inside of  the magna grips. It retains nearly all the gorgeous pre-war high polish blue with only a bit of slight muzzle wear on the left side, a touch of wear on the bottom of the trigger guard and maybe some edge wear on the cylinder. It even retains about all the blue on the front of the cylinder showing it was shot little if at all. It has excellent deep case color remaining on the hammer and trigger with the hammer having patent dates on the back portion. Correct original adjustable sights, excellent markings, grips show light handling wear only, tight action, perfect bore. About as nice as one could hope to find without being new in the box! These rarely come up for sale. One of the finest S&Ws ever made. $2250.

5) EXTREMELY SCARCE ADJUSTABLE SIGHTED, TARGET VERSION M-36 CHIEF SPECIAL, 2” SQUARE BUTT .38 SPECIAL REVOLVER, ONE OF A RUN OF 1,001 OF THESE MADE IN 1966! This and the also rare and identical M-50 target sighted Chief Special are identical. Most of these seem to be the M-36-1 with fewer being the non-dash M-36, like this one.  Looks to be unfired and about new as the blue is all intact on the face of the cylinder, and all the rest of the bright blue remains with only a very small spot of brown on the butt and a tiny peel spot on the left side of the frame at the juncture of the top of the recoil shield. The medallion diamond checkered grips are in similar condition. Interestingly, this revolver is in the correct 1966 serial range of these- 391XX1 and the grips are numbered identically except for the last digit which is 391XX2- obviously a factory mix-up during final assembly. One of the most rare and desirable of the Post-War S&Ws that just never seem to come up for sale. (note: what looks like scratches in the top photo is just light reflection off oil) $1295.

6) SCARCE PROBABLY FIRST YEAR M-52 (NO DASH) .38 SPECIAL SEMI-AUTO PISTOL, ONLY 350 NO-DASH M-52S MADE 1961-1963 STARTING WITH SERIAL NUMBER 50000, THIS ONE IS NUMBERED 511XX.  Considered one of the finest center fire target pistols ever made, the M-52 was designed to shoot midrange .38 Special full wad-cutter rounds. Early examples like this are very hard to find. The last Model 52-2 was completed in 1993 ending production of this hand fitted and tuned target pistol. This example appears to have seen little use and retains almost all of the original high polish blue with only minor edge/handling wear. Exc. checkered walnut grips. Comes with an extra magazine. $1100.

7) MODEL 29-3 .44 MAGNUM, 6” NICKEL PLATED REVOLVER, #N893XXX, MADE 1983. Retains about all the factory nickel with only normal very light surface scratching from holster carry and handling- all very minor. Has target hammer and target trigger, white outline rear sight and red insert front sight. Pachmayr “Presentation” rubber grips, tight action and bright exc bore. Nickel guns like this are becoming very scarce and collectable. $695.

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 SPRINGFIELD MODEL 1884 .45-70 TRAPDOOR RIFLE, #472XXX, WITH GOOD 1889 STOCK CARTOUCHE.  One of the better ones I’ve seen in a while, this example has a bright perfect bore and retains nearly all the deep blue on the barrel, barrel bands, trigger guard etc. with only some light muzzle wear and edge wear.  The correctly 1884 dated breech block also retains some vivid case color on the top portion as does the upper tang. The hammer and lock plate show fine deep “inky” blue-black oil quenched case hardening. Retains the original excellent Buffington rear sight as well as the correct style cleaning rod and leather military sling. The stock is excellent, having never been sanded, and shows only light normal handling. As I always say when I advertise one of these, they are still one of the best bargains on the antique firearms market today- the Springfield workmanship, fit and finish is outstanding. These are historical, finely made rifles in a great caliber that are great collectables as well as shooters with the proper ammunition. This is a particularly fine example.(4 photos) $1195.

2) FINE CONDITION 1898 KRAG RIFLE, #178XXX, WITH CLEAR AND SHARP 1899 STOCK CARTOUCHE. For some reason all good and unaltered Krags seem to have nearly disappeared from the market place. This is a fine example with strong lightly aged blue on the barrel and a nice, uncleaned mottled dark gray receiver. The stock is excellent showing only light handling/rack marks and has a crisp 1899 cartouche and circle P cartouche. There are two tiny tack holes on the top of the comb of the stock where no doubt a brass rack number plate was once affixed- this is very common on Krags and Trapdoors- and does not detract from the rifle, in fact you’d have to look very closely to see it. The bore is fine and needs a good clean. There is a typical crack coming back from the tip of the handguard to the rear sight that a spot of glue would close up nicely. The rest of the handguard is solid. Ahead of the trigger guard on the bottom of the stock is a small stamped “M” which must have been an identifying unit mark of some kind. Tight action, leather military sling included. This is a very attractive, early 1898 Krag with great cartouches. $895.

 

WINCHESTERS (click text for photo)

  1. VERY INTERESTING AND UNUSUAL 1873 .44-40 CALIBER 20” OCTAGON BARREL FACTORY SHORT RIFLE WITH HISTORY, #702XXX, SHIPPED TO G. AMSINCK AND CO., NEW YORK ON JULY 16, 1913.  This information is from a call in sheet I received from the Cody Museum. Obviously, a very late manufacture 1873 rifle. A little Google searching turned up information showing the G. Amsinck Co was an importer/exporter. They also seem to have a bit of a checkered past wheeling and dealing for the Germans at the beginning of World War I. Many of these very last 1873s were exported to Latin America and third world destinations where they saw incredibly hard use and abuse. This one shows it must have had a hard but useful life. The metal is a dark, uncleaned patina with good markings. Similarly, the stock and forearm show wear and lots of handling, but both are basically sound. Surprisingly, the dust cover is intact and the action functions fine. Bore is better than would normally be expected for one of these as it has good rifling throughout with only light pitting. Fine brass lifter, original Winchester small blade front sight with three leaf express sight (middle leaf has one “wing” broken off).  Correct one inch shorter forearm than on standard 24” barreled rifles. A scarce 1873 short rifle variation with an interesting history! Lots of character. $2250.

  2. ALMOST NEVER SEEN 1876 FIRST MODEL OPEN-TOP RECEIVER ROUND BARREL RIFLE WITH SPECIAL ORDER SET TRIGGER, #7XX. This one came out of right here in Montana. Only the first batch of 1876 rifles were made with the open top, like on a Model 1866, without a dust cover.  Soon after, dust covers became standard on this model and many of the open tops were returned to the factory and fitted for a dust cover. Obviously, this example is unaltered from its original open-top configuration. A Cody Museum call-in sheet comes with this one verifying that this rifle left the factory with a round barrel and set trigger. It was received in the warehouse November 8, 1877 and shipped November 15, 1877. All early 1876 rifles were chambered for the .45-75 cartridge and this one has a near exc. bore that has strong rifling all the way through and is only a little dark. It has a buckhorn rear sight with Rocky Mountain blade front sight. Correct 28” barrel, set trigger works fine and has the adjustment screw intact. Overall the metal is uncleaned and retains an attractive gray-brown patina with some aged blue in the protected areas and on the loading gate. The mellow brass lifter has never been cleaned or polished and is dent free. Screw heads are in fine condition and the stock and forend have never been sanded or cleaned and show only normal light handling with fine wood to metal fit. Tight action with good springs and the hammer holds firmly at half cock. Lever catch is intact. This is really a fine, 3-digit serial number, unmolested example of one of the most difficult to obtain of all the Winchester lever action rifles. Most of the finest Winchester collections lack a 1876 Open-Top rifle.  (4 photos) $7250.

  3. 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) $2450.

  4. HIGH CONDITION 1886 PISTOL GRIP, CHECKERED, TAKEDOWN AND RARE FULL MAGAZINE EXTRA LIGHTWEIGHT RIFLE IN .33 WCF, #144XXX, MADE 1907. This is an extremely rare combination in a smokeless extra lightweight Model 1886. The standard .33 WCF caliber 1886 was made with a half magazine and straight stock. A full magazine on this model is extremely rare as is the combination of a pistol grip, checkering and takedown feature. Additionally, this rifle is fitted with a long Lyman receiver sight ("Climbin’ Lyman" sight) that retains about all the blue and also still retains the tiny flip-up/flip-down aperture in the eye piece. I called the Cody Museum to check the serial number on this one and everything lettered right down to the "Sights: Lyman Receiver and front sights." Sights are almost never mentioned in letters so it is nice to know it came as a factory option right from Winchester. The barrel and magazine show about all the deep blue as does the receiver. There is only a small area of thinning blue on the bottom of the forward part of the receiver from handling. There is even some nice light case color on the lever and hammer. The wood to metal fit is tight and overall the wood is in excellent condition. Even the forend cap retains fine blue and the screws look unturned. Correct Winchester embossed hard rubber pistol grip cap, Bore is excellent, all markings are also excellent and takedown is tight. The .33 WCF is the only purely smokeless powder cartridge intended for the Model 1866 and is simply the classic .45-70 case necked down to take .338” diameter bullets. This is an outstanding investment Winchester. $3650.

  5. 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. $3450

  6. VERY ATTRACTIVE 1887 LEVER ACTION SHOTGUN IN 10 GAUGE WITH 30” BARREL, #55XXX, MADE 1894. These are hard to find in unaltered, honest condition and this one fits that description. Excellent stock and forend showing tight wood to metal fit and has only very light handling marks. Has the original checkered steel butt plate. The receiver, barrel and mag tube have naturally aged to an uncleaned and attractive deep and dark patina with some very aged blue/plum on the barrel. Bore is surprisingly bright and excellent, screws are excellent as are the markings including the "WRA" logo on the left receiver side.. Tight action. $1595.

  7. 1890 SEMI-DELUXE PISTOL GRIP .22 WRF CALIBER RIFLE, MADE 1916. This would make a good project gun or be a good candidate for restoration as the receiver serial number is in the 558XXX range and the mismatched rear stock and trigger assembly number is in the 246XXX range. It is a factory checkered pistol grip butt stock with correct Winchester embossed grip cap. Apparently it was cracked at some point (without any wood loss) and repaired with a thin cross bolt  at the very forward part of the checkering pattern.  The rest of the stock and forearm are fine with good wood to metal fit. Retains good markings and overall is a very thin aged blue mixing heavily with gray and brown. Original sights and functions okay. Bore is dark and only fair-good at best. Like I said, a good candidate for some T.L.C.  $695.

  8. 1892 SADDLE RING CARBINE IN .25-20 CALIBER, #839XXX, MADE 1917. This one turned up right here in Montana and no doubt has good history in it. Fine wood with tight wood to metal fit and showing only normal handling/use. Receiver is an uncleaned gray/brown with some blue on the loading gate and excellent screws. The barrel and mag tube are a mixture of aged blue with plum/brown mixing in. Excellent markings, ring intact, original carbine rear sight with ladder and slide intact. Fine bore with good rifling throughout that needs a good clean. When I got this one I could barely see through the bore…a few patches and things seemed to clean up nicely. It would benefit from a good scrubbing out. Tight action and strong springs. Nice, attractive appearance. $1595.

  9. 1892 .44-40 OCTAGON RIFLE, #186XXX, MADE 1901, WITH VERY SMALL BRITISH PROOF MARKS ON THE REAR OF THE BARREL AND SIDE OF THE RECEIVER RING. An interesting rifle with, no doubt, lots of history in it as it could have gone any place in the Victorian British Empire! In fact, this one was made during the Boer War in Africa that a young Winston Churchill fought in. A really nice condition example with nearly all the deep blue remaining on the barrel and magazine and showing only minor age. The receiver has good thinning blue on the sides with about half evenly remaining and the balance gray/brown. Original Winchester small blade front sight with flat top buckhorn rear sight, exc. stock and forearm and tight wood to metal fit, nice screws, tight action, excellent markings, fine bore shows a little wear but has good rifling all the way through with some light scattered surface pitting only. A really attractive early .44-40 octagon rifle that is getting harder and harder to find. $2450.

  10. SELDOM SEEN AND UNUSUAL 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! $2150.

  11. 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.

  12. SPECIAL ORDER ANTIQUE SERIAL NUMBER 1894 .38-55 HALF OCTAGON RIFLE WITH FULL MAGAZINE AND MINTY BORE! #89XXX, MADE 1897. This one comes with a Winchester factory letter verifying the features and showing a shipping date of August 9, 1900. The half octagon feature with a full magazine is actually TWO special order options because when the half octagon barrel was ordered it was automatically shipped with a half magazine unless specified for a full magazine. Fine aged barrel and magazine blue showing some thinning toward the forward half with some plum mixing more on the mag tube. Good case color on the upper part of the lever. Receiver shows some thin blue on the rear side portions and bolt with the balance brown, good blue on the loading gate, excellent wood showing only the lightest of handling and tight wood to metal fit, original buckhorn rear sight paired with a small Lyman blade/bead front sight. Amazingly bright, sharp, excellent bore! $2495.

  13. THE MOST BAFFLING AND MYSTERIOUS WINCHESTER 1894 I’VE EVER ENCOUNTERED! This is a Model 1894 Saddle Ring Carbine, .30-30 caliber, serial number in the 354XXX range…which puts it at a manufacture date of 1906.  However, everything about this carbine is POST WORLD WAR II! It has typical 1940s-1950s wood including a checkered steel shotgun butt, hooded front sight, serrated hammer, and “Late Type 8” barrel markings using the .30-30 caliber designation rather than the earlier .30WCF marking typically used after serial number 1,550,000 or post-flat band models (all this is in Robert Renneberg’s excellent book on the Winchester 1894). It also has the sights from this time period. On top of all this, the overall blue (including the receiver) is of the type used during this time period. AND this carbine is in just about mint, new condition! It shows no signs of being a reblued or any kind of re-build and there are no extra proof marks etc. The sharp and clear tang markings are typical 1906 era stampings and show no sign of refinishing! So, whether someone at the Winchester factory found an old saddle ring receiver that was long lost or stored away somewhere and used it to make a carbine about 40 to 50 years after the serial number was applied…or something else is up for opinion. This carbine has been shown to a number of very astute 1894 collectors and all think it is 100% correct and original for a c.1950 carbine…yet the serial number and saddle ring are a mystery.  I don’t know what else I can say about it. I called the Cody Museum, but the 1894 records stop about 500 numbers before this one.  My personal opinion is that an old saddle ring receiver simply turned up at the factory and it was used long after the saddle ring was discontinued. Whatever the answer to this unusual ’94 Carbine might be, it is certainly an oddity and perhaps a one of a kind Winchester! $1895.

  14. ANTIQUE SERIAL NUMBER 1894 .38-55 SADDLE RING CARBINE, #109XXX, MADE 1897. This is a fine example that recently came out of Helena, Montana. A difficult caliber carbine to find from any time period, but particularly hard to find Pre-1899. This one shows good aged blue on the mag tube with the bottom half mixing plum/brown and the top half, which is more protected, showing better blue. Similarly, the barrel shows thinning blue mixing brown with better blue on the bottom section. The receiver is mostly gray/brown with some blue left around the protected area of the saddle ring and on the loading gate. It has the typical original carbine front sight with a filler in the rear dovetail and a Marbles tang sight (I checked and there are no extra holes hidden by the tang sight base). The walnut stock and forend are particularly fine with tight wood to metal fit. There appears to be a tiny dowel-filled hole in the bottom of the stock where a sling swivel might have gone but I think it also could be a factory fill from a knot in the walnut. Either way it is very minor and hard to notice. Tight action and fine+ bore that may have a little scattered light surface roughness toward the middle of the bore that might scrub out. Nice uncleaned/unaltered appearance and lots of history in this 121 year old Montana Winchester Saddle Ring Carbine! $2150.

  15. 1894 .32-40 OCTAGON RIFLE WITH MINTY BORE, #372XXX, MADE 1906. A nice example that is super hard to find with a bore this excellent! Fine deep blue on the barrel and magazine showing only light age, original buckhorn rear sight and Winchester blade front sight. The receiver shows good blue mixing plum/brown on the left side with the right side ageing to a more brown with excellent blue on the bolt. Exc. receiver screws look unturned. Fine+ walnut butt stock and forearm showing only normal light handling. Still retains some case color on the upper portion of the lever, tight action and getting very difficult to find this most rare of all the ’94 calibers especially with a bright, excellent bore! $2150.

  16. EXTREMELY RARE SPECIAL ORDER, 1894 SEMI-DELUXE SADDLE RING CARBINE WITH HALF MAGAZINE, CALIBER .32 WS, #499XXX, MADE 1909. What is also especially rare and unusual is that it has a carbine butt plate. Almost all of the pistol grip carbines have a shotgun style butt plate. Very few were made like this and are almost never encountered! Fine aged barrel blue with light thinning on the forward half, fine deep receiver blue that is dulling somewhat, but still deep and showing most of the wear on the edges and bottom. The only flaw is a tiny crack on the upper tang at the juncture of the hammer on the right side only- does not appear all the way across this thin section of the upper tang and is minor. In no way does it hinder the integrity or strength of the action and is barely noticeable (see this area in the third photo).  Has the three leaf express rear sight with the middle leaf broken (typical) along with a correct blade/bead carbine front sight. Excellent wood showing light handling only, exc. markings and minty bright bore with tight action. Has the correct Winchester embossed hard rubber pistol grip cap. This unusually configured and desirable carbine came out of Arizona. (3 photos) $2850.

  17.  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.

  18. 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.

  19. HIGH CONDITION MODEL 1895 RIFLE IN SCARCE .30-03 CALIBER, #93XXX, MADE 1915. It is unclear why Winchester would still chamber rifles for this caliber when the .30-06 had replaced the .30-03 nearly ten years before. It is my opinion that some rifles were chambered for the earlier caliber because the only difference between the .30-06 and the .30-03 is in the case neck- the .30-03 is slightly longer than the ’06.  Standard .30-06 ammo can be fired in rifles chambered for .30-03, but not conversely. Perhaps there were still piles of surplus .30-03 ammo available to the public… Anyway, I’m sure most of these ’03 chambered Model 1895s were fired with normal and readily available .30-06 ammo.  It does make for a rare chambering as according to the Winchester Handbook by George Madis, (discussing chambering dates) “In 1904 the .405 was added, followed by the .30-03 in 1905. When the .30-06 was added in 1908, the .30-03 was available on special order only.”  Being special ordered in this chambering seven years after it was dropped is certainly unusual and an oddity! This is a very fine example with nearly all the deep blue remaining on the barrel with flattop buckhorn rear sight and Lyman blade/bead front sight in correct factory dovetailed ramp. Barrel is correctly stamped with the usual nickel steel markings plus “30 GOV’T 03.”  Excellent markings on the receiver and excellent deep and high polished factory blue on the receiver sides and bolt with only light edge wear and some handling wear on the bottom extreme forward part of the receiver and box magazine. Exc. wood with tight wood to metal fit. Tight action and minty bright bore. A very unusual 1895 in great condition. $2350.

  20. 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, $895.

  21. UNUSUAL MODEL 63 20” CARBINE, .22 LR. What is unusual about this one is that it is serial number 109XXX, making a manufacture date of 1952. The 20” carbine version Model 63 was typically offered in the Pre-War years. The crown on this rifle appears to be a perfect Winchester crown and the front sight is in exactly the correct distance from the muzzle. There are no mail order or rebarrel proof marks and given the overall excellent condition of the rifle it certainly appears unaltered. It is my opinion that this was simply a special order for someone wanting a 20” Model 63 or perhaps a workman putting together a special rifle for himself. Overall the barrel and receiver show excellent original blue with only some minor scratching at the bottom edges of the receiver- probably from riding in a rack of some kind. Standard M-63 sights, matching numbers, excellent stock and forend showing only light handling, tight mechanically, perfect bore. A very interesting and unusual Model 63 auto loading .22 rifle in excellent condition. $975.

  22. 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.

  23. 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