BILL GOODMAN, P. O. BOX 2002, BOZEMAN, MONTANA 59771
TEL. (406) 587-3131 FAX (406) 219-3415
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/classic 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 or email 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 11/10/19. WATCH FOR FREQUENT POSTINGS THROUGH NOVEMBER.
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) SUPERB MODEL 1862, 3 ½ INCH ROUND BARREL "CONVERSION” REVOLVER IN DESIRABLE .38 CENTER FIRE CALIBER, #316XXX, C. LATE 1870s. These conversion revolvers made from frames and parts of left over percussion guns are some of Colt’s earliest cartridge arms. They are not only quite scarce because of very limited production, but extremely interesting with many variations. Because of the high serial number on this one, it was probably produced in the last part of the 1870s. It has a full bright nickel plated finish of which most remains. There is only a small amount of limited peeling on the top of the barrel by the muzzle and a small spot an inch or so back along with some extremely minor edge wear. All serial numbers match and the cylinder shows a crisp and clear engraving scene. The frame, hammer, butt, grip straps, trigger guard etc. retain bright nickel with only a few very minor spots of peel. All excellent markings and screws. Tight action. One-piece walnut grips are excellent and still show quite a bit of the original finish. About ¾ of this model were made in .38 Rim Fire with only about a quarter of production made in Center Fire configuration. These were made on the 1849 frame and have the original “.31 CAL” stamping on the rear of the trigger guard over-stamped with an “8” to show “ .38 CAL.” There is extensive information on this model (as well as others) in the detailed book by R. Bruce McDowell A Study of Colt Conversions and Other Percussion Revolvers. About 10,000 of these were made, of which approx. 6500 were made from 1849 revolvers. Made without ejectors, these conversion Colts are among the most handsome firearms turned out. This is one of the finest examples I’ve seen. (4 photos) $2150.
2) SINGLE ACTION ARMY .44-40, 7 ½”, #203XXX, MADE 1901. This revolver was manufactured the first year Colt warranted their guns for smokeless powder cartridges. This example has obviously ridden the range for many miles as the grips (which fit perfectly) are worn almost smooth, yet are not chipped or cracked. The barrel has the correct one line barrel address on top and a clear and deeply stamped “COLT FRONTIER SIX SHOOTER” on the left side. Numbers match, mostly a deep plum/brown on the barrel with some scattered and very minor pin-prick pitting. The ejector housing is mostly silver on the outside, but has good blue in the upper and lower flutes by the barrel, very aged blue on the cylinder, dark frame with good patent markings and rampant colt stamping on the left side, nice cylinder pin and good screws. The grip straps are a dark aged blue, correct hammer, very tight action with four distinct clicks to the hammer and very tight lock up of the cylinder. Best of all, the bore is sharp and excellent! This one came out of Arizona and appears to have been carried lots and shot little. (5 photos) $2450.
3) SINGLE ACTION ARMY .38-40, 4 ¾” BARREL, #309XXX, MADE 1909. This is a nice unaltered example with all matching numbers, front sight has not been fled, still has a trace of light case color in front of the cylinder. The barrel has the correct two line barrel address and all markings are fine. Barrel and ejector housing are mostly an uncleaned gray/brown with some small areas of blue in the more protected places. Frame is a cloudy dark gray with good screws. Cylinder shows some aged blue with more in the flutes and basically matches the rest of the gun. Some good blue remains on the upper portion of the back strap, on the butt and around the protected areas of the trigger guard with the balance gray/brown. Grips are not chipped or cracked and fit well but show no number inside- just the initials “BL” which is very common on Single Actions as cowboys would put their initials inside so that if someone stole their gun and claimed it was theirs, simply removing the grips would prove ownership! I’ve seen people do this on modern guns as well. Tight action, fine bore with sharp rifling. Nice overall attractive and un-abused appearance. (4 photos) $2350.
4) BISLEY IN .32-20 WITH 4 ¾” BARREL, #298XXX, MADE 1907. This is a really classic example of a frontier revolver that was used and carried, but not abused or neglected. There is still some small amounts of aged blue in the most protected areas like the cylinder flutes and ejector housing flutes etc. but mainly it is an aged gray/brown that shows no signs of cleaning or steel-wooling. The screws are excellent and the markings are all fine including the “BISLEY MODEL” and two line barrel address. The cylinder pin appears to be an old replacement as is the ejector head. Front sight has not been filed or altered. Bore will brush out excellent, grips show considerable honest wear but are solid. There is actually holster wear at the muzzle on the left side- it takes a lot of holster carry to cause this! Fine action and good lock-up with only the first “click” of the hammer weak. Matching numbers. Lots of character in this Old West Bisley! (4 photos) $1795.
5) ONE OF THE RAREST COLTS I’VE OFFERED IS THIS 1878 DOUBLE ACTION IN .476 CALIBER, WITH 5 ½” BARREL, NICKEL FINISH, PALL MALL, LONDON BARREL ADDRESS, #16XXX, MADE 1886! According to the excellent book COLT’S DOUBLE ACTION REVOLVER MODEL OF 1878 by Wilkerson, only 344 revolvers like this were made. (I highly recommend this book as it has a wealth of info on all calibers, barrel lengths, finishes, English models etc.). I assume all were shipped to England with very few either returning to the U.S. or surviving at all. According to Wilkerson, many or most of these were shipped to England first and then further shipped to India, Australia and New Zealand. There can’t be more than a hand full of these in existence. This one retains most of the nickel on the barrel, ejector and frame with only normal small areas of peeling- mainly on some edges and on the front strap. The nickel on the cylinder seems to have peeled more heavily and now only has scattered nickel. The barrel has British proofs on the bottom just ahead of the cylinder pin (which is in excellent condition) and behind each cylinder flute. Action is very tight and functions perfectly, bore is excellent and bright with no pitting, “476 CAL” is clearly stamped on the left front of the trigger guard bow, lanyard swivel is intact and the front sight has not been altered. This is about as rare a Colt as one could hope to obtain. (4 photos) $3250.
6) If I HAD THE CATEGORY “MOST UNUSUAL REVOLVERS,” THIS COLT WOULD BE THE FIRST ONE ON THE LIST! Here we have a New Army/New Navy Model on which someone put a 10” barrel with milled-in boss for a dovetailed front blade sight. Now, hang on to your hat, because the best is yet to come! The cylinder has had each chamber sleeved to accept a .25-20 WCF cartridge! Obviously, the barrel is .25 caliber with a thick forcing cone. Looks like the extreme back of the top strap has been slotted for a sight blade that is now missing, but would be easy to replace. Judging by the consistent blue wear on the barrel, frame and cylinder, I’d say this was done a very long time ago and that the gun has seen serious use. The serial number is 130XXX which puts the manufacture date at 1899. Still retains good blue on the frame, cylinder and barrel that is aged and mixing brown. Grips are correct and each as a chip at the rear bottom edge. Bore is excellent and action functions, but could use a good tightening up. In no way am I selling this as a shooter, but if you want to try it out, please get it checked by a competent gunsmith who can tighten up the cylinder lock-up etc. And be sure to KEEP YOUR LOADS LIGHT! The workmanship is actually quite good. This kind of work would cost a fortune to do today. If you’ve been dreaming of a 10” double action “Buntline Special” in .25-20 (and who hasn’t), here it is! (4 photos) $695.
7) VERY EARLY NEW SERVICE .44-40 WITH DESIRABLE 7 ½” BARREL, #12XXX, MADE 1904. This is a fine example of Colt’s earliest big bore side-swing cylinder revolvers. Barrel shows good thinning blue with excellent markings including the early barrel address and patent dates ending in 1900, front sight has not been filed or altered, fine cylinder and frame blue showing a little age with most of the wear on the edges and grip straps. Has the early circular “New Service” and rampant colt marking on the left side of the frame. Still retains some good fire blue on the trigger and hammer back. Very tight action and cylinder lock-up. Bore should brush out to excellent- looks like it has a little leading in it, but sharp rifling etc. Exc. grips fit perfectly, but are numbered about 20 numbers from this one (no doubt an inadvertent factory swap when final assembly was completed) with a couple of initials scratched in the bottom.. Lanyard swivel intact. If I were riding the range in 1904 this is exactly the new-fangled revolver I’d have! $1150.
8) ARMY SPECIAL IN DESIRABLE .32-20 CALIBER WITH 6” BARREL, #489XXX, MADE 1923. This example has seen some honest field use, but is still respectable. Shows most of the blue, but has typical holster/handling wear/freckling that is more blue/brown than worn to silver or gray. There is some of this on the bottom of the trigger guard, back strap, right frame side where a holster safety strap rubbed and the high edges and top strap. Nothing unsightly, but it is there. Front sight has not been altered, still retains fine high polish blue on the barrel and cylinder etc. Nice fire blue on the hammer back and trigger sides. Correct fine hard rubber grips. And best of all the bore is bright and excellent with an action that locks up as tight as it did when this Colt was new 96 years ago! Excellent markings including the rampant colt on the receiver and barrel address and patent dates correctly ending in 1905. All of these pre-war double action .32-20s are becoming hard to find. $650.
9) MODEL 1909 U.S. ARMY .45 COLT CALIBER NEW SERVICE REVOLVER, #35XXX. This was Colt’s last .45 Colt caliber revolver made for the U.S. Government after which the famed Model 1911 .45 auto and 1917 revolver in .45ACP replaced it. This example has seen use, but no abuse. Most of the original blue finish has worn or faded to a soft gray/brown with good blue remaining in the cylinder flutes, some on the barrel and in the protected areas. All markings are legible including the rampant colt stamping on the left side of the frame. “UNITED STATES PROPERTY” stamping under the barrel along with all the correct R.A.C. inspector stampings are clear as is the U.S. Army Model 1909 stamping on the butt. Sling swivel intact, front sight has not been altered; exc. bright bore with very tight action and cylinder lock up. Fine smooth walnut grips show normal handling. Lots of history in this Colt model that is becoming hard to find. $950.
10) A REALLY BEAUTIFUL LITTLE 1908 RARE NICKEL FINISH .25 ACP VEST POCKET AUTO, #295XXX, MADE 1921. This sharp diminutive auto retains about all the nickel finish with only a tiny bit of peel at the extreme front left edge at the muzzle. All markings are sharp and clear including the rampant colt on the left rear of the slide. Two-tone magazine is marked on the bottom “CAL. 25 COLT.” Excellent, tight action with both the lever safety and grip safety functioning perfectly. Exc. Colt hard rubber grips. A classy little special order nickel finished pocket auto from the Roaring Twenties Era in great condition! $895.
11) SUPERB QUALITY COLT MATCH TARGET .22 LR AUTO PISTOL, #175XXX S, MADE 1957. One of the all time great .22 target pistols, the all steel Match Target is in a category of its own. This early example from the Eisenhower days (!) shows light use only. It retains the full blue finish with only very light edge and handling wear. Correct black thumb-rest grips and Colt marked magazine. Perfect bright bore and tight mechanics with typical great Match Target trigger pull. All exc. sharp markings. Colt will never again produce guns like this…how unfortunate! $1100.
12) RARE VARIATION FIRST SERIES COBRA, .38 SPECIAL WITH ALMOST NEVER SEEN 3” BARREL, #211XXX LW, MADE 1966. The Cobra was Colt’s first “Snake Gun” with production beginning in 1950. This was an aluminum frame lightweight revolver based on the popular Detective Special that was introduced Pre-World War II. Almost all of the .38 Special Cobras came standard with a 2” barrel. Any other length is considered rare. This example was made in 1966- the first year of introduction for the larger checkered walnut grips re is that extended below the butt. Overall, this 53 year old Colt shows no real use. The almost no cylinder drag line and the front of the cylinder retains about all the blue- this is quickly blown away from the first box or two of cartridges fired. If one were to look very carefully a few of the most minor handling marks might be found, but that’s about all. Simply beautiful condition inside and out. Very unusual and hard to find Cobra variation. $950.
MARLIN (click text for photos).
1) 1889 .32-20 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, #88XXX, MADE 1893. Aside from the 34 rifles made in .25-20 caliber, the .32-20 with only 15,441 manufactured was made in fewer numbers than the .38-40 and .44-40. This example retains good aged and thinning blue on the barrel and upper protected portion of the mag tube, the receiver shows very aged and thinned blue mixing mainly brown with some better blue in the protected areas and on the loading gate, fine wood with one small oval wood-fill spot on the right side of the wrist by the upper tang- old and darkened. Tight action with only the half-cock weak. Bore is fine but a little dark with strong rifling throughout and any roughness is minor- could use a good brushing out. Buckhorn rear sight appears to be a replacement and needs the elevator bar only, small brass blade/bead front sight. Exc. markings and nice appearance overall. 126 years old! $1150.
2) EXCEEDINGLY UNUSUAL AND RARE MODEL 1893 SPECIAL ORDER EXTRA LONG 30” ROUND BARREL AND FULL MAGAZINE IN THE SMOKELESS CALIBER .32 H.P.S. (.32 HIGH POWER SPECIAL/.32 WINCHESTER SPECIAL), #405XXX, MADE C. 1908. This is unusual for a number of reasons. First, like Winchester I have only seen extra long barrel Marlin 1893s in the black powder calibers .32-40 and .38-55. I checked the Marlin book by Brophy and Marlin did list extra long barrels up to 32” in all calibers. Winchester only offered them in .32-40 and .38-55. Secondly, starting about 1905 Marlin changed the model designation from Model 1893 to Model ’93. This one is still marked Model 1893. This one is in particularly nice condition with nearly all the blue remaining on the barrel and only light blue wear on the magazine tube. There is still nice case color on the receiver top and in the protected areas with “wispy” silvery color on the sides of the receiver where the deep case colors have faded out. There is also good color on the upper part of the lever along with fine blue on the loading gate. Original buckhorn rear sight with correct Rocky Mountain blade front sight. Excellent butt stock and forend with tight wood to metal fit. Bright excellent bore, excellent correct markings and very tight action. I don’t know how many 30” full mag. Model 1893s were made in .32 H.P.S. but the number must be incredibly small! I don’t expect to ever see another. This one came out of Arizona. (5 photos) $2350.
3) VERY EARLY FIRST YEAR PRODUCTION, SPECIAL ORDER 1894 .38-40 OCTAGON RIFLE WITH SUPER RARE 28” BARREL AND FULL MAGAZINE, #110XXX, MADE 1894. The earliest 1894s were made with no model designation or markings on the upper tang. This one is fitted with a Lyman tang sight fitted correctly in the two factory drilled tang sight holes in the upper tang…and underneath are NO markings (or any extra holes!). Very few of these early rifles were ordered with extra length barrels and this one is 4” longer than the standard 24” length. Butt stock and forend show minimal handling marks and display tight wood to metal fit, receiver is mostly a mottled gray with good blue on the loading gate, fine deep barrel blue showing light age only, mag tube blue ageing/mixing heavily with an uncleaned brown. Lyman tang sight is mated with a Marbles ivory bead 34W front sight with buckhorn rear sight. Tight action, fine bore is a bit dark with strong rifling and looks like it needs a good clean to clear some leading from the grooves. This is a really rare early 1894. $1950.
4) 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, $1495.
5) ONLY MADE ONE YEAR! MODEL 1936 SPORTING CARBINE, .30-30 CALIBER. This model was begun late in 1936 and in 1937 the model designation was changed to Model 36. Some early M-1936s had flat hammer springs with the later ones having coil springs- those with the coil spring have a “B” prefix t the serial number. This one has the updated coil spring and is serial number B 5XXX. The 1936 was made in a 24” rifle version a 20” carbine version with full magazine and barrel bands etc. and a Sporting Carbine with 20” barrel, rifle style steel forend cap, no barrel bands and a 20” barrel with the ramp front sight dovetailed into the barrel (this is correct for this model). The Sporting Carbine seems less often encountered than the rifle version and all Model 1936 marked Marlins are seldom seen. This one has fine lightly faded case colors on the receiver, exc. blue on the barrel, magazine and forend cap, exc. bore and tight action. The stock is generally excellent with only light handling marks. There are a few more handling marks on the right side of the forend from normal usage. Correct buckhorn and ramped front sights. Correct hard rubber butt plate and Marlin Safety markings on the receiver top. One of the more scarce Marlin deer-caliber rifles made during the height of the Great Depression when sales were slow and production limited. (5 photos) $1295.
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) MODEL 1894CL “CLASSIC” IN .25-20 WITH GORGEOUS WALNUT STOCK! These are really great little rifles that were made in .218 Bee, .25-20 and .32-20. It seems the .32-20 is by far the most with the .25-20 scarce and the .218 Bee very hard to find. These fine rifles have 22” barrels with half magazines. This example was fitted with a tang sight as well has having the folding Lyman rear sight with wide blade front sight. The butt stock on this one is fancier than I’ve ever seen on one of these- as the photos show. Overall excellent condition with only a few hardly noticeable handling marks. I have one of these in .25-20 and another in .32-20 and they are favorites! $975.
2) MODEL 1894CB “COWBOY LIMITED” .45 COLT CALIBER, 24” OCTAGON BARREL RIFLE, #04044XXX, MADE 1996. This rifle has the traditional Marlin diamond pattern checkering, buckhorn rear sight with blade/bead front sight and is in flat new condition. The previous owner couldn’t find the box, but said it was unfired. Not much more to say except these are becoming very hard to find. Great pre-Remington take over North Haven, CT quality! $1150.
ANTIQUE & CLASSIC RIFLES, SHOTGUNS AND PISTOLS (click text for photos)
1) VERY UNUSUAL OFFERING! ONE OF THE OLDEST FORMS OF FIREARMS EXTANT! This is a circa 1400s to early 1500s Hand Cannon! Truly the first type of firearm used anywhere in the world. Almost all of this genre of firearm come from archeological sites where all such artifacts end up in museums and almost never on the collector market. This example, like nearly all in existence, is made of heavy iron that is now heavily and evenly pitted from age. Probably of European origin, possibly German, this large example is approximately 5 1/4” long and approximately 2 1/4” wide at the muzzle. It is octagon shaped with a 1” bore diameter. There is a slight flair to the rear end and a more pronounced flair to the front end of this weapon. The touch hole for placing the lit “wick” or match is located approximately ¾” from the rear. These primitive firearms were typically lashed to the end of a pole and muzzle loaded with ball, shot or even stones and ignited through the touch hole. Usually they were used by a team of two in which one held and “aimed” the pole with loaded hand cannon attached while the second member of the team held the match or burning stick. Upon command, the match holder placed the burning end to the touch hole and set off the charge. The hand cannon is now an elusive item for any arms collection as most are not on the collector market, but rather on exhibit in castles or museums in Europe. Few come up for sale. One example, similar to this one, was offered at auction by Hermann Historica, Munich, 7 April, 2008. It sold for 2400 Euro. (papers showing photos of that item and sale included with this similar hand cannon) I doubt there are many of these in private collections. (4 photos) $1695.
2) CLASSIC PRE-WAR BELGIAN BROWNING AUTO-5 (A-5) 12 GA. SHOTGUN, #207XXX, MADE 1938. Fine example of one of the most easily recognizable auto shotgun ever made. This one has a non-ribbed 28” full choke barrel marked for 2 ¾” shells. Most of the blue is intact with only some very minor high edge & barrel wear. Unaltered stock with correct original butt plate (often these are replaced) and much nicer than standard grade walnut- this one has nice figured striping. Fine checkered pistol grip and forend. The forend is NOT cracked as so many seem to be just ahead of the receiver (from over-tightening the large knurled steel forend tip). Bright bore, tight mechanically. I’d have kept this one, but I have one almost identical that I shoot frequently. Nothing but nicely engraved blued steel and walnut! $695.
3) MINTY CONDITION TINY HARRINGTON & RICHARDSON VEST POCKET SAFETY HAMMER REVOLVER, CALIBER .32 S&W CENTER FIRE WITH 1 1/8” ROUND BARREL, MADE 1905-1918. According to the excellent book H&R Arms Company 1871-1986 by W. E. “Bill” Goforth, the Vest Pocket Safety Hammerless revolvers were made from 1905-1941. Because this example lacks the marking “MADE IN U.S.A.” indicates it was made before 1918. This little revolver is in amazing condition retaining about all the original bright nickel finish with only a tiny dot or two of freckling on the right side of the frame and also retains about all the blue on the trigger guard. Correctly marked "Vest Pocket" and "Safety Hammer" on top strap. Excellent screws, action and hard rubber grips. It would be nearly impossible to find a better example! $475.
4) FANCY WALNUT STOCKED STEVENS MODEL 425 HIGH POWER LEVER ACTION RIFLE, CALIBER .30-30 REMINGTON (.30 REM. RIMLESS), #4XXX, ONLY MADE 1910 – 1917. The caliber stamped on the barrel is “.30-30 Rem.” which Stevens did to equate the rimless Remington cartridge with the famed rimmed .30WCF or .30-30 Winchester. Excellent example with deep reddish fancy grained dense walnut in both the stock and forend- looks like someone put an extra protective coat of stock finish on the wood, but did not sand it. The receiver retains most of the original blue with some thinning to the bottom/forward part of the receiver, upper tang and edges. Fine barrel and mag blue show only light wear mainly just ahead of the receiver on the barrel top behind the rear sight and some thinning of the blue on the bottom of the mag tube. Exc. bore, tight action, original buckhorn rear sight and small blade front sight. Has the correct checkered steel crescent butt plate. All correct Stevens markings and correct 22” round barrel. Considered one of the finest lever action rifles of the time- right along with Winchester and Marlin. Not often seen and unusual with fancy walnut. $1395.
MODERN AND CUSTOM CLASSIC FIREARMS (click text for photos)
1) BROWNING B-78 .45-70 HIGHWALL SPORTER (see below in Shiloh Sharps and Reproduction section)
REMINGTON (click text for photos)
1) FRONTIER USED No. 1 ROLLING BLOCK MID-RANGE OR FANCY SPORTING RIFLE IN .40-70 BN CALIBER, 30” HALF OCTAGON BARREL, CHECKERED PISTOL GRIP AND SHOTGUN BUTT, #4XXX, MADE APPROX. LATE 1870s. This rifle fits the description of a Mid-Range Target rifle or could have simply been ordered as a fancy sporter. It shows a good deal of Western use, but is basically solid and all original. The metal surfaces are an even dark brown patina with some scattered very old dings and scratches to the barrel and octagon receiver top. Good Remington markings on the barrel top and “40 70” on the bottom ahead of the metal forend tip. Under the forend is the matching serial number plus “PG” indicating this rifle was shipped with a pistol grip stock. There is also a “V W” stamping indicating it was supplied with a vernier tang sight and windage front sight which are now missing. Very possibly this was an eastern target rifle that came West and used as a sporter/hunting rifle during the buffalo days. It has a Remington style very small buckhorn rear sight with blade front sight. Patent markings on the left side of the receiver are fine. Tang has old filler screws where the tang sight was once mounted. Fine original forend shows light wear only with no cracks or chips. Pistol grip checkering worn, but all visible and good. Pistol grip gracefully curved bottom retains the fancy factory ebony wedge inlay, smooth steel shotgun butt plate. Butt stock shows some handling and wear. Tight action with solid half-cock safety notch. Bore shows some wear, but is surprisingly fine and only needs a good scrubbing/brushing as it has good rifling throughout with some possible corrosion ahead of the chamber and scattered surface roughness- fairly minor. This one came out of the North Dakota/Eastern Montana area. A scarce rifle with lots of character. $2150.
2) HEPBURN 30” FULL OCTAGON SPORTING RIFLE IN .40-65 REM. CALIBER (.40-70 2 ½”), #7XXX. As only 8,000-10,000 Hepburns were made, they are not commonly found. The .40-65 Rem. Caliber was popular as a target round as well as for a big game hunting round- this was a very popular caliber in the famed Sharps Model 1874 rifles. This example has matching numbers on the barrel, forend, lower tang and inside the butt plate. Interestingly, the stock on this rifle is of a higher grade of walnut than normally found on standard rifles and was probably a special order. Wood is generally excellent with original fine sharp checkering on the wrist/pistol grip. The forend is the late style with the schnable tip with ebony inlay. Wood to metal fit is tight. Action is a natural dark aged patina and the barrel with correct Remington markings (.40-65 stamped on bottom flat of the barrel ahead of the receiver and under the forearm) and factory crown is similarly a mottled gray/brown patina with some aged blue mixing. Buckhorn rear sight with Rocky Mountain blade front sight. Bore is a bit dark but better than one would expect with fine rifling all the way through and any roughness surface and light. A good scrubbing out would probably be worthwhile. Tight action. Many Hepburns were butchered in the 1950s to make varminters and original, unaltered examples are now scarce. Nice original Hepburn in a desirable caliber with all matching numbers. $2600.
3) MODEL 25 PUMP RIFLE IN DESIRABLE .32-20 CALIBER, #3190, MADE 1923-1936. These fine little takedown pump rifles were made in .25-20 and .32-20 with the latter being more difficult to find these days. This example is fitted with the correctly mounted Lyman receiver sight paired with a Sheard marked Marble long blade/bead front sight. The rear barrel dovetail is empty. Barrel retains fine slightly aged blue with excellent markings, mag tube more gray/brown. The receiver shows good blue overall with normal wearing to silver toward the lower front corner and bottom as well as the portion of the barrel directly ahead of the receiver. Fine solid forend and butt stock without any chips or cracks. Correct crescent butt plate. Stock looks a bit dry where the original stock finish has worn/flaked. Exc. bore and action. Overall a very nice appearance with a scarce Lyman sight made especially for this model. $975.
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) BROWNING B-78 HIGHWALL SINGLE SHOT .45-70 OCTAGON SPORTING RIFLE, #W57 80XXX, MADE FROM 1973-1982. This was one of the first of the “new” .45-70s to come out in the 1970s when American shooters re-discovered this famed cartridge. Ruger came into the field with its No.1 and No. 3 single shots, and of course, Marlin entered the Market with their revamped lever action chambered in .45-70. Shiloh Sharps was also there, but they catered more to the traditional black powder cartridge crowd. The B-78 in .45-70 has a heavy steel crescent butt plate, straight butt stock, schnable forend, checkering and unusual inletted sling swivels (when these are missing they are almost impossible to replace), 24” octagon barrel with open sights that is factory drilled and tapped for scope mounting. There is also a screw in the upper tang portion of the action that can be turned so that cartridges are fully ejected/thrown when the lever is dropped or the screw can be turned to stop cartridges so that they can be manually taken from the receiver . This is an excellent example that has seen very light use. If you look carefully you might find a few very light and shallow handling marks in the sock finish. About all the blue remains. Tight action, light trigger pull, exc. bright bore. Not often seen anymore. $1150.
2) VERY EARLY SHILOH SHARPS NEW MODEL 1863 .54 CALIBER PERCUSSION THREE-BAND MILITARY RIFLE, #14XX, PROBABLY MADE LATE 1970s. The percussion models along with all military carbines and rifles have been discontinued for several years now and are now difficult to locate. This example appears to have never been used as it retains all the polished blue on the barrel as well as all the case colors on the lever, patchbox, receiver, barrel bands etc. Bright bore. Correct Lawrence military ladder rear sight, very attractive deep and rich red/brown walnut, military style leather sling included. (3 photos) $2250.
SMITH AND WESSON (click text for photos)
1) VERY RARE BLUE FINISH/SMOOTH WALNUT GRIP “BABY RUSSIAN” MODEL ALSO KNOWN AS THE .38 SINGLE ACTION FIRST MODEL, #9XXX, ONLY MADE 1876-1877. This is really a great condition example. Most of this model were made in nickel finish with hard rubber grips. Blued examples with wood grips are seldom encountered. .38 S&W Center Fire caliber, five shot. This one shows fine original blue overall with only some plum/brown mixing mainly on the cylinder and barrel from age only and even the grip straps show good blue. Excellent smooth walnut grips fit perfectly and are numbered to the gun. All matching serial numbers, exc. screws, tight cylinder lock-up with hammer seeming to take a little extra backward force to hit full cock with half-cock a little weak. Nice vivid case colors on the hammer, fine barrel markings, bright exc. bore. All Baby Russians are fairly scarce with blued examples rare and any Baby Russian in this kind of condition is very hard to come by. $1850.
2) VERY EARLY AND SPECTACULAR CONDITION ANTIQUE FIRST MODEL .32 SAFETY HAMMERLESS REVOLVER WITH UNUSUAL BRITISH PROOFS, #8XXX, MADE C.1888-1890! These First Models were only made from 1888-1900. I have one that has been in my family since my great grandfather bought it new in 1894. It is numbered in the 36XXX range (I lettered it) which leads me to believe this one in the 8XXX range was made in the first couple of years of production. It is very unusual to see British Proofs on early S&W revolvers. It seems Colt had a near monopoly on U.S. made handgun imports. This 3” example shows a tiny “crown V” proof in each cylinder flute. I don’t believe this revolver was ever used as it retains about all the original bright nickel finish with barely any surface scratches etc.. Thee trigger guard retains all the bright, deep factory blue finish as does the barrel latch/sight. Matching numbers, minty bore, just a gem of a 130 year old Smith! This one should have a factory letter (4 photos) $895.
3) IF YOU LIKE HISTORICALLY MARKED REVOLVERS, THIS ONE IS A PRIZE! PRE-MODEL 10, FIVE-SCREW .38 SPECIAL WITH RARE 2” BARREL, ROUND BUTT, NICKEL FINISH WITH THE BACK STRAP MARKED “DETROIT POLICE 10204,” SERIAL NUMBER C208XXX, MADE IN 1950. The right grip panel has been replaced with a black synthetic grip panel with the top extension part made to act as a “belt stop” so the revolver could be worn inside the pants without a holster using the grip to catch over a pants belt! The left grip panel is the normal diamond checkered style with S&W medallion. There is a “N” stamping on the frame under the grips as well as under the barrel by the matching serial number to indicate nickel finish. Matching number on the butt, barrel and cylinder. About all the bright nickel remains with only minor edge wear and there is fine case color on the hammer and trigger. Probably a detective’s revolver. I’m sure there are a lot of great stories in this scarce variation Pre-Model 10! $895
4) SUPER RARE AND SUPERB CONDITION WITH ORIGINAL RED BOX IS THIS 5-SCREW “BABY CHIEF SPECIAL” #1XXX, MADE FIRST YEAR OF PRODUCTION IN 1950. This extremely scarce revolver is easily identified from later Chief Specials because it was made on a smaller frame size (similar to the “I” frame) than the later, popular “J” frame. It also has NO BARREL RIB, instead having the full round barrel with half-moon front sight. This is the best one of these I’ve seen as it is in near new condition with only a faint cylinder ring. All of the blue is intact, including the face of the cylinder. The diamond checkered grips have the matching number stamped on the inside and the cylinder and barrel numbers match also. The red box was used from 1946-1954 on small frame revolvers, like this one and it has an excellent, full end label marked “SMITH & WESSON” over “38 CHIEFS SPECIAL” over “Blued – 2 Inch.” The box is solid and shows some edge scuffing, and has some Scotch tape left on one side and bottom- this could probably be removed without pulling the red off by applying heat- either way it is minor. Inside the lid is the full instruction label in both English and Spanish. These iconic little guns are rarely seen and this one is truly investment quality. $2650.
5) EARLY 5-SCREW PRE-29 .44 MAGNUM WITH RARE FACTORY 4” BARREL, #S 167XXX, MADE 1957. S&W factory letter states that this “.44 magnum Pre-Model 29, Five Screw Variation, was shipped on January 11, 1957, and delivered to Galef & Son Inc., New York, NY. The Records indicate that 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 contained 10 units of this model in the above configuration and they were billed at the wholesale price of $86.06 each.” The letter goes on to give a good history or the Pre-29s and later .44 magnum models. The Standard Catalog of S&W book says the 4” barrel in the five-screw series is worth a 25% premium, that of course, is their opinion, but it does indicate the scarcity of this short barrel length. This example has came from out here in Montana and I sent for the letter myself over a year ago. It shows light wear only with barely a touch of silver at the muzzle on each side, some light holster wear on the outside of the cylinder and at worst a touch of wear to the end edge of the ejector housing underlug and extreme outside edge of the trigger guard bow. The diamond coke-bottle grips are excellent with sharp checkering. Very tight action and cylinder lock-up. The front face of the cylinder shows much of the blue finish indicating that this revolver was shot very little- a box of factory .44 magnums will pretty well blow the blue off the front of the cylinder! Very hard to find in any barrel length, with 4” being the most difficult. Factory letter included $2950.
6) 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) $1195.
U.S. MILITARY AND SPRINGFIELD (click text for photos
1) LAST OF THE FAMED .45-70 CALIBER TRAPDOOR SPRINGFIELDS IS THIS MODEL 1888 ROD BAYONET MODEL RIFLE, #514XXX, MADE 1891. This final style was considered the finest shooting of all the Trapdoors. This original example has a paint-stenciled rack number of “5” over “C” over “29” on the right side of the butt stock. It also has a sharp and matching manufacture dated stock cartouche of 1891 as well as the circle P proof cartouche behind the lower tang. Correct 1884 dated breech block and eagle motif “U.S. Springfield” marked lock plate. Tight action, exc. bright bore, correct Buffington rear sight. Barrel blue mixing evenly with plum from age and shows no cleaning or steel-wooling. Stock generally excellent showing only the lightest of storage/handling. Correct trap in butt plate for cleaning rods. Rod bayonet intact and fully functioning/sliding and locking into place. Dark mottled breech block, lock plate etc. Really nice example with Springfield quality unequaled by anyone else at the time. These are still cheap! $975.
2) MODEL 1884 CAVALRY CARBINE TRAPDOOR SPRINGFIELD, #451XXX, MADE A YEAR BEFORE THE 7TH CAVALRY INDIAN MASSACRE AT WOUNDED KNEE, SOUTH DAKOTA, DECEMBER 29, 1890. This was the last of the historic .45-70 Trapdoor Carbines that was soon to be replaced with the smokeless powder .30-40 Krags. This is an issued and used example made in 1889 that is in solid condition. It shows honest sling wear on the stock behind the ring bar. Overall the wood is solid and shows normal cavalry wear. No cartouche is visible. The top of the wrist behind the upper tang has a rack or unit number “D 88” on a small rectangular piece of German silver that is tacked in place- meaning unknown. It has the excellent “C” (carbine) marked fully adjustable Buffington rear sight with corresponding protective font-humped barrel band. Breech block correctly marked “Model 1884.” The lock plate has the clear and sharp eagle motif and “U.S. Springfield.” Coarse knurled early style hammer and two-click tumbler. Deep aged blue mixing with plum/brown barrel with some very old and worn in roughness on the top of the barrel just ahead of the receiver. Good aged blue on the bottom of the trigger guard and lower tang. Bright excellent bore with only a spot or two of pitting. Correct trap in butt plate for cleaning rods. Lots of history in this one. $1495.
WINCHESTERS (click text for photo)
SELDOM SEEN AND DIFFICULT ACQUIRE 1873 SADDLE RING CARBINE IN VERY LIMITED PRODUCTION .32WCF (.32-20) CALIBER! This rare saddle ring carbine is serial number 601xxx and according to the call-in sheet I got from the Cody Museum, was shipped March 5, 1907. Most of these late 1873s were exported and when found are in horrible condition. This one has seen use, but is very decent. Easily identifiable by the front magazine retaining band instead of the normal barrel band found on .38-40 and .44-40 carbines. The receiver shows even aged blue that is also evenly mixed with a most attractive plum (but certainly NOT brown or gray). Fine blue on the loading gate, mellow, uncleaned brass lifter with "32 CAL" markings, original dust cover, surprisingly excellent screws, barrel and magazine blue similar to the receiver with a tinge more brown to the plum and some light freckling on the barrel. Original carbine rear sight needs the slide and screw only, front sight boss is correct with a high blade pinned in. The end tip of the mag tube on the right side looks like it was dinged and pushed some side metal back about ¼ of an inch. Fine barrel and tang markings. Bore is a bit dark with light pitting, but good rifling all the way through. Lever spring only is a little weak. Walnut stock and forearm show normal handling, but no abuse. There is a stress crack coming back from for a couple inches on each side of the rear of the upper tang that go nowhere. Tight wood to metal fit and correct butt plate without the trap for cleaning rods- only the .32 WCF carbines lack this. One can search for a ’73 Saddle Ring Carbine in .32-20 for yeas and not see one! $3250.
1873 SPECIAL ORDER 2ND MODEL .44-40 RIFLE WITH 2 INCH LONGER THAN STANDARD 26” OCTAGON BARREL. According to the Winchester Handbook, by George Madis, only 1201 Model 1873s were manufactured with barrels longer than the standard 24” length. A factory letter included with this rifle verifies the 26” octagon barrel and shows it was received in the warehouse and shipped in October 1881. Has the correct 2nd Model dust cover rail secured to the receiver by screws with the dust cover intact. Interestingly, as in a number of 2nd Model receivers, this one was originally going to be a carbine receiver made with the saddle ring staple that was never fitted, and instead shows two factory filler screws on the left side of the frame where the saddle ring staple would have gone. Apparently, at this time Winchester had more carbine receivers than they needed and not enough rifle receivers, so they simply used the carbine receivers in this manner. It is fairly common on this vintage 2nd Model rifles. Fine condition overall with the barrel retaining most of the original blue with only a hint of ageing. The mag tube has turned more brown and shows no sign of ever being cleaned. The receiver shows good aged blue that is brighter in the protected areas around the side plates etc. that has aged brownish/plum toward the sides, but not silver or gray except on the edges, receiver ring etc. Excellent sharp markings on the barrel and tang, mellow brass lifter is not dented, tight action, exc. screws, flattop buckhorn rear sight with small Rocky Mountain blade front sight, generally excellent stock and forend with only the most minor or handling marks and tight wood to metal fit, and best of all it has a bright, sharp excellent bore! This is a really fine 137 year old special order long barrel 1873! (4 photos) $3850.
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) $6850.
EARLY 1876 SECOND MODEL .45-60 CAL., 28" OCTAGON RIFLE, #14XXX, MADE 1881. Nice example that still retains good aged barrel blue with some normal age thinning and with excellent markings. The mag tube is an uncleaned blue/brown patina with good blue on the top protected area. This one has the desirable sporting ladder rear sight with slide intact mated with the original Winchester blade front sight. The receiver is a mottled gray/brown with some very aged blue in the most protected areas and on the loading gate. Original dust cover intact. Mellow brass lifter engraved with the caliber marking. Tight action, bore is a bit worn with light pitting but has good rifling and would benefit from a good brushing/scrubbing. Fine butt stock and forend showing only normal light handling and very tight wood to metal fit. Fine appearance. $3450.
ONE OF THE MOST UNUSUAL AND RARE 1885 THICKSIDE HIGHWALL SINGLE SHOT RIFLES I’VE SEEN. This one is a very early thick side rifle #5XXX that according to the factory letter was shipped in 1886 as a caliber .45 2-3/8 (this has to be a mistake as there is no “.45 2-3/8” cartridge. Probably meant .45 2-7/8) It further states it had a 30” #4 weight octagon barrel with plain trigger. Now, here’s the fascinating part: It was “Returned by Meacham, October 29, 1894, Received in warehouse on February 27, 1895” and listed as “Rifle, 30 Gov’t., Octagon barrel” (again, an obvious mistake as the .30 Gov’t. or .30-40 Krag caliber was never available in an octagon barrel, only chambered in nickel steel round barrels). “Plain trigger, 30 inches, #3 ship date and order number blank.” Here are some interesting things to consider: The first smokeless caliber in the famed Model 1894 lever action rifle was the .30 WCF or .30-30 in late 1895 to early 1896- no doubt earlier than the year this rifle was changed to the new smokeless .30-40 Krag cartridge that was introduced in the U.S. Springfield Krag rifle in 1894, the same year this rifle was returned to Winchester. Whoever returned this rifle to be changed to the new military cartridge that was just out must have been a very savvy individual when it came to the latest guns and cartridges! Remember, this was before any kind of information getting out beyond newspapers and printed journals didn’t exist.. Word didn’t spread particularly fast in 1894! Winchester had this rifle from Oct. 29, 1894 until February 27, 1895 before shipping it back- that’s almost 4 months. Makes me wonder if they had to tool up for the new chambering. In the Model 1894, they didn’t have nickel steel barrels for the new smokeless .30 WCF round until late 1895 or early 1896 and this is why the first rifles made in 1894 were for the black powder .32-40 and .38-55 rounds. Winchester introduced the Model 1895 lever action box magazine rifle in 1895 with the standard caliber being .30-40 Krag. But, the earliest Model 1895s carry a patent date of Nov. 5, 1895 which leads me to believe that rifles didn’t start coming out of the factory until after that date. This would be supported by the fact that only 287 rifles in all calibers (including the black powder .38-72 and .40-72) were made in 1895. Another interesting aspect of this Highwall rifle is that the caliber is simply stamped on the barrel top ahead of the receiver “30 N.S.” Since the only .30 caliber cartridges at this time (not including the .303 British) were the .30 WCF (possibly) and .30-40 Krag or Gov’t., I think the “N.S.” stood for Nickel Steel. So, in conclusion, it was shipped before the Model 1895 began production and certainly before the Model 1894 was chambered in .30 WCF (or .25-35 at the same time). Could Winchester have chambered another Highwall single shot in .30-40 Krag before this one? Yes, the first .30-40 Krag chambered in a Highwall was in April, 1894. I’m thinking it very probably may have been an ammo test rifle or a prototype smokeless rifle and not necessarily a standard sporter sold to the public as they had not even geared up to manufacture sporting ammo in this caliber yet. But I believe this first .30-40 was probably NOT a thick side action. There were a little over 1,000 Highwalls made in .30-40 Krag and I believe all were on thin side actions. If you have read this far, here’s the description of this rifle: generally fine blue on the barrel with only a little dulling from age and a thin area down the left side of the barrel where some light rust had formed at one time and been wiped off with an oily rag- nothing unsightly. The bore is slightly dark, but excellent and free of any pitting with sharp rifling. The receiver is a mottled gray with some small traces of case color in the most protected areas, tight action, fine butt stock and forearm with ebony inlay in the schnable tip, tight wood to metal fit, fitted with a Marbles tang sight paired with a Rocky Mountain blade front sight and a slot filler in the rear dovetail. Probably the only thick side Highwall in .30-40 Krag! $3850.
ONLY THE SECOND OF THESE I’VE SEEN! 1886 .45-70 EXTRA LIGHT WITH 2” LONGER THAN STANDARD 24” BARREL AND FULL MAGAZINE, #147XXX, MADE 1909. Standard barrel length for a Lightweight .45-70 was 22” and fitted with a half magazine. Full magazines on extra lightweight rifles were an extra and not often encountered. I’ve seen a very few with 20” barrels, but only one other with the 24” barrel. This one has excellent walnut stock and forearm and is fitted with a checkered steel shotgun butt plate. It retains nearly all the blue on the barrel and magazine. The receiver shows fine blue on the sides with wear/silver at the typical handling point ahead of the loading gate and on the bottom. Exc. markings including the “nickel steel” stamping, tight action, correct sights, exc. screws, tight wood to metal fit, exc. bright blue on the bolt, exc. bright bore. A super rare 1886 in particularly fine condition! I doubt I’ll see another like this one! $4600.
FULL DELUXE 1886 EXTRA LIGHTWEIGHT, SOLID FRAME RIFLE IN CALIBER .33 WCF, #141XXX, MADE 1906. This is a beautiful rifle with fabulous grained reddish-brown walnut checkered pistol grip stock and checkered forend with equally fancy grained walnut. Pistol grip has the correct hard rubber Winchester embossed grip cap, correct hard rubber shotgun butt plate is also Winchester marked and in excellent condition. Heavy “piano finish” on the wood, checkering is still fairly sharp with a little more wear to the bottom of the forend- but all distinct. Retains nearly all the blue on the correct 24” barrel with only some light thinning from age. Receiver shows good blue on the side panels with thinning/mixing gray toward the middle section and on the bottom, exc. deep blue on the bolt, screw heads look unturned. Flat top buckhorn rear sight with Lyman “Jack” front sight- half moon with ivory bead in correct short ramp. Excellent tight wood to metal fit, tight action, exc. bright bore, deep blue on the correct half magazine. The .33 WCF was the only smokeless powder round introduced for the Model 1886 in 1902. It is simply the .45-70 case necked down to accept .338” bullets. It was considered the most powerful tubular fed lever action round until the .348 WCF was introduced for the Model 71 in the 1930s. A deluxe special order rifle that was used, but taken care of. Seldom seen with wood this fancy. Were I a well heeled rifleman in 1906...this is exactly the rifle I'd order from Winchester! $4650.
1892 SADDLE RING CARBINE, .32-20, #759XXX, MADE 1914. I have found that the.32-20 chambering in a carbine is a difficult one to locate. I see .32-20 rifles, but not very many carbines. This one came out of here in Montana. The receiver is gray/brown with fine blue on the loading gate. The barrel has an aged soft blue/plum appearance with deeper blue on the mag tube. Has the correct carbine ladder rear sight with slide intact. Fine stock and forend show normal handling, but no abuse and display tight wood to metal fit. Tight action, nice screws, bore a little dark with good rifling all the way through. I ran an oil patch through the bore and some black crud came out. If there is any roughness it is very light and located toward the middle of the bore. Probably brush outor shoot out better. $1495.
1892 .44-40 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, #693XXX, MADE 1912. Receiver is mainly an uncleaned brown with excellent screw heads that don’t look turned. The mag tube shows fine lightly aged blue overall and the barrel retains more heavily aged blue evenly mixing plum. The rear buckhorn sight has the right “wing” broken off and shouldn’t be too hard to replace, correct short blade front sight. Exc. markings and fine reddish color walnut with good wood to metal fit. Bore is fairly bright and excellent with only some very small spots of surface/light pitting toward the middle of the bore- minor. Very tight action and nice appearance. Getting hard to find any 1892s in .44-40. $1895.
EXCELLENT CONDITION SPECIAL ORDER 1892 ROUND BARREL RIFLE WITH HALF MAGAZINE, .25-20 CALIBER, #340XXX, MADE 1906. Most people don’t realize that savvy riflemen of the day often ordered their lever action rifles with half magazines is that they tend to be more accurate than full mag rifles. This is because a fully loaded full magazine hanging on to the bottom of the barrel changes the “harmonics” of the barrel each time a shell is fired and another is fed from the magazine into the chamber. The actual weight of the mag changes with each ejected cartridge and new round fed. Teddy Roosevelt obviously knew this and ordered almost all of his rifles from Winchester with half magazines as did the British shooters. This rifle retains most of the deep blue on the barrel with only the most minor of ageing. The receiver sides also retain excellent blue with some age and thinning, but basically full coverage. There is some gray/brown on the forward part of the bolt and also on the receiver bottom ahead of the lever. Bore is bright and excellent- if not perfect, not far from it. Excellent stock and forearm with tight wood to metal fit, exc. screws, tight action, flat top buckhorn rear sight with blade/bead front sight. This is a really fine special order 1892. $1850.
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. $1495.
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.
UNUSUAL SPECIAL ORDER 1894 .38-55 WITH ROUND BARREL AND 2/3 MAGAZINE, #585XXX, MADE THE YEAR THE TITANIC SANK IN 1912. This is a really fine condition example that shows about all the blue remaining on the barrel and magazine tube with only very minor ageing. The receiver also retains nearly all the blue with only light edge wear and some dulling from age. Even the bottom of the receiver, upper tang and forend cap retain good lightly aged blue. Excellent butt stock and forearm with tight wood to metal fit. Exc. markings and the barrel is fitted with a buckhorn rear sight with a blade/bead front sight. The butt stock shows a slightly higher grade of walnut which is typical of special order Winchesters. When I received this rifle I looked down the bore and could see no rifling at all! My original thought was that someone shot a bunch of black powder ammo through it and put it away for a few years in a humid climate! But I WAS WRONG! To my surprise, pleasantly so, I ran an oil patch through the bore and decades worth of dust came out! I think this rifle was cleaned with heavy oil pit in the bore and left standing in a gun rack for a seriously long time. As dust settled into the barrel it stuck to the oil and built up until it completely filled the grooves and lands! A couple of patches revealed a slightly dark bore with fine rifling all the way through and maybe a touch of frost. I did not put a bronze brush through it and I’m sure it will clean even better. This rifle also has a tight action and excellent blue on the loading gate. A great caliber is super condition with a very seldom encountered special order 2/3 magazine. I’ll bet this rifle hasn’t been shot since before World War II! $2450.
EXTREMELY HARD CALIBER TO FIND IN THE MODEL 1894 IS THIS .32-40 FULL OCTAGON, FULL MAGAZINE RIFLE #229XXX, MADE 1904. Amazingly, this early rifle has a bright, sharp excellent bore! It also retains fine receiver blue with only some of the blue mixing with brown age spotting. Excellent deep blue on the bolt. Fine deep blue on the barrel and magazine with only few very small spots of light wear to the barrel. Traces of case color remain on the more protected areas of the lever and on the hammer back, receiver screws appear unturned and retain good blue. Original buckhorn rear sight with Lyman blade/ivory bead front sight, excellent stock and forend with tight wood to metal fit Even the forend cap retains some nice blue. Tight action. These octagon barrel .32-40 1894s are really hard to locate, especially with exc. bores. $2295.
SELDOM SEEN SPECIAL ORDER 1894 .25-35 CALIBER, EASTERN CARBINE WITH FACTORY CRESCENT RIFLE BUTT STOCK, #902XXX, MADE 1920. This is a very interesting and unusual 1894 as it was ordered without a saddle ring and with a crescent butt plate. While this carbine is too late to letter, the stock and forend are made of such unusual gold/red, straight-grained matching pieces of walnut with extremely tight wood to metal fit that there is no doubt about the originality of the stock. Carbines ordered with rifle stocks are extremely rare. This one retains fine barrel and magazine blue and is fitted with an appropriate buckhorn rifle-style rear sight paired with a traditional carbine small blade/bead front sight. The receiver has typically flaked to gray, which is typical of this vintage ’94. There is still fine deep blue on the loading gate and some aged blue on the bolt. Tight action , exc. screws, safety notch on the hammer holds correctly and the trigger pull is light and crisp- perhaps ordered that way from Winchester. Bore is sharp and excellent. A very interesting and rare configuration 1894 in a very desirable caliber! $2150.
SCARCE CONFIGURATION 1894 .30WCF RIFLE WITH HALF OCTAGON BARREL AND FULL MAGAZINE, SHOTGUN BUTT, #228XXX, MADE 1904. This is an especially fine condition rifle that retains nearly all the deep blue on the barrel and mag. tube. Receiver shows good blue on both sides with normal thinning and edge wear, exc. blue on the bolt, exc. screws and even shows good blue on the forend cap. Exc. butt stock and forend with very tight wood to metal fit, checkered steel shotgun butt plate, flat top buckhorn rear sight with Winchester blade front sight. Bore is slightly dark, but excellent, tight action. This is an early 1894 with a very attractive appearance that has very scarce and desirable features. $2450.
SPECIAL ORDER 1894 .38-55 CALIBER ROUND BARREL RIFLE WITH HALF MAGAZINE (BUTTON MAG), #562XXX, MADE 1911. It is a little known fact that lever action rifles with half magazines tend to be more accurate than full magazine rifles- makes sense as each time a cartridge is pulled from the magazine and lifted into the chamber it changes the weight/balance of the magazine hanging from the bottom of the barrel. That’s why some of the more savvy shooters of the day ordered their big game rifles with half magazines- check out most photos of Theodore Roosevelt holding rifles and they all seem to have half magazines. This one shows fine deeply aged blue on the right side of the receiver with a bit less on the left side where it has flaked a bit. The barrel also shows fine deeply aged blue that has some plum/brown mixing. The wood is fine overall with maybe a couple of age cracks coming forward from the receiver on each side of the forearm that go nowhere and are very tight. Fine bore shows light wear and maybe a bit frost, but a good scrubbing ought help. Lyman tang sight with a small Lyman blade/bead front sight and King patented dovetail filler where the rear sight was removed. Exc. screws, tight action, nice appearance. $1495.
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.
ONE OF THE ODDEST 1895 MODELS I’VE SEEN! THIS IS A VERY EARLY .38-72 CALIBER ROUND BARREL RIFLE WITH SERIAL NUMBER 15XX THAT IS NOT A FLATSIDE MODEL! I called this in to the Cody Museum and it will letter as a rifle whose serial number was applied August 11, 1896, .38-72, round barrel, received in the warehouse March 17, 1900 and shipped from the warehouse on October 27, 1900! This rifle has the correct escalloped or later style receiver, yet it is serial numbered right in the middle of the flat side series. The previous owner said he contacted the authors of the new Winchester 1895 book (a great book, just out, highly recommend it!) and they said they were aware of a two-digit serial number 1895 that was not a flat side! Very odd indeed. Anyway, this rifle shows good aged blue on the receiver that is mixing plum and brown, nice aged blue on the bolt, fine markings, the barrel is standard at 26 inches for this black powder caliber, yet measures 25 ½”…but the middle of the front sight dovetail is exactly 1” from the muzzle as it should be- another odd quality to this rifle. The barrel is a very dark aged blue/brown with buckhorn rear sight and Rocky Mountain blade front sight. Very fine stock and forend with a hairline age crack coming back from the left side of the receiver at the wrist for an inch or two that goes nowhere. The forend has the correct ebony inlay in the schnable tip. Bore is a bit dark with good rifling all the way through and light surface roughness that might brush out better. Fine tight action. Rare caliber, rare serial number/frame style, everything letters! $1950.
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.
MODEL 64 DELUXE .30-30, #1976XXX, MADE 1953. This is one of the last of the deluxe versions of this model. It has a sharp checkered pistol grip and forend and retains most of the blue overall with just the lightest of dulling mixing in on the receiver- really minor and light. Retains the hood to the front sight paired with buckhorn rear sight. Also retains the “super grade” sling swivel studs that came standard on the deluxe M-64. Correct checkered steel shotgun butt plate. Has a correctly fitting steel pistol grip cap instead of the normally seen hard rubber one- perhaps a special order or a replacement. The stock finish appears to have been lightly re-done, but the wood does not appear to have been sanded as the wood to metal fit is good with no undersized wood- looks like the finish was simply stripped and re-applied. Tight action, exc. screws and bright perfect bore. Lots of life left in this almost 67 year old deluxe Winchester! $1495.
MODEL 71 STANDARD RIFLE, .348 WCF CALIBER, #35XXX, MADE 1953. A nice example of one of the most powerful lever rifles Winchester made. It retains most of the original blue on all metal surfaces with only a trace of wear. The stock and forearm show light handling/hunting marks only and there is a tiny sling swivel hole in the bottom of the butt stock only. Retains the original checkered steel butt plate and has the original buckhorn rear sight with hooded front sight. Tight action, exc. screws, perfect bore. One of finest big game lever actions ever made! $1695.
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). $795.
BILL GOODMAN, P. O. BOX 2002, BOZEMAN, MONTANA 59771 TEL. (406) 587-3131 FAX (406) 219-3415 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 CLEAR NON-FOAMING Gorilla 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 (note: this is the best glue I've tried, but do NOT use the brown foaming Gorilla glue as it pushes the wad up when dry and is awful to correct!). 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