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

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

                           EMAIL:  montanaraven@hotmail.com

      Bill Goodman has been a collector of antique/collector firearms for well over 40 years and a full time dealer for over 30 years.  Traveling around the country constantly seeking good quality collector arms at REALISTIC PRICES, Bill sells exclusively by mail order.  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. 

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MORE GUNS WERE POSTED ON 5/10/21. WATCH FOR FREQUENT POSTINGS THROUGH MAY.

 

 

 

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) RARE BISLEY FLATTOP TARGET REVOLVER, .32-20 CALIBER, WITH FACTORY LETTER, #263XXX, MADE 1905. Colt only made 976 Flattop Bisleys from 1894-1913. Of these, 131 were made in the popular .32-20 caliber. This example is verified to caliber and Flattop configuration by the factory letter which shows shipment on April 29, 1905 to J. F. Schmelzer & Sons Arms Company, Kansas City, Missouri. It would seem apparent that this revolver was ordered and used as a "working" gun as opposed to a purely target revolver. Overall the metal is an aged blue to brown with good aged/dulled blue on the cylinder and in the more protected areas. The balance is mainly a plum/brown patina with some gray on the barrel probably from holster carry. The action is tight with four clicks to the hammer and the screws and markings are all fine. Grips are fine with the left grip a probable replacement as it is slightly undersize along the back strap. Matching numbers. The bore is only fair to good as it is a bit dark with good rifling but has a couple of rings toward the middle of the bore that do not show on the outside of the barrel. Nice overall appearance. $4500.

3) COLORFUL, FRONTIER USED BISLEY WITH HOLSTER, .32-20, 4 3/4" BARREL, #310XXX, MADE 1909. This is a really great set that shows miles and miles of real cowboy usage! The grips on this Bisley fit nicely and are worn almost completely smooth on both sides. There are a couple of tiny chips on the corners, but they are basically sound. The metal is an uncleaned gray/brown patina showing no evidence of ever having been cleaned or scrubbed. All markings are good including the correct two line barrel address used on 4 3/4" barrels (5 1/2" and 7 1/2" had a one line address), screws are generally fine to excellent as is the cylinder pin. The front sight has not been filed or altered. matching serial numbers. There is some aged blue in the cylinder flutes and along the upper and lower flutes of the ejector housing. Tight action with four clicks to the hammer. The bore is about excellent with any roughness being very slight and surface. The double loop Mexican holster fits perfectly and looks like this Bisley was at home in it for many decades. The holster is in remarkably fine condition, but shows much wear- as does the revolver itself. A Colt factory letter might prove interesting on this one. $2150.

4) VERY FINE CONDITION SINGLE ACTION ARMY, .38-40, 5 1/2" BARREL, #308XXX, MADE 1909. Most of the Single Actions from this time period saw pretty hard use on ranches across the mid-west and western United States. This is especially true for the three most common larger calibers offered by Colt at the time- .38-40, .44-40 and .45 Colt. This example shows most of the blue on the barrel and cylinder with only light edge wear. The outside edge of the ejector housing shows good thinning blue with fine blue on the top and bottom flutes. The trigger guard, grip straps and butt also show fine deep blue with only light edge wear and minor thinning on the front strap and back strap. All markings are excellent as are the screw heads which also show fine blue. Good case colored frame with vivid color ahead of the cylinder, dark colors on the bottom part of the frame on both sides. Grips are excellent and fit perfectly. Good light case colors on the sides and back of the hammer, Tight action with four clicks to the hammer. About excellent bore and unaltered front sight. A really sharp, large caliber, 111 year old Colt Single Action Army! (4 photos) $4800.

5) BISLEY IN DESIRABLE .44-40 CALIBER WITH 4 3/4" BARREL, WITH COLT FACTORY LETTER, #259XXX, MADE 1904. The factory letter verifies the caliber, barrel length, blue finish etc. and states this revolver was in a shipment of 10 guns to Simmons Hardware Company, St. Louis, Missouri on October 3, 1904. Overall, a nice honest cowboy Colt that has seen use, but no abuse. Overall metal is a dark platina with some small amounts of blue around the rear section of the barrel, on the bottom of the barrel by the ejector housing, in the cylinder flutes and on the butt. The screw heads are all excellent, mechanically fine with only the very first click on the hammer gone, good lock up, front sight has not been filed or altered, fine bore is a little dark with strong rifling and any roughness minor. the grips are correct replacements and fit well with some small overhang at the bottom butt that could easily be polished down to fit better, but not bad as is. Fine markings including the two line barrel address used only on short barrels plus the "Bisley Model" and "COLT FRONTIER SIX SHOOTER" stamping on the left side of the barrel only used on the .44-40 caliber revolvers. Classic 117 year old .44-40 Bisley. (4 photos) $2495.

6) EXTREMELY RARE .32 CALIBER TARGET POLICE POSITIVE REVOLVER, #2XX007 (NAH, TOO EARLY FOR JAMES BOND), MADE 1925. The Police Positive Target revolvers in .22 Rim Fire are the standard for this model and even they are getting hard to find. This was Colt's answer to S&Ws .22/32 small frame target revolvers (Beckeart Model). Both companies turned out a few in .32 Center Fire and either is very scarce. The barrel on this one is stamped "POLICE POSITIVE .32 POLICE CTG." This is the .32 Colt New Police round which is identical to the S&W .32 Long except it was factory loaded with a flat nose bullet- both are interchangeable. This example is fitted with double-carved eagle motif ivory grips. In looking at them with a high powered magnifier under good light I can see fine grain that looks a bit "cross-hatched" which is the hallmark of wooly mammoth ivory- this is especially apparent on the upper edges. Also I did the "pin test" where one heats a sharp pin or needle with a match until the tip turns red, then place the tip on the surface of the inside of a grip panel. If the material is polymer or faux ivory, the pin will instantly melt into the grip. The pin I used several times did not melt into the grip. Also, the details of the eagle design are slightly different on each grip panel indicating that the could not have been "reverse molded." With this said, and the state of ivory today, I am not putting any additional value on the grips. The revolver shows excellent markings including the rampant colt on the left frame side. There is some extreme muzzle wear for about 3/8" on the left side and some very minor tiny spots of  blue wear on the barrel sides and a touch on the cylinder, but most of the bright Colt blue remains- even on the grip straps and butt. The hammer back and trigger show excellent fire-blue. Tight action, bright bore with perhaps a small surface spot or two that ought to scrub out. The front face of the cylinder retains about all the blue indicating that this revolver was shot very little.  Correct flat top frame and adjustable sights. These rarely come up for sale. (3 photos) $1695.

7) GREAT CONDITION 1903 .32 ACP HAMMERLESS POCKET AUTO PISTOL, #466XXX, MADE DURING THE MIDDLE OF THE ROARING TWENTIES IN 1926. A really excellent example showing nearly all the bright Colt blue with only some minor edge wear toward the muzzle and the smallest of wear to the back strap/safety that is negligible. Excellent sharply checkered Colt medallion walnut grips, two-tone Colt marked magazine, excellent markings, mech. and bore. Solid steel and walnut from a bygone era! $875.

8) THE 41ST OFFICERS MODEL SPECIAL REVOLVER MADE! The Officers Model Special was only made from 1949-1952 and only a total of 6210 were made in .22 LR and .38 Special combined. Serial numbers began at 783001 and continued to 789211. This example in .38 Special is serial number 783041 and was probably turned out in the first day or two of production for this model! One of the more scarce of the Post-World War II Colts, the Officers Model Special had a heavy 6” barrel and a distinctive long ramped front sight. Rear sight was adjustable. At the time Bullseye Shooting was the most popular form of pistol match shooting and the Officers Model Special was the finest .38 Special target revolver in the Colt line. The single and double action pull has to be felt to be believed. These were all hand-honed and fitted by skilled craftsmen and will never be duplicated. The Officers Model Special gave way to the Officers Model Match which had quite a long run from 1953-1970. The Officers Model Special was fitted with “Coltwood” plastic grips that just about everyone hated! Why Colt though American shooters would accept plastic on such a fine revolver is baffling. Most revolvers so fitted have had their grips changed and this example is no exception. It now wears Pachmayr rubber grips, but the original style Coltwood grips would be easy to replace. The blue finish shows some honest wear, but overall there is no abuse or rust. There is the usual blue wear and dulling on the barrel sides and edges of the cylinder etc., but overall this scarce Colt has a fine look to it. All markings are sharp and clear including the “COLT OFFICERS MODEL SPECIAL” marking on the left side of the barrel. Perfect bore, tight action, amazing mechanics!  These are not often encountered and this has to be one of the lowest serial numbers extant. $1195. (CLICK ON THIS BLUE LINE FOR PHOTOS)

9) GREAT OFFERING! WOOLY MAMMOTH FOSSILIZED IVORY GRIPS FOR COLT (AND CLONES) 1911 AUTO PISTOLS! The Wooly Mammoth pretty much became extinct about 10,000 years ago at the end of the Pleistocene. A large number of the remains of these animals ended up in the permafrost of Siberia and Alaska. Their bones and tusks have  been harvested for many years. the tusks typically take on minerals from the soil in which they were entombed for thousands of years. this gives the ivory a rich and very varied coloration. The ivory from the "bark" or outside of the tusk tends to be darker and heavily pigmented, while the more inner portions can be as light as creamy-white. Mammoth ivory can be separated from now-illegal elephant ivory by the grain structures. Elephant ivory has an even-lined structure while Mammoth has a "cross hatch" grain pattern (easily seen on the cross section cut of the ivory)- this is important when dealing with legalities! This beautiful grip set is probably from the mid-section of a tusk as it has both the rich creamy color of aged ivory mixed with darker brown. With elephant ivory no longer in the market place, Mammoth ivory is at a premium. It is very hard to find now and prices have really escalated. This grip set has been "stabilized" chemically so that it should not easily crack, chip or shrink. I've had a pair of these on a 1911 .45ACP for a number of years and they truly look rich and distinctive! $695.

 

                      

MARLIN  (click text for photos).

1) EXCEEDINGLY RARE 1889 .38-40 RIFLE WITH 30" OCTAGON BARREL WITH FACTORY LETTER, ONLY 165 MADE IN THIS LENGTH.  Serial number 83XXX has a Cody Firearms Museum letter stating that this .38 cal. rifle with 30" octagon barrel was shipped on January 3, 1893. Considering that the Model 1889 was made in .32-20, .38-40 and .44-40 and that only 165 were made in this extra long length, that makes  any single caliber in this length extremely rare. In my experience, it is usually the smaller calibers that were ordered with longer length barrels making the larger .38 and .44 calibers even more rare. This rifle is in particularly fine condition with the barrel retaining nearly all the deep lightly aged blue. The mag tube which is two inches shorter than the barrel (the longest length for these magazine tubes) displays fine aged blue mixing with some plum/brown. All barrel markings are sharp and clear and has the original buckhorn rear sight with Rocky Mountain blade front sight. The receiver shows some very aged blue that is mixing heavily gray/brown. the butt stock shows some staining, on the left side but is solid with tight wood to metal fit. The forend is excellent showing very light handling only. Fine mechanically with the safety notch on the hammer there, but a little weak. The bore is a bit dark with strong rifling and any roughness is light and scattered. This is a truly rare and nice condition 128 year old Marlin 1889 in a large caliber! $3950.

 

 

                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. UPDATE:  My understanding is that Remington is now in a bankruptcy situation and has sold the Marlin line to Ruger. It is suggested that Ruger will produce the Marlins sometime in the future when all the tooling and machinery is moved to their facilities. In my opinion, all of this confusion and quality control problems will make the CT manufactured Marlins even more desirable as shooters and collectibles. I know I'll be looking for them.

(MORE SOON)

 

 

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

1) VERY FINE EXAMPLE EARLY SHARPS 1874 .50 CALIBER MILITARY RIFLE, #CLXXX (#150XXX), SHIPPED TO NEW YORK DISTRIBUTORS SCHUYLER, HARTLEY & GRAHAM  IN 1873. This is one of the better condition examples I've seen of an early Hartford made Sharps Military Rifle. I know most of these rifles were shipped to dealers,  many of whom were in the West, for civilian sales. Interestingly, this rifle is marked with the very early stamping "NEW MODEL" ahead of the receiver on the barrel top- a holdover from earlier models and only the earliest 1874 military rifles and carbines have this. Keep in mind, the 1874 Model was actually introduced in 1871 with the Model 1874 designation added years later. The left side of the barrel flat just ahead of the receiver has the "L" stamp meaning it was made for the .50 caliber 2" case. The standard .50-70 was a 1 3/4" case and the longer sporting .50 had a 2 1/2" case. usually the "L" marked guns were intended for civilian use, often for the largest game in the Western States (A phone call to Dr. Richard Labowskie who retains the original Sharps shipping records confirmed the details of this rifle by serial number). Interestingly, on the upper tang of this rifle ahead of the serial number is a tiny  "E" over "33" stamping, and on the flat of the forend just ahead of the receiver bottom is stamped an equally tiny "M.N.M." meanings unknown- possibly some kind of rack number or identification. The barrel retains excellent deep blue overall with fine Sharps markings and has the original Lawrence Patent ladder rear sight with slide intact. The receiver is an uncleaned mottled gray/brown with some traces of case color under the hammer. The action is tight and the bore is bright, sharp and excellent with only a little darkness ahead of the chamber that may just be some leading and ought to clean out. The stock and forearm are excellent+ with tight wood to metal fit. All three barrel bands are intact with the correct and original sling swivels. An outstanding and early example of a true 148 year old 1874 .50 caliber Sharps. $5200.

2) EXCELLENT EXAMPLE STEVENS OFFHAND TARGET No. 35 SINGLE SHOT .22LR PISTOL. About 35,000 of these were made between 1907-1916. This pistol has the 6" blued barrel, walnut grips and nickel plated frame and trigger guard. It retains the original small buckhorn rear sight that is screw adjustable for elevation along with a blade/bead front sight. Nice deep blue on the barrel with excellent "J Stevens A & T CO." markings. The frame shows about all the bright nickel finish with excellent screws, exc. walnut grips and still some good fire blue on the hammer and trigger. Tight action, fairly bright bore with good rifling shows some scattered surface roughness, but much better than usually found in this model. A really handsome 100+ year old single shot .22LR pistol! (3 photos) $695.

 

MODERN AND OUT OF PRODUCTION FIREARMS

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

2) MEACHAM CUSTOM WINCHESTER HIGHWALL, .40-70 TARGET RIFLE (see below in Shiloh Sharps and Reproduction section)

3) SMITH & WESSON MODEL 360PD, ULTRA LIGHT .357 MAG. REVOLVER (see below in S&W section)

 

 REMINGTON (click text for photos)

1) SELDOM SEEN REMINGTON-LEE MAGAZINE BOLT ACTION MODEL 1879 U. S. NAVY MARKED AND ISSUED .45-70 CALIBER, #9XX, ONLY 1300 MADE. This was the first Remington-Lee and is quickly identified by the low serial number and the flat sided magazine. This one has the correct anchor stamping plus inspector stampings found on the rifles issued to the Navy. This is a fine example with fine aged barrel blue mixing plum, fine bore with strong rifling and only some light scattered roughness, the receiver and magazine are also uncleaned and show aged blue with some plum/brown mixing.  Correct military ladder rear sight as made by Remington, correct swivels, uncleaned/unsanded wood with one probably arsenal repair to a crack at the wrist that starts about three inches back of the action and goes forward on each side for a couple inches- neatly done , solid and minor. Lots of excellent information on this model in John D. McAulay's book RIFLES OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY & MARINE CORPS. One of the more rare of the U.S. Navy rifles of the period and certainly less common than the later models. Fine appearance. $2850.

 

RUGER (click text for photos)

1) HARD TO FIND SPECIAL "BUCKEYE" BLACKHAWK CONVERTIBLE .32 H&R MAGNUM AND .32-20 CALIBER, 6 1/2" BARREL, ADJUSTABLE SIGHT REVOLVER, #610-05XXX, MADE 1988. These were made as a special run for Buckeye Sports in Ohio who was the sole distributor for this unusual model. Interestingly, they were made with FULL STEEL frames and grip straps, unlike the standard Blackhawks which at the time all had alloy grip straps etc. Further the top strap ahead of the rear sight is stamped with a buckeye flower. Grips are walnut with the Ruger medallions. this one appears unfired with both cylinders and the original box with correct end label. These are hard to find now and shoot exceptionally well. They are also about as strong a revolver ever made for these two excellent calibers. Hard to find in any condition, much less unfired with the original box and paperwork! $1395.

 

SHILOH SHARPS, MUZZLOADERS 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) VERY HIGH QUALITY MEACHAM 1885 HIGHWALL TARGET RIFLE IN .40-70 SS CALIBER WITH 34" HALF OCTAGON BARREL, #W005X. This example sports a high polish blue barrel without a rear sight dovetail and caliber marked on the left flat "40-70 SS." The receiver is nicely case colored and the top receiver ring is marked "MEACHAM HIGHWALL PECK, ID."  The serial number is stamped on the bottom of the receiver by the triggers. Pistol grip stock with checkered steel shotgun butt plate and cheek piece. Nicely figured walnut in stock and forearm. The forearm has the typical Winchester schnable tip with ebony inlay. Long target lever with double set triggers. This rifle is also set up with a long range Soule tang sight with spirit level globe front sight. Overall excellent condition showing only the lightest of wear if you look closely. Weighs right at 12 lbs. This is a superb custom target rifle. (5 photos- note: the case colors on the left side of the receiver are not worn, they came out just less vivid on the rear portion) $3850.

2) DISCONTINUED THOMPSON-CENTER .50 CALIBER PERCUSSION HAWKEN RIFLE. These made in the U.S. muzzle loaders were among the best of the Hawken reproductions. They were introduced in 1970 and discontinued about ten years ago. They feature double set triggers, brass furniture and patchbox (with cleaning jag inside), color case hardened engraved lock and hammer, walnut stock, stout 28" octagon barrels and an adjustable rear sight. These are no longer manufactured, which is too bad as the quality in these American made rifles is hard to beat. This example shows a really nice fairly fancy walnut stock and is in excellent condition overall, having seen limited to no use. Aside from a few handling marks in the wood that you'd have to look for, it is in near new condition with uncleaned/unpolished brass. These are still a bargain (if you can find one) compared to the prices of new Italian replicas of lesser quality. I've been shooting T/C muzzle loaders for years and they are fine shooting guns. Loaded with a light powder charge and a round ball, they make great target/plinking guns. Loaded with a T/C Maxi bullet and 90 or 100 grains of black powder make it the equivalent in power of the big Sharps buffalo guns of the 1870s. Nice ones like this are getting hard to find. $795.

 

 

SMITH AND WESSON (click text for photos)

1) AN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO FIND S&W REVOLVER IS THIS MODEL OF 1891 (.38 SINGLE ACTION 3RD MODEL), #5XXX, MADE 1891-1911. One of the most attractive revolvers in the S&W line at the time, these Model 1891s look like a scaled down New Model No. 3. They seem to almost never show up for sale and one can go to gun shows for years and not see one except in S&W displays. According to THE STANDARD CATALOG OF SMITH & WESSON, 4TH EDITION BY SUPICA AND NAHAS: This is a very attractive gun, looking like a 2/3 scale New Model Number 3, and is highly sought after. However, unfortunately, there has always seemed to be a discrepancy between the number of guns supposedly manufactured and the availability of this model on the collectors market. By manufacturing records, this model should be about as common as the Baby Russian .38 SA, and maybe twenty times more common than the Model of 1891 Single Shot, (approx. 1250 1891 Single Shots were made) with which it shares a common frame. However, our subjective impression is that one sees ten .38 SA 1sts for every .38 SA 3rd, and that the Model of 1891 Revolver is, if anything, scarcer than the Model of 1891 Single Shot. Of course, there is more info on this rare model in the book, but that sums up the scarcity of this model pretty well. This nickel plated example has the standard 4" barrel and is fitted with the rare and desirable mottled red and black gutta percha grips that are in excellent condition showing no chips or cracks and displaying a perfect fit. It has matching serial numbers on the barrel, latch, frame and cylinder. The barrel has the correct "MODEL OF '91" marking along with the usual patent dates etc. There is fine nickel on the barrel with just some peeling at the muzzle on the right side and some peeling along the left outside edge. The grip straps show some small evidence of wiped off rust which left some small areas of light dark gray/brown pitting. There is good nickel in the cylinder flutes with some peeling on the outside. The barrel latch shows fine blue, screws are excellent, action is tight and the bore is bright. This is a really fine early antique example with only light blemishes to the nickel that are fairly minor and great mottled red grips. Many S&W collectors have never seen one of these! (4 photos) $2250.

2) SHOULDER STOCKED NEW MODEL No. 3,  7" BARREL, .44 RUSSIAN CALIBER REVOLVER, #13XXX. This fine revolver falls a few numbers out of the Australian contract shoulder stocked guns which numbered about 250. These guns were nickeled and had broad arrow proof marks etc. as one would expect. Apparently, some that were shipped to Western Australia lacked these proofs. This one is either one of these or perhaps is a cut for stock overrun that was sold commercially. A factory letter would prove interesting on this one. The shoulder stock is in factory new condition and comes with the original green S&W box with excellent end label and even the thin inside wrapping paper intact!  The revolver itself retains most of the original nickel finish with scattered small spots of peeling. There is good blue on the barrel latch, the bore and markings are excellent and all numbers match. The grips show normal light wear/handling. All cut-for-stock New Model No. 3s are exceptionally rare whether commercial or Australian contract. This is a truly fine set! (6 photos)  $4350.

3) SMITH & WESSON RARITY: .38-40 DOUBLE ACTION FRONTIER REVOLVER WITH 6 1/2" BARREL, SERIAL NUMBER 3X, ONLY 276 MADE AND NUMBERED IN THEIR OWN SERIES, MADE FROM 1900-1910! Of the few of these I've seen over the years, all have been in hard used condition. This makes sense as anyone wanting a .38-40 revolver was probably spending a lot of time in the outdoors (ranching most likely) and pairing it with a Winchester or Marlin saddle rifle. This special model was offered in barrel lengths of 4", 5" and 6 1/2" lengths. This long barrel example was a nickel plated revolver that now shows the original nickel in the more protected areas of around the hammer and trigger guard and some nickel on the cylinder. The balance has flaked and worn off revealing a dark uncleaned patina. The barrel markings on the top of the barrel are good, but a bit worn and the .38 Winchester Ctg. marking on the left side of the barrel is only partially visible. The serial numbers on the barrel, frame and cylinder match. Mechanics are fine and the bore shows good rifling with only minor scattered surface roughness. The frame sideplate screw only appears to be a replacement. The grips fit perfectly and show normal wear, but no chipping or cracks. Obviously this one was a working revolver and carried many miles. A S&W letter might turn up some interesting information. This was a popular caliber in the Southwest and Mexico at this time of the Mexican Revolution. Lots of history in this extremely rare S&W! When you consider that these revolvers were made in three barrel lengths and two finishes, the number of 6 1/2" nickel examples would be very small. $3850.

4) FASCINATING, TEXAS SHIPPED NEW MODEL No. 3 .44 RUSSIAN CALIBER REVOLVER WITH SCARCE 5" BARREL, S&W FACTORY LETTER. This nickel plated revolver with serial number 35XXX and stamped on the left side of the barrel, "44 S&W CTG." comes with a most interesting and unusual S&W letter. It states: "New Model No. 3, caliber .44 S&W, company records indicate this handgun with serial number 35XXX was shipped from the factory May 21, 1917 and delivered to Momsen-Dunnegan-Ryan Co., El Paso, TX. This revolver was with 5 inch barrel, nickel finish, checkered black hard rubber grips. This Shipment contained 2 units of this model in the above configuration.  These revolvers have to be one of the last shipments of this model made by the company to clean out the inventory as they began production of revolvers for World War I." Momsen-Dunnegan-Ryan Co. of El Paso was basically a hardware store at the time. There is some online info about the company and interestingly, the building still stands today. Some info on this is included with the factory letter. The Mexican Revolution lasted from 1910-1920 and many of the guns used in this conflict were purchased in the border city of El Paso, Texas. This was certainly a violent area of the U.S./Mexican border at this time. The revolver shows excellent  bright nickel on the frame and grip straps. There is some flaking of nickel mainly on the left side of the barrel which is silvery and blends in very well. The rest of the barrel, cylinder and barrel/frame top retain bright nickel. Screws are excellent, bore is bright with strong rifling throughout, grips are excellent and the action is tight. One of the last of the great New Model No. 3 revolvers with a scarce barrel length and great factory letter! (4 photos) $3650.

5) HIGH CONDITION AND VERY EARLY PRODUCTION .22 LADYSMITH 3RD MODEL (.22 PERFECTED), #140XX, MADE 1911. The serial numbers for the 3rd Model Ladysmith began with 13951 and ran through 26154 with only 12,203 being made from 1911-1921. As these were delicate 7-shot revolvers and not suited for .22 LR High Speed ammo, many had their forcing cones cracked or blown away altogether...or worse! The end result is that few of these unusual Smiths have survived in any sort of condition and with excellent examples hard to locate. This one has all matching numbers and is in desirable blue finish (many of these show a "star" by the serial number on the butt indicating a factory rework or reblue- this one does not have that). It has a 3 1/2" barrel with excellent forcing cone just ahead of the cylinder. This example shows nearly all the original bright blue with only a small amount  scuffing and thinning on the back strap and normal high edges. All markings are sharp and clear, the deep dish medallion grips are excellent and fit perfectly, the hammer and trigger sides show fine case color and importantly, the action functions as it should. and the bore is bright with any roughness scattered and light. In all, one of the best I've seen in a very long time. (4 photos)  $1795.

6) SINGLE SHOT THIRD MODEL "PERFECTED" .22 LR TARGET PISTOL, #8XXX.  Only 6,949 of these scarce pistols were made between 1909-1923. Serial numbers ran from about 4600 to about 11600. That would put this one as being made in about mid-production or the World War I time frame. The third model single shot pistol differs from the first two variants in that it can be fired either single or double action. This example has matching numbers on the frame, cylinder latch and barrel. It also has the correct oversize "extension" checkered walnut grips with deep set S&W medallions.  The frame shows about all the original deep blue with nice case color on the hammer and trigger. The 10" barrel has excellent  markings and shows nearly all the blue with only some  very light and minor scuffing/scratches to the left side. The adjustable target rear sight retains the windage screw, but is lacking the thin sight blade only. The pinned target front sight is intact. Action is excellent in both double action and single action with a particularly light /crisp trigger pull. The left grip panel is excellent with the right panel showing only modest handling marks. Overall a nice condition, limited production S&W of which less than 7,000 were made a hundred+ years ago. $1195.

7) PRE-WAR  .38/44 OUTDOORSMAN TARGET, #44XXX, WITH FACTORY LETTER. Arguably one of the finest S&Ws ever produced, the big N-frame Target .38 special .38/44 Outdoorsman was introduced at the beginning of the Great Depression when S&W employed only the finest craftsmen to build their revolvers when economic difficulties in the U.S. had sales plummeting. When this specialized handgun was discontinued after ten years in 1941 only 4761 had been produced. This one comes with a S&W factory letter stating that it was shipped from the factory on January 29, 1935 and delivered to California Hardware Co., Los Angeles, CA. The letter further states it had a 6.5" barrel equipped with a Patridge front sight, blue finish and checkered walnut silver medallion grips. Overall this rare S&W has seen light use and retains most of the original blue. There is some very light edge wear and some very minor spotting to the blue on the right side of the frame above the grips , a little on the butt and a touch on the muzzle. Sights are correct, frame screws appear unturned, the grips are correct and fit well, but are not numbered to the frame, cylinder and barrel which all match. Still retains some light case color on the hammer and trigger. the bore is bright and excellent, the front of the cylinder retains most of the blue indicating that this one was shot seldom if at all. Mechanically tight and is so beautifully hand tuned/fitted that the action has to be felt to be believed! This kind of quality in a double action revolver will never be seen again. Called the .38/44 as it is a .38 Special caliber revolver built on the big 44 caliber frame (N frame). A masterpiece from the Great Depression. (4 photos) $2650.

8) RARELY ENCOUNTERED ALUMINUM CYLINDER  PRE-37 CHIEF SPECIAL AIRWEIGHT REVOLVER WITH ORIGINAL AND VERY RARE SQUARE BUTT FRAME, #28XXX, MADE IN 1952-1954. Only 3,777 of these small “J” frame revolvers were made with aluminum cylinders and of this number only 900 were produced with square butt. Many, if not most, of these .38 Special “Mid-Range” chambered revolvers have had  their cylinders replaced with safer steel cylinders. Today, it is considered unsafe to fire one of these that still retains the original aluminum cylinder!  An example with matching aluminum cylinder would be considered a true S&W rarity. An original square butt with matching aluminum cylinder is even more rare. This example has matching numbers on the barrel, frame and cylinder. It was finished in a kind of black finish that stuck to the aluminum almost like paint because normal blue only works on steel. This aluminum blacking tends to chip and peel easily. This revolver shows most of the black with only light scattered speckling mainly on the edges and bottom of the trigger guard from handling/holster carry. There are excellent case colors on the trigger and hammer. The bore is bright and mechanically it is excellent. The diamond checkered grips fit well and are correct, but not numbered to this revolver. It has the correct flat latch, pinned barrel and four-screw frame. An almost never seen variation. $895.

9) MODEL 360PD, ULTRA LIGHTWEIGHT .357 MAGNUM REVOLVER, NEW IN BOX. This difficult to locate model is made from scandium and titanium which make it so incredibly light it feels like it's made out of plastic! It actually weighs only 11.7 oz. and comes with a 5 shot cylinder, red insert front sight, rubber stocks and 1 7/8" barrel. It is one of the few powerful handguns you can wear in a belt holster and not be aware of the weight! I have one that I regularly hike with and never suffer any fatigue or "belt pull" even after miles of mountain trekking. When in bear country I have its bigger brother, the M-329PD in .44 Mag. that I carry also, but most of the time it's the little .357 M-360PD. Same goes for concealed carry- the big revolvers and autos look impressive, and are impressive, but it'll probably be left at home when the time comes that you truly need it! This one is so small and light you won't mind carrying it in any condition or situation. It'll be there when you need it! New in the box with all paperwork etc. $1100.

 

 

U. S. MILITARY, SPRINGFIELD, ETC.

REMINGTON-LEE 1879 U. S. NAVY .45-70 MILITARY RIFLE (see above in Remington section)

 

 

WINCHESTERS (click text for photos)

 

  1. RARE, 1873 20" OCTAGON FACTORY SHORT RIFLE IN .44-40 CALIBER, #692XXX, MADE 1911. This is a very high serial number and late production 1873. I called the Cody Museum and got a call in sheet faxed to me which verified the caliber and 20" octagon barrel. Further, it stated the serial number was applied October 21, 1911, it was received in the warehouse December 19, 1011 and shipped on June 17, 1912 to G. Amsinck and Company of New York, NY. G. Amsinck & Co. was an import/export company at the time. Most of these very late 1873s were exported south of our border from Mexico to South America. Most of the late/exported 1873s I've seen have been very hard used and often abused. Many of these were used in the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920.  This one is actually better than most and is interesting in that it is a 20" short rifle  with short forend instead of the usual 24" standard length barrel and forend. The metal is mostly gray overall showing use and handling, but not abused or heavily pitted as usually seen. It retains the dust cover and even has some aged blue on the loading gate. the stock and forend show use, but are solid with some small spots of very old wood fill in the stock. Barrel and tang markings are fine and the bore shows good rifling throughout with normal light roughness more toward the forward portions of the barrel that may brush out better. Buckhorn rear sight with small blade front. Fine mechanically. A scarce factory short rifle with lots of  miles and history! $2450.

  2. 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! $3450.

  3. SELDOM SEEN SPECIAL ORDER 1886 .33 WCF RIFLE WITH FULL MAGAZINE AND RIFLE BUTT, #139XXX, SHIPPED 1907. The .33 WCF was the only purely smokeless cartridge made expressly for this model and introduced in 1902. All .33 cal. rifles were made as "Extra Lightweight" rifles and the standard configuration was either takedown or solid frame , 24" lightweight round barrels with half magazines and shotgun butt plates. Only on special order were these rifles fitted with full magazines and rifle or curved crescent butt plates. Many collectors view these scarce variants as the only .33 caliber rifles that "look like real Model 1886s." I called this serial number in to the Cody Museum and received a call-in sheet verifying the features of this rifle as original. The records also reveal that this rifle was received in the warehouse on October 10th, 1907 and shipped October 14, 1907. This example shows fine lightly thinning barrel blue with deep blue on the mag. tube and correct short ramp front sight being a marked Marbles 37M blade/bead sight. Rear sight is an original buckhorn. Good receiver blue that is thinning heavily around the edges, but still good blue coverage in the middle sections and fine blue on the bolt. Excellent stock and forend with tight wood to metal fit, tight action with excellent bore. A really unusual and attractive 114 year old 1886. $2950.

  4. HISTORICAL, WESTERN SHIPPED "BROWNING BROS CO. OGDEN U" MARKED 1887 12 GA. LEVER SHOTGUN WITH WINCHESTER FACTORY LETTER, #63XXX, SHIPPED 1898.  One of the early Browning designed long guns manufactured by Winchester and then sold through the Browning Brothers Gun Store in Ogden, Utah. I've seen a number of guns so marked and all are the same- very small letters just ahead of the receiver on the barrel top. Early markings end in "U T" for Utah Territory with the later markings just "U" for Utah after statehood in January 1896. The letter verifies that this one is a 12 ga. with 30" barrel that was received in the warehouse Oct. 3, 1898 and shipped the next day. Overall barrel and short mag. tube show good blue in the protected area ahead of the forearm panels with the balance aged to brown. The receiver has also aged to a cloudy gray/brown with one screw in the left side a replacement. The wood is fine and shows only normal handling with tight wood to metal fit and retains the original checkered steel shotgun butt plate. the Winchester entwined initials on the left center of the receiver are distinct  as are the Winchester markings  and patent dates under the lever on the lower tang. There is a "12" on the barrel top by the receiver ring designating the gauge and "FULL" for choke. Tight action and very good fairly bright bore with the usual light scattered surface roughness. One of the few Winchesters sold through the inventor's store and probably handled by John Browning himself! A great  123 year old Western Shotgun with fine visual appeal. $2495.

  5. SPECIAL ORDER TAKEDOWN 1892 OCTAGON RIFLE, .32-20, WITH FANCY WALNUT STOCK, #381XXX, MADE 1908. A fine example showing good deep blue on the receiver sides that has some light brown staining that is fairly minor. Good blue on the bolt with traces of old, uncleaned grease. Excellent deep barrel and mag blue that shows a little age and just the beginnings of some plum mixing. This rifle is fitted with a Lyman tang sight matched with a folding globe Beach Combination front sight. The rear sight dovetail is empty. The stock shows some nice fancy grain pattern that is way above standard walnut. A little cleaning of the wood to remove 113 years of grime would surely reveal the full glory of the flame wood grain. The stock and forend are of the desirable Winchester trademark reddish/brown color and wood to metal fit is very tight. The wood shows only light handling. Screws are excellent, action and takedown are tight and the bore is bright and excellent. An unusual and especially attractive 1892. (6 photos) $2850.

  6. EARLY 1892 32-20 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, #124XXX, MADE 1899. This rifle has a Cody Museum call-in sheet that com,kkijmes with it showing that the Serial number was applied on October 27, 1899. It further verifies all aspects of this rifle as factory original and indicates it was received in the warehouse on December 22, 1899 and shipped January 2, 1900. Overall metal shows an uncleaned very dark aged brown patina with good aged blue in protected areas and on the loading gate. The stock and forearm show normal light handling with no abuse, cracks or chips. Original buckhorn rear sight with original Winchester small blade front sight. Tight wood to metal fit, generally excellent screws and good markings. Bore is a little dark with good rifling all the way through showing some light wear/frost. Nice "attic condition" 121 year old 1892 with attractive appearance. $1295.

  7. 1894 OCTAGON RIFLE IN DESIRABLE .25-35 CALIBER, #409XXX, MADE 1908. Nice example showing lightly aged fine blue on the barrel and magazine . The barrel is fitted with a very heavy full buckhorn King rear sight with elevator bar mated with a Winchester blade front sight. The receiver displays very good blue on the sides with edge wear, some very light scratching, and minor thinning more to the right side, fine deep blue on the bolt and silvering on the receiver bottom. Excellent butt stock and forearm with tight wood to metal fit. Tight action, bore is a bit dark with strong rifling throughout. Full octagon rifles in .25-35 are difficult to find as most in this caliber seem to be carbines. $1895.

  8. SPECIAL ORDER 1894 IN RARE .32-40 CALIBER WITH HALF-OCTAGON BARREL, HALF-MAGAZINE, #95XXX, MADE 1900. This is a really fine condition rifle showing most of the deep barrel blue with only some light scattered freckling mainly on the bottom of the barrel that is "on" the metal and not "in" the metal which could probably be soaked in oil and removed without too much trouble- either way is is very minor and hardly visible without looking very closely. The receiver shows fine deep blue with some age and brown mixing on the upper tang and by the serial number on the bottom. There is still some dark case color on the upper portion of the lever sides. All markings are sharp and clear. The forend cap retains good blue mixing plum. Nice blue on the loading gate, exc. screws, tight action and excellent bore that is only slightly dark with strong rifling all the way through. Original buckhorn rear sight with Winchester small blade front sight. Wood is excellent with tight wood to metal fit and shows normal light handling only. The .32-40 was the least produced caliber in the 1894. A .32-40 caliber rifle with these features is a rarity. This is a most attractive 1894. (4 photos) $2950.

  9. SPECIAL ORDER 1894 SEMI-DELUXE .30 WCF RIFLE WITH CHECKERED PISTOL GRIP, 1/2 OCTAGON BARREL, 1/2 MAGAZINE, AND SHOTGUN BUTT, #365XXX, MADE 1907. This one has seen some use, but no abuse. The receiver shows some thinning blue on each side mainly toward the middle rear on both sides with the balance silvering.  Good blue on the loading gate and in the protected areas. The barrel shows good aged blue and is fitted with a Marble flat top buckhorn rear sight with matching Marble blade/bead front sight. It is also fitted with a Lyman tang sight. All markings are sharp and clear. The butt stock shows good but worn checkering on the pistol grip and has the correct Winchester embossed grip cap and checkered steel shotgun butt plate. Wood to metal fit it excellent and the stock shows light handling only. The forearm checkering is mostly visible, but very worn, with tight wood to metal fit and light handling only. The bore is a bit dark, but not pitted and has strong rifling throughout. The screw heads are excellent and the action is tight with strong springs. A n attractive 114 year old 1894 with unusual features. $2250.

  10. CLASSIC 1894 SADDLE RING CARBINE IN .30WCF CALIBER, #741XXX, MADE 1915. This one has the look of a typical "ranch gun" as it shows loads of saddle & scabbard wear to both the forend and butt stock. The wood is basically solid with one usual hairline crack coming back from the end of the forend to the barrel band, but goes no further. Good very thinning and aged barrel and mag blue mixing with some gray/brown. the receiver blue has aged and thinned to gray and brown also with fine screws, good blue on the loading gate, strong springs and tight action. Bore is excellent and has the correct carbine ladder sight- slide only missing. Can't get more "American" than this one. Lots of appeal. $1195.

  11. ONE OF THE FIRST 1895 RIFLES MADE WITH "ESCALLOPED" RECEIVER, .30-40 KRAG CALIBER, #50XX, MADE 1897! It is generally accepted that the first approx. 5,000 1895s were made with flat side receivers and after that the new style was introduced. and used until the end of production. The factory letter that goes with this one states The serial number was applied November 27, 1897 and that it is a rifle, .30 caliber, received in the warehouse on January 12, 1898 and shipped January 14, 1898. This an attractive rifle that still shows good aged barrel blue with the "30 US" caliber marking ahead of the receiver and is fitted with the standard buckhorn rear sight with elevator bar and correct raised blade front sight. The receiver shows fine thinning blue on both sides and magazine sides as well as on the bolt. Fine receiver and tang markings. The bore is fine with sharp rifling and one very small "ring" about six inches from the muzzle. Tight action, excellent screws. Stock and forend show light handling only with tight wood to metal fit. It would be hard to find an earlier example! $2450.

  12. RARELY SEEN SEMI- DELUXE PISTOL GRIPPED, CHECKERED MODEL 1903 .22 AUTO RIFLE, MADE 1915. A fairly plain but solid 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 aged to an uncleaned gray with good blue in the most protected of areas. It has the correct  pistol grip cap. Interestingly, this one was returned to the factory for a new barrel at some point 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 then took a "Mail Order" replacement barrel out of stock and fitted it to the returned rifle- thus, the Mail Order plus Winchester Proof marks. The barrel has all the correct Winchester and Model 1903 markings and shows fine deep blue and retains some thinning blue on the forend cap. Exc. mech., exc. bright bore, buckhorn with blade/bead front sights. I believe CCI still sells .22 Auto ammo (different from .22 LR), pistol gripped/checkered Model 1903s are quite rare. Winchester's first auto loading rifle! $795.

  13. 2ND YEAR PRODUCTION MODEL 53 IN SCARCE .32-20 CALIBER, #2XXX, MADE 1925. This handy little 1892 variant was only made from 1924-1932 with parts clean-up going on during the Great Depression until about 1942. The standard caliber for the M-53 was .25-20 and according to the Winchester Handbook by Madis, 16,905 were made in .25-20; only 4718 were made in .32-20 and 3,293 were made in .44-40. This model is more scarce than most collectors realize. This example shows fine barrel blue with a little thinning/wear mainly to the left side and excellent correct M-53 markings. It has the correct flat top buckhorn rear sight with elevator bar and Lyman blade/bead front sight. The receiver is mostly an uncleaned gray with fine blue on the loading gate and untouched screws. The stock and forend are fine with tight wood to metal fit and show only light handling. Correct steel shotgun butt plate, very tight action and excellent bright bore. A hard to find model inn a hard to find caliber and now nearly a hundred years old! $1695.

  14. PRE-WAR, GREAT DEPRESSION ERA, 2ND YEAR PRODUCTION MODEL 71 DELUXE .348 WCF WITH LONG TANG AND BOLT PEEP SIGHT, #11XXX, MADE 1937. This is a fine example that has seen some normal handling/hunting use, but no abuse. The barrel retains nearly all the original deep blue as does the magazine. It still retains the front sight hood and has the correct filler  blank for the rear sight dovetail. The forend cap shows good flaking blue and the receiver shows some light flaking/wear to the bottom, on the left rear corner of the receiver and on the right side just above the lever/receiver juncture- all light wear mixing a little brown and most of the blue is intact elsewhere. the bolt shows excellent bright blue. The bolt peep sight is intact and even the upper tang retains nearly all the blue. The stock and forend are generally excellent with sharp checkering, tight wood to metal fit, correct Winchester embossed pistol grip cap and checkered steel butt plate. It also is complete with the correct super grade sling swivels. The bore is minty bright and the action is tight. A really early 84 year old deluxe 71 with bolt peep in nice condition. $2950.

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

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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 felt 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 heavy field load of 3 1/2 drams equals about 95 grains (by volume) 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 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! Recently 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

William T. Goodman, P.O. Box 2002, Bozeman, MT 59771    (406) 587-3131    fax (406) 219-3415     montanaraven@hotmail.com