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 2/22/21. WATCH FOR FREQUENT POSTINGS THROUGH FEBRUARY.
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 SCARCE AND DESIRABLE .45 COLT CALIBER WITH 7 1/2" BARREL, #238XXX , MADE 1903, WITH FACTORY LETTER. Really difficult finding these long barreled .45s as most Bisley Models were shipped with 4 3/4" or 5 1/2" barrels with most of the production in .32-20 and .38-40 calibers. The Colt letter verifies the caliber and barrel length and shows it was sold January 12, 1903 to James Mayshan (address unavailable) Chicago and shipped to Sears roebuck & Company, Chicago, Illinois as a shipment of 1. No doubt, this James Mayshan placed his special order through Sears Roebuck. Chicago was a big meat packing center at the time with many thousands of cattle shipped there by rail each year. This example has matching serial numbers, excellent screw heads and markings including the "(BISLEY MODEL) 45 COLT" on the left side of the barrel. The front sight has not been altered and the mechanics are excellent with four clicks to the hammer, all markings and patent dates are clear, overall the gun is a mixture of mainly gray/brown with blue in the more protected areas- upper trigger guard sides, cylinder flutes, barrel tip and around ejector housing, in the ejector housing flutes, etc. Grips fit perfectly and show only normal wear, bore will brush out to excellent- shows a little leading that ought to clean out. In all, a handsome and early big caliber/long barrel Bisley with factory letter. (4 photos) $2650.
6) PRE-WAR, GREAT DEPRESSION ERA OFFICERS MODEL .22 LONG RIFLE REVOLVER, #18XXX, MADE 1938. As I've stated many times before, these 1930s vintage firearms are some of the finest made by all the major manufacturers of the time. Since the terrible economic state of the U.S. brought firearms manufacturing to a fraction of what it was a decade before, only the best gunsmiths and craftsmen remained on the job. They had the time (and expertise) to turn out truly amazing firearms. The fit and finish and timing/tuning of these guns has to be seen and felt to be fully appreciated. The Officers Model revolvers made by Colt during this time had some of the finest hand-tuned actions the company ever turned out. This adjustable sighted target revolver displays excellent blue overall with nice fire blue on the trigger and hammer back. All markings are sharp and clear, the grips show only the lightest handling and even the front of the cylinder retains nearly all the blue indicating that this revolver was shot very little. Bright excellent bore and tight action with amazingly crisp and light trigger pull. About as fine a double action .22 revolver as ever made. $1100.
7) SUPERB CONDITION AND RARE WORLD WAR II PRODUCTION (!) WOODSMAN .22 AUTO PISTOL, 6 7/8" BARREL, #185XXX, MADE 1942. All civilian firearms made during the 2nd World War are seldom seen as all the major arms companies were making guns under government contract for the war effort. Perhaps there is a story in this one because Colt was concentrating of making 1911 .45s etc. and may have made this Woodsman as a special order...a factory letter might prove interesting. The condition of this one is outstanding. It shows about all the deep factory blue with sharp markings etc. The checkered walnut grips show almost no handling and the adjustable sight screws, front and rear, have not been turned. The magazine is stamped "COLT WOODSMAN" over "CAL 22 LR." and is in excellent condition. Wartime production .22 autos are extremely rare and this one would be hard to improve upon. $1495.
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) HIGH CONDITION 1893 .30-30 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, #D7XX, MADE ABOUT 1905/1906. In 1905 Marlin changed the designation from Model 1893 to Model '93. This one is still marked with the earlier "Model 1893" on the upper tang, yet has the later serialization indicating this was a transition rifle which helps date it. The receiver sides and top show lightly aged but still fairly vivid case colors with even the upper tang showing good color. The screws are excellent and show good blue. The barrel and full magazine retain most of the original blue with excellent markings and original Rocky Mountain blade front sight with buckhorn rear sight. Bore is excellent and sharp, action is tight and springs are strong. Fine blue on the loading gate. Excellent butt stock with correct early style full crescent butt plate, forend shows light handling mainly on the bottom which is minor and there is some flaking of stock finish mainly on the forend. Overall, a sharp example with nice case colors and blue. (5 photos) $1950.
2) MODEL 93 CS "SPORTING CARBINE" IN .30-30 CALIBER WITH STANDARD 20" BARREL, 2/3 MAGAZINE, SHOTGUN BUTT WITH RARE MARLIN FIREARMS CORPORATION BARREL STAMPING. The sporting carbine was introduced in 1923 with the above features. in .30-30 and .32 Special chamberings only. From 1922-1924 the Marlins were stamped "MARLIN FIREARMS CORPORATION." From 1926-1935 barrels were stamped "Marlin Firearms Company." The 1923 catalog described the new carbines this way: "Model No 93CS "Sporting" Carbine, .30-30 or .32 Special caliber, center fire, solid frame, 20-inch round Special Smokeless Steel barrel, two-thirds magazine, 5 shots, weight about 6 1/2 pounds." The catalog description goes on to call it "A special light weight, accurate, quick handling, finely made gun, handling cartridges sufficiently powerful to bring down all North American big game." (etc. etc.) These handy Marlins are quite scarce and don't show up very often. This is one of the better ones I've seen. It shows good lightly faded case colors on the right side of the receiver with stronger color on the bolt and front/rear portions of the panel, the receiver top and left side show more vivid colors. There is also some good case color remaining on the lever sides and upper tang. The upper tang is also marked with a "star" stamping which according to literature published 1936-1927 states that when a Marlin leaves the factory bearing the Marlin star stamped into the metal, it is "as near perfection as the finest materials, equipment, and skill can make it." This example with #9XXX shows excellent deep blue on the barrel and magazine, is equipped with a carbine ladder sight and a blade/bead front sight. The wood is excellent with tight wood to metal fit and has the correct Marlin embossed hard rubber butt plate. the screw heads are excellent and retain fine blue as does the loading gate. Tight action and perfect bore. One of the better ones I've seen. (5 photos) $1795.
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.
ANTIQUE & CLASSIC RIFLES, SHOTGUNS AND PISTOLS (click text for photos)
1) SUPERB EXAMPLE OF RARE HARRINGTON AND RICHARDSON MODEL 922 "HUNTER MODEL" 10 INCH ROUND BARREL, DOUBLE ACTION 9-SHOT REVOLVER. This is actually known as the "4th Variation" of this model that was made in all variations from 1927-1952. The 4th variation only 1938-1939. Most of these had the standard 6" barrels with the 10 inch "Hunter" model only available from 1938-1941 (End of the Great Depression Era when production of all firearms was low). This example retains about all of the original deep blue with only a touch of wear at the extreme muzzle. They were fitted with gold plated front sights and this one retains nearly all the gold plating. The oversize one piece checkered walnut grips are excellent, the hammer and trigger retain vivid case color, the action works perfectly in both single action and double action mode, the bore is also perfect and even the front of the cylinder retains about all the blue indicating that this revolver was rarely if ever shot! A true rarity in the Pre-War H&R line and this one is a beauty. $695.
MODERN AND OUT OF PRODUCTION FIREARMS (click text for photos)
1) WOOLY MAMMOTH IVORY GRIPS FOR M-1911 AUTO PISTOLS (see above in Colt section)
2) SMITH & WESSON MODEL 360PD, .357 MAG. (see below in S&W section)
3) VARNER "FAVORITE" .22 LR SINGLE SHOT RIFLE (see below in Shiloh Sharps and Reproduction section)
REMINGTON (click text for photos)
1) THE RAREST REMINGTON I'VE EVER OFFERED! THIS IS A REMINGTON KEENE .45-70 COMMERCIAL U.S. NAVY PATTERN MUSKET! Most collectors have never seen one of the only 250 bolt action Keene Navy Muskets issued in 1880 that all have 29 1/2" barrels and full military stock with cleaning rod mounted on the side. According to the fine books: Rifles of the United States Navy and Marine Corps 1866-1917 by John D. McAulay and U.S. Military Bolt Action Rifles by Bruce Canfield, there is considerable information about the 250 U.S. Navy marked and issued rifles, but only a mention that a Civilian version was catalogued. McAulay says, "It is worth noting that Remington also offered the Navy rifle on the commercial market although it is not known how many, if any at all, were sold." In Canfield's book he shows a copy of a page from an early Remington catalogue showing the full line of Keene sporting rifles and Military muskets. Interestingly, the Keene Navy musket in the catalogue is offered in .43 (.43 Spanish) and .45-70. This one is stamped on the left side of the receiver with the .45-70 caliber designation as are all the commercial sporting models I've encountered over the years, but I don't believe the U.S. Navy marked and inspected muskets are caliber marked, which is typical of most military arms of the period like the Trapdoors, Spencers and Sharps etc. Also discussed in the books is that the few of these U.S. navy issued guns that are known to exist are typically is very rough condition, often with parts missing. This is the first commercial example I've heard of. It is in particularly fine condition overall with excellent wood and side-mounted cleaning rod intact. The barrel shows good blue in the more protected areas in front of the receiver, around the rear sight and toward the muzzle with the balance an aged gray/brown. The trigger guard retains about half of the deep blue. It has the military style rear sight and has the correct Remington markings on the top of the bolt along with the correct sling swivels. The bore is excellent. The most advanced Remington collections- museum or private- don't have one of these! I don't ever expect to encounter another! $5200.
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) SHILOH SHARPS LONG RANGE EXPRESS RIFLE, .50-90 CALIBER (.50 2 1/2" CASE) WITH 34" OCT. BARREL. This is an earlier Farmingdale manufactured rifle probably made about 1980. It sports a pistol grip butt stock with cheek piece and shot gun butt, adjustable double set triggers and no rear sight dovetail on the barrel. It has very deep color extra fancy walnut in the stock and forearm and the cheek piece is fitted with an accent or "shadow" line. It is fitted with a mid-range vernier tang sight that is adjustable for elevation and windage. The front sight is a globe with pin head. This rifle has seen minimal use and handling and retains about all the barrel blue and case colors. The barrel top flat is stamped "SHILOH RIFLE MFG. CO." along with the "OLD RELIABLE" in a rectangle stamping. Bore is bright, sharp and excellent. This one weighs right at about 10 1/2 pounds. $2895.
2) JONATHAN BROWNING MOUNTAIN RIFLE WITH DESIRABLE STEEL TRIGGER GUARD AND MOUNTINGS, .50 CAL. PERCUSSION HAWKEN STYLE RIFLE. These great American made half stock rifles were discontinued in the early 1980s. They were offered in .45, .50 and .54 caliber with either brass or iron mountings (I've been shooting a brass .54 caliber one since 1984). They feature 30" stout octagon barrels, single set triggers that are adjustable and cheek pieces on walnut stocks with heavy crescent butt plates. They also have a distinctive "full curl" bighorn sheep horn motif on the percussion bolster. One of the very best of the muzzle loader rifles so popular in the 1970s - 1980s when most were imported from Italy and elsewhere. This example has seen some normal use and has light wear which makes it look almost antiqued. These have become difficult to find now. $1150.
3) VERY HIGH QUALITY, SELDOM SEEN VARNER SPORTING ARMS "FAVORITE" COPY OF THE ICONIC STEVENS FAVORITE SINGLE SHOT .22 RIFLES OF THE 1900 PERIOD. These excellent rifles were made in Marietta,, Georgia from about 1988-1989. They offered "Favorite" falling block rifles from plain, basic models to super fancy versions. The 24" barrels were half octagon (heavier than the original Stevens rifles) and chambered in .22 Long Rifle with .22 mag. available. This example is a higher grade than the standard "Hunter" model which featured plain walnut and a blued receiver. This deluxe version has nicely figured walnut (photo didn't pick up the streaking in the wood, but it is apparent in slanting light), is checkered at the forend and wrist, has a case colored frame and a target crown at the muzzle. It retains all the barrel blue and vivid case color on the receiver and lever. Even the takedown "ring" ahead of the lever has all the blue. Checkering is sharp and overall this one appears to have seen little to no use. The action is still very tight/stiff and the bore is perfect. the front sight is a small blade/bead and the rear is a barrel mounted peep. This scarce little .22 is a class act inside and out. $950.
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) SUPERB CONDITION, ANTIQUE, FIRST MODEL .32 S&W SAFETY HAMMERLESS REVOLVER, #66XXX. The first model was introduced in 1888 and made until 1902. It is recognizable by the barrel latch being a "button" that is pushed to release the barrel for loading. As all of this model being made before 1902 (119+ years ago), most show considerable carry wear and often abuse. Being in use the longest, the First Model is the most difficult to find in high condition. This example shows nearly all the bright factory nickel with excellent markings and screws. the rear sight/barrel latch and trigger guard also retain about all the bright blue and there is still fine case color on the trigger. Barrel length is 3" and all the numbers match. The hard rubber grips fit perfectly and are excellent. The mechanics are excellent and the grip safety functions correctly. Overall a superior pre-1899 antique S&W that is very hard to find in this condition. $795.
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) PRE-WAR .32-20 1905 HAND EJECTOR, 4TH CHANGE REVOLVER WITH 6" BARREL, #140XXX, MADE LATE 1930s. This one shows excellent markings, action and bore. The grips are a later style with diamond checkering. Most of the blue remains with the grip straps turning gray from handling/holster carry. There is also some minor edge wear and some small areasof brown flaking mainly on the forward parts of the barrel sides. Still retains some good case color on the hammer and trigger. Superb pre-war hand fitted action and tuning! $595.
7) 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.
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 has their cylinders replaced with safer steel cylinders. Today, it is considered unsafe to fire one of these that still retains the original aluminum cylinder! Example with matching aluminum cylinder would be considered a true S&W rarity. An original square butt 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.
WINCHESTERS (click text for photos)
SELDOM SEEN AND DIFFICULT TO 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 magazine tube on the right side looks like it was dinged and pushed some side metal back about 1/4 of an inch- minor. 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 the upper tang for a couple of inches on each side 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 years and not see one! $3250.
EARLY, FIRST MODEL "OPEN TOP" 1876 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, .45-75 CALIBER, #5XX, MADE 1876. Only the approx. first 3,000 of these were made with no provision for a dust cover. After these were made, like the earlier Model 1873, dust covers became standard. Many first models had dust covers fitted, plus the small survival rate of early rifles makes an unaltered example extremely rare today. This example is in "attic condition" showing no evidence of cleaning. The receiver is a mixture of very aged blue and gray/brown with good blue in the most protected areas and on the loading gate. The 28" barrel and magazine show an attractive even aged blue/brown patina. The front sight is a Rocky Mountain blade while the rear sight is a slightly later long ladder sight with slide intact- is is stamped 1886 on the top portion of the ladder. This is actually a fairly scarce and valuable Winchester sight. Action is fine, half cock notch holds and the mellow brass lifter is uncleaned and unpolished. Barrel and tang markings are all clear and screws are fine. The butt stock is solid with good wood to metal fit and shows only normal handling. The forearm also shows good wood to metal fit and has a partial age crack on the under side running back from the forend cap for a few inches and stops- there is no play in the wood and the forend is basically solid and secure. The bore is surprisingly fine showing good rifling all the way through with any roughness being scattered and light. Overall a handsome and extremely rare 145 year old Model 1876! These early first models seldom show up. $5300.
EXTREMELY RARE, SPECIAL ORDER 1876 "SHORT RIFLE" WITH 24" OCTAGON BARREL, SET TRIGGER, .45-60 CALIBER, #29XXX, WITH FACTORY LETTER VERIFYING ALL FEATURES AND SHOWING A SHIPPING DATE OF 1882. According to The Winchester handbook by George Madis, only 79 Model 1876 rifles were made with barrels shorter than standard (standard for this caliber was 28") and only 4562 were made with set triggers. This example has a nice, uncleaned and unmessed with appearance. The barrel shows an even very aged blue-plum brown appearance with fine markings. It is fitted with the desirable "sporting" ladder rear sight (looks like an elongated carbine sight) that is stamped 1876 along with a standard Winchester blade front sight. The magazine tube is similarly aged to brown with no evidence of cleaning. The receiver is a naturally aged gray-brown also showing no evidence of ever having been cleaned. The brass lifter is a mellow un-polished patina and is clearly stamped "45-60" and shows no dings. It retains the dust cover and the mechanics are tight. The set trigger will set and release, but the small adjustment screw is missing. The stock and forend show only light handling with very tight wood to metal fit. Screw heads are fine and the bore is fairly bright with fine rifling all the way through with only very light scattered roughness. In all a very scarce variation in honest condition that is most attractive. $5800.
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.
VERY HIGH CONDITION 1892 .32-20 OCTAGON BARREL RIFLE, #277XXX, WITH CODY MUSEUM CALL-IN SHEET. The factory info verifies the caliber/barrel and shows it was received in the warehouse on January 5, 1905 and shipped May 29, 1906. This example retains bright receiver blue with only a little thinning/plum on the underside of the receiver by the serial number and on the upper tang. The barrel and mag also retain about all the original deep blue. Even the forend cap shows most of the blue with only slight thinning on the forward edge. Excellent screws and markings. Standard Winchester buckhorn rear sight with small blade front sight. Excellent wood with tight wood to metal fit, exc. bore and tight action. There is still some case color on the upper portion of the lever sides and on the back of the hammer. A really great condition investment quality 116 year old '92. $3250.
EARLY 1892 32-20 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, #124XXX, MADE 1899. This rifle has a Cody Museum call-in sheet that comes 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.
VERY UNUSUAL 1894 SPECIAL ORDER TAKEDOWN, EXTRA LIGHT WEIGHT, 24" ROUND BARREL/HALF MAGAZINE SHORT RIFLE, WITH CHECKERED PISTOL GRIP AND SHOTGUN BUTT STOCK, 30WCF, #120328. The factory letter that accompanies this rifle verifies all of the above including the "rubber butt plate" and shows it was received in the warehouse and shipped in August 1901. According to a survey of the Model 1894 records, only 1661 rifles were made with 24" barrels and of these I'm pretty sure very few were round and extra lightweight. Add to this the pistol grip stock, checkering, shotgun butt plate, 1/2 magazine and takedown feature and one is left with an extremely rare rifle! This one shows fine deep barrel blue with only light ageing. Being extra light, it is fitted with a short ramp front sight with a Beach combination folding globe front sight (the barrel is actually too thin at the muzzle to be safely dovetailed!). the receiver shows some good thinning blue on the sides and bolt with the majority fading to gray/brown. Screws are excellent and the left side of the receiver is fitted with a Lyman receiver sight adjustable for windage and elevation. It appears to have been on this rifle for many decades as the blue on the receiver is strong around this sight where it was protected. the butt stock shows tight wood to metal fit and the Winchester embossed butt plate is solid and not chipped or cracked. Checkering on the pistol grips shows light wear and the grip cap with engraved screw is excellent. There is a tiny compass (working) inletted in the middle of the butt stock on the right side- when woodsmen and hunters relied on their back country skill instead of GPS! The forend shows a little more wear to the checkering, but it is all visible. Takedown is tight and bore has sharp rifling all the way through and is fairly bright. Tight action with strong springs. Winchester couldn't have made many exactly like this! $2950.
SPECIAL ORDER 1894 HALF-OCTAGON, FULL MAGAZINE RIFLE IN .30 WCF CALIBER, #775XXX, MADE 1915. This one came out of here in Montana and shows fine deep original blue on the barrel and magazine with only the most minor or scuffing/edge wear. The right side of the receiver and bolt show good thinning blue with the left side flaking to mainly cloudy-gray with good blue in the protected areas. The wood is excellent with only the lightest of handling and displaying a little better than standard grade walnut which was Winchesters usual way of choosing wood for special order guns. The screws look unturned, the action is tight and the bore bright and excellent. Fine blue on the loading gate. It has the typical Winchester flat top buckhorn rear sight and standard front sight along with a tang sight fitted in the factory holes. the half octagon barrel with full magazine was actually two special features as half octagon barrels were standard with half-magazines unless specified otherwise. Scarce variation, $1895.
EARLY 1895 SADDLE RING CARBINE, .30-40 KRAG CALIBER, #27XXX, WITH FACTORY LETTER SHOWING SHIPMENT IN AUGUST OF 1900. These were especially popular with the Arizona and Texas Rangers during this time. This is a fine example that still shows fine barrel blue with only a couple of small spots of minor scuffs. Front sight is a pinned blade/bead in the original ramp along with the original long ladder rear sight. The receiver and bolt show good and thinning blue in the more protected areas of the receiver and magazine with the balance ageing/mixing gray. The action is tight and the bore is sharp and excellent. All markings are sharp. The butt stock is generally excellent with only light handling and tight wood to metal fit. The forend also shows light handling. The matching handguard (these almost always missing) has a thin crack coming forward from the receiver ring to the right corner by the rear sight. The forend is tight and fits properly. A fine and early example. (4 photos) $2400.
1895 28" BARREL STANDARD RIFLE IN .30 ARMY (.30-40 KRAG) CALIBER, #415XXX, MADE 1922. This 99 year old Winchester shows honest use with no abuse. The barrel retains fine thinning/ageing blue with deeper blue toward the receiver. The receiver blue has aged to an even uncleaned brown with some good blue on the magazine mainly on the left side. Standard front sight with buckhorn rear sight (needs elevator bar only). All markings sharp and clear. Forend and butt stock show normal light handling marks. The butt stock has a couple of stress cracks coming forward for an inch or so on each side from the butt plate a little above the toe as well as one at the bottom of the right side lower section of the receiver/lower tang juncture that is also fairly minor. the forend retains the factory ebony wedge inlay in the schnable tip. Tight action, strong springs and safety notch on the hammer, bore a bit dark with fine rifling all the way through and no areas of pitting. Interestingly, the left side of the stock has a nicely carved two initial monogram with the intertwined letters "F" and "G" or perhaps "C". If only these old rifles could speak! Nice appearance overall. $1595.
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.
VERY FINE CONDITION MODEL 04A, SINGLE SHOT .22 SHORT, LONG AND LONG RIFLE BOLT ACTION BOYS' RIFLE. Made from 1904-1931, the Model 1904 series was an upgraded and more expensive version of the simpler and smaller Model 1902. As such the '04 did not sell as well as the cheaper model. It featured a 21 inch barrel, flowing style trigger guard and schnable forend tip. Early examples were chambered in .22 Short, Long and Extra Long. After 1927 the "extra long" was replaced with the desirable "Long Rifle." This late model is so marked and chambered. Most 1904 rifles are found in atrocious condition as they were owned and used very hard by boys (and maybe a few girls). Stocks are usually found dinged and cracked and metal is usually lacking finish, showing rust and abuse. Bores are almost universally in the "sewer pipe" category. This example is an exception. The stock is very fine showing the original un-sanded light brown finish with no cracks or chips (!), the Winchester embossed hard rubber butt plate is also not chipped or cracked. Only the high edge around the schnable tip shows some normal wear. The metal still retains good blue that is a little aged and mixing with some plum- but mainly blue. The barrel also retains the original sights. Best of all, the bore is bright and excellent! Really difficult to find like this. Even the trigger guard retains nice aged plum/blue. $695.
PRE-64 MODEL 67A SINGLE SHOT BOLT ACTION .22 S., L., & LR RIFLE. The model 67 was introduced in 1934 as a simple and rugged rifle made especially safe because after loading a single shell, the bolt knob has to be manually pulled back to cock the action for firing. It could just as easily be de-cocked by holding the knob and slowly and safely lowering it forward again. This was especially appealing to parents purchasing a rifle for their sons (and daughters). There is also a safety lever on the rear of the bolt that when the bolt is cocked can be rotated to the 12 o'clock position to lock the bolt and keeps the rifle from firing. The Model 67 and later 67A was discontinued in 1963. It is one of the last of the solid steel and walnut rifles from Winchester made without alloys etc. This one is in fine condition inside and out. It has particularly nicely finished straight grain walnut and the Winchester embossed butt plate is not chipped or cracked. The 27" barrel retains nearly all of the lightly aged blue and has the original buckhorn rear sight that needs only the thin elevator bar and original simple blade front sight. The trigger guard retains most of the blue with minor freckling, action is tight and the bore is fine. $275.
BILL GOODMAN, P. O. BOX 2002, BOZEMAN, MONTANA 59771 TEL. (406) 587-3131 FAX (406) 219-3415 email@example.com
THESE WERE SUCH GOOD NOTES FROM THE FIELD I'M KEEPING THEM HERE.
CRACKED STOCKS! Seems like an odd thing to write about, but this is something I've not seen in print before. I've observed a lot of rifles with cracks coming straight back toward the butt plate from the upper and lower tangs. Sometimes the cracks are severe enough to warrant repairs (like cross bolts etc. through the wrist or extensive gluing) and other times the stock remains pretty solid as is. So what caused this condition in the first place? I've hunted with all kinds of rifles in all kinds of weather and terrain and never had a gun get damaged like all these I've seen. And I've taken some pretty bad falls too. Once, on ice I couldn't see beneath a couple inches of fresh snow, my feet went out from under me and my rifle landed a number of yards away! Still, no cracks like these. So I've been puzzled by this for some time. Then it hit me, since these guns all seemed like Western big game rifles- large lever actions like 1876 and 1886 Winchesters or Marlin 1881 and 1895s as well as all over while the rifles were in saddle scabbards- fairly common in icy winter conditions, especially in the mountains. Also, sometimes horses will walk so close to trees that they rub against them. If a rifle is in a butt-forward position scabbard, the rifle can go on one side of the tree and the horse the other causing a stress cracked stock. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think so. The wrists are fairly strong on most rifles and it takes a lot to crack one. If anyone else has a different theory about this condition, I'd like to hear it!
"GUNS OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION YEARS" When the Great Depression began with the Stock Market Crash of 1929 America was taken by surprise. Prior to this pivotal event, in the gun industry production was high and sales were brisk. Almost overnight sales fell off hugely. The Winchester Handbook by George Madis shows production numbers by years of some of the major models. This is pretty illuminating. Here are some examples: Model 1890 .22RF had 12,367 produced in 1928 and 696 made in 1932; Model 1892 saw 64,833 produced in 1910 and 491 in 1930; Model 53 had 2,861 produced in 1925 and 30 made in 1937; Model 1894 had 29,967 made in 1927 and only1,192 made in 1934; Model 55 had 3,064 made in 1927 and 42 made in 1936. Colt, Marlin, Savage, Remington and Smith & Wesson etc. all 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 firstname.lastname@example.org