BILL GOODMAN, 305 DONEGAL DRIVE, BOZEMAN, MONTANA 59715
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 28 years. Traveling around the country constantly seeking good quality collector arms at REALISTIC PRICES, Bill sells exclusively by mail order. He has advertised in every issue of The Gun List (now Gun Digest the Magazine) since it's first small issues in the early 1980s (as well as The Shotgun News before that). All items are photographed. To view them just click the text of the item you want to see. Be sure to scroll down as most items have more than one photo. All guns are sold as collector's items, not shooters. If you wish to shoot an item listed here, it is strongly recommended that you have the item checked out by a competent gunsmith who specializes in antique firearms. All items are sold with the usual three (3) day inspection. If for any reason you are not satisfied with your purchase, call to say you are returning the item and you will receive an immediate refund when the item is received back in the same condition it was originally shipped. This list will be constantly updated as new items become available. Use the above phone number to call to check availability and for further 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.
MORE GUNS WERE POSTED 10/18/14. WATCH FOR FREQUENT POSTINGS THROUGH OCTOBER.
NOTES FROM THE FIELD (10/16/14): THIS UNCERTAIN ECONOMY! Seems like an appropriate topic, especially since I haven't written a "Notes From the Field" in a while. So, we are told the unemployment rate has broken under 6% and that things are steadily, slowly but steadily, getting better. Until this past week, Washington had been pointing to the stock market as an example of how America is improving. Well, I suppose if you'd put everything you could into the stock market over the past couple years you'd be doing extremely well. However, you'd be owning "paper" assets propped up by government funds. This stock market hasn't had a normal 10% correction in almost three (3) years! Think of it this way, under the best of the Bush years, I saw unemployment at an honest 4.4% and there didn't seem to be a care in the world- remember, this was before the stock market and housing crashes. Well, since that time the NASDAQ has DOUBLED in value... I'm not talking doubled since the crash, I'm talking about before everything fell away! Yet, there are still complaints of weak U.S. and world economies... so how can the stock market be so high? I'm not an economist, but I don't think it takes one to realize something artificial is holding prices high. Leaving it at that, what does this have to do with antique/collector firearms? In a nutshell, after being involved in this field professionally for 30 years and observing the collector market far longer, I can say there is nothing artificial or phony about collector firearm valuations! Good, original collector firearms priced according to their rarity, condition, historical association etc. have and continue to be excellent investments without any real down side. When the stock market sank before the 2008 election, I was worried people wouldn't have money to buy antique/collector guns. Well, that fear was unfounded. My phone started ringing and didn't stop. I heard over and over from collectors who were frightened of the volatility of their "paper assets" and wanted to additionally invest in "tangible" assets like antique guns. A good while back I helped a man get an investment collection together. He wanted them for his children and/or grand children. He held them for six to ten years and called me one day to say he had the opportunity to develop some land and needed to raise money. The guns would have to go. In the end, he told me the prices he wanted for the guns I sold him previously- he quoted a higher price on every item- and told me anything over his price I could keep. It didn't take long to liquidate his collection and we both made out well. I can't give a better example than that. My point is to be careful, diversify investments and know that a world full of the kind of uncertainty we are now experiencing can wreak havoc on investment portfolios! Thanks for reading- Bill Goodman (note: there are a couple older "Notes From the Field" at the bottom of this website)
COLT FIRE ARMS (click text for photo
BLACK POWDER SINGLE ACTION ARMY .45 COLT, 4 ¾” #108XXX, MADE 1884, this one come right out of here in Montana, overall it is a dark brown patina with traces of original nickel in the usual protected areas- around front sight and barrel top, butt, bottom and sides of trigger guard, top of hammer, back of cylinder etc., good markings including the correct two line barrel address, patent dates on frame getting worn, matching numbers, nice screws, needs ejector and housing, grips are an obvious later replacement but fit nicely, fine mech. With a couple hammer notches either worn or broken- cocks okay, but should be re-cut, fine+ bore, a little work and the value of this one will increase significantly! (four photos) $1950.
AN INCREDIBLE COLT SINGLE ACTION ARMY OFFERING! A MINT CONDITION RARE NICKEL FINISH .32-20, 5 1/2" WITH FACTORY LETTER SHOWING SHIPMENT TO SIMMONS HARDWARE, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI SEPTEMBER 6, 1906! I got this revolver nearly five years ago along with a few other exceptional Single Actions all from the same estate. It seems the original collector got into some legal trouble in the 1970s and gave his handgun collection to his attorney with instructions to sell the contents after his death. I was told the guns had been placed in a vault in 1979 and stayed there for twenty years. Along with this remarkable example were a couple of rare caliber Single Actions (one in .32 Colt that was shipped in the 1920s or 1930s to a police department). Some had letters and some did not. This one did not. I remember spending a lot of time with a magnifying glass examining this particular Colt and the more I looked at it the more convinced I became of it's originality... which proved correct when I sent for a Colt factory letter and it lettered as it is with nickel finish. According to Kopec's great book A Study of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver, during the 1900 to 1912 period nickel finish was rarely used on Single Actions except for special order. In my opinion, this was because the transition had been made from black powder to smokeless powder. Black powder fouling easily wipes off nickel finish where it adheres (even cakes) much more to blue & case color metal. Condition of this piece is amazing. It retains about all the nickel that has turned a pleasing "cloudy" or dull hue, there is a very slight cylinder drag line that doesn't go through the nickel, all markings sharp and clear including the verified proof stamping on the front left trigger guard bow, tiny number "3" inspector stamp in the rear side of the bow, serial numbers, etc., about perfect screws, all edges knife-sharp and all seams where the frame meets the trigger guard and grip strap perfect, straight and tight, correct for this period hammer with perfect, unmarred cylinder pin and spring push screw release, bright bore and tight action, about perfect grips, in summation, a rare finish Single Action that looks as if it were bought new, placed in a dresser drawer and forgotten. Keep in mind, judging by the other factory letters in this collection, many of the guns had very early style Colt dated letters from the very early 1960s when some of the guns were only 30-50 years old! (note: four photos ) $8950.
FINE CONDITION No. 2 DERRINGER, .41RF, ONLY 9000 MADE 1870-1890, a scarce early cartridge Colt that is rarely found with any finish remaining, this one much better than normally seen with fine aged blue mixing dull on the barrel, exc. markings and mech., uncleaned brown iron frame with nice simple factory engraving, exc. single screw, exc. checkered walnut grips, bore will clean about exc., #5XXX (Flayderman's Guide- last edition, now 7 years old- shows these in fine condition at $2000), my price $1495.
NICE CONDITION No. 3 Derringer, .41 RF, MADE 1870-1912, this was Colt's most popular derringer with 48,000 being made yet good examples with original finish are hard to find as like most derringer/pocket pistols they were carried extensively and wore fast, this one is the more scarce full nickel and shows wear on the high edges of the frame sides with grip straps retaining all of the nickel, barrel also retains nearly all the nickel except for a thin wear line at the highest/sharpest edges and slightly at the muzzle, exc. screws and mech., exc. markings, nice walnut grips show good finish and only slight handling marks, good fire blue on the hammer back, exc. mech and the bore should scrub out fine or better, again, much better than normally seen, $795.
VERY HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT MODEL 1900 .38 AUTOMATIC PISTOL! This one is serial number 36 and is one of the lowest numbers known to still exist. According to COLT’S .38 AUTOMATIC PISTOLS book by Douglas Sheldon, the following numbers are known: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 25, 33, 34, 45, 51 etc. He lists sixteen numbers below one hundred. This one makes seventeen. A Colt factory letter shows #36 was shipped in May of 1900 (first 60 days of production) to Hibbard, Spencer Bartlett Co., Chicago, IL. Interestingly, there were ten of these in the shipment. So, basically, this is the grandfather of ALL U.S. made auto pistols! With a number this low it is the equivalent of an iron frame Henry rifle, a Colt Walker or a “pinched frame” first production Colt Single Action Army. This pistol turned up at a small Montana gun show. I wish I knew more about it. That’s all the good news. The bad news is that I got this gun in a bag! Someone took it apart and couldn’t or didn’t bother to put it back together. I’ve done nothing with it since receiving it. I can say it appears all the main parts are present- slide, frame, hammer, trigger, pins, grips, wedge etc. but some minor parts may be missing- I really don’t know. The Magazine is of a later type as it doesn’t have the patent dates on the bottom but it fits correctly. The barrel, which is numbered 36 (as is the slide) appears to have had the last inch or so broken off- that’s hard to figure. I’m pretty sure if parts are missing, they are minor and I would think parts from the more common later Model 1902 would fit. Overall metal on frame and slide is dark and worn with some scattered pitting mainly on the slide. Markings are legible on the slide. The sight safety shows the typical Colt factory alteration to the later style of dovetailed rear sight and has the little VP proof mark in the left trigger guard side showing it had been returned for this alteration. The firing pin is still in the slide and the correct convex plug and spring are still in the frame. Front sight has not been altered. It shouldn’t be too hard to put this one back together. I’m not big on restorations, but this one might be a good candidate for a first rate Doug Turnbull restoration. The folks at Colt were pretty excited about lettering this one as it is truly an important piece of Colt (and all automatic pistol) history. $1950.
ONE OF THE LOWEST SERIAL NUMBER NEW SERVICE REVOLVERS I'VE SEEN! THIS .44-40 5 1/2" IS NUMBER 30X AND WAS MADE IN 1899! These very early New Service double action revolvers used the same barrels as used on Single Actions with only the Colt address on top with no patent dates, side of the barrel is marked "NEW SERVICE CAL. 44" overall blue is thinning and mixing gray/brown with better blue on the frame, cylinder & flutes and more protected areas, has the early circle New Service frame marking, lanyard ring intact, front sight has tiny notch cut in with brass bead inlay, fine+ grips, bore slightly dark and shows light wear but about exc., still some fire blue on hammer back and protected parts of trigger, very tight action, nice screws, about as early as they get! $1195.
FINE CONDITION MODEL 1902 MILITARY AUTO PISTOL, .38 ACP CALIBER, SHIPPED TO STANDART BROTHERS HARDWARE, DETROIT, MICHIGAN, JANUARY 2, 1915, (this info found in the serial number listings of some of this model in the back of William Goddard's excellent book, The Government Models). fine bright blue on the receiver sides and bottom, grip straps aged to a plum brown with some gray mixing on the front strap, correct magazine marked "CAL 38" over "COLT" in correct high polish finish, fine blue on slide that is aging and mixing dull mostly on the left side with bright blue slightly thinning in protected areas and on top, right side thinning a little also, exc. markings, exc.+ grips, lanyard ring intact, bright sharp bore, tight action, classic long slide early Colt auto in nice condition, $1695.
NEW SERVICE TARGET REVOLVER IN .44 RUSSIAN AND SPECIAL CALIBER, This one was made in 1910 and has the "ampersand" (&) mark on the trigger guard showing it went back to Colt, no doubt for a new barrel as this one has the last patent date of 1926, beautifully checkered back strap and front strap, correct flat top target frame with adjustable rear sight, frame shows fine blue with some normal thinning from handling, good fire blue on the checkered trigger and hammer back, exc. markings, exc. barrel blue with only slight muzzle wear, blue wear to grip straps and a little thinning on the bottom of trigger guard with nice blue on the butt, fine cylinder blue showing edge wear only, fleur-de-lis checkered walnut grips with a sliver out of the back bottom edge on the right side, very tight action, perfect bore, one of the finest Colt products ever made and all hand fitted etc., one of the rarest and most desirable calibers in this line, $1695. ``
MARLIN (click text for photos)
1) 1889 OCTAGON RIFLE IN .32-20 CALIBER, MADE 1892, really nice appearance on this one as it retains about all the original blue that has aged dark- nice deep barrel blue, mag tube and forend cap mixing plum, dark receiver blue again showing age and mixing plum and a very small area at forward end of bolt where there was some uncleaned rust, exc. wood exhibiting light handling only with tight wood to metal fit, original buckhorn rear sight with original Rocky Mountain blade front sight, screw in bottom of receiver behind serial number buggered and should be replaced, nice bore a bit dark with good rifling and only minor scattered roughness, lever catch intact- these often missing, only 15,441 1889s were made in .32-20 making it the smallest production caliber (more were made in .38-40 and .44-40), fairly scarce model as it was only made for a few years until it was replaced by the Model 1894, nice uncleaned example, $1295.
2) BEAUTIFUL VIVID CASE COLORS ON THIS HIGH CONDITION 1894 .32-20 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, MADE 1907, really spectacular case color especially on the left side and top of receiver, right side just slightly less vivid, nice blue on bolt, good color on upper part of lever, fine deep blue on barrel and mag showing just minor age, fine blue on forend cap, Marbles tang sight with original buckhorn and Rocky Mountain blade front sight, exc. wood with two exceptions: first, some very very light initials scratched barely through the finish on the left side of the stock- hard to notice and easily rubbed out if desired and second there is an almost invisible age or stress crack coming back from the upper back of the tang and going to the butt plate on both sides- looks like the grain of the wood and is solid and never reinforced- I owned this rifle for some time before even noticing these two things- bore should clean out about exc., screws look about untouched, a stunning Marlin, $2450.
3) FIRST YEAR PRODUCTION, RARE MODEL 1895 OCTAGON RIFLE IN DESIRABLE .45-70 MADE 1895, all Model 1895s have become super difficult to find in any caliber, this is a fine example with fine deep and only slightly aged barrel blue, mag blue is beginning to plum on the bottom, dark, uncleaned mottled receiver with traces of case color in the most protected areas, generally excellent walnut stock and forend showing normal surface handling marks, a majority of the wood finish intact and with tight wood to metal fit, original buckhorn rear sight and Rocky Mountain blade front sight, fine blue on loading gate, EXCELLENT SHARP BRIGHT BORE, a really nice rifle that has never been cleaned or fooled with and very hard to find in this condition, caliber, octagon barrel and (antique) first year production, $3650. ``
4) J. M. MARLIN BALLARD .45-70 No. 1 1/2 HUNTERS RIFLE (see below in antiques/classic section)
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 doubt 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 caliber only. I believe these traditional Marlins made in limited runs in North Haven, CT are going to be tomorrow's sought after Marlins. Already prices for them are escalating rapidly.
1) RARE "MODERN" MARLIN MODEL 336CB COWBOY 24" OCTAGON RIFLE IN .38-55 CALIBER, now discontinued an with Marlin being bought out by Remington, probably never to be made again, this was a limited run and few are found for sale now, fancy checkered with traditional diamond in the middle of the wrist and forearm, Marbles tang sight and globe front with apertures, original barrel sights included, very lightly used, $1150. SOLD) YET ANOTHER SCARCE "MODERN" MARLIN VARIANT: 1895 .45-70 COWBOY WITH 26" OCTAGON BARREL, this one is flat new, unfired in the original box and still even has the Marlin tag on the lever and all paperwork in the box with serial numbered end label! $1195. SOLD
2) LIMITED PRODUCTION AND VERY RARE 1895 .45-70 24” HALF OCTAGON BARREL FULL MAGAZINE RIFLE, the barrel is stamped “1895 LTD” and these were made some years ago in one small run, I don’t believe I’ve seen another, about new condition overall, $1195. SOLD
3) MODEL 1894S .44 MAG. OR SPECIAL, this is the carbine with the diamond checkered wrist and forend, has quick detachable swivel studs, about like new, $795. SOLD
4) MODEL 1894CB "COWBOY LIMITED" IN .44 MAGNUM AND SPECIAL, 20" OCTAGON BARREL, a little nicer than standard wood usually seen, very hard to find and like new, $1195. SOLD
5) VERY RARE 1895 LTD-III .45-70 WITH 18 ½ INCH OCTAGON BARREL AND FULL MAGAZINE! This is the first one of these I’ve seen. Apparently they made the LTD series from I to V (5) for Davidsons Distributors I believe in the 1980s to 1990s. One Thousand of these were supposedly made in 1999 ony, but this is the first one I’ve seen or even heard of, I would bet a lot less than one thousand were made! It is in very lightly used condition (near new) with a blued screw going into the right side where the cross bolt safety is, I believe these "filler kits" are sold through Brownell's, the cross bolt can be seen on the left side, but there is no movement in it and it does not protrude. I imagine it would be easy enough to return to the normal cross bolt if one wanted to, also has a Redfield receiver sight with the normal Marlin folding buckhorn rear sight and blade/bead front, this model had the normal or “Ballard” style rifling as opposed to the regular Micro-groove rifling normally used- these are better for cast bullet shooting, a very rare Marlin that should appreciate in value over the years to come, $1195. SOLD
6) ONE OF THE RAREST AND HARDEST TO FIND OF THE “MODERN MARLINS” IS THIS 20” OCTAGON .44 MAGNUM MADE FOR ONE YEAR ONLY IN 1973! According to the Marlin book 2,957 of these pre-safety Marlins were made, yet in over 25 years of searching I’ve only come across a small handful, which leads me to believe lot fewer than this number were ever produced, this one has seen light use and aside from a few very, very light handling marks in the wood, looks near new, I don’t think I’ve ever offered one of these before! (note: marks on bottom photo of receiver is light reflection off oil) $1295. SOLD
7)MODEL 444S (.444 MARLIN CALIBER), MADE 1971-1983, PRE-SAFETY, this one has unusual fairly fancy walnut in the butt stock and is all correct including the factory sling swivel studs, and Marlin marked recoil pad, about like new overall, a very hard to find model, (NOTE: what looks like edge wear is just photo light reflection) $895. SOLD
8) JUST IN: MODEL 1894CB "COWBOY LIMITED" .44 SPECIAL AND .44 MAGNUM WITH 24" OCTAGON BARREL AND CHECKERED STOCK AND FOREARM, these have Ballard Rifling instead of Micro-Groove, very hard to find now, about like new, $1195.
9) JUST IN: NEW IN THE BOX 1894 .44 SPECIAL AND MAGNUM CARBINE WITH CHECKERED WRIST AND FOREARM AND "BALLARD RIFLING" (NOT MICRO GROOVE RIFLING), complete with papers etc. $895.
10) JUST IN: EARLY, FIRST TYPE RE-INTRODUCTION MODEL 1895.45-70, PRE SAFETY, this is the one introduced in 1972 and only made until 1979, it has the straight stock with square lever and 2/3 magazine, rarely seen now, haven't been made in 35 years! This one is near new overall, $895.``
ANTIQUE & CLASSIC RIFLES, SHOTGUNS AND PISTOLS (click text for photos)
SHARPS 1878 .45-70 BORCHARDT MUSKET, #18XXX, all correct including the "Old Reliable" marked barrel, tight action, safety functions fine (often these don't), original sights (screw only needed in rear sight), mostly gray to gray/brown metal with fine markings, some "vice grip" marks (?) on rear of barrel by receiver- minor, fairly bright bore with scattered light roughness, correct swivels, cleaning rod a replacement, fine forend with a couple cracks beginning around the receiver and moving forward- very minor and hardly worth mentioning- correct checkered steel butt plate, butt stock has had a piece of walnut expertly fitted where there was a chip on the right side of the wrist by the upper tang and has a slight age crack coming back from the receiver on the left side- all this is typical of a well used Borchardt and the wood is basically very solid and all sounds worse than it is, $1795.
SIMPLY THE FINEST 1878 SHARPS BORCHARDT .45-70 MUSKET I'VE SEEN, PLUS MARKED "J. P. LOWER" OVER "DENVER COL." ON THE RECEIVER TOP, a truly remarkable western Sharps from a famed dealer in Colorado, retains about all the blue on the barrel an receiver that is showing only light age, fine case color on breech block and top of action (I don't think I've ever seen this remaining on any 1878 Musket before), still good case color on the upper part of the lever, exc. wood with an small unusual circle cartouche in the left side of the stock near the butt plate that looks like a "B" intertwined with "L" unless it is some kind of J.P. Lower stamping, sharp markings, perfect bright bore, correct sights and swivels, needs cleaning rod only, amazing condition especially for a western shipped rifle! (three photos) $2950.
VERY EARLY J. M. MARLIN MARKED BALLARD .45-70 No. 1 1/2 HUNTERS MODEL WITH LONG 32" ROUND BARREL, SERIAL NUMBER 5XXX, MADE C.1877, barrel number matches the receiver, according the the Ballard book by John T. Dutcher, caliber markings were not used until after serial number 6000 and this correctly has no caliber marking, but is .45-70 as these were only offered in .40-63 and .45-70 Government. While not made specifically as a buffalo rifle, these bi caliber Ballards were made for the western market and this one certainly could have accounted for a number of buffalo, this one has the early flatside non-rebated receiver, metal surfaces are a very deep brown patina with some minor pitting on the right side of the receiver up near the octagon receiver ring- very old and minor, solid forend, butt stock has two of the usual age cracks coming back from the receiver on each side for about an inch or so and go nowhere, butt plate has matching number, a small crack or two- again going nowhere- coming forward of the bottom of the butt plate tight action, surprisingly bright exc bore with only a couple small spots that will probably brush out, original buckhorn rear sight with small German silver blade front sight, these don't turn up often and this one is especially desirable in .45-70 with the long 32" barrel, Dutcher concludes the chapter on this model by stating: Marlin Ballards were never cheaply made but were high quality rifles; however, some basic models such as these No. 1 1/2 rifles were plainly finished, utilitarian pieces... Rarely is the Model 1 1/2 found in fine condition. I haven't seen one of these in quite a while, (note photo light reflection off receiver in bottom photo) $2450. ``
INTERESTING AND UNUSUAL CONNECTICUT ARMS HAMMOND PATENT SINGLE SHOT "BULLDOG" .44RF PISTOL IN VERY RARE NICKEL FINISH, MADE 1866-1880s, only about 8,000 of these big caliber guns were made and nearly all were blued, Flayderman's Guide says "a few known with original nickel finish..." I've encountered only a very few in nickel over the years and this is one of the best, fine nickel with wear to brown around the high parts of the breech block left side and bottom and around the right side of the trigger and around the muzzle of the barrel- looks like this one might have been carried in a holster, still good nickel on most of the grip straps and barrel and left side of frame, exc. hard rubber "gutta percha" grips, exc. mech, bore will clean fine or better, a relatively big early cartridge derringer/pocket pistol in a rare finish in nice condition (Flayderman's latest edition- now 7 years out of date- lists these in exc. condition with standard blue finish at $1500), I have this one priced at $995.
NEVER CLEANED, "AS FOUND" CONDITION RARE SIX SHOT DRAGOON SIZE ALLEN PEPPERBOX, .36 CALIBER 6" BARRELS, MADE LATE 1830's TO MID-1840s. Has the early "Dog Leg" sharp angle walnut grips with silver ovals, engraved frame and nipple shield, early fluted ribbed barrels, overall deep brown patina with ancient uncleaned inactive surface rust/crud that is ON the metal as opposed to "IN" the metal. I believe a good, long oil soak would remove most of it, fine grips, action works fine, these big holster size pepperboxes were very popular with the gold rush 49ers in California as well as many seeing use on the frontier and later in the Civil War. These dragoon size ones are hard to find and this one is really untouched with a great look and feel! $1150.
HIGH CONDITION REID .22RF KNUCKLEDUSTER, MADE 1868-1882, still retains the original matching cylinder screw, retains most of the original nickel with freckling/flaking on the cylinder and very minor edge wear on the frame, sharp engraving, action functions fine, neat dual purpose revolver and brass knucks! Much better condition than normally found, $1895.
BERETTA MODEL 1934 .380 AUTO PISTOL WITH ITALIAN ARMY PROOFS MADE 1938, lots of World War II history in this one! Fine blue overall with minor thinning/ageing on the slide and edges, exc. original grips, matching numbers, tight action, exc. inside, $475.
PARTICULARLY FINE WORLD WAR II WALTHER P.38 MARKED "AC 43" INDICATING WALTHER MANUFACTURE DURING 1943, all matching numbers, fine blue overall with just normal light wear to the front strap and a little on the bottom of the trigger guard, exc. action, exc. bore, exc. correct magazine unaltered, fine brown grips show light wear only, correct proofs and Nazi markings, one of the better ones I've seen in a while, these are still bargains, but rapidly going up in value (as are all WWII guns), still cheap at $875.
GREAT ODDITY! PERCUSSION "ANTI-GARROTING" BELT-BUCKLE GUN! These are described in the book FIREARMS CURIOSA by Lewis Winant (now out of print, but I’ll copy the pertinent pages with text and photos with the gun), “How the percussion cap belt pistol, figures 170 and 171, operates may be seen at a glance. The oval iron plate is about 7” long, and the pistol barrel protrudes about 1 ½”. In this gun the cord runs from the lock through a channel in the belt for a foot or more, before being carried up to the shoulder and down through a coat sleeve. A man ordered to put up his hands can grasp the weight and tighten he string as he raises his arms. A belt pistol such as this had no appeal as a work or art and it was unlikely to be treasured because of its history or associations. Once obsolete it was neglected, then discarded, soon it was rotted leather and scrap metal. Now this belt pistol is a scarce collector item.” That sums it up pretty well, aged brown patina, functions fine, $895.
EARLY BROWN MANUFACTURING "SOUTHERNER" .41 RF SCARCE IRON FRAME DERRINGER, #4XXX WITH 1867 PATENT DATE, MADE 1869, a really fine example with what I believe is a full silver plate finish (looks too dull to be nickel and many were silvered), barrel finish thinning somewhat and aged to an attractive silver/gray, frame retains good silver with some thinning/ageing on the edges and grip straps all of which blends beautifully, sharp markings including the classic "SOUTHERNER" marking on the barrel top, exc. mech, exc. highly finished rosewood grips, bore will clean exc., rare variation and really sharp example of one of the earliest and most popular cartridge derringers usually found in hard used/hard carried condition, this is a nice one and priced attractively at (looks much better in person as photo lights exaggerate any minor spots- all of which blend in well) $795.
REALLY NICE PARKER V-H 12 GA., 30" SIDE BY SIDE SHOTGUN, #94XXX, much better than usually seen! Still retains some nice case color on the rear right side, on the bottom of the receiver ahead of the trigger guard and in protected areas, exc. stock and forearm with only a tiny beginnings of a chip at the right upper tang/receiver juncture, sharp checkering, no cracks in the wrist!, original Parker embossed butt plate, fine barrel blue showing light handling/scuffing only with no dents, right shiny bores choked Modified and Full, even has some blue on the bottom of the trigger guard, super tight, Vulcan Steel marked barrel (not damascus), If I didn't have one like this that I shoot regularly, I'd keep this one! Would cost a fortune to manufacture today! (3 photos) $1795.
UNUSUAL ALL CAST IRON ALARM OR TRAP GUN, MADE FOR BLACK POWDER 12 GA. BLANK (I ASSUME!) CARTRIDGES, probably made late 1800s, I've heard of others made for pin-fire shells, but this one is center fire, like a little cannon that can be bolted down, barrel swivels for loading, then the hammer is pulled back and held in place by a brass "catch" that has a string assembly attached to it. I imagine this is connected to a door or window which when opened releases the hammer and the gun fires! It would certainly scare the crap out of any burglars and send him or them running!!! aged painted black, functions fine, great stuff from a past time before the law was on the side of the bad guys! Can you imagine the law suite if you used one of these today! Neat item, photos show in the loaded and set position and open for reloading, $695.
UN-CATALOGUED, FIRST I’VE EVER SEEN OR EVEN HEARD OF!! HARRINGTON & RICHARDSON AUTO EJECT REVOLVER WITH KNIFE ATTACHMENT OR “AUTOMATIC BAYONET REVOLVER”… BUT WAIT, THIS ONE IS CHAMBERED FOR THE .32 SMITH & WESSON CARTRIDGE AND IS IN BLUE FINISH! To quote Flayderman’s Guide- about the only source on these- “Made only in .38CF according to their 1902 advertising. Made c.1901 to 1917. Estimated quantity 2,000…” These are really scarce items with great appeal and, of course, every one I’ve seen has been .38 caliber and almost all in nickel finish- blue is super rare. So, if the 1902 advertising says they are only in .38, and they started making them in 1901 perhaps they made a few in .32 that first year- I have no other ideas. The frame is clearly marked “AUTO EJECTING 32 S&W CTGE” Condition is really sharp with nice blue overall with normal age and wear to the back strap and bottom of trigger guard, some ageing on the barrel sides and cylinder edges, even the front strap has nice blue! Dagger blade has not been sharpened or chipped, spring that holds it under the barrel is still strong, bright exc. bore, exc. mech. Exc. grips, an incredible find! $1950.
PARTICULARLY FINE CONDITION STEVENS MODEL 44 SINGLE SHOT SPORTING RIFLE IN .22 LONG RIFLE, one of the better ones I've seen in a while, nice deep blue on the 24" half octagon barrel, fine case colors on the rear half of the receiver fading to mottled gray toward the front, exc. wood with tight wood to metal fit, crescent butt plate shows some dark case color in the middle, matching numbers, very tight action with deep blue on the hammer and breech block, fine bore has good rifling and some scattered very light surface roughness, original buckhorn and Rocky Mountain blade front sights, much better than usually encountered, antique, (photo light reflection made the case colors look more faded than they are, especially in bottom photo) $695.``
MODERN AND MISCELLANEOUS
1) BERETTA MODEL 71 .22LR AUTO PISTOL, nice lightweight auto that should make for a nice trail gun, great Beretta made in Italy quality inside and out, seen very light use only, $495.
2) MASTERPIECE ARMS, COMER, GEORGIA MINI 9 (9MM LUGER CALIBER), like new with 35 round magazine, cartridge-loading accessory and detachable/threaded barrel extension (NOT a suppressor or silencer), all in original case with owners manual etc. Supposed to be one of the most reliable arms of this type, intimidating high capacity home protector! $495.
3) SWAROVSKI 8X50 SLC BINOCULARS, VERY LIGHTLY USED, If I didn't already own a pair like these I'd keep them myself! The clarity and light gathering quality of these has to be seen to be believed, point them skyward at night to a part of the sky that appears to have no stars and you'll be amazed at the millions of stars you'll see! About as good binoculars as one can buy. $1295. SOLD
REMINGTON (click text for photos)
1)VERY UNUSUAL ROLLINGBLOCK TWO BAND MILITARY MUSKET IN DESIRABLE .50-70 CALIBER WITH FULL FACTORY NICKEL FINISH, this is the third one of these I’ve seen in about 20 years and all I’ve seen were in hard-used condition, this is the best condition one, There are no foreign proofs or markings and also no U.S. markings indicating that this was a commercial model sold in the United States as this cartridge wasn’t available any place else- except maybe Mexico, I have a copy of a the 1877 Remington catalogue that shows a similar rifle called “United States Model caliber .50” yet is shows a photo of a three band musket with 32 ½” barrel while this one has two bands and a 30 ½” barrel, nickel plating was very common on the “Baby Carbine” in .44-40 caliber and it’s my opinion this was just a civilian version that shooters wanted in nickel finish as black powder fouling cleaned off easier than blue, this was especially popular in the early southwest and Mexico, fine attractive aged nickel on the barrel and receiver with some flaking/browning on the bottom of the receiver and trigger guard, hammer and high edges of the butt plate, minor peeling/browning at the muzzle, original sights (small slide missing from rear sight- should be easy to replace), needs cleaning rod only, fine wood with a small sliver out of the left side of the forend by the receiver, fine bore will clean near excellent, a rare American frontier variation in a great caliber! $1150.
.2) ROLLINGBLOCK .50-70 NEW YORK STATE CONTRACT MUSKET, C.1871, nice example with bright exc. bore, correct cartouche at left side of the wrist, correct swivels and markings, tight action, original sights, fine wood with one shallow sliver just ahead of the receiver on the left side- minor, tight wood to metal fit, exc. screws, cleaning rod appears the right type, but is a little long and could easily be shortened to fit, $1150
3) ANTIQUE, VERY HARD TO FIND MODEL 1899 LEE MILITARY RIFLE FROM THE FIRST MICHIGAN NATIONAL GUARD CONTRACT OF 1898 (yes, I know it is called the Model 1899 and yes, regardless of the model designation, these were shipped to the state of Michigan in 1898 making this a pre-1899 antique!) Caliber 30 U.S. or .30-40 Krag, since these rarely seem to show up for sale or at shows, it is my opinion that they were probably sold as surplus out of the country- probably to Latin America or Cuba sometime before World War I- for the number made, they are very difficult to locate, this is a really fine example with generally excellent wood with only normal light handling/storage marks, fine aged blue throughout, original handguard intact, original military sights, cleaning rod, bore needs a good scrubbing and should clean out about exc., correct magazine, mag and trigger guard turning gray/brown, tight action, top of barrel marked "30 U.S.A." correct swivels intact, I actually own one of these that was cut down and "sporterized" that I shoot with cast bullets- lots of fun and accurate too, this last of the Remington Lee models is the only "smokeless cartridge" model and is more difficult to find than the earlier .45-70 U.S. Army and Navy models, a particularly fine example! $1995.
4) ALMOST NEVER SEEN REMINGTON ROLLING BLOCK TARGET PISTOL MODEL 1901 IN SCARCE AND DESIRABLE .44 RUSSIAN CALIBER! Remington made less than 750 of these fine pistols and most seem to have been in the small rim fire calibers, exc. correctly checkered stock and forend, exc. barrel blue showing one or two very tiny spots where some rust was wiped off- you have to look carefully to see it, fine high polish receiver, trigger guard and grip strap blue with some scattered brown freckling, exc. blue on hammer and breech block, nice screws, exc. markings, tight action, correct original rear target sight in the receiver ring with half-moon and ivory bead front sight, bright exc. bore! $3250.
5) HIGH CONDITION MODEL 6 .22LR SINGLE SHOT BOY'S RIFLE, ONE OF THE BEST I'VE SEEN IN A LONG TIME, this one is complete with the little sheet steel tang sight which was something like a fifty cent option at the time and are not usually found intact on these, vivid case color on both sides of the receiver, fine deep barrel blue showing light age only, exc. markings, exc. wood, correct Remington UMC marked steel butt plate and best of all has a bore that should clean out about exc.- bores on these usually terrible- original fixed sights, $595.
6) GORGEOUS, PROFUSELY FACTORY ENGRAVED DELUXE MODEL 12 IN SCARCE .22 REMINGTON SPECIAL CARTRIDGE (.22 WRF), I believe this is the higher "F" grade engraving with a squirrel in a tree surrounded by an oval and full coverage scroll, scroll on top and bottom of receiver, two rabbits in a wooded scene on the left side surrounded by an oval and more full coverage scroll work, scroll at the rear of the barrel and a little engraving on each mag tube retaining band, correct engraved matching serial numbers, fancy walnut that has never been cleaned, checkering showing wear on the forend, pistol grip checkering also shows a little wear but if fine, correct Remington embossed grip cap, solid wood, two screws in forend are replacements as is the screw in the grip- easy to get right, a few small areas of blue mixing plum on the barrel but mainly fine blue on barrel and mag tube, receiver retains most of the deep blue with a little thinning and plum on the bottom tang/trigger guard area, tight action and takedown, bore shows good rifling with a few small spots of mainly surface roughness, correct Remington buckhorn rear sight with Lyman Beech folding globe front sight, a great investment piece, (5 photos- note photo reflection off two close up side shots make it look like the blue is thin, it is deep blue) $3850. ``
7) MODEL 25, 25-20 CALIBER PUMP ACTION RIFLE, most of these saw lots of farm and ranch use, this is better than most I see, fine deep blue on the receiver with only a little browning on the bottom of the trigger guard and some very light edge wear, barrel and mag show fine blue with some ageing and minor handling only, exc. wood with correct crescent butt plate, original buckhorn rear sight with blade/bead front sight, tight action and excellent bore, these are getting really hard to find, $1150.
8) WORLD WAR II O3-A3 SPRINGFIELD (see below in U.S. Military and Springfield section)
RUGER (click text for photos)
1) EARLY FLAT TOP .44 MAGNUM BLACKHAWK, 6 1/2" BARREL, #20XXX, MADE 1959, getting difficult to find especially in exc. condition, this one has seen very little use and retains nearly all the original blue and “black” on the grip straps, light cylinder line and a tiny spot on the back strap and butt are about all the wear this one shows, exc. grips, exc. inside sand out, rapidly increasing in value, $1150. ``
SAVAGE FIREARMS (click text for photos)
1) FIRST I'VE EVER SEEN!!! 1899 SADDLE RING CARBINE IN .32-40 CALIBER!!!, MADE 1913, I've seen these in .303 Savage, .30-30, .25-35 and one or two in .38-55 but never in a .32-40 until now, all Saddle Ring Carbines in the 1899 model are fairly scarce and usually when found they are in pretty hard used and abused condition, this is a particularly fine example with solid wood and tight wood to metal fit, nice blue overall is ageing/mixing evenly wit a soft and attractive plum, saddle ring intact, Savage No.21 rear sight that has the "wheel" in front for adjustment with Lyman half moon and ivory bead front sight, tight action, brass rotary magazine functions fine, and a bright excellent bore! $2850.
2) SUPER RARE TWO BARREL SET 1899-F DELUXE PISTOL GRIP TAKEDOWN WITH .25-35 AND .303 SAV. 20" BARRELS, MADE 1914!!! Fancier than standard walnut, pistol grip with shotgun butt and perch-belly stock, Savage embossed hard rubber butt plate, exc. wood with heavy deluxe finish, tight wood to metal fit and not cracked, correct Lyman tang sight, fillers in dovetails of both barrels, aged and thinning blue on barrels (a little more so on the .25-35 barrel), exc. markings, exc. bright rec. blue that has silvered on the bottom, tight takedown, still some case color on the lever, exc. bores, really rare in deluxe and doubly so with the .25-35 caliber barrel, $2250.
3) MODEL 1917 .380 AUTO PISTOL, scarce item as only as only about 14,000 of these were made between 1920 and 1928, this is an early production example probably made first year, overall a solid gun that has seen use and carry, overall aged blue mixing plum/brown, never cleaned or steel-wooled, grips show wear but complete, correct magazine, exc. markings, tight action, exc. bore, $475.
SHILOH SHARPS AND OTHER REPRODUCTIONS (click text for photos)
NOTE: I am also a Shiloh Sharps dealer. In fact, I am the only stocking dealer of Shiloh Sharps rifles. I frequently have a selection of NIB stock on hand for immediate delivery AT CATALOGUE PRICE WITH NO ADDITIONAL PREMIUMS OR FEES! For further info and lists of available rifles, see my other website, www.shiloh-ballard.com
1) JONATHAN BROWNING PERCUSSION MOUNTAIN RIFLES: These are high quality U.S. made plains style or Hawken rifles made in the late 1970s to early 1980s. They don't turn up too often today. I have one I've been shooting since I got it in 1979! (click here for photos)
A) .54 CALIBER BRASS MOUNTED, ABOUT NEW IN ORIGINAL BOX, $895.
B) .54 CALIBER RARE IRON MOUNTED, generally excellent condition with the exception of some typical black powder pin-prick pitting on the left front portion of the barrel for about 6 inches and an inch on the right side- not overly apparent unless you look for it and could probably be dressed down, nicely figured walnut. I bought both of these rifles and didn't even notice this barrel pitting until later, $795.
SMITH AND WESSON (click text for photos)
1) THE BEST SCHOFIELD, FIRST MODEL U. S. REVOLVER I'VE OFFERED OR SEEN IN A LONG TIME! Considering that only 3,000 of these were made for the cavalry in 1875 and that most if not all were sold as surplus later where they often had their barrels cut short and/or were re-finished (often in nickel) etc., surviving first models in original condition are very rare in any condition- most saw hard use during the Indian Wars (some were known to be at the Custer Battle of the Little Big Horn), this one #2XXX is in remarkable condition and is all matching numbers right down to some of the screws (!) and grips, exc. sharp markings including the U.S. on the butt, left grip still has the original full cartouche, bottom of grips show some dings, hammer and trigger guard case colors have turned a dark brown patina, fine deep bright blue on frame with light thinning/mixing plum mainly on back strap and on right side center, cylinder is aged blue and plum with one rub spot from lying on side and nice blue in flutes, bright blue on butt and all protected parts, good blue on front strap, barrel assembly blue ageing mixing uncleaned plum with better blue in protected areas, unaltered front sight, bright exc. sharp bore, exc. blue on cylinder latch, ejector has strong spring and extends properly when opened, but is not snapping back- should be an easy adjustment/fix- minor, I'm not sure how many of these 3,000 first models can still exist in un-ct and unaltered form, but there can't be many and this has to be one of the best ones extant! (four photos) $8750.
2) EARLY .38/44 OUTDOORSMAN TARGET MODEL OF 1950 "PRE-MODEL 23" .38 SPECIAL CALIBER, 5 SCREW "N" FRAME, MADE 1952-1953, ONLY 6,039 MADE 1950-1966, one of the more scarce and desirable post-war S&Ws, excellent inside and out with only a tiny amount of blue wear at each side of the muzzle and a light cylinder drag line, exc. diamond checkered magna walnut grips, nice case color on the hammer and trigger, great action/trigger, target sights, rapidly appreciating in value, (note: any blemishes or "dots" or "plum coloration" in the photos is just photo light reflection on oil or glare- this gun has great even blue overall!) $1100.
3) MODEL 1905 .32-20 HAND EJECTOR, THIRD ISSUE, 6 1/2" BARREL, BRIGHT BLUE FINISH, WALNUT GRIPS, MADE 1909, excellent example of a hard to find S&W showing nearly all the original bright blue finish with only some light edge wear and a small scuff/scratch or two, exc. walnut grips with deep dish gold S&W medallions are numbered to the gun, all matching numbers, bright case colors on hammer and trigger, perfect bore, tight action- these early actions were all hand fitted and polished and are truly wonderful! Most of these early .32-20s saw hard field use and this is one of the nicer ones I've seen in a while, (note: lots of photo light glare and reflection- just go by my written description) $695.
U.S. MILITARY AND SPRINGFIELD (click text for photos)
1) 1879 TRAPDOOR SPRINGFIELD RIFLE, #359XXX, has a fine cartouche in the stock, 1873 dated breech block with 1879 rifle rear sight, generally excellent wood with only minor handling marks, fine blue on the trigger guard, still retains a little light case color on the upper tang, barrel blue aged to an even plum, tight action with exc. markings, excellent bright bore with cleaning rod and swivels intact, nice example, $895.
2) PARTICULARLY FINE 1884 TRAPDOOR SADDLE RING CARBINE, #344XXX, MADE 1886, sharp correctly matching 1886 stock cartouche along with correct circle P cartouche, also correct "C" marked (carbine) Buffington rear sight with barrel band sight protector, exc. bright bore, exc wood with some usual tiny minor age cracks behind the lock plate- hard to discern and almost too minor to mention, exc. markings, desirable reddish walnut, aged blue barrel mixing a little plum, saddle ring intact, cleaning rod and stuck shell extractor tool in butt plate trap, correct 1884 dated breech block, good blue on bottom of trigger guard, fine inky blue/black case hardening on hammer and lock plate with a trace of dark color on upper tang, really attractive example, $1695.
3) 1888 TRAPDOOR SPRINGFIELD "ROD BAYONET" MODEL, #507XXX, WITH SHARP 1890 DATED STOCK CARTOUCHE, nice honest example that has uncleaned aged dark metal overall, exc. wood with crisp cartouche, correct Buffington rear sight, rod bayonet intact, correct swivels, and EXC. BRIGHT SHARP BORE, these were the last of the great Trapdoors and are considered the best shooters of all, $895.
4) 1898 KRAG RIFLE, .30-40 CALIBER, readable 1902 dated cartouche in stock, aged blue to brown barrel, 1898 rear sight- handguard is cut for the later 1901 sight- fine wood overall, bore is dark but should scrub out to about fine, needs front swivels only, uncleaned solid example, $695.
5) VERY RARE U. S. NAVY WINCHESTER/SPRINGFIELD .45-70 HOTCHKISS SECOND MODEL BOLT ACTION REPEATING RIFLE, ONLY 999 MADE C.1880, a joint manufacturing with Winchester supplying the actions and some other parts and Springfield fitting barrels etc., fine overall with the exception of the usual cracks coming forward from the rear tang- almost all first and second model Hotchkiss rifles and carbines have these cracks for one simple reason few people know about- before removing the barreled action from the stock one must first remove the butt plate and take out the magazine tube- if this isn't done, the stock will crack when the barrel is lifted out- happens every time and almost all of these show this, stock retains the original dated cartouche in the high rear center of the left side of the stock, deep aged blue metal with excellent Springfield VP and eagle head inspector marks on barrel along with all the correct navy markings, rack number in stock, correct original Springfield sights, stock shows normal handling, fine mechanically with one side lever being the safety and the other the magazine cut off for single loading, all metal parts H.N. (Henry Nettleton) inspected and stamped, EXCELLENT SHARP BRIGHT MINTY BORE, a nice uncleaned example of one of the most scarce U.S. Navy arms! $1695. ``
6) UNUSUAL FANCY WALNUT STOCKED VERY EARLY WORLD WAR I, U.S. MODEL OF 1917 .30-06 ENFIELD RIFLE MADE BY WINCHESTER, no doubt this one went "Over There" as the serial number is a low 73XXX and the barrel is dated "11-17" (November 1917), actually the most common rifle issued to our Doughboys in the War to End All Wars as there were not enough 1903 Springfields to go around, nice blued example with most blue remaining (only the rear barrel band and trigger guard/floor plate parkerized), cartouched stock shows normal handling only, all metal parts stamped with W for Winchester, end of the stock by muzzle stamped "L" meaning unknown to me, there is also a very small five pointed star with a circle around it on the left side of the receiver next to the flaming bomb stamp- again, meaning unknown, tight action, exc. bright bore, bright exc. bore, hard to find Winchester 1917s and the fancy walnut in the stock is unusual, $995.
7) REMINGTON O3-A3 SPRINGFIELD, BARREL DATED 1943, last of the great Model 1903s, nice example with about all the metal finish remaining, bright exc. bore, exc. wood with light FJA and circle P cartouches, tight action, original peep rear sight, $875.
8) REMINGTON 1899 LEE, MICHIGAN NATIONAL GUARD, .30-40 KRAG CALIBER (see above in Remington section)
9) SMITH & WESSON SCHOFIELD FIRST MODEL U.S. (see above in Smith & Wesson section)
10) WINCHESTER WORLD WAR II MODEL 12 TRENCH GUN (see below in Winchester section)
WINCHESTERS (click text for photos) .
RARE, SPECIAL ORDER EARLY 1873 2ND. MODEL .44-40 WITH EXTRA LONG 30” OCTAGON BARREL AND FULL MAGAZINE, MADE 1882, aside from the 6” longer than standard barrel, this is one of the 2nd. Model rifles made using carbine receivers- easy to tell as it has two factory filler screws where the saddle ring staple would normally go, this was fairly common in 2nd. Models for some reason, good aged and thinning barrel blue, mostly gray/brown receiver and mag tube, nice blue on the loading gate, mellow uncleaned brass lifter, fine wood shows normal handling only with some light saddle wear on the forearm, action a little sticky but works okay, dust cover intact, VG bore is dark and may clean better, butt plate hasn’t got the trap for cleaning rod so it was either special ordered that way or is a replacement (.32-20 1873s don’t have trapdoors in their butt plates), the stock is drilled for a cleaning rod compartment, scarce early 1873, $2350.
PARTICULARLY FINE CONDITION LATER MODEL 1873 .32-20 OCTAGON RIFLE, MADE 1909, exc. deep barrel and magazine blue, receiver blue mixing/ageing an uncleaned and very attractive soft plum and brown with better blue in protected areas, original dust cover, un-dented brass lifter engraved with caliber, exc. markings, exc. screws, exc. wood with tight wood to metal fit, bore shows some crud in the grooves only that I think is probably some leading as the lands appear fine- I ran a brush and patch through it and black came out (not rust) so it should scrub out to fine+ or even better, original sights, really a nice and attractive 1873 that should prove to be a fine investment for the future, (note: in photos the dark area on the stock is minor color difference that photo lights exaggerated), $2650.
1873 .32-20 OCTAGON RIFLE WITH SPECIAL ORDER SHOTGUN BUTT, MADE 1889, overall fine appearance, aged dark receiver and barrel with exc. markings, original dust cover, mellow brass lifter, fine screws (mag. screw a replacement), original sights, exc. butt stock with correct smooth steel shotgun butt plate and tight wood to metal fit, fine forearm with thin age crack beginning to come back from the forend cap on the right side for a couple inches- minor, has some evidence of light surface rust that was wiped off (not buffed or steel wooled) mainly on the mag tube bottom and a little around the lever- you have to look for this to find it and it really blends in and isn't a problem, bore is a bit dark with strong rifling and ought to scrub out fine+ or better, tight action, attractive special order early 1873 rifle! $1595.
1873 .38-40 WITH RARE 28" OCTAGON BARREL, MADE 1889, scarce 4" longer than standard barrel, overall metal an aged plum brown with good blue on the loading gate, dust cover intact, uncleaned brass lifter, generally fine+ wood with one ding in bottom of the forend- minor, original buckhorn rear sight with small blade front, dark bore will scrub out VG or better, overall uncleaned attic condition, $2450.
1876 .45-60 CALIBER, 2ND MODEL OCTAGON RIFLE, MADE 1881, this rifle has a lot of appeal and I was drawn to it as soon as I saw it, receiver blue is uncleaned and aged/mixing with a fairly even and attractive plum with minor brown and good blue in protected areas, good barrel and mag blue ageing to plum also, exc. screws, original dust cover, Rocky Mountain blade fronts sight and period replacement buckhorn rear sight, exc. markings, fine forend, butt stock has a typical “horse roll-over” crack (see “Notes From the Field” at the very bottom of this website for a discussion on these cracks) from the upper tang all the way back near the butt plate and then forward to the lower tang which was frontier repaired with a screw to each side of the wrist and some tiny iron tacks further back. Normally, this bothers me, but on this particular big Winchester it doesn’t as this was obviously a Western gun that saw real service and was repaired at the time and no doubt put right back into service! Fine++ bore should scrub out near exc., tight action, uncleaned brass lifter marked “45-60.” The stock could easily be replaced with a new repro one using the original butt plate and aged to match, but I like this one just as it is. $3250. ``
RARE CALIBER 1885 HIGHWALL IN .38-56 WCF CALIBER, MADE 1889, only 610 Highwalls were made in this caliber, most people don’t realize the .38-56 is simply the 45-70 necked down to .38 caliber and is much more powerful than the common .38-55 which actually only took about 42 grains of powder, mottled aged brown receiver, tight action, aged barrel blue with some scattered evidence of light rust and mixing brown overall, fine bore should clean out even better, front sight blade made from old copper U.S. penny, buckhorn rear sight, 30” oct. No.3 weight barrel, fine walnut with tight wood to metal fit, name very lightly scratched and worn in behind lower tang- easily rubbed out or just left as is- hardly noticeable, small crack starting on left front of forend coming back for an inch or so- minor, these are getting hard to find especially in non-standard big calibers, $1795.
1886 EXTRA LIGHT WEIGHT TAKEDOWN RIFLE IN .33WCF CALIBER SHIPPED FIRST YEAR OF THE .33WCF IN AUGUST OF 1902, the Cody Museum info on this rifle lists it exactly as it is including the 1/2 magazine, takedown and shotgun butt with rubber butt plate, yet the barrel has the rare "MADE IN U.S.A." on the left side and "-MODEL 1886-" on the right side which is usually on later guns, plus the barrel has a Winchester proof mark which means it went back to the factory or left the factory after 1905. My guess is that perhaps someone sent in the front half of this takedown rifle for a new barrel because of the markings, but who knows? Also, the walnut is extremely dark in the forend and butt stock and obviously match, so as I said, the front half might have been sent in to Winchester for a repair or new barrel, regardless, it is all 100% Winchester and letters correctly, dark patina receiver has never been cleaned or steel-wooled, barrel blue aged and thinned, bore is bright, sharp and perfect! fine wood shows normal light handling with one very small chip by the middle of the upper tang on the right side (not a corner chip as usually seen), buckhorn rear sight with Marbles blade/ivory bead front sight, tight action and takedown, came out of here in Montana, super bore! $1695.
1886 .45-70 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, MADE 1891, this one came out of here in Montana and has a surprisingly bright bore with only some very light scattered surface roughness- all very minor, barrel and mag are an uncleaned dark plum patina, nice aged blue on the bolt and loading gate, receiver aged dark, tight action, exc. dark and uncleaned forend, similar butt stock with tight wood to metal fit does have a 1 1/2" long chip at the toe- old and worn in, should be easy to repair, has the desirable 1886 dated ladder rear sight with slide intact with original Winchester front sight, attractive rifle that hasn't been cleaned or messed with, plus a really nice bore! $2650.
1886 .40-82 CALIBER OCTAGON RIFLE, MADE 1889, this one came out of right here in Montana, VG aged barrel and mag blue that shows age and is mixing with brown but never cleaned or scrubbed, original sights, bright blue on bolt, mostly silvered receiver, fine+ wood, VG bore has scattered roughness, tight action, good appearance, $2350.
TRULY AMAZING 1890 FIND!!! SERIAL NUMBER 84, SOLID FRAME FIRST MODEL AND ONE OF ONLY 113 ACTUALLY MADE (AND SHIPPED) IN 1890!! According to the Winchester records this .22 Short caliber Model 1890 was serialized on the second day of serialization 12/9/90, received in the warehouse 12/18/90 and shipped 12/19/90! This is the lowest number I've seen and certainly the only first year production I've seen. The receiver only (not the bolt) has a very very old nickel finish that is worn and flaking to brown on the sides and bottom of the trigger guard- this nickel finish is not mentioned in the records so, judging by the age of the nickel, it was probably applied soon after it left the factory- would not be difficult to remove altogether, possibly this was a gallery gun or even used by an exhibition shooter, bolt is a deep plum/brown, good aged barrel and mag blue mixing plum, fine forend with very old worn-in chip in rear left side, butt stock has a slight short crack (hard to see) coming back from the upper tang allowing for slight gaps around the upper tang, original gallery fixed rear sight with small Winchester blade front, exc. barrel markings, tang markings a little weaker from being filled with nickel, lower tang patent markings fine, as would be expected not much bore left, a lot of potential in this one or just leave it as it, either way one of the very few first year 1890s in existence! $3250.
1892 .38-40 OCTAGON RIFLE WITH BRIGHT MINTY BORE! MADE 1912, exc. blue on barrel and mag with scattered pin-prick rust spots mostly around the rear sight and for a few inches forward- probably from carrying with a sweaty or bloody hand- all minor, receiver mostly gray brown, exc. screws, nice blue on the loading gate, tight wood to metal fit, fine+ wood, original sights, tight action, amazing bore! $1495.
INTERESTING 1892 44-40 SADDLE RING CARBINE, MARKED IN TINY LETTERING ON THE LEFT FRONT OF THE RECEIVER: “CARLOS RESETTI” OVER “26 RIVADAVIA BUENOS AIRES” MADE 1908, a quick Google search showed he was an arms dealer in Buenos Aires, Argentina at this time, good aged barrel and mag blue, receiver blue has turned an attractive dark plum patina, good screws, carbine sights (ladder needs the slide only), fine walnut stock and forend with one tiny crack just coming back from the upper tang on the right side- minor, fine bore with good rifling might clean better, lightly carved “brand” or symbol on left side of the stock toward the butt plate- meaning unknown but very shallow and does not detract, tight action, $2150.
THE RAREST 1892 VARIATION I'VE SEEN! FACTORY 32" OCTAGON BARREL WITH DOUBLE SET TRIGGERS AND CORRECT TWO MAGAZINE RETAINING BANDS! MADE 1907, longer than the standard 24" barrels were only offered until 1908 and according to the Winchester Handbook by Madis only 744 rifles had longer than standard barrels- in my experience 26" seems to be the most common and even these are of course rare, this is the only 32" I've ever seen, barrels in all models over 30" (32"-36") were made with two magazine retaining bands, close coupled double set triggers are also rare, caliber .25-20, standard buckhorn rear sight with Beech folding globe front sight, mottled uncleaned gray/brown barrel and mag, mag tube has a few dents just ahead of the forend cap, fine markings, receiver mostly gray with some replaced screws and one minor screw missing on the top left side of the receiver, set triggers function fine, fine wood, dark bore should clean out good to VG, tight action, Winchester couldn't have made more than a small handful of this barrel length! $3950.
1892 .32-20 OCTAGON RIFLE WITH LYMAN TANG SIGHT, MADE 1905, fairly bright exc. bore, fine slightly aged deep barrel and mag blue, fine blue on the left side of the receiver and bolt, right side shows a bit more blue wear to the forward part, nice blue on the loading gate, exc. screws, wood shows normal light handling only with tight wood to metal fit, rear sight removed (because of tang sight), tight action, attractive overall, $1695.
ANTIQUE SERIAL NUMBER, EARLY 1892 .38-40 OCTAGON RIFLE,#23XXX MADE 1893, a nice uncleaned example with all metal surfaces an even plum color with only a little gray on the bottom and edges of the rec., generally exc. wood with tight wood to metal fit, buckhorn rear sight with small blade/bead front sight, bore slightly dark with sharp and ought to clean out about exc., $1595. (photos soon)
UNUSUAL FACTORY MARKED "THE STINGER" (FOR A DEALER IN AUSTRALIA!) 1892 SPECIAL ORDER .32-20 OCTAGON RIFLE WITH HALF MAGAZINE, MADE C.1913, factory stamped on the barrel top with a "bee" or "hornet' and next to that "THE STINGER," fine plus bore is only a little dark and might clean to about exc., fine action, blue has aged to a deep aged brown patina overall with some good blue on the loading gate, fine wood with some honest saddle wear on the forearm and a tiny chip at the upper right juncture of the tang and receiver, buckhorn rear sight with blade/bead front sight, I've seen a small number of these Australian Winchesters and all have been in very hard used and abused condition, this is one of the best I've seen, $1050.
SPECIAL ORDER 1892 .32-20 ROUND BARREL RIFLE WITH HALF MAGAZINE, MADE 1911, aged barrel blue mixing heavily with brown, exc. wood (maybe slightly higher than standard grade walnut as usually picked for special order rifles) with tight wood to metal fit, uncleaned aged gray/brown receiver with good blue on the loading gate and some evidence of some old wiped-off rust- NOT steel wooled- very minor and barely noticeable, bore will clean excellent, original sights, tight action, $1350.
SUPER RARE CHECKERED PISTOL GRIP 1892 WITH EXTRA LONG 28” OCTAGON BARREL AND FULL MAGAZINE! .25-20, MADE 1901, everything checks out with the Winchester records at Cody, all pistol grip 1892s are really rare and one with a 28” barrel is amazingly so! Aged and thinned barrel blue, mag tube mostly brown, original sights, uncleaned mostly brown receiver with some blue remaining on the loading gate, unusual that it has a crescent butt plate as most pistol grip guns have shotgun butt plates, checkering a bit worn but good on the pistol grip, checkering on forend visible but heavily worn, initials in right side of butt stock- old and worn in- could probably be rubbed out, tight action, bore a little dark with fine rifling, a true 1892 oddity! $3250.
FINE CONDITION 1894 .38-55 OCTAGON RIFLE MADE 1903, really nice appearing rifle retaining about all the deep barrel and mag blue that is only ageing slightly, fine attractive receiver blue mixing with some plum, exc. screws, exc. wood with only a couple slight handling marks on the bottom rear of the forend, tight wood to metal fit, Marbles buckhorn rear sight with blade/bead front sight, bore a little dark and needs a good clean as it appears to have some leading in the grooves only, tight action, this one has a really nice untouched look to it and is in a great caliber, $1595.
1894 SHORT RIFLE WITH ADDITIONAL SPECIAL ORDER FEATURES: RARE 22" ROUND BARREL, 2/3 MAGAZINE AND SHOTGUN BUTT, RARE FOR SHORT RIFLES CALIBER .32WS, MADE 1915, has the correct one inch shorter forearm used on short rifles, exc. barrel and mag blue showing some age only, receiver turning brown with some blue on protected areas and on the loading gate, exc. screws, original sights, tight wood to metal fit, correct Winchester embossed hard rubber butt plate, tight action, exc. bore, very hard to find short rifles in anything but .30WCF caliber and usually they are 20" barrels and full magazines, this is a particularly unusual and rare variation, $2650.
UNUSUAL SPECIAL ORDER 1894 SADDLE RING CARBINE, .32WS CALIBER, WITH 3/4 LENGTH MAGAZINE, MADE 1920, all original and unaltered, fine deep blue on barrel and magazine, receiver mostly flaked to gray with some blue on the bolt and in protected areas, good blue on loading gate, generally excellent wood with tight wood to metal fit, minty bore, correct carbine sight with slide intact, saddle ring intact, scarce variant, $1295.
HIGH CONDITION CLASSIC 1894 SADDLE RING CARBINE, .30WCF, MADE 1928, one of the last of these made with the saddle ring, exc. deep barrel and mag blue, receiver blue is all there with just very light ageing/mixing with a little plum- just enough to know it has taken 86 years to get this way and has never been touched up or refinished- exc. walnut stock and forend with tight wood to metal fit, correct carbine sights, tight action, exc. screws, perfect bore, most of the 1894s made in the 1920s have flaked receivers and this is a truly outstanding example that should prove an excellent investment, $1595.
SPECIAL ORDER 1894 .32-40 RIFLE WITH HALF OCTAGON BARREL AND HALF MAGAZINE, MADE 1908, very hard to find caliber and I don't recall seeing another with this unusual configuration- usually these are seen in .30WCF, exc. wood with normal light handling, tight wood to metal fit, aged barrel blue, fine blue on loading gate, mostly gray receiver, mostly gray/brown receiver, nice screws, flattop buckhorn rear sight with blade/bead front sight, bore a bit dark with good rifling and should clean fine+ or better, scarce caliber/configuration, $1595.
NICE CONDITION 1894 .30WCF ROUND BARREL RIFLE, MADE 1905, exc. deep barrel and mag blue showing the lightest of wear only, receiver shows fine blue with edge wear and some silvering from carry on the bottom, upper tang shows most of the deep blue, nice light case color on the upper part of the lever sides, perfect bright bore, exc. wood with standard sling swivel in the butt and another in the forend tip- may be factory, original sights, tight action, nice example of a classic early 1894 with great bore! $1695.
1894 SADDLE RING CARBINE, .30WCF, MADE 1928, this one came out of Arizona, a classic ’94 carbine that was obviously used but taken good care of, exc. sharp bore, thinning barrel blue mixing gray from carry, fine mag blue, receiver mostly an uncleaned gray/brown with nice blue on the loading gate, tight action, ring intact, correct carbine sights, fine walnut stock and forearm (usual very thin age crack coming back from the forend tip) with tight wood to metal fit and showing light handling only, all solid steel and walnut without a bunch of safeties- never to be made again! $995.
ANOTHER VERY RARE 1894 SPECIAL ORDER SADDLE RING CARBINE IN SCARCE AND DESIRABLE .32-40 CALIBER, WITH 2/3 MAGAZINE, MADE 1923, this is the most difficult caliber to find in a saddle ring carbine, excellent barrel and mag blue showing light age, receiver blue mixing a very pleasing and attractive plum, generally exc. walnut stock and forend with one tiny chip put back in at the usual right side upper tang/rec. juncture- hardly noticeable, correct carbine rear and front sights, $2350.
HISTORICAL 1894 SADDLE RING CARBINE MARKED "C&O" ON BOTH SIDES OF THE FOREND AND BOTH SIDES OF THE BUTT STOCK PLUS "29" STAMPED JUST AHEAD OF THE BUTT PLATE ON TOP OF THE STOCK, .30WCF, MADE 1910, The C&O was the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad which was going through some interesting expansion during 1910 (the year this carbine was made), no doubt used to guard rail yards and train cars carrying valuable cargo, has three leaf express rear sight with all leaves intact (unusual), shows handling and some wear to stock stampings (as you'd want to see), but no abuse, tight wood to metal fit, fine ageing barrel and mag blue, fine blue on the left side of the receiver, and some on the rear portion of the right side with fine blue on the loading gate, tight action with exc. bore, there is a Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Society that might have more info on these carbines- must have been a number of them is this one is stamped "29" Lots of history in this one plus some nice condition, $1495.
ONE OF THE BEST 1895 LEE SPORTERS I'VE SEEN PLUS HAS A SPECIAL ORDER CARBINE/MUSKET STYLE BUTT PLATE WITH CLEANING ROD SLIDING TRAPDOOR! .236 U.S. NAVY CALIBER, MADE 1897, steel shotgun style butt plates were standard for this model and quoting from the Winchester Handbook by Madis: "Sporter rifles were available with checking, fancy wood and other options, but guns with any extras in the Lee model are almost impossible to find." Also, capped pistol grips were standard and this one has the rounded un-capped style, exc. deep blue overall with only one small area of thinning just ahead of the forend on top of the barrel- minor and blends well, exc. wood, exc. bore, buckhorn rear sight with German silver blade front- interesting that the side of the blade and the boss on the barrel are both stamped with a tiny "20"- meaning unknown, when these scarce rifles are seen they are usually in hard used and often altered condition, one of the more rare Winchester Sporters with unusual features in super condition! $2650.
1895 .30-06 RIFLE, MADE 1923, generally excellent barrel blue and wood with tight wood to metal fit, forend retains the ebony wedge in the tip, receiver mostly flaked to gray (typical of this vintage Winchester receiver) with some aged blue remaining on the mag sides and on the bolt, has a Marbles tang sight (the bolt lightly pushes this back a small fraction of an inch on it's spring loaded stem but then it automatically moves back into position and seems to work fine), Marble/Sheard blade-bead front sight, filler in rear dovetail, exc. bore, has barrel band sling swivel with simple screw swivel in butt stock, tight action, $1595.
1895 IN RARE AND DESIRABLE .405 WCF CALIBER, WITH ALSO DESIRABLE SHOTGUN BUTT, MADE 1920, completely unaltered and unfooled with example with MINTY BRIGHT BORE, exc. barrel blue showing minor wear only, fine receiver blue on the lower portion and on the magazine sides with thinning blue on the upper portions, exc. blue on the bolt, buckhorn rear sight with blade/bead front sight, tight wood to metal fit with wood showing light handling only, correct excellent and un-chipped Winchester embossed hard rubber butt plate, exc. screws, tight action, forend retains the factory ebony inlay, these are getting super hard to locate especially unaltered with bright bores and shotgun butt stocks! $3850.
RARE 1897 26" CYLINDER BORE "BRUSH GUN," MADE 1905, a little known scarce variation on the famed 1897 12 Ga. pump shotgun as most of these have 30" full choke barrels or are 20" cylinder bore Riot guns, overall metal is an uncleaned gray/brown with blue in the more protected areas, fine butt stock with an all but imperceptible repair from a couple of the usual cracks coming back from the receiver, exc. forend with one age crack on the right side through the screw hole that goes nowhere, butt plate is cracked and could be (should be) epoxy glued, all this sounds a lot worse than it is, tight action, bright bore needs a clean and should have only very light scattered surface roughness if any at all, a seldom seen 1897, $595.
WORLD WAR II MODEL 12 U.S. TRENCH GUN, correct serial range of 1007XXX (as shown in Bruce Canfield's book on Combat Shotguns), original blued finish overall, correct U.S. and flaming bomb markings on the receiver and flaming bomb on barrel, matching numbers, correct sling swivels and Winchester hard rubber butt plate, butt stock probably an arsenal replacement as it does not have a cartouche, bright bore, generally excellent blue thinning to gray on barrel and magazine ahead of the receiver only which is the natural balance point for carrying, edge wear only elsewhere, exc. wood overall, tight action, correct four hole unmarked blue handguard, comes with a correct U.S./flaming bomb marked bayonet (Remington marked) and scabbard in about excellent condition, (photo light reflection off receiver in bottom photo makes the blue look much thinner than it is) $1895.
WORLD WAR I MODEL 1917 ENFIELD .30-06 WITH FANCY WALNUT ( see above in U.S. Military & Springfield section)
MODEL 53 SOLID FRAME .25-20 CALIBER RIFLE, MADE 1928, fine unaltered example with correct steel shotgun butt plate, nice wood showing very light handling only with tight wood to metal fit, receiver shows some good thinning blue on the left side and blue in the protected areas of the right side with better blue on the bolt (typical flaking of the blue on receiver of 1920s vintage guns), fine barrel blue with some light/minor thinning only with some typical blue wear at the muzzle, exc. sharp bore, original sights, tight action, a scarcer variation than most people realize with only a little over 15,000 made from 1924-1934 when the Great Depression killed this model, $1595.
MODEL 55 TAKEDOWN RIFLE, .30WCF CALIBER, MADE 1929 (THE YEAR OF THE GREAT STOCK MARKET CRASH!), fine example of a scarce model of which only 20,580 of all styles and calibers were produced from 1924-1932, retains nearly all the barrel blue with only minor wear, Marbles buckhorn rear sight, receiver mostly flaked to gray with good blue in the more protected areas and nice blue on the bolt and loading gate, tight takedown, exc. wood with correct steel butt plate, tight wood to metal fit, exc. bore, exc. screws, another Montana rifle, $1495.
HIGH CONDITION EARLY MODEL 63 20" CARBINE, #5XXX, MADE 1935, super example of this rare variation retaining about all the bright deep blue with only a little silvering on the butt plate and forward sides of the forend cap and a touch of thinning on the forward portion of the trigger guard bow, exc. wood with a slight age/stress crack coming back for an inch or so on the right side of the forend coming back from the forend cap- really minor and hardly worth mentioning, tight wood to metal fit, very sharp markings including the proof mark on top of the barrel and receiver ring, original sights, exc. action and bright bore, $1695.
WORLD WAR II PRODUCTION MODEL 64 RIFLE IN .32WS CALIBER MADE 1942, shows just light handling/hunting wear overall, blue is deep with edge wear and light scattered barrel wear, wood shows light handling only with tight wood to metal fit, exc. screws, bright exc. bore, correct checkered steel shotgun butt plate, tight action, scarcer than the more common .30WCF caliber, these (along with the Model 55) are rapidly going up in value as they are more scarce than a lot of collectors realize- especially the pre- W.W.II examples, $1100.
MODEL 65 IN DESIRABLE .218 BEE CALIBER, MADE 1936 AND PERIOD MOUNTED WITH A WEAVER J4 CROSS HAIR AND DOT SCOPE IN CORRECT STITH REAR MOUNT (AND WEAVER FRONT MOUNT), generally exc. wood shows handling only, original checkered steel shotgun butt plate, fine barrel blue with normal scuffs from use, receiver blue is ageing and mixing silvery on usual handling areas (bottom and edges etc.) with better blue in all the protected areas, fine optics, tight action, bright exc. bore, only 2549 of these .218s were made, interesting rear scope mount is angled over the receiver top so empty fired cases would eject into this angle and be thrown out the side, also has a Stith front block just ahead of the front objective lens. I’ll bet this rifle accounted for a lot of small game and varmints! $2250
MODEL 71 DELUXE RIFLE, .348 WCF, MADE 1956, ONE OF THE LAST OF THIS GREAT MODEL, a particularly fine example with exc. blue overall showing only a few minor barrel scuffs and some gray on the receiver bottom from normal hunting/handling, correct Lyman receiver sight with rear dovetail filler, generally excellent wood shows light normal handling, fine checkering and correct Winchester embossed grip cap and super grade inletted swivel studs, exc. bore and tight action, original checkered steel butt plate, tight wood to metal fit, (NOTE: lots of photo light glare and reflection makes the receiver blue look washed out and thin etc., it is deep bright blue except on bottom of rec. as noted, just go by my written description) $2495.
BILL GOODMAN, 305 DONEGAL DRIVE, BOZEMAN, MONTANA 59715 TEL. (406) 587-3131 FAX (406) 219-3415
THESE W WERE SUCH GOOD NOTES FROM THE FIELD I'M KEEPING THEM HERE.
NOTES FROM THE FIELD: (27 April 2011) 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!
NOTES FROM THE FIELD: (24 OCTOBER 2011) "GUNS OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION YEARS" When the Great Depression began with the Stock Market Crash of 1929 America was taken by surprise. Prior to this pivotal event, in the gun industry production was high and sales were brisk. Almost overnight sales fell off hugely. The Winchester Handbook by George Madis shows production numbers by years of some of the major models. This is pretty illuminating. Here are some examples: Model 1890 .22RF had 12,367 produced in 1928 and 696 made in 1932; Model 1892 saw 64,833 produced in 1910 and 491 in 1930; Model 53 had 2,861 produced in 1925 and 30 made in 1937; Model 1894 had 29,967 made in 1927 and only1,192 made in 1934; Model 55 had 3,064 made in 1927 and 42 made in 1936. Colt, Marlin, Savage, Remington and Smith & Wesson etc. all f elt the same pressure. With production down to a fraction of what it was, the big manufacturers had no choice but to fire employees. Those lucky enough to be retained were the most highly skilled and experienced craftsmen. They also had time to put extra fine fitting and finishing into each firearm. Generally, the quality of these guns is truly exceptionally. With production numbers of these late pre-war arms relatively small and quality without peer, their value should be assured. Some of the scarce large frame Colt and S&W handguns- especially the target sighted versions- are almost breathtaking in their fit an d finish. This has been an under-appreciated niche in arms collecting/investing. It is my belief Great Depression era arms are often "sleepers" on the antique market today and are bound to increase in value at a rapid pace making them excellent long term investment.