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

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

                                        EMAIL:  montanaraven@hotmail.com

      Bill Goodman has been a collector of antique/collector firearms for well over 40 years and a full time dealer for over 30 years.  Traveling around the country constantly seeking good quality collector arms at REALISTIC PRICES, Bill sells exclusively by mail order.  Until recently, he has advertised in every issue of The Gun List  (now Gun Digest the Magazine) since it's first small issues in the early 1980s (as well as The Shotgun News before that). All items are photographed. To view them just click the text of the item you want to see. Be sure to scroll down as most items have more than one photo.  All guns are sold as collector's items, not shooters.  If you wish to shoot an item listed here, it is strongly recommended that you have the item checked out by a competent gunsmith who specializes in antique/classic firearms. All items are sold with the usual three (3) day inspection.  If for any reason you are not satisfied with your purchase, call to say you are returning the item and you will receive an immediate refund when the item is received back in the same condition it was originally shipped. This list will be constantly updated as new items become available.  Use the above phone number 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 4/16/19. WATCH FOR FREQUENT POSTINGS THROUGH APRIL.

 

 

 

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) SINGLE ACTION ARMY RARE LONG-FLUTE CYLINDER VARIATION WITH INTERESTING FACTORY LETTER, #331XXX, SHIPPED 1915. This unusual Single Action .38-40 caliber with 4 ¾” barrel turned up in Tucson, Arizona. What is unusual is that it is slightly out of range for Long flute models by a little over 60 numbers- unusual, but not unheard of. Here’s what Keith Cochran says about them in his exhaustively researched book Colt Peacemaker Encyclopedia: “Beginning in 1913 Colt manufactured the so-called Long-Flute Peacemaker.  Between serial numbers 330001 and 331480 Colt manufactured 1,379 Long-Flute Model revolvers with a few known revolvers with this feature outside this serial-number-range; these revolvers will be serial numbered close to this serial-number-range however… When Colt terminated the manufacture of the Model 1878 Double Action Frontier Revolver, about 1905, they had a quantity of cylinders in surplus. The Model 1878 revolver had longer flutes in the side of the cylinder because the bolt-lock notch was in the rear end of the cylinder… These cylinders Colt had in surplus were not milled for the lock notch in the rear of the cylinder and they were adaptable to the Peacemaker. The Long-Flute Model revolver was manufactured in six calibers: .45 Colt, .44-40, .44 S&W Special, .41, .38-40 and .32-20 with some of these calibers very scarce to rare.” He also goes on to state, “The bushing in the cylinder of the Long-Flute Model revolver is unlike the bushing in the standard Peacemaker as it does not pass completely through the center of the cylinder; when observing the cylinder from the breech end the bushing cannot be seen.”  This example has the correct short bushing. Like the Model 1878, the most common caliber Single Action Long-Flute is .45 Colt followed by .44-40. The .38-40 would be considered scarce with the other calibers downright rare!  I sent for the Colt historical letter myself and just now received this unusual letter: “Colt Single Action Army Revolver #331XXX, .38-40, 4 ¾” barrel, blue finish, pearl stocks, sold to Ben Rubenstein, address unavailable, shipped to Stauffer Eshleman and Company, New Orleans, Louisiana, September 23, 1915, one gun in the shipment.” Then under remarks the letter states: “The records further indicate this revolver was returned to the factory on October 11, 1915. It was then shipped to Shapleigh Hardware Company in St. Louis, Missouri for Dollarhide & Harris, address unknown, on November 13, 1915. At this time, the stocks were not listed.”  I don't know who "Dollarhide & Harris" is. So, here’s my take on this, and I admit it is speculative, but makes sense: I think Ben Rubenstein special ordered a Colt SAA in .38-40, 4 ¾” barrel with pearl stocks. When the gun arrived, he looked at it and didn’t like the fact it had a Long-Flute cylinder. So he had it sent back to Colt. Colt removed the pearls and re-fitted this returned revolver with standard hard rubber stocks and shipped it to one of their biggest dealers, Shapleigh Hardware in St. Louis. I’ll bet the pearls that were originally on this one were re-fitted to another revolver with a standard cylinder and sent back to Ben Rubenstein in New Orleans. I can’t prove it, but I’ll bet this is what happened. Stauffer Eshleman & Co. was a pretty big dealer in New Orleans. If their customer backed out of the special ordered Single Action, they could easily have sold it as retail in their store…but they didn’t. Instead they returned it to Colt. As to condition, this revolver has seen use, but no abuse. There is still good bright blue around the front sight and top/bottom of the barrel, in the flutes of the ejector housing, some in the protected areas of the trigger guard and good aged blue in the cylinder flutes and  on the butt.  The balance of the revolver is mostly gray/brown with some light case color on the frame ahead of the cylinder and some small scattered areas showing evidence of light rust that has been wiped off, but not buffed or heavily cleaned. There also appears to be some surface "spotting" on the cylinder that looks like it was from powder solvent/bore cleaner that wasn't wiped off- should be easy to clean better if desired, minor. The screws are excellent, markings are sharp including the correct two line barrel address, the front sight has not been filed or altered the hammer is correct, the hard rubber grips fit well and show normal wear, action is tight with four clicks to the hammer and the bore is fine+ to exc. These Long-Flute Single Actions don’t show up for sale often and this one is in a scarce caliber with a particularly interesting and intriguing letter- I'm sure ancestry.com could provide info on the two names! (five photos)  $3850.   

2) CLASSIC NEW SERVICE .38-40 CALIBER, 5 ½” BARREL, #58XXX, MADE 1913. Interesting to note that the big Colt New Service is the only modern side swing cylinder revolver ever chambered for this caliber (it is possible S&W made a few Triplelock revolvers in .38-40, but this is not verified). This example came out of right here in Montana. It had been stored in an old collection for so long that when I was able to get it the action was so stuck with old and dried grease that I couldn’t even cock the hammer or rotate the cylinder! I sprayed the gun down with Gun Scrubber and oil and finally things loosened up. I doubt this gun has been fired for decades. The action is now crisp and tight with typically wonderful early Colt workmanship. Overall metal surfaces are free of any rust or pitting and display an appearance of good right blue in protected areas mixing evenly with aged and thinning blue. All barrel markings are sharp and clear with the last patent date of 1905. Frame proof markings are also clear. The rampant colt stamping on the left side of the frame pretty well worn away as there is evidence that a holster strap rubbed this area- interesting in that if it was rubbed in this way the gun would have had to have been carried either butt-forward on the right side or in a cross-draw holster by a left handed shooter. Lanyard swivel intact with block letters “A.B.C.” stamped next to the swivel on the butt- meaning unknown. Fine grips are not chipped or cracked and only show light wear. Bore generally excellent with a few very light surface spots that ought to brush out. Front sight has not been filed or altered. $995.

3) VERY SELDOM ENCOUNTERED AND CONSIDERED EXTREMELY RARE IS THIS FACTORY NICKEL NEW SERVICE REVOLVER IN .38-40 CALIBER WITH 5 ½” BARREL, #308XXX, MADE 1920. Standard finish on these largest of the Colt double action side swing cylinder revolvers was blue. Very few were finished in nickel as a special order. One can go years and not see a nickel New Service come up for sale. This is a fine example that shows most of the nickel intact with only some peeling in the cylinder flutes and on the left side of the barrel. All markings are sharp and clear including the rampant Colt on the left side of the frame. The grips fit perfectly, are numbered on the inside to match the rest of the gun and are in excellent condition with only one small chip at the extreme bottom right panel. Very tight action, bore is a little dark and appears to have some leading in it that ought to brush out to make the overall bore condition fine+ to about excellent. The butt swivel has been removed and should be easy to replace or just leave as is.  Front sight has not been altered or filed and the dark areas on the cylinder where the nickel has peeled could easily be polished brighter to blend in with the lightly aged overall nickel. Considering the different calibers and barrel lengths offered in the New Service and the rarity of any revolver in this line having nickel finish, there simply can’t be many .38-40, 5 ½” factory nickel New Services in existence. $1395.

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

 

                      

MARLIN  (click text for photos).

1) 1893 DELUXE .32-40 CALIBER RIFLE WITH FANCIER THAN STANDARD WALNUT, PISTOL GRIP, CHECKERING, HALF OCTAGON BARREL, HALF MAGAZINE, CRESCENT BUTT, #332XXX, MADE 1906. This is a particularly attractive, high condition Marlin. It is especially unusual in that most deluxe pistol gripped rifles have shotgun butt plates while this one has the deeply curved crescent butt. The bore is minty bright, the checkering on the pistol grip and forend is sharp and the nicely figured walnut in the butt stock and forend are excellent with very little wear. The receiver shows light silvery case colors on the side with more vivid color in the protected areas and on the top of the receiver.. There is also good case color on the upper portions and protected areas of the lever sides along with exc. blue on the loading gate and even the upper tang shows some good color. The 26” half octagon barrel and mag tube retain nearly all the deep factory blue with excellent markings including the "Special Smokeless Steel" barrel marking and nice screws throughout. It is fitted with a buckhorn rear sight (needs elevator bar only) and small blade front sight. This is a rare caliber Marlin 1893 Deluxe in particularly fine condition inside and out. (five photos) $3250.

2) MODEL ’94 .38-40 OCTAGON RIFLE, #412XXX, MADE C.1909. A fine example that retains most of the deep factory blue on the barrel and magazine showing only light darkening from age, exc. markings, receiver case colors have faded to a heavily mottled gray with good blue on the bolt and loading gate, original Rocky Mountain blade front sight with original buckhorn rear sight, excellent walnut butt stock and forend with tight wood to metal fit and only a little spot of surface chipping by the side of the butt plate near the toe on the right side- very minor and hardly worth mentioning. Fine+ bore with some very light scattered surface roughness that ought to brush out better, tight action. Very attractive overall appearance, $1595.

3) MODEL 39 CENTURY LIMITED, .22 S, L & LR, 20 INCH OCTAGON BARREL, ONLY MADE 1970 TO COMMEMORATE 100 YEARS OF MARLIN FIREARMS.  This one is in about new condition showing no wear. It has the correct brass “coin” medallion in the right side of the receiver showing the Marlin horse and rider logo with 1870 and 1970 dates. The right side of the stock also has the brass oval plate stating “39 CENTURY LTD” with “MARLIN 100 YEARS” etc. Mounted with a Weaver D4 .22 scope on the correct base complete with lens covers. It also has the original buckhorn and blade/bead front sights with gold trigger and distinctive brass forend cap and brass butt plate. Comes with the original 39 Century Limited owners manual. One of the most handsome Model 39s Marlin ever made at the North Haven, CT factory. These don’t show up much any more. $1150.

4) BALLARD No. 1 1/2 HUNTERS MODEL, .45-70, 32" BARREL (see below in Antique/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 don't know if any of the octagon barrel "cowboy models" will be produced again, although their online catalogue does show a model 1894 cowboy-type with octagon barrel in .45 Colt.

1) PRE-SAFETY SCARCE 1894 .357 CARBINE, MADE 1982. These are particularly hard to find now, correct 18 ½” barrel, buckhorn rear sight with bead front sight, has a scope base correctly mounted in the factory holes, retains nearly all the blue, excellent wood and has a single quick detachable sling swivel stud in the “bullseye” in the bottom of the stock. If you wanted to, you could remove it and replace the little bullseye inlay that is available through several sources. Tight action and perfect bore. $895.

2) MODEL 1895CB, .45-70 WITH 26" OCTAGON BARREL, MADE 2008.  This model has the "Ballard style" rifling that works well with cast or jacketed bullets. These are getting very hard to find now as shooters who own them aren't parting with them! This one is in near new condition with no extra holes or alterations. Aside from some very, very light handling marks on the forend (you have to look carefully to see them), it is basically like new. I have one like this that shoots great! $1100.

3) BALLARD RIFLE & CARTRIDGE, CODY, WYOMING MADE  No. 4 FANCY SPORTING RIFLE IN .45-90 (see below in the Shiloh Sharps and Reproduction section)

 

 

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

 

1) CUSTOMIZED, FACTORY ENGRAVED REMINGTON HEPBURN SINGLE SHOT RIFLE CONVERTED TO MEDIUM HEAVY VARMINT RIFLE IN .219 IMPROVED ZIPPER CALIBER, probably done in the 1930s-1950s when these rifles didn’t seem to hold a lot of value to collectors (lots of converted single shot rifles during this time!). This one is unusual in that the receiver appears to be factory engraved with scrolls and game scenes (rabbit on one side and a fox on the other) with reblued at time of conversion over the engraving, meaning the engraving was on the gun before refinishing/customizing! It was also converted to under-lever breech block opening (like on a Highwall or Sharps), it is fitted with a 24: medium heavy varmint barrel, nicely grained pistol grip stock with cheek piece and accent line, flat bottom varmint forend, sling swivels and topped with a (more modern) 6-24X BSA Platinum scope (here’s the factory info on the scope: “Extremely tight optical and mechanical tolerances give these scopes consistency and superb accuracy. Features multi-coated lenses, finger adjustable windage and elevation target turrets, generous eye relief and an adjustable objective that adjusts from 25 yards out to infinity. Completely waterproof, fogproof and shockproof. Comes with a limited lifetime factory warranty.”). Unmarked barrel, I was told by the previous owner that the caliber is .219 Imp. Zipper and that appears correct- it was also the most popular varmint caliber for rifles like this. Tight action, target crowned muzzle, light trigger and all in exc. condition overall. Would cost a fortune to have made today…if you could even find the action (not to mention engraving!) NOTE: three photos- the engraving didn't show up in the first two from light reflection, but you see it in the last photo- same on both sides.  $2150.

2) CLASSIC ITHACA DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN, SCARCE 16 GAUGE WITH 28” BARRELS, #378XXX, MADE 1923. This is a good example of one America’s best side by side shotguns made when the double was still the desired style among serious wing shooters, even though pumps and autos were popular. This one is choked modified and full. It shows normal hunting use, but still retains good aged blue on the barrels  with no dents. The receiver is basically a smooth, aged-dull gray. The barrels are marked “SMOKELESS POWDER STEEL” and “MADE IN U.S.A.” along with both sides of the receiver marked “ITHACA GUN CO., ITHACA, NY.”  The checkering on the pistol grip and forend is worn, but retains full patterns. Original black hard rubber butt plate is worn, but not chipped or cracked. The pistol grip cap is also fine. Extremely tight action with no play or looseness whatsoever! There are two shallow chips on each side of the receiver top by the barrel lever with no other chips or cracks in either the stock or forend.  Matching numbers on receiver, barrels and forend, bright exc. bores, the chambers measure 3” so will take standard 16 ga. shells. Most of these were made in 12 ga. with 16 ga. being difficult to find. If you like shooting classic American made double guns, this is a fine one without paying a fortune! $495.

3) FRONTIER USED BALLARD No. 1 ½ HUNTERS MODEL IN DESIRABLE 45-70 WITH VERY RARE 32” ROUND BARREL, #18XXX, MADE BY THE MARLIN FIREARMS COMPANY. This model was made by Marlin from 1876 to 1883. This example is a fairly high serial numbered rifle that was probably manufactured toward the end of production. I was told by the previous owner that it belonged to a Judge in Billings, Montana who is now very old and had to sell his gun collection. I was also informed that he found this Ballard years ago in Eastern Montana. I have little doubt that it has always been in this part of the country. The No. 1 1/2 Ballard was the no frills workhorse of the line made in .40-63 and .45-70 calibers. It was offered only in round 28”, 30” and 32” barrel lengths with the long 32” length being quite rare. The .45-70 chambering was popular on the Frontier West as it was powerful enough for the largest game found plus ammo could always be obtained at military forts. The last buffalo hunts were in Montana around 1883 and there is a good possibility that this old Ballard took a few from the last wild herds.  Quoting from John T. Dutcher’s excellent and detailed book BALLARD, THE GREAT AMERICAN SINGLE SHOT RIFLE:“ It was good marketing savvy to offer a modern, strong rifle at a reasonable price.  In their 1878 catalog dealers Turner & Ross listed the No. 1 ½  rifle for $28, while an 1873 Winchester lever action repeating rifle was $25, chambered for far less powerful cartridges, and the 1874 Sharps ‘Business Rifle’ with double set triggers was $35. Marlin Ballards were never cheaply made but were high quality rifles: however, some basic models such as these 1 ½ rifles are plainly finished, utilitarian pieces. This model was made from approximately 1876-77 until 1883. Most No. 1 ½ rifles were made by J. M. Marlin, but they still were listed in the 1883 Marlin Fire Arms Company catalog. Rarely is the Model 1 ½ found in fine condition.” This rifle has the desirable loop lever and retains the original long buckhorn rear sight with the short blade front sight. The barrel serial number (stamped under the forend) and the forend serial numbers match the receiver number. The barrel is an uncleaned mottled gray/brown and is clearly caliber stamped on the top ahead of the receiver “45 Govt.”  Deep aged patina receiver, very tight action with the lever snapping closed smartly. The butt stock is fine with one hardly visible very old chip repair at the toe. The forend shows only normal wear with no chips or cracks. The bore is fine with good rifling all the way through and only light scattered surface roughness. These big Frontier Ballards don’t come up for sale often and this is a very desirable one with 32” barrel, ring or loop lever and .45-70 caliber. (3 photos) $2650.

4) STEVENS NEW MODEL POCKET RIFLE, SECOND ISSUE, .22 SHORT CALIBER, 12” HALF OCTAGON BARREL WITH MATCHING STOCK, #8XXX, MADE 1875-1896. These are getting quite scarce as only about 15,000 were made during the black powder era and many didn’t survive. This model came before the more common Model 40 Pocket Rifle made from 1896-1916 that is easily identified by the trigger guard that the early models lack.  The New Model Second Issue was made in various .22 Rim Fire rounds plus .32 Rim Fire. This example is in the smallest chambering of .22 Short and is unusual for two reasons. First it is STILL .22 Short and hasn’t been bored out to .22 Long Rifle. This is important because the rifling twist is different for the .22 Short as it fires a light 29 grain bullet compared to the usual 40 grain .22 Long Rifle bullet. Accuracy suffers when this is done by people who didn’t realize this.  Also this one is unusual because it has a bright, excellent bore! Most of these were fired extensively with black powder loaded shells that unless cleaned immediately after shooting will spell doom for the bore. This one is outstanding by comparison to almost all I’ve seen in the past.  Has excellent bright nickel on the frame with only a small bit of peeling around the side plate and a small spot on the left side of the butt. The stock has a matching serial number to the frame and retains fine nickel with some minor brown spotting. Only the stock screw appears to be a replacement as these were usually of the knurled type and this one has a slot, but fits perfectly. Correct globe front sight with pinhead post and small silver blade on top of the globe matched with a tall buckhorn rear sight with elevator screw. Barrel has the Stevens markings with the last patent date of 1864. The barrel retains a soft thin blue mixing evenly with light brown. Excellent rosewood grips fit perfectly. A really nice example of a type of firearm that doesn’t seem to show often any more. $1295.

 

 

MODERN AND CUSTOM CLASSIC FIREARMS (click text for photos)

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

2) HARRINGTON AND RICHARDSON MODEL 1871 "BUFFALO CLASSIC" .45-70 SINGLE SHOT RIFLE (see below in Shiloh Sharps and Reproduction section)

3) WINCHESTER MODEL 94 XTR “BIG BORE” .375 WIN. CALIBER LEVER CARBINE (see below in Winchester section)

4) HARRINGTON AND RICHARDSON 1873 OFFICERS MODEL TRAPDOOR .45-70 (see below in the Shiloh Sharps and Reproduction section)

5) BALLARD RIFLE & CARTRIDGE, CODY, WYOMING MADE  No. 4 FANCY SPORTING RIFLE IN .45-90 (see below in the Shiloh Sharps and Reproduction section)

 

 

 REMINGTON (click text for photos)

1) OUTSTANDING MODEL 1901 ROLLING BLOCK MUSKET IN 7MM MAUSER CALIBER. One of the best I’ve seen in a long time, this example shows fine case colors on the receiver, excellent blue on the barrel, exc. walnut stock and handguard, correct sling swivels and cleaning rod intact (these often missing), original military style ladder rear sight with slide intact (again, these often missing), excellent deep blue on the hammer and breech block as well as on the two main receiver pins and retainer on the left side, exc. deep barrel blue, tight action, bore needs a good scrub but will be excellent, sharp markings on the tang with last patent date 1901 with no foreign proofs or foreign cartouche stampings in the stock, and all in about as nice as one could hope to find without somehow being brand new! (4 photos) $995.

2) ALMOST NEVER SEEN MODEL 25R CARBINE PUMP RIFLE IN .25-20, #19XXX, MADE 1923-1936. The standard Model 25 rifle has a 24” barrel with pistol grip and usually a crescent butt plate, while the carbine version has a 17 ¾” barrel (often erroneously stated as having an 18” barrel in some books), straight stock and shotgun butt plate. Almost all the Model 25R carbines I’ve seen over the years have been in very hard used and often abused condition. This example came out of here in Montana, and while it shows use, it is fully functional and unaltered. Carbines came with hook-eye swivels in the butt stock and on the mag. retaining band. These swivels are intact. The butt stock is basically sound but has the usual small chipping of the wood directly behind the rear top of the receiver/stock juncture along with the typical thin crack coming back for a couple of inches. It has the original Remington/UMC marked steel shotgun butt plate. The forend is basically excellent. Overall metal surfaces are a smooth gray with little blue remaining, but excellent markings and original sights. The bore is fine+ and may scrub out exc. with the action being tight. A very difficult Remington to find. $1395.

3) CUSTOM HEPBURN VARMINT RIFLE (see above in custom & classic section above)

 

RUGER FIREARMS (click text for photos)

1) CLASSIC MODEL 77 IN 7MM REMINGTON MAGNUM CALIBER, MADE 1981, a truly great rifle in every way that is no longer in production, this is the variation without open barrel sights, 24" barrel, comes with a sling and Ruger scope rings, seen very little use as about all the blue is present with barely any edge wear to the trigger guard, original Ruger rubber butt pad and grip cap, sharp checkering, there are some very shallow scratches to the wood on the left side of the receiver which are minor and hardly worth mentioning, classic tang mounted safety, exc. inside, about the most perfect "do anything" caliber available, if you wanted one rifle to hunt anything from antelope to big elk, this one would do it very nicely, $575.

 

 

SHILOH SHARPS AND OTHER REPRODUCTIONS.  Note: I am a Shiloh Sharps dealer and can order you any Shiloh you want. Check out my other website for Shilohs: www.shiloh-ballard.com (click text for photos)..

1) HARRINGTON AND RICHARDSON MODEL 1871 "BUFFALO CLASSIC" .45-70 TOP BREAK SINGLE SHOT RIFLE. This is a discontinued model that is still quite popular. This example has a 32” round barrel fitted with a Williams fully adjustable rear sight matched with a red fiber optic blade front sight for enhanced visibility especially in the hunting field. The checkered forearm and butt stock show some handling marks, but are basically solid and well fitting. There is some nice grain pattern to the stock which is fitted with a case colored butt plate. Stock screws are an attractive brass and the receiver is finished in a dark blue/gray case color pattern. Tight action and excellent bore with target crown. These don't turn up for sale too often.  Lots of fun shooting without paying a fortune! $575.

2) HARRINGTON AND RICHARDSON OFFICERS MODEL TRAPDOOR .45-70 CALIBER SINGLE SHOT RIFLE. These were made the U.S. and whenever I get one of these I always say they are still a great bargain on the reproduction market today…when they can be found. Beautifully reproduced from the original Springfield Officers Model, the H&R has the correct fancy pewter tip, wiping rod, engraved lock, hammer, breech block, trigger guard, barrel band and butt plate. The forend and wrist are sharply checkered, all metal parts except the barrel and barrel band are nicely case colored and the rifle is fitted with a sporting tang sight with blade/bead front sight. In an early 1970s annual issue of Gun Digest, Ken Waters did an article on shooting the various .45-70 rifles that were available at the time and found the H&R Officers Model to be the most accurate!  This one is in near new condition. These don't show up often any more. (3 photos)  $1195.

3) SHILOH SHARPS 1874 .45-70 SADDLE RING MILITARY CARBINE, #1XXX. This is an early Farmingdale, New York production carbine. Most of the carbines made by Shiloh were the 1863 percussion models with the cartridge Model 1874s quite scarce and rarely offered for sale now. Shiloh no longer catalogues any military rifles or carbines as they are concentrating on the 1874 and 1877 sporting and target rifles. This example has the optional sling ring/saddle ring as well as having a polished blue 22” barrel. It features the standard Lawrence ladder rear sight with slide and small carbine blade front sight. Overall condition is near new, showing no wear or usage. The tangs on these carbines are factory drilled and tapped for tang sight. Nice, dark walnut with case colored receiver, lock, butt plate, barrel band etc. These make great brush guns. A difficult to locate Shiloh. $2350.

4) BALLARD RIFLE & CARTRIDGE, CODY, WYOMING MADE  No. 4 FANCY SPORTING RIFLE IN .45-90, #C 8XX, MADE APPROX. 2002. I was one of the first and only dealers for the Ballard Rifles (and later Highwall Rifles) made in Cody, Wyoming. I still shoot two Ballards and one Highwall from that time. These are of the very highest of quality rifles. They advertised them at the time as not being “reproductions” of Ballards, but rather a “continuation” of the superb Ballards made by Marlin until 1891. This example is in like new condition and shows no use at all. It is a straight stocked rifle with shotgun butt. The wood is a fancy grade of fiddleback walnut beautifully fit and finished. The butt plate is checkered steel and case colored to match the deep and rich case color on the receiver and lever. The lever is of the ring type and, in my opinion, better looking than the “S” type lever that was also available (I have a similar No.4 in .45-90 that I ordered with the ring lever like this one.). This rifle sports a 32” heavy octagon barrel with a buckhorn rear sight and fully adjustable for windage globe front sight that will take apertures. It is also fitted with adjustable double set triggers and an Axtell vernier tang sight also adjustable for windage and elevation. The weight of this rifle is right at 12 lbs and would be right at home on the black powder silhouette range, 1000 yard long range or in the hunting fields! These almost never seem to come up for sale any more. This one is in a particularly desirable caliber and configuration! $3850.

 

 

SMITH AND WESSON (click text for photos)

1) PRE-WAR .44 SPECIAL SECOND MODEL HAND EJECTOR REVOLVER, 6 ½” BARREL, SCARCE NICKEL FINISH, MADE 1921. Only 15,510 of this model were made from 1915-1940 and I’m sure that low number reflects limited manufacture and demand during the Great Depression of the 1930s.The classic book STANDARD CATALOG OF SMITH  WESSON indicates that nickel finish in this model is worth "a premium." This one retains nearly all the original nickel finish with only some scattered freckling mainly on the edges of the grip straps and on the right side of the frame behind the cylinder (this is typical as this is the area that holster straps rub), still retains some light case color on the hammer and trigger, sharp bright bore with only a spot or two of light surface corrosion that might brush out, tight action, exc. markings, matching numbers, exc. diamond checkered walnut grips, unaltered front sight, lanyard ring intact, these big frame pre-war .44sd are becoming very difficult to locate and this is a particularly fine example in desirable nickel finish. (4 photos) $1395.

2) TARGET SIGHTED, PRE-WAR .38 SPECIAL HAND EJECTOR M-1905 4TH CHANGE, #582XXX, MADE DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION YEARS OF THE 1930s. This along with the Colt Officers Model revolvers were the most popular revolvers used in the popular bullseye matches of the day. During the Depression, with sales very low S&W kept only the best craftsmen employed. The fit, finish and hand honed actions of this decade were second to none. Simply put, the quality was unsurpassed and the actions and triggers have to be felt to be believed. This example with standard 6” barrel has a white outline adjustable rear sight paired with a tall “King Patent” front sight with red ball insert. It shows fine blue overall with just some blue wear on the sides of the barrel and on the edges. All markings are sharp and clear. Matching numbers on the cylinder, barrel and frame.  Excellent diamond checkered grips, exc. bright bore and fine action. These would be too cost prohibitive to produce today! $950.

3) RARE MODEL 1926 .44 SPECIAL HAND EJECTOR THIRD MODEL (ALSO KNOWN AS THE “WOLF AND KLAR MODEL), 5” BARREL, DESIRABLE BLUE FINISH, #55XXX, ONLY 4976 MADE FROM 1926-1941. Most of these big N-frame S&Ws were shipped to famed dealer Wolf & Klar of Fort Worth, Texas. Many of these ended up in the holsters of the Texas Rangers, Border Patrol or other law enforcement agencies. They were made in both blue and nickel finishes with the majority I’ve seen being nickel. This example shows fine original blue with normal holster wear to the forward part of the barrel sides, and edges along with the typical holster strap wear line on the right side of the frame behind the cylinder. The blue on the grip straps and trigger guard bottom is dulling somewhat, but not worn to gray. Still retains some nice case color on the trigger. Front sight has not been filed. Excellent markings and matching serial number on the frame, cylinder and barrel. The grips are the correct style, and fit well, but re not numbered to this revolver- this is often the case with this particular model as many Texas lawmen replaced their walnut grips with stag or ivory…this was when sidearms were an object of pride and not viewed as a politically incorrect unfortunate necessity! Excellent action and bore. Typical impeccable pre-war S&W hand-fitting and craftsmanship! One of the finest and most difficult of the pre-war .44 Special to obtain. $1795.

4) IF YOU LIKE HISTORICALLY MARKED REVOLVERS, THIS ONE IS A PRIZE!  PRE-MODEL 10, FIVE-SCREW .38 SPECIAL WITH RARE 2” BARREL, ROUND BUTT, NICKEL FINISH WITH THE BACK STRAP MARKED “DETROIT POLICE 10204,” SERIAL NUMBER C208XXX, MADE IN 1950. The right grip panel has been replaced with a black synthetic grip panel with the top extension part made to act as a “belt stop” so the revolver could be worn inside the pants without a holster using the grip to catch over a pants belt! The left grip panel is the normal diamond checkered style with S&W medallion. There is a “N” stamping on the frame under the grips as well as under the barrel by the matching serial number to indicate nickel finish. Matching number on the butt, barrel and cylinder. About all the bright nickel remains with only minor edge wear and there is fine case color on the hammer and trigger. Probably a detective’s revolver. I’m sure there are a lot of great stories in this scarce variation Pre-Model 10! $895

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

 

U.S. MILITARY AND SPRINGFIELD (click text for photos

1) VERY FINE CONDITION 1879 U.S. SPRINGFIELD .45-70 TRAPDOOR RIFLE, #190XXX WITH CORRECTLY CORRESPONDING, SHARP 1882 STOCK CARTOUCHE. This is the classic Indian Wars standard issue army rifle. It is also a little known fact that many cavalry units were also issued some rifles along with carbines for long range shooting. This example retains nearly all the deep blue on the barrel, barrel bands and trigger guard, as well as the deep blue/black oil quench case color on the lock plate and hammer. The breech block is correctly and clearly marked with the “US Model1873” and the lock plate is also clearly marked with the eagle and “U.S. Springfield.”. The top of the butt plate has the correct “U.S.” marking and there is a normal small rack number stamped in the wood just ahead of this marking. Retains the deep and clear circle “P” cartouche in the wood behind the trigger guard, exc. bright bore, correct swivels, cleaning rod intact, exc. wood with only the most minor of handling marks, correct “R” ( for rifle) marked 1879 rear sight that is mounted with the original “slotless” screws- most have been replaced with later slotted-head screws. This is a really fine example with a great deal of blue. Attractive early example and still the best bargains in the antique arms market! (4 photos) $950.

 

 

WINCHESTERS (click text for photo)

  1. CLASSIC 1873 .44-40 OCTAGON RIFLE, #518XXX, WITH FACTORY LETTER SHOWING SHIPMENT IN 1898.  This is a very attractive example with even, fine, deep and only lightly aged barrel blue. The mag tube is similar with a bit more plum mixing. Sights are original buckhorn rear and small Winchester blade front. The receiver shows some good aged blue on the right side and in the more protected areas and on the loading gate with much mixing brown. The left side is similar but shows some signs of rust that was more “on” the metal than “in” the metal that was wiped off, but not steel wooled or buffed and blends well- minor actually. Tight wood to metal fit with fine forend. The butt stock looks as if it rode exposed in a saddle scabbard as it has numerous very light surface scrapes and dings- even shows some shallow “dots” from a spur dragging along the right side of the stock for a very short distance. There also appears to be some scratching that may be a brand- possibly “E L” or something similar to both sides of the stock that is not overly apparent. All this sounds much worse than it is as the photos show. Bore shows fine rifling throughout along with scattered very surface roughness. Mellow brass lifter has not been cleaned or polished and is correctly marked “44 CAL.” Original dust cover intact, tight action and excellent markings. Still retains lots of dried grease on the action and this rifle looks like it was simply put away and stored for a number of decades! Hard to find in this uncleaned state. Very attractive antique serial numbered example with a lot of barrel blue that came out of Arizona. Factory letter included.  (4 photos) $2450.

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

  3. VERY EARLY 1885 HIGHWALL 30” OCTAGON RIFLE IN DESIRABLE .45-70 CALIBER, #5XXX, MADE 1886. Nice example with fine aged barrel blue showing most wear to the high edges of the octagon. Has a Lyman tang sight (no extra holes in the tang underneath…I checked) with a typical Winchester small blade front sight and filler in the rear sight dovetail. Fine walnut butt stock that shows some age and weathering. Forend has the original ebony inlay intact and also shows only normal handling with no abuse and tight wood to metal fit overall. I called the Cody Museum where the Winchester records are housed to check the serial number on this one and was surprised when it came back that this number is listed as a “.22 L caliber with #1 weight 24” octagon barrel.” My feeling is that this cannot be for a couple of reasons. The first is that all Highwall and Lowall actions fitted with lightweight #1 barrels had “FLUTED RECEIVER RINGS” so that the sights would be visible with such a thin barrel screwed into such a heavy duty receiver. Also, the wood matches perfectly on butt and forearm with regard to grain and color. A #1 barrel would have a thinner forend that couldn’t have the barrel channel widened to take a #3 weight octagon barrel which this rifle has. My feeling is that the serial number was incorrectly listed in the records- remember, in 1886 there were no electric lights and few people had corrected vision! The only other possibility is that the lower tang where the serial number is located was replaced from another rifle- possible, but not probable.  This rifle came out of here in Montana and still retains a fine+ bore with only minor scattered “frost” that ought to scrub out better. Tight action, aged dark receiver. Nice appearance and a very difficult caliber to find in a Highwall. $2350.

  4. 1890 SEMI-DELUXE PISTOL GRIP .22 WRF CALIBER RIFLE, MADE 1916. This would make a good project gun or be a good candidate for restoration as the receiver serial number is in the 558XXX range and the mismatched rear stock and trigger assembly number is in the 246XXX range. It is a factory checkered pistol grip butt stock with correct Winchester embossed grip cap. Apparently it was reinforced with a thin cross bolt  at the very forward part of the checkering pattern.  The rest of the stock and forearm are fine with good wood to metal fit. Retains good markings and overall is a very thin aged blue mixing heavily with gray and brown. Original sights and functions okay. Bore is dark and only fair-good at best. Like I said, a good candidate for some T.L.C.  $695.

  5. SPECIAL ORDER 1892 SADDLE RING CARBINE WITH 2/3 MAGAZINE AND SHOTGUN BUTT, IN 25-20 CALIBER, #902XXX, MADE 1920. All special order carbines are rare. This one came out of right here in Montana. It retains good aged blue on the barrel with a little mixing plum/brown- but mainly good blue. The magazine tube shows fine deep blue. The receiver is mainly a dull, uncleaned gray/brown with traces of blue in the most protected areas and nice blue on the loading gate. The wood shows only very light handling and displays tight wood to metal fit. Correct smooth steel shotgun butt plate with "fluted" late style comb on the stock. The bore is a bit dark with some scattered pitting that would benefit from a good scrubbing out. Original carbine ladder rear sight with slide intact paired with normal carbine front sight. Excellent markings throughout with tight action. A handsome and unusual 99 year old 1892 saddle ring carbine! $1695.

  6. 1892 ROUND BARREL RIFLE IN .25-20 CALIBER, WITH SHARP MINTY-BRIGHT BORE!  #866XXX, MADE 1918. An extremely hard caliber to find with a pristine bore, this is a very fine example with about all the blue remaining on the barrel and magazine. Original buckhorn and blade sights. The receiver shows mostly uncleaned gray with good flaky-blue on small portions of the sides and in the protected areas with good blue on the bolt and loading gate. Very tight action, excellent markings and screws. Butt stock and forend are generally excellent showing tight wood to metal fit and only light handling. Really hard to find with this much blue and such an excellent bright bore! $1695.

  7. 1892 .44-40 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, #693XXX, MADE 1912. A fine condition rifle made the year the Titanic sank! Receiver is mainly an uncleaned brown with excellent screw heads that don’t look turned. The mag tube shows fine lightly aged blue overall and the barrel retains more heavily aged blue evenly mixing plum. The rear buckhorn sight has the right “wing” broken off and shouldn’t be too hard to replace, correct short blade front sight. Exc. markings and fine reddish color walnut with good wood to metal fit. Bore is fairly bright and excellent with only some very small spots of surface/light  pitting toward the middle of the bore- minor. Very tight action and nice appearance. Getting hard to find any 1892s in .44-40. $1995.

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

  9. SELDOM SEEN AND UNUSUAL SPECIAL ORDER EXTRA LONG BARREL 1892, .38-40 CALIBER OCTAGON RIFLE WITH 26” BARREL, #262XXX, MADE 1904. A call to the Cody Museum verified all aspects of this unusual rifle and showing a shipping date of October 13, 1904. According to the standard reference The Winchester Handbook by George Madis, the longer than standard barrels were only offered until 1908 and that only 744 rifles had longer than the standard 24” barrels. Interestingly, most of the few 1892s I’ve seen have been 28” or 30” and almost always in the smaller calibers- .25-20 and .32-20. The 26” length is almost never encountered especially in .38-40. Overall barrel and magazine are a fairly even aged blue mixing plum/brown with the receiver more brown with blue in the protected areas and loading gate. Wood shows light handling only with very tight wood to metal fit. Original buckhorn rear sight with typical Winchester blade front sight. Tight action with fine bore showing good rifling all the way through with scattered light roughness toward the middle of the bore that might scrub out better. Excellent markings. Nice, unmessed with appearance and extremely rare barrel length/caliber configuration! $2150.

  10. HIGH CONDITION 1892 32-20 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, MADE 1903, a really beautiful example that shows excellent deep barrel and mag blue with only the most minor of wear on the bottom of the mag tube and very slight ageing of the blue, receiver shows excellent deep blue with minor edge wear and a little plum mixing on the bottom and upper tang, but shows most of the bright blue with the lightest of wear only, exc. stock and forend with very minor handling marks only, tight wood to metal fit, still retains some good dark case color on the upper portions of the lever and on hammer, bore appears a little worn and may have some leading in it that should scrub out to fine or better, original buckhorn rear sight with standard Winchester blade front sight, exc. markings, unfooled with overall and super attractive. $2250.

  11. VERY EARLY 1894 TAKEDOWN OCTAGON RIFLE IN .32 WS (.32 WINCHESTER SPECIAL), #165XXX, MADE IN THE FIRST YEAR OF INTRODUCTION FOR THIS CALIBER, 1902. It would be hard to find an earlier example in this caliber! Barrel and magazine show an overall thin blue that is better on the magazine with the barrel showing more gray. Aged blue on the rear portions of the receiver sides and in the protected areas plus the loading gate. Stock and forearm show some honest saddle wear and weathering, but tight wood to metal fit and sound. The rear sight is the correct one for this caliber and has the 1901 patent date and is marked for the Smokeless .32 WS M-94 etc. This sight is also functioning perfectly. Front sight is the normal Winchester blade. Exc. markings, tight takedown, exc. bore, nice appearance. Super early .32 WS caliber and rare in Takedown that came out of Arizona. (note: that is mostly light reflection on receiver on the bottom photo) $1595.

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

  13. SPECIAL ORDER 1894 .38-55 CALIBER ROUND BARREL RIFLE WITH HALF MAGAZINE (BUTTON MAG), #562XXX, MADE 1911. It is a little known fact that lever action rifles with half magazines tend to be more accurate than full magazine rifles- makes sense as each time a cartridge is pulled from the magazine and lifted into the chamber it changes the weight/balance of the magazine hanging from the bottom of the barrel. That’s why some of the more savvy shooters of the day ordered their big game rifles with half magazines- check out most photos of Theodore Roosevelt holding rifles and they all seem to have half magazines. This one shows fine deeply aged blue on the right side of the receiver with a bit less on the left side where it has flaked a bit. The barrel also shows fine deeply aged blue that has some plum/brown mixing. The wood is fine overall with maybe a couple of age cracks coming forward from the receiver on each side of the forearm that go nowhere and are very tight. Fine bore shows light wear and maybe a bit frost, but a good scrubbing ought help. Lyman tang sight with a small Lyman blade/bead front sight and King patented dovetail filler where the rear sight was removed. Exc. screws, tight action, nice appearance. $1495.

  14. VERY EARLY ANTIQUE SERIAL NUMBER, CLASSIC 1894 OCTAGON RIFLE IN .25-35 WCF, #45XXX, MADE 1896.  Since the .25-35 WCF was introduced in 1895, it is hard to find antique serial numbered examples. This rifle still retains fine lightly aged barrel blue with most of the wear to the high edges of the octagon, the magazine tube is similar with some brown mixing on the very bottom ahead of the forend. The receiver shows good blue in the protected areas with the majority aged to gray/brown, fine blue on the bolt and exc. screws, excellent butt stock and forend with attractive early reddish-brown walnut. There is one tiny and barely noticeable hole in the bottom of the stock a few inches behind the lever that looks too small to be a sling swivel hole, so its purpose is unknown- minor either way. Tight wood to metal fit, tight action, bore is a bit dark with good rifling all the way through, buckhorn rear sight with half-moon and ivory bead Lyman front sight with patent date of “Aug. 31, 86.” The front sight looks like it has always been on this rifle. Correct early tang markings and excellent screws. Nice early example in a scarce caliber! $1795.

  15. EXTREMELY RARE SPECIAL ORDER, 1894 SEMI-DELUXE SADDLE RING CARBINE WITH HALF MAGAZINE, CALIBER .32 WS, #499XXX, MADE 1909. What is also especially rare and unusual is that it has a carbine butt plate. Almost all of the pistol grip carbines have a shotgun style butt plate. Very few were made like this and are almost never encountered! Fine aged barrel blue with light thinning on the forward half, fine deep receiver blue that is dulling somewhat, but still deep and showing most of the wear on the edges and bottom. The only flaw is a tiny crack on the upper tang at the juncture of the hammer on the right side only- does not appear all the way across this thin section of the upper tang and is minor. In no way does it hinder the integrity or strength of the action and is barely noticeable (see this area in the third photo).  Has the three leaf express rear sight with the middle leaf broken (typical) along with a correct blade/bead carbine front sight. Excellent wood showing light handling only, exc. markings and minty bright bore with tight action. Has the correct Winchester embossed hard rubber pistol grip cap. This unusually configured and desirable carbine came out of Arizona. (3 photos) $2650.

  16. LATE, TRANSITION 1894 CARBINE, #1059XXX, .32WS CALIBER, MADE 1929. This is another Winchester that came out of right here in Montana and was probably a ranch gun. Interesting variation made just after the saddle ring was dropped as a standard feature, yet the classic curved steel carbine butt plate was retained. This one has fine deep barrel and mag blue with light wear and exc.  late markings. Has a D. W. King patent ‘07  buckhorn rear sight and a Sheard No.6 blade/bead carbine front sight. The receiver still retains some fine1920s blue/black finish that was known to flake easily and rapidly- this receiver is in the stage where the flaking has turned plum/brown before it silvers with brighter and deeper blue in the more protected areas and exc. blue on the loading gate. Exc. walnut stock and forend with only light handling and very tight wood to metal fit, tight action, exc. screws, and bright excellent bore! Nice appearance overall. $1195.

  17. MODEL 94 XTR “BIG BORE” .375 WIN. CALIBER LEVER CARBINE. These were only offered from 1978-1986. They feature a beefed-up receiver capable of handling the high pressure of the .375 Win. Cartridge, fine checkering on the wrist and forend. This one is basically new with the original box. There is no wear on the carbine at all and appears unfired. The box is complete but shows some poor storage and possible water damage. It does come with the owner’s manual. The .375 Win. is a great cartridge that hits very hard and is easy to load. Made in New Haven, CT, this fine Winchester was manufactured BEFORE all the safeties etc. were added. Nicely figured walnut in this one. These don’t show up often anymore. $995.

  18. HIGH CONDITION MODEL 1895 RIFLE IN SCARCE .30-03 CALIBER, #93XXX, MADE 1915. It is unclear why Winchester would still chamber rifles for this caliber when the .30-06 had replaced the .30-03 nearly ten years before. It is my opinion that some rifles were chambered for the earlier caliber because the only difference between the .30-06 and the .30-03 is in the case neck- the .30-03 is slightly longer than the ’06.  Standard .30-06 ammo can be fired in rifles chambered for .30-03, but not conversely. Perhaps there were still piles of surplus .30-03 ammo available to the public… Anyway, I’m sure most of these ’03 chambered Model 1895s were fired with normal and readily available .30-06 ammo.  It does make for a rare chambering as according to the Winchester Handbook by George Madis, (discussing chambering dates) “In 1904 the .405 was added, followed by the .30-03 in 1905. When the .30-06 was added in 1908, the .30-03 was available on special order only.”  Being special ordered in this chambering seven years after it was dropped is certainly unusual and an oddity! This is a very fine example with nearly all the deep blue remaining on the barrel with flattop buckhorn rear sight and Lyman blade/bead front sight in correct factory dovetailed ramp. Barrel is correctly stamped with the usual nickel steel markings plus “30 GOV’T 03.”  Excellent markings on the receiver and excellent deep and high polished factory blue on the receiver sides and bolt with only light edge wear and some handling wear on the bottom extreme forward part of the receiver and box magazine. Exc. wood with tight wood to metal fit. Tight action and minty bright bore. A very unusual 1895 in great condition. $2250.

  19. DELUXE PISTOL GRIPPED, CHECKERED MODEL 1903 .22 AUTO RIFLE, MADE 1915, fairly plain but uncracked walnut stock and forend, this was someone's well used and taken care of "pride and joy" rifle as the checkering is all there, but fairly worn, the blue on the receiver is pretty well worn off to an uncleaned gray with good blue in the most protected of areas, has the correct pistol grip cap, interestingly, this one was returned to the factory for a new barrel as the barrel has both the oval P "Mail Order" proof as well as the Winchester proof- this means, the rifle was sent back to Winchester who took a "Mail Order" replacement barrel out of stock and fitted it to the returned rifle, has all the correct Winchester and Model 1903 markings on the barrel, fine deep barrel blue, retains some thinning blue on the forend cap, exc. mech., exc. bright bore, buckhorn with blade/bead front sights, I believe I still sells .22 Auto ammo (different from .22 LR), pistol gripped/checkered Model 1903s are quite rare, $895.

  20. FIRST YEAR PRODUCTION MODEL 43 BOLT ACTION SPORTER WITH FANCIER THAN STANDARD WALNUT, IN .22 K-HORNET, #7XXX, MADE 1949. The chamber of this .22 Hornet rifle has been opened up to accept the .22 K-Hornet cartridge which is simply a blown-out or improved .22 Hornet case. This was commonly done on .22 Hornet chambered rifles as the “K” version got about 100+ more feet per second velocity over the standard Hornet loading but more importantly, it was less prone to case stretching than the original long, sloping Hornet case. Also, any .22 K-Hornet rifle could fire standard .22 Hornet ammo, but the fired case would come out formed to the K-Hornet dimensions. Reloading dies for the K-Hornet are readily available. This early rifle has a beautiful fiddle back grain to the walnut. It is also fitted with a one-piece Redfield scope base. It comes with one magazine and overall is in like new condition. The caliber designation on the barrel has not been altered and still reads only “22 HORNET” along with the other Winchester markings. Still retains the hooded front sight and as had the rear dovetailed filled with a correct blank. Unaltered checkered steel butt plate retaining all the blue. Overall, this rifle is in near new condition overall. $895.

  21. MODEL 55 TAKEDOWN, .30WCF CALIBER, #8XXX, MADE THE YEAR CHARLES LINDBURGH BECAME THE FIRST MAN TO FLY ACROSS THE ATLANTIC IN 1927! This example has seen use, but no abuse. The barrel shows very thin blue that is mixing evenly gray, typical of 1920s receivers, this one has had the blue turning dark and mixing brown and gray with good blue in the more protected areas and loading gate. Standard buckhorn and short ramp front sight, tight takedown, fine wood with tight wood to metal fit, tight action, has a sling swivel stud in the butt stock and a corresponding swivel in the forend cap, correct steel butt plate, exc. bore, these are quite scarce as the model was introduced in 1924 and fell victim of the Great Depression of the 1930s. $1195.

  22. SCARCE AND DIFFICULT TO FIND CALIBER .25-35 MODEL 64 GREAT DEPRESSION ERA PRE-WAR STANDARD RIFLE, #1147XXX, MADE 1938. Standard caliber for this fine rifle was .30WCF or .32WS. The .25-35 and .219 Zipper are super  chamberings that were discontinued after World War II when production of the Model 64 was re-started. According to the Winchester Handbook by George Madis, from 1933-1942 only 1,902 Model 64s were made in .25-35 caliber and only 861 were made in .219 Zipper.  This was a model introduced during the Great Depression and relatively few were produced when production was halted for the War. This example retains about all the blue on the barrel and magazine with only a hint of ageing. The ramped front sight retains the sight hood along with the buckhorn rear sight. Even the forend cap retains fine blue. The receiver shows most of the original blue with only some edge wear and light thinning/flaking to the sides and upper tang, and excellent deep blue on the bolt. Excellent stock and forend with correct checkered steel butt plate. Excellent bright bore with tight action. One of the more difficult Winchesters to obtain. $2450.

  23. BEAUTIFUL CONDITION, MODEL 71 .348 WCF CALIBER STANDARD RIFLE, WITH CORRECT LYMAN RECEIVER SIGHT AND FANCIER THAN STANDARD WALNUT, #38XXX, MADE 1954.  This one nearly all of the bright blue overall with exc. stock and forearm.  Still retains the hood for the front sight and original checkered steel shotgun butt plate. Bright bore. Even the forend cap retains about all the bright blue. The walnut stock is especially attractive and has some nice light contrasting fiddleback grain to it- much higher grade walnut than normally found on Model 71s which almost always seem to have very plain wood. An attractive example that has seen some light hunting use only. About as nice as one could hope to find without being new in the box! $1895.

  24. MODEL 100 SEMI-AUTO RIFLE IN RARE .284 WIN. CALIBER, MADE 1967. This one came out of here in Montana and no doubt has accounted for lots of game! Excellent wood showing very light handling with almost no marks. Exc. blue on the barrel with original folding Lyman rear sight and hooded front sight. It must have had a scope mounted at one time as the factory drilled scope mount holes are lacking the filler screws and there is a light outline were a scope base was once mounted. Correct .284 marked magazine shows some blue wear. The bottom of the aluminum trigger guard has a slight ding and wear to the anodized blue/black finish. Overall a nice rifle in a great caliber (I’m a fan of the .284 and have used it quite a bit here in Montana for deer and antelope). $875.

     

 

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

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THESE  WERE SUCH  GOOD NOTES FROM THE FIELD I'M KEEPING THEM HERE.

 

 CRACKED STOCKS! Seems like an odd thing to write about, but this is something I've not seen in print before. I've observed a lot of rifles with cracks coming straight back toward the butt plate from the upper and lower tangs. Sometimes the cracks are severe enough to warrant repairs (like cross bolts etc. through the wrist or extensive gluing) and other times the stock remains pretty solid as is.  So what caused this condition in the first place?  I've hunted with all kinds of rifles in all kinds of weather and terrain and never had a gun get damaged like all these I've seen.  And I've taken some pretty bad falls too. Once, on ice I couldn't see beneath a couple inches of fresh snow, my feet went out from under me and my rifle landed a number of yards away!  Still, no cracks like these. So I've been puzzled by this for some time.  Then it hit me, since these guns all seemed like Western big game rifles- large lever actions like 1876 and 1886 Winchesters or Marlin 1881 and 1895s as well as all over while the rifles were in saddle scabbards- fairly common in icy winter conditions, especially in the mountains. Also, sometimes horses will walk so close to trees that they rub against them.  If a rifle is in a butt-forward position scabbard, the rifle can go on one side of the tree and the horse the other causing a stress cracked stock.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think so.  The wrists are fairly strong on most rifles and it takes a lot to crack one.  If anyone else has a different theory about this condition, I'd like to hear it!

 "GUNS OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION YEARS" When the Great Depression began with the Stock Market Crash of 1929 America was taken by surprise.  Prior to this pivotal event, in the gun industry production was high and sales were brisk.  Almost overnight sales fell off hugely.  The Winchester Handbook by George Madis shows production numbers by years of some of the major models.  This is pretty illuminating.  Here are some examples: Model 1890 .22RF had 12,367 produced in 1928 and 696 made in 1932; Model 1892 saw 64,833 produced in 1910 and 491 in 1930; Model 53 had 2,861 produced in 1925 and 30 made in 1937; Model 1894 had 29,967 made in 1927 and only1,192 made in 1934; Model 55 had 3,064 made in 1927 and 42 made in 1936. Colt, Marlin, Savage, Remington and Smith & Wesson etc. all f elt the same pressure.  With production down to a fraction of what it was, the big manufacturers had no choice but to fire employees.  Those lucky enough to be retained were the most highly skilled and experienced craftsmen.  They also had time to put extra fine fitting and finishing into each firearm.  Generally, the quality of these guns is truly exceptionally.  With production numbers of these late pre-war arms relatively small and quality without peer, their value should be assured.  Some of the scarce large frame Colt and S&W handguns- especially the target sighted versions- are almost breathtaking in their fit an  d finish.  This has been an under-appreciated niche in arms collecting/investing. It is my belief Great Depression era  arms are often "sleepers" on the antique market today and are bound to increase in value at a rapid pace making them excellent long term investments.

I have found a new shooting activity that I'm sure a number of folks who check out my website will either want to try themselves or will at least find interesting reading.  I've discovered the fun of BLACK POWDER SHOTSHELLS. And no, I'm not new to black powder.  I've been shooting muzzle loaders since I was a kid (I was too young to buy ammo, but a can of black powder and a single shot muzzle loading pistol kept me shooting!) I've shot black powder cartridge rifles and some handguns since the 1970s.  I've also tried a few muzzle loading shotguns, but a while back I noticed Midway was offering reloadable brass shotshells made by Magtech in Brazil.  They cost about a buck a piece and come in a box of 25.  So I thought this looked interesting and bought a box.  They prime with a large pistol primer (I use CCI  Large Pistol Mag. Primers) and require no special tools to load.  I did buy a "cowboy 12 ga. shell holder" by RCBS which makes priming easier, but one can prime using a dowel, hammer and a flat surface to seat the primer. Anyway, I loaded with various loads of black powder as well as Alliant Black MZ black powder substitute. 27.3 grains equals one dram, so a typical field load of 3 1/2 drams equals about 95 grains of black powder or substitute.  I load that through a drop tube to better settle the powder, using a wood dowel I seat an over powder card wad, then a cushion wad, pour in 1 1/8 oz. of shot from an antique shot dipper I picked up somewhere along the line, top with another over powder wad and then put about three small drops of Elmer's glue on this top wad at the edge. Last, using a Q-tip sweep it around the wad edge. It dries making a nice seal with the inside of the brass case and holds everything together. Firing removes any glue residue from the case.  I picked up a particularly nice Remington 1889 double barrel with exposed hammers (damascus with exc. bores) and tried out my loads on some thrown clays.  I'm not a good shot with a scattergun, but when I felt I was on, the clay targets broke as nicely as if I'd been using a modern smokeless shotgun. I used this double on a pheasant hunt last fall and did just fine with it.  Truthfully, it made the hunt so much more fun I don't know if I'd go again with one of my modern guns! Today I tried the same shells in a Winchester 1887 Lever Action 12 ga. that was made in 1888. It fed beautifully and was a blast to shoot (no pun intended). The brass cases de-prime with a simple Lee type punch and clean up with hot soapy water. No resizing is required for the next loading.  Pretty simple.  The 12 ga. cases are 2 1/2" long, which is exactly what a modern 2 3/4" case measures LOADED AND UNFIRED. Remember, many of the older guns, like the Winchester 1887, have 2 5/8" chambers. You don't want to shoot a 2 3/4" shell in them as they won't be able to open up all the way causing pressures to jump etc. I don't think Magtech offers brass cases in 10 ga. but they do in the smaller gauges.  There are a lot of older shotguns out there that can often be purchased inexpensively and make wonderful shooters.  Be sure to have any gun checked out by a gunsmith if you have doubts about it. With these brass cases and ease of loading, it's worth trying.  Buffalo Arms in Idaho sells the correct size wads for these brass cases- they actually take 11 ga. wads. If you give this a try, I think you'll be glad you did-   Bill Goodman