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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.  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 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. 

 

 

 NOTE: THE OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED UNTIL THURSDAY, 10/25/18. PLEASE DO NOT CALL DURING THIS TIME, BUT YOU CAN ALWAYS EMAIL ME.  THANKS, BILL GOODMAN

 

MORE GUNS WERE POSTED ON 10/14/18. WATCH FOR FREQUENT POSTINGS THROUGH OCTOBER.

 

 

 

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) ONE OF THE SCARCEST OF THE EARLY COLT CARTRIDGE REVOLVERS: THIS IS THE MODEL 1861 CARTRIDGE “CONVERSION” IN .38 COLT CENTER FIRE. Only 2200 made of this model in .38 Rim Fire and .38 Center Fire. I put the word conversion in quotation marks because these were not converted from an original percussion revolver, but were made by Colt in cartridge form using up earlier new parts from percussion models. In doing some research on this rare model in Bruce McDowell’s detailed book THE STUDY OF COLT CONVERSIONS, he states that in the early 1870s when this model was introduced there wasn’t a good supply of .38 Center Fire ammunition, so Colt made the early revolvers in .38 Rim Fire.  By about 1873-74 center fire ammo became plentiful and that’s when Colt began making this model in the center fire version. All of this model were serial numbered below 3300 and this example is in the 28XX range. Bruce McDowell also states that the standard finish was blue with walnut grips and that any other finish and stock material was special order and extremely rare. This revolver IS IN THE RARE SPECIAL ORDER NICKEL FINISH WITH GORGEOUS ONE-PIECE IVORY GRIPS! All numbers match on barrel, frame, trigger guard, cylinder and back strap. Only the barrel wedge number is different. Interestingly, McDowell also states that often there is a number “1” stamped under the serial number on the frame, trigger guard and back strap. He gives no reason for this and this revolver has that stamping.  All the sharp roll engraved cylinder scene remains depicting a naval engagement. The trigger guard/front strap, butt and back strap retain nearly all the bright original nickel and the left front of the trigger guard is stamped “38 CAL.”  The bottom left side of the frame has the correct two line patent dates and retains bright nickel. The barrel and cylinder and remainder of the frame show about half the nickel, but where the nickel is worn/flaked the metal underneath is fairly bright making this all blend nicely into a most attractive overall appearance. Correct barrel marking, fine nickel on the hammer, exc. screws, beautiful mellow ivory grips fit perfectly and appear to be factory original- which would seem probable as this was a special order nickel finish revolver. Tight mechanics and matching assembly numbers on the loading gate and the cylinder arbor. McDowell states that roughly half of this model were rim fire and half were center fire. Considering this there are only 1100 of this model in .38 Center Fire caliber. Of this 1100 there can be only a handful made in nickel finish with ivory grips! An outstandingly rare and attractive Colt! (4 photos) $3850.

2) SINGLE ACTION ARMY, .38-40, 4 3/4" BARREL, #187XXX, WITH FACTORY LETTER SHOWING SHIPMENT TO SIMMONS HARDWARE COMPANY, ST LOUIS, MISSOURI ON JULY 31, 1899. Amazingly only 86 numbers away from the above SAA! And both came out of Arizona. This is a typical cowboy gun that now is mostly gray/brown overall. Good markings with correct two line barrel address, strong patent dates with rampant colt on the frame. Matching numbers. Very tight action and good screws. The grips show wear- especially the right panel which is typical as this is the outside grip that would see more wear. Bore will clean excellent, front sight filed flat on top for sighting in. some aged blue in the protected areas of the cylinder flutes, ejector housing flute etc. butt appears to have had some pitting on it at one time that was filed or heavily cleaned- most of the serial number remains and matches. Good appearance. (4 photos) $2100

3) VERY HIGH CONDITION BLUE AND CASE COLOR SINGLE ACTION ARMY .32-20, 5 ½” BARREL, #344XXX, MADE 1923. This is a really spectacular example that retains nearly all the vivid case color on the frame and hammer with maybe just a touch of fading to the colors on the top strap- even the back of the recoil shield and outside of the loading gate retain the factory colors. Nearly full blue remains with a hint of thinning on the back strap, barely a touch of wear at the muzzle and outside edge of the ejector…all too minor to describe, but just enough to easily confirm that all the blue and case color are factory original. About perfect grips are matching numbered to the frame, trigger guard and grip straps. Untouched blued screws and cylinder pin. About as nice a Single Action as I’ve offered. (6 photos- lots of light reflection made it difficult) $6250.

4) LATE PRODUCTION NEW SERVICE .45 COLT CALIBER, 5 ½” BARREL, WITH GORGEOUS YELLOW AGED STAG GRIPS WITH COLT MEDALLIONS, #343XXX, MADE DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION YEAR OF 1937.  Colt was making very few New Service revolvers during this terrible economic time in the U.S. and it is thought that some of the finest arms ever manufactured by all the major companies come from this time because they only employed their finest workmen, with everyone else long since let go. The actions on this era firearm are truly works of mechanical art. All were hand fitted and meticulously polished etc. This one is no exception. The action is tight with no “end shake” or movement in the cylinder, double action and single action trigger pulls are superb. Minty bright bore, unaltered front sight, all correct markings including the rampant colt stamping on the left side of the frame and the last patent date on the top of the barrel of 1926. Has checkered trigger and retains the swivel in the butt. Overall metal surfaces are an aged blue that is dulling and mixing plum/brown in the more handled areas with brighter blue in the protected areas and cylinder flutes. Stag grips are solid and free of chips or cracks, fit exceptionally well, are mellowed to a beautiful yellowed patina and retain the Colt medallions. A striking Colt that came right out of here in Montana. $1495. ``

5) COLT 1908 .380 ACP AUTO PISTOL, #99XXX, MADE IN THE YEAR OF THE GREAT STOCK MARKET CRASH OF 1929! Overall a fine example that shows some carry wear. Fine deep blue on most of the frame with a few small smudges of gray in the front strap  and normal dulling/thinning behind the safety lever on the left side and on the grip safety.. There is also some dulling of blue on the rear top and left side of the slide. All sounds much worse than it is All exc. markings including the rampant colt on the rear of the slide. Unaltered sights, solid walnut grips with correct Colt medallions show some wear mainly on the bottom edge. Exc. two-tone magazine marked “CAL 380 COLT” on the bottom. Excellent bright bore and tight mechanics. $950. ``

6) ONE OF THE LOWEST SERIAL NUMBER, EARLIEST 1908 .25 AUTO PISTOLS I’VE SEEN! This One is #135.  This is a super early example that would be very hard to find with a lower serial number.  Has the correct early style slide markings with the last patent date of 1903. Nice hard rubber grips with the early “stylized C” with rampant colt motif. Overall in very fine condition considering age and the fact that most of these little pocket pistols were carried a lot and most show considerable wear.  Fine blue overall with only normal light handling and edge wear. Bright bore and tight mechanics. Two-tone magazine is marked “CAL .25” over “COLT” on the bottom. Made within the first eight years of Colt’s auto pistol endeavors! This is a real prize. $1850. ``

                       

MARLIN  (click text for photos).

1) SPECIAL ORDER 1893 OCTAGON RIFLE WITH HALF MAGAZINE IN SCARCE .32-40 CALIBER WITH “SPECIAL SMOKELESS STEEL” MARKED BARREL AND MINTY BORE! #408XXX, MADE C.1908. Another rifle that turned up here in Montana, this is a really fine example with nearly all the deep blue remaining on the 26” barrel and mag tube with only light age. The receiver is mainly a cloudy gray with some traces of case color in the most protected areas and on the upper lever along with good blue on the loading gate. Fine butt stock and forend with only light handling marks and tight wood to metal fit. Tight action and great bore. This is a very scarce combination of barrel and magazine in .32-40 caliber. Really attractive. $1495. ``

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.

 

 

                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) SCARCE MODEL 375, CHAMBERED FOR THE FINE .375 WCF CARTRIDGE AND ONLY MADE IN LIMITED QUANTITIES FROM 1980-1983, a really great short to medium range caliber (I have one in a Ruger No.3 single shot that shoots amazingly small groups), 20" barrel with 2/3 mag., factory sling swivels and factory drilled and tapped for scope mounting, this one is in near new condition, $795.

2) 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. $995.

3) 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! $1195.

 

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 a nd 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. A VERY UNUSUAL AND HISTORICAL SPENCER NEW MODEL FULL MILITARY RIFLE. This was the last of the great Spencer repeaters and only 1,000 were made in 1868 before the company closed its doors for good.  Interestingly, of these 1,000 three-band rifles, most were sold for the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 (along with a load of surplus U.S. arms left over from the Civil War!). Examples of this limited production Spencer are really hard to find. What’s interesting about this one is that it has what I believe are Chinese characters on the left side of the barrel by the rear sight (I don’t think they are Japanese, but I could be wrong). I know China bought Sharps Hammerless 1878 Borchardt Muskets (marked in the same place on the barrel as this one), but I haven’t found anything about earlier Spencer repeating rifles going on contract to China.  It’s also possible it was sent as a sample in hopes of getting a large contract, but I have no evidence to support that. Regardless, this is a very difficult Spencer model to locate and perhaps some research could shed some light on the unusual markings. Overall fine condition in the correct 101XXX serial range. Correct rear sight with slide intact (these sights often missing or replaced), rear of barrel correctly marked “N.M.” with all the Spencer markings on the receiver top flat. Nice uncleaned receiver is a dark patina with gray/brown barrel showing some light freckling. Very fine butt stock, forend shows light handling, correct swivels intact, tight mechanics, tube magazine in the butt stock intact, bore needs a good scrubbing out as it is dark with deep rifling and some scattered pitting. One of the most difficult to locate Spencers and one with a history worth investigating! (3 photos)  $2750.  ``

                               

MODERN AND CUSTOM CLASSIC FIREARMS (click text for photos)

1) BROWNING BLR LEVER ACTION RIFLE IN LIMITED PRODUCTION AND DESIRABLE .358 WIN. CALIBER. This is a Miroku of Japan made rifle that is unusual in that it has a much fancier than standard grade of walnut in the butt stock. Usually the wood on these is a plain piece of blonde walnut where this one has some nice figure/fiddleback in it. Checkered forend and wrist, exc. blue overall, original Browning marked rubber butt plate, gold trigger and comes with one extra factory magazine. There is one tiny smudge of blue wear at the muzzle and a few light marks in the stock finish which is all that keeps this one from appearing new. Comes with a Leupold scope base installed along with the factory open sights on the 20” barrel. I think if I were going to keep this rifle, I’d strip the stock finish and replace it with an oil rubbed finish. With the figured walnut of this rifle that would be a knock-out! $895.

2)DISCONTINUED SAVAGE MODEL 24 OVER-UNDER RIFLE/SHOTGUN IN .223 REM CALIBER OVER 20 GA. SHOTGUN.  There is no box with this one, but I don’t believe it has ever been used. Comes with all paperwork and supplied factory scope mount and lock etc. Fully adjustable rear barrel sight and scope mounting bar on the right side of the .223 barrel for easy scope mounting with supplied mount. 24” barrels, synthetic stock with recoil pad and quick detachable sling swivel studs. One of the most versatile and practical firearms ever designed and rapidly becoming hard to find. $595. ``

 

 

 REMINGTON (click text for photos)

1) VERY FINE CONDITION 1871 U.S. ARMY .50 CAL. CENTER FIRE ROLLING BLOCK PISTOL. This is a really nice example with a good clear cartouche on the left side of the stocks. Has the correct “P” and “S” U.S. government proof stampings on the left side of the frame. Retains fine case colors on the left side of the frame and trigger guard side with the right side a bit more faded into mottled/cloudy gray with color in the more protected areas of the frame. Excellent Remington markings on the frame with equally excellent screw heads. Barrel blue is uncleaned and naturally ageing/thinning, but fine overall. Front sight is unaltered, MINT, BRIGHT BORE, excellent forearm and very fine walnut grip that does NOT have the usual dings on the butt that most of these seem to have. Very tight action and much, much better than usually encountered. $1795. ``

2) 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) $1195.

3) U.S. GOVERNMENT WORLD WAR II ISSUE MODEL 11, 12 GA. RIOTGUN. These U.S. marked riotguns are becoming very hard to find now as all W.W.II firearms are popular with collectors and investors. This one has the correct U.S. and flaming bomb markings on the receiver as well as on the barrel. It also has a "C D" stamping on the right side of the receiver just ahead of the ejection port that may stand for Civil Defense. Additionally, the barrel and receiver serial numbers DO MATCH which is both very unusual and very desirable on this model as usually when the guns were taken apart for cleaning barrels and receivers got switched. This example is an early one in that it was a commercial Remington with the typical pheasant and duck hunting scenes roll engraved on each side along with a blue finish. The later Model 11s have a dull finish without the roll engraving. Later guns actually say “Military Finish” on the side of the receivers. Has the correct “CYL” choke marking on the left side of the 20 inch barrel. Butt stock has the original Remington butt plate as well as a light but visible crossed cannon cartouche etc. on the left center of the stock. Fine lightly aged blue overall on receiver and barrel, exc. mechanically, bright bore, forend shows one age crack coming back from the tip on the right side and goes nowhere. There is a similar one on the left side only of the butt stock coming forward from the middle of the butt plate that also goes nowhere- minor and simply from the wood drying. All excellent markings and a very fine example. $1395.

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

5) REMINGTON/SPRINGFIELD MODEL 03-A3 (see below in U.S. Military & Springfield section) ``

 

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.

2) "MADE IN THE 200TH YEAR OF AMERICAN LIBERTY" MARKED MINI-14 .223 RIFLE WITH WOOD HANDGUARD, MADE 1976, Ruger used this marking only for guns made in the Bi-centennial year of 1976 and now these are eagerly sought after by Ruger collectors. This rifle is a Pre-Warning rifle and has the early metal butt plate- later ones have plastic.  Overall near new condition with flash hider on the muzzle, desirable variation not only because of the Bi-centennial marking but because of the early wood handguard, needs only a magazine. $775. ``

3) RARE AND DESIRABLE VARIATION OF THE NOW DISCONTINUED RED LABEL OVER/UNDER SHOTGUN: 20 GA. WITH STRAIGHT STOCK, 26” VENT RIB BARRELS, FANCIER THAN USUALLY ENCOUNTERED WALNUT AND FIVE FACTORY CHOKE TUBES, MADE 1993. It is now a fact  that even the standard 12 ga. Red Label guns with pistol grips are hard to find, with 20 ga. Models scarce and those with straight grips almost impossible to locate. Additionally, this excellent example has automatic ejectors and barrel selector. It also has a particularly nice piece of figured walnut in the stock (looks much better than photos show) along with the original and unaltered butt pad. All in near new condition with owner's manual. These rarely seem to come up for sale. $1495. ``

 

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) GORGEOUS  FANCY BURL WALNUT ON THIS LIMITED PRODUCTION THOMPSON/CENTER HAWKEN “COUGAR” SPECIAL EDITION .50 CALIBER PERCUSSION HALF STOCK SPORTER.  I believe T/C made a small number of these in the mid-1980s for only one year. They are distinctive in that they had upgraded walnut in the stock and “French Gray” steel furniture instead of the usual blued and brass fixtures like butt plate, trigger guard, ramrod thimbles, forend cap etc.  This example has superior burl walnut in the stock along with the correct “Cougar” disc inlay. The barrel is blued and has the standard adjustable rear sight and blade front sight. These almost never seem to come up for sale and the wood alone in this one makes it an outstanding looking muzzle loader! Seen very little use and ready to be shot! If you don’t have at least one traditional styled muzzle loading rifle, you need one! These are simply too much fun not to own and shoot. (4 photos)  $695.

2) WINCHESTER LIMITED EDITION 1906-2006 1895 SADDLE RING CARBINE  IN .30-06 CALIBER. This is a quality re-introduction of the great 1895 carbine made to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the equally great .30-06 cartridge.  The top left of the receiver is marked “1906-2006 CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF .30-06 SPRINGFIELD.”  The receiver ring has the usual Winchester proof mark plus “.30 GOV. 06” over “.30-06 SPRINGFIELD.”  The upper tang is marked “WINCHESTER” over “MOD. 1895.”   There are no other markings visible. This is a fine reproduction of the original 1895 saddle ring carbine that retains the original style military ladder rear sight with slide, matching walnut handguard, saddle ring and even has the sliding door trap in the carbine butt plate for cleaning rod storage (a nice touch). Another feature I like is that the rear of the left side of the receiver is pre-drilled and tapped for a receiver sight. Nicely finished and nicely figured walnut stock, forend and handguard. Richly and deeply blued overall. This one is about new and unfired with all paperwork in the original box (some of the Styrofoam only missing)  with the original end label and factory printed serial number (this one is numbered in the 003XX range. Has only the most minor of storage marks in the wood that you would have to look very, very carefully to notice. I’m not sure how many of these fine carbines were made, but this is the first one I’ve seen. $1295. ``

 

SMITH AND WESSON (click text for photos)

 

1) A GREAT SMITH AND WESSON FIND!!! A VERY SCARCE 5TH MODEL .38 DOUBLE ACTION REVOLVER, 4” WITH NICKEL FINISH, IN THE ORIGINAL MATCHING NUMBERED BOX! THESE WERE ONLY MADE 1909-1911.  As stated in the last edition of  Flayderman’s Guide (It’s a shame nobody has picked up on this great book with much needed new editions since Norm Flayderman died several years ago), “…production run of about 15,000 (however, specimens available on the collectors’ market always scarce).” Aside from some internal improvements over earlier models, the 5th Model is easily identified by having the front sight integral with the barrel and not pinned as before. The barrel also does not contain patent markings. Caliber .38 S&W, this example retains most of the original nickel with only some minor freckling/peeling mainly on the extreme front edge of part of the cylinder- very minor. The hammer retains nice case color and about all the deep blue remains on the trigger guard and barrel latch. Excellent grips and tight action with all matching numbers on the frame, latch, cylinder and barrel. Remarkably, the box is in excellent condition with all intact corners and only one small inch section of the wrap around inner-box that fits inside the lid when closed is missing- minor. All instructions in the inside of the lid and inside the box are intact as is the end label stating in thee lines:  “Smith and Wesson; DOUBLE 38 ACTION; Nickel 4 inch.” The bottom of the box is numbered with the matching serial number 542XXX and has a factory stamping in red ink stating that "This arm is guaranteed with either black or smokeless powder factory loaded ammunition."  It is interesting to note that this model was serialized from 539001-554077. This example falls right in the middle of production, probably 1910. Amazing that a 108 year old cardboard box survived to the present time, let alone in this condition! This should prove to be an excellent investment S&W! (four photos) $1295.

2) ONE OF THE RAREST POST W.W.II MODELS! THIS IS THE PRE-MODEL 37 CHIEF SPECIAL AIRWEIGHT WITH THE EARLY AND QUICKLY DISCONTINUED ALUMINUM CYLINDER, MADE 1953! This model was introduced in 1952 and by 1954 the aluminum cylinder was replaced with steel as the aluminum was prone to crack (or worse!) when used with anything more powerful than standard .38 Special "mid-range" loads, I believe most of these revolvers were either destroyed or returned to S&W for a steel cylinder. I can't recall seeing another of these with the original numbered cylinder intact. All matching numbers on frame, cylinder, barrel AND INSIDE THE GRIPS, beautiful condition overall with nearly all the blue intact on the barrel, case colors on the hammer and trigger and "black" finish on the aluminum frame and cylinder, an extremely difficult to find flat latch S&W in superb condition, (note: light reflection makes it look like there is blue wear/edge wear. It is near full blue overall) $1100.

4) LIMITED PRODUCTION AND HARD TO FIND EARLY FIRST MODEL MILITARY AND POLICE "MODEL 1899 HAND EJECTOR" IN .38 SPECIAL CALIBER, these "Grandfather of all the M&Ps" were only made from 1899-1902 and are immediately recognizable because it is the only Hand Ejector made without a locking lug on the bottom of the barrel for the ejector rod to catch, also, all had round grip frames, this one with 5" barrel is in the 19XXX serial range and has matching serial numbers, very tight action and exc. bore, nice bright case colors on the hammer sides, case color on the trigger a bit dulled but shows some color, exc. correct hard rubber grips with patent dates on the bottom left grip panel, fine S&W logo marking on frame, fine blue in all the usual protected areas with thinning/ageing blue on the more exposed parts- like the outside of the cylinder, back strap etc. yet retains plenty of blue overall on the frame, trigger guard and barrel, front sight has not been filed or altered, exc. screws and markings, a limited production fairly scarce model to locate, $795.

5) 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) $1495.

6) A TRUE PRE-WAR RARITY WITH S&W FACTORY LETTER! MILITARY & POLICE MODEL OF 1905 FOURTH CHANGE WITH FACTORY 2” BARREL SHIPPED IN 1934!  The first 2” barrel M&P was shipped from the factory in January of 1934…this one was shipped on June 2, 1934. It is thought that only a very small number   of these were made before World War II. This was the Great Depression time when sales were small and production was limited. Very few of these pre-war snubbies turn up for sale these days. This is an excellent example with blue finish and round butt with matching serial number on frame, barrel and cylinder of 626XXX. According to the factory letter it was shipped to Western Metal Supply Co., San Diego, California. The beautiful, sharp checkered walnut grips are not numbered and the letter states that “there was not a listing about the grip material.” Overall excellent bright blue with only some minor edge wear/dulling of the high polish finish on the cylinder, a little on the sides of the barrel and some mixing on the bottom of the trigger guard and back strap etc. Exc. markings, nice case color on the hammer and trigger, bright bore, tight mech., simply a great example of a super rare Pre-War, 5-screw 2” M&P revolver. $1250. ``

7) MODEL 1905 .32-20 HAND EJECTOR, 4TH CHANGE WITH SCARCE 4” BARREL, #68XXX, MADE 1915-1916. The 1905 4th change .32-20 revolver was made from 1915-1940 starting with serial number 65701 and ending with144684. Obviously, this is a very early 4th change M-1905 probably made in the first year or two of production. Most of these that I’ve seen in this caliber tend to be 5” and 6” barrels with the 4” fairly scarce. This is an all matching numbered revolver with no number penciled inside the grips that I can make out, but the grips are excellent and fit perfectly which makes me believe that they are original. Fine deep blue overall with some very light and minor wear and flaking to brown on the right side of the frame and some also minor dulling of the blue in the usual paces/edges from normal light handling. Still retains some nice case color on the hammer and trigger. Front sight has not been altered or filed, minty bright bore, wonderful pre-1920 hand fitted tight action (!) and correspondingly light and crisp trigger pull. All excellent markings with the last patent date on the barrel of 1909. Guns like this will never be made again. $875.

8) EXTREMELY SCARCE BARREL LENGTH, EARLY PRE-29, FIVE SCREW .44 MAGNUM WITH RARE 4" BARREL AND FACTORY LETTER. This one turned up in Arizona and I sent for the S&W historical letter myself. The letter states: “…that the 44 Magnum pre-Model 29, five screw variation, serial number S169XXX was shipped on March 6, 1957 and delivered to Belknap Hardware Co., Louisville, KY. The records indicate that this revolver was shipped with a 4 inch barrel red ramp front sight, white outline rear sight, target hammer and target trigger, blue finish and checkered Goncalo Alves target grips. This shipment was for 10 units of this model in the above configuration.” This example has seen only light use and shows some minor muzzle wear and high edge wear to the cylinder. The blue is bright, grips excellent and retains the original sights, hammer and trigger with about all the case color remaining. Excellent inside with tight action. The latest STANDARD CATALOG OF SMITH AND WESSON, 4th Edition states the 4” barrel should command a 25% premium in value. Original factory letter included. $2950.

9) BIG AND ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT MODEL 329 PD "AIRLIGHT" .44 MAGNUM REVOLVER, 4" barrel with finger groove wood grips. When you want a lot of power, but don't want to lug around a heavy steel sixgun, this is the one to have! In fact, I do have one of these and carry it hiking here in Montana. The only .44 mag. I can carry for miles in the mountains and not even notice it's there! Not very pleasant to shoot, but it's not really made for that. Rather, it's to be carried a lot and fired a little. Adjustable rear sight with high visibility fiber optic front sight, wide checkered target hammer, great single action and double action trigger pull, this one has just a very  little carry wear, but is as tight as new. Interesting tip: these fit the Bianchi U.S. flap holsters made for the M-9 Beretta! I often use this holster with mine as it keeps debris out and also keeps me from catching my arm on the hammer or sight when hiking. $795.

 

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

1) VERY FINE CONDITION CLASSIC EARLY MODEL 1879 TRAPDOOR SPRINGFIELD .45-70 RIFLE WITH CRISP AND CLEAR 1881 STOCK CARTOUCHE.  Serial numbered in the 172XXX  range, this rifle still retains the original 1879 rear sight with the original “slotless” screws and early style cleaning rod. The 1873 dated breech block and lock plate are correctly stamped. Receiver has an attractive deep aged patina and the barrel blue is all there with some surface freckling that is on top of the blue and has never been cleaned! Fine blue on barrel bands etc. This is really a rifle that was put in storage and left for a lot years- when I got it I couldn’t see any rifling in the bore until I ran an oil patch through it to knock out decades worth of dust to reveal a bright excellent bore. I noticed the tip of the cleaning rod which is indented was full of dust- which I left. There is nice deep blue on the trigger guard and some case color on the upper tang. Exc. stock showing only light handling with a sharp circle P cartouche and dated stock cartouche. I still believe these beautifully crafted Springfield products in the great .45-70 caliber are the biggest bargains on the antique firearms collector market today. Beautifully made and full of history. And all for $995. (3 photos)

2) EARLY 1898 KRAG RIFLE #191XXX WITH VERY SHARP AND CORRECTLY CORRESPONDING 1899 CARTOUCHE. This is a particularly fine example of a U.S. Military rifle that is becoming increasingly difficult to find in unaltered, cartouched condition. Tight action with nice deep mottled gray receiver, extractor still retains some nice fire blue finish, original 1898 rear sight that has not been upgraded to any of the later Krag sights which is usual, barrel blue and bayonet lug/barrel band is thinned but not cleaned and still retains good color. Excellent butt stock, forend and handguard- butt stock has the remnants of an aged stenciled “2” rack number on the right side. Correct sling swivels, particularly deep, sharp and excellent circle P and dated cartouche. Bore a bit dark and would benefit from a good scrubbing to be fine or better. This is a very attractive early 1898 Krag rifle that has not been updated or altered. (3 photos) ($975. ``

3) U.S. GOVERNMENT WORLD WAR II ISSUE MODEL 11, 12 GA. RIOTGUN (see above in Remington section)

4) U.S. ARMY MODEL 1871 .50 CAL. ROLLING BLOCK PISTOL  (see above in Remington section)

 

WINCHESTERS (click text for photo)

  1.  VERY DESIRABLE 1885 THICK SIDE HIGHWALL OCTAGON SPORTING RIFLE IN LOW PRODUCTION .40-65 CALIBER, WITH CODY VERIFICATION SHOWING SHIPMENT IN AUGUST 1894. Interestingly, with over 115,000 1885 Single Shot Rifles made, only 518 were made in this fine caliber (the .40-65 is simply the .45-70 case tapered to .40 caliber. They are easy to form or correctly headstamped excellent quality cases are currently made by Starline). This is the rare “thick side” receiver variation that is seldom seen. The No.3 weight barrel is 30” long and retains a fine+ bright bore that shows only light scattered roughness mainly ahead of the chamber. Full buckhorn rear barrel sight with Rocky Mountain blade front and sharp barrel markings. Barrel is a mixture of gray/brown with some small amount of very aged blue. Receiver is silvery-gray. Fine butt stock and forend with ebony wedge inlay intact. Only the lever shows slight bending and has the small under-piece ahead of the trigger broken off- not easily noticed unless looked at the bottom of the receiver with the lever down (you can see the flat piece on the lever bottom that I'm referring to in the bottom photo). Nice overall appearance. Seldom encountered variation in a scarce and useful caliber. My Cody Museum call-in sheet included. (3 photos) $2650.

  2. FINE CONDITION, SPECIAL ORDER 1886 .45-90 CALIBER ROUND BARREL RIFLE WITH HALF MAGAZINE AND CRESCENT BUTT, #136XXX, WITH FACTORY LETTER showing this rifle was received in the warehouse November 6, 1905 and shipped July 13, 1906. Interestingly, aside from verifying that this is a .45-90, round barrel, half magazine rifle it lists it as “Shotgun Butt Rifle butt fitted.”  Perhaps it was received in the warehouse as a shotgun butt rifle and then a special order changed it to a rifle butt. This may be why it wasn’t shipped for another 8 months. During this late stage of production, most 1886s were of the extra light variation in .33WCF or .45-70 with shotgun butts standard. It is unusual to find a .45-90 with full 26” barrel and crescent butt plate during this time. This one still shows more than half of the deep blue on the receiver sides with the balance turning plum and brown with excellent blue on the bolt. Barrel and short mag. tube retain fine aged  blue mixing lightly with brown. Buckhorn and typical Winchester blade front sight, fine+ wood shows tight wood to metal fit and only normal handling marks. Exc. markings and screws, tight action and fine+ bore with minor scattered very surface roughness that ought to scrub out even better. A really honest special order 1886 in a great caliber with fine appearance. Factory letter included. $3650

  3. OUTSTANDING 1887 FANCY WALNUT LEVER ACTION 32” BARREL 10 GA. SHOTGUN, #55XXX, MADE 1894. The 1887 Shotgun is one of the most difficult of Winchester’s lever guns to find in excellent condition. It seems almost all that I encounter show very hard use and often abuse resulting in broken stocks, cut barrels, replaced butt plates, battered barrels and mag tubes and very rough black powder bores. This one is exceptional in that it still retains nice light case colors on the receiver- more pronounced on the left side and a bit more faded to cloudy gray with light color in the background on the right side. There is more vivid color in the protected areas. The lever sides also still show some good case color. The barrel blue is even and lightly aged/mixing a little plum. The stock and forearm slabs appears to be a good bit above standard grade walnut with some nice fiddle back grain to it. Wood to metal fit is excellent and tight. Exc. forend and tight action. Stock retains the original checkered steel butt plate. And amazingly, the bore is bright and excellent all the way through!  1887s like this are few and far between! (5 photos) $2350.

  4. VERY SCARCE 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! $2250.

  5. 1892 .44-40 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, #344XXX, MADE 1906. A nice rifle that has seen use, but no abuse, barrel and mag tube blue has thinned and has mixed heavily with plum and brown, all markings are clear and excellent, similarly the receiver shows good thinning blue with brighter blue on the left side and in protected areas with fine blue on the bolt and loading gate, exc. screws, exc. action, butt stock and forend show normal light handling with excellent tight wood to metal fit, bore is fairly bright with scattered surface roughness only and good rifling, original buckhorn rear sight with Winchester blade front, an really honest rifle in a very desirable and difficult to find caliber these days. $1895.

  6. 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.

  7. 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! $2250.

  8. ANTIQUE SERIAL NUMBER 1894 .38-55 SADDLE RING CARBINE, #109XXX, MADE 1897. This is a fine example that recently came out of Helena, Montana. A difficult caliber carbine to find from any time period, but particularly hard to find Pre-1899. This one shows good aged blue on the mag tube with the bottom half mixing plum/brown and the top half, which is more protected, showing better blue. Similarly, the barrel shows thinning blue mixing brown with better blue on the bottom section. The receiver is mostly gray/brown with some blue left around the protected area of the saddle ring and on the loading gate. It has the typical original carbine front sight with a filler in the rear dovetail and a Marbles tang sight (I checked and there are no extra holes hidden by the tang sight base). The walnut stock and forend are particularly fine with tight wood to metal fit. There appears to be a tiny dowel-filled hole in the bottom of the stock where a sling swivel might have gone but I think it also could be a factory fill from a knot in the walnut. Either way it is very minor and hard to notice. Tight action and fine+ bore that may have a little scattered light surface roughness toward the middle of the bore that might scrub out. Nice uncleaned/unaltered appearance and lots of history in this 121 year old Montana Winchester Saddle Ring Carbine! $2250.

  9. 1894 .32-40 OCTAGON RIFLE WITH MINTY BORE, #372XXX, MADE 1906. A nice example that is super hard to find with a bore this excellent! Fine deep blue on the barrel and magazine showing only light age, original buckhorn rear sight and Winchester blade front sight. The receiver shows good blue mixing plum/brown on the left side with the right side ageing to a more brown with excellent blue on the bolt. Exc. receiver screws look unturned. Fine+ walnut butt stock and forearm showing only normal light handling. Still retains some case color on the upper portion of the lever, tight action and getting very difficult to find this most rare of all the ’94 calibers especially with a bright, excellent bore! $2250.

  10. FINE 1894 20” OCTAGON SHORT RIFLE, .30WCF, #787XXX, MADE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION YEARS (1910-1920) IN 1916, AND THIS ONE CAME OUT OF ARIZONA. These 20” short rifles were very popular in the Southwest and across the border in Mexico at this time. The interesting thing about this rifle is that it shows that it was carried and stored most of the time in a saddle scabbard as the butt stock has a somewhat dry and weathered look while the forend shows none of this. Obviously, it is the butt stock that protrudes from the leather scabbard and is exposed to the heat and dry as well as the wet weather. The forend is the correct 1 inch shorter than standard length 26” rifles with the wood measuring 8 3/8” compared to standard 9 3/8”.  Fine deep barrel and mag blue, receiver blue has aged to an uncleaned brown mixing gray, tight wood to metal fit, rear sight is a very large high-winged full buckhorn paired with a Lyman blade/bead front sight. Exc. markings on the barrel and upper tang, fine screws, tight action and bright excellent bore. Lots of history in this one! $2395.

  11.  INTERESTING IDENTIFIED 1894 .38-55 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, #192XXX, MADE 1900. This early 1894 is stamped in tiny letters on the barrel ahead of the receiver “V. KINDLER” and “SAGINAW.”  Vincent Kindler was a gunsmith/outfitter in North Central Michigan (Saginaw, MI) in the late 1800s to very early 1900s. It seems he stamped his name and “Saginaw” on every rifle she shipped as I’ve had Winchesters, Colt Lightning rifles etc. with this exact stamping. This part of Michigan was pretty wild at that time and some huge deer were hunted and taken from this area in years past. No doubt, this fine rifle accounted for a number of them! The barrel is an uncleaned aged and thinned blue mixing plum with deeper blue on the bottom above the magazine. Flattop buckhorn rear sight is matched with a Lyman "Jack Sight" which is a half-moon with ivory bead. The mag tube has stronger blue overall. The receiver is mainly gray with good blue on the loading gate and shows some very light scratching mainly on the left side- visible when bright light hits it. All correct sharp markings. Fine stock and forend shows only normal light handling and has tight wood to metal fit. Tight action. Bore will clean excellent- appears to have some light scattered leading in the grooves only that should brush out. Nice to know some history in this fine early 1894! $1495.

  12. 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.

  13.  ATTIC CONDITION, UNCLEANED MODEL 1895, .30 ARMY CALIBER (.30-40 KRAG),  #87XXX, MADE RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION IN 1915! I found this one in Arizona and the previous owner said it “came out of Mexico.” The 1895 in .30-40 was one of the most popular rifles used in the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). While obviously cared for, this one has seen some real use. Mostly a gray/brown patina overall with some areas of aged blue, this 1895 still retains a dark but fine bore with good rifling all the way through and no pitting. The butt stock shows some “weathering” and has a 3/8 inch hole drilled from side to side- no doubt for a sling or for a thong to secure the rifle in a saddle scabbard. Tight wood to metal fit, forearm shows some honest saddle wear mainly on the upper right side just ahead of the receiver and on the upper left side near the rear sight where the wood is typically thinned a little. Forend also has a small crack staring on the right side coming back from the forend tip and a small and shallow sliver out on the opposite side. Excellent screws, tight action and uncleaned metal that has excellent markings. Buckhorn rear sight with correct small blade front sight. Loads of history and character in this action-packed Winchester! $1295.

  14. 1895 "1906-2006 HUNDRED YEAR" SADDLE RING CARBINE, NIB (see above in Shiloh and Reproduction section)

  15. 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, $950.

  16. SCARCE WORLD WAR II PRODUCTION M-64 RIFLE, .30WCF, #1320XXX, MADE 1943. Serial numbers reached 1,317,450 at the end of 1942 which probably puts production of this rifle just after that date. These Pre-War Model 64s are fairly scarce as production during the Great Depression years leading up to the war was small- usually less than 3,000 rifles made per year. This is a fine example that has seen light use only and retains nearly all the blue with the exception of the lower edges of the receiver, forend cap and some very small and light scuffing/wear to the barrel- all minor. Exc. blue to the upper tang, bolt etc., exc. stock and forearm, original checkered steel shotgun butt plate, buckhorn rear sight with original hooded front sight, exc. bright and sharp bore, a nice wartime example. $1195.

  17. LOW SERIAL NUMBER, EARLY MODEL 55 TAKEDOWN RIFLE IN .30WCF CALIBER, #3XXX, MADE SECOND YEAR OF PRODUCTION IN 1926. Another very limited production Winchester that got decimated in the Great Depression of the 1930s with only 20,580 produced in all calibers and solid frame and takedown versions. More scarce than most Winchester collectors are aware of, the Model 55 is becoming more popular with collectors than in years past. This is a fine unaltered example with original steel butt plate, excellent stock and forend with tight wood to metal fit and tight takedown. Receiver shows fine 1920s blue/black finish typical of rifles made during this time. Usually this finish flaked off very rapidly, yet this one still retains most of the finish on the left side of the receiver, the right side shows a little less with some plum and brown mixing, good blue on the upper tang and receiver top with some light flaking/browning. Even the forend cap shows some good blue. Fine barrel and mag blue, exc. markings, tight action with excellent bright bore. Excellent screws and original buckhorn rear sight with correct short ramp front sight. Much better than usually seen. $1495.

  18. MODEL 71 DELUXE .348 WCF RIFLE, #44XXX, MADE 1956. One of the last of the big .348s. This example has seen normal light carry wear, but is excellent overall. This one came out of here in Montana and probably accounted for loads of deer, moose and elk! Retains fine deep barrel blue with only light and minor scuffing. Most of the blue wear is at the balance point on the bottom of the receiver and some on the receiver ring. Has buckhorn rear sight with hooded front sight- hood intact. Exc. wood shows only some finish wear around the butt plate and a few normal very light and minor handling marks. Has the correct checkered steel butt plate, steel grip cap, fine checkering and super grade inletted swivel studs WITH CORRECT SWIVELS. Tight action and bright sharp excellent bore. $2650.

  19. 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

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

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