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

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

                                        EMAIL:  montanaraven@hotmail.com

      Bill Goodman has been a collector of antique/collector firearms for well over 40 years and a full time dealer for over 30 years.  Traveling around the country constantly seeking good quality collector arms at REALISTIC PRICES, Bill sells exclusively by mail order.  Until recently, he has advertised in every issue of The Gun List  (now Gun Digest the Magazine) since it's first small issues in the early 1980s (as well as The Shotgun News before that). All items are photographed. To view them just click the text of the item you want to see. Be sure to scroll down as most items have more than one photo.  All guns are sold as collector's items, not shooters.  If you wish to shoot an item listed here, it is strongly recommended that you have the item checked out by a competent gunsmith who specializes in antique/classic firearms. All items are sold with the usual three (3) day inspection.  If for any reason you are not satisfied with your purchase, call to say you are returning the item and you will receive an immediate refund when the item is received back in the same condition it was originally shipped. This list will be constantly updated as new items become available.  Use the above phone number or email to call to check availability and for info on any item you wish to purchase. Prices do not include shipping. All federal/state laws concerning the transfer of firearms are strictly followed.  Modern firearms must be shipped to an FFL dealer (or "Curio & Relics" license holders where applicable).  Pre-1899 antiques may be shipped to non-FFL holders. All Layaway sales are final. AND PLEASE, MAKE CHECKS TO WILLIAM (OR BILL) GOODMAN AND NOT GOODMANGUNS. 

 

 

MORE GUNS WERE POSTED ON 1/18/19. WATCH FOR FREQUENT POSTINGS THROUGH JANUARY.

 

 

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: FINALLY, MY SECOND NOVEL IS OUT! First, I'd like to thank everyone who read my first novel, DESERT SUNDAYS, and kept after me to get the second one done and published! So, after the usual delays and hitches, here it is. This one is called AN OBVIOUS SLAM DUNK and if you like courtroom scenes and a story that not only makes you think, but surprises you...well, this is a page turner I know you'll like. And before anyone asks, yes, the third novel is almost done and I hope to get that one out before too long. All three form a trilogy, but each stands alone, so it doesn't matter which you read first. Both are available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble (Kindle downloads too). If you want to save some money and have a signed copy, I have books here that I can sell cheaper than online at $13 each including shipping. Click here to see both books front and back with a synopsis of each.  Don't bother to call to reserve a copy, just toss a check in the mail with shipping instructions. Thanks, Bill Goodman

 

 

COLT FIRE ARMS (click text for photo)

1) SUPERB MODEL 1862, 3 ½ INCH ROUND BARREL "CONVERSION” REVOLVER IN DESIRABLE .38 CENTER FIRE CALIBER, #316XXX, C. LATE 1870s. These conversion revolvers made from frames and parts of left over percussion guns are some of Colt’s earliest cartridge arms. They are not only quite scarce because of very limited production, but extremely interesting with many variations. Because of the high serial number on this one, it was probably produced in the last part of the 1870s. It has a full bright nickel plated finish of which most remains. There is only a small amount of limited peeling on the top of the barrel by the muzzle and a small spot an inch or so back along with some extremely minor edge wear. All serial numbers match and the cylinder shows a crisp and clear engraving scene. The frame, hammer, butt, grip straps, trigger guard etc. retain bright nickel with only a few very minor spots of peel. All excellent markings and screws. Tight action. One-piece walnut grips are excellent and still show quite a bit of the original finish. About ¾ of this model were made in .38 Rim Fire with only about a quarter of production made in Center Fire configuration. These were made on the 1849 frame and have the original “.31 CAL” stamping on the rear of the trigger guard over-stamped with an “8” to show “ .38 CAL.” There is extensive information on this model (as well as others) in the detailed book by R. Bruce McDowell A Study of Colt Conversions and Other Percussion Revolvers. About 10,000 of these were made, of which approx. 6500 were made from 1849 revolvers. Made without ejectors, these conversion Colts are among the most handsome firearms turned out. This is one of the finest examples I’ve seen. (4 photos) $2150.

2) SINGLE ACTION ARMY .38-40, 4 ¾” BARREL, #309XXX, MADE 1909.  This is a nice unaltered example with all matching numbers, front sight has not been fled, still has a trace of light case color in front of the cylinder. The barrel has the correct two line barrel address and all markings are fine. Barrel and ejector housing are mostly an uncleaned gray/brown with some small areas of blue in the more protected places. Frame is a cloudy dark gray with good screws. Cylinder shows some aged blue with more in the flutes and basically matches the rest of the gun. Some good blue remains on the upper portion of the back strap, on the butt and around the protected areas of the trigger guard with the balance gray/brown. Grips are not chipped or cracked and fit well but show no number inside- just the initials “BL” which is very common on Single Actions as cowboys would put their initials inside so that if someone stole their gun and claimed it was theirs, simply removing the grips would prove ownership! I’ve seen people do this on modern guns as well. Tight action, fine bore with sharp rifling. Nice overall attractive and un-abused appearance. (4 photos) $2350.

3) FINE SINGLE ACTION ARMY .44-40, 5 ½” BARREL, #327XXX, MADE 1913, WITH INTERESTING FACTORY LETTER.  Aside from being in particularly nice condition, the Colt letter on this one states that it was shipped to Bond and Bours Co., Jacksonville, Florida, November, 18, 1913 as a one gun shipment. The letter also confirms caliber, barrel length etc. In 1913 Florida was pretty much a wilderness with not much activity besides citrus groves. Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville etc. were little more than small towns until after the W.W.II. I don’t recall seeing another SAA shipped to Florida during this time. Matching serial numbers. The barrel has excellent markings including the one line address on top plus the famed “COLT FRONTIER SIX SHOOTER” stamping on the left side and retains nearly all the deep blue with only some thinning toward the muzzle . The front sight has not been altered. The ejector housing shows blue wear to the outside edge (holster wear) with the balance deep blue. The frame case colors have faded to a soft mottled gray with excellent markings and some small traces of color in the most protected areas. Screws and base pin are excellent, cylinder retains most of the blue with light thinning only. The hammer fits perfectly, but has the knurling is of the earlier pre-1906 style- it is widely known that Colt never wasted a part, so it is possible this was a left over hammer. Grip straps and trigger guard are mostly gray with some good blue on the butt and protected areas around the trigger guard bow. Fine grips with a small crack on the left bottom front corner that could easily be reinforced with some epoxy- minor. Has a few very small spots of light pitting on the lower right side of the frame/trigger guard- all very minor and typical of any gun kept near the ocean! Tight action, perfect bright bore. Fine appearance, interesting letter and great caliber. (4 photos) $3200.

4) BISLEY IN .32-20 WITH 4 ¾” BARREL, #298XXX, MADE 1907. This is a really classic example of a frontier revolver that was used and carried, but not abused or neglected. There is still some small amounts of aged blue in the most protected areas like the cylinder flutes and ejector housing flutes etc. but mainly it is an aged gray/brown that shows no signs of cleaning or steel-wooling. The screws are excellent and the markings are all fine including the “BISLEY MODEL” and two line barrel address. The cylinder pin appears to be an old replacement as is the ejector head. Front sight has not been filed or altered. Bore will brush out excellent, grips show considerable honest wear but are solid. There is actually holster wear at the muzzle on the left side- it takes a lot of holster carry to cause this!  Fine action and good lock-up with only the first “click” of the hammer weak. Matching numbers. Lots of character in this Old West Bisley! (4 photos) $1795.

5) ONE OF THE RAREST COLTS I’VE OFFERED IS THIS 1878 DOUBLE ACTION IN .476 CALIBER, WITH 5 ½” BARREL, NICKEL FINISH, PALL MALL, LONDON BARREL ADDRESS, #16XXX, MADE 1886! According to the excellent book COLT’S DOUBLE ACTION REVOLVER MODEL OF 1878 by Wilkerson, only 344 revolvers like this were made. (I highly recommend this book as it has a wealth of info on all calibers, barrel lengths, finishes, English models etc.). I assume all were shipped to England with very few either returning to the U.S. or surviving at all. According to Wilkerson, many or most of these were shipped to England first and then further shipped to India, Australia and New Zealand. There can’t be more than a hand full of these in existence. This one retains most of the nickel on the barrel, ejector and frame with only normal small areas of peeling- mainly on some edges and on the front strap. The nickel on the cylinder seems to have peeled more heavily and now only has scattered nickel. The barrel has British proofs on the bottom just ahead of the cylinder pin (which is in excellent condition) and behind each cylinder flute. Action is very tight and functions perfectly, bore is excellent and bright with no pitting, “476 CAL” is clearly stamped on the left front of the trigger guard bow, lanyard swivel is intact and the front sight has not been altered. This is about as rare a Colt as one could hope to obtain. (4 photos) $3250.

6) ARMY SPECIAL IN DESIRABLE .32-20 CALIBER WITH 6” BARREL, #489XXX, MADE 1923. This example has seen some honest field use, but is still respectable. Shows most of the blue, but has typical holster/handling wear/freckling that is more blue/brown than worn to silver or gray. There is some of this on the bottom of the trigger guard, back strap, right frame side where a holster safety strap rubbed and the high edges and top strap. Nothing unsightly, but it is there. Front sight has not been altered, still retains fine high polish blue on the barrel and cylinder etc. Nice fire blue on the hammer back and trigger sides. Correct fine hard rubber grips. And best of all the bore is bright and excellent with an action that locks up as tight as it did when this Colt was new 96 years ago! Excellent markings including the rampant colt on the receiver and barrel address and patent dates correctly ending in 1905. All of these pre-war double action .32-20s are becoming hard to find.  $650.

7) SUPERB CONDITION AND EXTREMELY HARD VARIATION TO FIND COBRA IN .22 LONG RIFLE CALIBER WITH 3 INCH BARREL, #109XXX LW, MADE 1961. These revolvers were made in very limited numbers before being discontinued. Those that surface often show a lot of carry and shooting wear as the ammo was cheap and being a lightweight small frame revolver, made a great “kit” or trail gun. This example is in about new condition and shows no carry or handling wear. It retains nearly all the blue on the cylinder face, indicating it was shot very little if at all. There is no cylinder drag line. All it needs is a box! Many collectors have never even seen one of these. $1495.

8) VERY EARLY MODEL 1903 .38 ACP POCKET HAMMER AUTO PISTOL, #19XXX, MADE 1904 WITH ROUND “STUB” HAMMER. A classic early Browning designed auto pistol that is getting very hard to find these days. All of the early .38 ACP auto pistols were very popular in the Southwest and in Mexico. This one came out of Arizona. Overall metal is a very thin aged blue mixing heavily gray/brown patina with better aged blue in the more protected areas. Obviously, this one was carried a lot and used, but not abuse at all. All markings are clear including the early “BROWNING’S PATENT” over “APRIL 20, 1897  SEPTEMBER 9, 1902” slide marking. Sights have not been altered, grips are not chipped or cracked and are generally excellent, tight action, fine bore with strong rifling and traces of case color on the hammer sides. Has the correct unmarked magazine, which is correct for this serial number range- earlier guns and later guns had variously marked magazines. A not often encountered early  auto made before Colt autos had safeties! $895.

9) A REALLY BEAUTIFUL LITTLE 1908 RARE NICKEL FINISH .25 ACP VEST POCKET AUTO, #295XXX, MADE 1921. This sharp diminutive auto retains about all the nickel finish with only a tiny bit of peel at the extreme front left edge at the muzzle. All markings are sharp and clear including the rampant colt on the left rear of the slide. Two-tone magazine is marked on the bottom “CAL. 25 COLT.” Excellent, tight action with both the lever safety and grip safety functioning perfectly. Exc. Colt hard rubber grips. A classy little special order nickel finished pocket auto from the Roaring Twenties Era in great condition! $895.

10) ONE OF THE ALL TIME GREATEST TARGET PISTOLS EVER PRODUCED IS THIS SUPERB QUALITY COLT MATCH TARGET .22 LR AUTO PISTOL, #175XXX S, MADE 1957. One of the all time great .22 target pistols, the all steel Match Target is in a category of its own. This early example from the Eisenhower days (!) shows light use only. It retains the full blue finish with only very light edge and handling wear. Correct black thumb-rest grips and Colt marked magazine. Perfect bright bore and tight mechanics with typical great Match Target trigger pull. All exc. sharp markings. Colt will never again produce guns like this…how unfortunate! $995.

                      

MARLIN  (click text for photos).

1) 1889 .32-20 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, #88XXX, MADE 1893. Aside from the 34 rifles made in .25-20 caliber, the .32-20 with only 15,441 manufactured was made in fewer numbers than the .38-40 and .44-40. This example retains good aged and thinning blue on the barrel and upper protected portion of the mag tube, the receiver shows very aged and thinned blue mixing mainly brown with some better blue in the protected areas and on the loading gate, fine wood with one small oval wood-fill spot on the right side of the wrist by the upper tang- old and darkened. Tight action with only the half-cock weak. Bore is fine but a little dark with strong rifling throughout and any roughness is minor- could use a good brushing out. Buckhorn rear sight appears to be a replacement and needs the elevator bar only, small brass blade/bead front sight. Exc. markings and nice appearance overall. 126 years old! $1150.

3) ONLY MADE ONE YEAR! MODEL 1936 SPORTING CARBINE, .30-30 CALIBER.  This model was begun late in 1936 and in 1937 the model designation was changed to Model 36. Some early M-1936s had flat hammer springs with the later ones having coil springs- those with the coil spring have a “B” prefix t the serial number. This one has the updated coil spring and is serial number B 5XXX. The 1936 was made in a 24” rifle version a 20” carbine version with full magazine and barrel bands etc. and a Sporting Carbine with 20” barrel, rifle style steel forend cap, no barrel bands and a 20” barrel with the ramp front sight dovetailed into the barrel (this is correct for this model). The Sporting Carbine seems less often encountered than the rifle version and all Model 1936 marked Marlins are seldom seen. This one has fine lightly faded case colors on the receiver, exc. blue on the barrel, magazine and forend cap, exc. bore and tight action. The stock is generally excellent with only light handling marks. There are a few more handling marks on the right side of the forend from normal usage. Correct buckhorn and ramped front sights. Correct hard rubber butt plate and Marlin Safety markings on the receiver top. One of the more scarce Marlin deer-caliber rifles made during the height of the Great Depression when sales were slow and production limited. (5 photos)  $1295.

 

 

                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) VERY HARD TO FIND 1894CB "COWBOY LIMITED" WITH 24” OCTAGON BARREL IN .38 SPECIAL/.357 MAGNUM CALIBER, #02012XXX, MADE 1998. Much more difficult to locate than those in .44 magnum, this one also has the long 24” barrel while most had a 20” barrel. Classic diamond pattern Marlin checkering on the wrist and forearm. Nicely grained walnut. All in about like new condition with only a very small dull spot to the blue on the top of the barrel ahead of the forend where it looks like this rifle stood in a rack- very minor and you have to look for it to see it. Nice, crisp and light trigger pull. These are great shooting guns with Ballard style rifling that normally handle cast bullets very well. $1250.

 

 

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

1) MINTY CONDITION TINY HARRINGTON & RICHARDSON VEST POCKET SAFETY HAMMER REVOLVER, CALIBER .32 S&W CENTER FIRE WITH 1 1/8” ROUND BARREL, MADE 1905-1918.   According to the excellent book H&R Arms Company 1871-1986 by W. E. “Bill” Goforth, the Vest Pocket Safety Hammerless revolvers were made from 1905-1941. Because this example lacks the marking “MADE IN U.S.A.” indicates it was made before 1918. This little revolver is in amazing condition retaining about all the original bright nickel finish with only a tiny dot or two of freckling on the right side of the frame and also retains about all the blue on the trigger guard. Correctly marked "Vest Pocket" and "Safety Hammer" on top strap. Excellent screws, action and hard rubber grips. It would be nearly impossible to find a better example! $475.

2) FANCY WALNUT STOCKED STEVENS MODEL 425 HIGH POWER LEVER ACTION RIFLE, CALIBER .30-30 REMINGTON (.30 REM. RIMLESS), #4XXX, ONLY MADE 1910 – 1917. The caliber stamped on the barrel is “.30-30 Rem.” which Stevens did to equate the rimless Remington cartridge with the famed rimmed .30WCF or .30-30 Winchester. Excellent example with deep reddish fancy grained dense walnut in both the stock and forend- looks like someone put an extra protective coat of stock finish on the wood, but did not sand it. The receiver retains most of the original  blue with some thinning to the bottom/forward part of the receiver, upper tang and edges. Fine barrel and mag blue show only light wear mainly just ahead of the receiver on the barrel top behind the rear sight and some thinning of the blue on the bottom of the mag tube. Exc. bore, tight action, original buckhorn rear sight and small blade front sight. Has the correct checkered steel crescent butt plate. All correct Stevens markings and correct 22” round barrel. Considered one of the finest lever action rifles of the time- right along with Winchester and Marlin. Not often seen and unusual with fancy walnut. $1395.

3) OUTSTANDING CONDITION HOPKINS & ALLEN  No. 922 FALLING BLOCK BOYS’ RIFLE IN .22 LONG RIFLE, MADE 1890-1915. These were very high quality single shot rifles that are not often seen now. In fact, C. Sharps Arms in Big Timber, Montana has just started reproducing this model (according to their website they are sold out). Base price is $830 (plain walnut, hard plastic butt plate etc.) plus Federal Excise Tax (approx. 10%). This is a truly great example as most of these rifles were used by enthusiastic, adventurous boys who dreamed of roaming the wilds with a .22 rifle (they didn’t have video games back then, I guess). Those that have survived their original owner’s enthusiasm are today usually found in hard-used condition. This rifle with 24” round barrel retains fine case color on the receiver sides and receiver ring with only some light fading. Even the upper and lower tangs show color along with the breech block, hammer and some on the lever! The barrel blue is deep with almost full coverage remaining. Hopkins and Allen barrel markings are sharp. Has a buckhorn and blade front sight. The action is very tight with the lever snapping up smartly. The forend and butt stock are excellent showing most of the original finish and tight wood to metal fit. The steel butt plate retains much of the original blue. The bore shows strong rifling all the way through with some scattered light roughness mainly in the rear 1/3 of the barrel. A good brushing and application of J-B bore paste would probably improve this a bit. The No. 922 was a takedown rifle and the takedown is very tight on this one. Superb overall and would be very difficult to find better. (5 photos) $875.

4) PARTICULARLY NICE CONDITION EARLY SAVAGE 1899B 26” OCTAGON RIFLE IN STANDARD .303 SAVAGE CALIBER, #95XXX, MADE 1909. It is getting very difficult to find Pre-World War I Savage rifles in any condition. The octagon version is especially elusive. This is one of the better ones I’ve seen in a long time. The barrel retains nearly all the deep blue and has excellent markings including the “SAVAGE HI-PRESSURE STEEL” over “MODEL 1899” stamping and barrel address etc. The receiver also shows most of the original high polish blue including the upper tang with only some thinning on the receiver ring and bottom forward “balance point” where there is silver mixing on the bottom edge and silver on the bottom forward portion. The butt stock and forearm show only light handling marks with tight wood to metal fit and only one small, typical hairline stress-crack coming back from the upper left receiver edge back for about an inch. Original buckhorn and blade/bead front sights. Excellent sharp bore. A really attractive  and scarce early octagon ’99. $1295.

5) MINTY, SUPERB CONDITION SAVAGE MODEL 1917 .380 ACP AUTO PISTOL, #28XXX. These excellent quality .380s were only made from 1920-1928. They are much less common than the .32 ACP caliber pistols and rarely seem to surface these days. Most that do appear show considerable carry wear as these were very popular small frame guns. This one is in near new condition throughout. If you look very, very carefully you might be able to detect the tiniest amount of edge wear or muzzle wear, but you’d have to look hard! Perfect grips, correct magazine, nice case colors on the trigger. It would be difficult to find a better example. $975.

 

MODERN AND CUSTOM CLASSIC FIREARMS (click text for photos)

1) HARRINGTON AND RICHARDSON MODEL 1871 TOP BREAK SINGLE SHOT RIFLE IN .38-55 CALIBER (see below in Shiloh Sharps and Reproduction section)

 

 REMINGTON (click text for photos)

1) FRONTIER USED No. 1 ROLLING BLOCK MID-RANGE OR FANCY SPORTING RIFLE IN .40-70 BN CALIBER, 30” HALF OCTAGON BARREL, CHECKERED PISTOL GRIP AND SHOTGUN BUTT, #4XXX, MADE APPROX. LATE 1870s. This rifle fits the description of a Mid-Range Target rifle or could have simply been ordered as a fancy sporter. It shows a good deal of Western use, but is basically solid and all original. The metal surfaces are an even dark brown patina with some scattered very old dings and scratches to the barrel and octagon receiver top. Good Remington markings on the barrel top and “40 70” on the bottom ahead of the metal forend tip. Under the forend is the matching serial number plus “PG” indicating this rifle was shipped with a pistol grip stock. There is also a “V W” stamping indicating it was supplied with a vernier tang sight and windage front sight which are now missing. Very possibly this was an eastern target rifle that came West and used as a sporter/hunting rifle during the buffalo days. It has a Remington style very small buckhorn rear sight with blade front sight. Patent markings on the left side of the receiver are fine. Tang has old filler screws where the tang sight was once mounted. Fine original forend shows light wear only with no cracks or chips. Pistol grip checkering worn, but all visible and good. Pistol grip gracefully curved bottom retains the fancy  factory ebony wedge inlay, smooth steel shotgun butt plate. Butt stock shows some handling and wear. Tight action with solid half-cock safety notch. Bore shows some wear, but is surprisingly fine and only needs a good scrubbing/brushing as it has good rifling throughout with some possible corrosion ahead of the chamber and scattered surface roughness- fairly minor. This one came out of the North Dakota/Eastern Montana area. A scarce rifle with lots of character. $2150.

2) HEPBURN 30” FULL OCTAGON SPORTING RIFLE IN .40-65 REM. CALIBER (.40-70 2 ½”), #7XXX.  As only 8,000-10,000 Hepburns were made, they are not commonly found. The .40-65 Rem. Caliber was popular as a target round as well as for a big game hunting round- this was a very popular caliber in the famed Sharps Model 1874 rifles. This example has matching numbers on the barrel, forend, lower tang and inside the butt plate. Interestingly, the stock on this rifle is of a higher grade of walnut than normally found on standard rifles and was probably a special order. Wood is generally excellent with original fine sharp checkering on the wrist/pistol grip. The forend is the late style with the schnable tip with ebony inlay. Wood to metal fit is tight. Action is a natural dark aged patina and the barrel with correct Remington markings (.40-65 stamped on bottom flat of the barrel ahead of the receiver and under the forearm) and factory crown is similarly a mottled gray/brown patina with some aged blue mixing. Buckhorn rear sight with Rocky Mountain blade front sight. Bore is a bit dark but better than one would expect with fine rifling all the way through and any roughness surface and light. A good scrubbing out would probably be worthwhile. Tight action. Many Hepburns were butchered in the 1950s to make varminters and original, unaltered examples are now scarce. Nice original Hepburn in a desirable caliber with all matching numbers. $2600.

3) REMINGTON/SPRINGFIELD 03 A3 (see below in U.S. Military and Springfield section)

 

 

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 TOP BREAK SINGLE SHOT RIFLE IN SCARCE .38-55 CALIBER. These are no longer manufactured and are getting quite hard to find. Most I’ve seen are in .45-70 caliber. This one has seen little use and retains about all the blue and case hardening on the receiver and steel butt plate. The bore is bright and the muzzle has a recessed target crown. The 28” barrel is fitted with a Williams aperture rear sight with a globe front sight that will take inserts. The checkered butt stock and forearm are excellent. Tight action. $595.

 

SMITH AND WESSON (click text for photos)

1) VERY RARE BLUE FINISH/SMOOTH WALNUT GRIP “BABY RUSSIAN” MODEL ALSO KNOWN AS THE .38 SINGLE ACTION FIRST MODEL, #9XXX, ONLY MADE 1876-1877. This is really a great condition example. Most of this model were made in nickel finish with hard rubber grips. Blued examples with wood grips are seldom encountered. .38 S&W Center Fire caliber, five shot.  This one shows fine original blue overall with only some plum/brown mixing mainly on the cylinder and barrel from age only and even the grip straps show good blue. Excellent smooth walnut grips fit perfectly and are numbered to the gun. All matching serial numbers, exc. screws, tight cylinder lock-up with hammer seeming to take a little extra backward force to hit full cock with half-cock a little weak. Nice vivid case colors on the hammer, fine barrel markings, bright exc. bore. All Baby Russians are fairly scarce with blued examples rare and any Baby Russian in this kind of condition is very hard to come by. $1650.

2) UNALTERED, HIGH CONDITION .455 MARK II, HAND EJECTOR 2ND MODEL REVOLVER, #61XXX, MADE 1915-1917. This is one of the best of these I’ve seen in a long while. It seems most of these have been converted to either .45 Colt or .45 Auto Rim cartridges. It is easy to spot one of these as the face of the cylinder would have been altered and no longer reveal the serial number. The chambers would also have been lengthened for the .45 Colt version. This example is still in .455 caliber and has all matching numbers on the barrel, frame and cylinder. The deep-dish S&W medallion diamond checkered grips are not numbered, but fit perfectly and are no doubt original. 59,150 of this model were manufactured for English service and 14,500 were manufactured for Canadian service. This one shows both British proofs and Canadian proof marks. These small marks are located only on the left rear side of the frame above the grips and one small “crossed flags” stamping on the forward left frame just behind the barrel and on the rear face of the cylinder. Overall, this revolver displays most of the original high polish blue with only some freckling on the back strap, a little thinning on the front strap and some very minor thinning on the right side of the frame around the S&W logo. Grips are excellent, lanyard swivel intact, still some good case color on the trigger and hammer, tight action and minty bright bore. $1295.

3) 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

4) SUPER RARE AND SUPERB CONDITION WITH ORIGINAL RED BOX IS THIS 5-SCREW “BABY CHIEF SPECIAL” #1XXX, MADE FIRST YEAR OF PRODUCTION IN 1950. This extremely scarce revolver is easily identified from later Chief Specials because it was made on a smaller frame size (similar to the “I” frame) than the later, popular “J” frame. It also has NO BARREL RIB, instead having the full round barrel with half-moon front sight. This is the best one of these I’ve seen as it is in near new condition with only a faint cylinder ring. All of the blue is intact, including the face of the cylinder. The diamond checkered grips have the matching number stamped on the inside and the cylinder and barrel numbers match also. The red box was used from 1946-1954 on small frame revolvers, like this one and it has an excellent, full end label marked “SMITH & WESSON” over “38 CHIEFS SPECIAL” over “Blued – 2 Inch.” The box is solid and shows some edge scuffing, and has some Scotch tape left on one side and bottom- this could probably be removed without pulling the red off by applying heat- either way it is minor. Inside the lid is the full instruction label in both English and Spanish. These iconic little guns are rarely seen and this one is truly investment quality. $2650.

5) SELDOM ENCOUNTERED ALUMINUM CYLINDER  PRE-37 CHIEF SPECIAL AIRWEIGHT REVOLVER WITH ORIGINAL AND VERY RARE SQUARE BUTT FRAME, #28XXX, MADE IN 1952-1954. Only 3,777 of these small “J” frame revolvers were made with aluminum cylinders and of this number only 900 were produced with square butt. Many, if not most, of these .38 Special “Mid-Range” chambered revolvers has their cylinders replaced with safer steel cylinders. Today, it is considered unsafe to fire one of these that still retains the original aluminum cylinder!  Example with matching aluminum cylinder would be considered a true S&W rarity. An original square butt This example has matching numbers on the barrel, frame and cylinder. It was finished in a kind of black finish that stuck to the aluminum almost like paint because normal blue only works on steel. This aluminum blacking tends to chip and peel easily. This revolver shows most of the black with only light scattered speckling mainly on the edges and bottom of the trigger guard from handling/holster carry. There are excellent case colors on the trigger and hammer. The bore is bright and mechanically it is excellent. The diamond checkered grips fit well and are correct, but not numbered to this revolver. It has the correct flat latch, pinned barrel and four-screw frame. An almost never seen variation. $975.

6) 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) $1195.

 

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

1) LAST OF THE FAMED .45-70 CALIBER TRAPDOOR SPRINGFIELDS IS THIS MODEL 1888 ROD BAYONET MODEL RIFLE, #514XXX, MADE 1891. This final style was considered the finest shooting of all the Trapdoors. This original example has a paint-stenciled rack number of “5” over “C” over “29” on the right side of the butt stock. It also has a sharp and matching manufacture dated stock cartouche of 1891 as well as the circle P proof cartouche behind the lower tang. Correct 1884 dated breech block and eagle motif “U.S. Springfield” marked lock plate. Tight action, exc. bright bore, correct Buffington rear sight. Barrel blue mixing evenly with plum from age and shows no cleaning or steel-wooling. Stock generally excellent showing only the lightest of storage/handling. Correct trap in butt plate for cleaning rods. Rod bayonet intact and fully functioning/sliding and locking into place. Dark mottled breech block, lock plate etc. Really nice example with Springfield quality unequaled by anyone else at the time. These are still cheap! $975.

2) BEAUTIFUL CONDITION SPRINGFIELD/REMINGTON MODEL ’03-A3, #3389XXX, WITH EARLY BARREL DATE OF 5 43 (MAY 1943). The first Remington 03-A3s were shipped in December of 1942 with the last in February of 1944. This example still has the early four-groove rifling while later production had two-groove. This one shows almost no use. It has only a few handling/storage marks in the wood and retains a light but legible FJA etc. cartouche in the left side of the stock and some typical rack/identification numbers lightly stamped into the right side of the butt stock. It also retains nearly all the original metal finish along with a bright exc. bore. One of the last of the great Model 1903 .30-06 Springfields. A cleaner example would be hard to find. $1175.

 

WINCHESTERS (click text for photo)

  1. SELDOM SEEN AND DIFFICULT ACQUIRE 1873 SADDLE RING CARBINE IN VERY LIMITED PRODUCTION .32WCF (.32-20) CALIBER! This rare saddle ring carbine is serial number 601xxx and according to the call-in sheet I got from the Cody Museum, was shipped March 5, 1907. Most of these late 1873s were exported and when found are in horrible condition. This one has seen use, but is very decent. Easily identifiable by the front magazine retaining band instead of the normal barrel band found on .38-40 and .44-40 carbines. The receiver shows even aged blue that is also evenly mixed with a most attractive plum (but certainly NOT brown or gray). Fine blue on the loading gate, mellow, uncleaned brass lifter with "32 CAL" markings, original dust cover, surprisingly excellent screws, barrel and magazine blue similar to the receiver with a tinge more brown to the plum and some light freckling on the barrel. Original carbine rear sight needs the slide and screw only, front sight boss is correct with a high blade pinned in. The end tip of the mag tube on the right side looks like it was dinged and pushed some side metal back about ¼ of an inch. Fine barrel and tang markings. Bore is a bit dark with light pitting, but good rifling all the way through. Lever spring only is a little weak. Walnut stock and forearm show normal handling, but no abuse. There is a stress crack coming back from for a couple inches on each side of the rear of the upper tang that go nowhere. Tight wood to metal fit and correct butt plate without the trap for cleaning rods- only the .32 WCF carbines lack this. One can search for a ’73 Saddle Ring Carbine in .32-20 for years and not see one! $3250.

  2. LATE MODEL 1873 .44-40 OCTAGON RIFLE, #588XXX, MADE 1904.  Many of these post- approx.1895 manufactured 1873s were exported and show considerable use and abuse when found. Many were shipped to Mexico and points further south. This example retains good aged blue on the barrel, but has evidence of light rust mainly on the octagon edges that was wiped off leaving some shallow pin prick pitting that is very minor. This is also apparent mainly on the bottom of the mag tube with is brown with good aged blue on the sides and top. The receiver retains the dust cover and also shows some good blue on the side plates and protected areas that is mixing brown. Metal shows no evidence of cleaning or steel wooling. There is good blue on the loading gate. It has the original buckhorn rear sight matched with the original Winchester small blade front sight. The forend shows some dings to the bottom and the butt stock shows only normal handling with good wood to metal fit. Tight action with dark bore that shows good rifling all the way through with some scattered surface roughness. I’ve tried to hit on all the negatives, but this is actually a very attractive nearly 116 year old ’73 that looks like it may have spent some time in the tropics. $1895.

  3. VERY HIGH CONDITION ANTIQUE 1873 .32-20 CALIBER, OCTAGON RIFLE, #392XXX, MADE 1891. This is really a beautiful investment quality Winchester. The barrel and magazine retain nearly all the original deep blue with only the most minor or age and Exc. markings overall. The receiver also retains most of the deep Winchester blue, again, with only minor ageing and slight edge wear with only a touch of plum mixing on the upper tang. The dust cover blue is turning plum from age. The stock and forearm are generally excellent showing only light normal handling and very tight wood to metal fit. The brass lifter has not been polished; buckhorn rear sight. Front sight is the typical Winchester blade. Tight action, about excellent fairly bright bore with maybe some minor spots toward the middle of the bore that might even brush out. A Cody Firearms call-in sheet verifying all aspects of this rifle is included. Excellent screws and overall a superior 129 year old 1873. $3850.

  4. 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) $6450.

  5. BEAUTIFUL, HIGH CONDITION 1885 HIGHWALL SINGLE SHOT, .32-40 CALIBER WITH 30” No. 3 WEIGHT OCTAGON BARREL, #70XXX, MADE 1894. This is one of the nicest and most attractive Highwalls I’ve been able to offer in a long time. The receiver shows fine and only lightly faded case colors on the sides and top with good color on the breech block and upper sides of the lever. There is also excellent deep barrel blue showing only light age. Exc. markings, original buckhorn rear sight with Lyman half-moon with ivory bead front sight. Excellent forend with ebony schnable wedge inlay, exc. butt stock with very tight wood to metal fit. Excellent screws, tight action, bright sharp bore. Simply a great Highwall (5 photos) $3250.

  6. ONE OF THE MOST UNUSUAL AND RARE 1885 THICKSIDE HIGHWALL SINGLE SHOT RIFLES I’VE SEEN. This one is a very early thick side rifle #5XXX that according to the factory letter was shipped in 1886 as a caliber .45 2-3/8 (this has to be a mistake as there is no “.45 2-3/8” cartridge.  Probably meant .45 2-7/8) It further states it had a 30” #4 weight octagon barrel with plain trigger. Now, here’s the fascinating part: It was “Returned by Meacham, October 29, 1894, Received in warehouse on February 27, 1895” and listed as “Rifle, 30 Gov’t., Octagon barrel” (again, an obvious mistake as the .30 Gov’t. or .30-40 Krag caliber was never available in an octagon barrel, only chambered in nickel steel round barrels). “Plain trigger, 30 inches, #3 ship date and order number blank.”  Here are some interesting things to consider: The first smokeless caliber in the famed Model 1894 lever action rifle was the .30 WCF or .30-30 in late 1895 to early 1896- no doubt earlier than the year this rifle was changed to the new smokeless .30-40 Krag cartridge that was introduced in the U.S. Springfield Krag rifle in 1894, the same year this rifle was returned to Winchester. Whoever returned this rifle to be changed to the new military cartridge that was just out must have been a very savvy individual when it came to the latest guns and cartridges! Remember, this was before any kind of information getting out beyond newspapers and printed journals didn’t exist.. Word didn’t spread particularly fast in 1894! Winchester had this rifle from Oct. 29, 1894 until February 27, 1895 before shipping it back- that’s almost 4 months. Makes me wonder if they had to tool up for the new chambering. In the Model 1894, they didn’t have nickel steel barrels for the new smokeless .30 WCF round until late 1895 or early 1896 and this is why the first rifles made in 1894 were for the black powder .32-40 and .38-55 rounds. Winchester introduced the Model 1895 lever action box magazine rifle in 1895 with the standard caliber being .30-40 Krag.  But, the earliest Model 1895s carry a patent date of Nov. 5, 1895 which leads me to believe that rifles didn’t start coming out of the factory until after that date. This would be supported by the fact that only 287 rifles in all calibers (including the black powder .38-72 and .40-72) were made in 1895. Another interesting aspect of this Highwall rifle is that the caliber is simply stamped on the barrel top ahead of the receiver “30 N.S.” Since the only .30 caliber cartridges at this time (not including the .303 British) were the .30 WCF (possibly) and .30-40 Krag or Gov’t., I think the “N.S.” stood for Nickel Steel. So, in conclusion, it was shipped before the Model 1895 began production and certainly before the Model 1894 was chambered in .30 WCF (or .25-35 at the same time).  Could Winchester have chambered another Highwall single shot in .30-40 Krag before this one?  Yes, the first .30-40 Krag chambered in a Highwall was in April, 1894. I’m thinking it very probably may have been an ammo test rifle or a prototype smokeless rifle and not necessarily a standard sporter sold to the public as they had not even geared up to manufacture sporting ammo in this caliber yet. But I believe this first .30-40 was probably NOT a thick side action.  There were a little over 1,000 Highwalls made in .30-40 Krag and I believe all were on thin side actions. If you have read this far, here’s the description of this rifle: generally fine blue on the barrel with only a little dulling from age and a thin area down the left side of the barrel where some light rust had formed at one time and been wiped off with an oily rag- nothing unsightly. The bore is slightly dark, but excellent and free of any pitting with sharp rifling. The receiver is a mottled gray with some small traces of case color in the most protected areas, tight action, fine butt stock and forearm with ebony inlay in the schnable tip, tight wood to metal fit, fitted with a Marbles tang sight paired with a Rocky Mountain blade front sight and a slot filler in the rear dovetail. Probably the only thick side Highwall in .30-40 Krag! $3850.

  7. 1892 .44-40 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, #693XXX, MADE 1912.  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. $1895.

  8. EXCELLENT CONDITION SPECIAL ORDER 1892 ROUND BARREL RIFLE WITH HALF MAGAZINE, .25-20 CALIBER, #340XXX, MADE 1906. Most people don’t realize that savvy riflemen of the day often ordered their lever action rifles with half magazines is that they tend to be more accurate than full mag rifles.  This is because a fully loaded full magazine hanging on to the bottom of the barrel changes the “harmonics” of the barrel each time a shell is fired and another is fed from the magazine into the chamber. The actual weight of the mag changes with each ejected cartridge and new round fed.  Teddy Roosevelt obviously knew this and ordered almost all of his rifles from Winchester with half magazines as did the British shooters. This rifle retains most of the deep blue on the barrel with only the most minor of ageing. The receiver sides also retain excellent blue with some age and thinning, but basically full coverage. There is some gray/brown on the forward part of the bolt and also on the receiver bottom ahead of the lever. Bore is bright and excellent- if not perfect, not far from it.  Excellent stock and forearm with tight wood to metal fit, exc. screws, tight action, flat top buckhorn rear sight with blade/bead front sight. This is a really fine special order 1892. $1850.

  9. 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.

  10. VERY EARLY ANTIQUE SERIAL NUMBER 1892 SADDLE RING CARBINE IN .38-40 CALIBER, #38XXX, MADE 1894. This is a fine early carbine that shows nice aged blue on the barrel with some thinning/mixing brown. The mag tube is similar but with more brown. Fine aged receiver blue that is mixing plum and some brown with excellent screws and nice blue on the loading gate. Fine deep blue on the bolt.  Butt stock and forend are walnut and show tight wood to metal fit and only the most minor of handling marks. There is some honest saddle wear to the forend just ahead of the receiver. Original carbine ladder sight with slide intact. Tight action. Bore is fairly bright with good rifling all the way through and only some scattered surface roughness that is light and positioned toward the middle of the bore. Exc. Attractive appearance overall. A Cody museum call in sheet is included with verifies that this .38 WCF carbine had its serial number applied on 12/28/94 and that the gun was shipped in early 1895. Hard to find early, antique carbines in any condition. $2150.

  11. VERY FINE CONDITION CLASSIC TAKEDOWN 1894 OCTAGON RIFLE, .30WCF, #283XXX, MADE 1905. This is a really attractive rifle that retains about all the barrel and magazine blue. There is just a touch of plum mixing on the bottom forward part of the mag tube that is hardly worth mentioning. The receiver sides, receiver ring and upper tang show good blue that is thinning and mixing with some plum and brown. Exc. blue on the bolt and loading gate, exc. markings, exc. screws, tight takedown, exc. stock and forend with very tight wood to metal fit, and excellent bright, sharp minty bore! Fitted with a three-leaf express rear sight having all three leaves intact plus a typical Winchester small blade front sight. Attractive appearance overall. $1895.

  12. UNUSUAL SPECIAL ORDER 1894 .38-55 WITH ROUND BARREL AND 2/3 MAGAZINE, #585XXX, MADE THE YEAR THE TITANIC SANK IN 1912. This is a really fine condition example that shows about all the blue remaining on the barrel and magazine tube with only very minor ageing. The receiver also retains nearly all the blue with only light edge wear and some dulling from age. Even the bottom of the receiver, upper tang and forend cap retain good lightly aged blue. Excellent butt stock and forearm with tight wood to metal fit. Exc. markings and the barrel is fitted with a buckhorn rear sight with a blade/bead front sight. The butt stock shows a slightly higher grade of walnut which is typical of special order Winchesters. When I received this rifle I looked down the bore and could see no rifling at all! My original thought was that someone shot a bunch of black powder ammo through it and put it away for a few years in a humid climate!  But I WAS WRONG! To my surprise, pleasantly so, I ran an oil patch through the bore and decades worth of dust came out! I think this rifle was cleaned with heavy oil pit in the bore and left standing in a gun rack for a seriously long time. As dust settled into the barrel it stuck to the oil and built up until it completely filled the grooves and lands! A couple of patches revealed a slightly dark bore with fine rifling all the way through and maybe a touch of frost. I did not put a bronze brush through it and I’m sure it will clean even better. This rifle also has a tight action and excellent blue on the loading gate. A great caliber is super condition with a very seldom encountered special order 2/3 magazine. I’ll bet this rifle hasn’t been shot since before World War II! $2250.

  13. CLASSIC EARLY 1894 OCTAGON RIFLE IN .30WCF CALIBER, #185XXX, MADE 1903. An attractive example retaining most of the original deep barrel and mag blue with only very minor light ageing/edge wear. Exc. markings. Has a Rocky mountain blade front sight, small single leaf rear sight with a newer Lyman tang sight (and no extra holes underneath- I checked). The receiver shows exc. blue on the loading gate,  good aged blue on the sides and bolt with gray/brown on the edges, bottom and receiver ring. Very fine forend and butt stock showing only the lightest of handling and very tight wood to metal fir.  The bore is a bit dark with deep strong  rifling all the way through and a tight action. A handsome early 1894 that came out of here in Montana. Lots of history in this one. $1395.

  14. SCARCE CONFIGURATION 1894 .30WCF RIFLE WITH HALF OCTAGON BARREL AND FULL MAGAZINE, SHOTGUN BUTT, #228XXX, MADE 1904. This is an especially fine condition rifle that retains nearly all the deep blue on the barrel and mag. tube. Receiver shows good blue on both sides with normal thinning and edge wear, exc. blue on the bolt, exc. screws and even shows good blue on the forend cap. Exc. butt stock and forend with very tight wood to metal fit, checkered steel shotgun butt plate, flat top buckhorn rear sight with Winchester blade front sight. Bore is slightly dark, but excellent, tight action. This is an early 1894 with a very attractive appearance that has very scarce and desirable features. $2450.

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. PRE-WAR RARITY: MODEL 64 IN .219 ZIPPER CALIBER, #1111XXX, MADE 1936. According to The Winchester Handbook by George Madis, from the existing records, from 1933 (the year the M-64 was introduced) to 1942 only 18,400 of this model were made and of those only 861 were in .219 Zipper! The Model 64 was introduced in the worst year of the Great Depression and sales were very limited. In 1941 the .219 Zipper chambering was dropped. These are now some of the least produced and hardest to locate Winchesters ever produced. This example shows about all the deep factory blue on the 26” barrel and magazine. Barrels in .219 Zipper were two inches longer than the other calibers. The ramped front sight also retains the hood. The receiver shows good blue that is evenly “flaking”/mixing brown (but not worn to gray or silver) which is typical for this vintage Winchester receiver. Blue on the bolt is excellent. Excellent stock and forend with tight wood to metal fit. Original checkered steel butt plate, exc. screws, bright exc. bore. The forend cap is also shows a little blue but has the usual flakey brown color. Few Winchester collections have one of these! $3850.

  19. MODEL 71 STANDARD RIFLE, .348 WCF CALIBER, #35XXX, MADE 1953. A nice example of one of the most powerful lever rifles Winchester made. It retains most of the original blue on all metal surfaces with only a trace of wear. The stock and forearm show light handling/hunting marks only and there is a tiny sling swivel hole in the bottom of the butt stock only. Retains the original checkered steel butt plate and has the original buckhorn rear sight with hooded front sight. Tight action, exc. screws, perfect bore. One of finest big game lever actions ever made! $1695.

  20. 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). $795.

 

    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  CLEAR NON-FOAMING  Gorilla glue on this top wad at the edge. Last, using a Q-tip sweep it around the wad edge. It dries making a nice seal with the inside of the brass case and holds everything together (note: this is the best glue I've tried, but do NOT use the brown foaming Gorilla glue as it pushes the wad up when dry and is awful to correct!). Firing removes any glue residue from the case.  I picked up a particularly nice Remington 1889 double barrel with exposed hammers (damascus with exc. bores) and tried out my loads on some thrown clays.  I'm not a good shot with a scattergun, but when I felt I was on, the clay targets broke as nicely as if I'd been using a modern smokeless shotgun. I used this double on a pheasant hunt last fall and did just fine with it.  Truthfully, it made the hunt so much more fun I don't know if I'd go again with one of my modern guns! 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