BILL GOODMAN, P. O. BOX 2002, BOZEMAN, MONTANA 59771
TEL. (406) 587-3131 FAX (406) 219-3415
Bill Goodman has been a collector of antique/collector firearms for well over 40 years and a full time dealer for over 30 years. Traveling around the country constantly seeking good quality collector arms at REALISTIC PRICES, Bill sells exclusively by mail order. He has advertised in every issue of The Gun List (now Gun Digest the Magazine) since it's first small issues in the early 1980s (as well as The Shotgun News before that). All items are photographed. To view them just click the text of the item you want to see. Be sure to scroll down as most items have more than one photo. All guns are sold as collector's items, not shooters. If you wish to shoot an item listed here, it is strongly recommended that you have the item checked out by a competent gunsmith who specializes in antique firearms. All items are sold with the usual three (3) day inspection. If for any reason you are not satisfied with your purchase, call to say you are returning the item and you will receive an immediate refund when the item is received back in the same condition it was originally shipped. This list will be constantly updated as new items become available. Use the above phone number to call to check availability and for further info on any item you wish to purchase. Prices do not include shipping. All federal/state laws concerning the transfer of firearms are strictly followed. Modern firearms must be shipped to an FFL dealer (or "Curio & Relics" license holders where applicable). Pre-1899 antiques may be shipped to non-FFL holders. All Layaway sales are final.
MORE GUNS WERE POSTED 12/5/16. WATCH FOR FREQUENT POSTINGS THROUGH DECEMBER.
COLT FIRE ARMS (click text for photo
VERY SELDOM SEEN BURGESS LEVER ACTION .44-40 OCTAGON RIFLE, ONLY MADE 1883-1885 IN VERY LIMITED NUMBERS! In fact, Colt only made 2,556 octagon barreled Burgess rifles, The story goes that when Colt brought out this model Winchester produced prototype revolvers! An agreement was made that Colt would discontinue the lever action rifle line if Winchester would call off their proposed revolver manufacturing! Anyway, these excellent Colt lever actions are now very difficult to find and most saw very hard frontier service, so surviving examples are often in poor condition, this one is quite nice with excellent markings including the rampant colt on the left side of the frame and all barrel markings, serial number in the 3XXX range, fine aged blue barrel and mag mixing plum and brown, mostly gray receiver, original buckhorn rear sight with Rocky Mountain blade front sight, fine wood with good wood to metal fit and only the beginnings of a slight crack in the forend ahead of the sliding loading gate (this is a thin portion of the forend and is often heavily chipped and cracked with long slivers out in this area), fine action with lever spring only slightly weak, nice screws AND EXCELLENT SHARP BORE! This is really a fine example, $4250.``
OUTSTANDING CONDITION AND RARE CONFIGURED SINGLE ACTION ARMY! THIS ONE IS A SCARCE 7 1/2" BARREL .38-40 CALIBER (FEW .38-40s MADE IN THIS LENGTH) WITH BEAUTIFUL FULL NICKEL FINISH (ALSO RARE), WITH FACTORY LETTER SHOWING SHIPMENT TO MONTGOMERY WARDS, CHICAGO, IL JANUARY 28, 1899, the letter indicates serial number 1831XX, .38-40, 7 1/2" barrel, nickel finish and rubber stocks, overall this is truly an exceptional Single Action, all matching numbers including the grips, bright original nickel finish overall with only a couple of small spots of peeling by the muzzle, some freckling & very light peeling around one cylinder flute (positioned so it can be seen in the photos) and on the frame ahead of the cylinder and minor spots of the same on the back strap- all extremely minor and in small areas, exc. blued screws, exc. cylinder pin, sharp markings overall, exc. grips, even retains most of the nickel on the front face of the cylinder indicating this gun was fired little if at all, tight action, barely a cylinder ring on the surface of the nickel, mint bore, very rare barrel length with this caliber and even more rare special nickel finish, a fabulous investment Colt! ( four photos- difficult to photograph as lots of light reflection can distort things, the nickel is all bright and smooth, back strap and top strap too) $8250.
SINGLE ACTION ARMY .38-40 WITH SCARCE 7 1/2" BARREL, #338XXX, MADE 1920, really quite an unusual revolver because by this date there were few Single Actions made each year and most had shorter barrels with the .38-40 in particular rarely made in this 7 1/2" length, obviously this one was a working gun as it shows honest carry wear, I wouldn't be surprised if it was shipped to either the Southwest (keep in mind Arizona didn't become a state until 1912!) or possibly here in Montana as up until about W.W.II these areas were pretty wild, retains some good aged barrel blue mainly on the top and in the more protected areas by the ejector housing, excellent barrel address marking as well as frame patent dates, fairly bright blue in the flutes of the ejector housing and some very dark patina aged blue in the cylinder flutes but mainly the frame and cylinder are an uncleaned dark gray/brown patina with blue in the most protected areas, exc. screws and cylinder base pin, grips show wear but fit well and has one chip at the back left bottom corner, front sight has not been altered, bore looks to have a little leading in the grooves with fine lands and all should scrub out near exc., interestingly there is a very thin "fine notched shim" that is in the hammer well aligned with the sighting groove in the top strap. I'm not sure what is holding it in as it is very thin and I owned this one a while and never even noticed it! (visible in bottom photo) Would be easy to remove, but I think it adds character and actually improves the sight picture for finer shooting. Whoever originally owned this one was a shooter! Interesting piece with a lot of honest character and a great appearance, (four photos) $2600.
U.S. MARKED MODEL 1878/1902 DOUBLE ACTION .45 COLT "ALASKAN" OR "PHILIPPINE" MODEL, 6" BARREL, #45XX X, all correct Colt markings plus the government inspector stamps of "RAC" and "JTT" plus "1902" on the frame, this is the distinct model having the large trigger guard which gave it the erroneous name "Alaskan" model as some people thought it was for people wearing gloves in the cold country. This is actually wrong. Other wrong info on this model suggests it was issued for use in the Philippines where the locals were of smaller stature and their hands weren't big enough to easily fire this big revolver, so they put the large trigger guard on it to allow for a TWO FINGER TRIGGER PULL! This makes sense (as the arsenals also issued the Krag Philippine Constabulary Rifle which was an 1899 Krag CARBINE made with longer wood to resemble a short military infantry rifle- again better suited to the local people's size)-BUT WRONG AGAIN. The real reason, as explained in Wilkerson's excellent book on the Colt 1878 is simply that the main hammer spring wasn't strong enough in the 1878 to reliably ignite the primers on military manufactured .45 Colt ammo meant for the more powerful hammer fall of the Single Action Army. In order to increase the spring power and still make it possible to fire the revolver double action, the trigger had to be lengthened for more leverage and thus the bigger trigger guard! It's as simple as that. This is a better than usually found example with nearly all the barrel blue intact with only some holster wear on the left side for a couple inches back from the muzzle, fine deep blue on the cylinder, only the outside of the ejector housing shows holster wear with the protected areas on the sides showing fine blue, fine frame blue showing normal light thinning, dulling blue on the grip straps and trigger guard bottom, exc. fire blue on the hammer back and trigger sides, fine Colt hard rubber grips showing some scratches and wear on the right panel which is typical of holster wear, lanyard swivel intact, front sight has not been altered, exc. markings, exc. bright bore, (3 photos) $1950.,
PARTICULARLY FINE CONDITION U.S. ARMY MODEL 1896 .38 COLT DOUBLE ACTION REVOLVER, MADE 1901, this was the stop-gap issue revolver for the Army and Navy between the Single Action Army in .45 Colt caliber and the famed 1911 semi auto .45ACP, these revolvers saw quite a bit or hard service in the Spanish American War in Cuba and in the Philippines, in fact Teddy Roosevelt actually shot a Spanish soldier with his Model 1896 in Cuba (his gun was stolen and missing for a while, but I believe it has been recovered), this is a fine example with nice deep polish early Colt blue overall with normal mixing plum on the top strap, exc. barrel blue with only light holster wear on the sides that is mixing plum/brown, not gray or silver, exc. markings including the R.A.C. inspector markings on the frame, cylinder and both grip panel bottoms, matching serial numbers including the grips, light edge wear only on the cylinder, fine frame blue with normal light age thinning/mixing plum and brown but bright blue is mainly intact, back strap and front strap gray/brown from normal holster wear and handling, good blue on the butt with correct "U.S. ARMY MODEL 1896 No. 150XXX" markings, good blue on the bottom of the trigger guard is thinning a little only, exc. fire blue on the trigger sides and hammer back, last patent date is 1895 on the barrel, tight action, fairly bright bore has some scattered rough spots that might brush out, unaltered front sight, an historical U.S. sidearm that has been under appreciated until fairly recently when prices and interest in these has begun to climb, priced attractively at (looks better than photos- light reflection makes the blue, especially the barrel blue in bottom photo look dull) $795.
ONE OF THE EARLIEST NEW SERVICE REVOLVERS I'VE SEEN! THIS ONE IS A .44-40 CALIBER, 7 1/2" BARREL WITH SERIAL NUMBER 1XXX, MADE 1899! All the correct early markings including the last patent date of 1884 (the next patent date used was 1900- so very few have the 1884 date only), simply marked on the sided of the barrel "NEW SERVICE .44 CAL" which is correct, unaltered front sight, has the early rampant colt with circular COLT NEW SERVICE lettering around it, hard rubber grips show the lightest of wear and are numbered to the gun, unaltered front sight, fine deep high early high polish Colt blue overall with wear to the wear to the front strap and back strap (gray) and some holster wear on the left side of the barrel, also has some normal holster/edge wear but retains nice need blue with fire blue in the trigger sides, retains some good case color on the hammer, swivel in butt intact, exc. blue on butt, tight action and bright exc. bore! Especially nice for such an early pre-20th century example! $1295. ``
FACTORY ENGRAVED ARMY SPECIAL REVOLVER, 6" BARREL, BLUE, .38 SPECIAL, MADE 1910, fairly simple engraving on the barrel sides, cylinder front, frame, bottom or the trigger guard, back strap and butt, according to THE BOOK OF COLT ENGRAVING by R. L. Wilson: Norwell Shapleigh Hardware, St Louis, MO, "acquired over 375 engraved Army Specials, c. 1912, one of the largest engraving orders in the history of the Colt firearms company." All of these seem to be engraved alike and there are a couple of photos of guns like this one in the book, I've seen a small number of them over the years and this is pretty typical, like most of these I've seen they were working guns and not display pieces so they do have wear, this one has good blue evenly aged and thinning/mixing gray/brown with no pitting or abuse, hard rubber grips show similar wear but fit nicely and are solid, exc. bore with tight action, has some initials lightly scratched in the butt, unaltered front sight, exc. markings and sharp engraving, here's a chance to have a factory engraved Colt revolver that's over 100 years old without paying a fortune! I'll guarantee it to letter. $1895.
1903 POCKET HAMMER .38 ACP AUTO PISTOL, MADE 1915, this one came out of Arizona and probably spent most of its life in Mexico where these were very popular, dark patina metal overall that is uncleaned, grips are replacement wood with decorative pearl medallions in each panel and show heavy wear, markings getting weak but most are readable, bore should scrub out to VG or better, magazine marked on bottom "MIL" over "COLT" over "38 CAL" Fine mech., this one is right out of the bush and never cleaned or fooled with, a Colt that was made to be used and this one certainly was! $595.
ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT AND RARE TARGET MODELS IS THIS POLICE POSITIVE FLAT TOP TARGET REVOLVER IN .32 NEW POLICE (S&W LONG) CALIBER, MADE 1920, nearly all of these small frame target models were made in .22 Rim Fire with very few customers wanting the larger Center Fire version, this one shows dulling blue on the barrel with exc. barrel markings including the last patent date of 1905, bright bore, frame shows fine deep blue with some evidence of rust that was wiped off leaving some light pitting on the left side plate and a touch just ahead of the cylinder also on the left side- never buffed or steel wooled, good blue on the grip straps and trigger guard with some thinning on the back strap, good ageing blue on the cylinder, very tight action (these Colt actions lock up when the trigger is pulled- to test for tightness, cock the gun and let the hammer down half way, then feel the cylinder for play- nice fire blue on the hammer back and trigger sides, fine hard rubber grips with one chip on the bottom of the left panel, a really difficult Colt Target Model to find in any condition, $895.
NOW DISCONTINUED AND VERY EARLY 3RD. GENERATION SINGLE ACTION ARMY SHERIFF MODEL, 3" BARREL WITH DUAL CYLINDERS FOR .44-40 AND .44 SPECIAL, UNFIRED IN WOOD GRAINED CARDBOARD BOX MADE 1980, this is a blue and case color revolver from the custom shop, interestingly this one was ordered with rosewood grips and gold Colt medallions, no cylinder drag line- looks unturned! comes with Colt booklet etc. box is a bit scuffed and tattered, but basically very sound, Styrofoam is fine, even has the Colt hang tag! Never to be made again and already 36 years old! These will only increase in value over time, (note: photo light reflection makes the blue looked washed out and thin... just the light, it's all like new) $2350.
MARLIN (click text for photos)
1) FINE EARLY 1881 OCTAGON
RIFLE IN DESIRABLE .45-70 CALIBER, #5XXX, MADE 1883, WITH AGENT MARKINGS ON
THE BARREL, top of the barrel ahead of the receiver marked in very small
letters in two lines: "V. Kindler" over "East Saginaw," I have seen his
marking before, he was a very large firearms dealer in Michigan, barrel
correctly marked "45 GOVT" or .45-70 caliber, 28" octagon barrel, receiver is
uncleaned and aged to an honest brown patina with aged blue on the bolt and
sliding loading gate, barrel and mag show good very aged blue that has
turned/mixed plum/brown, buckhorn rear sight with brass blade front, fine+
wood showing only very light handling and is NOT cracked ahead of the loading
gate on the forearm as most seem to be, appears to have some nice fiddle back
grain under 130+ years of grime! Good wood to metal fit, wood has never been
sanded or even cleaned, tight action, bore is a little dark with very strong
rifling and only minor scattered surface roughness that might even clean
out better, overall a desirable big .45-70 Marlin in unfooled with condition,
2) PARTICULARLY FINE CONDITION 1889 .38-40 OCTAGON RIFLE WITH AMAZINGLY MINT BRIGHT BORE! MADE 1892, most of these 1889 rifles saw pretty hard service and those in this kind of condition are hard to find, retains about all the deep barrel blue with only a touch of age dulling, mag tube blue mixing plum with one very light surface ding that is of little importance, even retains good blue on the forend cap, exc. blue on the receiver bolt, right side, top and bottom of the receiver show fine blue that is lightly thinning, left side of the receiver shows fine blue with more thinning in the middle section, generally fine+ wood with normal light handling marks and a couple deeper worn in scratches or rub marks on the left side of the wrist (looks worse in photo than it is), tight action, lever catch intact (often missing), original buckhorn rear sight with correct Rocky Mountain blade front sight, exc. markings...and superb bore! (3 photos) $1650.
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 caliber only. I believe these traditional Marlins made in limited runs in North Haven, CT are going to be tomorrow's sought after Marlin collectibles. Already prices for them are escalating rapidly.
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, $995.
2) NICE CONNECTICUT MADE 1894 .44 MAGNUM 20" CARBINE, excellent overall condition, has the factory Weaver style scope base installed with the correct hammer spur side extension to make cocking easier with a scope mounted (this piece is removable), perfect bright bore, tight action, has the factory folding buckhorn rear sight, looks like one of the filler screws only is missing from the receiver side, at most, a few very light handling marks that you have to look carefully to find, $795.
3) VERY HARD TO FIND 1894 COWBOY LIMITED 20" OCTAGON BARREL .44 MAGNUM/.44 SPECIAL, made with Ballard style rifled barrels (instead of micro groove) that will shoot cast as well as jacketed bullets, these have a great look and feel to them, this one is about like new, these are really difficult to find these days, $1100.
BALLARD SINGLE SHOT RIFLES (click text for photos)
1) TWO EXCEPTIONALLY RARE BRASS FRAME BALL AND WILLIAMS MANUFACTURED BALLARD OCTAGON RIFLES, MADE 1862-1865, Flayderman's Guide states "Under 50 estimated made." While John Dutcher states in his impressive Ballard book, "I've recorded the following brass action rifles..." (he lists the numbers) "That's sixteen rifles, and I'd guess something over 200 were made." Either way, these are extremely rare Ballard variations and one of the more striking in appearance. I have two: 1A) The first is serial number 316 AND IS PICTURED ON PAGE 19 OF JOHN DUTCHER'S BOOK. This is a particularly fine example in .38 RF caliber that still retains a good portion of the silver plating on the brass butt plate and some on the lower tang, the balance of the brass frame and brass breech block is a pleasing mellow uncleaned brass, bore is fine+, fine deep barrel blue showing just a little age only, Ball and Williams markings on the 24" octagon barrel top flat ahead of the receiver along with Ballard's Patent markings on the right octagon flat, matching numbers, aside from the serial number, no markings on the brass receiver, exc. stock and forearm, fancy small buckhorn rear sight with small blade front, truly exceptional and documented in the Ballard book, $3450.
1B) A higher serial numbered example in .44 RF caliber with matching number later style steel breech block and lever (Dutcher states they have brass breech blocks, but obviously some had steel!), serial number 16694 and not one of the sixteen rifles recoded in Dutcher's book, 26" octagon barrel is marked only "No. 44" (for caliber) and the serial number, right side of the brass receiver marked with the usual two line "Ballard's Patent" and the left side marked in two lines "Merwin & Bray, Agt's. New York" interestingly, the left side of the long hammer has patent markings that indicate the breech block has the Merwin & Bray alternate percussion system built into the Ballard's rim fire only breechblock (as shown on P.15 of Dutcher's book), deep aged blue/brown barrel patina, fine bore, two leaf flip up rear sight with blade front, mellow brass receiver and butt plate, fancy walnut showing higher grade grain and burl has had a 1" by 3" triangular chip replaced on the right side at the bottom juncture of the receiver/tang, forend has a shallow sliver out on the right side by the forend tip and is inletted for a late Ball & Williams metal tip- as the lever and breech block is steel, a replacement in steel or iron would be appropriate and probably not too hard to find or could be made, a very unusual variation of an already rare rifle! $2450.
2) VERY EARLY AND RARE No. 1 HUNTERS RIFLE IN .44 EXTRA LONG CENTER FIRE & RIM FIRE (reversible firing pin), ONLY 300-500 MADE 1876-1880, this is an exceedingly rare J. M. Ballard marked single shot, serial number 4XX, an honest example with 26" medium tapered round barrel with buckhorn rear sight (needs elevator bar only) and blade/ivory bead front sight, tight action, fine markings, matching number on barrel and receiver, deep aged blue/brown patina overall, fine wood shows normal handling and hunting wear but is sound, usual single short hairline crack coming back from the receiver on the left side that goes nowhere (almost all Ballards have this), needs the little "pin" that goes in the lower tang that "locks" or catches in the corresponding hole in the bottom of the loop part of the lever (minor), forearm shows a little saddle wear on the bottom just ahead of the receiver and on the sides, fine bore should scrub out even better, one of the earliest Ballard Models in very respectable condition, $1195.
3) J. M. MARLIN MARKED EARLY MODEL 1 1/2 HUNTER'S RIFLE IN DESIRABLE .45-70 CALIBER, 30" HEAVY ROUND BARREL, MADE 1879-1881, beginning in 1881 Ballard rifles were marked "Marlin Firearms Co." and this marking continued until the Ballard was discontinued in 1891. Those large caliber models marked J. M. Marlin could be considered in the category of possible "Buffalo Rifles" as the commercial hunting of these animals continued until about 1883. Serial number 15XXX matches on the receiver, barrel, forend and butt plate, fine+ bore that may scrub out near exc., gray/brown receiver with what look like a couple surface cracks in the top right octagon flat of the receiver ring, but I believe is just a forging flaw in the surface of the metal as it doesn't appear to go through the heavy receiver ring, mostly silver/gray barrel correctly marked "45 Govt." on the top ahead of the receiver, forearm shows normal handling, butt stock shows the usual couple of cracks coming back from the receiver that about all Ballards have and may have been lightly gone over as there is some small undersize of the wood at the bottom of the butt plate and receiver bottom- all minor, rear buckhorn sight removed (probably fairly recently as there is blue in this area) and a slot filler blank installed in the dovetail, probably recent manufacture correct sporting tang sight with Beech combination folding globe front sight, attractive early big bore Western sporting rifle from the Buffalo days! $1895.
4) VERY SCARCE CALIBER .44-40 No. 2 OCTAGON SPORTING RIFLE, MARLIN FIREARMS COMPANY MARKED BALLARD , usually these are found in either .32 or .38 Long Rim fire/Center fire caliber, I've only seen a few in .44-40, 28" medium weight barrel with correct original Rocky Mountain blade front sight with original buckhorn rear sight (needs elevator bar only), dark aged brown patina on receiver and lever, barrel blue also deep and aged/mixing plum, never cleaned or steel wooled, stock appears a little dry and has some age cracks extending back from the receiver, stock and forend show normal handling marks/dings as one would expect from a frontier caliber Ballard of the 1880s period, one small worn in chip at end of forearm on the right side, bore is dark with good rifling and should scrub out fine or better, lever spring a little weak, matching numbers, barrel top correctly marked "44 W," most difficult and desirable caliber to find in the No.2 Sporter, $1195.
5) FAMED GUNSMITH A. O. NIEDNER BALLARD No. 3F FINE GALLERY RIFLE, .22LR (see below in Antique/Classic section)
6) No. 5 PACIFIC RIFLE IN .40-63 CALIBER, MARLIN FIREARMS COMPANY MARKED, #24XXX serial number matching on the receiver, barrel, forend and butt plate, 30" octagon barrel retains thin aged blue mixing some gray/brown, MINTY BRIGHT SHARP BORE! mottled gray brown receiver with some faded light case colors mainly on the right forward side and in protected areas, correctly stamped "40-63" on barrel top ahead of receiver, fine+ forend, butt stock has a crack on each side of the receiver that comes back several inches, but is basically solid, double set triggers function fine, has a later replacement bolding rear sight in the factory dovetail along with a Lyman globe front sight that will take apertures and is adjustable for windage, also has a mid-range Soule type vernier tang sight adjustable for windage and elevation, original twin thimbles intact with wiping rod, this was considered the standard caliber for the No. 5 Pacific rifle and was very popular as a sporting round as well as a target cartridge, weighs approx. 10 1/2 lbs., nice sights and amazing bore! (three photos) $2250.
ANTIQUE & CLASSIC RIFLES, SHOTGUNS AND PISTOLS (click text for photos)
SHARPS 1878 BORCHARDT MUSKET, .45-70, SERIAL NUMBER IN THE 6XXX RANGE, it looks like this one was part of a state's militia arsenal as the receiver ring is stamped with the rack or unit marking of "P V" over "53" This is a really attractive example that hasn't been cleaned or sanded, the barrel blue is all intact and showing only some freckling age plum/brown mixing and could use a good oil soaking, receiver turning an even plum/brown with good blue in the more protected areas, all sharp and correct markings including the "Old Reliable" barrel stamping, cleaning rod intact, fine+ forearm with only normal handling marks, butt stock has had a triangular chip come out of the toe of the stock probably from being banged on the bottom tip of the but plate- common on these military models but the good news is the piece was put back and in barely visible unless you look for it- I didn't notice it when I acquired this one, correct checkered steel butt plate, tight action, safety functions properly, exc. sharp bore could use a clean only, original Lawrence ladder sight with slide intact, I don't see these as often as I used to and this is a really attractive example, $2650.
HISTORICAL FAMED CHEYENNE, WYOMING FRONTIER GUNSMITH AND SHARPS DEALER F. W. FREUND MARKED DETACHABLE PISTOL GRIP ATTACHED TO THIS 1874 SHARPS CONVERSION OCTAGON RIFLE IN .40-90 SHARPS STRAIGHT CALIBER! This rifle turned up here in Montana and until recently was being used. The stock and action are correct for a conversion of a percussion carbine having the sling ring cut off and the lock ground down, and converted to cartridge, the stock still retains a cartouche in the middle of the left side and the one at the wrist, also shows the "wear line" found on carbines that were carried using the over the shoulder leather strap and sling swivel- the swivel rubbed against the wood to make a vertical wear line near the center of the stock on the left side, has functioning double set triggers, the extremely rare checkered detachable pistol grip is marked correctly on the bottom metal cap in small letters "F. W. Freund Patent, Oct. 19, 1875" This item alone is worth a considerable amount! The barrel is mostly gray and unmarked except for "CAL 40-90" on the left flat just ahead of the receiver and barely above the forend, When this rifle was put on I have no idea, it is also unmarked under the forearm but has good blue in this protected area leaving one to believe it has been on a long time, the forend with Sharps style pewter tip may be a replacement and has been glass bedded inside, has a heavy buckhorn Lawrence ladder rear sight that may also be a replacement, fitted with a long range Soule sight on the tang and a globe and spirit level front sight what will take inserts- these are not antique sights- minty bright bore, butt stock shows more wear than forearm but is solid and certainly original to the action, no way to tell whether the barrel has always been on this rifle, weighs just over 12 lbs. the Freund detachable pistol grip is an amazing find in itself and is fully photographed and described in chapter 7 of the book: Freund & Bro. Pioneer Gunmakers to the West by Pablo Balentine, (5 photos) $3850.
GREAT FIND, ALMOST NEVER SEEN AND ONE OF THE MOST ATTRACTIVE FANCY STEVENS RIFLES IS THIS IDEAL "LADIES MODEL" RIFLE No. 55 IN DESIRABLE .22 LONG RIFLE CHAMBERING, low serial number 6XX, made from 1897-1916, made with fancy walnut and light weight Schuetzen pistol grip stock with Swiss butt plate, fancy full checkered pistol grip and forearm and 24" half octagon barrel, made up on the light case colored "Favorite" single shot action and factory equipped with an open type rear barrel sight with vernier tang sight and Beach combination folding globe front sight- often the sights on these have been either removed altogether or changed- this one has the original factory sights and is totally unaltered, tight action with light trigger pull, fancy burl walnut stock with original heavy "piano finish" mostly remaining with only normal light scratching/handling marks, sharp checkering with only a small wear area on the bottom of the forend, exc. barrel blue with only minor thinning/ageing, receiver shows light case color on both sides that is fading but all visible, fine bore is a little dark with good rifling and some light scattered roughness that will probably clean better, fine blue on the hammer and breech block, exc. screws, tight takedown, super attractive rifle and extremely scarce in any condition, these were also made in other now-obsolete rim fire calibers leaving the .22 Long Rifle chambering the most desirable, $2850.
FAMED GUNSMITH A. O. NIEDNER, MALDEN, MASS., BALLARD No. 3F FINE GALLERY MODEL, .22 LONG RIFLE, WORKED OVER OR RE-BUILT BY NIEDNER BETWEEN 1906-1920, here's a brief run-down on Niedner (as found online): Niedner opened a gunsmith shop in Malden, Mass. in 1906. He worked with members of the Massachusetts Rifle Association, including gun- barrel maker Harry Pope, making tools and rifles for ballistics expert Franklin Ware Mann, and prototype Patridge gun sights for inventor Eugene Patridge. Niedner moved to Dowagiac, Michigan in 1920 to establish the Niedner Rifle Company, and was elected mayor of Dowagiac in 1926. Niedner specialized in chambering and single shot rifles. He manufactured custom rifles for many noted riflemen including Townsend Whelen, Charles Newton and Ned Roberts. Niedner sold the business following the death of his wife in 1940 and lived alone until he died in 1954. This superb rifle is stamped under the butt plate into the stock "A. O. NIEDNER" over "MALDEN, MASS." which makes this one of his early rifles as most are from the later post 1920 Michigan years, It was during this early period that Niedner was associated with the biggest names in the shooting world as mentioned above, this is a Marlin Firearms Company made Ballard with matching numbers on the bottom of the 26" oct. barrel, receiver, forend and Swiss butt plate, perfect re-lined bore, gorgeous dense burl grained butt stock and forend, checkered pistol grip with ebony wedge in bottom, gold plated trigger still shows most of the gold, mottled light case color receiver with exc. original barrel blue, exc. wood with tight wood to metal fit, very tight action, I had an expert gunsmith look this one over and he remarked that some of the internal parts looked about new and barely used- no doubt Niedner's re-work, has the correct small blade front sight, rear barrel dovetail has a filler, must have had a tang sight on at one time as the filler screw holes are now empty, a truly beautiful, classic small bore single shot rifle from one of the best American gunsmiths a hundred years ago! $2950.
VERY FINE CONDITION STEVENS FAVORITE SINGLE SHOT BOYS' RIFLE IN .22 LONG RIFLE CALIBER, usually these neat little rifles are found in horribly used and abused condition as they were typically given to boys who "loved them to death." This one still retains nice case color on the receiver that is more vivid on the back half and lighter on the front, 22" half octagon barrel shows fine deep blue with only light age, original buckhorn rear sight with Rocky Mountain blade front, tight takedown, exc. wood with correct "STEVENS FAVORITE" marked butt plate, bore is fairly bright with light scattered roughness from early corrosive .22 LR ammo, but still very shootable, tight action, exc. screws, very hard to find like this, $575.
EXCELLENT SAVAGE 1917 .380 AUTO PISTOL, these are quite hard to find compared to the .32 ACP models, only made from 1920-1926, retains most of the blue with only some minor dulling on the right side of the frame above the grips and a little on the slide above this area- very minor, exc. markings, original mag. correctly marked ".380 CAL" tight action, exc. grips with the tiniest (barely) chips at the back edge of each corner on the bottom (you have to look for it to see it), bright bore, nice example with only light edge wear/dulling etc. $595.
HARRINGTON AND RICHARDSON .32 ACP SELF LOADING PISTOL, MADE 1916-1924, interesting pocket auto designed by the British firm Webley & Scott who licensed H&R to manufacture and market them in the U.S., has manual and grip safety, correct nickel plated magazine and trigger guard, exc. hard rubber grips with H&R monogram, fine deep blue overall with normal signs of carry/handling, some edge wear with light scattered spotting (not pitting), even shows nice blue on the grip straps, tight mech. and fine bore, exc. markings with last patent date of 1909, a very well made and interesting U.S. manufactured auto nearly 100 years old. $450..
MODERN AND CUSTOM CLASSIC FIREARMS (click text for photos)
1) CUSTOM HEAVY VARMINT SINGLE SHOT RIFLE ON A MODIFIED ANTIQUE SERIAL NUMBER (NO FFL REQUIRED) WINCHESTER 1885 HIGHWALL ACTION IN .219 DONALDSON WASP CALIBER (BASICALLY A SHORTENED AND BLOWN OUT .30-30 CASE NECKED TO .22) BY NOTED GUNSMITH LECHNER, probably made in the 1940s or 1950s, dramatic high cheek piece butt stock with adjustable hard rubber butt plate, heavy wide nicely grained bench rest style forend, 26" heavy round barrel with nice recessed target crown, extended lever, sharp exc. bore, drilled for scope bases, barrel marked ".219 Don. Wasp" over "LECHNER" weighs right at 12 lbs (obviously without scope), silvered receiver, tight action, thin blue barrel, $1295.
2) TWO MAGNIFICENT REMINGTON ROLLINGBLOCK FULL CUSTOM TARGET RIFLES IN NEW, UNUSED CONDITION, THESE ARE TRULY SHOW PIECES! ONE IS A .32-40 CALIBER SINGLE TRIGGER (DARKER WOOD) AND THE OTHER IS A .40-65 DOUBLE SET TRIGGER (LIGHTER WOOD), BOTH ARE IDENTICALLY PATTERNED PISTOL GRIP FULL DELUXE TARGET RIFLES, very high grade Turkish walnut with correct style smooth steel shotgun butt plates, pistol grip bottoms have a stylish and authentic curved schnabel, forend tips are an elegant sweeping ebony schnabel, highly polished blue medium heavy 30" half octagon barrels, absolutely flawless bone/charcoal pack harden case colored receivers (octagon receiver tops) and trigger guards, mid-range Soule tang sights and Remington style spirit level fully adjustable globe front sights were made by Mike Stevens (It is my understanding that he was the top maker of this kind of sights in the 1980s and that he is now deceased) and are fitted with scope blocks. The .32-40 rifle weighs approx.13 lbs. and the .40-65 weighs approx. 12 1/2 lbs. Both of these rifles were built to be authentic Remington style rifles and NOT just someone's idea of what a target rifle might be like, these are works of art! $3650 each or $7000 for the pair. Would probably cost about twice this to have these made and sighted today! (NOTE: The .32-40 is sold)
3) SCARCE ITHACA MODEL 37R DELUXE 12 GA. PUMP SHOTGUN, MADE 1956, these don't show up too often and are really attractive shotguns as they were made with much fancier walnut than standard models, the forend appears a little wider and and the pistol grip are checkered, 30" full choke barrel HAS A SOLID RIB with standard red front sight, standard Ithaca butt plate, all in near new condition with barely a scuff or two! $695.
REMINGTON (click text for photos)
1) ROLLING BLOCK .50-70 NEW YORK STATE CONTRACT MUSKET, C.1871, exc. sharp cartouches in the butt stock with inspector initials in rectangle in the left side of the wrist and "GNY" in a rectangle on the right side, also has an additional similar cartouche in the center of the stock on the left side along with rack numbers on the top of the butt plate and comb of the stock by the butt plate, good Remington markings on the upper tang, original military style sights, cleaning rod only a too short replacement, barrel and receiver a silvery gray with some brown mixing on the barrel, bright exc. bore, tight action that is the same type as the Springfield 1871 Army variety with the high hammer that falls slightly forward to a safety notch when the breech block is rolled back and pushed forward when loaded- this is an excellent feature that all Rolling Blocks should have! After loading the rifle is safe to carry and only has to have the hammer pulled slightly back to put it into the full cock and firing position. These fine .50-70 rifles are still under priced on the collector market, but starting to rise, This is about what an Italian replica costs! $1150.
2) No. 1 ROLLING BLOCK COMMERCIAL SADDLE RING CARBINE, these carbines are shows in the 1877 Remington catalogue as having 20 1/2" barrels and weighing 7 lbs. and chambered in either the .43 cartridge or the .50 Rim Fire or Center Fire cartridge and priced at the time of $16.00, this one was a bit of a mystery as it looked like at some time the chamber was sleeved to accept a straight cartridge with the original .43 bore intact (which made no sense), but I think what I'm seeing is a stuck brass case that separated just ahead of the rim! Shouldn't be too hard to remove. The barrel retains the original short Remington carbine leaf sight with blade carbine front sight, barrel blue has aged to a deep plum, gray/brown receiver with Remington markings on the tang, bore looks a bit worn especially ahead of the chamber but should scrub out VG or better, fine action and fine butt stock and forearm, good aged and old west appearance, $795.
3) No. 1 ROLLING BLOCK OCTAGON SPORTING RIFLE IN .38 CENTER FIRE CALIBER, 30" oct. barrel is numbered to the receiver and is only marked "38" on the bottom flat ahead of the forend, I believe this one may be chambered for the straight case .38-40 Remington cartridge which was made for the No.1 Rolling Block and the Hepburn single shot, overall dark, uncleaned patina metal with some very minor dings to the upper tang etc., exc. markings on barrel top and receiver side, 7XXX serial number range, medium weight barrel, original Remington style small buckhorn rear sight with short blade front sight, tight action, bore is dark with good rifling and scattered light roughness, fine wood shows only normal light handling, all of these original Rolling Block sporters are very hard to find in any condition , $1795.
4) SUPER CONDITION ROLLINGBLOCK 7MM MODEL 1901 MUSKET, still retains most of the /deep/dark case colors on the action and trigger guard (these military models did not have highly polished bright case colors), exc. barrel blue showing only light ageing, original sights, bright exc. bore, exc. wood with only the lightest of handling, cleaning rod intact, leather sling, deep original blue on the hammer and breech block etc., even the barrel bands still show most of the blue, sharp tang markings with the last patent date of 1901, about as nice as one could hope to find, (four photos- looks much better in person as photo lights make the case colors appear lighter/duller than they are) $1295.
5) PARTICULARLY FINE MODEL 30 EXPRESS BOLT ACTION RIFLE THAT CAME OUT OF HERE IN MONTANA, CALIBER ".30 SPRINGFIELD 1906" (.30-06), this one is in the 11XXX serial number range, exc. blue overall with only some light wearing on the bolt, exc. wood with sharp checkering, schnable forend tip, correct steel butt plate, not drilled for scope, may have had a correct receiver sight on at one time as the two filler screws are not in- no marks from ever having a receiver sight in either the metal or wood- exc. bright sharp bore, $895.
6) CUSTOM ROLLING BLOCK SPORTING RIFLES (see above in custom & classic section above)
RUGER FIREARMS (click text for photos)
1) SELDOM SEEN, ONE OF THE RAREST OF ALL RUGER RIFLES IS THIS MINI-14 RANCH RIFLE, CHAMBERED IN .222 REMINGTON CALIBER! MADE 1984, apparently Ruger made these for export to countries that don't allow its citizenry to own arms in military calibers (like Mexico), so they made these up in .222 Rem. caliber instead of the normal .223. Whether Ruger exported nearly all of them or whether they only made a few of these, they never seem to turn up. This is the first I've offered and I've been looking for one for a long time! Basically in like new condition overall with 5 round magazine. $1195.
2) MODEL 77 EXTRA LIGHT WEIGHT .257 ROBERTS CALIBER, WALNUT STOCK WITH BLACK EBONY FOREND TIP, 20" BARREL, COMPLETE WITH LEUPOLD VXII 2-7X SCOPE IN RUGER RINGS, MADE 1989, these are great handling little rifles and very hard to find now- especially in .257 Roberts (My wife has one just like this in .250 Savage that she took a mule deer with a few weeks ago!), this one is near new with only a few minor handling marks in the wood that you have to look for to find, exc. optics in the scope, $895.
SHILOH SHARPS AND OTHER REPRODUCTIONS (click text for photos)
NOTE: I am also a Shiloh Sharps dealer. In fact, I am the only stocking dealer of Shiloh Sharps rifles. I frequently have a selection of NIB stock on hand for immediate delivery AT CATALOGUE PRICE WITH NO ADDITIONAL PREMIUMS OR FEES! For further info and lists of available rifles, see my other website, www.shiloh-ballard.com
1) HARRINGTON AND RICHARDSON "OFFICERS MODEL" TRAPDOOR .45-70 SPRINGFIELD REPRODUCTION, MADE IN THE 1970S IN THE U.S.A., a fine copy of the rare and valuable Springfield product of the 1870s intended for officers assigned to Western outposts for hunting purposes, checkered, wrist, engraved lock, hammer, barrel band, breech, pewter tip, etc., wiping rod under the barrel, sporting tang sight, checkered stock and forend- all a close copy of the original, In the 1970s, Handloader Magazine did an extensive article on reloading the .45-70, they used one of these in the test along with a bunch of other rifles and this one proved the most accurate, like new condition, the former owner put gold leaf (available at all hobby shops) in the engraving to make it stand out, easily removed with alcohol, these are getting harder and harder to find especially in this condition, still a bargain when you can find one, $1195.
2) NOW DISCONTINUED AND VERY HARD TO FIND THOMPSON CENTER PERCUSSION "PATRIOT" .45 CALIBER PISTOL WITH FANCY WALNUT AND NEW IN ITS ORIGINAL BOX WITH ORIGINAL ACCESSORIES: BULLET MOULD, HANDLES, NIPPLE WRENCH WITH EXTRA NIPPLE, BALL STARTER, PATCHES AND POWDER MEASURE! Box has the correct end label and is in fine condition with some black marker writing on the inside lid, these were discontinued in 1997 and to find one not only with fancy walnut, but new in the box with accessories is remarkable! I've only seen one or two others with fancy walnut, these are great shooting pistols- I've had one for years that I still shoot, just be sure to realize that the FRONT trigger is the set trigger and the REAR trigger is the "hair" or release trigger (opposite from most double set trigger systems), $575.
3) EARLY SHILOH SHARPS 1863 .54 CALIBER PERCUSSION SADDLE RING CAVALRY CARBINE, #1XXX, MADE IN FARMINGDALE, NY, these are no longer catalogued by Shiloh as they are concentrating on cartridge models only and will not be making any percussion models again, this particular carbine has exc. deep reddish/brown walnut with case colored receiver, Lawrence ladder rear sight, polished barrel blue, sling ring, perfect bore, the only wear appears to be a little to the case colors on the extreme bottom of the lever, steel butt plate shows about all of the case color, tight action, these are lots of fun to shoot and are quite accurate- I shoot mine with breech seated bullet, loose black powder and an RWS percussion cap. My 1863 Shiloh Sporters with target sights will shoot five shot 1 1/2 inch groups loaded this way when I do my part, $1895. (no FFL required)
4) SHILOH SHARPS 1874 .45-70 MILITARY STYLE SADDLE RING CARBINE, MADE IN FARMINGDALE, NY, These are no longer cataloged by Shiloh, this one is about like new, vivid case color receiver and butt plate, polished barrel, Lawrence ladder rear sight, excellent plus wood bright bore, has the optional sling ring, very hard to find, $2150.
SMITH AND WESSON (click text for photos) qaw2WQ/89*******958746
1) EARLY .44 DOUBLE ACTION FIRST MODEL No. 3 REVOLVER WITH 5" BARREL, LOW # 14XXX, C. 1880s, caliber .44 Russian, top break design, all matching serial numbers, this one was obviously a holster gun as the original nickel finish shows wear to the sides of the barrel- typical of holster carry, never cleaned, exc. grip strap nickel with only the most minor of edge wear, frame shows some small areas of flaking, cylinder too shows good nickel with flaking in the flutes and edges, fine blue on the trigger guard and sight latch, fine action, tight lock up, fairly bright fine+ bore may scrub out to exc., grips fit perfectly and are not chipped or cracked but show wear- especially on the right side, again indication of right handed holster carry where the left grip is protected against the body and the right side exposed and rubbed, great unmessed with and uncleaned frontier revolver from the 1880s! (4 photos) $1195.
2) EXCEPTIONAL CONDITION AND ONE OF THE RAREST, HARDEST TO FIND S&W MODELS, AND ONE OF THE RAREST U.S. MARTIAL ARMS! THIS IS A BEAUTY! MODEL 1899 U.S. ARMY REVOLVER, only 1,000 of these were ordered and issued in 1901, most surviving examples show very hard use and abuse, this was S&Ws only side swing revolver made in .38 Colt caliber. 1,000 were made for the Navy and 1,000 for the Army. Of these, the Army seems to be the most scarce. It is distinctive in that where the Navy model was marked with an anchor and Navy markings, it also had plain checkered walnut grips and no lanyard ring, the Army model had special checkered walnut grips with "J.T.T. 1901" stamped in the top part of the left grip and "K.S.M." stamped in the top part of the right grip. The butt is marked "U.S. ARMY" over "MODEL 1899" with a lanyard ring mounted between these markings. Many, if not most, of these surviving revolvers have had their chambers reamed out to accept the longer .38 Special ammo, this one IS STILL IN ORIGINAL .38 COLT CHAMBERING! Excellent plus walnut grips, in the correct serial range of 13,001 to 14,000 (serial number 135XX), much of the early bright high polish blue remains with some edge wear and thinning/browning on the cylinder, some thinning/browning on the side plate and a little muzzle wear, exc. markings and has the correct K.S.M. inspector stamp on the frame and cylinder, matching numbers, lanyard ring intact, still has good case color on the hammer and trigger, front sight not filed or altered, just enough wear and edge wear to show this one has never been re-blued or "helped" in any way, tight action, minty bright bore, As this is an issued military model, it would be hard to improve upon! (interestingly, there is good info on the commercial and military Model 1899 in Timothy Mullin's excellent book THE K FRAME REVOLVER, published by Collector Grade Publications, the U.S. Army model pictured in this book is no where close to this one in condition) -4 photos- $2250.
3) BIG "N" FRAME .44 HAND EJECTOR 2ND. MODEL REVOLVER WITH 6 1/2" BARREL, MADE 1925, this was probably a law enforcement gun as it shows lots of holster wear but no abuse, also the grips are the correct style, but are replacements- often factory grips were replaced with showy stag, pearl or ivory by the officers who were proud of their sidearms! This one still shows good blue on the top and bottom of the barrel and in the cylinder flutes and protected areas with the balance worn/aged to gray/brown, lanyard swivel intact, exc. markings with last barrel patent date of 1909, matching numbers, some light case color remains on the hammer and trigger, exc. screws and sharp exc. bore, a true classic from the middle of the Roaring Twenties! $850.
4) SCARCE VERY EARLY PRE-WAR COMMERCIAL 1917 .45ACP "N" FRAME REVOLVER, MADE IN VERY LIMITED NUMBERS DURING THE 1920s-1930s TO USE UP LEFT OVER 1917 GOVERNMENT FRAMES, the military versions stopped at serial number 169959, this one is #172XXX making it a very early example, these differ from the more common military variation in that they have the S&W trademark logo on the left side of the frame and have on "Model 1917" etc. markings on the butt or U.S. markings/inspector stamps elsewhere, the commercial model also has checkered walnut grips instead of smooth on the military model, matching numbers, fine barrel blue and ejector rod blue that shows some light holster wear to the sides, some edge wear to the cylinder, frame has good blue in the protected areas with the balance flaking plum, exc. marking, bore will clean exc. (looks like it has some leading in the grooves that will brush out), generally exc. grips that show wear but are not chipped or cracked (no serial number inside, but fit perfectly and I assume are the original ones), tight action, lanyard swivel intact, exc. screws, unaltered front sight, many of these saw police/guard duty etc. and judging from the blue wear to the back part of this one that would be exposed in a holster, I'd guess this was one so used, an "N" frame pre-war variation not often encountered, $850.
5) 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) $1495.
U.S. MILITARY AND SPRINGFIELD (click text for photos)
1) SCARCE EARLY 1877 TRAPDOOR .45-70 RIFLE, #105XXX, C.1878, excellent example of a limited production model in the Trapdoor line as only about 20,000 were made and most got arsenal updated and altered over time, in the correct serial range that went from 75000 to 115000, rear sight correctly graduated to 1100 yards and secured with early "slotless" screws, light correct oval ESA 1878 dated cartouche in the stock along with the circle P proof behind the lower tang, fine deep barrel blue, also good blue on the front sight protector hood and the swivels, dark correctly marked breech block and lock plate (without the 1873 date on the lock as is correct), "MASS" stamped on the receiver ring, correct barrel proofs, exc. bore, exc. mech., fine+ wood overall with a few "rack dings" on the underside of the forend ahead of the trigger guard which is fairly common, later style cleaning rod, has an unusual circle stamping in the middle rear of the left side of the stock- meaning unknown- Native American or a brand?- one of the nicest examples I've seen in a while, $1295.
2) GREAT TRAPDOOR FIND! ORIGINAL, UNALTERED 1873 CUSTER RANGE TRAPDOOR SADDLE RING CARBINE IN THE 41XXX SERIAL NUMBER RANGE, MADE 1875, All original throughout, correct long wrist stock, high arch breech block, correct first model rear sight with slotless screws, 1873 dated lock plate, coarse knurled hammer, surprisingly excellent bore, stock retains faint oval cartouche and circle P cartouche, solid wood with no cracks or chips, uncleaned throughout, metal mostly gray/brown with no pitting or abuse (except some pitting on the butt plate), top of butt plate stamped "26" over "N.G.C." (meaning unknown), rarely found in this unaltered and un-messed with condition, $4850.``
3) SELDOM SEEN EXPERIMENTAL MODEL 1880 "TRIANGULAR BAYONET" TRAPDOOR .45-70 RIFLE, ONLY 1,000 MADE, everything appears correct on this one except it has an out of range serial number, according to Flayderman's Guide the serial number should be in the 154,000-158,000 range and this one is in a later 375XXX range, it is possible it was returned to the arsenal for a problem and a new receiver was fitted at that time with a higher serial number, about half of the cartouche is visible, but some of the right half is not- where the last two digits of the date are located, circle P cartouche intact, has the correct for this model compartment in the butt for tools/rods (some rods still in it), overall great condition with fairly vivid case colors on the correctly marked 1873 dated lock plate, exc. fairly bright barrel and trigger guard blue, fine deep blue color on the lock plate and hammer, stock shows some normal handling dings and scuffs with small rack number "23" stamped in right side of butt stock, has some wood chipping on the bottom by the rod channel, good blue on the barrel bands with swivels intact, BRIGHT EXC. BORE, seldom seen, (four photos) $2150.
4) RARE AND HISTORICAL INDIAN WARS ISSUE WINCHESTER/SPRINGFIELD FIRST MODEL HOTCHKISS SADDLE RING CARBINE, .45-70 CALIBER, ISSUED ON A TRIAL BASIS TO CAVALRY TROOPS IN THE WEST, WITH ONLY ABOUT 500 PROCURED AND ISSUED IN 1879, interestingly, some of these carbines were made from returned or unissued U.S. Navy Hotchkiss rifles and this appears to be one because it is in the serial range of Navy rifles (serial number 12XX), info on this can be found in the excellent book Winchester Bolt Action Military & Sporting Rifles 1877-1937 by Herbert G. Houze, This carbine has the correct VP and eagle head Springfield proof on the barrel that is right for the Cavalry Carbine without any U.S. Navy markings, also correct is the "H.N." inspector marks (Henry Nettleton) on the receiver, butt plate and barrel etc., has the correct Springfield 1879 rear sight held to the barrel with correct slotless screws, for years there has been confusion about this rare model, but now it is pretty well known and accepted that Winchester supplied Springfield with actions and parts which Springfield then assembled with other Springfield parts to make these carbines and rifles, this one is also one of the only ones I've seen that still has the oval cartouche in the wrist and the circle P cartouche behind the lower tang- stocks on this model were prone to breakage especially when someone tried to remove the barreled action from the stock WITHOUT FIRST REMOVING THE BUTT PLATE AND TAKING OUT THE MAG TUBE! This always resulted in a cracked wrist! This one is un-cracked (amazing in itself as almost all found today are cracked), exc. bore, has the distinct nickel plated brass forend tip that opens to store cleaning rods- this was only used on the U.S. contract guns and not civilian models, nearly all the nickel remains on this tip, exc. wood with one age crack ahead of the mag cut-off/safety dial on the right side of the stock and one coming back from the forend tip that goes nowhere and is probably from the wood drying out over the last 137 years- both minor, safety and cartridge cut-off functions (these almost never do on first models), exc. bore, barrel blue ageing to gray/brown with some evidence of surface rust that was wiped off mainly on the right side of the barrel for a few inches near the front sight- minor, fine blue on the trigger guard and on H.N. marked butt plate, one of the best of these I've seen, seldom offered, $2950.
5) NICE ORIGINAL UNTOUCHED AND UNCLEANED 1879 TRAPDOOR .45-70 RIFLE, MADE 1884 WITH MATCHING 1884 DATED STOCK CARTOUCHE, a fine example with nice dark patina metal overall, sharp markings on the lock plate, exc. bore, 1879 rear sight with original slotless screws intact (these usually replaced with the slotted variety), tight action, exc. wood, has some "paint spotting" which is surprisingly common on old rifles- I suppose people didn't bother covering guns that were either leaning up in a corner of a room or hanging over a fireplace... as I see lots of rifles with tiny paint spots scattered on the wood and metal- usually comes right off with some oil soaking- anyway, this one has some tiny pin prick size "dots" of cream colored paint here and there which should be very easy to remove. Retains correct swivels and cleaning rod, attractive un-messed with Trapdoor with lots of life left in it! $895.
6) VERY EARLY AND RARE FIRST YEAR PRODUCTION 1894 KRAG RIFLE WITH CORRECT ALTERATION TO 1896 STYLE WITHOUT THE CLEANING ROD, this one is in the 52XX serial range, receiver stamped "1894" and retains a good stock cartouche dated 1895 as well as the circle P proof cartouche, barrel blue aged/mixing plum, uncleaned dark patina receiver, front barrel band/bayonet lug retains some good blue, fine original stock with correctly arsenal filled cleaning rod channel, swivels intact, bore is a bit dark but shows good rifling with some light scattered roughness. One of our very first small bore smokless powder military rifles! Nice example and not often seen, $975.
7) SMITH & WESSON 1899 U.S. ARMY .38 COLT REVOLVER (see above in S&W section)
8) REMINGTON ROLLING BLOCK .50-70 NEW YORK MUSKET (see above in Remington section)
9) COLT 1902 "PHILIPPINE" .45 COLT DOUBLE ACTION REVOLVER (see above in Colt section)
WINCHESTERS (click text for photos)
FRONTIER USED 1873 SADDLE RING CARBINE IN .44-40 CALIBER, MADE 1890, this one obviously accounted for a lot of saddle miles! The forearm is heavily dished/worn ahead of the receiver on the bottom and on the left side ahead of the receiver- the way a right handed rider would rest such a carbine over the saddle, also the forend is thinned along the entire left edge and has a big saddle rub spot ahead of the barrel band on the right side, butt stock looks a little dry and has the typical light crack coming back from the upper tang (see Notes From the Field below for a discussion about such cracks as "horse roll-over" caused etc.), butt plate pitted, overall metal a mostly smooth aged brown with a hint of plum, good blue on the loading gate, original carbine sights including the rear ladder sight with slide intact, original dust cover intact, tight action with surprisingly fine+ bore that might even clean out better, exc. screws, just needs the saddle ring staple (I have an original ring I'll include), good appearance and lots of history in this one! $1895.
SUPERIOR CONDITION 1873 .22 LONG CALIBER WITH VERY SCARCE ROUND BARREL, WITH FACTORY LETTER, MADE 1885, quoting from the Winchester Handbook by Madis, "most rifles in this caliber have octagon barrels, we rarely find the standard round barrel..." Retains fine bright receiver blue that has some normal light thinning from age, mellow brass lifter marked "22 Long" (this is unusual as .22 cal rifles are rarely marked on the lifter) and barrel is marked "22 CAL.) fine barrel and mag blue that is getting a little dull from age and mixing lightly plum with some tiny pin-prick pitting on the right side by the muzzle- you have to look for it to see it, original buckhorn rear sight with Winchester factory blade front (looks like it had a tang sight on at one time as there is a faint outline of the base in the bright blue of the tang), exc. markings and surprisingly fine+ bore (not quite perfect, but one of the best I've seen on a .22 caliber 1873), has some small dings on the left side of the receiver front edge where it meets the forend- minor, original dust cover, nice screws, exc. wood with fine wood to metal fit, overall one of the best I've seen in a long time and rare in round barrel configuration, $4250.
RARE & HISTORICAL 1879 U.S. MARKED/INSPECTED HOTCHKISS .45-70 SADDLE RING CARBINE (see above in U.S. Military & Springfield section)
NICE 1876 .45-60 OCTAGON RIFLE, MADE 1883, this is a really fine unmessed with rifle that is hard to find these days, looks like it was put away and stored for the last bunch of decades, uncleaned and un-messed with overall, good very aged barrel blue mixing plum, mag tube mostly uncleaned brown, mellow unpolished brass lifter clearly marked "45-60" fine blue on the loading gate, receiver shows some very dull aged blue mixing brown mostly on the right side with more gray on the left side, original dust cover, tight action, fine bore shows some light wear and has scattered light surface roughness only, has the desirable sporting ladder sight marked "1876" with slide intact and Rocky Mountain blade front sight, standard 28" octagon barrel, some dark uncleaned rust/corrosion on the butt plate only, fine walnut stock and forend shows normal light handling with good wood to metal fit, really attractive, unfooled with big frontier Winchester in a good caliber- this one has a good look and feel to it- and 133 years old! $3450.
BEAUTIFUL, HIGH CONDITION 1885 HIGHWALL OCTAGON RIFLE IN SCARCE .40-60 CALIBER (ONLY 1463 MADE THIS CALIBER), MADE 1905, very unusual caliber for this late a Highwall Sporter, correctly stamped "40-60 W.C.F." on the barrel top, excellent condition overall with deep barrel on the 30" #3 weight octagon barrel, original buckhorn rear sight with Rocky Mountain blade front sight, exc. blue on the receiver with only slight age dulling, tangs and receiver ring naturally mixing with a pleasing aged plum, never cleaned or "helped" really a fine untouched rifle with exc. stock and forend, tight action, tight wood to metal fit, MINTY BRIGHT BORE! This is a great investment Highwall! (note: light reflection in bottom photo makes the blue look thin on the receiver, it is like the top photo) $3850.
TRULY AMAZING 1886 RARITY! THIS IS THE FIRST STANDARD OCTAGON RIFLE I'VE SEEN THAT LETTERS WITH A CHEEK PIECE STOCK!!! DESIRABLE CALIBER .45-90, the factory letter states that this rifle left the factory in 1889 as an octagon .45-90 caliber rifle and was then returned in 1894 for "New frame and plain shotgun butt stock with cheek piece fitted and returned." So apparently, someone ordered/bought this rifle and a few years later had the receiver replaced and the stock changed, making this one of the rarest 1886s extant! On the few photos of 1886s with cheek pieces they were almost always super deluxe engraved presentation models where as this was a working gun. fine lightly thinning barrel blue, mag tube has some blue that is aged and mixing dark and brown, silver/gray receiver with thinning blue on the bolt, has the 1886 dated sporting ladder sight with slide intact (looks like a longer carbine sight), fine+-exc. forend, butt stock shows normal light handling and has a very old hairline crack coming back from the upper tang for a few inches and doesn't go all the way through the stock, but probably made it a little loose as there are a few barely visible repair plugs in each side of the wrist making this a very tight fitting stock- you have to look very carefully to see this and it in no way detracts from the overall fine appearance of this rare 1886, fine screws and MINTY BRIGHT EXC. BORE! smooth steel shotgun butt plate, The best and most advanced Winchester 1886 collections don't have one of these! Winchester factory letter included. (3 photos) $5200.
1886 OCTAGON RIFLE IN .40-82 CALIBER, #61XXX, MADE 1891, a nice example with fine barrel blue showing some age and thinning/mixing a little brown, mag tube aged to brown, receiver a dark mottled silvery, exc. blue on the bolt and good blue on the loading gate, buckhorn rear sight with rare "tunnel" front sight with bead on top (one of the more interesting and seldom seen sights of the day), exc. wood with tight wood to metal fit, bore surprisingly fine with good rifling and just needs a good clean to be about excellent- much better than normally seen, tight action, this was the biggest .40 caliber in the 1886 and is simply the .45-90 necked/tapered to .40 caliber, $2450.``
UNUSUAL AND EXCEEDINGLY RARE 1890 SEMI-DELUXE ROUND BARREL RIFLE IN .22 WRF, serial numbered in the 764XXX range which puts it in the very end of production in 1944 (limited World War II production) and in the M-90 parts clean-up range, round barrel '90s are extremely rare and only found at the end of production, this is the first pistol grip round barrel M-90 I've seen, has the late style tang marking "TRADE MARK" over "WINCHESTER" etc., Barrel also has the late "MODEL 90" over "22 WRF" etc. markings, fine aged-dull blue overall a little thinning on the receiver and edges, matching numbers sharp Winchester proof marks on receiver top and barrel top, exc. wood with sharp checkering on the pistol grip and correct Winchester embossed grip cap, interestingly it has a nickel plated butt plate with about all the nickel intact- probably a left over part normally used on some gallery guns, exc. bore, tight action, super rare especially with a round barrel! $2950.``
ORIGINAL AND TOTALLY CORRECT 1892 TRAPPER SADDLE RING CARBINE IN RARE .25-20 CALIBER WITH FACTORY 16" BARREL, MADE 1917, almost all the short "Trappers" were in .44-40 caliber, anything else is unusual, fine+ wood with tight wood to metal fit and CORRECT SHORT FOREARM show light handling only, mostly brown receiver with some light rust pitting on the bottom behind the serial number, original barrel and mag tube show blue with outside rust and scattered pitting that could be cleaned better- still some good blue on the barrel, bore is a bit worn and heavily frosted- might clean better, fine markings, exc. screws, correct carbine sight with carbine front sight, this is the shortest legal length barrel so no ATF papers are needed, $2950.
NICE CONDITION RARE 1892 TAKEDOWN OCTAGON BARREL, FULL MAGAZINE .32-20 CALIBER RIFLE MADE 1907, fine deep receiver blue showing a little mixing plum mainly on the right side but still retaining strong blue, fine blue on bolt, aged blue to brown on upper tang and bottom of receiver, fine barrel and mag blue showing some light age only, exc. markings, tight action and tight takedown, exc. wood shows light handling only with very tight wood to metal fit, exc. screws, bore a little dark with strong rifling- looks to have a little leading in the grooves that ought to brush out to exc., original sights, very hard to find takedowns in the Model 1892 especially in this overall fine condition, $2450.
SPECIAL ORDER 1892 .32-20 HALF OCTAGON/HALF MAGAZINE RIFLE, MADE 1911, special order 1892 rifles are extremely rare, many more 1894 models were special ordered than 1892 models, according to the Winchester Handbook by Madis, only 613 rifles were half octagon and 2740 had special length magazines, excellent deep barrel blue overall with a couple of spots of scuffing, original Buckhorn rear sight, Lyman half moon with ivory bead front sight, excellent wood with tight wood to metal fit, excellent screws, tight action, excellent bore, receiver shows good aged blue mainly on the back portion with the balance mixing gray and brown, very unusual and attractive 1892, (oil reflected off the wood in the photos) $1850.
1892 SADDLE RING CARBINE IN .25-20 CALIBER, MADE 1907, getting hard to find these with any finish remaining, this one shows good thinning blue on the left side of the receiver with a little more thinning to the blue on the right side, good aged barrel blue, mat tube mainly aged to brown, tight action, bore shows good rifling with scattered surface roughness that ought to scrub out fine or better, saddle ring intact, has three leaf express sight with all leaves intact, also has "sling eye studs" that look factory- one in the butt stock and the other correctly placed and fitted in the bottom of the barrel band, fine walnut stock and forend with one small chip on top of the butt stock just ahead of the butt plate that would be easy to fill, looks like a very small knot in the wood at the left side of the wrist that may be a little steel tack (yet doesn't look like it needed a repair)- either way not overly important, nice screws, $1495.
1892 .25-20 OCTAGON RIFLE, MADE 1909, fine deep magazine tube blue with barrel showing aged and thinning blue, receiver shows some good blue that is mixing brown, exc. screws, flattop buckhorn rear sight with factory front sight, bore is dark and frosty- I ran a brush and a patch through it and it started to clean up a bit with lots of dark crud coming out, so it might clean better but will be a bit rough, small red diamond shape inlay in the bottom of the forend with a Marlin style "bullseye" small round inlay in the bottom of the butt stock- why this was done is anyone's guess! tight action, fine wood with one tiny chip at the upper tang/receiver juncture on the left side- hard to see, exc markings, (3 photos) $895.
VERY RARE BARREL LENGTH ON THIS 1894 FACTORY OCTAGON SHORT RIFLE WITH 22" BARREL AND FULL MAGAZINE, FACTORY LETTER, MADE 1902, .30WCF CALIBER, most short rifles had 20" barrels with far fewer having 22" barrels- most with 22" have been extra light weight rifles- fine barrel blue showing some edge wear and thinning, same with the mag tube, has the correct one inch shorter forend than found on standard 26" barreled rifles, butt stock and forearm show normal handling for one of these with some additional wear/weathering on the right side of the butt stock that is probably from being carried in a saddle scabbard, tight wood to metal fit, bore is a bit dark and shows some wear, but should scrub out fine or better, receiver mostly silvered with blue in the more protected areas of the rear portion and on the bolt, tight action, very scarce variation verified by factory letter, $1895.
GREAT DEPRESSION ERA M-94 .30WCF CARBINE, MADE 1938, very interesting and scarce transition carbine that still retains the curved steel carbine butt of the early style carbines yet has the ramped and hooded front sight and buckhorn rear sight of the later models, exc. deep barrel and mag blue, front sight hood intact, receiver shows traces of blue around screws and in protected areas with exc. deep blue on the bolt and loading gate, balance flaked to mostly gray with some brown on the left side and about half the blue that is thinning and flaking on the right side, MINTY BRIGHT BORE, exc. walnut stock with fancier grain than standard! $1150.
1894 SADDLE RING CARBINE IN .30WCF CALIBER WITH SPECIAL SHOTGUN BUTT, MADE 1903, fine barrel and mag blue showing a little dulling from age only, two leaf rear express sight with standard carbine front sight, exc. screws, mostly gray/brown aged receiver with good blue in protected areas and around the ring, exc. butt stock with tight wood to metal fit and exc. Winchester embossed hard rubber shotgun butt plate, exc. forend, bore will clean out to fine+ or better, nice classic 1894 carbine with special butt stock, $1295.
EXCELLENT CONDITION CLASSIC 1894 SADDLE RING CARBINE IN .30WCF WITH MARBLE TANG SIGHT, MADE 1908, exc. receiver blue with only some edge wear mainly on the bottom portion and sharp edges, still retains some case color on the lever, barrel and mag show mos2t of the original deep blue with only some very minor scuffing, fine gumwood stock and forend shows normal handling marks with tight wood to metal fit, exc. screws, ring intact, bright bore with sharp rifling has only a couple small pits about midway down the barrel- minor but there, has a Marble dovetail slot filler blank, getting hard to find early 1894 carbines with this much receiver blue, $1695.
UNUSUAL SPECIAL ORDER 1894 .32-40 EASTERN CARBINE (NO SADDLE RING) WITH SHOTGUN BUTT AND 2/3 MAGAZINE, MADE 1913, this is the most difficult caliber to find in a carbine, exc. deep reddish/brown walnut butt stock and forend, correct Winchester embossed hard rubber butt plate, thinning barrel and mag blue mixing gray, flaked receiver is mostly gray with excellent screws and nice blue on the loading gate, fitted with a Lyman receiver sight adjustable for windage and elevation, small carbine ivory bead front sight with slot filler/blank in the rear sight dovetail, tight wood too metal fit, slightly worn but exc. bore with no pitting, $1195.
EXCEPTIONALLY RARE 1895 FACTORY SHORT RIFLE, .30-40 KRAG CALIBER WITH SPECIAL 24" BARREL (STANDARD WAS 28"), MADE 1912, according to the Winchester Handbook by Madis only 88 rifles were made with barrels shorter than standard (taken from the Winchester records up until 1906 or the first 60,000 1895s) I'm sure a few were made- like this one- after that date, but it does show the scarcity! Easy to tell a cut rifle in this caliber as the standard front sight has a base sweated to the barrel with blade/bead attached, almost all cut rifles simply have an incorrect dovetail put in for a front sight, the base on this is in the correct place and is Winchester perfect, over the years I've seen a few 24" 30-40 rifles and they were identical to this, comes with a leather saddle scabbard and when his rifle turned up in Southern California it was in the scabbard- might have come out of Mexico at some time- fine blue overall on barrel and receiver with normal freckling from being in the leather scabbard, but not overly blue-worn, exc. markings, exc. sharp bore that is a little dark only, generally fine wood that shows light handling only with tight wood to metal fit, tight action, for some reason the rear sight is marked "Savage Arms" so is a replacement, but seems to have always been on this one, good markings, no extra holes, very rare configuration and lots of western flavor with scabbard! $2350.
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 CCI still sells .22 Auto ammo (different from .22 LR), pistol gripped/checkered Model 1903s are quite rare, $1195.
MODEL '04 SINGLE SHOT BOYS' RIFLE CHAMBERED IN .22 SHORT, LONG AND EXTRA LONG RIM FIRE, MADE 1914-1927 (after 1927 the "Extra Long" marking was changed to "Long Rifle") one of the nicer examples I've seen in a while, really one of the more elegantly styled rifles of its type as it has a fancy almost "Hawken-like" flowing trigger guard, crescent butt plate and schnabel forend tip, wood is in excellent condition with only the lightest of handling marks and a little wear to the high edge of the forend tip, trigger guard aged brown, fine barrel blue that is ageing/mixing a little plum, tight action and surprisingly EXCELLENT BORE, original correct screw adjustable rear sight with small blade bead front sight, you can just imagine the pride any pre-World War II era kid would take in hunting small game with this rifle on his way to and from school! (That was common here in Montana and other more rural places where classrooms had stand up gun racks in the back- those folks wouldn't believe the world today!) Usually found in hard used and often abused condition. This is a nice example with a great bore, $495.
ALMOST NEVER SEEN DELUXE MODEL 1910 .401 SELF LOADER CALIBER SEMI-AUTO RIFLE, MADE 1920, this was a limited production model that isn't seen as often as the Models 1903, 1905, and 1907, deluxe versions are rarely encountered, this one has gorgeous high grade burl walnut with heavy "piano finish", correct checkered pistol grip with Winchester embossed grip cap, and checkered forend, good very aged barrel blue, original sights- rear buckhorn needs elevator bar only, has some very minor pin-prick pitting scattered on the barrel that you have to look closely to see, very aged blue on the receiver mixing heavily with an uncleaned brown, fine wood shows handling, a corner chip from the right side of the forend at the receiver juncture was put back in with the original wood, sling swivels may or may not be original but are certainly correct for the manufacture date, fine action, original Winchester embossed hard rubber butt plate, bore a little dark, but should scrub out near exc., original ".401 CAL" marked magazine, (photo light reflection on receiver in bottom photo- should look like receiver in top photo) $1395.
MODEL 55 TAKEDOWN RIFLE IN .30WCF CALIBER, #3XXX MADE 1926, this is an early production example as the model was introduced in 1924, only a little over 20,000 were made before it fell victim to the Great Depression and was discontinued in 1932, receiver mostly flaked to gray- which is typical of 1920s receivers- with some blue remaining in protected areas with good blue on the loading gate and some on the bolt, thinning barrel blue, fine wood looks a little dry and has either "MM" or "WW" lightly scratched in the wrist on the left side- easily rubbed out, exc. screws, bright minty bore, flattop rear buckhorn sight with Lyman ivory bead front in the correct base, original steel butt plate, tight takedown, came out of Arizona, a more scarce Winchester Model than most collectors realize, $1195.
MODEL 64 DELUXE 20" CARBINE, .30WCF, MADE DURING WORLD WAR II (#1375XXX) AND POSSIBLY FACTORY PERIOD SCOPED WITH NORMAN FORD & CO. "THE TEXAN" SCOPE IN WILLIAMS SIDE MOUNT, the scope has exc. options and appears to be 2.5X, I believe these were made in the early 1950s, overall the rifle is in superb condition with about all the blue remaining- even on the lever and forend cap with only some light scratches in the right side of the receiver that you have to be in the right light to even detect, correct checkering and Winchester embossed grip cap, complete with original super grade sling swivels and sling, probably had a late 1940s or early 1950s recoil pad that has been replaced with a handsome brown solid Decelerator pad, interestingly the scope is mounted to the left over the receiver which allows one to use the buckhorn and blade/bead iron sights too, crisp checkering, obviously this one saw little real use, tight action and perfect bore, rare configuration, $1695.
HIGH CONDITION DELUXE MODEL 64 RIFLE, .30-30 CALIBER, MADE 1954, retains nearly all the original blue with only minor scattered edge wear, exc. bore, exc. wood with very light handling only, sharp checkering, original checkered steel butt plate and forend cap, not quite a mint example, but certainly exc.+ overall, one of the last of the "deluxe" pre-64 Winchesters in really nice condition, over 60 years old and rapidly rising in value, $2150.
PRE-WORLD WAR II MODEL 71 DELUXE .348 CALIBER RIFLE, #16XXX, MADE 1940, exc. condition overall and retaining about all the blue on the receiver, upper tang, barrel, magazine tube and forend cap with only slight gray near the muzzle and front sight hood and a little on the extreme end of the mag tube cap, has the correct super grade swivel studs, correct Lyman 56 receiver sight and a slot blank in the rear barrel dovetail with no signs of ever having had a rear sight installed, exc. wood with minor handling on the butt stock- mainly just some scuffing/scratching to the finish, correct original checkered steel butt plate, untouched screws, sharp checkering, minty sharp bore, hard to find pre-war examples this nice, $3250.
BILL GOODMAN, P. O. BOX 2002, BOZEMAN, MONTANA 59771 TEL. (406) 587-3131 FAX (406) 219-3415
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