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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. -

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MORE GUNS WERE POSTED ON 12/6/21. WATCH FOR FREQUENT POSTINGS THROUGH DECEMBER.

 

 

 

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) $1950.

2) COLORFUL, FRONTIER USED BISLEY WITH HOLSTER, .32-20, 4 3/4" BARREL, #310XXX, MADE 1909. This is a really great set that shows miles and miles of real cowboy usage! The grips on this Bisley fit nicely and are worn almost completely smooth on both sides. There are a couple of tiny chips on the corners, but they are basically sound. The metal is an uncleaned gray/brown patina showing no evidence of ever having been cleaned or scrubbed. All markings are good including the correct two line barrel address used on 4 3/4" barrels (5 1/2" and 7 1/2" had a one line address), screws are generally fine to excellent as is the cylinder pin. The front sight has not been filed or altered. matching serial numbers. There is some aged blue in the cylinder flutes and along the upper and lower flutes of the ejector housing. Tight action with four clicks to the hammer. The bore is about excellent with any roughness being very slight and surface. The double loop Mexican holster fits perfectly and looks like this Bisley was at home in it for many decades. The holster is in remarkably fine condition, but shows much wear- as does the revolver itself. A Colt factory letter might prove interesting on this one. $2150.

3) BISLEY IN DESIRABLE .44-40 CALIBER WITH 4 3/4" BARREL, WITH COLT FACTORY LETTER, #259XXX, MADE 1904. The factory letter verifies the caliber, barrel length, blue finish etc. and states this revolver was in a shipment of 10 guns to Simmons Hardware Company, St. Louis, Missouri on October 3, 1904. Overall, a nice honest cowboy Colt that has seen use, but no abuse. Overall metal is a dark patina with some small amounts of blue around the rear section of the barrel, on the bottom of the barrel by the ejector housing, in the cylinder flutes and on the butt. The screw heads are all excellent, mechanically fine with only the very first click on the hammer gone, good lock up, front sight has not been filed or altered, fine bore is a little dark with strong rifling and any roughness minor. the grips are correct replacements and fit well with some small overhang at the bottom butt that could easily be polished down to fit better, but not bad as is. Fine markings including the two line barrel address used only on short barrels plus the "Bisley Model" and "COLT FRONTIER SIX SHOOTER" stamping on the left side of the barrel only used on the .44-40 caliber revolvers. Classic 117 year old .44-40 Bisley. (4 photos) $2495.

4) SUPER EARLY NEW SERVICE .38-40, 7 1/2" BARREL, SERIAL NUMBER 7XX, MADE 1899! The big New Service revolver began production in 1898 and continued until the beginning of World War II. In the year 1898 serial numbers got up to 249. By the end of production, including all commercial New Service Models plus the U.S. Models 1909 and 1917, serial numbers topped out at around 356,000. The very earliest New Service revolvers used the same barrels as the famed Single Action Army with only the Colt address on the top and "New Service" with the caliber stamping on the left side of the barrel. Soon after 1900, the top of the barrel had a patent date of 1900 stamped on the top along with the Colt a   ddress. As time when on, more patent dates were added. This example has no patent dates on the top of the barrel. Almost all first and second year New Services I've encountered have seen very hard use, just like most Single Action and Bisley Colts of the same time frame. This example shows use, but is a solid example. the barrel has sharp markings with remaining blue around the front sight and forward third of the barrel top, around the ejector rod and at the extreme rear by the frame. The lanyard swivel has a filler screw that may be factory.  The cylinder is a very thin blue to gray with good blue in the flutes. and the frame shows good blue around the cylinder area with the balance mainly gray. There is still some good fire blue on the back bottom of the hammer and on the trigger sides. Grips show normal handling and the right panel has a 1 1/4" chip out along the bottom of the back strap. Screws are excellent, front sight has not been altered, action is tight and locks up with no movement (!), bore is a bit dark with strong rifling and scattered surface roughness that might scrub out better. It would be hard to find an earlier example than this 122 year old Colt New Service! $1195.

5) SELDOM SEEN TARGET FLAT TOP NEW SERVICE REVOLVER IN .44 RUSSIAN CALIBER, #26XXX, MADE 1911, WITH COLT FACTORY LETTER. Obviously, this rare big frame Colt has had a full and active life! The Colt letter states this  Target New Service revolver in .44 Russian caliber and 7 1/2" barrel was shipped to Geller, Ward and Hasner Hardware Co., St. Louis, Missoure on February 20, 1911 as a shipment of 1 gun. It is basically a gray/brown gun overall with only some very aged blue in the cylinder flutes. It is complete except for the missing rear sight, which was a simple affair adjustable for windage by an adjustment screw in the right side which is still intact. This was a class act with checkered back strap, front strap and trigger. It also featured fancy diamond checkered walnut grips which are fine and show normal wear. The correct 7 1/2" barrel has the last patent date on top of 1905 with the Colt address. The "stylized C" rampant colt on the left side of the frame is visible. The wonderful hand tuned action needs to be felt to be fully appreciated with light trigger pull and tight lock up when the hammer is released- which is when these Colt cylinders lock up for firing. The bore is fairly bright with fine rifling and only some light scattered roughness. The chambers in the cylinder will accept a .44 Special cartridge which may have been done at the factory as the more modern .44 Special was introduced in 1907 and many of these guns were marked for Russian and Special Cartridges. This one might be a good candidate for a complete restoration...or just leave it as a survivor of a different time in America 111 years ago. $1295.

6) RARE CALIBER BIG SHOOTING MASTER TARGET REVOLVER IN .357 MAGNUM, #341XXX, MADE 1937. The Shooting Master was the final and most advanced variation of the large frame New Service line. It was introduced during the early years of the Great Depression in 1931 and discontinued at the outbreak of World War II. During this time production of all Colt arms was limited because of the economic crisis in America (and around the world). The Shooting master was considered Colt's finest revolver at the time as all were hand fitted and tuned. Standard caliber was .38 Special with small quantities made in other calibers- like this one in .357 Magnum of which only about 500 were manufactured. The .357 was introduced in the Shooting Master in 1936 and obviously had a short run until the model was discontinued. These were popular with outdoorsmen as well as some law enforcement personnel. The revolvers in this caliber were never meant purely for the target ranges as some of the other calibers were. This example shows some holster wear on the forward sides of the barrel and on the high edges of the cylinder etc., but still retains most of the original Colt blue. Also shows most of the blue on the face of the cylinder indicating that it was shot very little if at all. It also has a checkered trigger, checkered back strap and checkered front strap along with checkered walnut Colt Medallion grips (which are numbered to the gun)- a classic act inside and out! Mechanically excellent with super tight lock up of the cylinder with no movement. and bright sharp exc. bore.  Trigger pull is superb, as one would expect from Colts most expensive revolver of the time. These almost never come up for sale. $3450.

7) BEAUTIFUL CONDITION AND EXTREMELY LIMITED PRODUCTION PRE-WAR OFFICERS MODEL HEAVY BARREL IN .32 NEW POLICE (.32 S&W LONG) CALIBER. #643XXX, MADE 1940. It is believed that only a couple hundred of these (maybe less) were turned out in one special run just before World War II caused Colt to cease production on just about all commercial models for the war effort. Almost all of the Target Officers Models were made in .22 LR or .38 Special. These are super rare and seldom seen. This example is in near new and probably unfired condition. It retains all the blue on the cylinder face and doesn't even have a cylinder drag line. You'd have to really look carefully to perhaps see a small area or two where the deep factory blue was just starting to freckle slightly from age. Checkered back strap and trigger, adjustable sights, barrel marked "COLT OFFICERS MODEL .32 HEAVY BARREL" with correct Colt address and last patent date ending 1926 etc. Checkered walnut grips are also sharp and show no wear. All this 82 year old Colt needs is a factory box! $2500.

8) MEDIUM FRAME LIGHTNING RIFLE IN .38-40 CALIBER WITH 26" SCARCE ROUND BARREL, #88XXX, MADE 1901. Overall the blue has thinned on the receiver, barrel and mag tube and mixed evenly with plum and gray. There is still some good blue overall and all markings including the rampant colt on the left side of the frame are fine. The action locks tight and will not "pump" when at full cock. Original buckhorn rear sight with Rocky Mountain blade front sight. Fine wood showing only light handling. Probably had a tang sight on at one time as there is an empty threaded hole in the upper tang behind the hammer. bore is fairly bright with sharp rifling and any roughness very light and scattered. (5 photos) $2350.

9) MODEL 1903 POCKET HAMMER .38 ACP CALIBER AUTO PISTOL, #22XXX, MADE 1908. These early autos really are the great grandparents of all modern Colt automatic pistols. They incorporate no safeties aside from the half-cock on the hammer and are as basic and simple as an auto can be. Remember, shooters were just getting used to double action revolvers when these types of slab-sided autos were introduced by Colt beginning in 1900! When people were still holstering Single Actions and Bisley Models, you had to be a pretty progressive shooter to buy one of these new-fangled autos! Interestingly, these were very popular in Mexico. This example shows carry wear and handling, but is not abused. It still retains good aged blue on the slide and thinning blue mixing heavily gray/brown on the frame. Markings are all good including the last patent date of 1902 on the left side of the slide along with the pre-1909 style of address. The right side of the slide has the standard AUTOMATIC COLT over CALIBRE 38 RIMLESS SMOKELESS markings. It retains the correct unmarked full blue magazine which is correct for this vintage M-1903 from about 1906 to 1916, after which they had markings stamped on the bottom. Grips show normal light wear and are solid, mechanically tight, exc. bright bore, unaltered sights, strong safety notch in the hammer, overall nice, attractive aged appearance. $1295.

10) CLASSIC WORLD WAR I MODEL 1917 U.S. ARMY .45ACP (OR .45 AUTO RIM) REVOLVER, #253XXX (ARMY NUMBER ON BUTT: 99XXX). Since Colt couldn't turn out enough 1911 automatics for the war, the government turned to both Colt and S&W to make revolvers chambered in .45 ACP (Colt used the New Service and S&W the .44 Hand Ejector 2nd Model),  for use with half-moon three-round clips as the .45 ACP is rimless and this was the only way to eject fired cases from the revolver's cylinder. Later the .45 Auto Rim cartridge solved the problem by simply making a rather fat rimmed .45 ACP round specifically for these revolvers. This is an unaltered revolver that has not been arsenal refinished (like so many of these). The original finish was a n un-polished military "brushed" blue that was non-glare and durable. Most of the original finish remains with some normal holster wear on the barrel sides and grip straps. The bottom of the barrel retains the "UNITED STATES PROPERTY" marking that often was ground off when these hit the surplus market. The correct smooth walnut grips are fine and show normal handling. The butt markings "U.S. ARMY MODEL 1917"  with Army number are sharp and clear. Lanyard swivel is intact. Colt cylinders lock up for firing when the hammer begins to fall after either being cocked single action or used double action. This cylinder locks up with no movement when the hammer falls. Front sight has not been altered or filed, bore is excellent and the hammer back still retains nice fire blue. Historical Colt from the "War to end all wars."  Four half-moon clips included. $1100.

11) POLICE POSITIVE SPECIAL IN .32-20 CALIBER, 4" BARREL, #189XXX, MADE 1919. Most of these double action models made by Colt and S&W in .32-20 caliber were  intended for the sporting market and typically paired with a rifle in the same caliber. As such, most have seen considerable outdoors carry and use. This 102 year old Colt fits this category. It shows honest carry wear with the grip straps, bottom of the trigger guard and all edges turning brown. The remaining blue finish is getting dull from age with brighter blue in the cylinder flutes and protected areas. All markings are sharp including the rampant colt on the left side of the frame and the correct barrel address with last patent date of 1905. The grips are excellent and fit perfectly. It still has nice fire blue on the sides of the trigger and back of the hammer. The front sight has not been filed or altered, the cylinder locks up with no play when the trigger is pulled and the hammer begins its fall (as it should in a Colt which locks up in this manner). The bore is fairly bright with fine rifling and some scattered surface corrosion that may  brush out or polish out using J-B bore paste. Nice, honest early example. that shows no outside pitting or abuse. $575.

12) THE 41ST OFFICERS MODEL SPECIAL REVOLVER MADE! The Officers Model Special was only made from 1949-1952 and only a total of 6210 were made in .22 LR and .38 Special combined. Serial numbers began at 783001 and continued to 789211. This example in .38 Special is serial number 783041 and was probably turned out in the first day or two of production for this model! One of the more scarce of the Post-World War II Colts, the Officers Model Special had a heavy 6” barrel and a distinctive long ramped front sight. Rear sight was adjustable. At the time Bullseye Shooting was the most popular form of pistol match shooting and the Officers Model Special was the finest .38 Special target revolver in the Colt line. The single and double action pull has to be felt to be believed. These were all hand-honed and fitted by skilled craftsmen and will never be duplicated. The Officers Model Special gave way to the Officers Model Match which had quite a long run from 1953-1970. The Officers Model Special was fitted with “Coltwood” plastic grips that just about everyone hated! Why Colt though American shooters would accept plastic on such a fine revolver is baffling. Most revolvers so fitted have had their grips changed and this example is no exception. It now wears Pachmayr rubber grips, but the original style Coltwood grips would be easy to replace. The blue finish shows some honest wear, but overall there is no abuse or rust. There is the usual blue wear and dulling on the barrel sides and edges of the cylinder etc., but overall this scarce Colt has a fine look to it. All markings are sharp and clear including the “COLT OFFICERS MODEL SPECIAL” marking on the left side of the barrel. Perfect bore, tight action, amazing mechanics!  These are not often encountered and this has to be one of the lowest serial numbers extant. $995. (CLICK ON THIS BLUE LINE FOR PHOTOS)

13) SUPER RARE COBRA, .38 SPECIAL WITH ALMOST NEVER SEEN 4" BARREL, #A77XXX, MADE 1969! The Cobra was Colt's offering of the famed Detective Special "Snub-Nose" revolver with an alloy frame to be a lighter weight carry gun than the all steel Detective Special. The six-shot Cobra was only slightly larger than its main competition the five-shot S&W Chief Special Model 36 (steel) and Model 37 (alloy). Almost all Cobras were .38 Special caliber with 2" barrels. Anything else is considered rare. This example is one of the few made with a 4 inch barrel. In the excellent relatively new book Seven Serpents, The History of Colt's Snake Guns, by Gurney Brown, the author has a rarity table with aspects of the Cobra rated from 1 (standard) to 5 very rare. He lists the 4" barrel as a "5" in rarity. This example has seen only light carry wear mainly to the sharp edges of the top strap and cylinder edges. The standard checkered walnut grips have been replaced with fake pearl grips that should be easy to replace with originals. One of the most scarce of the post-war Colts. $1495.

 

                      

MARLIN  (click text for photos).

1) 1893 OCTAGON RIFLE IN VERY SCARCE .32-40 CALIBER, #D4XX, MADE c.1905-1908. The Model 1893 was changed to "Model '93" in 1905, yet serial numbers went up over 400,000 by 1906 before letter prefixes began (some early '93s don't have a letter prefix). So, obviously there was overlapping with serial numbers and model designations- this one has the early "Model 1893" tang marking. A number of rifles during this time period that were chambered in .32-40 and .38-55 were made as "B" rifles with blued receivers and "FOR BLACK POWDER" MARKED ON THE BARRELS- these rifles simply had softer steel in the barrels that would wear faster if shot with smokeless powder and jacketed bullets. This example has the case colored receiver and "SPECIAL SMOKELESS STEEL" MARKED BARREL. When I got this rifle the bore looked very fouled, but not pitted. I ran a bronze brush down the bore followed by clean patches. For twenty minutes both came out full of pitch-black soot, powder fouling and residue. So much so, that even the cleaning rod was coated! After a load of brushing and patches, I never did get the bore clean, but got it to the point where I could see sharp rifling all the way through and little to no pitting! I'll let the next owner of this fine rifle have the fun of finishing the cleaning. I expect it to eventually be a little dark, but about excellent. The .32-40 was the most rare of the chamberings for the Model 1893 and they don't show up nearly as often as the .38-55 or the smokeless chamberings. The receiver shows fine case color mixing with dark metal with more vivid colors on the right side. There is fine blue on the loading gate and barrel. The mag tube shows some brown and plum mixing, but overall the rifle shows no cleaning (including the bore!- until I had a go at it!). The forend is excellent with normal, light handling and the butt stock wood appears a little dry and shows a little more handling- looks like it may have spent time in a saddle scabbard which protected the rest of the rifle, but left the butt stock exposed to the elements. There is a fine hairline crack coming forward from the upper butt plate screw (which is missing)- minor. It would be easy to reinforce this and put a new screw in the butt plate. Tight action, buckhorn rear sight with elevator bar intact and correct Rocky Mountain blade front sight. An attractive and super scarce caliber case colored 1893. (5 photos) $2150.

2) ANTIQUE MODEL 1895 OCTAGON RIFLE IN .38-56 CALIBER, #170XXX, MADE 1898. All of these 1895s seem to have just about disappeared from the market place and I rarely see them now. This is a good, solid example in a caliber that is often misunderstood and under-rated. The .38-56 is a big cartridge that is simply the .45-70 case necked down to .38 caliber. It was made to hold a full 56 grains of black powder UNLIKE the .38-55 which is basically a "straight," un-necked .30 WCF (.30-30) case of .38 caliber that only holds about 42-45 grains of black powder. The .38-56 is considerably more potent than the much smaller .38-55, even though they share similar names. This example with standard 26" octagon barrel shows fine lightly aged blue on the barrel with good blue on the top most portion of the mag tube with the balance naturally ageing to gray/brown. The receiver is mostly a mottled gray with some traces of case color in the most protected areas. The loading gate shows good blue and the action is tight with strong springs and a strong safety notch on the hammer half-cock. Probably had a tang sight on at one time as the factory drilled and tapped tang sight holes lack filler screws. Generally fine stock and forearm show normal hunting use, but no abuse and still has good wood to metal fit. The bore is a little dark with strong rifling all the way through and would benefit from a good brushing and cleaning- any roughness should be scattered and fairly minor. Fitted with the original buckhorn rear sight and small blade/bead front sight. $2950.

 

 

                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. UPDATE:  My understanding is that Remington is now in a bankruptcy situation and has sold the Marlin line to Ruger. It is suggested that Ruger will produce the Marlins sometime in the future when all the tooling and machinery is moved to their facilities. In my opinion, all of this confusion and quality control problems will make the CT manufactured Marlins even more desirable as shooters and collectibles. I know I'll be looking for them.

(MORE SOON)

 

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

1) FIRST OF THESE I'VE EVER SEEN! HOPKINS AND ALLEN FANCY "NEW MODEL SCHUETZEN TARGET RIFLE" IN CORRECT .25-20 SS CALIBER, #03XX. Aside from the H&A Boys Rifles which were made is fairly large numbers, there is very little written about the more serious Hopkins and Allen rifles in center fire calibers. As this rifle is marked Hopkins and Allen Arms Co., Norwich, Conn, USA" it would date from some time after 1896. In the first volume of Single Shot Rifles by James Grant is a photo of a catalog page showing this model. It is described in the H& catalog as having a lever action dropping block with 26" octagon barrel, bead front sight with Rocky Mountain step rear sight (buckhorn), Schuetzen nickel butt plate, "handsomely checkered" etc. and offered in 22 caliber or 25-20 caliber. The rifle, identical to this example, is pictured in the ad. This example has better than standard grade semi-fancy walnut in the butt stock and forend,. The Swiss/Schuetzen butt plate retains most of the nickel plating. the checkering pattern on the butt stock at the wrist has an interesting ribbon pattern with full wrap around checkering on the schnable forend. The receiver shows fairly vivid case colors overall with some brown mixing and fading on the upper tang and receiver ring. The barrel blue is good and shows some mixture with plum/brown from age. Sharp markings and generally excellent bore throughout. The checkering on the forend and butt stock is sharp. Excellent stock and forend with one small chip from the top rear of the right side of the forend. Grant states in his book that this takedown Hopkins & Allen rifle "...was a light Schuetzen rifle, more on the order of a 'Ladies' model." Needs only an easy-to-find buckhorn rear sight. I don't expect to ever seen another of these! (5 photos) $1895.

2) STEVENS "VISIBLE LOADER" PUMP ACTION .22 LR RIFLE, #M1X, MADE 1908-1931. The best information on this unusual rifle comes from the book American Boys' Rifles 1890-1945 by Jim Perkins.  In the Stevens section he writes: The most unusual .22 caliber pump action rifle ever made was brought out by Stevens in late 1908. Called the Visible Loader No. 70... This unusual rifle has a tube magazine under the barrel which holds cartridges. The short wood forearm is attached to the magazine tube, and the breech end of the tube is attached to the breech block.  When the forearm slides back, the breech block travels to the rear and automatically cocks the hammer. The cartridge lifter is connected to the rear of the breech block, and when the hammer moves to full cock, the lifter is tripped and moves upwards, lifting a cartridge from the magazine and simultaneously ejecting an empty shell. The cartridges move up a shallow vertical groove in the face of the breech block. Early rifles were chambered in .22 Short only with later models chambered in .22 Short, Long & Long Rifle (like this one). He also states barrels were originally 20" and in 1912 were changed to 22" (again ,like this one.) In 1912 this rifle sold for $8. As most of these rifles were intended for young boys (girls?) who generally used them frequently and hard, those encountered today are usually pretty beat up.  This is a nice example that retains fine barrel and mag blue. The receiver is mainly aged dark. The barrel markings are sharp including the 1907  patent date and "Visible Loading Repeater." Wood is excellent and the stock retains the correct original butt plate. Open buckhorn rear sight needs an elevator bar only and is mated with a blade front sight. Bore is a little dark, but fine+ with only some scattered very light roughness and deep rifling throughout. Tight action. A very high quality approx. 100 year old Stevens. $495.

3) VERY FINE CONDITION STEVENS HIGH GRADE TIP UP TARGET RIFLE WITH SWISS BUTT AND WALNUT FOREND. These fine rifles were made from the 1870s to 1895 in rim fire and center fire calibers and in a number of different grades from #1 to #10. I believe this one is either a #9 or #10 with the only difference being the grain of the walnut- this one has better than standard walnut with some nice fiddleback, but is not extra fancy. It correctly features a center fire chambering that I am quite sure is the .32-35 Stevens round made expressly for this rifle. It was also made with a fairly stout 18" half octagon barrel with no provision for a rear barrel sight and is correctly fitted with an elevation adjustable target tang sight with a windage adjustable globe front sight (this is correct for the high grade #9 and #10 rifles). Interestingly, this rifle was catalogued at $33.50 (this info taken from James Grant's classic book Single Shot Rifles and he does not give a catalog date for this price and info). The nickel plated receiver and flowing trigger guard retain about all the bright nickel as does the Swiss butt plate with only minute areas of peeling. Barrel blue is fine and showing a little thinning from age. Screws are excellent, stock and forend are excellent showing only very light wear and some surface black powder staining- typical when black powder fouled water or solvent runs out of the bore and down the stock when cleaning, serial number 17XXX matches on the lower tang, inside the trigger guard and on the barrel. The action is very tight and the bore is slightly dark with fine deep rifling and looks like it could use a good clean to remove some light areas of leading to make it excellent. This is a super scarce early Stevens in a center fire caliber in great condition. $2150.

4) HIGH CONDITION EARLY SAVAGE MODEL 1907 .32 ACP POCKET AUTO PISTOL, #34XXX, MADE 1911. These ten-shot pocket auto .32 caliber pistols were considered some of the best of the pre-World War I time period and the only American made .32 auto with an exposed hammer (The Colt and FN models were hammerless). I believe it was also the highest capacity .32 auto. This example retains nearly all the beautiful high polish factory blue with nice case color on the trigger sides. It also has excellent "SAVAGE QUALITY" with Indian head embossed grips (politically incorrect today!). Original magazine, tight mechanically and excellent bore. Most of these early autos were carried and show wear, this is an excellent 110 year old example of an American made pistol that is getting hard to find. This would be a pistol too costly to make today. $795.

5) SHARPS  NEW MODEL 1859 .52 CALIBER PERCUSSION CIVIL WAR 3-BAND MILITARY RIFLE WITH SABER BAYONET LUG (see below in U.S. Military section).

 

 

MODERN AND OUT OF PRODUCTION FIREARMS

1) BELGIAN BROWNING CHALLENGER .22 LR AUTO PISTOL, #36XXXU4, MADE 1964. These were made from 1962 to about 1974. All solid steel and walnut, this one has the 4 1/2" barrel. Superb Belgian Browning quality from the 1960s. This one has seen very limited to no real usage. It retains about all the blue, has a bright bore and sharp checkered wrap-around walnut grips and all showing minimal handling. Fully adjustable rear sight, original Browning marked 10 round magazine. These simply have a wonderfully solid feel and shot exceptionally well. (Note: what looks like a crack in the top of the grip in the bottom photo is just light reflection off the heavy wood finish- not cracked) $795.

2) VERY HARD TO FIND BROWNING "WINCHESTER" MODEL 65 IN SCARCE .218 BEE CALIBER WITH FANCY FLEUR DE LIS CHECKERING ON THE PISTOL GRIP AND FOREND, BRAND NEW IN THE MATCHING BOX. These are exceptionally well made rifles of the highest quality with NO SAFETIES or other non-original attributes. Correct deep blue steel walnut with correct checkered steel butt plate and hooded front sight. Just like the originals from the 1930s! (Starline Brass now offers their usual high quality cases in .218 Bee.) These limited production Brownings are becoming scarce, especially new in the box with manual. $1895.

3) SMITH & WESSON BODYGUARD, LIGHTWEIGHT   (see below in S&W section)

 

 

 REMINGTON (click text for photos)

1) VERY FINE CONDITION, EARLY MODEL 51 .380 AUTO PISTOL, #7XXX. These excellent hammerless autos were considered some of the very best of the pre-war autos (along with Savage and Colt). They were produced from 1918-1934. Early examples like this have nine grooves in the slide with later examples having 15. Probably made in the first two years or so of production, this pistol retains nearly all the blue with only some slight edge wear on the rear portion of the slide and some minor dulling of the blue on the front strap- all blue is intact. Correct .380 marked magazine, tight action, grip safety functions properly, all markings are sharp and clear, exc. bore and grips. A really fine condition 100 year old early Remington .380 auto. $895.

3) MODEL 14 PUMP ACTION RIFLE IN .35 REMINGTON CALIBER, #108XXX. These fine rifles were made from 1913-1934 and were no doubt another victim of the Great Depression. This one has a tight action and bright excellent bore. The blue is intact overall but showing age and turning dull with plum mixing. the butt stock finish has "raised" and has gotten "crinkly" which is fairly common on these. It can usually all be removed with mineral spirits that often reveals nice walnut underneath. Looks like there may be a small crack in the corner of the wood by the safety on the left rear of the receiver/tang juncture. The stock retains the unusual "reverse" crescent butt plate with toe plate on the bottom. The forend is solid and shows only light wear. All markings are sharp and clear. Has a buckhorn rear sight with elevator bar and the barrel is also cut for the sometimes seen "wheel adjustable" buckhorn rear sight. Probably once had a tang sight as the two filler screws are missing from the rear top of the receiver- easily replaced. There is a hook-eye sling swivel in the butt as well as in the magazine retaining band. The safety functions and in all a rifle that ought to clean up nicely. This is the most desirable caliber in the Model 14. $875.

3) RARE AND CLASSIC REMINGTON MODEL 600 MAGNUM IN 6.5 REMINGTON MAGNUM CALIBER,  COMPLETE WITH BAUSCH & LOMB BALVAR 5 SCOPE, #74XXX. This was a truly unconventional and radical rifle produced only from 1964-1968. The Model 600 was offered in several calibers, but the "Magnum" version was only offered in 6.5 Rem. Mag. and .350 Rem. Mag.- both of which have an almost cult-like following today. The rifle itself was a total departure from anything else being offered by anyone. It sported a short, 18 1/2" barrel WITH OPEN SIGHTS AND A FULL VENTILATED RIB (!) along with a LAMINATED STOCK. It came standard with a retro dog-leg bolt handle (like on the earlier World War I P-17 Enfield military rifles and the later Remington Model 30 sporters). It also came standard with a recoil pad and slight Monte Carlo stock. Remember, this was a time when many cars sported fins and Colt's superb Python and Diamondback revolvers had vent rib barrels. Known for their accuracy, but not accepted by a number of gun writers of the time, it soon ceased production with few produced in the Magnum Model. Jeff Cooper, gun guru and gun writer praised the rifle and used it as a model for his "Scout Rifle" ideas. This one is fitted with a matching classic Bausch & Lomb Balvar 5 scope. This is a very high quality 2.5X-5X variable scope in equally classic adjustable mounts (you'll see these mounts paired with this scope if  you Google B&L Balvar scopes etc.). The base of the mount is marked "Kuharsky Bros., Erie, PA." the scope has fine optics and is fitted with a cross hair reticle. Overall excellent condition retaining about all the blue. There are a few light handling/hunting marks in the stock that would probably be fairly easy to remove. Exc. inside and very light and crisp trigger pull. Great rifle with a truly classic/matching scope! This one was just a little too ahead of its time! (4 photos) $1395.

4) VIVID CASE COLOR AND BLUE EARLY HEPBURN SINGLE SHOT SPORTING RIFLE IN .40 1 7/8" CALIBER (.40-50 STRAIGHT), 28" HALF-OCTAGON BARREL, #1XXX, MADE EARLY 1880s. This low serial number Hepburn retains bright, vivid case colors on the receiver, upper tang and receiver ring with only the bottom of the trigger guard bow and lower tang turning brown. Excellent original blue on the breech block and hammer. The barrel blue is deep and shows nearly full coverage with only light ageing. There is a blank filler in the rear sight dovetail and the front sight is a Rocky Mountain blade. The upper tang has empty tang sight holes, so it obviously had a tang sight mounted at some point. Barrel, metal forend cap and receiver serial numbers match. The forend is excellent, all excellent markings, screws are excellent and the bore is excellent and bright with possibly some very light corrosion just ahead of the chamber that may also be some light leading that will brush out- either way it is very minor. The butt stock has had damage at some time. I suspect this rifle was dropped hard on the butt causing the wood behind the upper tang and behind the pistol grip to split/break. Either the original wood or a piece matching the wood color/grain almost exactly has been spliced to the intact pistol grip/front section. The seam line is almost invisible. The butt plate has been replaced with a flat steel one. So, this rifle is fine as is, but a replacement stock or someone with true expertise in stock work could make it a lot better. C. Sharps in Big Timber, Montana is making Hepburns now and also does restoration work. I would bet they could replace the stock without too much difficulty. This is a truly outstanding Hepburn that deserves a little TLC! (6 photos)  $3950.

5) NEW YORK STATE .50-70 ROLLING BLOCK MUSKET, NICKEL PLATED (see below under U.S. Military section)

 

 

SHILOH SHARPS, MUZZLE LOADERS 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) FIRST OF THESE I'VE SEEN! THOMPSON-CENTER HAWKEN FLINTLOCK IN .45 CALIBER! These totally American made muzzle loaders haven't been made for about ten years or so which is unfortunate as they were/are considered top quality in every way and one of the few muzzle loading arms to be made in the U.S.A. To my knowledge, the flintlock version was only made in .50 caliber, yet here is one in .45! Most T/C Hawken rifles encountered are percussion .50 caliber with few in .45 or .54 and fewer still in flintlock ignition. The .45 caliber is extremely versatile as it can be loaded with a light black powder charge behind a .440" patched round ball for small game or target shooting, or loaded with a heavy charge of powder behind a "Maxi-Ball" (bullet) which will bring the power level up to the .45-90 cartridge. This example is in excellent condition with the exception that it has a few very shallow scratches in the wood - the main scratch comes forward of the patchbox and is visually apparent, but is so shallow it can't really be felt with a finger nail. The action is case colored and the furniture is solid brass. All the barrel blue is intact as is the original adjustable rear sight. The ramrod appears to have a repaired crack/break that would be easy to replace.  Comes with a brass cleaning jag in the patchbox. The wood simply needs a light going over/refinish to look factory new. In all a super rare variation that would be hard or impossible to find another example. $795.

2) THOMPSON-CENTER PATRIOT, .45 CALIBER PERCUSSION SINGLE SHOT TARGET PISTOL. These excellent double set trigger pistols are of the same high quality as the Hawken and Seneca half stock rifles. Made in the U.S.A. until about 1997 when they were unfortunately discontinued like other traditional muzzle loading arms from T-C. These great pistols don't seem to show up for sale very frequently any more. They take a .440" round ball and are loads of fun to shoot. They feature a brass trigger guard with finger spur, double set triggers (you "set" the FRONT trigger and fire with the REAR trigger on these), brass furniture including a fancy pistol grip cap. It is also equipped with the factory adjustable rear sight with factory partial hooded front sight. It also features and engraved case colored lock and hammer. A class act inside and out. In near new condition.  With the current ammo shortage and prices for even .22s soaring, you can do a lot of shooting with one of these for very little money! $595.

3) BROWNING "WINCHESTER" MODEL 65 IN .218 BEE, NEW IN BOX (see above in Modern and Out of Production Firearms)

 

 

SMITH AND WESSON (click text for photos)

1) AN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO FIND S&W REVOLVER IS THIS MODEL OF 1891 (.38 SINGLE ACTION 3RD MODEL), #5XXX, MADE 1891-1911. One of the most attractive revolvers in the S&W line at the time, these Model 1891s look like a scaled down New Model No. 3. They seem to almost never show up for sale and one can go to gun shows for years and not see one except in S&W displays. According to THE STANDARD CATALOG OF SMITH & WESSON, 4TH EDITION BY SUPICA AND NAHAS: This is a very attractive gun, looking like a 2/3 scale New Model Number 3, and is highly sought after. However, unfortunately, there has always seemed to be a discrepancy between the number of guns supposedly manufactured and the availability of this model on the collectors market. By manufacturing records, this model should be about as common as the Baby Russian .38 SA, and maybe twenty times more common than the Model of 1891 Single Shot, (approx. 1250 1891 Single Shots were made) with which it shares a common frame. However, our subjective impression is that one sees ten .38 SA 1sts for every .38 SA 3rd, and that the Model of 1891 Revolver is, if anything, scarcer than the Model of 1891 Single Shot. Of course, there is more info on this rare model in the book, but that sums up the scarcity of this model pretty well. This nickel plated example has the standard 4" barrel and is fitted with the rare and desirable mottled red and black gutta percha grips that are in excellent condition showing no chips or cracks and displaying a perfect fit. It has matching serial numbers on the barrel, latch, frame and cylinder. The barrel has the correct "MODEL OF '91" marking along with the usual patent dates etc. There is fine nickel on the barrel with just some peeling at the muzzle on the right side and some peeling along the left outside edge. The grip straps show some small evidence of wiped off rust which left some small areas of light dark gray/brown pitting. There is good nickel in the cylinder flutes with some peeling on the outside. The barrel latch shows fine blue, screws are excellent, action is tight and the bore is bright. This is a really fine early antique example with only light blemishes to the nickel that are fairly minor and great mottled red grips. Many S&W collectors have never seen one of these! (4 photos) $1950.

2) ALMOST NEVER SEEN .38 SINGLE ACTION "MEXICAN MODEL" (MODEL 1880), 5" BARREL, #16XXX. This example has a deep aged brown patina overall, yet shows no abuse or pitting. There is still some blue in the protected area ahead of the cylinder, around the recoil shields and between the barrel and top rib. Numbers match. Has the flat sided hammer, no half cock and correct spur trigger associated with this model. The grips have been replaced with perfectly fitting fancy decorative metal panels that have a very Mexican/Spanish look to them- often called Wexell & Degress grips, as this was a big company in Mexico that purchased firearms and often put this type grips on them. There is also a lanyard swivel in the butt that goes through the middle of the serial number, however the visible first and last numbers match the rest of the numbers on the barrel, latch and cylinder. The aged patina on the spur trigger  assembly perfectly matches the frame patina/coloring/ageing of the metal. Exc. mech and bore is bright and excellent. The top of the barrel has the correct "MODEL 91" marking as well as the usual S&W address and patents. These are nearly impossible to find as most were shipped out of the country. $2850.

3) THE RAREST S&W I'VE EVER OFFERED! NEW MODEL No. 3 SPECIAL .38-40 SERIES, ONLY 74 MADE AND NUMBERED IN ITS OWN SERIAL RANGE 1-74; THIS IS #5X!!! Obviously, these are seldom ever seen and even the most advanced S&W collection lacks an example. While all New Model No. 3 frames were made pre-1899 making all New model No. 3s antique, the .38-40 Model was produced only from 1900-1907. They were offered in 4" and 6 1/2" with a few in 5" in both blue and nickel finish. This example is a 6 1/2" nickel revolver with matching numbers on the frame, cylinder and barrel (for some reason the barrel latch number is in the 27XXX standard production range which is minor). The butt has three initials "R A B" scratched in the nickel and when the grips are removed these same initials are scratched inside the grip straps- only visible with the grips removed, and also inside the grips themselves. This  marking on the inside of revolvers was fairly common so that if the revolver was ever stolen, removing the grips would reveal the true owner. This is an attractive example as where the nickel is flaked, the metal underneath has remained an uncleaned gray/silver which blends evenly with the nickel giving a smooth even appearance. Fine nickel remains in all the protected areas, on the bottom of the frame ahead of the trigger guard, on the lower rear of the barrel assembly and forward portion of the barrel bottom, in the cylinder flutes, on the top strap and much of the barrel rib and upper portion of the barrel, around the hammer on the frame and recoil shields etc. The front sight has not been altered, the left side of the barrel is correctly (and importantly) stamped "38 WINCHESTER CTG." The grips show light wear, but are not chipped or cracked. They fit perfectly and I have little doubt that they are original. The action is good and the cylinder locks tightly at full cock, the ejector mech. works properly and the bore is bright with sharp rifling and any roughness is very minor, light and scattered. All markings are fine. Quoting the most accepted work on S&W, THE STANDARD CATALOG OF SMITH AND WESSON, 4TH EDITION by Jim Supica and Richard Nahas (latest edition, published in 2016 and now 5-6 years old), "One of the rarest production models. Serial number range 1 to 74, with the 74 firearms manufactured circa 1900-1907. Value: Too rare to price. Most specimens would probably change hands in the four- to low five figure range. A very few auction sales noted over the last five years, with two refinished examples selling at $3,700 and $4,600, and two VG to fine examples at $8,000 and $9,200. I don't expect to ever offer another or perhaps even see another of these. A very respectable example.        (3 photos) $8850.

4) NEW MODEL No. 3 WITH RARE BARREL LENGTH, BLUE FINISH, .44 RUSSIAN CALIBER, #29XXX (ANTIQUE). The standard barrel for this model was 6 1/2" and this example has the scarce 5" length. According to the best, and now classic, book on S&W THE STANDARD CATALOG OF SMITH & WESSON, 4TH EDITION,  this length should command a 25% premium value over the standard length barrel. Typically, blue finish is  also more desirable than nickel finish. This example shows honest use and the blue finish is thin and mixing gray/brown overall with brighter blue in the protected areas. Markings are fine and there is a light stamping on the top strap "L C B" which may be simply someone's initials or could be from a bank or institution- like Lake City Bank etc. Tight action, original half moon front sight. Bore is fine with good rifling all the way through and some scattered light roughness that may brush out better. Grips show normal wear with a chip and repaired crack at the bottom of the right panel. Matching numbers on the barrel, cylinder, frame and latch. One of the most attractive and well made of the single action revolvers of the late 1800s. Very rare barrel length on a New Model No. 3. (3 photos)  $1895.

5) SINGLE SHOT THIRD MODEL "PERFECTED" .22 LR TARGET PISTOL, #8XXX.  Only 6,949 of these scarce pistols were made between 1909-1923. Serial numbers ran from about 4600 to about 11600. That would put this one as being made in about mid-production or the World War I time frame. The third model single shot pistol differs from the first two variants in that it can be fired either single or double action. This example has matching numbers on the frame, cylinder latch and barrel. It also has the correct oversize "extension" checkered walnut grips with deep set S&W medallions.  The frame shows about all the original deep blue with nice case color on the hammer and trigger. The 10" barrel has excellent  markings and shows nearly all the blue with only some  very light and minor scuffing/scratches to the left side. The adjustable target rear sight retains the windage screw, but is lacking the thin sight blade only. The pinned target front sight is intact. Action is excellent in both double action and single action with a particularly light /crisp trigger pull. Aside from one spot of corrosion about an inch or so ahead of the chamber the bore is bright and excellent. The left grip panel is excellent with the right panel showing only modest handling marks. Overall a nice condition, limited production S&W of which less than 7,000 were made a hundred+ years ago. $1100.

6) VERY LIMITED PRODUCTION .32-20 HAND EJECTOR MODEL 1902, #70XX, ONLY 4499 MADE 1902-1905 IN THE SERIAL RANGE 5312-9811. This model was offered in 4, 5 and 6 1/2" barrel lengths, in blue or nickel finish and all with the distinctive round butt. This example has the desirable long 6 1/2" barrel and is nickel finished. All markings are fine and the serial numbers match on the frame, cylinder, barrel and inside the right grip. It is actually hard to tell the exact amount of nickel on this one as where the nickel has flaked, the metal underneath is bright and blends almost perfectly. It does look like there is some nickel missing on the cylinder and on the frame around the S&W logo where there appears to be some minor freckling visible only when the light hits at an angle. There is also some light freckling in the cylinder flutes. The front sight has either been "built up" or replaced with a higher blade. The black S&W monogram hard rubber grips show some heavy wear to the checkering but are not cracked or chipped, the action is tight and the bore generally fine with light  and minor scattered areas of surface roughness. Correct last patent date on the barrel in 1901. With such a limited production number for such a short time 117-119 years ago, there can't be too many of these left. $795.

7) EARLY 1902 FIRST CHANGE, .38 SPECIAL MILITARY AND POLICE REVOLVER WITH 6 1/2" BARREL, #54XXX, ONLY MADE 1903-1904.  This is a fine blue example with excellent hard rubber grips on the standard round grip frame used on this early M&P model. Serial numbers match on the frame, cylinder and barrel. All excellent markings including the early barrel caliber marking of ".38 S&W SPECIAL" over "AND U.S. SERVICE CTG'S."  Interestingly, this last barrel marking refers to the .38 Long Colt cartridge which was the official revolver cartridge of the military at that time! Fine high polish blue showing normal holster wear along the barrel sides, edges of the cylinder and frame and thinning grip strap blue. Fine case colors on the hammer and trigger, tight action, exc. bright bore and unaltered front sight. These really early M&Ps that are now nearly 120 years old don't turn up often, and when they are encountered are usually in pretty hard used condition. $895.

8) PRE-WAR K-22 LONG RIFLE OUTDOORSMAN TARGET, #674XXX. Only 19,500 of these were made during the Great Depression years of 1931-1940. Built on the popular medium "K" frame, this model was one of S&Ws finest target models. With its limited production and typical 1930s quality, they are not easy to find these days. This excellent example retains nearly all the original deep S&W blue with only a hint of a cylinder drag line and a couple of tiny spots too minor to describe. Even the front of the cylinder face shows about all the blue indicating that this one was rarely if ever shot. Good case color on the sides of the trigger and hammer. Diamond checkered grips are excellent, but are not numbered to match. Aside from the grips, all matching numbers on the cylinder, barrel and frame. Bright bore, excellent markings and a Pre-War Great Depression action and trigger that have to be felt to be fully appreciated! $1695.

9) PRE-WAR TARGET SIGHTED MODEL 1905 .38 HAND EJECTOR FOURTH CHANGE, #463XXX. These were made from 1915-1942 in the serial range of 241704-700000 which probably dates this one to the late 1920s to early 1930s. Excellent deep blue overall with light muzzle wear and minor edge wear/small scattered nicks. Still good case color on the hammer back and right side (left side more faded), and good light case color on the trigger sides. Correct adjustable rear sight, front sight in the tall Target style used by S&W with a white square bead. The action is typical pre-war hand tuned and smooth. Cylinder locks tight when cocked, bore is minty bright. Checkered walnut grips with S&W medallions are a later replacement. Matching numbers on the frame, cylinder and 6" barrel. Great 90+ year old target grade S&W. $795.

 

U. S. MILITARY, SPRINGFIELD, ETC.

1) VERY UNUSUAL REMINGTON .50-70 NEW YORK STATE CONTRACT ROLLING BLOCK MILITARY MUSKET IN FULL NICKEL FINISH. This is the second of these I've seen over the years and like the first one, the nickel is very old and "cloudy" and shows wear and use. However, overall the rifle is not abused in any way.  I've heard it said that some nickel plated military rifles that were nickel plated were for parade purposes. I don't think that is necessarily correct. For one thing, parade rifles are often made to not fire- welded shut, firing pins removed etc. This one is fully functional. For another reason, parade guns are usually not cared for or taken care of. They usually show heavy battering on the butt plates and dings in the wood from "parade use." It is known that around the time of the New York Contract guns were made (c.1871) a number of Springfield 1868 .50-70 Trapdoor rifles were nickel plated for experimental or trial purposes- these are documented. I believe the same applies to the nickel plated rolling block rifles too. This one has the usual inspector cartouches in the stock along with a large stamping in the right side of the wrist "No. 10."  The wood is in fine condition showing normal handling marks, but is not abused. It also displays tight wood to metal fit. The nickel shows great age and is mostly still present with flaking and wear on the front portions of the receiver, tangs, edges etc. with even the butt plate showing some fine nickel. Moving a barrel band forward exposes bright protected nickel underneath. Action is excellent and the bore is fine with sharp rifling all the way through and one small ring of corrosion a few inches from the muzzle- this is not a bulge or ring in that respect, just some rust formed inside. I ran a brush through a few times and much of it came out. I think more brushing and the use of some J-B Bore Paste would remove most of the rest- either way it is minor. Correct sights and only the cleaning rod is missing. One of the more unusual Rolling Blocks I've had- and not the first one like this that I've seen. Interesting to note that most of the "Baby Rolling Block Carbines" in .44-40 were full nickel plated by Remington. More research is needed on these.  (4 photos)  $1695.

2) SHARPS  NEW MODEL 1859 .52 CALIBER PERCUSSION CIVIL WAR 3-BAND MILITARY RIFLE , U.S. ARMY CONTACT WITH SABER BAYONET LUG. This is a fairly early serial number rifle, #39XXX, that no doubt saw service throughout the entire Civil War as the New Model 1859 was later replaced with the New Model 1863 percussion rifle and carbine. According to Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms, only 1500 of these rifles were made fitted for a saber bayonet on the Army contract (and 2800 for the Navy contract- which this one is not). This is a fine, uncleaned example that displays excellent lock plate, receiver and barrel markings, including the New Model 1859 marking on the top rear of the barrel. Regains the Lawrence 1859 patented, and clearly marked, ladder rear sight with slide intact. The barrel is  mainly a deep aged brown patina with a silvered receiver. Stock and forend are fine and show only normal light handling with no abuse and tight wood to metal fit. Has the correct iron patchbox in the stock and two sling swivels intact. The six groove bore is bright excellent and retains sharp rifling all the way through! Tight action and a most attractive uncleaned appearance. A scarce Civil War weapon and many times more rare than the more common Carbine version. (5 photos) $4250.

3) COLT 1917 U.S. ARMY .45 REVOLVER (see above in Colt section)

 

WINCHESTERS (click text for photos)

  1. FINE CONDITION CLASSIC 1873 OCTAGON RIFLE, .38-40, #542XXX, MADE 1900. This nice example shows fine deep barrel blue that is dulling a little from age, but still good blue. The mag tube is similar with a bit of uncleaned plum mixing on the bottom. It retains the original buckhorn rear sight with elevator bar intact and the original Winchester blade front sight. The receiver still shows good aged soft blue with brighter blue in protected areas of the rear of the receiver, around the side plates and on the loading gate. The original dust cover shows fine blue. Receiver screws appear unturned and the uncleaned mustard color brass lifter is correctly stamped "38 CAL." Fine stock and forend showing only normal light handling. There is a crack coming forward from the bottom of the butt plate- about 1/2" from the tip- that goes forward on each side for a couple of inches that could easily be reinforced, or just left as is- not overly significant. the action is tight and the bore is bright and excellent. A little light surface cleaning overall would probably enhance this one that seems to have a 121 years of grime on it! (4 photos)  $2495.

  2. SELDOM SEEN 1873 SADDLE RING CARBINE IN RARE .32-20 CALIBER! For whatever reason Winchester made loads of rifles in .32-20, but very few carbines in this caliber. Many Winchester collectors have never seen one except in books. Most that I've seen in the last couple of decades have been late production examples and almost all display hard use. I called the Cody Museum on this one with serial number 601XXX and the call-in sheet verified the caliber and that it was a carbine. It was received in the warehouse August 8, 1907 and wasn't shipped until November 29, 1909.   So this one sat in the warehouse for over 2 1/4 years. I believe many, if not most, of these went south of the border to Mexico which was about a year away from revolution, or to South America. This is a solid carbine that shows use. the receiver is an uncleaned gray/brown with some good blue around the saddle ring and in the more protected areas around the side plates and on the loading gate. There is good aged blue on the right side and bottom portions of the mag tube with the right side and most of the barrel a gray/brown. The barrel is fitted with a 3-leaf express sight and standard carbine front sight, all markings and correct post-1905 proof marks are good. the butt stock is solid with good wood to metal fit, shows normal wear with no abuse and has the correct carbine butt plate without the trap for cleaning rods- only the .38-40 and .44-40 have the trap. Another interesting feature found only on the .32 caliber carbines is that it has a rifle-style magazine retaining band around the magazine tube only- as seen on rifles. the larger caliber carbines have a full band that encircles the mag tube as well as the barrel. The forend shows heavy saddle wear and handling wear. On the high edge left side just below the rear sight is a series  of shallow and tiny "kill notches" that are very old and worn in. Obviously, this carbine holds a great untold history! The dust cover is intact, mech. is fine and the bore is a bit dark and worn with good rifling. One of the hardest 1873s to find. $2750.

  3. UNUSUAL, SPECIAL ORDER MODEL '94 .30WCF CARBINE WITH SHOTGUN BUTT, 2/3 MAGAZINE AND NO SADDLE RING, #976XXX, MADE 1925. By this date, saddle rings were being fazed out with some carbines having them and some being produced as "Eastern Carbines" without rings. Special order carbines, like this one, were much more scarce than special order rifles. The 2/3 length magazine is uncommon as is the shotgun butt plate. Combined, these features plus the lack of saddle ring made for a very light and fast handling hunting gun with a capacity or a round or two more than the more common (but still rare on a carbine) half or "button" magazine. The barrel on this carbine has the correct carbine ladder rear sight with elevator slide intact and is mated with the usual carbine front sight base that has a Marble blade/bead pinned insert a little high than standard. The barrel has the correct late markings "- MODEL 94 - WINCHESTER - NICKEL STEEL - .30 W.C.F. -" The upper tang also has the correct markings. The special shotgun butt stock has the Winchester embossed hard rubber butt plate, is in excellent condition with very tight wood to metal fit. The forend is also excellent. the receiver is mainly flaked to gray which is typical of 1920s vintage '94s as the blue and case hardening process used by Winchester at this time was different from early production guns and caused the blue to flake from the receiver very rapidly. The barrel retains much of the original deep blue with some thinning at the handling/balance point and toward the muzzle. The mag tube shows fine deep blue. Screws are excellent as is the bore and the action is tight. A very unusual late model '94 from the Roaring 20s and now nearly 100 years old! $2150.

  4. SPECIAL ORDER 1894 TAKEDOWN RIFLE, PLAIN PISTOL GRIP, .30 WCF, ROUND BARREL, HALF MAGAZINE, #297XXX, MADE 1906. This is an unusual configuration not often seen. The standard 26" barrel retains fine blue that is lightly aged with some wear at the balance point just ahead of the receiver. Original buckhorn rear sight with elevator bar and front sight is the standard Winchester blade. The receiver retains fine blue on both sides with some thinning toward the front portions and edges and strong blue on the bolt and loading gate. the. takedown is tight and screws are excellent. The butt stock and forend are excellent showing very light handling and tight wood to metal fit. As is typical on special order rifles, the walnut is a bit above standard grade. The plain pistol grip has the correct original Winchester embossed hard rubber grip cap. Bore is a little dark but generally excellent. tight action and excellent markings. Very attractive and unusual 1894 in nice condition. (4 photos) $2950.

  5. VERY FINE CONDITION, SPECIAL ORDER 1894 .38-55 TAKEDOWN RIFLE WITH RARE HALF-OCTAGON BARREL/FULL MAGAZINE COMBINATION AND SHOTGUN BUTT, #143XXX, MADE 1902. The special order half-octagon barrel would normally be supplied by Winchester with a half-magazine unless again special ordered with a full magazine, as on this one. So, this is actually two special order features and one that is rarely encountered. It also has a shotgun butt with smooth steel butt plate. Further, it is fitted with the standard buckhorn rear sight with elevator bar intact, Lyman tang sight  (with fold out fine aperture eye piece intact) paired with a Lyman Beach folding globe front sight. The receiver retains fine lightly thinning blue on the receiver sides with excellent deep blue on the bolt with mainly edge wear and blue wear to the receiver ring and receiver bottom. There is still some light case color on the lever sides and hammer. Barrel and mag show fine aged blue also with thinning mainly on the round portion of the barrel. The screws are excellent and the butt stock and forend are also excellent with tight wood to metal fit. Interestingly, the walnut is a little better than standard grade as is usual for special order rifles. The bore is a little dark and shows light wear with fine rifling all the way through. Tight takedown. A really attractive and unusual 119 year old Winchester 1894 in a great caliber. $3450.

  6. CLASSIC 1894 SADDLE RING CARBINE IN .30WCF CALIBER, #741XXX, MADE 1915. This one has the look of a typical "ranch gun" as it shows loads of saddle & scabbard wear to both the forend and butt stock. The wood is basically solid with one usual hairline crack coming back from the end of the forend to the barrel band, but goes no further. Good very thinning and aged barrel and mag blue mixing with some gray/brown. the receiver blue has aged and thinned to gray and brown also with fine screws, good blue on the loading gate, strong springs and tight action. Bore is excellent and has the correct carbine ladder sight- slide only missing. Can't get more "American" than this one. Lots of appeal. $1195.

  7. EARLY TAKEDOWN MODEL 53 IN UNCOMMON .32-20 CALIBER, #53XX, MADE IN THE 2ND FULL YEAR OF PRODUCTION IN 1926. Only made from 1924-1932 (with some parts clean-up guns put together later), the Model 53 was another victim of the Great Depression when sales fell off to the point that the Model was discontinued. The standard caliber for the Model 53 was .25-20 with .32-20 and .44-40 made in limited numbers. According to the Winchester Handbook by George Madis from 1924-1932 16,905 were made in .25-20; only 4,718 were made in .32-20 and only 3,293 were made in .44-40. They were offered in solid frame and takedown with more made in solid frame. This fine example shows good thinning blue on the barrel with the "thinnest" area toward the middle area of the barrel top. The receiver shows good aged and thinning blue on the receiver sides and good blue on the loading gate with the balance naturally aged brown. The dark walnut butt stock and forearm are generally excellent showing light handling only with very tight wood to metal fit. It retains the correct original steel butt plate, flattop buckhorn rear sight with elevator bar intact and small blade front sight in correct factory short base. Tight takedown, tight action and excellent sharp bore. Early 95 year old  Model 53 Takedown in a scarce caliber and nice condition, $1795.

  8. SCARCE PRE-WAR, GREAT DEPRESSION ERA MODEL 64 20" CARBINE IN .30WCF CALIBER, #1099XXX, MADE IN 1935. The standard barrel length for the Model 64 was 24" with very few 20" carbines made. They were only offered in the Pre-War years. The Model 64 was introduced in 1933 and the 20" carbine version was catalogued beginning in 1934. Being introduced in the worst year of the Great Depression didn't help sales of this updated 1894 style rifle. From 1933 through 1942 only 29,000 of all models were produced before production was halted for World War II. Most of this number were 24" barrel rifles in deluxe and standard configurations. This is a standard carbine with excellent stock and forend showing only very light handling. The barrel and mag tube retain about all the blue. The receiver blue is flaking to gray with good blue in the protected areas toward the front and rear of the receiver sides and around the hammer with excellent blue on the bolt and loading gate. This blue flaking is typical of guns made during this time period as Winchester changed the case hardening process and the factory blue finish did not adhere well. The barrel has a filler in the rear dovetail and has the correct ramped front sight with hood intact. The receiver is fitted with the correct Lyman receiver sight. The stock retains the original checkered steel butt plate, the action is tight and the bore is bright and excellent. A hard model to find in any condition. $1950.

  9. PRE-WORLD WAR II MODEL 75 SPORTING .22LR RIFLE, #27XXX, MADE 1941. This is a nice unaltered example made from 1938-1950s that has the correct Lyman receiver sight and has never been drilled and tapped for scope bases. It also retains the original steel butt plate and has the correct Winchester embossed pistol grip cap and checkering on the pistol grip and forend. Overall, this rifle has seen normal light use, but no abuse. The wood is excellent with light handling marks only and the checkering is still sharp. The barrel and receiver retain most of the original blue with only some minor barrel scuffs. The trigger guard and bottom metal which is marked "SPORTING" show aged, thinning blue mixing brown. The original magazine is Winchester marked. Tight action and exc. bright bore. These Sporting rifles are considerably more rare than the heavier Model 75 target rifles. Nice pre-war sporter of which not many were made! $1295.

 

 

    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 felt 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 heavy field load of 3 1/2 drams equals about 95 grains (by volume) 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 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! Recently 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

William T. Goodman, P.O. Box 2002, Bozeman, MT 59771    (406) 587-3131    fax (406) 219-3415     montanaraven@hotmail.com