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

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

                                              EMAIL:  montanaraven@hotmail.com

      Bill Goodman has been a collector of antique/collector firearms for well over 40 years and a full time dealer for over 30 years.  Traveling around the country constantly seeking good quality collector arms at REALISTIC PRICES, Bill sells exclusively by mail order.  He has advertised in every issue of The Gun List  (now Gun Digest the Magazine) since it's first small issues in the early 1980s (as well as The Shotgun News before that). All items are photographed. To view them just click the text of the item you want to see. Be sure to scroll down as most items have more than one photo.  All guns are sold as collector's items, not shooters.  If you wish to shoot an item listed here, it is strongly recommended that you have the item checked out by a competent gunsmith who specializes in antique firearms. All items are sold with the usual three (3) day inspection.  If for any reason you are not satisfied with your purchase, call to say you are returning the item and you will receive an immediate refund when the item is received back in the same condition it was originally shipped. This list will be constantly updated as new items become available.  Use the above phone number to call to check availability and for 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 8/28/16. WATCH FOR FREQUENT POSTINGS THROUGH SEPTEMBER.

 

 

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: 23 JUNE 2016.  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

 

COLT FIRE ARMS (click text for photo

  1. PARTICULARLY FINE CONDITION  POCKET NAVY CONVERSION IN .38 CENTER FIRE, MADE 1873-1880, this is the desirable blue and case color round barrel model without ejector of which only about 10,000 in all were made, all matching numbers serialized within the Model 1849 range 313XXX (wedge only mismatched), excellent vivid case colors remain on the frame sides, cartridge loading area and hammer with fading only on the outside part of the left recoil shield (nice color on bottom section of shield and area closest to the hammer), exc. barrel blue with only very light thinning and edge wear, correct pin style front sight is not altered, fine deep blue on the rear rebated part of the cylinder with thinned blue on the balance with excellent, sharp full cylinder scene, exc. sharp markings, uncleaned mellow brass back strap and trigger guard with silver remaining by the trigger guard serial number and in protected areas, tight action, exc. one piece walnut grips  showing a little wear to the left side and near perfect on the right side with much of the varnish remaining, great appearance, very hard to find this nice especially in blue and case color finish. ( four photos)$2850.

  2. BEAUTIFUL CONDITION SPECIAL ORDER LIGHTNING .38-40 RIFLE WITH EXTRA LONG 30" OCTAGON BARREL, MADE 1895, very few Lightning pump action rifles were special ordered and the 4" longer than standard 26" barrel is extremely rare, excellent deep blue overall with some very minor/light thinning of the blue that is more mixing a little plum from age on the receiver, exc. sharp Rampant Colt stamping on the left side of the receiver, exc. screws, deep barrel and mag blue with only a very little dulling from age (not wear), exc. markings on barrel, exc. stock and checkered forend with a couple of the most tiny chips at the upper tang/receiver juncture where the wood looks a little oil soaked at the extreme edge only, bright excellent sharp bore, still retains some case color on the hammer, giid fire blue on the forend screws and trigger, a great investment piece that offers both rarity and condition, (3 photos)  $3950.``

  3. VERY EARLY SINGLE ACTION ARMY, #21XXX, .45 COLT, 7 1/2" BARREL, MADE 1875! During this time, Colt was concentrating most of its manufacturing on the U.S. Government contract revolvers and few commercial models were tuned out in these first early years of production, this is a fine example that has that great and attractive "chocolate brown" even patina overall indicating that this revolver has never been cleaned, steel wooled, "helped" etc. etc., all matching numbers including the cylinder and barrel (marked under the ejector housing), has the original bullseye ejector head and the very early Type 1 ejector housing used only on the first couple of years of production before changing to the Type 2, fine early markings with only the "4" in 45 Cal. weak on the back of the trigger guard bow, exc. tight action (!), not quite perfect but near exc. bore (!), unaltered front sight, fine screws, fine one piece walnut grips show normal wear and fit well, shows a little wear mainly on the right side of the muzzle from holster carry- adds to the wonderful old west character of this fine Colt. A very fine super early Single Action! ( 4 photos) $6850.

  4. 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.

  5. U.S. MARKED MODEL 1878/1902 DOUBLE ACTION .45 COLT "ALASKAN" OR "PHILIPPINE" MODEL, 6" BARREL, #45XXX, 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. New 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 a 1899 Krag CARBINE made with longer wood to resemble a short military infantry rifle- again better suited to the local people's size. 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.

  6. VERY EARLY MODEL 1902 MILITARY .38ACP AUTO PISTOL WITH "ROUND" HAMMER, MADE 1907, This one is in the 15XXX serial range, in this range were a great number of guns shipped to A. Combaluzier, Ministerio de Guerra Y Marina who were in Mexico City.  Many of these went to the government or were sold commercially.  All of these early turn of the last century 1902 autos saw heavy use and this, this one shows much carry wear yet internally is excellent, exc. mech., exc. bore, markings are getting worn and most are readable, retains the lanyard swivel, exc. grips, correct unmarked magazine, retains some blue in the most protected areas (just under the slide on the side of the frame, around grips etc.) balance of metal gray/brown and doesn't look to have ever been steel wooled or cleaned more than wiping some surface rust with an oil cloth, the only alteration is to the rear sight that has had a very thin brass notched sight blade expertly fitted to the rear sight that is slightly higher than the original which is still intact, the front original sight blade has been slightly with a tiny flute on each side near the top to form a "blade with bead" front sight, so apparently, whoever had this pistol was a shooter who wanted not only a sighted-in pistol, but with a better sight picture! So well done and small it is hardly noticeable. One of the earliest full size autos made, lots of history in this one, should have a factory letter, $975.``

  7. ONE OF THE RAREST COLT U.S. MARTIAL REVOLVERS: MODEL 1905 U.S.M.C. .38 DA REVOLVER, ONLY 926 MADE! To quote Flayderman's Guide: The Marine Corps Model is one of the ultra-desirable handguns in Colt's double action revolver production. With a total made of only 926, and most of these experiencing service use, the surviving arms are few. The Marine Corps association also adds to the model's status and importance. This is an excellent example of a very difficult Colt to obtain. Fine deep blue overall with some normal holster wear around the muzzle area of the barrel, graying on the back strap, some gray on the bottom portion of the front strap with some scratching behind the trigger guard,  and light edge wear, fine fire blue on the trigger sides and hammer back, exc. markings including the USMC marking on the butt with the Marine Corps "No. 7XX" exc. checkered walnut grips unique to this model (when they are missing they are impossible to replace), sling swivel intact, correct last patent date on the barrel of 1895, exc. mech. and exc. bore, a super rare and important Colt in outstanding condition, $3850.

  8. VERY RARE EARLY FIRST STYLE .22 LONG RIFLE OFFICIAL POLICE REVOLVER WITHOUT THE RECESSED CYLINDER HEAD, MADE1930-1931 ONLY, This model was introduced in 1930 without the recessed cylinder head and by November 1931 (at around serial number 4050) was changed to the recessed style, this one is serial number 22XX and is one of the first full year of production to not have the recessed cylinder head change, for such an early example, this is in outstanding condition showing almost all of the bright Colt blue- even on the face of the cylinder which after a few boxes of shells will blast most of the finish away- back strap blue is thinning/mixing brown and there is a little normal edge wear at the muzzle and on sharp edges, but generally excellent overall, tight action with perfect bright bore, 6" barrel, exc. markings, exc. checkered walnut grips with Colt medallion, many Official Police .22s were purchased by police departments and the military to be used as trainers where they saw very hard use, all of these fixed sighted .22s are scarce, but such an early one especially in this condition is really rare, (3 photos- lots of photo light glare makes the blue look thin, it is bright) $1100.

  9. ARGUABLY THE FINEST COLT MODEL EVER MADE: GREAT DEPRESSION ERA SHOOTING MASTER TARGET NEW SERVICE REVOLVER, .38 SPECIAL, MADE 1936, if you wanted the finest Colt money could buy (when very few people had much money!) this was the one to own. Hand crafted inside and out, a superb target revolver in every way possible. This one came out of an old Montana collection and when I got it the bore and action were packed in heavy cosmoline grease, overall great condition with only a touch of muzzle wear on each side and a little cylinder edge wear plus a touch of blue wear on the bottom of the trigger guard- all minor, checkered back strap, checkered front strap and checkered trigger, adjustable sights including the square red bead front (identical sight pictured on an engraved Shooting Master shown on  page 162 of Timothy J. Mullin's excellent book COLT'S NEW SERVICE REVOLVER), this one also has one of the finest sets of checkered walnut target grips I've seen- usually after market target grips are big and clumsy looking, these are superb and are the equal or better than anything turned out by either Colt or S&W- big target revolvers like this will never be made again and a very difficult model Colt to find these days, ( 4 photos- light reflection off oil looks like scratches in 2nd. photo, but it isn't.) $2350.

  10. FIRST OF THESE I'VE SEEN! OFFICER'S MODEL HEAVY BARREL IN .32 CALIBER...BUT WAIT, these revolvers were made in one small lot just before W.W.II around 1940, yet this one is in a serial number range showing it was made about 1925-1926, upon close examination of the serial number inside on the frame there is a tiny "&" marking which means it was sent back to the factory at some time. So, what this one appears to be is an officers Model .38 Special that was returned to Colt for a .32 barrel and cylinder! Hard to believe Colt would have had extra parts after a small run of .32 (S&W Long) revolvers were made, but that's what this is.  I don't think it was made on a left over frame as Colt wouldn't added the "&" marking if that were the case.  Anyway, this is all Colt and made by Colt. Certainly one of the more odd revolvers I've seen during this time period.  Checkered back strap and trigger, adjustable target sights, grip straps show blue wear to gray with good blue on the butt, some wear to the checkered Colt medallion grips, fine blue on the rest of the piece that shows handling, edge wear and some light thinning here and there- obviously a revolver that was holstered and used, but not abused, exc. bright bore, wonderful per-war hand tuned action is tight and in time, sharp markings including the correct last patent date on the barrel of 1926, NOT refinished when sent back to Colt, a truly unusual and rare variation on an already rare Officers Model caliber revolver and certainly the lowest serial number in .32 caliber! $1395.``

  11. 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, $2950.

2) NICE CONDITION 1889 .44-40 OCTAGON RIFLE, MADE 1890, fine deep barrel blue, mag tube more mixing gray/brown, receiver also aged to gray/brown with one small area on the right side behind the loading gate where there is some evidence of old rust that was wiped off, good blue on the loading gate, fine blue on the forend cap, surprisingly excellent bore that isn't perfect but only has some very very light scattered surface corrosion that might clean out, exc. wood with tight wood to metal fit and showing only light normal handling marks, lever catch intact (these often missing), original sights, exc. markings, a really hard caliber to find in a limited production model that was only made for a few years before being replaced with the Model 1894. $1695.``

3) 1893 .32-40, 26" OCTAGON RIFLE, MADE 1902, barrel marked "Special Smokeless Steel" mostly gray receiver with good blue on the loading gate, fine aged barrel blue with high edge wear, mag tube turning gray-brown with good blue on upper section below barrel, has Lyman tang sight with blade/bead front sight and unusual replacement folding adjustable rear barrel sight, fine wood, tight action, bore is a little dark with strong rifling and no pitting, hard to find caliber especially with "Smokeless Steel" octagon barrel, $1100.

4) 1894 OCTAGON RIFLE IN .25-20 CALIBER, MADE 1903, has a Lyman tang sight and also has a surprisingly fine bore that is a little dark but with fine rifling and should brush out near excellent- certainly much better than normally encountered on a 1903 vintage Marlin in .25-20, fine aged barrel and mag blue showing a little thinning, mostly mottled gray receiver with a little blue remaining on the bolt and loading gate, exc. markings, blade/bead front sight with buckhorn rear, generally fine+ wood with good wood to metal fit and has some light old and dry linseed oil or stock finish on the wood that will come off easily with #0000 steel wool, wood has not been sanded, nice appearance, $1195.

5) VERY EARLY 1894 .38-40 OCTAGON RIFLE, MADE 1895, an interesting "attic condition" example that somehow after all these years has escaped any sort of cleaning or "helping." The wood looks dry, but has never been sanded or refinished and shows normal handling etc with a very slight age crack coming back from the upper tang for maybe an inch or so and goes nowhere- minor, mostly brown receiver,  may have had a tang sight on at one time as one factory filler screw in the upper tang is missing, barrel and mag are a deep plum brown with some very surface dry rust still apparent, fine markings, fine+ bore may clean out to about exc., exc. tight action, original buckhorn rear sight (needs elevator bar only) and Rocky Mountain blade front sight, this one has "been there and done that" but is not abused, some light, careful cleaning would go a long way on this fine old  rifle. $995.

6) BEAUTIFUL CONDITION EARLY MODEL 27S, .25-20 PUMP RIFLE, according to the Marlin book by Brophy, the M-27S was introduced in 1910 in octagon barrel only, by 1913 round barrels were offered, this is an octagon rifle in the 2XXX serial range, about all the blue remains on this fine rifle with only some minor ageing to the blue on the bottom of the mag tube and some very slight edge wear, "Special Smokeless Steel" marked barrel, all markings sharp, exc. bore, exc. wood with what looks like very light scratching of "W T in the wood behind the lower tang- very light and easily rubbed out or just left, even the butt plate shows most of the blue except on the  upper and lower high edges, also interesting on this example is that it is stamped with a small six-point star on the upper tang.  According to Brophy's book, "Literature published in 1926-1927 states that when  a Marlin gun leaves the factory bearing the Marlin star stamped into the metal it is 'as near perfection as the finest of materials, equipment, and skill can make it.' " This model was discontinued about 1930. $1195.

7) VERY RARE .219 ZIPPER CALIBER MODEL 336 SPORTING CARBINE, ONLY 3230 MADE FROM 1955-1959, these almost never seem to turn up and are rising rapidly in value as one of the most scarce Post-WW II models, this one appears to have seen very little use, since the filler screws are missing from the factory holes in the top of the receiver it is obvious that it once had a scope mounted- screws should be easy to replace- but overall this one is near new overall, even retains the front sight hood, aside from the Winchester Model 64 in this caliber I don't think any other rifle has chambered it, $1495.

8) SELDOM SEEN MODEL 62 LEVER ACTION RIFLE IN .256 WIN. MAG. CALIBER, ONLY MADE IN LIMITED QUANTITIES FROM 1963-1965, excellent overall with only the lightest of handling marks to wood and metal- you have to look carefully for anything to keep this from being like new, the only thing missing is the little plastic "Marlin Bullseye" round inlay in the stock just ahead of the rear sling swivel stud- Midway sells replacements for a couple bucks- mounted in Weaver type rings/rail is a 3-9X Hammers scope with exc. optics, this one should be a lot of fun to shoot- brass is simply the .357 mag. necked down to .25 caliber. I've made them by carefully running .357 brass into a full length .256 sizing die (you can, of course, by forming dies), One of the more rare post war Marlins that is rapidly going up in value. $1150.

 

 

                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) JUST IN: 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) JUST IN: 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) JUST IN: MODEL 1895 .45-70, 26" OCTAGON BARREL WITH BALLARD STYLE RIFLING (NOT MICROGROOVE), I have one of these and it shoots cast bullets beautifully, this one is in near new condition, getting hard to find as the people who have them like them and won't sell them! $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) 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.

3) 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.

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.

7) No. 5 PACIFIC RIFLE IN .40-63 CALIBER, MARLIN FIREARMS COMPANY MARKED, #22XXX serial number matching on the receiver, barrel, forend and butt plate, 30" octagon barrel, a particularly fine example with fine deep barrel blue showing only very light age and wear, mottled silvery receiver, correctly stamped "40-63" on barrel top ahead of receiver, double set triggers function fine, exc. forend and butt stock with only a hint of a typical short hairline crack coming back from the receiver for an inch or so- difficult to see unless you look for it, minor- exc. bore needs a good clean only, fitted with a two leaf folding rear sight in the factory dovetail, Lyman style globe front sight that will take apertures, and very rare (and valuable in its own right) Lyman tang sight that is made with a graduated windage adjustment and eye disc, tight action, double set triggers function fine, twin factory thimbles intact with wiping rod, 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 3/4 lbs., fine example in hard to find condition, $2650.

 

 

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

  1. VERY HIGH CONDITION TRUE 1874 SHARPS SPORTING RIFLE CONVERSIONS MADE BY THE SHARPS RIFLE COMPANY, BRIDGEPORT, CT., NOT A MEACHAM CONVERSION, There is a lot of misinformation about these, but the fact is that the real Sharps Company took Civil War carbines back to the factory and ground the lock plates to the appearance of the 1874 model, changed the tumbler in the lock, put a real Sharps barrel on the rifle with correct Sharps markings & sights and with a correct 1874 forearm. These were then sold to dealers at lower prices than their 1874 Sporters. The Meacham Sharps Conversions have non-Sharps barrels and forearms and are usually of lesser quality.  This example is one of the best I've seen and is interesting as the barrel is a true Model 1874 barrel with the M-1874 serial number correctly stamped under the forearm and neatly "lined out," but still readable (#162XXX- this number will actually letter), This was fairly common on conversions and even factory sporters as Sharps used barrels on returned guns or used extra barrels on many rifles and especially on conversions.  It is a .40 2 1/4" (.40-70) caliber, 30" half octagon barrel with original distinctive Sharps front sight and heavy full buckhorn Lawrence ladder rear sight- this sight was usually put on guns destined for the Western regions- The action and stock are typical Military Carbine style, the amazing part is that this rifle has a bright exc. bore, exc. barrel blue and fine case colors that are lightly fading on the hammer and receiver! Mostly gray lock plate with the early markings, exc. forend, butt stock shows normal light handling only and no abuse,  these are usually found in hard used condition and this is one of the best I've seen! Much more desirable and valuable than a "Meacham," (5 photos, note: case colors are actually better on the left side of the receiver, but photo lights reflected badly, also the dark line on the left side of the stock is simply a light stain that the photo lights picked up and exaggerated) $5400.

  2. 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.

  3. EARLY BIG FRAME WHITNEY-KENNEDY OCTAGON RIFLE IN .45-60 CALIBER, WITH "S" LEVER, MADE EARLY 1880s, quite a bit more scarce than the .44-40 size medium frame model, this one shows use, but no abuse, a nice uncleaned and un-messed with example with 28" octagon barrel, overall metal is an uncleaned mottled gray/brown (receiver, barrel and magazine), exc. screws, exc. wood with tight wood to metal fit shows only light handling, rear sight is a frontier period replacement of a fixed brass buckhorn placed in the original dovetail with no alterations, front sight is a small copper blade, early barrel marking "Whitneyville Armory CT USA" with correct patent markings on the upper tang, bore a little dark with sharp rifling and ought to scrub out to near excellent. This was a limited production very high quality rifle with only 15,000 of all models (medium and large frame) made between 1879 and 1886 when the company was bought out by Winchester who immediately stopped production, thus killing a serious potential competitor! The actions on these rifles are amazingly smooth. Nice example of a large caliber frontier rifle, $2650.

  4. 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, $3250.

                             

 

 REMINGTON (click text for photos)

1) SCARCE NO. 1 ROLLING BLOCK 30" OCTAGON BARREL SPORTING RIFLE IN .40-50 BN CALIBER, nice early 1870s example in the 4XXX serial range with matching serial number barrel, fine  markings, this barrel length is actually 4" over the standard 26" length- customers were charged extra for every 2" over the standard 26" length, uncleaned gray/brown receiver, even thin aged blue on the barrel, some aged blue remains on the hammer and breech block, fine bore shows good rifling and some normal light wear/pitting but still fine, original buckhorn rear and small blade front sights, exc. butt stock, forend shows light handling only, early style metal forend tip, this was a popular deer and medium large game round that fired a 265 grain bullet at near 1500 feet per second and far outclassed the standard .44-40 round of the day, very hard to find good matching Rolling Block sporters! $2650

2) 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.

3) 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.

4) EXCELLENT 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) ALMOST NEVER SEEN REMINGTON ROLLING BLOCK TARGET PISTOL MODEL 1901 IN SCARCE AND DESIRABLE .44 RUSSIAN CALIBER!  Remington made less than 750 of these fine pistols and most seem to have been in the small rim fire calibers, exc. correctly checkered stock and forend, exc. barrel blue showing one or two very tiny spots where some rust was wiped off- you have to look carefully to see it, fine high polish receiver, trigger guard and grip strap blue with some scattered brown freckling, exc. blue on hammer and breech block, nice screws, exc. markings, tight action, correct original rear target sight in the receiver ring with half-moon and ivory bead front sight,  bright exc. bore! $2950.

7) MODEL 51 .380 SEMI-AUTO PISTOL, MADE 1918-1934, this is a fairly low serial number in the 14XXX range with desirable early 9 grooves in the slide (later models have 15) and also has the early slide markings without the later 1920 and 1921 patent dates,  this one has excellent original grips and shows normal light carry wear, slide blue shows some dulling/thinning as does the front strap and bottom of the trigger guard, exc. tight mech and exc. inside, grip safety functions properly, original magazine, one of the finest pocket .380s ever made, scarce early variation, $695.

 

 

RUGER FIREARMS (click text for photos)

1) 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. $1295.

2) HARD TO FIND BLACKHAWK "BUCKEYE" SPECIAL CONVERTIBLE .38-40 WITH EXTRA 10MM CYLINDER, This was a special revolver made only in 1990 for Buckeye Sports and differs from other Blackhawks not only because of caliber but because they were made with all steel frames instead of the standard alloy, the top strap is also stamped with the distinctive "buckeye" icon, about like new in original box that lacks the end markings as to caliber etc. which is correct for these, these don't show up often any more, $1150.``

 

 

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) SHILOH SHARPS, MADE IN BIG TIMBER, MONTANA, No. 3 SPORTER IN .40-65 CALIBER, WITH 30" HEAVY OCTAGON BARREL, made without rear barrel sight dovetail, has a Montana Vintage Arms mid-range vernier tang sight matched with a globe front sight that will take inserts, semi-fancy walnut with standard shotgun butt, double set triggers, weighs just over 12 lbs., one tiny and hard to find  handling mark in the stock is all that keeps this one from being new, $2100.

2) SHILOH SHARPS, MADE IN BIG TIMBER, MONTANA, No. 3 SPORTER IN .45-70 CALIBER WITH 30" HEAVY OCTAGON BARREL, obviously patterned after a typical  frontier heavy sporting/buffalo rifle of the mid 1870s, this one has the traditional slightly curved steel military butt plate, double set triggers, bone and charcoal pack harden case colors on the receiver, lever and butt plate, polished blue barrel, pewter forend tip, double set triggers, semi-buckhorn Lawrence ladder rear barrel sight plus an MVA #130 vernier tang sight adjustable for windage and elevation and a #111 globe front sight that will take inserts,  weighs right at 12 lbs., attractive straight grain dark walnut, all in about new condition, catalogue price on this one set up as it is (and before the two year wait with probable price increases) would be about $3100. My price for this rifle is $2650.

3) RARE SHILOH SHARPS FIND! UNFIRED "HARTFORD COMMEMORATIVE" .45-70 HEAVY OCTAGON RIFLE! Many years ago there was supposed to be 100 of these special rifles made for a sporting good store in Montana, it is thought only about 60 were completed and numbered in a special range. Each had highly finished exhibition grade walnut, silver plated very heavy crescent butt plates (not available on any rifle and only made specifically for these rifles), polished and fire blued screws, a silver banner on the lock plate embossed HARTFORD MODEL and a special silver plate on the upper tang for the serial number- this one is numbered 04X- polished 30" heavy oct. barrel, double set triggers, pewter tip and a decorative silver band on the barrel just ahead of the receiver on the Hartford collar portion, pewter forend tip, sporting tang sight, Lawrence semi-buckhorn ladder rear sigh with blade front sight, COMES WITH THE NEW IN BOX SILVER PLATED HEAVY SHARPS BELT BUCKLE WITH MATCHING SERIAL NUMBER TO THE RIFLE!  All in the original Shiloh cardboard box, a rare and stunning limited production Shiloh that will only increase in value over time, (five photos) $4350.``

4) 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.

 

 

SMITH AND WESSON (click text for photos)

 

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- $2650.

3) SUPERB CONDITION MODEL 1903, .32 HAND EJECTOR, FIFTH CHANGE WITH SCARCE LONG 6" BARREL, MATCHING # 147XXX, ONLY MADE FROM  1910-1917, chambered in .32 S&W Long, this model was only offered in 3 1/4, 4 1/4 and 6" barrels with 6" seldom seen on such a small frame "pocket revolver," this one is in desirable nickel finish with real pearl grips, about all the nickel remains with only a small spot of peeling at the muzzle on the left side only and some tiny pin-prick spots too small to describe and actually hard to see, all markings sharp, nice case color on hammer and trigger, only a slight cylinder drag line that doesn't even go through the nickel finish, very tight action (even opening the cylinder and pushing it to the side takes effort as if it were new and almost never opened and swung to the side for loading!), minty bore, exc. pearl grips are amazingly not chipped or cracked, untouched screws, by the serial number this was probably made around 1912 (104 years ago!), these are still "sleepers" and undervalued on the collector market, but starting to go up in value as nothing like these hand fitted revolvers are made today or will ever be made again, rare in this finish, barrel length and condition! $795.``

4) 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.

 

 

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) RARE 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.

3) 1884 TRAPDOOR SADDLE RING CAVALRY CARBINE IN THE 451XXX RANGE MADE 1888, nice cartouched example that shows honest saddle scabbard use, good aged barrel blue with uncleaned dark patina on the rest of the metal parts, sharp markings overall with only a couple digits in the serial worn but visible especially in good light with a magnifier to help, SWP cartouche is worn, sling ring intact, wood shows typical wear marks from riding in a scabbard but is sound, correct "C" marked (for carbine) Buffington rear sight, bright bore, good example of a late Indian Wars .45-70 carbine, $1595.

4) TRULY AMAZING HIGH CONDITION SPRINGFIELD OFFERING! UNALTERED 1892 KRAG RIFLE, 2ND. TYPE WITH CLEANING ROD, #13XXX, these cleaning rod early Krags were only made from 1894-1895 and nearly all of them were recalled and altered to the 1896 type without the cleaning rod and other upgrades, somehow this rifle remained as issued! It has all the early features including cleaning rod, upper barrel band made for rod, flat butt plate without trap, straight toe of stock, flat muzzle (no crown), short handguard which does not cover the front ring of the receiver, extractor is smooth with no hold open pin, 1894 marked receiver, sharp and crisp "JLA"  over 1895 dated stock cartouche along with sharp circle P cartouche, exc. plus wood has never been sanded or cleaned, fine lightly aged and lightly thinning barrel blue, uncleaned cloudy gray/brown receiver, swivels intact, EXC. BORE, the sight is the earliest 1896 type which was introduced in 1895, unaltered handguard matches stock perfectly, had a sling on it when I got it that was split at the bottom- included, bottom of the trigger guard worn bright from the sling with good blue on the front and back portions! no doubt one of the best extant, I've only seen a few of these over the years and this one is a gem! (five photos)  $8400.

5) HARD TO FIND 1895 "VARIANT" KRAG SADDLE RING CARBINE WITH UNUSUAL FANCY WALNUT STOCK, these were the earliest of the later/standard Model 1896 carbines, but with only "1895" on the receiver- the later ones have "Model 1896"- early serial number 26XXX, all original and unaltered, light but readable stock cartouche and circle "P" cartouche, exc. reddish/brown walnut stock and handguard with high grade "fiddle back" grain in the butt stock- I've only seen this on one other Krag and it was a 1896 rifle- cleaning rods still in butt trap, aged and thinning barrel blue, original 1896 "C" marked rear sight ("C" for carbine), mottled gray receiver and trigger guard, correct barrel band/sight protector, fine bright bore looks a little worn, but should scrub out about exc., all Krag carbines are getting very hard to find and the early 1895 and 1896 "Variant" carbines are exceptionally scarce these days, overall a particularly fine cartouched example of America's last issued saddle ring carbine, $2850.

6) SMITH & WESSON 1899 U.S. ARMY .38 COLT REVOLVER (see above in S&W section)

7) REMINGTON ROLLING BLOCK .50-70 NEW YORK MUSKET (see above in Remington section)

8) COLT 1902 "PHILIPPINE" .45 COLT DOUBLE ACTION REVOLVER (see above in Colt section)

9) COLT 1905 USMC .38 DA (see above in Colt section)

 

 

WINCHESTERS (click text for photos)

 

  1.  COLORFUL 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

  2. CLASSIC 1873 .44-40 OCTAGON RIFLE, MADE 1888, this one came out of right ere in Montana, a nice unmessed with example with original buckhorn rear sight and Winchester blade front sight, receiver is uncleaned and has turned an attractive plum/brown patina, mellow brass lifter with caliber markings, barrel and mag are a very aged blue turned plum/brown, generally fine+ stock and forend with good wood to metal fit, one hairline crack coming back from the upper tang for 1 1/2 inches or so and goes nowhere- minor, fine action, original dust cover intact, bore shows rifling throughout but is pitted, overall a very attractive and unaltered early 1873, $1795.

  3. FINE CONDITION 1873 .38-40 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, MADE 1890, nice example that has slightly fancier than standard walnut in the butt stock, even retains the five-piece cleaning rod set in the butt plate trap, fine receiver blue on about half the receiver with the balance mixing plum, mellow brass lifter marked 38 CAL has some typical dings/scratches, attractive aged plum barrel and mag, still retains some good blue on the forend cap, fine blue on the loading gate, original dust cover, fine+ wood with good wood to metal fit, tight action with half cock weak, original sights, fine bore that has some light roughness more toward the middle with good rifling throughout, very attractive 1873 with good blue and cleaning rods, $2250.``

  4. SUPER RARE AND DESIRABLE 1873 TRAPPER SADDLE RING CARBINE, .44-40 CALIBER WITH LEGAL 16" BARREL, MADE 1909, When I got this one the owner told me it was brought out of Mexico by Bob McNellis who ran El Paso Saddlery Co. in Texas back in the 1960s or early 1970s.  I can't substantiate this, it's just what I was told and I have no reason to doubt it, Has the correct one inch shorter forend used on Trapper Carbines and also has the correct Winchester barrel address markings AHEAD of the barrel band. This is a hard used Trapper from the Mexican Revolution days (Trappers were popular in Mexico and the Southwest- especially Texas), missing the dust cover and saddle ring (staple intact), overall metal a deep UNCLEANED plum/brown heavily freckled/lightly pitted patina, markings visible, but weak on the barrel, original sights including the correct ladder with slide rear sight marked "1873" at the top, mellow brass lifter, carbine butt with brass trap, lower tang has what appears to be a brass-weld repaired crack under the lever area only visible when the lever is lowered- small and neatly done- fine action and surprisingly bright bore that ought to scrub out to NEAR EXCELLENT! heavily weathered and saddle worn butt stock and especially forearm which has some very old age cracks, Overall a lot of history and character in this extremely rare 1873 variation, $3950.

  5. 1876 IN DESIRABLE .45-60 CALIBER ROUND BARREL RIFLE, MADE 1882, very aged and thinned barrel and mag blue that is now mostly an even brown, receiver shows good blue in the protected areas around the side plates with the balance aged blue mixing brown- attractive receiver overall- fine blue on the loading gate, mellow brass lifter engraved "45-60"  as is the barrel top "Cal. 45-60," fine barrel and tang  markings, has the desirable 1876 marked sporting ladder sight with slide intact (looks like an enlarged carbine sight) with original front sight, fine wood overall with a rub spot on the forward part of the comb probably from saddle scabbard use and one on the left side of the forend, tight wood to metal fit, tight action, dust cover intact, fine bore with good rifling and only light scattered roughness that might scrub out better, much better than average condition for one of these big frontier Winchesters, $3495.

  6. GREAT 1885 HIGHWALL RARITY!! THIS ONE IS A .32-40 CALIBER WITH CLOSE COUPLED DOUBLE SET TRIGGERS AND HAS A 32" No. 5 ROUND BULL BARREL! A call to the Cody Museum confirms the fact that this Highwall #94XXX was received in the warehouse in 1902 with these amazingly rare features. In many many years of examining hundreds and hundreds of Highwalls I don't think I've seen more than a few that had factory original No. 5 bull barrels. For the .32-40 caliber the standard barrel was 30" with a No.3 medium barrel. The  number 5 barrel was rarely ordered for any caliber. Exc. wood with hardly any handling marks and tight wood to metal fit, ebony inlay in forearm tip, overall metal- barrel and receiver- an aged blue mixing evenly plum with perhaps the receiver being a little more plum/brown, set triggers work fine and retain the adjustment screw (often missing), tight action, Lyman tang sight with fixed globe with pinhead front sight, slot filler in the rear dovetail (no mention of sights in the museum info), bore needs a good scrubbing but will clean exc., weighs 13 lbs. on my postal scale! possibly a one of a kind big impressive single shot Winchester! $4950.``

  7. VERY EARLY 1886 .45-70 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, #18XXX, MADE 1888, a good solid early rifle that has generally fine+ wood and tight wood to metal fit, gray receiver with some very light evidence of past rust scattered mainly on the left side that you have to look for to see, mostly gray barrel and mag with some brown mixing, fine markings, buckhorn rear sight with Rocky Mountain blade front, bore a bit worn and frosty throughout, fine tight action, $2495.

  8. ONE OF THE FIRST 1886 .33 WCF CALIBER TAKEDOWN EXTRA LIGHTWEIGHT RIFLES MADE, #130XXX, MANUFACTURED IN 1903, FIRST YEAR THIS CALIBER WAS OFFERED, This was the only purely smokeless round offered in the 1886 and was one of the most powerful of the tubular magazine rifle cartridges until the .348 WCF came out in the Model 71 in 1936, this is a better cartridge that most people realize as it is simply the .45-70 case necked down to .338, this rifle has fine blue on the receiver sides with gray mixing heavily on the edges and bottom, exc. deep blue on the bolt, fine blue on the barrel showing some normal thinning, generally exc. wood with good wood to metal fit and showing only light handling, original checkered steel shotgun butt plate, tight takedown and action, still some case color on the hammer and traces on the lever, bore will clean exc., buckhorn rear sight with small correct half-moon front sight with ivory bead, a nice first year example, $2495.``

  9. EARLY 1887 LEVER ACTION 10 GA. SHOTGUN, MADE 1889, receiver shows fine markings on the lower tang and Winchester monogram on the left side, mostly gray/brown barrel with some blue remaining on the more protected areas of the magazine, uncleaned gray/brown on the receiver also, fine+ wood is solid and shows no chips or cracks, original checkered steel butt plate, some case color remains on the lever,  exc. screws, 30" barrel has light surface pitting in the bore that needs a good brushing out but is surface, tight action, needs a trigger return spring only (these are available from Taylor's Sporting Goods in Texas as they sell all the repro 1887s and other guns and their catalogue lists parts for most- good to know), good uncleaned and unmessed with appearance, (three photos, note: looks like the top photo shows lots of case color on the receiver side, that's mainly light reflection, it looks like the close up of the other side)  $1195.``

  10. GREAT CONDITION 2ND. YEAR PRODUCTION 1892 .44-40 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, #33XXX, MADE 1893! retains most of the bright blue on the receiver with some age and thinning on the bottom and bolt, even the upper tang retains most of the blue, barrel and mag also retain most of the blue that is only lightly dulled from age, still some good blue on the forend cap, generally exc. wood with tight wood to metal fit, tight action and EXCELLENT BRIGHT BORE! has early style hook-eye swivel studs- one in butt stock and the other correctly placed in the forend cap that may be factory original, exc. screws, still some case color on the lever sides, only the sights have been changed to a marbles buckhorn rear sight and a blade/bead front sight, really outstanding and hard to find this early and in .44-40 caliber, investment quality,  $2495.

  11. ONE OF THE VERY LAST OF THE GREAT MOD. '90 RIFLES IN DESIRABLE .22 LONG RIFLE CHAMBERING, #834XXX "PARTS CLEAN-UP" SERIAL RANGE, correct late markings, fine aged and dulled barrel blue, fine late style receiver blue that is starting to flake, fine butt stock and forend shows normal light handling marks, original sights, exc. bore, hard to find chambering, $1195.``

  12. 1892 .32-20 OCTAGON RIFLE, MADE 1904, nice condition rifle with even deep blue on the mag tube, also even deep blue on the barrel showing only light age, even deep receiver blue mixing plum, original buckhorn and Winchester blade sights, fine+ butt stock with very tight wood to metal fit- has "J M Moom" scratched in the stock just under the top of the butt plate on the right side in small letters as well as "J M" on the forearm right side just behind the forend cap- would probably be easy to rub out- fine forend showing normal handling, fine bore with good rifling and only light scattered surface roughness that should scrub out better, overall attractive with lots of blue, $1295. ``

  13. HIGH CONDITION RARE AND UNUSUAL COMBINATION SPECIAL ORDER 1892 WITH HALF OCTAGON BARREL AND FULL MAGAZINE, .25-20 CALIBER, MADE 1908, this is actually two special order features as rifles ordered with half-oct. barrels were automatically shipped with half magazines unless special order requested full mag., according to the Winchester Handbook by Madis, from the available records only 613 rifles had part-round barrels, this one retains nearly all the blue overall, barrel and mag blue is exc. and deep with only light scattered  thinning and scuffing receiver too shows exc. deep high polish blue with some light scattered spotting/thinning, even the upper tang shows most of the deep blue, some light thinning on bottom by the serial number, exc. untouched screws, exc. wood with only a few light handling marks and very tight wood to metal fit, still retains some dark aged case color on the lever and hammer, bore is fine-fine+ and might scrub out even better, original Winchester buckhorn and blade front sights, overall great condition in very scarce and desirable configuration, a fine investment 1892, $2450.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. ONE OF THE LAST OF THE GREAT .38-55 CALIBER CARBINES! THIS ONE HAS ALL THE LATE FEATURES AND ACCORDING TO THE CODY MUSEUM HAD ITS SERIAL NUMBER APPLIED ON JULY 19, 1929 (JUST 3 MONTHS BEFORE THE GREAT STOCK MARKET CRASH OF OCTOBER 29, 1929!) This is a beautiful example of a very rare variation as the .38-55 caliber was discontinued from production in 1930 because of low demand for a cartridge deemed obsolete, very few in this decade were made in .38-55 and examples are very hard to come by, this one is surely one of the last, it has all the correct late markings on the barrel "-MODEL 94- WINCHESTER- NICKEL STEEL- 38-55-" serial numbered in the 1051XXX range, late tang markings, has the butt stock with the serrated steel butt plate like on the Model 55, carbine sights including the ladder style carbine rear sight (needs slide only), EXCELLENT DEEP BLUE OVERALL with only some edge wear mainly on the receiver bottom, even the upper tang shows about all the deep blue, exc. reddish/brown walnut stock and forearm with tight wood to metal fit, BRIGHT MINT BORE, untouched screws, super rare variation in investment condition, $3250.

  18. 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 most 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.

  19. 1895 RIFLE IN .30-40 KRAG CALIBER, MADE 1925, a well used rifle that came out of Arizona, overall gray to gray/brown receiver and barrel, fine butt stock with tight wood to metal fit, standard 28" barrel, exc. barrel, receiver and tang markings, forearm has two old and worn in slivers out by the tip, forend tip has the correct original ebony inlay, bore is dark with good rifling and should scrub out fine+ or even better, flattop buckhorn rear sight with standard blade front sight, tight action, nice screws, lots of life still in this one! $895.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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

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

 

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: (27 April 2011) 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!

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: (24 OCTOBER 2011) "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.

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