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

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

                                              EMAIL:  montanaraven@hotmail.com

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

 

MORE ITEMS WERE POSTED ON 2/15/18.  WATCH FOR FREQUENT POSTINGS THROUGH FEBRUARY AND MARCH.

 

 

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. 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) LIGHTNING SADDLE RING CARBINE IN DESIRABLE .44-40 CALIBER, #43XXX, MADE 1890. One of he more difficult Lightnings to find is the Saddle Ring Carbine as they were made in much smaller numbers than the rifles, this one is a fine example with the action locking properly (when the hammer is cocked, the pump should be locked in place and not slide to the rear until the hammer is down) which most Lightnings don’t do, exc. markings including a good rampant Colt stamping on the side of the receiver, bore is a little dark but has fine deep rifling and should clean out at or near exc., original carbine sight with ladder and slide intact, ring intact, fine butt stock and forend with worn but good checkering, looks to have a hint of a filled sling swivel hole in the butt stock that is barely visible and also has two shallow small initials scratched in the wood by the butt plate on the left side- minor and easily rubbed out or just left as is, overall metal surfaces are a naturally very aged blue dark patina. This is a really attractive Lightning Saddle Ring Carbine in .44-40! $2950.

2) EXTREMELY EARLY PRODUCTION 1908 .25 AUTO PISTOL, SERIAL NUMBER 41XX, MADE 1909, considering that over 409,000 of these small pocket autos were made from 1908-1941, this is one of the first of this popular series, correct stylized "C" with rampant colt embossed early style grips are in excellent condition, fine blue on all flat sides with rounded areas and edges dulling a bit from age and handling showing that this was an obviously carried and used little pistol, but cared for and not abused, has the earliest slide markings with the 1903 patent date, unmarked magazine (as many were), tight action and fine inside, would be difficult to find a lower serial number example in this model, $795.

3) SELDOM ENCOUNTERED SCARCE COLT U.S. GOVERNMENT PURCHASE FOR WORLD WAR II  IS THIS OFFICIAL POLICE .38 SPECIAL, 4” REVOLVER, this Colt almost never seem to show up for sale as they are much more scarce than the later Colt Commando revolvers or the S&W K-frame Victory Models. According the very detailed and excellent book U.S. Handguns of World War II by Charles Pate, these Official Police revolvers were shipped early in the war  mainly in 1942. Unlike the later Colt and S&Ws, these early Official Police revolvers have the beautiful commercial blue finish instead of the later brushed or parkerized finishes. Also has the sharp checkered walnut grips with Colt medallions. In his book on page 158 is a photo of an identical example to this one with the caption reading: One of the rather rare military Official Police revolvers of WWII, serial number 721054, was assembled on 10/5/42, sent to shipping on 10/13/42 and shipped to the Springfield Armory on 11/14/42. Its only military marking is the ordnance insignia on the upper left frame. (author’s collection) This example with serial number 721XXX is in near mint, unissued condition. I believe this is the first one of these rare Colts I’ve ever offered and it is in a condition that could not be improved upon! $1395.

4) FIRST GENERATION SINGLE ACTION ARMY .32-20 CYLINDER ONLY, overall uncleaned gray/brown with fine chambers, no bushing, has some areas where there had been some light surface rust that was wiped off but not buffed or steel-wooled, perfect to use as is or rebore to a larger caliber, $250.

5) EXCELLENT CONDITION PEACEMAKER .22 SINGLE ACTION REVOLVER, WITH 6" BARREL,  MADE 1973, unquestionably the best looking of all the .22 single action revolvers by any maker, the Colt Peacemaker .22 was only made from 1970 - 1977 Beautiful blue and case colored finish- just like the big Colt center fire revolvers, this one has the attractive hard rubber eagle style grips, this example shows little use and retains vivid case colors and about all the original blue. Wonderful "real" single action clicks to the action, these are great guns never to be made again! $575.

 

                       

MARLIN  (click text for photos).

1) MODEL 27-S .25-20 OCTAGON PUMP ACTION RIFLE, another Marlin that is getting hard to find, this one shows honest use but still retains an excellent bore (needs a good scrubbing out), fine barrel and magazine blue with a few scattered spots where some light surface rust was wiped off, correct 24" oct. barrel marked "SPECIAL SMOKELESS STEEL", exc. markings, aged and thinned receiver blue is mixing evenly gray/brown, interesting buckhorn rear sight marked "D. W. King" over "Pat. Mar. 5, '02" along with fine blade/bead front sight, exc. forend, exc. screws, bottom tang has a very lightly scratched number on the surface that would clean off easily with some wed/dry very fine emery paper (I've done this before and it is easy and touches up well with blue), butt stock appears quite dry and has some lengthwise surface dry cracks coming forward from the butt plate and going nowhere (minor) which is typical of guns that come out of the desert country of Arizona like this one did, original steel crescent butt plate, tight takedown, lots of life left in this fine old Marlin! $795.

2) SCARCE MODEL 62 LEVERMATIC, LEVER ACTION RIFLE IN .30 U. S. CARBINE CALIBER, ONLY OFFERED IN THIS CHAMBERING FROM 1966-1969 WHEN THE MODEL WAS DISCONTINUED, all correct and unaltered, this one shows normal field use, but no abuse- just some normal light dings and scratches, but all in fine condition, one of the more scarce and unusual rifles in the Marlin line that is not quite an antique, but not quite modern either, qualifies as a curio and relic, tight action, correct magazine, $595.

 

                A NOTE ABOUT "MODERN MARLINS": Marlin has closed its doors for good in North Haven, Connecticut and been bought out by the folks who own Remington. It looks like some models have been put back into production with the barrels marked "Utica, New York."  I did see one of the new ones with the old North Haven barrel address so I assume they had left over barrels they were using up.  Quality in wood  to metal fit was fair at best and trigger pulls were off the scale heavy!  I don't know if any of the octagon barrel "cowboy models" will be produced again, although their online catalogue does show a model 1894 cowboy-type with octagon barrel in .45 Colt.

1) SCARCE MODEL 375, CHAMBERED FOR THE FINE .375 WCF CARTRIDGE AND ONLY MADE IN LIMITED QUANTITIES FROM 1980-1983, a really great short to medium range caliber (I have one in a Ruger No.3 single shot that shoots amazingly small groups), 20" barrel with 2/3 mag., factory sling swivels and factory drilled and tapped for scope mounting, this one is in near new condition, $895.

2) PRE-SAFETY 1894 .44 MAG. CARBINE, MADE 1981, just about new condition inside and out, front sight hood intact, correct "JM" marked barrel, if you look very carefully and the light is just right you might see a few tiny freckles on the lower left side of the receiver side- but this is almost too minor to mention.$895.

3) HARD TO FIND 1894C .38 SPECIAL/.357 MAGNUM CARBINE WITH CHECKERED STOCK AND FOREARM, MADE 2002, about new inside and out and shows little if any use, front sight hood intact, sharp checkering on the stock and forend etc. getting difficult to locate these handy carbines, $950.

 

 

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

  1. A TRUE 1874 SHARPS BUFFALO GUN! THIS IS AN EARLY BRIDGEPORT MANUFACTURED MILITARY RIFLE #158XXX WITH FACTORY HISTORICAL LETTER THAT STATES THAT THIS RIFLE WAS SHIPPED SEPTEMBER 28, 1876 TO WESTERN DEALER AND WHOLESALER B. KITTREDGE & CO., CINCINNATI, OHIO. BUT WHAT MAKES THIS A "BUFFALO GUN" IS THE FACT THAT THE FACTORY LETTER ALSO STATES THIS 1874 MILITARY RIFLE WAS DESCRIBED IN THE FACTORY LEDGERS AS BEING .45 CALIBER USING THE 2&7/8 INCH SHELL. This was the longest and most powerful .45 caliber cartridge made by Sharps almost exclusively for buffalo hunting which was in full swing at this time. The letter also states, "It is well known among collectors that B. Kittredge & Co. sold guns throughout the West by means of their advertising and traveling representatives. Many Sharps rifles sold by Kittredge during 1876 and 1877 must have made their way to the Texas Buffalo Hunt." The so-called military rifles were less expensive than the sporting rifles and found favor with many buffalo hunters who wanted a Sharps but couldn't afford a heavy octagon rifle. This was also the first year of introduction of the .45 2 7/8" (.45-110) cartridge which makes this one of the very first Sharps to be so chambered. This example was made by the Sharps company utilizing a left over percussion action and re-fitting it for cartridge use- this was common on military rifles as well as "Hunter's Rifles" and "Civilian Carbines." They are all numbered in the 1874 range hence can be lettered. This example has the desirable patchbox feature and is in exceptional condition. It retains fine lightly aged barrel blue with excellent markings including the iconic "Old Reliable" stamping on the barrel top, correct Lawrence ladder rear sight with slide intact combined with a Sharps sporting front sight correctly dovetailed into the barrel (as opposed to the military style front sight), mottled gray receiver, excellent butt stock and forend with no chips or cracks, tight action with lever catch intact and functioning,  and excellent bore with deep rifling and only the usual minor corrosion ahead of the chamber. An exceptionally historically documented buffalo Sharps.(3 photos) $5200.

  2. EXCELLENT SAVAGE 1899A  26" ROUND BARREL SPORTING RIFLE IN DESIRABLE .30-30 CALIBER, MADE 1921, retains most of the deep barrel blue with only minor scuffs or wear that you have to look hard to find, exc. full receiver blue with only the lightest of thinning toward the bottom- really light and minor, good light case color on the lever sides, exc. forend, exc. butt stock with only the beginnings of a crack coming back from the receiver on the top left that is hard to even find, a small crack by the toe that goes nowhere (probably sharp edge of the toe/butt plate bumped to cause this), one sling eye stud in butt stock only, buckhorn rear sight with blade/bead front and CORRECT MARBLE TANG SIGHT made for this model and using the factory holes, exc. action including the spring in the brass rotary magazine, perfect bright bore, hard to find this nice especially in this caliber! $1100.``

  3. VERY RARELY FOUND STEVENS! THIS IS A FAVORITE, MODEL 1915 No.20 WHICH WAS THE ONLY MODEL SPECIFICALLY MADE AS A SMOOTH BORE RIM FIRE SHOTGUN!  These were made in .22 LR Shot Cartridges and .32 Rim Fire Shot Cartridges, this example is chambered in the more desirable .22LR Shot Cartridge. Made without a rear barrel sight or dovetail and just a small shotgun bead front sight, breech of the 24" round barrel is marked "22-SHOT" along with the usual Stevens barrel address markings, top of the octagon receiver has the standard "FAVORITE" markings and the tang is stamped "MODEL 1915." The barrel retains fine deep blue, this model had a full blued receiver and amazingly most of the lightly aged blue remains along with some original protective lacquer that Stevens used on these receiver (looks like shiny spots in bottom photo), bore is bright with some surface roughness, fine wood could use a good clean as it has some small splotches of white paint (!) remaining- typical as these small takedown guns were used as "barn guns" or "garden guns" for shooting pests without doing other damage to plants or structures. Usually entire category of firearm is found in terrible condition as they were truly utility guns/tools and were rarely cared for (hence the white paint on the stock!). This is one of the best of the few I've seen over

  4. CUSTOMIZED, FACTORY ENGRAVED REMINGTON HEPBURN SINGLE SHOT RIFLE CONVERTED TO MEDIUM HEAVY VARMINT RIFLE IN .219 IMPROVED ZIPPER CALIBER, probably done in the 1930s-1950s when these rifles didn’t seem to hold a lot of value to collectors (lots of converted single shot rifles during this time!). This one is unusual in that the receiver appears to be factory engraved with scrolls and game scenes (rabbit on one side and a fox on the other) with reblued at time of conversion over the engraving, meaning the engraving was on the gun before refinishing/customizing! It was also converted to under-lever breech block opening (like on a Highwall or Sharps), it is fitted with a 24: medium heavy varmint barrel, nicely grained pistol grip stock with cheek piece and accent line, flat bottom varmint forend, sling swivels and topped with a (more modern) 6-24X BSA Platinum scope (here’s the factory info on the scope: “Extremely tight optical and mechanical tolerances give these scopes consistency a nd superb accuracy. Features multi-coated lenses, finger adjustable windage and elevation target turrets, generous eye relief and an adjustable objective that adjusts from 25 yards out to infinity. Completely waterproof, fogproof and shockproof. Comes with a limited lifetime factory warranty.”). Unmarked barrel, I was told by the previous owner that the caliber is .219 Imp. Zipper and that appears correct- it was also the most popular varmint caliber for rifles like this. Tight action, target crowned muzzle, light trigger and all in exc. condition overall. Would cost a fortune to have made today…if you could even find the action (not to mention engraving!) NOTE: three photos- the engraving didn't show up in the first two from light reflection, but you see it in the last photo- same on both sides.  $2450.

     

     

                               

MODERN AND CUSTOM CLASSIC FIREARMS (click text for photos)

1) CLASSIC BROWNING NOMAD .22 LR AUTO PISTOL WITH HOLSTER, BELGIAN MADE IN 1969, unquestionably one of the finest field .22 LR pistols of all time, these just have a great feel, adjustable rear sight with undercut ramped front sight, 6 3/4" barrel, black synthetic "Browning" marked target grips, all in excellent lightly used condition with some thinning of the blue on the front strap and a little muzzle wear on each side, early closed bottom Hunter holster (lightly blood stained on the bottom!), this one came out of here in Montana and probably saw some field use and may have been used as a "finisher" on big game that was down but not yet dead, one of the great Belgian Browning pistols complete with Browning marked magazine, interestingly, the rear sight assembly is attached to the barrel and doesn't move with the slide, great design. $495.

2) ED BROWN PRODUCTS, MODEL 1911 EXECUTIVE TARGET .45 ACP, one of the finest custom 1911s on the market, this one is brand new in the original Ed Brown Products zipper case with lock, bottle of Ed Brown Firearm Lubricant, owners manual etc., these are stainless guns and this one has the attractive optional Gen4 black coating finish, Ed Brown Custom marked slide, with correct Ed Brown marked magazine, right out of the box about as superb a 1911 as you can buy and this one is brand new, there is one available on the Ed Brown website (without the optional Gen4 black coating) for $2895. My price on this exceptional 1911 target sighted auto without the long wait for a custom order is $2350.

3) BELGIAN BROWNING "T-BOLT" .22 LR. RIFLE, nice rifle with perfect bright bore, 22" barrel with grooved receiver top and ramped front sight, not cut for a rear barrel sight, has an adjustable aperture receiver-type sight correctly mounted in the receiver groove that appears to be factory, exc. action and exc.+ wood with correct unaltered Browning marked butt plate, this was probably one of the notorious "salt-wood stocks" as there is some pitting on the rear of the barrel especially along the right side by the forend (that's why the stocks are "notorious"), the balance of the blue is excellent, retains the original magazine. Lots of life left in this fine .22LR rifle. $395.

 

 

 REMINGTON (click text for photos)

1)  REMINGTON'S FIRST MODERN BOLT ACTION SPORTING RIFLE: MODEL 30 EXPRESS  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 factory filler screws are not in- no marks from ever having a receiver sight in either the metal or wood- exc. bright sharp bore, $895.

2) EXTREMELY RARE AND DESIRABLE "BABY SADDLE RING CARBINE" .44-40 ROLLING BLOCK IN SUPER CONDITION! These were very popular in the Southwest as well as across the border in Mexico, this example, like most, has Remington's full nickel plate finish that amazingly is still in excellent condition!  Nearly all the nickel remains with only some frostiness/light peeling to some edges etc., even the upper and lower tangs retain bright nickel, barrel band shows most nickel with only minor peeling/wear, exc. wood with the desirable "44  CF" stamping on the left side of the wrist (I've seen this before on this model- some have it and some don't- correct blued carbine leaf sight with blade front, correct 20" barrel, exc. Remington markings on the upper tang, tight wood to metal fit, exc. screws, fine bore looks to have the usual light roughness ahead of the chamber with good rifling throughout (needs a good scrubbing out), one of the best of these rare carbines that I've seen, seldom offered for sale, $2950.

3) MODEL 25 .25-20 PUMP ACTION RIFLE, nice clean unaltered and unmessed with example with a minty bore, receiver and barrel show aged blue that has some normal areas of thinning/mixing brown, mag tube retains fine blue with less ageing, original buckhorn rear sight and blade/bead front sight, Remington marked crescent butt plate, exc. stock shows normal handling with none of the usual cracks often seen coming back from the receiver, exc. forend, tight action, $895.``

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

 

RUGER FIREARMS (click text for photos)

1) CLASSIC MODEL 77 IN 7MM REMINGTON MAGNUM CALIBER, MADE 1981, a truly great rifle in every way that is no longer in production, this is the variation without open barrel sights, 24" barrel, comes with a sling and Ruger scope rings, seen very little use as about all the blue is present with barely any edge wear to the trigger guard, original Ruger rubber butt pad and grip cap, sharp checkering, there are some very shallow scratches to the wood on the left side of the receiver which are minor and hardly worth mentioning, classic tang mounted safety, exc. inside, about the most perfect "do anything" caliber available, if you wanted one rifle to hunt anything from antelope to big elk, this one would do it very nicely, $575.

2) "MADE IN THE 200TH YEAR OF AMERICAN LIBERTY" MARKED MINI-14 .223 RIFLE WITH WOOD HANDGUARD, MADE 1976, Ruger used this marking only for guns made in the Bi-centennial year of 1976 and now these are eagerly sought after by Ruger collectors. This rifle comes with the original 5 round magazine and is a Pre-Warning rifle, early metal butt plate- later ones have plastic, overall exc. condition with only the most minor of handling marks here and there that you'd have to look for to find, a desirable variation not only because of the Bi-centennial marking but because of the early wood handguard, $875. ``

3) ONE OF THE MORE DIFFICULT RUGER RIFLES IS THIS MODEL 96 LEVER ACTION .44 MAGNUM CARBINE, these were only made for a few  years before being discontinued. I always thought this was too bad, as I'm a real fan of this model. I have one in .22LR and it is a favorite, this one is near new with only a couple small dings/scratches in the stock that are very minor, comes with a Bushnell Buckhorn 1.5-5X scope with excellent optics, has a swivel stud mounted in the stock and one made to go into the screw in barrel band, interestingly, only the Model 96 in .44 mag. has a color case lever- all others were full blued, these are becoming quite scarce with prices rising rapidly, $895.

 

SHILOH  SHARPS AND OTHER REPRODUCTIONS (click text for photos)

NOTE:  I am also a Shiloh Sharps dealer.  In fact, I am the only stocking dealer of Shiloh Sharps rifles.  I frequently have a selection of NIB stock on hand for immediate delivery AT CATALOGUE PRICE WITH NO ADDITIONAL PREMIUMS OR FEES!  For further info and lists of available rifles, see my other website,  www.shiloh-ballard.com  

 

1) VERY RARE AND UNUSUAL SHILOH SHARPS NEW MODEL 1863 PERCUSSION MILITARY CARBINE IN .45 CALIBER, this is a middle production Farmingdale, New York made carbine in the 4XXX serial range, very few were produced in .45 caliber as most were .54 and .50 calibers. Shiloh hasn’t catalogued the 1863 percussion models in several years and may not ever produce them again, this example has the traditional sling ring and bar, polished barrel and authentic lever catch on the lower tang, Has the correct Lawrence ladder rear sight with slide and military blade front sight, plus the “Shiloh Rifle Manufacturing Co.” markings as opposed to the earlier “Shiloh Products” marking, appears about new, superb quality inside and out. Nearly impossible to find in this desirable caliber (this price would be approx. what the last catalog price would be for an 1863 carbine with these features) $2150. ``

2) SHILOH SHARPS, MADE IN BIG TIMBER, MONTANA, No. 1 SPORTER IN .45-90 CALIBER WITH 34” HEAVY OCTAGON BARREL, this rifle is in about new condition inside and out and has very attractive semi-fancy walnut, pewter forend tip, traditional checkered steel shotgun butt plate, cheek piece, pistol grip, double set triggers and is fitted with a NEW Montana Vintage Arms No.113 globe with spirit level front sight with insert card containing all inserts, the tang is also fitted with an MVA base for tang sight (all that is needed is the desired staff- short, medium or long range), barrel has the original semi-buckhorn Lawrence ladder rear sight with slide, weighs just over 13 lbs., the catalogue price with this rifle including Federal Excise Tax (added to all Shiloh Rifles) would be well over $3100 with a two year wait time. This would make for a great long range black powder cartridge rifle! Price on this like new Shiloh is $2750. ``

3) EXTREMELY SCARCE AND HARD TO FIND IS THIS SHILOH SHARPS 1863 .54 CALIBER PERCUSSION 30" OCTAGON SPORTING RIFLE, MADE IN BIG TIMBER, MONTANA, most of the Shiloh percussion 1863 production were saddle ring carbines and military rifles with very few sporters produced, this one is a fairly standard No.3 Sporter with nice reddish/brown walnut butt stock and forend, double set triggers, case hardened steel military butt plate, full buckhorn Lawrence ladder rear sight with blade front sight along with a Shiloh sporting tang sight adjustable for windage and elevation- has rubber sight disc protector, weighs approx. 10 lbs. and is in about new condition. Shiloh has discontinued the 1863 percussion models and may never make them again which is too bad. I am a real fan of the percussion Sharps sporters and have several. I breech seat the bullets (cast fairly soft and lubed with SPG) and funnel in loose black powder behind. I cap it off with an RWS musket cap and get groups at 100 yards equal to any I can shoot with my Model 1874 cartridge models. (3 photos) Price on this one is $2250.

 

 

SMITH AND WESSON (click text for photos)

1) ONE OF THE VERY HARDEST, MOST DIFFICULT TO FIND OF THE ANTIQUE S&Ws IS THIS MODEL 1891 SINGLE ACTION .38 S&W CALIBER REVOLVER WITH TRIGGER GUARD, AND EVEN MORE SCARCE 5" BARREL WITH ALL MATCHING NUMBERS! There is a good write-up and lots of info on these in the 4th edition of the excellent book The Standard Catalogue of Smith & Wesson by Supica and Nahas (anyone interested in S&W should have this relatively inexpensive book), briefly, they state what all S&W collectors know about this model is that for the supposed numbers produced they are extremely difficult to find, in fact you can go to a ton of gun shows a year (like I do!) looking for guns like this and simply never find any. I try to get these in whenever I can and if I offer one every several years that's a lot! Also, many of these have numbers that don't match because one can use the frame of a center fire (rare in itself) first model single shot and put a barrel and cylinder on it... with mismatching numbers, I've seen sets of single shots with extra barrel/cylinder assemblies like this where the extra assembly doesn't match, most of these also were made with 3 1/4" or 4" barrels with 5" and 6" even more rare. The appeal of this model is its attractive appearance looking like a 2/3 size New Model Number 3 revolver, This one has matching numbers on the frame, cylinder, barrel latch and barrel (#3XXX) and has the correct small stamping "MODEL of 91" on the barrel top with patent dates etc., retains good frame and grip strap nickel with normal small areas of flaking from age, barrel sides brown from holster carry with good nickel on bottom and rib, exc. S&W embossed hard rubber grips, tight action, exc. mech., fine bore should scrub out even better, unaltered correct pinned half-moon front sight, the se are nearly impossible to find. (four photos) $1395.

2) EXCELLENT, HIGH CONDITION AND RARE 1899 U.S. ARMY MARKED FIRST MODEL .38 COLT SERVICE CARTRIDGE, HAND EJECTOR REVOLVER, only 1,000 of these were made c.1901 and are a distinct variation with checkered walnut grips with "J.T.T. 1901" inspector stamping in the top lefty grip and "K.S.M." in the top right grip along with "K.S.M." on the frame, under the barrel and on the cylinder face etc., butt clearly marked "U.S. Army Model 1899" with lanyard ring intact, excellent deep blue overall with only dulling plum on the grip straps, minor holster wear on the barrel sides toward the muzzle, front sight has not been altered, minor edge wear to the deep blue on the cylinder with some light flaking from age, fine vivid case colors on the hammer and trigger, exc. sharp checkering on the original grips (when these grips are missing or wrong they are about impossible to find to replace), all correct and in the correct 13XXX serial range, almost never encountered, (Note: bottom photo has photo light reflection off the barrel, both sides are about the same) $2350.

3) SUPERB, INVESTMENT QUALITY LADYSMITH 3RD. MODEL (PERFECTED .22) REVOLVER, MADE FIRST YEAR OF PRODUCTION 1911! These petite .22s were made from 1911-1921 with only a little over 12,000 made in both blue and nickel finish. This one is the more desirable blue with 3 1/2" barrel. Serial numbers began with 13951 and went through 26154. The number on this example is 140XX no doubt from the first batch made the first year.  Often these are found in terribly used and abused condition, this one retains most of the original blue with only some wear at the bottom of the back strap, minor flaking near the muzzle on the barrel and some light edge wear/thinning on the cylinder, exc. markings, exc. screws, exc. mech. (unusual!), exc. intact forcing cone- these often cracked, chipped or blown away altogether from the use of high speed ammunition- still retains most of the blue on the cylinder face indicating that this revolver was rarely shot, nice case color on the  hammer and trigger sides, exc. fancier than standard walnut grips with deep dish gold S&W medallions, matching serial numbers, fine bore, one of the best of these I've seen! The 4th edition of the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson by Supica and Nahas, published last year (a must have book) lists these in excellent condition with a value of $2000. This one is certainly excellent, my price is $1595 (Note: looks much better in person than in photos as bright photo lights reflect off every surface scratch and oil that aren't really visible under normal conditions).

4) MODEL 1905, 4TH CHANGE .32-20 HAND EJECTOR WITH 5" BARREL, SERIAL NUMBER 103XXX, MADE C.1930, a nice example that has seen some carry wear only, light blue wear on each side of the barrel toward the muzzle, very light edge wear only on the cylinder, some flaking mainly on the lower portion and rear portions of the left side of the frame and a little on the right plus some light grip strap wear- the balance of the blue intact, good case color on the hammer and trigger sides excellent screws, fine diamond checkered grips show light wear only, matching numbers, very tight action, exc. bright bore, unaltered front sight, becoming a hard caliber to find, lots of life left in this fine pre-war S&W! $575.

5) ONE OF THE RAREST POST W.W.II MODELS! THIS IS THE PRE-MODEL 37 CHIEF SPECIAL AIRWEIGHT WITH THE EARLY AND QUICKLY DISCONTINUED ALUMINUM CYLINDER, MADE 1953! This model was introduced in 1952 and by 1954 the aluminum cylinder was replaced with steel as the aluminum was prone to crack (or worse!) when used with anything more powerful than standard .38 Special "mid-range" loads, I believe most of these revolvers were either destroyed or returned to S&W for a steel cylinder. I can't recall seeing another of these with the original numbered cylinder intact. All matching numbers on frame, cylinder, barrel AND INSIDE THE GRIPS, beautiful condition overall with nearly all the blue intact on the barrel, case colors on the hammer and trigger and "black" finish on the aluminum frame and cylinder, an extremely difficult to find flat latch S&W in superb condition, (note: light reflection makes it look like there is blue wear/edge wear. It is near full blue overall) $1195.

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

7) HIGH CONDITION, INVESTMENT QUALITY EXTREMELY RARE MODEL 1926 .44 SPECIAL HAND EJECTOR 3rd. MODEL REVOLVER WITH SELDOM SEEN 6 1/2" BARREL AND VERY LOW SERIAL NUMBER 29XXX, according to the excellent book The Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson by Supica and Nahas, "Usually this model was available on special order only and not catalogued until 1940 when it officially replaced the 2nd. model." The book also states, "...barrel lengths of 4-inches or 5-inches with 6 1/2" barrels scarce..." Continuing is written, "The production of this revolver was ordered by Harold Wesson in June of 1926... but does not appear in production until production until October of 1929, 4,976 were reported manufactured circa 1926-1941...serial umber range 28358 to 61414 in the .44 Hand Ejector series overlapping the 2nd. Model." So, summing up, this example is an extremely early one with a serial number dating it to 1927, plus it is a scarce 6 1/2" barrel. About all of this model went to the dealer Wolf & Klar of Fort Worth, Texas. This one has all matching numbers including the grips (!) which are the early style without the medallions, retains most of the fine original blue with just a touch of muzzle wear on each side, some normal very light edge wear and some light scuffing on the back strap, exc. grips show light wear/handling only, even the front of the cylinder retains most of the blue indicating that this revolver was shot very little, exc. mech., exc. inside, bright exc. bore, minor thinning of the blue on the right frame, lanyard ring intact, these are almost impossible to find and those that do turn up usually show heavy wear and often refinish. (NOTE: LOOKS MUCH BETTER THAN PHOTOS SHOW AS LIGHT REFLECTED OFF OIL AND EVERY INVISIBLE SCRATCH NOT SEEN UNLESS UNDER HIGH INTENSITY LIGHT!) $2850.

8) BIG AND ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT MODEL 329 PD "AIRLIGHT" .44 MAGNUM REVOLVER, 4" barrel with finger groove wood grips. When you want a lot of power, but don't want to lug around a heavy steel sixgun, this is the one to have! In fact, I do have one of these and carry it hiking here in Montana. The only .44 mag. I can carry for miles in the mountains and not even notice it's there! Not very pleasant to shoot, but it's not really made for that. Rather, it's to be carried a lot and fired a little. Adjustable rear sight with high visibility fiber optic front sight, wide checkered target hammer, great single action and double action trigger pull, this one has just a very  little carry wear, but is as tight as new. Interesting tip: these fit the Bianchi U.S. flap holsters made for the M-9 Beretta! I often use this holster with mine as it keeps debris out and also keeps me from catching my arm on the hammer or sight when hiking. $895.

9) ONE OF THE RAREST OF THE LATER-MADE MODEL 36 CHIEF SPECIAL REVOLVERS IS THIS MODEL 36-6 .38 SPECIAL WITH 3” HEAVY FULL SHROUDED BARREL AND ADJUSTABLE SIGHTS, ONLY 615 WERE MADE IN 1989 ONLY! These were made with a dull blue finish overall with case colored hammer and trigger, they were also fitted with “Hogue Monogrip” rubber finger grooved oversized grips, this one seems to have had almost no use as it barely shows a cylinder drag line and retains about all the blue, the one frame screw above the trigger appears to have been slightly turned (an easy replacement if you even wanted to bother), exc. inside and out, these scarce S&Ws almost never seem to  show up for sale. $1100.

 

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

1) OUTSTANDING 1884 TRAPDOOR SPRINGFIELD .45-70 RIFLE, #472XXX, MADE 1889, one of the better Trapdoor rifles I've offered in a long time, this one retains most of the deep blue on the barrel and barrel bands, correct cleaning rod intact, exc. blue on the trigger guard, retains nearly all the "oil quench" black case hardening on the lock and hammer, exc. markings, FINE CASE COLORS ON THE BREECH BLOCK! Sharp "SWP 1889" stock cartouche and Circle P cartouche, minty bright bore, correct Buffington rear sight, exc. wood with hardly any handling marks, these are really getting hard to find this nice and still a bargain on the antique market today! (3 photos) $1295.

2) SMITH & WESSON 1899 U.S. ARMY .38 HAND EJECTOR FIRST MODEL (see above in S&W section)

3) COLT OFFICIAL POLICE 4" .38 SPECIAL U.S. WORLD WAR II CONTRACT (see above in Colt sction)

 

 

WINCHESTERS (click text for photos)

 

  1. EXTREMELY RARE 1876 2ND MODEL, .45-60 OCTAGON RIFLE, #18XXX MADE 1881 WITH FACTORY TWO INCH SHORTER THAN STANDARD LENGTH BARREL THAT WAS SPECIAL ORDERED IN 26” INSTEAD OF THE STANDARD 28”, according to the Winchester Handbook by Madis, ONLY 79 MODEL 1876 rifles RIFLES WERE MADE WITH BARRELS SHORTER THAN STANDARD!  I found this one in Arizona and called the Cody Museum to check the Winchester records which verified that this one in .45-60 left the factory in 1881 with a 26” octagon barrel (call-in sheet provided and guaranteed to factory letter), very fine condition overall with fine even receiver blue that is lightly mixing plum with brighter blue in the usual protected areas around the side plates etc. but still shows really nice blue on all sides, original dust cover intact, fine mellow uncleaned brass lifter is correctly marked “45-60,”  barrel blue is aged and thinning but still shows good color, mag tube aged/mixing brown, original buckhorn rear sight with typical small Winchester blade front, fine+ stock and forend showing only normal handling with no cracks and tight wood to metal fit, fine bore with good rifling all the way through with any roughness mostly on the surface and scattered, tight action, fine example and super rare with short barrel! (4 photos) $4800.

  2. EXCEPTIONAL CONDITION  SPECIAL ORDER 1886 .45-70 RIFLE WITH 26” ROUND BARREL, HALF MAGAZINE AND SHOTGUN BUTT, WITH FACTORY LETTER, SHIPPED 1905, generally by this date Winchester was mainly producing the extra-lightweight series of rifles in .33 WCF caliber with 24” barrel and the .45-70 with 22” barrel. This rifle is described in the factory letter as having: round barrel, plain trigger, Lyman hunting front sight, ½ magazine, shotgun butt and nickel steel barrel, and shipped from the warehouse October 25, 1905.” Interestingly, it has a King flat top buckhorn rear sight and a very rare King “mirror” with ivory bead front sight, the bore is excellent, sharp and bright! Exc. barrel and mag blue showing only the most minor of thinning, the receiver sides show excellent deep blue with light edge wear and some heavier edge wear on the left side high edge in front of the hammer, there is also some thinning of the blue on the bottom of the receiver turning silvery toward the front half, even the upper tang shows most of the deep blue as does the forend cap, exc. markings, exc. wood with nice wood to metal fit, checkered steel shotgun butt plate, tight action, “Nickel Steel” stamped barrel, still retains some nice case color on the hammer and faded case on the lever with good color in the more protected areas, a great condition .45-70 1886 with unusual features. $4250.

  3. NICE CONDITION 1886 SOLID FRAME EXTRA LIGHT WEIGHT .33WCF RIFLE, MADE 1905, correct 24" round barrel with half magazine and smooth steel shotgun butt late, fine deep barrel and mag blue showing light age only, receiver blue is fine on the bolt and both sides with gray/brown edge wear only, even the receiver bottom retains most of the blue with brown mixing near the forend section, Marble short buckhorn rear sight with Marble "Sheard" small blade bead front sight in the correct barrel boss, fine+ forend, fine butt stock with a couple crack lines coming forward from the toe of the butt plate- no doubt caused by dropping the rifle or a sharp blow to the butt stock in this area- blends well and shouldn't be a problem, tight wood to metal fit, bore a little dark and should clean fine+ to about exc., tight action, lots of blue! $2250.

  4. 1892 .44-40 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, #344XXX, MADE 1906. A nice rifle that has seen use, but no abuse, barrel and mag tube blue has thinned and has mixed heavily with plum and brown, all markings are clear and excellent, similarly the receiver shows good thinning blue with brighter blue on the left side and in protected areas with fine blue on the bolt and loading gate, exc. screws, exc. action, butt stock and forend show normal light handling with excellent tight wood to metal fit, bore is fairly bright with scattered surface roughness only and good rifling, original buckhorn rear sight with Winchester blade front, an really honest rifle in a very desirable and difficult to find caliber these days. $1950.

  5. HIGH CONDITION 1892 32-20 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, MADE 1903, a really beautiful example that shows excellent deep barrel and mag blue with only the most minor of wear on the bottom of the mag tube and very slight ageing of the blue, receiver shows excellent deep blue with minor edge wear and a little plum mixing on the bottom and upper tang, but shows most of the bright blue with the lightest of wear only, exc. stock and forend with very minor handling marks only, tight wood to metal fit, still retains some good dark case color on the upper portions of the lever and on hammer, bore appears a little worn and may have some leading in it that should scrub out to fine or better, original buckhorn rear sight with standard Winchester blade front sight, exc. markings, unfooled with overall and super attractive. $2350.

  6. UNUSUAL 1892 .44-40 20" ROUND BARREL FACTORY SHORT RIFLE, MADE 1917,  short rifles like this were very popular along the southern border and this one came out of Arizona, overall metal surfaces are an uncleaned dark brown with evidence of light scattered rust that has been wiped off without steel wool or scouring, fine markings, flattop buckhorn rear sight with small blade front sight, SPECIAL ORDER SHOTGUN BUTT STOCK with checkered steel butt plate shows normal hard use but is solid, forend is the correct 1" shorter than standard and looks to be a replacement as it is in better condition than the rest of the rifle, tight action, bore surprisingly fine with good rifling and light scattered roughness only, a scarce combination of features in a desirable caliber, $1895.``

  7. 1892 .25-20 OCTAGON RIFLE, MADE 1911, really fine appearance on this rifle as it retains fine deep barrel and mag blue with only light high edge wear, receiver shows fine aged blue on the sides, bolt and upper tang with some plum and brown mixing naturally and brighter blue toward the back half but evenly mixing to a pleasing appearance, fine wood showing normal light handling and tight wood to metal fit, original Winchester buckhorn rear sight with original small blade front, tight action, bore is dark and looks worn/leaded- I ran a brush through it and then a patch which came out black and full of crud- some scrubbing of the bore will probably help it considerably, really nice overall appeal with lots of blue, $1295.

  8. EXCELLENT CONDITION 1892 SADDLE RING CARBINE, .25-20, MADE 1919, all original and correct showing exc. barrel and magazine blue with the lightest of ageing, receiver blue also excellent with some thinning on the bolt and plum on the bottom of the receiver, exc. bore, exc. markings, tight action, fine+ wood showing light handling only with tight wood to metal fit, correct carbine rear ladder sight with slide intact, a really fine example, $2450.

  9. 1892 FACTORY 20" ROUND BARREL SHORT RIFLE IN .25-20 CALIBER (VERY RARE FOR A SHORT RIFLE AS MOST WERE .44-40), MADE 1912, another one that came out of Arizona where Short Rifles were popular, overall good aged blue on the barrel mixing brown with some light and scattered freckling/rust that could be carefully removed, aged plum mag tube with some minor surface dings on the bottom, aged blue/brown receiver is quite attractive with good screws, fine forend with the beginnings of a sliver/crack on the left side coming back from the forend cap for a couple of inches, fine butt stock with tight wood to metal fit and also the beginning of a crack coming back for an inch from the receiver on the left side of the receiver- also minor, buckhorn rear sight with typical small blade front sight, bore is worn but rifling visible throughout and looks to be leaded- a good scrubbing ought to improve things, very scarce rifle with a good uncleaned appearance, $1695.``

  10. A VERY UNUSUAL 1894 OCTAGON RIFLE IN .30WCF THAT WAS MADE FOUR YEARS AFTER THE 1894 RIFLE WAS DISCONTINUED! The Model 1894 in rifle configuration was dropped in 1924 with the introduction of the replacement Model 55. The carbine continued, of course, but the rifle was stopped. However, parts on hand were used up sporadically and this rifle, which is correct in every way including the very late “M-94” barrel marking and “Nickel Steel” stamping is serial number 1029XXX and was made in 1928! Very few of these ultra late M-94 rifles were made before the Great Depression began with the Stock Market Crash of 1929. This is an excellent example retaining excellent barrel blue that is lightly thinning, fine deep mag blue shows light wear only, retains about all the dull blue/black 1920s receiver blue that has the usual dulling brown flaking mixed in, but not silver or gray. Excellent stock and forend with tight wood to metal fit, stock has a little fancier wood than standard, exc. screws, exc. blue on the forend cap, minty bore, buckhorn and blade sights, simply a great example of the very last style of great pre-war 1894 rifle! $1950.

  11. EXCELLENT 1894 PISTOL GRIP AND CHECKERED .38-55 OCTAGON RIFLE WITH MINT BRIGHT BORE, MADE 1908, barrel and mag show full excellent deep blue with only a hint of age, fine lightly thinning blue on the receiver sides that is mixing gray toward all edges, original Winchester buckhorn and blade sights, looks like it probably had a tang sight on it at one time as there is most of the blue still remaining on the upper tang, exc. markings, exc. butt stock and forend showing only light normal handling, sharp checkering on both pistol grip and forend, pistol grip retains the original and correct Winchester embossed hard rubber grip cap, crescent butt plate, tight action and perfect bore! $3850.

  12. VERY FINE CONDITION 1894 .38-55 SADDLE RING CARBINE WITH MINT BRIGHT BORE, MADE 1925, one of the last of the classic 1894 saddle ring carbines, this is a particularly nice example with excellent barrel and mag. blue, exc blue on the receiver with normal edge wear and some thinning toward the outer part of the right receiver side, exc. blue on the bolt and even on the upper tang,  tight action and like-new bore, correct original carbine ladder sight with slide intact, barrel bands show fine blue, exc. screws, exc. walnut stock and forend with tight wood to metal fit, all correct late barrel markings including “NICKEL STEEL,” a very desirable and scarce carbine in great condition with a super bore! $2850. ``

  13. UNUSUAL  FEATURES ON THIS TAKEDOWN, PISTOL GRIP, 1894 OCTAGON RIFLE IN .25-35, MADE 1910, this one has a plain pistol grip with correct Winchester embossed grip cap, crescent butt plate, a little better than standard grade walnut especially in the forend, barrel blue is aged and thin with gray mixing, mag tube similar with a bit more blue, receiver mostly gray with good blue in the most protected areas and on the loading gate, tight takedown, Lyman tang sight with Marble/Sheard blade-bead front sight, Marble filler in the rear dovetail, bore is a bit dark and slightly frosty- should benefit from a good brushing and and cleaning with J-B bore paste (great stuff- I've been using it for years), wood shows normal light handling and has tight wood to metal fit, tight action, exc. screws, another rifle that came out of here in Montana! A really desirable special order variation especially in .25-35 caliber! $2450.

  14. WONDERFUL HISTORY IN THIS 1895 .405 WCF CALIBER RIFLE WITH SPECIAL ORDER SHOTGUN BUTT, MADE 1905, WITH BRITISH PROOF MARKS INDICATING PROBABLE INDIA OR AFRICA ORIGINS! Almost all of the British proofed .405 caliber rifles went to the British Colonies in  India for tiger hunting or to Africa for assorted big game hunting, Theodore Roosevelt called his .405 “Lion Medicine” on his famous 1909 safari to Africa. This is a nice, untouched and unfooled with example that shows honest use, but no abuse, the receiver blue has aged naturally to an attractive aged blue/plum with light edge wear; barrel blue is likewise aged and thinned to a fine uncleaned aged blue patina, exc. walnut shows light handling only, forend ebony inlay wedge intact, very tight wood to metal fit, original buckhorn sights, smooth steel shotgun butt plate (much more comfortable to shoot than the standard curved crescent butt plate in heavy recoiling rifles like this one), exc. markings, tight action and excellent bore. Considering where this rifle has been it is  really great example from a bygone time never to be repeated! $3250. ``

  15.  EARLY 1895 .30-40 KRAG CALIBER RIFLE, #23XXX, MADE 1899, this is an unusual rifle in that it has normal Winchester proof marks on the receiver and barrel which were not in use until 1905. This means that at some point this rifle was returned to Winchester- after 1905 all rifles returned without proof marks were "proofed" before being shipped back to the owners. I suspect this one may have been returned for a new barrel as this one has the very rare "MADE IN U.S.A." along with "WINCHESTER PROOF STEEL" and ".30 ARMY" caliber designation markings on the barrel, mint bright bore, exc. barrel blue shows only the lightest wear/age, fine deep receiver blue with mainly edge wear, exc. blue on the bolt, exc. wood with tight wood to metal fit, ebony wedge in forend tip intact, exc. screws look unturned, standard buckhorn and blade sights, really an outstanding condition 1895 inside and out! $2250.

  16. DELUXE PISTOL GRIPPED, CHECKERED MODEL 1903 .22 AUTO RIFLE, MADE 1915, fairly plain but uncracked walnut stock and forend, this was someone's well used and taken care of "pride and joy" rifle as the checkering is all there, but fairly worn, the blue on the receiver is pretty well worn off to an uncleaned gray with good blue in the most protected of areas, has the correct pistol grip cap, interestingly, this one was returned to the factory for a new barrel as the barrel has both the oval P "Mail Order" proof as well as the Winchester proof- this means, the rifle was sent back to Winchester who took a "Mail Order" replacement barrel out of stock and fitted it to the returned rifle, has all the correct Winchester and Model 1903 markings on the barrel, fine deep barrel blue, retains some thinning blue on the forend cap, exc. mech., exc. bright bore, buckhorn with blade/bead front sights, I believe I still sells .22 Auto ammo (different from .22 LR), pistol gripped/checkered Model 1903s are quite rare, $1150.

  17. SUPER RARE MODEL 53 IN .44-40 CALIBER, #970XXX, MADE 1926. Only made from 1924-1932- another victim of the Great Depression- the M-53 is one of the more scarce Winchester lever models. The standard caliber was .25-20 with the .44-40 made in small numbers. They are rarely encountered now and are obviously the most desirable Model 53 chambering. This example came out of here in Montana and has excellent barrel blue with standard buckhorn rear sight and short ramp front sight with blade/bead sight, the receiver blue is the typical dull blue/black used in the 1920s that never adhered well to the case hardening process used on receivers of the period and most now are found totally flaked to silver gray, this one still retains good blue that is mixing heavily with brown/plum flaking and gray in the more handled locations with deep blue on the bolt and loading gate, very tight action, exc. screws, exc. stock and forearm with tight wood to metal fit and correct steel butt plate, best of all is that the bore is bright and minty! Almost never seen in any condition, this one is unaltered and unmessed with. $3700.

  18. MODEL 55 TAKEDOWN IN .30WCF, #32XX, MADE 1926, A more scarce model than most collectors realize as only about 20,000 of these were made between 1924 - 1936 (another casualty of the Great Depression!), This one shows fine deep barrel blue with exc. markings and exc. bore, tight takedown, receiver shows good traces of blue but mostly flaked to gray/brown as is typical of 1920s vintage Winchesters, tight action, exc. wood with tight wood to metal fit, one very small neat sling swivel hole in the butt stock and two small holes in the forend tip where once a "bail" type sling swivel was once installed- easily replaced or just kept as is as it isn't a big deal either way, original unaltered steel butt plate, original flattop buckhorn rear sight with small blade/bead front sight in the original raised base on the 24" barrel, nice example, $1100.

  19. VERY RARE PRE-64 MODEL 100 SEMI AUTO RIFLE IN .284 WCF CALIBER! Since the .284 WCF was introduced in 1963, finding a Pre-64 rifle in this caliber is challenging, to say the least! This rifle with serial number 75XXX was made during the year of introduction of this caliber in 1963 and is easily identifiable by the cut checkering on the stock as compared to the impressed style of the Post-64 models. Overall excellent condition with nearly all the blue remaining, correct steel grip cap and sharp checkering, front sight hood intact, correct magazine. This chambering is hard to find in any M-100 as the .308 and .243 were the standard calibers, but especially difficult to locate made in the first year of introduction 1963! These are starting to go up in value quite rapidly, $1395.

 

    BILL GOODMAN,  P. O. BOX 2002,  BOZEMAN,  MONTANA  59771           TEL.  (406) 587-3131          FAX  (406) 219-3415           montanaraven@hotmail.com

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

 

 CRACKED STOCKS! Seems like an odd thing to write about, but this is something I've not seen in print before. I've observed a lot of rifles with cracks coming straight back toward the butt plate from the upper and lower tangs. Sometimes the cracks are severe enough to warrant repairs (like cross bolts etc. through the wrist or extensive gluing) and other times the stock remains pretty solid as is.  So what caused this condition in the first place?  I've hunted with all kinds of rifles in all kinds of weather and terrain and never had a gun get damaged like all these I've seen.  And I've taken some pretty bad falls too. Once, on ice I couldn't see beneath a couple inches of fresh snow, my feet went out from under me and my rifle landed a number of yards away!  Still, no cracks like these. So I've been puzzled by this for some time.  Then it hit me, since these guns all seemed like Western big game rifles- large lever actions like 1876 and 1886 Winchesters or Marlin 1881 and 1895s as well as all over while the rifles were in saddle scabbards- fairly common in icy winter conditions, especially in the mountains. Also, sometimes horses will walk so close to trees that they rub against them.  If a rifle is in a butt-forward position scabbard, the rifle can go on one side of the tree and the horse the other causing a stress cracked stock.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think so.  The wrists are fairly strong on most rifles and it takes a lot to crack one.  If anyone else has a different theory about this condition, I'd like to hear it!

 "GUNS OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION YEARS" When the Great Depression began with the Stock Market Crash of 1929 America was taken by surprise.  Prior to this pivotal event, in the gun industry production was high and sales were brisk.  Almost overnight sales fell off hugely.  The Winchester Handbook by George Madis shows production numbers by years of some of the major models.  This is pretty illuminating.  Here are some examples: Model 1890 .22RF had 12,367 produced in 1928 and 696 made in 1932; Model 1892 saw 64,833 produced in 1910 and 491 in 1930; Model 53 had 2,861 produced in 1925 and 30 made in 1937; Model 1894 had 29,967 made in 1927 and only1,192 made in 1934; Model 55 had 3,064 made in 1927 and 42 made in 1936. Colt, Marlin, Savage, Remington and Smith & Wesson etc. all f elt the same pressure.  With production down to a fraction of what it was, the big manufacturers had no choice but to fire employees.  Those lucky enough to be retained were the most highly skilled and experienced craftsmen.  They also had time to put extra fine fitting and finishing into each firearm.  Generally, the quality of these guns is truly exceptionally.  With production numbers of these late pre-war arms relatively small and quality without peer, their value should be assured.  Some of the scarce large frame Colt and S&W handguns- especially the target sighted versions- are almost breathtaking in their fit an  d finish.  This has been an under-appreciated niche in arms collecting/investing. It is my belief Great Depression era  arms are often "sleepers" on the antique market today and are bound to increase in value at a rapid pace making them excellent long term investments.

I have found a new shooting activity that I'm sure a number of folks who check out my website will either want to try themselves or will at least find interesting reading.  I've discovered the fun of BLACK POWDER SHOTSHELLS. And no, I'm not new to black powder.  I've been shooting muzzle loaders since I was a kid (I was too young to buy ammo, but a can of black powder and a single shot muzzle loading pistol kept me shooting!) I've shot black powder cartridge rifles and some handguns since the 1970s.  I've also tried a few muzzle loading shotguns, but a while back I noticed Midway was offering reloadable brass shotshells made by Magtech in Brazil.  They cost about a buck a piece and come in a box of 25.  So I thought this looked interesting and bought a box.  They prime with a large pistol primer (I use CCI  Large Pistol Mag. Primers) and require no special tools to load.  I did buy a "cowboy 12 ga. shell holder" by RCBS which makes priming easier, but one can prime using a dowel, hammer and a flat surface to seat the primer. Anyway, I loaded with various loads of black powder as well as Alliant Black MZ black powder substitute. 27.3 grains equals one dram, so a typical field load of 3 1/2 drams equals about 95 grains of black powder or substitute.  I load that through a drop tube to better settle the powder, using a wood dowel I seat an over powder card wad, then a cushion wad, pour in 1 1/8 oz. of shot from an antique shot dipper I picked up somewhere along the line, top with another over powder wad and then put about three small drops of Elmer's glue on this top wad at the edge. Last, using a Q-tip sweep it around the wad edge. It dries making a nice seal with the inside of the brass case and holds everything together. Firing removes any glue residue from the case.  I picked up a particularly nice Remington 1889 double barrel with exposed hammers (damascus with exc. bores) and tried out my loads on some thrown clays.  I'm not a good shot with a scattergun, but when I felt I was on, the clay targets broke as nicely as if I'd been using a modern smokeless shotgun. I used this double on a pheasant hunt last fall and did just fine with it.  Truthfully, it made the hunt so much more fun I don't know if I'd go again with one of my modern guns! Today I tried the same shells in a Winchester 1887 Lever Action 12 ga. that was made in 1888. It fed beautifully and was a blast to shoot (no pun intended). The brass cases de-prime with a simple Lee type punch and clean up with hot soapy water. No resizing is required for the next loading.  Pretty simple.  The 12 ga. cases are 2 1/2" long, which is exactly what a modern 2 3/4" case measures LOADED AND UNFIRED. Remember, many of the older guns, like the Winchester 1887, have 2 5/8" chambers. You don't want to shoot a 2 3/4" shell in them as they won't be able to open up all the way causing pressures to jump etc. I don't think Magtech offers brass cases in 10 ga. but they do in the smaller gauges.  There are a lot of older shotguns out there that can often be purchased inexpensively and make wonderful shooters.  Be sure to have any gun checked out by a gunsmith if you have doubts about it. With these brass cases and ease of loading, it's worth trying.  Buffalo Arms in Idaho sells the correct size wads for these brass cases- they actually take 11 ga. wads. If you give this a try, I think you'll be glad you did-   Bill Goodman