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

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

                                              EMAIL:  montanaraven@hotmail.com

      Bill Goodman has been a collector of antique/collector firearms for well over 40 years and a full time dealer for over 30 years.  Traveling around the country constantly seeking good quality collector arms at REALISTIC PRICES, Bill sells exclusively by mail order.  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 ITEMS WERE POSTED ON 12/11/17. WATCH FOR FREQUENT POSTINGS THROUGH DECEMBER.

 

 

 

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: FINALLY, MY SECOND NOVEL IS OUT! First, I'd like to thank everyone who read my first novel, DESERT SUNDAYS, and kept after me to get the second one done and published! So, after the usual delays and hitches, here it is. This one is called AN OBVIOUS SLAM DUNK and if you like courtroom scenes and a story that not only makes you think, but surprises you...well, this is a page turner I know you'll like. And before anyone asks, yes, the third novel is almost done and I hope to get that one out before too long. All three form a trilogy, but each stands alone, so it doesn't matter which you read first. Both are available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. 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)  FINE CONDITION SINGLE ACTION ARMY, .32-20, 5 1/2", #326XXX, MADE 1913, much better than normally seen with fine deep barrel blue that only has some gray toward the last inch or two at the muzzle on the left side and on the outside of the ejector housing from holster carry , unaltered front sight which also retains nice blue, sharp barrel address and caliber markings, cylinder blue is deep in the flutes and fine overall with normal light thinning but good coverage, back strap and front strap mostly gray with good blue on the butt and around the trigger guard and upper portion of the back strap by the hammer etc., dark mottled frame with some good case color ahead of the cylinder and only a little evidence of rust on the top strap and a spot or two on the cylinder- all minor, exc. cylinder pin and nice screws, grips show normal light wear and fit perfectly, fine action, light trigger pull, four clicks to the hammer when cocked, exc. bright bore, (4 photos) $2650.

2) HIGH CONDITION SINGLE ACTION ARMY .38-40, 4 3/4" BARREL, #185XXX, MADE 1899, a super condition example that came out of right here in Montana, exc. barrel and ejector housing blue with only a little blue wear coming back from the muzzle on the left side along with minor light wear to the outside of the ejector housing with the balance all deep original blue, fine blue on the trigger guard and butt with only the grip straps gray, good blue on the extreme upper part of the back strap, fine blue on the cylinder showing normal edge wear and some thinning from light holster carry, still some good case color on the hammer and fire blue on the trigger and screw heads, exc. cylinder pin, very tight action, exc. bright bore, exc. sharp markings overall, grips show light wear only, frame shows good light case color mostly overall with more vivid color in the protected areas and ahead of the cylinder, getting hard to find priced like this one, (four photos) $3600.

3) HISTORICAL GREAT DEPRESSION COLT REVOLVER! POLICE POSITIVE .38 CALIBER MARKED ON THE BACK STRAP "RY. EX. AGY." WITH RAILROAD MARKED FLAP HOLSTER, MADE 1930! These revolvers were made for the government controlled "Railway Express Agency"  Which took over Wells Fargo and the other express companies of the day. This one was made during the time when unemployed men ("hobos") jumped on freight trains and "rode the rails" looking for work in towns and cities across America. Often it was the job of  thugs hired by the railroad companies to often violently roust these unfortunate individuals from the trains. There were also guards hired to protect cargo and passengers. This 4" barreled Colt was no doubt used for a lot of miles of rail travel! The blue is fine in most areas with normal  light holster wear, exc. markings, last patent date 1926, Colt medallion checkered walnut grips are basically sound with the right outside grip heavily worn with little checkering remaining- typical of a heavily carried gun, probably in an exposed holster before the more protective  flap holster was mated to this revolver, exc. action and bore, good fire blue on the hammer back and trigger sides, flap holster fits the gun perfectly and is marked on the inside of the flap "R.R. F." The bottom inch of the holster has been cut away- no doubt it got so heavily worn it was trimmed to look neater. Lots of Great Depression and railroad history in this one! $795.

4) 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.

5) 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.

 

                       

MARLIN  (click text for photos).

1) THE GREAT-GRANDFATHER OF ALL MARLIN LEVER ACTIONS IS THIS FIRST YEAR, FIRST TYPE, 1881 .45-70 OCTAGON RIFLE SERIAL NUMBER 1XX, MADE 1881! Only the first several hundred 1881s have the features this one has- mainly the rebated receiver etc. All correct and extremely rare as the survival rate on these early frontier Marlins is very small, this is one of the only lever actions that could qualify as a Buffalo Gun as anything made before this (like the Winchester 1873 or 1876) couldn't handle the big and powerful .45-70 Government round, so it is possible this model could have been used in the final years of the buffalo hunt for the northern herd that was still left in the very early years of the 1880s. This is a fine example with 28" octagon barrel, original buckhorn rear sight with Rocky Mountain blade front sight, correct butt stock and forearm with good wood to metal fit and only a hint of the usual crack in the forearm ahead of the sliding loading gate- very minor and hard to see, all metal surfaces show very aged blue that has aged to mostly brown, exc. early barrel markings including the "45 GOVT." caliber marking, tight action, exc. screws (only the tang screw is a little buggered), bore is slightly dark only with fine rifling throughout and only one small spot of pitting a few inches from the muzzle on one side, surely a prize for the Marlin or frontier collector and the first successful truly big bore lever action repeating rifle capable of handling the .45-70 round, $4250.

2) GORGEOUS CASE COLOR RECEIVER 1893 ROUND BARREL RIFLE IN CLASSIC .30-30 CALIBER, this is one of the last of the 1893 marked rifles because in 1905 the designation was changed to "MODEL '93." No doubt a late Model 1893 because it has a letter-prefix serial number, yet retains the early style crescent butt plate, barrel address, etc. of typical early guns. Excellent vivid case colors on the receiver, exc. blue on the barrel and magazine, exc. wood with tight wood to metal fit and only some minor dings on the bottom of the forend, perfect bright bore, tight action, original buckhorn rear sight with original Rocky Mountain blade front sight, exc. screws, overall a stunning case colored Marlin! (5 photos) $2350.

3) INTERESTING M-94 OCTAGON RIFLE IN .32-20 WITH FANCIER THAN STANDARD WALNUT STOCK, #426XXX, MADE C.1909, still retains good aged blue on the barrel with the receiver and mag tube gray, nice “fiddleback” striping in the butt stock, fine forend, original buckhorn rear sight with correct Rocky Mountain blade front sight, bore is a little dark with good rifling and light pitting, this one came out of Arizona, $895.

 

 

                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) ONE OF THE MORE SCARCE “MODERN MARLINS” FROM THE OLD NORTH HAVEN, CT PLANT IS THIS MODEL 336CB 24” OCTAGON BARREL .38-55 CALIBER RIFLE, checkered wrist and forend in the classic Marlin “diamond” pattern, this one is about new with original warranty card/owners manual, these are rarely seen now, $1195.

 

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

  1.  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 got 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.

  2. VERY EARLY WHITNEY KENNEDY .44-40 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, SERIAL NUMBER A2X, MADE 1881, these fine rifles were manufactured from 1880-1886 with about 23,500 being made, early examples have the “S” lever, like this one, later examples have the loop lever common to Winchesters and Marlins. This is a fine example with particularly nice wood showing only light normal handling with tight wood to metal fit (the dark stripe on the left side of the butt stock is simply typical black powder fouling that was washed out of the bore and always stains the wood in this manner), the metal parts are all gray/brown showing no signs of over cleaning, steel wooling etc., with a very attractive aged patina, buckhorn rear sight with small blade/bead front sight, fine bore is a little dark with good rifling and only light scattered surface pitting, correct trap in butt plate for cleaning rods, very tight action, this rifle was so good Winchester bought them out and discontinued the production! Nice, honest early example, $2450.

  3. 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. $550.

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 $2400.

3) THOMPSON-CENTER SUPER 16 CONTENDER CARBINE IN .45-70 CALIBER, marked on the barrel "4 5-70 GOVERNMENT" over "SUPER 16" with the usual T/C markings, muzzle comes with integral muzzle brake (fortunately!), T/C synthetic forend and stock with factory recoil pad (fortunately again!), fully adjustable rear sight as well as being factory drilled and tapped for scope mounting, weighs only about 4 lbs and would make a terrific pack rifle or bush plane survival gun- especially as you can add interchangeable barrels in different rim fire and center fire calibers, all in like new condition inside and out, $595.

4) 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. $450.

5) VERY LIMITED PRODUCTION, NEW IN BOX,  WINCHESTER HIGHWALL SINGLE SHOT "1885 LIMITED SERIES SHORT RIFLE" (MARKED ON THE 22" OCTAGON BARREL) CALIBER .405 WIN., deep cut checkering on the wrist and forearm, tang sight adjustable for windage and elevation, buckhorn rear sight, blade/bead front sight, sling swivel studs, steel crescent butt plate, obviously this one was chosen for its much better than usually seen oil finished walnut with rich grain pattern, all in the original box with manual etc., these will only go up in value as few were made, classic great caliber, $1195.

 

 

 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 bur 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 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 in this fine unaltered condition! $2450.

2)  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.

3) 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.

4) ONE OF THE RAREST MODEL 12 RIFLES I'VE EVER ENCOUNTERED! THIS IS AN EARLY (APPROX. 1920 MFG.) GALLERY SPECIAL MARKED RECEIVER THAT WOULD NORMALLY BE IN .22 SHORT, BUT THIS ONE IS CHAMBERED AND STAMPED ON THE BARREL SIDE ".22 CAL. SMOOTH BORE." This is a super unusual rifle/shotgun in excellent condition overall that shows consistent very light wear and age on both the receiver and correct 24 1/2"  round barrel, There is some light freckling and edge wear to the receiver and similar minor areas on the barrel and mag. tube, no provision for rear sight and only a small shotgun bead front sight, NO date proof stampings on the left side of the barrel ahead of the receiver as would be found on a later manufactured M-12 or M-121, standard two line Remington barrel address and patent dates beneath, generally fine+ stock and forend with only a couple of the usual thin and short age cracks coming back from the receiver that go nowhere, Remington marked crescent butt plate, tight action, mint bore, truly amazing condition for a "Garden Gun" most of which were kept in barns or by the kitchen door loaded with .22LR shot cartridges for dispatching small garden or barn pests without doing further damage that a solid bullet might do. First M-12 .22 Cal. Smooth Bore I've ever seen. (three photos) $1650. ``

5) 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, $5975.

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.

 

 

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 1874 .45-70 PISTOL GRIP SPORTER (MONTANA ROUGHRIDER), this is a mid production example from the Farmingdale, New York factory in the 3XXX serial number range. It has a 30” standard octagon barrel, double set triggers, semi-buckhorn Lawrence ladder rear sight with slide and a globe front sight that will take inserts and case hardened steel military style butt plate and polished barrel, marked “Shiloh Rifle Mfg. Co” plus the iconic “Old Reliable” barrel stamping as on original Sharps rifles from the late 1870s (earlier rifles were stamped “Shiloh Products). Very attractive deep reddish/brown walnut, checkered steel lower tang and all in near new inside and out (has only a few of the tiniest handling marks one would have to look carefully to find), weighs approx. 10 ¼ pounds, $1950.

 

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) VERY RARE PRE-WAR "N" FRAME MODEL! CIVILIAN/COMMERCIAL (NOT U.S. ARMY) MODEL 1917 .45 ACP DA, #177XXX, MADE C.1920s, These are easily identified from the 1917 U.S. Army models as they have the S&W logo on the left side of the frame, they also lack the military markings on the butt and are fitted with checkered walnut grips instead of the smooth walnut type used on the U.S. contract guns, The STANDARD CATALOGUE OF S&W 4TH EDITION by Supica and Nahas simply says: "Commercial variation: Considered rare." This example is in very fine condition overall showing nice deep blue overall with normal dulling and brown on the back  with blue with some brown mixing on the front strap, normal light edge wear and carry wear with fine checkered walnut grips that show normal light wear also, lanyard ring intact, exc. bore and mech., some light case color remains on the hammer and trigger sides, exc. markings, matching numbers, unaltered front sight, $1395.

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) INTERESTING HISTORY IN THIS .44 HAND EJECTOR TARGET  2ND. MODEL REVOLVER, #20XXX, MADE 1923, I picked this one up in Arizona and was told that it "Came out of Mexico...and belonged to a governor here," that's all I know about its history, this is a big nickel plated, .44 Special caliber, 6 1/2" revolver that retains most of the bright nickel with some peeling on the edges and cylinder- where peeled the metal is fairly bright and blends well, matching numbers, exc. markings, fine action, exc. bore, rear target sight needs the notched sight blade only- the tiny screw is intact, complete with S&W medallion Gen-U-Wine imitation pearl grips, these target sighted "N" frame Pre-War models are next to impossible to find these days, $1595.

7) 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.

8) 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.

9) INCREDIBLY RARE AND IMPORTANT S&W MODEL: THIS IS THE BABY CHIEF SPECIAL MADE ONLY IN 1950 WITH THE SMALL "I" FRAME TRIGGER GUARD AND HALF MOON FRONT SIGHT, this pre-Model 36 is the grandfather of all small frame .38 special S&W snubbies! Soon after production began the frame size was changed to the larger "J" size and the barrel was made with a rib and ramped front sight, this example in the 2XXX range has the original and matching numbered diamond grips and correct flat latch, matching numbers on the barrel and cylinder, excellent full blue overall with but the most minor of edge wear and a few tiny marks on the butt, excellent inside and out, survival rate of these in unaltered condition is very small- over the past 30 years of being on the lookout for this scarce model, I've found very few in any condition and most I've seen have either been reblued or seen hard use. This one is worthy of the finest collection. The Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson, 4th edition speaks of this model on P. 176-177. It mentions that nationally known S&W dealer David Carroll sold one of these for $3500. Most S&W collectors have never seen one a Baby Chief except in photos. I am pricing this high condition all matching example at $2250.

10) BIG AND 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.

 

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

1)  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) $1695.

2) 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.

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

 

 

WINCHESTERS (click text for photos)

  1. PARTICULARLY FINE AND ATTIC CONDITION 1873 SADDLE RING CARBINES IN .44-40 CALIBER, #178XXX, MADE 1885, this outstanding early carbine looks like it was used and then stored for decades. All screws are excellent, stock and forend are fine+ with only normal handling- stock has a bit of a weathered/dry look, but never sanded or had extra finish added. Receiver is an attractive even very aged blue that has turned plum with good blue on the loading gate and original dust cover intact, brass lifter has never been cleaned or polished and retains the original .44 CAL marking. Barrel and mag blue aged to plum/brown with exc. markings. Original 1873 dated/stamped carbine ladder sight with slide intact. Bore shows strong rifling with scattered light pitting. One of the most honest and attractive early 1873s I’ve offered in a very long time! (4 photos) $3450.

  2. 1886 OCTAGON RIFLE IN .40-65 CALIBER, #116XXX, MADE 1898, Big, classic antique serial number Winchester showing fine aged barrel and mag blue that is naturally aged/thinned a bit from honest use and handling, but NOT cleaned or steel wooled, mottled gray/brown receiver with fine blue on the bolt, sharp markings, exc. stock and forend show normal light handling only and exhibit very tight wood to metal fit, original buckhorn and small blade front sights, bore is a little dark and shows some wear with scattered light roughness toward the middle of the bore which may scrub out better, tight action, this one came out of right here in Montana and no doubt has accounted for lots of successful hunts! Great appearance, $2650.

  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. GREAT CONDITION AND ONE OF THE VERY LAST OF THE MODEL 1890 TO BE MADE! SERIAL NUMBER 848XXX, MADE 1941! CALIBER .22 SHORT. These last rifles were all assembled from receivers and parts that were from the last production run in 1932! Exc. deep barrel blue with all the correct M-90 late markings etc., EXCELLENT BRIGHT BORE! (very hard to find on any M-1890), mag tube with good blue on upper portion with bottom flaking to plum and brown, fine deep receiver blue showing wear to the upper and lower tangs and flaking on the bolt with the usual light edge wear, exc. wood, tight mechanically, a really sharp example and one of the very last made. $1195.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. HIGH CONDITION 1892 .32-20 OCTAGON RIFLE, ONE OF THE LAST, #948XXX, MADE 1925, by this late date most of the rifles were out of production and those that were made were almost always standard round barrel rifles. This example shows excellent blue on the barrel and magazine, the receiver also shows most of the original blue which is particularly unusual as Winchester receivers made in the 1920s were heat treated in a way that caused the blue to flake very easily, it is usual to see 1920s vintage Winchesters with excellent blue on barrels and magazines but no blue at all remaining on the receivers, there is evidence of slight beginnings of flaking and edge wear to the receiver, but generally it is much better than normally seen with most of the thinning/flaking on the bottom by the serial number and edges, exc. screws, exc. wood with tight wood to metal fit, original sights, PERFECT BRIGHT BORE, all correct late markings, tight action, a superior rare late 1892 edition octagon rifle! $2250.

  8. 1892 .38-40 OCTAGON RIFLE, MADE 1900, this one came out of here in Montana and looks like it had a long and adventurous life! Metal surfaces mostly gray with some shallow rust freckling on the receiver, good aged blue on the loading gate,  tight action with half-cock notch only weak, bore has good rifling with scattered light pitting, fine markings, fine+ wood with good wood to metal fit, a good, original buckhorn rear sight with small blade front sight, solid early 1892 octagon rifle that could probably be helped by some careful cleaning and attention to the metal surfaces, $875. ``

  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. 1892 .38-40 ROUND BARREL RIFLE, MADE 1904, fine example with fine deep magazine blue, barrel blue is aged and mixing/thinning brown, left side of the receiver shows good thinning blue with edge wear, right side shows less blue overall with good blue toward the back half, good blue on the bolt and loading gate, generally exc. wood with tight wood to metal fit, fine bore with only some light roughness toward the middle section, flattop buckhorn rear sight with correct Winchester blade front, good screws and tight action, $1295.

  11. ORIGINAL AND TOTALLY CORRECT 1892 TRAPPER SADDLE RING CARBINE IN RARE .25-20 CALIBER WITH FACTORY 16" BARREL, MADE 1917, almost all the short "Trappers" were in .44-40 caliber, anything else is unusual, fine+ wood with tight wood to metal fit and CORRECT SHORT FOREARM show light handling only, mostly brown receiver with some light rust pitting on the bottom behind the serial number, original barrel and mag tube shows blue with outside rust and scattered pitting that could be cleaned better- still some good blue on the barrel, bore is a bit worn and heavily frosted- might clean better, fine markings, exc. screws, correct carbine sight with carbine front sight, this is the shortest legal length barrel so no ATF papers are needed, $2850.

  12. RARE FEATURES ON THIS SEMI-DELUXE TAKEDOWN 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.

  13. DIFFICULT TO FIND ANTIQUE SERIAL NUMBER 1894 OCTAGON RIFLE IN DESIRABLE .38-55 CALIBER, #87XXX, MADE 1897, fine barrel and mag. blue that is only thinning a little, original buckhorn and Winchester small blade front sights, receiver shows some good aged blue on the sides and bolt with overall a bit more than half mixing gray/brown, exc. stock and forearm with very tight wood to metal fit, all exc. early markings, tight action, bore should scrub out exc. as it shows only some surface gunk/leading toward the middle of the bore- minor, great caliber and hard to find an antique pre-1898 in this nice unaltered and unmessed with condition, $2250.

  14. EARLY POST WAR MODEL 94 "FLATBAND" .30-30 CARBINE, #1526XXX, MADE 1949, this one has seen very little real use and it still in top condition, at worst it shows some very shallow handling marks in the stock and a slight scratch or two in the left side of the receiver, mint bore, exc. tight action, still retains the front sight hood, correct original checkered steel butt plate, correct early "flat" barrel/magazine band toward the muzzle, not quite mint, but excellent plus. Since Winchester doesn't really make anything like this any more (certainly not in the United States) these are rapidly going up in value. $895.``

  15. VERY FINE CONDITION 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! $2350.

  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. EXCELLENT CONDITION MODEL 1906 .22 SHORT, LONG AND LONG RIFLE PUMP ACTION BOYS' RIFLE, MADE 1919, usually this model is found in rough condition as the kids who were lucky enough to have them used them long and hard (this was a time when kids didn't want to stay indoors...), This rifle is one of the better ones I've seen in a while as it retains most of the receiver blue with only some brown/flaking toward the center of each side that blends well, exc. blue on the bolt and upper tang as well as the trigger guard and lower tang! Barrel blue is aged and lightly mixing/thinning plum/brown in some areas, but all blends and looks even and fine, fine lightly aged blue on the mag tube, exc. markings, original 1901 patented rear buckhorn sight with original small blade/bead front sight, exc. forend, exc. butt stock with only some minor handling marks around the wrist that are light and surface, fine original stock finish, correct Winchester embossed hard rubber butt plate, fine+ bore is slightly dark with good rifling and any roughness is minor and might clean out, tight takedown and matching numbers, very hard to find like this, $1150.

  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 EARLY MODEL 71 .348 WCF CALIBER RIFLE WITH FACTORY BOLT PEEP SIGHT IN SUPERIOR CONDITION, #9XXX, MADE 1937. Overall shows very little wear, retains nearly all the original blue with only some dulling on the forend cap and edges, retains the hood for the front sight and still has the folding buckhorn rear barrel sight, exc. screws, exc. wood with only light handling marks, correct checkered steel shotgun butt plate, minty bore, just a great pre-war M-71 with desirable bolt peep sight! (note: light reflection makes the receiver blue look thin, it is very deep blue) $2150.

 

    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