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

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

                                              EMAIL:  montanaraven@hotmail.com

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

 

 

MORE GUNS WERE POSTED 2/16/17. WATCH FOR FREQUENT POSTINGS THROUGH FEBRUARY.

 

 

COLT FIRE ARMS (click text for photo

 

  1. LIGHTNING RIFLE IN DESIRABLE .44-40 CALIBER WITH OCTAGON BARREL, MADE 1889, fine example throughout with nice even dark barrel and mag blue that has naturally aged and is mixing with a little plum but never cleaned, receiver also retains most of the blue that has aged similarly to the barrel and magazine, exc. markings on barrel and still retains the rampant colt stamping on the left side of the receiver, fine+ wood with tight wood to metal fit, good checkering on the forend with only one minor age crack on the right side coming forward from the rear to the first screw and goes no further, tight action which locks up properly when the rifle is cocked (most don't), original buckhorn rear sight (needs elevator bar only) and Rocky Mountain blade front sight, near excellent bore is a little dark only with sharp rifling and any roughness is minor and surface, a true unmessed with Lightning that has never been cleaned or "helped" by anyone in the last hundred+ years! $2350.

  2. OUTSTANDING CONDITION AND RARE CONFIGURED SINGLE ACTION ARMY! THIS ONE IS A SCARCE 7 1/2" BARREL .38-40 CALIBER (FEW .38-40s MADE IN THIS LENGTH) WITH BEAUTIFUL FULL NICKEL FINISH (ALSO RARE), WITH FACTORY LETTER SHOWING SHIPMENT TO MONTGOMERY WARDS, CHICAGO, IL JANUARY 28, 1899, the letter indicates serial number 1831XX,  .38-40, 7 1/2" barrel, nickel finish and rubber stocks, overall this is truly an exceptional Single Action, all matching numbers including the grips, bright original nickel finish overall with only a couple of small spots of peeling by the muzzle, some freckling & very light peeling around one cylinder flute (positioned so it can be seen in the photos) and on the frame ahead of the cylinder and minor spots of the same on the back strap- all extremely minor and in small areas, exc. blued screws, exc. cylinder pin, sharp markings overall, exc. grips, even retains most of the nickel on the front face of the cylinder indicating this gun was fired little if at all, tight action, barely a cylinder ring on the surface of the nickel, mint bore, very rare barrel length with this caliber and even more rare special nickel finish, a fabulous investment Colt! ( four photos- difficult to photograph as lots of light reflection can distort things, the nickel is all bright and smooth, back strap and top strap too) $8250.

  3. HIGH CONDITION SINGLE ACTION ARMY .45 COLT, 5 1/2" BARREL, MADE 1920, all matching numbers in the 340XXX range, fine deep blue overall with only some thinning/mixing gray on the outside rounded edge of the ejector housing and a few "smudges" of gray on the left side of the barrel, cylinder shows most of the bright blue with only minor edge wear and drag line, probably hardly fired as nearly all the blue remains on the cylinder face- this usually blasts off within a few rounds being fired, grip straps and trigger guard show about all the blue with only the most minor of thinning, exc. screws show most blue, exc. cylinder pin, fine case color on the frame with some dulling and fading on the loading gate, recoil shield and top strap, case color is vivid in all the more protected flat areas, good light mottled case color on the hammer sides, has period correct aged and mellowed thick rounded stag grips that fit well and are getting that fine yellowing patina from age (unlike the more modern "flatter" and thinner white color stag grips used today), very tight action, bright sharp excellent bore, front sight has NOT been filed, a truly fine investment example, (NOTE: six photos, hard to get good image of the frame case color as the photo lights tended to dull them, case colors are the same on both sides) $5200.

  4. A TRULY EXCITING COLT! FLATTOP TARGET BISLEY, MAGNIFICENT MELLOW IVORY GRIPS IN .32-20, WITH FACTORY LETTER, SHIPPED 1907! Colt only made a total of 976 Bisley Flattop Target revolvers in all calibers and styles and of those 131 were made in .32-20 caliber.  I found this one here in an old Montana collection and sent for the Colt letter myself. The letter reads that #278XXX is a Bisley Flattop Target Revolver, .32-20, 7 1/2" barrel, blue, type of stocks not listed, sold to Hassiger Hardware & Implement Co. address unavailable, shipped to Farwell, Ozmun, Kirk and Company, St Paul, Minnesota on January 5, 1907, number of same type guns in shipment: 1.  I did a quick online search concerning Hassiger Hardware, but found nothing- some more diligent investigating would probably yield better results. The fact that the letter had the type of stocks as "not listed" means they were probably standard rubber Bisley grips, so probably the ivory stocks were added by either Hassiger Hardware or Farwell, Ozmun, Kirk and Co. who were known Colt dealers. Certainly, judging by the professional fit of the grips and their obvious age of the ivory suggest that they have always been on this particular gun.  Also, judging by the caliber that was ordered and where the gun was shipped leads me to think this was a "working gun" as opposed to a gun used strictly on the target range had it been in a different caliber and shipped to New York or Boston for example. Obviously this gun has seen honest use and carry, but was well taken care of. The barrel and ejector housing  retain a little less than half aged blue mixing evenly with gray/brown, likewise the cylinder shows good thinning blue mixing in the same way, Flattop frames were full blued and this one shows blue in protected areas with the balance gray/brown as does the grip straps and trigger guard, exc. markings throughout, matching numbers, exc. screws, unaltered rear sight, front sight is a pinned brass blade in the correct original boss that appears to be original, fine cylinder pin, tight action with four clicks, bore will clean to about exc. with anything that doesn't clean to be minor, the mellow creamy/yellow ivory grips fit very well and show all the age lines on the outside and butt that collectors love to see without any cracks or chips! A great investment Colt of a type that rarely come up for sale. (four photos) $7950.

  5. VERY FINE CONDITION BISLEY .38-40, 4 3/4" BARREL REVOLVER, MADE 1903, getting very hard to find them this nice, fine deep barrel and ejector housing blue showing only light thinning on the outside edges from holster carry, exc. deep blue on the cylinder with light edge wear, trigger guard and front strap too show fine blue with light thinning, fine blue on the butt, back strap mixing gray with good blue in the upper part, exc. screws with good blue remaining, frame is mostly a cloudy gray/brown with some good case color in the lower forward part of the frame ahead of the cylinder and in the most protected small areas, tight action, exc. bore, exc. correct markings including the two line barrel address which is correct for this short barrel length, fine+ grips sow only light carry/handling wear, a nice investment Bisley, (four photos)$3250.

  6. FINE CONDITION U.S. MARKED MODEL 1878/1902 DOUBLE ACTION .45 COLT "ALASKAN" OR "PHILIPPINE" MODEL, 6" BARREL, #45XX X, all correct Colt markings plus the government inspector stamps of  "RAC" and "JTT" plus "1902" on the frame, this is the distinct model having the large trigger guard which gave it the erroneous name "Alaskan" model as some people thought it was for people wearing gloves in the cold country.  This is actually wrong. Other wrong  info on this model suggests it was issued for use in the Philippines where the locals were of smaller stature and their hands weren't big enough to easily fire this big revolver, so they put the large trigger guard on it to allow for a  TWO FINGER TRIGGER PULL! This makes sense (as the arsenals also issued the Krag Philippine Constabulary Rifle which was an 1899 Krag CARBINE made with longer wood to resemble a short military infantry rifle- again better suited to the local people's size)-BUT WRONG AGAIN. The real reason, as explained in Wilkerson's excellent book on the Colt 1878 is simply that the main hammer spring wasn't strong enough in the 1878 to reliably ignite the primers on military manufactured .45 Colt ammo meant for the more powerful hammer fall of the Single Action Army.  In order to increase the spring power and still make it possible to fire the revolver double action, the trigger had to be lengthened for more leverage and thus the bigger trigger guard! It's as simple as that. This is a better than usually found example with nearly all the barrel blue intact with only some holster wear on the left side for a couple inches back from the muzzle, fine deep blue on the cylinder, only the outside of the ejector housing shows holster wear with the protected areas on the sides showing fine blue, fine frame blue showing normal light thinning, dulling blue on the grip straps and trigger guard bottom, exc. fire blue on the hammer back and trigger sides, fine Colt hard rubber grips showing some scratches and wear on the right panel which is typical of holster wear, lanyard swivel intact, front sight has not been altered, exc. markings, exc. bright bore,  (3 photos) $1795.,

  7. FACTORY ENGRAVED ARMY SPECIAL REVOLVER, 6" BARREL, BLUE, .38 SPECIAL, MADE 1910, fairly simple engraving on the barrel sides, cylinder front, frame, bottom or the trigger guard, back strap and butt, according to THE BOOK OF COLT ENGRAVING by R. L. Wilson: Norwell Shapleigh Hardware, St Louis, MO, "acquired over 375 engraved Army Specials, c. 1912, one of the largest engraving orders in the history of the Colt firearms company." All of these seem to be engraved alike and there are a couple of photos of guns like this one in the book, I've seen a small number of them over the years and this is pretty typical, like most of these I've seen they were working guns and not display pieces so they do have wear, this one has good blue evenly aged and thinning/mixing gray/brown with no pitting or abuse, hard rubber grips show similar wear but fit nicely and are solid, exc. bore with tight action, has some initials lightly scratched in the butt, unaltered front sight, exc. markings and sharp engraving, here's a chance to have a factory engraved Colt revolver that's over 100 years old without paying a fortune! I'll guarantee it to letter.  $1895.

  8. 1903 POCKET HAMMER .38 ACP AUTO PISTOL, MADE 1915, this one came out of Arizona and probably spent most of its life in Mexico where these were very popular, dark patina metal overall that is uncleaned, grips are replacement wood with decorative pearl medallions in each panel and show heavy wear, markings getting weak but most are readable, bore should scrub out to VG or better, magazine marked on bottom "MIL" over "COLT" over "38 CAL" Fine mech., this one is right out of the bush and never cleaned or fooled with, a Colt that was made to be used and this one certainly was! $595..`

  9. BEAUTIFUL, MINTY PRE-WAR .22LR OFFICERS MODEL TARGET REVOLVER, MADE 1941, this fine example appears to have been hardly used as it still retains nearly all the blue on the cylinder face (this blue starts to get blasted off with a few boxes of shells fired through it), original target sights, sharp checkered Colt medallion walnut grips, has barely a cylinder drag line, checkered trigger and back strap, tight mech., perfect inside, about as nice as one could ever hope to find, one of the finest .22LR double actions ever made,  $1395.

  10. NOW DISCONTINUED AND VERY EARLY 3RD. GENERATION SINGLE ACTION ARMY SHERIFF MODEL, 3" BARREL WITH DUAL CYLINDERS FOR .44-40 AND .44 SPECIAL, UNFIRED IN WOOD GRAINED CARDBOARD BOX MADE 1980, this is a blue and case color revolver from the custom shop, interestingly this one was ordered with rosewood grips and gold Colt medallions, no cylinder drag line- looks unturned! comes with Colt booklet etc. box is a bit scuffed and tattered, but basically very sound, Styrofoam is fine, even has the Colt hang tag! Never to be made again and already 36 years old! These will only increase in value over time, (note: photo light reflection makes the blue looked washed out and thin... just the light, it's all like new) $2150.

 

                             

MARLIN  (click text for photos)

1) FINE EARLY 1881 OCTAGON RIFLE IN DESIRABLE .45-70 CALIBER, #5XXX, MADE 1883, WITH AGENT MARKINGS ON THE BARREL, top of the barrel ahead of the receiver marked in very small letters in two lines: "V. Kindler" over "East Saginaw,"  I have seen his marking before, he was a very large firearms dealer in Michigan, barrel correctly marked "45 GOVT" or .45-70 caliber, 28" octagon barrel, receiver is uncleaned and aged to an honest brown patina with aged blue on the bolt and sliding loading gate, barrel and mag show good very aged blue that has turned/mixed plum/brown, buckhorn rear sight with brass blade front, fine+ wood showing only very light handling and is NOT cracked ahead of the loading gate on the forearm as most seem to be, appears to have some nice fiddle back grain under 130+ years of grime! Good wood to metal fit, wood has never been sanded or even cleaned, tight action, bore is a little dark with very strong rifling and only minor scattered  surface roughness that might even clean out better, overall a desirable big .45-70 Marlin in unfooled with condition, $2950.

2) EXTREMELY RARE TOP-EJECT MODEL 1888 OCTAGON RIFLE IN .32-20 CALIBER, MADE 1889, it seems almost all of this model (which was only made for two years) saw very hard use and often abuse, this one certainly saw hard use and has the common "horse roll-over" cracked wrist area of the butt stock which has been frontier/blacksmith repair with screws and bolts (see my Notes From the Field" concerning these cracked rifles at the bottom of this site), aside from that the balance of the rifle is fine, only 4,814 Model 1888s were made and of these only 1,785 were in .32-20 caliber, overall barrel, magazine and receiver are an even and uncleaned dark aged blue that is mixing plum/brown, exc. markings, tight action,  bore is dark with good rifling and scattered light roughness throughout, buckhorn rear sight with small copper blade/bead front sight, the most difficult Marlin model to find in any condition, great frontier appearance, $1495.

3) REALLY NICE CONDITION ANTIQUE SERIAL NUMBER 1894 .32-20 OCTAGON RIFLE, #126XXX MADE 1895, This second year production rifle shows fine deep original blue with only some very light and minor edge wear and scuffing, receiver still retains some good case color that is fairly vivid in the rear sides and of course the protected areas with the balance evenly fading to light color and mottled gray, fine+ wood shows only normal light handling, the tiniest of chips at the right upper corner of the tang receiver juncture is barely worth mentioning, even the forend cap shows good blue, tight action, bore should clean up exc. with maybe a little corrosion in the middle area of the bore that may or may not totally scrub out- fine deep rifling throughout, original buckhorn rear sight with original Rocky Mountain blade front sight, exc. markings, standard 24" barrel, great example of a hard to find early production antique 1894. $1795. (sale pending)

4) ONE OF THE ABSOLUTE RAREST MARLINS I'VE OFFERED! THIS IS AN EARLY FIRST TYPE MODEL 1936 20" CARBINE IN UNCATALOGUED .38-55 CALIBER!! I am aware of only one other in the last decades of examining Marlins. These were never catalogued as being made in this caliber, so there can't be many out there. Not made from a left over M-93 barrel as it has the late barrel markings used on the M-1936 plus, most importantly, it has a crowned muzzle which was advertised for the Model 1936.This is the first type with a flat main spring- these don't have the "B" prefix serial number. All M-1936s are rare as after the first year, the designation was changed to M-36 and only the very first ones were made without the "B" prefix/flat spring. Great condition too, this one retains about all the deep barrel and mag. blue, exc. correct stock and forearm, fine case colored action showing gray on the bottom of the receiver and toward the bottom front on the left side, the right side colors are mixing dark but still lots of vivid color (looks better than photos), exc. case color on the bolt and even good color remains on the upper tang and much of the lever, buckhorn and blade/bead front sight, minty bright bore, an amazing investment Marlin introduced in very limited numbers (in standard caliber) in the middle of the Great Depression and having the Model 1936 designation for only one year (and this is the earliest variation of that!). $3250.

 

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

1) SCARCE MODEL 375 CHAMBERED FOR THE FINE .375 WCF CARTRIDGE AND ONLY MADE IN LIMITED QUANTITIES FROM 1980-1983, a really great short to medium range caliber (I have one in a Ruger No.3 single shot that shoots amazingly small groups), 20" barrel with 2/3 mag., factory sling swivels and factory drilled and tapped for scope mounting, this one is in near new condition, $995.

2)  NICE CONNECTICUT MADE 1894 .44 MAGNUM 20" CARBINE, excellent overall condition, has the factory Weaver style scope base installed with the correct hammer spur side extension to make cocking easier with a scope mounted (this piece is removable), perfect bright bore, tight action, has the factory folding buckhorn rear sight, looks like one of the filler screws only is missing from the receiver side, at most, a few very light handling marks that you have to look carefully to find, $795.

 

 

 

BALLARD SINGLE SHOT RIFLES (click text for photos)

1) TWO EXCEPTIONALLY RARE BRASS FRAME BALL AND WILLIAMS MANUFACTURED BALLARD OCTAGON RIFLES, MADE 1862-1865, Flayderman's Guide states "Under 50 estimated made." While John Dutcher states in his impressive Ballard book, "I've recorded the following brass action rifles..." (he lists the numbers) "That's sixteen rifles, and I'd guess something over 200 were made."  Either way, these are extremely rare Ballard variations and one of the more striking in appearance. I have two: 1A) The first is serial number 316 AND IS PICTURED ON PAGE 19 OF JOHN  DUTCHER'S BOOK. This is a particularly fine example in .38 RF caliber that still retains a good portion of the silver plating on the brass butt plate and some on the lower tang, the balance of the brass frame and brass breech block is a pleasing mellow uncleaned brass, bore is fine+, fine deep barrel blue showing just a little age only, Ball and Williams markings on the 24" octagon barrel top flat ahead of the receiver along with Ballard's Patent markings on the right octagon flat, matching numbers, aside from the serial number, no markings on the brass receiver, exc. stock and forearm, fancy small buckhorn rear sight with small blade front, truly exceptional and documented in the Ballard book, $3450. 

1B) A higher serial numbered example in .44 RF caliber with matching number later style steel breech block and lever (Dutcher states they have brass breech blocks, but obviously some had steel!), serial number 16694 and not one of the sixteen rifles recoded in Dutcher's book, 26" octagon barrel is marked only "No. 44" (for caliber) and the serial number, right side of the brass receiver marked with the usual two line "Ballard's Patent"  and the left side marked in two lines "Merwin & Bray, Agt's. New York" interestingly, the left side of the long hammer has patent markings that indicate the breech block has the Merwin & Bray alternate percussion system built into the Ballard's rim fire only breechblock (as shown on P.15 of Dutcher's book), deep aged blue/brown barrel patina, fine bore, two leaf flip up rear sight with blade front, mellow brass receiver and butt plate, fancy walnut showing higher grade grain and burl has had a 1" by 3" triangular chip replaced on the right side at the bottom juncture of the receiver/tang, forend has a shallow sliver out on the right side by the forend tip and is inletted for a late Ball & Williams metal tip- as the lever and breech block is steel, a replacement in steel or iron would be appropriate and probably not too hard to find or could be made, a very unusual variation of an already rare rifle! $2450.

2) VERY EARLY AND RARE No. 1 HUNTERS RIFLE IN .44 EXTRA LONG CENTER FIRE & RIM FIRE (reversible firing pin), ONLY 300-500 MADE 1876-1880, this is an exceedingly rare J. M. Ballard marked single shot, serial number 4XX, an honest example with 26" medium tapered round barrel with buckhorn rear sight (needs elevator bar only) and blade/ivory bead front sight, tight action, fine markings, matching number on barrel and receiver, deep aged blue/brown patina overall, fine wood shows normal handling and hunting wear but is sound, usual single short hairline crack coming back from the receiver on the left side that goes nowhere (almost all Ballards have this), needs the little "pin" that goes in the lower tang that "locks" or catches in the corresponding hole in the bottom of the loop part of the lever (minor), forearm shows a little saddle wear on the bottom just ahead of the receiver and on the sides, fine bore should scrub out even better, one of the earliest Ballard Models in very  respectable condition, $1195.

3) J. M. MARLIN MARKED EARLY MODEL 1 1/2 HUNTER'S RIFLE IN DESIRABLE .45-70 CALIBER, 30" HEAVY ROUND BARREL, MADE 1879-1881, beginning in 1881 Ballard rifles were marked "Marlin Firearms Co." and this marking continued until the Ballard was discontinued in 1891. Those large caliber models marked J. M. Marlin could be considered in the category of possible "Buffalo Rifles" as the commercial hunting of these animals continued until about 1883. Serial number 15XXX matches on the receiver, barrel, forend and butt plate, fine+ bore that may scrub out near exc., gray/brown receiver with what look like a couple surface cracks in the top right octagon flat of the receiver ring, but I believe is just a forging flaw in the surface of the metal as it doesn't appear to go through the heavy receiver ring, mostly silver/gray barrel correctly marked "45 Govt." on the top ahead of the receiver, forearm shows normal handling, butt stock shows the usual couple of cracks coming back from the receiver that about all Ballards have and may have been lightly gone over as there is some small undersize of the wood at the bottom of the butt plate and receiver bottom- all minor, rear buckhorn sight removed (probably fairly recently as there is blue in this area) and a slot filler blank installed in the dovetail, probably recent manufacture correct sporting tang sight with Beech combination folding globe front sight, attractive early big bore Western sporting rifle from the Buffalo days! $1895.

4) FAMED GUNSMITH A. O. NIEDNER BALLARD No. 3F FINE GALLERY RIFLE, .22LR (see below in Antique/Classic section)

 

 

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

  1. FINE SHARPS 1878 BORCHARDT MUSKET, .45-70, SERIAL NUMBER IN THE 6XXX RANGE, it looks like this one was part of a state's militia arsenal as the receiver ring is stamped with the rack or unit marking of "P V" over "53"  This is a really attractive example that hasn't been cleaned or sanded, the barrel blue is all intact and showing only some freckling age plum/brown mixing and could use a good oil soaking, receiver turning an even plum/brown with good blue in the more protected areas, all sharp and correct markings including the "Old Reliable" barrel stamping, cleaning rod intact, fine+ forearm with only normal handling marks, butt stock has had a triangular chip come out of the toe of the stock probably from being banged on the bottom tip of the but plate- common on these military models but the good news is the piece was put back and in barely visible unless you look for it- I didn't notice it when I acquired this one, correct checkered steel butt plate, tight action, safety functions properly, exc. sharp bore could use a clean only, original Lawrence ladder sight with slide intact, I don't see these as often as I used to and this is a really attractive example, $2350.

  2. VERY FINE CONDITION AND TOTALLY ORIGINAL SHARPS 1874 BRIDGEPORT SPORTING RIFLE, SHIPPED TO N. CURRY, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, SEPT. 21, 1876, this one is totally unfooled with and original, Sharps historical letter (which I sent for) lists this rifle as a ".40 caliber, case length not specified, with a 30 inch full octagon barrel, double triggers, open sights and oil finished stocks, the weight was given as 10 pounds 13 ounces..." There is more info about this order from Curry etc. There is a small "50" stamped on the rear of the barrel indicating a .40-50 BN caliber (which I have checked and it is still this caliber and unaltered), this is actually a fairly scarce caliber especially for a western shipped Sharps, it's also a surprisingly good caliber for medium large game, Still retains the original shotgun butt stock with  checkered steel  butt plate (these often are replaced with military style stocks if the original stock gets broken or damaged), correct forearm shows some honest saddle wear on the bottom and some wear/light chipping mainly to the front right  side- minor, butt stock is solid without cracks or chips (very often found with chipped and cracked areas by the receiver, barrel shows about all the deep blue with only very slight edge wear and ageing, exc. markings including the iconic "OLD RELIABLE" barrel stamp, barrel number matches the receiver number, mottled gray/brown receiver (totally uncleaned), original rear Lawrence ladder sight, front sight is a blade in the original Sharps base, double set triggers work fine, fine+ bore has a little normal corrosion ahead of the chamber but overall should clean out near exc., overall a truly unmessed with and original true 1874 western shipped sporting rifle, getting almost impossible to find like this! $8950. (three photos)

  3. FAMED GUNSMITH A. O. NIEDNER, MALDEN, MASS., BALLARD No. 3F FINE GALLERY MODEL, .22 LONG RIFLE, WORKED OVER OR RE-BUILT BY NIEDNER BETWEEN 1906-1920, here's a brief  run-down on Niedner (as found online):  Niedner opened a gunsmith shop in Malden, Mass. in 1906. He worked with members of the Massachusetts Rifle Association, including gun- barrel maker Harry Pope, making tools and rifles for ballistics expert Franklin Ware Mann, and prototype Patridge gun sights for inventor Eugene Patridge. Niedner moved to Dowagiac, Michigan in 1920 to establish the Niedner Rifle Company, and was elected mayor of Dowagiac in 1926. Niedner specialized in chambering and single shot rifles. He manufactured custom rifles for many noted riflemen including Townsend Whelen, Charles Newton and Ned Roberts. Niedner sold the business following the death of his wife in 1940 and lived alone until he died in 1954.  This superb rifle is stamped under the butt plate into the stock "A. O. NIEDNER" over "MALDEN, MASS." which makes this one of his early rifles as most are from the later post 1920 Micew3higan years, It was during this early period that Niedner was associated with the biggest names in the shooting world as mentioned above, this is a Marlin Firearms Company made Ballard with matching numbers on the bottom of the 26" oct. barrel, receiver, forend and Swiss butt plate, perfect re-lined bore, gorgeous dense burl grained butt stock and forend, checkered pistol grip with ebony wedge in bottom, gold plated trigger still shows most of the gold, mottled light case color receiver with exc. original barrel blue, exc. wood with tight wood to metal fit, very tight action, I had an expert gunsmith look this one over and he remarked that some of the internal parts looked about new and barely used- no doubt Niedner's re-work, has the correct small blade front sight, rear barrel dovetail has a filler, must have had a tang sight on at one time as the filler screw holes are now empty, a truly beautiful, classic small bore single shot rifle from one of the best American gunsmiths a hundred years ago! $2950.

  4. NICE CONDITION AND RARE WHITNEY-REMINGTON STYLE II ROLLING BLOCK .30" OCTAGON SPORTING RIFLE IN DESIRABLE .38-40 CALIBER, these fine rifles were only made from 1881-1888 and when found usually show signs of hard use, this is one of the better ones I've seen in a long time, barrel, forend and receiver numbers match, exc. bright bore, underside of the barrel correctly caliber marked with ".38 CAL. C.F.W." (which is Center Fire Winchester or .38-40), fine deep lightly aged barrel blue, has buckhorn rear sight with Beach folding globe front sight (pinhead only missing from inside the globe- Montana Vintage Arms makes this sight and I'm sure they could replace the pinhead), also has a sporting tang sight, receiver shows light faded case color mixing with cloudy gray and has old dried grease on a good portion of it! Excellent stock and forend with ebony forend tip intact (these often broken or badly chipped), still retains most of the finish on the wood, fine original deep blue on the hammer and breech block, tight action, very hard to find these in this condition and especially in a desirable center fire caliber! $1895.

  5. HARRINGTON AND RICHARDSON .32 ACP SELF LOADING PISTOL, MADE 1916-1924, interesting pocket auto designed by the British firm Webley & Scott who licensed H&R to manufacture and market them in the U.S., has manual and grip safety, correct nickel plated magazine and trigger guard, exc. hard rubber grips with H&R monogram, fine deep blue overall with normal signs of carry/handling, some edge wear with light scattered spotting (not pitting), even shows nice blue on the grip straps, tight mech. and fine bore, exc. markings with last patent date of 1909, a very well made and interesting U.S. manufactured auto nearly 100 years old. $450.

  6. UNUSUAL AND VERY RARE FIALA MODEL 1920 "EXPLORERS GUN" .22 LR, COMPLETE WITH 20" BARREL AND DETACHABLE WOOD STOCK PLUS THE SHORT 3" BARREL! ONLY MADE FROM 1920-1926, Looks like a semi-auto, but is actually a manually operated pistol that must have the slide pulled back and pushed forward for each shot. Invented by Anthony Fiala who was an Arctic explorer and friend of Theodore Roosevelt. He made this firearm to be the ideal adventurer's gun. With the 20" barrel and shoulder stock attached it was a survival gun for taking small game and with the stock removed and the little snubby 3" barrel attached it was a concealable elf defense arm! Some of these also came cased with an additional 7 1/2" barrel, this one has the stock, pistol, 20" barrel with forearm and the short 3" barrel, (note the 3" barrel is completely knurled on the outside), barrels and receiver numbers match (stock is not numbered- I don't think any were), overall uncleaned metal and wood, blue is a naturally aged blue/plum with some minor areas of surface corrosion that has never been cleaned- you have to look for it to see it on the barrel top, correct Fiala Arms markings etc., exc. bright bores, original ladder rear sight with small peep slide intact, one piece blade front sight, fine+ grips, stock and forearm, interestingly, in the back of Anthony Fiala's book FIGHTING THE POLAR ICE about his adventures as captain of the Ziegler Polar Expedition which failed to reach the North Pole around 1904 (the ship was crushed in the ice and the crew lived for a year in the arctic waiting for a rescue ship!), he writes about just such a gun as this as being ideal for an explorer... so obviously, he followed through with his ideas and ended up manufacturing just such a gun! Seldom seen, (3 photos) $1795.

  7. RARE U.S. MARKED HIGH STANDARD MODEL B .22LR AUTO PISTOL, these were purchased by the U.S. government in 1942-43 for training purposes, all were 4 1/2" barrel models and marked at the High Standard factory "PROPERTY OF U.S." over crossed cannon logo on the right side of the frame just behind the barrel and "PROPERTY OF U.S." on the barrel top, there is a good deal of info on these in Charles Pate's excellent and detailed book U.S. HANDGUNS OF WORLD WAR II, these are much less common than the U.S. marked H-D Military model which was ordered in larger quantities by the government, either of these variations are rarely encountered today, this one is in fine condition with original black hard rubber grips, in the correct serial range 101XXX, fine blue on the frame and back strap, front strap blue is thinning/mixing gray and has a lightly scratched in  small "HK" monogram where the "K" is part of the "H," barrel blue lightly thinning on both sides, minty bright bore, tight mechanically, very scarce item from World War II,  $895.

  8. AN INCREDIBLE FIND!  NEW IN THE ORIGINAL BOX WITH END LABEL AND MARKED CARDBOARD SHIPPING SLEEVE STEVENS MODEL 10 SINGLE SHOT .22LR TARGET PISTOL, ONLY 7,131 MADE 1919-1933! These limited production pistols are fairly scarce in their own right, but one New in the Box etc. is about unheard of.  The box with end label is in remarkably fine condition considering it is probably 85+ years old and shows a few minor tape repairs with good original metal reinforced corners, the end label reads "SINGLE SHOT PISTOL" over                      "-STEVENS-" with address etc. below that.  On the left side of the label is "NUMBER" over "10" and the right side says "CALIBER" over "22 L R" over "LENGTH" over "8 IN"  The outside cardboard shipping sleeve has lots of Stevens "RIFLES, SHOTGUNS AND PISTOLS" etc markings and retains the shipping label addressed to "O. C. Alderman, Springfield, Mass." (a quick Google search shows this was a hardware store at the time). The inner box also contains the original wood block to keep the barrel of the gun secure during shipment. The pistol itself appears unused/new.  Truly amazing! (4 photos)  $1695.

                             

MODERN AND CUSTOM CLASSIC FIREARMS (click text for photos)

1) CUSTOM HEAVY VARMINT SINGLE SHOT RIFLE ON A MODIFIED ANTIQUE SERIAL NUMBER (NO FFL REQUIRED) WINCHESTER 1885 HIGHWALL ACTION IN .219 DONALDSON WASP CALIBER (BASICALLY A SHORTENED AND BLOWN OUT .30-30 CASE NECKED TO .22) BY NOTED GUNSMITH LECHNER, probably made in the 1940s or 1950s, dramatic high cheek piece butt stock with adjustable hard rubber butt plate, heavy wide nicely grained bench rest style forend, 26" heavy round barrel with nice recessed target crown, extended lever, sharp exc. bore, drilled for scope bases, barrel marked ".219 Don. Wasp" over "LECHNER" weighs right at 12 lbs (obviously without scope), silvered receiver, tight action, thin blue barrel, $1295.

2) TWO MAGNIFICENT REMINGTON ROLLINGBLOCK FULL CUSTOM TARGET RIFLES IN NEW, UNUSED CONDITION, THESE ARE TRULY SHOW PIECES!  ONE IS A .32-40 CALIBER SINGLE TRIGGER (DARKER WOOD) AND THE OT HER IS A .40-65 DOUBLE SET TRIGGER (LIGHTER WOOD), BOTH ARE IDENTICALLY PATTERNED PISTOL GRIP FULL DELUXE TARGET RIFLES, very high grade Turkish walnut with correct style smooth steel shotgun butt plates, pistol grip bottoms have a stylish and authentic curved schnabel, forend  tips are an elegant sweeping ebony schnabel, highly polished blue medium heavy 30"  half octagon barrels, absolutely flawless bone/charcoal pack harden case colored receivers (octagon receiver tops) and trigger guards, mid-range Soule tang sights and Remington style spirit level fully adjustable globe front sights were made by Mike Stevens (It is my understanding that he was the top maker of this kind of sights in the 1980s and that he is now deceased) and are fitted with scope blocks. The .32-40 rifle weighs approx.13 lbs. and the .40-65 weighs approx. 12 1/2 lbs.  Both of these rifles were built to be authentic  Remington style rifles and NOT just someone's idea of what a target rifle might be like, these are works of art! $3650 each or $7000 for the pair.  Would probably cost about twice this to have these made and sighted today!  (NOTE: The .32-40 is sold)

3) 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. $595.

 

 

 REMINGTON (click text for photos)

1) No. 1 ROLLING BLOCK OCTAGON SPORTING RIFLE IN .38 CENTER FIRE CALIBER, 30" oct. barrel is numbered to the receiver and is only marked "38" on the bottom flat ahead of the forend, I believe this one may be chambered for the straight case .38-40 Remington cartridge which was made for the No.1 Rolling Block and the Hepburn single shot, overall dark, uncleaned patina metal with some very minor dings to the upper tang etc., exc. markings on barrel top and receiver side, 7XXX serial number range, medium weight barrel, original Remington style small buckhorn rear sight with short blade front sight, tight action, bore is dark with good rifling and scattered light roughness, fine wood shows only normal light handling, all of these original Rolling Block sporters are very hard to find in any condition , $1795.

2) VERY UNUSUAL AND RARE ROLLING BLOCK CIVILIAN CARBINE IN .50-70 WITH FULL FACTORY NICKEL PLATE! Full nickel plated Rolling Block carbines were an option often used on guns headed for Mexico and the American Southwest (in fact the majority of .44-40 Baby Rolling Block carbines were full nickel), quite scarce in .50-70 as most of these seem to be chambered in the .43 Spanish caliber, almost all the bright receiver nickel remains with only some scuffing/peeling on the bottom raised curved sections of the butt plate (from standing in a rack), barrel has some scattered areas where there was rust that was removed but the metal is bright and blends nicely with the nickel, tight action, bright excellent bore, original leaf carbine sight, the only alteration is that someone removed the sling ring bar which should be easy to replace as there are enough junk or parts military carbines out there to get the ring bar and ring, exc. butt stock and forend with very tight wood to metal fit, correct sharp tang markings, this one came out of Arizona. $1495.``

3) SUPER CONDITION ROLLINGBLOCK 7MM MODEL 1901 MUSKET, still retains most of the /deep/dark case colors on the action and trigger guard (these military models did not have highly polished bright case colors), exc. barrel blue showing only light ageing, original sights, bright exc. bore, exc. wood with only the lightest of handling, cleaning rod intact, leather sling, deep original blue on the hammer and breech block etc., even the barrel bands still show most of the blue, sharp tang markings with the last patent date of 1901, about as nice as one could hope to find, (four photos- looks much better in person as photo lights make the case colors appear lighter/duller than they are) $1295.

4)  PARTICULARLY FINE MODEL 30 EXPRESS BOLT ACTION RIFLE THAT CAME OUT OF HERE IN MONTANA, CALIBER ".30 SPRINGFIELD 1906" (.30-06), this one is in the 11XXX serial number range, exc. blue overall with only some light wearing on the bolt, exc. wood with sharp checkering, schnable forend tip, correct steel butt plate, not drilled for scope, may have had a correct receiver sight on at one time as the two filler screws are not in- no marks from ever having a receiver sight in either the metal or wood- exc. bright sharp bore, $895.

5) CUSTOM ROLLING BLOCK SPORTING RIFLES (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, $695.

 

 

SHILOH  SHARPS AND OTHER REPRODUCTIONS (click text for photos)

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

 

1) HARRINGTON AND RICHARDSON "OFFICERS MODEL" TRAPDOOR .45-70 SPRINGFIELD REPRODUCTION, MADE IN THE 1970S IN THE U.S.A., a fine copy of the rare and valuable Springfield product of the 1870s intended for officers assigned to Western outposts for hunting purposes, checkered, wrist, engraved lock, hammer, barrel band, breech, pewter tip, etc., wiping rod under the barrel, sporting tang sight, checkered stock and forend- all a close copy of the original, In the 1970s, Handloader Magazine did an extensive article on reloading the .45-70, they used one of these in the test along with a bunch of other rifles and this one proved the most accurate, like new condition, the former owner put gold leaf (available at all hobby shops) in the engraving to make it stand out, easily removed with alcohol, these are getting harder and harder to find especially in this condition, still a bargain when you can find one, $1195.

2) SHILOH SHARPS, BIG TIMBER, MONTANA MADE 1874 No. 3 SPORTER IN .45-70 WITH 30" STANDARD OCTAGON BARREL, this is a fairly early Montana made Shiloh probably from the late 1980s as it has the Shiloh marked receiver with the Old Reliable logo stamped on the barrel along with C. Sharps markings- all correct for this time in production, double set triggers, straight stock with really attractive heavy straight grain and a deep reddish brown color matching in stock and forend, case hardened action with matching slightly curved steel military butt plate, comes with a mounted Montana Vintage Long Range Soule sight with an adjustable Hadley eye disc with multiple apertures, windage adjustable spirit level globe front sight and two MVA sight insert cards  that contain a total of 22 inserts (one insert from each card missing) plus a full buckhorn Ladder rear sight plus an extra semi-buckhorn ladder rear sight, weighs right about 10 1/2 lbs. all in like new condition, the current catalogue price for this rifle with these sights would be over $3000. My price for this one is $2350.

 

 

SMITH AND WESSON (click text for photos)

1) EARLY .44  DOUBLE ACTION FIRST MODEL No. 3 REVOLVER WITH 5" BARREL, LOW # 14XXX, C. 1880s, caliber .44 Russian, top break design, all matching serial numbers, this one was obviously a holster gun as the original nickel finish shows wear to the sides of the barrel- typical of holster carry, never cleaned, exc. grip strap nickel with only the most minor of edge wear, frame shows some small areas of flaking, cylinder too shows good nickel with flaking in the flutes and edges, fine blue on the trigger guard and sight latch, fine action, tight lock up, fairly bright fine+ bore may scrub out to exc., grips fit perfectly and are not chipped or cracked but show wear- especially on the right side, again indication of right handed holster carry where the left grip is protected against the body and the right side exposed and rubbed, great unmessed with and uncleaned frontier revolver from the 1880s! (4 photos) $1195.

2) 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, these are nearly impossible to find. (four photos) $1595.

3) BIG "N" FRAME .44 HAND EJECTOR 2ND. MODEL REVOLVER WITH 6 1/2" BARREL, MADE 1925, this was probably a law enforcement gun as it shows lots of holster wear but no abuse, also the grips are the correct style, but are replacements- often factory grips were replaced with showy stag, pearl or ivory by the officers who were proud of their sidearms! This one still shows good blue on the top and bottom of the barrel and in the cylinder flutes and protected areas with the balance worn/aged to gray/brown, lanyard swivel intact, exc. markings with last barrel patent date of 1909, matching numbers, some light case color remains on the hammer and trigger, exc. screws and sharp exc. bore, a true classic from the middle of the Roaring Twenties! $850.

4) SUPERB, INVESTMENT QUALITY PRE-WAR .38-44 OUTDOORSMAN TARGET SIGHTED N-FRAME REVOLVER, MADE DURING THE WORST OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION IN 1933! S&W only made 4761 of these fine guns between 1931-1941.  Long considered one of the absolute finest guns ever made by S&W (see my "Notes From the Field" on Great Depression guns at the very bottom of this site). This one has all matching numbers INCLUDING INSIDE THE GRIPS, shows nearly all the deep blue overall- including on the face of the cylinder indicating that this one was rarely if ever fired as this blue blasts off from the exploding cartridges in no time, has only a small spot near the muzzle where some rust was wiped away- minor and you have to look for it to notice it- retains excellent case color on the hammer and trigger, exc. sharply checkered grips, perfect inside, original unaltered target adjustable sights, remarkable condition overall and hard to find in any condition these days. This one is a gem! (note: light reflected off blemish on muzzle to exaggerate it, also oil and fingerprints in oil make the finish look dull- which it isn't) $2650. ``

5) ONE OF THE RAREST POST W.W.II MODELS! THIS IS THE PRE-MODEL 37 CHIEF SPECIAL AIRWEIGHT WITH THE EARLY AND QUICKLY DISCONTINUED ALUMINUM CYLINDER, MADE 1953! This model was introduced in 1952 and by 1954 the aluminum cylinder was replaced with steel as the aluminum was prone to crack (or worse!) when used with anything more powerful than standard .38 Special "mid-range" loads, I believe most of these revolvers were either destroyed or returned to S&W for a steel cylinder. I can't recall seeing another of these with the original numbered cylinder intact. All matching numbers on frame, cylinder, barrel AND INSIDE THE GRIPS, beautiful condition overall with nearly all the blue intact on the barrel, case colors on the hammer and trigger and "black" finish on the aluminum frame and cylinder, an extremely difficult to find flat latch S&W in superb condition, (note: light reflection makes it look like there is blue wear/edge wear. It is near full blue overall) $1495.

6) ONE OF THE MOST PRACTICAL OF THE MODERN S&Ws IS THIS MODEL 63-5 STAINLESS STEEL .22LR KITGUN WITH EJECTOR SHROUDED 3" BARREL AND 8-SHOT CYLINDER, appears new in original box with S&W marked original finger grooved grips, target crowned barrel muzzle, red square faced fiber optic front sight and square notch fully adjustable rear sight, typical great S&W action and trigger pull, with factory provided lock, papers, fired case, mech. locking key etc. This is a great little carry/field gun! $695.

 

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

1) SCARCE EARLY 1877 TRAPDOOR .45-70 RIFLE, #105XXX, C.1878, excellent example of a limited production model in the Trapdoor line as only about 20,000 were made and most got arsenal updated and altered over time, in the correct serial range that went from 75000 to 115000, rear sight correctly graduated to 1100 yards and secured with early "slotless" screws, light correct oval ESA 1878 dated cartouche in the stock along with the circle P proof behind the lower tang, fine deep barrel blue, also good blue on the front sight protector hood and the swivels, dark correctly marked breech block and lock plate (without the 1873 date on the lock as is correct), "MASS" stamped on the receiver ring, correct barrel proofs, exc. bore, exc. mech., fine+ wood overall with a few "rack dings" on the underside of the forend ahead of the trigger guard which is fairly common, later style cleaning rod, has an unusual circle stamping in the middle rear of the left side of the stock- meaning unknown- Native American or a brand?- one of the nicest examples I've seen in a while, $117\\795.

2)  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) $1950.

3) RARE AND HISTORICAL INDIAN WARS ISSUE WINCHESTER/SPRINGFIELD FIRST MODEL HOTCHKISS SADDLE RING CARBINE, .45-70 CALIBER, ISSUED ON A TRIAL BASIS TO CAVALRY TROOPS IN THE WEST, WITH ONLY ABOUT 500 PROCURED AND ISSUED IN 1879, interestingly, some of these carbines were made from returned or unissued U.S. Navy Hotchkiss rifles and this appears to be one because it is in the serial range of Navy rifles (serial number 12XX), info on this can be found in the excellent book Winchester Bolt Action Military & Sporting Rifles 1877-1937 by Herbert G. Houze, This carbine has the correct VP and eagle head Springfield proof on the barrel that is right for the Cavalry Carbine without any U.S. Navy markings, also correct is the "H.N." inspector marks (Henry Nettleton) on the receiver, butt plate and barrel etc., has the correct Springfield 1879 rear sight held to the barrel with correct slotless screws, for years there has been confusion about this rare model, but now it is pretty well known and accepted that Winchester supplied Springfield with actions and parts which Springfield then assembled with other Springfield parts to make these carbines and rifles, this one is also one of the only ones I've seen that still has the oval cartouche in the wrist and the circle P cartouche behind the lower tang- stocks on this model were prone to breakage especially when someone tried to remove the barreled action from the stock WITHOUT FIRST REMOVING THE BUTT PLATE AND TAKING OUT THE MAG TUBE! This always resulted in a cracked wrist! This one is un-cracked (amazing in itself as almost all found today are cracked), exc. bore, has the distinct nickel plated brass forend tip that opens to store cleaning rods- this was only used on the U.S. contract guns and not civilian models, nearly all the nickel remains on this tip, exc. wood with one age crack ahead of the mag cut-off/safety dial on the right side of the stock and one coming back from the forend tip that goes nowhere and is probably from the wood drying out over the last 137 years- both minor, safety and cartridge cut-off functions (these almost never do on first models), exc. bore, barrel blue ageing to gray/brown  with some evidence of surface rust that was wiped off mainly on the right side of the barrel for a few inches near the front sight- minor,  fine blue on the trigger guard and on H.N. marked butt plate, one of the best of these I've seen, seldom offered, $2950.

4) ORIGINAL UNTOUCHED AND UNCLEANED 1879 TRAPDOOR .45-70 RIFLE, MADE 1884 WITH MATCHING 1884 DATED STOCK CARTOUCHE, a fine example with nice dark patina metal overall, sharp markings on the lock plate, exc. bore, 1879 rear sight with original slotless screws intact (these usually replaced with the slotted variety), tight action, exc. wood, has some "paint spotting" which is surprisingly common on old rifles- I suppose people didn't bother covering guns that were either leaning up in a corner of a room or hanging over a fireplace... as I see lots of rifles with tiny paint spots scattered on the wood and metal- usually comes right off with some oil soaking- anyway, this one has some tiny pin prick size "dots" of cream colored paint here and there which should be very easy to remove. Retains correct swivels and cleaning rod, attractive un-messed with Trapdoor with lots of life left in it! $895.

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

6) HIGH STANDARD MODEL B .22 LR AUTO PISTOL, U.S. MARKED (see above in Antique/Classic section)

 

 

WINCHESTERS (click text for photos)

  1. GREAT CONDITION 1873 .22 LONG CALIBER WITH VERY SCARCE ROUND BARREL, WITH FACTORY LETTER, MADE 1885, quoting from the Winchester Handbook by Madis, "most rifles in this caliber have octagon barrels, we rarely find the standard round barrel..." Retains fine bright receiver blue that has some normal light thinning from age, mellow brass lifter marked "22 Long" (this is unusual as .22 cal rifles are rarely marked on the lifter) and barrel is marked "22 CAL.)  fine barrel and mag blue that is getting a little dull from age and mixing lightly plum with some tiny pin-prick pitting on the right side by the muzzle- you have to look for it to see it, original buckhorn rear sight with Winchester factory blade front (looks like it had a tang sight on at one time as there is a faint outline of the base in the bright blue of the tang), exc. markings and surprisingly fine+ bore (not quite perfect, but one of the best I've seen on a .22 caliber 1873), has some small dings on the left side of the receiver front edge where it meets the forend- minor, original dust cover, nice screws, exc. wood with fine wood to metal fit, overall one of the best I've seen in a long time and rare in round barrel configuration, $3950.

  2. MUCH BETTER THAN NORMALLY ENCOUNTERED, CLASSIC 1873 .44-40 SADDLE RING CARBINE, MADE 1892, a really fine example that still retains about half the fine receiver blue with the balance evenly mixing plum and brown with normal edge wear, fine "44 CAL" marked brass lifter has some normal light scratches- all minor, barrel shows good aged blue with slight mixing plum/brown, mag tube gray/brown with some blue in the protected areas, dust cover looks like a replacement, exc. stock and forearm shows light handling only and tight wood to metal fit, correct "1873" marked carbine ladder sight with slide intact, traces of case color on hammer and lever, fine bore with good rifling and scattered light roughness that might clean out better, exc. markings, in all a really fine example in a classic caliber, $3450.(sale pending)

  3. RARE & HISTORICAL 1879 U.S. MARKED/INSPECTED HOTCHKISS .45-70 SADDLE RING CARBINE (see above in U.S. Military & Springfield section)

  4. BEAUTIFUL, HIGH CONDITION 1885 HIGHWALL OCTAGON RIFLE IN SCARCE .40-60 CALIBER (ONLY 1463 MADE THIS CALIBER), MADE 1905, very unusual caliber for this late a Highwall Sporter, correctly stamped "40-60 W.C.F." on the barrel top, excellent condition overall with deep barrel on the 30" #3 weight octagon barrel, original buckhorn rear sight with Rocky Mountain blade front sight, exc. blue on the receiver with only slight age dulling, tangs and receiver ring naturally mixing with a pleasing aged plum, never cleaned or "helped" really a fine untouched rifle with exc. stock and forend, tight action, tight wood to metal fit, MINTY BRIGHT BORE! This is a great investment Highwall! (note: light reflection in bottom photo makes the blue look thin on the receiver, it is like the top photo) $3850.

  5. SUPER RARE 1886 SPECIAL ORDER .33 WCF RIFLE WITH FULL MAGAZINE AND CRESCENT RIFLE BUTT! SHIPPED FROM THE FACTORY IN 1904! Nearly all the .33 WCF caliber 1886 rifles were shipped standard with half magazines and shotgun butt plates, only special order rifles had the full mag and even more rare "rifle butt," I called the Cody Museum myself on this one and have the "call in sheet" with the verification info on this rifle, barrel and magazine show about all the blue with only slight age and some tiny freckling that is hard to detect, fine blue on the receiver sides that shows a bit more freckling with brown/gray mixing on the edges and bottom, exc. blue on the bolt, exc. screws, exc. wood with only light handling, original sights, excellent bore, tight action, this is a very early .33 WCF as the caliber wasn't introduced until about 1902. Almost never seen like this, $3250.

  6. TRULY AMAZING 1886 RARITY! THIS IS THE FIRST STANDARD OCTAGON RIFLE I'VE SEEN THAT LETTERS WITH A CHEEK PIECE STOCK!!!  DESIRABLE CALIBER .45-90, the factory letter states that this rifle left the factory in 1889 as an octagon .45-90 caliber rifle and was then returned in 1894 for "New frame and plain shotgun butt stock with cheek piece fitted and returned." So apparently, someone ordered/bought this rifle and a few years later had the receiver replaced and the stock changed, making this one of the rarest 1886s extant! On the few photos of 1886s with cheek pieces they were almost always super deluxe engraved presentation models where as this was a working gun. fine lightly thinning barrel blue, mag tube has some blue that is aged and mixing dark and brown, silver/gray receiver with thinning blue on the bolt, has the 1886 dated sporting ladder sight with slide intact (looks like a longer carbine sight), fine+-exc. forend, butt stock shows normal light handling and has a very old hairline crack coming back from the upper tang for a few inches and doesn't go all the way through the stock, but probably made it a little loose as there are a few barely visible repair plugs in each side of the wrist making this a very tight fitting stock- you have to look very carefully to see this and it in no way detracts from the overall fine appearance of this rare 1886, fine screws and MINTY BRIGHT EXC. BORE! smooth steel shotgun butt plate, The best and most advanced Winchester 1886 collections don't have one of these!  Winchester factory letter included. (3 photos) $5200.

  7. EXTREMELY SCARCE 1890 SEMI-DELUXE CALIBER .22 LONG RIFLE! This rifle is in the 790XXX serial range and was possibly a late parts clean-up model, I don't ever recall seeing a pistol gripped 1890 in .22 Long Rifle chambering before this one, matching numbers late tang marking and M-90 barrel markings, correct hard rubber Winchester embossed pistol grip cap, generally excellent wood overall with only very light handling, fine aged barrel blue, receiver aged to plum-brown, mainly brown magazine tube, tight action, EXCELLENT BRIGHT BORE, original sights, unmessed with and just plain super rare! $3600.

  8. HIGH CONDITION, FIRST YEAR PRODUCTION 1892 OCTAGON RIFLE IN .32-20, SERIAL NUMBER 21XXX, MADE 1892, really remarkable condition for such an early example, receiver shows nearly all the bright blue with only some scattered freckling (on the metal more than in the metal), even the top of the receiver and upper tang show most of the blue, some minor wear by the serial number, fine deep blue on the barrel and mag tube showing only very slight age and edge wear, original sights, still some nice case color on the lever sides, exc. wood with tight wood to metal fit showing light handling only, even the forend cap retains most of the blue, bore is bright with only some very minor and small scattered spots of roughness that might clean out, could probably use a good careful clean overall, $2495.
  9. ORIGINAL AND TOTALLY CORRECT 1892 TRAPPER SADDLE RING CARBINE IN RARE .25-20 CALIBER WITH FACTORY 16" BARREL, MADE 1917, almost all the short "Trappers" were in .44-40 caliber, anything else is unusual, fine+ wood with tight wood to metal fit and CORRECT SHORT FOREARM show light handling only, mostly brown receiver with some light rust pitting on the bottom behind the serial number, original barrel and mag tube show blue with outside rust and scattered pitting that could be cleaned better- still some good blue on the barrel, bore is a bit worn and heavily frosted- might clean better, fine markings, exc. screws, correct carbine sight with carbine front sight, this is the shortest legal length barrel so no ATF papers are needed, $2950.

  10. 1892 .25-20 OCTAGON RIFLE, MADE 1909, fine deep magazine tube blue with barrel showing aged and thinning blue, receiver shows some good blue that is mixing brown, exc. screws, flattop buckhorn rear sight with factory front sight, bore is dark and frosty- I ran a brush and a patch through it and it started to clean up a bit with lots of dark crud coming out, so it might clean better but will be a bit rough, small red diamond shape inlay in the bottom of the forend with a Marlin style "bullseye" small round inlay in the bottom of the butt stock- why this was done is anyone's guess! tight action, fine wood with one tiny chip at the upper tang/receiver juncture on the left side- hard to see, exc markings, (3 photos) $895.``

  11. 1894 20" OCTAGON FACTORY SHORT RIFLE, .30WCF, MADE 1918, has the correct one inch shorter than standard forearm used on these special short rifles, fine barrel blue showing light edge wear and minor scuffing, exc. blue on mag tube,  thin and flaky blue receiver mixing gray (typical of this era receiver finish) and looks to have had some cold blue added at some time- minor, exc. bore, fine+ to exc. wood overall with tight wood to metal fit, butt stock slightly fancier grade of walnut as often used on special order rifles, exc. screws, tight action, exc. bore, flat top buckhorn rear sight with small blade front sight, a really nice example of a rare configuration 1894, most of these saw hard use and are found in rough condition, this one is much better than those normally encountered, $1975.``

  12. VERY FINE CONDITION 1894 .38-55 OCTAGON RIFLE, MADE 1905, particularly nice rifle with fine deep barrel blue showing only light age/wear, exc. blue on the mag tube, receiver shows nice deep blue on the bolt and sides with wear to gray on the bottom and edges, exc. wood with very tight wood to metal fit, looks like two small "X" marks lightly scratched in the right side of the stock- very shallow and hardly worth mentioning, bore will clean about exc. with anything not scrubbing out will be minor and surface, buckhorn rear sight with small Winchester blade/bead front sight, exc. screws, hard to find .38-55 octagon rifles this nice, $2250.

  13. VERY RARE BARREL LENGTH ON THIS 1894 FACTORY OCTAGON SHORT RIFLE WITH 22" BARREL AND FULL MAGAZINE, FACTORY LETTER, MADE 1902, .30WCF CALIBER,  most short rifles had 20" barrels with far fewer having 22" barrels- most with 22" have been extra light weight rifles- fine barrel blue showing some edge wear and thinning, same with the mag tube, has the correct one inch shorter forend than found on standard 26" barreled rifles, butt stock and forearm show normal handling for one of these with some additional wear/weathering on the right side of the butt stock that is probably from being carried in a saddle scabbard, tight wood to metal fit, bore is a bit dark and shows some wear, but should scrub out fine or better, receiver mostly silvered with blue in the more protected areas of the rear portion and on the bolt, tight action, very scarce variation verified by factory letter, $1895.

  14. GREAT DEPRESSION ERA M-94 .30WCF CARBINE, MADE 1938, very interesting and scarce transition carbine that still retains the curved steel carbine butt of the early style carbines yet has the ramped and hooded front sight and buckhorn rear sight of the later models, exc. deep barrel and mag blue, front sight hood intact, receiver shows traces of blue around screws and in protected areas with exc. deep blue on the bolt and loading gate, balance flaked to mostly gray with some brown on the left side and about half the blue that is thinning and flaking on the right side, MINTY BRIGHT BORE, exc. walnut stock with fancier grain than standard! $1150.``

  15. UNUSUAL1894 SADDLE RING CARBINE IN .30WCF CALIBER WITH SPECIAL SHOTGUN BUTT, MADE 1903, fine barrel and mag blue showing a little dulling from age only, two leaf rear express sight with standard carbine front sight, exc. screws, mostly gray/brown aged receiver with good blue in protected areas and around the ring, exc. butt stock with tight wood to metal fit and exc. Winchester embossed hard rubber shotgun butt plate, exc. forend, bore will clean out to fine+ or better, nice classic 1894 carbine with special butt stock, $1295.

  16. 1895 SPORTING RIFLE IN SCARCE .30-03 CALIBER, MADE 1915, this is simply the earlier version of the famed .30-06 with the '03 having a slightly longer case neck only (.30-06 can be fired in the  .30-03 which is probably why these 1895s at this late date were so chambered...just in case anyone had some early ammo both could be used!), correct 24" barrel, buckhorn rear sight with blade/bead front sight, gray/brown receiver with traces of blue in the most protected areas and on the sides of the magazine, very thin barrel blue mixing heavily with gray, fine markings, tight action, bore slightly dark with fine rifling and a shallow ring about 1 1/2" back from the muzzle, fine wood shows normal hunting/handling and tight wood to metal fit, forend retains the factory ebony inlay at the tip, fine screws with no extra holes, $1150.

  17. 1897 BLACK DIAMOND TRAP GUN, TAKEDOWN, 12 GA., FULL CHOKE, MADE 1908, unusual in that most of these have 30" or even 32" barrels, this one has a 28" barrel that has not been cut (still full choke) and was obviously special ordered this way, matching numbers, appears to have some fancy walnut hidden under a hundred years of uncleaned grime on the stock and forend! Checkering is visible, but worn, correct straight stock with black diamond inlays in the wrist and marked "TRAP GUN" on the bolt, good aged blue on the receiver sides with balance mostly gray and brown, barrel shows good blue in the more protected areas with the balance also gray/brown, exc. markings with the last patent date on the barrel of 1900, tight action, bright mirror bore! solid wood, has an ancient solid rubber recoil pad marked "Jostam Mfg. Co" over "No Kick Coming Recoil Pad" I'm sure there were lots of great hunting and trap shooting adventures associated with this fine old '97! $995.

  18. DELUXE PISTOL GRIPPED, CHECKERED MODEL 1903 .22 AUTO RIFLE, MADE 1915, fairly plain but uncracked walnut stock and forend, this was someone's well used and taken care of "pride and joy" rifle as the checkering is all there, but fairly worn, the blue on the receiver is pretty well worn off to an uncleaned gray with good blue in the most protected of areas, has the correct pistol grip cap, interestingly, this one was returned to the factory for a new barrel as the barrel has both the oval P "Mail Order" proof as well as the Winchester proof- this means, the rifle was sent back to Winchester who took a "Mail Order" replacement barrel out of stock and fitted it to the returned rifle, has all the correct Winchester and Model 1903 markings on the barrel, fine deep barrel blue, retains some thinning blue on the forend cap, exc. mech., exc. bright bore, buckhorn with blade/bead front sights, I believe CCI still sells .22 Auto ammo (different from .22 LR), pistol gripped/checkered Model 1903s are quite rare, $1195.

  19. 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, $1395.

  20. MODEL 55 TAKEDOWN RIFLE IN .30WCF CALIBER, #3XXX MADE 1926, this is an early production example as the model was introduced in 1924, only a little over 20,000  were made before it fell victim to the Great Depression and was discontinued in 1932, receiver mostly flaked to gray- which is typical of 1920s receivers- with some blue remaining in protected areas with good blue on the loading gate and some on the bolt, thinning barrel blue, fine wood looks a little dry and has either "MM" or "WW" lightly scratched in the wrist on the left side- easily rubbed out, exc. screws, bright minty bore, flattop rear buckhorn sight with Lyman ivory bead front in the correct base, original steel butt plate, tight takedown, came out of Arizona, a more scarce Winchester Model than most collectors realize,  $1195.

  21. MODEL 64 DELUXE 20" CARBINE, .30WCF, MADE DURING WORLD WAR II (#1375XXX) AND POSSIBLY FACTORY PERIOD SCOPED WITH NORMAN FORD & CO.  "THE TEXAN" SCOPE IN WILLIAMS SIDE MOUNT, the scope has exc. options and appears to be 2.5X, I believe these were made in the early 1950s, overall the rifle is in superb condition with about all the blue remaining- even on the lever and forend cap with only some light scratches in the right side of the receiver that you have to be in the right light to even detect, correct checkering and Winchester embossed grip cap, complete with original super grade sling swivels and sling, probably had a late 1940s or early 1950s recoil pad that has been replaced with a handsome brown solid Decelerator pad, interestingly the scope is mounted to the left over the receiver which allows one to use the buckhorn and blade/bead iron sights too, crisp checkering, obviously this one saw little real use, tight action and perfect bore, rare configuration, $1695.

  22. HIGH CONDITION DELUXE MODEL 64 RIFLE, .30-30 CALIBER, MADE 1954, retains nearly all the original blue with only minor scattered edge wear, exc. bore, exc. wood with very light handling only, sharp checkering, original checkered steel butt plate and  forend cap, not quite a mint example, but certainly exc.+ overall, one of the last of the "deluxe" pre-64 Winchesters in really nice condition, over 60 years old and rapidly rising in value, $2150.

  23. GREAT CONDITION PRE-WORLD WAR II MODEL 71 DELUXE .348 CALIBER RIFLE, #16XXX, MADE 1940, exc. condition overall and retaining about all the blue on the receiver, upper tang, barrel, magazine tube and forend cap with only slight gray near the muzzle and front sight hood and a little on the extreme end of the mag tube cap, has the correct super grade swivel studs, correct Lyman 56 receiver sight and a slot blank in the rear barrel dovetail with no signs of ever having had a rear sight installed, exc. wood with minor handling on the butt stock- mainly just some scuffing/scratching to the finish, correct original checkered steel butt plate, untouched screws, sharp checkering, minty sharp bore, hard to find pre-war examples this nice, $2950.

 

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

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

 

 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