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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 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 4/22/18. WATCH FOR FREQUENT POSTINGS THROUGH APRIL/MAY.

 

 

 

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: FINALLY, MY SECOND NOVEL IS OUT! First, I'd like to thank everyone who read my first novel, DESERT SUNDAYS, and kept after me to get the second one done and published! So, after the usual delays and hitches, here it is. This one is called AN OBVIOUS SLAM DUNK and if you like courtroom scenes and a story that not only makes you think, but surprises you...well, this is a page turner I know you'll like. And before anyone asks, yes, the third novel is almost done and I hope to get that one out before too long. All three form a trilogy, but each stands alone, so it doesn't matter which you read first. Both are available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble (Kindle downloads too). If you want to save some money and have a signed copy, I have books here that I can sell cheaper than online at $13 each including shipping. Click here to see both books front and back with a synopsis of each.  Don't bother to call to reserve a copy, just toss a check in the mail with shipping instructions. Thanks, Bill Goodman

 

 

 

COLT FIRE ARMS (click text for photo

1) SINGLE ACTION ARMY, RARE NICKEL FINISH, .41 COLT CALIBER, 4 3/4" BARREL WITH FACTORY LETTER: SHIPPED WYETH HARDWARE & MFG. COMPANY, ST. JOSEPH, MISSOURI, JULY 27, 1899. This cowboy Single Action Colt must surely have some good stories in it! Obviously, it was carried daily, but well maintained and cared for. There is normal heavy holster wear and grip wear, but no abuse or rust/pitting and the front sight has not been filed. There is still fine bright nickel on the barrel top and right/left sides that are protected by the ejector housing. There is also fine nickel on the hammer, back portion of the left recoil shield and in the most protected areas. The balance has flaked or worn away leaving an uncleaned deep dark gray metal that has never been cleaned or polished. The grips fit perfectly and show heavy handling and smoothing, but no chips or cracks.  Bore shows good rifling, but has thin surface corrosion that might brush out better. Generally excellent screws, cylinder pin and all markings. Tight four-click action. Scarce caliber and finish! Original Colt factory letter included. (4 photos) $2450.

2) BISLEY SINGLE ACTION .38-40, 4 ¾” BARREL, #263XXX, MADE 1905. This Bisley came out of right here in Montana and is just one of those guns that has a “good feel” to it. It’s not a high finish piece, but everything about it is really “honest.” Mostly the metal surfaces are an uncleaned gray/brown. The top of the barrel has the correct two line barrel address used in 4 ¾” guns. The left side is marked “(BISLEY MODEL)” which is all readable, but a little worn with “.38 W.C.F.” caliber stamping next to it. Good patent date markings on the frame and all matching serial numbers. EXCELLENT SCREW HEADS and fine grips that show some wear, but are not chipped or cracked and fit perfectly. Front sight has not been filed. There is some blue around the trigger guard etc. and some blue in the cylinder flutes and butt along with maybe a touch of case color ahead of the cylinder. Front sight has not been filed or altered. Shows a little muzzle wear on the left side of the barrel from being placed in and out of a holster a few thousand times! Tight action with four click hammer and fine+ bore that should clean exc. As I said, an honest cowboy gun that was carried and used, but not abused or taken apart. $2150.

3) 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.

4) ONE OF THE SMALLEST PRODUCTION COLTS OF ALL IS THIS COMMERCIAL OR CIVILIAN MODEL 1905 U.S. MARINE CORPS .38DA REVOLVER. A total run of only 926 of these distinctive revolvers were made between 1905-1909. 812 of these went to the Marine Corps and have U.S.M.C. markings etc. The remaining 114 are all in the 10XXX serial range, have no U.S.M.C. markings and have the lanyard swivel in the butt replaced with a round filler. This is an easy model to discern as it is a typical 1895 .38DA but instead of having squared smooth walnut grips this unique model has a rounded butt with checkered walnut grips. These were made to accept the standard U.S. .38 Colt cartridge, but since the cylinder chambers are bored straight through, they will also shoot .38 Special ammo (but NOT high pressure or +P loadings). This example has seen normal use and carry, but retains the original round checkered walnut grips. Mechanically it is in fine condition with an excellent bore. Front sight has not been filed or altered, cylinder latch and serial number match. Blue wear is consistent with normal carry and shows gray on the front strap and back strap as well as on the sides of the barrel, good cylinder blue shows thinning on outside area with deep blue in the flutes, fine frame blue with edge wear and some gray  on the right side below the hammer where it looks like a holster retaining strap rubbed. Fine blue on the top and bottom of the barrel and in all protected areas and still retains fine fire blue on the hammer back. Overall a fine example of  an extremely limited production Colt! $2350.

5) EARLY, FIRST MODEL LIGHTNING .38-40 OCTAGON RIFLE, #11XXX, MADE 1885. Nice example of a first model with “open top” and sliding action-locking safety in the trigger guard intact  (2nd models have a dust cover built into the bolt and lack the safety in the trigger guard). 26” oct. barrel and full magazine show even thinning, aged blue, receiver shows some good blue in protected areas with the balance gray/brown, exc. markings including the rampant colt stamping on the side of the receiver and the Colt address and patent dates on the barrel, small silver Rocky Mountain blade front sight with buckhorn rear sight that looks to be a replacement, fine+ wood with tight wood to metal fir and fine checkering on the forend, nice screws and fine action, bore only a little dark with sharp rifling and is about excellent with any roughness very, very minor and surface. Has some tiny nicks in the receiver side (mostly on the left side) that are very minor and look like the rifle might have been in a wagon that bumped against a metal object, but again, really minor and unimportant- barely visible in the bottom close-up photo. Nice appearance overall. (3 photos) $1950.

 

                       

MARLIN  (click text for photos).

 

1) FINE CONDITION BIG 1881 28” OCTAGON RIFLE IN DESIRABLE 45-70, #11XXX, MADE 1885. This one came from right out of here in Montana, shows fine blue on the receiver sides with normal edge wear, light scratching etc. that one would expect from a frontier .45-70 that is 133 years old! Fine thinning barrel blue, mag tube a mixture of gray/brown with some blue in the protected areas, all excellent markings including the correct “45 GOVT” caliber marking on the barrel top just ahead of the receiver. Surprisingly fine bore is only a little dark with deep rifling and should clean out to be about exc.,  fine butt stock with original steel butt plate shows the beginnings of a crack coming forward from the bottom butt plate screw (typical of dry wood) and has one very small sling swivel hole, also fine forend with only a hint of the usual crack that forms on these ahead of the sliding loading gate where the wood is thin, overall good, solid wood showing only normal handling and no abuse and tight wood to metal fit, original buckhorn rear sight and Rocky Mountain blade front sight. An attractive early rifle that still shows a lot of blue. $2850.

2) HARD TO FIND 1895 26” OCTAGON RIFLE IN .40-65 CALIBER, #167XXX, MADE 1898. This is a fine condition example that still retains most of the deep factory barrel blue with similar blue on the magazine tube that is starting to mix plum. All excellent markings with correct buckhorn rear sight and matching factory Rocky Mountain blade front sight. The receiver has aged to a pleasing dark slightly mottled patina with good blue on the loading gate. Barrel is correctly marked “Special Smokeless Steel” and the top of the receiver is marked “Marlin Safety.” Excellent crescent butt walnut butt stock and forend show only light handling with no chips or cracks and tight wood to metal fit. Fine bore with good rifling has some light scattered pitting mainly toward the middle of the bore that is not deep or serious. This is a really difficult Marlin model to find these days especially with this much blue! $3250.

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

 

 

                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.

 

 

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

  1. VERY RARELY FOUND STEVENS! THIS IS A FAVORITE, MODEL 1915 No.20 WHICH WAS THE ONLY MODEL SPECIFICALLY MADE AS A SMOOTH BORE RIM FIRE SHOTGUN!  These were made in .22 LR Shot Cartridges and .32 Rim Fire Shot Cartridges, this example is chambered in the more desirable .22LR Shot Cartridge. Made without a rear barrel sight or dovetail and just a small shotgun bead front sight, breech of the 24" round barrel is marked "22-SHOT" along with the usual Stevens barrel address markings, top of the octagon receiver has the standard "FAVORITE" markings and the tang is stamped "MODEL 1915." The barrel retains fine deep blue, this model had a full blued receiver and amazingly most of the lightly aged blue remains along with some original protective lacquer that Stevens used on these receiver (looks like shiny spots in bottom photo), bore is bright with some surface roughness, fine wood could use a good clean as it has some small splotches of white paint (!) remaining- typical as these small takedown guns were used as "barn guns" or "garden guns" for shooting pests without doing other damage to plants or structures. Usually entire category of firearm is found in terrible condition as they were truly utility guns/tools and were rarely cared for (hence the white paint on the stock!). This is one of the best of the few I've seen over the years. Exc. screws, correct butt plate, tight action and takedown. $595.

  2. 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.

  3. SAVAGE 1899 SADDLE RING CARBINE, 30-30 CALIBER, #107XXX, MADE 1910. Definitely one of the more difficult to find Savages and those that do surface usually show great use and often abuse. This example retains fine aged barrel blue with all sharp and correct markings, receiver aged to brown with good blue in all the usual protected areas and on the lower portion where the lever is attached, Sheard marked long blade/bead front sight with small buckhorn rear sight, fine forend with small sliver out by the tip on the right side, correct stock with curved steel carbine butt plate has the usual couple of cracks coming back from the upper tang- almost all of these show this- but the cracks go no place and the stock is solid, tight action with good brass rotary magazine spring, lever spring only a little loose- but not to any great degree, fine bore shows good rifling and is only a bit dark. Saddle ring and staple intact, a seldom seen Savage 1899 variation with a fine appearance.  $1150.

 

                               

MODERN AND CUSTOM CLASSIC FIREARMS (click text for photos)

1) LIMITED PRODUCTION SAVAGE MODEL 24 V-A IN .222 REMINGTON OVER 20 GA. SHOTGUN. Very few of this combination were made as most were in .22LR or .22 Mag. over a shotgun barrel. This one with checkered wood stock and forearm is in excellent condition inside and out showing only the most minor or handling marks that one would have to look carefully for to find. Corrrect stamping engraving of fox on one side of the receiver and a grouse on the other. Unaltered and basically unused condition. $595.

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

3) BROWNING BLR LEVER ACTION RIFLE IN LIMITED PRODUCTION AND DESIRABLE .358 WIN. CALIBER. This is a Miroku of Japan made rifle that is unusual in that it has a much fancier than standard grade of walnut in the butt stock. Usually the wood on these is a plain piece of blonde walnut where this one has some nice figure/fiddleback in it. Checkered forend and wrist, exc. blue overall, original Browning marked rubber butt plate, gold trigger and comes with one extra factory magazine. There is one tiny smudge of blue wear at the muzzle and a few light marks in the stock finish which is all that keeps this one from appearing new. Comes with a Leupold scope base installed along with the factory open sights on the 20” barrel. I think if I were going to keep this rifle, I’d strip the stock finish and replace it with an oil rubbed finish. With the figured walnut of this rifle that would be a knock-out! $995.

 

 REMINGTON (click text for photos)

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

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

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

 

RUGER FIREARMS (click text for photos)

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

2) VERY EARLY 10/22 INTERNATIONAL MODEL, #66XXX, MADE 1966.  The 10/22 carbine was introduced in 1964 which makes this full Mannlicher stocked International model one of the earliest I’ve encountered. Shows light use but retains nearly all the blue finish. Has the factory scope base installed. Excellent wood shows a few small handling marks and one 1/8” tiny chip at the toe under the original black butt plate- should be a snap to fill or just leave as is since it is so minor. Tight action, original sights and original sling swivels including the loop or “bail” type front swivel. These don’t show up often any more and this one being 52 years old qualifies for a Curio & Relics License. $650.

 

 

SHILOH SHARPS AND OTHER REPRODUCTIONS.  Note: I am a Shiloh Sharps dealer and can order you any Shiloh you want. Check out my other website for Shilohs: www.shiloh-ballard.com (click text for photos).

1) VERY LIMITED PRODUCTION AND HARD TO FIND SHILOH SHARPS 1863 .54 CALIBER PERCUSSION THREE BAND MILITARY RIFLE.  This is a Farmingdale, New York production rifle probably made in the late 1970s, serial number in the 1XXX range. Overall excellent plus condition that at worst shows the most minor of handling marks too small to mention. Has with optional case colored patchbox and polished barrel, retains about all the case color even on the butt plate and top of the breech block, exc. deep polished blue on the barrel, correct factory Lawrence ladder rear sight with the slide intact, military style lever catch, beautiful rich reddish-brown walnut stock and full forend, bright sharp bore, military style leather sling and NEI steel mould blocks for the correct “ring-tail” military style bullet. These rarely come up for sale now and Shiloh isn’t making percussion models any more. $2450.

2) SHILOH SHARPS, MADE IN BIG TIMBER, MONTANA, 1874 MONTANA ROUGHRIDER SPORTER IN .45-70 CALIBER. This rifle was originally shipped in 2011 and has seen no apparent use. It features a pistol grip stock without cheek piece and has a checkered steel shotgun butt plate, factory custom bedded forend, double set triggers, 30” heavy half-octagon barrel, Shiloh sporting tang sight with spirit level globe front sight that will take inserts. This rifle was ordered without a rear sight dovetail in the barrel. The dark color walnut is hand select that is very close to semi-fancy and this rifle weighs approximately 11 1/4 lbs. About new overall.  $2400.

 

 

SMITH AND WESSON (click text for photos)

1) 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.

2) 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).

3) 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.

5) 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.

6) FINE 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 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.

7) VERY LIMITED PRODUCTION, 4-SCREW MODEL 27 (NO DASH) 6” BLUED .357 REVOLVER, #S 188XXX, MADE 1958-1959. This is the first of the classic Model 27s and is only marked “MOD-27” in the crane. These first model marked 27s were only made from 1957-1960. In 1960 there was a slight modification made to the design  and the model was changed to “MODEL 27-1” and so forth with each successive modification adding a higher “dash number.” According to the latest Smith & Wesson Standard Catalog Book (4th edition) these pre-dash Mod. 27s are valued at twice what later models are worth. This is a particularly fine example with about all the bright blue intact (you’d have to look very closely to find a tiny spot of wear here or there) with a light cylinder drag line etc., fine case colors on the hammer and trigger, correct sights AND THE ORIGINAL DIAMOND CHECKERED GRIPS ARE NUMBERED TO THE GUN. A very difficult 60 year old Smith to find especially in this top condition. $1650.

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

WINCHESTERS (click text for photos)

 

  1. SPECIAL ORDER 1886 RIFLE WITH FULL OCTAGON BARREL AND HALF MAGAZINE, .40-82 CALIBER, #48XXX, WITH FACTORY LETTER VERIFYING THESE FEATURES AND SHOWING SHIPMENT IN 1890. A particularly fine early example showing an attractive receiver in which the faded case colors have left the metal a dull gray with hints of bluish case color as opposed to a bright silvery receiver, exc. blue on the bolt, exc. screws, fine loading gate blue, fine butt stock and forearm showing only light handling and very tight wood to metal fit. All correct markings on barrel and upper tang, fine aged barrel blue with original Winchester buckhorn rear sight with Winchester blade front sight, tight action, fine bore with good rifling throughout and only some light corrosion showing toward the middle of the bore. The .40-82 is simply the .45-90 case tapered to accept .40 cal. bullets and was a powerful caliber especially popular in the West. This rifle is unusual because when half magazines were special ordered, barrels provided were normally round or half-octagon. A full octagon barrel with half magazine is a very unusual and seldom encountered variation on any Winchester lever rifle. This one has a really fine appearance. Cody letter included. $3250.

  2. 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.

  3. FULL DELUXE 1890 WITH FANCY WALNUT, CHECKERED PISTOL GRIP AND GRIP CAP, .22 LONG CALIBER, #431XXX, MADE 1911. Fine barrel blue showing only some light sharp edge wear and some very minor scuffing, mag tube turning gay/brown with good blue on the upper section under the barrel, fine deep blue on the receiver sides with some light thinning on the right side and edges, bolt and upper tang mostly gray, buckhorn rear sight with Sheard Patent 1900 long blade/bead front sight, exc. walnut forend, fancy burl walnut butt stock with checkered pistol grip looks to have been lightly gone over at some point, but not heavily sanded- just some light rounding of the wood in the corners by the receiver etc. checkering all present and showing normal wear, correct Winchester embossed black rubber grip cap, tight action, fine bore shows only scattered light roughness with good rifling, matching numbers, very scarce 108 year old 1890 deluxe variation in nice condition, $2950.

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

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

  6. 1892 .44-40 SADDLE RING CARBINE, #954XXX, MADE 1925. This carbine came out of right here in Montana and was no doubt a ranch/saddle gun. Barrel and mag show very thinned blue mixed heavily with gray/brown, mostly gray receiver with nice blue on the loading gate and some blue mixing gray on the bolt. Excellent correct late markings on the barrel and tang, about unturned screws, retains the correct carbine rear sight with slide intact, fine+ walnut stock and forend with very tight wood to metal fit and even displays a little extra grain in the forend- the dark marks at the forward end of the forend are just stains and could probably be removed easily. The best part is that the action is very tight and IT HAS A MINT, BRIGHT PERFECT BORE. This one probably spent a lot of time in a correctly fitting saddle scabbard and was obviously well taken care of as there are almost no signs of serious rust or pitting or any kind of over-cleaning or steel wooling. A nice used, but not abused example with a great bore. $2100.``

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

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

  9. ONE OF THE LAST OF THE .32-40 CALIBER 1894 OCTAGON RIFLES, #1038XXX, MADE 1928! By this time in 1894 production, the .32-40 was considered obsolete and the caliber was rarely chambered. In 1930 barrels were no longer even made in this caliber. This rifle shows excellent deep barrel blue, mag tube also shows fine blue with minor thinning. The receiver still shows the 1920s blue/black finish that was used during this time and is known to flake easily and rapidly. Most guns from this vintage show totally flaked and silvered receivers, this one retains excellent blue on the bolt and fine blue/black on the left side with some small areas of brown/flaking, the right side shows good blue in the middle of the panel an has plum-brown flaking with typical pin-prick freckling mainly on the top and bottom sections with good blue on the tang, receiver ring and all protected areas. Case colored lever still shows some fine color on the upper section, wood with tight wood to metal fit and one rub spot on the bottom of the forend about three inches from the tip. Buckhorn and Winchester blade front sight. No doubt Winchester was using up left over parts at this point as the tang has the late markings, yet the barrel has earlier markings which is typical of “Parts Clean-Up” guns made at the end of production when “everything had to go.” Almost all rifles with serial numbers above 700000 were round with octagon scarce. Correct proof marks on barrel and receiver, bore shows slight use and would rate about exc., tight action, very scarce late variation in nice condition. $2250.

  10. EXTREMELY RARE AND UNUSUAL 1894 .30 WCF RIFLE WITH EXTRA LIGHTWEIGHT HALF OCTAGON BARREL, FULL MAGAZINE, TAKEDOWN AND TRAP IN BUTT PLATE FOR CLEANING RODS! #753XXX, MADE  1914. The barrel is so thin at the muzzle that the front sight is correctly affixed to the barrel with a small ramp (standard for extra light barrels where a dovetail cut is not possible because the barrel wall is so thin) and the diameter of the barrel is actually considerably smaller than the mag tube! The trap in butt plate with brass sliding door as on a Model 1873 rifle was a very rarely ordered option on the Model 1894. The barrel and mag show most of the deep blue with only very minor ageing, receiver shows some bright blue in the center panels on each side with dulling blue/gray around the edges and gray on top- almost looks like cold blue was added, but it didn't come off with some gentle rubbing with J-B bore paste and that will easily remove cold blue without touching the original blue-, fine blue on the upper tang and in the protected areas around the hammer, tight takedown, fine+ wood is a bit fancier grain than standard in the butt stock that was typical of Winchesters ordered with special features, tight wood to metal fit, four-section cleaning rod in the butt plate trap, three leaf express rear sight with all leaves intact, correct small blade bead front sight, bright tight action exc. bore, I’m not sure I recall seeing an extra lightweight half octagon barrel before and certainly not a takedown model with full magazine and trap in butt plate! Unusual and possibly unique 104 year old Winchester! (4 photos) $3850.

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

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

  13. LATE, TRANSITION 1894 CARBINE, #1059XXX, .32WS CALIBER, MADE 1929. This is another Winchester that came out of right here in Montana and was probably a ranch gun. Interesting variation made just after the saddle ring was dropped as a standard feature, yet the classic curved steel carbine butt plate was retained. This one has fine deep barrel and mag blue with light wear and exc. correct late markings. Has a D. W. King patent ‘07  buckhorn rear sight and a Sheard No.6 blade/bead carbine front sight. The receiver still retains some fine1920s blue/black finish that was known to flake easily and rapidly- this receiver is in the stage where the flaking has turned plum/brown before it silvers with brighter and deeper blue in the more protected areas and exc. blue on the loading gate. Exc. walnut stock and forend with only light handling and very tight wood to metal fit, tight action, exc. screws, and bright excellent bore! Nice appearance overall. $1295.

  14. 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.

  15. AN UNUSUAL M-53, .25-20 SOLID FRAME RIFLE, #6XX, MADE THE FIRST YEAR OF PRODUCTION IN 1924. This is an unusual example as I believe it was sent back to the factory to be rebarrelled and refinished. The barrel is the standard marked M-53 barrel, but it has BOTH the Winchester proof mark PLUS the “oval with P inside” mail-order proof mark. This means Winchester pulled one of their replacement barrels for this rifle that would have ordinarily been sold and shipped by itself, but in this case they fitted the “mail order” barrel with the “oval P” proof mark to a rifle at the factory which is why it also carries the Winchester test firing proof mark. The rifle is also refinished in the heavy blue/black that was used in the 1920s. The metal does not appear to have been buffed as all markings are sharp and clear. The old blue/black finish shows scratches and wear on the bottom of the receiver and edges etc. that one would expect of a gun that is 94 years old. Exc. wood, correct steel shotgun butt plate, perfect bright bore and tight mechanics. Correct buckhorn rear sight with matching Marble No.2 ivory bead/blade front sight. Lots of life left in this one! $1395.

  16. SCARCE WORLD WAR II PRODUCTION M-64 RIFLE, .30WCF, #1320XXX, MADE 1943. Serial numbers reached 1,317,450 at the end of 1942 which probably puts production of this rifle just after that date. These Pre-War Model 64s are fairly scarce as production during the Great Depression years leading up to the war was small- usually less than 3,000 rifles made per year. This is a fine example that has seen light use only and retains nearly all the blue with the exception of the lower edges of the receiver, forend cap and some very small and light scuffing/wear to the barrel- all minor. Exc. blue to the upper tang, bolt etc., exc. stock and forearm, original checkered steel shotgun butt plate, buckhorn rear sight with original hooded front sight, exc. bright and sharp bore, a nice wartime example. $1195.

  17. MODEL 65 IN DESIRABLE .218 BEE CALIBER, SERIAL NUMBER 1006XXX, MADE DURING WORLD WAR II. This is a fine condition Model 65 that has had a side mount installed with a correct for time Weaver 330 steel tube scope made in El Paso, Texas. The scope still has fine optics and sports a tapered post reticle, The barrel also has three small holes drilled with filler screws fitted a couple of inches forward of the rear sight and does not affect the barrel markings which are on the side of the barrel. Fine deep barrel blue with corresponding fine deep receiver blue with only the most minor of ageing on the bottom, bolt is factory cut for a bolt peep sight which was removed to make room for the scope, excellent wood shows only light handling, retains the original checkered steel butt plate, exc. screws, exc bright bore, $2450.

  18. ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS, NEAR MINT MODEL 75 SPORTING RIFLE, .22LR, #76XXX, MADE 1951. Truly an outstanding example of a higher grade Winchester .22 bolt rifle. These were made from 1938 through the early 1950s. Most of these fine rifles were later drilled and tapped for scope mounting. This is an unaltered example. It also has a little better than standard grade of walnut with sharp checkering on the wrist and forend and original sling swivels. It is correctly factory fitted for a Lyman receiver sight matched with hooded front sight and filler in the rear sight dovetail (and no evidence of it ever having had a rear sight). The blue is near perfect overall and all screw heads look unturned. Even the trigger guard and floor plate around the magazine shows all the blue. All sharp and crisp markings with the floor plate ahead of the trigger guard correctly marked “SPORTING.” The magazine is Winchester marked as is the correct pistol grip cap. Perfect bright bore. This one would be very hard to improve upon! $1495.

     

 

 

 

 

 

    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