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. Until recently, 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/classic 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 or email 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. AND PLEASE, MAKE CHECKS TO WILLIAM (OR BILL) GOODMAN AND NOT GOODMANGUNS







An interesting thing happened a few weeks ago that got me thinking… Here in Montana we had an early snow storm while most of the trees still had their leaves. As usually happens with these storms, lots of aspen and other tree branches broke under the weight of the snow. My brother called to have me come over to his place and help him cut up some branches. I arrived ready for action with my Home Depot purchased aluminum branch clippers. He met me at his garage holding MY FATHER’S OLD BRANCH CLIPPERS. So what’s the big deal? Well, I remember those clippers as a kid in the 1960s and I’m sure he owned them long before that. This tool was made of solid steel and had (wait for it…) riveted wood slab handles. This thing really had some weight to it! It also had a kind of double hinge for extra leverage cutting of larger diameter branches. It sure put my flimsy aluminum clipper to shame! I bet this solid steel beauty was made in the 1940s or maybe even before W.W.II. For all I know, it might have belonged to my grandfather! The point of all this is that it reminded me of why we all like antique/classic firearms. They too were made of steel and wood- no synthetics or alloys. They were made to last, and they have. My modern clippers are getting loose and worn. I was thinking of replacing it for another. Not my Dad’s clipper! It is generational. Same goes for the guns of that period and earlier. Not that I’m knocking modern firearms, but there’s something hard to describe about holding a Colt New Service or S&W .44 Hand Ejector revolver or shouldering a Winchester Model 71 .348 caliber… I know you get it or you wouldn’t be on this website.

COLT FIRE ARMS (click text for photo)

1) COLT’S FIRST MEDIUM FRAME SIDE-SWING CYLINDER TARGET MODEL IS THIS OFFICERS MODEL WITH LEFT TURNING CYLINDER BUILT ON THE OLD NEW ARMY & NAVY .38 DA MILITARY MODEL, .38 SPECIAL, #290XXX, MADE 1907. These distinctive revolvers are easy to spot as they have the double row of locking notches on the outside of the cylinder enabling the cylinder to turn in a counter clockwise direction (often called “left wheelers). Correct checkered walnut grips without the Colt medallions, checkered back strap and trigger, flat top frame with target sights. These earliest target models have the last patent date on the barrel of 1901 and on the left side of the barrel have “OFFICERS MODEL COLT D.A. 38”. Excellent overall condition with just the lightest of carry/handling wear- a spot of gray at the muzzle, light edge wear on the cylinder and a little thinning of the blue on the right side of the frame between the trigger and hammer. Interestingly, this one has the name “COX” lightly scratched into the butt between two tiny holes in which I assume a very small identification plate was once affixed. Inside each grip panel, aside from the matching assembly number, is “L-H COX, WATERLOO, GA. in pencil. The previous owner thought Cox had something to do with Georgia railroads. Overall, an interesting, high condition 117 year old Colt Target model whose history is worth investigating. A Colt letter might prove valuable on this one. (4 photos) $795

2) VERY EARLY COLT NEW SERVICE, .38-40, 7 1/2″ BARREL, #17XXX, MADE 1907.  This is a fairly scarce combination as most .38-40 caliber Colts (Single Action Army also) were made in the shorter barrel lengths. This example has all the correct markings including the last patent date on the barrel of 1900 and the rampant colt stamping on the left side of the frame being circular with COLT’S NEW SERVICE in a circle around the horse. Shows normal light holster wear with some thinning blue to silver on the barrel sides, some thinning on the cylinder and grip strap wear. The back of the hammer shows nice fire blue, grips are excellent, nice blue on the frame with a little thinning mainly on the left rear portion. Lanyard swivel intact, very tight action with perfect, no movement lock up of the cylinder. Bright excellent bore, front sight has not been altered and only the ejector rod tip appears to be a replacement. A really attractive and scarce variant 117 year old Colt New Service!  $1295.

3) VERY FINE CONDITION BISLEY, .32-20, 4 3/4″ BARREL, #299XXX, MADE 1907. This is a really nice example that came out of here in Montana.  Fine deep blue on the barrel with only the usual silvering/mixing on the left side from holster wear and some silvering on the outside of the ejector housing with deep blue on the upper and lower portion. Fine evenly thinning blue on the cylinder with deep blue in the flutes. Bright blue on the upper back strap around the hammer, around the trigger guard bow and on the butt with the grip straps mostly gray. The right side of the frame shows nice, even light case colots with more vivid color ahead of the cylinder. The Left side case colors have faded to a mottled gray with good color on the frame ahead of the cylinder. Exc. markings including the correct two line barrel address and Bisley Model marking on the left side as well as the patent dates/rampant colt on the left side of the frame. Exc. screws and cylinder pin. Matching numbers, nice fire blue on the trigger sides, exc. grips fit perfectly, front sight has not been altered and retains deep blue on the sides, tight mech. with four clicks to the hammer and a minty, bright bore! One of the better Bisleys I’ve offered in a while. Getting hard to find with this much blue and case color. A sharp 117 year old Colt! $3250.

4)  NEW SERVICE “SHOOTING MASTER” .38 SPECIAL TARGET REVOLVER, #337XXX, MADE IN THE MOST DIFFICULT YEAR OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION- 1933. This was the culmination of the target New Service line and differs from the earlier models as this is a totally redesigned revolver that is more than the earlier flat top variation. The Shooting Master has a rounded grip frame and a barrel length of 6.” The standard caliber was .38 Special which was the most popular for bullseye matches at the time. During the 1930s Colt had to let go of many of its workers and kept only the most skilled gunsmiths and craftsmen. Since production was so small, a great deal of time could be spent on each revolver, with the target versions being meticulously fit, tuned and finished. The action and trigger on these has to be felt to be fully appreciated. This example is in excellent+ condition inside and out. It features factory checkered back strap, front strap and trigger. It retains nearly all the original deep blue with only a touch of wear at the muzzle and just a touch of wear at the forward portion of the trigger guard bottom. It also retains all the glare cutting stipled/matte blue on the top strap, around the hanmer and the hammer top. The grips are excellent with sharp checkering and one “impressed” area below the Colt medallion on the left side- still has good checkering in this spot. Small two-line scratch in the bottom of the right grip at the butt, meaning unknown (initial?) and minor. Even the front of the cylinder face retains about all the blue indicating that this revolver was rarely if ever shot. Mirror bright bore and super tight action with light jtrigger pull. Colt’s finest revolver then and now! $3650.

5) ARMY SPECIAL .32-20 CALIBER WITH DESIRABLE 6″ BARREL, #589XXX, MADE 1927. Fine example with perfect bore and exceptionally tight action with no movement to the cylinder upon lock-up. Fine blue with just normal thinning on grip straps and toward the muzzle on the barrel. Cylinder shows some light thinning on the outside edge. Nice fire blue on the hammer back and trigger. Exc. markings, grips appear to be a correct replacement that fit fairly well with some slight overhang at the butt that could easily be polished down- minor. Unaltered front sight. Made the year Charles Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic for the first time in his single engine plane THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS. ! Most of these revolvers that were chambered in .32-20 instead of the standard .38 Special were used by outdoorsmen who paired them with .32-20 rifles/carbines. Hence, it is not uncommon to find .32-20 revolvers in much used and often abused condition.  This is a nice one. $795.

6) FINE  WORLD WAR I 1917 .45 ACP U.S. ARMY REVOLVER, #172XXX (#23XXX ARMY NUMBER ON BUTT). A really nice example that saw some holster/carry wear, but retains a mirror bore and tight action. Fine correct factory brushed blue with silvering on the grip straps and some thinning on the bottom of the trigger guard and on the rear of the frame on the right side. Excellent blue on the hammer back. Retains the “UNITED STATES PROPERTY” stamping on the bottom of the barrel with Colt address/patents on the barrel top and “COLT D. A. 45”  on the left side with only light muzzle wear on each side. U.S. inspector stamp on the upper right side of the frame and has the correct U.S. Army stampings/number on the butt with lanyard swivel intact. Exc. smooth walnut grips show only some oil staining on the edges. Fine deep cylinder brushed blue with one small area of corrosion by a single flute edge (minor). Sharp rampant Colt stamping on the frame. One frame screw may be a replacement on the right side. Front sight has not been altered or filed. Mnay of these were still in use during W.W. II. Lots of history here. $1195.

7) VERY LIMITED PRODUCTION .32 (.32 S&W LONG CALIBER) OFFICERS MODEL HEAVY BARREL TARGET REVOLVER, #640XXX, MADE NEAR THE END OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION IN 1939. Colt only turned out a few hundred of these before ceasing production for World War II. All .32 caliber target revolvers are rare- both Colt and S&W produced very few in all models. It seems most shooters wanted either a .22LR or .38 Special in their target revolvers- some big bore target revolvers were turned out, but like the .32s, they are rare. This example has seen some less than ideal storage, but is still in excellent condition overall. There is a little spotting to the blue finish on the left side of the frame behind the cylinder latch and some light wear to the front strap and butt with the balance fine blue. Checkered back strap and trigger, tight action, perfect bore, unaltered adjustable target sights, retains about all the blue on the front face of the cylinder indicating that this one may not have been fired at all. I believe the above mentioned spots are from poor storage more than actual usage and handling. Excellent Colt medallion walnut grips with sharp checkering and one tiny surface chip in the middle bottom edge of the left grip- minor. Amazing Great Depression hand fitting and workmanship! This kind of individual care and craftsmanship would be too expensive to provide today aside from custom shops. $1895.

8) CLASSIC 1903 POCKET HAMMER AUTO PISTOL, .38 ACP, #28XXX, MADE 1911. This whole .38 ACP series (Model 1900, 1902 Sporting and Military and 1903 Pocket Hammer) has that great early Colt auto appearance that all changed with the later more modern looking hammerless pocket models and the Model 1911. Never made in the quantity of the later models, these  John Browqning designed .38 ACP slab sided autos are truly the grandfathers of modern auto pistols. The Pocket Hammer, which was still a fairly good sized auto by today’s standards, was made without a safety, aside from the half cock on the hammer (people were more responsible in those days and didn’t blame gun manufacturers for their stupidity when an unintended discharge happened!). This example shows fine high polish blue on the frame with good thinning blue on the slide and grip straps. Exc. markings and exc. grips. The magazine bottom is marked “CAL 38″ over ” COLT” and the right side of the slide is marked “AUTOMATIC COLT” over “CALIBRE 38 RIMLESS SMOKELESS.” The left side of the slide has the Colt address and last patent date of 1902. Still retains some good case color on the hammer and fire blue on the trigger. Exc. mechanically and exc. bore. The .38 ACP is exactly the same case as the more modern .38 Super, just loaded to lower pressure. Firing a .38 Super in a .38 ACP will no doubt cause damage! Only 26,000 of these were made between 1903-1929. Great looking 113 year old Colt automatic! $1295.

9) EXCEEDINGLY RARE COLT OFFICERS MODEL MATCH IN .22 MAGNUM CHAMBERING, #77XXX, MADE 1959. Only about 800 of these were produced by Colt and this one was made during the first year of the introduction of the .22 Mag. Rim Fire, 1959. One of the most difficult of the Post-War Colts to find, this model, this example is in excellebt conditiion inside and out. It retains nearly all the original blue- even on the cylinder face with only a hint of a cylinder drag line. these Officers Model Match revolvers had the same hand fitted and tuned actions as the early Pythons. A superb condition exctremely rare Colt made the first year of the .22 Magnum 65 years ago! $2450.

MARLIN (click text for photos).

1)  A TRULY UNIQUE, ONE-OF-A-KIND MARLIN LEVER ACTION RIFLE! MODEL 1892 .32 CENTER FIRE CALIBER WITH 32 INCH ROUND BARREL, #428XXX, MADE c.1910. This model was ONLY OFFERED IN BARREL LENGTHS OF 24″, 26″, AND 28″. This exact rifle is pictured in the Marlin Book by Brophy and identified by serial number (Page 187). The .32 caliber Model 1892 was factory equipped with a rim fire firing pin, but was provided with an additional firing pin for .32 Center Fire. So, the rifle could be fired with .32 Short and long RF and .32 Short and Long Center Fire ammunition. This rifle has both condition and rarity! The receiver retains most of the original blue that is mixing a little plum with age and shows minor thinning/age. The barrel and mag tube also show fine lightly aged blue. It has the typical buckhorn rear sight and Rocky Mountain blade front sight. The sling swivels appear original and are mentioned in the caption on this rifle in Brophy’s book. The upper tang has the correct Model ’92 marking and the barrel also has the normal marking for this model. The bore is bright and excellent and the action is tight. A rare opportunity to own such an unusual and probably unique Marlin! $4950.

2) ANTIQUE 1893 FULL DELUXE TAKEDOWN RIFLE IN .30-30, #173XXX, MADE 1898. Well, that’s the interesting part, but the rest isn’t so great. This one has had a hard life The checkered fancy pistol grip walnut stock has been broken at the wrist and “frontier repaired” with some dowels and pins. Pistol grip checkering is heavily worn and the shotgun butt plate is a very worn hard rubber replacement. There is a sling swivel hole in the bottom of the stock. The forearm is solid with worn checkering and the forend cap has a sling swivel hole in the bottom. The walnut is an uncleaned very fancy burl that has never been cleaned. The barrel is 1/2 octagon with half magazine with the barrel cut to 21 inches. It is fitted with a buckhorn rear sight and blade front sight. I called this one in to the Cody Museum and the call-in sheet simply states: “Rifle, Caliber .30, 1/2 octagon, barrel length 26″, pistol grip stock, takedown, shipped Oct. 19, 1898.” The magazine does not appear cut. There are a couple of holes in the left side of the receiver from where there must have been a receiver sight or sidemount of some kind along with a wide notch cut in the rear of the receiver top that must have gone along with whatever sight was mounted at one time. Overall metal is an uncleaned gray/brown with some aged blue. Action works fine and the safety half-cock holds solidly. The bore is a bit dark, but quite decent! The ultimate “project gun” or just cool as it is! This one came out of here in Montana. I’m sure there are a load of adventures associated with this one! $895.


A NOTE ABOUT “MODERN MARLINS”: Marlin has closed its doors for good in North Haven, Connecticut and been bought out by the folks who own Remington. It looks like some models have been put back into production with the barrels marked “Utica, New York.” I did see one of the new ones with the old North Haven barrel address so I assume they had left over barrels they were using up. Quality in wood to metal fit was fair at best and trigger pulls were off the scale heavy! I don’t know if any of the octagon barrel “cowboy models” will be produced again, although their online catalogue does show a model 1894 cowboy-type with octagon barrel in .45 Colt. UPDATE: My understanding is that Remington is now in a bankruptcy situation and has sold the Marlin line to Ruger.  Ruger is now producting some Marlin models with more to come. In my opinion, all of this confusion and past quality control problems will make the CT manufactured Marlins even more desirable as shooters and collectibles. I know I’ll be looking for them, especially the limited production models.

1) THE RAREST AND HARDEST TO FIND OF THE JM MARKED LIMITED PRODUCTION NORTH HAVEN, CT MADE RIFLES IS THIS 1894CB “COWBOY LIMITED” 20″ OCTAGON RIFLE IN .32 H&R MAGNUM CHAMBERING, #95203XXX, MADE 2005. I’m not sure how many of these were made, but couldn’t be many as they almost never show up anyplace. They are unique in the 1894 line as they don’t have a loading gate and instead load through the magazine tube like the Model 39 .22 rifles and carbines. This example appears about like new having seen little to no use. $2150.



1SHARPS 1878 BORCHARDT .45-70 MILITARY RIFLE, #7XXX. The barrel retains fine aged blue with excellent markings including the OLD RELIABLE stamping. Correct military style ladder rear sight with slide intact. The receiver has aged to a dark gray/brown with worn markings. The butt stock has had a triangular piece of walnut spliced into the right side wrist/upper tang juncture, smooth steel butt plate, forend is fine and shows normal wear and handling, but is solid. The cleaning rod is an incorrect replacement (looks like from a muzzle loader), Bore is bright with a few small spots of corrosion, action is tight with the safety working. Comes with a heavy military style sling. $2150.

2) ANTIQUE STEVENS MODEL 44, .25-20 SS CALIBER, #52XXX. This is a solid rifle that has had the barrel re-lined. It must have been done a long time ago as it was relined to the original .25-20 Single Shot cartridge, NOT  .25-20 WCF. The action is tight and the bore bright and excellent. The barrel side is correctly marked .25.20. The 26″ half octagon barrel shows good aged blue that is thinning/mixing brown in areas. The receiver is an uncleaned gray/brown. Walnut stock and forearm are both about excellent with barely a chip/sliver out of the forend on the forward left edge- hardly visible. . Buckhorn rear sight with elevator bar intact and blade front sight. All unaltered and no extra holes. Matching serial numbers on the barrel bottom and receiver. Strong safety half-cock and light trigger pull. Should be lots of life left in this one. $895.



1) ONE OF THE MOST RARE AND UNUSUAL AMERICAN MADE AUTO PISTOL: J. KIMBALL ARMS CO. .30 CARBINE CAL. AUTO PISTOL, ONLY 250-300 WERE MADE IN 1955. This Detroit, Michigan company attempted to produce a pistol for the popular .30 M1 Carbine round. During this time surplus ammo was cheap and readily available. However, there were problems with the basic design of this pistol and the company went out of business soon after production began. This example with adjustable target rear sight and serial number 1X IS BRAND NEW IN THE ORIGINAL BOX WITH OWNERS MANUAL! The box is in excellent condition with only some normal scuffs and handling. All end and top markings are sharp and clear. The owners manual is also fine. Even the most advanced auto pistol collections probably lack one of these. Of those that still exist, this may be the best. $3850.


REMINGTON (click text for photos)

1) REMINGTON HEPBURN SINGLE SHOT OCTAGON SPORTER, 40-70 STRAIGHT CALIBER, #4XXX, MADE 1880s. Nice example with 30″ octagon barrel and correct Remington crown (slightly beveled oct. edges) showing that this one hasn’t been cut. Exc. Remington markings on the barrel top with correct patent markings on the lower left edge of the receiver. The barrel retains fine blue showing light age only. The caliber marking “40 2 1/2” on the bottom of the barrel ahead of the receiver appears to be an overstamp. The “40” is unaltered but one can see that the “2 1/2” is stamped over “1 7/8” incicating that the chamber has been lengthened from the .40-50 straight to the .40-70 straight. When this was done is unknown and could have been done at the factory if a  .40-70 barrel was needed and all that was on hand was a .40-50. No way of knowing, but minor either way. Mostly an uncleaned  mottled gray receiver with some case color by the protected portion under the side lever with some very minor nicks/scratches as one would expect from a hunting rifle- this one came out of here in Montana. Original buckhorn rear sight with elevator bar intact and small blade front sight. Barrel serial number under the forend matches the receiver number. Fine forend with correct metal tip and fine butt stock with correct checkered pistol grip and both with tight wood to metal fit.Tight action and fairly bright bore with fine rifling all the way through and some minor surface corrosion or leading mostly ahead of the chamber that might brush out.  Weighs about 10 1/4 lbs. Attractive appearance. $2850.

2) MODEL 14 PUMP ACTION RIFLE IN .35 REMINGTON CALIBER, #108XXX. These fine rifles were made from 1913-1934 and were no doubt another victim of the Great Depression. This one has a tight action and bright excellent bore. The blue is intact overall but showing age and turning dull with plum mixing. the butt stock finish has “raised” and has gotten “crinkly” which is fairly common on these. It can usually all be removed with mineral spirits that often reveals nice walnut underneath. Looks like there may be a small crack in the corner of the wood by the safety on the left rear of the receiver/tang juncture. The stock retains the unusual “reverse” crescent butt plate with toe plate on the bottom. The forend is solid and shows only light wear. All markings are sharp and clear. Has a buckhorn rear sight with elevator bar and the barrel is also cut for the sometimes seen “wheel adjustable” buckhorn rear sight. Probably once had a tang sight as the two filler screws are missing from the rear top of the receiver- easily replaced. There is a hook-eye sling swivel in the butt as well as in the magazine retaining band. The safety functions and in all a rifle that ought to clean up nicely. This is the most desirable caliber in the Model 14. $795.


RUGER (click text for photo),

1) OLD MODEL SINGLE SIX .22LR/.22 MAG CONVERTIBLE, 5 1/2″ BARREL, #436XXX, MADE 1960s. Fine condition Three-screw revolver that has NOT been converted to new model. Retains almost all the blue with just some muzzle wear on the left side and a smudge at the bottom of the back strap edge. It is fitted with high grade walnut oversize grips. On the inside is printed “A GENUINE HERRETT’S MODEL RX.”  Grips show only light wear. Tight action, excellent bright bore, extra .22 mag cylinder is also excellent and shows about all the blue. Classic early Ruger Single Six in very fine condition. $795.

2) GORGEOUS, CLASSIC RUGER MODEL 77 RSM .375 H&H MAGNUM AFRICAN RIFLE, #780-30XXX, MADE 1990s. These “Express” Ruger bolt actions are now long discontinued and are some of the finest looking big game rifles that are considered the equal of the classic pre-War British big bore rifles. Stocked in nicely figured English walnut (with straight grain in the wrist for strength) with black Ruger embossed butt pad, grip cap and ebony forend tip. The quareter-ribbed  24″ barrel holds a three leaf barrel sight and is cut for standard Ruger scope rings. No unsightly barrel warning stamping about reading the owners manual… Weighs approx. 10 lbs as photographed without scope. Near new condition inside and out with the receiver blue starting to turn slightly plum- a Ruger hallmark.  Truly a superb big game rifle at home any place and against any game on the planet! $1950.


SHILOH SHARPS, MUZZLE LOADERS 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) SHILOH SHARPS 1863 .54 CALIBER PERCUSSIONN SADDLE RING CARBINE, #55XX, MADE EARLY 1980s IN FARMINGDALE, NY. This carbine in in about new conditioin inside and out and shows no use. It is fitted with the optional sling ring and bar and has a polished blue barrel with case colored receiver, lever, hammer, butt plate, barrel band etc. Fitted with correct factory Lawrence ladder rear sight and lever catch. Current catalog price for one like this would be just over $2750 with a 3 year wait and probable price increases (percussion guns tend to take longer than cartridge models). $2350.

2) COLLECTION OF THOMPSON-CENTER PISTOLS AND RIFLES.  All American made and no longer produced. Highest quality. (CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS)
1) Patriot .45 caliber perc. pistol, about new inside and out. $495 SOLD

2) Patriot .36 caliber perc. pistol, unusually builty without the “humped” back strap.Rare caliber Patriot. Like new. $375 SOLD

3) Patriot .45 caliber perc. pistol, new in original numbered box. $550. SOLD

4) Cherokee .32 cal. perc. 24″ oct. rifle, exc. inside and out with extra 27″ T-C .45 cal. barrel (shows a few scuffs, exc. inside), $595. SOLD
5) Seneca .36 cal. perc. 27″ oct. exc.+ inside and out with box, papers $795.(top in photo) SOLD
6) Seneca .45 cal. perc. 27″ oct. exc.+ insde and out with small stress crack from screw opposide lockplate- minor, with box, papers, needs minor adjustment to more securely hold full cock- light filing on the tumbler should do it- easy fix. $595.  (bottom in photo) SOLD

7) Seneca .45 cal. perc. 27″ oct, exc. inside and out, lightly used. $650. AVAILABLE
8) Renegade RARE LEFT HAND .54 cal. perc., exc. inside and out, $695. SOLD
9) Renegade .54 perc. exc. inside and out, $595. SOLD

10) Renegade .54 caliber FLINTLOCK,  very scarce. Exc. inside and out, very lightly used. $695. SOLD

11) Hawken .50 perc. exc. very lightly used, $695. SOLD
12) Hawken .54 perc.with unmarked/unfinished 35″ oct. barrel, Lyman receiver/Lyman globe front sight will take inserts, no rod, $395. SOLD

SMITH AND WESSON (click text for photos)


1) HIGH CONDITION NICKEL WITH MEDALLION PEARL GRIPS SAFETY HAMMERLESS 2ND MODEL .32, 3″ BARREL #161XXX, MADE C.1909. The 2nd. model top break safety hammerless revolver was made from 1902-1909. Serial numbers ran from 91418 – 170000. Judging from that, I’d assume this one was probably made during the last year of the 2nd Mod. production. The Safety Hammerless was a popular design for pocket carry as it had no hammer to snag on clothing and the grip safety, “lemon squeezer,” feature made it very safe to carry without fear it might go off unintended. The only way this revolver could fire is if the revolver was firmly gripped which depressed the grip safety and then the trigger pulled. The .32 S&W cartridge wasn’t a powerhouse, but five quick shots double action could be formidable at close range. Because this revolver was easy to carry, many or even most were frequently carried in pockets or purses. Often they are now found in fairly worn condition. This example is particularly fine and comes with factory pearl grips with deep dish S&W medallions (pearl grips without medallions are almost always non-factory replacements). The full nickel finish is generally excellent with only some minor pin-prick freckling on a few very small areas of the cylinder and frame. The trigger guard and barrel catch retain fine factory blue. The grips are excellent and not chipped or cracked. The action on these is interesting as the double action pull initially revolves the cylinder and cocks the internal hammer. It then comes to a bit of a stop before a little extra pressure fires the revolver. This actually makes sighting for a deliberate shot very possible. Action is excellent and the bore shows good rifling and some scattered very surface corrosion or possibly lead that may brush out. A most handsome 115 year old Smith with all matching serial numbers and great pearls! $795.

2) RARE .44 HAND EJECTOR 3RD MODEL (POST WAR-TRANSITIONAL/1926 MODEL .44 MILITARY), WITH ULTRA SCARCE 6 1/2″ BARREL (!), #S 63XXX, MADE C.1946. In any barrel length these fixed sighted .44 Special revolvers almost never seem to turn up as it is thought that only around 1400 were produced between 1946 – 1949 in the serial range of S62489-S75000. Standard barrel length was 4″ or 5″ and according to the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson 4th Edition by Supica and Nahas, “…4 inch or 5 inch round pinned barrel lengths with 6 1/2 inch very scarce; matte blue or nickel finish…” As for values with standard 4″ or 5″ barrels the book states, “Few sales reported; should bring a premium above .44 HE 3rd prewar values.” This example with all matching numbers on the barrel, cylinder and frame retains about all the original blue finish with only some light edge wear on the cylinder and top strap with some light muzzle wear. It still has excellent case colors on the hammer and trigger. The grips are correct “N” frame S&W medallion grips, but are of later manufacture. Action is very tight, excellent markings and the bore is bright and sharp. I don’t expect to see another of these rare early postwar .44s especially with a 6 1/2″ barrel. The most advanced S&W collections don’t have one of these! $2950

3) UNUSUAL SHORT BARREL .32 S&W LONG CALIBER REGULATION POLICE REVOLVER WITH 3 1/4″ BARREL, #364XXX, MADE 1922-1923. Made from 1917-1941, the Regulation Police series was different from the typical .32 Hand Ejector series in that the back strap is cut back so that oversized grips could be fitted that cover the butt of the revolver for a better grip.  They were offered in 3 1/4,” 4 1/4″ and 6″ barrel lengths. Most that I have seen are in the  4 1/4″ length with less in 6″ and almost none in 3 1/4.” The reason is fairly obvious, since the short barrel version would be used for concealment use, most people who wanted this length would buy the standard .32 Hand Ejector with small rounded grips. This revolver was intended for police use as well as field use, so again, the short barrel doesn’t make much sense with large grips. All numbers match on the frame (located on the front strap on this model as the butt is covered by the grips), cylinder, barrrel and inside the grips. It retains nearly all the blue with only some slight wear/freckling on the top strap edge etc. Barely a cylinder line and the front of the cylinder still shows about all the blue. The excellent grips have sharp checkering and are crisply stamped on the bottom with the 1917 patent markings. Exc. markings and exc. case colors on the hammer and trigger. Bright bore may have some minor scattered surface corrosion that may just clean out. Overall an excellent example of that superb between-the-world-wars hand fitted craftsmanship. A seldom seen short barrel variant. $895.

4) PRE-WAR .38-44 OUTDOORSMAN TARGET REVOLVER, #41XXX MADE DURING THE WORST YEAR OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION IN 1933. These exceptionally well made adjustable sighted big “N” frame revolvers were only made during the Great Depression from 1931-1941 with only 4,761 made in those ten years. That breaks down to 476 produced each year or only about 39 per month! This is a fine condition example with matching numbers on the frame, cylinder and barrel. Only the diamond checkered grips show a higher serial number stamped on the inside. The blue is getting a little thin on the bottom of the trigger guard and grip straps with some light edge wear on the muzzle and cylinder. The pinned blade portion of the front sight has been slightly altered at the rear portion (only the pinned blade). Excellent sharp markings. Superb pre-war action and bright excellent bore. Still some nice case colors on the hammer and trigger. The hammer has the patent markings on the rear portion. Many of these were bored out to .357 magnum and this one is still the correct, unaltered .38 Special chambering. This one came out of here in Montana and probably has some good history in it!  $1595.

5) A ONE-OF-A-KIND S&W! THIS IS REALLY UNUSUAL AND INTERESTING! .38 DOUBLE ACTION PERFECTED MODEL WITH 2″ BARREL, #3XXX, MADE C. 1909-1910. This nickel plated example with all matching numbers has to be unique. The Perfected Model was the only S&W top break with  the addition of a side thumb release. It was made from 1909 – 1920 in barrel lengths of 3 1/2″ to 6.” This very early example is in near mint, perfect condition with full bright nickel, exc. sharp markings and fine case colors on the hammer and trigger with blued barrel latch/sight. There is the numbers “8” and “9” stamped on either side of the serial number on the butt along with a tiny five-pointed star at the base of the front strap- the star indicates the revolver was returned to S&W for refinishing or re-working/repair.  Under the grips, stamped on the side of the grip strap is “10.46” indicating that this revolver was returned to S&W in October of 1946.  It doesn’t appear to be re-nickeled as the edges are sharp as are the markings. I assume it was returned to have the barrel either replaced or cut to 2″. The barrel has the correct slightly recessed from the muzzle rib and pinned front sight. This is obviously all S&W factory work. All frame screws appear unturned and the pin holding the front sight to the rib is un-marred. My guess, especially as there is the “8” and “9” numbers on the butt, is that this was a special police/detective rework. There is some light wear to the rubber grips that fit perfectly, but aside from this  and the tiniest of edge wear, there is almost no real wear to this revolver. This one came out of here in Montana. A truly fascinating S&W! $1450.

6) WORLD WAR I  UNALTERED .455 MARK II HAND EJECTOR 2nd MODEL, SCARCE CANADIAN ISSUE, #30XXX, MADE 1915-1917. As serial numbers for this model began in the 5000 to 6000 range and continued to 74755, this one was probably made in 1915 or 1916. Of these big N frame revolvers in .455 caliber 59150 were manufactured for English service and only 14,500 for the Canadian service. Many, if not most, of these were converted to .45 Colt or .45 Auto Rim (easily identified by having the back of the cylinder ground down and not showing the serial number… or just insert a .45 Colt or Auto Rim cartridge which will not chamber), this one is not altered. The Canadian models lack the British proofs especially in each cylinder flute etc. and are not marked “NOT ENGLISH MADE” etc. This is a very fine example that retains most of the original blue and shows only some normal very light holster wear on the barrel sides and no more than slight thinning on the bottom of the trigger guard and back strap (still retains almost all the blue in these areas). Even the cylinder face retains all the blue indicating that this one was rarely if ever fired. Nice case colors on the hammer sides and duller colors on the trigger. All sharp markings including the S&W logo on the frame. Exc. sharp diamond checkered walnut grips with deep dish medallions that fit perfectly. Lanyard swivel in butt intact. Matching serial numbers, tight action and minty bright bore. A very fine historical Canadian issue S&W from The Great War. $1295.

7) EARLY POST-WAR K-22, PRE-17 REVOLVER, #K59XXX, MADE 1948. This one appears unfired as it has all the pristine blue on the face of the cylinder. Retains about all the blue with one less than 1/2″ spot of light corrosion on the right side of the barrel that would touch up nicely. Exc. diamond checkereed grips. Matching numbers. Superb 1940s quality. $1150.

8) EARLY PRE-35 .22LR, 6″ KITGUN, #23XXX, MADE 1955-1956. Also known as the .22/32 Post War Target Model, these are scarce. For some reason, S&W concentrated production on the common 2″ and 4″ Kitguns and made few 6″ barrel revolvers. This early example shows fine blue with slight thinning on the back strap and some blue wear to the front strap. The balance shows about all the blue with minor edge wear. Matching numbers on the frame, barrel, grips and cylinder. Excellent diamond checkered walnut grips. Tight action, exc. bright bore and the front face of the cylinder still retains about all the blue indicating that this one was rarely firred. A difficult to find model, especially this early as after 1957 they were stamped M-35. $1150.

9) EXTREMELY RARE “BABY CHIEF SPECIAL” PRE-MODEL 36, #13XX, MADE 1950-1951. Easily identified by the small trigger guard and non-ribbed barrel with half moon front sight, and 5-screw frame, these were the first of the famed Chief’s Special snubby .38 Special revolvers. Very few of these were made and they are rarely encountered. This is a superb example with all matching numbers including inside the diamond checkered grips. It retains about all the original blue with only some very light ageing on small portions of the cylinder that you’d have to look carefully to detect. Good case color on the hamer and triggger, Sharp checkered grips with one slight age crack on the left grip center bottom edge that goes nowhere and just looks like a scratch- minor. Overall a truly fine example of the grandfather of all Chief Specials! Now pushing 75 years old. $1895.





1) REMINGTON 1871 U.S. ARMY ROLLING BLOCK PISTOL, .50 CAL., MADE 1872-1888.  Approximately 5,000 of these handsome pistols were made for the U.S. Government.  The big question is WHY? They are beautiful and powerful single shot pistols, but during this time there were a number of big S&W and Colt revolvers that were issued and were more effective.  Regardless, they are interesting and scarce.  This example shows some fine case color on the left side of the frame and on the frame around the hammer/breechblock and upper trigger guard sides with the right side more mottled and faded. The barrel blue has aged to a soft, uncleaned dull blue/brown. Unaltered front sight. The receiver has the correct P and S government inspector stamp along with the usual Remington markings. The left side of the grip has a crisp inspector stamp. Grip and forend are fine and show only normal light handling. Tight action, fairly bright bore with fine rifling and some scattered surface roughness that may scrub out. Many of these were later gunsmith altered to target pistols, this one is all original and a fine example. $2200.

2) U.S. 1899 KRAG CARBINE WITH FINE CARTOUCHE, #286XXX. These are getting very hard to find now especially in unaltered condition. This example has a sharp 1899 cartouche as well as the correct Model 1899 receiver stamping used ONLY on carbines. Fine deep barrel blue shows some age and is mixing a little brown, but all there. The receiver is a mottled uncleaned brown with some very minor surface pin-prick pitting on part of the loading gate that is hardly worth mentioning. It has the headless cocking piece only used on some of these 1899 carbines as well as the “C” marked rear sight (needs front barrel mounting screw). Only the front sight blade that is pinned in to the base appears to have been filed. The walnut stock, forend is a dark and uncleaned color with matching “humped” handguard that is also only used on these M-1899s. There is a shallow chip on the left side of the stock at the top side of the butt plate that is old and worn in. Fine action with functioning safety and exc. bore that is only a little dark, but not pitted. Good even aged blue on the extractor. This was the last carbine made by Springfield for the U.S. armed forces. An attractive, unmessed with example. $1895


WINCHESTERS (click text for photos

1) ATTRACTIVE, EARLY 1873 .44-40 OCTAGON RIFLE, #110XXX, MADE 1882. When this rifle was made the .44 WCF (.44-40) was the only caliber offered in this model, therefore like all early 1873s it is not caliber marked on the barrel or on the brass lifter. After the .38-40 and .32-20 were introduced soon after this date, by necessity the caliber was stamped. This example is a true “attic condition” example that hasn’t been messed with or even cleaned. The receiver, barrel and magazine all have a matching even deep aged blue to plum patina in the true sense of the term. Simply, the blue has just aged over the last 142 years. All of the receiver screws appear unturned except for the upper tang screw and perhaps the lever screw on the left side. It has the original dust cover and the loading gate has good aged blue. Mellow brass lifter has never been polished. The butt stock shows normal light handling only with tight wood to metal fit. The forend shows some honest light saddle wear just ahead of the receiver and also displays tight wood to metal fit. Buckhorn rear sight with elevator bar and  Winchester small blade front sight. The action is tight with solid half-cock on the hammer. The bore is a little dark with strong rifling all the way through and only some very light surface corrosion. Some rifles just have a “good feel” to them with lots of Frontier appeal and this is one. $2950.

2) FINE 1876 OCTAGON RIFLE IN .45-60 CALIBER, #87XXX, MADE 1883. This is a really nice looking, “attic condition” rifle that has that unmessed with and uncleaned look to it. All metal parts- receiver, dust cover, barrel and magazine have an aged blue, plum/brown patina. There is good blue on the loading gate and in the protected areas around the side plates, but the balance is an even aged plum. Even the receiver screws looked unturned. Mellow, uncleaned brass lifter is marked .45-60. All sharp markings and the barrel is mounted with the sporting ladder sight that is marked 1876 along with a standard Winchester blade front sight. The action is tight with secure safety half-cock. Bore is fine with good rifling and light scattered surface roughness- better than usually seen on these early big bore black powder cartridge Winchesters. Fine forend shows some honest saddle wear just ahead of the receiver, butt stock has two long hairline cracks coming back from each side of the upper tang- truly hairline, in fact I owned this one for some time before I noticed it- tight wood to metal fit and appears solid. This one recently came out of Arizona. This one just has a good look and feel to it. $3450.

3) WONDERFUL HOLLYWOOD MOVIE GUN! 1892 .44-40 20″ FACTORY SHORT RIFLE, “S” MARKED (STEMBRIDGE GUN RENTALS, HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA), #822XXX, MADE 1917. Stembridge supplied all the guns for the old Westerns from about 1916 onward. If you look carefully at the old TV and movies you’ll see these 20″ short rifles. Usually they took a terrible beating, as when they are thrown down from stage coaches (ouch!) or dropped from horseback etc. Stembridge used real factory short rifles with correct Winchester short forends etc., NOT cut down rifles. So, this makes them great Winchester 1892 collectibles plus Hollywood collectibles! This example is one of the better ones I’ve seen. The wood is surprisingly excellent with tight wood to metal fit. The receiver shows good aged blue with the usual edge wear. Barrel and mag are a soft brown with good markings and Buckhorn rear sight with elevator bar intact and small blade/bead front sight- probably had some cold blue added at some time in the past that has aged. There are two holes with filler screws in the left upper rear of the receiver for a Lyman receiver sight. The action is tight with good half-cock safety and the bore is surprisingly fine with good rifling and only some scattered light pitting- unusuall as these rifles were typically fired with black powder 5-in-one blanks that were rough on bores if not cleaned immediately. Has the typical “S” stamp below the serial number and in the wood behind the lower tang. One can’t help wondering what movie stars and personalities worked with this ’92 20″ oct. short rifle! $3450.

4) VERY LATE 1892 SADDLE RING CARBINE, .38-40 WITH MINT BORE, #992XXX, MADE 1929. These late production saddle ring carbines are actually quite scarce and this one was made in the year of the Stock Market Crash that started the Great Depression. After this, there were very few 1892s produced. Exc. barrel and mag blue with only one small area of brown on the left bottom side of the magazine. It has the correct carbine ladder sight with slide intact and exc. late “MODEL 92” barrel markings. The receiver shows good blue on the side panels that is mixing with typical 1920s flaky brown- still lots of blue with exc. blue on the bolt and loading gate. Exc. walnut stock and forearm with tight wood to metal fit. Tight action and strong safety half-cock. Best of all is the minty-bright bore. $2650.

5) VERY FINE CONDITION 1894 TAKEDOWN, .30WCF ROUND BARREL RIFLE, #850XXX, MADE 1917. Retains about all the blue on the barrel and magazine with excellent markings, flat top buckhorn rear sight with elevator bar intact and Winchester smll blade front sight. The receiver also retains fine blue on the sides and bolt with only minor “flaky-brown” just beginning to show which is typical of receivers of ’94s made during this time, and only some edge wear/browning. Exc. screw heads and tight action with excellent sharp bore. Fine stock and forend with only light handling marks and tight wood to metal fit. These are getting hard to find in this condition especially in takedown. Really nice appearance on this 107 year old 1894. $2650.

6) SEMI-DELUXE 1894 FACTORY 20″OCTAGON  SHORT RIFLE, PISTOL GRIP, CHECKERED, SHOTGUN BUTT, .30 WCF, #824XXX, MADE 1915. All short rifles are scarce with any having features like this extremely rare. As is important, this one has the correct 1″ shorter forearm used on short rifles (easiest way to tell if a rifle has been cut down). The barrel and mag retain most of the orginal deep blue with only a couple of small areas of minor freckling that you have to look closely to see, flat top buckhorn rear sight with elevator bar intact and small blade front sight. Most blue remains on the forend cap. All sharp markingns on the barrel and upper tang. The checkering on the forrend shows wear but is plainly visible. The receiver blue has flaked to a mixture of gray and very aged blue/brown which is typical of receivers manufactured during this time. There is exc. blue on the bolt and loading gate and better blue in the more protected areas. Looks like this one probably had a tang sight at one time and the tang screw threads are weak preventing it from catching and tightening. Fine butt stock with good checkering on the pistol grip that has the correct Wi nchester embossed grip cap as well as the Winchester embossed shotgun butt plate. Action is tight and the safety half cock is secure. The bore is excellent all the way through and fine screw heads. A super scarce 109 year old ’94 octagon short rifle. $3250.

7) CLASSIC 1894 SADDLE RING CARBINE, .30WCF, #951XXX, MADE 1923. A solid example that shows good barrel and mag blue with some surface freckling from poor storage that ought to clean off with some oil and very fine steel or brass wool- either way it is minor. Receiver also shows good aged blue with better blue on the bolt and loading gate. Screw heads are excellent, action is tight and has a strong safety-half-cock. Has a Marbles buckhorn rear sight with ivory bead front sight in the carbine base. Butt stock is solid and appears to have been lightly sanded/gone over. Fine+ forend. The butt plate has two incorrect screws that should be replaced. Bore is a bit dark with strong rifling all the way through. $1250.

8) SCARCE SEMI-DELUXE MODEL 1903 .22 AUTO RIFLE WITH CHECKERED STOCK AND PISTOL GRIP, WITH CODY MUSEUM CALL-and IN LETTER, #27XXX, SHIPPED 1906.  A very high condition example with about all the deep blue remaining on the barrel and receiver with one finger-nail size spot on the top right rear of the receiver and some thinning of the blue on the bottom & trigger guard. No telling how the spot happened, but could be easily touched up to blend better. Correct Winchester embossed pistol grip cap with  fine checkering on the pistol grip and forend. the left side of the receiver is fitted with the correct Lyman receiver sight. Retains the correct original rear and front barrel sights. Bright excellent sharp bore. Winchester’s earliest model auto rifle. Factory ledgers verify pistol grip, checkering and shipping date. I believe CCI is offering .22 auto rim fire ammo. $1795.

9) FIRST YEAR PRODUCTION SEMI-DELUXE MODEL 1907 .351 SELF-LOADING RIFLE, #7XXX, MADE 1907. Fine blue on the barrel and receiver with only light edge wear and some bottom wear ahead of the magazine. Tang sight with small ivory bead front sight and blank filler in the rear dovetail. Worn checkering with excellent stock and forearm that may have been lightly gone over, yet still has tight wood to metal fit. Correct sling-eye studs and fine blue on the forend cap. Serated steel butt plate may be a replacement as it seems most of these I’ve seen have hard rubber butt plates. Matching numbers and exc. markings. Correctly marked magazine. Exc. mech. and bore. Scarce 107 year old auto. $1595.

10) MODEL 71 DELUXE .348 WCF, #33XXX, MADE 1952. A good, well cared for example that shows some spots of thinning blue on the receiver sides from normal handling/hunting. Fine deep blue on most of the sides and top with gray on the bottom. Correct checkered pistol grip with Winchester embossed hard rubber grip cap and checkered forend, both stock and forend cap inletted for super grade sling swivels. Fine barrel and short mag blue with light wear only. Bright, sharp excellent bore, receiver correctly factory drilled and tapped (with filler screws) for a receiver sight- only the early ones weren’t drilled and tapped at the factory. Fine wood with sharp checkering. Tight action with only the half-cock weak and releasing when the trigger is pulled- an easy fix. Original checkered steel butt plate. Marbles buckhorn rear sight with correct ramped front sight. Great walnut and blued steel hunting rifle from the early post war days, now 71 years old. $2450.

13) FIRST YEAR PRODUCTION MODEL 74 AUTO RIFLE IN .22 SHORT CALIBER, #18XXX, MADE 1939. Only the first group of Pre-War Model 74s were made in .22 Short.  Soon after, they were chambered for the Long Rifle shell. I believe this is the ONLY Winchester auto rifle ever made for the .22 Short cartridge and then only for a very limited time This example shows nearly all the original blue with only some minor age. Even the trigger guard retains good blue. Excellent stock shows only light handling. Has the original buckhorn rear sight with elevator bar intact and small bead front sight. Tight action and mech. Bright excellent bore. These are not often seen and when encountered usually are in well used and often abused condition. Fine example of a Winchester more rare than most collectors are aware of $695.


BILL GOODMAN, 280 W. KAGY BLVD. SUITE D #152, BOZEMAN, MONTANA 59715 TEL. (406) 587-3131 FAX (406) 219-3415 montanaraven@hotmail.com


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.  MY THIRD NOVEL IS AT THE PUBLISHER NOW AND SHOULD BE OUT THIS SUMMER!! Thanks, Bill Goodman

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 felt 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 heavy field load of 3 1/2 drams equals about 95 grains (by volume) 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 CLEAR NON-FOAMING Gorilla 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 (note: this is the best glue I’ve tried, but do NOT use the brown foaming Gorilla glue as it pushes the wad up when dry and is awful to correct!). 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! Recently 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

William T. Goodman, 280 W. Kagy Blvd., Suite D #152, Bozeman, MT 59715    (406) 587-3131    fax (406) 219-3415     montanaraven@hotmail.com



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