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looking for advice on Winchester rifle
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July 23, 2017 - 12:05 am
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I am trying to identify and figure out general desirability of my grandfather’s 33 cal (?) Winchester lever action rifle.  It has a number near the trigger 155979.  

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If this is an inappropriate forum, please disregard this message and accept my apologies.

 

Tom Rauchfuss

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July 23, 2017 - 12:52 pm
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Tom,

The 1886 rifle is one of the most desirable Winchester rifles. Having said that, yours is in the less desirable calibre of .33 WCF (or so you state with a ?, so please check the markings on the barrel), it has been reblued, the wood has been refinished, and a recoil pad replaces the original buttplate. Yours is takedown and has a tang sight. Because of extensive modifications, yours is a shooter only and has no collector value. I would value it at around $750.

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July 23, 2017 - 8:26 pm
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Thank you for the helpful advice.  Yes, it was just a hunting rifle.  Maybe not a gem, but nice and a little unusual.

With best wishes, Tom

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July 25, 2017 - 12:16 am
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BTW, the rifle is a 33, found Grandpa’s cartridges.  What do you think that the chances are that this ammunition is good and safe to fire?  Probably at least 70 years old. Thank you, Tom

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July 25, 2017 - 1:56 am
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This is what the International Ammunition Association recommends:

Is old ammunition safe to shoot?
We cannot answer that, even if we see the ammunition.  While it may be a desirable collector item, it may be useless for the shooter. Primers can lose (or increase) their sensitivity, propellant charges can deteriorate and fail to burn or burn improperly.  Cartridge cases may become brittle and split or rupture when fired.  Bullets may become stuck in cases from reaction between different types of metals, or they may change physical dimensions from oxidation or chemical reactions.  Age, storage conditions, temperature extremes, and original manufacturing practices may vary greatly and two similar cartridges stored under different conditions may or may not be equally  suitable for use.  Old ammunition should be saved only as collector items, not for actual use.  It is better to spend a few dollars on new ammunition than to risk a misfire or worse which might damage a valuable gun (or the shooter) by using old ammunition of questionable condition.

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"This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." 

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