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Blank tang
August 27, 2019
12:16 am
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The receiver frames were stamped sequentially, and serial numbers 679, 692, 723, 724 and 730 all have the standard upper tang marking.

Bert

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August 27, 2019
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I once made an acquaintance with an elderly man at the home of a friend, and got to know him much better over the years at gun shows. One day we were discussing Colt .22 revolvers in some detail when he told me he had one that was a Scout Buntline that had a very low serial number. Having bought Wilkerson's relatively new book on the Colt .22's a few years earlier, I thought that it might be numbered in the first thousand or so, which would place it in the highly sought after Q suffix serial range. When he told me that it was Serial Number 25Q...I was shocked, since commercial production began with Serial Number 1000.

As the conversation continued, I learned that the revolver was blue, which confused me even further since low serial numbered Q suffix guns had receivers in the white and known as Duo-Tones. He went on to explain that when he was a much younger man that he bought it at the store where he worked as a clerk and also sold firearms there. Not long after this conversation the wife and I met him and his wife while enjoying dinner and conversation, talking guns, and making trades, with one being for the little Colt revolver as NIB!!!! A complete, original package to this end.

To make a long story short, some 10 to 15 years later, I received a Colt letter confirming the year it was made and the store it was sent to in 1964, which is the exact place that it was purchased by the above mentioned party. The primary question of how a receiver that was made about 1955 with Serial Number 25Q, which was not intended for commercial production, ended up becoming a commercially produced revolver in 1964.

The obvious and short answer to the above scenario certainly appears to be that Colt had a receiver that failed to meet their quality control standards where serial numbering was concerned...but assembled it to the other parts and sold it anyway.

My question here as regards the subject blank-tang rifle would be to ask is it reasonable to expect that in similar circumstances that Winchester would have followed similar procedures where, perhaps, a perfectly good part is available for use to effect a later sale despite the fact that it has a blank tang?

BTW, the little Colt revolver was appraised at triple the going estimated cost by one auction house, and double the going estimated value of a standard piece by one of the foremost .22 Colt collectors in the U.S.

James

August 27, 2019
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AG said
Can anyone advise if an original blank tang (m1894) adds value & how much ?(First variation model. 

AG  

AG, what is the serial number and do you have a picture of it and its upper tang?

 

James

August 27, 2019
1:09 am
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jwm94 said

AG, what is the serial number and do you have a picture of it and its upper tang?

 

James  

James,

As I previously mentioned, AG is inquiring about serial number 714, and it did not languish in the factory parts bin for more than the expected few weeks.

Bert

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August 27, 2019
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jwm94 said

AG, what is the serial number and do you have a picture of it and its upper tang?

 

James  

Yes Bert is correct. Serial # 714. I know the owner. He has collected Winchester’s for almost 50yrs now & has owned over a thousand & currently sitting at around 300. 

He has vast experience in collecting & he purchased this rifle in the 1980’s. He is stead fast this rifle is 100% original and I’ve seen it and I would have to agree, but I also cannot dispute what Bert says about production & polishing room etc so I’m left with it being better to just have the tang markings, until someone can find actual records or proof indicating otherwise. 

AG

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August 27, 2019
2:27 am
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Bert H. said

James,

As I previously mentioned, AG is inquiring about serial number 714, and it did not languish in the factory parts bin for more than the expected few weeks.

Bert  

Thanks for your opinion, Bert.  As you know I have depended on your knowledge in the past and I have saved big bucks, but you still had to convince me that you were right...or at least give me pause to rethink my decision by furnishing some details, as certitude without evidence is meaningless for obvious reasons.

 

James

August 27, 2019
2:41 am
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AG said

Yes Bert is correct. Serial # 714. I know the owner. He has collected Winchester’s for almost 50yrs now & has owned over a thousand & currently sitting at around 300. 

He has vast experience in collecting & he purchased this rifle in the 1980’s. He is stead fast this rifle is 100% original and I’ve seen it and I would have to agree, but I also cannot dispute what Bert says about production & polishing room etc so I’m left with it being better to just have the tang markings, until someone can find actual records or proof indicating otherwise. 

AG  

AG,

I have respect for your opinion as I do for Bert's. Bert has stated that it's his "belief" that it has been fooled with.  Having said that, should you want to know "why" Bert has such a "belief" about the rifle, you need to get the specifics from him.  Again, having said that, there are a number of folks that have already given a great deal of thought to this subject...so you might want to share any evidence that you have gotten...or might get from Bert that has to do with why he feels the rifle was fooled with..

FWIW:  I probably would not buy a Winchester with a blank tang from this era, and stand by what I posted earlier as well.

James

August 27, 2019
12:12 pm
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1892takedown said
Id be interested in knowing the exact SN range it occurs and how many, the dates they were shipped, and if there is they are a part of the same order, or not when shipped.  Pure speculation, but they are found at the beginning of the 1894 production when they are trying to crank out production, is it possible the roller die used was damaged and it took several days to make another, and some went unstamped to keep up with orders?  Im not aware of any blank tang 1892's, and if not, then it wouldnt appear it was a company decision on the fly to not stamp the upper tangs (keeping in mind the 1873/1876 open tops).  There has to be a logical reason, surely it didnt go unnoticed but was obviously acceptable during that short period of time.   

Here are some photos I was able to acquire. Removed the buttstock to show numbers & underside. It looks original to me. Let me know what your opinion is. 

23DB0D9C-F27D-4540-97C9-0D2E230A3265.jpegImage EnlargerD40C3029-5C58-4BFF-B843-DB24EAE99AA2.jpegImage Enlarger4A1ACE5F-5DA1-4E9F-8865-871EA0F2300F.jpegImage EnlargerEC4F2E23-D758-4E24-9B6A-E3BEF1DD9575.jpegImage Enlarger25FD8008-1C9E-4301-8EE2-C1563CADB311.jpegImage Enlarger6A98C5FC-F27F-451C-B523-60CBE71E2014.jpegImage EnlargerEA53BC99-5439-41E1-9983-B6E02DEA6789.jpegImage Enlarger8649C695-D9EB-42A6-84F1-588985A9C311.jpegImage Enlarger

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August 27, 2019
3:56 pm
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Thanks for the pictures, AG.  I've just finished checking out Renneberg's two books about the upper tang markings.  Like I said earlier, issues like this make for an educational setting, and I'm all ears at this time.

James

August 27, 2019
4:37 pm
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Maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me, but zoom in on the photo of the tang (fifth photo down on the list).  I see a real faint "E" right where the "E" should be for "WINCHESTER".  Anyone else see the same thing?

August 27, 2019
5:02 pm
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deerhunter said

Maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me, but zoom in on the photo of the tang (fifth photo down on the list).  I see a real faint "E" right where the "E" should be for "WINCHESTER".  Anyone else see the same thing?  

I think that’s just the way the light is shining & a mark of some sort. I’ll see if I can acquire a better photo of that in a couple days. 

AG

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August 27, 2019
5:11 pm
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I might add there has been no attempt to mislead, alter, or fake this being a blank tang on the part of the current owner. He has owned this gun for 30+ yrs & has always maintained its a blank tang rifle that left the factory this way in his opinion. His experience certainly doesn’t match that of lBert, Big Larry, & some others here, but he’s no newbie & has extensive experience in all Winchester’s. 

I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure, but if you saw it person you would most likely be on the “original” side, but I understand the reasons given for feeling it’s been altered. I do believe ser # 8 has been proven to be a blank tang so why not 714. 

AG

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August 27, 2019
5:17 pm
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deerhunter said

Maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me, but zoom in on the photo of the tang (fifth photo down on the list).  I see a real faint "E" right where the "E" should be for "WINCHESTER".  Anyone else see the same thing?  

deerhunter, 

Yes, I saw that almost immediately, but it is the wrong shape for the "E" in Winchester, and more like the "E" in Trade Mark that is on later tangs.  Very hard to tell one way or the other, though.

James

August 27, 2019
8:51 pm
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In the second photo I see a 571.  Is this number anywhere else? Like on the stock or butt plate?  I see nothing that would lead me to believe that any markings have been removed.

August 27, 2019
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Chuck said
In the second photo I see a 571.  Is this number anywhere else? Like on the stock or butt plate?  I see nothing that would lead me to believe that any markings have been removed.  

Yes Chuck that is the # 571. I will try to get some more photos this week if I can. 

AG

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August 27, 2019
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As far as serial numbers 679, 692, 723, 724 and 730 all having the standard upper tang marking, we are only discussing one rifle tang that made it through the production line without getting stamped rolled for whatever reason (careless, hungover, fire drill, Friday closing time, misplaced, or fell off the bin & out of view for a short time, etc, etc, etc. I’m not disputing anyone’s opinion which also has its merits, just giving my own now after viewing the rifle again.

Yes a series of blank tangs would give more credence to this being original but I guess it’s up to each one of us to decide it’s validity. Sight unseen always has a degree of suspicion, but my “eyes on” in this case leads me to believe it’s the real McCoy! 

AG

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August 27, 2019
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Chuck said
In the second photo I see a 571.  Is this number anywhere else? Like on the stock or butt plate?  I see nothing that would lead me to believe that any markings have been removed.  

Chuck,

I was thinking along the same lines, although most of these type numbers I've seen are normally associated with special order-deluxe type features associated with the wood one way or the other. I'm quite certain that the number 714 is an assembly number meant to denote that something about the rifle is not a standard feature, and the only thing that jumps right out as being non-standard is the blank-tang feature - so why stamp the stock in this type of case?

Renneberg, as you might recall, (on page 113 of his second-edition), pictures and discusses the fact that serial number 764 has the inverted number 663 stamped on the upper right side of the tang on a standard, round-barreled 38-55. He also notes that some T/D versions "will also have this number on the forend side of the takedown flange." Which makes me think that the purpose of stamping the receiver and forend with the same number was to ensure they would be assembled together.

What are your thoughts?

James

August 27, 2019
11:36 pm
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jwm94 said

Chuck said
In the second photo I see a 571.  Is this number anywhere else? Like on the stock or butt plate?  I see nothing that would lead me to believe that any markings have been removed.  

Chuck,

I was thinking along the same lines, although most of these type numbers I've seen are normally associated with special order-deluxe type features associated with the wood one way or the other. I'm quite certain that the number 714 is an assembly number meant to denote that something about the rifle is not a standard feature, and the only thing that jumps right out as being non-standard is the blank-tang feature - so why stamp the stock in this type of case?

Renneberg, as you might recall, (on page 113 of his second-edition), pictures and discusses the fact that serial number 764 has the inverted number 663 stamped on the upper right side of the tang on a standard, round-barreled 38-55. He also notes that some T/D versions "will also have this number on the forend side of the takedown flange." Which makes me think that the purpose of stamping the receiver and forend with the same number was to ensure they would be assembled together.

What are your thoughts?

James  

Was just reading through an article in the Winter 1895 collector magazine that addressed the assembly numbers stamped upside down and on the right side of the upper tang.  And that they are usually accompanied by the same assembly number stamped on the wood at the inlet of the upper tang. 

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August 27, 2019
11:51 pm
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1892takedown said

Was just reading through an article in the Winter 1895 collector magazine that addressed the assembly numbers stamped upside down and on the right side of the upper tang.  And that they are usually accompanied by the same assembly number stamped on the wood at the inlet of the upper tang.   

I will look for that number or a number on the butt stock if I can acquire more photos. 

AG

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August 27, 2019
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1892takedown said

Was just reading through an article in the Winter 1895 collector magazine that addressed the assembly numbers stamped upside down and on the right side of the upper tang.  And that they are usually accompanied by the same assembly number stamped on the wood at the inlet of the upper tang.   

Was this supposed to apply to all models?  The reason assembly numbers (in most cases, the last 2 or 3 digits of the ser. no.) were used by many other makers was because some hand fitting was required--so that these parts were not fully interchangeable on other guns of the same model.  But in my experience, Winchester parts, even barrels, usually ARE fully interchangeable, due to more carefully controlled machine work, I presume.  So why would assembly numbers be needed?  Or are some Winchester parts on some models less interchangeable than I've been assuming?

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