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Estimating Winchester 1892
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December 16, 2023 - 1:56 am
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Hello.  I’m new here.  I recently received a Winchester model 1892 32-20, which according to the serial number, was manufactured in 1894.  I sent in and received the official paperwork that shows the serial number was applied in 1895.  It is in great shape.  I would like to try to estimate the value to make sure I have enough insurance coverage and wondered if anyone can help point me to a good resource to get it estimated. 

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December 16, 2023 - 2:25 am
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Chris,

If the documentation your received states that the serial number was applied in the year 1895, that is official date of manufacture.

If you can post a URL to several clear pictures of your Model 1892, we can determine which variation that it is, and most likely an idea of its actual graded condition.  From that, a reasonable value assessment can be made.

Bert

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December 16, 2023 - 4:12 am
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Their serial number range for 1892’s shows in 1894 the range was 35987-73508.  My s/n is 49760 which is why I initially figured it was made in 1894 until I got the do5.jpgImage Enlargercumentation.  Here are some pics.3.jpgImage Enlarger2.jpgImage Enlarger1.jpgImage Enlarger

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December 16, 2023 - 5:33 am
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The good news is that it is a pre-1899 production gun which means that it is truly an “antique” per Federal regulations. Additionally, it is an octagon barrelled Sporting Rifle. 

The not so good news is the caliber/cartridge it is made for.  Of the four different standard cartridges the Model 1892 was manufactured for, the 32 WCF was (and still is) the least popular.  Accordingly, they bring less money when all else is equal.

The bads news is that at some time in that rifle’s past, the receiver frame was allowed to develop heavy rust and pitting.  Somebody apparently cleaned it up, but in doing so, it left the receiver covered with a pitted surface and none of the original factory blued finish.

What we do not know is what condition the bore is in, and that will have a fair amount of influence on the remaining value of the rifle.

Bert

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December 16, 2023 - 1:46 pm
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Good morning Chris,

Based on what I can see from the images your rifle would commonly sell in the $1500 range.  Can you post some photos of the stamped writing on the barrel and the upper tang of the receiver just below the hammer?

Michael

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December 16, 2023 - 4:45 pm
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There is no stamping on the barrel.  The s/n on the bottom is barely visible, but was able to positively identify it by taking a pencil rubbing of it.  Also I found the last slip where my uncle had it worked on which also had the s/n on it.  Here is a picture of the plate.6.jpgImage Enlarger  I’ll have to run the camera I have for looking in walls down the barrel to see how this inside looks.  I haven’t shot it yet, but really want to try to get a deer with it in honor of my uncle if it is safe enough.

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December 16, 2023 - 5:39 pm
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Welcome, Chris. The 32WCF would be considered marginal at best for deer by most hunters but by today’s standards the much more powerful 30WCF is considered underpowered even though it has been used to put millions of deer on sportsmen’s dinner table over the years, probably more than any other cartridge. I’m sure the 32WCF has put lots of meat on the table but I think there may be better ways to honor your uncle’s memory. 

 

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December 16, 2023 - 5:56 pm
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I would totally agree that the 32 WCF cartridge would be considered inadequate for deer hunting.  Especially at ranges beyond 30 yards or so and perfect shot placement.   I am not saying it can’t be done but lost and wounded animals is not a worthwhile risk to take 

Michael

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December 16, 2023 - 7:30 pm
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TXGunNut said I’m sure the 32WCF has put lots of meat on the table but I think there may be better ways to honor your uncle’s memory.  

Perfect for turkey!  Or feral cats.

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December 16, 2023 - 8:12 pm
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Many of us here enjoy shooting .32-20’s.  Me included. Smile

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December 16, 2023 - 9:12 pm
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steve004 said
Many of us here enjoy shooting .32-20’s.  Me included. Smile

  

You don’t know what fun is unless you’ve had a Mod 25 Rem slide-action in that cal, but that’s mighty expensive plinking!  This cartridge is too small for deer-sized game (despite your great-grandpa’s tales of dropping them in their tracks) & too large for small-game.  That’s why it’s amazing so many were sold; because the ammo cost was a few cents cheaper than .44-40?

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December 16, 2023 - 10:04 pm
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clarence said

steve004 said

Many of us here enjoy shooting .32-20’s.  Me included. Smile

  

You don’t know what fun is unless you’ve had a Mod 25 Rem slide-action in that cal, but that’s mighty expensive plinking!  This cartridge is too small for deer-sized game (despite your great-grandpa’s tales of dropping them in their tracks) & too large for small-game.  That’s why it’s amazing so many were sold; because the ammo cost was a few cents cheaper than .44-40?

  

Do you mean like this one?  A carbine.  So light, slender and petite, it feels like a toy in the hand:

https://i.imgur.com/8SGJ6es.jpgImage Enlarger

 

By the way, I realize plinking with a .32-20 is an expensive proposition if factory ammunition is used.  I approach everything from the position of a handloader.  I don’t think I have ever shot a round of factory ammunition in any of my Winchester 53’s or ’92’s, Marlin M1894’s or Remington M25’s.

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December 16, 2023 - 11:29 pm
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steve004 said

Do you mean like this one?  A carbine.  So light, slender and petite, it feels like a toy in the hand: 

SO very cruel of you to remind me of what I no longer own! 

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December 17, 2023 - 1:17 am
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Thanks for all of the info.  If I used it for hunting, I have one hunting shack that deer are within 50 yards, so that was my max range for taking a good head shot at a doe.  I had purchased a box of HSR Cowboy load a few years ago.  The cartridge is really close to my .357 which I have gotten a deer with, again, just going with short range shots.  I find that more challenging than the 150+ yard shots.

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December 18, 2023 - 8:12 am
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steve004 said
Many of us here enjoy shooting .32-20’s.  Me included. Smile

  

Me too! A pistol primer, very few grains of powder and a little dab of reclaimed lead. Some people spend more shooting .22’s!

 

Mike

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December 18, 2023 - 3:29 pm
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Chris White said I find that more challenging than the 150+ yard shots.
  

You’re right, if you have the patience & the skill, which many who might consider using it don’t.  You can read about Indian hunters who took their shots at much closer range, but they sure aren’t your “average hunter.” 

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December 18, 2023 - 4:18 pm
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clarence said

Chris White said I find that more challenging than the 150+ yard shots.

  

You’re right, if you have the patience & the skill, which many who might consider using it don’t.  You can read about Indian hunters who took their shots at much closer range, but they sure aren’t your “average hunter.” 

  

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December 20, 2023 - 11:48 am
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If anyone doubts the potential of the 32-20 to be an effective deer cartridge go to the Hornady eleventh edition loading handbook, page 634. 100 grain jacketed bullet load at 2200 fps. That load was developed using a Marlin 1894CL. I have one of those and can attest it will take a mature Whitetail at 60 yards, double lung shot went 25 yards done. If you don’t have modern gun that will handle those loads then I would probably limit the distance to 30 yards.

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December 20, 2023 - 1:12 pm
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twobit said
Good morning Chris,

Based on what I can see from the images your rifle would commonly sell in the $1500 range. 

As this forum is to learn and enhance one’s knowledge base—no offense, but there’s no way this rifle is worth $1500.

It has no original finish, it’s well worn, the receiver is heavily pitted, and it’s in .32 WCF, the least desirable caliber in the Model 1892.  Maybe a rising tide lifts all ships (meaning perhaps all firearms have increased in value recently, no matter what they are, but it seems to me this is a $750 or maybe $1000 rifle because, what else can you get for $1000 these days?

Can anyone provide examples of recently sold similar Model 1892 rifles actually selling for anywhere near $1500?

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December 20, 2023 - 1:50 pm
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I’m not convinced the rising tide concept applies today. We have all seen one segment of the market experience a huge upswing but the price of these “ships” may not affect the price of “boats” on inland lakes, so to speak. 

 

Mike

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