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Guns returned to Winchester for work
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September 12, 2017 - 10:43 pm
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     I have a question regarding guns returned to Winchester for work.  Why did Winchester not record the work done to a gun when it was returned to the factory?  I have been looking at a 1885 with several special order features on it.  My question about the gun was why it has a 29 in barrel instead of a 30 in like it should have had?  The most obvious reason is that it has been cut.  I have studied the muzzle extensively but see no sign that its been cut and the front dovetail is in the right place.  The rifle is a .25RF.  I called Winchester and they told me when the gun left the factory for the first time it was a .22LR 30 in barrel with no dovetail for the rear sight.  Like I said the gun is a .25RF with a 29 in barrel and a dovetail cut for the rear sight.  Whoever changed the barrel did it professionally.  I cant buy the gun because it does not letter.  I’m thinking the barrel change is the work done at the factory when sent back.  Why does Winchester not make a note of their work done?  If they would have, and it lettered, I would buy it cause it is factory work.  But I cant prove whether Winchester did the work or a skilled gunsmith did it in his shop somewhere.  I have a 76′ that I lettered and it was sent back to the factory 4 years after it sold and the letter says nothing about the work done.  The configuration of the gun after the work done is the same as when the gun first sold.  I asked a friend and he said it was probably stock work.  I know this is kind of long but curious why they didn’t record work done.         

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September 12, 2017 - 11:41 pm
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You have to understand the factory records the Cody Museum have are not the invoices from the business office  but the warehouse records where they were just concerned with tracking the guns while in the warehouse. Very few guns will show what was done with a return and repair. Guns that entered the warehouse but were pulled back into the factory for a configuration change before shipping will usually have the change noted in the warehouse records. You said that gun does not have a R&R so all you have to go by is the workmanship of the change. It will always be a unletterable gun so the price will reflect that.

bob

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September 13, 2017 - 2:18 am
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Winchester nut said 
     But I cant prove whether Winchester did the work or a skilled gunsmith did it in his shop somewhere.

If the brl. has the OF (Outside Fitted) mark underneath the fore-end, it would establish that it was the work of a “skilled gunsmith,” not the factory.

But even a factory brl. in .25RF is nothing I’d want, except at a really great price!

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September 13, 2017 - 3:34 am
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Winchester nut said
     I have a question regarding guns returned to Winchester for work.  Why did Winchester not record the work done to a gun when it was returned to the factory?  I have been looking at a 1885 with several special order features on it.  My question about the gun was why it has a 29 in barrel instead of a 30 in like it should have had?  The most obvious reason is that it has been cut.  I have studied the muzzle extensively but see no sign that its been cut and the front dovetail is in the right place.  The rifle is a .25RF.  I called Winchester and they told me when the gun left the factory for the first time it was a .22LR 30 in barrel with no dovetail for the rear sight.  Like I said the gun is a .25RF with a 29 in barrel and a dovetail cut for the rear sight.  Whoever changed the barrel did it professionally.  I cant buy the gun because it does not letter.  I’m thinking the barrel change is the work done at the factory when sent back.  Why does Winchester not make a note of their work done?  If they would have, and it lettered, I would buy it cause it is factory work.  But I cant prove whether Winchester did the work or a skilled gunsmith did it in his shop somewhere.  I have a 76′ that I lettered and it was sent back to the factory 4 years after it sold and the letter says nothing about the work done.  The configuration of the gun after the work done is the same as when the gun first sold.  I asked a friend and he said it was probably stock work.  I know this is kind of long but curious why they didn’t record work done.           

I have several comments for you;

First, the “29” inch barrel is not standard.  For the 25 R.F. cartridge, the standard barrel length was 28-inches.  Winchester with very rare exception, made all of their Model 1885 barrels in even inch lengths (e.g. 26, 28, 30, etc.).  To completely remove the original front sight dovetail slot, more than 1-inch of the muzzle would need to be cut off, which would leave the barrel at an uneven fractional length.  Are you absolutely sure that it is 29-inches in length?

If the rifle was returned to Winchester for work, there should be an “R&R” entry in the ledger record for it.  If no entry exists, you should not assume that the work was accomplished by Winchester.  That stated, an examination of the markings on the underside of the barrel would help to determine more of the story.

Swapping barrels on a Model 1885 rifle is a very easy task, and it does not require a “professional” or a “skilled” gunsmith to accomplish.

Bert

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September 14, 2017 - 2:00 am
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Ok thank you for your comments.  The 25RF is definitely a negative.  Ill check the rifle out some more and pull the front wood off and see what’s on the barrel under the wood. Yes’sir the barrel measures 29″ and 1/16.  Thanks again for yalls comments.   

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October 5, 2017 - 2:10 am
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Winchester nut said
Ok thank you for your comments.  The 25RF is definitely a negative.  Ill check the rifle out some more and pull the front wood off and see what’s on the barrel under the wood. Yes’sir the barrel measures 29″ and 1/16.  Thanks again for yalls comments.     

WN,

Are you including the threaded portion of the barrel in the frame in your barrel length measurement or the portion from the muzzle to the frame face?  You mentioned that “you called Winchester” in the initial post.  Did you speak to the Cody Firearms Museum personnel or “winchester” which is in the business of making trademark named ammo and knows almost nothing about the rifles?

Michael

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October 5, 2017 - 2:49 am
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Bob’s post indicates some guns with an R&R entry in the ledger will note what specific work was done. I have not been fortunate enough to own one of these guns – all of the guns I have owned which indicated returned and repaired in the ledger only indicated the date of the work. Attached is an example of a model 86 I have which notes 2 R&R’s in the museum letter and for which I have a copy from the ledger – the R&R entries in the ledger are simple notes squeezed into a small space with all the other notes about the particular gun. What was done to this gun the 2 times it was returned is anybody’s guess.1886letter.jpgImage Enlargerwinchesterledger.jpgImage Enlarger

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October 5, 2017 - 3:04 pm
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     Yes ‘sir I count the threads in the measurement.  When I said Winchester I meant the Cody museum.  In my last post I mentioned that I would pull the wood off and see what the barrel said on the 85′ I was looking at.  Well the guy would not let me pull the wood.  He thought I would mess something up, he was all nervous about it.  I told him I’m not a gunsmith but I break down and take all the guts out of my guns I buy, if they need it, clean them up and reassemble them, this is just a forearm to pull off an 85’.  Anyway he wouldn’t let me so I have since then moved on and bought a nice 06′ expert, a 94′ Eastern and a M55 .22.  Moral of the story I have learned, there are plenty of Winchesters in the sea to get to bogged down with one.  Thanks for everyone’s comments.           

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