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Madis comparative rarity numbers in "The Winchester Book"
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May 2, 2024 - 5:17 pm
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Disclaimer: I’m not trying to start an online range war or impugn the late George Madis.  However, I have some issues with some of the comparative rarity remarks in “The Winchester Book.”  From what I understand, Madis created these comparative rarity tables from the Watrous & Miner research information.  They supposedly got their information from the Winchester records before they were destroyed.

It seems to me that research by Herbert Houze and Jim Gordon have given us newer information.  For example, Madis says that for the Model 1876, “1 of each 14 guns had a set trigger.”  That’s a little over 7% by my reckoning.

Looking at Houze’s “Winchester Model 1876 Centennial Rifle” book I read a total of 10,605 Model 1876’s had a set trigger.  With total production at 63,803 that is a little more than 16% of Model 1876’s that had a set trigger.  That is a big difference.

Thoughts?  

I call myself a collector as it sounds better than hoarder

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May 2, 2024 - 6:55 pm
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Bill,

Madis’ rarity numbers are not accurate for any of the many different Winchester models that I have conducted detailed research for.  I do not know where or who he actually derived his information from, but it has been proven to not be accurate.  If you compare the set trigger information that he published for the Model 1894 versus the information in the ARMAX Vol 5, there is a large disparity. Madis stated that just 3,277 Model 1894s with set triggers were made (through 1942).  The ARMX survey documented 5,158 before serial number 354000 (May 1907).  The erroneous rarity information is not confined to just set triggers. Per Madis, there just 2,758 Take Down Model 1894s, but per the ARMAX survey, the actual number was 26,934, and again, that was just through s/n 354000.  My survey of the Model 1894 indicates that through the year 1931 (s/n 1079689), the total Take Down production was something very near 98,000.

My point to all Winchester collectors is this… while George was a tremendous ambassador to the Winchester collecting community, much of his published statistical information was not well researched, or accurate.

Bert

WACA Historian & Board of Director Member #6571L
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May 2, 2024 - 7:09 pm
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Can’t speak for the 76 but the 73 set triggers I’m finding 21% of them have it. It is the most common feature added to a gun.

Bob

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May 2, 2024 - 7:45 pm
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I used to think a Winchester 1886 carbine was uncommon, this being 1:400 as per Madis.  It’s more like 1:20.

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