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Research book question
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December 12, 2023 - 3:30 pm
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Hi, I am new here, and I own a couple of 1892’s and a 9422M.  I am now retired and have time to research and learn more about my old Winchesters, and possibly add to my small collection. Before I do that I thought I had better get educated first. My question is, what book or books would you guys recommend for learning about these guns?  I understand the George Madis book has issues with serial number accuracy and special order items, but beyond that is it still considered the go-to reference book for Winchesters?  Was his book revised and a later issue more accurate than the first?  Is there a better reference book other than Madis’ that I should invest in? 

Thank you for any information or direction you can offer.

Mark

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December 12, 2023 - 4:25 pm
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Nothing wrong with using Madis for general info, esp if you can buy an older ed cheap, but newer books may be more useful; just plug “Winchester” into Bookfinder & check out the results.  What you do NOT need to be overly concerned about, at this stage of your progress, is “special order” & high-finish guns, as that’s where you can get burned if you lack experience.  Look for standard guns in nice but not exceptional cond, & you can avoid many problems.

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December 12, 2023 - 5:31 pm
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Hello Mark,

I agree with Clarence.  In regard to the Model 1892, until Michael finishes his research and writes his future book about the Model 1892, it is one of the least documented Winchester models.  There are reference books covering nearly all of the other lever-action models in good detail, but the Model 1892 was somehow neglected.

The Model 9422 was a later comer to the Winchester line-up, and as of yet, to the best of my knowledge it has not been researched and documented in a reference book.  The fact that it was manufactured by both the Winchester Arms Company and the U.S. Repeating Arms Company from 1972 through 2002 may hinder the research efforts a bit.

Bert

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December 12, 2023 - 9:25 pm
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  Mark,

 A good example of a book library is for sale on the Forum under the Swap thread “Winchester Book Collection”. You might want to see what he has for sale and what the price is. Books are the collector’s go to for information. Mine are worn from years of paging looking for answers to questions. Mistakes are expensive in this hobby so books are cheap in the big picture.

 Clarence is spot on, George Madis’s book “The Winchester Book” was my first book, until I found what it was I wanted to collect. Then it was one book after another. These books are not collectable so condition is not a must. George’s stats are outdated but the pictures and general information is well worth the price. I wore out the first and am on my second.

 That 12 volume set of Winchester Catalogues is still for sale on the Forum.

                                                                T/R

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December 13, 2023 - 4:09 pm
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I’ve been collecting a subset of the “Sporting literature ” genre, those having to do with guns and hunting, for some years. I think Madis is always useful but, to get an accurate grasp of the Winchester line, it really helps to understand the external influences that affected the company and its wares. I’d get a copy of Houze’s history of the company from pre-inception to 1981. You also might want to pick up a copy of the recent book on John Browning and his guns. These are not hard-core technical studies of the 92 but will give you the necessary background and context. If there’s an index to our Winchester Collector journal, there may be some fine-grained discussions of interest.  Because the 1886 was the impetus for the 92 and the 73 was the pistol cartridge antecedent of the 92, studies of the 73 and 86, which are fairly plentiful, would be worth reading.  All this to say, until Mike gets it done, some triangulation will be helpful. 

From my short time as a WACA member, I cannot say enough about the depth of knowledge among its members who participate on this forum, and their collegiallity and willingness to help shine the light. This forum is an ultimate resource for anyone who shares their interest.

- Bill 

 

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December 13, 2023 - 8:00 pm
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This I’d get a copy of Houze’s history of the company from pre-inception to 1981. Zebulon said

  

This book, I think, is more appropriate for advanced collectors, who already have the basic books, such as Madis.  One third of it is devoted to engraved guns, & half, at least, of the remaining two-thirds is focused on prototypes that never went into production. 

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December 13, 2023 - 11:58 pm
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Great information.  Thank you all for your insight.  I will probably look for the Madis book as a start and check out the swap thread.  I look at the Winchester rifles and carbines on gunbroker and other sites and I have a hard time determining comparative values.  I made it up to a gun show in Greeley, Colorado this summer put on by Colorado Gun Collectors Association,  and I spent quit a bit of time looking at guns for sale.  I feel better being able to hold it in my hands and inspect it rather than review pictures and trust a written description, although I have had good luck with gunbroker with more modern purchases.  It’s when I am trying to determine originality, true condition and various model value is where I struggle.  

I may try to go to the Cody show next year.  It’s about an 8 hour drive from my home in Colorado, but I hear that it is well attended.

Thank you all again, and I am sure I will have more questions as I start my education.

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December 14, 2023 - 12:15 am
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 Tulsa is the biggest gun show in the world. If you have time in April look me up I’ll be there. T/R

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December 14, 2023 - 12:42 am
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 I feel better being able to hold it in my hands and inspect it rather than review pictures and trust a written description, although I have had good luck with gunbroker with more modern purchases. Mark59 said

 

BY FAR the most reliable way to buy, not that there aren’t shady operators behind tables, as they are on-line.  More importantly, it’s the very best way to LEARN.

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December 14, 2023 - 2:01 am
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Welcome to WACA (and our affliction), Mark. You are wise to start your reference library early in your collecting career but the books make more sense when you have an unmolested (hopefully) example in front of you while you read. In my opinion the best gun to start out with is one you can shoot and handle without affecting the value. A word of caution about the 1892’s is that unless you reload and possibly cast your own bullets the 1892 will be difficult to shoot because the 25WCF, 32WCF, 38WCF and 44WCF ammunition is very expensive or hard to find, maybe both. If you don’t intend to shoot your collectable Winchesters that’s a moot point. 
I agree that the Madis book is a great start, as your interests develop hopefully your reference library will grow with your collection. As pointed out above a good reference book may seem expensive but they have saved many of us from expensive mistakes and helped us find special guns that we otherwise would have missed. Books can be just as addictive as the Winchesters we love, I’ve found myself buying and reading books about Winchesters I have no desire to collect. 
Have fun!

 

Mike

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December 14, 2023 - 4:12 pm
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All good advice. Gunbroker and Auction Arms have their place,  but not for true collectable arms. It can be useful to login and search for closed auctions with a “largest bid count first sort order” to see how feeding frenzies work and as a check on what real World values are for unpopular vintage guns. 

Half Price Books can be a place to find Phil Sharp’s The Rifle in America and others, which is useful too. 

When my son lived in Portland, I got acquainted with Powell’s City of Books and discovered the staff shelves used volumes .. sometimes almost unobtainable books… right among the new books. They have a very fine online catalog and a helpful staff. Good folks who understand mail order. Some of them look like space cadets but I’ve always found them to be kindly and knowledgeable. 

You are among friends in WACA. 

- Bill 

 

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December 14, 2023 - 5:47 pm
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Zebulon said
All good advice. Gunbroker and Auction Arms have their place,  but not for true collectable arms. It can be useful to login and search for closed auctions with a “largest bid count first sort order” to see how feeding frenzies work and as a check on what real World values are for unpopular vintage guns. 

Half Price Books can be a place to find Phil Sharp’s The Rifle in America and others, which is useful too. 

When my son lived in Portland, I got acquainted with Powell’s City of Books and discovered the staff shelves used volumes .. sometimes almost unobtainable books… right among the new books. They have a very fine online catalog and a helpful staff. Good folks who understand mail order. Some of them look like space cadets but I’ve always found them to be kindly and knowledgeable. 

You are among friends in WACA. 

  

Bill,

Funny you should mention Powell’s… I spent a fair amount of time browsing through that old store many years ago.  My grandparents lived in SE Portland, and before their passing (in the early 1990s), when I would visit them, I made a point of stopping by the book store. They did seem to have a copy of almost every book published.

Bert

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December 14, 2023 - 6:12 pm
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That is a good point on the ammunition.  I don’t reload, that’s a whole other school of education waiting for me.  At this point I don’t shoot the 1892’s.

The 1892 carbine is a 1912 with a 20″ barrel that unfortunately, my grandfather converted back in the 40’s or 50’s to fire 357 mag.  It will fire, but it does not cycle cleanly.  I have thought of either taking it to a gunsmith and have them figure out why.  Converting it back to its original caliber is an option, but the return on that investment may not be worth it.  Actually I kind of like the ability to shoot 357 mag. I just wish it cycled.

The other 1892 is a 1912 short carbine (trapper), 15″ barrel, 44-40, ATF cleared. It came out of Texas and I believe never left the country.  That one is just for looking at.  I would be nervous shooting it.  It’s solid and in original condition showing grey patina and worn finished wood but no real damage.  These old carbines have gone up in value and I could not afford to replace it.

The 9422M from 1972 was a Colorado ranch rifle its entire life.  It is a fine shooting little carbine.

What I am researching is early 1900’s Model 94’s in 30-30, so I could easily find ammunition.  The 38-55 intrigues me but I end up there like I do with the 1892’s. (Unless I could find a reasonably priced Legendary Frontiersmen, I really like the looks of that gun, and I am not usually a fan of commemoratives)

In order of preference I have read that the pre-WWII 94’s are No 1,  the WWII to early 1964 at No 2, the late 70’s and up are No 3 and The late 1964-1977 are No 4.  For new I have read that the the Miroku guns are top notch.  Am I correct in this?

Mark

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December 14, 2023 - 6:34 pm
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Mark59 said
The 1892 carbine is a 1912 with a 20″ barrel that unfortunately, my grandfather converted back in the 40’s or 50’s to fire 357 mag.  It will fire, but it does not cycle cleanly.  I have thought of either taking it to a gunsmith and have them figure out why.  Converting it back to its original caliber is an option, but the return on that investment may not be worth it.  Actually I kind of like the ability to shoot 357 mag. I just wish it cycled.

Many such conversions were made, & though I’ve never had one, I strongly suspect they could be made to feed properly, or the conversion would never have become popular.  You’re absolutely right about the advantage of being able to shoot readily available ammo. One gunsmith I’m sure could figure out the problem is John Taylor Machine, who has solved much more difficult problems with antique guns than yours; he has a website.

I would NOT be nervous in the least about shooting your Trapper; nervous about the cost of the ammo, perhaps, but that’s a different consideration.

Miroku is top-notch in the repro line, but so are some of the Italian makers. 

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December 14, 2023 - 7:05 pm
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Clarence,

Thanks for the lead on John Taylor.  I will look him up.

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December 14, 2023 - 9:08 pm
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Mark59 said
The other 1892 is a 1912 short carbine (trapper), 15″ barrel, 44-40, ATF cleared. It came out of Texas and I believe never left the country.  That one is just for looking at.  I would be nervous shooting it.  It’s solid and in original condition showing grey patina and worn finished wood but no real damage.  These old carbines have gone up in value and I could not afford to replace it.  

You state you have a Model 1892 with grey patina and worn wood.  So, its finish is “challenged”.  You really can’t make the physical appearance much worse.  As long as it’s mechanically sound, you should have zero hesitation to fire it with light loads.

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December 14, 2023 - 9:20 pm
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OK, you guys have convinced me to give her a try.  I had it checked out a while back by a gunsmith and he said it was very functional. What would be considered a safe light load?  What brands do you all recommend?

I have also decided to get my grandfathers converted carbine checked out by a gunsmith, and repaired if possible.  I have owned it for 40 years, and years ago a gunsmith in Denver looked at it and said it was safe to shoot, but with the cycling problems I just kept it in the safe.  

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December 14, 2023 - 9:34 pm
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I’d shoot any factory ammo.  If you can find some Cowboy Action ammo these are very low velocity.   See if there is a Single Action Shooting Society group in your area and ask them where they are getting their ammo.

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December 14, 2023 - 9:53 pm
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Mark, did you ever try the .357 with .38 Spl?  Maybe the diff in length would improve feeding.  That’s what I’d prefer shooting anyway, cheaper, quieter, etc.

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December 14, 2023 - 11:37 pm
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Chuck, good suggestion.  My cousin is in SASS up in Cheyenne.  I will reach out to him and his group.

Clarence,  I did try both.  I tried snap caps and live rounds.  I believe it may handle the .38 also, but cycling was the same.

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