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The Winchester Book By Madis
November 19, 2019
1:31 pm
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As a new guy, I keep hearing that I need to read and have a copy of this book.  The only ones I'm seeing online go for $100+.  Before going that route, I was curious if there are any extras available out there through the collector community that might not be so pricey?  Thanks, Don

November 19, 2019
2:54 pm
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Don,

You must be looking at new books. I'm seeing used books starting at $35

Bob

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November 19, 2019
3:54 pm
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If you can direct me that way I'd appreciate it.  I see The Winchester Era, 1 of 1000 for that price, but the lowest used price I see looking at ebay/abebooks is over $50 unless you go to the one published in the 60s.  I was specifically searching for The Winchester Book (new or used) published in 1985.  I guess I can stop being a cheapskate and just grab a used one for $50!

November 20, 2019
12:05 am
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ebay, unfortunately is your best bet for a used one- you may find one on a table at a show if you keep your eyes open too..... 

next purchase after that should be the red book!!

November 20, 2019
12:22 am
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donald_labarge@yahoo.com said
If you can direct me that way I'd appreciate it.  I see The Winchester Era, 1 of 1000 for that price, but the lowest used price I see looking at ebay/abebooks is over $50 unless you go to the one published in the 60s.  I was specifically searching for The Winchester Book (new or used) published in 1985.  I guess I can stop being a cheapskate and just grab a used one for $50!  

You can watch this one and see if it goes for what you want.

Ebay

Bob

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November 20, 2019
2:09 am
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Life Member TSRA, Endowment Member NRA
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November 20, 2019
7:08 pm
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donald_labarge@yahoo.com said
As a new guy, I keep hearing that I need to read and have a copy of this book.  The only ones I'm seeing online go for $100+.  Before going that route, I was curious if there are any extras available out there through the collector community that might not be so pricey?  Thanks, Don  

Hello and welcome Donald,

Most of us probably have a copy of the Madis big brown book and have used it as a guide for collecting.  Just be aware that the book and the data and information in it are now some +60 years old and there are numerous errors and incorrect information within it.  It should be used as only a VERY general guide.  If you ever have questions on Model 1892's or Mode 61's I will be more than happy to assist and answer any questions.  There are several members here who I am sure be willing to do the same for other models as well.  This might point you in the right direction as to who to consult with. 

https://winchestercollector.org/forum/winchester-research-surveys/winchester-research-surveys/

Have fun

Michael

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Model 1892 / Model 61 Collector, Research, Valuation

November 21, 2019
4:18 am
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I'll get with you on my 61's in a day or 2. I sold one this summer but have the number handy. 

Shoot low boys. They're riding Shetland Ponies.

November 21, 2019
1:14 pm
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Old Logger said
I'll get with you on my 61's in a day or 2. I sold one this summer but have the number handy.   

That would be great.  I appreciate the effort!

Michael

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November 21, 2019
6:24 pm
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I believe that in time most books will be shown to have some problems.  That is why I buy all the books I can and along with the books look at every gun that I can.  Then buy.

November 21, 2019
10:18 pm
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If you've read enough books on specialized subjects you will find they all have some errors, new data is always turning up advancing the knowledge base, and peer review vets the new data as either true, false, or identifies a grey area that needs to be pursued further.  "Experts" are not immune to error, and in some cases may have agendas driving their data.  Thats why its important to garner as many reference sources, and their sources, as you can to properly assess the data presented against what you may have observed.  At least thats how it worked when I was in the field of Archaeology.  Let the data drive the theory, not the theory drive the data.   

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November 22, 2019
3:56 am
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Great post Chuck & 1892takeduwn.

AG

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November 22, 2019
12:23 pm
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Good morning all,

I just want to clarify that I am not trying to disparage the efforts of George Madis and what he did.  I certainly am not throwing stones or belittling his efforts and the results thereof.  I just wanted to point out that there are issues with some of the information and to use that information carefully and to look for additional help via the members within WACA.

The Brown Book was done at a time of yellow legal pads and #2 pencils without the aid of the internet and Excel spreadsheets.  The ability to collect and analyze huge amounts of data now days is SO MUCH simpler and in a large part makes it easier to get a more accurate picture of the variations found on Winchester rifles and shotguns.  It would have been almost impossible to do this back in the late 50's and early 1960's and especially so for the number of Models covered in the book.  

Michael

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November 22, 2019
5:21 pm
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One way to look at the price of Winchester reference books is the effects they have on our purchase (or sale) decisions. Before I finished reading Madis’ book I was able to spot an unusual rifle that I felt was undervalued by the seller. If I’m right Madis’ book made me hundreds of dollars on that gun alone...but I won’t truly know until or if I sell it. My Red Books have helped me make decisions on identifying several Winchesters that were significantly undervalued by the seller, one such rifle recently netted me a profit many times the purchase price. Madis examined hundreds of thousands of Winchesters including some of the finest and rarest. He had an eye for detail and an encyclopedic mind. Now we know some things that he didn’t know but all in all his book is an essential part of any Winchester reference library.

 

Mike

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November 22, 2019
5:37 pm
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twobit said
Good morning all,

I just want to clarify that I am not trying to disparage the efforts of George Madis and what he did.  I certainly am not throwing stones or belittling his efforts and the results thereof.  I just wanted to point out that there are issues with some of the information and to use that information carefully and to look for additional help via the members within WACA.

The Brown Book was done at a time of yellow legal pads and #2 pencils without the aid of the internet and Excel spreadsheets.  The ability to collect and analyze huge amounts of data now days is SO MUCH simpler and in a large part makes it easier to get a more accurate picture of the variations found on Winchester rifles and shotguns.  It would have been almost impossible to do this back in the late 50's and early 1960's and especially so for the number of Models covered in the book.  

Michael  

Michael, I doubt that any of us took your statement as disparaging, at least I didn't.  Look at all of the books out there that have been revised several times over the years.  Usually mistakes are corrected and more information is added.  Books fill a very important spot in our world of collecting. 

November 22, 2019
6:06 pm
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Chuck said 

Look at all of the books out there that have been revised several times over the years.  Usually mistakes are corrected and more information is added.  Books fill a very important spot in our world of collecting.   

Actually, most technical books are not revised, unless the publisher can be convinced that demand for a new ed. justifies the cost--which is a very high hurdle indeed.  Madis is an exception because he was publishing his book with his own money.  So, in more cases than not, mistakes remain un-corrected, & continue to be quoted as fact unless & until an entirely new book comes along (such as the Red Book) to set the record straight.  But how many copies of the Red Book are in circulation vs. all the different eds. of Madis?

Where "book" mistakes are much more likely to be corrected is in articles published in periodicals, but the problem with that is that such articles are never seen by most readers of the original book.  On top of that, the internet has killed off some of the best firearms periodicals, such as Gun Report, Accurate Rifle, & Precision Shooting. 

November 22, 2019
6:28 pm
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Clarence I can't totally agree with you.  I have a large library and many of the books have been revised.  I also have a lot of books that have not been revised.  That is part of why I have so many books.  They don't always say the same thing about a certain subject.  I have the Red book and use it.  In my opinion it is the best price guide out there but it isn't perfect.  Market values change way faster than books can be revised.  Larry and Bert know the work and cost to get this done.  It is not cheap or easy.  I cringe every time I see a dealer using the Blue book when dealing with a customer.  The outcome is not good for the customer if he is selling.  I used to buy the Blue Book, Flaydermans and the Standard Catalog of Firearms every time they were revised.  There is good info in these books but the retail values shown were almost always lower than the current market. 

November 22, 2019
7:42 pm
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Chuck said

Michael, I doubt that any of us took your statement as disparaging, at least I didn't.  Look at all of the books out there that have been revised several times over the years.  Usually mistakes are corrected and more information is added.  Books fill a very important spot in our world of collecting.   

Without a doubt, no animosity intended Michael, its just the lay of the land (IMHO) when it comes to reference books whether be in Archaeology, Winchesters, or button collecting.  Errors or inaccuracies aside, the Madis book is a great reference and starting point for beginners, and even experienced collectors to refresh their memories, to expand upon via other new sources of data.   

 

Clarence, good point regarding articles in periodicals, they can be a great source for those golden nuggets of new information.  Depending on the diversity of the subject area, they can also be hard to keep up with.  

Where "book" mistakes are much more likely to be corrected is in articles published in periodicals, but the problem with that is that such articles are never seen by most readers of the original book.   

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November 22, 2019
9:03 pm
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1892takedown said 

Clarence, good point regarding articles in periodicals, they can be a great source for those golden nuggets of new information.  Depending on the diversity of the subject area, they can also be hard to keep up with.  
  

Another gone but not forgotten "source for those golden nuggets" which I failed to mention was Armax, which years ago published the only detailed history of the Robinson (aka "Adirondack") rifle, which WRA considered enough of a potential threat to buy out the patents.  (By my friend Scott Jamison, who also wrote the "Bullard book," which if you've never seen it, is outstanding.)  He's greatly expanded the Robinson study with new info & photos, but can't find a publisher! 

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