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Winchester British proofed lever guns
September 13, 2019
5:35 pm
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Another question. I currently have an 1886 and 1895 that have what I believe is to British proof marks. Can't be hard to get if I gottem. What about those so marked?

 

Tim

September 13, 2019
9:18 pm
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I don't know what makes You believe that British proofed Winchesters are hard to come by. I've had several over the years. Winchester shipped guns and ammo all over the world and especially the war time years Great Britain was desperate for pretty much any firearms. Quite a few .50 cal's were shipped to England  for the elite big game hunters in North Africa, most of them that I've run across have been deluxe models in various configurations. I've had some proofed at the London armoury and some proofed at the Birmingham armoury.

W.A.C.A. life member, Marlin Collectors Assn. charter and life member, C,S.S.A. member and general gun nut.

September 13, 2019
10:00 pm
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 Tim, British Proofs on a early Winchester is not appealing to the collector that would like to think his gun was once used in the wild West by a Cowboy, Rancher, or Indian. The Western's of the 50's made the Winchester and Colt collectable, British Proofs don't help. T/R

September 13, 2019
10:13 pm
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I bought a 73 with a 7 leaf sight and lettered with it. The bulk of 7 leaf sight guns were British shipped and proofed but this gun was not. I would not of bought it if it had proofs on it for the same reason TR stated.

Bob

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September 14, 2019
12:19 am
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"There’s a dignity in royalty, a majesty that precludes the likelihood of assassination. Now, if you were to point a pistol at a king or a queen, your hand would shake as though palsied . . . the sight of royalty would cause you to dismiss all thoughts of bloodshed, and you would stand — how should I put it? — in awe.

Now: a president? Well, I mean: why not shoot a president?" 

English Bob, Unforgiven (1992)

To sum up: A Winchester owned by English Bob, Little Bill, or William Muny?  I think the answer is clear.

"I suppose you know, Bob, if I ever see you again I'm just going to start shooting and figure it was self-defense."  Little Bill.

Laugh

September 14, 2019
2:04 am
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The romantic idea of My Winchester being used by some cowboy riding the range in the wild west is one thing, but the realistic fact of My Winchester 30-30 carbine being used in the process of successfully demanding the surrender of a German U-boat to a Canadian cargo vessel in the middle of the North Atlantic, or the idea of a British "Gentleman  big game hunter" facing down a raging bull elephant or African lion with his "big medicine" Winchester, now that adds some romance to My Winchester. I like the British proofs on the Winchester and it gives a gun some character, It gives Me the idea that even though the Brits had some great guns of Their own, they recognized the quality and the overall utilitarian ability of the Winchester. And the fact that this particular Winchester was thought enough of to find it's way back to the U.S., now that is a special gun. It almost seems that having British proofs on a Winchester somehow makes it "less American", I think the complete opposite, I think having seen proven service elsewhere and thought enough of to be returned "home",reinforces the romanticism of the bond between Myself and My Winchester. Just Sayin'

W.A.C.A. life member, Marlin Collectors Assn. charter and life member, C,S.S.A. member and general gun nut.

September 14, 2019
2:28 am
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Henry Mero said
The romantic idea of My Winchester being used by some cowboy riding the range in the wild west is one thing, but the realistic fact of My Winchester 30-30 carbine being used in the process of successfully demanding the surrender of a German U-boat to a Canadian cargo vessel in the middle of the North Atlantic, or the idea of a British "Gentleman  big game hunter" facing down a raging bull elephant or African lion with his "big medicine" Winchester, now that adds some romance to My Winchester. I like the British proofs on the Winchester and it gives a gun some character, It gives Me the idea that even though the Brits had some great guns of Their own, they recognized the quality and the overall utilitarian ability of the Winchester. And the fact that this particular Winchester was thought enough of to find it's way back to the U.S., now that is a special gun. It almost seems that having British proofs on a Winchester somehow makes it "less American", I think the complete opposite, I think having seen proven service elsewhere and thought enough of to be returned "home",reinforces the romanticism of the bond between Myself and My Winchester. Just Sayin'  

Well said!  I have been to the UK numerous times and it is a fabulous place!  No problem if it has British proofs.  To me, a plus!  If you collect anything with condition, chances are it spent little time in the Old West.  Which means then you collect well worn stuff.

September 14, 2019
11:34 am
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Like I said I'm just learning. I didn't think that they were uncommon as I have 2 of them. I love the history of old guns. To me that just adds more intrigue to its story. About all I can afford are the ones road hard and put up wet. Thanks Gents.

 

Tim

September 14, 2019
3:04 pm
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 One thing to keep in mind with British Proofed guns, was it refinished by one of the worlds best gunsmiths. During the time period of the model 76 & 86 the British packed up their rifles got on a boat and went to another continent to hunt in a environment harsh on guns. When they returned they took the gun to be cleaned and in many cases refinished. These gunsmiths worked on the most expensive shotguns and double rifles in the world, they used the same case and blueing methods as Winchester. The work was perfect, they stayed away from any stampings, and the finish matched that of Winchester. I have been fooled by more than one Deluxe 76 or 86. When buying a British Proofed gun I look at the machining marks on the screws and if there is "blue in the proof marks". Add 100 plus years of use and storage and you can't tell. I am not talking about later models, my collection ends in the 1880's. T/R

September 14, 2019
3:49 pm
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Yea that "refinish situation" happens with a lot of guns that never left the U.S. also.

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September 14, 2019
6:23 pm
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Henry Mero said
Yea that "refinish situation" happens with a lot of guns that never left the U.S. also.  

  Yes I agree, but those I can spot easy. I have been burned on an express rifle with British period refinish. When the gun is worth enough the buyer knows, the price drops. T/R

September 15, 2019
6:53 pm
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I agree with TR but I have always said to collect what you like.  British proofed guns don't bring the premium so going this way you can save some money. Even today the British and American high end shot gun collectors think nothing of refinishing their guns. I have to admit too that I own a Colt 1905 pistol with British proofs.  Not cheap but saved about 2 K.

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