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Companion Guns – Winchesters and Colts
July 22, 2013
9:51 am
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I’ve been thinking about starting this thread for a while, so, before the new rules kick in regarding non WACA members on the forum, I figured I should stop procrastinating and just do it. Laugh

I suspect many of us have “Companion Guns”; probably chambered in 22 LR, 38 Special, 357 Magnum, 44 Special or Magnum, or maybe 45 Colt. The long gun part of the pair is probably a Winchester, Marlin, Ruger, or Winchester Clone and the handgun part of the pair is probably a Colt, S&W, Ruger, or Colt Clone. However, I’ve always thought about how the cowboys in the old west probably chose “Companion Guns”. For them I suspect it was more out of necessity; two guns, one type cartridge, equals less to carry and less confusion in a panic type situation! Also, having a rifle/carbine and revolver chambered for the same ammunition would certainly simplify reloading if you were out on the range for extended periods and didn’t have easy access to towns and stores.

Usually when I say Winchester it is synonymous with prewar lever actions and when I say Colt it is synonymous with prewar Single Actions. My Winchester preference has always been the Model 1892, primarily Saddle Ring Carbines and Short Rifles, but occasionally I’ll tolerate a Standard Rifle if it seems to call my name. And, so that the Winchesters wouldn’t be lonely, I’ve always tried to pair them with A Colt if they were chambered for a cartridge that a Colt was available in.

While these two Winchesters aren’t really brand new to my collection, they are the latest Winchesters to become members.

This round barrel Model 1892 Rifle is chambered in 44-40 and is in the 501,000 serial number range. It is a Standard Rifle with a 24 inch barrel. It is one of the Winchesters that is marked “Mod. 1892”, laterally, just below the hammer. I cannot tell that the gun has ever been used. The only real mar on the rifle, which can be seen in the picture, is a thin line of corrosion on the left side of the frame. It probably leaned up against something in a closet. The case colors are still prominent on the hammer and lever, but have darkened. Shown just below it is its companion Colt, chambered in 44-40 with a 7 1/2 inch barrel and shipped to Simmons Hardware in St. Louis, MO in 1902. I figured a long barrel Winchester deserved a long barrel Colt.

PB Picture removed.

I still have a 32-20 Single Action, but no longer have a 32-20 Model 1892. While certainly not new to my collection, I probably should include a picture of a 44-40 SRC with its companion short barreled 44-40 Colt!

July 22, 2013
10:11 pm
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Old Colts,
Nice looking set of Winchesters and Colts. I am particularly interested in the 1892 takedown. I cant remember if you sent me the information on it (SN) or not but would like to add it to my 1892 takedown database if you havent. I can tell you from memory that there are less than a hand full of original 1892 takedown rifles in my survey of 500+ that are shorter than standard. Yours may very well be the only 22” takedown rifle I have seen so far—and it’s a 38-40 to boot, one of the rarest calibers for takedowns with additional special order features.

I have always been interested in Colt’s and have owned a few over the years. One of my favorites is the 2nd Generation 45 LC shown below. It was presented by Colt to Robert Q. Sutherland at the 1967 Sahara Gun show for the Best Colt Evolution Display. Sutherland, Brian Stroud, and Mel Torme each won one of these Colt’s. I found a photo and write-up of the awards bestowed on the three in the 1967 Gun Report magazine. Unfortunately I don’t have the box, a friend of mine owns the one presented to Brian Stroud (with the box) and the box mine is supposed to go in. We have been negotiating a price on the box for a few years now but I think he is holding out for me to sell my Colt to him. Hopefully one day I will end up with the box.



Nice looking firearms, really nice Colt’s you have there.

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July 22, 2013
10:33 pm
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Chris,

Thanks, and yes, you should have that TD Short Rifle in your survey, we exchanged PM’s regarding it. However, if you’re not sure it got recorded, I’d be happy to send you the information again.

That’s a very nice and very desirable 2nd Gen Single Action; great gun and great acquisition, congratulations and thanks for sharing! Have you also got a Colt Archive letter on it? Sure hope you can get the box; sounds like your friend is playing hardball with you!!!!!!

Bill

July 23, 2013
5:37 am
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Bill,

I remember now, you did send the info on the 92 some time back. I havent got the Colt lettered yet. I tried contacting Colt a few years ago through a contact one of my friends had but to no avail. I spoke with a Colt collector at the last Tulsa show and he gave me the right contact numbers to call and request a letter, Ive just been lazy about following up on it.
Thanks
Chris

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July 23, 2013
9:41 pm
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Chris,
Do you have my 1892 takedown in your survey #16275, also a 38 wcf? I’m pretty sure Michael has it, and I figure you two share info.

Gary

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July 24, 2013
11:05 am
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Gary
I don’t have that one down yet. Could you let me know the barrel shape, length, mag length, buttstock type (crescent or other) and any additional special order features. Michael and I have t collaborated too much but really need to get together sometime over beers to discuss. One downfall of my survey when it got started about 12 years ago I wasn’t looking too closely at markings unless it was very obvious a barrel just didn’t fit or look right for the time frame for the receiver.
You can send any info to me at 1892takedown@sbcglobal.net

Thanks
Chris

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July 24, 2013
2:41 pm
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Chris,

I’d forgotten that in the late 70’s I owned a Takedown Model 1892 Rifle with a Crescent Butt, Octagon Barrel, Full Magazine, chambered in 25-20. I don’t think I had this information available when I responded to Michael’s survey. So, if you don’t already have it in your survey, I dug through my old records and the rifle’s serial number is 931806.

Bill

July 24, 2013
4:56 pm
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Thanks Bill, I didn’t have that one. Interestingly enough I own one a few digits off from yours–931810 OB FM CB 38-40.
Thanks again,
Chris

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July 24, 2013
5:44 pm
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Chris,

Any chance 931810 has a tang stamp that reads MODEL 1892 instead of MODEL 92? There are a few of these "out of place" tang stamps out there.

Michael

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July 24, 2013
8:55 pm
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Hey Michael. I’m not sure. This should be one of the 92" s I sent photos to you way back when. I will check when I get home and let you know. The only photo I have with me is of the tang with the tang sight attached. Will let you know.
Chris

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July 24, 2013
9:18 pm
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Chris I sent info to Michael on my 92’s , but dont think I sent you info on my 92 Takedown 773557 25-20 OB FM
Nice Pics Old-Colts

Phil

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July 25, 2013
9:48 am
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Phil,

Many thanks for the information on your 92 takedown, its greatly appreciated.
Chris

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July 25, 2013
10:03 am
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Michael, the tang stamp on 931810 reads:

Model 92
—Winchester—
Trade Mark Reg. U.S. Pat OFF & FGN.

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July 25, 2013
10:07 am
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Bill,

I had a question regarding that Colt given to Sutherland shown above, the wood grips are the same as those shown in the photo in the 1967 Gun Report Magazine– without the colt medallion so I know they are the right grips. Is that a standard feature of 2nd Gen grips during a certain date range–most I have seen have the rampant colt medallion on the upper grip? Just curious.

Chris

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July 25, 2013
12:20 pm
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Chris, Do you have this gun on your list? 1892 Rifle, Cal. 32-20, Ser. No. 909,225, 24" OBFM, TD, CB. This is the only info I have, since I sold it back in 1989.

July 25, 2013
12:55 pm
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1892Takedown said
Bill,

I had a question regarding that Colt given to Sutherland shown above, the wood grips are the same as those shown in the photo in the 1967 Gun Report Magazine– without the colt medallion so I know they are the right grips. Is that a standard feature of 2nd Gen grips during a certain date range–most I have seen have the rampant colt medallion on the upper grip? Just curious.

Chris

Chris,

I really haven’t studied postwar Colt Single Actions; my collecting and study focus has always been 1st Generation (prewar) Single Actions. So, I really can’t speak authoritatively to your question.

When Colt began using Hard Rubber Stocks in 1882 (Eagle) they became the standard stocks for Single Actions. All other stocks (wood, ivory, pearl, etc.) were special order. As far as I can tell, this practice continued for postwar Single Actions until they changed from hard rubber to, I believe, a type of plastic around 1968. However, unlike prewar Single Action production, in the postwar era came many commemoratives, theme issues, and special runs. Colt first began putting medallions in stocks (wood, ivory, pearl, etc.) around 1910; so from 1910 they have always been available for use (special order, etc.).

My initial thought was that during the postwar era medallions were probably used in wood stocks when they were used on the New Frontier Model, Commemoratives, and theme guns. So, I did a quick search on the Colt Forum and here are a few of the excerpts I found:

[color=red:e6e95113e3]One Forum Member posted; "According to Garton; As an option, the purchaser of a Single Action could order walnut grips. The postwar SAA could be fitted with either smooth walnut stocks or walnut stocks smooth finished with the Colt medallion. More walnut grips appear on nickel plated guns than on blued ones. When ordered from the factory on a standard blued model, walnut gips were extra in cost and listed in the Colt catalog as optional."

Another Forum Member posted; “Walnut stocks with Silver Medallion were standard on the 2nd Generation New Frontiers. All the walnut stocks I have seen on any 2nd Generation SAA were plain walnut without Medallions. The majority of 2nd Generation Nickel SAAs have smooth walnut stocks without Medallions.”

Another Forum Member posted; “Wilkerson noted that he found no 2nd Generation SAAs with walnut stocks with medallions in his survey. The walnut stocks with medallions would be correct for the New Frontier. Of course there is the possibility of a "special order. Not likely though.”[/color:e6e95113e3]

Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

Bill

July 26, 2013
9:47 am
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Bill,

Many thanks, and I appreciate the time you put into giving me a good starting point for further inquiry. The Colt is an early 2nd Gen with 44k serial.

From what I have been exposed to regarding Colt SAA’s, they are much like Winchesters in that you have to know what your looking at because there are many out there that are put together, ect. Thats part of the reason why I havent owned that many of them, unless I was absolutely sure they were legitimate. Ive got most, or have access to, most of the early, and later, Colt reference books out there, its probably high time I use them to my advantage.

Thanks again Bill
Chris

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July 26, 2013
9:49 am
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Oakridge.
Thank you for sending the information your takedown rifle–I didnt have that one in my survey.

As a side note, its interesting that certain calibers (small vs large) fall into specific serial number ranges nearing the end of production (this may also be a function of survey size).

SN 898548 to 911342 they are all small caliber (n-23)
SN 921676 to 923811 they are all large caliber (n=13).
SN 927079 to 958317 they are all small calibers (n=31 with only 1 large caliber in this range)
SN 964660 to 965471 they are all large calibers, 44-40 only (n=14).
SN 984182 to 995828 (last recorded TD) are all small caliber (n=17).

Thank all of you for the information you have shared.
Chris

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July 27, 2013
4:19 pm
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1892Takedown said
Gary
I don’t have that one down yet. Could you let me know the barrel shape, length, mag length, buttstock type (crescent or other) and any additional special order features. Michael and I have t collaborated too much but really need to get together sometime over beers to discuss. One downfall of my survey when it got started about 12 years ago I wasn’t looking too closely at markings unless it was very obvious a barrel just didn’t fit or look right for the time frame for the receiver.
You can send any info to me at 1892takedown@sbcglobal.net

Thanks
Chris

Chris,
1892 #16275 is a standard sporting rifle except the takedown. FM OB CB 38wcf. Just a nice clean 2nd yr gun, but not high condition.

Gary

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July 28, 2013
1:29 pm
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1892Takedown said
Bill,

Many thanks, and I appreciate the time you put into giving me a good starting point for further inquiry. The Colt is an early 2nd Gen with 44k serial.

From what I have been exposed to regarding Colt SAA’s, they are much like Winchesters in that you have to know what your looking at because there are many out there that are put together, ect. Thats part of the reason why I havent owned that many of them, unless I was absolutely sure they were legitimate. Ive got most, or have access to, most of the early, and later, Colt reference books out there, its probably high time I use them to my advantage.

Thanks again Bill
Chris

Chris,

You’re more than welcome. As I mentioned, I know very little about 2nd/3rd Generation Single Actions, but if you ever need a sounding board on 1st Generation Single Actions don’t hesitate to contact me, well, as long as us non WACA folks are around! Laugh

When you consider that Colt only produced a little less than 358,000 prewar Single Actions; after all the alterations and fakery there aren’t that many pure guns out there, so a collector better know what he’s doing before he plunks down a bunch of cash!!!!! Good books are a necessity, like "A Study of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver", but I haven’t found a Colt book yet that didn’t have a few errors and/or omissions!

Bill

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