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Changing collection direction
December 13, 2020
12:23 am
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I’m not sure how many other collectors have done this, but has anyone ever changed their minds about what model Winchesters they collect(all them, specific models, levers only, etc).
After selling the biggest part of my collection a year ago(mostly 86’s & 94’s) I refocused my efforts to acquire one of each model(large bore) & the result has been very satisfying.
I don’t have nearly the same money into my collection now but, owning a 73, 76, 86, 92, 94, & 95, fills the passion for my Winchester addiction. The chase is on for a 66 & single shot(85) when the price is right. Hopefully that will take a few yrs as another change in collecting direction will undoubtedly take place when I acquire those. 🙄

RickC

December 13, 2020
12:34 am
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I have always liked the Model 1886.  That will never change.  I also have increasingly come to appreciate the Single Shot Model (1885) and have respect for the 1873, 1892 and 1894.  I have good to great examples of each in my collection.  However, the direction has changed with regards to condition.  Best to focus on 85-95% condition stuff.  Before, I would sometimes try to collect the unusual independent of condition, and if it has condition, that’s a bonus.

Not to be stereotypical, but upcoming collectors are much lesser in number and more fickle.  They don’t need to collect brown guns when, in the future, supply will surely exceed demand.  Because of this, I let the following go just in the past week:

https://www.cowanauctions.com/lot/early-winchester-1886-rifle-serial-number-72-4051357

Now if I could just find a very early Model 1886 and with condition…

December 13, 2020
12:37 am
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Rick,

I went the other way. I had a little of each for a while and then I took a interest in the 73 I sold off the others. At the moment I have two 94’s a two 66’s and the rest are 73’s

Bob

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December 13, 2020
12:50 am
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After rereading my response I should clarify.  Best to focus on 85 to 95% because it does have condition.  Why not 100%?  It raises eyebrows.  Always the question of “has it been helped?”

December 13, 2020
12:57 am
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I have seen some guns that have pushed the 100% and they get too scary for me. You just can’t tell what real at that point.

Bob

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December 13, 2020
1:04 am
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mrcvs said
I have always liked the Model 1886.  That will never change.  I also have increasingly come to appreciate the Single Shot Model (1885) and have respect for the 1873, 1892 and 1894.  I have good to great examples of each in my collection.  However, the direction has changed with regards to condition.  Best to focus on 85-95% condition stuff.  Before, I would sometimes try to collect the unusual independent of condition, and if it has condition, that’s a bonus.

Not to be stereotypical, but upcoming collectors are much lesser in number and more fickle.  They don’t need to collect brown guns when, in the future, supply will surely exceed demand.  Because of this, I let the following go just in the past week:

https://www.cowanauctions.com/lot/early-winchester-1886-rifle-serial-number-72-4051357

Now if I could just find a very early Model 1886 and with condition…  

Wow!! surprised at the hammer price for a two digit set # 86. I would’ve expected minimum fetch price. I do keep hearing from the advanced collectors go with condition but everyone has a price limit. I’m still on your original path…unique and rare whether condition is present or not. It’s serves me well with my limited budget but my collection is small.

RickC

December 13, 2020
1:08 am
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Oh Ya that’s been the fun of it all, for Me anyways. My first was a pretty large Marlin collection, back in the ’70 &’80’s. Then I got into the Winchester Commemoratives. I did manage to put one complete collection of “Winchester” commemoratives together, including all the hard ones, and 2 other collections of them including all but a few of the rarer ones. I amassed 450 altogether and when I sold them they all went  to one buyer, that was a big chequeWink. I also had about 90 Colt Commemoratives but they got to difficult , with the gun laws, in Both countries, so I sold ’em all and abandoned that quest. I love Winchester ’94’s and I put together one of each year of production from 1894, sr#601 to 2006 ser# 6,800,000 something, 113 pieces. Then I put together a collection of all the pre 1900 lever rifles and carbines in deluxe configuration, from the Henry to the ’95, I’ve never owned a Volcanic, this was only 15 guns but pretty expensive. However I’ve been very fortunate to recover My costs, usually plus a little when I sell. At present I am working on putting together a collection of all the pre 1900 lever guns , from the Henry to the ’95 in standard carbine, rifle and musket configuration. This has been a pretty daunting task as most of You are aware how scarce some of the muskets are especially the ’86 and the ’94 and as it would be that’s the only 2 I’m still searching for. That will make a 28 gun display when complete. Or if Bert tells Me there is a ’85 hi-wall s.r.c. it will be a 29 gun display. Then who knows what next. I’ve often thought of putting together something similar , putting together all the different barrel lengths or all the different calibers or something like that, but I don’t know if I’ll live long enough to do that, guess I’ll just have to extend My expiry date, I’m already planned out to age 114 so I don’t know how that’ll go, asking for more time,Laugh. But seriously it has been a very enjoyable and rewarding part of My life, the people I’ve met and the knowledge I’ve gained are immeasurable. So don’t be shy just go for it.

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December 13, 2020
1:09 am
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mrcvs said
I have always liked the Model 1886.  That will never change.  I also have increasingly come to appreciate the Single Shot Model (1885) and have respect for the 1873, 1892 and 1894.  I have good to great examples of each in my collection.  However, the direction has changed with regards to condition.  Best to focus on 85-95% condition stuff.  Before, I would sometimes try to collect the unusual independent of condition, and if it has condition, that’s a bonus.

Not to be stereotypical, but upcoming collectors are much lesser in number and more fickle.  They don’t need to collect brown guns when, in the future, supply will surely exceed demand.  Because of this, I let the following go just in the past week:

https://www.cowanauctions.com/lot/early-winchester-1886-rifle-serial-number-72-4051357

Now if I could just find a very early Model 1886 and with condition…  

Wow!! surprised at the hammer price for a two digit set # 86. I would’ve expected minimum fetch price. I do keep hearing from the advanced collectors go with condition but everyone has a price limit. I’m still on your original path…unique and rare whether condition is present or not. It’s serves me well with my limited budget but my collection is small.

RickC

1873man said
Rick,

I went the other way. I had a little of each for a while and then I took a interest in the 73 I sold off the others. At the moment I have two 94’s a two 66’s and the rest are 73’s

Bob  

I certainly understand your interest in the 73 Bob. I have triplekits in the 73 model & two 94’s but the rest are one only. For me the 73 is now my favorite. Just something about the gun that won the west .

RickC

December 13, 2020
1:14 am
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That’s pretty awesome Henry. I will never achieve that level of collecting but sure enjoy hearing about the ones who have and still do.

RickC

December 13, 2020
2:47 am
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RickC said

 Just something about the gun that won the west .
 

Rick, you’re barking up the wrong tree–“the gun that won the west” was the Trap-Door Springfield!  That’s what made it safe for those who followed with their ’73s.

December 13, 2020
2:57 am
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clarence said

RickC said

 Just something about the gun that won the west .
 

Rick, you’re barking up the wrong tree–“the gun that won the west” was the Trap-Door Springfield!  That’s what made it safe for those who followed with their ’73s.  

🤐 😊

December 13, 2020
4:09 am
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clarence said

RickC said

 Just something about the gun that won the west .
 

Rick, you’re barking up the wrong tree–“the gun that won the west” was the Trap-Door Springfield!  That’s what made it safe for those who followed with their ’73s.  

I disagree… the Model 1866 is the gun that changed the west.  Ask Custer if the Trap-door Springfield was the “gun that won the west”!

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December 13, 2020
4:51 am
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Harry, you’re my hero. I hope we both live long enough to exchange handshakes someday. You’ve owned rifles, carbines and muskets most of us can only dream about. 

Addressing the OP i completely understand. I set out to build a collection that I could use to tell the story of Winchester. I don’t have a Volcanic, Henry or 1866 and maybe never will. I do have a Single Shot, 1873, 1892, 1894 (OK, a bunch of 94’s) and an 1895. My 71 will have to represent the 1886 until I get another one. Someday I may have an 1876 but for now I’ll represent that model with the 1873. I have a few Model 70’s but they are modern hunting rifles, including one very special early FN Super Grade and an old 670 (now chambered in 35 Whelen) that I used to learn how to shoot and reload. I don’t think I’ll pursue the 54 or Pre-64 M70 but I’ll never say never.

Problem is, somewhere along the way I discovered Winchester .22’s and I’ve tumbled into a whole ‘nuther rabbit hole. I’m fascinated by the 87 Winder musket, maybe someday I’ll have an 1873 in .22 but I’ve gone a little crazy over 47’s, 57’s, 61’s, 62A’s, 63’s, 67A’s, 69A’s, 72’s. 74’s, 75’s, ‘90’s…you get the picture. I don’t have a 52 (my shooting buddy has fallen into THAT rabbit hole!) but maybe someday. The cool thing about .22’s is that I don’t need to buy reloading dies, moulds, bullet sizing dies, gas checks and brass.

So yes, a change of direction is not a bad thing. We chase this obsession to learn and as we learn we find new avenues to explore. 

So, where are you going, Rick? The 1885 (Single Shot) is a noble venture. Take your time, finding an unmolested specimen can seem like the quest for the Holy Grail. I was lucky, mine only took a couple of years. I’m still looking for one in 32WCF, no idea why but at this point it needn’t make sense. I can’t advise you on the 1866, I generally focus on firearms I can actually shoot. Chart your course, my friend. Someone here can guide you.

 

Mike

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December 13, 2020
6:13 am
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Mike – I found an unmolested single shot & really wanted it but just wasn’t affordable for me. It wasn’t the caliber I hoped for but being an honest gun out weighs my preference for caliber. I’ve always maintained if the price isn’t right for me to keep it, I walk away with regret, rather than debt.

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December 13, 2020
2:50 pm
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Bert H. said

I disagree… the Model 1866 is the gun that changed the west.  Ask Custer if the Trap-door Springfield was the “gun that won the west”!  

 Just imagine Custer’s men with 66’s, every soldier with a full magazine.  The 66 carbine was the assault  weapon of it’s day. Custer wasn’t the only one that made a bad decision, the choice of weapon by the Cavalry was a big mistake. Winchester put a cleaning rod in the butt from the beginning, the Cavalry didn’t decide they needed one in the Trapdoor Carbine until after the Little Big Horn.

 The 66 has a lot of Western history, I agree with Bert. T/R

December 13, 2020
3:25 pm
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TR said
Just imagine Custer’s men with 66’s, every soldier with a full magazine.  The 66 carbine was the assault  weapon of it’s day. Custer wasn’t the only one that made a bad decision, the choice of weapon by the Cavalry was a big mistake. Winchester put a cleaning rod in the butt from the beginning, the Cavalry didn’t decide they needed one in the Trapdoor Carbine until after the Little Big Horn.

 The 66 has a lot of Western history, I agree with Bert. T/R  

Well, you could say the same if the Army had issued the Spencer carbine, which already had proved itself in combat.  But though Custer lost the battle, who won the war?  And with what kind of firearm?  What “might” have happened is interesting speculation, but doesn’t change history. 

December 13, 2020
3:40 pm
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The Army felt the 73 wasn’t rugged enough for their use, & prob wasn’t, & with a 10:1 shot ratio, but I’ll bet at some point Custer was thinking about them.

December 13, 2020
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RickC said
The Army felt the 73 wasn’t rugged enough for their use, & prob wasn’t, & with a 10:1 shot ratio, but I’ll bet at some point Custer was thinking about them.  

And don’t forget cost!  Hard to believe now, after so many decades of a military/industrial establishment that regards cost to the public as an irrelevant consideration, that the US Army was once extremely cost-conscious!  Don’t know for sure, but I think that’s the main reason the rugged & reliable Spencer was not adopted for the entire service after the Civil War.

December 13, 2020
4:34 pm
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Great topic, on the Forum! I to have changed my Collecting direction, probably more than once over the years! By seeing the writing on the wall, so to speak. The Good news is that it’s paid for itself over the years a few times over! Let’s face it. Nothing like a good old, Honest to Goodness, Winchester Cowboy Gun! The Gun that Won the West! For Us, we have the current advantage of History’s lesson’s, through books, and Mainly Today’s Internet! A wonder full tool for Us all!  Great points by all! Yeah if Custer could go back, and re think his Springfield Rifle verses the “66”! I don’t know, some guy’s Egos get in the way! The “73”, The “94”, They all had their part! Naturally Timing is everything! Heck, who can argue the roll that the Peacemaker played? The Gun that Won the West? To Me, Several!!!  As far as changing Collection, Direction! It’s Kinda part of Life! Like Change Itself! It’s Been Fun! Keep up the Great Work, Guys!Smile

December 13, 2020
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Quality over quantity is what I quickly learned, the only thing that stays consistent is the fact that it says Winchester, I don’t think I am ready to commit to only one or two models just yet. Give me 5-10 more years of learning and maybe I will change my mind….

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