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1894 Short Rifle examples wanted
August 20, 2019
6:42 pm
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Have you ever seen a letter for a rifle (say 4 digit sn) that had a non standard barrel length but had no barrel length stated on the letter? I guess even if so there would be no way to verify it was a factory job? Reason I ask is I have one like this that all the measurements, dove tails, end of the barrel, etc. is Identical to factory with a 21" barrel but no barrel length stated on the Cody letter.  Which I assume means it probably was done by a very good smith back in the day as it appears original to the rifle.

August 20, 2019
10:32 pm
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Any length other than standard would be listed on the letter.  You need to post pictures. 

August 21, 2019
3:40 pm
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Here are a couple pics next to a standard conf. 1B93247F-30FC-4122-8FB6-C12B4427CE86.jpegImage Enlarger95F25AB3-4838-4CBF-ACDF-A0A4D5FCF6AE.jpegImage Enlarger

August 21, 2019
4:28 pm
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The forearm on the short rifle does not fit well and is a different color than the butt stock.  

August 21, 2019
4:48 pm
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Question for Gary, Could you mic the muzzle of one of your 20-21" oct barrels? Im curious is a factory muzzle on a shorty is the same as a 26" barrel at the muzzle or if it is slightly larger as the barrel would be slightly larger as you go back from the muzzle?  For example my factory 26" octagonal barrel mic at .69 at the muzzle (flats obviously)

The same barrel at 21" mic .72.5  The muzzle on the 21" barrel also mic .72.5  

Were factory short barrels manufactured that specified length or shortened from a longer barrel or blank?

Thanks for your time-Mike

August 22, 2019
9:30 pm
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Mike

I'm not sure I have a clear answer for you but here is a table I made up with 1894 muzzle diameters from my own rifles all measured with the same caliper.

The data leads me to believe most of them were cut back from full 26" blanks but I cant say for sure. They do seem to get larger as the barrel lengths get shorter. The 1/2 OB's are in italic and clearly smaller (in the standard weights) after turning down the flats. Now, in the some of the ELWs the 1/2 OBs are a bit larger as they likely could not turn an ELW OB barrel without running out of material so I assume they started with heavier barrel stock. Pure speculation on my part as the data is not consistent. Maybe calibers played a part as well. You couldn't turn down a 38-55 as far as a 25-35. I wish I had 100 more examples to measure and get a better idea.

I will say that barrel lengths could have been missed in the ledgers just as easy as other features were. There are takedown rifles that don't show it in the letter …... pretty hard to fake that. This being said, a letterable 21" short rifle with long wood that doesn't list the length in the letter will always be a rifle you have to explain, even if its right. The 22" standard wt. 1/2 OB listed below (.681) has a letter missing the length but I believe its correct ….. some of you may disagree ……. so be it, I still like the rifle.

Hope I didn't add more confusion to this discussion.

Std. Wt. 26" Avg Std. Wt. 24" Avg Std. Wt. 22" Avg Std. Wt. 20" Avg Std. Wt. Avg  
0.694 0.664 0.709 0.704 0.700  
0.693 0.664 0.720 0.680    
0.693   0.711 0.728   Italic
0.696   0.681     1/2 OB
    0.714      
    0.720      
3 1 5 2 11  
           
  ELW Wt. 24" Avg ELW Wt. 22" Avg   ELW Avg. Carb.
  0.565 0.578   0.575 0.602
  0.566 0.57      
  0.564 0.579      
    0.585      
    0.574      
    0.585      
    0.574      
    0.581      
    0.576      
  2 8   10 1
           
  9/16" = 0.5625      
  11/16" = 0.6875      
~Gary~

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August 27, 2019
8:11 pm
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Chuck said
The forearm on the short rifle does not fit well and is a different color than the butt stock.    

Both have been sanded (the forend more so than the stock) which may have removed more of the original reddish oil finish,  and varnished at some point unfortunately. The grain on both is identical however. I d.o know this rifle resided on a ranch in British Columbia for generations and has some interesting wear marks in places.

August 27, 2019
8:19 pm
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pdog72 said
Mike

I'm not sure I have a clear answer for you but here is a table I made up with 1894 muzzle diameters from my own rifles all measured with the same caliper.

The data leads me to believe most of them were cut back from full 26" blanks but I cant say for sure. They do seem to get larger as the barrel lengths get shorter. The 1/2 OB's are in italic and clearly smaller (in the standard weights) after turning down the flats. Now, in the some of the ELWs the 1/2 OBs are a bit larger as they likely could not turn an ELW OB barrel without running out of material so I assume they started with heavier barrel stock. Pure speculation on my part as the data is not consistent. Maybe calibers played a part as well. You couldn't turn down a 38-55 as far as a 25-35. I wish I had 100 more examples to measure and get a better idea.

I will say that barrel lengths could have been missed in the ledgers just as easy as other features were. There are takedown rifles that don't show it in the letter …... pretty hard to fake that. This being said, a letterable 21" short rifle with long wood that doesn't list the length in the letter will always be a rifle you have to explain, even if its right. The 22" standard wt. 1/2 OB listed below (.681) has a letter missing the length but I believe its correct ….. some of you may disagree ……. so be it, I still like the rifle.

Hope I didn't add more confusion to this discussion.

Std. Wt. 26" Avg Std. Wt. 24" Avg Std. Wt. 22" Avg Std. Wt. 20" Avg Std. Wt. Avg  
0.694 0.664 0.709 0.704 0.700  
0.693 0.664 0.720 0.680    
0.693   0.711 0.728   Italic
0.696   0.681     1/2 OB
    0.714      
    0.720      
3 1 5 2 11  
           
  ELW Wt. 24" Avg ELW Wt. 22" Avg   ELW Avg. Carb.
  0.565 0.578   0.575 0.602
  0.566 0.57      
  0.564 0.579      
    0.585      
    0.574      
    0.585      
    0.574      
    0.581      
    0.576      
  2 8   10 1
           
  9/16" = 0.5625      
  11/16" = 0.6875      

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for the info.  It is an 1895 Production 32-40 which is indeed one I have to explain but love.  It spent its life on a ranch in British Columbia until an estate sale several years back.  It would be cool obviously if it could be proved authentic.. If it was modified they even pulled off the dovetails correctly.  Anyway I love the rifle.... Im struggling with weather to strip the varnish someone has put on the wood (no sanding) and replace with correct oil finish or leave it alone.

August 27, 2019
9:02 pm
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Mlawrenceconstruction@gmail.com said

Both have been sanded (the forend more so than the stock) which may have removed more of the original reddish oil finish,  and varnished at some point unfortunately. The grain on both is identical however. I d.o know this rifle resided on a ranch in British Columbia for generations and has some interesting wear marks in places.  

 

The short rifle forearm is too short.  It was replaced.  Wood does not shrink in length when it is cut like this for a forearm.  Notice the proper gaps on the rifle.

August 29, 2019
8:13 pm
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Chuck said

 

The short rifle forearm is too short.  It was replaced.  Wood does not shrink in length when it is cut like this for a forearm.  Notice the proper gaps on the rifle.  

Not a great pic, must be a shadow.  it is tight both to the receiver and the cap but due to sanding is not proud of the reciever. Doesn't really matter, the wood was ruined as soon as they sanded it.

January 8, 2020
6:33 pm
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pdthein
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22Image Enlarger

Here is one I found online

22" .32 Special Full octagon

Measuring the photo the rear sight looks to be 5" from the receiver, 9+" forearm, and a 2/3 magazine

Redfield 102 sight?

The best I could make out on the Serial Number was 24X013

January 8, 2020
7:28 pm
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pdthein
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The shop emailed me back

The serial number for the rifle above is 248015

January 9, 2020
12:35 am
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From the one photo, I don't have a good feeling about this one. It looks like a rebuilt, reblued rifle thats likely been cut down. Without a hands on look, I don't think its a good specimen for the survey since I'm only lookin for original rifles.

Thanks for posting though...…… always worth a look.

~Gary~

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January 22, 2020
8:45 pm
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Ive acquired another shorty  Sn. 86881 Standard features otherwise,20" Oct barrel, 30wcf.   9 3/8 forend. rear sight is express.  This cool rifle was in southern Cali near Mexico.  It is very well worn but cared for.  A previous owner a mr. Olin Price carved his symbol and name in the stock and in the leather of the scabbard that is very well worn and appear to be as old and well used as the rifle.  Im trying to do more research on who this man was. I carried it all hunting season and whenever I head to the barn or the field I grab this rifle and scabbard and say Im taking Olin.  Also has a very old leather wrist repair on the stock.  

January 23, 2020
3:45 am
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Thanks Mike, that's a new one for the survey. I appreciate the interesting story too ……… good luck on your quest for more history.

~Gary~

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January 23, 2020
4:30 am
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Tomorrow I will be putting my eyes on a 22" octagon .30 WCF Has the short forearm, crescent butt. #481049. Same guy has 4 others. 2 carbines, one a SR but sad shape. The second a 1950 vintage that looks pretty good. The other 2 are sporting rifles with 26" barrels. One of which is a TD round barrel. All are .30 cal. He's asking too much, but says he is negotiable. We'll see what happens.

Shoot low boys. They're riding Shetland Ponies.

February 15, 2020
7:00 am
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Hi Gary,

I came across another 1894 short rifle on GB.  Pretty neat configuration but condition is a little rough.  Not sure if you have it in your survey yet.

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/855942280

Don

February 15, 2020
4:52 pm
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New to the survey, Don. Yes, its a great configuration. Too bad it wasn't cared for better.

Thanks once again!

~Gary~

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February 15, 2020
9:01 pm
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Nice rifles!

February 15, 2020
9:04 pm
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Old Logger said
Tomorrow I will be putting my eyes on a 22" octagon .30 WCF Has the short forearm, crescent butt. #481049. Same guy has 4 others. 2 carbines, one a SR but sad shape. The second a 1950 vintage that looks pretty good. The other 2 are sporting rifles with 26" barrels. One of which is a TD round barrel. All are .30 cal. He's asking too much, but says he is negotiable. We'll see what happens.  

I bought this short rifle and both sporting rifles. 22" oct, fm, cb, straight grip, 30wcf, has the short forearm and rear sight 4" from the receiver.

Shoot low boys. They're riding Shetland Ponies.

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