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Winchester tang codes
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December 27, 2023 - 10:31 pm
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Would anybody care to survey codes stamped on left side lower tang and in tang groove of butt stock and on end of butt stock? I am computer illiterate and don’t know how to do it. I have 2 rifles with nonstandard features and are stamped as indicated. There seems to be many thoughts on these codes. One knowledgeable gun guy suggested the CF stamped on the side of the tang of my 22 caliber low wall single shot meant centerfire. See what I mean?

I thought if owners of rifles with nonstandard features would list the features and the codes then maybe I could understand what is meant on mine.

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December 27, 2023 - 10:44 pm
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Cf is Custom Fit.

Bob

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December 28, 2023 - 12:02 am
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1873man said
Cf is Custom Fit. 

Bob, what KINDS of non-standard features are included under “CF”?

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December 28, 2023 - 12:28 am
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Clarence,

A second model 73 that letters 26″ octagon rifle with casehardened straight grip with the CF (custom fit) and the R (rifle).

Then I have two 73’s straight grip rifles that letter 38 caliber half octagon, casehardened, swiss butt and half mag with the CF and SB for swiss butt.

Bob

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December 28, 2023 - 12:48 am
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1873man said
Clarence,

A second model 73 that letters 26″ octagon rifle with casehardened straight grip with the CF (custom fit) and the R (rifle).

Then I have two 73’s straight grip rifles that letter 38 caliber half octagon, casehardened, swiss butt and half mag with the CF and SB for swiss butt.

  

Well, would you say it means only that those rifles have non-standard options, & not something more specific?  If so the LW of 86Win SHOULD have at least one option, or “extra,” as the catalog called these options.

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December 28, 2023 - 1:32 am
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To add further confusion I just reviewed the 1901 Dr. Hudson work order, which specified all the work to be done to his water damaged 1876 as per work order #528. The CF in this work order pertained to casehard receiver. This work order appeared in a previous post.

Also, to my untrained eye, my single shot lettered as 1904 and has CF on tang has a non-blued receiver (which is not mentioned in letter). It also has single set trigger (not in letter) but has 1937 stamped on tang as does my 1876 stamped 19371 (possibly indicating removal?) which letters with set trigger removed at factory before shipping.

Looking forward to comments, Don

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December 28, 2023 - 1:40 am
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I first thought CF was “Cased Frame” when I first looked into the CF but then others said it showed up on  blued guns.

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December 28, 2023 - 1:42 am
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 Clarence,

 I have a 1876 with CF next to the assembly number on the lower tang. It letters stock 1/2″ shorter and 1/2″ more drop. I also have a copy of the ledger page and it shows four guns with the same features and order number. You can clearly see the stock description but no letters like CF on the ledger. In this case it seems like CF means custom fit. Does that mean every time you see CF on the lower tang the stock is special, maybe, don’t know?

 I have owned three other guns with CF on the lower tang, all were case color guns. At one time I use to think CF was “case frame” but I was corrected. Now I believe CF means something special about the stock. Winchester did what Winchester did. T/R

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December 28, 2023 - 2:06 am
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86Win said
Also, to my untrained eye, my single shot lettered as 1904 and has CF on tang has a non-blued receiver (which is not mentioned in letter). It also has single set trigger (not in letter) but has 1937 stamped on tang as does my 1876 stamped 19371 (possibly indicating removal?) which letters with set trigger removed at factory before shipping.

But you’re saying this LW DOES have the SST?  Fitting a ST would also require the special hammer with fly, so installing it, then removing it…very strange!

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December 28, 2023 - 2:11 am
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I have seen several 73’s that have lower tangs that have the slot cut for a set trigger but have a trigger block safety installed which requires different holes and cuts.

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December 28, 2023 - 2:40 am
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I didn’t mention the other lettered features of my single shot. The following are in letter; Type: rifle, Caliber:22 LR, Barrel type: octagon, Barrel weight: 1, barrel length : 28 inches, Trigger: plain, plain  pistol grip stock, checkered, nickel butt plate, shipped August 15, 1904, Order no. 237255. Not mentioned is I think Lyman 2 leaf folding sight (Lyman #6 I think), jack sight front, checkered forearm, rubber pistol grip cap, thickside receiver. As indicated before it has an unlettered single set trigger (possible omission on ledger?). Would the receiver have a finish to match butt plate? Bert and others think the set trigger was added after shipping. I need more info. Don

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December 28, 2023 - 2:52 am
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If the receiver was cased it would of said nickel trim or 1/2 nickel at least in with the 73’s but when they just said butt plate nickeled then that is all I would expect.

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December 28, 2023 - 3:08 am
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86Win said Bert and others think the set trigger was added after shipping. I need more info. Don
  

Don’t know where “more info” can be found.  But with all those “extras,” no wonder the “CF” mark.  Can’t prove ST wasn’t added post-factory, but considering hammer would also have been replaced, more plausible, I think, a ledger error–one of very many others.

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December 28, 2023 - 7:55 am
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86Win said
I didn’t mention the other lettered features of my single shot. The following are in letter; Type: rifle, Caliber:22 LR, Barrel type: octagon, Barrel weight: 1, barrel length : 28 inches, Trigger: plain, plain  pistol grip stock, checkered, nickel butt plate, shipped August 15, 1904, Order no. 237255. Not mentioned is I think Lyman 2 leaf folding sight (Lyman #6 I think), jack sight front, checkered forearm, rubber pistol grip cap, thickside receiver. As indicated before it has an unlettered single set trigger (possible omission on ledger?). Would the receiver have a finish to match butt plate? Bert and others think the set trigger was added after shipping. I need more info. Don

  

Don,

The “checkered” notation tells us that both stocks were checkered (which was standard practice). The hard rubber pistol grip cap was standard for all late production pistol gripped rifles.  Your low-wall is not a “thick-side”.  That term only applies to the early production high-wall receiver frames in the big bore calibers.  Your rifle has a standard “flat-side” receiver frame (Type 2 frame), and again, it was standard and would not be mentioned in the ledger record.

Unless the ledger records states “Nickel trim”, the receiver frame on your rifle was originally blued.  Nickel plated butt plates were actually not uncommon on the Single Shot rifles.

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December 28, 2023 - 3:43 pm
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Bert, to install aftermarket single set trigger would the hammer have to be replaced ? Also, I know you don’t always agree with Madis  but on page 66 of THE WINCHESTER HANDBOOK he refers to thinside and thickside. That is where I got that. Don

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December 28, 2023 - 5:00 pm
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86Win said Also, I know you don’t always agree with Madis  but on page 66 of THE WINCHESTER HANDBOOK he refers to thinside and thickside. That is where I got that. Don
  

Very first LWs had milled, or paneled, side walls just like HW rcvrs, but that was soon dropped, maybe to reduce milling cost, but those early ones are much more attractive to my eyes than the later ones; they also used the same “high” breechblocks as HWs, another thing I happen to like.  When HW sidewalls were NOT milled thinner in this way, as on some of the early ones, that’s a “thick-side,” & they’re quite scarce.

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December 28, 2023 - 6:49 pm
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86Win said
Bert, to install aftermarket single set trigger would the hammer have to be replaced ? Also, I know you don’t always agree with Madis  but on page 66 of THE WINCHESTER HANDBOOK he refers to thinside and thickside. That is where I got that. Don

  

Yes, both the hammer and fly would need to be replaced.

G. Madis had no idea what he was talking about as it applied to the Winchester Single Shot rifles… that fact became painfully clear to me on the two separate occasions that I had to question him personally about them more than 25-years ago.

The low-wall receiver frames were manufactured in three different sizes, none of which can be accurately described as “thickside”.

1st variation – Referred to as a “panel-sided” receiver frame. Just like its larger sibling high-wall, Winchester milled out (scalloped) the sides of the frame but left the flared section at both ends of the frame. This allowed Winchester to use the exact same butt & forend stock dimensions as those used on the high-wall rifles. The serial number range for the 1st variation low-wall receiver frame was 2253 – 17500.  On special request, a No. 3 (large shank) barrel could be installed.

2nd variation – Referred to as a “flat” or “thin-side” receiver frame. Winchester redesigned the frame to eliminate the need to mill (scallop) the sides.  The entire receiver frame was the same thickness as the panel-sided area on the 1st variation frames.  This resulted in a lighter weight and trimmer profile.  It also required new dimensionally smaller stocks that were no longer interchangeable with a high-wall or 1st variation low-wall receiver.  The 2nd varication low-wall receiver frames could only accept a No. 1 or No. 2 small shank barrel. The serial number range for the 2nd variation low-wall was 16900 – 127000.

3rd variation – This was simply a high-wall milled to a low-wall profile.  It featured the same panel-sided receiver frame as the high-walls, was threaded for a large shank barrel only, and the stocks were interchangeable with any high-wall rifle or Musket.

The true “thick-side” receiver frames were primarily used for the big bore high-wall rifles and muskets.  With a small number of exceptions, they were phased out by serial number 30000.  The side-walls of the receiver frame were not milled (scalloped), and were much thicker (and heavier) than the panel-side (scalloped) receiver frames.

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December 28, 2023 - 7:16 pm
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clarence said

86Win said Also, I know you don’t always agree with Madis  but on page 66 of THE WINCHESTER HANDBOOK he refers to thinside and thickside. That is where I got that. Don

  

Very first LWs had milled, or paneled, side walls just like HW rcvrs, but that was soon dropped, maybe to reduce milling cost, but those early ones are much more attractive to my eyes than the later ones; they also used the same “high” breechblocks as HWs, another thing I happen to like.  When HW sidewalls were NOT milled thinner in this way, as on some of the early ones, that’s a “thick-side,” & they’re quite scarce.

  

The “thick-side” high-walls are not as scarce as you might think.  Thus far I have documented just shy of 1,000 of them. I suspect that the actual number is in the 2,500 range. We simply do not see (encounter) the large number of them that were exported to India in the 45 and 50 Eley cartridges, and the 38, 40, 45, and 50 Express cartridges.   

I have two thick-side high-wall rifles in my collection. The first is s/n 1727 (a Browning Brothers marked 40-70 Sharps Straight with a No. 4 barrel), the second in s/n 12303 (the 50-95 high-wall rifle in my signature picture).  The 40-70 Sharps rifle also has the faceted (octagon top) frame ring.

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December 29, 2023 - 1:36 pm
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I had the same feelings and thoughts that Clarence had as I was originally thinking that the “Thick sided” High Walls were a little on the scarce side but like you said Bert maybe just not as commonly seen due to their importing and such.

Either way more, good information always coming out here on the Forum. Smile

Antonio

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