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"1 of 1000" Smoothbore 1873
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October 31, 2022 - 1:00 am
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On the center spread ad for RIA of the Fall 2022 Winchester Collector magazine on page 32 at the bottom they show a 1873 1 of 1000 smoothbore that is supposed to be in the December 9, 10 & 11 2022 auction.  I do not find it in the auction catalog.

Did Winchester make a smoothbore 1873 1 of 1000?

I am a newbe so I do not  understand why back in the day you would pay more for a more accurate rifle and not have rifling in it.1000-smoothbore.jpgImage Enlarger

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October 31, 2022 - 1:44 am
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 There is an article in the November 1980 Gun Report on H. G. H. Reed’s One of One Thousand by David V. Stroud. S/N 19675 is a half round, half octagon, pistol grip checkered, shotgun butt, half magazine, deluxe wood, set trigger, decorative rings cut around the smoothbore barrel, mortised type dust cover, and engraved “H. G. H. Reed Milwaukee Wis Aug. 3rd 1876”. The article goes on to list several discrepancies, a good read with pictures. T/R  

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October 31, 2022 - 2:17 am
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Researching the Winchester 1873's

73_86cutaway.jpg

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October 31, 2022 - 3:19 am
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 The gun is also pictured in “Winchester 1 of 1000” by R. L. Wilson page 77. T/R

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October 31, 2022 - 8:24 pm
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TR said
 The gun is also pictured in “Winchester 1 of 1000” by R. L. Wilson page 77. T/R

  

The gun pictured in the Wilson book is not the same gun that is in the Lewis & Gordon books and at Julia’s auction. 

The Wilson book had a broken tang at one point. You can see where the loop of the lever is bent out of place. A gunsmith repaired it and supposedly based on the a “serial number records search” matching its features they came up with #19675 and applied the number to the tang. If you look at the Wilson book photos closely you can tell the half round / half octagon barrel has been turned on a lathe. So the short of it. I don’t trust that gun’s tang, barrel and Wilson’s book. 

That said, going from memory and guessing I believe there was at least one smoothbore. But I’ll have to double check my info on that. 

Also the gun that has the broken/repaired tang with the re-applied new serial number of 19675 may have been at one time a legit 1of1000. But it has certainly been toyed with to say the least. I think it would better off being Restored, but likely the seller doesn’t want restored prices for selling it. This gun is not the only gun in Wilson’s book that has “Issues”.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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October 31, 2022 - 8:33 pm
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There are two guns with the same number 19675. One is a 1 of 100 and the other is the 1 of 1000.

Bob

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October 31, 2022 - 8:38 pm
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1873man said
There are two guns with the same number 19675. One is a 1 of 100 and the other is the 1 of 1000.

Bob

  

Yes Bob.

My current opinion is that the 1 0f 100 is 100% legit.

And that the 1of1000 with #19675 has been modified to be as such. How do we know the serial number on that tang is the original serial number to that gun? The actual physical stamped number doesn’t match other serial numbers in that serial range. Along with the other issues I’ve pointed out on the gun. When I get a minute, I’ll load up some pics of what I’m talking about.

Sincerely,

Maverick 

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October 31, 2022 - 11:40 pm
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   The Gun Report article spends three pages explaining the discrepancies, but not very well. A pistol grip shot-gun butt on a first model? A serial number added in 1950? A set trigger on a smooth bore? A 1 of 1000 with a smooth bore that doesn’t letter? The engraving on the side plate doesn’t letter? The tooling on the barrel is non standard? Do we know what it looks like today, is it the same as in the 1980 article?

 It was said to have been reported during the Winchester 1873 movie search and the owner got a Model 1894 deer rifle, but no original serial number, big questions. T/R

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November 1, 2022 - 4:27 pm
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TR said
   The Gun Report article spends three pages explaining the discrepancies, but not very well. A pistol grip shot-gun butt on a first model? A serial number added in 1950? A set trigger on a smooth bore? A 1 of 1000 with a smooth bore that doesn’t letter? The engraving on the side plate doesn’t letter? The tooling on the barrel is non standard? Do we know what it looks like today, is it the same as in the 1980 article?

 It was said to have been reported during the Winchester 1873 movie search and the owner got a Model 1894 deer rifle, but no original serial number, big questions. T/R

  

I haven’t read the Gun Report Article, so can’t comment on it specifically. The entirety of the Wilson Book rifle doesn’t letter to the serial number. How they (whomever they may be) came up applying that serial number to the rifle in question is beyond me. 

I’ll have to check my copy of the Hannagan report to see what it shows, but Imagine if the owner merely sent a closeup of the barrel engraving and an overall picture of the gun. Then they convinced the people conducting the search it was a 1 of 1000. 

I’m also not saying it isn’t a 1 of 1000, but rather in its current configuration it has been substantially modified. No longer anywhere near its original condition. So it certainly shouldn’t fetch the price of a higher condition 1 of 1000.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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November 1, 2022 - 8:51 pm
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DannyBoy said
On the center spread ad for RIA of the Fall 2022 Winchester Collector magazine on page 32 at the bottom they show a 1873 1 of 1000 smoothbore that is supposed to be in the December 9, 10 & 11 2022 auction.  I do not find it in the auction catalog.

Did Winchester make a smoothbore 1873 1 of 1000?

I am a newbe so I do not  understand why back in the day you would pay more for a more accurate rifle and not have rifling in it.1000-smoothbore.jpgImage Enlarger

  

 I do not find it in the RIA catalog either, so maybe pulled.

 In the Gun Report article it states that on June 18, 1979 the owner meet with George Madis. He inspected the Reed gun and stated the the engraving was right and factory, he then went on to say it appeared to be a factory smooth bore. A few months later the author of the article contacted George by phone and he stated that he knew of two other 1 of 1000’s that appeared to be factory smooth bores and gave their serial numbers.

 In answer to your question, MAYBE?, I would not want to say based on this article. T/R  

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November 2, 2022 - 1:44 am
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Look at the cover of the Edmund Lewis book and page 116 for more info on 19675, full Octagon, CB,ST, the only Blued 1 of 100. lovely piece. I would even like it–Bill

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November 2, 2022 - 3:10 am
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I don’t know what to make of the Gun Report article mentioning George Madis. Too bad he has gone on to glory, It would been nice to know what he recalled.

Here are some of my observations with the rifle, some of these you won’t find in a book anywhere.

The notarized letter from Philip N. Brown to Steve Hannagan mentions only the numbers 58 and 201 A on the gun. Wilson’s book notes supposedly an “August 1950” letter from a E. Hartshorne of Winchester to Brown suggesting the serial number to be “19675”. It would be nice if this letter still exists? I’ve never come across such a letter. I have seen other letters of Hartshorne addressing various contestants of the 1950 search. His signature block has him as Asst. Director of Research and Development.

There is a later hand written draft letter from (I’m assuming) Thomas Hall to a Leon Jackson discussing him being aware of the Blued 1 of 100 #19675. Jackson in 1957 was then owner of the rifle and had it for sale for a whopping $2,850.00. Elsewhere Hall notes the magazine has “been cut” and forward end of the barrel “altered”. And mentions that someone must have really wanted a shotgun, rather than a rifle. So I don’t think its a stretch to assume Hall thought the rifle altered. He even proposes the broken tang was repaired with the shotgun buttstock, as it may have been easier to do so rather than repairing a straight tang. 

So we have a rifle that had its lower tang broken off and repaired. Likely the original stock was replaced with the current P.G. Shotgun Buttstock. The profile of the lever is bent out of shape. The stock has the later style checkering. Notice the forend still has a swivel eye, yet the buttstock doesn’t. The tang’s serial number is not in the right location and is in block letters and doesn’t match the script style numbers of serials in the same range.

I almost wonder during an early restoration, pre-1950, if the magazine was likely cut down at that time. Then the barrel bored out to smoothbore and the original full length octagon barrel turned down round to the half magazine position. There are some odd tool markings on the muzzle end of the barrel approx. where the front barrel band should be. Also for a 1of1000, I’d expect there to be engraving around the muzzle end at the front sight. There is none, only at the breech end. 

The tang is marked with 4 Xs or XXXX. Of the serials noted with 4X quality wood in the ledger, of the (16) six-teen noted, only (4) four are currently unaccounted for. The only other option I can see, although not noted with XXXXs, serial number 19243 is noted as 1/2 Oct. 26″ Case Hardened Checkered Stock Set Trigger with PB, BH sights and under remarks is “SM”. Does SM stand for SmoothBore? Or does this mean Short Magazine? No mention of the swivel eyes. It is noted shipped August 2nd, 1876, so I suppose that lines up with the August 3rd inscription?

Assuredly a “Story Gun” that would need explaining as why it is in the condition its in. Not the clean “Provenance” one desires.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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November 2, 2022 - 1:20 pm
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  Thanks Maverick, I think you have covered all the discrepancies and summed it up, “Story Gun”. T/R 

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