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1873 Winchester Rifle with Slotterbek Telescopic Sight
May 6, 2021
5:31 pm
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TR said

 Mike, I like the phrase, “Truckioads of rustic charm!”. T/R  

Don’t think “rustic’ best describes the sophisticated rifleman who probably paid more than the rifle cost to have this scope mounted.  “Rustic” is bailing wire used to hold the mag tube on, or rawhide wrapped around a busted wrist.

May 7, 2021
2:56 am
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clarence said

You’re certainly right about the scope, which makes the gun a “One of 10,000,” but if you consider it “beat-up,” I don’t think you’ve seen as many truly hard-used & abused Winchesters as I have.  No pitting, wood is relatively clean & undamaged, not even any bailing wire holding the mag tube on…could be a WHOLE lot worse, I promise you.  True, “much original finish and case color” is nonsense.  Most puzzling to me is the brown staining, which looks like something wiped on the metal, but it’s not a typical “brown gun,” or it wouldn’t have that streaked appearance.  Under some circumstances bluing will age to a brown color, but that doesn’t explain the streaking.    

Yes, I  do consider it beat-up.  At best the gun appears to be in fair condition.  The problem I  have  with it is the “fake” aging and antique look.  It isn’t  difficult  for me to see that someone tried to enhance the antique look of this rifle.  I love old, used rusty guns,  as long as they are “real”.  Don’t  put fake finish on it and tell me it’s  real.

May 7, 2021
3:04 pm
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win4575 said

 The problem I  have  with it is the “fake” aging and antique look.  It isn’t  difficult  for me to see that someone tried to enhance the antique look of this rifle.  I love old, used rusty guns,  as long as they are “real”.  Don’t  put fake finish on it and tell me it’s  real.  

If that’s what it is, I agree.  But without having the gun in your hands, I don’t see how this can be determined.  If the gun was once varnished for rust protection, old varnish always turns brown.  And I’ve never heard of anyone trying to “antique” a gun with a brown stain, as can be done with wooden furniture.  If that was done, why isn’t it more uniform, instead of being streaked & splotchy? 

May 7, 2021
6:46 pm
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  The black art of “smooze” usually involves steel wool, cold blue, browning solutions, and anything else that will stain metal. Because it is wiped on it is almost always streaky. If the metal is shinny they start by misting bleach and water on hot metal, this causes instant rust and gives an artificial age to the surface. Then comes the wipe on smooze. No matter how good Bubba is you can still see it, it doesn’t look natural, and I don’t like it. You see so much of it at gun shows that some people believe it’s real finish.

 Holding a gun in your hand is the only why to know for sure, but the 73 looks fishy to me and the auction estimate reflect that. T/R

May 7, 2021
7:30 pm
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TR said
  The black art of “smooze” usually involves steel wool, cold blue, browning solutions, and anything else that will stain metal. Because it is wiped on it is almost always streaky. If the metal is shinny they start by misting ammonia and water on hot metal, this causes instant rust and gives an artificial age to the surface. Then comes the wipe on smooze. No matter how good Bubba is you can still see it, it doesn’t look natural, and I don’t like it. You see so much of it at gun shows that some people believe it’s real finish.

 Holding a gun in your hand is the only why to know for sure, but the 73 looks fishy to me and the auction estimate reflect that. T/R  

But what would be the purpose in artificially aging something that was already 120+ yrs old?  That would only make sense if new parts had been added to the gun.  Or if a gun had been reblued, & the intention was to make it look old again. 

May 7, 2021
9:05 pm
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  Clarence, I corrected my post by deleting ammonia and adding the word bleach. If bleach hits hot metal it stains and starts to rust almost immediately.

 Your statement “But what would be the purpose in artificially aging something that was already 120+ yrs old?”, is well said. I agree 100%, but the fact is they do, they want to clean it up. Once it’s shiny, they or the next owner want it to look old. These old guns change as people “tinker” with them, not always for the better. It’s only original once! T/R

May 8, 2021
1:05 am
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I agree totally with what TR said in post 24.  There are a lot of tricks to the trade.  If you’re  not familiar with metal work and antiquing, it can be difficult to see these things.  Antiquing items that are already 120 years old is nothing new to gun collecting, especially now when antique guns are increasing in value and many collectors are “newbies” and don’t know what to look for.  They take most everything at face value.  Collectors like you and I have been at this a long time and we’ve pretty much figured it out.  As an add on, this scope couldn’t  have been on this gun very long, otherwise the finish on the frame would have at least some original finish under and around the scope.

May 8, 2021
4:01 pm
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I appreciate everyone’s input, which is why I posted the listing here instead of keeping quiet and hoping that few others see it and keeping the price low.

This way whoever ends up with it will at least know what they are buying.

Thanks to all!

 

Rod

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