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Central Kansas
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November 5, 2021 - 10:19 am
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https://www.gunbroker.com/item/913183284

I’ve been looking for a reasonably good shooter/collector 38-55. The stock appears to have had some refinish but doesn’t look too bad as far as having been sanded below the metal. Would any of you be willing to chime in on other condition features? IMO the price is a bit out of line for the amount of blue loss and wood refinishing but the gun is not beat up.

Darrin 

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November 5, 2021 - 12:09 pm
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Darrin,

Because it is a true “Antique” (pre-1899), the opening bid price is very reasonable.

Bert

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November 6, 2021 - 1:46 am
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Thank you Bert.

Darrin

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November 7, 2021 - 5:45 pm
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The stock looks like it has had some oil wiped on it.  I don’t see any extra finish.

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November 7, 2021 - 6:27 pm
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That rifle is a neat old gun, decent for sure, and may make a good shooter.  I may just be out of touch with where the current market is on guns, but at $2200 starting price, Id try to do better, antique or not.  To peak my interest, it would have to be hovering at 50-60% of where it is currently priced.  If it had a pristine bore (which it shows some roughness), maybe a little more $$, but not much.   

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November 7, 2021 - 6:51 pm
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  Darrin,

 It’s a nice old gun, I like the antique part but round barrel is a deal breaker for me.

 Several months ago I bought a 1894 OBFMCB, 38/55, Lyman tang sight, 80% strong blue, at a local gun show. He started high but came down to $1500. I would have paid $2000.  Although it was antique by Madias, it was made 1902, modern. I, like you wanted a nice gun that I could shoot, but collectable. I get tired of my toys so I’m always thinking of the resale, round is slow to sell unless it has condition. T/R

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November 8, 2021 - 12:42 am
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Thanks guys.

We’ll see where it goes, if it sells this time around.

Darrin

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November 9, 2021 - 12:51 pm
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Bert H. said
Darrin,

Because it is a true “Antique” (pre-1899), the opening bid price is very reasonable.

Bert  

https://www.gunbroker.com/Item/915681237

This later gun has a faster twist rate than the antique in comparing bore photos? I anticipate it will sell for considerably more than the antiques starting price due to better condition and special features despite it’s round barrel configuration & non-antique status.

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/913183284

I notice the loading gate appears tilted inward at the top. Would this be indicative of an issue with the gate spring or associated wear?

Darrin

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November 9, 2021 - 5:28 pm
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Darrin-

My first thought on the second gun was a loose screw but it appears unmolested and even has a bit of grime in the slot. Could be some grit under the front section of the loading gate. 

 

Mike

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November 9, 2021 - 5:36 pm
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Darrin Smith said

 Would this be indicative of an issue with the gate spring or associated wear?

Darrin  

Darrin,

My money is on the spring being tweeked. Most likely from a cartridge that didn’t feed properly and someone prying and digging trying to clear the cartridge.

 

Erin

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November 9, 2021 - 10:35 pm
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Thanks guys,

I suspect patience to be a virtue in this case. I’d much rather personally inspect my purchases however it’s difficult in my locale. Quality gun shows and auctions are few and far between.

Darrin

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November 10, 2021 - 1:42 am
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Darrin Smith said

https://www.gunbroker.com/Item/915681237

This later gun has a faster twist rate than the antique in comparing bore photos? I anticipate it will sell for considerably more than the antiques starting price due to better condition and special features despite it’s round barrel configuration & non-antique status.

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/913183284

I notice the loading gate appears tilted inward at the top. Would this be indicative of an issue with the gate spring or associated wear?

Darrin  

To the very best of my knowledge, the rifling twist rate was identical for all Model 1894 rifles & carbines made for the 38-55 cartridge.  

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November 10, 2021 - 10:44 am
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Okay Bert,

I had to ask about the twist rate as I noticed in a sxs comparison it was visibly different. Unless it’s an optical illusion, but it appeared both pictures were taken approximately straight down the barrel. I do not have one 38-55 to look at. The difference I’m seeing may be, after looking again, that the early gun bore picture has a brighter bore light making less length of the rifling visible.

I’m currently home recuperating from a burn injury to my leg and the best I can do is to sit with my foot elevated and peruse the internet gun market, guess I should spend some time doing researchConfused

Thanks again, 

Darrin

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November 11, 2021 - 1:11 am
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First off I hope the leg heals quickly and secondly you ARE doing research by asking questions here. I know what you mean because I try to find every detail I can about what I am trying to learn but when I can’t find it, I ask here- it’s a great place full of knowledge.. good luck in the 38-55 quest!

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November 11, 2021 - 3:45 am
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Darrin Smith said
Thanks guys,

I suspect patience to be a virtue in this case. I’d much rather personally inspect my purchases however it’s difficult in my locale. Quality gun shows and auctions are few and far between.

Darrin  

Darrin-

I’ve found that soon after I pass on an opportunity (and consider kicking myself) a better one comes along. There were literally millions of Winchesters made and hundreds, if not thousands, are on the market at any given time. Listen to that little voice, it’s often right. I don’t recall the twist rates but I know I researched it a bit at one time when I had a commemorative rifle (Legendary Frontiersman) in 38-55. I do recall being surprised that the bore diameter was very close to the same as vintage models but the twist rate for the modern may have been different because they liked different bullets. Will need to check my notes and references. I’ve certainly been wrong before relying on my memory for twist rates.

 

Mike

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November 11, 2021 - 4:03 am
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Darrin-

According to my reference materials the original Winchester twist rate was 1-18, the twist rate in the LF was 1-15. I never measured either. To complicate things Lyman used a universal receiver with a tighter bore and slower twist to develop loads. I cast bullets sized to .381” and as some may have already guessed the LF favored a bit heavier bullet but never shot as well as my vintage rifles. I recently acquired a carbine with a nice bore, may be time to pour a few and continue that project! 

Get well soon, Darrin. I know some phases of burn recovery can try your patience and good humor. 

 

Mike

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Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
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November 11, 2021 - 12:06 pm
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Thank you kindly gentlemen for the well wishes. 

Plans to attend Wanamacher are canceled. Bummer.

I do value the advice and opinions I’ve gathered in this forum and as such the platform has increasingly become my go-to reference.

I have 38-55 ammo I’ve gathered over the past 6 years in anticipation of the day I find a gun, guess there’s no reason to get in a hurry now. Gun acquisitions for me are akin to projects and I tend to focus on them one at a time. 1894 38-55 popped up so here I am.

Darrin

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November 11, 2021 - 7:20 pm
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It wouldn’t hurt to contact the seller.  Maybe when this gun doesn’t sell you can arrange a better price?  The only thing I see is the upper tang seems to set proud of the wood?  This can be fixed if it needs to be.

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November 11, 2021 - 10:25 pm
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I contacted the seller yesterday about the loading gate being tilted, his prompt response was…

Hello,

The loading gate is in its proper position and has no spring tension issues.
Thanks
 
thus I suspected questioning any other points of interest was moot.
I’m moving beyond this one.
 
Darrin
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November 17, 2021 - 3:05 am
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Darrin,

The best place to buy will likely be at a show somewhere, unless someone on the net has something reasonable or is willing to negotiate a sale. 

I picked up this 38-55 at the Tulsa show for $1 over what the starting bid was on the one you originally posted.  Made in 1901.  Has an interesting Marble No.3 front sight.  Its got some dings and blemishes, a couple of notches on the bottom side of the buttstock, but it cleaned up pretty good.  Even very faint traces of CCH on the buttplate.  Bore is about a 8 or so out of 10.  Might also ought to thank Tom for pointing me in the direction of the table it was on.   

 

Would keep looking till you find the right deal. 

 

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