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1894 takedown that letters with 3 extra barrels
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February 18, 2021 - 2:25 am
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Sure seems like a lot of money for a ”perhaps” or “maybe” – at least it wasn’t my money. As we know, there were zero factory 4 barrel sets for the 1894 from Winchester in the first 354,000. I certainly understand, as I often hear on this Forum, Winchester would do about anything if you paid them. Based on a previous post by Chris, it sounds like if properly fitted and adjusted, cartridges would cycle correctly in both a 30-30 and a 38-55. I would like to see Bert disassemble this one and report back!

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February 18, 2021 - 2:42 am
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Burt Humphrey said
Sure seems like a lot of money for a ”perhaps” or “maybe” – at least it wasn’t my money. As we know, there were zero factory 4 barrel sets for the 1894 from Winchester in the first 354,000. I certainly understand, as I often hear on this Forum, Winchester would do about anything if you paid them. Based on a previous post by Chris, it sounds like if properly fitted and adjusted, cartridges would cycle correctly in both a 30-30 and a 38-55. I would like to see Bert disassemble this one and report back!  

Yes indeed, there is no factory verification that this is a multi-barrel set – with even one extra barrel.  We know it was originally shipped out with just one barrel.  We also know it went back for an R&R on four separate occasions.  What happened during each of those returns is speculative.  It is interesting that the R&R’s were spaced out over a span of at least 10 years.  Presumably, the owner had one extra barrel added every few years.  However, assuming Winchester did add the barrels, they might have added all three of them during one R&R and some other work was done during the other R&R’s.  Intriguing.  

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February 18, 2021 - 2:49 am
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I do not like the fact that the receiver frame ring has a proof mark stamp on it, as does just one of the barrel assemblies.  None of the R&R entries are late enough for Winchester to have applied the proof marks during any of the returns.  The last R&R listed was in 1901, and Winchester did not begin marking any of their firearms with the “WP” proof mark until July of 1905.  

Like Burt, there are too many “maybes” or “perhaps” to justify the $60K hammer price.  A quick inspection of all the markings stamped on the bottom of the barrel assemblies would be my first step.

Bert

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February 18, 2021 - 2:53 am
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Here’s how I see this acquisition.
The buyer is not a member of WACA & hasn’t seen or read this thread.
To pay $60,000 for any rifle I would hope the buyer has done his home work & confirmed through CFM records it’s originality. At this price it has to letter for me. Maybe they know something we don’t and has the ledger records.
I wouldn’t buy a gun for $60,000 that I have to sell a story.

Jmo
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February 18, 2021 - 11:59 am
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I see a R&R on the ad description dated 1910. “Letter Also States Repaired & Returned 7/13/99, 3/3/1900, 8/9/01 and 1/19/1910”. So if that date is true and correct a proof mark would have been normally been struck on the receiver or receiver ring and the new barrel, if a new barrel was fitted at that time.

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February 18, 2021 - 4:51 pm
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RickC said
Here’s how I see this acquisition.
The buyer is not a member of WACA & hasn’t seen or read this thread.
To pay $60,000 for any rifle I would hope the buyer has done his home work & confirmed through CFM records it’s originality. At this price it has to letter for me. Maybe they know something we don’t and has the ledger records.
I wouldn’t buy a gun for $60,000 that I have to sell a story.

Jmo
RickC  

Rick – hard to say.  I’ve seen great variability among buyers regarding doing their homework.  As an example, I’ve been surprised how many buyers (some high rollers) feel that if a rifle is pictured in Madis’ Winchester book, that’s all the homework/verification needed!  

My soft spot for this rifle comes from my youth.  As a very young man, I purchased, The Winchester Book.  I stared at the photos endlessly and there were some photos I went back to over and over.  This rifle was one – I was fascinated by the four barrels.  So here, over 40 years later, I was presented with the opportunity to purchase it.  I did not, of course.  Actually, in George’s description of this rifle, even he adds a note of uncertainty.

There is a bit of confusion about the R&R’s.  George Madis states the factory ledger indicates the last R&R was 1901.  The auction house states 1910.  The photo of the museum letter is cut off so the last digit of the year of the last repair is not there.  However, given the 3rd digit is a, “1” that must mean the repair had to have been between 1910 and 1919.  The auction house says it’s 1910 so I suppose that is it.  

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February 18, 2021 - 5:43 pm
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Interesting reply Steve thanks.

I have to classify myself as a low roller(although I do have a couple pieces that are at the $10k mark), and I did a lot of homework & research before pulling the trigger on those two deals.
I realize time is not always on our side when looking at one to buy at a gun show or recently listed etc & you know it’s gonna go fast, but at $60k I would need the full pre auction period to ever be high bidder, high roller or not.
And if it wasn’t in 100% provenance, in stone, it wouldn’t be a second thought…for me.

RickC

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February 19, 2021 - 1:06 am
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CJS57 said
I see a R&R on the ad description dated 1910. “Letter Also States Repaired & Returned 7/13/99, 3/3/1900, 8/9/01 and 1/19/1910”. So if that date is true and correct a proof mark would have been normally been struck on the receiver or receiver ring and the new barrel, if a new barrel was fitted at that time.  

It is now apparent there was a R&R after the date Bert provided for the initiation of the proof marks by Winchester (July 1905). If the original 30 caliber gun  was returned to the factory for some work in 1910 and the barrel and receiver proof marks applied by Winchester at that time, that would account for what we see in the photos, i.e. proof marks on the receiver ring and one 30 caliber barrel. What was done during the previous R&R’s? How long have the other 3 barrels been part of the gun? Could the other 3 R&R’s all have been for another barrel? .We will never know for sure but if it could be disassembled and inspected that might provide some information one way or the other. As I previously stated and others have agreed, it is just too much money for a “maybe”.

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February 19, 2021 - 1:12 am
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If I read the ad correctly this gun sold 7 tears ago for $85000.00 so it’s going in the right direction and Rick in just 28 years it’ll be in Your”low rollerWink” price range.

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February 19, 2021 - 1:27 am
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Henry Mero said
If I read the ad correctly this gun sold 7 tears ago for $85000.00 so it’s going in the right direction and Rick in just 28 years it’ll be in Your”low rollerWink” price range.  

I’ll be 84 yrs old then Harry(god willing) so I have a chance. ?

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February 20, 2021 - 6:01 am
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Burt Humphrey said

It is now apparent there was a R&R after the date Bert provided for the initiation of the proof marks by Winchester (July 1905). If the original 30 caliber gun  was returned to the factory for some work in 1910 and the barrel and receiver proof marks applied by Winchester at that time, that would account for what we see in the photos, i.e. proof marks on the receiver ring and one 30 caliber barrel. What was done during the previous R&R’s? How long have the other 3 barrels been part of the gun? Could the other 3 R&R’s all have been for another barrel? .We will never know for sure but if it could be disassembled and inspected that might provide some information one way or the other. As I previously stated and others have agreed, it is just too much money for a “maybe”.  

I have looked at every edition of the Winchester Book by Madis, first published in 1961, and find the photo of the gun with 4 barrels and description unchanged in each edition. The Madis book says it was last returned to Winchester for repair in 1901. George probably transposed the last 2 numbers in the date of the last return. If not, it sure would make you question the proof marks on the receiver and one 30 caliber barrel since they were not used until 1905. I know they are careful when they examine the ledger but is it possible they made a mistake for the letter. Does anyone know where this gun has been after 1985 when Glenn Hockett was given an award for it by the NRA. In 1991 I sold a couple of guns to Glenn at a gun show in Billings, Montana. Subsequently we went to Great Falls and Glenn showed me his collection. He had a couple of 1894 2 barrel sets but this gun was not there – I would remember it. So, either Glenn sold the gun between 1985 and 1991 or he chose to not show it to me. I have looked at everything I can find regarding his estate auction but have not found anything regarding this gun. And, everybody I knew that might remember the gun is now deceased. 

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February 20, 2021 - 5:59 pm
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Too many possibilities, too little provenance for that price, IMHO. OTOH I’ll probably never play in that park so I guess my opinion is worth what you paid for it. 

 

Mike

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February 20, 2021 - 6:58 pm
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TXGunNut said
Too many possibilities, too little provenance for that price, IMHO. OTOH I’ll probably never play in that park so I guess my opinion is worth what you paid for it. 

 

Mike  

Mike – I’m certainly on the same page as you.  However, I will say I have observed many high dollar rifles that fall in the same category (i.e. multiple possibilities, inadequate provenance) sell for very large amounts.  This is true of Winchester and others.  For example, in the world of WWI subcontracted Model 1911 .45 ACP Colt pistols (e.g. North American Arms), none of these have any provenance.  That doesn’t prevent them for selling for six digit amounts (and probably half of them out there are fakes!!).  

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February 21, 2021 - 8:52 pm
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Here’s a 2 barrel set that recently sold on Guns International.  Chambered in two great calibers,  set trigger, and original Winchester takedown case to boot.  Seems like a very reasonable price.

https://www.gunsinternational.com/guns-for-sale-online/rifles/winchester-rifles-lever-pre-64/winchester-mod-1894-quot-two-barrel-set-quot-with-double-set-triggers.cfm?gun_id=101602837

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February 21, 2021 - 9:32 pm
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deerhunter said
Here’s a 2 barrel set that recently sold on Guns International.  Chambered in two great calibers,  set trigger, and original Winchester takedown case to boot.  Seems like a very reasonable price.

https://www.gunsinternational.com/guns-for-sale-online/rifles/winchester-rifles-lever-pre-64/winchester-mod-1894-quot-two-barrel-set-quot-with-double-set-triggers.cfm?gun_id=101602837

Don  

Interesting.  1922 manufacture so way too late for there to be ledger information on it.  Don’t often see the takedown case.

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February 21, 2021 - 9:38 pm
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steve004 said

Interesting.  1922 manufacture so way too late for there to be ledger information on it.  Don’t often see the takedown case.  

I am very confident that it is an original 2-barrel set.  Thus far, I have documented six Take Down rifles in the non letterable range that are 2-barrel sets.

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February 21, 2021 - 9:57 pm
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Bert – are the 2 barrel sets you have documented checkered? There are two photos of 2 barrel sets in the Madis book – both are checkered but both are too late to letter. The two, 2 barrel sets I saw in the Hockett collection were both standard grade guns but I do not know if they lettered. 

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February 21, 2021 - 10:06 pm
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Burt Humphrey said
Bert – are the 2 barrel sets you have documented checkered? There are two photos of 2 barrel sets in the Madis book – both are checkered but both are too late to letter. The two, 2 barrel sets I saw in the Hockett collection were both standard grade guns but I do not know if they lettered.   

Five of the six I have documented have checkered stocks.

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February 21, 2021 - 11:19 pm
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deerhunter said
Here’s a 2 barrel set that recently sold on Guns International.  Chambered in two great calibers,  set trigger, and original Winchester takedown case to boot.  Seems like a very reasonable price.

https://www.gunsinternational.com/guns-for-sale-online/rifles/winchester-rifles-lever-pre-64/winchester-mod-1894-quot-two-barrel-set-quot-with-double-set-triggers.cfm?gun_id=101602837

Don  

This 2 barrel set just sold at the February 13 Redding Auction for $3,400.

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February 21, 2021 - 11:33 pm
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Sure didn’t take him long to flip it.

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