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Blank Tang 1894 PICS ADDED
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April 3, 2014 - 5:11 am
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A friend of mine recently went to look at an old .38/55 advertised for sale. It was pretty much a grey gun owing to a lot of miles in the woods but he snapped it up real fast. It is a first model sporting rifle round barrel serial number 7xx with a blank tang. I hope to get some photos in the next few days to post here. Just wondering how many are recorded with no tang markings? I have heard of a few lower numbers with blank tangs but none that high. Any thoughts( Sorry for the lack of pics at this time)

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April 3, 2014 - 6:37 am
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Mike,

I have been surveying First Model 1894s for several years now, and I have not ever found one with a blank upper tang. I am not of the opinion that Winchester ever intentionally allowed one to leave the factory without the Model designation marking on it. Can you provide me with the complete serial number so that I can add it to my list of First Models?

Bert

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April 3, 2014 - 8:08 am
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At the Cody show many years ago, I saw sn 8, at the time owned by Harold McCallum and if I recall correctly it had a blank tang.

Bob Renneberg’s book states several specimens in the pre-serial 700 range have been found without tang markings. No explanation for the omissions or how they escaped the factory without the tangs being marked. Rare specimens for sure.

IMG_3205-Copy-1.JPG

Rapid taper, standard taper, extra heavy. All 45 caliber.

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April 3, 2014 - 8:59 am
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Bert,
Serial number is 714. I just spoke to the owner and he said he will e-mail me a few pics. He removed the buttstock when he first got it and miked the tang thickness thinking that someone had ground the tang down and removed the markings. The dimensions are identical to several other early 94’s he has.

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April 3, 2014 - 9:03 am
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He has a Cody letter for the rifle as well. Serial number applied Nov.94, went to warehouse Dec.94. Also shipped in Dec.94. He has a fair collection of Winchesters and told me he had seen photos of S/N 8 and oddly enough it wasn’t shipped until Dec.95.

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April 3, 2014 - 10:00 am
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Hi Mike, if that gun was found in NB it will be the second one I have seen in NB with a blank tang and first model. Interesting if it was found by our mutual friend in S.J. as I think he may have the other one.
Brian

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April 3, 2014 - 10:37 am
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If memory serves, serial no. 8 has been seriously refinished and that may account for the lack of upper tang markings. The current owner drags that gun around to gun shows trolling for an offer that he can’t refuse. I’ve seen it in Cody and in Reno several times.

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April 3, 2014 - 12:55 pm
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mike webb said
Bert,
Serial number is 714. I just spoke to the owner and he said he will e-mail me a few pics. He removed the buttstock when he first got it and miked the tang thickness thinking that someone had ground the tang down and removed the markings. The dimensions are identical to several other early 94’s he has.

Thanks, and I will look forward to seeing the pictures of it.

Bert

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April 3, 2014 - 1:01 pm
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mike webb said
He has a fair collection of Winchesters and told me he had seen photos of S/N 8 and oddly enough it wasn’t shipped until Dec.95.

I am baffled how he knows serial number 8 was shipped in December of 1895? To the best of my knowledge, there are no entries in the ledger records for the first 18 – 20 serial numbers?

For what it is worth, I have had my hands on serial number 3 and 77. Both have upper tang markings on them.

I have not examined serial number 8, but if Rick remembers it as having been harshly refinished, that would explain the lack of a tang marking.

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April 3, 2014 - 3:40 pm
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mike webb said
He has a fair collection of Winchesters and told me he had seen photos of S/N 8 and oddly enough it wasn’t shipped until Dec.95.

I am baffled how he knows serial number 8 was shipped in December of 1895? To the best of my knowledge, there are no entries in the ledger records for the first 18 – 20 serial numbers?

For what it is worth, I have had my hands on serial number 3 and 77. Both have upper tang markings on them.

I have not examined serial number 8, but if Rick remembers it as having been harshly refinished, that would explain the lack of a tang marking.

Bert

Just what was communicated to me, I have no idea whether it is true or not. I have seen number 714 and personally have no doubts that it is genuine. I think Road King may have had it in hand as well. No idea how it escaped the factory as you said earlier, Winchester wouldn’t intentionally do such a thing. An interesting old rifle at any rate. Pics when I get them.

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April 3, 2014 - 6:31 pm
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When I saw #8 in 1994 when Harold owned it had not been refinished. The refinishing has apparently happened since Harold’s passing.

IMG_3205-Copy-1.JPG

Rapid taper, standard taper, extra heavy. All 45 caliber.

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April 3, 2014 - 7:22 pm
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3855 said
When I saw #8 in 1994 when Harold owned it had not been refinished. The refinishing has apparently happened since Harold’s passing.

That is most unfortunate.

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April 4, 2014 - 2:31 am
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ARMAX Vol 5 page 105 says serial #8 received warehouse 11/11/95.
Didn’t that come from the ledger?

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April 4, 2014 - 4:42 am
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ARMAX does show it was received in warehouse on that date but, there is no shipping date.

Paul

Maybe someone with extra Cody searches could do a serial number search and post the results.

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April 4, 2014 - 6:19 am
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I suspect that Jessica will be at the Big Reno show later this month. I will ask her to see the ledger page then.

Bert

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April 4, 2014 - 7:51 am
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I made a mistake in my original post. I said it was a round barrel rifles, it is octagon. Looked at so many guns that day I got confused. The rifle itself has not been abused, just a brownish patina overall and the wood looks unsanded.

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April 5, 2014 - 11:06 pm
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Mike,

Thank you very much for posting the pictures. While it certainly looks like it was manufactured with a blank upper tang, I still have my own doubts about it.

Of the (114) First Model 1894 rifles & carbines I have surveyed to this point, serial number 714 is the only specimen with a blank upper tang. Again, I am not of the belief that Winchester ever intentionally allowed any of them out the door without the Model designation marking on the upper tang.

Bert

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April 6, 2014 - 7:54 am
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Does anyone know when the markings on the upper tang were applied, relative to the whole manufacturing process? I would guess before the serial number was applied, but maybe not? If so, could there have been two number 714 Winchester 1894 rifles? The one referred to in the letter and this one? Perhaps the action walked out the door alone, or with one or more parts attached to it, just like in the Johnny Cash song ‘One Piece at a Time’? It may have been ‘stolen’ after the serial number was applied, but before upper tang markings were applied, assuming the upper tang markings were applied later. Does the letter confirm the present configuration (.38-55, octagon, etc.)?

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