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April 24, 2014 - 7:59 am
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Hello, I am new to this forum and to Winchester Rifle collecting. I have the opportunity to purchase a Winchester Model 1892 this weekend and I was hoping to get some answers about the rifle that the current owner cannot provide. I have already contacted the Cody Museum and have verified that the serial number on the rifle was shipped from the warehouse in 1905. The biggest question I have about the rifle is that the owner claims that the rifle is nickel plated. The barrel and receiver are a dull silver in color but there are very small and numerous spots on the barrel and receiver that could be some type of corrosion. These spots do however seem to clean up when a wet finger is rubbed over them. The other detail which catches my eye is that the engraving on the barrel is not a “crisp” as I have seem on other rifles of this model. The serial number graving is also shallow. The second number of the serial number, which is an 8, looks at first to be a 3. The other numbers are readable, but the graving is shallow compared to other serial number I have seen in other rifles. Could the numbers appear shallow because of the nickel plating was perhaps applied after the engraving process was complete? This may also account for why the barrel engraving is also somewhat shallow and not “crisp”. The Makers stamp and the caliber stamp (32WCF) are deep, crisp and easy to read. As for the rest of the rifle, the action is very smooth and there is no rattle to the rifle when shaken. Doesn’t appear to have been fired very often. The forward hand stock is in good shape with no major cracks or breaks. The rear stock is damaged in where there is a 1 inch by 1 inch “chip” missing just behind the receiver on the right side which is about ¼ inch deep. There is also a 2 inch by ½ inch chip on the bottom corner of the butt which was broken off and glued back on. I have not figured out to add pictures but will when I can.
So the question I have are, Did Winchester nickel plate their rifles or could this be after market plating. Also, based on the description, what would this rifle be worth? Owner is hoping for $1800 based on the plating.
Thank you for you help,
Tim[/img]

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April 24, 2014 - 8:34 am
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tumblr_n4jk17nJvB1r3usn7o1_1280.jpgImage Enlargertumblr_n4jk17nJvB1r3usn7o2_1280.jpgImage Enlarger
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Here are the pictures I have
Tim

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April 24, 2014 - 9:04 am
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Hello Tim,

I will be glad to help you. I am on the road right now but willbe at my ranch and a real computer in about an hour. What is the serial number of the rifle?

Michael

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April 24, 2014 - 9:11 am
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283823. Cody records office serial number search reveals the gun was received at the warehouse on Feb. 8, 1905 and shipped out Sept 26, 1905. Octagon barrel with a plain trigger. no mention of nickel plating.

Thanks, for the help,
Tim

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April 24, 2014 - 9:39 am
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Tim,

The ledgers would definitely have the rifle listed as "full nickel" if it were in fact manufactured that way. This rifle has just had all the original bluing buffed off of the entire gun. You can actually see the chafe in the width of the barrel flats in the photo of the caliber stamp. The rifle is worth about $400 at best! Keep your money and keep shopping.

Michael

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April 24, 2014 - 1:24 pm
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if it was buffed why are the markings so sharp and clear looking?

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April 24, 2014 - 2:04 pm
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I do not believe that it is bare steel. Instead, it is nickle plated, but not by Winchester.

I do agree that it is not worth anywhere near the $1800 asking price. The butt stock is nothing more than a piece of wood stove fodder.

Bert

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April 24, 2014 - 2:05 pm
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larryb said
if it was buffed why are the markings so sharp and clear looking?

Because sometimes it takes very very little buffing to remove what tiny amount of bluing is left on the gun.

The gun shown in the photos is not Nickel plated and never was. Its bare steel with a bunch of tiny rust blooms starting.

IMHO

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April 24, 2014 - 4:24 pm
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I am still going to stick with the buffed metal interpretation of the photos. If the rifle had been nickel plated then there is no way that all the lettering ends up not also being plated. It would be no different than a poor bluing job over old pitting. The pits and the lettering all get blued. I think this gun was badly rusted and then the metal surface was buffed to remove the corrosion. That corrosion in the recessed lettering could not be removed, hence they end up being darker than the balance of the metal. You can also notice the rounded nature of the change in angle between one barrel flat to the next. Especially in the caliber stamp photo.

larryb wrote:

if it was buffed why are the markings so sharp and clear looking?

The caliber stamp and the barrel address clearly show evidence of buffing if you compare it to the attached photos below. The periods between the WCF are missing in the caliber stamp and the upper line of the barrel address is very thin and the first word in the upper line, MANUFACTURED, is almost removed.
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Michael

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April 24, 2014 - 5:11 pm
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learn something every time I come to this site. thanks

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April 25, 2014 - 5:14 am
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To me an obvious buff job(a poor one at that ) and not plated. Twobit’s explanation is right on. Unless someone just wanted a shooter(and not for $1800!!) not much of a rifle.

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April 25, 2014 - 8:10 am
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Well I would have made a every expensive mistake had I not asked the question about the rifle. So now, with everything said, is there any restoration value for this gun, or is it destined to just be an inexpensive shooter made back in 1905?

Thanks again for all the input,
Tim

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April 25, 2014 - 11:14 am
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Tim,

The rifle is not worth restoring. It is a plain Jane rifle and not worth the expense. The wood has also been sanded so most of the rifle would be replaced parts.

Michael

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