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Another pair of .32 Specials ;)
June 25, 2021
1:50 am
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View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com

Not much in common with these two rifles:

The top rifle is an extremely late Winchester M55, caliber .32 special.

The bottom rifle is a small frame Bullard repeater.  Also a .32 special but not the Winchester version.  The Bullard .32 special preceded the Winchester version and is fundamentally different.  It used a bottleneck case and it was subcaliber – about a .315 bore.  So, not interchangeable at all with the Winchester version.  It is technically a .32-40 Bullard.  The standard loading used a 150 grain bullet and it is sometimes referred to as the .32-40-150.  It is sometimes referred to in Bullard catalogs as .32 Special Bullard.

By the way the Bullard is nearly new.  The receiver blue is thick mirror coverage and that’s why the photo took so much glare.  This rifle is marked Model 1886.

June 25, 2021
2:45 am
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Very nice, Steve. Enjoyed learning a little about the Bullard. It seems my education is lacking in that area. Do you feel the Bullard was influenced by any of its contemporaries or do you feel it may have influenced one or more of them? 

 

Mike

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Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
June 25, 2021
4:14 am
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TXGunNut said
Very nice, Steve. Enjoyed learning a little about the Bullard. It seems my education is lacking in that area. Do you feel the Bullard was influenced by any of its contemporaries or do you feel it may have influenced one or more of them? 

Bullard was an original thinker influenced by no one, whose guns cost more to mfgr. than they could be sold for profitably in competition with other makers.

If you can obtain Scott Jamison’s Bullard book you will be amazed.  It’s now OP & very high priced, but try inter-library loan.

June 25, 2021
10:54 am
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 Just wondering how the Bullard repeater loaded?I see no loading gate in the picture and the picture does not show the whole length of the rifle,so I suppose it loaded from the muzzle end or on the underside of the rifle?

June 25, 2021
1:51 pm
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28 gauge said
 Just wondering how the Bullard repeater loaded?I see no loading gate in the picture and the picture does not show the whole length of the rifle,so I suppose it loaded from the muzzle end or on the underside of the rifle?  

The Bullard loads from the underside, with the action open.  Interestingly, the Whitney-Kennedy has the loading gate on fhe side like Winchester, Marlin, etc., BUT, the action has to be fully open to load it.

June 25, 2021
1:55 pm
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clarence said

TXGunNut said
Very nice, Steve. Enjoyed learning a little about the Bullard. It seems my education is lacking in that area. Do you feel the Bullard was influenced by any of its contemporaries or do you feel it may have influenced one or more of them? 

Bullard was an original thinker influenced by no one, whose guns cost more to mfgr. than they could be sold for profitably in competition with other makers.

If you can obtain Scott Jamison’s Bullard book you will be amazed.  It’s now OP & very high priced, but try inter-library loan.  

I have both of Scott’s books on the Bullard.  There is an earlier book and then a subsequent (much thicker) book.  At one time I had corresponded extensively with Scott and some of my Bullards are pictured in both of his books.  The research he put into his books is very impressive and he certainly filled a void where there was a serious vacuum of knowledge.

I see Scott’s second book is available now on Amazon for about $97.  It’s 368 pages and of wonderful quality (including some color photos).  It’s an amazing read and if you have an interest in old lever action and single-shot rifles, you will love this book.  

June 25, 2021
2:17 pm
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steve004 said

The Bullard loads from the underside, with the action open.  Interestingly, the Whitney-Kennedy has the loading gate on fhe side like Winchester, Marlin, etc., BUT, the action has to be fully open to load it.  

 

 Most interesting.Thanks for that information.

June 25, 2021
2:38 pm
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28 gauge said

 

 Most interesting.Thanks for that information.  

There’s a real rabbit hole to fall down when you branch out beyond Winchester.  Don’t get me started on Whitney-Scharf (lever action repeaters) or the Burgess Model 1878 (1856 Morse patented) .45-70 long range repeating lever action rifle.  Dale Olson has been the guru on the Burgess and the various Whitney-Kennedy variations.  He has a neat little book out:

Dale was a super guy and sadly, passed away a couple months ago.  I think it was around 12 years ago that Dale Olson, myself and three other Burgess/Whitney-Kennedy collectors put on a large display at the NRA Trophy Show in Dallas.  We had over 50 top pieces on display.  Sadly, since then,  it is only myself and one other collector that remain upright.  At one time, I operated a website devoted to Burgess and Whitney Kennedy rifles.  It never drew much interest.  These rifles are rare and the guys who collect them even rarer.  The rifles last beyond the collectors.  I never run into any young Burgess or Whitney-Kennedy collectors, yet the rifles continue to sell for substantial money.  

June 25, 2021
3:59 pm
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steve004 said
 I never run into any young Burgess or Whitney-Kennedy collectors, yet the rifles continue to sell for substantial money.    

An oft repeated tale:  collectors dying out, yet prices go up not down.  Something about that arithmetic that’s beyond me.

Excellent article about Burgess in Gun Digest Treasury, 3rd ed.  More patents, I believe, than Browning.

June 25, 2021
5:18 pm
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clarence said

An oft repeated tale:  collectors dying out, yet prices go up not down.  Something about that arithmetic that’s beyond me.

Excellent article about Burgess in Gun Digest Treasury, 3rd ed.  More patents, I believe, than Browning.  

Andrew Burgess was a genius.  His patents and influence extend into firearms today.  Marlin lever actions would be an example. Winchester thought enough of Burgess to buy him out.

Clarence – I too, am perplexed over prices going up as many collectors leave the scene.  I think some must come late to the scene.  You also see collectors expand their collecting genre.  I’m certainly an example of that.  The very first pieces I purchased when I was very young were a Winchester .22 and a Winchester 12ga. (current production pieces at the time) The very first vintage rifles I purchased were Winchesters.  I suppose Winchester served as a, “gateway drug” for me.  I think I was 20 or 21 when I purchased a M1878 Burgess .45-70 long range rifle (a truly spectacular and very very early example) as well as a Whitney-Kennedy .45-60 and a Whitney-Kennedy in .44-40.  By the way, these purchases made no sense to anyone around me. 

June 29, 2021
1:02 am
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I wanted to throw in that Teddy Roosevelt used a Bullard rifle – caliber .50-115 Bullard.

Another interesting fact – although they didn’t make a lot of them, the Bullard large frame repeater was also chambered in .45-75 WCF as well as .50-95 WCF.  I’ve never owned a Bullard in either of these chamberings but that’s not due to lack of desire.

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