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Basket Case 1885
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October 26, 2021 - 4:23 am
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I was given an 1885 hi-wall and it’s a basket case, no stocks, receiver has been drilled for a Williams sight, etc.  The original barrel is long gone (Strong Fire Arms Co barrel in 38-40, interesting note on Strong Fire Arms is they started as Strong Cartridge Company in 1878 in New Haven and then In 1884, the Ammunition Manufacturers Association, a monopolistic organization that was set up by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, the Union Metallic Cartridge Company, the United States Cartridge Company, and the Phoenix Cartridge Company, purchased the cartridge making machinery of the Strong Cartridge Company. It is likely that the Strong Cartridge Company was already manufacturing breech-loading cannons and other firearms at the time of the sale, and they reorganized at that time as the Strong Firearms Company to continue manufacturing these products).  

I ran the serial numbers and this is what it came back as originally.
Serial number applied on 11-1-1894
Date In: 9-13-1895
Rifle
Caliber: 30 Gov’t
Barrel Weight: #3
Length: 30”
Trigger: plain
Date Shipped: 10-25-1895
Order Number: 24109

The more I look at the serial number the more the 6 in the 69715 just looks odd.  Also this is a pistol grip lower tang, would this be noted in the serial number look up?  I was thinking did someone heat up the tang and create a pistol grip or was it just not noted in the records?
All of the guts in the receiver are there and my intentions are to have the holes welded up, then have a good friend engrave something on the sides, nothing fancy, and have it CCH with a new Green Mountain barrel in either 45-90 or 45-120 chambering.  I know there is no value in what I’d do, but there would be no value in bringing it back to original either.PXL_20211026_033729547.MP_.jpgImage Enlarger

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October 26, 2021 - 12:54 pm
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impalacustom said

All of the guts in the receiver are there and my intentions are to have the holes welded up, then have a good friend engrave something on the sides, nothing fancy, and have it CCH with a new Green Mountain barrel in either 45-90 or 45-120 chambering.  I know there is no value in what I’d do, but there would be no value in bringing it back to original either. 

Best thing you can do with it at this point, & you will be adding value if all the work is top-notch, esp. the engraving.  (Nothing detracts from value more than 2nd rate engraving.)  Unless you’re sure you’ll never want to re-sell it, .45-70 is the best caliber choice, because it’s by far the most popular.

Can’t trust the ser. no. because the lower tang may have been replaced in order to make the PG; however, it got there, a PG is more desirable than a straight grip.

Never heard of the Strong Co..

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October 26, 2021 - 4:05 pm
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Do you have a picture of the side view of the receiver showing the tangs? As a quick tell tale would be the curve of the lower tang compared with a legit PG receiver. With everything else that is going on with it, I suspect someone bent it in place.

Bert may chime in on this, but I believe the PG lower tangs are inherit different than the standard lower tang and not by merely curvature.

If it were mine, I would turn it into a nice beautiful shooter that I couldn’t afford otherwise. And in a odd ball caliber, something that would be fun to shoot that is not run of the mill. I would always want something in .405, or .50 caliber or an Express cartridge or a Sharps caliber or the like. Get you some Shutzen stocks with butt plate, palm rest, and any other nice attachments you can think of.

Then when you’ve passed on, your grandkids can argue with someone about how it was General Custer’s personnel prized 85. 

Sincerely,

Maverick

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October 27, 2021 - 4:18 am
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I have no intentions of ever selling it, which is why I’m willing to even mess with it, otherwise it’d just be parted out.  Maverick your comment made me laugh about having the grandkids argue over it being Custers personal 85.  You got me to thinking about a few obscure calibers too, just because I enjoy the challenge or making brass and it would be unique.

Anyhow here are a few other pictures, the breach looks a bit odd too, seems it was cut on the front left a bit, not sure why anyone would do that either, who knows the life of this thing and what it did though.

PXL_20211027_034035400.PORTRAIT-3.jpgImage EnlargerPXL_20211027_034144234.PORTRAIT-1.jpgImage EnlargerPXL_20211027_033727414-1.jpgImage EnlargerPXL_20211027_034345124.jpgImage EnlargerPXL_20211027_033629007.jpgImage Enlarger

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October 27, 2021 - 1:23 pm
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Curve of PG looks alright to me. 

Here’s some interesting info on the Strong Co., whose main product was signal cannons which make the ones produced by Winchester look like kids’ toys:  https://www.oldammo.com/december16.htm  “00 guage”!!!  What could have been this companies interest in this ’85? 

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October 27, 2021 - 6:37 pm
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Couldn’t open the other link??

 

https://www.oldammo.com/december16.htm

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October 27, 2021 - 7:35 pm
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Chuck said
Couldn’t open the other link??

 

https://www.oldammo.com/december16.htm  

No idea why.  Search Strong Firearms Co., then look for Cartridge Collector site, which has many photos.

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October 28, 2021 - 2:03 am
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The pistol grip tang is not factory original, and it is indeed a basket case Single Shot receiver frame.  Somebody certainly Swiss-cheesed the left side of the frame!

Bert

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October 28, 2021 - 3:31 am
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Bert H. said
The pistol grip tang is not factory original, and it is indeed a basket case Single Shot receiver frame.  Somebody certainly Swiss-cheesed the left side of the frame!

Bert  

So you mean it’s a replacement tang, not a bent straight tang? 

Only two holes were required to mount a Williams rcvr sight, so the others…?

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October 28, 2021 - 4:30 am
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clarence said

Bert H. said
The pistol grip tang is not factory original, and it is indeed a basket case Single Shot receiver frame.  Somebody certainly Swiss-cheesed the left side of the frame!

Bert  

So you mean it’s a replacement tang, not a bent straight tang? 

Only two holes were required to mount a Williams rcvr sight, so the others…?  

It is a bent straight tang.

No idea on all those extra holes… 

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