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Factory Winchester rework, what effects on value?
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November 15, 2017 - 9:06 pm
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I have several Winchester rifles that appear to have been factory refinished and/or ‘upgraded’.  I have the understanding that in the late 1930s you could return an early rifle and Winchester would re-barrel and refinish them as needed.  I have two hi-walls one in 25/35 and one in 218 Bee that seem to have had this done to them.  I have three 1892s from the 1918 period that now have ramp front sight barrels installed and crisp barrel and receiver stamps.  I also have 2 1894 carbines with similar work done.  If the guns were done by Winchester, there are no records to prove it.  How would a person go about placing a value on these guns?

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November 15, 2017 - 9:59 pm
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Roger,

I know with the 73’s they would X out the original assembly numbers and mark new ones and add a work order number if it had been reworked.  If your lucky enough to have your gun letter and it has a R&R your set but without any factory letter or marks on the gun its up to a persons judgement if the work looks Winchester or not. A undocumented refinished gun will always have a sigma about it, since you will never know if it was done outside the factory and it will lower its value since its no longer original. The amount its lowered depends on how good it was refinished.

Bob

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November 15, 2017 - 10:10 pm
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I think Bob’s reply is the most realistic approach.  After all, the value of these old guns is derived more from their collectablility based on heritage, provenance and folklore, rather than from their own intrinsic value.  The bottom line is that they are worth what someone is willing to pay for them.

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November 15, 2017 - 11:17 pm
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rogertherelic said
I have several Winchester rifles that appear to have been factory refinished and/or ‘upgraded’.  I have the understanding that in the late 1930s you could return an early rifle and Winchester would re-barrel and refinish them as needed.  I have two hi-walls one in 25/35 and one in 218 Bee that seem to have had this done to them.  I have three 1892s from the 1918 period that now have ramp front sight barrels installed and crisp barrel and receiver stamps.  I also have 2 1894 carbines with similar work done.  If the guns were done by Winchester, there are no records to prove it.  How would a person go about placing a value on these guns?

R   

I wonder if this is an example of the 1892’s you describe?  If so, the price is really up there ($6,900), although it hasn’t sold either.  Interesting gun, but with the serial number out of letter-able range, it’s a hard one to prove.

http://thewinchestergrove.com/1892/990xxx.htm

Don

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November 15, 2017 - 11:53 pm
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deerhunter said

rogertherelic said
I have several Winchester rifles that appear to have been factory refinished and/or ‘upgraded’.  I have the understanding that in the late 1930s you could return an early rifle and Winchester would re-barrel and refinish them as needed.  I have two hi-walls one in 25/35 and one in 218 Bee that seem to have had this done to them.  I have three 1892s from the 1918 period that now have ramp front sight barrels installed and crisp barrel and receiver stamps.  I also have 2 1894 carbines with similar work done.  If the guns were done by Winchester, there are no records to prove it.  How would a person go about placing a value on these guns?

R   

I wonder if this is an example of the 1892’s you describe?  If so, the price is really up there ($6,900), although it hasn’t sold either.  Interesting gun, but with the serial number out of letter-able range, it’s a hard one to prove.

http://thewinchestergrove.com/1892/990xxx.htm

Don  

This is a tough one:  a saddle ring receiver with a rifle forend and button magazine.

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November 16, 2017 - 12:24 am
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Wincacher said 
The bottom line is that they are worth what someone is willing to pay for them.  

This fact is vividly demonstrated by the Antiques Roadshow rebroadcasts of old (10+ years) shows that compare earlier valuations with current values. I’d guess more than half of these current values are lower than the originals, sometimes by as much as 50%, and many others are about the same.  About the only items that have consistently risen in value are paintings & other original art works.

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November 16, 2017 - 1:36 am
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clarence said

This fact is vividly demonstrated by the Antiques Roadshow rebroadcasts of old (10+ years) shows that compare earlier valuations with current values. I’d guess more than half of these current values are lower than the originals, sometimes by as much as 50%, and many others are about the same.  About the only items that have consistently risen in value are paintings & other original art works.  

Excellent point.  I’ve often noticed that but never made the connection to antique arms, especially Winchesters.

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November 16, 2017 - 2:50 am
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I became interested in these guns after I saw the one in the Madis “Silver Anniversary Edition” (c. 1985) on page 373.  I bought that same gun at a gun show in San Jose about that time.  I have since learned that there is a lot of misinformation in the Madis Books.  But having known Mr. MADIS, I sincerely believe he was misinformed by the people he believed to be in the know.  Like Clarence pointed out, the market demand has changed.  I like unusual guns.  My thought was that there probably weren’t a lot of these guns made and therefore they are rare.  If the gun is rare it should be more desirable!  Alas, the old, “but I thought”, comes back to bite me.  The more I learn the more the more I realize how much more there is to learn!  Anyway, from what has been said so far, I surmise that the guns are only worth what you can get for them.  I don’t have any plans to sell any of my collection at this time so my survivors will have to deal with the sale of my stuff.  Their lack of knowledge of what I have will be a GOD send to the new buyers.  Thanks for your input.  Here are the “re-barreled” 92s. Top:44 WCF  Middle:25 WCF with bolt peep  Bottom:25 WCF in Madis Book.

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November 16, 2017 - 4:46 am
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rogertherelic said

 Here are the “re-barreled” 92s. Top:44 WCF  Middle:25 WCF with bolt peep  Bottom:25 WCF in Madis Book.

R002.JPGImage Enlarger  

Just out of curiosity:  the middle gun appears to have a gumwood stock in excellent condition.  If so, it is one of the best gumwood stocks I’ve seen.

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November 16, 2017 - 3:45 pm
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Nope, just a light colored walnut stock.  Here again I see such an array of different colored wood on many Winchesters.  I have a few that the fore end and butt don’t even come close in color.  I am curious to know if perhaps the light or sun light may play a part in the color.  One of my fore ends is lighter on one side than the other.  Then again, it might have replaced wood that I am not aware of!

R

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November 16, 2017 - 5:58 pm
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Wincacher said
I think Bob’s reply is the most realistic approach.  After all, the value of these old guns is derived more from their collectablility based on heritage, provenance and folklore, rather than from their own intrinsic value.  The bottom line is that they are worth what someone is willing to pay for them.  

I have never put much faith in the above popular statement as folks ‘pay more’ and ‘less’ than what the market for any given item dictates it’s worth everyday. 

A good example of this would be the questionable “1 of 1000” 1873 sold at the most recent Julia’s auction that hammered for $65,000. I believe most of us here would agree that this particular 1873 was not “worth” what the buyer paid for it. 

https://winchestercollector.org/forum/winchester-rifles/julias-1-of-1000-73-rifle-up-comming-auction/

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Winchester Model 1873 44-40 circa 1886

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November 16, 2017 - 10:19 pm
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 With regard to 1 of 1000s, it’s been my experience they look nicer every time they come up for sale. This one my not be the exception, next time it might be worth what he paid or more. T/R 

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November 16, 2017 - 10:33 pm
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Kevin Jones said

I have never put much faith in the above popular statement as folks ‘pay more’ and ‘less’ than what the market for any given item dictates it’s worth everyday. 

A well-known antique gun dealer and good friend who makes all the major shows in the East, and has countless long-time regular customers, has been trying for a year to sell a gun I bought on Gun Broker a couple of yrs ago. Tells me he now feels I’m going to have to take a big loss (almost 50%) to resell it.  And when I bought it, there was great interest, about 20 bidders! 

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November 17, 2017 - 12:31 am
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clarence said

Kevin Jones said
I have never put much faith in the above popular statement as folks ‘pay more’ and ‘less’ than what the market for any given item dictates it’s worth everyday. 

A well-known antique gun dealer and good friend who makes all the major shows in the East, and has countless long-time regular customers, has been trying for a year to sell a gun I bought on Gun Broker a couple of yrs ago. Tells me he now feels I’m going to have to take a big loss (almost 50%) to resell it.  And when I bought it, there was great interest, about 20 bidders!   

Precisely.  My comment referred to genuine specimens, not falsified or fake guns as in the case of the “1 of 1000” or the #1 1886 “Albee to Lawton”.

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November 17, 2017 - 2:53 am
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I more have never put much faith in the above popular statement as folks ‘pay more’ and ‘less’ than what the market for any given item dictates it’s worth everyday….Kevin Jones

 

I agree and disagree with that old statement. I have paid too much for rifles on occasion because it was what I wanted and I felt this was my best opportunity to buy what I wanted. OTOH I’ve bought rifles when the seller didn’t know quite what he had and sometimes I didn’t either. I agree that when a buyer and a seller agree on a price that is the value…to a point. Every now and then two fools meet but it actually requires only one. That’s what makes this hobby fun….except when I do something foolish. Frown

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November 17, 2017 - 7:55 pm
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Well said!   I don’t mind being a fool until someone points it out, then I get defensive.

 I thought I might as well share what got me started down my misdirected collecting road.  I had just started doing gun shows and knew very little about what was a real “Winchester” and what wasn’t.  At the fall Pomona Show about 1995 I found a little 92 25-20 very similar to a solid frame model 53.  I had to have it and sold a near mint 2nd gen. 5 1/2″  SAA Colt 45 to get the $1,000 I needed.  That was two weeks pay back then!  I am still very fond of this little ’92 even though I now realize it’s just a re-barreled gun.

Serial # 763799, Lyman hunting front, #6 folding and Lyman tang, “30” barrel date and stamped M.N.S. (Midvale Nickel Steel?), 765 stamped on lower tang and “EX LT” stamped lightly on forearm where it fits into the receiver.

Thanks for letting me rant.

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