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Info on 1895 (M1892) 18" SRC?
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January 8, 2024 - 4:16 am
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Hi Everyone,

I just joined WACA and this is my first post, so please bear with me. I have been a life-long collector of firearms, but never owned a lever action of any make until about 2 weeks ago when I picked up two 1892s and a 1873 from a local collector/friend. I just want to get some info on them since I know close to nothing regarding these rifles. But now that I have these, my only regret is not getting into this field of collecting 30 years ago!

The most interesting one (I think?) is a M1892 that dates to 1895. It is chambered in 44-40 and seems to have an 18″ barrel (note in the pics that the ruler is flush with the end of the barrel although the camera angle makes it seem like it is short). My friend purchased it years ago and we have no reason to believe this isn’t the original configuration, but of course I have no idea. According to the Cody website it should letter, if that is worth pursuing, but I have no documentation otherwise. I have been reading posts on this website and other random internet sites for a couple weeks now and can’t find any info on 18″ SRCs. Any info regarding this one in terms of originality, etc. is appreciated. You can get a good idea of the condition from the pics, but it appears to not be refinished. The barrel has some minor pitting but the rifling is sharp and I would consider it very good for a black powder gun. Everything works as it should, and I’m sure it would fire just fine. I guess I would be interested in an approximate value (if that can be determined) for insurance purposes, although I’m happy with what I paid and don’t plan on selling. Now I just need more! Kiss

Thanks for your expertise!

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January 9, 2024 - 2:23 am
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Welcome to the affliction, TG. I’d make an inquiry to Cody to see what they can offer as far as original configuration. If your interest in Winchesters continues to grow you may want to look at a museum membership. The Cody Firearms Museum is a priceless resource to the serious collector, IMHO. Looks like a well used but honest gun but if I were you I’d wait for one of our 1892 experts to eyeball it. 
What took you so long to get interested in Winchesters?

 

Mike

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January 9, 2024 - 2:38 am
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Sorry to say, but in my opinion, I believe the barrel has been shortened about 1.5 inches and the front sight has been re-attached/soldered to the barrel.  According to the measuring stick in the photo, it looks like the barrel is actually 18.5 inches from the muzzle to the bolt face.  Carbines should also have a crowned muzzle.  If you zoom in on the photo of the muzzle, it is flat and not crowned.  You can also see the cut marks from when it was shortened.  Would still be a nice handy little shooter with what looks to have a pretty nice bore.  Just my 2 cents.

Don

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January 9, 2024 - 2:45 am
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Express rear sight on a carbine is unusual

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January 9, 2024 - 2:49 am
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Tony. R said
Express rear sight on a carbine is unusual

  

And with no broken middle leaf!

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January 9, 2024 - 2:47 pm
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My observations only; the barrel is cut, it is not crowned at the muzzle and I can see the solder at the front of the sight .

W.A.C.A. life member, Marlin Collectors Assn. charter and life member, C,S.S.A. member and general gun nut.

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January 9, 2024 - 5:15 pm
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Good morning form northern Michigan,

There are a few problems with the rifle based on what I have learned from looking at +19,000 Model 1892 rifles.  The serial number does indeed correspond to production from 1895.  According to the original production ledgers that SN was built as an Octagon barreled sporting rifle in 38 WCF caliber.  At he original time of production the caliber stamp was ALWAYS located on the top of the barrel between the rear sight and the receiver face.  In addition, while the style of the barrel address stamp is correct it is NEVER found on the left side of the barrel but always located on the top of the barrel between the barrel band and the rear sight.  As pointed out the muzzle face is cut perfectly flat and should be rounded or “crowned.”  I suspect that the original barrel was cut down and then turned on a lathe, change to a round barrel and the caliber stamp and barrel address re-stamped.  In addition, the sling ring was attached to the left side of the receiver and all new carbine wood was put on the gun.  One other minor point is that the hammer style is not correct for the SN range.

Sorry for the bad news.

Michael

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January 9, 2024 - 5:28 pm
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It would be interesting to know what the original motivation was to change this piece to how it now sits.  Did someone just want a handy carbine or was the idea to create a piece that could be marketed at a profit?  I think that fact that the barrel has been restamped suggests the latter.

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January 9, 2024 - 7:14 pm
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Thanks everyone for the info. I figured there was a very slim chance it wasn’t modified, but was hoping it was just a cut down SRC and not completely fake. This is sort of the worst case scenario I think. But it does explain the two dimples in the front of the barrel – I had no idea why those would be there but being turned on a lathe seems like an obvious explanation now that its been mentioned. I also thought the markings were rough but found examples online that were similar (of course maybe those were fake as well). I wonder if it is even 44 cal and not 38? I guess I should check the barrel diameter.

To answer an earlier question, this is the exact reason I never got into Winchesters or antiques in general. I had several friends who had extensive collections of Civil War and generally pre-1870 stuff (including some very expensive pieces), and learned quickly that you had to know what you were doing or you would get taken for lots of $$. And that was 20+ years ago, I’m sure its worse now. A few years ago I researched Colt SAAs for a long time. During that time I learned that I couldn’t ever possibly know enough to make a purchase w/o fear of being ripped off, and the prices were going up steadily to where a mistake could cost thousands. So I never actually purchased one. I should have used the same caution here.

Anyway, an expensive and disappointing lesson. Thanks again everyone for your time.

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January 9, 2024 - 10:23 pm
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TG said
Thanks everyone for the info. I figured there was a very slim chance it wasn’t modified, but was hoping it was just a cut down SRC and not completely fake. This is sort of the worst case scenario I think. But it does explain the two dimples in the front of the barrel – I had no idea why those would be there but being turned on a lathe seems like an obvious explanation now that its been mentioned. I also thought the markings were rough but found examples online that were similar (of course maybe those were fake as well). I wonder if it is even 44 cal and not 38? I guess I should check the barrel diameter.

To answer an earlier question, this is the exact reason I never got into Winchesters or antiques in general. I had several friends who had extensive collections of Civil War and generally pre-1870 stuff (including some very expensive pieces), and learned quickly that you had to know what you were doing or you would get taken for lots of $$. And that was 20+ years ago, I’m sure its worse now. A few years ago I researched Colt SAAs for a long time. During that time I learned that I couldn’t ever possibly know enough to make a purchase w/o fear of being ripped off, and the prices were going up steadily to where a mistake could cost thousands. So I never actually purchased one. I should have used the same caution here.

Anyway, an expensive and disappointing lesson. Thanks again everyone for your time.

  

Agreed on the lessons taught by collecting anything really….but hey, you bought some education and that happens to everyone at some point. Don’t let it stop you from enjoying those rifles, learning about them, or both!

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January 10, 2024 - 12:10 am
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What did the gun cost?

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January 10, 2024 - 3:56 am
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Way too much for it to be mostly fake. I am going to see if I can recoup some costs with the seller or at least share some of the loss. I believe he legitimately had no idea.

The original seller might have had some idea, however. I was told it was sold at the OGCA show but well after I left Ohio 15+ years ago. I was a member and attended that show every year. Its probably been too long to figure out where it originally came from and I don’t think he has more info.

I will start a new thread soon with pics of hopefully much better Winchesters. Hopefully. Confused

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January 10, 2024 - 2:01 pm
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TG-

I’m sorry your early foray into Winchesters went badly. There are some bad folks out there who make it harder for us to enjoy our hobby but we just have to study harder and look a little closer to avoid misadventures. These crooks are very talented, don’t beat yourself up over this. Hope you find a better one soon!

 

Mike

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January 10, 2024 - 2:05 pm
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TG said
Thanks everyone for the info. I figured there was a very slim chance it wasn’t modified, but was hoping it was just a cut down SRC and not completely fake. This is sort of the worst case scenario I think. But it does explain the two dimples in the front of the barrel – I had no idea why those would be there but being turned on a lathe seems like an obvious explanation now that its been mentioned. I also thought the markings were rough but found examples online that were similar (of course maybe those were fake as well). I wonder if it is even 44 cal and not 38? I guess I should check the barrel diameter.

To answer an earlier question, this is the exact reason I never got into Winchesters or antiques in general. I had several friends who had extensive collections of Civil War and generally pre-1870 stuff (including some very expensive pieces), and learned quickly that you had to know what you were doing or you would get taken for lots of $$. And that was 20+ years ago, I’m sure its worse now. A few years ago I researched Colt SAAs for a long time. During that time I learned that I couldn’t ever possibly know enough to make a purchase w/o fear of being ripped off, and the prices were going up steadily to where a mistake could cost thousands. So I never actually purchased one. I should have used the same caution here.

Anyway, an expensive and disappointing lesson. Thanks again everyone for your time. 

TG,

We ALL have learned a lesson at some time.  My best advice is be patient, don’t rush, and always ask questions WAY before you reach for the checkbook.  I ma more than happy to answer any questions regarding Model 1892’s and Model 61 rifles.  And it is more fun for me to save you money than explain the problems with a purchase.

Michael

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January 10, 2024 - 3:39 pm
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It’s not all bad news here.  This piece is still a handy little carbine, in the best chambering, has antique status, etc.  There are original versions of this piece out there (darn few). This carbine will do everything those pieces would do – except bring the long dollar from a collector.  I’d happily carry this carbine in the woods and I’m sure it would be a joy to carry. 

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January 10, 2024 - 5:12 pm
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steve004 said
It’s not all bad news here.  This piece is still a handy little carbine, in the best chambering, has antique status, etc.  There are original versions of this piece out there (darn few). This carbine will do everything those pieces would do – except bring the long dollar from a collector.  I’d happily carry this carbine in the woods and I’m sure it would be a joy to carry. 

  

Yes, sir. I like the looks and configuration too.  Other bit of good news is that a sizable percentage of collectors today aren’t sticklers for originality, unlike traditional collectors. 

 

Mike

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January 11, 2024 - 12:09 am
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Very true Mike. The purists and hardcore money collectors would snub this gun but I like them and their stories and find them all a joy to own (as long as they’re not misrepresented)…

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