Avatar
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon
Interesting 1895 Flat Side Carbine
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
November 29, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
November 29, 2017 - 5:59 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Good morning all, and thank you for allowing me to bring my questions to the forum.  Admittedly, I am rather uneducated in all things Winchester, and have just recently started digging into a rifle that has came into my possession that has me scratching my head a bit.  I am hoping someone here, or the group collectively, can help me solve a few mysteries about the new addition to my collection.

The rifle (forgive the poor pictures!):

Image Enlarger

Of course, first thing you will notice is that it is a Flat Side:

Image Enlarger

Image Enlarger

The SN# 2778 substantiates the rifles status as a true Flat Side:

Image Enlarger

So, no doubt its a Flat Side!  Which is good news to me, I feel fortunate to have this rifle in my possession as it is my understanding that the flat sides are exceedingly rare.  Here is the kicker, the forearm suggests that this rifle is the 1895 sporting rifle, EXCEPT that the barrel is 22″, making it a CARBINE!  It does have the Marble rear site, which indicates it could be a custom order and that might lend a bit of explanation regarding the sporting rifle forearm on the carbine length barrel.  However, I think there might be an explanation hidden under the forearm itself, and that is what I am hoping someone here might be able to help me out with.

Under the forearm, are these markings:

Image Enlarger

Image Enlarger

So here is where I get hung up in my research.  Depending on where you find your information, the “EX” could simply be an inspection stamp (usually found stamped near the lever) or it could indicate “Experimental” if stamped preceding the SN.  This is neither, and I dont know what those numbers mean.  So I am stuck!

Could I have been blessed by the God of Firearms Collecting and have a prototype of some sort? Is there some other explanation out there that seems slightly more reasonable? I am hoping you guys might have the answers!

Either way, I have been enjoying this challenge and this research.  This is not the only firearm I acquired in this transaction, but so far it has been one of the most interesting!

Here are a few more pics if they help:

Image Enlarger

Image Enlarger

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 526
Member Since:
February 19, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
November 29, 2017 - 7:15 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

call the Cody museum and get a letter for it.. That should be the start of your journey…..

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
November 29, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
November 29, 2017 - 8:34 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Its definitely on my list of things to do! Thanks for the advice. Kevin

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 537
Member Since:
August 27, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
November 29, 2017 - 10:40 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

A pic of the front sight would be very helpful.

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
November 29, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
November 29, 2017 - 11:15 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Tedk,

Hope these help.  I am happy to post others if needed.

Image Enlarger

Barrel length too:

IMG_7410.jpgImage Enlarger

Evidently she could use a good wipe down!

IMG_7420.jpgImage Enlarger

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 537
Member Since:
August 27, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
November 30, 2017 - 1:30 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Appears that the barrel has been cut and an aftermarket (Lyman Streamline?) front sight added….

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
November 29, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
November 30, 2017 - 2:28 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thanks Tedk,

I am guessing that is most likely an aftermarket type of alteration.  I am ordering the Cody report today and will report back once I receive it.  Any idea what the markings under the barrel are?

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 858
Member Since:
June 11, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
November 30, 2017 - 10:30 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

There is a gap along each side of the barrel, between the barrel and the wood, an indication that the barrel-forearm is not the original combination. 

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
November 29, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
November 30, 2017 - 11:59 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Win38,

That’s a great point, I didnt even notice that.  My understanding is that back then, everything was hand fitted correct?  So it should fit perfectly.

Something else I noticed that doesnt seem right is the butt plate, its a black plastic butt plate.  I feel like something this old would originally come with a metal butt plate.  I could be wrong, but plastic seems pretty modern.

Thoughts?

Avatar
Montana
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 656
Member Since:
November 2, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
December 1, 2017 - 12:43 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Being such an early serial number, my guess is that this rifle was shipped as either a .38-72 or .40-72 with an octagon barrel.  It may have been changed over to the more popular round barrel in .30US, retaining the original octagon barrel forend.

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 605
Member Since:
September 19, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11
December 1, 2017 - 10:55 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Folks,  Take a closer look at the photos please.  As I see it, the barrel is “stepped” down in front of the receiver, when the early flatsides I am aware of were all tapered.  In addition the caliber markings appear more out of kilter to me than ever appeared on Winchester barrels.  The early caliber marking for this flatside also would have just been roll marked or stamped 30 U S.  In my opinion the barrel is a replacement that likely came from some other time than was original.  The real proof would be if the manufacturing data would be roll stamped on the barrel in front of the rear sight.

Tim

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
November 29, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
December 1, 2017 - 3:49 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Tim,

I appreciate that observation.  I have to admit, while it has not been determined that this was the very first flatside made on special order for a Texas Ranger and owned by three former US Presidents and Elvis too, this has been a lot of fun dissecting this rifle and I appreciate the input of this forum. 

To continue this investigation into the barrel, the craftsmanship (or possible lack thereof) of the forearm screw anchor seems a bit inconsistent with what I would expect from that time period.  Of course, I dont have any other flatsides laying around for comparison, but I would value any input on the matter. Here are a few pics:

Image Enlarger

Image Enlarger

There are no other markings on the barrel, other than what is already posted in the pictures.  Also, here is a picture of the plastic butt plate that seems suspicious to me.  Research will produce numerous examples of plastic reproduction butt plates, but again, I feel plastic in 1895 is a bit suspect.  Not because they didnt have plastic, but these rifles were built to last and plastic seems like a less desirable option:

Image Enlarger

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
November 29, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13
December 1, 2017 - 5:39 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Couldnt help myself, had to dig a bit deeper!  That stated, I took the butt plate off and if this is the original butt plate, I am a unicorn!

Image Enlarger

So, that mystery has been solved.  I also took the Marbles sight off and took a picture for anyone’s consideration for comment:

Image Enlarger

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 537
Member Since:
August 27, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14
December 1, 2017 - 6:34 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Top hole in the tang is not factory….

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
November 29, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15
December 1, 2017 - 6:48 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I agree, it doesnt look like it would be.  Also, I think the sights are offering more insights!  I will post that in the sights thread though.

Thanks again Tedk.

Kevin

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
November 29, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
16
December 1, 2017 - 11:38 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

At this point, I am beyond convinced that the barrel is not original configuration, thanks to this forum and a great book by Bill West that I have been referencing.  Among other reasons, the barrel length is not correct, the muzzle is crowned, there are NO records of experimental carbines in the early years of the 1895 (only experimental 30/40 muskets), the carbine wasn’t introduced until 1899, and there are no Winchester markings on the side of the barrel. 

Of course, the letter from Cody will confirm all this, but I am not satisfied with my barrel research just yet.  I would like to know if there is any way of knowing if this was barreled by Winchester, and if so is there a way of knowing when?

I cannot find a single example of a stepped Winchester barrel, are they all tapered?

There are posts in this forum regarding numbers stamped on the bottom of other models lending information to a new barrels date, but I am unsure if that same holds true for this model, and this barrel.  Are the numbers stamped on the bottom of the barrel indicative of the rifle being barreled in 1940?

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 605
Member Since:
September 19, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
17
December 2, 2017 - 12:04 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Kevin,

  First, the world might be better with more unicorns in it.  Secondly, your sleuthing has shown strong indicators by the quality of the work (or lack, as you state) the barrel is not likely installed by Winchester.  It is way easier to say what it is not versus what it is.  The forend screw for 1895’s was retained by a coned looking piece dovetailed to the barrel vs. the block (which appears to not even be trued) soldered to the barrel.  By no means am I able to put meaning to the numbers and letters stamped into the underside of the barrel.  I do not have the knowledge to accurately speculate on the source of the barrel, but I do recall that at least some military rifles used the abrupt step to reduce the weight and profile of the barrel, and may have been the original source of the barrel.  Making a wild guess here, I would say it appears the rifle was reworked at a more modern time to produce a workable rifle for someone, and the barrel was what was available to make that happen.  Maybe this was the absolute pride of some person who enjoyed the caliber, had a lighter weight rifle for his use, and didn’t pay much to make it happen.  It is all conjecture unless there is some provenance that comes to light, though.  I spent some time last night paging through the inventory of the Winchester reference collection to see if there would be any entry that would perhaps shed light on this or similar information.  I did not come up with anything applicable to this discussion,but as always found “new” interesting bits of info that will likely not lead to anything else either.  

  Have fun with trying to decipher what all the parts of this rifle mean, etc.  

Tim

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
November 29, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
18
December 4, 2017 - 2:14 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Tim,

Thank you for your response! I am in agreement that the rifle was rebarreled at some point, and it certainly seems like it was a low budget alteration. 

Kevin

Forum Timezone: UTC 0
Most Users Ever Online: 778
Currently Online: gobblerforge, 426crown, Antonio
Guest(s) 57
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Top Posters:
clarence: 6556
TXGunNut: 5218
Chuck: 4706
steve004: 4361
1873man: 4339
Big Larry: 2360
twobit: 2324
mrcvs: 1785
TR: 1733
Forum Stats:
Groups: 1
Forums: 17
Topics: 12960
Posts: 113094

 

Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1799
Members: 8955
Moderators: 4
Admins: 3
Navigation