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Lower Buttplate Extended Slightly Proud of Stock Tip???
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May 23, 2021 - 1:51 pm
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I’m curious about this condition I’ve found on a couple buttplates/stocks where the butplate is slightly extended beyond the stock tip. 

Seems strange as all other wood has been just slightly proud metal components as typical for “correct and original”  Winchester rifles. 

Has anyone else noticed this condition in your inspection of Winchesters? 

 

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Winchester Model 1873 44-40 circa 1886

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May 23, 2021 - 3:30 pm
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Kevin,

That is a sure sign that somebody has worked on the stock.

Bert

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May 23, 2021 - 3:30 pm
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If there’s no evidence stock had once been sanded, what else can it be but shrinkage?

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May 23, 2021 - 3:42 pm
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Bert H. said
Kevin,

That is a sure sign that somebody has worked on the stock.

Bert  

Also possible buttplate was replaced–they seldom fit “just right” when swapped between different guns.

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May 23, 2021 - 6:19 pm
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In my opinion, that is one of the most common places to see them not fit right. Some of them fit correct everywhere else, with no signs of sanding, and still come up a bit short in the toe area. This makes me think there’s some shrinking going on over 100 years. 

Unlike fore-ends, where there are two fixed points to clearly identify lengthwise shrinkage, the buttstock can shrink lengthwise with no visual indication. The sharp toe of the crescent stocks seems to be an area where this supposed shrinkage in the thickness, rather than the length, shows up. As discussed many times before, it seems like the fancier grade wood is more apt to shrink ……… but just my observations.

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May 23, 2021 - 7:02 pm
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pdog72 said
In my opinion, that is one of the most common places to see them not fit right. Some of them fit correct everywhere else, with no signs of sanding, and still come up a bit short in the toe area. This makes me think there’s some shrinking going on over 100 years. 

Unlike fore-ends, where there are two fixed points to clearly identify lengthwise shrinkage, the buttstock can shrink lengthwise with no visual indication. The sharp toe of the crescent stocks seems to be an area where this supposed shrinkage in the thickness, rather than the length, shows up. As discussed many times before, it seems like the fancier grade wood is more apt to shrink ……… but just my observations.  

Gary, that’s what had me puzzled on both the rifles I’m referring too. Fit everywhere else, even on the remainder of the buttplate, was consistent with a Winchester that had never been sanded. 

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Winchester Model 1873 44-40 circa 1886

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May 23, 2021 - 7:06 pm
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clarence said

Also possible buttplate was replaced–they seldom fit “just right” when swapped between different guns.  

 

I agree, however I believe if buttplates were swapped, “fit” would most likely be sloppy around the entire buttplates not just at the toe tip. 

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Winchester Model 1873 44-40 circa 1886

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May 23, 2021 - 7:21 pm
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Bert H. said
Kevin,

That is a sure sign that somebody has worked on the stock.

Bert  

Bert I would normally agree, however the remainder of the fit on both entire rifles was just as should be on un-altered rifles. 

I’m asking as since I’ve now seen this condition on two different otherwise very nice rifles, wondering if something that should be a deal breaker or just something that happens on these 130>150 year old stocks from time to time.  

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Winchester Model 1873 44-40 circa 1886

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May 23, 2021 - 7:26 pm
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Kevin Jones said

 

I agree, however I believe if buttplates were swapped, “fit” would most likely be sloppy around the entire buttplates not just at the toe tip.   

No doubt.  Got to be shrinkage.

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May 23, 2021 - 7:43 pm
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 If you bang the toe of the butt plate wouldn’t it be easy to break of a tiny sliver of wood off the butt stock. This is a very common area to see repairs, the grain is usually running the long way of the gun making the area fragile. T/R

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May 23, 2021 - 8:54 pm
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You will see some shrinkage on the toe of antique rifles if the stocks are 1/4 sawn.  

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May 23, 2021 - 9:15 pm
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TR said
 If you bang the toe of the butt plate wouldn’t it be easy to break of a tiny sliver of wood off the butt stock. This is a very common area to see repairs, the grain is usually running the long way of the gun making the area fragile. T/R  

Very true.  The crescent BP execerbates the problem, because it creates a long tongue of unsupported or protected wood.  On Kentucky-style rifles, where this freak BP originated, the toe was usually protected by a long toe-plate.  I’ve seen crescent-butt stocks with tacks driven in at the toe to prevent this from happening.

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May 23, 2021 - 9:35 pm
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clarence said

I’ve seen crescent-butt stocks with tacks driven in at the toe to prevent this from happening.  

I think the tacks were placed to fix what already happened.

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May 24, 2021 - 1:05 pm
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Ac

clarence said

Very true.  The crescent BP execerbates the problem, because it creates a long tongue of unsupported or protected wood.  On Kentucky-style rifles, where this freak BP originated, the toe was usually protected by a long toe-plate.  I’ve seen crescent-butt stocks with tacks driven in at the toe to prevent this from happening.  

Actually, the toe always breaks at the rear screw when the toe breaks off. It creates a terrific weak spot and a toe plate adds no strength. Take a look at all the old mountain rifles that were built with no buttplates. They never have a broken toe.002.jpgImage Enlarger005.jpgImage Enlarger

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May 24, 2021 - 1:28 pm
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Perhaps Seinfeld dipped it in cold water.

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May 24, 2021 - 2:28 pm
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Brooksy said

Actually, the toe always breaks at the rear screw when the toe breaks off. It creates a terrific weak spot and a toe plate adds no strength. Take a look at all the old mountain rifles that were built with no buttplates. They never have a broken toe. 

Yes, I can see that, esp. if the screw hole was very tight, so that the screw was wedging the grain apart.  But why did many Kentuckys have the toe plate if it did no good?

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May 26, 2021 - 5:21 pm
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Looks like a replacement/swap to me.  Straight grain wood does not normally shrink in length and quarter sawn wood is the most stable of cuts.  It is not uncommon for the tip to be a little longer but usually not this much.  I’d like to see more views of the overall fit.  Metal butt plates can be adjusted to fit.

Who knows for sure.

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May 27, 2021 - 1:41 pm
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clarence said

Brooksy said
Actually, the toe always breaks at the rear screw when the toe breaks off. It creates a terrific weak spot and a toe plate adds no strength. Take a look at all the old mountain rifles that were built with no buttplates. They never have a broken toe. 

Yes, I can see that, esp. if the screw hole was very tight, so that the screw was wedging the grain apart.  But why did many Kentuckys have the toe plate if it did no good?  

Decoration. They otherwise don’t have any function.

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May 27, 2021 - 2:23 pm
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I know of an early 1876 deluxe pistol grip rifle with fancy grade wood that is missing a piece of wood from the toe.  In all other respects it is a 90% rifle with two owner provenance.  Just a little piece of wood missing.  Like TR and others have said, I suspect it was dropped on the buttplate with the toe taking the brunt of the impact.  It’s enough to pop out a little piece of wood, especially on the guns with fancy stocks and figured wood.

I call myself a collector as it sounds better than hoarder

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