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Missing Winchester 71 from Amoskeag auction
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December 3, 2022 - 8:14 pm
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I saw this advertisement for the November Amoskeag auction which shows a Winchester 71 deluxe said to be chambered in 45-70. 

https://i.imgur.com/hPBwgnk.jpgImage Enlarger
https://i.imgur.com/aBhjgwo.jpgImage Enlarger

I wasn’t able to find it listed on Amoskeag auction page and didn’t receive a response to the voicemails I left inquiring about it pre-auction. 

Anybody attend the show and see it there? Anybody know what happened to it?

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December 4, 2022 - 1:23 am
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I had called soon as the on line catalog was available.  Answer was the model 71 in .45-70 was erroneously listed for the current auction.  Supposed to be in a future auction.  Tim

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December 4, 2022 - 1:43 am
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Thanks Tim!

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December 4, 2022 - 12:48 pm
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Something to look forward to…

It would be quite the feat to grab this one and then find one (of the very few) in .33 WCF.

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December 4, 2022 - 12:58 pm
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steve004 said
Something to look forward to…

It would be quite the feat to grab this one and then find one (of the very few) in .33 WCF.

  

Steve, I’m guessing these calibers were part of the first run of 71’s?

 RickC 

   

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December 4, 2022 - 1:09 pm
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RickC said

steve004 said

Something to look forward to…

It would be quite the feat to grab this one and then find one (of the very few) in .33 WCF.

  

Steve, I’m guessing these calibers were part of the first run of 71’s?

  

I seem to recall an article in the Collector magazine addressed this.  No, I don’t think there were enough made to be considered a, “run”.  Rather they were either special orders or made for some specific purpose.  I believe a, “small handful” of them would exaggerate the production number.  I’m sure someone here has a better memory of this than me.  Their existence has been of interest to me ever since I heard about them.

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December 4, 2022 - 1:29 pm
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Was just thinking these are calibers from the discontinued 1886 and might have been a first reintroduction back in the day to the new model, but I haven’t owned any or researched them before. 

 RickC 

   

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December 4, 2022 - 3:29 pm
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An excellent article on the M71 by Bert Hartman can be found in the summer 2021 WACA magazine.  Here’s an excerpt.  I think this tells us what we need to know:

 

As stated earlier, the Model 71 was introduced in the brand

new 348W.C.F. cartridge, with serial number 1 shown in the
Polishing Room serialization records as being manufactured
on October 18, 1935. Ultimately more than 99.5 percent
of the total production was manufactured in the proprietary
348 W.C.F. caliber. That stated, there were a scant few of
them there that were factory made on special order in the
older 33 W.C.F. cartridge (which was listed as a special
order option in the 1938 Salesman Catalog), and the even
more venerable 45-70 cartridge. Thus far, I have verified
(4) rifles that were made in 33 W.C.F. cartridge, and (3) in
45-70 cartridge. Both of these cartridges were holdovers
from the recently discontinued Model 1886. Please note the
information contained in the fourth paragraph in the right
hand column above.
In addition to the small number of special ordered 33 W.C.F. and 45-70 Model 71 rifles, there were two
experimental rifles made in “308 W.C.F.” Fellow WACA
member and author Dan Shuey #4841 researched and wrote
an excellent article that appeared in the Winter 2018 issue
of The Winchester Collector titled The Other Model 71
Caliber. In it, he discusses Winchester toying with the idea
of manufacturing a lighter recoiling variant of the Model
71, and creating a new cartridge, the 308 W.C.F. (essentially
a necked down 348 W.C.F. case). In my continued research
of the Model 71, I located a second experimental rifle also
chambered for the 308 caliber (s/n 36640). Serial number
16572 is the rifle pictured in the Winter 2018 article, and it
is listed in the book Inventory of the Winchester Repeating
Arms Company Firearms Reference Collection by Thomas
C. Johnson, Frank F. Burton, Edwin Pugsley, Thomas E.
Hall, ET AL. Lynham Sayce, 1991. This rifle was in the
Winchester Museum collection, item #1426. Serial number
36640 is the second .308 caliber rifle, and it is also listed in
the same reference book, collection item #2626. I believe
that both rifles are currently in the basement vaults at the
Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

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December 4, 2022 - 3:57 pm
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Steve excellent article and information by Bert. Now I’m an expert in 71’s ?

 RickC 

   

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December 4, 2022 - 6:42 pm
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RickC said
Steve excellent article and information by Bert. Now I’m an expert in 71’s ?

  

Rick – I’m a bit ahead of you on expert status with M71’s, but only because I’ve read more articles about them in the WACA magazine Wink.  Here’s a fun article that includes the author getting a wild pig with his M71:

Winter/Spring 1998

  • “Model 71, The King of The Hunting Fields” by Dr. Frank Schroeder

Winter, Spring 1998Image Enlarger

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December 4, 2022 - 6:47 pm
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Also, there’s not one but two excellent articles on the M71 by Bert Hartman.  Also check out the fall, 2013 WACA magazine Cool

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December 4, 2022 - 9:18 pm
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Can’t  wait to go see this gun. I’m sure it will be a beauty.

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December 4, 2022 - 10:34 pm
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steve004 said
Also, there’s not one but two excellent articles on the M71 by Bert Hartman.  Also check out the fall, 2013 WACA magazine Cool  

Thanks for the compliment.  As an update to those articles, I now have documented (4) M71 rifles in 33 WCF and (5) in 45-70.  The rifle coming up for sale at Amoskeag will hopefully be no. 6.  Thus far it appears that all of 33 WCF and 45-70 M71s are pre-WW II production.  I now have 2,813 documented in the survey (5.95% of the total production), and I hope to eventually document at least 10% of the production.  Please keep your eye open for more of them.

Bert

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December 4, 2022 - 11:02 pm
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Bert- you deserve the praise!

 

I intend to put my hands on it when it comes up in the future. And if it’s legit, throw some money at it. 

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December 4, 2022 - 11:50 pm
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jsgwoodsman said
Bert- you deserve the praise!

I intend to put my hands on it when it comes up in the future. And if it’s legit, throw some money at it.   

I suspect that you will not be the only one throwing $$$$ at it if it is legit.  Of the five 45-70s documented thus far, I have the barrel dates on three of them… one is “35” and the other two are “36”.  I suspect that all of the legit 45-70 Model 71 barrels will have the same dates on them.

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December 5, 2022 - 11:05 pm
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Has anyone approached Amoskeg and asked about the barrel date?  Sure would put an end to the speculation.  Absent knowing that, I’m not sure there is an easy way to verify whether this is Bert’s number 6 or not.

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December 5, 2022 - 11:26 pm
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Tom Tomlinson said
Has anyone approached Amoskeg and asked about the barrel date?  Sure would put an end to the speculation.  Absent knowing that, I’m not sure there is an easy way to verify whether this is Bert’s number 6 or not.

  

Hello Tom,

I doubt that anyone at Amoskeag is capable, or willing to disassemble that rifle to verify the barrel date.  That stated, I would most definitely like to see all factory markings on the under-side of the barrel (to see if they match the three that I have been able to verify).

Bert

p.s. Why are you signed in as a “Guest” ?

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December 6, 2022 - 12:49 am
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Bert H. said

Tom Tomlinson said

Has anyone approached Amoskeg and asked about the barrel date?  Sure would put an end to the speculation.  Absent knowing that, I’m not sure there is an easy way to verify whether this is Bert’s number 6 or not.

  

Hello Tom,

I doubt that anyone at Amoskeag is capable, or willing to disassemble that rifle to verify the barrel date.  That stated, I would most definitely like to see all factory markings on the under-side of the barrel (to see if they match the three that I have been able to verify).

Bert

p.s. Why are you signed in as a “Guest” ?

  

I believe they have at least one person capable. The willing part would be the question. The seller may not be to keen on some one taking apart their rifle as all it takes is one slip of the screw driver and POOF there goes the money. now if my son and I wind up with it I will let you know the date. Laugh

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March 2, 2023 - 8:08 pm
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Tom Tomlinson said
Has anyone approached Amoskeg and asked about the barrel date?  Sure would put an end to the speculation.  Absent knowing that, I’m not sure there is an easy way to verify whether this is Bert’s number 6 or not.

  

The barrel date is “51”.  That stated, I have several serious concerns about that rifle.  PM, email, or call me if you want to discuss it in further detail.

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March 3, 2023 - 11:18 pm
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Looked at all the pictures and data on the 45-70 that is listed in the Amoskeag March auction on this Model 71 rifle.  With a serial number of 37911, I have a hard time understanding how that could be!  As Bert has pointed out, most of the odd caliber rifles for the Model 71 should have had very low serial numbers, actually using up the old barrels with the new configuration.  With the current on line price, I’d be exceedingly cautious to go out and bid, even tho everything Amoskeag has shown seems to be straightforward.  However the serial number with is likely 5-6 years after the start of production would appear to make one ever more cautious than ever.  Doubt I will be throwing any money at this, especially with the current high price!

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