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Remembering Christmas Past
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December 25, 2017 - 11:43 pm
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Twenty five years ago, unknown to me, my wife contacted my old friend Tommy Rholes and asked him to find me something nice for Christmas. The result was this Model 66 SRC which has been tucked away in my safe since. I have not looked at it for a long time but took it out today to remember and think about Tommy. I am sitting here realizing how fortunate I was to have known Tommy and how lucky I am to have the carbine.  I decided I would share a photo with others I know enjoy these old Winchesters. The carbine is fairly early, serial 76343, and is in super condition with over 90% of the original blue, beautiful brass and excellent burl walnut stock and forearm. I still have a hand written letter from Tommy which discussed the gun and noted a 66 carbine is rarely encountered in this condition. I hope everyone has enjoyed their Christmas Day and has had the opportunity to spend some time with friends/family. Burt

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December 26, 2017 - 12:54 am
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Burt,

outstanding carbine,,,,

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December 26, 2017 - 7:49 am
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Beautiful, Burt.  That rifle and your comments do bring more Light into our Christmas.

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December 26, 2017 - 7:19 pm
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I am surprised that nobody has commented about the rifle butt on the 66 carbine. I think it was fairly common on the early 66 carbines – this one is too early to get it lettered. I do know that by the time this 66 was made they were using the carbine butt. I know very little about 66’s and I don’t see anything definitive in the reference books I have – they just note a carbine this early could have had either. If anyone knows more, please share. Burt

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December 26, 2017 - 11:53 pm
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Burt,

I bought my first three Model 1892’s from Tommy!

Michael

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Model 1892 / Model 61 Collector, Research, Valuation

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December 27, 2017 - 12:16 am
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Burt Humphrey said
I am surprised that nobody has commented about the rifle butt on the 66 carbine. I think it was fairly common on the early 66 carbines – this one is too early to get it lettered. I do know that by the time this 66 was made they were using the carbine butt. I know very little about 66’s and I don’t see anything definitive in the reference books I have – they just note a carbine this early could have had either. If anyone knows more, please share. Burt  

Burt,

Here is a copy of a check list when looking at 66’s that I posted here a while ago. It says rifles and carbines had crescent butt plates before 100,000:

Bob

 

Here is a check list of features on the 66 so you can determine is the gun is all from the same era. This came from a collector who uses this to double check a gun before buying. He compiled it from several books and personal experience.  Some number ranges will over lap or have gaps since it was compiled from different sources. I give no guarantee to the accuracy of any information.

Serial numbers begin at 12,000. 1st models 12,000 to 19,000 – 2nd models 19,000 to 25,000 – 3rd models 25,000 to 149,000 and 4th model 149,000 to 170,000 these numbers are approximate. 1st models have a extra wood screw on the top tang behind the hammer. The serial number is on the top of the stock & left side of the lower tang. From 19,000 to 139,000 the serial number is on the bottom of the tang behind the trigger and after that the serial number is at the rear of the tang in a script style. Below serial number 20,000 the butt plate has the complete serial number on it usually. 23,000 to 60,000 the butt plate 4 of the digits and after 60,000 they have only 3 digits. After 150,000 the use of assemble numbers started instead of serial numbers. Before 16,000 they had a small font assemble number on the side of the tang forward of the serial number and one each side plate and the top part of the frame under the left side plate. Butt plates were of the crescent type below 100,000 for rifles and carbines. From 102,000 to 160,000 carbines mostly had the carbine style. After 160,000 the carbines went to the steel carbine butt plate.

Forearms on 1st models are the same width as the receiver. 1st and 2nd model carbine have a forends 1/2″ shorter. Below 15,000 the frame and forearm wood were the same width (flat side) and after the receiver was flared out.  The forearm caps are brass on rifles up to 135,000.

All 1st and early 2nd models do not have a 1/2 cock on the hammer. The hammer knurling has a boarder after 165,000. Levers have a smaller loop before 100,000 and mixed to 120,000. The loading gate on the early guns below 15,000 was flat. Bolts below 35,000 do not have a oil slot on the extractor. From 35,000 to 43,000 there is a mix of bolts with slots and without and the slot will be a straight cut across the bolt up to 128,000. After 128,000 the slot was changed to a oval milled on the top. The front top opening of the receiver on the the first 102,000 is straight and after that there was a notch added.

The magazine cap is threaded into the tube until 155,000. Below 102,000 the chamber is recessed for the rim of the shell. The caliber was marked on the barrel on some starting around 156,000 and by 166,000 they all were. You can have 5 or 6 land rifling to 70,000 then 5 land to 154,000 then it went to 6 land to the end. The rear barrel sight on a carbine is marked 3 & 5 up to 155,000. The front sight on a carbine is part of the front barrel band until 152,000.

Between 167,000 and 169,000 one thousand C.F. guns were sent to Brazil.

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December 27, 2017 - 3:12 am
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To add a post in the theme of Christmas, I will repost this. It was posted back in 2010 but I think it was on the old forum and is gone now.

In 2010 right around Christmas we decided to split up Dad’s guns to the 5 siblings with a cut of the cards. He had a engraved 94 with a 22″ half octagon barrel and double set trigger that was the crown jewel in his collection, there was a round barrel 66 rifle with no finish, a 66 musket that was a little better, 86 rifle in 38-70 with good blue, a 76 rifle, a case colored 73 rifle in 44, a model 12 shotgun along with other lesser hunting rifles and shotguns. The question was how do you divvy out the guns so its fair to all. What we did was to appraise the guns at a price so you could walk into a gun show and sell them without much trouble. Then we added up the total appraised value of all the guns and divided by the number of guns coming up with the average value. This is where the cards come in to play. We cut cards to come up with who had first pick, second pick and so on.  I got the high card in the cut and had first pick. Now this is how we made it fair value wise. If you picked a gun the was appraised over the average you put the difference into the pot in cash. If you picked a gun that was appraised less than average you got the difference from the pot. In the end you got the same dollar value of guns or cash at the time. The only thing we couldn’t make fair is what would happen to the value of the gun over time if you kept it.

Bob

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December 27, 2017 - 5:12 am
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Sounds like fun, Bob. I haven’t identified my heirs yet but hope one will do his (or her) homework.

Are you going to tell us which gun you picked?

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December 27, 2017 - 5:24 am
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 I took the engraved 94 and in the next round I took the 66 rifle.

Bob

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December 27, 2017 - 5:36 am
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Well played, hope you had a chance to buy some of the other items before they were sold. Some things need to be kept in the family.

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December 28, 2017 - 5:44 am
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Bob;

Thanks for sharing the photos of your 94 – it is a real gem. And, I am sure the family history makes it even more special. The half octagon and full magazine are one of my favorite configurations. I also really like double set triggers but don’t own anything with them any more. I have never owned an engraved gun but looking at your pictures makes me think “well, maybe”. Also, thanks for all the information on 66’s – I am still trying to absorb it all! Like I said before, I feel really fortunate to have that carbine and since it was a Christmas present 25 years ago it will be one of the last to go. I know you like 73’s so I will include a photo of a nice one I have had for a long, log time.  Burt

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December 23, 2019 - 6:48 am
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I first posted this 2 years ago but thought it would be appropriate to re-post, reflect on Winchester collecting and how my road has continued to change over the last couple of years. The original post contains an interesting story from 1873man (Bob) about family heirlooms – when you read it pay special attention to the photos of the engraved Model 1894 – what a gem it is. Yes, I still have the superb Model 66 carbine which my wife bought me for Christmas 27 years ago. I have sold a lot of my lever action Winchesters over the last few years but the 66 will be one of the last to go. Earlier tonight I pulled every one of my lever action Winchesters out of the safe, put a light coat of snake oil on them and reflected on how long I had owned them and who I bought them from. With one exception, every Winchester I own was purchased from someone that is now deceased. Now, that gives a guy reason to pause and reflect! It seems like I was always the younger guy at the gun shows and I will be 70 in the spring. I do not know where time went and I am sure many of you feel the same way. I have struggled with selling my guns because I don’t need the money and I always miss them when they are gone. However, I don’t want my wife to be burdened with them someday. So, a few years ago I decided I would thin the herd and just keep one of every model lever action – my wife will just have to figure out how to deal with those. I am not down to one of each model yet but I am getting close. I have sold many of my guns to WACA members and I know those that bought them were elated to find guns that were original and correct, having not been thru auctions or on the gun show circuit – my guns were tucked away long before the internet existed. There is a lot of discussion about the market being soft and guns not selling – here on the Forum I can tell many of you are worried. I do not disagree but I think there will always be a market for guns that are original, correct and have condition – actually, good guns are bringing high prices at auctions. Even 40 years ago brown guns were hard to sell and they did not appreciate like the good guns. I have always thought a collector should concentrate on quality rather than quantity – I still feel that way. In the original post 2 years ago I spoke about my old friend Tommy Rholes – what a guy he was and I get teary eyed just thinking about the times we had. I still own a couple of guns that were once in his personal collection. About 40 years ago I was at a Las Vegas gun show with Tommy and as we were pouring blended Canadian down one night in the hotel, he told me ” if you have $10,000 to spend, buy the best gun you can get for $10,000 – don’t go buy 10 one-thousand dollar guns”. I think that was good advice then and it is good advice now. As 2019 comes to a close I would like to wish all WACA members a happy holiday season and the best in 2020. Enjoy your Winchester’s, enjoy your friends, enjoy your family – life is short. Attached is the model 94 family: Top is Model 1894 in 32-40 – Middle is Model 55 in 30 WCF (serial # 5) and bottom is Model 64 219 Zipper.

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December 23, 2019 - 1:43 pm
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A wonderful post Burt……thank you.

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December 23, 2019 - 1:55 pm
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Thanks for sharing your wisdom (and some wonderful Winchesters!) with us, Burt. 

 

Mike

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December 23, 2019 - 2:35 pm
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Great post Burt.  I feel the same way about buying the best gun you can afford instead of many lesser condition ones. You have a great collection and thanks for sharing them with us here.  Merry Christmas to all.

Al

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December 23, 2019 - 3:11 pm
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 Burt, Enjoyed your post and the 66 your wife wisely bought from Tommy Rholes. I to have bought several guns from him only later to realize how wise my purchase was. A Tommy Rholes letter is a very good provenance for any Winchester and a gun from his collection has an impeccable provenance. A Texas gentleman, missed by the collector community. T/R

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December 23, 2019 - 4:59 pm
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You folks and other forum members here have gone a long ways toward making this Christmas for me a very memorable one…and that’s what I’m trying to do for my small family as well.  Waking up to this thread with a hot cup of coffee has been a great joy!  The pictures and information has been superb to say the very least…as I sit here Remembering Christmas Past.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to each and everyone!

James

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December 24, 2019 - 1:36 am
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Burt Humphrey said
Twenty five years ago, unknown to me, my wife contacted my old friend Tommy Rholes and asked him to find me something nice for Christmas. 

A lot of tipping of the hats to Tommy Rholes and the Winchester.  I’d like to tip my hat to your wife.  Congratulations, Burt.

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December 25, 2019 - 2:43 pm
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Burt Humphrey said
Twenty five years ago, unknown to me, my wife contacted my old friend Tommy Rholes and asked him to find me something nice for Christmas. The result was this Model 66 SRC which has been tucked away in my safe since. I have not looked at it for a long time but took it out today to remember and think about Tommy. I am sitting here realizing how fortunate I was to have known Tommy and how lucky I am to have the carbine.  I decided I would share a photo with others I know enjoy these old Winchesters. The carbine is fairly early, serial 76343, and is in super condition with over 90% of the original blue, beautiful brass and excellent burl walnut stock and forearm. I still have a hand written letter from Tommy which discussed the gun and noted a 66 carbine is rarely encountered in this condition. I hope everyone has enjoyed their Christmas Day and has had the opportunity to spend some time with friends/family. Burt

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Burt – what a wonderful story, carbine and AMAZING wife!  

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December 25, 2019 - 4:59 pm
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Thank you for posting your story. It’s a great thing to share during the holidays. Merry Christmas to you and to all the forum members. May they be so lucky to find something long and brass sticking out of their stocking! 

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