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Tang sight conundrum on Winchester M1886
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April 8, 2023 - 1:20 pm
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I thought this one was interesting – it doesn’t letter with a tang sight, but you sure think it would.

Cool that the swivels and shotgun butt letter.  

https://www.merzantiques.com/product/w3560-winchester-model-86-rifle-in-caliber-40-82-a/

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April 8, 2023 - 1:22 pm
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steve004 said
I thought this one was interesting – it doesn’t letter with a tang sight, but you sure think it would.

Cool that the swivels and shotgun butt letter.  

https://www.merzantiques.com/product/w3560-winchester-model-86-rifle-in-caliber-40-82-a/

  

One would have to assume that the original buyer had the sight and just needed a rifle to put under it!  Smile

Michael

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Model 1892 / Model 61 Collector, Research, Valuation

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April 8, 2023 - 1:41 pm
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  I would have the letter checked, the wind gauge sight is the tang sight. Who would order a gun with no rear or tang sight? I have owned 1886’s with that tang sight that lettered and in both cases the rear end of the bolt was trimmed and factory blued. I can’t tell from the picture if this is the case. T/R

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April 8, 2023 - 2:14 pm
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TR said
  I would have the letter checked, the wind gauge sight is the tang sight. Who would order a gun with no rear or tang sight? I have owned 1886’s with that tang sight that lettered and in both cases the rear end of the bolt was trimmed and factory blued. I can’t tell from the picture if this is the case. T/R

  

Maybe that’s what the ledger keeper intended, though it does say “wind gauge front.”   They’re a big nuisance even on a target rifle, so can’t imagine anyone (with practical hunting experience, that is) choosing one for a hunting rifle.  In fact, the #15 is itself a superfluous nuisance, because it can’t be folded down, & because on a rifle like this, the windage correction only needs to be made once, then left alone.

Evidently Lyman supplied an illustration of the 1/4″ bolt trimming required for mounting on an ’86, which is reproduced in the Centennial Journal.  This sight was more trouble than it was worth, accounting for its rarity today.

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April 8, 2023 - 2:35 pm
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 What is a Lyman wind gauge front in 1891? It’s not in the Winchester catalog. All I see is “wind gauge sight with spirit level”, labeled W.R.A. CO. in the picture. T/R

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April 8, 2023 - 2:50 pm
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It sure doesn’t have a wind gauge front sight on it now!  I suppose you could install one and the rifle would, “letter.” 

If you ordered a rifle and ask them to leave the rear sight seat off, that is typically noted in the ledger.  If you ordered a rifle and asked them to not a put a tang sight on – they’re not going to note in the ledger that you asked them to not add a special order feature – so maybe Michael is right!  

The issue could be found in the ledger itself and I would want to see a copy of the ledger page.

If the ledger clearly states wind gauge front, it still could easily been a mistake by the recorder back in 1891.

These mysteries make collecting interesting – sometimes painfully interesting!

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April 8, 2023 - 4:25 pm
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TR said
 What is a Lyman wind gauge front in 1891? It’s not in the Winchester catalog. All I see is “wind gauge sight with spirit level”, labeled W.R.A. CO. in the picture. T/R

  

Well, that’s it, with or without spirit level; it’s purpose was too obvious, I assume, to need “front” printed in the cat.  I think the recorder was so accustomed to writing “wind gauge front,” that he scribbled it down carelessly, in a hurry, but really meant the Lyman wind gauge.

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April 8, 2023 - 5:26 pm
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I hope everyone agrees that at $7750 one has to dig way, way too deeply to take this rifle home.

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April 8, 2023 - 6:00 pm
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mrcvs said
I hope everyone agrees that at $7750 one has to dig way, way too deeply to take this rifle home.

  

If your pockets are bottomless, as those of many on-line buyers apparently are, there’s no such thing as “too deep.”  And Leroy’s sucker list is probably unmatched by anyone in the biz.  (Except, possibly, Jim Goergen.)

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April 8, 2023 - 6:29 pm
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  After The Tulsa Show I think prices are a lot higher than we think. I paid serious money for a 1860 New Army military issue with condition. I took a 1866 J Urich marked engraved with condition for a friend to consider. He  was afraid of the price and handed it back. In the brief time it was out of the case a dealer made me a very serious cash offer. My idea or it’s value was 17k to low. It’s still mine and I like it more than before. T/R

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April 8, 2023 - 7:20 pm
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From what we can see it certainly looks right, Michael’s theory certainly has merit if not a recording oversight.

 

Mike

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April 8, 2023 - 7:53 pm
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TR said
  After The Tulsa Show I think prices are a lot higher than we think.

Higher than typical on-line auction prices?  That would be shocking!

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April 8, 2023 - 8:49 pm
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TR said
  After The Tulsa Show I think prices are a lot higher than we think. I paid serious money for a 1860 New Army military issue with condition. I took a 1866 J Urich marked engraved with condition for a friend to consider. He  was afraid of the price and handed it back. In the brief time it was out of the case a dealer made me a very serious cash offer. My idea or it’s value was 17k to low. It’s still mine and I like it more than before. T/R

  

Sounds like your friend should have been elated over the price rather than afraid.

I think you are right.  Prices out there are higher than we think – and higher than what we would pay.  There’s more and more buyers out there that will pay more than we would pay – and they are paying.  Reminds me how few of us would pay the price that Austinsgun or Chayn’s pieces are bringing on gunbroker.  Even Henry was outbid recently on that ’94 short rifle.  It’s not just gunbroker where pieces are selling much higher.   We also continue to see where departures from originality seems to have less effect (or no effect) on the final price.  

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April 8, 2023 - 9:00 pm
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I’ve heard Tulsa is a good place to sell a gun, have more than once seen at least one dealer buying multiple guns at a TGCA Show to sell them in Tulsa. If show prices in general are up maybe I need to take a few to sell at the TGCA Show later this month.

 

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April 8, 2023 - 9:41 pm
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steve004 said

  

  Reminds me how few of us would pay the price that Austinsgun or Chayn’s pieces are bringing on gunbroker.  Even Henry was outbid recently on that ’94 short rifle.  It’s not just gunbroker where pieces are selling much higher.   We also continue to see where departures from originality seems to have less effect (or no effect) on the final price.  
  

  I saw both at Tulsa trying to find inventory. They both have a good eye and keep looking, it’s no accident they get good guns to sell.

 I still think Tulsa is a good show to buy and a bad show to sell. To many guns for sale, you can’t see the forest for the trees. When I bought my Colt a fiend of mine was a little jealous and asked where it was. On a table kitty-corner to his table for two days with the Colt letter next to it. T/R

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April 8, 2023 - 9:50 pm
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The wind gauge sight is supposed to be the front sight.  There are different models of these.  Lyman made a Model 8 Sporting front sight that is like a model 5 but with an adjustable windage screw.  The larger wind gauge sight with spirit level can be ordered with or without the spirit level.   The spirit level part just slides onto the wind gauge.  A picture of the wind gauge sight with spirit level can be seen in the 1890 catalog.  Look on the back cover of Strobel’s book and both wind gauge sights are shown.

What I think is funny is there isn’t a picture of the front sight in the ad?

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April 8, 2023 - 9:54 pm
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Chuck said
What I think is funny is there isn’t a picture of the front sight in the ad?

  

There is–a plain brass bead.  But far more practical on a hunting rifle than any kind of wind gauge sight.

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April 8, 2023 - 10:00 pm
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You are right Clarence.  I looked twice and still missed that one.  Will cost a few hundred to replace it with the correct one.

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April 8, 2023 - 10:07 pm
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Chuck said
You are right Clarence.  I looked twice and still missed that one.  Will cost a few hundred to replace it with the correct one.

That’s certainly true, but I’m more inclined to believe it never had one at all.  Unless the original buyer was an armchair hunter, i.e., a fool.

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April 8, 2023 - 10:11 pm
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The Letter says it came with a wind guage front sight.  The tang sight was added my someone other than the factory.

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