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Why do you collect what you collect?
December 22, 2019
7:18 pm
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In another topic started today, the question was posed about prejudice against Winchesters with British proof marks.  This got me to thinking about the broader question of bias and prejudice in collecting.  Or, why do we collect what we collect?  My thought is collectors are a funny lot.  What motivates a collector to collect what he collects is complex - often a blend of logic and emotion.  The essence of collecting (e.g. why we collect at all) is desire.   The origin of what we desire usually runs deep.  For me, it dates back to my childhood... the family deer hunts... the rifles the old timers used etc.  Another factor for me - and likely most of the rest of you - the movies and television shows I was watching.  Again, starting in childhood.  I'll bet most of us saw a lot of westerns.  I think we could all name a dozen or more western television shows.  I won't try, but how could a boy who watched every episode of The Rifleman not be enamored with the Winchester Model 1892?  

So, what's your take on why you collect what you collect?

December 22, 2019
7:26 pm
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Well, I have always liked the Winchester 1886.  And it pays to chase after condition.  So, ideally a Winchester 1886 with condition, special order features a plus.  But if a Winchester, antique, with condition, irrespective of model at a reasonable price, a plus.  Having said all that, I've gravitated towards antique revolvers at a good or excellent price (Smith & Wesson, Merwin & Hulbert, and Colt), as they are more easily stowed away in my 19th Century safes and safe deposit boxes.

December 22, 2019
8:05 pm
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mrcvs said
Well, I have always liked the Winchester 1886.  And it pays to chase after condition.  So, ideally a Winchester 1886 with condition, special order features a plus.  But if a Winchester, antique, with condition, irrespective of model at a reasonable price, a plus.  Having said all that, I've gravitated towards antique revolvers at a good or excellent price (Smith & Wesson, Merwin & Hulbert, and Colt), as they are more easily stowed away in my 19th Century safes and safe deposit boxes.  

As I've mentioned before, it was my Dad's M1886 .33 that started it all for me.  From my earliest memories I admired that rifle.  It was well-admired at the family deer camp too.  You bring up a fine pragmatic point - storage considerations.  I realize I would have had a lot less storage issues had I collected antique revolvers.  Sometimes pragmatism actually does come into play.

December 22, 2019
8:41 pm
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Well, for me it all started when I was three.  I was standing on some San Augustine grass in the backyard and it felt strange...so I investigated.  Lo and behold it was a Red Ryder BB gun that the grass had grown over!  Rust had set in as well...but did not affect its usefulness.  Ask me how I know.  Well, I later put the muzzle on the ground and heard the BBs move around, before putting all of my weight behind the lever to cock it.  I shot it and saw the BB move skyward, and thought to myself, the BB moved so slow that it would not even hurt my big toe, so I cocked it again and rested the muzzle on one of my  big toe (nails)...and pulled the trigger.  Gooouoood Grief!  What a kick that was!!!  So began my introduction to BB guns and much later, collecting.  Model 1890s/90s hold a special place for me in this arena...but that's another true story as well.

December 22, 2019
9:21 pm
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steve004 said
I think we could all name a dozen or more western television shows.  I won't try, but how could a boy who watched every episode of The Rifleman not be enamored with the Winchester Model 1892?  

Don't forget the chopped-down '92 Steve McQueen carried in "Wanted, Dead or Alive." 

December 22, 2019
10:01 pm
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One of my earliest rifles was a 94 Winchester and a few other post-64’s followed because they were cheap back then (1980’s). I’ve always admired Colt SA’s but felt they were too risky for a new collector. I never seriously considered collecting old Winchesters until fairly recently. A few years back some old Winchesters began following me home and reference books started arriving in the mail. The reference books and a few trips to Cody fueled my interest in the history of Winchester. Other than 1894’s I haven’t really specialized in any one model, preferring to explore as many models as I can by purchasing good examples and a few oddities as they came along. I started out buying guns I could shoot as that is a big part of this hobby for me. I currently cast and load dozens of different cartridges and many of them are because I have an old Winchester that would be difficult and/or expensive to feed otherwise. I’ve gotten a little bogged down in rimfires lately but as many of you know they are a fascinating world unto themselves. 

Funny thing, I can’t say for sure which old Winchester showed up first but it certainly has developed a following.

 

Mike

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December 22, 2019
10:55 pm
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I grew up surrounded by firearms and learned to shoot at a young age.  I like guns and, for me, collecting them is an adventure.  Sometimes the road becomes bumpy and the endpoint not worth the cost of the trip.  But with increasing experience and knowledge, the rewards have become gratifying.  They, unlike cars, are accessible.  If I want, I can get a different one out of the vault every day for...and handle it for all evening rain or shine, and they don't cost thousands to maintain.  I love 'em and that's why I collect Winchesters.

Colt single actions are different.  I have collected those too but it's like buying a pig in a poke at a bathroom stop along that bumpy road.  Unlike a Winchester, calibers can be changed with a quick swap of barrel and cylinder.  Without paper, I buy because I like the looks and the price, not because of the seller's story. 

Finally, and because I've been to busy to post for a few months, here's a quick photo of my little Model 53 take-down (sn 3321) which I purchased at the Western Show in Reno last month.  It's my first 53 and is an extremely handy (more so than my 82s) and accurate rifle.  The adventure continues!IMG_3076.JPGImage Enlarger   

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December 22, 2019
11:35 pm
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jwm94 said
Well, for me it all started when I was three.  I was standing on some San Augustine grass in the backyard and it felt strange...so I investigated.  Lo and behold it was a Red Ryder BB gun that the grass had grown over!  Rust had set in as well...but did not affect its usefulness.  Ask me how I know.  Well, I later put the muzzle on the ground and heard the BBs move around, before putting all of my weight behind the lever to cock it.  I shot it and saw the BB move skyward, and thought to myself, the BB moved so slow that it would not even hurt my big toe, so I cocked it again and rested the muzzle on one of my  big toe (nails)...and pulled the trigger.  Gooouoood Grief!  What a kick that was!!!  So began my introduction to BB guns and much later, collecting.  Model 1890s/90s hold a special place for me in this arena...but that's another true story as well.  

Good thing that wasn't a .45/90 under that grass.  That would have been heck on a big toe.

December 22, 2019
11:38 pm
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Bruce Koligian said
I grew up surrounded by firearms and learned to shoot at a young age.  I like guns and, for me, collecting them is an adventure.  Sometimes the road becomes bumpy and the endpoint not worth the cost of the trip.  But with increasing experience and knowledge, the rewards have become gratifying.  They, unlike cars, are accessible.  If I want, I can get a different one out of the vault every day for...and handle it for all evening rain or shine, and they don't cost thousands to maintain.  I love 'em and that's why I collect Winchesters.

Colt single actions are different.  I have collected those too but it's like buying a pig in a poke at a bathroom stop along that bumpy road.  Unlike a Winchester, calibers can be changed with a quick swap of barrel and cylinder.  Without paper, I buy because I like the looks and the price, not because of the seller's story. 

Finally, and because I've been to busy to post for a few months, here's a quick photo of my little Model 53 take-down (sn 3321) which I purchased at the Western Show in Reno last month.  It's my first 53 and is an extremely handy (more so than my 82s) and accurate rifle.  The adventure continues!IMG_3076.JPGImage Enlarger     

That looks like a .44-40?  Very nice in the M53.  I've never owned a 53 in .44-40.  Came close several times.  Very nice handling rifles.

December 22, 2019
11:40 pm
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clarence said

Don't forget the chopped-down '92 Steve McQueen carried in "Wanted, Dead or Alive."   

There is NO chance I will forget that piece Cool

December 23, 2019
1:03 am
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I started deer hunting in the mid 60's in western Wa. with my dad, uncles, brothers, and cousins. There were a lot of lever guns in the mix. Mostly Winchesters, but also a fair amount of Savages. We took a ton of deer, elk, and bears with them. My 1st deer was with my uncles M94 Carbine in .25-35. I have taken all kinds of animals since with every caliber from the .25-35 up to the .405. My dad put a ton of black bears in the freezer with his Savage .22 Hi Power. He used to hang them in our swing set to skin. I have pics. Still have the Hi Power and a bunch of those other old levers we used.

Shoot low boys. They're riding Shetland Ponies.

December 23, 2019
1:08 am
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Old Logger said
I started deer hunting in the mid 60's in western Wa. with my dad, uncles, brothers, and cousins. There were a lot of lever guns in the mix. Mostly Winchesters, but also a fair amount of Savages. We took a ton of deer, elk, and bears with them. My 1st deer was with my uncles M94 Carbine in .25-35. I have taken all kinds of animals since with every caliber from the .25-35 up to the .405. My dad put a ton of black bears in the freezer with his Savage .22 Hi Power. He used to hang them in our swing set to skin. I have pics. Still have the Hi Power and a bunch of those other old levers we used.  

That is really cool.  A ton of black bears with a .22 Hi Power.  Neat that you still have it.  

December 23, 2019
2:01 am
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steve004 said

Good thing that wasn't a .45/90 under that grass.  That would have been heck on a big toe.  

Laugh I must have squalled 'til the cows came home that day. Laugh  Drove down to Texas the summer before last and visited the spot where the Dixie Courts once stood...now all that remains is a vacant lot with its half moon driveway...the ditch where I caught my first crawdads near the culvert using a stick with string and bacon...and San Augustine grass.  Nothing quite like reliving old memories and the good times.  The backyard where I found the BB gun was only a few feet from Pinchback Road that came to a T with Old Highway 90...where I'd watch the late, great country singer George Jones walk by on his way to downtown Beaumont...barefoot, short britches and all.  He was only 10 or 12 years old at the time.

James

December 23, 2019
2:02 am
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steve004 said

That is really cool.  A ton of black bears with a .22 Hi Power.  Neat that you still have it.    

My dad did a lot of hunting with lever guns due to the fact that he is a Lefty. He also had a Winchester 62 pump .22 and a double barrel Lefever Nitro Special. We grew up using those and I still have them. He finally bought himself a Remington 760 pump, which my son now has. I used the 760 a bunch and came to really like it, so bought one of my own when I was 21 in .270. I still have that too and have taken way more than 100 animals with it including deer, elk, bears, dall sheep, caribou, and my son has whacked moose with it.

Shoot low boys. They're riding Shetland Ponies.

December 23, 2019
3:13 am
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jwm94 said

The backyard where I found the BB gun was only a few feet from Pinchback Road that came to a T with Old Highway 90...where I'd watch the late, great country singer George Jones walk by on his way to downtown Beaumont...barefoot, short britches and all.  He was only 10 or 12 years old at the time.

James  

Fantastic!  The only opportunity I had to see him (& Tammy) was from the back of a huge concert hall in Houston in the '70s.  Until I was about 10, I lived next door to a family that claimed to be relations of Ernest Tubb, but sadly, at the time, the name meant nothing to me...though in later years, I saw him several times in small venues.  But George was my fav-o-rite from the first time I heard him on AM radio. 

December 24, 2019
1:43 am
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My dad was not a hunter or a gun man.  I grew up with the 50s and 60s T.V. westerns, most of which used carbines and round barrels.  I morphed to a love of octagon, long barrels, crescent butts.  But I still like saddle rings.  Anyway, it took a lot of whining until I got a single shot, lever action .22 Ithaca.  Then more whining until I got a 9422.  Then I got my own money/job.

But one thing remains from the T.V.: I like outdoors, dusty, cabin, barn, Winchesters with character.  The one in the scabbard or the hand, not the one on the rack in the sheriff's office.  

December 24, 2019
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Huck Riley said
My dad was not a hunter or a gun man.  I grew up with the 50s and 60s T.V. westerns, most of which used carbines and round barrels.  I morphed to a love of octagon, long barrels, crescent butts.  But I still like saddle rings.  Anyway, it took a lot of whining until I got a single shot, lever action .22 Ithaca.  Then more whining until I got a 9422.  Then I got my own money/job.

But one thing remains from the T.V.: I like outdoors, dusty, cabin, barn, Winchesters with character.  The one in the scabbard or the hand, not the one on the rack in the sheriff's office.    

Even as a kid, I winced when they made someone 'drop that six shooter.' Or that Winchester. Kick it over here by me..

Shoot low boys. They're riding Shetland Ponies.

December 28, 2019
4:21 pm
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Hello Steve,

I think that I might know you from some email correspondence some ten years back and, if you are the same person, you might remember the following excerpts from one email wherein I was exchanging stories about when I was a kid down in East Texas. Anyway, to continue on with the subject of the thread, the 42 and the 1890 began my fascination with both models...the latter model being one that I started collecting about twenty-five years ago:

"Grandpa did own a couple of old shotguns, one being a 12 gauge and the other a 10 gauge. He also kept a small .22 single shot that he would use to kill his hogs. One day when I was about five years old he took me to a pen across the road from the old farm house down in the edge of the woods and there was this huge red hog in it with a nasty disposition. Grandpa made me wait outside the pen as he was very quite and moved exceptionally slow in approaching this big boar, and finally he was standing right in front of him aiming the little .22 at the middle of his head, and with one shot the big hog was dead in his tracks. I'll never forget this experience, that hog was a mean one and grandpa was none too keen on getting in the pen, much less, facing off with him at such close quarters. It was about this same time that I had a BB gun.

When I was about ten I had gotten a .22 from my mother and a .410 from my father, and I'd sometimes find myself a spot of woods to hunt rabbit, bird, or squirrels in, or sit on a train track trestle that spanned a swampy area with some of my friends depleting the local snake population. Once about this same time my father was selling farm magazines in a rural area in East Texas, and we stopped at a ranch, the owner of which showed us his gun collection after buying some magazines from my father. Now this was about 55 years ago and the old fellow was talking about guns that had cost him thousands of dollars each. And, believe it or not, he handed me a Winchester Model 1890 scoped with what was most likely a Winchester A-5. He then "insisted" that my father find a place and let me shoot it and that when I had finished, then we could bring it back! We did that, too, because the old boy would have it no other way. Today I own several model 1890s, but I was about fifty years old when I bought my first one."

James

December 28, 2019
6:01 pm
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I collect 86’s & 94’s. I collect them because I love the look & the calibers. From 45-90 to 25-35, they just appeal to me.
I have 25 rifles, including 2 Brownings & Marlins.....all lever action.
I think the history of the Winchester name & as a teen in the 60’s seeing my father leave the house with his 30-30 to hunt whitetail always stuck with me. Wouldn’t trade this obsession for any other.

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December 28, 2019
6:05 pm
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AG said
I collect 86’s & 94’s. I collect them because I love the look & the calibers. From 45-90 to 25-35, they just appeal to me.
I have 25 rifles, including 2 Brownings & Marlins.....all lever action.
I think the history of the Winchester name & as a teen in the 60’s seeing my father leave the house with his 30-30 to hunt whitetail always stuck with me. Wouldn’t trade this obsession for any other.

AG  

What - the .50-100-450 and the .50-110-300 have no appeal?

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