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1894 winchester special sight.
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January 20, 2022 - 2:15 am
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Hey everyone, have a question about a lettered gun. The letter states for sights- winchester special rear, it s a .30 cal made in 1903. I have seen a factory lettered .30 cal with the letter saying .32 winchester special rear sight. Currently the gun has a express style sight. My question is how many “winchester special” sights were there beside a .32 ws smokeless hooded sight which we all know were for .32ws only, unless requested otherwise. 

I got the letter updated hoping it would specify more on the sights. The original letter is a postcard from 1972 in my grandpas name signed from Mr. T.E. Hall. 

T.Peden

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January 20, 2022 - 3:17 am
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My first thought would be that they are referring to the 32 Win Special sight since that would certainly be out of the ordinary for a 30 Cal. That said, we may never know.

When you say express, I assume you mean the three leaf express? I believe those would be shorter in length. Is there any sign of another (longer) sight ever being installed? I can’t think of any other rear sights that would be referred to as special but maybe someone on here with more collecting years than I have will know. 

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January 20, 2022 - 3:49 am
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I would agree with Gary, likely a 3 leaf express sight unless there is any blue wear indicating something else was once on there.  If its got all the blue between the end of the sight and the receiver, it likely has the sight it came with.  Hard to say without seeing some pics.  Maybe someone more knowledgeable regarding similar ledger references will chime in. 

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January 20, 2022 - 4:17 am
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T. Peden said
I got the letter updated hoping it would specify more on the sights. The original letter is a postcard from 1972 in my grandpas name signed from Mr. T.E. Hall. 

What fond memories your card brings back–when I was an ignorant teenager seeking info on my dad’s “old guns.”  I once had several dating from the early ’60s.  Tom was curator of the Winchester collection in New Haven, & these cards (or a letter if you requested it) were provided FREE.  Times have changed. 

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January 20, 2022 - 4:36 am
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Here’s a few marginal quality pics I took of the 32 Smokeless sight beside a three leaf express. They are actually very close in length, which I didn’t realize. Something else I noticed for the first time is the 32 sight base actually floats above the barrel from the dovetail back.

IMG_3476.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_3477.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_3478.jpgImage Enlarger

As you can see in the last picture, you can almost slide a credit card under it. If you push the sight down all the way, it barely even touches. That said, if it came with that sight there would be very little evidence on the top of the barrel if removed. The three leaf on the other hand, binds pretty tight against the barrel and might leave marks where the leaves cam over. 

I guess it’s possible the ledger may read Winchester special rear for a three leaf, but I would think simply the term express rear might be more applicable. Maybe it had the 32 sight originally, and someone finally got nauseous from looking at it and switched to the elegant three leaf. 

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