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Marbles W2 tang sight with "the slide button at the rear"
April 6, 2015
8:56 am
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See attached (have to click on 'see original listing'):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Marbles-W2-Tang-Peep-Sight-Winchester-1892-94-53-/331517639426?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEDWX%3AIT&_trksid=p2047675.l2557&nma=true&si=EYmf74kq98Yw3VJB9S90Z594h2s%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc

I had never seen one like this with the slide button to the rear.  It is not super-early, as it has a patent date of 1903.  Any ideas how common these are and why it was changed?

I did not win this auction.  Became too rich for my blood.  Even for a regular Marbles or Lyman tang sight it appears $100, or less, is a thing of the past!

April 6, 2015
1:11 pm
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It actually is fairly early.  Those are an earlier variation of that style of sight, what I think of as a second variation, made during the Marble Safety Axe Co. period before becoming Marble Arms & Manufacturing (April 1, 1911).  My guess is they were made somewhere between 1903-1910 +/-.  There is what I refer to as a third variation of that style which has a modern style catch(slightly larger than later ones though) on the earlier marked base.  Those I'm thinking were made somewhere between 1905-1911+.  Those with the common style and markings were made after 1911 in my opinion.  There are at least three variations of marked bases on the MSA sights for the 1894 and other firearms.  I can only guess they changed the catch because it was an improvement, maybe in durability or also maybe from the manufacturing side of things?  I'm afraid I can only make my best guesses at the dates based on what I've seen.

There are also a number of MSA stamped sights that show up for guns made after 1911.  I  believe this could have been done to use up existing stock.  One sight that comes to mind is the "Special Base" flexible rear sight.  I think they would have used up all possible MSA marked parts until they were gone.

The Marble Automatic Flexible Joint Rear sight first appears in their 1903 catalog according to the information on the Marble's history from their website and also from what I've seen in period advertising.  If they were making them before 1903 in any numbers at all I think they would have advertised them with their Improved Front Sight, knives and axes like they started doing in 1903.  There is an earlier variation of these that I know of and I have held only two in hand.  For the Savage it's the S1 1/2.   I don't have pictures I can share.  I don't know how many other very early prototype style sights there could be for the Winchester rifle.  Early marked bases on MSA sights for the 1899 Savage:

DSCN6058.JPGImage Enlarger

DSCN6030.JPGImage EnlargerDSCN6025.JPGImage Enlarger

Here are two variations of catch on MSA marked bases for the 1894 Winchester and 1899 Savage:

DSCN5767-24.jpgImage Enlarger

MSA marked W1 coded sight with the later catch and an original Marble Sidelight Disc on a Model 1894:

DSCN7449.jpgImage Enlarger

This sight has the patent date on the sides but no MSA stamp on the top of the base.  There are also sights for Winchesters with the same style of marking that is one of the three marking variations of the MSA sights.  I think it is probably the last before you just start seeing the MARBLE stamped sides.  Note they have the later style catch.

DSCN5106.JPGImage EnlargerDSCN5109.JPGImage Enlarger

More common "MARBLE" markings and later, thinner catch (I haven't looked at or studied thes later ones enough to know about them other than the markings aren't always stamped in the same place for one thing).  You will also now see the 1905 pat. stamp, which I believe started being applied after the company name change.  The blue is also higher luster on many of the MSA sights in comparison to the later "MARBLE" sights in my opinion:

DSCN3869.JPGImage EnlargerDSCN3870.JPGImage Enlarger

 

Brad

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Brad Dunbar

http://1895book.com/

April 6, 2015
1:20 pm
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mrcvs said

See attached (have to click on 'see original listing'):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Marbles-W2-Tang-Peep-Sight-Winchester-1892-94-53-/331517639426?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEDWX%3AIT&_trksid=p2047675.l2557&nma=true&si=EYmf74kq98Yw3VJB9S90Z594h2s%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc

I had never seen one like this with the slide button to the rear.  It is not super-early, as it has a patent date of 1903.  Any ideas how common these are and why it was changed?

I did not win this auction.  Became too rich for my blood.  Even for a regular Marbles or Lyman tang sight it appears $100, or less, is a thing of the past!

A part of that auction price may also reflect that it's a W2 marked base which is less commonly found for sale than a W1 marked base in my experience.  W2 would be for the black powder 1894 calibers and 1892 calibers. 

Brad

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Brad Dunbar

http://1895book.com/

April 7, 2015
11:39 pm
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Brad,

 

Thank you for the WEALTH of information.  Any ideas what the fair market prices on these various sights are these days?

April 8, 2015
12:15 am
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Glad the information helped.  As far as market values there are a lot of variables.  Condition, rarity...just like the guns.  What gun is it meant for? etc.  I don't think whether it is a early MSA sight or a later Marbles sight matters to everybody.  I try to stick with early 1900s stuff and some of my rifles were made when the company was still called Marbles Safety Axe.  Then there are also the Marble collectors to compete with (knives, axes etc).  I don't know if there are Lyman collectors.  The same vintage Lyman tang sights seem more carefully made and a little nicer.  They can bring a little more for the same application, all other things being equal.   I guess the Marble sights seem more like an average guy's hunting sight to me.  I have used the flexible joint spring to throw snow out of the aperture many times.  I'm sure every collector has their own opinions and tastes.  I'm pretty specific on what I'm looking for and I'm not an accumulator.

If I came across the Marble sight in the ebay auction somewhere and it was going to cost $178.55 I'd maybe buy it if it was entirely working.  I'm interested in those and being a W2 it is not as common as a W1.  I don't like the buggered up screw.  Blue or turning brown doesn't matter to me as much as that.  I'd have to look at the two mounting screw holes a little closer.  Knurling on the adjustment sleeves doesn't look like it's had a vise-grips on it or anything, so that's good.  I'd hand that aperture insert back to the seller though.  That looks like one of those later ones with knurling about as fine as a waffle iron. 

Brad

Regards

Brad Dunbar

http://1895book.com/

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