1893 Winchester RIFLE not shotgun?????

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Jim88, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. Jim88

    Jim88 New Member

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    Can anyone help? I have my grandfather's Winchester Rifle and was wondering if it is a rare model or not? Here are the details:

    -Says something like “Winchester Pat. July 1893” on barrel near muzzle.

    -Says “30 W.C.F.” on top of barrel near receiver.

    -Has a 24” or so octagonal (entire length) barrel.

    -Has a magazine that goes to the end of the barrel.

    -Lever Action

    -Seems like a fancier type of walnut stocks.

    -Has an oval shaped brass plate insert (flush mounted) in the stock for maybe engraving initials (monogram)….

    -Has the hinged-post lift up extra sight just forward of the rear stock on the frame extension.

    -Seems to be “case hardened”

    What year and rare or not????

    :confused:
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
  2. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    Jim: What your are describing is a model 94 rifle in 30-30 (30 WCF same thing) and not a model 93 which is a shotgun. Patent dates stamped near the muzzle puzzles me a bit as I have never seen one stamped there. Without a serial number it would be impossible to give you an actual date of manufacture. They actually made about 3 million of them yet in the configuration of yours is much rarer than lets say a carbine. The monogram may hurt a little unless the gun would letter with it. The gun if made around the turn of the last century sold new for about $15.00. Thousands of them were destroyed in the early cowboy movies by being harshly handled. The ones that have survived can be worth several thousand depending on condition and what factory options they posses.

    A few pictures would be nice.

    Ron
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
  3. Jim88

    Jim88 New Member

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    Ron, OK, I looked at it again and here is a better description:

    On barrel it says "NICKEL STEEL BARREL" (first line) "ESPECIALLY FOR SMOKELESS POWDER" (second line)

    Sorry, the "PAT. JUNE 6, 1893" is actually on the magazine tube end near muzzle (piece that looks like some kind of lever or lock arm)

    Normal rear sight has one fixed and two flip up blades numbered 50, 1, and another # I guess (did not check)

    The only serial # I see is on the bottom of receiver just behind the foregrip and it is 50212

    Forgot to measure barrel, but it is quite long.... Octagonal the entire length....

    I'm assuming the brass disc insert is factory, since it would not make sense to install one that is blank with no lettering...

    Here are pictures...if I can figure out how to post them???

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 23, 2009
  4. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    if it were mine 2500 would not be enough to purchase it
  5. Goody

    Goody Member

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    The first step is to get it to a local person who can tell you if it has been refinished. Hard to tell from the photos, but I see some dishing around the screw holes which usually indicates a refinish.

    Next up would be to see if it would letter. There are a few unordinary things about the gun. The wood is definitely presentation grade, the butt stock is a shotgun style rather than crescent buttplate, the gun is a takedown model, it has a tang sight. All these things could be special ordered from the factory, or they could have been added later.
  6. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    Jim: It never ceases to amaze me sometimes and this is one of those times. What you appear to have is an original deluxe model 94 take down. The case colored frame is very, very, rare and from what I see from the pictures the gun all original. I would think the gun to the right guy with money would pay $10,000.00 for it so fast it would make your head spin. That little lever on the end of the magazine tube is the take down lever. Please do not attempt to take it down unless you or someone around you knows how to do it. If you lift that lever the end of it turns into a sort of a wrench so you can unscrew the magazine. There is kind of a knack to it so you don't scratch or mar anything. Once unscrewed you pull the magizine forward about 6" and with the lever of the gun itself fully open you twist the gun to left about a 1/4 turn and the gun is now in two different parts. Your gun was made in 1896.

    With all due respect I do not agree with Goody that the gun has been refinnished there are to many other things I see that tells me that. The screw holes are not dished they are just little dirty (do not clean them) the wood is perfect for the gun and there are a couple of small horizonal sratches that I see on the frame of your last picture and believe it or not those scratches are supposed to be there.

    Ron
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2009
  7. Jim88

    Jim88 New Member

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    Ron, that is very interesting!...You see my grandfather was an opera singer in the 1920's and 30's in New York. It is possible that he purchased it from a well to do individual. Or it may have even been my great grandfather's. I know my grandfather and great grandfather had quite a bit of money in those days....Although they did lose a great deal also through poor business decisions...Anyway, how could I get the documentation from Winchester on this rifle's history?
  8. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Records are at the Buffalo Bill Museum, in Cody Wyoming, ain't they? I'm pretty sure Winchester doesn't have 'em any more.
  9. Wild Hair

    Wild Hair New Member

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    You might try to find some more information on it on the CODY FIREARMS MUSEUM web site. It had my neighbors 1894 winchester listed. worth a try anyway.

    buy the way nice rifle:D
  10. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    Alpo, is 100% correct and the museum charges about $60.00 to get a letter which will tell you the special features as it was ordered and who the gun was shipped to. Please advise us if you do and the result. I can tell you as a Winchester collector in my past life one could look at well over a thousand guns before seeing one like yours.

    Ron
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2009
  11. Goody

    Goody Member

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    Thanks for the respect, I'm not sure a hack like me deserves it though. I agree that the wood fit is a nice, and the dishing does appear to be there to me. But that is why I suggested the Cody letter to satisfy how it left the factory. By the way, I noticed those scratches that you referenced, and you say they are supposed to be there? What is the cause and how prevelant are they?

    Thanks for helping expand my knowledge!
  12. Jim88

    Jim88 New Member

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    I do appreciate everyone’s help. When I get some time, I will contact the museum to find out the history on this rifle and post results. FWIW, the rifle basically just sat in houses most of its life after I would speculate some use. I do not know exactly as to when the last round was fired or if it was a just a looker. If it were fired? It was most likely last used in probably the 40's at the latest.

    Thanks again all :)
  13. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    Goody, I agree a letter will tell us a lot and the frame may not be case colored but rather just mottling due to age but I don't think so. If you will take notice of the lever and its case color and the blue on the front half of the gun just ahead of the receiver tells me it is all original.

    As for the scratches they are most always seen in very early guns and seem to be more prevalent in model 94's and 86's. I have seen them in 92's as well but for some reason not as often. Those scratches are usually always removed when a gun has been refinished. My son has several 94's and I will get some pictures of a couple of them and post them. Sometimes the camera cannot pick them up and at other times it makes them look deeper than they really are. I suspect that the early machining methods and tool cleaning left a little to be desired in production type guns. One must keep in mind that a lot of these early guns were used as jack handles by some of there owners and I am sure the manufacturers knew that.

    Ron

    Ps: You are no hack...
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2009
  14. Jim88

    Jim88 New Member

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    Just sent an e-mail to Cody Firearms Museum Records.....
  15. Jim88

    Jim88 New Member

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    Question though? How do I know for sure Cody will give me a document that is a certification of any particular rifle when I found an example on the internet that shows a photo of a Cody response with the words at the top of the paper saying "Cody Firearms Museum Records Office, This document does not constitute a factory letter, Do not accept this as a verification of firearm configuration"

    Now why would I spend $60.00 on a paper that has no credentials? Or is this paper some kind of preliminary document? Anyone know the answer? I want a factory verified letter....Here is the link to the example I am referring too:



    http://www.antiquesandguns.com/terrypencil.html
  16. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I think that little disclaimer is a liability thing. People think that factory letters are the end-all and be-all of proof. But they ain’t.

    For example. I have a Winchester 94. I replaced the barrel, and it is now a 38/55. 75 years from now, somebody buys it, gets the Cody letter that says it started life as a 30/30, and puts a 30/30 barrel on it. Now they show the letter and say, “Yessir, this genuine antique rifle is in factory condition. See the letter proves it.” ‘Cept it ain’t. Barrel’s been replaced. Twice.

    I read, recently, about someone spending quite a bit of money on a Colt Single Action Army. It came with a factory letter, saying SAA SN this left the factory in this shape. Trouble was, it was not a Colt. It was a defarbed Uberti. They sent in the Uberti number, and Colt gave them in the info on the Colt with that number. Then they rigged the Uberti to match the description. 400-dollar gun along with 300 dollars worth of work and a 100-dollar factory letter ended up being a 2800-dollar sale.

    So, if on the strength of the Cody letter, somebody bought my Winchester, and then later found out the barrel had been replaced, they COULD sue Cody. “Cody says it’s original. See this letter!” They might not win, but they could dang sure sue, and it would cost Cody money to fight it.
  17. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    The reason for the letter, in my opinion, is to FIND OUT. And not so much to find out what it is, as it is to find out what it's not. For example, I found out my 1873 Short Rifle (fairly rare, fairly valuable) isn't. Left the factory with a 24" barrel. It has been cut down. Okay. Now I know.
  18. Jim88

    Jim88 New Member

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    Well, I may have an update....The first letter I saw may not be official. Here is another example of possibly the "REAL" factory letter of verification. See links:

    http://www.cabelas.com/gun-inventory---reno---win-rifle---1020944-win1873.shtml

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/c...images/reno/win_rifle/1020944_win1873_07l.jpg
  19. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    Jim: I agree with Alpo that a letter is not necessarily the last word but to some it is. The letter will tell you all the special features the gun had when it was shipped from the factory and often if the had been returned for some reason. A gun like yours with a letter will bring probably 20% more with a letter than without one. If for some reason the doesn't letter meaning as an example it comes back as carbine then you might have nothing more than a parts gun. I would bet even money your gun will come back as I have stated. I will say I have had two problems with letters over the years. I once had a deluxe 86 light weight take-down in 45-90 in near new condition. I got my letter and the gun was perfect to the letter. I traded the gun to a friend and he lost the letter and sent in for another and it came back as a 45-70 saying that the stock had been replaced. I once had as new as it can get standard rifle in 45-70 and the letter came back as a 40-65. Trust me I know enough about guns to know that this gun had never been touched since it left the factory meaning there is no way the barrel had been change. There was a 1 in the serial number that had a bit of a tail at the top just like one I just printed so I called in (when I had an account there) and changed that 1 to a 7 and it came back as a 45-70. I have since learned that often all the guns that were being shipped on any given day were laid on a table and numbers were read by one guy and written down by another so mistakes were sometimes made.

    I did not have time today to take the pictures I promised Goody but I will try to get to it tomorrow.

    Ron
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2009
  20. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    Alpo, I have never seen or heard of a short rifle that had a standard forend, meaning the forend is short on a short rifle as well as the barrel. That most certainly doesn't mean they didn't make one. I have a model 92 saddle ring short rifle with a short forend (not a carbine forend) in 44-40 and according to my letter it is one of only 26 made and they were all sent to the Wild West Show.

    Ron
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