My relic...

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by barmstrong2, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. barmstrong2

    barmstrong2 New Member

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    Hello brothers. New to this forum. I came looking for reloading information, which I'm happy to have found. Browsing through ... everything else.... This looks like a great forum. To add to this topic, my relic is a Winchester model 1886 in 45-90. This rifle has been in my family since it was new in 1887. My uncle kept it on his lobster boat for many years and shot seals that were caught robbing his traps with it. My Dad has had it in his closet for the past 40 years, or so. Back about 30 years ago, he disassembled it. He thought, wrongly, that it had been varnished by my uncle as a means to protect it. It was tarnished and kind of ratty looking. I worked at a metal finishing shop back then and I took it in and stripped the finish and applied a black oxide finish to it. Of course now, I know that the tarnished ratty looking finish on it was the case hardened steel. So, it's not original and it's not a collectors Holy Grail, but, it's mine now and I'll keep it here in the family. When Dad handed it to me, he also handed me a small plastic bag with several parts in it. He couldn't remember how to put it back together. (I think that's why it's been hidden away all these years.) I took it to a trusted gunsmith and with minimal effort, he got it back together. I took it out to the range a few weeks ago and I know it liked it. Here's a pic.

    [​IMG]

    Note to admins... I put this post in the "Read before posting" thread. Bear with me... Please delete that post.
  2. swiftman

    swiftman Member

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  3. swiftman

    swiftman Member

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  4. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 New Member

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    welcome............great gun
  5. 2bit

    2bit New Member

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    Ah yes. Nothing like making a $5000 gun a $500 gun!

    Michael
  6. 3/2 STA SS

    3/2 STA SS Active Member

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    Yep...:rolleyes:
  7. barmstrong2

    barmstrong2 New Member

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    You know, being an old guitar player and having "experimented" with many guitars in my youth, as most of us did, I know the lessons of wishing I had that one in my hands today. But, as it is, those were good times. We learned much from taking those old guitars apart. And, yes, we ruined, what would be today, a few old classics. Through all of that, we had some fun, we made some memories and, that is exactly what causes some old things to be valuable. That they don't all survive the years.

    As for this rifle, it's a family heirloom, original finish or not. It carries with it all the history of over 100 years of my family. It spent many years on a lobster boat in Maine in an environment that will turn 1" steel into dust in a few short months. That it is in the condition it is, is remarkable. It's still a 125 year old rifle, in working condition, and, for what it is, in pretty good shape.

    I'm not looking to convert it to cash. The look on my Dads face when I brought it back to him, re-assembled, and in working order, was priceless. In a few years, I'll hand it over to my son and he can go through the motions of looking up the history, the values, retelling the stories about it. And, he can tell of how I put that black oxide finish on it back in 1980-something. It's part of the guns history n ow. It's MY part of the guns history.

    All original is fine and it has it's place. But, it's really not the end all of an items worth.
  8. barmstrong2

    barmstrong2 New Member

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    Having said all that, I had this, as well as my other firearms, appraised recently for insurance purposes. The appraised value of this one... $4500.
  9. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Active Member

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    I think I'd like this appraiser to value my guns...
  10. barmstrong2

    barmstrong2 New Member

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    I see.

    Anyway, I found this site looking for reloading information. I'll just stick to that. Thought it would be appropriate to insert an introductory post. So sorry to upset the clique.
  11. GLS_1956

    GLS_1956 New Member

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    You can always have it recase hardened
  12. hunter29180

    hunter29180 Well-Known Member

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    First off..WELCOME...

    second ...you did not upset us...its a beautiful weapon! Glad you were able to get it back in operating form! you and tour sons will have some really fine moments shooting it. since you are not looking to sell it, the the "value" is really meaningless..but in terms of history to your family and personal pride...ITS PRICELESS!

    so dont let some of us old "PURIESTS" put you off..we just morn for all the great ones that have been destroyed....but you, sir, did not destroy that fine weapon.....so be welcome and stay a long while with us...:)
  13. barmstrong2

    barmstrong2 New Member

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    Thank you, hunter. I do understand the purist mentality and it gets frustrating sometimes that people can't see past the monetary value. Have to remember, back in the early 80's, we didn't have Google. My Dad honestly believed the finish on the rifle was varnish, and, I have to agree, it looked like it had been varnished with an old sock at one time. That case hardening had that look to it. In any event, the black oxide finish is permanent and it has held up remarkably well over the time the rifle has been stored. After 35+/- years sitting in a closet, uncased, unmaintained... All I have done is clean and oil it. No rust what-so-ever. The gunsmith said the bore is in near perfect condition and I put 10 rounds through it after getting it back. It is in perfect working order and I know that put Dad's mind to rest having taken it apart and not being able to put it back together. He's early stage 4 Alzheimer's, so, he got to enjoy that moment several times, too. My son is serving in the Army and I've told him the rifle has been repaired. He's looking forward to firing it when he gets home. So am I looking forward to that.
    Thanks again.
  14. gunship

    gunship Member

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    I think your story is just perfect. A great rifle with a fine pedigree. Thank you and your son for your service to this country. I think the smile from your Dad was the best. My Dad had alsheimers also. It was a terrible thing. I am glad you have that family history to pass on. I have 2 son's and neither of them are interested in my firearms.
    All the best,
    Bill
  15. barmstrong2

    barmstrong2 New Member

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    Thanks Bill. Not interested in firearms? I've never of heard of that!

    Brent
  16. Iron Eagle

    Iron Eagle Well-Known Member

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    My daughter understands that mine are family members. May be a little quirky, might be old, but they are family. I gave her my Marlin 22 magnum rifle for her 16th birthday. She loves it like I do.
  17. musketshooter

    musketshooter New Member

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