New member, old Winchester

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Downriver, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. Downriver

    Downriver Member

    Jun 23, 2011
    Gulf Coast of Florida
    Hello all. I just joined the forum today, although I've been reading it for quite awhile. If I can work the technology right to attach some photos, I'm eager to hear your views on my Winchester model 1892 short rifle with double set triggers, 25-20 WCF, serial number 3183XX (1906 production). The rifle has been hanging on my wall for about 15 years after I acquired it in a trade with a buddy for a Mini-14. (As we did the trade he surprised me by throwing in a Model 53 takedown - I'll ask you about that one next - and a Colt model 1917 .45 revolver. I think I did okay for that Mini-14.)

    Until I started reading the forum, I always referred to the Winchester as a carbine because of the 20-inch barrel. However, you've taught me that with its octagonal barrel, metal cap on the forearm, dovetailed front sight and lack of a forearm ring, we're talking short rifle. What I'm hoping sets it apart are the double set triggers, which still function as smooth as silk. I have no grading expertise so I'll let the photos speak to that, although to my eye it all looks original and untouched.

    My apologies in advance for the photos. I'm using a simple point and shoot camera with no close-up capability; I chose the best four shots. I hope they give you enough info to form an opinion.

    And thanks in advance for those opinions.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  2. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Welcome to the forum. I'll trade my Mini-14 for your Winchester!!!! Seriously, hang in, there are a couple very knowledgable folks, including Bert H. who is one of the Winchester Gurus on the internet, who will help you.
    I must say that the trade you worked with your friend certainly came down in your favor.

  3. Hello,

    Model 1892 serial number 318300 was manufactured in November of 1905.

    Your Model 1892 does appear to be a factory original "short" Rifle, with a DST. The combination of those two special order features makes it a rare gun. That stated, the graded condition is going to drag the value down appreciably.

    Unfortunately, somebody decided to refinish the stocks, and when they did, they got onto the wood rather harshly with the sand paper. The finish on the steel is still factory original, but it has turned to a plum/brown patina.
    The other negative issue is most of the screw slots have been noticeably buggered.

    The value is tough to say, as no two collectors will view it exactly the same way. The other thing it has going against it is the caliber... if it were a 44 WCF, a lot more potential buyers would overlook the sanded & refinished stocks. My guess is that it would bring at least $1,000 at most auctions, possibly a bit more to a motivated buyer.

    Bert H.

    p.s. I forgot to mention... take your pictures outdoors in bright shade and a light blue or gray background, and they will come out much better.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  4. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    It is a rifle, even with the short barrel. It has the rifle buttplate and the rifle forend, not the carbine barrel band. The 20" octagon barrel is rare, and the combination with the rare double set trigger makes that rifle very unusual. (The term "short rifle" has usually been applied to those with barrels under 16 inches; barrels above that were just optional lengths.)

    Madis shows one, 311235, and says that the Eagle Hardware Co. of Eagle Pass, Texas, sold many 20" octagon barrel rifles as the "Texas Special."

    That rifle, though, really can't be described as "untouched" although it may be all original. Several screw heads indicate work on the gun, plus it shows the normal patina, wear, wear, and rust consistent with years of use. The buttstock to receiver fit may indicate a replacement stock, or that at some point the stock was sanded and refinished. (If so, it appears to not be recent.)

    I think that rifle is unusual enough that it would warrant a Winchester letter stating how it left the factory and where it was shipped. The original factory records are stored at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. Write Cody Firearms Research, c/o Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, WY 82414, phone (307) 587-4771.

    As to value, I would make a WAG of around $1500-1800; were it in better shape, the value would be a lot higher. Maybe someone else can come up with a better figure.

  5. 25-20, I love that caliber. Bert H. hit the nail on the head. The sanding has taken a lot of the collectable value form it and it is not a very popular caliber except to a v ery few like me. Traded a mini 14 for it, heck that was a steal on your part IMHO. I would trade an Ar for it in a heart beat!:) Like bert stated, on the auctions it all depends on who might want it. I would expect close to $100 but not be suprised if it goes a bit North of that. Like stated above, all depends on who might want it at any given time on the auctions.
    When you get to the 1917, post some good pictures. I have a1917 45 acp and they are great shooters.
  6. Downriver

    Downriver Member

    Jun 23, 2011
    Gulf Coast of Florida
    Man, what a great forum. Thanks much for the very quick and comprehensive (if disappointing) evaluations. Fortunately, I'm already retired, so I wasn't depending on the m. 1892 as a golden ticket for my nest egg. Back on the wall it goes, right next to the model 53 I'll be submitting to the group next. That one has me a bit confounded; the pictures will tell the tale.
  7. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

    Welcome to The Firearms Forum.
    Nice boom stick.
  8. In clarification of your statement above, most other Winchester collectors will disagree with you on that statement. In the collecting arena, a "short" Rifle is anything that has a shorter than standard length (24-inches in the case of a Model 1892) barrel.

    In support of your statement, it is the BATF that classifies anything shorter than 16-inches as a "SBR" (Short Barreled Rifle), and if it was manufactured after December 31st, 1898, it is also a NFA controlled item (requiring a BATF letter to legally possess or sell).

    Bert H.
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