Questions about Remington Model 1889

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by Woodsurfer, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. Woodsurfer

    Woodsurfer New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Bel Air, MD USA
    Hi,

    I own a Model 1889 Remington 12 GA that I'm thinking of selling. I'm hoping that the folks here might be able to help me with a couple of questions before I make the attempt.

    According to the Remington web page related to the Model 1889 (Model 1889), there are several grades of this shotgun. The Grade 1 has de-carbonized barrels -- and I'm sure that's not what mine has -- but I'm not clear whether mine has "Fine twist barrels" (Grade 2) or "Damascus steel barrels, engraving" (Grade 3) since there's no indication of what type of engraving or where it's located. I've seen pictures of another 1889 that was listed as a "Grade 3" and which looked identical to mine.

    The second question is what I should for ask it. I've seen prices from $550 to $1295 asked for others on auction sites. Mine is in really nice condition -- hardly a scratch on the stock, no external rust and only a small amount of pitting in the bores. All of the mechanisms work beautifully as well. My thought is that it is worth more than $1295 given that the one that sold for this price was a wreck compared to mine.

    Lastly: Is this considered a "firearm" or an "antique" under the law? The law in my state (Maryland) says:

    "An antique firearm is defined as a firearm manufactured before 1899, or any replica thereof, which is not designed for firing fixed ammunition or which uses fixed ammunition and is no longer manufactured in the United States or readily available commercially. Antique firearms are exempt from state law." (source: NRA)

    The Model 1889 uses center-fire black power cartridges (I've purchased them but never fired one through the gun) and it could theoretically use modern ammunition if the shooter wanted to take the risk of having the barrels blow up in his face! My feeling, based on this fact, is that it actually does qualify as a non-antique firearm. This will complicate the process of selling and shipping the item but I guess if I can get a good price, it'd be worth it.

    Thanks in advance,

    Mark
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2007
  2. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,082
    Location:
    Indiana
    Federal Firearms law lists as an antique any firearm made before 1898 period...the problem is you have to go one step further and actually research your serial number to ascertain EXACTLY if it was MADE before 1898, IF they made that model AFTER 1898 as well...it's not the MODEL year that counts, it's the actual date of manufacture for your particular firearm.

    For example, my 1897 Winchester was actually PRODUCED in 1912, so it is NOT an antique....just a very narrow number of 1897s numbered from where the model 1893 left off until the last one made before January 1 1899 qualify as "antiques..." since they made the 1897 until 1957....

    As to the State law, regarding ammunition, I would have to believe it applies only to what the gun was DESIGNED to fire....in 1889, at least until 1895-98 or thereabouts, whether the barrels were "twist" or Damascus or not (which if they are mean blackpowder all the way....) the STEEL used in the ACTION is probably not hard enough to use the higher pressures of smokeless powder...like the 1893 Winchesters versus the 1897s....virtually the same design, but the 93 was NOT designed for smokeless, while the 97 was.....and the MAIN difference was the steels used in the receiver....

    I don't think any major manufacturer loads shotshells with blackpowder....although some esoteric makers MAY make it for Cowboy shooters, that seems to be what most people are shooting anymore....
  3. Woodsurfer

    Woodsurfer New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Bel Air, MD USA
    Thanks polishshooter,

    I'm pretty sure it's pre-1899. The Remington site shows the first block of serial numbers in the range of 30,000 – 105,000 and says that they re-assigned numbers starting at 200,000 around 1900. Mine bears a s/n at the start of the 70,000 range. Not a certainty but statistically likely to be pre-1899 (if they sold about the same number each year, the s/n's would get up to around 98,000 by 1-1-1899). I could find no way to contact Remington through their website or I would have written to ask if anyone could help me home in on this important fact. Dare I assume? After all, the burden of proof rests with the State. That is, if things still work the way they once did . . .

    Mark
  4. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,082
    Location:
    Indiana
    Ah, when dealing with the ATF, all bets are off.....:cool:


    But I think you would be safe to assume it was pre-1899 if your numbers are correct....


    The other place I might check is Dixie Gun Works, they do a lot of dating and appraising of antique guns too....www.dixiegunworks.com
  5. Woodsurfer

    Woodsurfer New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Bel Air, MD USA
    Good lead -- thanks!

    The comment's in Dixie Gun Work's FAQ about valuation are useful, as well. I guess I knew that it'd be tough to get a sight-unseen appraisal. Now I know it's impossible! ;-) Guess I'll start looking around for antique gun dealers in my area and trot it around some.

    Regards and best of the holidays to you all!

    Mark
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
Curio & Relics Forum Zastava M57 Questions Jul 22, 2013
Curio & Relics Forum RFI enfield marking questions Apr 17, 2013
Curio & Relics Forum CMP questions Mar 31, 2013
Curio & Relics Forum Questions on recording in bound book May 30, 2012
Curio & Relics Forum Questions about C & R Regulations Feb 17, 2011

Share This Page