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It got manufactured just a few months before all heck broke loose on Dec.7th.
And they were cranking production to clean out parts to gear up for military production. In '41 production hit 59,000+, 42 dropped to 29,000+, 0 in '43, end of 44 only 13, then '45 saw the 8,800 as they cranked back up.
 

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Joe, I would have to check with Bert, but the last ones may have been like a parts cleanup, and there may have been a contract for prison guard guns? The 13 made in 1944? I'll bet you a cold one, they are all in some ones collection! 45nut's rifle is one of maybe 3 Winchester models, that I've dated that were made in a really low production year.
Even in the non-war years, Winchester would do weird things like produce 1-10 guns, several years after production had ended. There's always a premium on those guns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Or..... someone inherited it and never listened to Grandpa's rambling stories, therefore did not know it was manufactured during WWII and sold it or traded it for cheap. I bought mine at a LGS for around $400 about 10-12 years ago.
 

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45, this one sat in the back of a closet since before I was born. I'm the fifth owner, got it in a coffee can for restoring some water damaged guns. 1st owner was Teddy Roosevelt, 2nd was his hunting guide, Bill Grinell, 3rd was his best friend, Gary Crouch Sr, and 4th was Gary Jr. Took me 8yrs to restore it, 1874 Sharps business Rifle in .45/75 Sharps, with dbl set triggers.
 

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45, this one sat in the back of a closet since before I was born. I'm the fifth owner, got it in a coffee can for restoring some water damaged guns. 1st owner was Teddy Roosevelt, 2nd was his hunting guide, Bill Grinell, 3rd was his best friend, Gary Crouch Sr, and 4th was Gary Jr. Took me 8yrs to restore it, 1874 Sharps business Rifle in .45/75 Sharps, with dbl set triggers.
Wow very seldom can a gun's complete ownership be traced down from owner to owner over that long of period of time.Gotta be something special to own something Teddy Roosevette owned and shot!
 

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Wow TRAP...was that all documented...in any way? Boy howdy if it is!!

That 45-75 Sharps cartridge...is that the one that was the same as the 45-70 except for the powder charge?
 
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My trusty copy of COTW says the Sharps 45-75 is identical to the 45-70 and was also called the Sharps 45-70. Seems Sharps had a problem with anything that didn't have Sharps in its name. Also found Sharps 45-90. 45-100, 45-120, 45-125, and Sharps Special. Differences were basically bullet diameter (.451 vs .458), loading, case length and case thickness. :twocents:
BTW Trap, really nice rifle with a lot of history.:)
 

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Sharps .45 cal 2 1/10" straight, a lot of words for .45/70! The bores weren't .458 though, they could range from .452 to .455.
As to bonafides, the part of the tang with the serial was broken off/missing. Brick wall there. Met the guy that did the book on Teddy's guns, and the only one he couldn't find was a Sharps Business Rifle with dbl set triggers. Gary had an old wood/leather steamer trunk with most of Bill Grinell's earthly possessions.
In the bottom, in a holster, we found a Colt 1878, in .44 Russian. No springs in it, and completely covered in varnish. I got the varnish all cleaned off and found some springs for it. When I got it cleaned, the serial number was #778, 1st year. Right below that was stamped R.C.M.P. and another 4-5 digit serial number.
We knew Bill had served as a Canadian Mountie, so we wrote a letter to them(long before internet) asking about Bill and the gun. Mounties keep records of everything! They confirmed it had been issued to Officer Bill Grinell, gave the dates, and that he purchased it when he left the force.
In that same trunk, was a small stack of old sepia black and white photos. Several were of Teddy and Bill on safari in Africa. In one, Teddy has a big grin holding his 1895 Winchester in .405. Standing next to him, is Bill with the Sharps, and the 1878 Colt on his hip. Teddy was shooting lions, and he gave Bill the Sharps to back him up.
I have never, and I have searched, seen any of those photos in print. Gary moved after I did, and I've lost touch with him.
 

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Wow....incredible!
 
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New stuff pops up on the internet everyday, so I was just doing some image searches of that safari. Plenty of pics of Teddy, his son Kermit, and two other guides. I've never found Bill listed anywhere, but just now, found a reference to a "George Bird Grinnell", 1849-1938, that was close with Teddy setting up the national parks. The safari pics were taken 1909-10, and he would have been about 60. The Grinell holding the Sharps was younger, so I'm thinking maybe his son? And my search results could be hampered because I was spelling it with one N. I got some google foo to do.
 

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My trusty copy of COTW says the Sharps 45-75 is identical to the 45-70 and was also called the Sharps 45-70. Seems Sharps had a problem with anything that didn't have Sharps in its name. Also found Sharps 45-90. 45-100, 45-120, 45-125, and Sharps Special. Differences were basically bullet diameter (.451 vs .458), loading, case length and case thickness. :twocents:
BTW Trap, really nice rifle with a lot of history.:)
PDK, the cartridge/chamber "wars" are some interesting history by itself.
 

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No Kidding! Traps has been holding out on us. Having a gun with kind of history given to him in a coffee can hidden away in his closet, Man! All i got in my old coffee cans are a few screws that i don't know what they go to!:(
Joe, Gary was my "on call" plumber, ironic the water damaged guns happened while he was on vacation, and his toilet sprung a leak. When I returned the last of the cleaned up guns, he knew I wouldn't take any payment, so he handed me a coffee can and a car axle. Took me a minute to notice the axle had sights and a .45 cal hole in the middle! Only Model of the 1874's that had a round barrel only. Original bbl is packed in grease, and a Shilen match barrel, turn to original specs is on it. No safe queens in this house!
BTW...if any of you reprobates ever stop by, you're more than welcome to make some smoke with it. Last time I had it out, was at a CalGuns shoot at the Oroville clay pits. Everyone had to shoot it once, and I ran out of ammo! Somebody ran over to Huntingtons and brought back another box so they could shoot it. Don't know who had the biggest grins after, the Dads, or the kids.:)
 

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Great story, Traps. Too bad i'm about as far away from you as can be. I'd sure like to shoot it.
 

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Yeah joe, me too!

Talkin' about famous stuff. When we lived in Wyoming, Richard Petty owned a vacation home/complex about 5 miles from us on Nordic Ranches. I never met him or even saw him however, they guy I worked for was the electrical contractor the caretaker called when he needed an electrician. Petty's house there was struck by lightening and we were hired to install a lightening rod system. There was one in place but it was obviously inadequate. Soooo, we ripped off the old one and put on a new one designed by an engineer from somewhere. Anyway, I asked what they were going to do with the old lightening rod cable. They said they were going to throw it away so I cut out about 8 ft. They thought I wanted it to scrap and laughed at my 8 ft. I said nope, I just want a piece of lightening rod cable that came off Richard Petty's house. I still have it except for a piece I gave to my brother-in-law who is a NASCAR nut.
 
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