Author Topic: A Sad 1886 Story  (Read 4832 times)

Offline Coal Creek Griff

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A Sad 1886 Story
« on: March 01, 2017, 10:29:05 pm »
I hope you have your Kleenex handy.  A bunch of years ago, when I was first married and we had a baby, but virtually no money, I visited a gun store with my dad, who was buying a 9mm pistol.  While he was completing the transaction, I browsed the used rifle rack and came upon a standard configuration octagonal barrel 1886.  It had been in 38-56, but it had been rebored/chambered to 45-70, thus lowering the collector's value.  It looked like it was in excellent condition.  I suspected that the original bore had been in poor condition, thus the rebore.  I checked the price tag and it read.... $350.  At that moment, my dad finished his business and wanted to leave.  It was also right at closing time and we were the only people left in the store.  I lived several hours away from the gun store and after I left my dad's house, I drove the whole way home figuring out what I could sell to raise the $350.  By the time I got home, I had it figured out (that old 10-speed bike I never ride, my old 35mm camera, a few other things).  My lovely bride said that I had to buy it while I had the chance.  It ate me up all night and I called the shop when they opened in the morning so that they would hold the gun until I could get there.  Have you guessed it yet?  As we had been leaving the previous day, five minutes before closing, a young guy with long hair and an unkempt beard was walking in.  Now have you figured it out?  Yep.  Sold.  Believe me, that one creates an almost physical pain in my heart to this day.

CC Griff
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Offline Isom

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Re: A Sad 1886 Story
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2017, 10:59:05 am »
CC Griff,
I'll have to agree with you that's sad.

Offline Niederlander

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Re: A Sad 1886 Story
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2017, 11:19:14 am »
That IS sad.  I'll go the other direction.  When I was looking for an '86 probably close to twenty years ago, I couldn't find a .45-70, so I finally decided to get a .33 and rebarrel it.  I saw a .45-70 barrel advertised in an ad in Shotgun News, so I called about it.  When I asked the guy about the barrel, he tells me the ad was a mistake.  He doesn't have a barrel for sale, but the whole rifle.  I ask him how much he wants out of that.  He tells me he would like $700.  I say "sold".  When it arrives I show it to a collector friend of mine and he immediately offers me $1200.  Even a blind squirrel....................
"There go those Nebraskans, and all hell couldn't stop them!"

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: A Sad 1886 Story
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2017, 06:17:19 pm »
We've all missed out on good deals at one time or another. I look at as it just wasn't my time and there's a better one waiting for me.

Guns of all types are a renewable resource and what we own will someday belong to somebody else.

I knew a fellow with many collectible Winchesters, rare models mostly. Several Colt SAA's as well. He knew that his cancer would take him in a few short years so I told him I'd be happy to own any of his guns he'd part with.

He said they were all willed to his only son. 'Nuff said. Well, he passed and his son almost broke a leg selling off his Dad's guns, most of them going to his Dad's lifelong arch enemy?

That one still rankles me .....
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

Online Baltimore Ed

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Re: A Sad 1886 Story
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2017, 09:52:13 pm »
Here's my sad 86 story. About 12 yrs ago I found a .45-90 carbine that was totally covered with Belgium proofmarks, every part had some kind of proofmark. The loose hand tight bbl had originally been chambered in .38-70 or something like that. The sad thing was that bubba had fitted a pistol grip shotgun stock to it, but rather than cut the wood he bent, cut, ground off all the serial numbers and pretty much demolished both tangs. Of course bubba didn't have the good sense to restamp the numbers any place else. I redid the tangs but never could get it to work right and eventually got rid of it. If I had had access to CAS city then I'm sure that I could have got it put back together. My personal theory but without any serial # there is no way to know, is that the gun was exported to Europe where it was proof marked and sold, at some point during the war (take your pick) was repatriated back to the USA by some soldier who removed the stock to make it fit his duffle. Once home he 'repaired' the stock. As to the bbl rechamber, if it had been done at Winchester the stock would have been made right so I don't know but the original caliber was crossed out and bbl proofed. I hope that it found a good gunsmith, a good home and still lives.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 09:54:23 pm by Baltimore Ed »
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Offline Dirty Dick

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Re: A Sad 1886 Story
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2020, 01:41:10 pm »
I can relate to your story. Sixty years ago I was looking for a 1886 in .45-70 to shoot and hunt with (I wanted to hunt big bears) but there were none for sale I could afford. My local gun shop, Holman and Hickey, one day had an '86 in .40-65, original half magazine, rifle butt and octagon barrel for $86.00.  The bore looked terrible but I figured I would try it so took it home. I found a few collector cartridges to shoot but it would not hit the target at fifty yards. Had it rebored to .45-70 and only ever shot cast bullets with it. With a Lyman tang sight it wants to shoot into 1" at 100 yards. I won many, many turkeys at our local range with it and still have it. Had it restocked with AAA fancy walnut shotgun butt. Will never sell it.


Offline Coal Creek Griff

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Re: A Sad 1886 Story
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2020, 05:34:45 pm »
WE NEED PICTURES!! ;D
Manager, WT Ranch--Coal Creek Division

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1860 Henry Rifle Shooter #173
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