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I received this Bullard Repeating Arms Company rifle (above) from my father years ago. I am interested in its value. From my visual inspection, I would say the wood forearm wood has been replaced. The original bluing on the barrel is worn or missing 50 per cent of its finish. The stock is not cracked, and in good condition. The lever action works smoothly, with everything appearing to be fully functional.
Your rifle was designed by James Bullard, and most likely made between 1882 and 1891. There were two basic models: a large frame, such as the one you have (1,700 were made), and a smaller frame version (some 500 were made). These are considered to be well-made, quality firearms for their era. Your rifle is marked .45 cal., which could be one of three cartridges: .45-70, .45-75 or .45-85 Bullard.
These rifles are certainly collectible, though there isn’t the same demand there is for better-known brands, such as Marlin and Winchester. The overall condition looks quite good considering its age. The forearm wood does seem different than the wood in the butt stock, but it may still be original. Your rifle should bring added interest since it is the Deluxe version, with a checkered pistol grip stock.
With only 1,700 of these guns made (and who knows how many are still in existence), it’s hard to find any comparable sales. S.P. Fjestad’s current Blue Bookof Gun Values suggests a value of around US$2,000 if it’s in 50 per cent of its original condition, plus an additional 25 per cent for the Deluxe version. At a Canadian auction, it might bring $2,000 or so, but I must emphasize this is only a very general estimate. Serious collectors will most likely want to inspect the gun before bidding. It’s an interesting piece of history; I’m glad to see you and your father have taken pains to preserve its condition.