Expert advice, appraisals and the fascinating stories behind your firearms
My grandfather purchased this gun (above) sometime in the 1950s. My uncle now has it, and we are curious as to what it may be worth. There’s very little bluing left on it, but there’s no rust. The rifling seems good. It likely hasn’t been fired in 40 years. Thanks in advance for your response.
This Winchester 1894 was made around 1904 to 1906. Despite the lack of original finish, it may still be of interest to collectors. The half-round, half-octagon barrel would have been a special-order option. Plus, the rifle appears to be a takedown model. Both of those features add to collector appeal.
Even if you’re not planning to sell the rifle at this time, I still suggest you get a factory letter from the Cody Firearms Museum detailing any information on file, such as the date of manufacture (you can order the letter for US$75 at www.centreofthewest.org). Having a factory letter makes the rifle easier to sell, and usually adds value. Plus, they are impressive-looking documents in their own right.
Although the original finish is mostly gone, this rifle doesn’t appear to be abused or neglected, and there doesn’t seem to be appreciable rust or pitting. Rather, it just looks like it’s been well used. And since it belonged to your grandfather, I can see why you would want to keep it as a family heirloom—I know I certainly would. Assuming the rifle has been checked by a gunsmith and found to be in safe, serviceable condition, I’d even make a point of taking it out deer hunting once in a while.
If you do decide to sell the rifle, I recommend you go through a well-publicized firearms auction (see www.outdoorcanada.ca/gunauctions). Bidders will most likely want more photos or a hands-on examination, but based on what I can see, I’d expect it to sell for between $800 and $1,200. I know this is not very precise, but gun appraisals are by no means an exact science.