Saturday, July 23, 2011

Gun Hunt #2 (and related items/accessories)

I have always had an interest in old firearms but have kept it in the research realm and stayed clear of adding guns to my collecting habits. However, I am unable to resist any longer, the kids are out of the house and maybe I can finally dabble in a few weapons that have a connection to historical events of interest. Besides, I keep telling myself they are a good investment!

To make buying from dealers a bit easier, I am waiting for by Curio's & Relics (C&R) license to arrive from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF). Many of the items I look at are old enough to fit within that category and easier and sometime less expensive to purchase with the C&R license. The investment can be considerable, and well beyond my pay grade, but there are reasonable opportunities to pick up interesting old rifles, fun to be had researching and assembling associated accessories, and to do a bit of plinking without breaking the bank.

I am really an oldie but a newbie so any pointers, suggestions or info on items of interest or for sale is welcomed. Most of my firearms knowledge is out of a book or off the Internet. As a young kid, we went out shooting the 22's now and then and I later actually sold rifles in a store for a period of time. However, my experience was limited whereas some kinfolk are much more knowledgeable and grew up in hunting families. I am just a city slicker.

I laugh about it now as I was like some of the sales people you find at Big 5 (but they have some good deals!) or similar sporting goods stores. The person behind the counter often knows nothing about that rifle they are handing you...and some don't even do a chamber check. At least I knew enough to check the chamber each time but had a co-worker that did not. One day a customer asked to see a rifle and the sales person picked it out of the rack and pulled the trigger. A 30.06 went through the roof (missed the upstairs offices thank goodness), echoed though the store and brought everyone to a chilling stand still. I think both the sales guy and the customer had to go check their pants. Somebody had chambered a round when the counter was left unattended. That was decades ago, initiated immediate procedural changes, and I don't think many stores (hopefully none) leave unattended and unlocked weapons in the rack behind the counter with all the ammo stacked right underneath.

Here are a few items I continue to research and hunt for, with links to photographs, other websites or blog posts. Click on each block of text to open a new link and on the photos to enlarge.

Gun Hunt #1

Information related to Governor Steunenberg's Savage 1895 Rifle. A serial # might let us determine where and to whom it was shipped from the Savage Arms Co. One story I hear is that the rifle was given directly to Steunenberg by Savage and another that it came by way of one or several mine owners.

A Savage 1895 deluxe checkered stock like this beauty but non-checkered version with octogon (not octomom...bad...sorry!) barrel.

Here is one Savage 1895 I am looking at but my price would be in the $2,500-3,500 range. The price on this one is why it has been listed quite a long while. Whoops...update, it's gone but wasn't me.

Not looking for the Savage 1895 .308 anniversary edition unless it is a giveaway price. I typically want the real thing only with the scars and wear of history.

Savage 1899 and its predecessor 1895

Civil War. I have a few musket balls, bullets and odds and ends and am always interested in looking and assembling items similar to those used by my ancestors in the Civil War such at Private Lewis Simpson. Generally too pricey for my wallet but I just can't get myself to go for reproductions.

Documentation on Harry Orchard's alleged Colt Single Action Army or any other guns/weapons he may have owned. I know where it is but am looking for a stronger provenance. No luck so far.

Kurt House was kind enough to take a look at the above Colt for me. Check out Kurt's Old West Collectibles for some nice historical hardware.

Knives, bomb making items, watch, photographs, documents belonging to Harry Orchard and not in the ISHS or other archives.

Springfield Model 1873 Trapdoor (used rather unsuccessfully by General Custer's troops at the Battle of the Little Big Horn).

U.S. Rifle Model 1889 "Trapdoor" from the Spanish-American War. Probably what most of the men in the Idaho Infantry were issued. Desirable would be one that is documented from the 1st Idaho Volunteer Infantry (Idaho boys shown in the photo to the right).

I wonder if Lt. George Steunenberg ever had an Officer's Model Trapdoor? Probably not as were not being produced by 1898 and likely he would have needed a higher rank.

More on Lt. George Steunenberg & the Spanish-American War

Mosin Nagant with Hex receiver, Tula arsenal. Maybe a sniper version too as gives a boost to old eyes. A relatively cheap but fun rifle for those of us without deep pockets. Actually found what I wanted. Poor man's rifle and that works for me.

M1912 Picket Pin and/or other accessories and attachments. I have a nice original picket pin case already that came with an 1897 Krag bayonet used during the Spanish-American War. A surplus seller incorrectly paired many Krag bayonets with Picket Pin cases since they made a perfect size scabbard.

U.S. Springfield M1 Rifle..."the greatest battle implement ever devised." --General George S. Patton

And maybe a WWII U.S. Army uniform in slightly used condition such as shown here on my Uncle Cal Steunenberg somewhere in the Pacific War theatre.

In most cases, I will need to settle for just great photographs and and documentation. The NRA Firearms Museum is about as good as as it gets.

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