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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You know the old saying live and learn. I'm still not out of the woods yet but I'm alot smarter than I used to be!

When I was about 20 yrs old and going to college I was looking for a shotgun. There was this gunshop that always charged strictly retail for everything and tried to present the image of an upper end, hoity toity gunshop. They didn't sell cheap stuff, no, if you shopped in their gunshop it was QUALITY! I'll never forget looking for a shotgun and the owner placing a Model 12 Winchester barrel end up on the counter, pushing the slide release and that old action was so smooth it just FELL open. "NOW IF YOU WANT A QUALITY SHOTGUN, LOOK NO FURTHER" is what he said. Well I was intrigued, boy I liked Winchesters and this was a 1959 vintage 3" chamber but what is that big thick thing at the end of the barrel. Well he says to me, " THAT'S A CUTTS COMPENSATOR, NOT FOR SURE BUT PROBABLY INSTALLED AT THE FACTORY, THEY WERE INSTALLED ON ALL THE KNOWLEDGEABLE SHOOTERS SHOTGUNS BACK THEN. ALSO NOTICE THE SOLID RIB, THIS IS A VERY RARE SHOTGUN!!!!"

You know the rest of the story. I paid $600 for this pile!!!!!!!!! I never could even shoot it good, you'd look down the barrel and just see that big blob at the end. Yes sir, that is how I learned about destroying collectable value of guns too. Hard lesson but it taught me an awful lot. Probably about a .000001% chance that Cutts Compensator was put on at the factory too!

Come on, even mm93 has probably made a mistake or two!

Geoff
 

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Man,I could write a book.They see me coming a mile off,and the worst part is that I know better.I know that I'v paid way to much for most of my collectable Marlins.The only way I could break even is to have them burried with me.But they are mine and not for sale even at a profit,and I'm looking for more.
 

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Well fortunately I got taken early, and not for a huge amount.
When I first started out buying guns some 35 years ago, I was at my first gun show, looking for something old to buy. I didn't have a lot of bucks, (still don't) so I decided I'd start out looking for .22 pump rifles. I came across the perfect gun for me; it was old and cheap. Right up my alley, and at the asking price of $70 I could swing it.
The gun was a Winchester model 06 pump, and although it was bare, the seller said it was quite rare. I lookd down the bore, and there was virtually no rifling left, and the bore didn't look too smooth. I asked the seller about the bore, and was told it was most likely a smoothbore .22 and shot with corrosive blackpowder ammo, which was the reason it wasn't shiny and smooth!
Being the shrewd bargain hunter I thought I was, I offered the guy $50, which he quickly accepted. Took the gun home, very proud of my acquisition, and showed it to my knowledgeable friend, who was kind enough to not laugh. After he told me I had bought a $25-$35 gun for $50, I put it in my closet and left it there for years. Every time I loooked at it, I remembered what my friend had told me, "Better to pass one up, than to get taken on what you think might be a deal!" He also told me I needed to do a lot more reading, and looking, before spending my hard earned money.
Cheap lesson, that has stayed with me ever since. I still kick myself on occasion when I find out something I passed on was a real steal, but I don't go home with anything that isn't worth what I paid for it.
By the way, I sold that '06 Winchester 20 years later, for $50. Pretty poor investment in money, but great investment in learning!
 

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Before I got really serious about collecting Marlins, I'd buy nearly anything I thought I was getting a good buy on (including Winchesters).
About 15 yrs. ago I attended a pretty big estate gun auction.
There was 4 or 5 Winchester Model 1894's, and I figured I needed one.
Four of them had already sold for some pretty big money, and the last one was on the block. I couldn't figure out why it was only bringing a few hundred dollars. Sure looked good from my seat - a lot better than those old beat-up ones that had just been sold. This one looked REALLY good. Why wasn't anyone bidding on this gem ? Everyone must be sleeping ! The drop of the hammer and $300 later, and she was mine.

I was now the proud owner of a Model 1894 Winchester rifle, caliber .30 WCF, early mfg. date, re-blued, post '64 wood, post '64 mag tube, drilled reciever, with a new replacement Numrich Arms Co. barrel that wasn't even fitted to the reciever.
I drove home that afternoon disgusted. Disgusted at myself for letting the "heat of the action" get the best of me. Everyone else was buying guns....I wanted a gun too. I sure had one now !
The bright side of the story is about a year later I traded that gun with $100 to boot for a really straight and original Marlin Model 1893 Standard Rifle. That rifle was my very first Marlin, and I haven't looked back since.
 

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bad deals?

I was in a dimly lit gun shop and covered with dust in the corner was a Rem 760 in 257 Roberts for 150.00 "Well!", thinks I, "there's a deal if I ever saw one!" The owner was very good at keeping a straight face, and allowed himself to be haggled to 125. I shot 2 deer and 3 coyotes with it before I got around to cleaning it and noticed the bulged barrel. Coyotes were bringing around 50 bucks then, so I didn't actually lose anything, but it sure put a dent in my compulsive buying. I traded it on an 1881 40 cal Marlin that I still have.

Ah, the school of hard knocks! First you take the test, then comes the lesson. :D SW
 

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I did have another purchase I thought of, which could have turned out bad. Years ago, while still not in the Marlin mode, I too bought what I thought was a model 64 Winchester. That's the model that is like the 94, but pistol gripped, with half magazine, and light tapered round barrel.
Saw this gun at a gun show, walking around, and the seller was asking $275. Now after seeing a few of these, I knew this was a steal, so without hesitation, I offered the seller $250, which he gladly accepted. Proudly carrying my new toy around the show, another dealer asked if I was selling it? Being in the entrepreneur mode, I said, "If the price is right, I am!" He took a look at it, handed it back, telling me he didn't want a "parts gun." I asked what he meant, and he proceeded to tell me it was a 1894 receiver and buttstock, and a 64 forearm, barrel and mag tube. That's when I realized that unlike the other 64's I had looked at, this gun was STRAIGHT gripped, not pistol gripped! In addition, it said model 94 under the tang sight, and model 64 on the barrel!
The good news is the other dealer said it was a decent price anyway, as the tang sight made it worth the price. A couple months later, I showed it to a gun dealer friend, who also collected Winchesters. After telling him I was going to sell it, he asked how much? I asked him what he thought it was worth, and he said, "Not a penny over $350." I sold it to him for $350, and afterwards asked him why he would pay this for a mixed parts gun? He said he had two Winchesters at home, that needed attention, a model 94 with a bad stock, and a model 64 with no forearm or barrel!
Turned out to be my lucky day! By the way, I took the tang sight off for my sight collection, prior to selling the gun. A bonus! :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the great stories guys and I have to admit I had to chuckle a few times. I learned alot from some of your mistakes but you all did a better job of extricating yourself from the misfortune than I did.

I ended up having a gunsmith cut the barrel down and install changeable chokes on the Model 12 of mine. He did a nice job but it still balanced horrible and I couldn't shoot it well. So I ended up trading it and a Rossi 1892 Carbine .44Mag straight across for a nice honest 1951 vintage 1894 Winchester carbine. I'd rather trade 2 guns that I didn't like for one that did give me a little bit of warm feeling. Since then I traded it off for a 1957 vintage practically new 94 .30-30 with a tang marbles and a beautiful trigger. Had to throw in $100 to accomplish that trade.

You all take care,

Geoff
 

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'deals'

I take well to heart mm93's comment about reading more before buying. When I was in my compulsive, budding gun nut phase, someone told me to buy a gun book every time I bought a gun. I've found that to be sound advice and would expand it to 2 or 3 books for every gun bought. I've never read a gun book that didn't have valuable information. SW
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
NebrHogger,

Noticed you mentioned you had a Marlin 1881 in .40-60 caliber. If you get a chance tell us about it, when it was made and if you still shoot it. I've got one also in .40-60, 28" octagon barrel. That is one sweet old rifle. I find after shooting that heavy barrel off hand I shoot the little guns better because they feel like toys!!

Geoff
 

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Nebrhogger is sure right! If there's anything I like as much as old guns, it's books about guns! I can come home from a gun show without another gun, but rarely without a book. I get a lot of enjoyment from my gun library, and it sure is a great resource for any collector.
Geoff,
The .40-60M is a great caliber. I like it as much or more than the .45-70! Once you've figured out what size slug a particular .40-60 likes, the rest is down hill. Seems mine likes a number of different bullet weights, and shoots them equally well. I'm limited to lighter loads as the Swiss buttplate is tough on the shoulder, but that doesn't seem to affect accuracy.
 

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1881

Geoff,

My 1881 was made in 1890. It's a rifle with no special features other than excellent condition and a pristine bore. I have fired it exactly once with a pyrodex load and after carefully cleaning it, it has become a 'safe queen'. I traded a 760 Rem in 257 Roberts for it. Since the Rem had a bulged barrel, there was more boot involved than I preferred, but like all the old gun deals, I ain't sorry about it now. Due to the reckless bidding on the auction sites, the prices of some of these guns has gone clear out the window, and I don't buy many old Marlins anymore.

Best regards,

SW
 

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MM93

Look through your sight collection and see if you have an extra Lyman receiver sight fot a Stevens 414?

DG

marlinman93 said:
I did have another purchase I thought of, which could have turned out bad. Years ago, while still not in the Marlin mode, I too bought what I thought was a model 64 Winchester. That's the model that is like the 94, but pistol gripped, with half magazine, and light tapered round barrel.
Saw this gun at a gun show, walking around, and the seller was asking $275. Now after seeing a few of these, I knew this was a steal, so without hesitation, I offered the seller $250, which he gladly accepted. Proudly carrying my new toy around the show, another dealer asked if I was selling it? Being in the entrepreneur mode, I said, "If the price is right, I am!" He took a look at it, handed it back, telling me he didn't want a "parts gun." I asked what he meant, and he proceeded to tell me it was a 1894 receiver and buttstock, and a 64 forearm, barrel and mag tube. That's when I realized that unlike the other 64's I had looked at, this gun was STRAIGHT gripped, not pistol gripped! In addition, it said model 94 under the tang sight, and model 64 on the barrel!
The good news is the other dealer said it was a decent price anyway, as the tang sight made it worth the price. A couple months later, I showed it to a gun dealer friend, who also collected Winchesters. After telling him I was going to sell it, he asked how much? I asked him what he thought it was worth, and he said, "Not a penny over $350." I sold it to him for $350, and afterwards asked him why he would pay this for a mixed parts gun? He said he had two Winchesters at home, that needed attention, a model 94 with a bad stock, and a model 64 with no forearm or barrel!
Turned out to be my lucky day! By the way, I took the tang sight off for my sight collection, prior to selling the gun. A bonus! :eek:
 

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Sorry Smoke, but I have none. I did have a cleverly adapted Lyman sight, that someone made an adapter base to fit it to a 414, so no new holes would be drilled. Unfortunately I sold this to a guy who had the same problem as you.
 

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Snookered more times than I care to remember.

I had an old Remington 81 Woodsmaster in 35 Rem. Deadly accurate, the only problem was it's habit of ejecting the empty cases straight up and back down my shirt collar. Found an old Remington Rolling Block military rifle in 7mm Mauser and traded even without looking at the inside of the barrel. Got it home and discovered some pretty poor rifling and that it'd keyhole fairly regular. Got the shotgun urge and traded the Rolling Block & some boot for a pre WWII Browning A-5 standard 16. Then discovered that the pre-war 16s used a 2 9/16" shell and mine had never been rechambered or the action re-worked for the longer 2 3/4". Actually that one turned out well. I toted that ol' Browning for several years until I got in a bad bind and had to sell it for some grocery money. Got snookered on that one as well.

Willy
 

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I just remembered the only Marlin I was snookered on. A 99M1 with the 10 shot tube magazine and the centeninal medallion in the stock. Or would that be the 99M2?, anyway it was the M-1 carbine looking semi auto 22. I gave $50 for it "as is" in the early '80s from the original owner (a relative and I was with him when he bought it new in '71). He said it was a collectors edition with that medallion. It shot okay, but any more that 7 rounds in the tube and it would jam, bending the round where the case and bullet join. 7 rounds it would function fine. 8 or more and it would jam up every time. I used it for a truck gun for a few years until I sold it for $20 to my younger brother with a warning not to put more than 7 rounds in the tube.

Willy
 

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I hesitate to tell this story, as it was a "snookered" deal to start, but as with my usual luck, it turned out well.
In my early 20's I went to a local gun shop to look around, and the guy behind the counter showed me a Winchester 1890 pump, which he said he had just taken in. The asking price was $85, because it had a small problem....it worked like a single shot. In addition, it was chambered for .22 shorts only.
Being somewhat handy (I thought) I decided to take a chance. Took the gun home, and sure enough, it would not cycle anything from the mag tube, and in order to clear the jams, I had to dump the tube, and shake the gun vigorously to get the rounds from the receiver.
I decided I'd try and figure out how to get this model 1890 Win apart, and when I did, I found a .22LR bent over double in the lower receiver! Hurray for me I thought! Put the gun back together, after several tries, and sure enough, it handled .22 shorts with no problem.
Now I had a gun that worked, but it still shot .22 shorts, and was pretty bare to boot. I decided I'd take it to the gun show a few months later, and see if I could get my money out of it, and buy another .22 pump to shoot .22LR cartridges.
I was packing it around the show, asking $125 so I might come down if someone made an offer. A fella came up to me and asked if I was selling my 1890 solid frame. I asked him what he meant by solid frame, and he proceeded to give me the long history of Winchester 1890 pumps, and how they only made the first 5,000 in a non-takedown solid frame. I thanked him, and said it was not for sale. I decided I'd better investigste this a bit further, before selling the old 90.
\ When I got to a table with books, I found an old used copy of Flayderman's Guide to Antique Firearms, and bought it for $5. Sat down and looked up my gun, only to find Norm had it listed at $5,000 in 100%, and a minimum of $600 in bottom condition. Well mine was as close to low condition as it got, so I decided to ask the $600.
A lot of guys were also surprised when I asked told them my asking price, but even more surprised when I showed them it was not a takedown! Seems I wasn't the only one who didn't know they made solid frames. A few rows over, I came upon a guy with a table full of Win. pumps. Obviously I thought this guy would know a rare gun when he saw it! He asked to look at the 1890, and when he saw it was a solid, he put on his best poker face, and asked how much? I told him the $600 price tag, and he couldn't get his wallet out fast enough!
Went home with a nice little Marlin model 27 pump for $160, and a pocket full of money to spend at the next show!
This incident left as big an impression on me as the ones that turned out poorly! I went home and read Norm Flayderman's book from front to back, over and over. Best $5 I ever spent!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey mm93,

Sure enjoyed your story! It brought a smile to my face for sure especially as I imagined that guys "poker" face! We've all seen those in different situations.

Well its going to be another cold night it looks like. Been up running frost control 6 nights out of 7. But if I lose the crop obviously there will be no more gun purchases so I better get with it.

Geoff
 

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I once paid $15 for a Remington Nylon 66.
 

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Hi Geoff,
Hope the weather isn't too rough on you! Don't stay up too late.
 
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