1913 Winchester Rifle with 14-inch Barrel

Value (2008) | $6,000 Auction$8,000 Auction

GUEST:
I inherited it from my father when he passed away in 2005. And it's been passed down from my great-grandfather, who originally, as the story goes, got it from a family of American Indians who gave it to the family because he let them stay on the farm during the Great Depression.

APPRAISER:
So it was given to your family in the 1930s?

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
And when do you think the gun was made?

GUEST:
I have talked to the manufacturer, which is Winchester, in Cody, Wyoming, and they said it was manufactured in 1913.

APPRAISER:
And what makes this gun so special?

GUEST:
It's got a 14-inch barrel on it, and it means that, according to the regulations of today, you're not supposed to be able to own it.

APPRAISER:
That's correct. It's far too short, and under federal regulations, the National Firearms Act, any rifle under 16 inches is against the law. But tell me something about this letter that you have here.

GUEST:
Once my father passed, I knew that the rifle was short and I, like I said before, I had talked to the gentleman in Cody, Wyoming, and he said the best thing to do is be up front with the ATF and call them. And that's where we went from there.

APPRAISER:
That is the best course of action, is whenever somebody feels that they have a firearm which may be illegal, they should contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. What you do have here is you have a Winchester model 1892, manufactured in 1913, and these are extremely rare. All of these were made on custom order from Winchester. They were very popular with bank guards and express companies. Many of them found their way into Central and South America. They made other custom orders, like 15-, 16- and 18-inch barrels. Now, the good thing about those people that have the 16 and 18 inches is they're not against the law. But what you've done here is you've contacted the ATF and they basically removed the firearm from the restricted list and added this specific firearm to the Curio & Relics list, which, in essence, helps you sell it in the future if you chose to do that. The 14-inch is probably the rarest out of all those firearms. There are probably only about a hundred of these...

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
that were made in this specification. The model 1892, there were over a million of these firearms made from 1892 to 1941. So to have one of only a hundred is a very desirable amongst collectors of Winchester firearms. It has certain condition issues. Quite an amount of the bluing is worn off...

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
and it does have a fairly large crack in the stock. I would estimate, in this condition, at auction, it'd probably make somewhere between $6,000 and $8,000.

GUEST:
Wow. That's good.

APPRAISER:
When you get into the 16- and 18-inch barrels, the value would drop at least by half.

GUEST:
Oh, wow.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Bonhams, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
Appraised value (2008)
$6,000 Auction$8,000 Auction
Event
Grand Rapids, MI (August 09, 2008)
Period
20th Century
Form
Rifle
Material
Metal, Wood

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