Stiegele Schuetzen Rifle, ca. 1900
I brought in a rifle that my grandfather left me about 30 years ago, dropped it off one Christmas morning. And I was named after him, so as a grandson, inherited it from him, I guess. APPRIASER: A pretty Christmas present.
Yes. APPRIASER: Do you know where Granddad got this gun?
I have no idea. APPRIASER: What do you know about the gun?
I don't know a real lot. I know the caliber's a .219 Zipper, and that's really all I know about the gun. APPRIASER: Sometimes there's guns that are works of art instead of just regular weapons. This is one of those guns. This is the kind, when you see it, you say, "Ring-a-ding-ding, baby-- it's on." This one is beautiful. It's a beautiful German-made. They call it a Schuetzen rifle. They're basically real fancy guns for real wealthy people. This one has beautiful relief carving on the stock. It's got beautiful designs. We've got game scenes. And you can imagine hand-carving that to that quality of workmanship without messing up. And it's just a beautiful gun. The metalwork is beautifully chiseled. All that's hand detail work. We've got the cherubs on the frame carrying the game. I mean, it's as good as they get. This gun has a Martini-style action. That's the fellow that held the patent on it. And across the top of the barrel, we've got an interesting mark. Inlaid in gold, it has the mark of Carl Stiegele in Munich, Germany. And he was a premier maker. He produced this kind of work throughout his career. It's gold and silver inlaid. Just a beautiful gun from front to back. It has the double triggers because it's a set system. The first one is to get it ready, and that second one is a hair trigger. That helps in the target shooting. It helps you-- when you pull the trigger, you're not jerking it, and therefore you're able to shoot it more accurately.
Okay-- would it devalue it any to shoot it? APPRIASER: I wouldn't shoot it. Because you always run the risk of damaging it. It's hard to date specifically. Because it was in Munich, most of the records were lost during air raids in World War II. So we can't say specifically. It's going to be made in the late 1800s, possibly even the early 1900s. They were custom-made, and so we don't have regular production records. It's a gun that you have to put in perspective, because they did make quite a few of the high-grade Schuetzen rifles because there were quite a few very wealthy German and European people that wanted them.
Okay. APPRIASER: If your friend had one of these, you would want one, too. A plain Jane gun like this, without the relief carving, without the chase work, without the gold and silver, can sell in the $800 to $1,500 range. This one's a whole different ball game. This one would retail today for about $8,000.
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