Winchester “Rifleman’s Rifle” Buyers Beware!!
Winchester Buyers “Do’s and Don’ts”
As a Professional Winchester collector and not just a Rifleman fan, I would like to give you some tips on some things to look out for when buying any Winchester rifle.
If you just want a rifle that looks similar to a Rifleman’s rifle and do not care much about the quality and actual gun value this is article not for you.
Many unsuspecting gun buyers are duped into purchasing what amounts to a $700.00 “Rifleman’s rifle” which has been pieced together and labeled “restored”. This happens to uneducated well intentioned Winchester buyers.
Before making a Winchester purchase ask the following questions:
- Is the wood original or replacement wood?
- Is the bluing original factory bluing?
- Is the rifle barrel an original model 1892 barrel or a model 94 replacement which has been re stamped by the seller to look like a 92? Insist on the original model 92 barrel or you have lost most of the value already.
- These are just some basic questions which devalue the rifle considerably. What looks like a several thousand dollar “Rifleman’s Rifle" may really be worth $600.00 or $700.00 in real Winchester collector’s value.
- Does the seller ship directly to you or to a licensed F.F.L. dealer which is required by law abiding gun sellers? If the seller ships directly to you, then ask yourself why they are trying to bypass the legal requirements in order to make a sale. Most likely they don’t want this pieced together rifle traced back to them. You have no recourse if the quality and claims against them are discovered.
A knowledgeable Winchester collector would be aware of these “tricks of restoration” and would not make the purchase. An unsuspecting “Rifleman Fan” may not. Don’t be fooled by imitation original rifles.
The value of a “Rifleman’s Rifle” is twofold. There is the value to a knowledgeable Winchester gun collector and there is the value to a Rifleman fan. If you want a rifle whose value is intrinsic to the value of the gun as well as it being modified into a Rifleman trick rifle then you will pay more due to the actual Winchester cost of originality and authenticity. If not then you can spend a lot less money and have a large loop lever put on it and just have something to play with.
I am just advising you to ask the questions!