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Old November 10, 2011, 03:52 PM   #1
twobit
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Original cost of a model 1892 back in 1895?

I have my great-grandpa's 1892 24" octagon 44-40 which was bought new by him in 1895, probably through the Sears catalog. I got to wondering what the original cost would have been for that rifle in 1895 in 1895 dollars. I'm sure it equaled many days worth of wages. I tried the all-knowing internet, but have drawn a blank as to the cost in 1895? Anybody have a clue?
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Old November 10, 2011, 04:00 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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I don't have anything going back that far, but an 1892 was $12.50 in the 1901 Sears catalog. $16 for takedown.
Ammo was $0.68 a box (50) for black powder and lead, $0.99 for smokeless softpoint.
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Old November 10, 2011, 04:13 PM   #3
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thanks.
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Old November 10, 2011, 10:44 PM   #4
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FWIW, I have used a 42::1 for conversion in the 1880-1910 period. So that Model 1892 cost around $525 in today's money; the takedown $672. The ammo would have been $28.50 and $41.50. Not too far from equivalent "using guns" today.

Jim
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Old November 10, 2011, 11:09 PM   #5
twobit
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Jim, I like your then and now $ adjustment. It puts things in perspective.

My great grandpa was basically a working cowboy and that rifle would have been a big purchase and an important tool,, just as my duty pistol that I carry at work is to me today. I've carried a 92FS Beretta for over twenty years and it cost me $400 twenty years ago.

Great-grandpa used the Winchester horseback for around 25 years and obviously took good care of it. It has eight notches on it. Decades ago I asked grandpa what the notches were, and he said they were for the men his dad had to kill on the Texas Mexico border which at the time was still frontier & plagued with banditos, rustlers, and the like, raiding from across the river. He was not a lawman, just a rancher.

It is maybe worth a thousand or two now, but will never be sold at any price. I'll just have to figure who gets it when I am gone. Oh, fortunately my Beretta has no notches. Another six years and I can retire from that worry. I may have to make sure and not sell the Beretta either. Maybe someone will tell a story about it.
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Old November 11, 2011, 12:23 AM   #6
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In the days of the cattle drives and the open range, a cowboy made $.50 a day; a soldier made about the same. A semi-skilled worker made about $1 a day, $2 or a bit more for someone like my grandfather, who was a master mason.

A Colt SAA cost around $16, or a full month's wages for a cowboy, and the reason why, Western movie nonsense aside, not many cowboys owned those guns. The ones who did carry guns often had those cheap guns we now scorn, $2 solid frame revolvers and the like. It is also worth noting that handguns were banned on many ranches. Ranch-owned rifles would be given out when the cowboy rode herd to keep off predators (including Indians), but if a cowboy showed up for work with a handgun, he had to turn it in to be kept in the safe until he left the employ of the ranch.

Nor did an ordinary cowboy own a horse or a saddle. Both usually belonged to the ranch and he took whatever the wrangler put out that day. On the plus side, he got his meals and his bunk free.

Jim
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Old November 11, 2011, 12:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
It is also worth noting that handguns were banned on many ranches. Ranch-owned rifles would be given out when the cowboy rode herd to keep off predators (including Indians), but if a cowboy showed up for work with a handgun, he had to turn it in to be kept in the safe until he left the employ of the ranch.

Nor did an ordinary cowboy own a horse or a saddle. Both usually belonged to the ranch and he took whatever the wrangler put out that day. On the plus side, he got his meals and his bunk free.
My farm has been around since the 1850's, I'm the first owner that has allowed handguns around. I do have a few rifles in lock box's for the guys, and I carry an SKS in a scabbard when I'm not teaching

Only a few of my hands own their own saddles and none own horses.
If they want to eat, they have a stove and a microwave, if they want Micky D.....its on there own dime.
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Old November 11, 2011, 09:24 PM   #8
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For a minue I had a vision of an 1870 chuckwagon with a microwave.

Jim
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Old November 11, 2011, 09:33 PM   #9
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You'd be wise to get a professional appraisal, include as much provable history as you can and a factory letter if possible. As much as you might hate to think about it, something could happen to the gun and you'd need proof of value for insurance and tax purposes.
Times were kinda tough along the Texas border until WWII and seem to be getting that way again.
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Old March 7, 2012, 01:02 PM   #10
2bit
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Hello twobit,

I use the same username on a few forums and sites.

I have an original 1895 Winchester catalog and the listed price for the rifle you describe was $19.50. A round barrel version of the sporting rifle was $18.00 and a saddle ring carbine cost $17.50.

I am conducting a research survey of the Model 1892 rifles and would like to add every rifle I can to the work. I currently have 3026 and want to get to 10,000 before I publish the results. If you would send me photos of the barrel address, caliber stamp, upper tang stamp and the full serial number I can tell you how the gun fits in with the changes made during production and also give you a good idea of its present value. My email is 2bitrifles@gmail.com

You can read a bit about the effort at these links:
http://www.levergunscommunity.com/vi...survey#p343093
http://www.winchestercollector.org/f...pic.php?t=3460

Thanks
Michael
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Old March 7, 2012, 02:24 PM   #11
twobit
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2bit (Michael)
this is twobit (Robert)

I'll take some photos of the areas you mentioned and email to you in a few days. My 92 is a W.R.A.C.O. serial number. I heard Sears, for a few years around 1895, ground them off because they undersold the Winchester agreed upon price. I've read descriptions of that, and also that the checkered pattern on the hammer can be traced to certain years as well as the barrel markings.

Here is an overall photo of the rifle
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