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Old November 28, 2012, 11:05 AM   #1
mforster
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notched remington

Hi, I've just bought a Remington new army 1858 (original I hope!), which at some time in the life of the gun has had it's grip carved with notches on the base of the left side (8 in all), which brings me to the point of this post, does anybody think or know the practice of notching guns happen at the time (ninteenth century) for what ever reason or is this a Hollywood invention ?

thanks in advance,

Mike

p.s. will send pics. later
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Old November 28, 2012, 11:15 AM   #2
PetahW
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FWIW, I've often found that smaller repairs are mre readily visible/discerned than larger ones, so ILO replacing a small toe chip, I sometims remove a larger "chip" and graft on an (ergo) larger repair piece, which usually is easier to stain/distress/etc to match the rest of the stock.



.
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Old November 28, 2012, 06:51 PM   #3
Hawg Haggen
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It probably was done by a few people but none of the so called gunfighters did it. Having notched grips will devalue it some unless the notches can be historically documented. Most of it was dime novel hype picked up by Hollyweird.
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Old November 29, 2012, 06:45 AM   #4
steinauge
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Hawg,I have a first gen 1860 army that great grandaddy shot yankees with.It has 3 small notches in the bottom of the right grip.I reckon it must have been an individual thing.
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Old November 29, 2012, 09:37 AM   #5
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I have my great, great grandfather's Winchester model 92 rifle in 44 WCF caliber (44-40). It was made in 1895. He was a pioneer rancher on the Texas border near Del Rio (the Mexican border) and carried this rifle almost twenty years horseback working his ranch. Those were rough and unsettled times with many cattle and horse thieves still raiding the Texas ranches from across the river. The rifle has eight distinct old notches cut into the fore end. The family story passed down about those notches is 'those were men that needed killin'.

At that time (1895-1915), and in that rough, barely settled area of Texas, many ranchers often had to use deadly force to protect what was theirs. He was no gunslinger, just a rancher. As far as we know he did not regularly wear pistols (peacemakers). I was able to get some of this information directly from my Great Uncle before he died. He said his daddy (my great,great, grandfather) was on horseback nearly daily, and that the rifle was always in a scabbard tied to the saddle. He (great uncle) knew for certain what those notches meant, because he was a kid of about ten years old when the last two notches were added after a band of 'banditos' tried to steal some of their livestock. Great Uncle was born in 1899 so that happened around 1909--1910.
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Old November 29, 2012, 06:30 PM   #6
Hawg Haggen
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There were some people that did it. There's a lot of them that's faked. I have this and I can trace most of the guns whereabouts from when it was new but I cant put names to the notches.

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Old November 30, 2012, 03:57 AM   #7
mforster
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notched remington pics.

Here are the pics. of the grip with the eight notches, thanks for the earlier replies. Mike
Attached Images
File Type: jpg remington 1 (1 of 1).jpg (106.8 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg remington 2 (1 of 1).jpg (135.3 KB, 32 views)
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:40 PM   #8
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For all we know, it could be one notch for every coyote or stray dog killed. One of WB Hickock's many city marshall duties was to kill stray dogs that were running loose spooking horses getting people injured & gear tangled.
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Old November 30, 2012, 10:58 PM   #9
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Not sayin' they can't be real; they could indeed.
More likely though, it was someone picking up on the folklore and trying to make the gun appear more valuable and/or collectible.
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Old December 1, 2012, 04:24 AM   #10
mforster
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Thanks everyone, yes I'm under no illusion that who ever did this act of vandalism (asumming it wasn't created in the 1860s) has devalued the gun, but I am still rather fascinated if this was the fashion at the time.

thanks,

Mike
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Old December 1, 2012, 05:17 AM   #11
Hawg Haggen
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It was never fashionable.
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:14 AM   #12
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Our family has a Colt Single Action Army, serial number places it in 1974, with two notches on the left grip next to the grip frame.
This gun is known to have killed two burglars in a logging camp near Eatonville, Washington state, about 1920. Perhaps a decade earlier.
The gun was given to my great uncle as payment for $20, which the burglar killer did not have.
My father was given the Colt about 1930, when he was 15, and it had two notches on it then.
Now, whether these were applied for the burglars, or an earlier killing, remains unknown.
From what I have read over the years, and I believe that the late Elmer Keith wrote this long ago, putting notches on pistols was not common but not unknown.
The writer -- remember, I can't recall who -- said that when applied, notches were typically placed on the grip next to the body. They weren't as visible this way. Carved into the outside grip panel, they were too noticeable and might spur challenges.
I don't know how far back the practice goes. I doubt it was done much in the 19th century. Keith did write that gunfighters didn't get into fisticuffs, because they couldn't afford to injure a hand.
I also rather doubt they would have provoked a gunfight with someone looking to make a reputation by such a blatant display on their revolver.
But through the ages, there have been soldiers who cut off body parts of their enemies as souvenirs, and to show a personal body count. One can't overlook the fact that such personalities might have carved notches on their gun, way back when.
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Old December 2, 2012, 03:22 AM   #13
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i have an old muzzle loader handed down from my grandfather. the person he got the rifle from had said it had been handed down for a few generations in that family. the original stock, which was broken off at the wrist, had notches on the forend supposedly for indians killed in the early settling of the area. wish he had kept that original stock piece...
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:09 PM   #14
arcticap
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You'll never know what led to the notches being placed there. For all we know the owner could have been notating having killed running jack rabbits.
But here are some more resourceful answers about the practice:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...0221458AAEDBVG

Last edited by arcticap; December 2, 2012 at 12:31 PM.
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Old December 3, 2012, 09:24 PM   #15
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Cutting chunks out of a gun you rely upon to protect your life really doesn't make much sense. Adding some grip/friction to the area where the hand contacts the gun would be beneficial. Chopping notches that may hang up on clothing/holster, not so smart. Would you cut the grip of your carry weapon? I wouldn't. So its hard to believe that people who relied on their revolvers for everyday protection would do so 100 years ago.
Also, we don't brag and tell people we are carrying, in a time when open carry was accepted, would you really want to be the guy bragging that you are a killer? Seems that only leads to challenges.
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