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Old October 31, 2015, 08:39 AM   #1
mrray13
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M1895 Lee 6mm Navy value

So a friend was cleaning out the attic of this home about to be torn down, when he came across this M1895 rifle. Serial number 8xxx, surface rust, action possibly froze, wood in good shape and all markings legible, what's it worth approximately?

While I found some general, and interesting, information as to the history, I can't locate any for sell. Approximately 15k were built for the Navy, and Marines, I know it's not an abundant rifle. And I know pictures would help, but I haven't got any, but will try. Based on what I'm told, I'd conservatively rate the rifle 60-65%.

Thanks ahead of time!
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Old October 31, 2015, 11:47 AM   #2
Tidewater_Kid
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There's a nice one listed on Gunbroker for $2300 range. I would say the rifle you describe would be worth a good bit less. They don't sell often enough to get a good indication of value and without seeing pictures it would only be a wild guess.

TK
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Old October 31, 2015, 12:58 PM   #3
James K
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Do you know anyone who can CAREFULLY take down that rifle and clean it up so it functions? It will be worth more as a working rifle than as a rusty relic.

As to value, there is one on Gun Broker with a current bid of $2265, which sounds about right, though it might go higher.

Ammunition is scarce, though it can be made; clips are even scarcer and AFAIK, have never been reproduced.

Jim
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Old October 31, 2015, 02:00 PM   #4
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There is a list available somewhere of the rifles that were salvaged from the wreckage of the USS Maine after it was sunk in Cuba. You should be able to Google it and see if your serial number is listed.
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Old October 31, 2015, 02:16 PM   #5
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"...surface rust, action possibly froze..." How much and can it be fixed will determine the value. Surface rust isn't a big deal, but if the action is rusted shut, it's virtually worthless.
This'd be one of those posts that guy keeps saying is worthless without pictures. snicker.
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Old October 31, 2015, 08:44 PM   #6
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I hear ya T, lol, and I'm working on pictures. James, he's supposed to let me look at it and see if I can get it functioning.

Bobby, the guy with the rifle, and I looked at the auction and he said his is comparable. We shall see..lol..I know he was stoked about the price.

I gotta Google those serial numbers.
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Old October 31, 2015, 08:51 PM   #7
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Locked up and rusty is not comparable to functional and aged full finish. Take it to a good smith and talk about disassembly and cleaning. Don't even think about doing it yourself until you get some good advice, including proper tools.
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Old October 31, 2015, 08:52 PM   #8
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I have a copy of the manual I got off "the net", but I now forget the source. Probably it would turn up if you Google "Lee Navy". I would not start working on it without a guide; they are pretty complex rifles and if something breaks...

Jim
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Old October 31, 2015, 08:58 PM   #9
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I read about the fragile floating extractor and other minor issues. My thought was more about a closer look of the rust and a little clp or something similar. Wouldn't think about taking it apart until I found a manual.

Googled those serial numbers and one, 8267, is close to what Bobby said the serial number was. I'm waiting on a return text and hopefully photos.
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Old October 31, 2015, 10:40 PM   #10
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I wouldn't even take it apart with a manual, you open up a screw head or strip some threads and you'll lose good money with every nick and knock. Get some professional advice first.

Secondly, if it did come off the battleship USS Maine, cleaning the rust and working on it is the very last thing you want to do with your important historical artifact. Get some professional advice.

They don't call Bubba a stupid bastard for nothing, you know. Nothing personal, but I've seen some expensive antiques turned into worthless old junk because someone thought they could improve it's condition or make more money by 'working on it'. So abrasives and hard steel tools get used on soft century-old soft steel and the result is not good.

Just trying to turn a rusted safety off to see if the bolt works after you put some lube on it for a few days can snap the safety pin and leave you worse than when you started.
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Old November 1, 2015, 12:50 AM   #11
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Everyone has their favorite penetrating oil, but the one I have found to be almost miraculous is "100% pure, natural wintergreen oil," available at your local tree hugger health food store, and NOT the stuff at Walgreens. It has worked for me 99% of the time on some really rusted pieces of junque.
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Old November 1, 2015, 09:08 AM   #12
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Well, after talking to Bobby, I don't think we have to worry about the Maine. He's supposed to re-verify this morning, but the number he thinks it is isn't on the list. Still no pictures either.

And while I understand your point kilimanjaro, I'm not Bubba. But I appreciate the advice.

I'm going to have to try that wintergreen oil. Even if it don't work, it'll smell good, lol.
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Old November 1, 2015, 10:07 AM   #13
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Sounds like no joy in Mudville this morning, eh?

I can recommend the oil of wintergreen, that's been my secret sauce for decades.
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Old November 1, 2015, 05:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
I can recommend the oil of wintergreen, that's been my secret sauce for decades.
It was the late Clarence M. Bates that turned me on to wintergreen.

Clarence, for those who are not familiar with his name. was a world class machinist who manufactured custom made .45-70 revolvers and some really awesome custom made single shot rifles. If you stumble across a gun marked "CMB" you have one of his.
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Old November 3, 2015, 11:57 AM   #15
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I picked up on it from reading Richard McKenna's The Sand Pebbles back in 1964. Asked my dad about it, as he was a tool and die maker, his reply was "yep, my dad taught me about that when I was your age (1938) working on the farm machinery, and he learned it from his dad", so it's been around for a while. Used it ever since, myself, and I pass it on as often as I get the chance to. Which isn't often, see anyone working on old engines lately? Kids can't even change a light bulb anymore.
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