Lever Action Talk Lever Action firearms of all makes

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Old 11-05-2010, 11:29   #1
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My grandpa's model 53!

Best as I can understand, my grandfather bought this Winchester Model 53, 44-40 in 1926. He was a registered guide in Northern Maine (and a small dairy/potato farmer). Because of the short barrel it was called a "brush gun". My dad said he brought down many a deer (and the occasional moose!) as a teenager. It was the depression and you did not hunt for sport but for food. Dad gave me the rifle in 1995. I have put a couple hundred rounds through it. Still very accurate. I rarely shoot it now (ammo is through the roof and hard to get). I had it valued for insurance in 95 but am sure it's a sight more now. Now, which son gets the rifle from me?
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:06   #2
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That is such a cool lever gun! Whoever gets it better cherish it!
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:37   #3
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Originally Posted by Aznav View Post
Best as I can understand, my grandfather bought this Winchester Model 53, 44-40 in 1926. He was a registered guide in Northern Maine (and a small dairy/potato farmer). Because of the short barrel it was called a "brush gun". My dad said he brought down many a deer (and the occasional moose!) as a teenager. It was the depression and you did not hunt for sport but for food. Dad gave me the rifle in 1995. I have put a couple hundred rounds through it. Still very accurate. I rarely shoot it now (ammo is through the roof and hard to get). I had it valued for insurance in 95 but am sure it's a sight more now. Now, which son gets the rifle from me?


Just so you dont have to choose sons and start a family riot, Just give me the gun and I will see that its loved and cherished forever.
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Old 11-09-2010, 16:22   #4
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Originally Posted by whbonney26 View Post
Just so you dont have to choose sons and start a family riot, Just give me the gun and I will see that its loved and cherished forever.
So selfless. So thoughtful. Friends like you are few and far between...
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Old 11-10-2010, 15:13   #5
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Family heirloom firearms are the most special. Lucky guy!

If your sons demonstrate comparable interest in and respect for it, I suggest a target competition to decide who gets it.

Maybe not even just one. Have several and the one with the best overall average gets it. That way you avoid any favoritism, and spend some good range time with your kids.

Or maybe better yet, provide in your will that they have a competition . . . sort of a range memorial.
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Old 11-13-2010, 21:45   #6
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Originally Posted by Aznav View Post
So selfless. So thoughtful. Friends like you are few and far between...
What can I say.....always putting others before myself.
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Old 11-14-2010, 13:53   #7
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Originally Posted by whbonney26 View Post
What can I say.....always putting others before myself.
"Let your own lips praise you, and not another."
Book of Narcissism
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:36   #8
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I have a model 53 in 32-20. For years I used mine for jumping foxes and coyotes in heavy woods while on snowshoes. It's light, quick to shoulder and plenty accurate for woods distances. I finally retired it and have been using a mini 14 for the same purpose. The mini is just as handy and quick to shoulder as the 53. Plus I don't cringe when I have to use it for a ski pole.
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Old 01-01-2011, 13:32   #9
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Originally Posted by Aznav View Post
Best as I can understand, my grandfather bought this Winchester Model 53, 44-40 in 1926. He was a registered guide in Northern Maine (and a small dairy/potato farmer). Because of the short barrel it was called a "brush gun". My dad said he brought down many a deer (and the occasional moose!) as a teenager. It was the depression and you did not hunt for sport but for food. Dad gave me the rifle in 1995. I have put a couple hundred rounds through it. Still very accurate. I rarely shoot it now (ammo is through the roof and hard to get). I had it valued for insurance in 95 but am sure it's a sight more now. Now, which son gets the rifle from me?
DAD! I finally found ya!
Since I'm the oldest, 59 1/2, it's only right that I should get it.
Hope whoever you leave it with knows what a treasure they're getting.
Could be a tough decision, huh?
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Old 01-01-2011, 14:27   #10
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Originally Posted by copen View Post
DAD! I finally found ya!
Since I'm the oldest, 59 1/2, it's only right that I should get it.
Hope whoever you leave it with knows what a treasure they're getting.
Could be a tough decision, huh?
LMAO!!! You must be the offspring from my former life. You know, when I was a squid. Guess you'll just have to "ink" it out with the boys.
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Old 01-01-2011, 15:25   #11
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Your Grandads rifle has family history. IMHO, that makes it worth alot more to you and yours than some museum piece. Fed his family with it. Maybe saved some lives with it? COTW quote regarding the 44-40; It is said that it has killed more game, large and small, and more people, good and bad, than any other commercial cartridge ever developed.
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Old 01-01-2011, 16:31   #12
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"COTW quote regarding the 44-40; It is said that it has killed more game, large and small, and more people, good and bad, than any other commercial cartridge ever developed."

Whoa! I did not know that. And just try and buy that cartridge of late! I am, no kidding, into my 13 month on Sportman's Guide for just one lousy box. BUT, it's Winchester ammo, not knock offs. Bought some off brand 44-40 ammo several years ago. Felt like I was shooting a 22. Couldn't believe the bullet actually made it out of the barrel.
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Old 01-01-2011, 21:32   #13
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I don't know when or who made that statement but it was probably back when folks had to feed and protect themselves with their firearms.
Apperantly, Winchester(?) made a high velocity round for rifles,92, but some didn't read warnings about not using them in Colt pistols and they dropped the round.
Most ammo available today seems to be geared toward CAS and is kinda anemic. Ever think about reloading? It's my understanding you have to be careful about adjustments to prevent neck buckling, more so than some other cartridges, but brass seems to be available. There's a guy who goes by the handle RedCent that shows up here from time to time that may give some advice on the round.
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Old 01-01-2011, 22:23   #14
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No, shied away from reloading. Gunpowder and a press just give me the willies. My dad had few fond memories of the farm/wilderness life. Hard scrabble, bitter winters, starving Indians, hunting had deer flies in the summer and shoulder deep drifts in the winter. He would take me hunting but would not even get a permit. Too many not-so-fond memories. Oh, and the "92" rounds now make perfect sense. I was shooting the last of my dad's ammo which gave a good kick and broke your eardrums.
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Old 02-21-2011, 22:18   #15
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Originally Posted by Aznav View Post
"COTW quote regarding the 44-40; It is said that it has killed more game, large and small, and more people, good and bad, than any other commercial cartridge ever developed."

Whoa! I did not know that. And just try and buy that cartridge of late! I am, no kidding, into my 13 month on Sportman's Guide for just one lousy box. BUT, it's Winchester ammo, not knock offs. Bought some off brand 44-40 ammo several years ago. Felt like I was shooting a 22. Couldn't believe the bullet actually made it out of the barrel.
Just sold my last .44-40, it's an easy cartridge to load for, as long as you pay attention to a few details. The use of Trail Boss powder makes it almost impossible to damage one through powder mischarges.

Most makers only make it once a year (at best) it not being a high volume sales item. Your 'CAS' shooters generally load their own and in bulk instead of buying factory.

Rifle and Handloader magazines have had a great number of articles on loading the oldies including several on the .44-40 aka .44WCF, by the likes of Mike Venturino and Brian Pearce, well worth a look.

Personally, I'd invest in a set of dies and a canister of Trail Boss and some 200gr RNFP's and start rolling your own. The 53 deserves it.

But dig around for Venturino's articles first.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:21   #16
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Originally Posted by whirlibird View Post
Just sold my last .44-40, it's an easy cartridge to load for, as long as you pay attention to a few details. The use of Trail Boss powder makes it almost impossible to damage one through powder mischarges.

Most makers only make it once a year (at best) it not being a high volume sales item. Your 'CAS' shooters generally load their own and in bulk instead of buying factory.

Rifle and Handloader magazines have had a great number of articles on loading the oldies including several on the .44-40 aka .44WCF, by the likes of Mike Venturino and Brian Pearce, well worth a look.

Personally, I'd invest in a set of dies and a canister of Trail Boss and some 200gr RNFP's and start rolling your own. The 53 deserves it.

Excellent! For the next two years I am megaslammed with work and school. However, I very much would like the more powerful cartridges. This thread cleared up the mystery of using up the last of my dad's ammo and this new anemic stuff. I'll check out Venturino and Pearce.
But dig around for Venturino's articles first.
Excellent! For the next two years I am megaslammed with work and school. However, I very much would like the more powerful cartridges. This thread cleared up the mystery of using up the last of my dad's ammo and this new anemic stuff. I'll check out Venturino and Pearce.
But dig around for Venturino's articles first.
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