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Buffalo Bill Winchester 30-30

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by mesinge2, May 2, 2010.



  1. Get it

    15 vote(s)
  2. Don't get it

    3 vote(s)
  3. the required 3rd option: Other, Please Specify

    1 vote(s)
  1. mesinge2

    mesinge2 New Member

    I know quite a bit about pistols and revolver; however, my knowledge of rifles/shotguns is lacking. A friend of mine has a gun shop and often calls me when he get a gun that he thinks I will like. I have recently got into cowboy shooting with my Uberti and my CZ hammer coachgun (I bought the coachgun with the advice of the members on this board and I couldn't be happier). Anyways, he called me when he got in a winchester levergun. It is a Buffalo Bill Commemorative in 30-30. I took a look at it and it is beautiful.

    It has an octagonal 26" barrel, saddle ring, engraving, and a perfect wood stock with a very contrasting grain. He said, "to me" he would sell it for $350. It is used but the original owner said it was a collection piece and never shot. It comes with the original box and papers as well. I know the barrel might be a little long, but I like the look of the longer barrel as well.

    I was just wondering if this is a good levergun to start with and if there are any special concerns with this gun. Also, I doubt it but would the warrenty still be active?
    Last edited: May 2, 2010
  2. OldMac

    OldMac Member

    The price is right from a retail shop. I just got a NIB Win 30-30 Canadian Centennial for $350 because I wanted that date. You can find cheaper used from individuals but maybe not in perfect shape. Do some searches on forums and you will find that most people like the accuracy of those heavy barrels. You probably will not make money on it but you will have a quality lever gun and can certainly break even when your tired of it.
  3. Birddog1911

    Birddog1911 New Member

    The Buffalo Bill is a great rifle. I had a shooter, and loved it. The longer barrel gives it a very nice balance, and squeezes the most out of the cartridge. It was the first firearm my wife ever shot.

    Sadly, many years ago, I let that rifle go. And I still miss it to this day.
  4. DPris

    DPris Active Member

    It won't be usable in Cowboy Action Shooting except for long range sidematches, so don't count on using it in main match events.
    Other than that, if you understand that you'll de-value it as a "collector" piece by shooting it & buy it as a shooter only, it's not a bad price. Those commemoratives never had great demand among collectors anyway.

  5. Abel

    Abel New Member

    At 350, its a great price. I would snatch it up.
  6. CraigC

    CraigC Active Member

    Those Winchester commemoratives are a great way into a less than common configuration and higher level finishes at more than fair prices. I already have three .30-30's but that's a great rifle at a great price, I'd jump on it.

    Same for Colt's.
  7. Maverick223

    Maverick223 New Member

    I put "other" because it isn't a terribly practical rifle because it is a collectible, and the better wood, engraving, and saddle ring does nothing but attract the wrong kind of attention when hunting. OTOH it is a good deal and a nice looking rifle, if you want it for a plinker, et cetera then by all means get it.

  8. CraigC

    CraigC Active Member

    I think the price pretty much reflects how collectible they are (not). Which is typical of commemoratives. Though I'm unsure exactly what would be impractical about it. There's not a commemorative Winchester ever made that I wouldn't hunt with, as long as the receiver isn't gold plated. ;)
  9. mesinge2

    mesinge2 New Member

    It isn't. I wouldn't have thought about it if it was.
  10. Birddog1911

    Birddog1911 New Member

    I fail to see what the wood would have to do with anything when it comes to hunting. The engraving is minimal, and again, I fail to see why that would detract from using it for hunting. The saddle ring can easily be taped up to silence it. The longer barrel makes it a great hunter with the caliber because it greatly stretches the accuracy and energy out of the cartridge; an easy 300 yd gun in my opinion. The longer barrel also gives you a longer sight radius.
  11. paducahrider

    paducahrider New Member

    Buffalo Bill!

    The "Buffalo Bill" commemorative rifle was brought out the same year, and advertized on the same page of magazine ads, as the Winchester "CLASSIC" series.
    The CLASSIC model also had the same octagon barrel, but differed from the commemorative type by having no medallion in the buttstock, However, a little known fact was that the classic models had far better wood than the commemoratives.
    Some had wood that was very high grade, figured walnut, that was several steps up from the average straight grained wood on the commemorative models, which were charging you for the name, more than anything else.
    The prices of the commemoratives were higher, when first introduced, but, over the years, the "CLASSICs" have been closing the gap somewhat.
    You may want to consider one of those if you like that big old heavy 26 1/2" octagonal barrel out there to peer over.
    I sure like mine. Actually I like it better than the Buffalo Bill, because I feel I got more for my money with the more beautiful wood.
    By the way; almost every time I carry it to a gunshow, everyone mistakes it for a "Buffalo Bill" because of the barrel, and very few have ever heard of the "CLASSIC" models, which were built at the same time.
    Thanks for your time.
  12. Maverick223

    Maverick223 New Member

    There were several versions of the Buff. Bill Commemorative rifles, some were gold plated with a good bit of delicate engraving, while others simply had a small about of engraving on a blued receiver, but all are a bit flashy. Additionally where I come from we have branches, and branches like to scratch up those purdy engraved receivers and wood, it also likes to catch on the saddle ring in addition to making undue noise which alerts game to your whereabouts (unless you tape it down, which makes a sticky mess on your receiver).

    Even with the long bbl you are looking at about 700ft-lbs, and an equally dismal factor is the 30+in. of drop at that range. Somebody might be able to take advantage of a few additional inches of barrel, but I wouldn't attempt it, besides the biggest attraction to the .30-30Win. to begin with is the fact that it is generally chambered in light, quick handling carbines, which a 26in. bbl hinders.
  13. Abel

    Abel New Member

    The BBC is not really that collectible. Winchester went "commemorative-crazy" and put too many of them out there to be of any real value. I'd hunt the little trollop 'til the shine wore off. I have yet to meet a wrench that was too good to put to work, and the same goes for guns in my ownership. With that 26" barrel, it would make a great silhouette plinker.

    The 1866 Commemorative called the Centennial 66 is such a gold plated gun. And I would drag her through every brier patch from Florida to Oregon.

    Here's a good account of the Winchester commemoratives by Chuck Hawks:

  14. Al LaVodka

    Al LaVodka member

    I bought two RCMP 22" rifles at auction some years ago because I wanted lever-gun muskets and this was a rare opportunity to do it. Neither is shot but one is a "shooter" and the other is "boxed." I love these closet queens and the boxed one will sell for more than I bought both...

    How can someone go wrong with an original Win like the BBC version for $350?

  15. Birddog1911

    Birddog1911 New Member

    Well, I guess I'm just cut different. My Sharps rifle always had considerable drop, so I just never worried about changing elevation on my sights. Those kind of rifles make you think! Shoot, my Sharps load dropped 131 feet from muzzle to 1000 yards!

    Trust me, I know about branches hunting in the woods. But around here, I'd be more worried about it hitting rocks.
  16. CraigC

    CraigC Active Member

    Hmmm....I've been hunting with a 1971 Winchester NRA Centennial Rifle for ten years and never thought I was in danger of scratching it up or spooking game with its black chrome receiver. I guess I'm a little baffled that some folks would rather spend $350 on a rather plain, standard issue carbine than the same amount on a lovely 26" octagon limited production beauty because it's "too purdy". If you're worried about the saddle ring, either remove it or put a leather thong on it to keep it quiet.

    They built 122,169 of the Buffalo Bill models, in 20" and 26" octagons. They were all blued with nickeled trim. The only Buffalo Bill model that had gold plating was the "presentation rifle" and even then, only the trim pieces like the forend tip, loading gate, etc plus upgraded wood. ALL had black chrome receivers and ALL had identical, rather simplistic engraving. Here's an example of the $3000 "presentation rifle". I wouldn't pay the high tariff for one but I would hunt with it if I did.


    I would too if I had one. I love engraving and fancy guns, even some gold inlay. I also love the brass framed 1860 and 1866 Winchesters (pining for a .44Spl `66). I just don't particularly care for those commemoratives with gold plated receivers. Not dogging those who do, just not my thing.

    The two I really lust after are the Chief Crazy Horse .38-55 and the Theodore Roosevelt model. It's not gold but chrome plated. I love the half magazine, 26" version. Almost treated myself to one last Christmas but went another direction.
  17. Maverick223

    Maverick223 New Member

    No all of them were not (forgive the large size, not my photo).

    I suppose that I am not entitled to my opinion, perhaps you should PM me with what you would like me to say.
  18. CraigC

    CraigC Active Member

    That rifle is not a factory Winchester commemorative. It is also obviously not a 26" octagon barrel and also obviously a post 1994 push button safety, rebounding hammer model.

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion. I just don't agree with it and find fault with the logic behind it. Then again, lots of folks don't go to the woods unless everything they own is camouflaged. Not everybody likes to hunt with sterile "tools".

    No, this is what they look like. Looks pretty practical to me and you can't beat the price...
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  19. Maverick223

    Maverick223 New Member

    Yes it is, not in the same series, but yes it is factory, one of 300 IIRC.
  20. CraigC

    CraigC Active Member

    That rifle was put out by America Remembers, not Winchester. :rolleyes:

    Kinda like this one, look familiar???
    Last edited: May 3, 2010

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