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First Antique Gun Show- What to look for?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by TTv2, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Going to my first antique gun show this weekend where most guns will be pre-1899, so there will likely be quite a few black powder muzzleloaders and cartridge guns. I'm keeping my eye out for British and French rifles like the Snyder and Chassepot as well as American rifles like the Burnside carbine.

    I'm highly interested in single shot black powder metallic cartridge rifles from the mid to late 1800s, so are there any sleepers out there I should keep an eye out for? Not interested in Martini-Henry's, loading that ammo is way too much work to be enjoyable.

    Not just focused on black powder cartridge rifles tho, if I spot a French Gras in 8mm Lebel or a Lebel rifle, I may buy one. Does anybody know if these rifles would be able to shoot factory 8mm Lebel ammo? PPU makes 8mm Lebel for a fair price.

    No real interest in pre-1899 handguns, most are either too expensive or in bad shape. About the only two that I have any passive interest in are the M1892 Army revolver in .38 Colt (cuz they can be found cheap) and the Remington New Model Police, which is a 5 shot .36 caliber revolver. I'd rather have the Remington Police in a repro from Pietta or Uberti, but neither company seem interested in doing that, which is odd given they make .31 caliber revolvers few have interest in due to the low power.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
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  2. Gadsden2A

    Gadsden2A Member

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    Not an antique in the sense that you're talking about, but if I was going, I would be looking for a stainless ROA with a 5.5" barrel. You never know.
     
  3. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    The premiums on those today are way too high and fact is that decades from now when the parts break, there won't be replacements. I'd rather buy 5 Pietta's than one ROA for the same amount of money.

    But you do bring up a point about replica muzzleloaders, I'm hoping to see some 12 inch 1858 Pietta Buffalo revolvers with a steel frame. Been wanting one of those for a while.
     
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  4. aarondhgraham

    aarondhgraham Member

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    Are you looking for handguns as well as rifles?

    If so, you might look out for an 8mm Lebel revolver like this one,,,
    You mentioned the Level rifle so I thought this might interest you as well.
    lebel.jpg

    I've seen them as high as $450 but also as low as $175,,,
    And, you can get new manufactured ammo for it from Fiocchi.

    I own this beauty and shoot it twice a year.

    You can also shoot .32 long through it,,,
    But the case will often (not always) split at the mouth.

    Nice gun and built like a tank.

    Aarond

    .
     
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  5. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    aarondhgraham

    The Mle.1892 Revolver has always been one of my favorites! Thanks for sharing!
     
  6. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    This is right up my alley, but the issue I'd have is the bullet diameter is an odd size. If I were going to buy a .32 French handgun, I'd rather get the 1935A that shoots 7.62 French Longue. I like that cartridge's ballistics and it being truly rimless, unlike .32 ACP.
     
  7. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Be prepared for price shock! But the asking prices are not the real prices. They are really benchmarks for trading back and forth among the collectors. The average age of collectors at antique gun shows is ... well, elderly.
     
  8. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Hmm, yeah and what I've noticed from the really old guys at standard gun shows is they typically have the highest prices on all their stuff and won't accept any offer that's a penny less. Thing is I'm not sure how many people go to these antique shows looking for what I'm looking for, so if people have a Chassepot or a Snider or some other European BP cartridge rifle that you can't buy ammo for, IDK how interested people are in them.

    If all I end up walking away with is some cast bullets and bullet molds, I can leave happy. And again, there's bound to be things at this show that would never be at regular gun shows full of FFL's trying to dump their rusty top breaks for $300, so I'll actually get to hold and get a feel for the different guns.

    They only do this antique show once a year and I'm certain it's the biggest antique gun show in New England.
     
  9. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    I live in New England.

    I'm curious where is this show you are going to?

    By the way, I always keep my eye out for antique Winchester Model 1873s or 1892s. I can often find them for the same price of less than the modern reproductions are commanding.
     
  10. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    OK, I guess you are going to the Sturbridge show.

    I have only been to it once a few years ago.

    I was very disappointed as I went through the first room, lots of modern crap. The good stuff was in the second room. I think I picked up an antique S&W Top Break that day.
     
  11. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    always wanted to go to one of those antique shows. i like weird rifles that are still safe to shoot, but that can be a challenge to reload for. if you like something and the price is right get it. i picked these 3 up over the last week, the trapdoor is readly to go and should be fun for deer hunting, the vetterli 1870/1887 is in very nice condition with one of the nicest bores i ever seem, and the no.1 remington rolling block has a unfinished barrel and custom stock, but will be fun to finish.


    DSCN0233.JPG
     
  12. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Sturbridge
     
  13. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Never liked the trapdoor Springfields, always felt they were an inferior rifle to others of the time. The only reason they were created was to save money on rifles going from muzzle stuffers to cartridge and the Army had many Springfield muzzleloaders that could be converted.

    Love Rolling Blocks. A Rolling Block in .45-70 and 7.62x54r would be great Antiques to have.
     
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  14. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Went to show, was there about an hour, left with nothing. Whoever said prepare for sticker shock wasn't kidding, I was expecting stuff over a grand going up to 2 or 3, but I was seeing prices near 5 figures for rusty guns I could get for thousands less online. Did get to handle some of the smaller frame Remington revolvers I like that I wish would get repros. Tons of flintlocks and caplock muzzleloaders that don't interest me, several lever actions, Sharps, Burnside carbines, and surprisingly almost no trapdoor Springfields.

    There were pretty much no European rifles other than Mausers. May have been one or two Euro revolvers.

    So, I finally went to an antique gun show and it was the first time and the last as there was nothing there I really wanted.
     
  15. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    A lot of older collectors (maybe myself included?) are in love with their collections. At some point they start coming under a lot of pressure from spouses and other relatives to start "doing something" about their collections, because these relatives don't want to be saddled with this stuff once the collectors pass on. So, these guys make some halfhearted attempts to sell, usually at highly inflated prices they are reasonably sure no one will pay. If lightning strikes and some newbie pays, well, so much the better. The seller will turn around and buy something else at the same show. Or, he will swap with other collectors at these mutually inflated prices. All is not what it appears to be on the surface. Just keep in mind that a collectors' show is not like a normal gun show. Making actual sales is often not the goal.
     
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  16. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    True, but they're paying hundreds for a table and spending an entire weekend doing... whatever. Unless they're are other antique guns shows around through the year, they only run this venue one weekend every June.

    I'm just turned off by all these Northeast gun shows. Even the biggest ones are a joke compared to a small ones in the Midwest.
     
  17. Gaucho Gringo

    Gaucho Gringo Member

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    TTv2, I went to an antique gun show 7 or 8 years ago and came away with the same impression. I too have wanted some of the smaller frame Remingtons to be reproduced for years..There were about 4 or 5 different ones with a number of variations. Some were percussion, some were percussion converted to cartridge, some were manufactured as cartridge only and some were manufactured as being both percussion and cartridge(2 cylinders), Add the fact that some are rimfire and some are center fire, some have spur triggers and some have large trigger guards-added all together you have a multitude of different models and versions of pre 1899 Remington revolvers.
     
  18. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    AlexanderA

    This is very true. A buddy of mine belonged to a gun collectors organization that had private, members only shows a couple of times each year. Basically most of the buying, selling, and trading going on was between the table holders before the show even opened. The organization's directors tried to crack down on this but their efforts never amounted to much of anything.
     
  19. Stormson

    Stormson Member

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    Wont really help you with your show, but you mentioned getting a .36 Pietta Remington... So just for future reference.

    BE AWARE... I am a HUGE Pietta fan, BUT, if you are looking for a true .36 Remington, or a true 1862 Colt, you will NOT find it with Pietta.

    Pietta are WORKING guns... Right outa the box. But they arnt always true to form. If you order a .36 Pietta Remington, what you will GET is a .44 Remington with smaller chambers and inside barrel... You will NOT get a true .36 Remington.. In fact, it will be HEAVIER, not lighter and not smaller then the .44.

    Likewise with the 1862 Colt. You will get an 1861 with a shorter barrel, but it will be 6 shots (not 5) and will be an 1861.

    Dont get me wrong.... I LOVE Pietta (as some here can attest LoL), but I use WORKING guns, not collector guns... So I thought I would give you, or anyone else looking for such, a heads up so that you didnt get disappointed... If you REALLY wanna be disappointed, buy an Uberti that LOOKS nice but takes as much again as the (overpriced) purchase price just to get working right... On the other hand, THEY are the ONLY ones that make an even close copy of many historic guns...

    Pietta does 1851 right. 1860 Right. 1858 right. 1863 right... and some other less known (like Dance).. But if you want a somewhat real .36 remmi youre gonna HAVE to look at Uberti not Pietta...

    In my opinion Pietta has overtaken Uberti in quality.. I can only HOPE that they would take that as sign to get OFF their hindparts and start making real copies of guns that people want.... We'll see I guess, but I aint holding my breath...
     
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  20. Gaucho Gringo

    Gaucho Gringo Member

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    I have a Euroarms .36 Remington that was built nearer to the originals. I put it next to my Pietta .44 Remington and it is noticeably smaller. Feels in hand more like a Colt than a Remington.
     
  21. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Believe me I'm well aware of this, which is why I got a Uberti 1862 and not a Pietta. Still, I want a 5 shot Remington repro in both .36 and .44, even if 5 shot .44 Remingtons were never made, I'd still like one for the smaller size and much lower weight.

    I get the feeling that there are a lot of other black powder shooters like us who would like the same thing. We should all start bombarding both Pietta and Uberti with demands for 5 shot Remington repros. I'm sure given the stricter gun laws in Europe and throughout the world that smaller cap and ball revolvers in larger calibers would sell real well.
     
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  22. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    I'm really not sure which "stricter' European gun laws include cap & ball revolvers.
    Millions of eastern Europeans now have access to C&B's that previously didn't during the days of the Iron Curtain when they were former Soviet Republics.
    New stricter European black powder gun laws is all news to me.
    In some countries they're shooting semi-auto's loaded with more powerful CB caps now that aren't even usually imported here because we have more gun freedoms and the ammo is way more expensive than .22lr, but less powerful.
    Since cowboy competition shooters here already need to leave one chamber unloaded, then why would they want what would in effect become a 4 shot revolver?
    Generally, people like more powerful guns rather than less powerful guns.
    A larger caliber 5 shot perhaps [like Clements ROA .50], but not in a smaller caliber that's already offered in a 6 shot.
    Those were the old days of companies that went out of business or changed their frame size.
    I had a smaller frame Navy Arms New Belt .36 Remington but that was made in 1972.
    And even that was a 6 shot.
    Someone recently posted about wanting to convert a Pietta .36 Remington into a .41 cal. but I don't think they would want it to be a 5 shot,
    especially since it would be built using a 6 shot cylinder, and it has a larger cylinder with enough excess steel to provide the needed room.
    And that's also why Dixie sells a Pietta Remington with a larger grip frame to accommodate people with larger hands.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
  23. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I think you misread what I said about European laws. I mean that because European gun laws (for modern guns, not muzzleloaders/antiques) especially for handguns, are largely not as good as here in the US, 5 shot .36 and .44 calibers revolvers (THAT ARE EASIER TO CARRY DUE TO LIGHTER WEIGHT AND SMALLER SIZE) would find themselves to be more popular than the larger 6 shot revolvers.

    This would definitely be the case for Remington models that have the safety notches so they can be carried with all 5 rounds loaded safely.
     
  24. badkarmamib

    badkarmamib Member

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    I know of some guys that buy a table, are there ostensibly to sell, but really consider that $100 an early-entrance fee. They set up, then look at what the other guys are setting up, and get the good deals before the doors are even open. Of course, if you consider hanging out with friends and new people with mutual interests, getting to look at and handle some cool stuff you won't see elsewhere, and time away from the other responsibilities, $100 might be getting away cheap...
     
  25. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    I can appreciate what you meant and considered that after I posted.
    But folks in the US already have the choice of installing a 5 shot conversion cylinder or a 6 conversion cylinder, [Taylor's Vs. Kirst].
    The cap & ball makers have already produced snub nose and pepper box versions to make the same large frame easier for concealed carry, and those are not 5 shots.

    To make a new 5 shot would require a lot of investment in retooling and design, and folks already complain about how some current models aren't traditional, thus they call them fantasy guns.
    I don't think that many Europeans carry their loaded C&B's for self-defense or are allowed to.
    They may use them for that purpose in their home or business, but mostly they're used for competition, cowboy action and recreational shooting just like most people do in the US.

    But to think that companies will change the traditional 6 shot designs just to save a few ounces so that a small segment of Americans [or Europeans] can carry them more concealable or conveniently, I don't think that's going to happen.
    The Roger's & Spencer has been out of production for years and none of the current makers have even reintroduced it yet and there's known demand.
    But they did produce a 6 shot snub nose which many can make on their own, and a pepper box .36.
    They could consider making a bird's head grip frame, but that's still not the same as a 5 shot.

    When you mentioned the concept of a new 5 shot, I'm not sure most folks realize just how expensive and non-traditional it would be for a company to invest in a such a risky concept.
    Why haven't any maker's produced a factory bird's head grip frame?
    Perhaps doing so might bring additional anti-gun scrutiny to their industry that they probably wouldn't want or need the extra profits anyway, just to make their guns more concealable than they already are.

    If it were a profitable idea, perhaps other private outfits would consider making those options available, but I haven't seen it happen yet.
    For example, if some 3D printing outfit produced some bird's head grip frames then it could indicate that there was enough demand to begin casting some real ones.
    While that's also unlikely to happen, IMO it's probably less likely that they'll produce a new smaller gun model with a new 5 shot cylinder & frame or barrel.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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