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Wincester Model 1892 .44 WCF, Some help, manuf. date

2181 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Pancho_Villa
This one was a surprise. Guy I had not seen in 20 years was directed to me by my younger bro. He said he had just moved back to town from Laredo, Texas and had sold off some guns cause he was out of a job. He had brought me one that nobody had wanted. i thought, "thanks for thinking about me last with the clunker." Figued it was a rusty single shot shotgun. He brought out a rather old and crusty, octagonal barreled, 92 winchester in .44 WCF (Winchester Center Fire) cal. or .44-40 as some people know it.

Gun had a light rust all over it, but appared to have no pitting. Loading gate, magazine apring, mag end cap and sights were missing. And it had done the "Tin Man" thing and rusted solid. Wood appeared good, just darkened with few dents or scratches. I figured the bore would be all dark and rusted also. Anyway, he said he had bought it from a family friend in Laredo for 30 bucks. I asked about the cleaning rod taped into the empty mag tube. He said the previous owners used it to knck out the empties cause it quit pulling them out. Yep, a closer inpection revealed a missing extractor also. My buddy said he just wanted his money back. O.K. Knowing tthe parts were worth way more than that I offered 20 bucks and he settled for 25.

He said he started t clean it with oil and steel wool, but gave up. He had taken the sights off and lost them. It had set in a tool shed for about 40 years like it was doing the 'Tin Man" thing. I figued the cleaning rod was not for cleaning cause it did not appear to have ever been cleaned or oiled.

A quick spray of Break Free and a few raps with a mallet got the lever and bolt working. Took a while of tapping to get the cartridge lifter working again. Screws look like they had never been removed and are kinda rusted in place. Gotta get some Kroil for those. Firing pin was intact and the action was really tight compared to a couple of really fugly ones I had before. Checked the bore and it was nice. Very shiny and sharp most of the way, except for a frosty place or two. Muzzle was good. Started digging for a half box of .44 WCF. Hell yeah, it should fire.

Took it out and loaded one. Set up a Pancho Villa pizza box target at @ 20 yds and benched it. Just leveled the top flat of the barrel under the mark and it just touched it. Hell yeah, it's a shooter. The cleaning rod extractor did it's job. Casecame out clean with no pits or rough spots from the chamber.

Had a gunshow buddy look it up in Fejestad's blue book. Even at 10% it's at 4 bills and adding another 75% value for being a .44 WCF cal. Looks to be about 30-40% with a little lube and elbow grease. If I can find the missing parts, will look and rate much better.

Kinda looking for someone with more detailes on the age/date of manuf. Book showed antique, which I assume is black powder age guns from 1892-99 endng at @ 168,000. Later ones I assume are smokeless as this one appears to be with a Serial of 306,XXX. I figure @ 1905 give or take a couple of years. Anyone got a better way to date it? Anyone got a source for used parts other than Numrich? They will probably charge me more for one screw than I gave for the whole gun.

Some pics with a cleaning of oil and light steel wool.

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It's a shame people let these antiques go to rust like that... glad you're thinking of piecing it back together!
It's a shame people let these antiques go to rust like that... glad you're thinking of piecing it back together!
Yeah, it's a sad thing. But if it had been in great shape someone else would have bought it for sure. I found my F in law's stash of Kroil so I can start working on loosening the screws.

As I figured, Numrich has the extractor for 35 bucks and the spring cover or loading gate for @ 29 bucks. Mag tube spring another 5 and the end cap about 10 more. Will be close to a hundred with pins, screws etc and shipping. Guess it really isn't much compared to it's value in complete working condition.
Good score...nice project gun.

Post a picture collage of it here as it is brought back to it's former glory PV !!
Will try SHOOTER. Kinda a long term project. Did ya catch the short term prject Winch. Model 63 thread? That one was about 40-50% in finish and good inside. Will be putting anothe coat of Tru-Oil on it this week. Everything was complet on that one except a forend screw, which I found in my pile of junk parts.
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