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Discussion Starter #1
Friends,
We have a gun show in town and a dealer has two firearms that I am seriously interested in. Both are Winchester model 92, 20 inch saddle ring carbines. One is in .32-20 and the other in .38-40. The wood is good; no splits, gouges, or major dings. The is virtually no blue on the metal. It is nearly all silver. The action seems to be tight. The bores are bright and shiny, and there doesn't appear to be any rust or pitting in either bore. He is asking $950 for the .32-20 and $1300 for the .38-40. What do you think? Is he high, low, or well within market value?

Thanks for your help,
Timberwolf
 

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Timberwolf, Are these guns totally original? Is the wood walnut or gum? Correct everything is the key here. For no finish 92s he is a little ahead on his pricing. 32-20 is very common, 38-40 the scarcest. This can account for some price spread. The plus side of the issue would be the condition of the bores. Bright, shiny bores do influence the price these days. I recently picked up a 25-20 92 SRC with good walnut, 40% reciever blue, 60% bbl blue and mint bore for $550. You should expect to be able to get the guns you described for around $500 for the 32-20, and $ 700-750 for the 38-40. These are not collector 92s, but are useful tools in the fields. They should be priced accordingly. I sure do hope this helps.
                    Best regards, mike
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mike, you have indeed been very helpful. My "gut" feeling was that they're probably worth $600 each max, even with the very good bores. They didn't have fancy wood. They were basically 'plain Jane.' I have wanted both calibers to use for general plinking and close end varmint hunting, but I do not want to get taken whether by accident or intent! Someone mentioned to me that the model 92s are generally NOT found with all the blue off the metal and bright shiny bores. One gentleman stated that what I am seeing in the bores could be an old trick...extra oil or grease put in the bores to make them APPEAR to be near mint. Can this be done? Any truth to this?

Thanks,
Timberwolf
 

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Don't forget that model 92s were made into the '30s, long after the demise of black powder ammo. What you've been told is correct concerning no finish guns with mint bores. While uncommon, they do turn up. Just as an example I once bought an absolutely silver, no finish '76 in 45-60 with a bore as shiny as a new dime. I've also heard of all sorts of sneaky things done to guns in order to "enhance the sellability". Oiled bores, iodined metal, etc, would not fool a trained eye. The use of a good bore light is required, especially at gun shows. Most reputable dealers have one at their tables if you are not carrying one. Take a close look at the lands and grooves. Minor pits are normal and have minimal effect on accuracy. Steer clear of dark, pitted and excessively worn bores. Heavily leaded bores are a problem, but a good scrubbing can often improve tham dramatically.
         I realise that although it's a little too late for yesterday's show, there's always next time. There are lots of nice Winchesters still out there. Check out www.gunsamerica.com, if you haven't already done it. Lots of nice guns, some priced very reasonably. I have another '86 on the way, as we speak.
          Keep the faith, mike
 
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