Lever gun and a story

Hunting Wife

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I know some of you guys love these old rifles and some of the history that goes with them so thought I would share. I’m not a great gun aficionado like some of you, but I do appreciate the history and stories associated with some of the classics.

I just inherited this rifle. Winchester .30WCF. Serial number places it’s manufacture in 1916. It’s in beautiful shape. All original as far as we can tell, except I think the sights are aftermarket and it’s missing the saddle ring.

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My dad researched the history and pieced together the story from old census data, military records, and family stories and documents:

The rifle came to my family sometime in the late 1930’s. One of my great uncles bought it, likely just a couple of years before he was drafted during WWII. He was assigned to help bolster the National Guard 163rd Infantry Regiment (which as we understand is a Montana unit) and went to Ft. Lewis, WA on December 7, 1941, of all days.

The 163rd was eventually sent to New Guinea and fought the Japanese across several islands. My great uncle was killed on the island of Wadke on May 18th, 1944.

At that time, his brother (another great uncle) took the rifle and carried it deer hunting a few times. The last time he took it hunting was 1956. It has been in the safe ever since.

My dad’s cousin recently called my dad and told him about the rifle. He’s had it since my great uncle passed away, and wanted to know if I would take it. His only request was that I take it deer hunting. So I guess I have a mission this fall. We took it out today and shot it. It reliably kills clay pigeons offhand at 50 yards, so if I practice I should be able to shoot it well enough to fill a tag. Looking forward to it.
 

BrentD

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WAY TOO AWESOME!
That's just the coolest way to have a rifle come to you. It will be a great hunting gun, and I wish well with it. I certainly expect to see pictures and hear stories. It will kill a deer, a bear, an elk - whatever you need.
 

HSi-ESi

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Corvallis, MT
Beautiful gun and story. It's awesome that you were thought of and that the gun didn't go to an auction sale, along with the family history.

I'll have a similar story this fall (although this one is a JC Higgins .30-06).
 

wytex

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May 17, 2016
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Oh heck yeah ! That is a great rifle !
First open season should get it some use in my book.
Congrats on being the one to get it back into action.

Grovtec makes a nice barrel band for attaching a front sling swivel and I would opt for a leather slip on butt cover with sling attachment if you want to go with a sling.
 

BrentD

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Here are a few options for the saddle ring if you want to replace it


This one is cheaper and I have bought from these folks. Good people. (scroll down or search the page for "saddle"


You may know this already, but if not, you will find out soon that animals shot with a vintage rifle, especially a vintage family rifle, always taste better than those shot with modern rifles. This is a mystery to science but true nonetheless. Trust me :)
 
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