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Joined: Nov 2005
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My wife's uncle passed a few years back and I'm trying to help the aunt sell off his remaining guns.

There are a few I don't know what to do with, all of which started as relatively interesting guns and were customized, including restocking. While I need to figure what to do with a 28ga Ithaca Flues #1 grade that's been nickeled and restocked, here I'd like advice on a rife. It's a customized Winchester 1885 high wall in a 22 caliber chambering, with a Unertl 20x scope. (I've got 223, 222 and 22 hornet ammo that I will try, and I haven't taken the forearm off to see if the chambering is listed there.)

The gunsmithing work was well done, including the engraving on the action, but it's not my style nor in my regular collecting sphere. The stock has a very high comb and the forearm is relatively fat, and flat on the bottom, so I would think 1960s vintage varmint rifle. But I don't know.

I want to get her a fair price. Based on looking at closed Gunbroker auctions, I suspect she'd realize more if the scope were sold separately from the rifle. What factors for the scope and rifle influence value? Or just put it up with a decent starting price and find out?

I'm not posting pictures yet as I haven't found a suitable replacement for Photobucket. I'll try to get that sorted asap. I'd welcome any advice on image hosting services too. I don't mind paying a small monthly fee for a good site.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can share on either topic (selling or image hosting services)
Chris

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For the scope, definitely best to sell separate. Overall amount of bluing and lack of rust or freckling is always valuable. If the rubbing from the scope mounts as the scope slides back is not too severe, that indicates the scope was not used a lot and that also has some small positive value.

Clarity of the optics is important and you should try to photograph that.

If the crosshairs are intact and clean of dust, that will positively impact value as well and should show in the photograph if you can.


Last perhaps, are the clicks nice and crisp on the adjustments in all directions? If not it probably needs a serious cleaning, most do. But it's nice to pick up one that is nice and crisp and clean when you turn the knobs.


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The rifle does indeed sound like a varmint rifle from the fifties or sixties. Good photos of the engraving would be nice because most of those are not engraved at all. Perhaps next most important is the trigger, or triggers. Set trigger are very much valued. There are four basic configurations.

Knowing who (or where if not whom) did the work is also valuable.

There has been a small resurgence in interest in collecting these varmint rifles. While they do not interest me, there are others who really love that style.



If you want to send me pictures, I'll be glad to comment more on them and/or post them for you. I use Imgur.com for a photo host come up, but I do not recommend it and would not choose it again.


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Don't be surprised if the rifle is chambered for one of the many wildcats, popular at the time.
Mike

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Chris:

Once you figure out the cartridge for which the rifle is chambered, consider offering it and the scope, either separately or together, on the ASSRA web site. Those guys are mad for both the scopes and High Walls. If the scope has the recoil spring, you’ll get a bit more for it. Original caps add value as well, as does the box the scope came in.

Rem

Last edited by Remington40x; 12/05/20 04:06 PM. Reason: Typo correction
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One more thing: given the era of customization, I wouldn’t be surprised to find it chambered for .219 Zipper (a cartridge with the same rim size as a .30-30), one of the improved versions of the .219, or a .219 Donaldson Wasp, a shortened and blown out .219 Zipper that was quite popular as a bench rest cartridge in the era. All are relatively easily formed from existing brass and dies for all are fairly easy to come by.

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Brent, Mike and Rem - thank you so much for the quick replies and help. I'll address the pictures tomorrow. Yes, there is a external spring on the scope. There is also a very long sunscreen tube at the front, aluminum, marked A.Freeland. Adjustments on scope have discrete clicks.

Is there a trick to mounting the scope on the barrel's blocks? Does this slide from the front back or reverse?

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The scope slides onto the bases, and there is a knob for each base you loosen to allow the scope to slide off. They can slide either direction, but normally slide forward. If the fit is snug, and they've been there awhile, you might loosen the knobs quite a bit, and then tap at the bottom of the rings with a small plastic, or brass hammer. Those Unertl posaloc bases need to have the knob backed out a fair amount before they disengage the cuts in the base.
The scope should definitely be sold separate for the most value, but I personally would list it as so much for the whole package, and then price for gun and scope separate. This might appeal to a buyer who wants the gun, and scope, and save you some hassle dealing with two separate buyers.
A 20x Unertl often goes around $750-$800, unless it's really minty, or has it's original box, which adds value.
I'd like to see the gun before making any guesstimate on it's value. The type of stocks, and how they're done, plus the barrel contour, length, etc. will all have some effect on the value of this 1885. And as mentioned, single trigger, set triggers, all add to the value.

Last edited by Vall; 12/05/20 09:55 PM.
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Sorry for the delay in starting to post some pictures. Here are a few I took when I first picked this up from my wife's aunt. I will post some proper pics shortly.






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So far looks very interesting. Hope you post full length pictures too.

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