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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
just had a fellow drop this off to have me clean and oil it up,20 inch 38 WCF serial number 203116 what might it be worth and year of production ,please
 

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According to my Winchester book your gun was made in 1902.

Serial #191788 was made at the beginning of 1902 and serial #208871 was the last one made that year.

Your serial # falls between these two parameters.

I do not know if the caliber is rare or not.
 

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.38 WCF (Winchester Center Fire) is also known as the .38-40. It actually is not a .38 caliber, but is .40 caliber/10mm. The cartridge is the .44-40 necked down. (From a performance and ballistics standpoint it is similar to the .40 S&W.)

It's not a rare caliber, but it also is not common. The .44-40 was far more popular for the large centerfire in this model. And most people wanting a smaller cartridge for small game went with the .32-20, also chambered in this gun.

There are still some cowboy shooters who are shooting the .38-40, but they're in the minority. This cartridge appeals more to collectors.
 

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There are a few .38-40 model 1892`s listed on gun broker.

I thought Brians` thread was particularly interesting.

A gunsmith told me that the old westerners liked to have a rifle that shot the same shell as their pistol so as not to have to carry two calibers of ammo.

I don`t know if this statement is fiction or fact.
 

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<i>"A gunsmith told me that the old westerners liked to have a rifle that shot the same shell as their pistol so as not to have to carry two calibers of ammo"</i>

Was not much of an issue at first, because you carried a handgun in .45 Colt, .44 American, .45 Schofield, etc., plus a rifle chambered for a large cartridge like the .45-70, .50-70, etc.

But then Winchester came out with the 1873 lever action in .44-40. it became popular because it had moderate power and the magazine held lots of cartridges. Problem was if you carried a handgun you had to carry two similar sized but totally non-interchangeable cartridges, like .45 Colt and .44-40.

Recognizing that the two cartridges are very similar in performance, Colt came out with the Frontier Six-Shooter in 1877 in .44-40 so those with an 1873 in .44-40 could have a handgun in the same chambering and carry only one type of ammo.

Eventually both the Winchester 1873 and 1892 were made in .38-40 and .32-20, and Colt made handguns in these chamberings as well. The only chambering this is not true for was the .25-20. Colt did not bother to make a single action chambered for it.
 

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I have a Winchester Model 92 in the same caliber, .38 W.C.F., but mine is much older (SN 95,XXX). I paid $35.00 for it many, many, many years ago. As the bluing was all gone and the stock not in the best shape I had it re-blued and the stock refinished about 10years ago.

Yes, I know, from a collector's stand point, I lowered the value! But as it was my gun and I had/have no plans for selling it I had it done as a Birthday present from me to me--lol.

Anyway, it sure looks great and before I had the work done I used to shoot it some and even killed a deer with it.

Allen
 

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The two boxes of ammo that I have for my model 92 are both marked ".38-40". One box cost $6.80 and the other $12.55 and both boxes are nearly full--maybe 5 or 6 missing from each box of 50.

Allen
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
well a fellow had one on a table at a gun show Sunday and he was asking 1295.00 for his,but the one i had was modified ,some one had shorten the barrel a tad,parts gun ,300.00 , to bad
 
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