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Snake-eye, SASS#45097

Got another lever action riflre

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I found this at an estate sale and couldn't help but buy it. How many times does a person come across an original Colt Burgess rifle. As is, its not in shooting condition as it needs some parts, firing pin, and hammer spring. A number of the screws are not original. The rest of the major parts are original and in good condition. Although its a toggle link design, it has only one hefty toggle link compared to the '73 design. What is interesting is the way the bolt and lever come out. It's the same way a Win. '92/'94 come apart. Interesting that Colt did this in the 1880's and Win did it in the 1890's. The bolt has an extractor at the top but the small cylinder on the front of the bolt is spring loaded and ejects the spent cartridge. The spring actuated loading gate is really a neat feature.

 

 

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I had a chance to buy one back in the early '70's, but chose something else instead. :(  Never had a chance to shoot one. The story goes that Winchester was working on a design for several revolvers, and Colt's came up with the Burgess in response.  The two companies entered into some sort of agreement that if Colt's would stop making rifles, Winchester would abandon making handguns.  Today that would probably have resulted in anti-trust prosecution, but those laws didn't exist then.  Since Winchester had John Moses Browning designing their rifles from 1885 through 1902, they were better off not messing with revolvers anyway.

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I'll start looking for parts soon. Have other projects to finish first.

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Nice find .

Congrats :)

Rooster 

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What a beautiful piece of history!  Were you able to find out anything about its background?

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really nice , i like that one , congrats 

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I am extremely jealous.

 

Congratulations!

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There was no background on the rifle. It was with a pile of old gun parts most of which were unusable. My research shows only 6400 made between 1883 and 1885. This one is a 40XX serial no. If it could only tell where it's been and seen.

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Very cool.

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18 hours ago, Trailrider #896 said:

The story goes that Winchester was working on a design for several revolvers, and Colt's came up with the Burgess in response.  The two companies entered into some sort of agreement that if Colt's would stop making rifles, Winchester would abandon making handguns. 

 

Actually, that is backwards. Colt had been producing rifles for some time, starting in 1837 with some Paterson style revolving rifles. They were making muskets for the Russians in 1854. In 1855 Colt was making the side hammer revolving rifles. All this was happening before the Winchester company existed.

 

Andrew Burgess was a prolific 19th Century inventor. Before designing guns he had apprenticed to Mathew Brady as a photographer and took some of the photos attributed to Brady. Burgess approached Colt with his design for a lever action rifle and Colt bought the patent from him. The Burgess rifle was only produced from 1883 until 1885, with a total of 3,775 rifles and 2,593 carbines. Production stopped in 1885.

 

The legend is that Winchester took exception to Colt getting into the lever action rifle business. A meeting was held between representatives from Colt and Winchester. The Winchester people produced some prototypes of revolvers they intended to start building. There is no proof this took place, but the legend is that Colt agreed to get out of the lever action rifle business, and Winchester agreed to stay out of the revolver business. Although there is no proof this meeting took place, there are a couple of the Winchester revolvers in existence.

 

The single action revolver at the top of this photo was designed for WInchester by William Mason, of Colt Richards and Mason fame. The bottom one was attributed to former Smith and Wesson designer William Wetmore.

 

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Good post... I've had to fight the erg to get one of the reproduction Burgess guns. I handled the first one that Taylor had several years ago at WR. Never really took off the way I thought it would. A good friend of mine had an original in 44-40 that was in great condition... it brought a good price when he sold his collection. 

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The modern ones I have seen were made to look like a Henry and came with a forearm that could be added to protect one's hand from barrel heat.  They load in an interesting manner of being loaded with the loading gate low like a Lighting.  I am probably wrong, but seems to me I remember LaVista Bill (William Bell) writing a test on one for Guns of The Old West.  Now that you have brought this up I might go on the hunt for one

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Wow! Just Wow.....I have a repro and would love to have a real one. If you ever want to part with it, I'm a customer. Would love to know how much you got this one for.

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