Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hessney Gun Auction February 2017 - Part Two (of two) - Or Look What Followed Me Home

As I posted in part one, I attended the Hessney Auction Company's rod and gun auction this past Saturday, February 11, 2017. I bid on, or almost bid on, all of the following guns and even had the high bid on two of them:

Marlin 1895G Guide Gun, in 45-70 Govt., unfired in the box. I bid $475, it went for $525 (or a total of at least $621 with buyer's premium and tax). Available at my local gun store (LGS) for $648, probably less elsewhere, and not worth bidding that high for so little a savings.

Savage 12BVSS-S, in 22.250 REM, as new with hard case. I bid $200 but the high bid was $650. This one was a last minute decision on my part and I bid just to get into the bidding with no expectation of winning. Bids were going in increments of $25 so there were a lot of them for this fine rifle.

Savage Axis II XP, in 30-06 SPRG, with 3x9 scope, unfired in the box. I bid $275 and it went for the very next bid of $300

Savage Axis XP, in 223 REM with 3x9 scope, unfired in box. I bid $225 and it went for $300. Now this one I could get for $384 out the door, by way of Gallery of Guns, at my local dealer Hunter's Essentials. Had the high bidder used cash or check, he would have paid $355 and if he paid with credit card it would have been $364. For only a $30 difference, I would go through my LGS regardless of paying more there if only because I would get more in the long run in service.

Browning Citori 725 Trap, 12 Ga. O/U, UIB (unfired in box). I bid $1,650 and it went for 2K. A truly nice piece and probably worth the 2 grand bid on it but that was just too high for my bank account.

Ithaca Grade V Hammerless, 12 Ga., SXS, 30" Damascus steel barrel. I was thinking of bidding on this one and am happy I made it there for the preview to have enough time to give all my prospects a good going over. This one was okay but for a cracked forearm and it was cracked in three places. Yet, it sold for $1,450. I didn't think it worth it. Evidently I know very little to nothing! That is especially true since I had missed the fact it was a Grade V. Some of them are so rare as to preclude pricing in price guides! One of the variations of the Grade V had only 9 ever produced. Who knows, that gun may have been the best deal at the auction.

Ithaca Hammerless, 12 Ga. SXS, with 28" Damascus barrels. I had this one on my list but declined to bid after I looked through the bore and saw a barrel bulge, semi ringing the left barrel. I looked again and also felt several that 'ring'. I guess it was worth something since the high bid was $275 but I'd be damned if I was going to pay that for any gun with a bulged barrel. 

Henry Golden Boy, 22 WMR, UIB. I bid $300 and it went for $350. It would have been $535 out the door at my LGS and I am kicking myself in mine arse that I did not bid $375 which after the total would have been about $93 less than at my dealer. I wanted this one for a keeper, as a gift for my son

Henry Lever, in 22LR, 18.25" round barrel. Since I did not get the Golden Boy this one would have been a gift for Brendan had I had the high bid. I bid $225 and it went for a whopping $325.  That was ridiculous since you can get this at my LGS for $327 out the door and probably less elsewhere since my area is expensive. Remember that the $325 was the winning bid and you would have to add buyer's premium and tax to it. That would amount to $384 out the auction house door for cash or check and 3% more by credit card. There were many other guns that sold for overly high bids like this one. Some people just either have no clue or get carried away and just have to win a bid! MI guess that merely means more money for the auction house.

Remington 870 Wingmaster Magnum, 12 gauge, used but nice. I bid $200, it went for a surprising $350, way too much in my estimation.

Browning Medalist, 22LR, 6.75" barrel, with two sets of grips and all accessories. Used but in original black, red lined, case. I bid $825 but it went for $1,150 (or $1,360 total for cash or check). Nice gun but the case covering was damaged. It was probably 99% condition only due to one fine scratch in the metal; the case was in fair condition at best. Probably worth the bid to a collector but not to me.

Winchester Model 9422M, 22 WMR. I did $550, high bid was $725. Nice lever gun.



Marlin 1936, lever action carbine, 30-30 WIN, 20" barrel. This was a nice gun especially considering it was made sometime in the years 1936 through 1947; it is the 2nd variation since it has a B prefix in the serial number. The 2nd variation was manufactured between late 1936 and 1947, the 1st variation only in earlier 1936. The amount of retained case color is astounding. I figure this one to be in at least 95% and as high as 98% finish condition, probably closer to 98%.  


The lighting for these pics was incandescent and not optimal
to show all of the case color. If I can get better shots under
natural light or with flash, I will replace these with new ones.
As per The 2014 Standard Catalog Of Firearms (SCF), it is valued between $650 and $1,000 in current condition (if I got the grading right) and that was from the edition of three years ago. I think the SCF usually is more spot on to actual values than is The Blue Book of Gun Values (BB), my opinion based on my own experience. There was a lot of confusion for me in the BB about which model this really is, either the Model 1936 or Model 36 (or both are one and the same). They call the one in question the Model 36 and state the 2nd variation has the B prefix. 




Yet they say it has "Model 1936" on the upper tang as does the one in question. They also say the Model 1936 was made only in 1936, then say the 1st variation Model 36 (marked Model 1936 and noted as "same as Model 1936..." in the BB) was made from only 1937 through 1940 and the 2nd variation Model 36 only in 1941. They value it somewhat lower than did the SCF. It is all somewhat confusing when you compare pricing info from different sources, especially when one source is already confusing on its own, you figure which one I mean. GunBroker.com had Marlin Model 1936s listed in auctions with starting bids of as low as $499.99 and the one a that price had zero remaining case color. Others were selling likewise, one with bids and it had a very rusted receiver. Total out the door cost, yes I had the high bid, was $562. I tend to think I did okay considering the amount of case color remaining and since lots of remaining case color boosts this model’s value considerably.

Marlin Model 1895SS (model name changed to 1895 in 2001), I bid $325 and it went for $600 plus buyer's premium and tax. That was way to high to bid on a used gun the value of which at 100% is only $615 at best.

Marlin Model 336RC in 35 REM. I bid $225 and it sold for a bid of $400.

Izhmash Saiga, 7.62x39, used. It went for $525, I bid $425 considering it had a cosmetically damaged fore stock.

Izhmash Saiga, 308 WIN. I went for $875 and I bid just under half of that.

Kel-Tec Model SU-16 in 223 REM. I bid $375, the high bid was $400.


Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle, in 223 REM, with two 5 round mags. I bid $625 and stopped because the bidding was going crazy and I did not want to raise my number and wind up bidding after someone else had already gone too high, it was going that fast. It went for a high bid of $800. Once again someone paid more than this would cost, out the door of my LGS for where it goes for $921. Yet, someone paid at least $946 by cash or check or $972 by credit card for this out of the auction house door. That person probably just had to win a bid. There were many other guns that went overpriced.

Rossi Rio Grande in 30-30 WIN, UIB. I bid $250 it went for $400.

Puma Model 92, lever action, in 44 Rem Mag, 20" barrel, used. I would have bid except for the fact that the safety was loose if not outright broken. It sold for a bid of $500.

Savage Axis, 223 REM, used. I bid $175 and it went for $225.

Browning BL-22 Grade II, 22 LR, lever gun. High bid, $500, my bid $300. Nice gun.

Marlin 782, 22 WMR, 3x7 scope & sling. My bid $75, high $200.

Marlin 782, 22 WMR, rear peep sight. I bid $75, high bid $200.

Colt Police Positive, 1st issue, 32 New Police caliber. This was being sold "as new" with the original box. It was absolutely pristine from what I could tell. I got in the bidding at about $500 or so but saw immediately that this was going to go way over what I wanted to pay so I dropped out. It sold for $1,200. Truly a rare find in that condition.

Ruger Model 96, 44 REM Mag, lever gun, UIB. I was outbid by $350 with my bid of $350 when it sold for $700 or $828 out the door cash or check. That regardless of what appeared to be factory damage to the top of the receiver at the scope mount base where the rings would attach. At each such point, the top of the receiver seemed gouged or chipped. More like a tooling problem when manufactured than damage afterward. As best I could tell, this would be worth about $800, in pristine condition, which it was not due to the mentioned flaws. I would have liked to pair that with my Ruger Redhawk in 44 REM MAG but not at that price.

Remington 870 Express, 12 Ga. with laminate stock, sold ANIB (as new in box). I bid $175 and it went for $200. I could have had my 5th or 6th 870!

Remington Model 572 Fieldmaster, 22 LR, pump action. I bid $250, it went for $37; it was in very nice condition.

Marlin Model 57M, 22WMR, lever gun. This one went for $400, my bids stopped at $350. Excellent condition and I kind of kicked myself for not going to $425 as it would have been a keeper and a very fun gun but that would have made its cost at the very high end of its value.; yet it just keeps going up in value over the years.

At this point the auction was getting into the mid-three hundreds in catalog numbers, those guns I took some extra time to look over hoping to get one at a decent price. On some of these guns the bidding went in increments of $25 on others in increments of $5 or $10 depending on bidder interest.

Stevens Model 311A, SXS, 410 Ga.. I bid $75 due to condition, not great. It sold for $475, someone sure saw something in it that I had not seen. Yes there were over 300 guns up for bids.

Savage Model 220D, 12 Ga., single barrel. I bid $75, it went for $90.

New England Firearms Pardner SB1, 20 Ga., single. I bid $75 it went for $90.

Stevens Model 94F, 20 Ga., single. It sold for $120, I bid $50.

Springfield Model 944, Series A, 12 Ga., single. I had the high bid of $85, or out the door cost of $100.51. It was in VG condition. I bid on this one in the blind, more or less, because while I had looked it over during the preview that morning, I had not checked on its value. I was about spot on as far as I can tell as it has been valued up to $150 in EXC condition. By the way, it is really a Stevens produced piece as they were using the Savage and Springfield names when they produced this.

It doesn't look as nice as this in person. Hitting the auto correct icon adjusted
the color correctly but added a bit too much contrast making the
 metal look almost pristine, which it definitely is not.
There were only 8 guns remaining after that Springfield and I did not bid on any of them. I did endure long enough to stay through the wild game and fishing themed prints, decoys, mounts if only because I was awaiting the ammo portion of the auction. Wound up picking up a couple of boxes of 44 REM MAG, a box of 30-30 WIN (bad move as half of it is corroded (probably okay to clean up and sell as a collectible it is that old), and a couple of boxes of Hornady 35 REM 200 grain. Not a bad day considering I’m quite happy with my Marlin Model 1936.

All done with the auction, I headed to the Hotel Exchange, in Geneva, for that special steak dinner I had promised myself. They advertise it as a 14 to 16 ounce NY strip steak (no bone). It came with a nice and delicious salad, a basket of bread, a vegetable (green beans) and either baked or mashed potatoes. I opted for baked but they were not ready yet since I was there a bit early – so I took the mashed. I can be pretty friggin picky about whether or not I like something and can bitch and moan with the best of them when complaining about a meal like this. That said, let me tell you this was one of the best steak dinners I have ever eaten anywhere and those places include Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Nassau County, NY and Peter Lugar’s in Brooklyn, NY.

Dinner started with a salad, well really with a cider, then the salad.

The steak was absolutely excellent and was one of the very best
that I have ever eaten at a restaurant - perfectly cooked & delicious.
The steak was cooked perfectly medium rare as I had requested. The mashed were smooth and creamy and the beans were ok. The salad was delicious as was the bread. I cleaned my plate with a slice of bread and the waitress (maybe the owner’s wife) was impressed at how clean it looked. She commented ‘it’s obvious you enjoyed it’ or something an awful lot like that. My dinner, including the meal, a bottle of Angry orchard Cider and a cup of coffee cost a total of only $14.50 (dinner itself was only $10.00). Getting back to Friday night, when I stopped there for a few drinks, I have to say the shots they give are huge and beer prices pretty good, much better than near where I live. Service both at the bar and at my table was excellent and friendly.  I highly recommend the place and am certain if I am up in Geneva again, I will be stopping there again.

By the way, back to the Marlin Model 1936, for a moment. From what I found in an Internet search today (the day after the auction), it is really a 2nd variation Marlin Model 36 although marked Marlin1936. All that confusion supposedly because Marlin called it the Model 1936 in their catalog in 1936, then started calling it the Model 36 in later catalogues – but still marked it Model 1936 for years to come (I have sent an email to marlin requesting clarification among some other info for which I asked). Go figure but as far as I am concerned, right now, it is a Model 1936 as marked on the tang and is the 2nd edition due to the B prefix in the serial number (which by the way is a pretty early number and was definitely manufactured in 1941). That is also what the SCF considers it – a Model 1936 2nd variation. According to one of the posts about the Model 1936 in Gun Values Board, the B prefix was only used in 1941 and the C prefix came into use in 1945. There were reportedly no commercial guns produced by Marlin from sometime in 1941/42 through sometime in 1945 due to their wartime production activities during WWII. God bless patriotic American manufacturers!

In closing let me just add this: The folks at the Hessney Auction Co. were professional, courteous and as darned nice as ever. It is truly a pleasure to suffer my addiction there attend their rod and gun auctions. They make even the 11 - 12 hour round trip drive worth the trip! A hat tip to them.

All the best,
Glenn B

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