Thursday, September 26, 2019

Soon To Be 90 Years Old

Old age set in decades ago. Even though I feel it in my hips and knees right now, I don't mean for me. I am writing about my Remington Model 29 12 gauge slide action shotgun. They were made by Remington from 1929 through the end of 1933. That's not a long range of production for any firearm and Remington only put out, at most, 39,331 of them judging by their own serial number records (source) ; although, another source  says they only produced 24,000 of them. You would think a gun with that few having been made might be worth a bit more than the high estimated value of $375.00 (you need a subscription to view  the values) as per my pricing guide but that's it with a plain barrel; one with a solid rib barrel is worth about 15% more. I find that odd but who knows, in another couple of years or so that value could skyrocket as the tastes of collectors seems to change with the wind.

A pretty good looker for a 90 year old.

I never thought much about the one I have, at least until today. As a matter of fact, I don't think I have taken it to the range for a test fire yet and I bought mine just over one year ago, in September 2018. As I have said before, I am The Great Procrastinator. I am thinking though, that next month when I celebrate my birthday, I will take it to the range to celebrate its birthday. My Remington Model 29 was produced in October 1929 as per page 75 of Remington serial number records (source). The last made in September of that year was made on September 28th - a Friday (isn't the Internet wonderful, I could easily bring up the calendar for that year) - and had a serial number about 100 or so below that on mine. So, I am guessing probably early October and while there is no way to tell with certainty it is a good guess it was early that month. About 3,327 of them were manufactured during October 1929 up until the 26th of that month when the record was annotated. If you go by an average of 166 (rounded down to nearest whole number) made per day, for that 20 day period (work days including any holidays since I am not sure if Columbus day was a day off for them), then it was likely made on October 1, 1929. Of course maybe not, they may have not made many any for a while in that month. Who knows, maybe we have the same birthday, albeit decades apart, making the shotgun 90 this October and thus decades older than me. How old am I - well, that is my business not yours.

It is not the oldest gun I have, I have a couple of Mauser Chilenos from the 1890s and an Ortgies pistol probably from the mid to late 1920s but it is my oldest Remington as far as I am aware. I have two other Remingtons, both 141 Gamemaster rifles, that while old probably are at least a decade younger that my Model 29. I found out that this Model 29 is a first year production gun when scanning the Remington factory serial number records, for information on my two Remington 141 Gamemaster rifles, at the Remington Society of America's web page. They have a lot of useful information there about Remington firearms, the link to Remington factory records of serial numbers being just one of them. I wish I could afford the cash for a membership but am tight on funds and will be for at least a couple or few months to come.

Not to worry though, I have plenty of 12 gauge shells on hand, it's not like my finances will stymie a range trip with this beauty. While it really does not look very beautiful -with a piece of the stock evidently missing, my guess is it was probably chipped off when dropped and then sanded down and the butt plate ground off a bit at the bottom end to even it out with the stock and it shows its age a bit - it is in otherwise very good to excellent shape and none the worse for the wear as far as I can tell since most importantly, it appears to function properly. Of course, only a trip to the range will assure me of that. 

While I am The Great Procrastinator, and not shooting it in over the year I have owned it was procrastination, waiting until next month to shoot it for my first time is not. Since I've already waited just over a year without shooting it, what's another month! It amounts to nothing and now that I've found out its birthday is next month waiting until then will have made it well worth the wait to shoot it in our shared birth month for its 90th year on the planet. 

All the best,
Glenn B