Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1051: Whitney-Burgess-Morse Lever Action Sporting Rifle

Auction Date: June 6, 2020

Exceptional Whitney-Burgess-Morse 1st Model Lever Action .45-70 Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $7,000 - $10,000

Exceptional Whitney-Burgess-Morse 1st Model Lever Action .45-70 Rifle

Manufacturer: Whitney Arms Company
Model: Burgess Morse-Rifle
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 45-70
Barrel: 28 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1009
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 48
Class: Antique
Description:

The 1st Model Burgess rifles manufactured by Whitney in the late 1870s were revolutionary as the first repeating firearms manufactured for the popular .45-70 Government cartridges. Most show signs of hard use and age, but this early rifle is in very fine condition and features a "knife blade" front sight, adjustable sporting rear sight, dual gas vents and two forward reinforcing screws on the dust cover, a rare nickel plated forearm cap (possibly special order), serpentine lever, varnished stock and forearm, and rare solid buttplate. The barrel is marked "G. W. MORSE/PATENTED OCT. 28TH 1856" and "45 CAL. 70 GR. C.F." The serial number, "193," is marked on the left side of the tangs, neatly hand scratched into the left side of the butt, and hand-written inside the upper tang mortise of the stock in pencil and what looks like "176" inside the action on the floor plate. The upper tang is stamped "A. BURGESS/PATENTED JANY. 7TH 1873/PATENTED OCT. 19TH 1875."

Rating Definition:

Very fine with 90% plus bright original high polish blue finish, 75% bright original nitre blue on the loading gate, 95% original case colors on the hammer, 98% plus original nickel on the forend cap light scratches and marks, and slight spotting. The wood is very fine and has dark finish, small dings and pressure marks, light scratches, and a chip at the toe. Mechanically excellent. This is a very attractive early Burgess rifle.



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