Rock Island Auction Company

November 7, 2020

Winchester Rifles from the Tom Selleck Collection

By Mike Burns

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Tom Selleck is one of the most famous American actors to ever appear on the silver screen. His iconic roles in Quigley Down Under, Blue Bloods, and of course Magnum P.I. have undoubtedly cemented him as one of the greats, but did you know that Tom Selleck is also an avid firearms enthusiast, collector, and activist?

A U.S. Army veteran, Selleck has worked passionately and tirelessly on behalf of veterans and gun owners around the country through various organizations he is involved in. Selleck was a member of the board of directors at the National Rifle Association for over 10 years, has appeared in multiple advertisements for the National Review, and has amassed an impressive personal collection of historic, rare, and absolutely beautiful firearms.

Lot 84: Winchester Model 1892 16 Inch Barrel Trapper's CarbineLot 84:Tom Selleck Winchester Model 1892 16 Inch Barrel Trapper's Carbine

Featured in Rock Island Auction Company’s December Premier Auction is a unique opportunity to own items personally owned, used, and cared for by Tom Selleck himself. In total, there are 25 items from the Selleck collection that differ in prices from just over $1,000 to $50,000; perfect for any price range.

A truly jaw-dropping collection, each item is worthy of praise and admiration individually. However, detailed here are just a handful of the near two dozen other spectacular firearms available from Mr. Selleck’s collection. Take a look and place your bids quickly, the next Premier Auction takes place December 4th-6th.

Lot #84: Winchester 16 in. Barrel Model 1892 Trapper Carbine

A serious collection of firearms just would not be complete without the inclusion of some iconic Winchesters of the 19thcentury. The lever actions produced during this time were so effective that few remain in good condition because of their extensive use on the frontier.

This 1892 trapper carbine from the Tom Selleck collection was manufactured in 1925, and is in excellent condition with much of its original finish still present on the gun. As mentioned earlier, these rifles were used as a tool and because of their life exposed to the elements, these carbines are, more often than not, seen with very little finish remaining and wearing all of the scars of their working life.

Lot 84: Winchester Model 1892 16 Inch Barrel Trapper's CarbineLot 84: Tom Selleck Winchester Model 1892 16 Inch Barrel Trapper's Carbine

An example like this out of Mr. Selleck’s collection in such outstanding condition is so exceedingly rare it could be considered the finest Winchester 1892 trapper carbine ever sold at Rock Island Auction Company. The desirable 16 inch barrel on this example is marked with two-line model/trademark/caliber marking on the left of the barrel near the breech. There are Winchester factory oval proofs on the barrel and receiver at the breech.

Trapper carbines are desirable no matter the configuration or condition, but the 16 inch barrel versions are especially so as it is the shortest barrel length permitted by without requiring an ATF exemption letter. Along with having such a desirable barrel length, this example is chambered in the most popular Model 1892 caliber, .44 W.C.F., and it exhibits the sort of exceptional condition that is so rarely seen among trapper carbines. Estimated at $35,000-$50,000, it also boasts being previously owned by Magnum, himself.

Lot #1054: Winchester Model 1886 Lever Action Rifle

The Winchester Model 1886 lever action rifle was one of the most advanced firearms of its day. Designed by John Moses Browning, this rifle was capable of firing some of the heaviest and most powerful ammunition available at the time. A significant design in the evolution of repeating rifles, the Winchester 1886 possessed a strong enough action to smoothly transition from black powder to smokeless powder with minimal changes.

A scaled-down version of the 1886 rifle was later designed by Browning and issued as the successful Model 1892. During World War I, members of the British Royal Flying Corps employed incendiary cartridges in their Winchester 1886s chambered in .45-90 Sharps in order to ignite hydrogen airships commonly used by the Germans.

Lot 1054: Winchester Model 1886 Lever Action RifleLot 1054:Tom Selleck Winchester Model 1886 Lever Action Rifle

This Winchester Model 1886 is accompanied by a factory letter confirming its half octagon barrel in .40-82 caliber, plain trigger, and half magazine are authentic. This rifle also has a desirable early casehardened receiver found only on Model 1886 rifles manufactured prior to 1902.

The receiver, hammer, lever, forend cap and buttplate are gorgeously casehardened, the bolt is blued and the loading gate is a beautiful niter blue. The plain forearm and straight grip stock are nicely figured walnut. Estimated at $22,500-$35,000, this Model 1886 has been kept in excellent condition and would make a fantastic addition to any collection.

Lot #1042: Two Digit Winchester 1873 Lever Action Rifle

Winchester Model 1873 rifles are often nicknamed “the gun that won the West,” and for good reason. The Model 1873 is perhaps the most successful rifle Winchester has ever produced with its legacy extending well into today.

In total, only about 720,000 of these rifles were produced up until 1923 and few exist in the condition as pristine as the one offered from the Tom Selleck Collection. Besides the remarkable quality the rifle has remained in over its 100 year history, this particular Winchester 1873 is an early production model.

Lot 1042: Winchester First Model 1873 Rifle Serial Number 88Lot 1042:Tom Selleck Winchester First Model 1873 Rifle Serial Number 88

With its serial number 88, this Winchester Model 1873 rifle also features a highly desirable and rare raised thumbprint dust cover and is considered among the earliest known surviving Model 1873s. Of the approximately 30,000 First Models manufactured, 75-100 have been estimated to have survived and are known to collectors. No. 88 is one of the earliest two digit serialized Model 1873s in existence.

The accompanying factory letter lists this rife with a 24 inch octagon barrel, set trigger, and blued finish when received in the warehouse on January 3, 1874 and shipped on January 26. Estimated at $18,000-$27,500, a low digit Winchester Model 1873 rifle is not something encounters very often. Make it yours by placing bids now!

Lot #3053: Winchester Model 1873 Takedown .22 Rimfire Rifle

As mentioned in the last section, Winchester 1873 rifles were extremely popular and used regularly in rough conditions. Because there were so many different roles the rifle could fill, there were many different variations of the 1873 to suit a wide range of various needs. For those interested in better mobility for their rifle or convenience while traveling, takedown rifles were the firearm of choice.

Lot 3053: Special Order Winchester Model 1873 .22 Rimfire RifleLot 3053:Tom Selleck Special Order Winchester Model 1873 .22 Rimfire Rifle

This Winchester Model 1873 takedown rifle was shipped from the Winchester warehouse on May 13, 1885 and possesses the iconic receiver, 25-shot magazine, and bolt that popularized the model. It also features a 24-inch, full octagon barrel with a standard sporting style front sight and nickel-silver blade and buckhorn. The barrel and magazine are a stunning shade of dark blue while the forearm cap, receiver, dust cover and shotgun buttplate are a beautiful bright blue.

The hammer, trigger and lever are also color casehardened. The stock and forearm consist of straight grain American Walnut with an alluring varnish finish and is chambered in .22. Where else are you going to find a rifle this rare, in as good of condition, or chambered in .22 like this Winchester 1873? Introduced in 1884, the Winchester Model 1873 .22 Rimfire rifle was the first .22 caliber repeating rifle made in the United States, and with an estimate of $18,000-$27,500, this iconic piece of firearms history can be yours through just a few clicks!

Lot #94: Three Digit Winchester Model 1876 "Open Top" Rifle

Model 1876 lever actions, or Centennial Models, were a popular series of lever action rifles developed by Winchester following their incredibly successful Model 1873. A heavier rifle than previous models, these rifles featured powerful centerfire cartridges meant for hunting large or dangerous game animals, such as buffalo.

Deriving its nickname from the Centennial Exposition that first displayed the rifle, only around 63,000 models were produced by Winchester. Also popular with Canadian mounted police and the Texas Rangers, Winchester 1876 rifles were personally favored by significant historical figures such as Apache warrior Geronimo, along with known avid hunter and 26thU.S. President, Theodore Roosevelt.

Lot 94: Winchester First Model 1876 "Open Top" RifleLot 94: Tom Selleck Winchester First Model 1876 "Open Top" Rifle

This Model 1876 rifle from the Selleck Collection has the rarely seen open top frame, whereas later Model 1876 rifles featured dust covers. Only around 3,000 of these specific “Open Top” rifles were manufactured between 1876 and 1897. On top of all of this, included in his factory letter, Winchester expert and author, George Madis authenticates this rifle as a rare, original early production open top Model 1876.

With so much history and significance behind it, it is a surprise that the estimates for this piece are only $14,000-$22,500. Certainly a desirable piece, place your bids now before it’s too late.

***BONUS***

Lot #3573: Custom Built Detonics Scoremaster Pistol

One last BONUS item to include because it is just so awesome, ignoring it on a list of items from the Tom Selleck collection would be a crime. While not a Winchester, this Detonics Scoremaster pistol was custom built for Tom Selleck himself and is available for sale in the December Premier Auction.

Lot 3573: Detonics Scoremaster Pistol Custom Built for Tom SelleckLot 3573: Detonics Scoremaster Pistol Custom Built for Tom Selleck

Operating in Seattle in the 1980's, Detonics reportedly only built 1800 full-size pistols with this particular Scoremaster being custom built for Mr. Selleck. Mr. Selleck’s roles in western movies and his connection with other actors Sam Elliot, Glenn Ford, and Ben Johnson, introduced him to the world of firearm collecting. Selleck would have been in the height of his career, starring as Thomas Magnum on Magnum P.I., at the time this handgun was built.

Lot 3573: Detonics Scoremaster Pistol Custom Built for Tom SelleckLot 3573: Detonics Scoremaster Pistol Custom Built for Tom Selleck

This Scoremaster is stylistically similar to the Colt Series 70 used by Selleck on Magnum P.I. The right side of the slide is specially marked, "451DETONICS MAGNUM P.I./ CUSTOM BUILT FOR/ Tom Selleck” and features a custom serial number "TWS001" using Selleck's initials for the letters. Just a cool gun. Estimated at $5,000-$8,000 is a rare opportunity to own a piece of television memorabilia.

Conclusion

Tom Selleck. You’ve heard his name, watched his shows, and have seen his movies. The guns in his movies like the Quigley Down Under rifle, where he played Matthew Quigley and used a Rifle Sharps 1874, have become icons in the entertainment industry, but did you know Tom Selleck had such an affinity for the collection of rare and unique firearms? Beyond that, Selleck’s activism in the firearms community has aided in protecting the Second Amendment across the country.

His personal collection of extraordinary firearms has followed him throughout his life while remaining in excellent condition, a testament to the attention he placed on every single item while under his care.

This December, do not miss this chance to own some of Tom Selleck’s personally owned firearms. We’ll say it again for the people in the back… WE HAVE TOM SELLECK’S GUNS! A massive thank you goes out to Mr. Selleck for his continued support of the Second Amendment and his continued business with Rock Island Auction Company.

The Tom Selleck Winchester Rifle Collection.The Tom Selleck Winchester Rifle Collection.

While there are plenty of other items from Mr. Selleck’s collection featured in the December Premier Auction, there are also thousands of other, equally unique items available for sale. Come see for yourself!

If you are interested in consigning with us, much like Mr. Selleck does, please contact us today. Our next Premier Auction takes place December 4th-6th only at Rock Island Auction Company. See you there! Come view and handle these magnificent antique Winchester rifles yourself.

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