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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I suspect many of us have “Companion Guns”; probably chambered in 22 LR, 38 Special, 357 Magnum, or maybe 44 Special or Magnum. The handgun part of the pair is probably a Colt or S&W. However, I’ve always thought about how the cowboys in the old west probably chose “Companion Guns”. For them I suspect it was more out of necessity; two guns, one type cartridge, equals less to carry and less confusion in a panic type situation!

Usually when I say Colt it is synonymous with prewar Single Actions and when I say Winchester it is synonymous with prewar Lever Actions. My Winchester preference has always been the Model 1892, primarily Saddle Ring Carbines and Short Rifles, but occasionally I’ll tolerate a Standard Rifle if it seems to call my name. And, so that the Winchesters wouldn’t be lonely, I’ve always tried to pair them with A Colt if they were chambered for a cartridge that a Colt was available in.

This round barrel Model 1892 Rifle is chambered in 44-40 and is in the 501,000 serial number range. It is a Standard Rifle with a 24 inch barrel and is one of a small block of Winchesters that doesn’t have the Model stamped on the tang; rather it was stamped “Mod. 1892” by the factory, in small letters, laterally, just below the hammer. There are varying opinions regarding why these Winchesters are so marked. I cannot tell that the gun has ever been used. The only real mar on the rifle, which can be seen in the picture, is a thin line of corrosion on the left side of the frame. It probably leaned up against something in a closet for many years. The case colors are still prominent on the hammer and lever, but have darkened. Shown just below it is its companion Colt, chambered in 44-40 with a 7 1/2 inch barrel and shipped to Simmons Hardware in St. Louis, MO in 1902. I figured a long barrel Winchester deserved a long barrel Colt.


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This octagon barrel, takedown, Model 1892 Short Rifle is chambered in 38-40 and is in the 217,000 serial number range. It has a 22 inch barrel and is pictured at the bottom of page 392 of the 1977 Madis’ Winchester Book. I’ve owned quite a few Winchesters in 40 years of collecting and this one is probably one of my all-time favorites! One thing that struck me about this Model 1892 is with a barrel only 2 inches shorter than standard, a takedown frame, and a short forearm (8 3/8 inches on a Short Rifle, 9 3/8 inches on a Standard Rifle); initially this rifle appears to be of standard length until you take a closer look! Shown just below it is its companion Colt, chambered in 38-40 with a 4 3/4 inch barrel and shipped to Wyeth Hardware in St. Joseph, MO in 1902. Keeping the theme going I figured a short barrel Winchester deserved a short barrel Colt.

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I still have a 32-20 Single Action, but no longer have a 32-20 Model 1892. I probably should include a picture of a 44-40 SRC with its companion short barreled 44-40 Colt!

Amended to clarify that your companion guns don't have to be chambered for the same round, but any combination that usually accompanies each other! Please feel free to show us your favorite companions!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tranter45, Very nice looking companion pieces; thanks for sharing!!! The 44-40 Model 1892 SRC that I still have in my collection is one I've owned for almost 30 years. It came out of South America, but unlike many that came out of that region, this one apparently wasn't used very much and has no extra markings. It is paired with an 1899 4 3/4 inch barrel Single Action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Very nice Tranter45!!!

I found an old picture from 1978, so I scanned it for addition to this thread. In this picture the top Model 1873 is the lettered 44-40 Short Rifle (20 inch barrel) that I mentioned in this thread as a nice companion to my Etched barrel. It was shipped in 1891 with 5 other rifles with the same specifications to the same order number. The middle Model 1873 is a 38-40 Standard Rifle with its companion 38-40 Colt Single Action (1906) on the Mantle. The old Takedown Model 1892 chambered in 25-20, sadly, never had a production companion Colt Single Action! I always thought a 25-20 Single Action would be a hoot, but very heavy!!!!


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You have some mighty fine guns there Old-Colts - I would be proud to have any of them in my little collection. I also have a '92 in 25-20 - scanned through Flaydermans and could not find any Colt - long or short - in that calibre.
I will post another set in the hope someone will chime in with some pics and keep this thread going. C'mon Matt and Bud - we knows you-all got some nice stuff stashed away.
I am fudging a mite on the calibres but both are 38's.
The documented 1886 was purchased by the Crawford County Bank in Van Buren, Arkansas in 1893 for protection against outlaws. It is a 38-56.
The '73 dates to 1907 and is a 38-40.

1886 3.jpg

38-40 002.JPG


C C Bank.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Well, heck, Tranter45, you have some very nice guns too!!! I guess it’s just you and me for now! Since you broadened the term companion to include ones with the same number in the caliber designation, I'll play too; here’s an old scanned picture of a Model 1886 Takedown I used to have. Like yours, it is a 38-56; it sat in the warehouse from August 5, 1895 to October 4, 1897. Its Colt companion is a 38-40 Single Action (my shooter) that shipped in 1901 to Wyeth Hardware in St. Joseph. Just ignore the 30 Army Model 1895 SRC right above the Model 1886; just window dressing. :D

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Nah - can't see my way clear to ignore that 1895. Been after one for years - they are very scarce and very expensive this side of the big pond.

Seeing as how I seem to have gotten away unscathed with broadening the thread once I will try to pull it off again with some newer stuff.

The '94 Winchester Trapper and the consecutively numbered 3rd gens are all new/unfired and all in 45 Colt.

3 x 45 001.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Nah - can't see my way clear to ignore that 1895. Been after one for years - they are very scarce and very expensive this side of the big pond.
Since you appreciate Model 1895's, I'll deviate momentarily from the companion guns theme. The bottom Model 1895 is the same 30 Army as in the picture above. The top Model 1895 SRC is a fairly rare bird chambered in 303 British; you rarely see them. I suspect there were lots of bolt action rifles throughout Australia that were chambered in 303 British.

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Chaffee; I was remiss when I started this thread, I shouldn't have sounded like I was trying to make it same caliber companions. As mentioned, my Winchester '06 is paired with a 357 or 38-40 and my Winchester Model 75, while usually with a S&W Model 17 or 18, might also be paired with a 9mm. Companions are companions, new or old, and the more the merrier on this thread! Nice addition!!!!!!! :)
 

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Chaffee; I was remiss when I started this thread, I shouldn't have sounded like I was trying to make it same caliber companions. As mentioned, my Winchester '06 is paired with a 357 or 38-40 and my Winchester Model 75, while usually with a S&W Model 17 or 18, might also be paired with a 9mm. Companions are companions, new or old, and the more the merrier on this thread! Nice addition!!!!!!! :)
That's good to know. This is a great thread! But I should warn you: I've over 70 Winchesters and around 50 Colts. This may take me awhile.....
 
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