60. Rare and Superb Frank Wesson No. 1 Long Range Rifle

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serial #14, 32-40, 30'' part round part octagon barrel with a bright excellent bore. This magnificent rifle was the recipient of the prestigious NRA Ten Best Weapons Medallion at the April 1985 NRA Annual Meetings held in Seattle. The barrel marking is different than the other known examples being stamped ''F. WESSON MAKER / Worcester, Mass'' rather than the long hand engraved barrel inscription commonly found on these rifles; this barrel marking is commonly found on the No. 2 rifles. The rifle is fitted with a full-length Malcolm telescopic sight mounted in the only two dovetails in the barrel. Because of the barrel marking and because the top tang is drilled for the long range tang sight normally found on these rifles and the fact that the holes for a heel position tang sight have been neatly filled, some feel that this rifle was re-barreled by Wesson when this telescopic sight was added. The action, lock, hammer and lever all show wonderful 19th century loose floral scroll engraving with beautifully executed wolf's head on the hammer and a nice area of scroll on the heel of the buttplate. The condition of the rifle is spectacular with the barrel retaining 97% original blue finish and the action and lock showing 95% strong original color case-hardened finish. The Malcolm scope still has its original lens caps, the front may be a period replacement, the rear is clearly original and retains 95% of its original brown finish. The checkered pistolgrip buttstock and forend are of highly figured American black walnut and rate excellent with 95% of their original finish remaining. There are two cracks in the left stock panel opposite lock, they have been neatly repaired and are sound. The checkering remains sharp and the forend and pistolgrip are both capped in horn. The original checkered steel shotgun buttplate is present with screws still indexed perfectly. There are 13 known No. 1 Long Range rifles, the highest observed serial number is 17, several of the known guns are not numbered. This rifle is the highest number (and likely the last one made) with a wedge fastened forend, the two known guns with higher numbers (15 and 17) both have screw fastened forends. This rifle is illustrated and discussed on pages 210 and 211 in volume three of the three volume set of books Frank Wesson Gunmaker. A stunning, investment quality, award winning Wesson Long Range target rifle. Suitable for those who enjoy owning the very finest antique American sporting arms. (18954-1) {ANTIQUE} [Former John and Jan Wills Collection] (15,000/25,000) Sold For 16100.00

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