Image Lot Price Description


TRULY UNIQUE VERY FIRST SAVAGE LEVER ACTION RIFLE. SN 1. Cal. 45-70. Built on a Martini-style action by A.W. Savage on his patent July 12, 1887. It has a 33-1/8″ rnd bbl with rectangular front sight base/bayonet lug, missing rear sight. Receiver is flat sided with Martini-style falling block, a fixed trigger guard and Martini-style lever whose tip fits into a recess in bottom of buttstock. Mounted with uncheckered straight grain American walnut with full length forearm and two bbl bands with Springfield-style slotted head ramrod. Bottom of stock and upper bbl band have sling wires and it has a color case hardened musket buttplate without trap. Bottom front of trigger plate has a sliding trap door used for loading the magazine & buttstock. Magazine is loaded by holding the lever forward and pressing four cartridges against the spring loaded follower through the bolt into the magazine. Releasing forward pressure on the lever allows the bolt to move upward which positions the bolt to allow for single shot shooting. Receiver is fitted with dual extractors which move at different rates. Left receiver moves slowly and more powerfully to do the initial extraction while the right extractor moves more rapidly to eject the empty casing out of the chamber and action. Each side of receiver has a milled slot which apparently was to partially view internal working parts. The bbl & bands are similar to working military rifles of that day and are probably recycled from other rifles. Left side of bbl, just forward of receiver, is stamped with SN “1”. The rear sight has been missing since it was first discovered in about 1952 by well known collector Robert F. Rubendunst at a black powder shooting match at Friendship, IN. In Feb. 1981 Mr. Rubendunst showed Mr. Robert N. Sears this rifle which he quickly identified as Arthur Savage’s first patent model when compared to the orig patent drawings. This rifle was the subject of a 5-page article by Robert N. Sears which appeared in Volume 1 of the NRA Gun Collecting Review in 1983. Mr. Sears researched and detailed the early life of Arthur William Savage (1857-1938) and his development of the Savage repeating rifles. He shows this rifle, disassembled, exposing the unique buttstock magazine along with the patent drawings. This rifle was among several prototypes of Savage rifles which were the subject of another 5-page article by Mr. Sears wherein he again details the information about Mr. Savage and this rifle, along with others. In one of the articles he speculates that this rifle was built at Colt as were Mr. Savage’s later prototype rifles. He speculates that this rifle was completed or at least was in the process of being made when Mr. Savage applied for the patent on June 8, 1887. This is truly a unique and one of a kind, original Savage rifle suitable for the most advanced private or museum collection. CONDITION: Extremely fine. Bbl & bbl bands retain about 98% strong orig blue; receiver retains 75-80% strong orig blue with a thin blue/gray spot on left side and a smaller one on right side with candy striping on both sides; lever retains faded case colors and the buttplate bright case colors. Wood is sound with a few light nicks & scratches and a couple of dings and overall retains about all of its orig oil finish. Mechanics are crisp, bright shiny bore. 4-46284 LM430 (30,000-50,000)

Auction: Firearms - Fall 2012
Please Note: All prices include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, which is paid by the buyer as part of the purchase price. The prices noted here after the auction are considered unofficial and do not become official until after the 46th day.