I am constantly impressed by the ability of the Records Office Staff to respond positively to questions from our customers. Just today, I was informed that a customer, when told that we did not have the record for his Winchester became incensed (and questioned the validity of the staff member’s education) because “1,000,000 is less than 350,000″.
To clarify this matter, a description of the records office is in order. During the 1970s and 1980s, the Winchester Repeating Arms Company (as part of the Olin Corporation) and the Marlin Firearms Company gave us the records pertaining to more than 4 million guns manufactured by Winchester, Marlin, and the L.C. Smith Gun Company (These being links to the collector organizations). The staff of the Cody Firearms Museum uses these records to determine production information on these guns as a fee service.
The benefit of this service, while interesting to someone trying to find more information about “grandpa’s old Winchester”, is an inexpensive insurance policy for the collector of these guns. Being able to find out what a gun looked like when it left the factory can keep you from spending $10,000 (or more) on a gun that isn’t worth $1,000.
Unfortunately, we don’t hold the records for every Winchester, Marlin, or Elsie (as the collectors call them). Our list of represented serial ranges (in PDF format) will let you know if we should have the record for your gun. Unfortunately, the aforementioned gentleman looking for information on his Model 1894 could not understand why we do not hold a record on his gun serialized in the 1 million range when we hold the records from 1-353999.
Gotta love Customer Service