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  1. #1
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    A special rifle?

    I was doing my weekly lap around Cabela's this afternoon. Ammo is mostly freely flowing again, they always have 223 and 9mm, and a bunch of other "regulars" - no powder still, but they have a very little bit maybe once a month. Other signs show things getting better.

    Anyway...back to why I'm writing. My lap in the gun library showed a curious, full stocked thing. I took it off the shelf for a look....a low 300xxx 1903 receiver. A bolt with an M1917 handle. Barrel was a 1903, as evident by the rear sight collar, but it had what looked like 1902 krag rear sight mounted on it (not to be mixed up with the 1901 ladder sight). To top it off (literally I guess), it had a 1917 front sight with ears. All this detail is from what is left of the picture in my head...we were in a hurry so I didn't get any pictures. While my shirtsleeve was getting tugged on, I looked at the tag..."Bannerman Special" said it all.

    If it's still there next time I stop by I'll get a couple pics. On the drive home I had half a thought to buy the poor thing (after talking them down...a lot. $800 was the tag). It's like one of those hoarders that collects ceramic painted clowns. The uglier and freakier the better!

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssgross View Post
    "Bannerman Special" said it all.
    A bit of time ago when I had a full US military collection, I'd have taken that too. Just for the oddity. Bannerman was the MAN when it came to surplus. He dealt everything...
    Regards, Jim

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    Legacy Member butlersrangers's Avatar
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    I believe Bannerman's sold those 'frankenguns' as "model 1937 rifles". Personally, I would be too scared to ever fire one.

    The odd marriage of parts may have actually been assembled for Bannerman's by Sedgely.

    I found and bought the striker mechanism for one, out of a gun show 'junk-box', a few years back for $2.00. The parts were all garbage, except for a perfectly good model 1898 Kragicon 'safety-lever', which was worth around $50.

    I consider some of these contrived part-guns to be 'Time Bombs'.
    (For me, $800 is serious money for a 'clown gun').

    Attachment 120667Attachment 120668Attachment 120669Attachment 120670
    Last edited by butlersrangers; 10-16-2021 at 01:42 AM.

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    Legacy Member butlersrangers's Avatar
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    Here's a 1940 catalog page showing the Special '37 rifle.

    Attachment 120671
    Last edited by butlersrangers; 10-16-2021 at 03:07 AM.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by butlersrangers View Post
    I would be too scared to ever fire one.
    No, I'd never shoot it.
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    I'd heard of these, but never actually seen one. It was a treat to look it over. It's scary to wonder how long it will sit there, next to a pair of cut back 1917's each tagged at 900. These have sat for 4 months now. Even gunbroker shows signs of the "crazy" slowing down...pages and pages of nice old overpriced starting amounts with 0 bids.

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    Legacy Member jamie5070's Avatar
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    A few years back a local shop had a couple of those Bannerman rifles. I nearly bought the one with the early RI receiver but didn't because i wasn't sure if they had messed up the receiver in creating the thing. I had heard that they were mostly for drill purposes.

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    There were actually several variations - some had nearly all M1903 parts, others had M1917 stocks; others had M1903 stocks, M1917 furniture and a Kragicon rear sights.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamie5070 View Post
    I had heard that they were mostly for drill purposes.
    They advertise them as being in the desirable .30 cal, and state they were headspaced and proof tested. For what that's worth...
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member mmppres's Avatar
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    Bannerman was great for creating a whole different item from something left over from previous parts. A very smart man I guess you would say. Or maybe just a crazy bubby gunsmith.

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