Want To Identify An Abercrombie & Fitch Rifle

Jbneon

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I am in possession of an Abercrombie & Fitch #137 (pics) rifle of which I am trying to identify the origins of.

The 30-06, Springfield bolt action rifle has, allegedly, been in my families possession since around 1929/30 with the background story possibly attached to one of the great white hunters ( Maj. W. V. D. Dickinson, A. S. Waller, Esq., J. H. Barnes, Esq., and/or H. R. Stanton, Esq.) pictured in this post. These men were involved with the African location shoots of the 1931 MGM movie “Trader Horn”. (link) https://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/13517/trader-horn/#notes
My family member is credited as one of the associate photographers, Robert (Bob) Roberts on the movie.(link) https://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/13517/trader-horn/#credits
As the story goes, Bob was given the rifle by one of these mentioned hunters !!

Some research into the origins of #137 has revealed. Griffin & Howe records for Abercrombie & Fitch sold guns start in 1929. The rifle I am in possession of predates G&H records.
Continued research has linked me too this post. In the hopes that additional information can be gathered.
If anyone reading this post cares to post some info on where/how to continue the search ?
Would be much appreciated.

Regards,

A&F #137 + Fecker + A&F scope case.jpg
A&F engraving.jpg
A&F leather scope holder.jpg
A&F stamped #137.jpg
bolt action Springfield.jpg
Bolt action.jpg
 

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Wheels

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I am in possession of an Abercrombie & Fitch #137 (pics) rifle of which I am trying to identify the origins of.

The 30-06, Springfield bolt action rifle has, allegedly, been in my families possession since around 1929/30 with the background story possibly attached to one of the great white hunters ( Maj. W. V. D. Dickinson, A. S. Waller, Esq., J. H. Barnes, Esq., and/or H. R. Stanton, Esq.) pictured in this post. These men were involved with the African location shoots of the 1931 MGM movie “Trader Horn”. (link) https://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/13517/trader-horn/#notes
My family member is credited as one of the associate photographers, Robert (Bob) Roberts on the movie.(link) https://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/13517/trader-horn/#credits
As the story goes, Bob was given the rifle by one of these mentioned hunters !!

Some research into the origins of #137 has revealed. Griffin & Howe records for Abercrombie & Fitch sold guns start in 1929. The rifle I am in possession of predates G&H records.
Continued research has linked me too this post. In the hopes that additional information can be gathered.
If anyone reading this post cares to post some info on where/how to continue the search ?
Would be much appreciated.

Regards,

View attachment 389166View attachment 389167View attachment 389168View attachment 389169View attachment 389170View attachment 389171
Welcome to AH.

It looks like you have a great rifle and some neat history there. Sorry but I can't help you on anything regarding Dickinson and Waller.

Hopefully some of our gun enthusiasts can give you some more information on your rifle.
 

Bullthrower338

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Is that a Unertl or Feckner scope? @rookhawk might have some information to help you research this rifle. Very cool rifle, probably needs to make another trip to the game fields just the way it is!
Cheers,
Cody
 

rookhawk

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Hi friends. Looks like a very nice springfield sportier there.

I don’t have a copy of 20th century gunmakers vol 1 by Michael Petrov because it was $12 when he was alive and I’m too cheap to buy it on eBay for $150 from those that hoarded copies from the estate and cornered the market. That’s the book we need to do a proper research on this rifle.

The million dollar question to a Sedgley collector out there would be “did Sedgley make spotters for A&F in the late 1920s?”. Definitely an American made rifle. Very likely a G&H fabricated gun retailed and labeled A&F, but Bob Beech would be the final authority.

The gun is in need of some conservation, but zero restoration, by a capable and gentle hand. That surface rust would come off with oil and coaxing, the worn checkering is probably near perfect under the grime too. The leather tube and sling need some Picard leather dressing and a buffing.

As to value, the provenance is neat and adds to its marketability, but does not add to its collectibility. The gun as an A&F or a Sedgley is in that $1800-$2300 retail at present. Sedgleys and best quality Springfield spotters having gone up in value about 50% over the past ten years. However, the optic and mounts may be very collectible, but I don’t know the values of Unertls very well. It wouldn’t surprise me to have the total package in the $4000-$5000 at retail.

A Sedgley expert could step forward on this forum and divulge the tells that would indicate his hands involvement on the gun. As would a niedner or shelhammer expert regarding the stock and the bolt knob panels. I know that Tom Shelhammer signed his stocks under the metal butt plate with a stamp.

A gun of that quality needs to be loved, conserved, and hunted. Another ding or scuff on it wouldn’t detract very much from its value and it deserves to be used as intended.
 

rookhawk

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Update: I did reference the ToC of a 1937 Abercrombie & Fitch catalog and indeed, they retailed Sedgley Springfield’s at that time. Did they also retail them 8 years prior when the subject rifle was made? Most probably. Did Sedgley stock the rifle above? Probably someone well known, either working for G&H or an out worker to G&H. A bit of study would surely identify the laborer that did the bolt knob, the butt plate, the stock, and the checkering.

Pretty fantastic stuff.
 

rookhawk

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YFS2_049_1296x.jpg
 
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baxterb

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Waller could possibly be Sidney Waller. He hunted with Alan Black and Safariland after Newland and Tarleton closed shop. I believe he also became a warden down in Tsavo at Voi.
 

C.W. Richter

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I have one of Abercrombie and fitch's full length no bending over) shoe horns of that vintage given to me by my grand aunt and uncle... Instead of hanging it up I used it and of course it cracked but I still have it. Nice rifle with a great story!
 

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Jbneon

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Awesome info to work with. In answer to some questions posed. Sight is a Fecker #1174 (pics)
Butt storage w peep & xtra front sight.jpg
fecker mark w #.jpg
Butt plate detail.jpg
Proof code .jpg
Unfortunately, no original paperwork noting factory set up & recoil spring is missing. Cross hairs are in excellent shape and appears to be sighted for @ least 100 yds. Bob Beech @ G&H, even though retired, did respond to my email but replied he would not be of help as G&H records in their possession start in 1929.
Also of interest is a possible "c' proof code (pic) ? And three obvious strike marks on inside of butt plate cover door ? Any thoughts .......
Thank you gentleman for all your time & input !!!
Butt plate cover w storage.jpg
 

Proneshooter

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John Holliger at White Oak Precision may be able to help you. He was good Friends with Mr. Petrov and is quite knowledgeable about these old American made rifles.
 

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