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Thread: old lever actions in NZ?

  1. #1
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    old lever actions in NZ?

    Gents over here along with the strong exmil rifle usage in past days, there was also quite a few imports of various revolvers and lever actions in the late 1800's and early decades of the 20th century. Its a lesser known fact but Australia had its own wild west, or wild everywhere, which in fact outlasted the US wild west by a couple of decades. In some remote areas you needed arms for protection, not just hunting. Just wondered if anyone knows whether NZ had a similar situation and whether there are a lot of original revolvers, or winchester 1892 lever actions etc and similar stuff in ownership or collections?
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  2. #2
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    I know well before my time there were some hand guns around. I'm not sure about how wild it was. They may have come back from the war... I don't really know.
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  3. #3
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    There were plenty of interesting times in NZ from the early 1800's through to the beginning of WW1. Our gold rushes (1860's - 1880's) were every bit as lawless as the old West and most people had pistols and rifles. You could buy handguns without any form of licence in all hardware stores up until 1920. 1892 Winchesters were very popular here for hunting and sold new up until WW2, mostly saddle carbines but a lot of rifles as well.
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    I believe so for a short time, back in the gold rush times, South Island, diggers getting robbed and shot getting to and from site. Was a doco on telly a few years ago. Also the NZ land war.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bully View Post
    I know well before my time there were some hand guns around. I'm not sure about how wild it was. They may have come back from the war... I don't really know.
    They certainly were. Lots of people bought back WWI revolvers and such, not to mention the colonial armed constabulary and government issue ones. The revolver situation lead to the earlier Arms Legislation. Not sure about the lever actions, I imagine most long guns of the time would have been (english) mil-surp.
    As to how wild... would depend where you were, and whether you had uppity Maoris to take care of. Plenty of parts are still quite divided.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimms2 View Post
    They certainly were. Lots of people bought back WWI revolvers and such, not to mention the colonial armed constabulary and government issue ones. The revolver situation lead to the earlier Arms Legislation. Not sure about the lever actions, I imagine most long guns of the time would have been (english) mil-surp.
    As to how wild... would depend where you were, and whether you had uppity Maoris to take care of. Plenty of parts are still quite divided.
    interesting. I read that it was the commies after ww1 who made the parliament at the time nervous about an uprising.

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    My grandfather from oz and a few of the local,boys raided a bushranger camp and took their weapons he had some kind of old pistol remember him showing it to me as a kid
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russian 22. View Post
    interesting. I read that it was the commies after ww1 who made the parliament at the time nervous about an uprising.
    seems a bit of both
    https://www.loc.gov/law/help/firearm...newzealand.php

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    Quote Originally Posted by gundoc View Post
    There were plenty of interesting times in NZ from the early 1800's through to the beginning of WW1. Our gold rushes (1860's - 1880's) were every bit as lawless as the old West and most people had pistols and rifles. You could buy handguns without any form of licence in all hardware stores up until 1920. 1892 Winchesters were very popular here for hunting and sold new up until WW2, mostly saddle carbines but a lot of rifles as well.
    Thanks gundoc sounds similar to Australia then. Interestingly the restrictions on handguns happened in the 1920's for both countries as well.

  10. #10
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    Pretty sure the majority of early firearms were either brought back by soldiers from WW1 and 2, or made available from Government stock to deer cullers, or just sold by retailers because they were military surplus. Some more unusual rifles and calibres found there way here with early overseas trophy hunters. Most common hand gun would have been the "Kea gun" which was a .410 pistol, available right up til the late 1960's. Most high country farmers owned one and no doubt there'll still be the odd one under the sheets somewhere
    HILLBILLYHUNTERS likes this.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos View Post
    . Most common hand gun would have been the "Kea gun" which was a .410 pistol, available right up til the late 1960's. Most high country farmers owned one and no doubt there'll still be the odd one under the sheets somewhere
    I know of a couple. Heard on good authority that if they were never registered against a B cat, they still count as A-cat firearms. Seem to remember something in the original Arms act regarding that, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mimms2 View Post
    I know of a couple. Heard on good authority that if they were never registered against a B cat, they still count as A-cat firearms. Seem to remember something in the original Arms act regarding that, too.
    As there under 762 mm in length I donít see how that could be.

    The only kea guns Iíve come across were all on C cat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seventenths View Post
    As there under 762 mm in length I donít see how that could be.

    The only kea guns Iíve come across were all on C cat
    Hm. Closest I can find is Arms Act ß29

    Application for endorsements in respect of pistol or
    restricted weapon

    Any person, beingó
    (a) an applicant for a firearms licence or a holder of a
    firearms licence; and
    (b) a person who has been the registered owner of a kea gun
    since before 1 January 1984

    may apply at an Arms Office to a member of the Police for an
    endorsement permitting that person to have possession of that
    kea gun.


    Unspecified endorsement, and it's quite a seperate section to "pistols and restricted weapons"
    This may have been a case of police interpretation. Highly vetted and credible source.

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    Last Kea gun I saw for sale was on a pistol license. AS a Kid 70's 80's Dad talked about working on farms in the 60's or then later farmer clients who had them.
    He talked about wanted one for his collection so when I went looking all the ones I found where pistol license.

    Re pistols Dad had a couple, 38 revolver he must have got rid of by the time I was born but he and mum used it. Pre 1970
    He also had a Luger and his brother had the Artillery?? version with the long barrel and clip in stock which Dad was always pissed about not getting.
    That got the firing pin removed then was sold when the things tightened up in early 90"s.

    So yes a number floating around from the 1950's to early 80's.
    1970's Dad's NZDA club used to shoot against the police AOS from time to time. Cops were always pissed that the long gun guys out shot them with their own pistols.
    Z

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    Used to pig hunt with a guy in the Wairarapa who carried a kea pistol for bailed pigs. Used .410 solid slugs in it .worked fine up close except for the odd misfire which made tree searching very urgent
    Seventenths and A330driver like this.

 

 

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