This Model 1876 Saddle Ring Carbine was issued to the Canadian North West Mounted Police. These carbines saw service in the NWMP as well as other groups like the Legion of Frontiersmen from 1878 until the beginning of the First World War. This gun is in the 39,000 range and is listed by serial number in "Arms and Accoutrements of the Mounted Police, 1873-1973" by Donald Klancher and "Winchester's North West Mounted Police Carbines" by Lewis Yearout. We contacted Donald Klancher via email and in a reply he noted, " I do have some additional information on that serial number, i.e. where it was on charge in the 1890's." We hope to acquire a letter from him regarding this serial number's history in the near future. In addition, we contacted the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, WY for the factory records and received the following information. Note, that like all but the earliest NWMP 1876 carbines, it letters correctly with the Spanish Meter rear sight. Here is the info they sent:
On your model 1876, serial number 39893:
Date In: 4-22-1884
Sights: Spanish meter
Date Shipped: 4-23-1884
Order Number: 11518
Here is what Yearout's book notes about this order.
"Early in 1884,....an order was placed for 50 more of the 1876 carbines. Winchester Shipping order number 11518 departed New Haven, Conn., on April 23, 1884: The shipment contained 50 "New Pattern" carbines bearing the following serial numbers:
Serial number 39872 through and including number 39900
Serial number 40001 through and including number 40021
With the records reflecting the description "1876 Carbine-Cal. .45-75 W.C.F. -Spanish Meter Sights""
The following year in 1885, the NWMP would face the task of putting down a full-scale uprising by the Cree Tribe and the "Metis" led by Louis Riel which became known as the North West Rebellion. The uprising was put down by the NWMP and ended on May 9 of that year. Yearout notes, "The Model 1876 played an important part in the battles that took place at "Duck Lake, Cut Knife Hill, Fort PItt, and Batoche."
Overall condition is NRA Antique Very Good. The metal is silver with little to no patina. Looks like its been lightly cleaned but coming from a colder climate with low humidity, chances are this gun never had much age on it to begin with. This gun looks like it was carried quite a bit but has nice edges and great markings throughout. Just look at the barrel address. Small traces of original blue can be found on the rear sight, loading pot, saddle ring, and just a hint around the side plates. Hammer shows traces of mottled case colors which have washed out to silver with a few hints remaining on the lever. The wood is Very Good condition....solid with no chips or repairs. The right side of the forearm has a minor hairline crack at the forearm cap. There is no sign of a NWMP stamp on the stock. Both the Klancher and Yearout books note this is quite common on many 1876 carbines found today. Many markings were stamped very lightly and wore away or were never there to begin with. Nice wood to metal fit that is either even or shows the wood slightly proud of the metal. Only exception is the upper tang where the wood is a little more worn and slightly undersized. Due to the rounded contours of the tang, the photos exaggerate the degree of shrinkage. In reality, its about 2 sheets of paper in difference and mostly on the left side. Mechanically, the action works perfectly and the bore is Excellent. Bright and shiny with strong rifling with no pits. Like most guns used by a Police force, this carbine was well looked after, carried quite a bit, but little firing. A nice example of historic Winchester.