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Winchester Model 1876 Rifle

This is a nice example of the Winchester "Centennial" Rifle more commonly known as the Model 1876.  Given the limitations of the famed Model 1873 lever action rifle, the Model 1876 was Winchester's answer to customers who required a repeating rifle in a larger, more powerful caliber.  After making its debut at the Centennial Exposition held in Philadelphia, PA where it won a bronze medal, Winchester placed the new model into full production.  Over the next 22 years, the company produced over 63,000 units in four different calibers that could be ordered with a wide array of options.

This particular rifle was made in 1883 with a serial number in the 36,000 range.  It's a standard rifle with 28" octagon barrel, full magazine, and crescent rifle style buttplate with trapdoor for storing a set of jointed cleaning rods (as is usually the case, they are no longer present).  Standard ladder rear sight with "1876" marked on the top. The caliber is 45-60 which was quite popular with hunters who did not enjoy standing up to the heavy recoil of the 45-75.  According to Houze's book on the Model 1876, of the four calibers offered, a little over 40% of production was chambered in 45-60.  Not bad for a cartridge that wasn't even formally introduced until 1880...some three years after production began.

Overall condition grades to NRA Antique Fine with 65% thinning original blue remaining on the frame.  Strong traces of fire blue on the loading port. Hammer has 50% dark mottled case colors while the lever has mostly turned to patina with faint traces of orig. case colors.  Excellent markings throughout. Barrel and magazine tube have 50% faded original blue with a small patch of light pitting on the right side at the muzzle. Barrel shows some old turn marks near the frame where some oldtimer removed it for cleaning. The wood grades Very Good+ to Fine...never sanded, no chips, cracks, or repairs, & nice wood-to-metal fit that's tight with sharp corners.  Strong action with a Fine bore.

Item# 8304




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