This is a good early 1st year production Model 1892 Winchester Rifle. Winchester manufactured just over one million Model 1892's from 1892 to 1940. This one is serial number 308; a good low number that's in a great configuration. Caliber is .44 WCF. 24" octagon barrel, full magazine, crescent rifle buttplate, and original winchester sights. Barrel has the early two-line Winchester address across the top flat of the octagon. Caliber is also located on the top flat just ahead of the receiver. The upper tang has the m'fr, Model, and original Browning patent date...which is also in the earliest style. Nice first pattern hammer with decorative dipped border at the top of the checkering. See photos. This rifle is a good original gun and it will letter! We called the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, WY which houses the original Winchester factory records. They provided us with the following information taken from the original Winchester factory ledgers:
WINCHESTER MODEL 1892 - SERIAL NUMBER 308
BARREL TYPE: OCTAGON
RECEIVED IN WAREHOUSE ON AUGUST 09, 1892
SHIPPED FROM WAREHOUSE ON AUGUST 10, 1892 ORDER NUMBER 1107
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Fine. The receiver has a good bit of fading original blue mixed through a brown patina. It photographed better than it looks as it's really about 40% original blue. Barrel has 80% original blue and magazine tube retains about 65% original blue with balance turned to brown patina. Hammer shows traces of case colors while the lever shows just a hint of faded color nearest the frame...having mostly turned brown. Loading port shows a hint of original fire blue near the back. Original owner of this rifle must have had sweaty palms as the upper tang at the wrist of the stock has some very light corrosion...markings are all there and very strong. Top of bolt retains 60% faded original blue. The walnut stocks have very little in the way of dings and blemishes...nice enough to grade Fine+ but they've been lightly cleaned in the past so we'll call them Very Good. They stocks exhibit good wood to metal fit and remain even to the metal in most areas. No chips, cracks, or repairs. Bore has no rings or bulges. It's semi-bright with pretty good rifling but it looks like it has the measles with scattered light to moderate pits. Fairly common on 19th century Winchesters from the black powder era. Overall, I'd grade it Fair+ to Good-. Most early production Winchesters got used pretty hard. For such a low serial number, this is very respectable example of an early 1st year production Model 1892 in 44-40.