This is an exceptionally nice Model 1894 sporting rifle with 26" octagon barrel, full magazine, and crescent buttplate. Caliber marked on the top of the barrel reads "38-55". A very desirable configuration! According to the Winchester Book by Madis, it was manufactured in 1896. It has all its correct early markings w/lots of original finish. Standard early 2 line barrel address located on top flat and early 3 line tang marking consisting of Model, Maker, and John Browning's Aug. 21 1894 patent date. Early style hammer knurling with decorative border.
Overall condition is NRA Antique Excellent with 97% bright original blue on the frame. Bolt has 97% blue. Even high wear areas such as upper tang and bevels at the top and bottom of the frame have nearly all of their original blue. Barrel and magazine tube are 98% strong original blue. Loading port still wears much of its original fire blue. Hammer retains 85% strong original case colors while the lever has a bit less...perhaps 60% with the balance turned to silver. This is quite good for a high wear area such as a finger lever on a 19th century Winchester. Even more unusual is to find case colors remaining on the buttplate of an old Winchester. This one still has 40% good discernable case colors. Sights include a nice Lyman Hunting front sight with ivory bead and matted front...very common on early 1894's. The rear sight is a standard Winchester semi-buckhorn...original Winchester all the way but probably dates to the early part of the 20th century..perhaps the 20's or 30's. Mechanics are perfect with the carrier still showing most of its original blue. The original owner probably took this rifle out hunting for a few seasons and never used it again. Unfortunately, it appears he probably didn't clean the bore either. Bore is still Very Good overall but needs further cleaning. I've run several patches through it and they've all come out black with black powder residue. It looks like it should clean to bright with strong rifling but will have a few scattered pits. Wood is excellent with much of the original varnish intact. Very nice wood to metal fit with the wood standing slightly proud over the metal...just the way it left the factory back in the 1890s. A nice strong example of an early 1894 in the desirable 38-55 caliber.