This old Model 1894 Semi-Deluxe rifle has several nice special order features. For starters, its in Caliber .30 WCF and has an antique Pre-1898 serial number in the 88,000 range. Special order features include 24" round barrel (26" was standard), takedown frame, Lyman Receiver sight and Lyman hunting Front sight, checkering on wood, and pistol grip stock. All these features have been verified by the Winchester Museum in Cody Wyoming so yes, it does letter! Typically, we don't encounter many 1894's that letter with Lyman sights from Winchester as these were often purchased and installed outside of the factory by owners and dealers. Note the two silver or platinum dots placed on the side of the Lyman receiver sight at the 3rd and 6th graduations... you'll see these on a few Lymans but most don't have these. I've always suspected these were applied by Winchester when this rifle was being sighted in at the factory. The rifle also has its original and correct Express rear sight with platinum lined leaves....both the 100 and 200 yard leaves are intact...although the 100 yarder is slightly bent....this was actually a standard sight for smokeless powder 94's during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Condition-wise, this gun is quite nice and looks like it was used for many years by a careful hunter...possibly by one who travelled. Its untouched and 100% original and there isn't any signs of abuse or a single bad screw to be found. Its not mint but its as pure and original as they come. Overall condition is NRA Antique Fine Plus with 75% original blue on the receiver and bolt. There are strong traces of case colors on the lever in protected areas and some good discernable colors on the hammer. The barrel and magazine tube have 90% original blue. The action works nicely and the takedown feature is still working perfectly with tight barrel to frame lock-up with no play. Bore is fine to excellent with strong rifling. The wood is in Very Good+ condition...completely untouched with good checkering on the forend and pistol grip that's a little worn but all there. Very solid straight-grained walnut with no chips. Varnish is mostly worn but there is still about 35% original finish there...nice to see one that's never been enhanced. Hard rubber cap on the bottom of the pistol grip is marked "WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO." Nice early style markings throughout with correct 2 line barrel address directly in front of rear sight. Upper tang has the early style markings that denoted the Model, Mfr, and Browning's Aug. 21, 1894 patent date. Hammer also has the early style Victorian era knurling with dipped border.
All in all, this is a great looking Semi-Deluxe short rifle with a hard to find antique serial number!