This is a desirable early Model 1894 saddle ring carbine in caliber 38-55. Standard early carbine with 20" round barrel, full magazine, semi-crescent carbine wood, saddle ring, and ladder sights. Great antique pre-1898 serial number is in the 38,000 range which dates it to the year 1895 according to the Winchester Book by George Madis. Early model 1894 carbines are tough to find and locating a decent one in 38-55 can really present a challenge for collectors looking to acquire examples in the antique serial ranges. The primary reasons for their scarcity are primarily due to their heavy use as utility guns and their lack of numbers as early pre-1900 production strongly favored 1894's in the rifle configuration instead of the carbine.
Early features include the dipped border on the hammer, upper tang marked with model, manufacturer, and inventor John Browning's original August 21, 1894 patent date. Top of barrel is marked "38-55" with the early type 2-line Winchester address. No Winchester proofs which is correct for an antique vintage Model 1894. Early sights include standard ladder rear sight with correct 2 through 9 yardage graduations. Front sight has its original German silver blade intact. The wood is desirable walnut which is found on early carbines, not the yellow gumwood Winchester began to use on its carbines circa 1904-1922.
Overall condition grades to NRA Antique Fine with 35% original blue on the receiver that's thinning but still runs across both sides with the strongest blue toward the rear of the frame. Barrel and magazine tube showing 65% original blue overall. Loading port shows 20% fire blue around the outside edges. Hammer shows 30% faded case color with balance turned to silver. Lever has mostly faded to silver with 10% light case colors visible. Buttplates on the earliest model 1894 carbines were case colored instead of blued. This one shows strong traces of silvered out colors along the top. Good screws throughout. Wood is Very Good overall showing plenty of saddle wear but solid. Excellent markings and very good screws throughout. Nice action with a Fine bore.