This is an incredible Deluxe grade Model 1895 Winchester rifle in caliber 30-40 Krag. Standard 28" barrel, standard sights, and 3X checkered burl walnut stocks. While it's well-known that Theodore Roosevelt and his son Kermit took with them the Model 1895 Deluxe rifle in .405 caliber (a.k.a. his "Big Medicine" for lions) on their expedition to Africa in 1909-10, the truth is they took four model 1895's with them on that safari. True, three of those were in .405 but the fourth rifle was a Deluxe 1895 in 30-40 Krag very similar to this rifle.
I can't recall the last time we've had a true pre-1898 antique DLX 95 or even seen one at a show. There just weren't very many of these made prior to 1899 as the majority of 1895 DLX's are almost all post-1898 production and thus classified as modern firearms. Here is a rough breakdown of early Model 1895 production. Out of a total production run of 426,000, only the first roughly 19,000 are pre-1898 antiques produced in just a three year span: 1896, '97, and '98. Of those 19,000+, the first 5,000 had the early Flatside frames and almost 10,000 of the remaining antiques were in the musket configuration and sold to the US Army. That only leaves roughly about 4,000 standard commercial production 1895's with the more familiar scalloped receivers and 2-piece lever within that narrow antique serial range. Of those 4,000 2nd Models, the vast majority were standard grade rifles along with a handful of carbines. Deluxe grade Model 1895 rifles with antique serial numbers were probably very limited in numbers which is why we almost never see them.
This particular rifle is in the 6,200 serial range which makes it a very early 2nd model. Left side of the receiver has patents from Nov. 1895 through August 1897 which are also consistent for an early 2nd Model. And Good News! It letters! A call to BBHC which houses the original Winchester records verified this rifle's configuration. The BBHC provided the following information about this rifle:
Win. 1895, SN 6253
Date in: 2-25-1898
Fancy checkered stock
Back in warehouse: 8-23-1898
Date shipped: 8-23-1898
NRA Antique Excellent Condition overall with 80% original blue on the frame, 95% on the bolt with original tempered colors on the extractor. Barrel blue is 92%. Hammer and trigger housing have 90%+ original case colors. Screws are Fine to Exc. overall. Deluxe grade forend and buttstock are in Excellent condition with only light handling marks. Perfect wood-to-metal fit, sharp checkering. No cracks or repairs. Original Winchester "H" pattern checkering is still sharp and defined, having never been re-cut or freshened up. The burl figure in the stock and forend are consistent with other Winchesters deluxe rifles with 3X grade walnut. The entire forend is burl walnut. The stock is burl up to the wrist where it's straight-grained. Early on, Winchester had problems with solid burl 4X stocks as the wrists tended to crack and/or break. 3X meant there was plenty of burl figure but to add adequate strength to the wrist, the grain would be straight around the receiver. Original sights include a standard semi-buckhorn rear sight with a standard ramp front sight (standard on all smokeless caliber 1895's) with pinned in blade. The action works flawlessly. Bore is Excellent with no rings or bulges.
We really believe this is a rare opportunity for a Winchester collector to pick up a rifle that could really go up in value. There are plenty of Model 1873, 1876, 1886, and 1894 Deluxe rifles with antique serial numbers on the market, and nearly all examples above NRA Very Good on the market these days have five figure price tags that start in the low teens and double and triple from there. Look at the price on this beautiful un-restored Deluxe 1895 rifle and ask yourself when was the last time you saw one of these on the market with an antique serial number?