This is a nice early Winchester Model 1894 Sporting rifle with a low 4 digit serial number. Standard Rifle configuration in Caliber 38-55 with 26" octagon barrel, full magazine, crescent rifle buttplate, and Winchester sporting sights. It has a very early 2nd Model with serial number in the 5400 range (probably 1895 production)....within a couple hundred digits of the highest numbered 1st Model I've seen. The 38-55 was the original chambering for the Model 1894 with the 32-40 introduced shortly afterwards appearing initially in the 500 serial range. Even with over 7 million produced and production coming to an end at the New Haven Plant 112 years later, some folks still think the 38-55 is the best cartridge ever chambered in this model.
Overall, this rifle is in NRA Antique Fine Plus condition with the receiver still showing 80% bright original blue with only some minor light freckled patina appearing (this is not rust or pitting, just little brown spots). There are also a few light parallel streaks called "striations" across the receiver. These little lines are just peaking through the blue and every early Model 1894 has them due to the 19th century Winchester forging process. I'm surprised on occasion when I see some collectors turn their noses on such a nice early Model 1892 or 1894 thinking these are scratches but we know better! The loading port has 75% bright vivid fire blue remaining. Bolt shows 95% bright original blue with 60% thinning fire blue on the extractor. Very Good screws overall. The hammer is the early style with the dipped knurled border used on the Model 1894 up to around 1900. Hammer has darkened molted case colors which are turning dark and no longer bright....lever has turned mostly brown with traces of bright colors in protected areas. The barrel has 60% thinning original blue while the magazine tube shows 50% thinning blue. Forend cap is mostly grey. Nice early 2 line barrel address and "38-55" caliber marking on the top flat of the octagon barrel. Correct original sights include the semi-buckhorn rear with early elevator and standard front sight with German silver blade. Wood is near Excellent overall with nice wood-to-metal fight that is even or stands slightly proud of the metal. It shows very few handling marks and is still a nice reddish brown color. Bore is quite strong... Fine+ with strong sharp rifling, not dark, with little or no pitting. No rings or bulges. A very strong example of a very early 1894 lever action Winchester in the Model's original 38-55 caliber chambering.