This is a fine original example of a documented factory engraved Winchester Model 1876 Lever Action rifle that was manufactured in 1881. The rifle has the Second Model receiver with screw-fastened dust cover guide rail and later style dust cover with serrated finger guide. The 28 inch full octagon barrel, full length magazine, dust cover and loading gate are blued and the forearm cap, receiver, hammer, lever and crescent buttplate are color casehardened. The forearm and pistol grip stock are highly figured, fancy grain, walnut with checkered panels and a piano finish. The forearm cap, dust cover, cartridge elevator, receiver and buttplate heel are factory engraved with fine scrollwork on a punch dot background. The left side plate is engraved with a game scene featuring two detailed deer and the right side plate has an open banner. The engraving is nearly identical to the Ulrich engraved Model 1873 carbine illustrated on page 186 of "THE BOOK OF WINCHESTER ENGRAVING" by R.L. Wilson. The rifle is equipped with a special order single-set trigger. The barrel has a sporting style front sight with nickel-silver blade and a folding leaf rear sight graduated to 1000 yards and marked "1876" at the top of the leaf. The upper tang is factory drilled and tapped for a receiver sight. The pistol grip has an ebony inlay. The crescent buttplate has a sliding brass trap door. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the two-line legend "WINCHESTER'S-REPEATING ARMS. NEW HAVEN. CT./KING'S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29. 1866. OCTOBER 16. 1860." ahead of the rear sight. The caliber designation "CAL. 45-60" is located on the top barrel flat between the rear sight and the receiver. "45-60" is stamped in script numerals on the cartridge elevator. "MODEL. 1876." is roll-stamped on the upper tang. The serial number "16771" is stamped in small numerals across the lower tang between the lever latch and the tang screw. Included with the rifle is a factory letter, which verifies the caliber, octagonal barrel, set trigger, checkered pistol grip stock, casehardened receiver and the Five Dollar level engraving. Additionally, the letter reports that the rifle arrived at the warehouse on October 1, 1887 and left on December 1, 1886, which we ascribe to a transcription error.
Fine. The rifle is all original with about 70% plus of the original blue and casehardened finish. The balance of the blue finish on the barrel and magazine has aged to an attractive plum-colored patina. The metal surfaces are smooth, the barrel edges are sharp and the markings are crisp. Substantial amounts of nitre blue finish remain on the loading gate and dust cover. The case color pattern is visible on the forearm cap, receiver, hammer, lever and buttplate have mostly faded to a mottled, silver-gray, patina. There are several small spots of light pitting on the bottom and sides of receiver and a small spot of surface corrosion on the right side plate. The flawlessly executed, Ulrich-engraved scrollwork and game scene are crisp. The highly figured, deluxe walnut stock and forearm are both in fine overall condition with moderate wear. The checkering on the stock and forearm shows moderate handling wear and there is some finish loss on both sides of the stock. This is a fine example of a rare, deluxe, Ulrich Factory Engraved Special Order Winchester Model 1876 Deluxe Lever Action rifle.
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