Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1027: Winchester 1876 Rifle 50-95 Winchester Express

Auction Date: April 30, 2016

Rare Special Order Winchester Model 1876 Lever Action "English Short Rifle" in .50 Express with British Proof Marks

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $3,500 - $5,500

Rare Special Order Winchester Model 1876 Lever Action "English Short Rifle" in .50 Express with British Proof Marks

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1876
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 50-95 Winchester Express
Barrel: 22 inch round
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1278
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 20
Class: Antique

This English Short Express Rifle Model 1876 is configured similarly to the Model 1886 Light Weight in that it has a short 22 inch barrel (although not tapered), rifle style forearm, short magazine tube, and shotgun butt. A similar example is pictured on page 238 of The Winchester Book by Madis. In the data discussed on page 253 of the above book, Madis notes that only one of each 800 had a shorter than average barrel. This example was manufactured in 1880 and features the second model screw secured guide rail and checkered thumb rest. The dust cover is hand inscribed "WINCHESTER EXPRESS/.50 CAL. 95 GRS." The barrel has the two-line address and patent information on top ahead of the rear sight, ".50 CAL" at the breech, and British proofmarks and "Z3499" on the left. The upper tang has the model designation, and the lower tang has the serial number. The brass cartridge elevator is marked "50-95". The rifle has a German silver blade front sight and a two leaf express rear sight with silver sighting lines. The .50-95 Winchester Express was the largest caliber available for the Model 1876 and proved popular with big and dangerous game hunters. Many Model 1876 rifles chambered for this powerful cartridge were shipped to England and then found their way to Africa and India where they were often employed against big cats. Theodore Roosevelt loved his .45-75 '76, but he and other Americans scorned the .50 Express, and thus, the Model 1876 was only produced in limited numbers chambered for that cartridge compared to the smaller calibers.

Rating Definition:

About good. The rifle displays a mixture of faded blue finish and brown patina with extensive light oxidation and some spots of pitting. The wood is about good as sanded and re-oiled and has some small nicks and dents and a few light scratches. The action is fine, and the markings are clear.

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