Designed by John Browning, the Winchester Model 1894 rifle is one of the most famous and popular sporting lever actions of all time, and offered here is serial number 8! The accompanying factory letter lists this single digit serialized Model 1894 rifle with an octagon barrel in .38-55 caliber and plain trigger when received in the warehouse on November 11, 1895. Shipping date and order number were blank on the factory record. The highly desirable, extremely early serial number "8" is located on the underside of the frame and on the lower tang. Below the serial number on the frame are the small stamped initials "H.A.M.", possibly the initials of a previous owner. The barrel has a dovetail blade front sight and elevation adjustable buckhorn rear sight and is stamped with the two-line address ahead of the rear sight and "38-55" at the breech. The upper tang is blank. According to Model 1894 expert and author Robert Renneberg, "Several specimens in the pre-serial 200 range have been found without any tang markings. These are randomly interspersed, and there is no explanation for the omission." The buttplate is period hand marked "3 HIGH AT 50/ON AT 100." Mounted on a smooth forearm and straight grip stock. The buttstock is fitted with a solid crescent buttplate. This Model 1894 is listed by serial number in Robert Renneberg's "The Winchester Model 94: The First 100 Years" on pages 15 and 31. According to Renneberg, serial number 3 and serial number 8 are the two Model 1894s known to exist with serial numbers lower than number 22. The initials “H.A.M” are for noted Winchester collector Harold Argile McCallum (1911-2003). Along with his wife, Vernetta, McCallum ran a hardware store in Monroe, Oregon, from 1949 to 1974 which had gone by the name McCallum’s Gun Store and Museum since the late 1950s. His collection had over 650 guns and included impressive Winchesters such as President Dwight D. Eisenhower presentation Model 1894 serial number 2,500,000, factory embellished Model 70 serial number 500,000 and the very first Grand American Model 21 to leave the Winchester Custom Shop. Perhaps most famous was his serial number 8 collection that was comprised of three serial number 8 Winchesters: this Model 1894, the Model 1886 listed in the previous lot and a Model 490. He was a charter member of the Winchester Arms Collector’s Association with the fitting membership number “8.”
Very good as one of the lowest serialized Model 1894 known to exist. The rifle retains traces of original blue finish in the protected areas with the balance a mottled brown-gray patina. There is some scattered minor pitting. The period refinished wood is also very good with numerous minor dings and scratches. Mechanically excellent. Do not miss your chance to acquire the lowest serialized Model 1894 we have ever cataloged. A must have for the serious Winchester collector.
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