Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 238: Special Order Whitney-Kennedy Lever Action Sporting Rifle

Auction Date: June 5, 2020

Unique Documented Special Order Whitney-Kennedy Lever Action Sporting Rifle in .40-60

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $4,500 - $6,500

Unique Documented Special Order Whitney-Kennedy Lever Action Sporting Rifle in .40-60

Manufacturer: Whitney Arms Company
Model: Kennedy-Rifle
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 40-60 WCF
Barrel: 28 inch octagon
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 903
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 150
Class: Antique

This attractive late Burgess rifle was manufactured in April to July of 1885 and is pictured and discussed on pages 201-211 of "Lever Action Magazine Rifles Derived from the Patents of Andrew Burgess" by Maxwell and identified as: "A very rare Special Order Kennedy large caliber rifle with full octagon barrel, and half-magazine. Also gold flash beach front sight and tang sight. .40-60 caliber, S/N Q89. The Author's Collection." The .40-60 caliber rifles in standard configuration are already ranked 8 out of 12 in terms of caliber rarity in the Kennedy rifles by Maxwell on page 163, but the special order features make it even more scarce. Whitney actively discouraged special orders unlike Winchester, Sharps, and other rifle makers. As is discussed in the book and can be seen on the rifle, it was modified from a standard rifle and a discreetly filled dovetail for a full length magazine is present near the muzzle. It has a special order short magazine that is flush with the forend cap, a gold combination blade and globe front sight, adjustable sporting rear sight, tang mounted peep sight (changed since the publication), a full loop lever, and smooth forearm and stock with an empty compartment for a cleaning rod. The barrel has "WHITNEYVILLE ARMORY, CT. U.S.A." and "40-60" on top. The serial number is marked on the bottom of the lower tang and the left side of the upper tang.

Rating Definition:

Fine with 60% plus original blue finish, smooth gray and brown patinas on the faded areas, minor oxidation, and light scratches. The wood is fine and has even oiled finish, a few tiny chips and minor wear at the edges/corners, minor scrapes and dings, and has the metal proud at the tangs. Mechanically fine. This a very rare opportunity to get your hands on a very attractive and very rare special order Whitney-Kennedy rifle in .40-60, and it is made all the more desirable by the fact that it is documented as from the collection of author Samuel Maxwell Sr.

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