The Model 1876 was the first Winchester chambered for cartridges powerful enough to reliably take down big game and became a popular early repeating rifle in the West where it could be counted on to dispatch both foes and game, including buffalo, and was specifically advertised by Winchester as designed for use by those in the West where a .44-40 Model 1873 might not be enough when faced with a grizzly. Theodore Roosevelt, Granville "Mr. Montana" Stuart, and other legendary western figures are known to have carried the '76, and they were also used by the famous North West Mounted Police in Canada. This rifle came out of the well-known western collection of John Fox in Montana and very likely saw use in the region in the late 19th century. Production of this model was comparably limited thanks in part to the introduction of the Model 1886 adding to the desirability of the '76. The accompanying factory letter confirms the round barrel in .45-60 caliber and special order set trigger. The rifle was received in the warehouse on December 31, 1879 and shipped on March 17, 1880. The second model receiver features a dust cover guide rail attached by two screws and a dust cover with oval finger guide. Dovetail blade front and folding ladder rear sight marked "1876" on a barrel stamped with the two-line address/patent dates marking ahead of the rear sight and "CAL. 45-60" at the breech. The cartridge elevator is marked "45-60." The buttstock is fitted with a trapdoor crescent buttplate (cleaning rod not included). Provenance: The John Fox Collection
Fine for a rifle showing clear signs of extensive period use but remaining in solid condition for a well cared for "frontier issued" rifle. It is not hard to imagine this rifle at the side of a frontiersman. In fact, the right side of the forearm carries the finger grooves set by the owner who likely trusted it for protection and to bring food to the table. 50% original blue and traces of original case colors remain with the balance a smooth brown-gray patina mixed with pitting. The metal and wood surfaces certainly wear the scarring of a well used frontier weapon with pride. The set trigger does not function, otherwise action cycles properly. A Winchester Model 1876 rifle with great "working gun" character. The stories it could tell!
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