Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 56: Winchester Model 1876 .50 Express Rifle

Auction Date: September 10, 2021

Very Desirable Winchester Model 1876 .50 Express Lever Action Rifle with Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $8,500 - $13,000

Very Desirable Winchester Model 1876 .50 Express Lever Action Rifle with Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1876
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 50 express
Barrel: 26 inch round
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 3658
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 62
Class: Antique

The accompanying factory letter confirms the round barrel in "express" caliber, plain trigger and shotgun buttplate. The rifle was received in the warehouse on November 1, 1881 and shipped on December 5, 1881. The second model receiver has a dust cover guide rail attached with two screws. The dust cover is marked "WINCHESTER EXPRESS/.50 CAL 95 GRS." The cartridge elevator is marked "50-95." The top of the barrel is stamped with the two-line address/patent dates marking ahead of the rear sight and "50-CAL." at the breech. British proofs are stamped on the barrel and receiver at the breech. The rifle is fitted with a dovetail blade front sight and an elevation adjustable rear sight. The upper tang is marked "MODEL 1876." The lower tang has the serial number. The buttstock is fitted with a steel shotgun buttplate. 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. This Model 1876 Eventually made it back to the United States, possibly through Canada, where it would have been used against North America big game like brown and black bear, moose and bison. 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. Provenance: The John Fox Collection

Rating Definition:

Fine, retaining 60% original blue finish with the balance a smooth brown patina mixed with a couple patches of pitting. Traces of original nitre blue remain on the loading gate. 20% original case colors remain on the hammer and lever. The wood is also fine with a couple chips, short stress line at the buttplate tang and minor handling marks. Mechanically excellent. An untouched, highly desirable Winchester Model 1876 .50 Express rifle from a bygone era of dangerous game hunting.

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