Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1019: Winchester Model 1876 .50 Express Lever Action Short Rifle

Auction Date: August 27, 2022

Highly Desirable Special Order Winchester Model 1876 50-95 Express Short Rifle with Lancaster/London Dealer Markings and Factory Letter

Estimated Price: $25,000 - $37,500

Highly Desirable Special Order Winchester Model 1876 50-95 Express Short Rifle with Lancaster/London Dealer Markings and Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1876
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 50-95 Express
Barrel: 22 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 585
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 28
Class: Antique
Description:

This is a rare special order Winchester Model 1876 Short Rifle chambered for the .50-95 Express cartridge. This rifle was manufactured in 1879 and has British proof and inspection marks stamped on the barrel and receiver and British dealer marking engraved on the left side plate. The included factory letter lists rifle configuration express caliber, round 22 inch barrel, half magazine, shotgun butt and plain trigger when it was received in the warehouse on May 12, 1881, and shipped on May 31, 1881. The rifle has the late Second Model receiver with screw fastened dust cover guide rib and dust cover with serrated finger guides. The rifle has a blue finish with casehardened hammer, trigger and lever and straight grain American walnut stock. The 22 inch round barrel has a gold-plated Beach folding combination front sight and rare Winchester Express rear sight with one fixed and four folding leaves. The fixed leaf has a bright sight line and is graduated for 100 yards; the folding leaves are graduated for 150, 200, 300 and 400 yards. A Lyman folding combination rear sight is mounted on the upper receiver tang. In addition to the special order 22 inch barrel, and front, rear and tang sights, the stock has a special order blued steel, shotgun buttplate. The rifle now has a full magazine from the period. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the two-line legend: "WINCHESTER'S-REPEATING-ARMS. NEW HAVEN. CT./KING'S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29. 1866. OCTOBER 16. 1860." ahead of the rear sight. ".50 CAL." is roll stamped on the top of the barrel just ahead of the receiver. British proof and inspection marks are stamped along the left side of the barrel below the rear sight. The top of the dust cover is roll-stamped "WINCHESTER EXPRESS/.50. CAL. 95 GRS." in two lines. The British dealer's marking "CHARLES LANCASTER/LONDON" is engraved in two lines on the left side-plate. A London "crown/V" inspection mark is stamped on the upper left side of the receiver. "50-95" is stamped in script numerals on the bottom of the cartridge elevator, and the serial number is stamped in script numerals on the lower tang behind the lever latch.

Rating Definition:

Excellent. The rifle retains 90% of the original high polish blue finish. The blue finish on the barrel, magazine and receiver have minor handling marks and edge wear. The buttplate has 75% of the blue finish with light-moderate edge wear. The loading gate has 70% of the fire blue finish with the balance fading to a blue-gray patina. Nearly all of the case colors are present on the hammer, lever and trigger. All of the markings on the barrel and receiver are sharp. The walnut stock and forearm retain nearly all of the original finish. Wear is limited to a few minor handling marks with several shallow bruises on the left side of the stock near the buttplate. This is a very fine example of a rare Winchester Model 1876 Short Rifle chambered for the scarce and very desirable 50-95 Express cartridge. This rifle was clearly ordered as a big game hunting rifle for India or Africa.



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