Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 34: Native American Style Decorated Winchester Model 1876 Rifle

Auction Date: August 26, 2022

Native American Style Tack Decorated Winchester Model 1876 Lever Action Rifle with Desirable "Thumbprint" Dust Cover

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $2,000 - $3,000

Native American Style Tack Decorated Winchester Model 1876 Lever Action Rifle with Desirable "Thumbprint" Dust Cover

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1876
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 45-60 WCF
Barrel: 20 inch octagon
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1353
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 56
Class: Antique

Manufactured in 1884 as a second model with the dust cover rail retained with two screws and the dust cover having the desirable "thumbprint" grip checkering. These Model 1876 rifles were incredibly popular on the western frontier for their increased firepower over almost anything else available. This example shows extensive brass tack decoration on the stock, which is often associated with Native American use, and a period shortened barrel which would certainly make it the sort of rifle any Native American warrior would have been happy to carry into battle. The top barrel flat is marked with the two-line address/King's patent marking (partially obfuscated) in front of the rear sight dovetail and the caliber marking at the breech. The model designation is on the upper tang, faint serial number on the lower, and faint caliber marking repeated on the cartridge elevator. It is fitted with a brass blade front sight and an empty rear sight dovetail, with the rear sight appearing to have been absent for quite some time judging by the patina on the barrel. The loading gate is a modern replacement. It is mounted with a smooth rifle-length forearm and straight grip stock with a crescent buttplate. As previously stated, the wood has been extensively decorated with domed brass tacks in various patterns and lines.

Rating Definition:

Fair, showing mostly a mixture of grey, brown, and artificial brown patinas and a patch of moderate pitting towards the center of the barrel and magazine. The barrel was shortened during the period of use, making a handier rifle for a more mobile fighter. The wood is also fair showing extensive tack decoration (see above), a moderate chip absent from the wrist along with four stabilized through holes, and the general wear and tear of a rifle that was heavily used on the frontier. Mechanically good. A Winchester 1876 that certainly has the look of having been used in the American West!

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