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Lot 26: Antique Special Order Winchester Semi-Deluxe Model 1894 Rifle

Documented Antique Special Order Winchester Semi-Deluxe Model 1894 Lever Action Rifle with Desirable Extra Length Barrel, Casehardened Receiver, and Factory Letter

Auction Date: December 9, 2022

Lot 26: Antique Special Order Winchester Semi-Deluxe Model 1894 Rifle

Documented Antique Special Order Winchester Semi-Deluxe Model 1894 Lever Action Rifle with Desirable Extra Length Barrel, Casehardened Receiver, and Factory Letter

Auction Date: December 9, 2022

Estimated Price: $15,000 - $25,000
Price Realized:

Documented Antique Special Order Winchester Semi-Deluxe Model 1894 Lever Action Rifle with Desirable Extra Length Barrel, Casehardened Receiver, and Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1894
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 32-40 WCF
Barrel: 28 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1026
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 36
Class: Antique
Description:

Manufactured in 1896, this is a scarce example of a special order Winchester semi-deluxe Model 1894 rifle in a rarely seen configuration with multiple very desirable special order features. The included factory letter (copy) lists the rifle in .32-40 caliber, with a 28 inch octagon barrel, plain trigger, checkered plain pistol grip stock, and casehardened finish when received at the warehouse on 1 July 1897 and shipped the next day. The special order, extra length, 28 inch barrel is marked with the standard two-line address and caliber marking on the top flat. The three-line model, trademark, and patent dates are marked on the upper tang, and the serial number is on the bottom front of the special order casehardened receiver. The left side of the lower tang is marked "3322CF" and "3322" is repeated in the stock inlet for the upper tang and on the inside of the buttplate. It is fitted with a German silver blade front sight, a Lyman folding leaf rear sight, and a Lyman peep sight mounted on the upper tang. It is mounted with an I-pattern checkered forearm and pistol grip stock with a hard rubber Winchester grip cap and a casehardened crescent buttplate. An included Cody Firearms Museum research request letter indicates that only 156 Model 1894 rifles received a casehardened finish from serial numbers 500 to 98000 before it was discontinued as an option in 1901. Of these 156 rifles, the records indicate that only five were manufactured with a 28 inch barrel, and only one in .32-40 caliber with a 28 inch barrel, this one. According to George Madis in "The Winchester Book", the I-pattern checkering that this rifle features was not actually offered or advertised in catalogs, but was applied by the factory when "minimal checkering" was requested, making these "semi-deluxe" rifles more scarce than their deluxe checkered counterparts. Madis also states that roughly only one out of every 1,250 Model 1894 rifles was fitted with a longer than standard barrel like this example. This combination of rare special order features makes for a very attractive and incredibly scarce Model 1894 rifle. Provenance: The Wayne Connor Collection

Rating Definition:

Very fine, retains 95% of the professionally restored blue finish with some light edge wear and some scattered light flecks showing a smooth grey patina. 80% plus of the vibrant, restored case colors remain with the balance having faded to mostly a smooth grey patina. 90% plus of the bright niter blue remains on the loading gate. The wood is fine with some scattered minor dings and scratches, mostly well-defined checkering, and retaining more than half of the varnish. Mechanically excellent.



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