Manufactured in 1899, this is a scarce example of a special order Winchester semi-deluxe Model 1894 rifle. The included factory letter lists the rifle in .30 caliber with a round barrel, plain trigger, extra light, takedown, and a plain checkered pistol grip stock when received at the warehouse on 24 May 1899 and shipped the same day in order number 28298. The special order, 26 inch, rapid taper barrel is marked with the standard two-line address and caliber marking on the top, and the two-line nickel steel marking on the upper left. 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 receiver. The left side of the lower tang is marked "6973CF", with "6973" repeated on the butt of the stock, and "4376" on the inside of the buttplate. It is fitted with a ramped German silver blade front sight and a three-leaf express rear sight. It is mounted with a nicely figured I-pattern checkered forearm and pistol grip stock with a hard rubber Winchester grip cap and a casehardened crescent buttplate. 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.
Very fine, retains 70% plus of the bright original high polish blue finish, 90% of the original niter blue on the loading gate, and 50% of the vibrant original case colors with the balance having thinned to a smooth grey patina. The wood is very good with numerous scattered minor dings and scratches, mild staining visible near the buttplate, and otherwise well-defined checkering. Mechanically excellent. A very attractive special order Winchester Model 1894 semi-deluxe rifle!
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