Winchester 1876 76 Centennial Rifle Early 1st Year Blue 28″ Lever Action Rifle, 1876 Antique .45-75

SOLD FOR: $5,025.00

Make: Winchester

Model: 1876 Rifle

Serial Number: 263

Year of Manufacture: 1876

Caliber: .45-75 Winchester

Action Type: Lever Action with Full-Length Tubular Magazine

Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “WINCHESTER’S-REPEATING ARMS, NEW HAVEN, CT. / KING’S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29.1866. OCTOBER 16.1860.”. The lower tang is marked “263” at the rear. The upper tang is marked “MODEL 1876”.

Barrel Length: The round barrel is 28” in length.

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a German silver blade fixed to a blued base which is dovetailed into the top of the barrel. The rear sight is a tiny “U” notched insert in a flat-topped elevator sight that is dovetailed into the barrel. The insert is secured with a set screw, so we suspect it offers a fine adjustment for elevation. The upper tang is drilled, tapped and filled for a tang sight.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece smooth walnut with a reddish-brown lacquered finish that shows no appreciable oil staining. The buttstock has a straight grip and a case colored crescent shaped buttplate with a brass trapdoor in the center for storage of cleaning equipment. The forend has a blued nosecap. The wood to metal fit is excellent, there are no cracks or chips noted, and no signs that the wood was refinished. There are several small dings and drag lines scattered over the wood surfaces with a slightly deeper ding in the right side of the forend. The LOP measures 13 ¼” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate shows muted case coloring with minimal wear but with scattered light pitting. The buttplate is in about Very Good condition. The stocks are in about Fine overall condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: The rifle is blued. The hammer and lever are case colored and the carrier is brass.

Finish Originality: Refinished

Bore Condition: The bore bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 75% of its current metal finish. The blued surfaces show scattered pinprick surface erosion with the portions over the finish helping to obscure light surface erosion which is under the finish. There is finish loss on the front edge of the barrel and the edges of the magazine hangar, and thinning on the edges of the receiver and its sideplates. There are a few small scrape marks in the top of the barrel behind the front sight, and a mark through the finish in the top of the barrel about 4 ½” in front of the forend’s nosecap. There is a drag line in the left sideplate, tiny dings in the bottom of the carrier, and three tiny nicks in the left rear edge of the hammer. There is some marring around the hammer’s screw-head which is under the finish. The screw heads are sharp and the markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Fine condition as refinished Antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly with a solid action lockup. The hammer has a half-cock safety and the lever safety is operational. We have not fired this rifle. This very early model rifle was made without a dust cover. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None

Our Assessment: The Winchester Model 1876 was a heavier-framed rifle than the Model 1873, and was the first to be chambered for full-powered centerfire rifle cartridges, as opposed to rimfire cartridges or handgun-sized centerfire rounds. While similar in design to the 1873, the 1876 was actually based on the prototype 1868 lever-action rifle that was never commercially produced by Winchester. It was introduced to celebrate the American Centennial, and earned a reputation as a durable and powerful hunting rifle that was also used by the Canadian North-West Mounted Police and the Texas Rangers. Theodore Roosevelt used one on his early hunting expeditions in the West and one was found in the possession of Apache warrior Geronimo after his surrender in 1886. Unfortunately, the 1876 lost popularity when the Model 1886 was introduced in heavier calibers. This rifle is chambered in .45-75 Win., a shorter, fatter version of the .45-70 cartridge offering slightly better ballistics, but the toggle links limit loading it to its full potential. Still, the cartridge was adequate for elk and moose. This rifle has a 28” round barrel and full-length magazine tube. This rifle, made in 1876, the first year of production, is in about Fine condition a refinished, with about 75% of its new finish remaining. The bore is bright with sharp rifling and no erosion and the action locks up solidly. The 1876 Winchester was only made for 21 years, with a total of about 63,871 made in rifle, carbine and musket formats, with the result that ALL are collectable, some just more so than others. This 1st year of production rifle, even with its refinished metal, is perfect for the high-end collector who wants an early, three-digit ’76 to put between the ’73 and ’86 that are already in his safe.

CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This Antique rifle can be sold in California.

This item was previously listed as item#  797673746 with Original finish, but was found to be refinished. The description has been corrected for this listing.

Winchester 1876 76 Centennial Rifle Early 1st Year Blue 28" Lever Action Rifle, 1876 Antique .45-75
Winchester 1876 76 Centennial Rifle Early 1st Year
Blue 28″ Lever Action Rifle, 1876 Antique .45-75