SOLD FOR: $3,725.00
Make: Winchester Repeating Arms
Model: 1894 Rifle
Serial Number: 987
Year of Manufacture: 1894
Caliber: .38-55 Winchester
Action Type: This rifle has a lever action with a full-length tubular magazine.
Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “MANUFACTURED BY THE / WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. NEW HAVEN, CONN. U.S.A.” and at the receiver with “38-55”. The front underside of the receiver is marked “987” and the lower tang in front of the trigger is marked “4”. The upper tang is marked “MODEL 1894 / WINCHESTER / PAT. AUG. 21. 1894.”.
Barrel Length: The octagon barrel is 26” in length.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a German silver blade that is dovetailed into the top of the barrel. The rear sight is a “V” notched semi-buckhorn elevator sight that is dovetailed into the top of the barrel. The upper tang has a small drilled, tapped and filled hole for mounting an aperture sight.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are 2-piece smooth walnut. The buttstock has a lacquered finish, a smooth straight grip with a steel crescent shaped buttplate while the forend is dull, having lost its finish, and is held with a blued steel nosecap. The wood to metal fit is excellent, but there is a small hairline crack at the left front edge of the buttstock. The wood is dark with oil staining at the butt, wrist, and around the metal parts. There are a few deep drag lines on the right side of the wrist, a deep drag line on the left side of the heel and another on the left side of the forend, and several scrape marks through the finish, dings, bruises and light drag lines. The LOP measures 13 ¼” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate shows finish loss with a plum colored patina forming, light wear at the heel and toe, and two scabs of solid erosion. The buttplate is in about Good condition. The stocks rate in about Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: The rifle is blued with a case colored hammer and lever. The inside surfaces of the lever are coated with lacquer – perhaps to preserve or enhance the coloring?
Finish Originality: The finish is original.
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright, turning gray at the muzzle. The rifling is sharp. There are spots of light erosion scattered from the muzzle back several inches.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 57% of its metal finish. There are scabs of solid erosion at the front underside of the magazine tube and the sides of the receiver and spots of moderate erosion at the front of the barrel and on the upper and lower shoulders of the receiver. There are also several tiny spots of solid erosion scattered over the barrel, the top of the breechblock and the lower tang. There is finish loss at the rear underside of the magazine tube, on the nosecap and the shoulders of the receiver, with a plum colored patina forming. There is finish loss and several dings in the edges of the barrel, thinning, several scratches and a deep ding in the magazine tube, thinning and drag lines in the sides of the receiver and small scratches in the breechblock. The upper tang shows thinning and the lower tang shows a mark through the finish from the lever. There are a few spots of bright case coloring left on the lever, but most of it is heavily muted. The hammer knurling shows moderate wear. The screw heads are sharp and the barrel markings are crisp. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good to Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly, but the lever must be pushed forwards hard to get it to open fully in order to get the carrier to raise (there is no problem if the lever is opened smartly). The hammer has a half-cock safety. The rifle is equipped with a lever safety, which is operational. The lever lock-ups tightly and the trigger is crisp. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: This is a Winchester Model 1894 Rifle made in 1894, the 1st year of production. It has a 26” octagonal barrel chambered in .38-55 Winchester. The rifle is blued with a case colored lever and hammer. The .38-55 Win. was originally designed by Ballard and used in single shot target rifles. It eventually became used in both Marlin and Winchester lever action rifles. It is a great round for deer and black bear, and today it is used in SASS Long Range Rifle side matches for its inherent accuracy. This rifle is in about Very Good to Fine condition with about 57% of its original finish remaining. The bore is mostly bright, tending to gray at the muzzle with sharp rifling. There are spots of light erosion scattered around the bore from the muzzle back several inches. This 1st year of production Winchester is a nice find for the Winchester collectors out there. It is not every day that you find one with such a low serial number and very uncommon to find one with an original finish. There were only 1674 Model 1894 rifles delivered to the warehouse in 1894 (Cody Museum) as the first rifle wasn’t produced until Oct. 20 (Pg. 27 “Winchester Model 94” by Robert Renneberg) and to find one in any condition is a true rarity that is sure not to go unnoticed by the serious collectors.
CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This Antique rifle can be transferred in California.