Early Winchester Model 71 .348 WCF Lever Rifle & 98-A Peep Sight, MFD 1936 C&R

SOLD FOR: $1,490

LSB#: 191108CD11

Make: Winchester Repeating Arms

Model: 71 

Serial Number: 3616

Year of Manufacture: 1936

Caliber: .348 Winchester

Action Type: This rifle has a lever action with a two thirds length tubular magazine.

Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked -“WINCHESTER / PROOF STEEL”-, “-MODEL 71-“, “WINCHESTER / -TRADE MARK-” and “-348 W.C.F.-“. The top of the barrel at the rear and the top of the receiver at the front are each marked with an ovalled “WP” proof. The right of the barrel is marked “MADE IN U.S.A. WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. / -NEW HAVEN, CONN.-“. The bottom of the receiver at the front is marked “3616”.

Barrel Length: 24″

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a brass beaded blade dovetailed to a textured ramped, base fixed to the front of the barrel. The base is grooved for a hood which is not present. The rear of the barrel is dovetailed for a rear sight which is not present with a blank installed in the dovetail. The top of the bolt is cut for a Winchester 98-A peep sight which is installed, adjustable for windage and elevation.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are 2-piece smooth walnut with a pistol grip, fluted comb, semi-beavertail forend with steel cap, and checkered steel shotgun-style buttplate. This rifle has the longer tang and shorter comb of early production models. The forend and buttstock have some scattered minor compressions, scratches, and scuffs with a more notable compression on the left of the buttstock toward the rear and a short crack at the rear edge of the forend on the bottom. There are no chips. The LOP measures 13 1/8” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has scattered wear and minor surface erosion around the edges with some light surface oxidation in the mostly-sharp checkering. Overall, the stocks are in about Very Good condition.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Original

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

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 85% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. The barrel has very minor surface oxidation and faint finish wear scattered throughout, a few scattered light scratches and handling marks, and a small patch of finish wear at a spot of solid erosion on the bottom of the barrel about 2″ from the muzzle. The exposed portion of the magazine tube has tool marks at the cap set-screw and the cap has a light patina. The receiver has light handling wear on the bottom, a few scattered minor scratches and infrequent spots of very minor surface oxidation. The loading gate shows normal use-wear. There is light finish wear on the top of the bolt. The lever and bottom tang have scattered light surface oxidation. The action shows light operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly disfigured with a useable slot. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in about Very Good condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The hammer has a half-cock safety. The lever lock-up is tight 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: This rifle comes with the installed peep sight.

Our Assessment: This is a Winchester Model 71 rifle made in 1936, quite early in production. The Model 71 was a continuation of the 1886 design, with a pistol grip, shorter magazine tube and round barrel, produced in only two variants, 24″ and 20″. This rifle is chambered in .348 WCF, the only cartridge the 71 was ever chambered for besides experimental models, and which was actually developed just for this model. The cartridge is great for North American big game hunting in brush where shorter shots are taken and with modern projectiles such as Hornady’s Lever-evolution can now perform well at longer ranges, as well. This rifle is in about Very Good condition with about 85% of its original metal finish remaining. The bore is bright with sharp rifling and no erosion. All of the Winchester rifles made before 1964 are prized by shooters and collectors alike, but the Model 71 was produced for 22 years, a relatively short production life for a Winchester, with fewer than 50,000 rifles made altogether. A model 71 in any condition will likely bring a lot of interest from the Winchester collectors and this early example has much of its original finish, a bright bore and strong mechanics. Please see our photos and good luck!

Early Winchester Model 71 .348 WCF Lever Rifle & 98-A Peep Sight, MFD 1936 C&R
Early Winchester Model 71 .348 WCF Lever Rifle & 98-A Peep Sight, MFD 1936 C&R