SOLD FOR: $1150
Serial Number: 988787
Year of Manufacture: 1926
Caliber: .25-20 WCF
Action Type: Lever Action, Tubular Magazine, Takedown Rifle
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “-MODEL 53- WINCHESTER – NICKEL STEEL – 25-20 W.C.F.- / -TRADE MARK-”. The right side of the barrel is marked “MADE IN U.S.A. WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. / -NEW HAVEN, CONN.-”. The top tang is marked “WINCHESTER / TRADE MARK / MADE IN U.S.A.”. The bottom of the receiver is marked with the serial number and the number “26” is on the left side, next to the trigger. There is a “WP” Winchester proof on the top rear of the barrel and top of the chamber ring.
Barrel Length: 22”
Sights / Optics: The gun is mounted with a Lyman brass beaded blade front sight in a dovetail. The rear sight is a U-notch elevator sight that is dovetailed to the barrel. Neither sight is original to the gun. The upper tang has a drilled, tapped, and filled hole for mounting a peep sight.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece smooth wood with a capped forearm, straight grip and comb , and a steel shotgun buttplate. There are many nicks, dings and scratches. The most notable defects are a gash on the right side of the wrist and one on the comb and large compressions on the left side of the buttstock. The forend has a thin crack with some material loss on the right upper edge towards the front. The LOP measures approximately 13” from the front of the trigger to the rear of the buttplate, which shows a deep dark patina and some erosion with pitting. The stocks rate in about Fair-Plus overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is well defined. There is a tiny amount of erosion near the muzzle.
Overall Condition: This gun retains about 20% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish shows finish loss throughout the. The receiver shows an even dark patina with surface erosion. The barrel has some scattered faint pitting. There is thinning at all leading edges. There are nicks and dings on the edges of the lever. The screw heads are serviceable and show minor tool marks. The markings are clear. Overall, this gun rates in about Fair-Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We did not fire this gun. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: From Homestead Firearms: “In 1924, Winchester introduced the Model 53 lever-action rifle as a more modern version of the 1892 Winchester. The Model 53 was available in 44-40, 32-20, and 25-20 calibers. This rifle could be ordered only with a round 22 inch barrel, the forearm smooth, half-magazine, a plain or pistol grip walnut straight-grip stock, and shotgun butt. The frame and barrel were blued and had either a solid or takedown feature. The Model 53 was manufactured through 1932 with approximately 25,000 guns produced during the 8-year production period. The Model 53 was discontinued along with several other Winchester models because it could just not compete in sales with the 1894 and the impact of the Great Depression on Winchester Arms.” This is an early gun from a limited production run, far rarer than even the 1892. This one is a great restoration project, and with three more months of winter, this should keep you busy. When you finish you will have a highly desirable collectible and shooter, or leave it as-is for a representative example for the Winchester collection. Please see our photos and good luck!