SOLD FOR: $4,039
Make: Winchester Repeating Arms
Serial Number: 64651-
Year of Manufacture: 1896
Caliber: .25-35 Winchester (.25-35 WCF)
Action Type: Lever Action with 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 “25-35 W C.F.”. The left shoulder of the barrel is marked “NICKEL STEEL BARREL / ESPECIALLY FOR SMOKELESS POWDER” and “30 W.C.F.”. The upper tang is marked “MODEL 1894 / WINCHESTER / PAT. AUG. 21.1894” (This is the correct Type 1A marking for this serial number range.) The bottom tang in front of the trigger is marked “0”. The front underside of the receiver is marked “64651”. The takedown lever is marked “PAT JUNE 6.1893”.
Barrel Length: The octagon barrel is 26” in length.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a German silver blade dovetailed into the top of the barrel and secured with a set screw. The rear sight dovetail is filled with a blank. There is a modern folding aperture sight mounted on the upper tang. The base of the sight is marked “MARBLE / ARMS” and with their logo. The sight is click adjustable for both elevation and windage. The aperture is threaded for a screw-in eyepiece, but the eyepiece is missing.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are 2 piece walnut with a smooth straight grip and a lacquered finish. There is a crescent shaped blued steel buttplate and a blued steel nosecap at the front of the forend. There are a few dark spots from old bruises along the belly. There are also a few small compression marks scattered of the buttstock with a drag line below the comb on the right side. There are several light handling marks along the side of the forend with a shallow compression mark near its left rear top edge. The wood to metal fit is excellent. The LOP measures 13 1/16” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate shows thinning, extremely light wear at the heel and toe and a few very light handling marks. The buttplate is in about Fine condition. The stocks rate in about Fine plus overall condition.
Type of Finish: The barrel, receiver and magazine tube are blued. The hammer and lever are case colored. The hammer checkering has the characteristic “Widow’s Peak” pattern at the rear, and is correct for a Type 1 hammer as used through serial number 110,000.
Finish Originality: All Original
Bore Condition: The bore is dark with moderate wear in the rifling. There is light erosion the length of the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 80% of its metal finish. There is thinning on the front edges of the barrel, the front of the magazine tube, the takedown lever, the magazine hanger and the nosecap. The barrel also shows thinning on its edges, a few scattered spots of surface frosting, a light mark on its right shoulder about 3” in front of the forend and marks through the finish on both sides of the rear sight blank. There is a small mark through the finish on the right side of the magazine tube half way along its length and the nosecap shows two light marks. The receiver, link and lower tang show pinprick surface etching and the sides of the receiver also show a few light handling marks. The hammer checkering shows moderate wear. Five of the screw heads are distressed and the markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Fine to Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is a lever safety present and operable, and the hammer has a half-cock safety position. We did not fire this rifle.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: The tang mounted aperture sight is included.
Our Assessment: The Winchester Model 1894 rifle followed the other John Browning designed lever action rifles to become one of the most famous and popular hunting rifles of all time. It was the first commercial sporting rifle to sell over 7,000,000 units, making the name “Winchester” synonymous with all lever action rifles. It was also the first commercial American repeating rifle built to be used with smokeless powder. It was introduced in 1894 in two black powder cartridges, the .32-40 and .38-55 Win. rounds, but by the next year Winchester had developed a different steel composition that could handle higher pressures, and the .30-30 Win. and its necked down version, the .25-35 Win. were born. This is a Winchester Model 1894 rifle made in 1896 with a 26” octagon barrel and chambered in .25-35 Win. The rear sight was replaced with a blank and a modern Marble Arms aperture sight was added to the upper tang. The rifle is in about Fine to Excellent condition with about 80% of its original finish remaining. There is thinning at the front of the barrel and magazine tube and on the edges of the barrel and the nosecap. There are marks through the finish on the top of the barrel, one on either side of the rear sight blank and a small mark on the right side of the magazine tube. The receiver shows pinprick surface frosting. The stocks show a few compression marks and light handling marks. The bore is dark with moderate wear in the rifling and light erosion in the bore. This rifle has a nice finish and was made in the 3rd year of production, making it a very desirable rifle for the collector. To add more icing to the cake, it is a takedown model and chambered in .25-35 Win., both of which are less common than the standard solid frame model chambered in .30-30 Win. High-end Winchester collectors should take note of this rifle.