Winchester Model 1894 Takedown 26″ Octagon .32-40 Lever Rifle, 1898 Antique

SOLD FOR: $3200

LSB#: 230401WL008

Make: Winchester Repeating Arms

Model: 1894 Takedown Rifle

Serial Number: 138861

Year of Manufacture: 1898

Caliber: .32-40 Winchester

Action Type: This rifle has a lever action with a full-length tubular magazine.

Barrel Length: 26″, Octagonal

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a german silver blade in a slotted base dovetailed and screw-set to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a “V”-notch semi-buckhorn elevator sight dovetailed to the rear of the barrel, the notch is fine-adjustable for elevation. The top tang is drilled, tapped and filled for a tang sight (none present).

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are 2-piece smooth walnut with capped forend, straight grip, straight comb and steel crescent buttplate. The stocks have scattered light nicks and scratches with a few more notable marks. There are a few minor grain-line cracks opening up, mostly at the rear of the forend. There are no chips. The LOP measures 12 7/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has mostly worn to white with scattered discoloration from oxidation. Overall, the stocks are in Very Good-Fine condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is gray with well defined rifling. There is light erosion scattered through the bore with some minor pitting. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 5 or 6 out of 10.

Most antique firearms have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the use of black powder. When fired, black powder reacts corrosively. NRA Antique Firearm Conditions Standards are quite lenient for bores. In some cases the NRA standards disregarded the bore’s condition for collectors firearms.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 75% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. There are scattered nicks and scratches, more on the receiver but the most notable are on the barrel. There is handling wear in the tangs and lever. There are some areas of strong color on the lever. There is scattered minor surface oxidation. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in Fine-plus condition as Antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The rifle takes down fairly easily, but there is no play when the barrel is installed. The hammer has a half-cock safety and there is a lever safety. 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: 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. family of cartridges was born.

This is a Winchester Model 1894 Takedown rifle made in 1898 with a 26” octagonal barrel and chambered in .32-40, one of the original cartridges for the model. Essentially the same as the Ballard cartridge of the same designation, the .32-40 was a popular chambering for target rifles in the black powder era, but was mostly over-shadowed by smokeless powder chamberings shortly after the 1894 was introduced. This example is in Fine-plus condition as Antique, retaining much of its original finish and showing honest wear given its age and intended use. Whether you’re looking to add a Winchester to a collection or looking for a classic American rifle, you can’t go wrong with this vintage American lever gun. Please see our photos and good luck!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

Winchester Model 1894 Takedown 26" Octagon .32-40 Lever Rifle, 1898 Antique
Winchester Model 1894 Takedown 26″ Octagon .32-40 Lever Rifle, 1898 Antique