Winchester Model 1876 Centennial 28″ .45-60 WCF Lever Rifle, 1881 Antique

SOLD FOR: $3000

LSB#: 230406MN025

Make: Winchester

Model: 1876 Rifle

Serial Number: 16681

Year of Manufacture: 1881

Caliber: .45-60 Winchester Center Fire

Action Type: Lever Action with Full-Length Tubular Magazine

Barrel Length: 28″, Octagonal

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade in a slotted base dovetailed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a folding ladder-style sight, presenting a “V”-notch when folded down and with a “V”-notched slider on the ladder. The ladder is marked with graduations from 2-10 and the slider is just a little bit loose on the ladder, allowing it to fall to the lower graduations. The top tang is drilled and tapped for a tang sight (none present).

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece smooth walnut with a straight grip, steel nosecap and steel crescent buttplate. The plate has a sliding door over a storage compartment (there are some old patches in the compartment, too far in to easily remove). The stocks have scattered nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches. There are some open grain-lines on the left of the forend toward the top-front. There are thin cracks in the right of the wrist and at the rear of each tang. There are cracks at each corner of the buttplate’s tang. The LOP measures 12 7/8” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate has gone to a light patina with wear at the heel and toe, scattered light nicks and scratches, and infrequent minor erosion. The stocks are in Good-Very Good overall condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is light gray with well defined rifling. There is light erosion and some pitting scattered through the bore. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates a 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 20% of its metal finish. Most remaining finish is in protected areas or around raised features. Other areas have mostly worn to white or gone to a light patina. There is some scattered minor surface oxidation. There are scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. There are tool marks around some screw heads and deep tool marks on the bottom edge of the right sideplate. The screw heads range from sharp to disfigured with usable slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in about Very Good condition as Antique (see Mechanics).

Mechanics: The lever safety does not properly prevent the trigger from dropping the hammer. Otherwise, the action functions correctly. The hammer has a half-cock safety position. The dust cover slides on a rail which is secured to the receiver via screws. We have not fired 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 1876 was a heavier-framed rifle than the Model 1873, and was the first to be chambered for full-powered centerfire rifle cartridges, as opposed to rimfire cartridges or handgun-sized centerfire rounds. While similar in design to the 1873, the 1876 was actually based on the prototype 1868 lever-action rifle that was never commercially produced by Winchester. It was introduced to celebrate the American Centennial, and earned a reputation as a durable and powerful hunting rifle that was also used by the Canadian North-West Mounted Police and the Texas Rangers. Theodore Roosevelt used one on his early hunting expeditions in the West and one was found in the possession of Apache warrior Geronimo after his surrender in 1882. Unfortunately, the 1876 lost popularity when the Model 1886 was introduced in heavier calibers.

This rifle’s 28″ barrel is chambered in .45-60 Winchester Center Fire, a cartridge designed for the short action Model 1876 rifle. It has a shorter case than its parent .45-70 cartridge to function in the shorter action. This Model 1876 rifle shows honest wear consistent with its age and undoubtedly would have some stories to tell if it could speak. The 1876 Winchester was only made for 21 years, with a total of about 63,871 made in rifle, carbine, and musket formats, with the result that ALL are collectible. This would be a great rifle to add to a collection, placed between an 1873 and an 1886. Please see our photos and good luck!

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

Winchester Model 1876 Centennial 28" .45-60 WCF Lever Rifle, 1881 Antique
Winchester Model 1876 Centennial 28″ .45-60 WCF Lever Rifle, 1881 Antique