Winchester Model 71 Deluxe Like 1886 24″ .348 WCF Lever Rifle, MFD 1955 C&R

SOLD FOR: $3750

LSB#: 230504ED015

Make: Winchester Repeating Arms

Model: 71  

Serial Number: 43000

Year of Manufacture: 1955

Caliber: .348 Winchester

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

Barrel Length: 24″

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a beaded blade dovetailed to a hooded, textured, ramped base fixed to the front of the barrel. The bead has some light damage. The rear sight is a “U”-notch elevator sight dovetailed to the rear of the barrel, the notch is fine-adjustable for elevation. The left-rear of the receiver is drilled, tapped and filled for a receiver sight (none present).

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are 2-piece checkered walnut with a capped pistol grip, fluted straight comb, semi-beavertail forend with steel cap, and checkered steel buttplate. There is a sling plate inlet to the belly and a sling mount dovetailed to the bottom of the forend cap. The stocks have some scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. There is a more notable nick in the right-front of the forend and some notable wear in the bottom-rear of the forend. There is a grain-line crack in the top of the wrist to the right of the tang, it does not extend to any edges. There is thinning finish at the rear of the buttstock and in the grip areas. The LOP measures 13 1/4″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has minor wear with well defined checkering. The plate has scattered wear and some surface erosion with well defined checkering. Overall, the stocks are in about Very Good condition.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: The barrel finish appears original, but we suspect that the receiver has been refinished based on the serial marking lacking raised edges. Based on comparison with other Models 71, the receiver finish is consistent with that of the Winchester factory in both color and quality, and given the crispness of the Winchester proof, it is possible that this rifle was returned to Winchester at some point.

Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 10 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 95% of its metal finish. The finish is generally strong with a patch of wear on the top of the barrel in front of the rear sight. There are some light nicks and scratches, most notable in the bottom-front of the receiver. There is a small punch-mark on the left of the receiver at the bottom-rear corner (possible indicator of factory refinish/repair). There is a scribed line around the front of the magazine tube at the cap screw. The action shows light operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in about Fine condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The hammer has a half-cock safety. The lever lock-up is tight. 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: This is a Winchester Model 71 Deluxe rifle made in 1955. 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 is a beautiful example of the model from late in production. Other observed examples of this model were serialized after finish, leaving the edges of the serial markings raised and bright. The receiver of this rifle has finish which is in every way consistent with Winchester, except for being applied after the serial number was struck. Despite this, the Winchester proof on the receiver is quite crisp and there is a punch-mark on the left of the receiver which has been observed on some other Winchester models which were returned to the factory for refurbishment or repair. This leads us to believe that it made its way back to Winchester, at some point. The stocks show wear consistent with use in the field.

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 nice Deluxe example retains a great bore and strong mechanics. It would make for a nice shooter or addition to a collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

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

Winchester Model 71 Deluxe Like 1886 24" .348 WCF Lever Rifle, MFD 1955 C&R
Winchester Model 71 Deluxe Like 1886 24″ .348 WCF Lever Rifle, MFD 1955 C&R