Winchester Model 1876 Centennial 24″ .40-60 WCF Lever Rifle, 1883 Antique

SOLD FOR: $3501

LSB#: 230914LM126

Make: Winchester

Model: 1876 Rifle

Serial Number: 34311

Year of Manufacture: 1883

Caliber: .40-60 Winchester Center Fire

Action Type: Lever Action with Full-Length Tubular Magazine

Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “WINCHESTER’S REPEATING ARMS, NEW HAVEN, CT. / KING’S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29.1866. OCTOBER 16.1860.” forward of the rear sight, the top-rear of the barrel is marked “CAL. 40-60”. The lower tang is marked “34311” at the rear. The upper tang is marked “MODEL 1876.”. The bottom of the carrier is marked “40-60”. The receiver and sideplates have decorative scroll engraving.

Barrel Length: 24″, Octagonal

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a german silver blade in a slotted base dovetailed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a folding ladder-style sight which presents a “V”-notch while folded down. When folded up, there is a “V”-notched slider on the ladder which is graduated from 2-10. The top tang is drilled, tapped and filled for a tang sight (none present).

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered select walnut with a straight grip, steel nosecap and steel crescent buttplate with sliding door storage compartment (there is nothing in the compartment). The stocks have a few scattered light nicks and scratches. There is a repaired break across the wrist, with each side of the wrist having an inlaid patch-repair with the checkering cut across the patches. A chip-loss at the toe has been repaired with the original piece. The checkering is well defined. The LOP measures 12 7/8” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate has been refinished in chrome with some wear and oxidation at the toe. The stocks are in Very Good-plus overall condition as refinished and repaired Antique.

Type of Finish: Blue & Bright Polish

Finish Originality: Refinished

Bore Condition: The bore is light gray with well defined rifling. There is scattered light erosion and minor pitting in the bore. There is a notable nick at the muzzle inside the crown. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates about 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 95% of its current metal finish. The new finish is generally strong throughout. There are some scattered minor nicks and scuffs. There is infrequent minor surface erosion under the finish, mostly on the receiver. There is infrequent very minor surface oxidation, mostly on the top tang. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings range from clear to worn, but legible. Overall, this rifle is in Fine-plus condition as refinished Antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. 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 24″ barrel is chambered in .40-60 Winchester Center Fire, a cartridge designed for the short action Model 1876 rifle. It has a shorter, fatter case intended to improve performance over the .45-70 Govt with a lighter bullet traveling notably faster. This Model 1876 rifle has been refinished, so it looks absolutely outstanding for its age. The receiver and sideplates have been engraved. The consignor noted George Sherwood as the engraver, but it is not signed. The rifle has a distinctive two-tone appearance with deep blue on the barrel, magazine and lever, while the receiver has been polished bright and then engraved. The deluxe walnut stocks are also quite attractive, with a quite skillful repair to the wrist which is easy to miss due to the blended checkering. 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 collectable. This would be a great rifle to add to a collection, placed between an 1873 and an 1886, and will display quite well with its unique appearance. Please see our photos and good luck!

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

Winchester Model 1876 Centennial 24" .40-60 WCF Lever Rifle, 1883 Antique
Winchester Model 1876 Centennial 24″ .40-60 WCF Lever Rifle, 1883 Antique