Winchester Model 1876 Centennial 28″ .45-60 WCF Lever Rifle, 1883 Antique

SOLD FOR: $3847

LSB#: 230914LM127

Make: Winchester

Model: 1876 Rifle

Serial Number: 36543

Year of Manufacture: 1883

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 german silver 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 still snug on the ladder. The top tang is drilled, tapped and filled for a tang sight (none present).

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece smooth walnut with a capped forend, straight grip, straight comb, and steel crescent buttplate with a sliding door over a storage compartment (there is nothing in the compartment). The stocks have several scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. There are a few more notable marks in the bottom of the forend at the front and some scraping on the right of the buttstock at the rear. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 13” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate’s finish has mostly muted with scattered spots of light oxidation, nicks and scratches. The stocks are in Very Good-Fine overall condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is gray with well defined rifling. There is light erosion and pitting scattered through the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 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 50% of its metal finish. The rear of the top tang is broken through across the stock mounting screw. The finish is thinning at all edges. The magazine tube has scattered finish wear and evidence of aggressive cleaning. The tube can be turned slightly by hand. The barrel has comparatively strong finish with some scattered light wear. The receiver’s case color shows some muting and minor surface oxidation, but is quite strong in some areas, most notable on the bottom tang and around the trigger. Most worn areas show discoloration from oxidation. There are some scattered nicks and scratches, most notable on the edges of the barrel flats over and in front of the forend. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in about Very Good condition as Antique and would rate Fine but for the break in the tang.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly, though the trigger is quite heavy. The hammer has a half-cock safety position. There is a lever safety. The dust cover slides on a rail which is integral to the receiver. 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 is an honest example from 1883 chambered for the .45-60 Winchester cartridge. Especially given the rifle’s age, it’s in quite good shape with a decent bore, strong mechanics and much of its original blue and case hardened finish remaining. The rear of the top tang has broken across the mounting screw, but otherwise the gun is darned well for 140 years old! 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 example would be a great rifle to add to a Winchester 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, 1883 Antique
Winchester Model 1876 Centennial 28″ .45-60 WCF Lever Rifle, 1883 Antique