Winchester Model 1876 Centennial 28″ .45-60 WCF Lever Rifle, 1878 Antique

SOLD FOR: $3875

LSB#: 230914LM129

Make: Winchester

Model: 1876 Rifle, 2nd Model

Serial Number: 6534

Year of Manufacture: 1878

Caliber: .45-60 Winchester Center Fire

Action Type: Lever Action with Full-Length Tubular Magazine and Set Trigger (we could not get the trigger to set)

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 “V”-notch 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 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 scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches, mostly on the buttstock. The forend has minor play front-to-rear. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 12 7/8” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate has been refinished, having generally strong finish with some wear and oxidation at the heel and toe. The stocks are in about Fine overall condition as refinished Antique.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: Refinished

Bore Condition: The bore is dark gray with well defined rifling. There is light-moderate erosion and some pitting scattered through the bore. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates 5 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 current metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. The barrel has generally strong finish, the magazine tube has some scattered wear and the receiver’s finish is generally thinning or worn. There are scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. There is infrequent minor surface oxidation. The receiver has some scattered erosion under the finish. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings range from clear to worn and incomplete. Overall, this rifle is in about Very Good condition as refinished Antique (see Mechanics).

Mechanics: The trigger functions properly as a standard trigger, but we could not get it to set. Otherwise, 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 28″ barrel is chambered in .45-60 Winchester Center Fire, a cartridge designed for the short action Model 1876 rifle. This Model 1876 rifle is in about Very Good condition as refinished Antique, retaining much of its new finish and having light wear in its beautifully figured stocks. The rifle is from quite early in production, a 2nd Model with a screw-secured rail for its “thumbprint” dust cover. 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. 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, 1878 Antique
Winchester Model 1876 Centennial 28″ .45-60 WCF Lever Rifle, 1878 Antique