Winchester Model 1876 Centennial Deluxe .45-60 Lever Rifle, 1881 Antique

SOLD FOR: $7,601

LSB#: 230815LM014

Make: Winchester

Model: 1876 Deluxe Rifle

Serial Number: 15156

Year of Manufacture: 1881

Caliber: .45-60 Winchester Center Fire

Action Type: Lever Action with Half-Length Tubular Magazine

Barrel Length: 28?, Octagonal

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade in a slotted base dovetailed and screw-set to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a folding ladder-style sight, presenting a square 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 and tapped with a folding tang sight installed, adjustable for elevation.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered select walnut with a pistol grip, decorative ebony inlay in the bottom of the grip, steel nosecap and steel crescent buttplate with sliding door over a storage compartment (there is nothing in the compartment). There is no sign of sanding, but the buttstock appears to have had a new finish applied. There are some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. There is cracking to the left of the top tang and at the rear edge of the bottom tang. There are a few tiny losses around the edges of the wrist. The buttstock’s finish has some crazing. The LOP measures 13” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate has mostly muted or gone to a light patina, there is some erosion at the heel and toe. The stocks are in Very Good-plus overall condition as refinished and likely replaced Antique.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: The finish appears original to the parts. The Cody Firearms Records Office search indicates that the barrel and likely the buttstock have been replaced, as well as indicating that the receiver was originally case hardened. It is possible that this was a Winchester factory modification, see Our Assessment.

Bore Condition: The bore is light gray with sharp rifling. There is light erosion and some light pitting in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 6 or 7 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 80% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. There is scattered light wear, mostly in grip areas. There are scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. There is some scattered minor surface oxidation with infrequent spots of erosion. 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 Fine condition as Antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The hammer has a half-cock safety position. The dust cover slides on a rail which is screw-secured 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: This rifle comes with a Cody Firearms Records Office records search which indicates that this rifle has been altered from its original configuration. The letter also notes “Returned by Pope”, this may be when the rifle was altered to its current configuration.

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 a very nice example, a Deluxe Rifle made in 1881. Its 28″ octagonal barrel is chambered for the .45-60 Winchester cartridge, the stocks are checkered select walnut with a pistol grip and crescent buttplate. The rifle has a half-length “button” magazine. Winchester records indicate that this rifle was originally produced with a 26″ barrel, casehardened receiver and shotgun butt. The records also note “Returned by Pope” in February of 1892 as a receiver only, shipped back out the same day. It is possible that the receiver was reblued and assembled to its current configuration when it was returned to Winchester, but whatever was done when the receiver was returned was not recorded in the records.

Especially given the rifle’s age, it’s in quite outstanding condition with a decent bore, strong mechanics and the majority of its blue finish remaining. My compatriot Red agrees that this rifle is indeed a hot piece! 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 Deluxe example with its deluxe features would be a great rifle to add to any 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 Deluxe .45-60 Lever Rifle, 1881 Antique
Winchester Model 1876 Centennial Deluxe .45-60 Lever Rifle, 1881 Antique