Sold For: $2,265.99
Make: Winchester Repeating Arms
Serial Number: 471218
Year of Manufacture: 1908
Caliber: .38-55 Winchester
Action Type: Lever Action with Full Length Tubular Magazine
Markings: The top of the barrel in front of the rear sight is marked “MANUFACTURED BY THE WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. / NEW HAVEN, CONN. U .S.A. PATENTED AUGUST 21. 1894.”. The left shoulder of the barrel is marked “38-55”. The top of the barrel at the receiver and the top of the receiver’s chamber ring are marked with a circled “WP” proof. The upper tang is marked “MODEL 1894 / WINCHESTER / TRADE MARK REG. U.S. PATENT OFF.”. The bottom tang in front of the trigger is marked with an assembly number “69”. The bottom front of the receiver is marked “471218”.
Barrel Length: The octagon barrel is 26” in length.
Sights / Optics: This rifle is mounted with a “U” notched semi-buckhorn elevator sight dovetailed into the barrel. The front sight is a brass blade that is fixed to a steel base, which is dovetailed into the barrel and secured with a set screw. The upper tang is drilled, tapped and filled for a tang sight.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are 2 piece dark walnut with a straight grip and crescent shaped buttplate. The front of the forend has a blued steel nosecap. The wood had a varnished finish at one point, which is now mostly worn off. The stocks show oil staining in the wrist and the rear underside of the forend. There are several large bruises on the left side of the buttstock with a deep ding and drag line in the left side of the wrist. There are several small dings and lighter handling marks in both sides of the stock. There is a spot on the left underside of the forend which appears abraded, but which is actually a string of tiny dings. The wood to metal fit is excellent. The LOP measures 13 ¼” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate shows surface loss and a few light handling marks, and is starting to develop a plum colored patina. It is in about Very Good condition. The stocks rate in about Very Good Fair overall condition.
Type of Finish: The rifle is blued. The lever and hammer are case colored.
Finish Originality: The finish is original.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling shows very light wear. There are a few tiny spots of very light erosion in two of the grooves near the muzzle.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 40% of its finish. There is surface loss at the front edges of the barrel and magazine tube, the magazine tube hanger, the forend nosecap, and over most of the receiver and its tangs. There are a few small spots of light pinprick surface erosion scattered over the magazine tube and barrel, with a single spot on the right side of the receiver above the back edge of the loading gate. There are several spots of surface frosting scattered over the barrel, the rear sight base, the left side of the receiver and the sides of the lever, with a scab of solid erosion on the inside lower surface of the lever. There are several scratches through the finish, small dings and spots of surface loss in the magazine tube. The barrel shows thinning on its edges with several light handling marks and a few tiny dings in its edges. The receiver shows a few light scratches on its sides. The lever shows thinning but there are still traces of case coloring present. The screw heads are sharp and the markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action works correctly. This rifle was designed with a half-cock notch in the hammer for a safety and a lever safety. The action locks-up solidly. 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: The .38-55 Winchester cartridge was introduced in 1876 by Ballard. It was used by Marlin Firearms from 1875 on for various single-shot target rifles where is gained a reputation for exceptional accuracy at ranges up to 330 yards. It was also used by Marlin in their 1893 lever action rifle and was one of the first two cartridges offered in the Winchester Model 1894. When first loaded with blackpowder, the cartridge produced a muzzle velocity of about 1300 fps. with a 255 grain bullet, but this was later increased to about 1700 fps. with smokeless powder loading, giving it about a 20% increase in muzzle energy over that of a .30-30 Win. This is an excellent cartridge for deer and black bear. This rifle is in about Very Good condition with about 40% of its original finish remaining. The bore is bright with light wear in the rifling. There are a few tiny spots of very light erosion in two of the grooves near the muzzle. We think the collectors are going to be very interested in this rifle. You don’t see that many early Model 1894’s that still have their original finish, and fewer still in hard to find calibers like the .38-55 Win. , making this rifle worth a premium over the .30-30 Win. chambered rifles.