Model: 1876 Special Order Deluxe Rifle
Serial Number: 7480
Year of Manufacture: 1880
Caliber: .45-60 Winchester
Action Type: Lever Action with Half-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.” and “CAL. 45-60”. The lower tang is marked “7480” at the rear. The upper tang is marked “MODEL 1876”. The bottom of the carrier is also marked “45-60”.
Barrel Length: The half-octagon half-round barrel is 28” in length.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a Beech type folding sight with hood that is dovetailed into the top of the barrel. The sight is mounted backwards in the barrel, and when the sight is folded down, there is a notch in the top of the hood’s base, which probably used to hold a bead sight, which is now missing. When the sight is folded-up, a thin ball and pin sight is presented. The rear sight is a flip-up ladder sight dovetailed into the top of the barrel. When the ladder is folded down, there is a deep “V” notched sight presented. When the ladder is folded up, the rear sight is a “V” notch in the slider. The ladder is marked from “2” to “10” along the right side and at the top with “1876”. The upper tang has a single drilled, tapped and filled hole for a tang sight.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two piece fancy Deluxe checkered walnut set with a lacquered finish that are dark with oil staining in the wrist and at the back of the forend. The buttstock has a smooth shotgun style blued steel buttplate and a straight grip. The forend has a case colored nosecap with the front of the magazine tube protruding through its front face. The wood to metal fit is excellent and there are no cracks or chips noted. There are numerous drag lines and a few small dings in the buttstock. The forend has a bruise and a ding on its left bottom shoulder with a strip of tiny scratches and drag lines on the left side and several light dings on the right side. The checkering shows light wear with two large marred areas on the right side of the forend. The LOP measures 13 1/8” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate shows thinning, minor wear, several tiny scratches and a few dark spots of solid erosion. The buttplate is in about Very Good condition. The stocks are in about Very Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: The barrel, magazine tube and loading gate are blued. The forend’s nosecap, receiver, hammer and lever are case colored.
Finish Originality: The finish is original.
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright, tending to gray at the muzzle. The rifling shows moderate wear. There is light erosion in the bore from the muzzle back several inches.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 65% of its metal finish. The front half of the barrel shows thinning with multiple scratches and light handling marks and a few scrapes through the finish. The spots that show surface loss are developing a plum colored patina. The rear half of the barrel shows surface loss on its edges and several scratches through the finish. The right top edge of the barrel near the receiver has an area of multiple tiny dings about an inch long. The case coloring on the receiver and its sideplates is somewhat muted, but still visible. The left sideplate is sprinkled with tiny spots of surface frosting and there are a few larger spots on the left side of the receiver. There are a few tiny dings on the left side of the receiver in front of the sideplate and a light drag line on the right side of the receiver. The hammer checkering shows light wear. The screw heads are sharp but most show light marks from a screwdriver. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The hammer has a half-cock safety and the lever safety is operational. We have not fired this rifle. It has a “thumbprint” dust cover on the receiver that slides on a rail screwed to the top of the receiver, typical of the Second Models. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This rifle comes with a letter from the Cody Museum stating that this rifle was first made in January 1880, but was then pulled out of stock and changed to .45-60 Win. caliber, a deluxe stock, half-octagon barrel, half-magazine and Beach front sight. It was shipped in June 1880.
Our Assessment: Per Wikipedia: “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 1886.”. Unfortunately, the 1876 lost popularity when the Model 1886 was introduced in heavier calibers. This rifle is chambered in .45-60 Win., a cartridge developed by simply shortening the .45- 70 Govt. so it would fit in the short action of the Model 1876 rifle. The cartridge is capable of pushing a 300 grain lead bullet to 1390 fps, more than adequate for deer and elk within reasonable range. This is a 2nd Model 1876 rifle that was special ordered, and resulted in Winchester pulling this rifle out of stock and modifying it to meet the requirements of the order. The rifle has a 28” half-round, half-octagon barrel, a button magazine, a case colored receiver, a Beach front sight and a fancy walnut checkered stock with a shotgun style buttplate. The rifle has the correct “thumbprint” dust cover that mounts on a rail screwed to the top of the receiver. This rifle is in about Fine condition with about 65% of its original finish remaining. The bore is mostly bright, tending to gray at the muzzle, with moderate wear in the rifling and light erosion near the muzzle. 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, some just more so than others. This rifle is beautiful, and with its original metal and wood finishes, this rifle is perfect for the high-end collector who needs a ’76 to put between the ’73 and ’86 that are already in his safe.