Model: 54 Improved Sporter
Serial Number: 41880A
Caliber: .22 Hornet
Action Type: Bolt Action Rifle with Internal Box Magazine
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “-WINCHESTER / PROOF STEEL / -MODEL 54- / WINCHESTER / -TRADE MARK- / -22 HORNET.-“. The left rear of the barrel and the left side of the chamber ring are marked with circled “WP” proofs. The left of the receiver is marked “WINCHESTER / -TRADE MARK-“. The right side of the barrel is marked “MADE IN U.S.A. WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. / NEW HAVEN, CONN. PATENTS APPLIED FOR”. The right side of the chamber ring is marked with the serial number. The bottom of the bolt body is marked with a triangle and “8”. The front of the trigger guard is marked “3”.
Barrel Length: 24”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is brass beaded blade dovetailed into a textured ramp base with a hood. A “U”-notch semi-buckhorn leaf with elevator is dovetailed into a boss on the rear of the barrel. A Lyman peep sight adjustable for windage and elevation is mounted at the rear-left of the receiver. The top of the chamber ring is drilled, tapped and filled for a scope mount. The barrel is drilled, tapped and filled forward of the barrel boss for installation of a different rear sight.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stock is one-piece walnut with a pistol grip, checkered blued steel shotgun style buttplate and checkered forend. There are sling studs mounted at the bottom-front of the forend and on the toe-line. The stock has been cut to accomodate the peep sight and its elevation bar. The oil finish is thinning toward the butt. There are light marks near the sling studs as from a sling, a couple of marks on the left side behind and below the peep sight, a bruise on the right behind the forend checkering and a few scattered light marks. The buttplate has a small extension on the top and at its tip is a very small chip loss and a very small crack. There are no chips or cracks other than that at the buttplate. The LOP measures 13 5/8” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate has wear at its edges and at the heel with a small bit of wear on the top of the smooth diamond around the bottom screw. The checkering is sharp and the finish in the checkering is strong. The buttplate is in about Fine condition. The stock rates in about Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: The finish is blued.
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 94% of its metal finish. There are a few light scratches on the top of the barrel forward of the forend and a couple more on the bottom. The floorplate has wear consistent with behind carried while wearing a ring and some of this wear has light surface oxidation. The trigger guard has light wear on the edges and a few marks on the bottom. The screw heads have very light tool marks with sharp slots. The markings are clear and deep. The markings on the right side of the barrel have small imperfections, but they appear to be from a worn die, not from refinish. Overall, this rifle rates in about Excellent condition as modified for sights.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly however the magazine spring is either broken or missing. The rifle has a three-position safety similar to the M1903: all the way to the left locks the bolt and disables the trigger; straight up disables the trigger but the bolt is free to move, and to the right enables the rifle to be fired. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: Winchesters Model 54 rifle was made from 1925-1930, with a carbine offered in 1927 and an improved version offered in 1930. The rifle was Winchesters only bolt action centerfire rifle at the time, and ceased production when the legendary Model 70 became available in 1937. This is the Improved Sporter version with a 24” barrel chambered in .22 Hornet and has a variety of sighting options including the installed iron and peep sights. This would make a great rifle for varmint, small game, and predators as well as target shooting, however a 1934 Model 54 in this condition will likely attract collectors. Please see our photos and good luck!
CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This C&R eligible rifle can be transferred/sold in California.