Outstanding and Rare, Special Order, Inscribed First Model Winchester 1876 "Open Top" Rifle with Fac

Currency:USD Category:Antiques / Firearms & Armory Start Price:8,000.00 USD Estimated At:16,000.00 - 25,000.00 USD
Outstanding and Rare, Special Order, Inscribed First Model Winchester 1876  Open Top  Rifle with Fac
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This is both a very fine and rare example of a First Model Winchester 1876 open top rifle. These early production guns feature no dust cover hence the name "open top". Only 3000 of these First Model rifles were produced before a dust cover was installed making them extremely scarce. Winchester production of the Model 1876 was extremely limited in comparison to the other models of this time and only a mere 66,000 were manufactured making them rare and desirable in any condition or variation. The First Model represent the most desirable collector configuration outside of the "1 of 100" and "1 of 1000". Accompanied by a factory letter which confirms this rifles configuration, and states "Rifle, Octagon Barrel, Set Trigger. Received in the warehouse February 21, 1878 and shipped from the warehouse on July 6, 1878". The lower tang is numbered "1625", which is well within the First Model range, making this a second year production rifle. The underside of the brass cartridge carrier is inscribed with the original owners initials "AJC". The initials are certainly factory quality work and if not done in the factory they are of a professional, and period, jeweler's hand. Rocky Mountain German silver front sight with folding graduated to 1,000 yards rear sight. The top of the barrel is marked "WINCHESTER'S - REPEATING ARMS. NEW HAVEN. CT. / KING'S- IMPROVEMENT - PATENTED - MARCH 29, 1866. OCTOBER 16. 1860." ahead of the rear sight, there is no caliber markings on the barrel or carrier. The upper tang is marked with the early style "MODEL 1876" . Blue barrel, magazine tube and frame. Casehardened hammer, lever, and crescent steel buttplate, with cleaning rod in the butt trap. Finished with a smooth oiled forearm and straight grip stock.
BBL: 28 inch octagon
Stock: walnut
Gauge: 45-75
Finish: blue/casehardened
Serial Number: 1625
Condition: Very Fine. The barrel and magazine tube retain 60% plus original blue finish exhibiting only slight thinning on high edges and some scattered minor surface scratches. The frame retains 75% original blue finish with very minor wear to exposed edges and some casual overall collector type handling marks. The tang shows evidence of a removed vernier tang sight. The loading gate still maintains a strong percent of its original niter blue finish and shows no signs of typical cartridge wear indicating very little use. The hammer and lever exhibit strong original but dark case color hues. The wood is also very fine showing and old coat of varnish otherwise some scattered minor pressure marks. The action is excellent. Overall a very scarce and desirable inscribed First Model "Open Top" Winchester 1876 Rifle.