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    Antique 1894 Production 3-Digit Serial Number Winchester First
Model 1894 Lever Action Rifle with Desirable “10 O’clock” Screw
Frame in 38-55 W.C.F. - Serial no. 347, 38-55 cal., 26 inch round bbl., blue finish,
walnut stock. Manufactured in 1894, the first year of production. The special order nickel steel barrel
is roll stamped with the two-line legend “- MANUFACTURED BY THE-/-WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. NEW HAVEN. CONN. U.S.A.” on the left side. The caliber designation “38-55” is also stamped on the left side at the breech.
The barrel is also fitted with the special order half-length “button” magazine tube. The top of the barrel and receiver are marked with the Winchester proof marks, which did not appear until the 240,000 serial number range. This writer believes the markings are honest, and in lieu of a factory letter, imply the rifle returned
to the factory for the application of the special order barrel and magazine tube around 1910-1915. The receiver is a “First Model” featuring an extra screw on either side which has become known as a “10 o’clock screw” by collectors due to its position in relation to the loading gate. These First Model receivers are seen into as high as the 6000 serial number range, as the factory used up receivers in no particular order. The three-line model/patent markings are on the upper tang, and the very early three-digit serial number “347” is marked on the bottom of the receiver. The tang-mounted rear peep sight has been added after-market, and the front mounting screw obstructs the first “-“ of the three-line model/patent marking. It is fitted with a smooth forearm and straight grip stock with a crescent buttplate.
CONDITION: Fine, retaining 60% factory refinished blue finish with few scattered patches of light pitting and some surface marks that make for honest wear. The wood is also fine, having light surface marks commensurable with the metal components. Mechanically excellent.
Estimate: 5,500 - 8,500
    LOT 3026
  LOT 3027
Documented First Year Production Three Digit Serial Number
Winchester Deluxe Model 1887 Lever Action Shotgun with Factory
Letter - Serial no. 158, 12 gauge, 30 inch round bbl., blue finish, deluxe walnut stock. Offered here is an early production three digit serial number of Winchester’s first highly successful repeating shotgun: the Model 1887. This
first year production Model 1887 is made even more desirable by
being in highly sought after deluxe configuration. A total of 64,855 were manufactured in 1887-1901. Most prior shotguns were single or double barrel break actions. The Model 1887 held
six shots and could be fired rapidly. It is no surprise that this fine arm was based on designs by John M. Browning given his long and productive relationship with Winchester. Production of this model began just two years after Browning sold his single shot design to Winchester. The Model 1887 built upon the solid reputation
of Winchester’s lever action long guns that were already in widespread use throughout the country. Many Model 1887s replaced double barrel coach guns used by “shotgun messengers” employed by express companies and lawmen
throughout the country. Cochise County Sheriff John Horton Slaughter is known to have been fond of these six shot repeaters. The accompanying factory letter states the shotgun was received in the warehouse on June 1, 1887, and shipped on June 3 with a 30 inch “good Damascus” barrel in 12 gauge,
fancy checkered stock, and rubber buttplate. The letter also gives a July 8, 1887, repair and return date. The Damascus barrel is fitted with a single bead front sight. The left side of
the frame has the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. monogram, and the lower tang bears the Winchester address/patent dates marking. The shotgun correctly lacks a gauge marking as the
gauge was not marked on the barrel until after the 3000 serial number range. The deluxe walnut forearm and round knob pistol grip stock feature checkering. The buttstock is fitted with a checkered hard rubber factory buttplate. The left side of the lower tang is marked “184 XXX.” The assembly number “184” is repeated on the stock inlet.
CONDITION: Very good overall. From its untouched smooth dark patina to its chipped stock toe, this first year production three digit serialized Model 1887 displays authentic character of a well traveled shotgun of the period that still retains traces of original blue finish on the magazine tube, half of the faded original Damascus pattern visible on the barrel, and overall well-defined stock and forearm checkering. Mechanically excellent. Model 1887s in deluxe configuration are rarely encountered in any condition, especially those manufactured in the first year of production. This example’s well worn appearance from a lifetime of service is a testament to the Model 1887 legacy and John Browning’s genius.
26 Estimate: 4,500 - 7,000

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