This is an early antique production 1892 Sporting rifle in 44-40 Caliber, with a 24" octagon barrel, full magazine, and crescent rifle buttplate. Serial number is in the 91,000 range manufactured in the year 1895. Overall, this rifle is in NRA Antique Fine Plus Condition with approximately 60% original receiver blue that is strong on the left side and thinning out on the right side. The hammer has 35% case colors while the lever retains 10% colors with the balance faded to silver which is subsiding to a light patina. The loading port still has evidence original fire blue around the circumference and in the back of the spoon. The barrel and magazine tube retain 75% original blue that is thinning with the balance turning to a smooth plum patina. Forend cap has 80% bright original blue. Original sights include the standard semi-buckhorn rear sight with original elevator and standard front sight with German silver bladed which has been thinned out a bit by the original owner. Screws are in very good condition overall with only a few showing turn marks.
This rifle has all of the correct and original early markings and knurlings. This includes the first style 2 line Winchester barrel address, and caliber designation both located on the top flat of the octagon barrel. The hammer has the original 2nd style checkered rectangular border without the widow's peak...which is correct for a 92 produced in 1895. The upper tang markings are the early 3 line style marked "MODEL 1892" over -WINCHESTER- followed by the John Browning's patent date on the bottom line, "PAT. OCT. 14 1884." The reason the patent date is 8 years earlier than this model's year designation is because Browning's original design was for the Model 1886 which he scaled down years later for the model 1892. In fact, given that he'd already done the groundwork in the 1880's, it took Browning less than a month to produce a working prototype for Winchester...the result was one of the cleanest looking designs Winchester ever offered.
The wood is solid and in very good condition overall with mostly light handling marks and scratches...good wood to metal fit that isn't undersized except around the bottom tip toe of the buttplate which is due to natural shrinkage. No chips, cracks, or repairs.
Mechanically, this rifle is in excellent shape with a mint bore with perfect rifling that shines like a mirror. You can still see the original chamfer Winchester put at the muzzle of all sporting rifles which is usually worn away. This one was used sparingly by an owner who knew how to look after a bore....not a big deal in today's world but quite a feat for a rifle produced in the 19th century when black powder and corrosive priming were the norm.