This 1892 saddle ring carbine with a scarce early Antique serial number in the 98,000 range. Standard 20" carbine in 44 WCF/44-40 with carbine sights, saddle ring, semi-crescent carbine buttplate, and a 1/2 button magazine. According to Madis, it was built in 1895. Best of all, it comes with a documented history of its use by the Western Australian Police Force. The WAP purchased Winchester 1873 and 1892 carbines from as far back as the 1880's through the 1920's. They were kept in service until the early 1970s when most were rounded up and apparently sold off as surplus. This particular gun shows up in Police records as having come from to the Police Station in the town of Pingelly which is about 100 miles from Perth. The sale will include a copy of the 1977 dated letter, 6 pages in all, from the WAP Police Commissioner detailing the history, WAP ownership markings, and serial numbers of all known Winchester carbines used by the force. Somewhere, I also have a photograph taken during a Goldminer's strike or a Gold Strike at the nearby town of Kalgoorlie in 1898...as explained in the letter. The photo depicts a large group of Western Australian Police dressed in military uniforms standing at attention holding Winchester saddle ring carbines. Most of these officers are holding Model 1873 saddle ring carbines but there is one man in particular who is in fact holding an 1892 carbine with a button magazine. The gun in this photo bears a very strong resemblance to this particular gun although its taken from too far away to show much detail. At this moment in time back in 1898, the WAP would have only had about 20-25 1892 src's on hand as the bulk of 185 documented 1892 carbines weren't purchased until after the year 1900, Just to stir the pot a bit more, if you look at a map of Western Australia...which is not a small State btw, you will notice that the town of Pingelly is not terribly far from Kalgoorlie where the photo was taken. The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia regarding Kalgoorlie during its boom years. "The Goldfields area boomed as a whole, with an area population exceeding 200,000, mainly prospectors. The area gained a notorious reputation for being a wild west (town) with bandits and prostitutes." We can surmise that there must have been an occasional need for extra law enforcement from other nearby towns when things got a little out of hand. Could the Officer be from Pingelly and holding this very gun?
Overall, this carbine is in NRA Antique Fine+ condition with 70-75% original receiver blue with a fair bit of carry wear. The saddle ring has rubbed a beautiful shadow or ring pattern on the left side of the frame. The loading port has bright fire blue along its perimeter. Bolt retains 95% bright blue with locking lugs still showing some of their original polish. The hammer has 80% original case colors intact while the lever shows strong traces of color in the more protected areas. The barrel has 50% thinning blue with the balance worn to silver from scabbard wear. The barrel band has 50% bright original blue with the high spots worn due to scabbard wear. Yes, the WAP did carry their 1892's on horseback inside full leather scabbards. I've only seen one in a picture but they generally bear the same markings as the gun. In fact, the WAP letter states that along with the Winchesters, that 9 cartridge belts, 4 pouches, and 33 scabbards were also sold for tender in the early 70's. The wood on this carbine is Fine overall with mostly minor handling marks. No chips, cracks, or repairs. Wood to metal fit is perfect. Never sanded or refinished. Each side of the stock and forearm are stamped with the WAP's unique ownership mark (also explained in the letter). This is the 5th WAP carbine (4 1892's and 1 1873) we've seen in 25 years of collecting, and they all have had this marking either in the wood, or in the metal on the side of the frame. Nice early style markings include the early 2 line barrel address, 3 line tang markings which include Browning's 1884 patent date, and original 2-900 yard graduated ladder sight. Last but not least, this carbine exhibits perfect mechanics and a flawless bore. This is true of most police-used weapons...carried..yes.... but hardly used internally. A rare little antique 1892 carbine with a documented law enforcement history that went out West...just a little further West to the land Down Under!