Here is one you don't see every day or every year for that matter. This is a Model 1892 Winchester rifle with a special order extra length 30" octagon barrel in caliber .38 WCF. It was found just recently in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains and was no doubt, a late 19th century replacement for someone who grew up shooting a percussion long rifle. About 15 years ago, we found an 1873 in .32 WCF with a 34" barrel from the same general area as well as a 32" Full Deluxe in .44 WCF slightly to the north in Kentucky. Both of those 1873 rifles have gone on well-known dealers, auctions, and collectors for much higher price tags. That said, very few Model 1892's were built by Winchester with extra long barrels past the standard 24 inches and in 35 years of collecting, this is the longest length for an 1892 I've personally encountered. For a long barrel Winchester, it's fairly light compared to a Model 1873. You would hate to carry one around with you all day in the woods. This one however, weighs only 7-3/4 lbs. Maybe the guy who ordered this was on to something.
The nice thing about this one was that it's early enough to have a record at the Cody Firearms Museum but not only that, it is an antique made before 1899. Comes with a factory letter stating that it shipped on October 16, 1897 with a 30" barrel, beech front sight, and graduated peep rear sight. It's uncommon to find a Winchester that letters with special sights as these were usually installed by the owner or the dealer after it left the factory. The rifle is still wearing its original beech front. As for the graduated peep, the original base and screw are present but the ladder and peep have long since been removed. This would have most likely been a mid-range tang sight and graduated peep which can be seen in illustrations in the 1890's era Winchester catalogs. That said, we did a lot of looking for a suitable replacement ladder and came up with a mid-range vernier peep which is a little fancier than the graduated peep as it uses a small knob on the top of the ladder to raise and lower the peep. The ladder matches the condition of the rest of the rifle quite well but it's technically a step above the graduated peep. That said, if a prospective buyer has an extra graduated peep ladder and isn't interested in the vernier ladder, we can remove it and knock $300 off the price.
Markings and knurlings are all correct and original for this 1897 vintage rifle. It has the early style two-line barrel address located on the top flat with no patent date. Caliber is marked just ahead of the frame on the top flat at 12 o'clock. It has no proofmarks on the frame and barrel which is correct. The hammer is the 2nd style with the rectangular border which is also correct. As this gun is untouched, we prefer to leave this rifle as undisturbed as possible and therefore have not removed under the tang sight base but I will guarantee the early style three line Winchester make, model, and patent date are there underneath.
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Fine and in a fairly untouched state. Most of the screw slots are caked with decades of accumulated dried grease and dirt. Finish-wise, the left side of the receiver has around 65% thinning original blue with the right side showing mostly brown patina with 30% original thinning blue mixed throughout. The loading port shows 40% vivid fire blue in protected areas. Bolt has 70% original blue while the hammer and lever show strong traces of original case colors in protected areas. The barrel and magazine tube show 30% faded original blue that is strongest between the barrel and tube areas and along the wood line...but specks and small streaks of blue on the barrel flats mixing into the patina. The wood is in Fine Condition Overall with 80% original varnish. Nice wood to metal fit with the wood standing slightly proud of the metal, just the way it left the factory. There are no cracks or repairs but normal light handling marks, and one moderate gash to the upper left side of the forend. Mechanics appear to be Excellent and the bore is Excellent. This is a nice untouched example of a scarce special order 1892 Winchester that is much rarer than a short barreled Trapper or Short Rifle and you almost never find them with factory installed special sights. A rare and intriguing Winchester.