This one is a beauty! Winchester 1894 Saddle Ring Carbine with a hard to find early antique serial number in the 36,000 range. According to The Winchester Book by George Madis, it was manufactured in 1895. When the Model 1894 debuted at the end of the 19th century, carbines were produced in far smaller quantities than their sporting rifle counterparts...perhaps 10-15%. Since they were usually purchased and used as nothing more than utility guns, especially suited for being carried on horseback, survivors from early production are few and far between AND usually well-worn. e.g. See photo of Janis Joplin holding one below. This one is an exception to the rule and I consider myself to be quite fortunate to come across an antique example in this condition once every 2-3 years in my travels. It has been well cared for and shows only light usage. Caliber .30 WCF. Standard Carbine with 20" nickel steel barrel, full magazine, saddle ring, and semi-crescent carbine buttplate. Rear sight is the two-leaf Winchester Express which was standard issue on many early 1894 saddle ring carbines in smokeless calibers 30-30 and 25-35. Front sight is a Marbles Blade marked "1894". Earliest style markings include two-line Winchester barrel address, three-line upper tang w/ make, model, and John Browning's August 21, 1894 patent date. Early first style hammer with decorative border. See photos.
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Excellent Condition with 95% original blue remaining on the receiver, barrel, and magazine tube. Original case colors on the hammer are a strong 90%, 50% on the lever, and this is one of those early carbines that has the case colored buttplate...which is mostly silvered out but still shows about 20% faded colors. Loading port retains 75% of its original tempered colors which are a mixture of blue, purple, and deep bronze straw. Extractor has about 40% of the seem tempered colors. Excellent early walnut wood shows perfect wood to metal fit with no chips, cracks, or repairs. Fine screws overall. Excellent bore and mechanics. This is about as nice as they come for a pre-1898 1894 SRC.