This is a nice example of a 2nd Model 1895 Winchester Rifle in caliber .30 US a.k.a. 30-40 Krag and one of the few you will find that's an antique. Its serial number is in the 18,500 range what dates its production to the end of the year 1898. Out of 425,000 Model 1895's produced from 1896 to 1930, there are just over 19,000 that qualify as antiques. Of those, roughly the 1st 5,000 were Flatside rifles and roughly 10,000 of the remaining 14,000 were Muskets for the US Army. This leaves only about 4,000 2nd Models that were made prior to Jan. 1, 1899, the legal cutoff for an antique under federal law. We called this one into the Cody Museum and it was recorded as:
Received in warehouse on December 17, 1898
Shipped from warehouse on December 20, 1898, Order number 18054
Repair and Return on July 22, 1904, Order number 23799
Given that it shipped as a standard rifle with no special order features, the return to Winchester in 1904 was almost certainly so this rifle could be fitted for the No. 21 Lyman peep sight it now wears. The 3rd and 6th graduations have the two little painted white dots which I've always been told indicates it was installed and sighted in at the Winchester factory rather than an over-the-counter or dealer installation. Makes sense. The barrel is 28 inches which is round, standard for the 30-40 Krag. Standard crescent rifle buttplate. The rifle appears to be all original and in really nice shape with the exception of the front sight blade which is a later Marbles 6H...commonly found on the 1894 Winchester Carbine. Overall condition grades to NRA Antique Fine Plus to Excellent with 85% bright original receiver blue with some spotting from poor storage that are fairly smooth. The barrel shows 80% original blue. The stock and forend are in Very Good Condition with no cracks or repairs. No extra holes for sling eyes or swivels. The black ebony insert in the forend is intact. Bore is Very Good Plus with strong lands and grooves and no signs of pitting, no rings, no bulges. It was dirty when we got it and it cleaned up really nice with just a few brush strokes and two patches. With a little more elbow grease, it should probably clean up to Fine or Fine+. For an antique Pre-1898 Model 1895, this rifle is in exceptional condition.