Winchester Model 1876?


May 15, 2013, 12:40 PM
I've got another one for you guys! My neighbor actually gave this one to me. The only thing I can find on it is "Model 1876" and after a quick google search I believe it is a Winchester Model 1876. It is very very very rusty and corroded unfortunately. Nothing moves on it the lever, trigger and hammer. For all I know it could still be loaded! :what:

Is it worth restoring? I mean I highly doubt it will ever shoot again but as a wall hanger what do you think?

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May 15, 2013, 07:58 PM
Your picture is too poor quality to tell what condition it is in.

Run a cleaning rod down the barrel and compare the length to the approximate location of the bolt face to see if it is loaded.

A liberal application of penetrating oil might get it loosened up enough to open it.


Jim Watson
May 15, 2013, 07:59 PM
Sure looks like a Centennial.

There is a poster here who has cleaned up a couple of rusty relics. Maybe he will get on board.

May 15, 2013, 08:06 PM
boy that thing is a mess. a very desireable and valuable rifle tho in its better days.if the rust is too deep to restore to a shooter, i think i would get the wood off if possible and get it looking better but not refinish really. soda or bead blast the metal. then maybe brown it or cold blue it to a antique type finish.put it in a shadow box made of old barn wood with some other old west artifacts and make a very nice wall hanger.ive seen well done displays like that bring several hundred dollars to the right folks.

Jim K
May 15, 2013, 10:20 PM
The lever doesn't look like Winchester, nor does the buttplate. I think it might be a dummy "display" gun of the kind made as a wall hanger for "Western" theme restaurants.


May 15, 2013, 11:54 PM
Sorry about the photos, crappy camera! It has got to be the worst condition gun I have ever seen. But it looks like all the parts are there. I highly doubt it will ever shoot again but I would like it to be a wall hanger. I'm thinking of bringing it to my local gunsmith and see if he knows a good treatment for it.

Jim K
May 16, 2013, 12:13 PM
Yep, those pictures are a little better and it does look like a real 1876.

I would try to remove the wood and soak the action in a penetrant for a while to see if any screws will loosen up. But do NOT try to force screws using an ordinary screwdriver; that will only damage the screw heads.


May 16, 2013, 12:38 PM
And it looks to be cocked, so until you can verify it is not loaded, be very careful as the hammer may fall unexpectedly if it loosens up.

May 16, 2013, 02:28 PM
I did what rcmodel said to do and it doesn't look like its loaded.

May 16, 2013, 07:52 PM
I have good results with ATF as a penetrating oil. Kerosene works well also. I would start "Painting " that rifle every day with Penetrating oil or ATF (auto trams oil). Make sure this oils gets down into the receiver from top and bottom.
Keep the wood free of the oils but apply bolied linseed oil liberally. Every day without fail. The bore also. Do not scrub with anything more than a green kitchen pad. No steel wool, no stainless Chore Boy. I would not use brass wool either.
This rifle is worth as much right now as it will ever be. If you put $3000 into it to restore it it may never be worth that and you might just end up with a big investment worth only $1200. I have a 1873 2nd model 44WCF that was rusty. Now it is no finish, pitted but works and shoots good enough for me. My 46-60 1876 is no safe queen but still fun to lug around and fire off 3f BP loads.
Mike in Peru

Jim K
May 16, 2013, 10:05 PM
I don't recommend trying to "restore" that rifle, it is way beyond that. But you might be able to free it up enough to function. I wouldn't spend any significant money on it, though - no new wood, no refinishing, no gunsmith time.


Tommy Medlin
May 21, 2013, 01:00 PM
Jim,I think you might be on to something,I see no barrel/mag strap and no definitive stock to receiver joints.Replica,"maybe"?

Jim K
May 21, 2013, 03:36 PM
I think I see the remnants of a magazine ring (they dovetail into the barrel) but the gun is in such poor shape and the pictures about useless that it is hard to tell. It took me a while just to see the sideplate, and I thought it wasn't there, but it is.

The gun is definitely a relic, maybe even a "dug" gun, and I think its value would be as a historical piece. On further consideration, I don't think I would do anything with that gun (beyond making sure it is not loaded) except hand it on the wall as a relic. IMHO, it can't possibly be restored and trying to do so will destroy its value as a piece of history


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