Winchester Model 1876

by
posted on August 11, 2009
200981114355-lefty_f.jpg

Winchester's 1876 or Centennial Model rifle was intended from the start as a big game rifle, being chambered for centerfire cartridges ranging from the .40-65 all the way up to the powerful .50-95. First offered in 1876 and displayed at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Winchester's newest lever-action soon garnered favorable reviews from many experienced American hunters, including one who later served as president, Theodore Roosevelt.

While the standard Model 1876 lever gun loaded through a port on the right side of the receiver, this example is more than a little different. Featuring left-handed loading capability, this 26-inch rifle also has an intriguing one-piece cleaning rod affixed to the side-both custom features that are not reflected in surviving Winchester factory records. Yet this "special" .50-caliber rifle is not marked as the unique creation of any gunsmith, despite the amount of time and effort required to make such a conversion.

Loaned to the National Firearms Museum by collector C.L. Werner of Nebraska, this unusual Winchester Model 1876 represents a mystery. Was it made for a Western buffalo hunting trip to be used by the left-handed General Philip Sheridan? Or was it just a special rifle that an unknown gunsmith crafted to reflect his talent? We may never know.

Latest

The Armed Citizen
The Armed Citizen

The Armed Citizen® July 19, 2024

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Gun Of The Week: Military Armament Corp. MAC 2 Tactical Wood

Watch American Rifleman editors on the range to learn about the MAC 2 Tactical Wood, a semi-automatic shotgun from Military Armament Corporation.

The Flintlock Pocket Pistol: Georgian England's Micro-Compact

The concept of concealed carry is not a modern phenomenon, as evidenced by these flintlock "turn-off" pocket pistols, which were hugely popular at the end of the 18th century.

ATN Corp Introduces 5-Year Warranty On Thermal Optics

ATN Corp. has launched a new, industry-leading five-year warranty on all Generation 5 thermal scopes and Thor LTV thermal scopes purchased through ATN Corp. or any of its authorized dealers.

I Have This Old Gun: Afghan Jezail

In the Middle East, a distinctive style of longrifle emerged that is known today as the jezail, a native name that described the arm's extraordinarily long barrel.

New For 2024: Smith & Wesson Performance Center M&P Carry Comp Series

Smith & Wesson's Carry Comp series brings Performance Center treatments to a number of the company's carry-ready semi-automatics.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.