Early Winchester Pre-War Model 71 Like 1886 .348 WCF Lever Rifle, 1936 C&R

SOLD FOR: $1,480.00

WOA#: WY240327DC008

Make: Winchester Repeating Arms

Model: 71

Serial Number: 737

Year of Manufacture: 1936

Caliber: .348 Winchester

Action Type: This rifle has a lever action with a two thirds length tubular magazine.

Markings: The left of the barrel is marked -“WINCHESTER / PROOF STEEL”-, “MODEL 71”, -“WINCHESTER / -TRADE MARK-“-, “348 W.C.F.-“, the right is marked “MADE IN U.S.A. WINCEHSTER REPEATING ARMS CO. / -NEW HAVEN, CONN.-“. The top-rear of the barrel and top of the chamber ring each have a Winchester proof. The bottom of the receiver is marked “737”.

Barrel Length: 24″

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a beaded blade dovetailed to a hooded, textured, ramped, base fixed to the front of the barrel. There is a dovetail in the barrel for a rear sight, currently filled with a Marble’s blank. The left of the receiver is drilled and tapped with a Lyman 56 receiver sight installed, adjustable for windage and elevation.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are 2-piece smooth walnut with a pistol grip, fluted comb, semi-beavertail forend with steel cap, and checkered steel shotgun-style buttplate. Sling studs have been installed in the belly near the toe and another on the nosecap. This rifle has the longer tang and shorter comb of early production models. The stocks have general light handling wear with scattered nicks and scratches. There is a cluster of marks near the toe. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 13 1/4″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate is mostly worn to white with finish remaining in the cuts of the checkering. There are scattered minor nicks, scratches and minor surface oxidation. The checkering is well defined. Overall, the stocks are in Very Good condition.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore, just some stubborn fouling. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 9 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 92% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at some edges. There is wear and minor oxidation in the lever-loop and bottom tang. There is a line of minor wear on the barrel from the previously installed rear sight. There is wear on the left of the front sight hood. There are a few other scattered minor marks and spots of faint surface oxidation. There is finish wear on the magazine cap. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in Very Good-plus condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The hammer has a half-cock safety. The lever lock-up is tight and the trigger is crisp. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.

Our Assessment: This is a Winchester Model 71 rifle made in 1936, quite early in production. The Model 71 was a continuation of the 1886 design, with a pistol grip, shorter magazine tube and round barrel, produced in only two variants, 24″ and 20″. This rifle is chambered in .348 WCF, the only cartridge the 71 was ever chambered for besides experimental models, and which was actually developed just for this model. The cartridge is great for North American big game hunting in brush where shorter shots are taken and with modern projectiles such as Hornady’s Lever-evolution can now perform well at longer ranges, as well.

This rifle is in Very Good-plus condition, showing minor wear given its age. It retains a great bore and strong mechanics as well as the great majority of its original metal finish. The rifle has been equipped with a Lyman receiver sight and a pair of sling swivels. All of the Winchester rifles made before 1964 are prized by shooters and collectors alike, but the Model 71 was produced for 22 years, a relatively short production life for a Winchester, with fewer than 50,000 rifles made altogether. A model 71 in any condition will likely bring a lot of interest from the Winchester collectors and this early example is in good shape. It will make a great addition to a Winchester collection, but would also probably serve well in the field for another lifetime. Please see our photos and good luck!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

Early Winchester Pre-War Model 71 Like 1886 .348 WCF Lever Rifle, 1936 C&R
Early Winchester Pre-War Model 71 Like 1886 .348 WCF Lever Rifle, 1936 C&R