The Winchester Model 71

Summer 2021 • WINCHESTERCOLLECTOR.ORG | 19 As previously mentioned, the Model 71 could have been special ordered with a drilled and tapped receiver for mounting a peep sight from the beginning of production, with the Lyman No. 56W being the predominantly observed sight. Winchester listed the Lyman No. 56W sight as a standard item in the January 1948 catalog, and discontinued the No. 98A bolt peep sight at that time. In the January 1956 catalog, the Lyman No. 66A replaced the No. 56W. There are other receiver mounted peep sights that were used, namely the Redfield No.70. Thus far I have surveyed (92) Model 71 rifles with a Redfield No.70 micrometer receiver mounted peep sight. Most of them are on rifles made beforeWinchester selected the Lyman No.56W as the standard sight. I suspect that Winchester installed the Redfield No.70 receiver sight (application code F) as a special order option when requested. Of particular interest was the serialization process used on the Model 71. Based on physical observation of many hundreds of receivers, it appears that Winchester departed from their past manufacturing process in that they did not apply the serial numbers until after the receiver frames had been final polished and blued. In my continuing research of several other Winchester Models, Winchester’s practice had been to stamp the serial numbers before the final polishing and finishing (bluing) process. When observing the serial number markings on the Model 71, it is readily apparent that the last production step for the receiver frame was the application of the serial number. Note how the periphery of the serial number digits are raised and gray in the images below. This could only occur if the serial number was stamped on the receiver after it had been polished and blued. The fact that the serial numbers were stamped on the receiver frame after the final polishing and bluing process makes it very easy to identify a refinished (reblued) Model 71!