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FAQ - Is my Winchester "Antique" ?
October 27, 2018
4:22 am
Kingston, WA
Forum Posts: 11836
Member Since:
April 15, 2005
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Unfortunately, there is a lot of erroneous information that has been published in books and on the internet about this topic.  Hopefully the following information will make it perfectly clear exactly which Winchester firearms are actually “Antique”.


Per U.S. Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section §921, paragraph (16), an “Antique” firearm is defined as follows;

(16) The term “antique firearm” means—

(A) any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; or

(B) any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica—

(i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or

(ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade; or

(C) any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “antique firearm” shall not include any weapon which incorporates a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof.


As it pertains to any original Winchester firearm, only paragraph (A) above is germane to the question.  The following table was created using the original Winchester factory serialization records in possession of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center of The West Museum in Cody Wyoming.  The same records are used by the Cody Firearms Museum (CFM) records office to create a factory letter when requested.

                                                                                                       TABLE 3
                                                            Last Serial Number to Qualify as ANTIQUE (pre-1899)
Henry Repeating Rifle All
Model 1866 Lever-action Rifle All
Model 1873 Lever-action Rifle 525750
Model 1876 Lever-action Rifle All
Model 1883 Hotchkiss Bolt-action Rifle                                                     84551
Model 1885 Single Shot Rifle 82381
Model 1886 Lever-action Rifle 118646
Model 1887 Lever-action Shotgun 64842
Model 1890 Slide-action Rifle 64748
Model 1892 Lever-action Rifle 103328
Model 1893 Slide-action Shotgun All
Model 1894 Lever-action Rifle 53941
Model 1895 Lever-action Rifle 19567
Lee Navy Straight Pull 13679
Model 1897 Slide-action Shotgun 63867

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member

October 27, 2018
9:10 am
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 1002
Member Since:
September 22, 2011
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Excellent!  Thank you.

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