I’ve wanted an original North West Mounted Police Winchester 1876 SRC for many years, since I grew up in western Canada with tales of the Mounted Police, and have traveled the prairies very many times. You’ve seen this particular one before, but now I’m the proud owner of this amazing piece of history.
Cody Museum Information: This particular carbine sn 24032 was received in the warehouse on May 17, 1882 and shipped the very next day, order number 32602. It letters with ‘good quality’ wood, Spanish meter rear sights, and ‘large shank’ (beefed up receiver where the barrel screws in – apparently, the Mounties put their carbines to hard use and the standard factory carbines broke where the barrel screwed into the receiver, so they requested a stronger shank.
According to Herbert Houze’s book The Winchester Model 1876 “Centennial” Rifle, there were only a total of 447 carbines shipped with ‘good quality’ stocks.
An accompanying letter from retired RCMP Inspector D.J. Klancher confirms that this carbine was part of an order for 182 carbines shipped to the NWMP on May 18, 1882. Also an inventory done in 1894 and again in 1897 shows this carbine was on charge to “C” Division at Fort Battleford. Where it was between 1882 and 1894 depends upon whether the carbine was issued to Fort Battleford, or to “C” Division, which would have been stationed at Fort MacLeod in 1882 and didn’t move to Fort Battleford until 1886. If it was at Fort Battleford then it was very likely at the Battle of Cutknife in 1885. This carbine still retains the original ‘NWMP’ cartouche lightly stamped into the right side of the buttstock.
An interesting detail on this carbine is an area of bruised wood on the underside of the forearm immediately forward of the receiver. Old photos and drawings show that sometimes the NWMP rode with the carbine crossways on the front of their saddle. This bruised area, which you can see in the photo, is a sign that it was once carried that way on horseback sometimes. Typically, the NWMP rode an average of 1,000 miles per year while on patrol, although I don’t know who would have taken the time to figure all that out.
I have to say that I am absolutely thrilled to own this piece of western Canadian history, and have passed through the Battleford area more times than I can remember. Just to hold this carbine in my hands and feel the history of western Canada in my hands is something I never thought I’d experience but it has finally come home to this prairie son.
November 7, 2015
Congrats, Kirk. Knowing so much of the history makes a nice carbine even more special.
April 15, 2005
March 20, 2010
March 23, 2010
February 22, 2021
June 4, 2017
December 14, 2009
Kirk, Congratulations on now being the caretaker of a truly significant piece of Canadiana and Winchester history. I have travelled the west many times exploring the old NWMP and HBC (my first employer) establishments. The RCMP museum in Regina and Fort McLeod are a must see for anyone interested in the RCMP history.
August 27, 2014
March 23, 2007
July 8, 2012
December 21, 2006