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1876 Lid Added Guns
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February 18, 2022 - 5:21 pm
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According to ledger records the first 5 1876 rifles to have lids added were guns 1682-1686. This is also mentioned in “The First Winchester”. I have gun 1685 and would like to find one or all of the other 4 guns. Can anybody help? Thanks.

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February 18, 2022 - 5:56 pm
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I don’t know, but Don Grove has 14xx listed on his web site and it has a lid.  Don’t know if it was made with a lid or if it was returned later to have it added.

Paging Rick Bachman to a white courtesy phone.

http://www.thewinchestergrove.com/1876/14xx.htm

I call myself a collector as it sounds better than hoarder

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February 20, 2022 - 10:16 pm
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Lid? does that mean dust cover?

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February 20, 2022 - 11:07 pm
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veeman said
Lid? does that mean dust cover?  

Yes it does – I have seen museum letters where the dust cover was referred to in the ledger as a “lid”.

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February 20, 2022 - 11:24 pm
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Generally you see Lid on the letter just after the patent suit was settled.  Open tops were used during the dispute.

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February 20, 2022 - 11:48 pm
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Chuck said
Generally you see Lid on the letter just after the patent suit was settled.  Open tops were used during the dispute.  

Makes sense to me Chuck. I have attached a photo of a 76 which has the lid but it is not noted in the letter as is the case for a later gun when the lid was standard. Everything I ever read indicated no lids on 76’s until at least #3000 (as previously noted by 1873man) – I think the West book has lids appearing even later around #3500. I was surprised when I saw the post which said numbers 1682-1686 had lids.

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February 21, 2022 - 11:50 am
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Burt and others,  The absence of “lids” extends into the early 5000 serial number range on the 1876’s.  Right now I don’t have access to my records, but after surgery for cataracts, I will get into my room and get serial numbers, and dates.  I also have a rifle that the letter cites “with lid” which comes into the picture just after the one without that is in the 5000 serial number range.  Their dates are within the month of change that I seem to remember as being considered the transition period.  I have seen several other “open top” 1876’s also numbered in the 5000’s.  I note you said “at least” in your statement.  I had these rifles on display some years back both at Cody and at the NRA convention in Dallas.  Tim

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February 21, 2022 - 5:50 pm
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I have a 76, serial number 8023, that the letter mentions lid.  This is a January 1879 gun.

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February 21, 2022 - 10:39 pm
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Burt and others,  Will try this, working with one eye only.  Excuse typos!  My 1876, sn: 5332, is listed on its letter as Rifle, Octagon, Plain, into warehouse Aug 10, 1878.  It is an open top, first model.

  Now, model 1876, sn: 7822 is listed on its letter as Rifle, Octagon, Set, Lid, into warehouse Nov 18, 1878.  The lid has a thumbprint dust cover with  rail screwed on.  The typical early second model.

  Additionally for comparison, I have a first model, 4th variation (according to definitions by Tommy Rholes), model 1873 rifle, sn:27687.  It went to the warehouse Jan 21, 1878.  Note the year and the months involved.  

  Pirkle reiterated the serial numbers generally considered the range for First Model 1876’s from the data cited in the “Winchester Book” by George Madis.  If I recall correctly though, the August 1878 date was thought to be the approximate TIME of conversion to the second model.  Now is not the time for me to search my written references for the date, though.  

  Over the recent years (maybe last 15 or so) it became more apparent the serial numbers were higher than the previously accepted range of about 3000.  I had passed on a couple of open tops with the serial range in mind, and NEARLY passed on the one I have.  Glad I didn’t as the condition is quite good and price was fair.  Tim

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February 22, 2022 - 5:13 am
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20191119_175325-1.jpgImage EnlargerAccording to WACCA my gun #1685 dates to 1877. I have attached the ledger page I received from Cody. Interesting that the date 1879 is penned next to the 5 guns listed ( mine included) as having lids added. I believe the guns sat in the warehouse for those 2 years. Jesi Bennet at Cody said it looked like these 5 guns were the earliest to have the lid added. As I mentioned I was surprised to see in Parsons book, The First Winchester, that lids first became optional at serial 1682 which jibes with the ledger. Madis states lids optional around 1600.

The lid on my gun is the dust print variety on rails screwed to the receiver.. I am curious to find a gun with the optional lid in order to see if the bolt is serialedScreenshot_20220221-201237_Office.jpgImage Enlarger to the gun as mine is??

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February 22, 2022 - 7:44 pm
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mark minnillo said
20191119_175325-1.jpgImage EnlargerAccording to WACCA my gun #1685 dates to 1877. I have attached the ledger page I received from Cody. Interesting that the date 1879 is penned next to the 5 guns listed ( mine included) as having lids added. I believe the guns sat in the warehouse for those 2 years. Jesi Bennet at Cody said it looked like these 5 guns were the earliest to have the lid added. As I mentioned I was surprised to see in Parsons book, The First Winchester, that lids first became optional at serial 1682 which jibes with the ledger. Madis states lids optional around 1600.

The lid on my gun is the dust print variety on rails screwed to the receiver.. I am curious to find a gun with the optional lid in order to see if the bolt is serialedScreenshot_20220221-201237_Office.jpgImage Enlarger to the gun as mine is??  

Mark – thanks for posting the copy of the ledger. Certainly, dust covers were added to some 76’s earlier than many of the old reference books had indicated. While I was reading old articles in the Collector about dust covers, I came across one written many years ago about a lid on an early Model 1866 which was thought to be correct. I am sure one of the biggest problems with the early Winchesters was keeping dirt out of the guns, so they functioned properly. Good luck in your search for the other 76’s.  

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February 22, 2022 - 10:34 pm
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Burt Humphrey said

Certainly, dust covers were added to some 76’s earlier than many of the old reference books had indicated. 

Just to be clear, they were added earlier in serial number sequence only, and not by date of manufacture / leaving the warehouse. The serial numbers your discussing maybe earliest in the serial number sequence, but that doesn’t mean they were the earliest guns to have lid added to them and leave the factory. 

According to ledger records the first 5 1876 rifles to have lids added were guns 1682-1686, based on the serial sequence. But the ledger page shows clearly that they left in the year 1879. I haven’t searched through the ledger entries, but I believe some 76s left earlier in 1878 with Lids from the factory. I think this maybe discussed in further detail in Houze’s 76 book.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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February 23, 2022 - 12:07 am
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Maverick said

Burt Humphrey said
Certainly, dust covers were added to some 76’s earlier than many of the old reference books had indicated. 

Just to be clear, they were added earlier in serial number sequence only, and not by date of manufacture / leaving the warehouse. The serial numbers your discussing maybe earliest in the serial number sequence, but that doesn’t mean they were the earliest guns to have lid added to them and leave the factory. 

According to ledger records the first 5 1876 rifles to have lids added were guns 1682-1686, based on the serial sequence. But the ledger page shows clearly that they left in the year 1879. I haven’t searched through the ledger entries, but I believe some 76s left earlier in 1878 with Lids from the factory. I think this maybe discussed in further detail in Houze’s 76 book.

Sincerely,

Maverick  

Maverick,

I get ya.  Rifle 1685, according to serial numbers was made in 1877.  The letter on the gun states received in the warehouse Feb. 21 1878 and shipped out on June 13, 1879.  With respect to ledger records, according to Cody, the 5 guns shown on the ledger I provided are the first 5 guns in the ledgers to be recorded as having lids added, regardless when the guns were manufactured and/or left the factory.

The first lids mentioned in Houze’s book were fitted between May and July of 1878.  He gives numbers in the 700 range for the 10 lids to be fitted, I assume these are serial numbers?  If so, these are 1876 made guns that sat in the warehouse until fitted in 1878.  There is of course no mention when these 10 guns left the warehouse  This gets more interesting all the time.  I appreciate the feedback!

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February 23, 2022 - 1:17 am
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mark minnillo said
Rifle 1685, according to serial numbers was made in 1877. 

According to what information / source are you basing this on? Reason I ask, is I thought the only serial records available for the Model 76 were the Warehouse Ledger Records?

The letter on the gun states received in the warehouse Feb. 21 1878 and shipped out on June 13, 1879.  With respect to ledger records, according to Cody, the 5 guns shown on the ledger I provided are the first 5 guns in the ledgers to be recorded as having lids added, regardless when the guns were manufactured and/or left the factory.

I guess what I’m asking, Is how was that determined? Based on a Order #? I’m assuming its based on the received in warehouse date. But I wonder if these were the first to leave the factory by shipping out date?

If its based on the serial number alone, then that may not exactly add up. Guys will often think or say they have the first of something based on serial number or polishing room date. Its just not always the case. For example, the first Model 1894 in .32 W.S. chambered by date was serial number 107731, as received in warehouse on October 5, 1901. The first by serial number was 10675, with a polishing room date of October 24, 1895, but it was not received in the warehouse until August 23, 1902. 

The first lids mentioned in Houze’s book were fitted between May and July of 1878.  He gives numbers in the 700 range for the 10 lids to be fitted, I assume these are serial numbers?  If so, these are 1876 made guns that sat in the warehouse until fitted in 1878.  There is of course no mention when these 10 guns left the warehouse  This gets more interesting all the time.  I appreciate the feedback!  

The May/July 1878 dates makes sense to me, but makes me wonder were these rifles sitting in the warehouse for a period of time and then pulled off the rack had Lids added to them before shipping out of the warehouse?

Sincerely,

Maverick

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February 23, 2022 - 5:03 pm
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Maverick said

The May/July 1878 dates makes sense to me, but makes me wonder were these rifles sitting in the warehouse for a period of time and then pulled off the rack had Lids added to them before shipping out of the warehouse?

Sincerely,

Maverick  

Thats what makes sense to me.  You kind of get the picture that with the introduction of the 1876, they werent just flying off the warehouse shelves.  That would possibly explain the presence/absence of lids” as others have pointed out up to or close to the 8K serial ranges.  As with other models, it seems that when guns left the warehouse they got pulled from the warehouse to fulfill that order but were not necessarily pulled in order of SN. 

Ive got a 76 (SN 2545) that doesnt letter as having a lid but its got one.  The letter indicates it was originally a rifle (OB, assumed 45/75) with set trigger that was later rebarreled and set trigger changed to plain trigger (one of the 54 Houze mentions?) with 30″ octagon barrel in 45-60.   The letter states: “Rifle, Octagon, Set Trigger.  Received in the warehouse on May 2, 1878.  Changed to 45/60, 30 inch, octagon barrel and plain trigger.  Shipped from the warehouse on June 5, 1880 with 5 others Order 20156.” 

So it appears to have sat in the warehouse for 2 years as a standard rifle with set trigger before its configuration was changed and shipped (with a lid).  As Houze indicates, with the introduction of the 45-60, sales were “brisk” during its first year of production, possibly leading to the conversion of some existing rifles to 45-60 to fulfill demand (Houze lists 660 rebarreled from 45/75 to 45/60, and 243 45/75 rifles changed from set trigger to plain trigger).  As far as the Lid is concerned, there are likely others out there in the early SN ranges that were initially open tops that now have a lid but dont letter with the lid.  Just a guess.

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February 23, 2022 - 6:40 pm
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1892takedown said

Thats what makes sense to me.  You kind of get the picture that with the introduction of the 1876, they werent just flying off the warehouse shelves.  That would possibly explain the presence/absence of lids” as others have pointed out up to or close to the 8K serial ranges.  As with other models, it seems that when guns left the warehouse they got pulled from the warehouse to fulfill that order but were not necessarily pulled in order of SN. 

Ive got a 76 (SN 2545) that doesnt letter as having a lid but its got one.  The letter indicates it was originally a rifle (OB, assumed 45/75) with set trigger that was later rebarreled and set trigger changed to plain trigger (one of the 54 Houze mentions?) with 30″ octagon barrel in 45-60.   The letter states: “Rifle, Octagon, Set Trigger.  Received in the warehouse on May 2, 1878.  Changed to 45/60, 30 inch, octagon barrel and plain trigger.  Shipped from the warehouse on June 5, 1880 with 5 others Order 20156.” 

So it appears to have sat in the warehouse for 2 years as a standard rifle with set trigger before its configuration was changed and shipped (with a lid).  As Houze indicates, with the introduction of the 45-60, sales were “brisk” during its first year of production, possibly leading to the conversion of some existing rifles to 45-60 to fulfill demand (Houze lists 660 rebarreled from 45/75 to 45/60, and 243 45/75 rifles changed from set trigger to plain trigger).  As far as the Lid is concerned, there are likely others out there in the early SN ranges that were initially open tops that now have a lid but dont letter with the lid.  Just a guess.  

Maverick said

The May/July 1878 dates makes sense to me, but makes me wonder were these rifles sitting in the warehouse for a period of time and then pulled off the rack had Lids added to them before shipping out of the warehouse?

Sincerely,

Maverick  

Maverick,

The 1877 manufacture date comes from the serial look up contained in this site (1430-3579 being 1877 guns) which I have been told is the most accurate data regarding serial numbers.  I am not saying my gun was the first of anything (Cody stated to me that the 5 guns on the ledger are the first 5 to be listed in ledger records as having lids added) I am only going by the data in the serial look up, the ledger record and the cody letter information on the gun with regards to when the gun was warehoused and when it was shipped out.  How much time goes by from when a gun’s construction is completed and when it goes to the warehouse is beyond me.  Would the gun have been completed the end of 1877, sat in the finishing room for a couple of months then moved to the warehouse?  It seems very common that rifles sat in the warehouse for a period of time before being shipped out, perhaps with modifications as you and others have mentioned.  Because of this, I wonder if that is why the bolt on my gun is serialed to the gun?  The bolt would have to have been modified to operate the lid although I have not found anyone with a similar situation.  Again, I appreciate your thoughts,

Mark

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February 23, 2022 - 7:34 pm
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As peer my Cody letter I may have 1 of the 243 that were changed back to plain trigger. It is a 45-75 serial no. 3267  with a thumb print dust cover (lid not mentioned in letter), screwed on rail, 28″ octagon barrel, full length magazine, 1876 folding rear ladder sight. It was fitted with a set trigger. Subsequently the set  trigger was removed at the factory and replaced with plain trigger (there is a notch behind the trigger where the set trigger had been}. This rifle was received in warehouse Sept 13,1878 and was shipped out on July 29, 1880 under order no.20950. It languished in the ware house almost 2 years. Being a transcriber of old cursive records  I would really like to see a copy of the original ledger info. Don

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February 24, 2022 - 2:17 am
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mark minnillo said
Because of this, I wonder if that is why the bolt on my gun is serialed to the gun?  The bolt would have to have been modified to operate the lid although I have not found anyone with a similar situation.  Again, I appreciate your thoughts,

Mark  

That seems like sound logic to me. If you find another one, let us know.

Sincerely,
Maverick

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February 24, 2022 - 3:03 am
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Maverick said

That seems like sound logic to me. If you find another one, let us know.

Sincerely,
Maverick  

I keep hoping someone with one will pipe up!

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