I have a 1894 serial #178102 with a 28” barrel and the Cody fact sheet states that all is correct. Since I’ve owned it I always wondered about the finger lever. It’s blued. When did Winchester switch from case hardened to blue, or could you always order a blued lever. If the lever was changed, how would that affect the rifle’s overall originality from a collecting standpoint?
April 15, 2005
Winchester case colored the levers and hammers up to at least 1915. It is my belief that the switch to 100% blued parts gradually took place from that point up to WW I. Is the Hammer and butt plate on your rifle case color hardened? If they are, I would assume that the lever was replaced for some reason. In regards to your question about the effect to the collect-ability, it certainly does have at least some negative effect… but I can not quantify it for you, as it would be viewed differently by each individual collector.
WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member