Find Winchester Firearms Values
Antique Winchester firearms values can be hard to estimate. Here are some examples of these firearms and their value.
The Henry Rifle is the direct predecessor to the famous Winchester line of rifles. This one is valued at $33,000 since the metal is in untouched condition. Many times inexperienced people will attempt to clean and polish old guns, making the brass frame bright and shiny, but that is a quick way to destroy the value. Collectors look for frames in a nice dark aged patina color. This one has sharp edges to the frame, which also helps the value.
Winchester Model 1866 Carbine
A carbine is a shorter version of a rifle. It is usually easy to identify by the band of metal that goes around the forward piece of wood. This Model 1866 Winchester is an improvement over the Henry Rifle. It is valued at $6,500. The barrel has a lot of the original dark blue finish which helps the value. Unfortunately somebody polished the brass frame, giving it an unnatural-looking bright gold color, and reducing the value by many thousands of dollars. Over many years time, the brass will return to a darker caramel color. This is still a nice rifle for somebody who wants to add one to their collection without spending a bundle.
Deluxe Winchester Model 1873
This gun is noteworthy for its outstanding condition, particularly the bright vivid original "case colors." Case colors are a side effect of the process of applying heat to harden the metal. Most guns have a blue finish, but some have a case hardened finish. These colors are very fragile and normally fade away, revealing the plain silver-colored metal underneath. It is quite unusual to find colors this vivid remaining after over 100 years, as a result this gun is worth $75,000.
Factory Engraved Winchester
This rifle is a "take down" version, that comes apart in two pieces for easier transport. It is all original, as completed by the Winchester factory about 100 years ago. It has very nice engraving, fancy deluxe style wood, and most of the original blue finish. As a result it is worth $39,000. When dealing with top-quality guns, a small difference in condition makes a huge difference in price. Even though this has a lot of blue finish remaining, if it had a little more original blue, it could easily sell for double the price.
Winchester Model 1892 Rifle
Value $4,800. This gun is nicely engraved, in a style similar to work done at the Winchester factory. An expert can quickly see that it has been refinished, since the corners of the metal are not sharp and the color of the blue finish isn't quite right. Also the quality of the engraving is not as good as original Winchester engraving. If this gun were all original factory work in this condition, the value would be much much higher. This would still make a very nice display piece for a fraction of the cost of an original unaltered gun.
Long Barrel, Nickel Finish Model
Model 1873 Winchester rifles typically came with a 24-inch barrel, but many special-order options were available from the factory. This one has a 30-inch barrel, deluxe wood, and a special nickel finish on the frame and foreend cap, which add to its value. Somebody later added some small decorative tacks to the forrend. Value $6,750.
Lightweight Model 1886
A 26-inch barrel was standard on the 1886 rifle. This one has a scarce custom-ordered 24-inch barrel, which is desirable. It originally had a colorful case-hardened frame, but now it has turned a silver-gray color with only traces of the color remaining. The magazine tube below the barrel is short -- called a "button mag." This is also a special order feature but it does not necessarily increase the value, since the current trend of many collectors is to seek out "full mag" rifles. Value $5,750.
Model 1892 MGM Movie Gun
An experienced collector would immediately be suspicious of the strange collection of carbine and rifle parts. Normally you would never encounter a carbine-style forearm with an octagon rifle barrel. Looks like somebody did some tinkering, which would normally hurt the value. However this gun is actually made from leftover parts at the Winchester factory, to fill a large order of guns from the MGM Movie company for use in some of the old western films.Apparently it was more important to give the overall appearance of an old gun, rather than to use a standard model. Value $5,750.
Model 1892 15 Inch Trapper Carbi
This gun shows a lot of wear, with very little of the original finish remaining. If this were a standard carbine, the value would be a few hundred dollars at most. However, this gun has a much-shorter than usual 15-inch barrel, making it worth $3,500. Short barrel carbines are known to collectors as "trapper carbines," and are very rare to find in any condition. Most of them saw a lot of heavy use. It is important to note that the short barrel is original from the factory -- not to be confused with a barrel that has been cut down later. Shortening the barrel of a gun always reduces its value greatly.
Repeating Arms Company Golden
This is a recently-produced inexpensive gun that was created in tribute to the famous original Henry Rifle of the 1860s. Value $450. It is not considered a collectible, but would make a nice functional gun for shooting.As you can see, Winchester firearms values vary widely. These images and values came from Merz Antique Firearms and are used by permission and with special thanks. You may also be interested in this interview with Leroy Merz about antique Winchesters.