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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is not Colt related but I thought it was the best place to seek advice on wood checkering from you all.

The checkering on the wood of this 1876 Winchester is very weak. Should I have it redone or leave it alone, as is?
 

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I'll venture an answer. The wood on your gun looks to have been sanded down since it is not proud to the metal surfaces and appears to have no major marks from use. If so collector quality will be down, so as far as re-checkering is concerned it's more of a personal preference. Were it mine I would have it re-checkered after someone with more knowledge than I determines that the checkering on it now appears to be original. Maybe member swamprat will give you a more qualified opinion. Beautiful pieces of wood on it.
 

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I would letter the rifle to see if it was originally checkered. As noted in the above post, the stock appears to have been sanded sometime in the past, and the checkering may not be original to the rifle.
 

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The checkering on the fore stock appears to be too far towards the rear,all the checkering I've seen & all the checkering I've done the checkering is always centered on the stock,the only other explanation is the entire stock may have been checkered & the front portion has been sanded off.
 

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Except for the answers above by our astute group, I would have no clue as to its Winchester-checkering authenticity.

But to be specific to your question, I would NOT, re-checker. First, the wood is absolutely knock-out! The patina of the receiver, lever, barrel and sights would dictate that a re-checkering would look out of place, unless the entire rifle were to be refinished. I, personally, would not do that.
 

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The checkering on your 1876 Winchester is relatively unimportant at this stage, don't do anything to it for now. The "select wood" butt stock and fore end are quite unusual on a model 76. You should first get a factory letter from Cody, Wyoming to verify the wood, that burl grain is not often seen on a 76, check Madis' books, "The Winchester Rifle", and "The Handbook". The factory letter will note if it was originally special wood when shipped. If someone attempted a non-factory checkering job, they probably found the burl wood quite dense and difficult to work easily. Anyway, definitely get a letter before doing anything, if no checkering noted in letter, then get it properly removed if it bothers you... (very nice 76)

tommix
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Here is the information from the factory letter I got back in 2009:

The manufacturer's data for Model 1876, serial number 22560, as extracted from the original
Winchester records housed in the museum, are as follows:
Type: Rifle
Barrel Type: Octagon
Barrel Length: 26 inches
Trigger: Set
Checkered stock
Casehardened
Received in warehouse on March 21, 1882
Shipped from warehouse on April 20, 1882, Order number 31450
No other information is available for this serial number.

not part of the letter......The upper wood checkering starts at the receiver and goes about half way forward and stops in a 'V' shape.
 

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This is a hard one. If you checkered it, it would not match the rest of the rifle. The bigger problem is the receiver with the "engine turnings" attempt. I'd leave it as is, or possibly get the entire thing redone by a pro like Turnbull. It's a 10% rifle now, if refinished will it's still a 10% rifle to collectors, but will look like a million for the owner!
 
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