October 25, 2023 The Paul Friedrich Collection of Firearms & Gold Rush
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/25/2023
According to legend, the 1 of 1000 rifles were hand selected as better than average guns for accuracy and quality. They were made legend in the James Stewart Classic Western "WINCHESTER 73", thus making all 1 of 1000's highly sought after. R.L. Wilson reports that only 51 1 of 1000 Model 1876s were made in total in his book "Winchester: The Golden Age of Gunmaking and the Winchester 1 of 1000"; this rifle is pictured on page 115. This extremely scarce high condition 1 of 1000 Winchester 1st Model 1876 Deluxe is serial number 724 and was built by Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1876, the first year of production; there are only a small handful of 3-digit serial numbers known for 1 of 1000 rifles. It has a blued 28" octagon barrel chambered in .45-75 W.C.F., marked only with "Winchester's Repeating Arms, New Haven Ct." over "King's-Improvement-Patented-March 29, 1866, October 16, 1860" and "One of One Thousand" in script at the breech. Barrel has a windage front sight and a series 22 adjustable rear sight with Winchester factory combination tang vernier peep sight; the original blade front sight is included in the butt. Barrel has typical 1 of 1000 style floral engraving around the sight, a platinum band, and floral engraving with a line border containing "One Of One Thousand" in script at the breech with a platinum barrel band against the receiver. Rare case hardened Open Top 1st Model pistol grip frame with a brass elevator lightly scribed with caliber, characteristic 1 of 1000 single set trigger, tang marked "76" with "XX" under the wood, and serial numbered "724" in script behind lever latch. Sideplates are numbered “70” and stamped “C.N. & C”, meaning unknown. Deluxe XX pistol grip checkered walnut stock with "76" stamped in top tang channel and an ebony Christmas tree-shaped grip inlay. We are sure that this stock has been on the gun since at least 1983, but there is a letter from Leo Bradshaw, a previous owner, that notes that there was a rumor that the stock had been replaced or repaired circa 1973. Case-hardened crescent steel trap buttplate numbered with assembly number "76", trap contains an original 5-piece Winchester steel cleaning rod inside. Matching diamond pattern checkered walnut forearm with case-hardened nosecap. Cody Research letter from 2006 confirms all options and indicates that the rifle was shipped to the warehouse in December of 1877. PROVENANCE: This rifle, besides Cody Research, comes with an extensive pack of research that spans over 50 years, with a notarized letter from the original family of Charles Bergtold stating how the Bergtold family obtained this rifle from Fred Corkill (an early mining engineer from Holmes Mine, Candelaria Borax in California). Corkill had saved a man in the wilderness, and that man sent him this gun as a reward. According to Bergtold's letter, this gun resided with his family until financial trouble affected the family ranch in the 1950s. It was sold for $1000 to a San Jose gun dealer who sold it into the collector fraternity, with an extraordinary chain of possession including James Fowler; Stanley Shapiro; Leo Bradshaw; Richard Donaldson; Donald E. Weiss; Sam Fowler; Paul Friedrich, who purchased it through Little John's Auction in November of 1993, where it has resided since. This rifle also comes with several letters from noted Winchester researcher and writer R.L. Wilson discussing this rifle. CONDITION: 92% fading original factory barrel blue with some light edge wear. The magazine tube has several areas turning a plum color from handling, with the magazine tube band turning silver on the edges. 92% vivid case colors with slight wear and discoloration on handling areas. Nosecap and buttplate retain 90% fading colors with some light pitting on buttplate. Good action screws. 90% original varnish with sharp checkering showing only light usage dings and bruises. 1993 letters from Bergtold and Leo Bradshow state that this rifle was dropped and repaired, however there is photographic evidence as early as 1983 that this stock was on the gun. There is evidence of a repair where the web of the tang was completely replaced, and a small visible crack at the base of the comb, which corroborates the story. Bright and shiny bore with visible rifling and crisp mechanics. One of the greatest '76s in existence and a rare chance to own a piece of incredible rarity.

ADDENDUM: The rear sight is a graduated peep sight, not a Vernier.
Barrel Length
45-75 W.C.F.
Factory Letter, Folder of Information
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $150,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $336,000.00
Estimate: $300,000 - $500,000
Number Bids: 15
Auction closed on Wednesday, October 25, 2023.
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