Make: Eibar/Garate y Anitua Cia.
Model: Winchester '92 Clone. Some interesting information found on the Web about this rifle: “Ironically, it may have been the intensive marketing efforts of the Winchester company's agent in Spain during the 1870s and 1880s that led to the El Tigre's popularity in Spain. These efforts included a visit by Oliver Winchester to Spain and other countries. After exhaustive testing and many design changes, 230 Winchester Model 1873 carbines (with 22 inch barrels, metre sights, full length cleaning rod and full stock) were sold to the Spanish Military for use by the Cavalry and Royal Bodyguard in the 1870s. These are considered to be evolutionary predecessors of the Winchester 1876 carbines, most famously supplied to the North-West Mounted Police. More than 2,500 were later made under license by the Spanish arsenal at Oviedo in the 1890s to keep staff working while awaiting the arrival of modern machinery required for the production of the Mauser Model 1893. These utilised some improvements made in the Winchester 1876, but were chambered in .44-40 thus allowing a slimmer action. Carbine variants were made for the Cavalry, and the 14th regiment of the Guardia Civil. Musket variants were made for some other users, such as Military academies and sentries. After 1893 a further unknown number of carbines were sourced from Eibar based firms, but these, according to Madis, were of lower quality than the Oviedo made models.”
Caliber: .44-40, (.44 WCF) aka .44 Largo
Action Type: Lever-Action Rifle
Serial Number: 23027
Barrel Length: 22 inches
Stock Configuration & Condition: Dark Spanish Walnut wood stock with carbine style steel butt plate. The steel butt plate contains a trapdoor for a jointed cleaning rod, which is still present with the rifle! The wood is vintage, and shows considerable handling and use, which adds to the vintage appearance of this rifle. While none of the nicks and prangs compromise the structural integrity of the wood stocks, please see the accompanying pictures. The wood to metal fit is very good. The wood looks to have been sanded and finished at one time.
Sights: A windage-adjustable blade front sight is dovetailed into the forward position, while a windage-adjustable combination leaf-and-ladder sight, graduated out to 1,000 meters (!) is fitted in the rear position.
Type of Finish: Blued steel
Year of Manufacture: Somewhere between 1915-1937
Markings: The top of the barrel is proudly stamped "Garate y Anitua Cia. Eibar-Espana", and "Cal 44 L," with the receiver tang stamped "Marca Registrada/-TIGRE-/Modelo-Patentado." There is a tiger logo and "Marca Registrada" stamped onto the left side of the receiver. The serial number is on the lower tang.
Finish Originality: Original
Finish Condition: This rifle shows considerable patina on both the barrel and magazine tube, while the bluing on the receiver is still quite strong. The lower tang and lever show some erosion and surface rust, as does the left side of the receiver at the saddle ring. The stock and barrel band had sling swifels that have since been removed. The case color is still visible on the small parts. Overall the gun rates in Very Good condition.
Bore Condition: The lands and grooves are quite strong, however there is a bit of bore erosion; apparently, the previous owners of this rifle didn't utilize that 4-piece cleaning rod as often as they might have….
Mechanics: The rifle functions smoothly and correctly as designed, however, we have not test-fired this rifle.
Overall Condition / Final Thoughts: This is a light, compact, handy rifle, packing quite a punch! The .44-40 (44 WCF, or .44 Largo, as it is called in Spanish) ) chambering is an extremely useful one, capable of being loaded down to shoot Cowboy Action Competition, or loaded up with rounds powerful enough for hunting. These El Tigre rifles have an interesting and colorful history, which adds to both the cachet and the value of the rifle. Whether used as a handy saddle or truck rifle, or used for Cowboy Action Competition, the lucky winning bidder will have a handy, robust, dependable rifle!
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