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The 4+1 Winchester 1895 lever-action repeating rifle was designed around .405 Winchester, .30-40 Krag and .30-06 Springfield smokeless cartridges. It was reliable, accurate and affordable, and as you might expect, it had an impressively lengthy 1895 to 1932 production span.

But more than that, this Winchester was a transformative pivot point in the company’s designs. It had firsts and lasts. It was the first Winchester rifle to have a blind (fixed internal box) magazine instead of the tubular magazine of the 1873, 1894, etc. On the other hand, it was the last John Browning-designed Winchester repeating rifle.

Adopting the blind magazine had a big impact on the silhouette. It still had the straight stock common to many of its predecessors, but the forend was extended and tapered up to almost just behind the front sight. The magazine was just in front of the trigger guard/lever’s front and gave the brushed receiver/magazine/level a cohesive look and a slope from the lever up to the forend.

Surprisingly, the 1895’s main customer was the Russian Empire, which put it to good use mainly during World War I. The “made for Russia” versions had a charger guide for quick reloads using the same charger clips the Russians were already using for their legendary Mosin-Nagant M1891 rifles (covered elsewhere here at

Original Winchester 1895s are rare and expensive. The good news is Winchester loves indulging customer nostalgia (and corresponding profits) and still makes them, albeit with modern production methods and tolerances. The latest models continue the original’s characteristics and classic chamberings such as the .405 Winchester and .30-06 Springfield.

The lever is two-piece, which goes great with the straight grip stock. In front is a durable Schnabel forearm. The steel receiver is pared back a bit. Winchester calls this a scalloped receiver. The receiver and button-rifled barrel have a lush glossy blued finish. Complimenting it nicely is the Grade I black walnut. Winchester even finely checkers it with 20 LPI detailing. And there is a top tang safety right where you’d expect.

The gun has a Marble Arms gold bead front sight and a Buckhorn sight in back. On top of that, it’s drilled and tapped for a side-mount sight. The barrel is 24” long and overall length is 42”. Length of pull is 13 1/4". The straight grip has a low drop at comb of 2 7/8” while drop at heel is 3 5/8”. Both calibers have a 1:10” twist ratio, 4-round mag, and weight is an even 8.0 pounds.

The Model 1895 125th Anniversary costs roughly twice brand new as the standard Model 1895. All the metrics, sights, etc., are the same as on the standard version. However, it’s offered in three calibers: .30-40 Krag, .405 Winchester and .30-06 Springfield.

Other differences? The receiver has a beautiful silver-nitride finish. The oil-finished black walnut is a fancy, rich and elegant Grade V/VI with a 20 LPI (lines-per-inch) checkering. It has beautiful leafy scrollwork deep engraving on the receiver. It looks so good, you might want to simply mount it straight away on your wall.

If you want a very expensive piece of history, you can always aim for an original Winchester 1895. Or you can get a newer more affordable one and enjoy the original’s aura.

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