Originally Posted by muddober
Jim, the letter will not provide you any information other than your particular gun. According to the Madis book there were less than 2,800 take-downs and less than 1,900 with checkering made. As for pistol grip there were less than 3,000 of them made, but if I had to guess your gun with a checkered straight grip is rarer than if it were a pistol grip as most of those were checkered.
Ron, it looks like Winchester DID inlay plates for presentation rifles...See below:
Left side of the buttstock is inlaid with a nickel oval plate
2" long x 1-1/4" wide inscribed "JOHN S. WOOFTER". Buttstock, under the buttplate, is stamped "1823", no indication of the context of this number. Also under the buttplate is a hole like a hole for buttplate with trap. Just above and to the left of this hole is a small recess with a small diameter steel pin with a fingernail notch that appears to be the retainer for the presentation plaque. Accompanied by a Cody Firearms Museum letter which identifies this rifle, as found,
having been shipped Jan. 8, 1907, returned & repaired Aug. 29, 1911.