Originally Posted by Buffalochip
I took the liberty of loading one of your earlier pics into Photoshop and messing with the contrast and brightness a bit. If that receiver and loading lever aren't casehardened, than I don't know what is. The hammer even seems to have some coloring. As you pointed out, the remainder of the gun metal is uniform in color and doesn't exhibit mottling due to age. I think some pics, taken outside without a flash and out of direct sunlight is all that is needed to conclude if it is casehardened or not. Now if that casehardening is original...
Yesterday I spoke with a gentleman who collects old rifles such as Winchester and showed him the photos. He said to bring the rifle to him, because he is interested in purchasing it. The CODY letter correctly matches the rifle and he liked that. I had met him at a gun show recently. He also said that the case hardened lever and hammer are proper, however as for the receiver it would not matter to him if it is just an aged blued receiver. According to him, bluing was normal on these 1898 made 1894 model rifles because the receiver is different in weight than the other models. He never saw an 1894 deluxe take-down full length magazine other than photos. Especially with a straight presentation grade fancy walnut shotgun style stock. He told me the brass disc inlet is most likely factory, because it was left blank. An aftermarket inlet would have been completed with a monogram, and not left unfinished.
I think I will show the rifle first to someone who is neutral on buying so as to get a better understanding on value.
Let me also try to get some better photos in sunlight as suggested. Whether or not the receiver is case hardened, is still a mystery at this time....