1894 Winchester Take Down
Firearms historians such as RL Wilson and Hal Herring have referred to the Model 1894 as the “ultimate lever-action design.” Designed by John Moses Browning (what famous American firearm wasn’t?) It was the first commercial firearm to be designed for use with smokeless powder. One other innovation of the design was the fact that Mr. Browning designed the firearm, like his earlier model 1892, as an optional take down model.
The takedown model, as the name implies, separates into two halves. The first half with the stock, action and trigger group. The second half with the barrel and forearm. This enables the firearm to be stored in a suitcase, saddlebag, backpack, or other non-standard guncase. The take down Winchester readily appealed to travelers in the post-Indian Wars American West where open carry of a longarm was frowned upon but still needed from time to time in areas where Mexican revolutionary raiders, desperate criminals, and cattle thieves still were a legitimate threat.
See the rest at my column at Firearms Talk.com http://www.firearmstalk.com/entries/1894-Winchester-Take-Down.html