SOLD FOR: $8075.99
Model: 1873 Rifle
Serial Number: 250396
Year of Manufacture: 1887
Caliber: .44-40 Winchester (44 Winchester Center Fire)
Action Type: Lever Action with Full Length Tubular Magazine & Single Set-Trigger
Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “WINCHESTER’S-REPEATING ARMS NEW HAVEN, CT. / KING’S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29.1866. OCTOBER 16.1860.” in front of the rear sight and “44 W.C.F.” at the rear. The lower tang is marked “250396”. The upper tang is marked “Model. 1873”. The bottom of the lifter is marked “44 CAL.”.
Barrel Length: 26″, Octagonal
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a german silver blade in a slotted base dovetailed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a “V”-notch elevator sight dovetailed to the rear of the barrel. The top tang is drilled, tapped and filled for a peep sight (none included).
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered walnut with a case-color steel forend cap, pistol grip with triangular ebony inlet in the bottom, straight comb and case-color steel crescent buttplate with sliding door over a storage compartment. The stocks have only a few scattered minor compressions and faint scratches. There are no chips or cracks. The checkering is well defined. The LOP measures 12 5/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has some scattered minor discoloration from oxidation, the brass sliding door for the storage compartment has a mustard patina. Overall, the stocks are in about Excellent condition as professionally restored Antique.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color
Finish Originality: Professionally Restored
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 96% of its metal finish. The finish is lightly thinning at most edges. Most of the balance is scattered tiny spots of minor surface oxidation. There is operational wear on the strike-face of the hammer and the front of the bolt shows erosion. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. The screw heads are sharp. We were able to remove the top tang stock mounting screw when trying to inspect for markings, however we could not remove the bottom tang stock-mounting screw without fear of damage to the screw or stock. The markings are generally clear, the caliber marking on the lifter is shallow, but legible. Overall, this rifle is in about Excellent condition as professionally restored Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly, including set-trigger. The trigger is set by pushing forward until it clicks. Then the trigger is very light and crisp. There is a dust cover on a rail on the receiver, typical of the Third Models. We have not fired this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This rifle comes with a Winchester Factory Letter indicating that this rifle shipped October 19, 1887 on Order number 22596. The rifle was originally produced in its current configuration with a 26″ Octagonal barrel, set trigger, checkered pistol grip stocks case hardened receiver and chambered for .44 WCF. The letter is in Excellent condition.
Our Assessment: One of the most successful, and certainly one of the most famous Winchester rifles was the Winchester Model 1873, known as “The Gun that Won the West” for its predominant role in the hands of Western settlers. The Model 1873 had a steel frame that was much stronger than the brass framed Model 1866, allowing Winchester to develop a family of powerful new cartridges, with Colt usually producing Single Action Army revolvers in the same calibers shortly after they were developed. The .44-40 Win. cartridge, also known as the .44 WCF, was introduced by Winchester in 1873 as Winchester’s first metallic centerfire cartridge with a number of WCF cartridges to follow. Colt produced single action revolvers chambered for the Winchester cartridges as well, allowing users to have a rifle and handgun which shared the same ammunition. This example is in absolutely exquisite condition, with a fantastic bore, vibrant case color, strong bluing, and gorgeous checkered pistol grip stocks. The quality of the restoration, as well as the attention to detail in providing a hint of wear, proper checker patterns, and even a flame-blue loading gate, all point to a true professional performing the work, and we suspect it was performed by Roger’s Restorations as it matches their quality. A rifle this beautiful, with factory documented special-order features would be a wonderful addition to even advanced Winchester collections. It deserves a spot next to its 1866, 1876, 1886, 1892 and 1894 cousins. Please see our photos and good luck!