SOLD FOR: $1975
Model: 1873 Carbine
Serial Number: 179453B
Year of Manufacture: 1885
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 CAL” at the rear. The lower tang is marked “179453B”. The upper tang is marked “Model. 1873”. The bottom of the lifter is marked “44 CAL.”.
Barrel Length: 20″, Round
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade in a slotted base fixed to the front of the barrel behind the front band. The rear sight is a folding ladder-style sight, presenting a “U”-notch when folded down. When folded up, the ladder has an after-market brass slider with an aperture.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece smooth walnut with banded forend, straight grip, straight comb and steel carbine-style buttplate with sliding-door storage compartment. Visible in the storage compartment, the bottom tang’s stock mounting screw hole has been filled with matchsticks, a common field-expedient repair for a stripped hole. The stocks show moderate-heavy wear and weathering with very deep grain lines on the buttstock. The forend has a crack at the left-front. The buttstock has some scattered fills, small losses around the edges of the tangs, a repaired crack in the right of the wrist toward the top, extending back under the comb and is notably shy to the buttplate. The LOP measures 12 5/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has mostly worn to white with some scattered erosion, nicks, scuffs and scratches. Overall, the stocks are in about Fair-Good condition as refinished Antique.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Some areas show old treatment with cold blue, but the finish has mostly worn bright.
Bore Condition: The bore is gray. The rifling is generally well defined. There is scattered erosion and pitting in the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 10% of its current metal finish. There is some scattered, mottled color consistent with cold blue applied in the distant past. Most surfaces have worn or been cleaned to white. There are several scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches with tool marks at most screw heads. There is some scattered surface erosion, mostly scrubbed out. The worn areas show minor discoloration from oxidation. The screw heads range from sharp, and likely replaced, to disfigured with unusable slots. The markings are worn, but legible. Overall, this rifle is in about Good condition as Antique.
Mechanics: The hammer can be dropped from half-cock by pulling the trigger. Otherwise, the action functions correctly. 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: None.
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 was one of the most popular cartridges of the era, able to take game as large as deer. This example is a saddle ring carbine and looks like it has had a long and useful life. This would make a great addition to a Winchester or early cartridge rifle collection, and will display well with its “been there, done that” appearance. Please see our photos and good luck!