Winchester 1873 ’73 3rd Model .22 Short Lever Action Rifle, 1888 Antique

SOLD FOR: $1651.85

LSB#: 210416DC16

Make: Winchester

Model: 1873 Rifle

Serial Number: 278191B

Year of Manufacture: 1888

Caliber: .22 Short

Action Type: Lever Action with Full Length Tubular Magazine

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 “22 SHORT” at the rear. The lower tang is marked “278191B”. The upper tang is marked “Model. 1873”. The bottom of the lifter is marked “22 CAL / SHORT.”.

Barrel Length: 24″ nominal, 24 1/4″ Measured, Round

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a brass beaded blade 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 smooth walnut with capped forend, straight grip, straight comb and steel crescent-style buttplate. The stocks have some scattered nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches. There are some scattered areas of dark discoloration, most at the edges of the metal. There are no chips or cracks. The forend has light play to the barrel. The LOP measures 12 3/4″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has been polished bright, showing light erosion and surface oxidation scattered throughout. Overall, the stocks are in about Very Good condition as refinished Antique.

Type of Finish: The metal has been polished bright.

Finish Originality: The finish appears to have been intentionally removed.

Bore Condition: The bore is gray. The rifling is worn, but visible. There is scattered erosion and pitting in the bore.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 0% of its metal finish. The metal surfaces have been polished bright. There is light erosion scattered throughout and some spots of light surface oxidation. The extractor is missing. The magazine tube’s bracket is loose in its slot and the tube is easily rotated and removed. There are some scattered nicks and scratches. The action has operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to disfigured with useable slots. The markings are worn, but legible. Overall, this rifle is in about Good-plus condition as Antique.

Mechanics: The extractor is missing from the bolt. Otherwise, the action functions correctly. The hammer has a half-cock safety position and the lever safety functions properly. 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. This example is unusual in that it is chambered for .22 Short. Rather than using the King’s patent loading gate, this 1873 has a tube magazine which is removed from the front to load, familiar to most users of tube-fed rimfire rifles today. It 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!

Winchester 1873 '73 3rd Model .22 Short Lever Action Rifle, 1888 Antique
Winchester 1873 ’73 3rd Model .22 Short Lever Action Rifle, 1888 Antique