SOLD FOR: $1525
Model: 1873 Rifle
Serial Number: 331456B
Year of Manufacture: 1890
Caliber: .32-20 WCF (32 Winchester Center Fire)
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 “32 W.C.F.” at the rear. The lower tang is marked “331456B”. The upper tang is marked “Model. 1873”. The bottom of the lifter is marked “32 CAL.”.
Barrel Length: 24″ nominal, 24 1/4″ Measured, Octagonal
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade in a slotted base dovetailed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a “V”-notch semi-buckhorn leaf and 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 nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches scattered throughout. There is some discoloration and general wear from handling. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 12 5/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has has gone to a moderate-dark patina with scattered wear and erosion. Overall, the stocks are in about Good-Very Good condition as Antique.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: No original finish remains, we see no signs of refinishing.
Bore Condition: The bore is dark. The rifling is worn, but visible in most areas. There is scattered moderate-heavy erosion and pitting in the bore.
Overall Condition: The surfaces have gone to a fairly uniform moderate patina with edges worn to white. There are scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. There are some scattered patches of surface erosion. There are tool marks at some of the screw heads. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to disfigured with useable slots. The markings range from clear to worn, but legible. Overall, this rifle is in about Good-Very Good condition as Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is a lever lock on the lower tang, and 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 .32-20 Win. cartridge was a very popular cartridge in its day which would put food on the table, protect livestock and defend hearth and home. It was once a favorite with farmers, ranchers, pot hunters and trappers. This Model 1873 rifle shows its age, but despite being more than 130 years old, the rifle retains strong mechanics and its wear is honest. This would make a nice 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!