SOLD FOR: $4045
Model: 1873 Rifle, 3rd Model
Serial Number: 237664B
Year of Manufacture: 1887
Caliber: .44-40 Winchester (44 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, CONN. U.S.A. / -KING’S IMPROVEMENT PATENTED MARCH 29.1866. OCTOBER 16.1860.-” in front of the rear sight and “44 W.C.F.” at the receiver. The lower tang is marked “237664B”. The upper tang is marked “Model. 1873.”. The bottom of the lifter is marked “44 CAL.”.
Barrel Length: 24? nominal, 24 1/4″ measured, 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 semi-buckhorn elevator sight dovetailed to the rear of the barrel. The top tang is drilled, tapped and filled for a tang sight (none present).
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece smooth walnut with a steel forend cap, straight grip, straight comb and steel crescent buttplate with sliding door over a storage compartment. The left upper edge of the forearm shows a considerable portion of material loss. The wood appears to have been refinished at some point. There are several scattered nicks, scuffs, compressions, and draglines, most of which have darkened with age and handling. There are a few newer scuffs at the teo exposing newer wood. The edges of the wrist have darkened with age and handling. The wood is shy of the plate, a likely indication of sanding at some point. The LOP measures 12 7/8? from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has worn white and shows scattered erosion and pitting. The brass cover for the storage compartment has minor wear and has a slight patina. Overall, the stocks are in about Very Good condition as Antique and refinished.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is dim and the rifling is visible. There is scattered erosion and pitting in the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 0% of its metal finish. The metal shows a light mottled patina appearance throughout with several scratches, dings, and small impacts. There is scattered light surface erosion as well. The action shows standard operational wear. The hammer knurling is well defined. The screw heads range from sharp to slightly disfigured with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in Fair-Good condition as Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is a dust cover mounted on a rail integral to the top of the receiver, typical of the 3rd 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 brown leather Black Sheep Brand scabbard that shows wear cinsistent with regular use. The stitching is intact and there are no rips or tears.
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 including the .38-40. 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. The 1873 has a mythic status among both firearms enthusiasts and fans of the Old West in general, even inspiring the 1950 movie “Winchester ’73” starring Jimmy Stewart. This example certainly looks its age and would be a good candidate for restoration given the fact that it has strong, functioning mechanics. Please see our photos and good luck!