Winchester 1873 ’73 3rd Model 24″ .22 Short Lever Action Rifle 1890 Antique
SOLD FOR: $2316
Model: 1873 Rifle
Serial Number: 302751B
Year of Manufacture: 1889
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, CONN. U.S.A. / -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 “302751B”. The upper tang is marked “Model. 1873”. The bottom of the lifter is marked “22 CAL / S???” (SHORT).
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 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 light nicks, scuffs and scratches. The forend split down the middle and has been repaired, with a few thin cracks at the rear edge and one at the right-front. There is a ding or gouge that was filled on the bottom-left of the forend toward the rear. The buttstock has cracks at the toe on each side and a longer but thin crack in the right of the wrist at the bottom-front where there is also a small chip-loss. The wood has darkened with age and handling with some scattered patches of stubborn residue. The LOP measures 12 3/4″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has scattered surface erosion which has been mostly scrubbed out with the balance worn to white or showing discoloration from oxidation. Overall, the stocks are in about Good condition as refinished and repaired Antique.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
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 5% of its metal finish. Finish remains only in protected areas, primarily around the edges of the sideplates and on the bottom shoulders of the barrel. Other surfaces have gone to a fairly uniform moderate patina with some scattered patches of solid erosion and oxidation. There are some scattered nicks and scratches, mostly tool-marks at the sideplates, screw heads and magazine bracket. The inner magazine tube is slightly bent and has scattered dents; the follower spring is weak and kinked. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are generally clear or worn, but legible, the follower’s caliber marking is worn and incomplete. Overall, this rifle is in about Good condition as Antique.
Mechanics: The inner magazine tube is slightly bent and has scattered dents, the follower spring is weak and kinked, the magazine tube will need to be replaced or repaired before the rifle will feed properly. 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, though this example’s tube will need some work before it will function properly. 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!