Winchester 1873 ’73 3rd Model 24″ .44-40 WCF Lever Rifle, MFD 1882 Antique
SOLD FOR: $2425
Serial Number: 100817A
Year of Manufacture: 1882
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, CT. / KING’S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29.1866. OCTOBER 16.1860.” in front of the rear sight. The lower tang is marked “100817A”. The upper tang is marked “Model. 1873”. The bottom of the lifter has been hand-scribed with some sort of text, but we can’t make it out. The left of the bottom tang, the inside of the buttplate at the toe and the top tang inlet of the wrist are each marked with assembly number “1564”.
Barrel Length: 24″ Nominal, 24 1/4″ Measured, Octagonal
Sights / Optics: Thre is a slotted base dovetailed to the front of the barrel, it is missing its blade. 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 capped forend, straight grip, straight comb and steel crescent buttplate with sliding-door storage compartment (nothing in the compartment). The forend has some moderate bruises, a notable ding on the bottom-right near the front and scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. The wrist has a crack on the right side, a small loss along the right edge of the bottom tang, and a more notable chip-loss on the bottom-left exposing the tang’s assembly number. The buttstock has some scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. The LOP measures 12 3/4″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has gone to a light patina with the heel and toe worn to white, some scattered erosion, nicks, scuffs and scratches. Overall, the stocks are in about Good condition as refinished Antique.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is gray. The rifling is well defined, sharp where not interrupted by erosion. There is scattered light erosion and a few spots of pitting in the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 7% of its current metal finish. Finish remains in protected areas, mostly around raised features such as the sideplates, trigger, and hammer. Most edges are worn to white with other surfaces gone to a light-moderate patina mottled with spots of solid oxidation and some erosion. There are several scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches including tool marks at most screw heads, with some more notable scraping around the lever and mainspring screws. There are two drilled, tapped and filled holes on the left of the receiver above the hammer screw, presumably for mounting some sort of saddle ring (non-factory). 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 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 rifle which looks like it has had a long and useful life. It appears that it was equipped with a saddle-ring on the receiver at one point, but now has fill screws at the two threaded holes. The front sight is missing its blade, but otherwise the rifle shows honest wear for a 140 year old gun. 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!