SOLD FOR: $1725
Serial Number: 133683A
Year of Manufacture: 1883
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 and “44-CAL.” at the rear. The lower tang is marked “133683A”. The upper tang is marked “Model. 1873”.
Barrel Length: 24″ Nominal, 24 1/4″ Measured, Round
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a Lyman blade dovetailed to the front of the barrel. The blade is cut for a bead, but no bead is present. 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 play to the receiver and barrel with a couple of minor losses at the front edge. The buttstock has a tiny loss to the left of the top tang at the top-front corner and a couple at the edges of the buttplate’s top tang. There are minor grain-line cracks at the front edge of the top tang. There are some scattered nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches. The forend appears to have seen some sanding, but the buttstock is well fit to the metal. 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 in the face with a darker patina on the top tang, the heel and toe worn to white, some scattered erosion, nicks, scuffs and scratches. Overall, the stocks are in about Good condition as partially refinished Antique.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with sharp rifling. There is some scattered light erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 5% of its metal finish. Finish remains in protected areas, mostly on the bottom of the barrel and under the rear sight. The other surfaces have gone to a light patina or worn to white. There is scattered light surface oxidation and some minor erosion. There are some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches with tool marks at some screw heads. There are tool marks on each side of the barrel at the magazine bracket dovetail. The screw heads range from sharp to disfigured with usable 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. Despite its outward appearance, the bore is in deceptively good condition and the mechanics are still strong. 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. It may also be a good candidate for a restoration. Please see our photos and good luck!