Winchester 1873 3rd Model 24 Octagonal .38-40 WCF Lever Action Rifle, 1890

Sold For: $1,102.00

LSB#: 220617JR001

Make: Winchester

Model: 1873 Rifle

Serial Number: 352838B

Year of Manufacture: 1890

Caliber: .38-40 Winchester (38 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 “38 W.C.F.” at the rear. The caliber marking is shallow and incomplete. The lower tang is marked “352838B”. The upper tang is marked “Model. 1873”. If there was a caliber marking on the bottom of the lifter, it has worn away.

Barrel Length: 24″ nominal, 24 1/4″ Measured, Octagonal

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade dovetailed and screw-set to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a “V”-notch leaf and elevator sight dovetailed to the rear of the barrel. The rear sight appears to have been modified as the notch is not quite symmetrical. 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 buttplate with a sliding door over a storage compartment (there is nothing in the compartment). The buttstock’s bottom mounting screw is missing. The stocks have scattered nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches. The forend has a chip-loss in the top-right edge. There is a short crack at the left-front of the forend above a scratch which may appear as a scratch in the photos. There is a crack at the left-rear of the top tang and there are two holes in the right of the buttstock toward the rear. The forend shows heavy sanding at the bottom-rear. The LOP measures 12 3/4″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has gone to a fairly uniform moderate-dark patina with some scattered erosion and thinning at edges. Overall, the stocks are in Good-plus condition as refinished Antique.

Type of Finish: No finish remains.

Finish Originality: There is no evidence of refinishing.

Bore Condition: The bore is dark. The rifling is worn, but visible. There is scattered light-moderate erosion and pitting in the bore.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 0% of its metal finish. The surfaces have mostly been polished or worn to white with scattered surface oxidation and light erosion. There are scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. The magazine bracket is loose in its dovetail. The buttstock’s bottom mounting screw is missing. The dust cover is missing. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings range from clear to worn and incomplete. Overall, this rifle is in about Good condition as Antique.

Mechanics: The lever safety does not properly prevent the trigger from being pressed when the lever is open. Otherwise, the action functions correctly. There is a lever lock on the lower tang, and a dust cover rail on the receiver, typical of the Third Models (the cover is missing). 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 .38-40 Win. cartridge, also known as the .38 WCF, was introduced by Winchester in 1879. It is essentially a slightly necked-down .44-40 with a slightly smaller bullet typically achieving slightly higher velocity. This Model 1873 Carbine was made in 1890 and has a 24” octagonal barrel chambered for 38-40. It has clearly had a long and useful life with honest wear for a 130 year old gun and a few minor missing parts. This would make a neat addition to a Winchester or early cartridge rifle collection, and will display well with its “been there, done that” appearance. It would also be a good candidate for restoration. Please see our photos and good luck!

Winchester 1873 3rd Model 24" Octagonal .38-40 WCF Lever Action Rifle, 1890
Winchester 1873 3rd Model 24″ Octagonal .38-40 WCF Lever Action Rifle, 1890