Winchester 1873 2nd Model 30″ .44-40 WCF Lever Rifle & Letter, 1882 Antique

Sold For $3275.00

Make: Winchester

Model: 1873

Serial Number: 82955

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 “82955”. The upper tang is marked “Model. 1873”.

Barrel Length: 30″, Octagonal

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a Marble Sheard brass beaded blade 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 notch is fine-adjustable for elevation. The top tang is drilled and tapped with a folding aperture sight installed, adjustable for elevation.

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). There are scattered nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches with dark discoloration in some areas where the wood meets the metal. There are a few thin grain-line cracks at edges. The LOP measures 12 3/4″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has mostly worn to white with scattered surface erosion. Overall, the stocks are in about Very Good condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is gray. The rifling is sharp where not interrupted by erosion. There is scattered light erosion and pitting in the bore.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 35% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. Most remaining finish is in the barrel. There is some finish on the top of the magazine tube and around the trigger. Other surfaces have mostly worn to white or gone to a light patina. There is scattered light surface oxidation and some light erosion. There are scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches and some tool marks on the sideplates as well as around some screw heads. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in Very Good condition as Antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. There is a lever lock on the lower tang, a lever safety, and a dust cover on the receiver that slides on a screw set rail, typical of the Second Models. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This rifle comes with a Winchester Factory Records letter and a slip-on leather cover for the tang sight. The letter confirms that this rifle was received in the warehouse January 27, 1882 and shipped January 28, 1882 with a 30″ barrel.

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 with a special-order 30″ barrel which looks like it has had a long and useful life. Despite its outward appearance, the mechanics are still strong and the bore is decent. 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!