Winchester 1873 ’73 3rd Model .22 Short Lever Action Rifle, 1888 Antique

Sold for $2814.96

Make: Winchester

Model: 1873 Rifle

Serial Number: 243424B

Year of Manufacture: 1888

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, CT. / 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 “243424B”. The upper tang is marked “Model. 1873”. The bottom of the lifter is marked “22 CAL / SHORT.”.

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

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 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 scattered nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches, more in the buttstock than the forend. The buttstock has scattered streaks of finish loss which appear chemical in nature and there is some other scattered finish wear in the stocks. The LOP measures 12 3/4″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has a mottled light patina with some areas worn to white and scattered spots of solid erosion. Overall, the stocks are in about Very Good condition as Antique

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: Original

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

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 35% of its metal finish. Remaining finish is scattered and interrupted by light surface oxidation as well as areas gone to a light patina. There are scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The markings range from clear to worn and shallow, especially the “SHORT” marking on the barrel. There are tool marks around most screw heads. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. Overall, this rifle is in about Very Good condition as Antique.

Mechanics: 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 integral to 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. It looks like it has had a long and useful life, but retains some original blue finish. 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!