SOLD FOR: $3024
Make: Winchester, made in Japan by Miroku, sent by Navy Arms to Turnbull Restoration Co. (see Our Assessment)
Serial Number: 00149ZW73G
Year of Manufacture: 2014 (ZW date code)
Caliber: .357 Magnum/.38 Special
Action Type: Lever Action with Full Length Tubular Magazine
Barrel Length: 20” Octagonal
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a brass beaded blade with a serrated rear face dovetailed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a U-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 checkered hand-selected American walnut with capped forend, straight grip, straight comb and checkered steel shotgun-style buttplate. The plate was case-hardened by Turnbull Restoration. The stocks have only a few scattered minor marks. The checkering is sharp. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 13 3/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has no notable wear or damage with well defined checkering. Overall, the stocks are in Excellent condition.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Hardened
Finish Originality: This rifle was imported by Navy Arms in the white and finished by Turnbull Restoration Co., Inc.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 10/10.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 98% of its metal finish. There are a couple of scuffs on the side flats of the barrel toward the muzzle-end. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly and very smoothly. The lever safety is operational and there is a safety notch on the hammer. The lever lock at the rear of the bottom tang is present. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This rifle comes in a serial matching white box with an assortment of factory paperwork including manual and a letter from Turnbull Restoration Co. indicating that they finished the rifle for Navy Arms.
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. While the original Winchester 1873s were discontinued in the early 1920s, the advent of Cowboy Action Shooting brought a number of reproductions, most produced in Italy by Uberti. Here’s where the story gets a little complicated.
Winchester had been owned by Olin Industries since the 1930s, but in 1981 the factory was purchased and the brand name licensed from Olin by the U.S. Repeating Arms Company, formed by employees at the Winchester factory. USRAC went bankrupt in 1989 and was purchased by Fabrique Nationale in Belgium, which also owned Browning. Much of Browning’s production was performed in Japan by Miroku. In 2013, it was announced that “Winchester” 1873s were being reintroduced, made by Miroku and imported by Browning.
This example had a couple more stops to make on its way to the winning bidder. It is from a small group of rifles which were purchased in the white by Navy Arms Company and sent to Turnbull Restoration Co. to be finished with their signature case hardening and was equipped with hand-selected American walnut stocks. Were this an original 19th/20th Century 1873, it would be quite the special find. The rifle has a 20″ octagonal barrel as well as a shotgun-style buttplate, a truly rare configuration among the original 1873s.
Finally, the gun has been to Shotgun Boogie Gun Works, a renowned Cowboy Action Shooting gunsmith, where it has had action work done. While the new Winchester 1873s came factory “short-stroked”, they certainly were not this slick, nor were the triggers this light and crisp. The result is a rifle that will shoot as good as it looks, and it looks darned good! For those who are not familiar with Turnbull, you’ll just have to see our photos to understand the vibrant colors his traditional case hardening process produces. For those who are not familiar with Shotgun Boogie, you’re going to want to win this auction to get your hands on the rifle and try it out! In any case, this is one of the finest lever guns you’re going to find, so don’t miss out. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud