SOLD FOR: $1,325.00
Make: This rifle was made by the Massachusetts Arms Co. under the Maynard patent.
Model: Model 1873 Improved Mid-Range Target and Hunting Rifle No. 10
Serial Number: 5464
Year of Manufacture: 1873-1882
Caliber: .40-60 Maynard Thick. This cartridge has a rim diameter of 0.750” and a rim thickness of 0.135” to fill up the large gap between the barrel and the firewall. The “thick headed” Maynard cartridges are different from the 1882 versions that have normal rim diameters of 0.533”.
Action Type: The rifle is a single shot with a lever operated tip-up barrel.
Markings: The left side of the receiver is marked “EDWARD MAYNARD / PATENTEE / MAY 27. 1851 / DEC. 6. 1859.” and with the model number “1873”. The lower tang is marked “5464”. The right side of the receiver is marked “MANUFACTURED BY / MASS. ARMS CO. / CHICOPEE FALLS.”. The left side of the stock’s wrist is marked “64 / 40”, “S”, “R” and “R”. On the Model 1863 Maynard rifles, there were U.S. inspector marks on the left side of the wrist, but it is not clear what these marks are. Please help if you can! We looked for a serial number on the barrel but didn’t see one.
Barrel Length: The barrel is 30” in length. The rear 9” of the barrel is octagonal and the rest is round, having a diameter of 0.922” at the muzzle.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a thin German silver blade held in a slotted base that is dovetailed into the top of the barrel. There is a dovetail near the front of the octagon part of the barrel with a blank installed. There is a folding mid-range peep sight mounted on the upper tang. The left side of the sight ladder is marked from “0” to “110” over a length of about 2.225”. The overall height of the ladder from the center of the pivot to the top is 3.60”. The aperture may be adjusted for windage by loosening a screw and moving the aperture from left to right. The ladder will pivot from front to back, and there is only a very slight detent in the fully upright position.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The Maynard rifles were made with a buttstock only. The stock is checkered fancy walnut that has been refinished with a lacquer finish. It has a pistol grip and a crescent shaped steel buttplate. The stock shows dark oil staining in the wrist and at the rear of the stock. There is a deep compression mark in the belly of the stock, several tiny dings along the left side and several lighter marks scattered over the stock. There are also several compression marks and dings under the finish in the left side of the stock near the heel. The checkering shows heavy wear that is worn smooth along the rear edge on the left side. There is a bruise in the checkering on the right side of the wrist and a few more on the left side. The wood-metal fit at the receiver and tangs is excellent except for a tiny nick in the wood at the right side of the upper tang. The LOP measures 13” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate, which fits the stock well except that it is slightly proud of the wood at the toe. The buttplate shows surface loss and light wear at the heel and toe, is developing a brown patina, and has a spot of erosion in its center. The buttplate is in about Very Good condition. The stock is in about Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: The barrel is blued. The receiver doesn’t have enough finish left to tell if it was blued or case colored, but the tangs were definitely blued, and we assume the receiver was as well. The lever was case colored.
Finish Originality: The finish is original.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright with moderate wear in the rifling. There is no erosion but there are tool marks through two of the lands at the muzzle.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 10% of its metal finish. The barrel shows thinning, several small dings near the muzzle with a few more on the underside of the barrel, and lighter handling marks scattered over the length of the barrel. There is also a spot of erosion about 7 ½” from the muzzle on the underside of the barrel. The edges of the octagon part of the barrel are relatively sharp but with a few tiny dings, the worst of which is on the right side at the front of the receiver. The receiver shows surface loss and has developed a mottled plum colored patina. There are a few scratches on the sides of the receiver with a deep drag line on the right side from the small lever. There are also tool marks on the right side around the pivot screw. The lever shows spots of deep erosion on its top and underside, The screw heads are mostly sharp but the barrel pivot screw is badly disfigured and may be unserviceable. The markings are clear but shallow. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: Maynard Patent Single Shot rifles were manufactured from 1863 to 1890. The Model 1873 was the first Maynard with standard chambering for centerfire metallic cartridges. These rifles are very similar in appearance to the percussion model, with a slightly offset hammer and a firing pin contained within the bolster on the recoil shield in place of the percussion nipple. The most distinguishing thing about these rifles is the wide gap between the breech of the barrel and the recoil shield, which allows for the thick rimmed brass cartridge, known as the “thick Maynard” by collectors. The Model 1882 rifles has a much smaller gap and used standard ammunition having thinner and smaller diameter rims. The 1873 and 1882 model rifles were made in a variety of sizes and calibers from the No. 1 Gallery rifle in .22 rimfire to the No. 14 Long-Range Creedmoor Rifle in .44-100 and the No. 16 Improved Target rifle in calibers ranging from .22 to .40-70. This rifle is a No. 10 Improved Mid-Range Target and Hunting Rifle with a 30” part octagon and round barrel. The rifle is chambered in .40-60 Maynard Thick and has a checkered fancy walnut stock with pistol grip and steel crescent buttplate. It has a German silver thin blade front sight and a mid-range peep sight mounted on the upper tang. The barrel dovetail for a rear iron sight is filled with a blank. The rifle is in about Very Good condition with about 10% of its original finish remaining. The barrel shows thinning and the receiver shows surface loss and is starting to develop a plum colored patina. There is a spot of erosion on the underside of the barrel and several spots of deeper erosion on the upper and lower surfaces of the lever. There are several small dings at the front of the barrel to each side of the front sight, a several more on the left side several inches back and a few more on the underside of the barrel. The receiver shows a few scratches on its sides with a drag line under the small lever on the right side. The barrel’s pivot screw is badly disfigured and may be unserviceable. The stock shows heavy oil staining in the wrist and at the butt, with a deep compression mark in the belly, and several small dings along the left side. There are a few more light marks scattered around the buttstock and several deeper dings under the finish at the left side of the heel. The bore is bright with moderate wear in the rifling. There is a tool mark through two of the lands near the muzzle. This rifle should be a big hit with the collectors. Although quite a few were made, this is the first 1873 model we have seen in several years, so they can’t be that common. The original finish and tang sight are sure to add to its value.