Sold For: $1,481.00
Model: 1873 3rd Model
Serial Number: 153862 A (The “B” suffix found on the lower tang is technically not part of the serial number but Winchester’s method of tracking the specific mechanical configuration of the receiver group.)
Year of Manufacture: 1884
Caliber: .44-40 W.C.F.
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.”. The underside of the lifter is marked “.44 CAL”. The upper tang is marked “MODEL 1873”, the lower tang has the serial number.
Barrel Length: The Octagonal barrel is 24” in length.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a German silver blade, set fore to aft in a base that is dovetailed onto the barrel. The rear sight is a “U” notched buckhorn leaf and slide-step elevator, the top is marked “MARBLES / GLADSTONE / MICH. U.S.A.”, this sight is not original to the rifle but appears to be pretty old.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece walnut set. The forend has a metal nose cap, which is missing its underside screw. The left has a large chip loss and subsequent crack with a few deeper marks. The butt stock has a crack coming from the upper tang, the right side shows a deep scratch; the other surfaces have scrapes and dings as photographed. The LOP measures 12 3/4” from the front of the trigger to the back of the curved metal buttplate. The buttplate has a dark patina without remaining finish, with some compression marks, in Good condition. The stocks rate in about Fair to Good condition.
Type of Finish: The rifle is blued.
Finish Originality: The finish is original.
Bore Condition: The bore is dark and the rifling is still formed, though there are spots of erosion in the lands and grooves.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 0% of its metal finish. The surfaces have rich brown patina and scabs of surface erosion. General handling marks are found, along with a few deeper bruises. The metal around the sights have tooling marks, seen also on the magazine tube hanger. The rifle looks to have had a lot of handling in its years of service. The screw heads are moderately tooled but serviceable. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly, though the lifter assembly has wear. The hammer’s spring is just south of strong, the trigger pull has some take up before a clean break. The lever has heavy side to side play. We have not fired this rifle. The hammer has a quarter-cock safety position, there is an operable lever safety, and a dust cover on the receiver that slides on an integral rail typical of the Third Models. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included is a vintage 4-piece cleaning rod set with a brass base and looped end point, showing spots of erosion and patina, in about Very Good condition.
Our Assessment: Per Wikipedia: “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 rifle is chambered in .44-40 W.C.F. and would have almost certainly had a revolver accompanying it in the same caliber. This rifle looks to have seen quite a bit of excitement in its life and survives from 1884 in Good condition. It should make for a nice addition to your Winchester collection but those who are stirred by the Wild West will certainly take note of it as well.