Sold For: $1,601.00
Model: 1873 Rifle
Serial Number: 272524 (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: 1888
Caliber: .32-20 Winchester (.32 Winchester Center Fire)
Action Type: Lever Action with Full Length Tubular Magazine
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “WINCHESTER’S- REPEATING ARMS- NEW HAVEN, CT. / KING’S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29.1866. OCTOBER 16.1860.” and at the receiver with “32 W.C.F.”. There is a very thin partial “W” marked above the “T” in “REPEATING”. The rear of the barrel and the top of the receiver are marked with a circled “WP” proof. The lower tang is marked “272524” and “B”, and in front of the trigger with “S”. The upper tang is marked “MODEL 1873”. The bottom surface of the carrier is marked “32 CAL”.
Barrel Length: The round barrel is 24 ¼” in length.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a German silver blade held in a slotted base dovetailed into the top of the barrel. The rear sight is a “U” notched semi-buckhorn elevator sight that is dovetailed into the barrel. The upper tang is drilled, tapped and filled for a tang mounted peep sight.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece walnut with a lacquered finish. The stocks are dark with oil staining around the receiver and in the few old bruises. The buttstock has a straight grip and a blued crescent shaped steel buttplate, and the forend has a steel nosecap. There are multiple dings and bruises in the sides of the buttstock and forend. There are a few small scrape marks through the finish on the sides of the buttstock, a bruise with finish loss on the left side of the buttstock above the back of the lever and a bruise with finish loss at the right rear of the forend. The wood to metal fit is Excellent. The LOP measures 12 7/8” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate shows very light wear with thinning at the heel and toe, and a sprinkling of pinprick surface erosion down the center in the top half of the buttplate. The buttplate is in about Very Good to Fine condition. The stocks rate in about Fine condition.
Type of Finish: The rifle is blued with a case colored lever.
Finish Originality: The finish is as factory applied and the proof marks in the barrel and receiver are sharp. It is possible that the rifle was refinished when it was sent back to Winchester, but it definitely has not been refinished after the proof marks were applied. The barrel is probably not original to the rifle in any event.
Bore Condition: The bore is gray, with moderate to heavy wear in the rifling. There is light to moderate erosion in the bore from the muzzle back several inches.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 85% of its metal finish. There are a few small spots of pinprick surface erosion in the barrel behind the front sight, a spot of finish loss on the right underside of the barrel, and a few tiny dings and several light handling marks scattered throughout the front half of the barrel. There are light marks through the finish in the nosecap. The receiver shows thinning on its edges and on its underside around the carrier opening, and a light dusting of surface frosting sprinkled over its sides. There is a small mark through the finish at the right front of the receiver and light scratches on the sideplates. The dust cover and upper tang show thinning and the sides and inner and bottom surfaces of the lever show surface loss with a plum colored patina forming. There is a mark through the finish in the lower tang from the lever. The hammer knurling shows light wear. The mainspring screw is disfigured but the remainder are sharp, with a few showing light marks from a screwdriver. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. The hammer has a half-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: None
Our Assessment: This Model 1873 rifle was made in 1888 and has a 24 1/4” round barrel and a crescent shaped buttplate. Some time after 1905, the rifle was sent back to Winchester for repair, most likely for replacement of the barrel. The “WP proof marks on the barrel and receiver were not added until 1905, and were stamped on older rifles when they were returned to Winchester for repair. The faint “W” marked above (to the right) of the barrel address indicates the barrel originally had a different address, and it was polished off and re-stamped a little to the left. The rifle still has about 85%+ of its factory finish remaining, and is in about Fine condition. The bore is gray, with moderate to heavy wear in the rifling and light to moderate erosion from the muzzle back several inches. The wood to metal fit on this rifle is excellent and the action works correctly. This is a very nice looking rifle and is sure to catch the eye.