Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1: Winchester 1873 Rifle 44 WCF

Auction Date: July 16, 2011

Deluxe First Model 1873 Outstanding Documented Copy of the Iconic Winchester 1 of 1000

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $20,000 - $30,000

Deluxe First Model 1873 Outstanding Documented Copy of the Iconic Winchester 1 of 1000

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1873
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 44 WCF
Barrel: 24 inch octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: checkered walnut
Item Views: 1427
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 5
Class: Antique

OB - EXCELLENT- all original parts; over 80% original finish; sharp lettering, numerals and design on metal; unmarred wood.


This rifle is engraved to the exact specifications found on a true factory 1 of 1000. The platinum barrel bands, script "One of One Thousand", the muzzle engraving, the checkered deluxe stock are all of the quality of the original factory One of One thousands. This Winchester was made to match an existing 1 of 1000 right down to the serial number which matches a factory 1 of 1000 shipped February 20th 1878. The work is so good it fooled the top experts in the world for nearly half a century. This particular rifle is pictured and described in the definitive work on 1 of 1000's "Winchester: The Golden Age of American Gun and the Winchester 1 of 1000" by R.L. Wilson! The gun was first suspected of being a copy by Richard Ellis one of the worlds top authorities on firearms. Richard pointed out slight nuance differences from that of an original 1 of 1000 but the serial number gave away the transformation of this truly outstanding original deluxe First Model 1873 Rifle. The number is not consistent with the balance of the gun. When we first received the gun we actually advertised it for a premier auction and through the vetting process became aware of another 1 of 1000 with the same serial number. We now have the definitive proof that this is a copy. It's hard to ignore decades of acceptance and verification, by known firearms experts. And most importantly that it came from a known outstanding gun collection that represented the utmost balance of quality, condition and rarity. However as Richard has taught many at RIA to trust our instinct, someone went to great lengths to create the finest copy ever of a 1 of 1000 by using a truly outstanding deluxe 1873 casehardened rifle. This rifle is being sold as that, "a copy" of a Winchester 1 of 1000.

Rating Definition:

Excellent plus. 95% original blue finish remains on the barrel with only minor storage type handling marks down the length. Only upon closer inspection it becomes clear that the master quality engraving exhibited on the barrel has been cut through the finish. The receiver shows fait traces of cleaning on both sides of the frame however, overall the casehardened frame, lever, hammer and buttplate retain 80% plus original case colors mildly muted on high points and vibrant and strong in other areas. The checkering on the walnut stock has been freshened and remains sharp and crisp.

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