This special order Winchester Model 1873 rifle was manufactured in 1885. The rifle has the Third Model receiver with integral dust cover rail and dust cover with serrated edges. The rifle has a 24-inch round barrel with half magazine. The barrel has a "Rocky Mountain" front sight with steel blade and a replacement buckhorn style rear sight with flat top. The upper tang is factory drilled and tapped for a folding combination tang sight. The barrel, dust cover, loading gate and trigger have a blue finish. The forearm cap, receiver, hammer, lever and crescent buttplate are color casehardened. The stock and forearm are 1X, fancy grain American walnut with a varnish finish. The rifle is accompanied by a factory letter which describes it as: "Type: Rifle, Barrel Type: Round, Trigger: Plain, 1/2 Magazine", and "Casehardened". The letter states this rifle was received and shipped from the Winchester warehouse on December 11, 1885. The top of the barrel is roll stamped with the two-line legend: "WINCHESTER'S-REPEATING-ARMS. NEW HAVEN. CT./KING'S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29. 1866. OCTOBER 16. 1860." ahead of the rear sight. "44 CAL." is roll stamped between the rear sight and the receiver. "44 CAL" is roll stamped across the bottom of the cartridge elevator. The upper receiver tang is roll stamped: "-MODEL 1873-" in fancy letters with foliate devices at either end. The serial number is stamped in script between the lever latch and the rear tang screw. Casehardened receivers were special order features on Model 1873 rifles and carbines. Rifles with casehardened receivers usually had fancy grain walnut stocks and forearms.
Very fine, with 80% blue finish on the barrel which has dulled slightly. Nearly all the blue finish is present on the loading gate while the blue on the dust cover has aged to a plum blue patina. The forearm cap, receiver, hammer and lever retain 40% of the original case colors. Half of the faded case colors are present on the buttplate. The stock and forearm are very good overall with light-moderate handling wear. The forearm has a number of light handling marks and shows expected finish wear near the receiver. The stock retains much of the original varnish finish and has several minor dents and scratches. The rear sight is a period replacement. Mechanically excellent. This is a very fine example of a Model 1873 Winchester rifle with scarce and desirable special order color casehardened receiver.
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