The included factory letter confirms the serial number was applied on this rifle on July 1, 1889. It was received in the warehouse on August 26, 1891, and shipped on September 12, 1891, as part of order number 9615 in rifle configuration with a .44 caliber octagon barrel, plain trigger, checkered pistol grip stock, Winchester express sights, and casehardened receiver. The receiver has the integral dust cover rail and dust cover with serrated rear edges that identify Third Model 1873 rifles and carbines. This deluxe rifle has the very desirable, special order, color casehardened finish on the receiver and special order, highly figured, fancy grain walnut pistol grip stock and forearm. The forearm cap, hammer, trigger and crescent steel buttplate are color casehardened, and the barrel, magazine, loading gate, dust cover and bolt are blued. The stock and forearm have a high polish piano finish and Winchester "Style H" checkering. There is an ebony inlay on the bottom of the pistol grip. The full octagon barrel has a "Winchester Express" front sight with bright colored bead and a buckhorn sporting style rear sight with serrated edges. A Winchester folding graduated peep sight is mounted on the receiver tang. The buttplate has a sliding brass trapdoor. British "Crown/V" and "Crown/CP" proof and inspection marks and "Lion/UBP" proofmark are stamped on the left side of the barrel, and a "Crown/V" inspection mark is stamped on the upper left side of the receiver. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped with the legend: "WINCHESTER'S REPEATING ARMS. NEW HAVEN. CONN. U.S.A./ -KING'S IMPROVEMENT PATENTED MARCH 29. 1866 OCTOBER 16. 1860.-" in two lines ahead of the rear sight, and the caliber designation "44 W.C.F." is stamped between the rear sight and the receiver. The script caliber marking "44 CAL." is stamped on the bottom of the cartridge elevator and the serial number, "302668", is stamped across the lower tang between the lever latch and the rear tang screw.
Excellent. The rifle retains 90% plus of the blue and vivid original color casehardened finish. The case colors on the forearm cap, receiver, buttplate, hammer and lever are vivid and show very limited handling wear. The barrel, magazine and barrel band have most of the blue finish. There are several light scratches on the bottom and sides of the magazine tube. The barrel has some minor edge wear, several insignificant scratches and two small spots of surface discoloration on the right side. The Winchester markings and British proofmarks are crisp. Nearly all of the blue finish is present on the loading gate. The dust cover has about 95% of the blue finish with several light scratches. The bolt retains about 80% of the dull blue finish. The fancy grain, highly figured, stock and forearm are in very fine condition and retain close to 95% of the high polish piano finish. The stock and forearm show light-moderate handling wear with scattered minor dents and scratches. The checkered panels have a few minor handling marks but the checkering is sharp. This is an excellent example of a desirable Winchester Deluxe Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle with highly sought after color casehardened receiver.
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