This is an example of a Special Order Winchester Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle that was manufactured in 1879. The rifle has the Second Model receiver with impressed oval "thumb print" dust cover and screw fastened dust cover rail. It is accompanied by a Cody Firearms Museum letter which describes it as: "Type: Rifle, Barrel Type: Octagon, Barrel Length: 30 inches", and "Trigger: Set". The letter states that this rifle was shipped from Winchester on March 28, 1879. The rifle has a blued barrel, magazine, forearm cap and receiver. The loading gate has a nitre blue finish. The hammer, trigger, lever and crescent buttplate are color casehardened. The stock and forearm are straight grain American walnut. The rare 30-inch octagon barrel has a dovetail mounted front sight with steel blade and a blank in the rear sight dovetail. A Lyman folding combination sight is mounted on the tang. The receiver has a factory single set trigger. The crescent buttplate has a sliding brass trapdoor. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped with the two-line legend: "WINCHESTER-REPEATING ARMS. NEW HAVEN. CT./KING'S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29. 1866. OCTOBER 16. 1860". The serial number "33402" is stamped in script numerals between the lever latch and the rear tang screw. The barrel and cartridge elevator, correctly, are not stamped with caliber markings. Winchester Model 1873 rifles with barrels longer than the standard 24-inch length are very scarce.
Very fine. The barrel and magazine retain 80% of the original blue finish with light edge wear on the barrel and some thinning to the blue finish on the magazine tube. 75% of the blue finish is present on the forearm cap. There is finish loss on the high points and forward portions on the receiver but nearly all of the blue finish remains on the side plates and dust cover. 90% of the original nitre blue finish remains on the loading gate. The sides of the hammer and lever have strong case colors. The case colors have silvered on the top of the hammer, bottom of the lever and crescent buttplate. The barrel legend is crisp. The walnut stock and forearm are both in very good condition with minimal handling and storage wear but have been expertly refinished. This is an attractive example of a Winchester Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle with special order set-trigger and rare 30-inch barrel.
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