Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3: Winchester 1873 Rifle 44 WCF

Auction Date: September 9, 2016

Unique Documented Special Order Winchester Model 1873 Lever Action Short Rifle with Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $8,500 - $13,000

Unique Documented Special Order Winchester Model 1873 Lever Action Short Rifle with Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1873
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 44 WCF
Barrel: 20 inch octagon
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1626
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 9
Class: Antique

This is a scarce example of a Winchester Model 1873 Lever Action Short Rifle that was manufactured in 1911. This rifle is accompanied by a Cody Firearms Museum letter that describes it as: "Rifle, 44 caliber, 20 inch, octagon barrel" and "Set trigger". The letter states that it was shipped from Winchester to Durango, Mexico, on July 10, 1911. The rifle has the Third Model receiver with integral dust cover rail and dust cover with serrated edges. The top of the receiver is rounded at the junction with the barrel. The octagon barrel has a standard sporting style front sight with nickel-silver blade and a sporting style buckhorn rear sight with screw adjustable center piece. The receiver tang is factory drilled and tapped and the rifle has a special order single set trigger. The crescent buttplate has a sliding brass trapdoor. The barrel, magazine, forearm cap, dust cover, receiver loading gate and trigger are blued. The hammer, lever and crescent buttplate are color casehardened. The stock and forearm are straight grain American walnut with a varnish finish. The left barrel flat is roll-stamped with the two-line legend: "WINCHESTER'S REPEATING ARMS, NEW HAVEN, CONN. U.S.A./KING'S IMPROVEMENT PATENTED MARCH 29.1866. OCTOBER 16. 1860"ahead of the rear sight. The caliber: "44 W.C.F." is roll stamped on the left barrel flat between the rear sight and the receiver. Oval Winchester "W/P" proof marks are stamped on the top of the barrel and receiver. "44 CAL" is stamped in script across the brass cartridge elevator. The upper receiver tang is roll-stamped: "MODEL 1873/-WINCHESTER-/TRADE MARK' in three lines. The serial number, "646331B" is stamped in script on the lower tang behind the lever latch. Model 1873 rifles with special short barrels of 22-inches or less are rare.

Rating Definition:

Very fine. 95% plus of the original blue finish is present of the barrel and magazine. The edges of the magazine band and the sides of the forearm cap have some light finish wear. The receiver, side plates, dust cover and loading gate have 85% of the factory refinished blue finish intact. Finish loss is limited to some very minor edge wear on the side plates and receiver high points. The receiver and side plates have some scattered and very light age spotting. The hammer, lever and crescent buttplate retain more than 90% of the muted case colors. The walnut stock and forearm are both in excellent condition and have more than 95% of the original varnish finish. Wear is limited to a few scattered and very minor storage marks. This is a scarce example of a special order Winchester Model 1873 rifle with 20 inch octagon barrel and single set trigger.

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