Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3012: Winchester 1873 Rifle 44-40 WCF

Auction Date: September 11, 2016

Fine Documented Deluxe, Special Order, Winchester Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle with Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $14,000 - $22,500

Fine Documented Deluxe, Special Order, Winchester Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle with Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1873
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 44-40 WCF
Barrel: 24 inch octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut checkered
Item Views: 1121
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 11
Class: Antique

This Winchester Deluxe Model 1873 Lever Action rifle was manufactured in 1878. The rifle has the Second Model style receiver with screw-fastened dust cover rail and dust cover with impressed, checkered, oval 'thumb print'. This rifle is accompanied by a Cody Firearm Museum letter that describes the features as: 'Barrel Type: Octagon, Trigger: Set, Checkered Stock,, 1/2 Magazine" and "Casehardened". The letter states this rifle was shipped from Winchester on October 26, 1878. The full octagon barrel has a scarce Lyman folding combination globe and post front sight and a buckhorn sporting rear sight. The upper tang is factory drilled and tapped. The crescent steel buttplate has a sliding brass trapdoor. The barrel, magazine tip, dust cover, loading gate and trigger are blued. The forearm cap, receiver, hammer, lever and crescent buttplate are color casehardened. The stock and forearm are well-figured, fancy grade walnut with checkered panels and a piano finish. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped: "WINCHESTER'S-REPEATING-ARMS. NEW HAVEN. CT./KING'S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29. 1866. OCTOBER 16. 1860." in two lines ahead of the rear sight. The upper tang is roll-stamped: "MODEL 1873" in fancy letters. The correct original serial number, "31259", is marked in script numerals on the lower tang behind the rear tang screw.

Rating Definition:

Very fine. This rifle retains 60% plus of the original blue and40% original casehardened finish. The barrel has finish loss and pitting on the bottom and lower flats for about six inches behind the muzzle; the remainder of the barrel retains nearly all of the blue finish and shows only high point wear. The Winchester legend is sharp. Most of the blue finish remains on the loading gate. The blue on the dust cover is 50% intact. The forearm cap, left side of the receiver, side plate, hammer and lever have most of the casehardened finish intact with vivid case colors. The right side of the rifle shows handling wear with silvering case colors and spots of age discoloration on high points and stronger case colors in protected areas. The buttplate has a dark patina with scattered patches of age discoloration. The fancy grade walnut stock and forearm are in very good condition with light handling marks. The checkering shows minor wear with flattening on the top of the diamonds and a few minor bruises. The stock and forearm retain half of the original oil finish. This is a very attractive, original, example of a desirable deluxe, special order, Winchester Model 1873 Deluxe Lever Action Rifle.

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