This rifle has the Second Model receiver with screw-fastened dust cover rail and dust cover with serrated edges. The Cody letter describes this rifle as: "Rifle, Casehardened, Barrel Length 26 inches, Barrel Shape: Octagon, Plain trigger, Checkered stock with pistol grip" and "1/2 magazine". The letter states this rifle was shipped from Winchester on March 28, 1882. The full octagon barrel and tip of the half magazine are blued. The dust cover, rail, bolt and loading gate have a fiery, niter blue finish. The forearm cap, receiver, hammer, trigger, lever and crescent buttplate are color casehardened. The pistol grip stock and forearm are highly figured "XXXX" or "XXX" fancy grade walnut with factory "Style H" checkering. The bottom of the pistol grip has an ebony inlay. The barrel has a sporting style front sight with nickel-silver blade and a buckhorn sporting style rear sight with knurled edges. The upper tang is factory drilled and tapped. The buttplate has a sliding brass cover. The top barrel flat 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. The barrel and brass cartridge elevator lack the caliber markings found on later production Model 1873 rifles and carbines. The upper receiver tang is roll-stamped: "MODEL. 1873." in fancy letters. The serial number is stamped in small script numerals between the lever latch and rear tang screw.
Very fine. The blue finish on the barrel and magazine tube remains 80% intact and shows only light edge wear. The barrel legend is extremely sharp. The dust cover and loading gate retain 90% of the nitre blue finish. The dust cover rail has about 90% of the fire blue finish with minor scuff marks. The forearm cap, receiver and lever retain 70% of the original casehardened finish with strong case colors. The left side of the hammer has some minor scuff marks. The buttplate retains 80% of the casehardened finish with some mottled age discoloration and some light pitting on the heel. The brass cartridge elevator and butt trapdoor have a mellow, un-touched patina. The stock and forearm remain in very fine condition and retain more than 95% of the high polish piano finish and only a few scattered and very insignificant handling marks. The checkering on the pistol grip is sharp while the forearm checkering shows moderate handling wear. This is a very fine example of a special order Winchester Model 1873 Deluxe Sporting Rifle.
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