Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 2004: Special Order Winchester Model 1873 Rifle with Factory Letter

Auction Date: December 2, 2017

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

Special Order Winchester Model 1873 Rifle with Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1873
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 38-40 WCF
Barrel: 24 inch part octagon
Finish: blue
Stock: varnished walnut
Item Views: 874
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 7
Class: Antique

The included Cody letter describes this Model 1873 as: "Rifle, 381 caliber, Plain trigger, Sights: Lyman and Beach sights" and "1/2 magazine" and states that it was shipped from Winchester on August 5, 1885 (No mention of half octagon barrel, but appears correct). The rifle has the Third Model receiver with integral dust cover rail. The dust cover has serrated edges. Fitted with a gold-plated Beach folding combination front sight, buckhorn sporting style rear sight and Lyman folding combination tang sight marked: "PAT. MAY.6/84" on the base. The stock and forearm are nicely grained American walnut with the Winchester high polish "extra finish" used on rifles with special order features. A small brass compass is hand fitted in the stock comb 1 1/2-inches in front of the buttplate. The top barrel flat has the two-line address/patent dates marking and "38 CAL." "38 CAL" is roll-stamped in script characters across the bottom of the brass cartridge elevator. The serial number is roll-stamped in script numerals on the lower tang. It is very unusual to have special order sights identified in Winchester or Cody factory letters.

Rating Definition:

Very fine. 97% of original the blue is present on the barrel, forearm cap, and dust cover. The loading gate has 95% of the original nitre blue finish. The receiver and side plates retain most of the blue finish with only very minor handling wear. The magazine tip, hammer, trigger and lever have nearly all of the casehardened finish. The buttplate shows storage wear and retains about half of the mottled blue-gray finish. The stock and forearm are very fine with 90% of the high polish Winchester "Extra Finish". The stock shows a few minor scuff marks and shallow dents primarily on the right wrist. The compass on the stock comb is a period, obviously novice, installation and does not detract significantly from the overall quality of this scarce and well-documented, special order Winchester Model 1873 rifle.

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