Special order Deluxe Winchester Model 1873 Saddle Ring Carbine with Cody Firearms Museum letter. The Cody letter that accompanies this carbine describes this Model 1873 as: "Carbine, 44 caliber, X stock, Sling Swivel" and "Rifle butt". The Cody letter states this carbine was shipped from Winchester on April 20, 1889. The carbine has the Third Model receiver with integral dust cover rail and serrated rear edges. The barrel has a block mounted front sight located behind the barrel band. The period replacement front sight blade is made from a silver coin (probably a .10 cent piece) with the partial date "188". The rear sight is a replacement special order, two leaf "Winchester Express" sight with platinum sight lines. The receiver tang is factory drilled and tapped. A staple mounted saddle ring is located on the left side of the receiver. The carbine has a special order rifle stock with crescent buttplate. Winchester factory sling swivels are mounted on the lower barrel band and stock. The stock and forearm are well figured, 1X fancy grain walnut with a piano finish. The barrel, magazine, barrel bands, receiver and dust cover have the Winchester charcoal blue finish. The loading gate is a fiery niter blue. The hammer, trigger, lever and crescent buttplate are color casehardened. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped, "WINCHESTER'S-REPEATING-ARMS NEW HAVEN. CT/ KING'S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29. 1866. OCTOBER 16. 1860." in two lines between the lower barrel band and the rear sight. The caliber "44 W.C.F." is roll-stamped on the top of the barrel between the rear sight and the receiver. "- MODEL. 1873.-" is roll-stamped on the upper receiver tang in fancy letters with foliate devices at either end. "44 CAL" is stamped in script letters across the bottom of the cartridge elevator. The serial number is stamped in script numerals on the lower tang between the lever latch and rear tang screw. Model 1873 carbines were usually purchased as working firearms and are rarely encountered with special order features. This fully documented carbine with special order, fancy grain walnut rifle configuration stock, sling swivels and Winchester Express rear sight is a rare, probably one-of-a-kind, firearm.
Excellent. 95% plus of the original blue finish is present on the barrel, magazine, barrel bands, receiver and dust cover. The receiver has some edge wear on the high points and some scattered and very insignificant spots of age discoloration. The top of the dust cover rail shows some light scuff marks and there is some finish loss around the edge of the upper tang sight screw. The loading gate has 90% of the original nitre blue finish. The hammer, lever and trigger retain 85% plus of the casehardened finish with strong case colors. The case colors on the crescent buttplate have faded slight but are 75%; the edge of the buttplate heel is slivered with some tiny spots of age discoloration. The barrel and receiver markings are sharp. The stock and forearm are excellent with nearly all of the original piano finish. Wear is limited to a few very insignificant storage marks. This is a truly outstanding example of a rare and possibly one-of-a-kind special order, Winchester saddle ring carbine from one of the finest collections of Winchester and Colt firearms. Provenance: The Robert M. Lee Collection.
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