Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 13: Rare Special Order Winchester Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle

Auction Date: April 13, 2018

Rare Special Order Winchester Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle with Documented Extra Heavy Barrel

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

Rare Special Order Winchester Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle with Documented Extra Heavy Barrel

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1873
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 38-40 WCF
Barrel: 24 inch heavy octagon
Finish: blue
Stock: varnished walnut
Item Views: 2056
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 21
Class: Antique

The Cody letter describes this Model 1873 as: "Type: Rifle, Caliber: 38, Barrel Type: Octagon, Extra Heavy" and "Trigger: Set". The letter further states that this rifle was shipped from Winchester on September 6, 1886. The rifle has the Third Model receiver with integral dust cover rail and dust cover with serrated rear edges. The barrel, magazine, forearm cap, receiver and dust cover have the Winchester charcoal blue finish. The loading gate is niter blue. The hammer, trigger, lever and crescent buttplate are color casehardened. The stock and forearm are straight grain American walnut with a varnish finish. The rifle has a rare extra heavy, full octagon barrel fitted with a Beach combination front sight and a spirit level in the rear sight dovetail. 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 dovetail and "38 W.C.F." behind it. A rare Model 1873 folding peep sight is mounted on the receiver tang. The receiver is fitted with a factory single set-trigger. The crescent steel buttplate has a sliding brass trapdoor. "38 CAL" is roll-stamped in script across the brass cartridge elevator. "MODEL 1873" is roll-stamped on the upper tang in fancy letters with foliate devices at either end. The serial number is stamped in script numerals on the lower tang behind the lever latch. Model 1873 rifles with extra heavy barrels are extremely rare.

Rating Definition:

Fine. The barrel, magazine and forearm cap have 75% of the blue finish. The receiver shows more handling wear with finish loss and light pitting on the top and light pitting on the edges of the dust cover. The receiver sides, side plates and bottom have about 60% of the blue finish with wear on contact points. The loading gate retains 40% of the niter blue finish. 60% of the case colors are present on the sides of the hammer. The case colors on the lever have aged to a mottled gray patina with spots of age discoloration. The crescent buttplate has a dark patina with heavy age discoloration and light pitting on the top of the heel. The barrel and receiver markings are crisp. The stock and forearm are in very good overall condition and retain about 75% of the varnish finish with moderate handling wear. This is a very good example of a rare special order Winchester Model 1873 Levery Action Rifles with documented heavy "buffalo" barrel.

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