Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 17: Exceptional Winchester Model 1873 Lever Action 44-40 Rifle

Auction Date: April 13, 2018

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $7,000 - $9,000

Exceptional Winchester Model 1873 Lever Action 44-40 Rifle

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1873
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 44-40 WCF
Barrel: 24 inch
Finish: blue
Stock: varnished walnut
Item Views: 4265
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 23
Class: Antique

This Winchester Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle was manufactured in 1884. This rifle has the Third Model receiver with integral dust cover rail and dust cover with serrated edges. The 24 inch round barrel has a standard, sporting style, front sight with nickel-silver blade and buckhorn, sporting style, rear sight with serrated edges. The upper receiver tang is factory drilled and tapped. The crescent buttplate has a sliding brass trap door. The top of the barrel 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. "44 CAL." is roll-stamped on the top of the barrel just in front of the receiver and "44 CAL." is roll-stamped in script letters across the bottom of the cartridge elevator. "-MODEL. 1873.-" is roll-stamped on the upper receiver tang in fancy letters flanked by foliate devices. The serial number is stamped in script numerals on the lower tang between the lever latch and the rear tang screw. The rifle has the blue finish on the barrel, magazine, forearm cap, receiver and dust cover. The loading gate has a fire blue finish. The hammer, trigger, lever, and crescent buttplate are color casehardened. The stock and forearm are straight grain American walnut with a semi-gloss piano finish.

Rating Definition:

Exceptionally fine. 85% plus of the blue finish is present on the barrel and magazine. The barrel legend and caliber markings are sharp. The barrel band and sides of the forearm cap show some minor finish wear but retain at 90% of the original blue. The receiver and dust cover have 95% of the blue finish. Wear is limited to some minor scuff marks on the dust cover rail. The loading gate retains about 90% of the fire blue finish. The hammer, trigger and lever have 70% of the original case colors. The case colors on the buttplate show traces of silvering but remain more than 90% intact. The stock and forearm are in very fine overall condition. The most significant wear is several shallow scratches on a 1 inch section of the left stock wrist just behind the receiver. The balance of the stock and the forearm show only very limited handling wear and retain close to 95% of the original finish. This is an excellent example of an 1884 production Winchester Third Model 1873 rifle.

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