This is an exceptional original example of a Winchester Model 1873 .22 rimfire rifle that is chambered for .22 Long cartridge. This rifle is accompanied by a Cody Firearms Museum letter that describes this Model 1873 as: "Type: Rifle, Caliber: 22 L, Barrel Type: Octagon" and "Trigger: Plain". The letter states that this rifle was shipped from Winchester on September 1, 1887. The rifle has a blued barrel, magazine, forearm cap and receiver. The hammer, trigger lever and crescent buttplate are color casehardened. The stock and forearm are straight grain American walnut with a varnish finish. The early style magazine tube has the heavy steel ring and separate stop ring. The octagon barrel has a sporting style front sight with nickel-silver blade and buckhorn rear sight. The upper receiver tang is factory drilled and tapped. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped with the two-line legend "WINCHESTER'S REPEATING ARMS. NEW HAVEN. CONN. U.S.A./- KING'S IMPROVEMENT PATENTED MARCH 29, 1866. OCTOBER 16, 1860-" ahead of the rear sight. The top line of the legend uses serif letters, and the bottom line is stamped in block letters. The caliber "22 LONG" is stamped in block letters on the top barrel flat between the rear sight and the receiver. "22 CAL/LONG" is stamped in script letters across the bottom of the cartridge elevator. The upper tang is roll-stamped "- MODEL. 1873. - " 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. Introduced in 1884, the Winchester Model 1873 was the first Winchester .22 caliber rifle and the first .22 caliber repeating rifle made in the United States.
Excellent. This rifle is all original and retains 95% plus of the bright original blue finish overall. Wear is limited to scattered minor handling and storage marks on the barrel and receiver. The hammer, trigger, lever and crescent buttplate have 90% plus of the casehardened finish with vivid case colors. All of the markings are crisp. The stock and forearm are both in excellent condition and retain most of the varnish finish with some minor handling marks. This is an excellent example of a scarce and highly desirable .22 Rimfire variation of the Winchester Model 1873 lever action rifle.
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