Special order Winchester Model 1873 Deluxe Sporting Rifle with Cody Firearms Museum Letter. The Cody letter describes this rifle as: "Rifle, 26-inch octagon barrel, Set trigger, Checkered stock, Pistol grip" and "Casehardened". The letter states that this rifle was shipped from the Winchester warehouse on October 5, 1883. The rifle has the Third Model receiver with integral dust cover rail and dust cover with serrated finger grip. The rifle has the highly desirable, special order, color casehardened receiver with casehardened forearm cap, hammer, lever and crescent buttplate. The 26-inch, full octagon barrel and full length magazine have a blue finish. The dust cover is bright blue and the loading gate cover and trigger are a fiery niter blue. The special order, highly figured, fancy grade, walnut forearm and pistol grip stock have Winchester "Style H" checkering and a high polish piano finish. The pistol grip has an ebony inlay. The barrel has a standard, sporting style, front sight with nickel-silver blade and buckhorn sporting style rear sight with fixed sight notch and serrated edges. The upper barrel tang is factory drilled and tapped. The receiver has a Winchester single set-trigger. The crescent buttplate has a sliding brass trapdoor, and the butt trap contains a steel, four-piece, jointed cleaning rod with brass tip. 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 ahead of the rear sight. The upper receiver tang is roll-stamped: "- MODEL. 1873. -" in fancy letters with foliate devices at either end of the marking. The serial number is stamped in script numerals across the lower tang between the lever latch and the rear tang screw. The barrel and cartridge elevator, correctly, lack caliber markings.
Very Fine. 70% of the original blue finish remains on the barrel and magazine with some very minor edge wear on the barrel at the muzzle. The Winchester legend is crisp. The dust cover retains about 80% of the bright blue finish. 80% of the fire blue finish is present on the loading port cover and trigger. The forearm cap has strong case colors. The case colors on the receiver have faded but are 50% complete with some silvering on the upper tang and contact points. The hammer and lever have 90% of the faded case colors. The bottom of the buttplate has silvered and shows scattered spots of age discoloration. The buttplate heel retains about 40% of the faded case colors. The highly figured, fancy grade, walnut stock and forearm are in excellent condition and retain nearly 95% of the high polish piano finish. The checkered panels on the pistol grip and forearm show only very minor handling wear. The stock has a few scattered and relatively minor handling and storage marks concentrated primarily on the right side. This is an exceptionally attractive example of a special order Winchester Deluxe Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle with very desirable casehardened receiver in 44-40 caliber.
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