Presented here is without question the finest Winchester Deluxe Model 1873 rifles Rock Island Auction Company has had the privilege to offer at auction. The condition is absolutely stunning, nearly appearing as it did over 125 years ago when it first left the factory in New Haven, Connecticut. This includes the accompanying cotton Winchester placed in the barrel to prevent corrosion. It is a rare find; a time capsule that is a testament to Winchester craftsmanship at the close of the 19th century. The factory letter confirms the serial number was applied on October 13, 1892, and the rifle was received in and shipped from the warehouse on October 22, 1892, as a .38 WCF caliber rifle with an octagon barrel, set trigger, checkered pistol grip stock, and casehardened action. It is a deluxe third model, featuring a dust cover guide rail integral to the receiver and dust cover featuring serrated finger grip on the rear. The action is fitted with a special order single set trigger. The barrel is fitted with a dovetailed front sight and an elevation adjustable rear sight, is marked with the two-line Winchester New Haven address/King's Improvement patent dates information ahead of the rear sight and "38 WCF" at the breech, and as stated, retains the Winchester factory cotton used to protect the bore. There is a tang mounted peep sight. "38 CAL." is marked on the brass cartridge elevator. The lower tang has the serial number. The barrel, full length magazine, dust cover, trigger and loading gate are blue. The forearm cap, receiver, hammer, lever, and crescent buttplate are casehardened, exhibiting fiery case colors. The forearm and pistol grip stock are highly figured, deluxe grain walnut with high polish piano finish and finely checkered panels. The bottom of the pistol grip has an ebony inlay. The buttplate has a sliding brass trapdoor containing a four-piece steel cleaning rod.
Excellent plus, near new. The rifle retains 99% plus original blue, vivid casehardened and varnish finishes, only showing its age on the tip of the magazine tube (series of scratches) and some fading on the buttplate and left side of the receiver. The case colors are vivid and remain 99% complete. The wood is of equal stunning condition showing limited minor handling/storage marks. The checkering is crisp. Mechanically excellent with the exception of the trigger not setting. This Winchester Deluxe Model 1873 rifle would be a centerpiece in the finest collection of Winchester firearms. The rifle is truly the finest of its type we have ever offered at auction, an absolute benchmark.
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