Winchester Model 1873 Musket with Winchester Museum record card. The museum card describes this Winchester Model 1873 as "musket, caliber 44" and states that it was shipped from Winchester on September 18, 1903. The musket has the Third Model receiver with integral dust cover guide rail and dust cover with serrated rear edges. The 30-inch round barrel has the distinctive full-length forearm secured by three bands. The barrel has a steel block front sight that serves as a lug for a socket bayonet and military style folding leaf rear sight. Factory sling swivels are mounted on the middle barrel band and stock. The carbine style buttplate has a sliding brass trap-door and the butt trap contains a five-piece, jointed, steel cleaning rod. The upper receiver tang is factory drilled and tapped. 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 between the lower barrel band and the rear sight. The caliber designation: "44 W.C.F." is roll-stamped on the top barrel flat between the rear sight and the receiver. "44 CAL" is stamped in script letters and numerals across the bottom of the brass cartridge elevator. The upper receiver tang is roll-stamped; "- MODEL. 1873. - " in fancy letters with foliate devices at either end. The serial number is roll-stamped in script numerals on the lower tang between the lever latch and lower tang screw. The barrel, magazine, barrel bands, sling swivels receiver and dust cover have a blue finish. The loading port cover is fire blue. The hammer, trigger, lever and carbine buttplate are color casehardened. The stock and forearm are oil-finished, straight grain, American walnut. This musket was probably part of the group of 700 Model 1873 Muskets in the 569,000-571,000 serial number range sold by Winchester to Nicaragua in 1903; a large number of these muskets were found in new or near new condition in Central America in and returned to the United States in the 1950s.
Excellent plus. This scarce musket is all original and remains in near new condition with only traces of storage wear. The barrel, receiver, loading gate and other components retain 98% of the blue finish. Wear is limited to several light scratches on the sides of the barrel bands and two 1/8-inch spots of pitting on the underside of the barrel at the muzzle and on the top of the receiver at the forward edge of the ejection port. The loading gate retains close to 100% of the fire blue finish. The hammer, lever and trigger have virtually all of the muted case colors intact. The buttplate retains 95% of the casehardened finish with some silvering on the heel and toe. The stock and forearm remain in excellent plus condition with all of the original finish and un-handled raised grain. Wear is limited to a few scattered and very insignificant storage marks. This extraordinary Winchester Model 1873 Musket would complement the most advanced collection of Winchester firearms.
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