Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 19: Winchester Deluxe Model 1873 .22 Short Rifle with Freund Sight

Auction Date: September 10, 2021

Exceptional Documented Winchester Deluxe Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle in Highly Desirable .22 Short Caliber with Freund Sight and Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $45,000 - $65,000

Exceptional Documented Winchester Deluxe Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle in Highly Desirable .22 Short Caliber with Freund Sight and Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1873
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 22 S
Barrel: 24 inch octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: highly figured deluxe wal
Item Views: 1574
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 20
Class: Antique

The accompanying factory letter confirms the octagon barrel in .22 caliber, plain trigger, checkered pistol grip stock and casehardened receiver. This outstanding condition rifle was received in the warehouse on August 7, 1886 and shipped the same day. The rifle is fitted with a gold combination Beach front sight, a highly desirable Freund elevation adjustable rear sight and Vernier tang sight graduated from 0 to 75 on the left side. Like many in the American firearms industry in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Freund brothers Frank W. and George were German immigrants. They had various temporary shop locations as they followed the Union Pacific westward and established more permanent shops in Denver, Colorado, and Cheyenne, Wyoming, where they regularly modified firearms, particularly Sharps rifles, to fit their customer's needs. They sold rifles to the likes of generals Philip Sheridan, George Cook, and Theodore Roosevelt. In addition to mechanical alterations and creating new configurations, the Freunds also designed new sights. The rear sight is marked "F.W. FREUND/PATENT." The top barrel flat is stamped with the two-line Winchester legend ahead of the rear sight and "22 CAL" at the breech. The cartridge elevator is marked "22 CAL/SHORT." The serial number is marked on the lower tang. The third model receiver has an integral dust cover rail and dust cover with serrations at the rear. The hammer, lever, receiver, forend cap and buttplate are casehardened. The remaining surfaces are blued. The forearm and pistol grip stock are nicely figured "XXX" deluxe walnut and are checkered. The buttstock has an ebony grip insert and a solid crescent buttplate. The left side of the lower tang is marked "485 XXX 22." The assembly number "485" is repeated on the stock inlet and buttplate.

Rating Definition:

Exceptionally fine. The barrel and magazine retain 85% original blue finish with thinning to brown on the balance and some light pitting towards the muzzle. 85% original blue remains on the dust cover. 80% plus original case colors remain on the receiver. The remaining surfaces retain 80% original case colors with the most vivid colors on the lever. The wood is fine with minor dings and scratches, crisp checkering overall and most of the original varnish remaining. Mechanically excellent. An exceptional documented Winchester Deluxe Model 1873 .22 Short Lever Action Rifle with highly desirable upgraded F.W. Freund sight that is well deserving of the most advanced lever action collections.

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