Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1000: Winchester First Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle

Auction Date: May 14, 2022

Winchester First Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle with Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $4,500 - $7,000

Winchester First Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle with Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1873
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 44 WCF
Barrel: 24 inch octagon
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1129
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 3
Class: Antique

Manufactured in 1875 (shipped in 1876), this is a highly desirable first model variation of the Winchester Model 1873 Rifle featuring a checkered oval finger grip on the dust cover which is held in place by two integral guides. The accompanying factory letter confirms the octagon barrel and plain trigger as well as stating the rifle was received in the warehouse on October 18, 1875 and shipped on April 24, 1876. The rifle is fitted with a dovetail blade front sight and an elevation adjustable rear sight on a barrel stamped with the two-line New Haven address/King's improvement patent dates on the top flat. The rifle correctly lacks a caliber designation. The upper tang is stamped "MODEL. 1873." and is factory drilled and tapped for sight mounting (filler screws are present). The lower tang has the four digit serial number. The buttstock is fitted with a trapdoor crescent buttplate (cleaning rod not included). The Model 1873 is one of the most famous of all American firearms and has been popularly known as "the Gun that Won the West" due to its popularity with pioneers. It was often paired with a Colt Single Action Army or other revolver chambered for the popular .44-40 W.C.F. cartridges. This made carrying ammunition for both your rifle and your revolver simple and allowed an individual to be ready to defend themselves against man or beast in a variety of tough situations.

Rating Definition:

Very good. 25% of original blue finish remains mostly in and around the sheltered areas, otherwise the rifle has a smooth brown patina. Traces of original nitre blue remain on the loading gate. The wood is also very good showing minor dings and scratches. Mechanically excellent.

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