This gun is listed in the included 1992 dated ATF letter and the ATF Curio & Relics lists as exempted from the NFA and classified as a curio or relic. The serial number on the bottom of the frame was applied per the instructions in the letter. It has a "barley corn" style front sight, notch and folding ladder rear sight, button magazine, taps for a second model dust cover (use c. sn. 31000- 90000 in 1879-1882), and Native American style tack decorated stock and forearm. While the Model 1873 has been famously nicknamed "The Gun that Won the West" and was a popular "cowboy" gun both in real life and on the silver screen, Native Americans on the plains are known to have switched to Winchester's repeating rifles shortly after they became available even while the U.S. military and many American civilians continued to use single shot rifles. Native warriors used them to devastating effects at the Battle of Little Bighorn and other engagements in the West, and Geronimo's Apache appear to have been fond of Winchester's repeaters base on period photographs and tack decorated examples noted as found on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, but the will of various native nations to fight and the firepower of their Winchesters was not enough for them to overcome American settlers' hunger for native lands and resources in the long run. Provenance: The Brandhorst Collection
Fair with a lot of "frontier" character that you would expect to see on a 19th century firearm used for many years in the American West. The iron displays a brown patina and mild oxidation overall. The dust cover and guide rail are absent, and most of the markings are worn away. Slight bulge in barrel. The magazine tube was shortened. The brass cartridge elevator shows an attractive aged patina, and the tacks display most of their frosty plated finish along with some aged patina and dents. A few tacks are absent. The wood has the replacement forend modified, some filler, and moderate cracks and loss. Mechanically good. This is definitely a gun that looks like it was rediscovered after a hard life on the frontier. Imagine the stories it could tell if it could only talk!
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