Manufactured in 1883 as a third model with integral dust cover rail and dust cover with grip serrations at the rear. The rifle is fitted with a special order 26 inch barrel. The accompanying factory letter lists this rifle with a 26 inch octagon barrel and plain trigger when received in the warehouse on February 2, 1883 and shipped on June 24, 1883. As explained by George Madis, "Special lengths, such as [26 inches], are rare in all models. Few gun buyers were so particular that they would order special barrel lengths, especially a barrel only two inches longer than standard" (see "The Winchester Book," page 133). The barrel is fitted with a dovetail Lyman beaded blade front sight and an elevation adjustable buckhorn rear sight and is stamped with the two-line address/patent dates marking. There is a folding tang peep sight. The rifle correctly lacks caliber markings. A leather sling is included. The straight grip stock is fitted with a trapdoor crescent buttplate.
Very good plus, retaining nearly 40% original blue finish with the balance a smooth brown-gray patina. Traces of original case colors remain on the hammer and lever. Traces of original niter blue remains on the loading gate. The stock wrist has been period repaired, otherwise the wood is good with chipping along the grain, dings and scratches. Mechanically excellent. A very solid example of a special order Winchester 1873, "the gun that won the west", that certainly looks to have played the part.
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