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Winchester Model 1873 Semi-Deluxe Rifle in 44-40 with Case Colored Receiver
Sale Pending! Winchester Model 1873 Semi-Deluxe Rifle with Special Order Case Color Hardened Receiver and Single Set Trigger. Select non-deluxe Walnut stocks. 24" Octagon Barrel, Full Magazine, Crescent Rifle Buttplate w/Trapdoor. Serial number is in the 129,000 range and was built in 1883. All matching assembly numbers on the inside of the lower tang, stock inlet, and underneath the buttplate (see photos). Original rear semi-buckhorn sight and standard front with German silver blade and no set screw which is correct on an 1880's vintage Winchester. Also, there is no caliber designation on the top of the barrel or the loading block which is correct on all 44 caliber 1873's manufactured before 1884. I guess 44-40 being the only caliber for the first few years of production, Winchester never saw the need to mark the Model 1873, but as other calibers like 32-20 (1882) , 38-40 (1879), and lastly .22 rimfire in 1884, someone finally decided to mark them 44 CAL on the barrel and shortly thereafter 44 WCF. Nice 2 line Barrel address with Henry's original patent and the King's Improvement. Upper tang is marked "Model 1873" bracketed by two French style Fleur de Lis. The hammer has the earlier style knurled checkering in the rectangular border. Since this was a special order rifle, it went through the Winchester Custom shop which tended to stock their guns with walnut that was usually a little better than what came on standard guns. These rifles that were ordered with case colored frame often have wood that had something going for it but not quite fancy or symmetric enough to grade as "deluxe (which went from 1x to 4x"). Someone once told me that fancy burl walnut looks like waves in the ocean with wind blowing through them. Using that analogy, this wood has some of the waves but not much wind blowing although there is a bit of burl on the right side of the forend just in front of the frame. Comes with an older Factory Letter from the Buffalo Bill Historical Center signed by Howard Madaus who was the Curator of the Cody Museum back in 1996. Over the years, Madaus has authored a number of fascinating books on historical firearms including the incredibly well-researched book on the Model 1876 Winchester as well as one on all of Retailer Schuyler, Hartley & Graham's sales of firearms that went to the West during the 19th century. At any rate, it's nice to see one of these Winchesters with a letter that he personally researched. The overall condition of this rifle is at the lower end of NRA Antique Fine with about 20-30% fading blue on the barrel, tube is mostly grey and some light case colors remaining on the frame. You can see little whisps of brighter colors towards the rear of the frame behind the side plates and in protected areas but the majority of the metal has faded to silver. Loading port and set trigger still have some nice fire blue remaining. The wood is in Fine condition with very nice wood to metal fit and no chips, cracks, or repairs. The action on this rifle feels quite nice with an Excellent Bright Bore. The single set trigger even works. All in all, this rifle has a great set of features which for me personally, seldom do I find one in 44-40....90% of the Semi-Deluxes we've had over the years have been either 38-40 or 32-20. Antique, Pre-1898. No FFL Required. Buyer must be 18 years of age and legal to purchase. No sales to NYC, NJ, Chicago, DC, HI, or International Sales. $50.00 shipping. Sale Pending!
Price: $4850 Sale Pending!
Rifle Caliber: .44-40 Winchester
Barrel Type: Octagon
Triggers: Single Set Trigger
Manufacture Date: 1883