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1873 Short barrel Saddle ring rifle
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January 7, 2024 - 7:13 pm
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Hello.  I have a Winchester 1873 Kings-Improvement saddle-ring rifle that I cannot find any information on, at least online.  The barrel is only 14″ long and the overall length is 41″.  The action still works, but it is not in very good condition.  It was my wife’s grandfathers.  He owned it in the early 1900s.  The serial number is 66168 and the bore looks about the size of a .44.  I’d like to tell the kids a bit about it, especially what the actual caliber was and when and where it was manufactured.  Thanks in advance for any assistance.  (sorry, I couldn’t figure out how to add a picture. Clicking on “insert image” above opens a dialogue box with ” source”, “image description” and “dimensions” fields. I have no clue what to put there)

Regards,

Richard

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January 7, 2024 - 8:29 pm
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Can you use the “upload attachments” button on the reply text box screen? THen hit select files and don’t forget to hit the start upload button. The more pics the better!

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January 7, 2024 - 9:03 pm
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Jeremy P said
Can you use the “upload attachments” button on the reply text box screen? THen hit select files and don’t forget to hit the start upload button. The more pics the better!

  

No he can’t, unless a PAID member. 

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January 7, 2024 - 9:12 pm
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Richard Saunders said
Hello.  I have a Winchester 1873 Kings-Improvement saddle-ring rifle that I cannot find any information on, at least online.  The barrel is only 14″ long and the overall length is 41″.  The action still works, but it is not in very good condition.  It was my wife’s grandfathers.  He owned it in the early 1900s.  The serial number is 66168 and the bore looks about the size of a .44.  I’d like to tell the kids a bit about it, especially what the actual caliber was and when and where it was manufactured.  Thanks in advance for any assistance.  (sorry, I couldn’t figure out how to add a picture. Clicking on “insert image” above opens a dialogue box with ” source”, “image description” and “dimensions” fields. I have no clue what to put there)

IF the brl hasn’t been shortened, that makes it a fairly valuable gun even in rough cond.  But don’t get your hopes up, as it may have met with a hacksaw in the past.  Measure the distance between the face of the muzzle & the edge of the front sight slot–should be exactly 3/4″; more or less means a cut brl.  Caliber is probably .44-40.

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January 7, 2024 - 11:03 pm
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Your carbine/rifle dates to 1881.  A factory letter from the Cody museum would be available for it.  The letter would describe what was written in the factory ledger at the time it was shipped originally from Winchester.  It would have details such as whether it was a rifle or carbine, caliber, barrel style, etc.  You can post photos if you use an outside photo hosting site such as photobucket or Imgur. You can also e-mail photos to a member here and they will post them for you.  Typically, several here will volunteer to do that.  As it is a Model 1873, I’m sure Bob would.

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January 7, 2024 - 11:35 pm
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Richard,

You can email me the pictures at the below address.

Bob

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Researching the Winchester 1873's

73_86cutaway.jpg

Email: [email protected]

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January 8, 2024 - 4:08 pm
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Thank you all for the replies and great information.  Clarence, the front of the muzzle to the edge of the sight slot is exactly 3/4 inches.  The tip of the muzzle is also nicely beveled.  Thanks, Steve004, for the info on the Cody Museum.  I’ll definitely write them.  Bob, pictures are on the way.  Let me know if you need more.  Thank you all again for the great responses.

Regards,

Richard

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January 9, 2024 - 2:24 am
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Richard,

Here are the photos. From what I see  the barrel has been cut from the front and a dovetail front sight installed. The original rear dovetail is under the rear sight. The original rear sight was missing or  broke so they opted to put  on a later barrel sight that required a new dovetail to be cut farther forward. It looks like there might be something stamped under the rear sight where the elevator would be which may be the caliber stamp. The muzzle looks like it has been crowned as well. The original front sight would of been a soldiered on post not a dovetail type.

Bob

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Researching the Winchester 1873's

73_86cutaway.jpg

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January 9, 2024 - 3:13 pm
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Bob,

Wow, great information.  Thank you.  You sure know your 1873’s! I might try to take off the rear site to see what’s under it.  As I mentioned in my note to you, the wood stock appears not to be modified and is only 11″ long.  Is that a normal length for a standard size saddle-ring carbine?  That might provide some evidence one way or the other if it is a cut-off barrel.  That being said, upon closer inspection of the bore, it does show some signs that it may have been rounded off with a file or other tool so that would add some circumstantial evidence that it is a cut-off barrel.  I sent Cody an email requesting information on Ser #66168.  I’ll let everyone know what they say if they respond.

Regards,

Richard

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January 9, 2024 - 4:11 pm
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Richard,

Does it have a butt plate or is it just wood? It should of had the carbine butt plate on a standard carbine but there was carbines ordered with rifle butt plates and a couple that I have seen with shotgun butts but don’t know if they letter. I would assume its a modification when it was made into a short carbine to make the overall length shorter.

Bob

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Researching the Winchester 1873's

73_86cutaway.jpg

Email: [email protected]

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January 9, 2024 - 5:07 pm
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Bob,

You have again uncovered a clue and it supports your thinking that the likelihood is that it has a cut-off barrel and a cut-off stock.  It does not have a butt plate, just the hole where I guess cleaning tools were stored.  The butt is also very rough, maybe a little sanding was done around the edges to smooth off a cut, but the face of the butt is rough.  I would think that if it was made at 11 inches it would have a metal plate and/or it would have at least had a sanded and smoothed face.  

Regards,

Richard

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