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1873 Short Rifles
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August 15, 2022 - 10:51 pm
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Hello,

I acquired a Short 1873 Rifle almost by accident a while back (seller didn’t list barrel length in description, but saw the markings were on a different flat and confirmed barrel length, so I jumped at it).  It’s not a beauty queen, having a very ill fitting and incorrect sight elevator, dings on the metal and the stock looks like it was set on something hard every day of it’s life, but I was very pleasantly surprised to find a pretty nice bore and no pitting/rust to speak of.

I understand that Short Rifles are somewhat rare compared to longer-than-standard barrel lengths and many apparently went south of the border.  Well, mine (700115) appears to have been one of them.  The factory letter shows it was shipped out on July 21, 1913 to H.A. Astlett of New York.  Doing a little research, it appears that he was an early exporter of rubber from the Amazon in Brazil, so I’ve got to believe this rifle spent it’s time there (which makes it’s condition all the more surprising to me….).  I would also imagine that other rifles were included in this shipment, but I understand that CFM no longer provides this detail.  I thought that the very fact that there is a recipient listed for the shipment was unusual as I’ve never seen that on any other Winchester I’ve lettered.

Have any other Short Rifles appeared in the surveys that went to his firm?  Also, for the Short Rifles surveyed, is there any prevalence for later production (post 1900/1910) vs. earlier periods?

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August 16, 2022 - 1:38 am
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Grant,

The last of 73’s had destinations listed in the records when they went to the 3×5 cards and away from the ledger book. 

  As to other guns that shipped to astlett, you would have to pay Cody to do the research in the records. 

You didn’t say what barrel length was but the 20” was a common length for a short rifle and short rifles were more prevalent later in production. Long barrels 26 to 30” were very common but once the went over that they get rare. To get rare in a short rifle you have to be 14, 15 or 18”

Bob

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73_86cutaway.jpg

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August 16, 2022 - 2:05 am
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Thank you Bob.  That would explain the shipping notations.  Were the 3×5 cards you mention used after ~1906 concurrent with the other changes made to the records (I presume?) that explains why we only have most records through that date?

You are correct that mine is a 20″ Octagon rifle, so rare in a more relative sense, but nowhere near the shorter lengths.  I have a couple 1873’s to send to you with information for the survey and will send via email.  You very likely have the rest though.

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August 16, 2022 - 3:01 am
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Grant,

The 3×5 cards were started around serial 620,000 which is 1907. The ledgers were stopped when the cards started. Here is a copy of a card from the Jim Gordon book. They had rubber stamps for many entries eliminating hand writing.

Looking forward to the info on the 73’s you have.

Bob

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WACA Life Member---
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Researching the Winchester 1873's

73_86cutaway.jpg

Email: [email protected]

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August 16, 2022 - 4:34 pm
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1873man said
Grant,

The 3×5 cards were started around serial 620,000 which is 1907. The ledgers were stopped when the cards started. Here is a copy of a card from the Jim Gordon book. They had rubber stamps for many entries eliminating hand writing.

Looking forward to the info on the 73’s you have.

Bob

IMG_0328.jpegImage Enlarger

  

I’d never seen or heard of the cards before.  I don’t have Jim Gordon’s book and at this point in my life, I’m pretty much done buying any more books.  Thanks for posting Bob – very interesting.

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