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Rare Winchester 1873 help needed
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WACA Guest
March 7, 2014 - 10:56 am
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Looking for help, opinions, or suggestions. I have acquired a Deluxe Model 1873, 143XXX, 32 cal. Case Hardened, Pistol Grip, checkering, set trigger, half mag, 26 inch octagon barrel, with xxx wood. 
All these make it a fairly rare piece. With that being said, the condition is absolutely sickening. It took a lot of looking, soaking, and light to 
retrieve the serial, but i finally got it and ordered my Cody letter, it told me all this info is correct. It seems someone put a 20 inch round barrel on it a long time ago
and never put it back together. I have everything but the original barrel, one toggle, and screw set. I have talked with a few versed in these guns, and most have told me 
a full restore is really the only option in this condition. At the price of the restore, roughly quoted at $4500. Would this be worth it. I was told $2000 would be a fair offer 
for the bad shape it is in right now. First off, I don’t care much for restored guns, but I may have to go that route, if I did, would it be worth it. Not wanting to sell, 
but to put that kind of money into a restore is a lot for me to swallow, so I need actual figures on what this gun would be worth in a restored state.Or what options I would have 
or could do. Right now i am stuck trying to figure out which road to take.Even if not today, what would the value in future years be expected to change?   

Type: Rifle
Caliber: 32
Barrel Type: Octagon
Barrel Length: 26 inches
Trigger: Set
Checkered stock, Pistol grip
Sights: Lyman and Beach
1/2 Magazine
Received in warehouse on January 07, 1884
Shipped from warehouse on January 07, 1884, Order number 10072

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March 7, 2014 - 3:03 pm
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Most serious Winchester collectors loath restored rifles. As a results we do not value them highly. It is very likely that you could spend the $4500 and not be able to resell the rifle to recoup the coast. You also have to ask yourself that if the end product is a rifle with a barrel that is not original and all the wood replaced, all you have is a mostly modern rifle built to match the original specifications. Is that what you are after?

You wrote:

so I need actual figures on what this gun would be worth in a restored state

This is an impossibility to give you. If you were to ask ten different people my guess is that you would get that many different "values." And none of them are incorrect. That I how that person might value the gun. Remember, there is no ‘hand of god’ number that is the set value. What the rifle "might" be worth could only be determined by putting the gun up for sale to a large population and letting them set the value.

When we talk about what the gun is worth on this forum we are implying "what might it be worth to fellow collectors?" Heck, lots of us may disagree on what that number might be. There are many other people who like guns that may strongly disagree with our valuation because they are not interested in the concept of collecting rifle but rather use them to hunt with and shoot a lot.

Since you stated that you are not interested in selling the gun you have to decide is having a real nice looking rifle worth the quoted amount. Which sounds like it is going to be a hard thing since you also state:

First off, I don’t care much for restored guns


to put that kind of money into a restore is a lot for me to swallow

It sounds like you have answered your own question.




Model 1892 / Model 61 Collector, Research, Valuation

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March 7, 2014 - 6:29 pm
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First post some pictures of your gun so we can see if restoration is its only hope. It could be kept original. Another thing to keep in mind is if you have it restored and it turns out bad you lost it all. Over the years I have seen many badly restored guns.

I would say you might have a $8000 gun when your done. The 32 caliber hurts its value as compared to a 44


WACA Life Member---
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Cody Firearms member since 1991
Researching the Winchester 1873's


Email: [email protected]

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March 7, 2014 - 7:01 pm
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Sent you a private message 1873man

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March 7, 2014 - 7:37 pm
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I’m not much for restored guns either. I think the best option is to sell it in its current condition to someone who wants to restore it. I think you’d be much better off investing the $4500 in an original gun that will appreciate in value instead of a restored gun that most likely will not.

Ontario Canada
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March 7, 2014 - 9:15 pm
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Certain people love to restore things for the challenge and excitement of anticipating the outcome ,such as the Restored cars sold at the Barrett- Jackson car Auctions , but in the end , the only winner is the buyer who often pays less than 1/2 the price of the restoration cost
I am sometimes the buyer of the restored Winchester for the value aspect of getting a like new gun that is a great shooter, has a nicer authentic feel ,and is superior to a Uberti clone ,but dont have the interest in initiating the project that I know I will lose $ on


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