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Took my Great Granpappy's 1873 .22 short out in the woods &g
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September 15, 2013 - 2:38 pm
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This rifle is absolutely beautiful…..kept wrapped in a blanket for 2 generations back…..oiled it up, loaded a half dozen rounds and grouped 1-2" at 25 paces on cardboard target. Of course I used a fork of a young tree for a bench..cheated a little….but I was amazed at the accuracy for an 1891 rifle which had hardly been shot it entire lifetime. Yes, I cleaned it up afterwards, oiled it and put it back in its original blanket….with the cardboard target duly noted.

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September 15, 2013 - 4:37 pm
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Nice experience with your 1873. Did you take any photos? I would enjoy seeing one or two of the old rifle if you did.

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September 15, 2013 - 6:12 pm
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win 38-55: As a matter of fact, I did take a photo…I will try to post it this week, it will take me a while figuring out how to post….thanks for asking !

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September 17, 2013 - 1:52 pm
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win 38-55: Picture as you requested. The rifle is in exceptional condition after storage for several generations. The only major blueing wear is on the butt plate where it apparently rode in a wagon with the butt against something, but wrapped in a blanket where it has been stored as indicated above. Our family really enjoys looking at our heirloom periodically (very seldom) which looks like it was bought yesterday. We do not know when the last time it was shot; that is why we did a little target practice with the .22 short and put this target back in the blanket with the rifle. The action is tight and very smooth. The finger cover slides back when levered, but you have to push it back afterwards. We do not know if this is a problem or not, it seems that it should close when you return the lever back.

[Image Can Not Be Found]

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September 17, 2013 - 3:24 pm
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Thank you for posting that photo. It is always a pleasure to admire old classic Winchesters like yours. It looks like it is very accurate as well.

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September 17, 2013 - 5:04 pm
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Beautiful 73. The dust cover not returning to it original position is normal.

73s in 22 caliber are pretty scarce. Thanks for sharing.

FWIW, given the condition / value of that gun, I would not be storing it in a blanket, nor with a piece of cardboard touching it.

Again, thanks for sharing.

Matt

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September 17, 2013 - 6:44 pm
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A light coating of Conservator’s Wax or Renaissance Wax is what I would recommend to protect it from rust. I use it for all my old Winchesters. Don’t use other kinds of wax; only those two. You must live in a very dry climate, judging from the condition of the metal. If possible, I wouldn’t mind seeing a close up photo of just the receiver area of the rifle that showed the hammer and lever as well in a bit brighter light.

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September 18, 2013 - 11:35 am
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Thanks to all for the great advice, we implemented your instructions!

Win38-55: The next time the family takes the rifle out of storage, I will take a closer picture as you requested.

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September 18, 2013 - 3:59 pm
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What year gun is it? I assume its a late gun to survive in that condition. I see you called it a 1891 gun.

Bob

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Researching the Winchester 1873's

73_86cutaway.jpg

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September 18, 2013 - 5:53 pm
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1873man: It is a model 1873 (says it on the tang behind the hammer), mfg. in 1891 I believe from the serial numbers. We have some old papers somewhere..still looking for them with the location purchased and a receipt. I remember seeing them when I was a teenager……now retired. We have so much old family "stuff" that it needs to be reconciled sometime this year or next. I was advised to go to the Cody museum and get a Winchester letter on it. Will do that soon.

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September 18, 2013 - 6:53 pm
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Sure appreciate you sharing this with us. It is always interesting to hear about old Winchesters that have been in the family for a long time.

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September 26, 2013 - 11:35 am
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Here is the Winchester letter we just received as mentioned above…should have ordered this decades ago. Sorry for the info blocking…sure you can understand.

Not much info, but I know it was purchased by the family in 1891 in Houston, Texas. Question: Can the "case hardening?" coloring on the lever, hammer and front of the forearm be preserved as the "orange?" color is fading faster than the blue, even though very well protected in storage?

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September 26, 2013 - 12:03 pm
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Looking at the picture it looks like the lever and hammer are blued is that what I’m seeing?

Bob

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

73_86cutaway.jpg

Email: [email protected]

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September 26, 2013 - 5:14 pm
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1873man: No must be a reflection. The lever, hammer and front of the forend are, what I am told (from a gun store) as mentioned above, is case, a mix of orange and dark and light blue and some other swirling colors, but the orange and other mix colors are not as strong as the blue on the lever; however, you can still see the different mix of colors. That is what I want to preserve somehow because it is really different. The colors are still good on the end of the forend and hammer. The rest of the gun is still very blue and the wood is beautiful. I wish it were not in storage, but the family might take it out with other stuff to inventory after the first of the year and I will recoat the metal.

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September 26, 2013 - 5:22 pm
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I believe the Cody Museum uses Renaissance Wax. I use Conservator’s Wax. Don’t use any other kind of wax but one of these two.

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September 26, 2013 - 5:48 pm
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win38-55: Thanks, I took your kind advice a few replys above. It is very well coated with Renaissance wax, several coats. Will the wax help preserve the case coating on the lever, hammer and forend ? How often does it need to be re-waxed ? I still oiled the internal moving parts and bore..is that correct ? I hate to say this, but several years ago, we had a devil of a time (but carefully) taking the caked up old dried grease or whatever was on it, off. But it really preserved the metal. The bore was packed with this dried stuff from one end to the other, but it came out mirror perfect, as you can tell with the target. Thanks.

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September 27, 2013 - 12:13 am
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What make & type of Shorts, please? I am obsessed with Shorts. A 73 seems a dandy rifle for them. You could probably take a junker and turn it into a nice .22 Long Rifle.

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September 27, 2013 - 6:09 am
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waterman: Federal .22 short. It is a very, very heavy and long rifle, that is the downside, but the upside is that it is extremely accurate due to its long bbl. length and weight, and it has a very light, almost silent report.

The vibes (?) you get from shooting a well cared for rifle 120+ years old is like magic. You just have to be so careful to take care of it, especially if it belongs to the family. I think the three shots I fired, were the only ones in the past 100 years.

Suggest you purchase a modern lever action .22 long rifle to have fun with.

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September 27, 2013 - 9:12 am
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Some of the 73 22’s were made with the ability to shoot longs and shorts by changing the cartridge stop in the elevator but they never were made for 22 long rifle.

Bob

WACA Life Member---
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73_86cutaway.jpg

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October 26, 2013 - 10:14 am
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1873man: "Looking at the picture it looks like the lever and hammer are blued is that what I’m seeing?"
Per your request, posted better pics under hopefully better light.

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