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Advice on replacing parts or collectability of my 1873 rifle
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Salem, OR
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October 12, 2023 - 7:42 pm
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All

I would appreciate some direction on how much effort to put into this gun, both monetarily and time wise.

First of all the rifle will be staying in the family tree as it is part of my dads collection of weapons that he has recently passed down to me and my brother. Some of his that I have acquired are a 1937 Model 71 Deluxe, 1953 Model 70 30-06, 1911 Model 1890 .22 short, 1959 Model 42 .410, 1955 Model 94 .32 WS, and a Model 67 .22. I am painstaking trying to evaluate each one and gently clean them up. Most of them have spent their last 40 years or so in a safe or gun cabinet. Although my dad was a collector of guns, he never had an appraisal or desire to know more about them other than what he already knew. He just liked old guns.  I do have that desire.

This 1873 was passed down and was well used in its early years, but also has been in a safe for the past 40-50 years. I have received kind advice from Bob and others in the past. My question now is how much effort and/or money should I put into it, or should I leave it be as it doesn’t have enough value left (other than sentimental).

The basics that I know so far (I have sent off for the Cody Museum Letter) are that it fires, one of the stock screws are nonoriginal, the dust cover is missing, both sights appear nonoriginal (but I will wait for the letter to confirm), second generation, the trigger safety is missing or broken as the trigger wiggles a bit, the bore is clean, there are no cleaning rods, and it is mostly brown patina. The lettering is also pretty distinct other than wear on the serial number area. The stocks look decent, but it was used. Someplace down the line (but very long ago) it looks like the sites were replaced and the front sight was slightly filed or worn to improve accuracy. But doggone if they look exactly the same as the rest of the gun.

For the past few weeks I have been trying to research most of these guns (there were a lot of revolvers too). I am retired and have the time, but anything to help me streamline will be greatly appreciated. My old eyes are getting blurred and I am tired….but it is a good tired!  

 

I have attached some pics to help.

 

Thanks so much, Gary4227CF42-E7A8-4895-8269-31423BAC3683.jpegImage Enlarger41C378A0-282F-4666-8E32-0A6C5EBCA95F.jpegImage EnlargerA607D877-112D-490D-988A-5E7F3C2EBA9F.jpegImage EnlargerE1F48E54-676E-4FCC-8B23-C16BB7C89550.jpegImage Enlarger0EA63FEA-8D90-4977-85F9-3972EFBA0381.jpegImage EnlargerE9A1C32B-8B4B-4E56-B204-9831323A53AB.jpegImage Enlarger6BB5E1B6-3166-432C-A838-F87B3C3B3E12.jpegImage Enlarger313DD68B-6247-4F17-AAB7-2EB626035666.jpegImage Enlarger7746897E-2338-4D46-BE0A-B5DC3C165EEA.jpegImage Enlarger762C8BD2-4CF7-4BDD-AE3A-FE4BA069D7C5.jpegImage Enlarger5C4A778A-4E2C-435D-AB2C-3AAFDF2D2D3A.jpegImage EnlargerCB55EE8D-0196-4EF2-BC5E-1BA64D51ACC0.jpegImage Enlarger72DC1931-2AA8-4319-902E-21EA2CCD101E.jpegImage Enlarger9B6C8D12-4039-4C43-8FC2-87D0956D5AAF.jpegImage Enlarger8D1BF62F-B5DD-4385-8A9D-218A12F890BA.jpegImage EnlargerC45F3BA0-FC4A-4B0E-BBAE-83F4EA4EAD35.jpegImage Enlarger

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October 12, 2023 - 8:12 pm
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Gary,

 I would replace the stock screw and leave it as is. The rear barrel sight is a early sight so leave it alone.

Bob

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Researching the Winchester 1873's

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October 12, 2023 - 8:17 pm
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DITTO above comment.

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October 12, 2023 - 8:42 pm
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Lovely rifle just the way it is.  Replace that screw and leave well enough alone.

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October 12, 2023 - 10:13 pm
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Don’t touch it or try to steel wool or clean it up or anything- just leave it the way it is —sights and all. As mentioned above, you could probably find an original tang screw and dust cover with a little searching. That would be all that I would do to it as well… and it does have value right now- and very collectible. Hope this helps- TOM

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October 12, 2023 - 10:18 pm
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Thomas Robinson said
Don’t touch it or try to steel wool or clean it up or anything- just leave it the way it is —sights and all. As mentioned above, you could probably find an original tang screw and dust cover with a little searching. That would be all that I would do to it as well… and it does have value right now- and very collectible. Hope this helps- TOM

  

I agree with this and the similar advice above.  We’re not going to steer you wrong!

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October 13, 2023 - 1:11 am
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Gary,

I can assist you with the Model 71 and the Model 94 when you are ready to tackle them.

Bert – [email protected]

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October 13, 2023 - 2:17 am
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Welcome, Gary! I like your 1873 just like it is. If you can find a correct tang screw with wear consistent with the rest of the gun I’d replace it. This gun has led a hard but honest life. You can’t “help” it, just preserve it. 

 

Mike

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October 13, 2023 - 3:21 pm
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Thanks to all for your advice. All I have done so far is gently wipe it off and run a dry patch through the barrel to get all the dust out. The bore is quite nice. If any of you know where I can get an original lower tang stock screw I would appreciate it. I am guessing it might take a couple tries to get a screw similarly marked. I spent about 4 hours yesterday looking at a million sites with no avail. Most are reproductions.   Also I think I would like to get an original dust cover if possible just to have on hand. Not sure I would install it or not. Not to worried about the cost (to a certain point that is). Appreciate any assistance you could give me. I know it might take a while.

 

Thanks, Gary

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October 13, 2023 - 3:36 pm
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Ebay is a good source for used parts for them. There are a couple guys parting them out on Ebay.

Bob

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73_86cutaway.jpg

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October 13, 2023 - 4:55 pm
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As others have said, if you want parts make sure they match the patina of the rest of the gun.  Run an oiled patch down the barrel.  Same for the metal parts, slightly oil them. 

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