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Coming up for auction - one of the more special 1873 carbines that I have ever seen
July 26, 2020
12:28 am
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July 26, 2020
4:20 am
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steve004 said
This is darn amazing:

https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/80/23/factory-engraved-winchester-deluxe-model-1873-carbine  

Most likely a "one-of-a-kind" !

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July 26, 2020
4:21 am
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They did build guns to any specs the customer requested.

I had one years ago that was 44 carbine engraved, nickeled with fancy checkered wood. This one has it beat.

Bob

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July 26, 2020
4:55 am
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Bob,

How many "Carbines" letter with a barrel longer than standard... in this case 26-inches!

Bert

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July 26, 2020
5:42 am
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I have 3 with 22", 2 with 23", 3 with 24", 1 with a 26" octagon and 1 with a 28" octagon.

Bob

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July 26, 2020
3:33 pm
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1873man said
I have 3 with 22", 2 with 23", 3 with 24", 1 with a 26" octagon and 1 with a 28" octagon.

Bob  

Interesting...  I have not found any Model 1894 Carbines with a longer than standard barrel... yet.

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July 26, 2020
3:52 pm
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1873man said
I have 3 with 22", 2 with 23", 3 with 24", 1 with a 26" octagon and 1 with a 28" octagon.

Bob  

This is very intriguing.  We do see various rifles - such as octagon barreled rifles - in different models where a sling ring has been special ordered.  I have also seen pieces which might have a carbine rear end (carbine buttstock and carbine buttplate) and sling ring, but a rifle front end.  Bob - the octagon barreled carbines you reference - was there any aspect about them that was not a rifle front end?  I have a difficult time picturing a carbine forend and barrel band mated with an octagon barrel.  

On of the aspects I particularly like about the RIA carbine is that despite the long barrel, it has a carbine forend and retaining band.

July 26, 2020
11:16 pm
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Those guns I was supplied with the configuration but I will check them with Cody.

Bob

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July 28, 2020
2:50 am
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Hi.  Couple of photos to show 1873 Carbines with different barrel lengths. They are all 44 WCF, in lengths of 16 inch, Std 20 inch, and 24 inch.  The 16 has short fore end, the other two standard length . Only difference in the 24 inch is extra 4 inch of barrel.  Letter states Carbine 24 inch. I also would like to see photos of Octagonal barrelled Carbines.    Eric

  20200728_120050.jpgImage Enlarger20200728_120835.jpgImage Enlarger

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July 28, 2020
5:46 am
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Nice 73s Eric! Will drive North to pry that 24'' SRC out of your hands once this virus settles down! Laugh

Chris

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July 30, 2020
5:16 pm
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I checked out the Octagon barreled carbines and find that they are carbines that have had the barrel changed to octagon. The 28" Octagon carbine letters as Carbine, changed to 28" octagon. The change came after the ship date.

The 26" octagon carbine did not letter as a carbine but as a rifle. I did find a 20" octagon carbine on RIA that was a carbine and then changed to Octagon before shipping. There is a interesting letter from Cody that someone paid them to research the octagon carbines.

They use the standard rifle front end with the carbine stock and saddle ring.

https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/1031/2011/winchester-1873-carbine-4440

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July 30, 2020
5:51 pm
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Bob - that is very interesting information.  I am puzzled over why they changed these carbines to other configurations.  Were there just no orders for carbines during this period?  Given the volume of M1873's sold, sure, you might have a surplus of carbines at any given time.  It seems if so, they would stop production of (standard) carbines and wait for orders.  I wouldn't think they would have to wait that long.  It surely adds production expense to change them to something else.  I'm known for the adage that if you want to understand anything, apply an economic analysis and in nearly every case, your answer will appear.  Maybe Winchester was cash-strapped, or workers weren't fully occupied so the labor to do this really wasn't an extra expense or ?  

July 30, 2020
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There were plenty of carbines being built during this time so it would of been a requested item.

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July 30, 2020
8:43 pm
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1873man said
There were plenty of carbines being built during this time so it would of been a requested item.

Bob  

Bob -

I'm sure your right.  I'm still a bit puzzled why a completed carbine would be partially torn down when all the parts were right there to make one up as ordered.  You take a carbine receiver, attach a carbine buttstock and then attach the desired front end.

August 2, 2020
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That’s what makes old Winchesters interesting to me, Steve. On occasion Winchester would do things that make little sense in the light of today’s economic analyses. And they would do it simply because someone asked and was willing to pay for it. As a result there are many thousands of unusual and probably hundreds of “one of a kind” Winchesters. Makes current products pretty boring. 

 

Mike

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August 2, 2020
12:39 am
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TXGunNut said
That’s what makes old Winchesters interesting to me, Steve. On occasion Winchester would do things that make little sense in the light of today’s economic analyses. And they would do it simply because someone asked and was willing to pay for it. As a result there are many thousands of unusual and probably hundreds of “one of a kind” Winchesters. Makes current products pretty boring. 

 

Mike  

Mike - I appreciate your thoughts.  I understand why Winchester would accommodate the various special order requests they received - they thought very highly of their customers and would do about anything to please them.  I admire that and I think it had much to do with their success as a company.  Similarly, this is why if a customer sent a rifle back and wanted it changed, they would do it.  I'm just wondering wondering why they would take a finished rifle (or carbine) out of the warehouse and turn it into something else.  Surely they knew an order would come in for that completed piece.  It makes a bit more sense to me for something that was a poor seller - like changing a .38-70 into something they received an order for.  But you're right Mike, Winchester would do things that by our current way of thinking, don't match up.  And yes, it does help with the boredom Laugh

August 2, 2020
4:23 am
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I find it interesting, but makes perfect sense to me. Someone wanted an Octagon barreled carbine, may have just been quicker for them to swap out the barrel from round to octagon. Plus when you think about the number of carbines produced versus rifles, the carbines may have not been in stock as readily as the rifles. And were talking about guns produced in the 1st model serial range. So it is early in production still, and filling the demand for the new model 1873 may have been a factor. It is a neat 1st model SRC variation. 

Most interesting I found was the price for the research performed to find such information, I found it was more than reasonable. 

Sincerely,

Maverick

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August 2, 2020
3:31 pm
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My theory about the use of finished rifles modified to fill special orders is that somehow it made sense at the time for the custom shop to use a finished piece instead of building a rifle (or carbine) from a bare frame. I suspect the regular production lines were more efficient than the custom shop so modifying an existing piece may have been the simplest and most economical way to fill a special order in some cases. I think I’ve seen it before on rifles that spent time in the warehouse unsold, maybe that’s the case with this carbine. I find it interesting that according to the data in the Red Book the receiver was likely produced a year or two before the carbine was built. OTOH I may be overthinking this. Someone once remarked that the early Winchester employees would be very amused with all the conjecture these days about their activities. 

 

Mike

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August 2, 2020
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Maverick and Mike - 

Great thoughts.  One thing I am very sure about - that Winchester employees from back then would be extremely amused about how we collectors fuss, obsess, wring hands, debate, lose sleep at night and so on - all over these minor details that may have been born from random, meaningless events during manufacture.  And the employees recording details in the ledgers - they would surely be surprised over the impact of what they did (or didn't do) on the emotional state of collectors.

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