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Correct rear sight/elevator for '73 First Model?
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February 5, 2023 - 10:58 pm
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I picked up a first model ’73 this weekend and am wondering if these are the correct front and rear sights? The serial number is 19939. It came with a Winchester letter that doesn’t say much other than that it’s a round barrel rifle that shipped in April 1877. The elevator definitely looks like a replacement regardless. What should I be looking for to replace it? 

 

It’s also missing the screw and some other parts for the dust cover. Are these available?

 

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February 5, 2023 - 11:29 pm
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Here are pictures of the elevator for the early sporting sight. It has looks like the later on except the steps are flat instead of sloped steps. You front sight  looks like it might be the original 21 front sight but has been filed/worn down. it should look the the one pictured.

Bob

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February 5, 2023 - 11:38 pm
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Thanks for the photo. That helps a lot. The sight on this rifle looks like the one second from left.

Looking closer at the front sight, I can see that it does have a German silver blade swedged into the base that appears to have been filed into the current shape. 

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February 6, 2023 - 1:59 am
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This is what you need for the dust cover. You can probably make one fairly easy.

Bob

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February 6, 2023 - 2:41 pm
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Thanks for the photo. Looks like a pretty simple repair. I knew it was different than my other ’73, which is a Third Model. 

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February 6, 2023 - 2:47 pm
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For the radius of the stop you match it up to the radius in the receiver.

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February 6, 2023 - 11:31 pm
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Well, that was pretty easy. I still need to get the correct screw, but I cobbled something together temporaryily that will work until I can make a permanent fix.

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February 7, 2023 - 12:10 am
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If you making the stop you can use what ever threading you want.

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February 7, 2023 - 1:59 pm
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Rather than start a new thread, I’ll ask this question here. The letter that came with this rifle is dated 2004 and says the rifle was received in the warehouse Sept. 19, 1876. I have read here that the CFM started adding the SNA date to letters a couple of years later. Was that just a change in terminology, or would the polishing room date be earlier than the warehouse date? The letter also says it was shipped from the warehouse on April 19, 1877, nearly 7 months later. Were sales so slow in the early years that guns sat around in inventory that long?

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February 7, 2023 - 2:29 pm
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SNA date was the date the serial number was stamped on the receiver and would be earlier than the gun was completed and put in the warehouse.

The time difference between the entered and shipped dates means the gun was made for inventory and sat in the warehouse until they had a order for it or the order was for many guns and it was waiting for the remaining guns to get completed. They waited and shipped the order complete. Now if the the gun was shipped the same day or the next that would indicate a special order gun.

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February 7, 2023 - 2:44 pm
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I assume it wasn’t necessarily a first, in first out type of inventory. So a rifle could be sent to warehouse and sit for awhile while other rifles that were made later might have shipped earlier? I figured the relatively new Model 73 was a hot item back then and demand would have been high enough that they were shipping as fast as they could make them, but maybe not.

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February 7, 2023 - 3:43 pm
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Winchester would warehouse 73″s until other model guns were being made like a order for a gun shop that would buy the different models to replenish their inventory.

Bob

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