Since my first and last thread turned into a dumpster fire, let’s see how this one goes!
The S/N for this 1873 places it to 1888. The barrel is 24″ (but the face is pretty flat?), the front sight is exactly 3/4″ from the end. The action works beautifully and the barrel is very shiny, no pitting or damage that I can see (didn’t take a pic but it is nice). The dust cover is tight, the lever safety thing (whatever that is called works), the lever lock works, and it is chambered in 44 wcf.
So that is what I do know, I guess now I wait to see what I don’t know. Thanks for any input!
The best advice I can give you is to purchase many books on Winchester rifles first, and read, read, read them. Then attend gun shows, get to handle many rifles, learn what is original, what isn’t, etc. Hipefully get a mentor along the way. Then save, save, and save and buy only the best you can afford. Far less risky than the toll of the dice approach you are attempting now.
November 7, 2015
At the risk of sticking my foot in my mouth (again!) I like this 1873. The metal finish is a bit troublesome, it appears to have been scrubbed off the receiver but the pitting and absence of finish could also be indicative of decades of hard use. As you may have guessed I’m not an 1892 or 1873 collector but I enjoy good pictures of old guns with lots of character. I have a hunch you did better on this one but once again I believe you’ll be wise to get the opinions of some of our more learned members.
November 2, 2009
With exception of the metal finish, this rifle appears to be all original including the sights. Metal has definately been cleaned, but doesn’t appear to have been buffed and wood looks untouched (major plus). If bore is fine, it should make someone very happy as a shooter. Collector, not so much. Only my opinion.
The barrel muzzle is suppose to be flat. They never crowned them. Like mike said the receiver has been worked over and touched up probably cold blue. The lower tang looks to have a different color than the rest so its possible the lower could of been swapped or refinished separately. If the tang does not fit the stock or the receiver could be a clue.
The elevator on the sight is not a Winchester one, too narrow.
Thanks everyone, it sounds like this one is more original at least. I noted the finish issues as well, I’ll have to take a closer look at the lower with this info.
I completely agree that I need to read and learn more before purchasing anything else, but I came across these completely unexpected, and otherwise I doubt I would have ever owned one. So at least they served some purpose to spark my interest.
And I greatly appreciate everyone sharing such detailed information!
I went through it too when I first starting to collect Winchester. Thats how you learn.
April 30, 2023
When you see an abrupt difference in finish amongst parts that aren’t finished differently (such as a blued component next to a case coloured one) you need to immediately think refinish or replacement, as wear should be consistent.
I would focus on quality vs quantity.
I think we all started out this way, however. Learned through the school of hard knocks.
However, every Winchester has a value, and you might have gotten a bargain, nonetheless. What did you pay for this rifle?