New to the forum, from the Detroit area. About a year ago, I inherited a Model 1873 from my grandfather; since I already had a fascination with the Wild West, I love it. From what I’ve gathered so far, it is: a 2nd model carbine .44-40, manufactured in ’88 or ’89 (contains 33xxxxB in the serial number) and I would assess in very good, complete shape (action is fully functional, but a bit restrictive), despite it probably not being stored the best over the years. My feeling is that a restoration/re-finish would not be wise, plus the apparent ‘saddle wear’ on the stock is pretty cool, BUT, I would like to fire it on occasion and have it for display purposes. Is it true that a good cleaning is all I should pursue here? Any other tips?
Thanks in advance; also let me know if anything seems incorrect in the data above : ).
May 3, 2020
Your gun is not a second model if the serial number is in the 330,000 range and has a B at the end, its a third model. You need to post pictures of it so we can see what condition its in and then we can give you advice as to what to do with it.
November 7, 2015
Please don’t attempt to clean it before posting pics. A “good cleaning” may actually be a bad idea in some cases.
Sorry for the delay, pictures are at the links below. Don’t worry, no cleaning of the gun has been done. I’ll be completely honest, it’s not abundantly clear to me how we upload pictures on this forum, despite the multiple options/buttons available; any hints would be appreciated for the future.
Thanks, let me know if there’s issues accessing the links.
You have to be member to post directly to the site otherwise you have to host them on another site and link to them like you did. It had been cleaned on previously. The wood has been sanded some and refinished and the metal has had rust removed. I don’t think you will gain anything by cleaning on it.
Thanks Bob. I wouldn’t say I’m looking to necessarily gain anything, but based on what you said, it sounds like just cleaning it may not devalue it either. The action feels pretty gummy so that’s really my only area of concern. Seem reasonable? Any rough idea as to its value with the previous refinishing in mind?
Cleaning the insides wont hurt anything. The value of it is in the $1600-$1800 range if its got a good shootable bore.
November 7, 2015
Cleaning the insides will make it a better shooter in many cases, just be very careful to use the proper screwdriver and all due care when removing the screws. A well-used and maintained gun is one thing, buggared screws is another. Stock refinishing and rust removal comes with the territory for a working gun like this one, IMHO. I like your grandfather’s carbine, Greg. It won’t bring top dollar with collectors but it’s an honest gun and a bit of family history. I hope you’ll enjoy it.
March 31, 2009
This is the type of gun I would never get rid of. I would use oil and a rag to clean it. Some oil or a little stain would disguise some of the rough spots on the wood. Make sure you wipe off the excess oil. Get some gun oil and oil the parts inside. Work the action and it will loosen up.
March 21, 2016