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Model 1873 Short Rifle
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West of Fresno, CA
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January 23, 2017 - 11:41 pm
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Manufactured in 1916, sn 690600, Cody paper, 15 inch barrel, 44 Cal.  “Shipped to New York.”  “George Walters” and “Chicago ILL” scratched into left side of receiver (!!!!).  I prefer short rifles over carbines and I know this is fairly rare but I don’t have any idea how many were actually made in this configuration.DSC_0002.JPGImage EnlargerDSC_0005.JPGImage EnlargerDSC_0007.JPGImage EnlargerDSC_0009.JPGImage EnlargerDSC_0011.JPGImage Enlarger

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January 24, 2017 - 12:04 am
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Are you buying it or do you own it already? Is there a ATF clearance letter for it?

Bob

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January 24, 2017 - 6:56 am
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Thanks Bob, see PM. 

Nope, not my rifle and I’m not interested.  I’m just wondering how rare these short ’73s are?  I’ve seen many 1894 “trappers” but never a 15 inch Model 1873.

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January 24, 2017 - 3:28 pm
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Bruce,

In my survey with this one added in, makes three 15″ short rifles I have.

Bob

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January 24, 2017 - 4:17 pm
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This rifle looks fabricated to me. Cut down and “lettered” serial number added, or tang with “lettered” serial number matched.

 

Austin

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January 24, 2017 - 5:53 pm
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I admit the serial number is awfully sharp but I can’t see any filing or buffing marks on the tang even with the photo enlarged.  Contrasting, the “44 Cal” is barely visible.  If a fake, then the real 690600 might still be out there.  Having difficulty posting copy of Cody letter but here’s the info:

November 11, 2016

The original manufacturer’s data for Model 1873, serial number 690600…

Serial number applied July 15, 1911

Rifle, Cal 44, Octagon barrel, 15 inches, Received warehouse 10/04/1911, Shipped same date, Order Number 330910

Shipped to H. A. Astlett, NY

Export #6933  

I’ve only seen a couple of Cody letters and this is the first with an “export number.”  And to add more mystery, maybe George Walters was a hit man for Capone.

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January 24, 2017 - 8:18 pm
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Austin’s Guns said
This rifle looks fabricated to me. Cut down and “lettered” serial number added, or tang with “lettered” serial number matched.

 

Austin  

It doesn’t look right to me either, but I also don’t know much about the 1873 short rifles.  Did they follow the same general guidelines as the 1892 / 1894 short rifles?  If so, shouldn’t the 1873 rifle in question have a shorter than standard forearm and the rear sight located closer to the receiver?  Also the muzzle diameter looks too big–as if it were a standard rifle that had been shortened.  Just my observations–what do others think?

Don

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January 24, 2017 - 10:33 pm
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The serial number in this range should have a capital “B” after it.  The numbers don’t appear to be stamped deeply enough.  The 2nd 0 is different than the 1st and 3rd 0.  Also, the 6’s should be an exact match to the 9, only inverted, and they aren’t.

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January 25, 2017 - 12:47 am
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The lower tang doesn’t look right to me either.

IMG_0805-Copy-Copy-Copy.JPG

Winchester Model 1873 44-40 circa 1886

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January 25, 2017 - 12:50 am
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The forearm measures 8 and 3/8 inches.  Here’s the serial number off my 3rd model ’73 in 44 cal made in 1888Win-Mod-1873-010-2.JPGImage Enlarger.  There’s a big difference in the 9s but how many different stamps did Winchester use over the years.  We’ll never know.

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January 25, 2017 - 12:55 am
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Kevin Jones said
The lower tang doesn’t look right to me either.  

It looks like it has a flatter profile, doesn’t it?  Without having it in hand, there’s no way to tell.  The French have a wonderful, all-encompassing expression for this.  “C’est la vie!”

BK

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January 25, 2017 - 1:40 am
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This is what the serial number should look like.

Bob

serial1.jpgImage Enlarger

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January 25, 2017 - 1:43 am
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Bruce Koligian said

It looks like it has a flatter profile, doesn’t it?  Without having it in hand, there’s no way to tell.  The French have a wonderful, all-encompassing expression for this.  “C’est la vie!”

BK  

Yep!

IMG_0805-Copy-Copy-Copy.JPG

Winchester Model 1873 44-40 circa 1886

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January 25, 2017 - 4:29 pm
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For what it is worth, Winchester switched from the italic style number font for the Model 1885 and Model 1886 serial numbers to the block style font (as shown on the picture Bob posted) in early 1910 (January).  I would be willing to bet that the same change was made to the Model 1873 serial numbers at that same time.  Accordingly, the serial number on that 15-inch “Short” rifle is faked.

Bert

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January 25, 2017 - 5:34 pm
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LeRoy Merz has 3 or 4 1873 short rifles for comparison with either 14 or 15″ barrels.

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January 25, 2017 - 5:41 pm
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Fake, and not even a decent one.

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January 25, 2017 - 5:45 pm
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Has the wrong receiver and butt plate for the manufacture date.

Bob

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January 25, 2017 - 6:05 pm
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94shorties said
LeRoy Merz has 3 or 4 1873 short rifles for comparison with either 14 or 15″ barrels.  

Wow…those are spendy, even in very rough condition.  They must be very rare.

 

http://merzantiques.com/item/very-scarce-winchester-1873-16-short-rifle

http://merzantiques.com/item/very-rare-winchester-1873-short-rifle

http://merzantiques.com/item/very-rare-winchester-model-1873-14-short-rifle

http://merzantiques.com/item/extremely-rare-1873-short-rifle

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January 25, 2017 - 8:42 pm
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All I had to see were the Mertz guns.  Yep, the one I posted is a fake.  Thank you Deerhunter for posting those links.

Still have the question “What is an export number?” 

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January 26, 2017 - 10:50 pm
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Just a theory, but if a faker assumed that ‘export number’ implies it was shipped out of the country, he may have figured it would be a safe one to fake and ‘letter’, assuming the real one is not likely to turn up. Of course, it would raise the question of how the faker found out that particular factory info in the first place.

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