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new to me 1900 date 1873
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December 16, 2023 - 6:40 am
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Hi all, I’ve got a Model 1873 that’s certainly seen better days. I think I can read the SN as 548536B which dates it at 1900. 44-40. Aside from a faint model name on the upper tang, no other markings remain at all. The wood is dry and there’s a good long crack in the handguard but if possible it feels better than it looks. It’s all pretty stable and nothing is loose. Screws are pretty universally buggered up but I have carefully had it apart to clean and oil. It’s a pretty smooth running rifle IMO (just with snap caps so far), with no real experience beyond this one 1873 I’ve owned. The sight I’m not sure about….if it’s been replaced with some janky homemade thing or if it’s just missing the ladder mechanism?

I’m thinking of getting some replacement wood just to make it more presentable (and I wouldn’t want to make that handguard crack any worse) but definitely saving the original. Any good sources for a replacement sight and dustcover?Image Enlarger

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December 16, 2023 - 4:18 pm
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Jeremy,

The place to look for original wood that will upgrade it is Ebay along with a dust cover but you have to keep checking everyday to see if it shows up. There is a guy by the name of DrWinchester1873 that parts out 73’s on a regular basis or you can try Homesteadparts.com which sells new and used but of late they have been not able to keep inventory in stock.  Your read of the serial number is correct. As to a quick fix to the cracks in the wood is superglue. It will go in the crack and set but my take a while if the crack is wide. You will want to take  the forearm off so you don’t glue the wood to the mag tube or a stock if the crack is in the tang.

Bob

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Researching the Winchester 1873's

73_86cutaway.jpg

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December 16, 2023 - 4:44 pm
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I would recommend hide glue. It is used by furniture restorers. It pulls the wood together as it dries. Put it on both sides of the crack. then wrap it with surgical tubing to hold it while it dries. Cleans up with water, stores in the refrigerator. Warm it up before using.  

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December 16, 2023 - 4:55 pm
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 If the bore is as bad as the rest of the gun I wouldn’t spend any money on it. The wood, a dust cover, plus what you paid and you might have more money in it than it’s worth. Right now it has the been there done that look, maybe a good wall hangar just the way it is. T/R

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December 16, 2023 - 5:12 pm
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Jeremy-

As much as I enjoy shooting old Winchesters I think TR has a good point. It’s a very interesting relic with a hard life behind it and deserves a place on someone’s wall. Wood is very dry and possibly fragile, some used wood may make a shooter out of it if the bore and mechanicals work out. I like it just the way it is; your gun, your money, your call. 

 

Mike

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December 16, 2023 - 5:15 pm
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I agree with TR.

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December 16, 2023 - 5:18 pm
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cranky2 said
I would recommend hide glue. It is used by furniture restorers. It pulls the wood together as it dries. Put it on both sides of the crack. then wrap it with surgical tubing to hold it while it dries. Cleans up with water, stores in the refrigerator. Warm it up before using.  

  

Hide glue was used for furniture and other things.  As one that has built and repaired a lot of furniture hide glue makes repairs easy because it will come loose with warm water.   Use modern wood working glue on your guns, unless you want them to come apart.

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December 16, 2023 - 10:40 pm
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I wouldn’t touch it.  I think it’s awesome, just the way it is.  Where ever it was and what ever it did, it was hard used for many years.  Don’t destroy the history.

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December 17, 2023 - 12:00 am
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Does it already have replacement wood?  I ask that because it is a SRC yet it appears to have a rifle buttstock. Not that it couldn’t have been ordered that way – I have one in fact – but usually when you see a carbine with a rifle buttstock, it is the result of replacement wood.  

I agree with preserving the history and leaving it exactly as it is.  There is a good amount of history to be preserved.  I also agree it would not be worth the money to start replacing parts.  You would still end up with some very weathered metal.  Presently, that weathered metal fits the whole package perfectly.  It won’t, if some parts are upgraded.

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December 17, 2023 - 1:26 am
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Ditto on leaving it as is, I like the look. One doesn’t question what happened to it.

If you dink with the wood, metal and screws it’ll look exactly like a Winchester that someone dinked with leaving only the question of why……

Merry Christmas,

Darrin

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December 18, 2023 - 6:16 pm
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Thanks for all the info everyone. I agree with you all – I won’t try and replace anything or ‘fix’ anything. I definitely like her well-used look. It’s honest wear, not abuse and she certainly shows her history. I’ll just oil the wood (linseed I guess) to get some life back into it and stabilize that crack in the handguard somehow. Maybe crazy glue or epoxy from the inside. Maybe the only thing I’ll add is a repro carbine cleaning rod for the butt trap and a dustcover if I can find one.

The bore is actually decent – not crusty at all and lands/grooves are weak perhaps but definitely there – so I might try and just secure that handguard then try and shoot her just to let her live a little again before she gets retired.

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December 18, 2023 - 6:29 pm
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If you use a super glue or epoxy do it from the inside.  If any of this glue gets on the wood you won’t get it off without leaving a spot.  I recommend regular Elmers glue or what I use, Titebond.  It doesn’t really matter which one or the fact that some are yellow.  If you can pry the crack open a little this glue can be forced into the crack.  Then squeeze the wood with clamps, straps or even rubber bands. If you get this on the wood let it sit for a minute.  It will start to skim over and then you can wipe the excess off with a wet rag.  If you try to wipe it when it is runny it will smear and the clean up will be harder.

Good luck.

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