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Newbie to forum 1873 Winchester gun safe queen
January 1, 2018
5:59 pm
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I am new to this forum but not to the gun world I opened my shop in 1976 and had to sell it in 2015 due to Lou Gehrig’s. So I now have the time to go back to some projects I have wanted to do for a long time. One is I have had a 1873 Winchester for a very long time always with the intent of having it restored. Right now I don’t have the 4000.00 to really do it right so am spending the time researching the gun. Here are the facts I do know about it. I have ordered a Cody letter but am not sure how their process works so tomorrow I will contact them and make sure they got my request. 

It is a model 1873, crescent butt, it has a 26 inch barrel, it was built in 1887, the lever drop is less than 3/16, there is not a single mark on any screw holding it together, the serial number is 22536XXX and it does have the B, the barrel is full octogan, full length ammo tube. The bore is an easy 8 if not better, mechanicly it is again an 8 to 9, the dust cover is there and works perfect with no play in it, the end cap and screws are a 10, the only things I see wrong are the small blade from the front sight fell out and long gone but the sight base is perfect and tight with no marks as if some one removed or adjusted it, the rear sight is missing the elevator, there is no rust or pitting anywhere but 100% of the blueing or case Hardning is gone leaving just bare metal but twice a year I have done a general cleaning. The wood to metal everywhere is so tight you could not get a piece of paper between the, all the wood is in almost perfect condition with no cracks or damage except a few marks where it bumped into something but none are more than a half inch long or 1/32 deep. It is chambered in 38 WCF, overall excluding the blue or case hard I would rate it an 8 to 9. I would like to know if I should have it restored, leave it like it is or if someone has any other options please let me know. Then of course what would it be worth. Having Lou Gerhig’s Means my time is limited so I don’t want this gun out there in never land. Also does the value warrant spending that much on doing a first class job on it.

thank you all

January 1, 2018
7:16 pm
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The only thing I would do is get the missing elevator and blade.  The only thing I don't like about it is what sounds like a lack of patina.  That could be due to all the cleaning, depending upon what you do when you clean it.  Is it bare metal?  I like a dark gun but that just me.

January 1, 2018
7:36 pm
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Piper14

The first this to do is to post some good pictures of it so we can see what its current condition is. If you have trouble posting pictures you can send thasm to me and I can post them. What is the complete serial number. What you posted does not make sense since there was only 720610 made.

From looking at your email address are you into  Family Cruisers?

Bob

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January 1, 2018
10:34 pm
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Thank you Bob, I will try to take some quality pictures in a bit.

The serial number is 2253XX with the B at the end. However it will only take a minute to go and check it again. I just checked it and it is for sure 2253XX. you are right I put to many X's at the end. I am off to take the pictures. Ok here they are, please forgive my blurred pics as my hands shake so bad. I cannot seem to send them from here so going to send email.

Dave

January 1, 2018
10:53 pm
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1873man said
Piper14

The first this to do is to post some good pictures of it so we can see what its current condition is. If you have trouble posting pictures you can send thasm to me and I can post them. What is the complete serial number. What you posted does not make sense since there was only 720610 made.

From looking at your email address are you into  Family Cruisers?

Bob  

Bob I tried to send the pics from here and also to the 1873XXX email but it rejected it. I wish you could just add pictures and browse.

if the email was right I will try again with less pictures. The only thing I have ever done to it is clean it and put some gun oil on it a couple times a year. there is some patina on the gun and the same look is the same from one end to the other.

January 1, 2018
11:39 pm
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bob can you send me an email that I can reply to as I have a lot of pictures to send you. as far about the question I have never used anything except a rag and gun oil on it. I have never tried to add or remove any finish from it. if you had the gun and did not see the color you would swear it was a new rifle with no slop anywhere and tight as a drum. now under the lever there is what looks like it could be the original finish. If I wanted to I could put any finish on it that I wanted as when I closed up I kept my whole 7 tank hot blue setup. However it would not be the quality of one of the big time shops. I do not want to harm it in any way. I also have never tore an 1873 down and sure I could figure it out but I would again be messing with something I know so little about so the better part of valor is don't touch it till I have a idea on what I want to do, by who, and what finish.  

Dave

January 2, 2018
12:16 am
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Dave, i sent off emails from 2 different providers and they both didn't like the piper14@aol.com address.

As to the posting photos, Are you a paid member?

Bob

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January 2, 2018
12:32 am
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I know the problem it is th 1 it is really piperL4@aol.com with a cap L. I always send my email address with the big L but forgot and a lot of people put a number 1. that will fix it

Dave

January 2, 2018
12:48 am
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Email sent to piperL4

Bob

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January 2, 2018
1:59 am
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Dave,

Here are the photos. I flipped a couple around and left off some that showed the same thing. From what I can see it has seen some use. I see it has a set trigger also.

Bob

7301.jpgImage Enlarger7303.jpgImage Enlarger7304.jpgImage Enlarger7306.jpgImage Enlarger7307.jpgImage Enlarger7309.jpgImage Enlarger7310.jpgImage Enlarger7311.jpgImage Enlarger

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January 2, 2018
2:22 am
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Piperl4@aol.com said
I know the problem it is th 1 it is really piperL4@aol.com with a cap L. I always send my email address with the big L but forgot and a lot of people put a number 1. that will fix it

Dave  

Yes I am a paid member but recent 

dave

January 2, 2018
2:28 am
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Dave

I've heard of this before on new members. It takes a while for your account to get setup.

Bob

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January 2, 2018
5:33 am
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I too am still awaiting my account to reflect that I am a member.

That is a decent looking old 73 in my opinion. While my opinion is mine and mine alone I would take a 10 percent original gun any day over a refinished one.

THIS ALL STARTED WITH JUST ONE GUN!

IMG_4414-Copy.JPG

 

January 2, 2018
4:37 pm
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No need to refinish that rifle.  With that rated "8" bore, just shoot it and clean it--enjoy it.

Looks as if someone was a tad caulk-happy when chinking their cabin.  White goop between the barrel and magazine tube?

January 2, 2018
9:37 pm
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Too nice a gun to restore, shoot & enjoy would be my suggestion. Welcome to the forum!

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January 2, 2018
10:19 pm
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From what I can see of the photos, the only improvement would be to fix the discrepancy between the wood and the metal.  It looks like some time ago someone slathered on a coat of varnish on honestly worn wood.  I would remove that vanish and bring out what's left of the original wood finish to more properly match the age of the rifle.

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"This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." 

January 2, 2018
10:30 pm
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TXGunNut said
Too nice a gun to restore, shoot & enjoy would be my suggestion. Welcome to the forum!  

Yea the white stuff looks like someone used car wax on it and a tooth brush takes it right out. I did try one screw on the side plate but felt if I tried any harder I would either bugger up the head or have it break off. Not going to risk that. Did Winchester ever make one with just a bare metal finish with varnish over it. I was reading an article on the net and they mention that. I can’t wait to get the Cody info and find out for sure what they did. Bob noticed that it had a set trigger on it and it works perfectly. If I can find a real rear sight elevator and a front sight blade it will be 100% again. I can’t believe after all these years I broke it out and it renewed my interest in it again. After 130 years it functions better than a new mdl 94. I have only found 38WCF at midway most everyone is out of it. I have a bore scope mainly for my Garands and Carbines but when I put it down the bore it is pretty pristine and I should have no problem shooting it. Am I correct that the 26 inch barrel was special order.

Dave

January 2, 2018
11:06 pm
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        Dave, your gun is in original condition, if you restore, it will never be original again. T/R

January 2, 2018
11:14 pm
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Piperl4@aol.com said

Yea the white stuff looks like someone used car wax on it and a tooth brush takes it right out. I did try one screw on the side plate but felt if I tried any harder I would either bugger up the head or have it break off. Not going to risk that. Did Winchester ever make one with just a bare metal finish with varnish over it. I was reading an article on the net and they mention that. I can’t wait to get the Cody info and find out for sure what they did. Bob noticed that it had a set trigger on it and it works perfectly. If I can find a real rear sight elevator and a front sight blade it will be 100% again. I can’t believe after all these years I broke it out and it renewed my interest in it again. After 130 years it functions better than a new mdl 94. I have only found 38WCF at midway most everyone is out of it. I have a bore scope mainly for my Garands and Carbines but when I put it down the bore it is pretty pristine and I should have no problem shooting it. Am I correct that the 26 inch barrel was special order.

Dave  

Dave,

A 26" barrel was a special order as well as the set trigger. Winchester did offer different type of finish, blued, case colored, gold, nickel and silver. Winchester would do anything as long as the customer paid for it. I did find a couple guns had browned barrel so its possible.

Bob

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January 3, 2018
12:08 am
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If I were to guess I would bet the gun was made with a silver finish with a coat of something over it. That would explain the almost 100% even silver finish and what looks like a clear coat of varnish over it. I got an email from Cody today and they are working on the letter. If it comes back silver then the gun would be so close to original as I could ever hope for plus it would explain how the gun is so perfect mechanically with a almost pure silver overall finish. My luck is never that good but one can only hope. It would also explain how the bore is almost perfect and no blue or any type finish. There is not a scratch one on the metal like someone tried to polish it. So I guess I will wait and hope. 

Dave

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