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Newbie to forum 1873 Winchester gun safe queen
January 3, 2018
1:05 am
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I see enough dark in certain recesses to think it was once blued or otherwise finished.  How it lost so much and so evenly, I don't know, but I think it was finished.

I have an 86 in 45-90 with a 28" bbl and the whole rifle is like yours.  Don't know why.  All my other 86s are patina, blue or dark. 

I stand by my original opinion either way:  If it were mine, I'd leave her be.  You have a winner.

P.S. Good call on the screw driver.  Why bother if everything is good?

January 3, 2018
3:20 am
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I would leave it original as well, enjoy it!

Winchester Model 1873 44-40 circa 1886

January 4, 2018
4:26 am
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Dave,

I see they have your membership straightened out so you can post pictures. With that in mind can you take a pictures of the lower tang showing the area around the trigger with the lever out of the way. I see something in the that makes me think it was converted to a set trigger.

Bob

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January 4, 2018
3:26 pm
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Bob

will the Cody. Letter tell me if a set trigger was put in by colt? Also I got the receipt for ordering the letter. As I am on a race of time I really hope it gets here ASAP. I understand it takes a month. The items I am most interested in is the metal finish then was the 26 inch barrel ordered another special order. I guess I am like a kid in a candy store. I want to find out as much as I can so when I am gone he will know what he has. His birthday is sept so that I hope I can be setup how I wabnt it by then I am also wondering how far it would it would go in a trade for an 1866 as like I told you before my one true gun I wasn’t is a 1866 in good shape. I will get th pics shortly.

January 4, 2018
9:28 pm
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Piperl4@aol.com said
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  

Bob, I missed it the first time around. You mentioned brown barrel. I really looked it over and I am used to seeing brown barrels on some of my 1860’s enfields and it looks just like them in the protected areas and the pretty much the same in the exposed areas. You may have just solved the mystery. Bless you.

thanks

January 5, 2018
12:52 am
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Did I miss something here?  Why would you think the set trigger was added by Colt?  Most likely the letter will state, rifle, .38 caliber, octagon barrel, 26", set trigger.

January 5, 2018
1:22 am
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Here is a picture of the bottom tang. It shows the tang had a plain trigger and has the set trigger now. I checked with Cody and the gun letters except for the set trigger but there is an additional ship date 3 months later with a different order number so my guess it was sent back and the set trigger was added.

Bob

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January 5, 2018
1:27 am
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That was a mistake as I mixed up my 1911 software and my Winchester files. However I got a hint about taking the plates off and looking for the color. Well tonight I took them off and low and behold the color was there I think it is case color but it has a beautiful rainbow of colors. So now another mystery solved. I can’t wait to get the Cody letter on it as I love the details and history of old guns. 

January 5, 2018
1:32 am
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Piperl4@aol.com said
That was a mistake as I mixed up my 1911 software and my Winchester files. However I got a hint about taking the plates off and looking for the color. Well tonight I took them off and low and behold the color was there I think it is case color but it has a beautiful rainbow of colors. So now another mystery solved. I can’t wait to get the Cody letter on it as I love the details and history of old guns.   

Thanks Bob, did you see my note on the case color. I took the side plates off and they had a beautiful case color inside them I took some pics and will post them.

dave

January 5, 2018
2:07 am
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Dave,

 I'm looking at the pictures and to me it looks like its blued.

To post pictures you click on the "Upload Attachments" then a box opens up under the reply box. Then click on "Add Files" you then can browse your computer to select the pictures. Once you have the pictures selected and are in the Add File box you click "Start Upload" the pictures will then appear in the reply box as they upload. Before you upload the photos make sure to put the flashing cursor at the where you want the photos to appear, usually at the bottom of your reply.

Bob

side-cover-1.jpgImage Enlargerside-cover-6.jpgImage Enlargerside-covers-off.jpgImage Enlargersidecover-2.jpgImage Enlarger

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January 5, 2018
2:11 am
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does that look like case color to you?

January 5, 2018
2:17 am
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Dave,

This is what case color looks like.

Bob

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January 6, 2018
2:57 am
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Well I was wrong, I did get brave and remove the side plates and on the back side they are a beautiful case color and they had more colors than a rainbow. I tried to get some pictures but I shake to bad with the als that I need a tripod to get some decent ones. I bought a 1873 bare receiver and a couple sets of side plates and going to spend some time trying my hand. At redoing them. If for no other reason than just to kill time.

hopefully I will get the hang of it. I already have the furnace and crucibles to go with it. The parts looked good and much cheaper than I thought. If I can pick up a part or two a month I will have a nice display gun in the future.

dave

January 6, 2018
5:14 am
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If the photos in post #30 are the side plates from Piper14's rifle, they clearly show that the rifle was blued, not case colored, browned or plated.

January 6, 2018
8:13 pm
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win4575 said
If the photos in post #30 are the side plates from Piper14's rifle, they clearly show that the rifle was blued, not case colored, browned or plated.  

 Dave, If that is your receiver and side plates next to the Miracle Whip container, your gun is blued. The gun has been cleaned, maybe it got rusty and someone used steel wool on it. Nice gun, leave it the way it is and enjoy what you have. T/R

January 6, 2018
9:45 pm
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I agree with TR.  The rifle looks like it would make a good shooter, if it's tight and the bore is good.  The .38-40 is a great cartridge and fun to shoot in the '73.

January 6, 2018
10:58 pm
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win4575 said
I agree with TR.  The rifle looks like it would make a good shooter, if it's tight and the bore is good.  The .38-40 is a great cartridge and fun to shoot in the '73.  

When I took the plates off it had a bunch of just old crud. All I did was take an acid brush and gun cleaner and cleaned all the inside but did not take anything apart. It just made the action smother. I cleaned the inside of the plates so they looked pretty good when I put them back on. The only thing I noticed was the really pretty rainbow of colors on the back of the side plates. I have settled on leaving it as is and enjoy it as is. The lady at Cody said the letter will be mailed ASAP and I will be interested to see what info they have but not expecting a lot. I am not sure what they keep on file. I have Colt letters on all my 1911’s and they kept some very good info on the guns. They had the custermers info.

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