July 31, 2022
I’m new here so I’ll introduce myself briefly here:
I’m 33, live in the Netherlands, work as a firefighter and rescue diver and served 6 years in the army before that.
I recently came to own my very first .32 winchester 1873 rifle and I couldn’t be happier!
Back when I was in the army, we had a recession and training exercises were few and far apart due to funding issues.The army loaned me and a few others to go and help the army museum move and keep us occupied and it was an amazing job!
In 1 week time I had held, admired and moved almost als firearms the museum had, and the rifle that grabbed my attention by far the most was a winchester 1873.
The mechanism is so elegant and amazing! It struck me as a wonderful combination between simple and complex design, and since the day I first cycled the rifle back in that museum I have wanted to own one.
Recently I finally had the opportunity you buy one so I took it!
Anyhow, I must say I jumped in a because I fel in love again and I don’t quite know what I got.
I’d love it if you guys could tell me more about this rifle, it’s specific production run quirks, configuration, if parts are original or not (the sights I doubt about), interesting fact’s, rare or common things about it… anything!
I’ve done some research, but I have to admit this is hard if you don’t know all the right words to search on.
So far I know it was produced in 1890, it has a 3th generation dust cover, it appears to me no to be anything special.
Let me know what you think folks!
Thank you 😉
May 2, 2009
Congrats on your first 73. I use to collect the different models and then narrowed up on the 73’s. The third model which you have found is when they made the dust cover rail integral to the top of the receiver and changes in the lower tang attachment which started around serial 87,000. They came in rifle, carbine and musket models. The 73 was made in 44, 38 , 32, 22short, 22 long and 22 extra long calibers. Not counting the 22’s the 44 caliber accounts for 70%, the 38 is 17% and the 32 is 13% of the guns in my survey. The odd thing is with the 32 having the lower production numbers it is not worth more than a 44. Collectors set the prices of the guns and the majority of collectors want the larger calibers and will pay up to get them so the rule of thumb is the larger caliber is the more its worth. This is true in most Winchester models. The 73 was made with many different options. Barrel lengths from 14″ to 36″ in octagon, round or half octagon shape with some with extra heavy barrels. Finishes were blue, case colored, nickeled, silver, gold and any combinations of them. it would take you a life time to collect every configuration they made and you would not be able to buy them all since there some configurations that one of a kind.
Your gun looks to be original and would be called a standard sporting rifle. The gun has seen some history and the finish reflects that. You can have the serial number checked by the Cody firearms Museum in Cody, Wyoming. They have the original factory records which will show its original configuration when it was made along with dates it entered the warehouse and shipped.
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Cody Firearms member since 1991
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March 31, 2009