Winchester 1873 2nd Model 24″ .44-40 WCF Lever Action Rifle, 1880 Antique

SOLD FOR: $1,725

WOA#: WY240315JV026

Make: Winchester

Model: 1873 Rifle Second Model

Serial Number: 59893

Year of Manufacture: 1880

Caliber: .44-40 Winchester (.44 Winchester Center Fire)

Action Type: Lever Action with Full Length Tubular Magazine

Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “WINCHESTER’S-REPEATING-ARMS NEW HAVEN, CT. / KING’S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29. 1855. OCTOBER 16. 1860.”. The bottom tang is marked “59893”. The top tang is marked “MODEL. 1873”. Each side of the receiver is stamped with an “S” in front of the sideplates (see Our Assessment).

Barrel Length: 24”, Octagonal

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a german silver blade in a slotted base dovetailed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a “V”-notch semi-buckhorn elevator sight dovetailed to the rear of the barrel. The top tang is drilled, tapped and filled for a tang sight (none present).

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece smooth walnut with a capped forend, straight grip, straight comb and steel crescent buttplate with a sliding door over a storage compartment (there is nothing in the compartment). The stocks have scattered nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches. There are a few small losses around the front edges of the wrist. There are no cracks. The LOP measures 12 3/4″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has gone to a moderate-dark patina with some minor erosion. Overall, the stocks are in about Very Good condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: No finish remains.

Finish Originality: There is no sign of a new finish being applied. Some parts may have been replaced, most notably the dust cover.

Bore Condition: The crown is recessed. The bore is dark with well defined rifling. There is erosion and pitting scattered through the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 4 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 0% of its metal finish. The surfaces have gone to a patina, there is variation between different parts with some moderate-dark and some fairly light. There is some scattered surface erosion. There are scattered nicks and scratches including a cluster of tool marks on the left of the frame above the trigger. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings range from clear to worn and incomplete. Overall, this rifle is in Good condition as Antique.

Mechanics: The lever safety does not properly prevent the rifle from being fired. Otherwise, the action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. There is a lever lock on the lower tang and a dust cover on the receiver that slides on a screw set rail, typical of the Second Models. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None

Our Assessment: One of the most successful, and certainly one of the most famous Winchester rifles was the Winchester Model 1873, known as “The Gun that Won the West” for its predominant role in the hands of Western settlers. The Model 1873 had a steel frame that was much stronger than the brass framed Model 1866, allowing Winchester to develop a family of powerful new cartridges, with Colt usually producing Single Action Army revolvers in the same calibers shortly after they were developed. The .44-40 Win. cartridge, also known as the .44 WCF, was introduced by Winchester in 1873 as Winchester’s first metallic centerfire cartridge with a number of WCF cartridges to follow. Colt produced single action revolvers chambered for the Winchester cartridges as well, allowing users to have a rifle and handgun which shared the same ammunition.

This 1873 rifle has a few intriguing features. First, the crown has been recessed. The most interesting feature is the “S” found stamped on each side of the receiver. While no provenance was included, the markings are consistent with those applied by Stembridge Gun Rentals. From the 1920s into the early 21st Century, Stembridge rented guns to the television and movie industries as props. This rifle may have graced the screen in your favorite western show or film. The rifle is in about Good overall condition, appearing to have had a very useful life. The bore is still fairly respectable, though it shows the expected erosion of use with black powder over the last 140 years and the rifle is in fairly good mechanical condition. It deserves a spot in a collection of lever action rifles next to its 1866, 1876, 1886, 1892 and 1894 cousins. Please see our photos and good luck!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

Winchester 1873 2nd Model 24" .44-40 WCF Lever Action Rifle, 1880 Antique
Winchester 1873 2nd Model 24″ .44-40 WCF Lever Action Rifle, 1880 Antique