Winchester 1873 3rd Model 24″ .44-40 WCF Lever Action Rifle, 1884 Antique

SOLD FOR: $1,802

WOA#: WY240326CM012

Make: Winchester

Model: 1873

Serial Number: 157777

Year of Manufacture: 1884

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 29.1866. OCTOBER 16.1860.” in front of the rear sight and “44 CAL.” at the rear. The bottom of the lifter is marked “44 CAL.”. The lower tang is marked “157777B”. The upper tang is marked “Model. 1873”.

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 blade or the whole sight assembly are installed backward. 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). The front fill-screw is blended (likely due to the top tang repair).

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece smooth walnut with capped forend, straight grip, straight comb and steel crescent buttplate with sliding-door storage compartment (nothing in the compartment). The stocks have a few light nicks and scratches. There are a few dark marks under the finish. There are a couple of thin cracks in the front edges of the wrist. The wood is notably shy to the metal at the toe. The LOP measures 12 3/4″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has scattered wear and some light oxidation. Overall, the stocks are in Very Good-Fine condition as refinished Antique.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. There is some scattered light erosion and infrequent minor pitting in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates about 7 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 65% of its metal finish. The top tang has broken and been repaired. The finish is thinning at all edges. There is some scattered wear on the magazine tube with the worn areas going to a light patina. There is more notable finish wear on the receiver, giving it a mottled appearance. There is less frequent finish wear on the barrel. There are scattered spots of surface oxidation. There are some nicks, scuffs and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with usable slots. The markings are generally clear, the top tang marking was slightly obscured in the repair. Overall, this rifle is in about Fine condition as repaired Antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is a dust cover on a rail on the receiver, typical of the Third Models. We have not fired this rifle. 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 was one of the most popular cartridges of the era, able to take game as large as deer. This example is a rifle which is in pretty darned good shape for its age. It retains much of its original metal finish, the bore is in quite good condition for its age, and the mechanics are still strong, though the top tang has broken and been repaired. This would make a nice addition to a Winchester or early cartridge rifle collection, and will display well alongside other Winchester lever guns. Please see our photos and good luck!

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

Winchester 1873 3rd Model 24" .44-40 WCF Lever Action Rifle, 1884 Antique
Winchester 1873 3rd Model 24″ .44-40 WCF Lever Action Rifle, 1884 Antique