Lot 74

Winchester Model 1873 Rare .38-40 Lever Rifle

Estimate: $4,800 - $5,800

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $5
$50 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$25,000 $2,500
$100,000 $5,000
Winchester 1873 EXTREMELY RARE SPECIAL ORDER EXTRA LONG 26 INCH ROUND barrel rifle with RARE SHOTGUN BUTT in desirable, large caliber .38-40, serial number 127301, made during the Indian Wars/Frontier Period of 1883. Winchester made over 720,000 Model 1873 rifles and carbines. According to the standard reference: The Winchester Handbook, by George Madis, of this huge number of 1873s only 1201 rifles had barrels longer than the standard length of 24”. Considering that Winchester offered extra long lengths all the way to 36” in round barrels, octagon barrels and half-octagon barrels, there could only be a handful of 26” length round barrel rifles manufactured...and of these the survival rate would have to be even smaller, making this rifle one of a very few in existence today. Additionally, only 1286 were manufactured with “special butt plates.” Interestingly, it seems most special order long barrel rifles were in the smaller caliber .32-20, again, making this example even more rare in the large .38-40 chambering. This is the classic “Gun That Won the West!” An early and fine condition example, this 139 year old Winchester still retains fine deep aged and uncleaned plum patina on the barrel and magazine. The special order long 26” round barrel also retains excellent and clear Winchester markings as does the upper tang. Walnut butt stock is in very fine condition with only light handling marks and shows very desirable tight wood to metal fit. It also retains the correct smooth steel shotgun butt plate. Like the barrel, the receiver is uncleaned and retains fine original blue that is naturally aging and thinning, but still displays considerable deep high polish blue. This fine 1873 rifle also retains a very tight action and strong springs. The sliding dust cover on the receiver top is intact (these are usually missing) and the loading gate retains good deep original blue. The un-polished brass lifter on the receiver bottom is correctly engraved with “38 CAL” and shows an attractive mellow patina. The lever catch is also intact and the receiver screws are fine. This superior, large caliber Model 1873 is in better condition than normally encountered on the collector market today. Even the bore is in fine condition and shows strong rifling. It is fitted with a buckhorn rear sight and factory Winchester blade front sight. A fine example of a rifle produced in a factory before the use of electricity that is as good and solid today as it was on the day it was made. The Model 1873 was the standard for lever actions throughout the Frontier Period in the West which, in some areas, lasted well into the twentieth century. Most surviving specimens show heavy use and often abuse with broken or missing parts making this example far better than normally encountered. This rifle, in the very rare and desirable extra long barrel length of 26 inches plus large caliber .38-40 would be a fine addition to an advanced Winchester or Old West collection. Serial Number: 127301. This firearm qualifies as an Antique, and does not require FFL Transfer or NICS Background Check.