This is a special order Winchester Model 1873 with 26" octagon barrel in 44-40. Aside from the extra 2" of barrel length (which in my humble opinion gives it is one of the most eye-appealing profiles of any Winchester), its a standard second model 73 with a full magazine tube, crescent rifle buttplate, and plain trigger. Complete with original sights and dust cover. Mfd. in 1882. Serial number is in the high 86,000 range making it one of the very last 2nd Models built right at the beginning 3rd Model production. In fact, over the years we've seen a few early 3rd Models in the 86,000-87,000 range as well. Most books I've read seem to indicate 90,000 is where the 2nd ends and the 3rd model begins but from personal experience, it seems like the change occurs 3-4,000 numbers earlier. This one is a pure 2nd model that is 100% original and correct down to the smallest screw. It has all the typical 2nd Model features such as the screw-on dust cover rail, receiver screws behind the sideplate that secure the lower tang as well as the exposed hammer screw and trigger pins located above and below respectively. In addition to those defining attributes, it also has all the minor nuances of the 2nd Model that include early type breech block with sleeve around the firing pin, small side plate screw, exposed external loading gate screw...3rd models use a screw to secure the port from inside the side plate.
Overall condition grades to NRA Antique Fine+ with 75% original blue on the receiver a few small spots of light corrosion from poor storage ( a few on the lever as well) and some scratch marks behind the right side plate from light cleaning. Loading port still reveals approximately 80% strong fire blue present. This rifle shows little use as the bolt and firing pin (which cocks the hammer) still show much of their original finish. Barrel has 75% original blue with excellent barrel address. Magazine tube shows approximately 60% original blue with the balance turned to patina along the bottom from carry wear. Forend cap and magazine retaining band still hold 70-75% of their original blue. Sights include the early type front sight with German silver blade sans tension screw and the short style buckhorn rear sight with checkered sides and correct elevator. Wood shows some character wear with light nicks and scratches but looks great with about 50% original varnish that is subdued under a natural patina and perfect wood to metal fit having never been cleaned or sanded. Action cycles perfectly with the lever still snapping shut. Bore is Good+ to VG- overall with nice rifling and a few scattered light pits. Nice well above avg example of a 2nd Model in a nice configuration.