This is a very nice Model 1873 Winchester rifle in 44-40 with a scarce special order 1/2 octagon barrel. You tend to find this variation on rifles that also have 1/2 button magazines and fancier features. However, what makes this rifle unusual is that its 1/2 octagon rifle with a standard full magazine...something far less common. We've been told by a few collectors these are not only quite scarce, but they actually prefer them to button magazines because you can put them on display next to standard rifles without looking "over-dressed". Serial number is in the 209,000 range. Made in 1886. We called the Cody Museum and it letters perfectly. They sent us the following information.
On your model 1873, serial number 209187:
Date In: 8-6-1886
Barrel: ½ octagon
Date Shipped: 8-7-1886
Order Number: 8710
Overall condition is NRA Antique Excellent overall with 90% strong bright blue on the frame, 75% fire blue on the loading port, and fading colors on the hammer and lever that are starting to fade to silver. The barrel shows 65% thinning original blue with the balance turning to a light grey brown patina. The magazine tube shows 35% original blue that's confined towards the less exposed areas...balance is grey/brown patina. Nice screws and markings throughout. Original standard rear semi-buckhorn sight and a Marble No. 3 Front sight w/ivory bead. Fine wood has just a few handling marks with perfect wood to metal fit with no chips, cracks, or repairs. The action works perfectly showing light use with significant amounts of original blue still on the bolt and fire pin. The bore grades to Mint...bright with strong rifling. No pits, no rust, nothing...one of the best bores I've ever seen on a 3rd model...even the nicest ones seem to always have a few spots of corrosion here or there...not this. Its as perfect as you'll find and what's more amazing is that this is an 1880's vintage black powder era M. 1873. These 1/2 octagon 1873's are tough to find with full magazines in the big calibers. Its been several years since the last one we found. This would make a nice addition into a good collection of Model 1873's...on display right between a nice round barrel and an octagon barrel rifle.