Here is a good looking Winchester Model 73 Sporting rifle in Caliber 38-40 with a 24" round barrel, special order 1/2 magazine, and crescent rifle buttplate w/trapdoor. Antique Pre-1898 serial number is in the 190,000 range and was manfucatured in the year 1885. Original sights include the standard semi-buckhorn rear and front sight w/German silver blade. Every once in a while, someone will ask us..."Why would Winchester have made a repeater with a 1/2 magazine and give away half the available capacity for extra cartridges. Basically, this special order feature, often coupled with the lighter round barrel, was popular with sportsmen from around the world. They probably considered the 6 or 7 rounds to be more than adequate, a bit more sporting, but most imporantly...lighter. Hunters and sportsmen like Teddy Roosevelt often preferred these lighter-weight button mag rifles. In contrast, full magazines obviously gave the owner of a Winchester a significant advantage from a defensive point of view by holding double the number of cartridges but for a hunter who had carry his rifle mile after mile into the woods day after day...it only made the gun more cumbersome and was rarely --if ever needed. That, my friends, is why Winchester made button mags by special order...their customers wanted them!
This particular rifle is in NRA Antique Fine+ condition, 100% original down to the smallest screw, with 75-80% original blue on the frame. 60% fire blue on the loading port. 50-60% light case colors on the hammer with traces of color on the lever. The barrel has 25% original blue and 70% on forend cap. Near Excellent screws throughout with sharp edges and crisp markings. The wood is in excellent shape with perfect wood to metal fit with the wood still standing slightly proud over the metal edges...just like it did when it left the factory. The wood is remarkably void of dings, dents, and abuse. No chips, cracks, or repairs. Action works perfectly...still tight and the lever still snaps shut. Bolt and firing pin still show some original blue...indicating limited use. The bore is good overall with decent rifling and some scattered pitting here and there...no rings or bulges. A nice example an 1880's vintage Model 73 that has been well looked after.