This is a good honest Winchester 1873 saddle ring carbine in 44-40. Serial number is in the 439,000 range. Made in 1892. Standard configuration with 20" round barrel, full magazine, semi-crescent buttplate w/trapdoor, saddle ring, and ladder sights. These 73 carbines are somewhat synonymous with the American West as their were a working man's gun and designed to be carried on a horse. Fewer were made and most show evidence of having lived a very hard life. This one shows use but it looks like it was well looked after. It even came with a little story...not much but interesting and compelling given the look and wear to the gun. We recently got this one from a long-time Winchester collector from Iowa who owned it for the past decade. Ten years ago, he purchased the carbine from another collector who claimed to have got it directly from a Montana cowboy in 1960. The previous owner relayed the following: "He said he bought it right out of the man's scabbard off his horse." Given the silvery appearance to the metal without much patina, it certainly seems plausible this was still in use as recently as 1960. Also note the older leather lariat wrapped around the saddle ring. This kept the ring from rattling during use and could be tied to a scabbard.
Overall condition is NRA Antique Good+ to Very Good. The metal has good edges and great markings with a nice silvery worn appearance and traces of original blue in protected areas. Most of the blue resides around the edges of the sideplates, and down in the flares at the front and back of the frame. Metal is smooth and not pitted. One ding at the bottom edge of the left sideplate. The hammer and lever show a surprising amount of washed out nickelly remnants of the original case colors. Hammer has about 70% overall and I'd estimate 20% still on the lever. Hammer has the Victorian-era decorative dipped border pattern around the checkering. Good+ screws overall...most are quite nice and all are 100% serviceable. Two line barrel address is clear with Winchester name and both 1860 and 1866 patent dates. The caliber is marked in front of the frame "44 W.C.F." and a slightly worn "44 CAL" in script is located on the brass gunmetal loading block. The wood is in good+ to VG condition...very consistent with the metal. Its very solid with good wood to metal fit showing some scabbard wear on the forend but not under-sized. Interestingly enough, there is some slight weathering and a few more nicks right at the back of the stock near the buttplate where it would have protruded from a scabbard. Nice working action and a fine bore that is still fairly bright with strong rifling. This is a great carbine that looks like it provided many decades of dependable service working well into the 20th century.