This Winchester Model 1873 saddle ring carbine is in a condition well above average compared to most we've seen with a fair amount of original blued finish remaining on the metal. This is a GREAT looking little 73 SRC! Given their lighter weight and shorter stature, these SRC's were essentially "a working man's gun" as they were easy to carry. As a result, most lived hard lives (many kept outdoors, in barns, and around horses) during the late 19th and into the 20th centuries. They were quite popular with lawmen like the Texas Rangers, cowboys, prisons, and outlaws. Billy the Kid and Jesse James were just a couple of notorious outlaws who owned one.The Model 1873 wasn't just popular here in America, they were shipped all over the World! Over the years, many 73 carbines have turned up from far-off places ranging from the Jungles of South America to the mountains of Afghanistan. This one is a Standard 3rd Model Configuration in Caliber 44 WCF aka 44-40 with 20" round barrel, full magazine, carbine ladder sights, saddle ring, and semi-crescent buttplate. Serial number is in the 292,000 range which dates its production to the year 1889.
Overall condition is NRA Antique Fine with 30-40% original blue on the frame that's particularly strong around the back panels, around the sideplates with some thinning speckled blue out in the more open spots. The blue is especially strong around the original saddle ring which over the years has worn a nice "shadow" pattern....which is just fantastic! This is EXACTLY what Winchester collectors want to see on an old carbine....it defines not only its originality but how it was used...as a tool. The original ring has worn a nice shadow. Loading port still shows original fire blue around the edges...about 30% while the hammer still retains 50% faded but discernable case colors. Case colors on the lever have worn mostly to brown with some silvered out remnants in protected areas. Barrel and magazine tube still have around 10-15% original blue that's strong along the edges of the wood, barrel bands, rear sight, and down in between the barrel and mag tube. Nice markings throughout including the barrel address, caliber markings on barrel and brass loading block, etc. The wood is in Very Good+ condition with perfect wood to metal fit. Has a few minor blemishes. Its never been cleaned or sanded and the wood still has its factory fit...swelling up slightly proud over the edges of the metal...just like it did when it left the factory. No cracks or repairs. One tiny chip...and I mean tiny...up by the frame...hardly worth mentioning. For a 73 src, this one has exceptionally nice wood.Original rear sight has 200-900 yard graduations and "1873" marked at the top of the ladder. Action works nicely...the lever still snaps shut and there is a little bit of original blue remaining on the top of the bolt and sides of the firing pin. The bore is in Very Good condition...VERY strong lands and grooves that are still mostly bright. I would call it Excellent, except there are a few scattered pits...which is typical of most black-powder era Winchesters. No rings, bulges, or abuse. All in all, this carbine has just the right amount of condition and wear that gives it such a great look. Most were either used until they fell apart...literally or not at all...this one is a perfect balance between the two...Used carefully, but still nice with some original finish left!