This is a sharp little example of 2nd Model variation of the Winchester 1873 with lots of original finish remaining that has seen little usage. Second Models are nearly as scarce as 1st Models and typically spotted within the 30,000-87,000 serial ranges. The serial number of this rifle is in the 85,000 range which dates its manufacture to the early months of 1882 and within a few hundred numbers of the earliest 3rd Models. Caliber is 44 WCF. Since this was Winchester's original caliber in the model 1873...it wasn't until around 1884 that Winchester got around to putting caliber markings on their 44's. As a result, the barrel and loading block are unmarked with a caliber designation. This is correct for 1st, 2nd, and early 3rd models. Standard 24" round barrel, full magazine, and crescent rifle buttplate. For a 2nd Model, it has the early style frame with the exposed hammer screw and trigger pin bracketing the lower tang screws on each side of the frame as well as the screw-in rail for the dust cover. Rear sight is the early style short semi-buckhorn with checkered sides that still retains its original elevator. Standard front sight. This rifle at one point had a tang sight as you can see by the tang sight screws residing where the factory plugs normally go. These tapped and threaded holes bracket the "Model 1873" designation and were provided by Winchester as a standard feature on almost all their rifles.
Overall condition grades to NRA Antique Excellent in most areas but Fine++ overall...mostly due to age than real usage. This gun was probably fired no more than a few times, packed in grease, and put away for many years. The edges are crisp...as are the markings...mechanics and bore are both excellent throughout with original finish all over the bolt and firing pin. The receiver has a good 75-80% original blue with some freckling and high wear areas turning to brown patina...with most loss located towards the front of the frame. The hammer still shows 65% original case colors which we usually observe to be a bit darker and more smoky on earlier guns. The lever has 15-20% mottled colors with the balance faded and/or hazed over to a brown patina. Nice fire blue on the loading port with at least 85% coverage...photos don't do it justice. Barrel and tube retain 60% and 80% good discernable original blue with the balance turning to a plum patina. The walnut wood is in Excellent condition with 80-90% original oil finish and shows only light handling wear. Wood-to-metal fit is fantastic...with no cracks, chips missing, etc. The action works perfectly and the bolt and firing pin still show much of their original blue. Bore is Excellent. This is a wonderful example of the 2nd Model 1873...and looks considerably nicer in person than what the pictures convey.