This is a strong example of a standard 3rd Model Winchester 1873 in a very desirable configuration. This is the standard Winchester Sporting rifle in 44-40 caliber, a.k.a. 44 W.C.F with a 24" octagon barrel, full magazine, crescent rifle buttplate w/ sliding trapdoor. Antique serial number is in the 273,000 range and was manufactured in 1888. It has a pleasing combination of honest use with quite a bit of original finish remaining. Original sights include a standard Winchester semi-buckhorn style rear and front with the German silver style blade.
Overall condition is NRA Antique FINE condition. After several years of photographing antique guns, one thing I can say is that just like the pictures on our drivers licenses taken at the DMV, most of us feel underrated by our two-dimensional likenesses. This is usually the case I find with these old guns...the camera is usually not as kind as we would like it to be. That said, once in a while, we get an exception to that rule...this is just such a gun as it photographed extremely well. The images exceeded the appearance of this rifle by a slight margin. Therefore; please make careful note of actual percentages of finish on the components of this rifle in the description. For starters, the receiver has really great coverage in terms of original blue but there is quite a bit of brown patina mixing through it...particularly on the the right side. Realistically, I would say the receiver actually shows about 65% original blue. The loading port retains 70% of its original fire blue. The hammer has 40% fading case colors with just traces on the lever. Brass loading block has a nice light marbled patina with a good "44 CAL" marking. The barrel retains 65% thinning original blue while the magazine tube at 45% showing more wear along the bottom half of the tube from rubbing/wear. Nice markings and very good screws throughout. The wood is in Fine overall condition. No chips, cracks, or repairs. Good tight wood to metal fit that still stands slightly proud of the metal...like it should. The action doesn't show much wear as the bolt and firing pin still show 50% original blue across their high-wear areas. Very crisp and the lever still snaps shut. The bore still bright and shiny...near Excellent. We look all over for .44-40's with octagon barrels but with increasing rarity does one turn up in desirable configuration with such pleasing balance of wear and original finish. Most either were used until they wore out or were never used much at all! This one looks like it did its job for several years and then was carefully put away.