This is what one would call a "Southern Winchester"! This rifle just came out of Athens, GA....and from the hot humid climate, has a typical heavy dark patina with speckles of original blue here and there. Its a 3rd model and was made probably around the summer of 1889. Just about every Model 1873 or 1892 you find in the Southern U.S. is either in 38-40 or 32-20 and this rifle is no exception...its a 38-40. Best of all, it has a special order length with a 26" octagon barrel instead of the standard vanilla 24". The 26" actually compliments the Model 1873 a little nicer than the 24" in my opinion...it just gives it a little better overall balance without looking too long. Otherwise, this is just a standard sporting rifle in 38 WCF with a full magazine and standard crescent rifle buttplate with trapdoor for the cleaning rods. It even had a little surprise for waiting us when we slid the brass trapdoor open....one of those small miracles...Yes, it STILL HAS its original 4 piece set of cleaning rods tucked inside the buttstock. These were nearly always removed because they tended to rattle and add weight to the rifle.
Overall, this rifle is in NRA Antique Good condition. As stated earlier, it has a heavy dark patina with traces of original blue in the protected areas and a few speckles of light blue on the sides of the receiver. The buttplate looks like it got some moisture exposure as it has some rust and scattered pits...and there are 3 or 4 minor spots on the stock against the buttplate that will need to be filled from water damage....otherwise, the wood looks pretty solid...never cleaned with good wood to metal fit. This rifle is 100% original down to the last screw and has never been touched in any way...very good screws overall and every single one of them is original to this rifle. Original sights include the original semi-buckhorn rear sight and standard front with German silver blade. Nice markings are full of dirt and dried grease but should turn out to be excellent overall. Even the bronze loading block is still showing its original "38 CAL" marking in script. It has a great untouched look to it and its 100% original although its not so much of an attic find as what you might call a Barn Find....it wasn't used hard, in fact it probably had most of its orignal finish before someone put it up as the edges and markings are all pretty good but its buttplate is fairly rusty and overall its kind of grungy. It definietly needs a good careful cleaning. Bore has good sharp rifling but with scattered pits here and there....it still has sheen to it so its not dark. It may clean up even better as its still quite dirty...no rings or bulges. Action has good mechanics. Cleaning rod is all there....4 pieces with the patch loop end slightly slimmed down and notched by the original owner. A good example of an untouched 1873 with a rare barrel length.