This is a very strong example of a Model 1873 Saddle Ring Carbine in 44-40. Carbines were used as utilitiy guns and often carried on horseback and stayed outdoors for extended periods of time. That said, they are seldom found in the condition we have here. This is a Standard Carbine with 20" round barrel, full magazine, semi-crescent buttplate with trapdoor, saddle ring, and carbine sights. Antique pre-1898 serial number is in the 506,000 range which dates its production to late 1896. Very few 1873's were manufactured in 1896 and 1897 due to an economic recession and the introduction of newer models. This one has lots of original finish and great markings with a strong "44 CAL" on the bronze lifter. It appears to have seen very little use. Hammer has the correct decorative dipped border. The original three piece carbine cleaning rods are in the buttstock and have the correct iron tip as found on production throughout most of the 1890's.
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Excellent. Frame shows 85% original blue. There is very little loss of finish from actual wear but rather from speckled patina that is mixed through the blue. The barrel is similar with about 90% dull original blue. Nice fire blue on the loading port. Hammer and lever show some original mottled case colors which are turning to patina. The wood is in Fine+ to Excellent Condition and solid with no cracks or repairs. Overall, it has a few dings and bruises but exceptionally nice for a carbine. Very Good wood to metal fit. Excellent mechanics show very little use. Bolt and firing pin still show much of their original blue. Bore is Excellent Overall with strong lands and grooves. No rings or bulges. This is one of the strongest examples of an 1873 carbine we've had in several years.