This is a scarce 1873 in Caliber 38 WCF with a Special Order 30" octagon barrel and set trigger. The 30" length was the longest barrel Winchester offered with a single magazine tube retaining band. These are really getting tough to find. Antique Serial number is in the 334,000 range and was Mfd. in 1890. In addition to the standard front and semi-buckhorn rear sights, it has a folding rear Lyman tang sight which looks like its been on this rifle forever.
Overall condition is NRA Antique Good+ with the metal turned to a dark brown patina that has traces of blue protected areas. This is a very dark-looking 1873 and is very typical of 1873's we have found here regionally over the years in the Southeastern United States. They tend to be either in 38-40 or 32-20 with a dark patina from the humidity and very good wood. This gun is no exception. The brown metal is basically mostly smooth with some isolated slight roughness in the form of heavy closet rust that needs to be cleaned. Very good markings and knurlings. The brass loading block is a bit worn but still reads "38 CAL" in script. The wood is in Very Good condition....completely untouched, never sanded or cleaned that is mostly smooth with a few minor scratches a couple of small dings. No chips, cracks or repairs. Wood to metal fit is perfect and like most Southern guns from moderately humid climates, the wood never shrank so it still retains its original factory fit with the edges of the stocks swelling slightly proud of all metal surfaces. The action works well all except for the set trigger which works in standard mode but no longer engages to the adjustable hair trigger mode. This can be fixed or just left alone. Bore is Fair+ with decent rifling with scattered pitting.
The trapdoor in the buttplate still houses the original 5 piece set of cleaning rods which will will give the buyer the option to purchase with the rifle. These are usually lost but the original owner took good care to keep the rods with the gun. A 5 piece set of rods makes for a very tight fit and isn't much fun to remove from the stock so it looks like the owner was clever enough to tie a piece of rawhide leather around the brass tip to help removed the first section. This freed up the other sections to drop out. He also made the piece of leather long enough to act as a sort of cushion to keep the rods from shifting and making noise.
All in all, a nice example of a 3rd Model 1873 with some great features. If you've been looking for a long-barrel 1873 Winchester and don't want to spend $6-10K for a 32" barrel or would rather buy a new car than trying to afford that $15,000-25,000 price tag for a 34" or 36" barrel, this 30" looks almost as impressive for only a fraction of the price.