This is a solid example of the Gun That Won the West, the Winchester Model 1873 Rifle in 44-40. Lots of original blue remaining on this one while showing character wear from honest use. It's untouched and 100% original down to the smallest screw. It has the desirable octagon barrel which is in the standard 24" length along with a crescent buttplate and original sights. Antique pre-1898 serial number is in the 433,000 range which dates its production to the year 1892. Correct 1890's vintage markings and knurlings including the decorative Victorian-era border around the checkering on the hammer. Barrel has the proper "44 WCF" on the top barrel flat just ahead of the frame. Nice two-line Winchester barrel address with 1860 and 1866 patent dates, also in the proper place along the top flat. Upper tang has the "MODEL 1873" designation bracketed by a pair of fleur-de-lis designs.
Overall Condition, NRA Antique Fine+ with 65% original blue on the receiver with the balance turned to a smooth light brown patina. Loading port has 25% original fire blue while the case colors on the lever and buttplate have mostly silvered. Hammer shows 20% case colors...note the brightness of the colors towards the back of the profiles...indicating the hammer was stored for many years at half-cock...probably loaded and ready for use. The barrel and magazine tube have approximately 50% original blue overall. About half of this is fairly robust original blue that resides in the more protected areas (along the forend line, above the tube, and around the sights) that is clearly discernable. The other half of the blue has aged to what one classify as "plummed blue" or "age darkened blue". The balance has turned to a smooth brown patina. The original wood is untouched with great wood to metal fit, swelling slightly proud of the metal, just the way it left the factory. The stock is in Fine Condition with a few handling marks while the forend...which saw the bulk of the carry wear, is Very Good with a few more dings and scratches. Very Good screws overall. Mechanics are Excellent. Bore is in Fine Condition with strong lands and grooves, no rings, no bulges. Just a nice untouched pre-1898 antique 1873 Winchester in the most desirable caliber and barrel configuration.