This is a strong Winchester 1873 3rd Model Saddle Ring Carbine in 44-40 with lots of original blue remaining. It has a desirable pre-1898 antique serial number in the 251,000 range and was made in 1887. This is a completely untouched carbine that is 100% original down to the smallest screw. It even has the original three piece set of cleaning rods still in the stock. Standard 20" round barrel, full magazine carbine ladder sight, saddle ring, and carbine style semi-crescent buttplate. All markings and knurlings are sharp and correct for this 1887 production Winchester. This includes the hammer which has its proper rectangular checkered border, the caliber marking on the top of the barrel which reads "44 W.C.F.", the rear sight which has 2-9 hundred yard graduations and "1873" at the top, as well as a clear "44 CAL" in script on the brass loading block. Standard two line barrel address with Henry's 1860 and King's 1866 patent dates.
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Fine Plus with 70% fading original blue on the frame with the balance turned to a brown patina. The barrel shows 75% dull original blue while the magazine tube has 50% remaining. Loading port shows 50% bright fire blue. Hammer and lever show a mixture of silvered out case colors and patina with flashes of color still visible in protected areas. Upon opening the lever or cocking the hammer, you will find vivid case colors exposed from the action. Even the bolt and firing pin show significant amounts of their original finish. Excellent mechanics...the action is crisp, the firing pin still indexes, and the lever still snaps shut. Bore is Excellent, bright and shiny with strong lands and grooves and no rings or bulges. The walnut stocks are fantastic with nice wood to metal fit with the wood standing slightly proud of the metal...as it did when it left the factory. No chips, cracks, or repairs. Very good screws throughout. Whoever owned this carbine used it sparingly and kept it oiled which is how so much of the original finish survived. This is a quite an unusual occurrence for a carbine as most were used as utility guns, received very little care, and were usually exposed to the elements throughout their working life.