Original Magnificent U.S. Winchester Model 1873 .38-40 Rifle with Round Barrel made in 1884 - Serial 162798A

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. "The Gun that Won the West!" We unfortunately do not know the entire history of this fantastic Winchester Model 1873 lever Action Repeating rifle, however it was certainly mostly spent properly stored and protected from the elements. As such we are able to offer this example in truly magnificent condition, certainly one of the best if not THE BEST CONDITION 1873 that we have ever offered.

This wonderful rifle is in .38-40 caliber, correctly marked with .38 CAL. over the chamber and on the bottom of the brass carrier block. It features a standard 24" round barrel and full-length magazine tube. As with all examples, it is marked MODEL. 1873. on the upper receiver tang. Features an upgraded flip front side with both blade and globe types, and the iconic "buckhorn" rear adjustable sight. The serial number is 162798A denoting the year of manufacture as 1884. The engraving on the top of the barrel present and fully legible and crisp:


Condition of the rifle is truly excellent, with the wood stocks showing only some light impressions from use. Both stocks still have their original factory finish, and the butt stock is a special order "Shotgun Style" example, with a flat butt plate without a storage compartment. The color of both stocks is lovely, showing great grain that looks incredible under the light.

The metal finish still retains a majority of the original shiny blued finish on the receiver and dust cover, and still has a lot of the original case hardening visible on the hammer, trigger, and operating lever. The barrel still has lots of the original bluing as well, with some wear to the finish on the bottom of the magazine tube from years of careful cleaning.

The rifle has a very crisp action in fully functional condition with the original dust cover, which still fits tightly on the dovetail. The rifle cycles perfect and dry fires, with smooth mechanical operation, with very little slop, indicating that this did not see much use at all during its life. The bore is in excellent condition, with a bright finish and crisp lands and grooves. There are just a few scattered spots of oxidation in the grooves, and we would rate it a 9 out of 10.

A Magnificent example of an iconic gun with some great special order features. We have rarely seen a better example. Ready to cherish and display!


Year of Manufacture: 1884
Caliber: .38-40 Winchester
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 24 Inches
Overall Length: 43 Inches
Action type: Lever Action Repeater
Feed System: 15-round tube magazine

The Model 1873 was one of the most successful Winchester rifles of its day, gaining the reputation as "The Gun that Won the West". Still an icon almost a century and a half later, it was manufactured between 1873 and 1919. Originally chambered for the .44-40 cartridge, it was later produced in .38-40 and .32-20, all of which were also popular handgun cartridges of the day, allowing users to conveniently carry just one type of ammunition. The Model 1873 was produced in three variations: a 24" barrel rifle, 20" barrel carbine, and a musket. The easy to transport and handle carbine was the most popular, while the musket accounted for less than 5-10 percent of total production.

Due to feeding problems, the original Model 1873 was never offered in the military standard .45 Colt cartridge, although a number of modern reproductions are chambered for the round. The popularity of the original Model 1873 led Colt to manufacture .44-40 a version of the Single Action Army revolver called the "Frontier Model".

To both celebrate and enhance the Model 1873's prestige, Winchester established a coveted One of One Thousand grade in 1875. Barrels producing unusually small groupings during test-firing were fitted to rifles with set triggers and a special finish. Marked One of One Thousand, they sold for a then princely $100. A popular 1950 Western starring Jimmy Stewart, Winchester '73, was based on the coveted gun. Promotions included a search for One of One Thousand rifles by Universal Studios, with advertisements in sporting magazines and posters in sporting goods stores.

A second grade of Model 1873 barrels producing above average accuracy were fitted to rifles marked One of One Hundred, and sold for $20 over list. Approximately 136 One of One Thousand Model 1873s were sold, and only eight One of One Hundreds. In all, over 720,000 Model 1873s were produced.

The .38-40 Winchester round is actually a .40 caliber cartridge shooting .401 caliber bullets. The cartridge was introduced by Winchester in 1874 and is derived from their .44-40 Winchester. This cartridge was introduced for rifles, but in its reintroduction for Cowboy Action Shooting it has seen some popularity as a pistol cartridge. It is not particularly well suited to hunting larger game, but it was popular when it was introduced, along with the previous .44-40 Winchester, for deer hunting. It can be used successfully on smaller game animals, and for self-defense.

Note: This gun is NOT considered obsolete calibre, so we are not able to ship to the United Kingdom. Please note that for international shipping, these MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services. International customers should always consult their country's antique gun laws prior to ordering.

  • This product is not available for shipping in US state(s)
    New Jersey

    This product is available for international shipping.
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