Original U.S. Winchester 1st Model 1873 .44-40 Rifle with Octagonal Barrel Serial 3162 - Made in 1875

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. "The Gun that Won the West!" This very fine rifle is in .44-40 caliber (.44 WCF) with a 24" octagonal barrel and full-length magazine tube. Features the classic front sight and "flat-top" style rear sight. The serial number is 3162 denoting the year of manufacture as 1875, the third year of production. At this time the model 1873 had several features that were changed in later versions of the model. The safety that prevents trigger pull when the lever is not in the firing position is not present. There is also a small set screw to adjust the trigger sensitivity. The receiver design is also different, with a more robust design for the dust cover, which has a dovetail to slide into.

The engraving on top of the barrel very clear, a rare sight on a Winchester of any age:


Additionally, it is marked with initials A.H.H. above the chamber, a great research opportunity. Stocks are in very good condition, with a great patina and the reddish-brown color of aged oiled walnut. There are just a few scratches and dents on the wood. Offered with a crisp tight action in fully functional condition with the original tight fitting dust cover. Metal work is good, with a lot of the finish intact, though there is some past pitting. Barrel markings are mostly legible, though the chamber marking is worn away. Bore is in good condition with a mostly bright finish and lands and grooves, though they are worn. Probably rates around 6-7 out of 10.

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 no able to ship to the United Kingdom. Please note that for international shipping, these MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services.

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

    This product is available for international shipping.
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