Original U.S. Winchester Model 1873 .32-20 Repeating Rifle with Factory Replaced Octagonal Barrel made in 1887 - Serial 238672B

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. "The Gun that Won the West!" This lovely repeating rifle is in .32-20 Winchester caliber, correctly marked with 32 W.C.F. over the chamber and 32 CAL. on the brass carrier block. It features a desirable 24 inch octagonal barrel, which looks to have been replaced at the Winchester factory itself. At this time we believe that the gun was restored and refinished, which really makes it a lovely example. It features a full-length magazine tube, and as with all examples, it is marked MODEL. 1873. on the upper receiver tang. Features a classic brass blade front sight and iconic "Buckhorn" rear adjustable sight. The serial number is 238672B, denoting the year of manufacture as 1887, one of 32984 made that year.

The top of the barrel and the adjacent top of the receiver are marked with the WP in an Oval "Winchester Proof", which was not introduced until 1908. This indicates that the rifle was returned to the factory at some point, and had a brand new Winchester barrel installed. It has the later pattern markings on the left facet of the barrel, which read:


Condition of the rifle is very good, with the metalwork showing much of the factory hot rebluing, which gives it a great iridescent look in the light. The wood stocks are in great condition, having been varnished in the past, which really brings out the red brown color of the walnut. There are no cracks or other major damage, just some light denting in places. The crescent butt plate on this example does not have a storage compartment, and looks to have been kept as bright steel, now somewhat stained.

This lever action repeater has a crisp tight action in fully functional condition with an original dust cover. The rifle cycles well and dry fires, with good mechanical operation that is quite smooth, with no sticking as these sometimes do when worn. The bore is in very good condition, showing a mostly bright finish with clear lands and grooves. There is a bit of past oxidation and fouling, now cleaned away, but this is really in great shape considering the age. We would rate it an 9 out of 10.

A very nice factory re-barreled and restored example of an iconic gun with a lovely patina of age, ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: 1887
Caliber: .32-20 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. Shipping not available to: United Kingdom
  • Not eligible for payment with Paypal or Amazon


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