Original U.S. Winchester Model 1873 .32-20 Rifle - Manufactured in 1889
Original Item: The gun that won the west! This nice rifle is in .32-20 caliber (.32 WCF) with a heavy 24 octagonal barrel and full-length magazine tube. Features the classic front sight and buckhorn rear sight. The serial number is 350583B denoting the year of manufacture as 1889.
Stock is in very good condition with few minor dings from use and age with much original finish remaining. Barrel and action retain about 40% original bluing having matured beautifully.
Very crisp tight action in fully functional condition with the original dust cover. Good bore and a nice solid iconic gun.
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 510 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 .32-20 Winchester, also known as the .32 WCF (Winchester center fire), was the first small-game lever-action cartridge that Winchester produced. It was initially introduced as a black-powder cartridge in 1882 for small-game, varmint hunting, and deer. Colt produced a single-action revolver chambered for this cartridge a few years later. The name .32-20 refers to the .32-inch-diameter (8.1 mm) bullet and standard black-powder charge of 20 grains (1.3 g).
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