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Original U.S. Winchester Model 1873 .32-20 Rifle with Octagonal Barrel made in 1890 - Serial 345198B

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. "The gun that won the west!" This fine rifle is in .32-20 caliber (.32 WCF) with a 24 inch octagonal barrel and full-length magazine tube. As with all examples, it is marked MODEL. 1873. on the upper receiver tang. Features the classic front sight with a replaced blade and iconic "buckhorn" style rear sight. The serial number 345198A on the lower tang denotes year of manufacture as 1890. The address marking on top of the barrel has unfortunately worn away, as the barrel does look to have had the exterior refinished at some point.

It is also clearly marked 32 W.C.F. over the barrel chamber, indicating the .32-20 caliber. This marking often wears off, as does the .32 CAL. marking on the bottom of the brass feed block, which is now very faint. Original walnut stocks are in good solid condition with the lovely red-brown color of aged and oiled walnut. Both stocks are in very good condition, with no structural cracks or major damage, just honest wear. Features a crescent butt plate without a storage compartment, which is in great shape.

The bore still shows rifling, however overall it shows a lot of fouling, with an oxidized patina. It looks to have seen extensive action, most likely on the frontier. The action is in fully functional condition with the original dust cover, and cycles well, though it does require a strong pull to get the action to close. The metal work is a nice lightly worn blue, with some light peppering in places.

Overall this is a very nice example of an iconic gun, fully cleaned and ready to display!

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.


Year of Manufacture: 1890
Caliber: .32-20 Winchester
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 24 Inches
Overall Length: 43 Inches

Action type: Lever Action Repeater
Feed System: 16-round tube magazine

NOTE: Note: This gun is NOT considered obsolete calibre, so we are no able to ship to the United Kingdom. International orders of antique firearms MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services (courier). USPS Priority Mail international will not accept these.

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

    This product is available for international shipping.
  • Not eligible for payment with Paypal or Amazon


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