Original U.S. Winchester Model 1873 .32-20 Rifle with Octagonal Barrel - Manufactured in 1891

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 classic 24 inch octagonal barrel and full-length magazine tube. Features the classic front sight and "flat-top" style rear sight. Serial number 379574B denotes year of manufacture as 1891. The engraving on top of the barrel is clearly legible:


It is also marked .32 W.C.F. over the barrel chamber, indicating the .32-20 caliber. This marking is often worn off. Original walnut stocks are in good solid condition with only minor dings and scratches from use and age. Some letters have been scratched into the butt stock, but they do not really detract from the overall look. Fore stock has a bit of rust damage from contact with the front of the receiver. Color is the classic deep reddish brown of aged oiled walnut. Crisp tight action in fully functional condition with the original dust cover. Metal has most of the bluing still intact, and is quite attractive.

Rifle bore is mostly dark, but does still show  lands and grooves. Probably rates a 3-4 out of 10, as it was definitely used with corrosive powder, and not cleaned properly. 

Overall this is a great 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: 1891
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

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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