Original U.S. Winchester Model 1873 .38-40 Saddle Ring Carbine Serial Number 221404B - Made in 1886

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a great vintage cowboy saddle ring Winchester Model 1873 carbine in the rare caliber of .38-40, as used in both carbines and six gun revolvers of the era. Almost all carbines were made in .44-40, but this example is definitely in .38-40, as indicated by the .38 CAL over the chamber. We even checked the chamber itself, and .44-40 will definitely not fit.

Offered in very nice aged condition and correct in all respects, serial number 221404B indicates that it was manufactured in 1886. It has an intact MODEL 1873 marking on the upper receiver tang, with the caliber marking on the carrier block worn away. Still fully functional, the action cycles well, with a 20 inch round barrel that unfortunately has a bulge 7 1/2 inches from the muzzle. It's a shame, because other than that the bore still shows clear lands and grooves, with a partly bright finish. This is definitely only recommended for display.

This Carbine has the "Crescent" butt plate with working storage compartment (empty), and the side mounted saddle ring. The rear of the barrel is equipped with a simple notch sight, which looks to possibly have been made from a broken ladder sight, with the usual "barleycorn" front sight.

The engraving on top of the barrel is still mostly legible, which is quite rare to see:


The carbine is in nice matured condition showing use and really presents nicely. The metalwork has a nice aged grey patina, and shows use and has old pitting scars in some areas. Masses of character here! The stocks are in very good shape, with the lovely red-brown color of aged oiled walnut. There are no repairs, but there is a crack on the left side of the butt stock running diagonally from the end of the receiver tang. There is also a crack running forward from the butt plate.

Fully cleaned to put in the best light, this frontier-worn old girl is ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: 1886
Caliber: .38-40 Winchester
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 20 Inches
Overall Length: 39 Inches
Action type: Lever Action Repeater
Feed System: 9-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.
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