Original U.S. Winchester Model 1873 .44-40 Rifle with Round Barrel & Saddle Ring made in 1879 - Serial 37809

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. "The Gun that Won the West!" This is a very nice "frontier worn" example of an early 2nd model Winchester Model 1873 repeating rifle. It is chambered in the popular .44-40 caliber with a 24" round barrel, correctly marked with MODEL. 1873. on the receiver tang. The caliber markings have worn off, but we have confirmed with measurements that it is in .44-40 Winchester Center Fire. Features the classic blade front sight and the iconic "buckhorn" rear adjustable sight, which has been modified slightly by having the "horns" built up with brass. It comes with a full length magazine tube, and interestingly has been fitted with a factory saddle ring on the right side of the receiver.

The serial number is quite faint, but we were able to make out that it is 37809, denoting the year of manufacture as 1879. The engraving on top of the barrel is still clear:


The stocks on this example shows years of handling wear and cleaning from frontier use. They do still have a great color, but the wood has eroded away on all of the surfaces, giving them an almost "wind worn" look. The fore stock has a crack running down the entire bottom, which does not look to have been repaired, just cleaned and waxed over. The butt stock does not have any cracks that we can see, but has the same worn look, impossible to duplicate. It meets well with the crescent butt plate, which is in good shape, with a working storage compartment (empty).

This lever action repeater is offered with a crisp tight action in fully functional condition, with a working original dust cover. Metal work is very good, with the original blue faded to a worn plum patina in many areas. There is a bit more advanced oxidation on the bottom of the magazine tube near the stock from handling. The bore is in good condition, with a partly bright finish and clear lands and grooves. There is however overall wear and some fouling, as well what may be a bulge near the muzzle, so we would rate this probably a 5 out of 10.

A very nice "frontier worn" example of an iconic frontier repeating rifle. These are becoming increasingly hard to find on the market in nice condition. Fully cleaned and ready for display!


Year of Manufacture: 1883
Caliber: .44-40 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.
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