Re: Model 1873 Winchester
The bore is in good shape, especially for a 118 year old gun. I don't shoot it very much at all, but a few years ago I fired a three shot group at fifty yards. Two of the holes were overlapping and the third was about 1/2 inch from the first two.
I shot a deer with it three years ago. I trailed that deer over 500 yards bleeding heavily but lost it in very thick vines, briars, and brush and never could find it.
Mechanically it is in very good shape. The stock and forearm are still locked solidly to the metal with no play or movement whatsoever. For nearly the first century of its life it got no special treatment at all. It was a working gun. It stood in the corner of the farm house with the rest of the guns.
I know nothing of its history prior to about 1930. That's when my father bought it from a cousin of his for $5. The cousin had bought it and paid $8 for it. The cousin got in a tight for money and sold it to Dad for $5. That doesn't sound like much but for Dad at the time it was almost a weeks pay! He was working on a highway construction crew and was making the tremendous sum of 15 cents an hour.
(Luke 11:21 KJV) When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:
(Luke 22:36 KJV) Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.