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Winchester Model 1873 .44-40 Value Question?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by CBO3, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. CBO3

    CBO3 New Member

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    Jul 3, 2012
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    Hello, I am new to this particular site & after browsing around for a bit, I think I'll be stay a while!:D I have a couple questions and need some clarification & hopefully a ballpark value of a Winchester 1873 rifle that I have.

    Winchester Model 1873 .44-40 cal.
    *Serial No.102599 &(A) but after researching that portion of s/n is unknown.
    *Original 24" full round bbl & mag.
    *Original metal has a plumish brown coloration, but overall good condition.
    *Wood is in good/sound condition with a few dings & mars.
    *It is missing the 'dust cover', but do have another 1873 that I can replace
    it from if really necessary?? Recommended?
    *Question: there is a '2' on the under portion of the receiver, directly under
    the lever action (I think called the lower tang?) What is the meaning of
    this, if any at all?
    * I would assume it to be a 3rd model, but can someone validate that?
    *Is it worth getting the letter from the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody, WY?

    Any & all information & input is welcome and GREATLY APPRECIATED!!

    Will upload more close-up & full pictures in tomorrow hopefully. Have a happy and safe 4th!

    Attached Files:

  2. CBO3

    CBO3 New Member

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    More Pictures

    Attached Files:

  3. CBO3

    CBO3 New Member

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    And also any suggestions on light cleaning would help? Flackseed Oil, Burlap Sacks, any specific wood cleaner/conditioner, etc...? Thanks! I will use the 'search' tool as well.
  4. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,097
    You basically have a 130 year old rifle that has lived a rugged life. There is nothing anyone can do to change that fact, or improve its overall condition; and trying to do so is not going to deceive knowledgeable persons who typically purchase these rifles today.

    My advice is to use nothing more aggressive than a cotton rag, light bodied oil, and only a moderate amount of "elbow grease" (i.e. rubbing).

    If the ultimate buyer thinks that he/she can improve it using more aggressive methods; fine. You can always do more to try to improve the appearance of old things; but once you do so, you cannot reverse the process. Most serious collectors consider most restoration practices as devaluing.

    As to the likely value of this rifle, after consulting a well know internet gun auction site, I opine that it will fetch at least $1000.00 and will not bring as much as $2000.00. If you type in something like "gun auctions" from any search engine, like Google; you can get a very good idea of what just about any gun will actually sell for in today's marketplace.

    Hope this helps.
  5. Bert H.

    Bert H. Member

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    Location:
    Washington State (Puget Sound Region)
    Hello,

    Your Model 1873 is a very late production Second Model rifle. The condition of the rifle is rather rough, and it does not warrant doing anything other than a standard cleaning.

    Bert H.
  6. CBO3

    CBO3 New Member

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    Thank you BOTH for the information you have provided. I just wanted to get a better idea on exactly what I've got. Bert-does the "2" on the lower tang directly relate to it being a second model?
    Another thing that I nothiced is in actually says .45 cal. on the lower portion of the brass elevator...does this mean it has been rechambered at some point??
  7. Goody

    Goody Member

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    Jun 1, 2006
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    350
    Winchester never chambered the 73 in 45. The early 45's, lets say until CAS got popular in the 80's, had very small rims that were nor suited to being grabbed by an extractor and pulled from the chamber. I suppose that someone may have altered this gun, but it would be more than a rechamber. The bore on the 44wcf is a nominal .425-.427, the 45 is .452-.454. IIRC the carrier on the 44 was not marked, the 38's and down were.

    Maybe someone has replaced the carrier with a current reproduction one, however they are not marked that I am aware of either.
  8. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    From what I can see of that elevator, it has some marking that is not factory.

    The .44 carrier was not marked until the introduction of the .38 and .32 calibers; even then marking was not consistent. The marking was always in a script form that was lightly stamped even though it looks to be engraved.

    Jim
  9. CBO3

    CBO3 New Member

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    Here are a couple other pics of the elevator/carrier... Must have been altered at some point?

    Attached Files:

  10. Bert H.

    Bert H. Member

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    Location:
    Washington State (Puget Sound Region)
    Yes, it has been altered/modified from original. The original "44" caliber marking on the elevator was intentionally removed (filed off).

    In looking back through your pictures, it is actually a Third Model versus a Second Model.

    Bert H.
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