1873 Winchester


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Virgil47
January 14, 2014, 05:02 PM
I have an 1873 Winchester rifle that I am considering selling. I have no idea as to the value and would appreciate any help I can get. The serial number is 181394 B and I believe it was made in 1884. It has a 24 inch octagonal barrel. The rifle is in decent condition but it does have a few issues.

http://oi44.tinypic.com/miyo0n.jpg

http://oi40.tinypic.com/52dv9y.jpg

http://oi44.tinypic.com/a1u9vk.jpg

In this picture you can see that there is a small hole in the stock. It doesn't go all the way through however.

http://oi40.tinypic.com/2q36kh3.jpg

http://oi40.tinypic.com/10z8bno.jpg

http://oi41.tinypic.com/smv8cp.jpg

http://oi44.tinypic.com/k9hzwp.jpg

http://oi40.tinypic.com/15n3t36.jpg

In this picture you can see a small crack in the fore-stock. It's approximately 4 inches long.

http://oi42.tinypic.com/14xnjwp.jpg

It's missing a small screw at the end of the fore-stock.

http://oi44.tinypic.com/2ziublx.jpg

http://oi42.tinypic.com/2hcn89i.jpg

http://oi43.tinypic.com/eagmk8.jpg

The dust cover on top appears to not be original. It has a much newer appearance. It does retract when you open the action, but it must be closed manually and doesn't quite close all the way.

http://oi43.tinypic.com/35lvkhd.jpg

I didn't get any pictures of the bore, but there's a bit of pitting inside, the rifling is clearly visible however. The rifle is definitely in fairly rough condition but everything appears to be functional.

Any help with pricing information or any other information that you can share about the rifle would be much appreciated!

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Armybrat
January 14, 2014, 09:47 PM
Pretty clean lookin' '73 from your few pictures. I've got several of them but am no expert.

Ask Bert on the Winchester Collectors forum here- that gentleman is a scholar when it comes to leverguns:

http://www.winchestercollector.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=3&sid=1216522916f791d757d7a5cdbf877894

Centaur 1
January 14, 2014, 10:19 PM
All I can say is, Wow that's a gorgeous rifle. Whatever it is worth now, the value will surely outpace the stock market.

CoalTrain49
January 15, 2014, 12:42 PM
I don't collect Winchesters but I will offer up what I think I know. Prices vary wildly with condition and documentation regarding the history of the gun. These get listed at some unbelievable prices but never sell. If it has documented historical significance such as an famous outlaw or sheriff owning the gun it will be worth top dollar. Generally speaking the buyer won't be shooting it unless they reload which narrows your market considerably. I've seen old 94's in good condition sold for under 1K recently. Obviously yours will be worth considerably more as it is the Holy Grail so to speak for those who look for old Winchesters. Trying to find sales data is difficult because so few are actually for sale and even fewer sold.

First off, contact the Cody Firearms Museum in WY. They provide a service to research when the gun was made and where it was shipped originally. They have the original Winchester records. They also might be able to tell you if it has historical significance. There is a fee but you need to know these things before you sell it. Perspective buyers want to know at least a little history of the gun.

Having sold a few older firearms I know how hard it is to find a buyer. Whatever you do don't sell it for peanuts. If it were mine I would ask $5000 for it and see what happens from there.

Arkansas Paul
January 15, 2014, 01:10 PM
Generally speaking the buyer won't be shooting it unless they reload which narrows your market considerably.

The barrel says .38 caliber. I'm assuming that means .38-40? If so, ammunition is readily available online. If it means a different .38, you may indeed be correct.

There is a sticky at the top of a company that offers appraisals online by just sending in detailed photos. Might be worth a try.

CoalTrain49
January 15, 2014, 02:32 PM
The barrel says .38 caliber. I'm assuming that means .38-40? If so, ammunition is readily available online. If it means a different .38, you may indeed be correct.

There is a sticky at the top of a company that offers appraisals online by just sending in detailed photos. Might be worth a try.

I missed that. That will help you sell it. Ammo is about $2.50 a round unless you reload. The market will more than likely be cowboy action shooters unless it has high condition or can be linked to some historical event.

Ask around over here. You may get a few low ball offers to get you started on trying to determine a realistic value.

http://sassnet.com/forums/index.php?showforum=12

I just looked at Gunbroker and they seem to be selling for around $2500, but this one may be worth more.

Virgil47
January 15, 2014, 09:33 PM
Thanks for the information and suggestions so far.

I updated the original post with quite a few more pictures and information.

Speedo66
January 16, 2014, 03:33 PM
The barrel says .38 caliber. I'm assuming that means .38-40? If so, ammunition is readily available online. If it means a different .38, you may indeed be correct.

There is a sticky at the top of a company that offers appraisals online by just sending in detailed photos. Might be worth a try.
An 1873 marked "38" is indeed .38-40, or as originally, .38WCF (Winchester Central Fire).

"Ammo is about $2.50 a round unless you reload."

.38-40 ammo is expensive, but not nearly that expensive. At that rate it would work out to $125/box of 50. It can be had on line, depending on manufacturer, for $50-75/box for factory ammo. Reloads less, of course. Once you get brass, it's not a difficult or expensive cartridge to reload.

I have an 1873 in the same caliber and it's a pleasure to shoot. My barrel shoots way above what you would think looking at it. I have no trouble hitting bowling pins at 60 yards.

Someone is going to get a fun gun.

Arkansas Paul
January 16, 2014, 04:07 PM
.38-40 ammo is expensive, but not nearly that expensive.

Correct.
Black Hills ammo is listed at Midway for $40.90 a box of 50.
They are out of stock, but you can backorder.

Jim K
January 17, 2014, 12:21 AM
I am pretty sure the dust cover is a repro; if it is that might reduce the value a bit.

Jim

Virgil47
January 20, 2014, 12:22 PM
Thanks to all who have responded to my query. I think I'll send away for a letter of authenticity and see what I find. Again thanks for your help.

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