New Navy Arms 1873 Winchester/Turnbull?


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forward observer
June 17, 2014, 02:03 PM
While in my local Wal-Mart, I happened to see a copy of "Guns of the Old West" magazine in the sporting good area and saw enough of interest to buy it.

While flipping through, I saw a small advert for a new reproduction 1873 Winchester to be marketed by Navy Arms, so when I got home I checked it out on the net.

At one time Navy Arms was the major importer of replica black powder muzzle loaders and classic "old West" cartridge rifles, pistols, and shotguns, but as the market dwindled and with the death of Val Forgett, Jr. they seemed to have gotten out of the import repro market completely. Val Forgett III evidently concentrated his efforts in other areas of the industry.

However, now it appears that Navy Arms has gotten together with both Winchester/Miroku and Turnbull to release a new 1873 reproduction.

This little advert doesn't give much more detail than the general features plus the names and a picture. For all intents, it looks like the Uberti sporting rifle with fancier wood, but with a shotgun butt stock instead of the usual crescent.

Navy Arms (http://www.navyarms.com/1873_rifles.html)

I'm assuming the basic rifle will be produced by Miroku, so it will be marked with the Winchester logo. Then the color case hardening will be done by Turnbull, which many feel equals or surpasses the old originals

However nice it is, I find myself wondering if there a potential market for another 1873 repro for fans and the cowboy action crowd--especially at a price point of $2500?

Cheers

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RainDodger
June 17, 2014, 02:31 PM
Wow... beautiful rifle. Looks identical to my Uberti, but with some really gorgeous wood. For more than $1,000 more than the Uberti though... I don't know. That's a lot of cash!

OldBrownDog
June 17, 2014, 03:42 PM
Other than the upgraded wood/case coloring for those with money to burn, I don't see the point. You can get a Winchester 1873, built by Miroku or an Uberti, for $1500 or less. And those are no slackers in the looks or fit/finish departments. So, why?

For $2500, I'd be looking for an original.

forward observer
June 17, 2014, 04:12 PM
Other than the upgraded wood/case coloring for those with money to burn, I don't see the point. You can get a Winchester 1873, built by Miroku or an Uberti, for $1500 or less. And those are no slackers in the looks or fit/finish departments. So, why?

For $2500, I'd be looking for an original.

I agree, but since the advert also mentions that this rifle will come with a short stroke kit installed, it seems that it would be primarily aimed at the cowboy action crowd.

One of the things I have noted from looking at photos on-line of CAS events is that the "baby boomer" generation seems to be the major demographic. For "baby boomer" substitute "old fat retired guys and gals"---a category that I fall into--even though I'm not involved in the sport.

A lot of the people in that category have families raised and mortgages paid off, so they tend to have the disposable income to spend on the sport and the various toys like this that come along.

Just a casual observation based as much on my own personal perspective as anything else.

Cheers

BCRider
June 17, 2014, 09:25 PM
To get a better idea of the value take the price of a Uberti 1873 and add the cost of the short stroke kit, spring kit, magazine tube liner and the other gun smith time needed to prep the rifle for expert level cowboy action shooting. You might be surprised to find out that a lot of folks are already spending this much on their cowboy action rifle. If this one comes with ALL the stuff done and not only the short stroke kit it might well be competitive. It's just a big pill to swallow all at once.

C5rider
June 19, 2014, 11:38 AM
Wow! Good to hear that Navy Arms is getting back in business. I haven't followed them much but did a little research when I located this Navy Arms 1873 Carbine a while back.

To my knowledge, their imports were always on the higher level of quality and I like my 357 levergun quite well!

http://i1282.photobucket.com/albums/a523/Abolig/Guns/NA357_zps32dab255.jpg (http://s1282.photobucket.com/user/Abolig/media/Guns/NA357_zps32dab255.jpg.html)

RainDodger
June 19, 2014, 12:34 PM
For comparison purposes only, here's a shot of the receiver of my Uberti '73 in .357 Magnum.

http://www.hotelling.com/73-1.jpg

forward observer
June 19, 2014, 01:36 PM
RainDodger and C5rider,

I have those same two rifles except my Navy 73 carbine is in 44-40 cal (bottom rifle in 1st pic) and my Uberti
sporting rifle has the pistol grip stock instead of the straight.

Having a straight stock, your Uberti is a close match for the one Navy is going to offer, but at half the price.

There are quite a few smiths and businesses catering to the serious competitors in SASS
and most will do action jobs with short stroke kits in the $300 to $400 range.

In fact several smiths and dealers simply stock and sell current Uberti 1873's already slicked up for competition
with prices ranging from $1380 to $1500. Cody Conagher out of West Virginia is one and Pioneer is another.

Bottom line is that if you can get a comparable Uberti slicked up and ready to go for CAS competition why would you spend an extra $1000 just to have a Turnbull color job, upgraded wood, and a Winchester logo along with the irony of "made in Japan" on the barrel.

I also own one of the new Miroku 1873 with the color case hardened receiver and it is a nice rifle, but my Uberti 1873 is just as nice and was several hundred dollars cheaper. In fact the Uberti looks a lot more like my original antique 1873 than the Miroku does.

Add to that the fact that the Uberti's are more readily available in a wide choice of styles, barrel lengths, and calibers, I just don't see much of a market for a $2500 cowboy action rifle--especially with less options than an Italian copy.

Of course right now people are spending $1900 or more for the new US made 1860 Henry's when they could just as easily get a $1100 Uberti. I've handled one of the US made Henry's and other than nicer figured wood, it is no better than my 1860 Uberti. I'm all for buying US made products, but not to point of almost paying double the price of a quality import.

Cheers

RainDodger
June 19, 2014, 01:43 PM
I would especially balk at the $2,500 price tag because I have no interest in the cowboy action thing. I simply bought my Uberti because I went through this lever rifle phase and it's a beautiful rifle. :) I had always wanted a lever in .357 Magnum for some weird reason that I can't define.

The Navy Arms '73 is gorgeous; that's a fact. Lots-o-money though!

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