1048: Scarce Early Production First Model Winchester 18
This is a fine, original example of an 1874 production Winchester First Model 1873 lever action rifle with Cody Firearms Museum letter. The letter states that the rifle was shipped from the Winchester warehouse on July 28, 1874, equipped with a 24-inch octagon barrel and set-trigger. The rifle has the early First Model receiver with raised dust cover guides and first style dust cover with finely checkered raised oval "thumb-print". The tang has the early threaded lever latch. The trigger lacks the trigger block fitted on later models and is secured by an internal pin. The upper tang is factory drilled and tapped for a tang-mounted rear sight. The full octagon barrel has a dove-tail mounted sporting front sight with brass blade and a sporting rear sight with checkered rear edges. The buttplate has a sliding brass trap door. The rifle has a blue finish on the barrel, magazine, forearm cap and receiver. The hammer, loading lever and crescent buttplate are casehardened. The stock and forearm are straight grain black walnut. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped "WINCHESTER'S-REPEATING ARMS.NEW HAVEN.CT./KING'S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29. 1866. OCTOBER 16.1860". The upper receiver tang is roll-stamped "MODEL 1873". The serial number, "1580" is stamped in script numerals behind the lever latch.
BBL: 24 inch octagon
Serial Number: 1580
Fine. The rifle retains 60% of the original blue finish. Substantial amounts of the original blue finish are present on the barrel flats, magazine tube and forearm cap. The balance has a dark brown patina. The dust cover, side plates and the top and sides of the receiver retain most of the original blue finish. The lower portion of the receiver, upper tang and edges of the side plates show moderate finish loss and light scratches and handling marks. Traces of casehardened finish are present on the hammer and lever; the balance is a silver-gray patina. The brass cartridge elevator has an attractive age patina. The case colors on the buttplate have faded to a silver patina; the buttplate has scattered patches of age discoloration. The forearm and stock are both in fine condition with scattered, minor, handling marks and scratches. Mechanically functions fine, but hammer occasionally falls as the trigger is extremely light on the pull, and the set screw has been milled flush with the trigger. This is a fine example of a scarce and very desirable early First Model Winchester 1873 rifle.