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Philip Van Cleave
Philip Van Cleave, Firearms Instructor
Category: Firearms
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Experience:  Firearms instructor, 40 years experience with firearms.
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Hello, I have a Winchester model 1873, Kings Improvement serial

Resolved Question:

Hello, I have a Winchester model 1873, Kings Improvement serial #68456 with a round barrel and 44 caliber. There is no cleaning rod in the butt plate. Everything is operational on the gun. The stock is weathered a bit but it is still shiny. There are a few minor rust spots on the the barrel. Just wondering what the low end value would be.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Firearms
Expert:  Philip Van Cleave replied 2 years ago.
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The Winchester Model 1873 was one of the most popular lever-action rifles produced by Winchester. It was referred to as "the gun that won the West" and it did. It was originally chambered for the more powerful .44-40 centerfire cartridge. When compared to the .44 Henry, the .44-40 was twice as good. Later the gun would also be chambered in .38-40 in 1879, the .32-20 in 1882, and a .22 caliber rimfire in 1894. None of those last 3 cartridge chamberings was as popular as the .44-40. In 1878 the single-action Colt revolver was chambered in .44-40, allowing a person to carry a rifle and a handgun that used the same cartridge.

Model 1873s had an iron receiver until 1884, when the receiver became steel.

There were three configurations of the 1873:

1. Sporting Rifle, which has a 24 inch round, octagon, or half-and-half barrel. It has a crescent buttplate, a straight-grip stock with a capped forearm.

2. Carbine, which has a 20 inch round barrel, a rounded iron buttplate, a straight-grip stock, and a carbine style forend that is fastened to the gun with a single barrel band.

3. Musket, which has a 30 inch round barrel, a nearly full-length forearm, 3 barrel bands, and a rounded buttplate.

The gun was made from 1873 until 1919, with about 720,000 guns made.

The Model 1873 was offered with many extra-cost options that can greatly affect the value of the gun. For guns with such features, which can bring a lot of money, it is best to get a hands-on appraisal of the gun.

Model 1873s with a case colored receiver will bring a premium.

There are three models:

* First - serial numbers 1 through 31000

* Second - serial numbers 31000 through 90000

* Third - serial numbers 90000 and up

Based on the provided serial number, your gun is the Second Model and was made in 1881.

Wholesale/Dealer values (add around 20% for retail values) for a Model 1873 Sporting Rifle, 2nd Model:

Excellent: $12,000
Very Good: $9,000-$11,000
Good: $6,600-$8,700
Fair: $1,300-$4,500
Poor: $800

Values for a Carbine:

Excellent: $20,500
Very Good: $15,750-$17,750
Good: $11,000-$13,000
Fair: $2,500-$9,000
Poor: $1,200

Values for a musket:

Excellent: $6,250
Very Good: $5,000-$5,600
Good: $3,500-$4,200
Fair: $1,400-$3,000
Poor: $1,200

I hope this helps. If you are satisfied with my answer, please click the "accept" button. Thanks!

Philip
Philip Van Cleave, Firearms Instructor
Category: Firearms
Satisfied Customers: 2971
Experience: Firearms instructor, 40 years experience with firearms.
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