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Lot 1011: Excellent Winchester Third Model 1873 Lever Action Musket with Socket Bayonet
December 1, 2012
Rock Island, IL, USALive Auction
Estimate: $5500 - 8000
This is an excellent example of a Winchester Model 1873 Lever Action Musket that was manufactured in 1903. This musket was part of a lot of over 700 muskets in the 560,000-571,000 serial number range that were shipped to Central America in September 1903. In the 1950s a number of these muskets were discovered in their original crates and were returned to the United States in unfired condition. The musket has the distinctive 30 inch round barrel with full-length forearm and three barrel bands. The barrel has a block front sight that serves as a bayonet lug and a military style folding leaf rear sight with 900 yard center notch. The Third Style frame has an integral dust cover guide and a dust cover with serrated edges. The stock has a carbine-style buttplate with sliding brass trap door. Sling swivels are mounted on the middle barrel band and the stock. The barrel, magazine, barrel bands, receiver and dust cover have the Winchester commercial blue finish. The loading gate is a fiery niter blue. The hammer, loading lever and buttplate have a color casehardened finish. The straight grain walnut stock and forearm are oil-finished. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the two-line legend "WINCHESTER'S REPEATING ARMS. NEW HAVEN. CT./KING'S IMPROVEMENT PATENTED. MARCH 29. 1866. OCTOBER 16. 1860." ahead of the rear sight. The caliber "44 W.C.F." is roll-stamped on the top of the barrel between the rear sight and the receiver. "44 CAL." is stamped in script on the bottom of the cartridge elevator. "- MODEL. 1873-" is roll-stamped in fancy letters on the upper tang with foliate devices on either end of the marking. The serial number, "570121B" is stamped in script on the lower tang behind the lever latch. The musket is complete with the four-piece jointed steel cleaning rod in the butt trap and is fitted with a WWI issue web Kerr Sling. The socket bayonet is finished bright and has an 18-inch angular blade. The bayonet is not marked.
BBL: 30 inch round
Gauge: 44 WCF
Serial Number: 570121B
Condition: Excellent plus. The musket retains 98% of the bright original Winchester blue and color casehardened finish. There is little significant finish wear on the barrel, magazine or receiver. The sides of the barrel bands have some extensive minor storage scuff marks. The loading gate has most of the bright niter blue finish. The brass cartridge elevator has a mellow un-touched patina. The case colors on the hammer, lever and buttplate are vivid and the finish is nearly all remain. The markings on the barrel frame and cartridge elevator are very crisp. The stock and forearm are in excellent condition and retain nearly all of the original oil finish; wear is limited to a minor storage mark on the right side of the stock and forearm and several very insignificant handling marks. The bayonet is excellent and retains most of the original bright finish with some scattered and minor age discoloration. This is an outstanding example of a Winchester Third Model 1873 Lever Action Musket in unused condition.