I love reliable, high quality US rifles and guns! This 1873 .44-40 Winchester carbine was made in 1881 and still works like a swiss watch! Shoot Straight!
The Model 1873 was one of the most successful Winchester rifles of its day, gaining the reputation as „The Gun that Won the West“. Still an icon in the modern day, it was manufactured between 1873 and 1919. Originally chambered for the .44-40 cartridge, it was later produced in .38-40 and .32-20, all of which were also popular handgun cartridges of the day, allowing users to carry just one type of ammunition. The Model 1873 was produced in three variations: a 24-inch barrel rifle, 20-inch barrel carbine, and a „musket“ (a term that, at the time, denoted a full length military-style stock, not to be confused with a true smoothbore musket). The easy to transport and handle carbine was the most popular, while the musket accounted for less than 5–10 percent of total production.
Due to feeding problems, the original Model 1873 was never offered in the military standard .45 Colt cartridge, although a number of modern reproductions are chambered for the round. The popularity of the original Model 1873 led Colt to manufacture a .44-40 version of the Single Action Army revolver called the „Frontier Six Shooter“.
To both celebrate and enhance the Model 1873’s prestige, Winchester established a coveted One of One Thousand grade in 1875. Barrels producing unusually small groupings during test-firing were fitted to rifles with set triggers and a special finish. Marked One of One Thousand, they sold for a then princely $100. A popular 1950 Western starring Jimmy Stewart, „Winchester ’73„, was based on the coveted gun. Promotions included a search for One of One Thousand rifles by Universal Studios, with advertisements in sporting magazines and posters in sporting goods stores.
A second grade of Model 1873 barrels producing above average accuracy were fitted to rifles marked One of One Hundred, and sold for $20 over list. Approximately 136 One of One Thousand Model 1873s were sold, and only eight One of One Hundreds.
In all, over 720,000 Model 1873s were produced. Long unavailable, the rifle returned to production under license from the Olin company in 2013, joining the Model 1892 and theModel 1894 being manufactured in Japan by the Miroku Corporation for FN/Browning. The new ten shot Model 1873 is only available with a 20″ round barrel chambered in .357 Magnum/.38 Special. Nearly faithful in design to the original, including the trigger disconnect safety, sliding dustcover, and a crescent-shaped buttplate. It incorporates two safety improvements: a firing pin block preventing it from moving forward unless the trigger is pulled, and a cartridge carrier modification to eject used casings away from the shooter.