A rare early production Winchester Model 1873 Saddle Ring Carbine (SRC) in the desirable caliber .44-40, serial number 11508X, made in 1883. Of the more than 750,000 Model 1873’s made by Winchester less than one third were carbines, and of those carbines, the most powerful caliber was .44-40. This is the most desirable M1873 variant, for collectors. Because Saddle Ring Carbines often got rough treatment carried horseback for decades on western ranches, most of these guns were damaged and got heavy wear to their exterior. This example came out of a ranch in Arizona. It displays fine wood with very tight wood to metal fit, showing that the walnut stock and forend have not been sanded or replaced. The forend shows some honest saddle wear on the rear right side. The metal on the receiver, correct 20” barrel and magazine display a wonderful soft aged blue patina with fine original blue on the loading gate. One small dent in magazine tube that should not impede cartridge feeding. The original rotary charging lever lock is intact and functional. The unpolished brass lifter on the bottom of the receiver displays a desirable mustard yellow uncleaned finish. It retains the original front sight and saddle ring. The rear sight is a simple buckhorn often seen on early production 1873 Saddle Ring Carbines where the rear sight dovetail is cut too close to the receiver for the more common later style ladder rear sight with longer base. The dust cover, although slightly loose, is also intact which is unusual as most are missing from this model, especially on carbines. The correct carbine buttplate has the brass sliding trap door for cleaning rod storage and the lever catch is also intact and functional, albeit loose. The barrel top is clearly marked in two lines: “WINCHESTER’S-REPEATING-ARMS NEW HAVEN CT” over “KING’S IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED- MARCH 29, 1866 OCTOBER 16, 1860.” The upper tang is also clearly marked “MODEL 1873.” The action is tight and fully functioning. In all, an exceptional early example 1873 Winchester Saddle Ring Carbine in superior, unaltered, original condition. These are significantly more rare than the Winchester 1873 rifle version. The survival rate of pre-1885 Model 1873 Saddle Ring Carbines is small. (UPEA-944)
Smith & Wesson DA .44-40, blued, with the scarce 4 inch barrel. (Most of these were made in nickel finish with 6.5″ barrels.) Has an early 4 digit serial number (989X) and high amount of original high polish blue finish with most blue loss and flaking to cylinder. There is unusually strong case coloring on the hammer and trigger. All screw heads are in perfect shape. The original black gutta percha rips have sharp checkering and no cracks. Barrel is shiny and has strong sharp rifling with just some small scattered areas of light pitting. Action is in good working order with tight lock up. (ENII-444) $3,250
Belgian-made copy of a S&W .44 Double Action revolver. This revolver is a six shot, double action model with a 6-inch barrel and is chambered in 44-40 Winchester — as is marked (“For .44. Winchester Cartridge”) on the barrel rib. There is no maker marking. Marked “Belgium” on the left side of the frame and serial number 183X on the right side of the frame along with typical Belgian proof marks. The action works fine in double and single action with good timing, but the lock-up at full cock is slightly wobbly. The bore is good, and looks quite shootable with sharp rifling, but some pitting. I’d rate the bore at 6/10. The smooth walnut grips are good looking and well-proportioned but possibly replacements and the grip screw nut (brass) is definitely a replacement. (See photos.) Also included in a very nice condition Lawrence of Oregon pre-WW2 leather shoulder holster (for a right-hander) that fits quite well. (IUS-711) $995
Scarce Smith and Wesson Double Action Frontier chambered in .44-40 Winchester. Here is another great “off the ranch” revolver, from north-central Idaho. Has a 6-1/2″ barrel, 1-9/16″ cylinder, fixed sights, DA/SA action, and original black gutta percha grips that are worn and faded to a pleasant chocolate brown. Single action mechanism locks back but the hammer will release with thumb pressure. Double action works well and locks the cylinder tightly. Bore shows light pitting but is bright, with good rifling. Serial numbers match on butt, cylinder, latch, barrel, and grips. Grips are also inscribed inside with the name “Sam Penny” on one side and “Lapwai, Idaho” on the other. Original nickel finish is only about 70% but the factory markings are clear. One grip panel has a chip, and there are some small indentations at the butt, where this revolver’s frame was apparently used at least once, to drive tacks. (So you can tell folks: “This gun is a tack driver.”) Please see photos for details. Manufactured between 1886-1898, with just 15,340 produced. (The mast majority of antique S&&W large frame DAs were chambered in .44. S&W Russian.) This one falls in the middle of that range at #642X — circa 1892. EPLS-616)
Rare antique Smith and Wesson New Model 3 Single Action in the unusual .44-40 chambering. Like many others, this one has had the barrel bobbed to 5-1/4″ length and a Lyman front sight installed. The serial number is 201X, making it 1896 or 1897 production. The New Model 3 borrowed the barrel-mounted frame latch and rounded butt design from the S&W double action top break design. I was told that the original owner of this revolver was a trapper and lawman in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan who carried this revolver in his official capacity. Most Model 3 SAs were made in .44 S&W Russian. But less than 1,000 of these were made in .44-40 and I doubt that there are more than a few dozen of those in good working condition, like this one. This revolver’s mechanical function is quite good. There’s one small area of pitting on the left side of the barrel, near the muzzle. (See photos.) The cylinder, chambers, and barrel are clean and free of rust. This would make a fantastic SASS competition revolver, or just a practical shooter. (LUIU-468).
Belgian-made Montenegrin revolver. This massive revolver is a five shot, double action model and is chambered in 44-40 Winchester. The frame is marked “44”. The action works fine in double and single action with good timing and tight lock up. The frame is marked “BELGIUM”. The bore is good, with distinct rifling with some pits, but it is need of a good cleaning. So to be safe I’d rate it at 5/10. The metal is mostly patina with some shallow pitting. The bluing on the cylinder is remarkably good,, for its age. It has bone grips. The extractor ring lifts and drops, but is not the type that pops down automatically. While not a very practical shooter, it is a working .44-40 and definitely has a great Steampunk vibe. (IEL-588) $925
Belgian-made Montenegrin revolver. This massive revolver is a five shot, double action model and is chambered in .44-40 Winchester. Barrel rib is marked “.44 Winchester Cartridge” . The action works fine in double and single action with good timing and tight lock up. The frame is marked “BELGIUM”. The bore is good, with distinct rifling and some scattered pits. I’d rate it at 5/10. Metal in now mostly patina, with some pitting. It has bone grips. While not a very practical shooter, it is a working .44-40, and it definitely has a great Steampunk vibe. (IEL-587) $975