Rare Winchester M1873 Saddle Ring Carbine in .44-40—Exceptional!
A rare Winchester Model 1873 Saddle Ring Carbine (SRC) in exceptional condition and in the desirable caliber .44-40. Serial number 29662XB — thus made circa 1889. Of the more than 750,000 Model 1873s 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. It displays fine wood with very tight wood to metal fit, showing that the walnut stock and forend have not been sanded, but a coat of protective lacquer appears to have been applied at some point. The metal on the receiver, the correct 20” barrel and magazine display most of their original blue! (see the photos.) 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 dust cover is also intact and fairly tight which is unusual as most are either sloppy loose or entirely missing from this model, especially on carbines. The correct carbine buttplate has the brass sliding trap door for cleaning rod storage. The barrel top has clear, crisp markings (typical “King’s Improvement…”), so this carbine does not appear to have been refinished. 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. Even ones in rough condition have been fetching $6,000 at recent auctions. To find one with so much original bluing is truly exceptional. This is by far the nicest Winchester M1873 SRC that I’ve ever held in my hands. (UCIA-883)