Rare Winchester M1873 Saddle Ring Carbine in .44-40

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-KK-944)





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