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Old December 9, 2019, 02:42 AM   #1
Granttw4440
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Winchester 1873

Hi have just bought 2 Winchester model 1873 lever action rifles from a elderly collector. both in 44/40, one is 20" round barrel with saddle ring serial no indicates built in 1908
the other is 18"octagon barrel built 1883, with SP at the beginning of the serial no. apart from the serial no there is no other markings on either of the guns, no caliber brand name etc, is this normal for these guns thanks
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Old December 9, 2019, 05:55 AM   #2
jcj54
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The 1873 should be marked on the upper tang behind the hammer with
Winchester Repeating Arms
The caliber marking should be on the bottom of the carrier visible from the bottom of the rifle.
If these are not present I would be concerned.
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Old December 9, 2019, 06:43 AM   #3
Centurion
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The 1873 should be marked on the upper tang behind the hammer with
Winchester Repeating Arms

That's not totally right. Early Winchester 1873 guns just says Model 1873 in the upper tang behind the hammer.

Apart from that, serial numbers could end with letters like A, B, etc. But normally don't begin with any.

I've seen many old copies from Italy, Spain or even Brazil with no markings, maybe this is the case of your guns.

I cannot imagine any reason to have serial numbers but no brand markings other than these guns could be copies.

Last edited by Centurion; December 9, 2019 at 06:57 AM.
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Old December 9, 2019, 04:06 PM   #4
Granttw4440
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thank you for your advise, the serial no are in the right place and end with a B, i have looked in the areas suggested and can not find any markings, i did find what looks like a stylized capital T in front of the lever on the frame of the early octagon barrel rifle
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Old December 10, 2019, 12:03 AM   #5
Grant 14
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As a side note, I believe that the first 73s came out without caliber markings since they were only sold in 44-40. I passed up an 1873 at a gun show one time because I could not find a caliber marking. It may have been a treasure but I didnt know enough to bother to look at the serial number. The serial number on the gun being discussed here would have had a caliber marking. Lots of little interesting bits of information pop up on occasion. Grant.
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