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Hello everyone

 

I am new to iKnife Collector.  Just joined recently.  I not only have a knife collection but am also into guns and hunting.

Here are some photos of my favorite gun.  It is a Model 1873 Winchester rifle.  It was manufactured in 1891.  It is .38-40 caliber.

I hope my father didn't put too much money into it.  He paid $5 for it.  His cousin had bought it for $8 and needed some money and sold it to Dad.  That doesn't sound like a lot now but when he bought it about 1930, he was making 15 cents an hour.   At the time it was almost a weeks pay for him.

It may not be in mint condition, but for being over 120 years old, it is not in bad condition.  Mechanically it is perfect.  It still shoots just fine.  For nearly the first century of its life it received no special treatment.  It just stood in the corner with the rest of the guns.  It was a using gun.

I wish I knew its history between 1891 and 1930.  Who knows what stories it could tell if it could talk.

 

  

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Replies to This Discussion

Awesome post, beautiful piece of family and Winchester history right there. I'm sure if that rifle could talk, it would have some amazing stories to tell.

If you ever want to make the $5 back, let me know.

Welcome to the Arsenal, I can't wait to see the rest.

Glad to have you aboard. The gun that won the west. How lucky you are to have such a fine Winchester.

I am afraid you would have to raise your bid quite a bit.  I have been offered double my money back and once even triple my money!   But, seriously, I would have to be in awful dire straits before I would even consider selling it.

I would love to know its history between being shipped from the factory in 1891 and when my father bought it around 1930.  I do know he bought it from a cousin who paid $8 for it and got in a tight for money and sold it to dad for $5.  I have no idea how long the cousin had it or who he got it from.  I believe they sold new for about $20.

johnny twoshoes said:

Awesome post, beautiful piece of family and Winchester history right there. I'm sure if that rifle could talk, it would have some amazing stories to tell.

If you ever want to make the $5 back, let me know.

Welcome to the Arsenal, I can't wait to see the rest.

Well, it's an awesome piece and really a standout among any collection.

I bet it's been used to put food on the table a few times too, right?

Welcome to the club, Charles. That is a fine old rifle. Winchester made pistols and rifles in the same cartrigde. A man could carry one type of ammo for both guns. Years ago, I was able to shoot a .38-.40 Winchester, very sweet shooting gun, not made for long distance shooting though. A pistol bullet in a rifle has some limitations. You can't eat your cake and have it to.lol Thanks for posting the story and pictures.

Excellent story and pic!  Yep, he paid good money for it and hard earned $ too I'll bet.  Nice that it stayed with the family and that you can enjoy the rifle and the history.  Thanks for sharing

Robert

Yes, you could get rifles and pistols that shot the same cartridge.  And not only in .38-40 but in several different cartridges.  But Winchester never made a pistol.  The .38-40 was developed as a rifle cartridge.  It was introduced in the '73 Winchester and then pistol makers started chambering pistols for it.  One of which was Colt in the Model P, often called Single Action Army or Peacemaker also introduced in 1873.  I believe at one time there was an agreement between Colt and Winchester that Colt would not make rifles and Winchester would not make pistols.

There were three main chamberings in the '73, .44-40, .38-40, and .32-20.  The first number in each case of course is the caliber.  The second number was the grains of black powder that were loaded in each cartridge.  The official designation for each cartridge was .44 WCF, .38 WCF, and .32 WCF.  The WCF stood for Winchester Central Fire.

An interesting bit of history on the .44 and .38 is that both were deliberately misnamed by Winchester.  The .44 was actually about .43 caliber and the .38 was actually .40 caliber.  It was a marketing ploy on Winchester's part to make the two cartridges seem more different than they actually were.

Robert Burris said:

Welcome to the club, Charles. That is a fine old rifle. Winchester made pistols and rifles in the same cartrigde. A man could carry one type of ammo for both guns. Years ago, I was able to shoot a .38-.40 Winchester, very sweet shooting gun, not made for long distance shooting though. A pistol bullet in a rifle has some limitations. You can't eat your cake and have it to.lol Thanks for posting the story and pictures.

 I'll  give you $10.00.  What a treasure. Do you know the origin of the Ham Radio operator's sign off  "73s"?

 Telegraph operators in the old  wild
west days. would sign off or close with "73" or 73s"  It meant that they owned a Winchester 1873 rifle and that  when they died , maybe  sooner than later  if kilt by injuns, they would give it to the other operator.
Hense '73' meant I will will you  my 73 rifle.  At least  that's what a Ham operstor and Gun collector friend told me. Caveat. Hams are kinda of Bee Essers, I guess they are lonely or something.

Ken,

Cool information!!!

ken benson said:

 I'll  give you $10.00.  What a treasure. Do you know the origin of the Ham Radio operator's sign off  "73s"?

 Telegraph operators in the old  wild
west days. would sign off or close with "73" or 73s"  It meant that they owned a Winchester 1873 rifle and that  when they died , maybe  sooner than later  if kilt by injuns, they would give it to the other operator.
Hense '73' meant I will will you  my 73 rifle.  At least  that's what a Ham operstor and Gun collector friend told me. Caveat. Hams are kinda of Bee Essers, I guess they are lonely or something.

Charles , my thanks for updating the photos. Its quite an amazing story and indeed you have another treasure in that gun.

It's a Dusie, a keeper for sure.

That stock is just gorgeous and doccumation to go along with the family oral history...very nice.

I'm gonna have to "shoot" you a pic of my '94 though no history to tell.

Michael

I will love to see the pictures of your '94.  The reason for the knife give away contest is to promote interest in and participation in the Arsenal group.  And I thank you for joining.

The old timers must have liked the '73.  Even though the '92 and '94 Winchesters were much stronger actions than the '73, Winchester continued to sell the 1873 until 1924.

One thing I like about my '73 is when I throw it too my shoulder with my cheek on the stock and look down the barrel, the front and rear sights are in exact alignment.  Very sweet handling.

Oh BTW, I have this Winchester knife too.

Winchester Model 1873 Commerorative Pen Knife 1987-1 (1)

Go to this link and you can see the picture much larger.

http://www.iknifecollector.com/photo/winchester-model-1873-commeror...


Michael Kelley Sr. said:

It's a Dusie, a keeper for sure.

That stock is just gorgeous and doccumation to go along with the family oral history...very nice.

I'm gonna have to "shoot" you a pic of my '94 though no history to tell.

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