1873 Winchester iron receivers

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Walker
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1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Walker »

Hey Guys, the local shop has an old 1873 SRC manufactured in 1880. No splits in the wood and no pitting, barrel markings are still legible but there's not any visible blueing left that I could find. I can still see rifling in the barrel but it looks like about 140 years worth of crud that needs cleaned. Is there a definite year or serial number when Winchester switched from iron to steel receivers? What do I need to be aware of, they're asking $1000 for it.
20201021_160044.jpg
Thanks,

Terry
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Last edited by Walker on Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
M. M. Wright
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by M. M. Wright »

Is it a 44? Probably. My experience has been that my SRC, made in 1885, has a barrel that slugs .431. I opened up a mold to cast a bullet that size and just pan lube them. I don't know about the cast iron but suppose they never changed to forged steel. You can buy new links that are of the finest steel. I did. I even bought another barrel and it too slugs .431 so I bought a new Miroku built Winchester SRC and guess what? .431 diameter when I slugged it. If it's all there and you think you can get it shooting, buy it. $1000 is cheap for a 73, even a Uberti will cost you that much or more. Nothing is smoother operating and you need to be shooting black anyway. Why let us darksiders have all the fun? Oh, and shooting black will shine that bore up too.
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Walker »

Yup, it's a 44 but too early to be marked as one. It's got the early flip up rear sight and barrel mounted front sight... think I'm going to like that combo. Saw your mention of the new steel links in an earlier thread and ordered a set last night.

Thanks!
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Sixgun »

Good buy Walker.....SRC's are more desirable than rifles and bring probably 30% more, condition for condition..era..to era....and early one like that is easily worth double what they are asking.....

What to look for? ...a million things.....just use common sense, ask questions to the LGS and see if he looks you in the eye when answering them.....ask him the history, if he knows of any.....I'd be more concerned with the mechanics than anything....ask him if you can pop off the sideplate for a look see....you might find some JB Weld or a regular weld holding things together just good enough for a sale as they know most people don't shoot the old guns.

I can feel a guy out real easy if he's bs or not......the best dealers are the ones who honestly don't know nothing about the old guns and they tell you, "some guy told me what it's worth"---6
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Walker
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Walker »

I've been dealing with the owner for about 15 years and he's always been square with me. I'll ask what he knows about it. It wasn't out on display yet but they let me prowl around the stuff they just get in. He probably hasn't taken the side plate off yet either, hadn't even priced it until I asked which nut they wanted for it. I've gotten some pretty nice deals from just asking about items that just came in.
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Griff »

I'd probably offer $700 or a bit more for it... Original '73s, unless they're in "collector" condition, or in a rare chambering... are far less than their Uberti clones. As said before, although '73s were made up into the smokeless era, they weren't make with steel receivers until the clones came out in the 1950s.
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Sixgun »

Griff wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:10 pm
As said before, although '73s were made up into the smokeless era, they weren't make with steel receivers until the clones came out in the 1950s.
I didn't know that myself...I thought the change over to steel was in the mid 1880's so I looked it up.---006

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Walker
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Walker »

Hey Six, what book is that?
Griff, I'm dropping by that shop tomorrow to get more photos and see what he'll do on price.
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Sixgun »

Walker wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:35 pm
Hey Six, what book is that?
Griff, I'm dropping by that shop tomorrow to get more photos and see what he'll do on price.
Here ya go Terry......I have them on the one pictured, the 1886, 1894, 1892 and 1895. They also make them on WW2 guns and 45-70 Springfields. The most detailed books on the old Winchesters I have ever seen. ..... Six

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Walker
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Walker »

Thanks, I'll be picking up a set.
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Griff »

Never knew that Six. Thanks for that info. I'll be searching for that book myself.
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Ray »

m.A.g.a. !
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Walker »

https://adobe.ly/37Hdrj5

The bore actually looks decent although the pic doesn't show it. A grand was as low as he'd go, he's had several new 1873s on the rack and they move pretty well. The stocks have been re-oiled.
Last edited by Walker on Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Walker »

The bore is actually shiny and rifling looks well defined if not sharp. I'll have to run a bore scope when it's finally home. I might have got it cheaper by waiting but I'm just tickled to get it. I'll make up for it in a future trade. Wish my Dad could have shot it.
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Alphawolf45 »

The iron used in the Win. 1873 and '76 would have been wrought iron and certainly up to the challenge of standing to the pressure of cartridges of the era. Also due to the silicon and other impurities in the iron matrix there is an inherent resistance to rusting . Forged wrought iron parts are good stuff , cast iron with it's much higher level of carbon is the stuff to worry over.
Rather easy to identify forged iron parts as there is grain visible where there is wear or has been surface rusting.
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Walker »

Interesting, I didn't have any idea how to tell the difference. Thanks!!!
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by M. M. Wright »

I certainly didn't know about the iron/steel in the 73s so thanks 6, that's good info to have.
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Sixgun »

(I think) all old Winchesters or Marlins or whatever made from iron or steel have forged receivers.....these forging marks are easily identifiable as horizontal lines....we've all seen them but most guys don't know what they are.....you can see them more easily as the bluing wears.....these lines are no longer seen on sintered steel such as the Winchesters made from 1964 or pretty much any gun made today as the "lost wax" process has been used....There's a word for that but I'm don't know what it is only having a high school education. Bill Ruger brought it back in the fifties.

That's why I buy every book I can get my hands on.......

Ya know Walker, I don't believe there's not a gun out there that I can't get shooting decent....say 3" at 100...If the barrel is straight and there's decent rifling, it will shoot......SRC's, unlike rifles had crowns so it's nothing to recrown your rifle and not notice it....people put too much emphasis on originality....if a gun won't shoot decent get rid of it for as far as I'm concerned it's junk.

Most times a gas check is needed on old worn barrels but we are living in the golden age of being able to get any old gun shooting good with the proliferation of moulds that are out there.

Like MM does, he gets those old babies shooting acceptable enough to plug his winters meat or like I like to say, "minute of torso".---6
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Walker
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Walker »

Thanks Guys!
Thanks for the ideas Six! I'm looking forward to getting it on paper... maybe a very large sheet🤣
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Rube Burrows
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Rube Burrows »

Seems like a solid buy. I see way worse at much higher prices around here.
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by coyote nose »

A grand for an early 73 in 44 caliber in the condition that looks to be in is a STEAL!! I'm in the process of downsizing my stuff but if that was here in a nearby gun shop I would certainly buy it.
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by rossim92 »

M. M. Wright wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:28 pm
Is it a 44? Probably. My experience has been that my SRC, made in 1885, has a barrel that slugs .431. I opened up a mold to cast a bullet that size and just pan lube them. I don't know about the cast iron but suppose they never changed to forged steel. You can buy new links that are of the finest steel. I did. I even bought another barrel and it too slugs .431 so I bought a new Miroku built Winchester SRC and guess what? .431 diameter when I slugged it. If it's all there and you think you can get it shooting, buy it. $1000 is cheap for a 73, even a Uberti will cost you that much or more. Nothing is smoother operating and you need to be shooting black anyway. Why let us darksiders have all the fun? Oh, and shooting black will shine that bore up too.
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you are right about new ones being pricey I paid 1100 bucks for a new winchester 73 in 44-40. sweet gun too.
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Walker »

Filled out the papers today and talked with the shop owner. No story to tell. A local collector is getting old and brought it in, he's gradually selling off his collection. I need to pick up some dies and slug the bore when it comes home.
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by M. M. Wright »

Walker wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 7:20 pm
Filled out the papers today and talked with the shop owner. No story to tell. A local collector is getting old and brought it in, he's gradually selling off his collection. I need to pick up some dies and slug the bore when it comes home.
I would sure be interested in what you find when you slug that bore. Both of mine slug .431 and both are SRCs but one is 1885 and the other is new from Japan. My imagination says they sent an old one like mine to Japan and they reverse engineered it so perfectly they made the barrels the same size. How did anyone manage to use the same ammo in their Colt and their Winchester? First gen Colts are famous for having .424 throats in their cylinders and barrels that slug .427 or tighter. I can barely get by with my Uberti 73s that have .429 bores. I load my 44-40s with .429 bullets and only with Winchester or Starline brass will they chamber in my old Colts. OK, I confess, I have reamed a couple of cylinders to .429 throats, (who is going to notice?) Really makes the Colts shoot tight groups and the Ubertis are happy too but my old Winchester SRC wants bigger bullets to keep them on a 55 gal drum.
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by Walker »

I'll be sure to post what it slugs out to.
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Re: 1873 Winchester iron receivers

Post by OldWin »

73s are in a class by themselves. I've been playing with a 44 from 1887 this fall. I plan to hunt with it so I've been shooting it more lately. Just cool as all get out.
Been running .430 commercial cast through it with pretty good results. My suspicion is it would be even better with .431, however.
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