Skip to content

Winchester Lever Action Development: Model 1873

Sold for:
Musket: $2,588 (with a second rifle)
Rifle: $1,265
Trapper Carbine: $5,463

With the Model of 1873, Winchester was able to address the major remaining weakness of the Henry and 1866 rifles – the cartridge. The 1873 was introduced in tandem with the .44Winchester Center Fire cartridge (known more commonly today as the .44-40). This cartridge kept the 200 grain bullet from the .44Henry Rimfire round, but used a brass case (as opposed to copper) and was able to increase the powder charge from 28 grains to 40, for a substantial increase in velocity.

In addition, the Model 1873 used a lighter steel frame and introduced a sliding dust cover on the top of the action to help keep out dirt and debris. The centerfire nature of the cartridge made it possible to handled ammunition when a commercial source was not available (Winchester sold the reloading tools). The 1873 was available with a wide variety of options, including barrel and magazine lengths, buttstock and grips, sights, and fancy options like engraving. It would prove to be a massively popular weapon both in the United States and abroad, cementing Winchester’s position as the premier manufacturer of American repeating rifles.

Cool Forgotten Weapons merchandise!

If you enjoy Forgotten Weapons, check out its sister channel, InRangeTV!

Leave a Reply