I could use some help identifying a 1873 Winchester. - Page 2
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Old 09-05-2010, 02:20 AM   #11
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It is amazing. I've seen pics of the "before" and "after" and the dif is jaw dropping. They come out looking as close to new as you could get.

Spendy, though.
True, can you loan me $3800? Just kidding... But I will see what I can do to clean it up.

I am VERY VERY VERY NEW!!!! Can someone just give me a step by step to clean this gun up safely as best I can?
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Old 09-05-2010, 04:10 AM   #12
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True, can you loan me $3800? Just kidding... But I will see what I can do to clean it up.

I am VERY VERY VERY NEW!!!! Can someone just give me a step by step to clean this gun up safely as best I can?
Best thing for you to do is nothing. Cleaning may destroy it's value, restoration is what is needed...professional restoration. If you cannot afford that get some advice on how to stabilize the gun and protect it from any additional deterioration until you can get it properly cared for.

P.S. Don't fire it until a gunsmith can look it over...small almost invisible stress fractures in the chamber or stock may lead to a very dangerous situation, it is 130+ years old after all.
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Old 09-05-2010, 04:12 AM   #13
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"Cleaning it up" can mean a lot of things. Be very careful. It is easy to turn a "beat up old valuable rifle" into a "beat up old shiny rifle that has been Bubba'ed into a fraction of it's previous value" quickly.

I'd start by stopping whatever kind of rot is going on. A light gun oil on a rag and work slowly on the metal. Avoid penetrating oils (on the outside) until you know what you've got. No abrasives, no wire brushes or wheels. Elbow grease and oil. I use Mobil One synthetic oil on my guns, unless they need grease.

Use some good penetrating oil (Kroil) on the inside of the barrel. Odds are good that it will show a lot of wear/rust. That '73 had many years of corrosive ammo run through it.

Go slow, and see what a basic oily rag can do.

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Old 09-05-2010, 04:46 AM   #14
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Your MODEL 1873 was produced in early 1879.



Model 1873 First Model Rifle
- serial numbers approx. 1-30,000, sliding thumbprint dust cover on 2 guides which are an integral part of upper frame, absence of any cal. marking.
$2,500 - $4,950 (Above Ave.) $1,650 - $2,500 (Average) $900 - $1,650 (Below Ave.)

Since early Model 1873s were only made in .44 cal., no caliber markings are present. With the introduction of additional calibers, barrels (just in front of the receiver) and the brass elevator were stamped with the caliber.

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Old 09-05-2010, 03:11 PM   #15
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If only it looked as good as the one in this picture does.

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I'd start by stopping whatever kind of rot is going on. A light gun oil on a rag and work slowly on the metal. Avoid penetrating oils (on the outside) until you know what you've got. No abrasives, no wire brushes or wheels. Elbow grease and oil. I use Mobil One synthetic oil on my guns, unless they need grease.
Luckily I do have some Mobile One 0W 30 Synthetic...

At what point does an abrasive become an option? I can't tell what kind of blueing is going on, I can see some "red" metal in some parts but I am really concerned as to what kind of metal this gun is made of.

So, thus far my impression of where I should go from here is to use a non-penetrating oil on the outside and some elbow grease to try and reveal the overall condition of what is beneath.

On the inside a bore oil is fine? (you stated non-penetrating on the outside so I am assuming the inside is fine).

Now, as I stated before one of the tracks on the inside is either broken or bent, the hammer will not lock or slam so from the limited knowledge I do have of this gun I know this is a common problem. Would it be a terrible mistake to have a replica machined or should I find one of the Winchester part hoarders that I can get a Winchester made part from?

And what can be done to safely lighten up the stock and wood components? Again, I want to try and preserve the value if I can but more importantly I don't want to ruin the wood.
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Old 09-05-2010, 04:30 PM   #16
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Yes, it should be OK to clean the bore with penetrating oil, like Kroil. Put the oil on with a cotton patch and let it soak over night. Re-apply with another patch. Use a bore brush with Kroil to loosen up whatever gunk may be in the barrel, and keep using patches. Might take a few days.

Leave the wood alone. The dark spot is a character mark. It was earned honestly. Most likely caused by oil wicking into the wood from the end of the stock, under the buttplate.

If you are dead set on doing the action repairs yourself, get some good books on the '73. They will explain the full takedown in detail. Then get some GOOD screwdrivers designed for guns. Brownells sells a great set. You will need Kroil to soak into any screw threads that you need to loosen. Kroil and soak over night.

If you use regular screwdrivers, you will bugger the screws. If that happens, don't come crying to us; we warned you.

And once again, I urge you to not try to "clean up" the rifle. Get the action working and hang it up. Buy yourself a Uberti replica '73 to shoot.

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Old 09-05-2010, 04:51 PM   #17
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Rock is right, the gun has served it's duty and now is a tired warrior.

Treat it with the due respect it deserves.

Preserve the value by stopping any rust or wood rot but please don't go and hi-gloss the furniture.

As I see it you have two options and only two. (You asked)

  1. Save/salvage the firearm as is, with clean-up.
  2. Get on the phone with Doug Turnbull (585)657-6338 and begin the restoration project. Starting at $3,800.00.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:22 AM   #18
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Rock is right, the gun has served it's duty and now is a tired warrior.

Treat it with the due respect it deserves.

Preserve the value by stopping any rust or wood rot but please don't go and hi-gloss the furniture.

As I see it you have two options and only two. (You asked)
  1. Save/salvage the firearm as is, with clean-up.
  2. Get on the phone with Doug Turnbull (585)657-6338 and begin the restoration project. Starting at $3,800.00.
Well, I will give him a call and see what can be done but $3800 seems steep but well worth it.

I don't plan on putting any type of coating on anything. I just want it cleaned up.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:29 AM   #19
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Well, I will give him a call and see what can be done but $3800 seems steep but well worth it.

I don't plan on putting any type of coating on anything. I just want it cleaned up.
But remember, if you send it to Turnbull do not ever lose the paperwork that comes back with it.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:31 AM   #20
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But remember, if you send it to Turnbull do not ever lose the paperwork that comes back with it.
I wouldn't but I don't really plan on selling the gun, I just got it.
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