WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS, USA
A RARE .44-40 LEVER-ACTION SHORT-RIFLE, MODEL '1873', serial no. 247130,
re-numbered but last quarter of the 19th century, with blued octagonal 20in. barrel signed 'WINCHESTER'S REPEATING ARMS, NEW HAVEN CONN. USA' together with patent dates to 1866, dove-tailed fore-sight blade, dove-tailed 'buckhorn' rear-sight, slab-sided receiver stepped at breech with sliding dust-cover, external hammer, walnut butt-stock with crescent style heel-plate, straight hand finger-lever, plain trigger, brass cartridge lifter engraved '.44 CAL', walnut fore-end with iron nose-cap and full-length under-barrel magazine.
Provenance: Short rifles are rare in the Winchester world with most buyers being perfectly happy with the normal carbine offering. Despite this rifle being re-numbered, it is almost certainly correct because of its use of the small calibre stepped receiver usually only found on the .32-20 and 25-20 offerings. In their literature, Winchester advertised these short rifles as 'lightweight' models and according to records only one rifle in every 450 had a shorter than normal barrel.
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S1 - Sold as a Section 1 Firearm under the 1968 Firearms Act