Image Lot Price Description



SN 139. Cal. 44WCF. 20″ bbl. Standard carbine sights. Full magazine. Blue finish. Saddle-ring attached. Straight grain American walnut stocks with carbine buttplate. Bbl shows standard 2-line Winchester address with no cal mark, which is correct. Magazine shows first type screw-in end cap. Carbine receiver is also of the first type, with a square cornered elevator mortise and distinct re-curve on either side of dust cover mortise. Loading gate is attached to right sideplate with an external screw, which is also characteristic of the early first model. Dust cover has a 1/2″ raised oil oval checkered thumb-piece. Upper tang is unmarked. Lower tang is engraved “Model 1873” over number “139”. This type of mark only appears on approximately the first 350 guns of this model. Lower tang has no provision for a trigger block safety, neither does the lever. Firing pin has a bushing, which is correct for this type. Saddle-ring is attached to left rear side of receiver. Stocks and buttplate are standard for this model. 3-piece steel cleaning rod is in the butt. Assembly number 174 appears on lower left tang under stock and on inside the toe of the buttplate. 74 is visible in the upper tang mortise of the stock. The no. 1 has been obliterated. Accompanying this carbine is a Cody Firearms Museum letter confirming features and showing shipment from the warehouse on January 26, 1874, order number 929. Also accompanying this carbine is a copy of a letter from Tommy Rholes to the consignor John Harris, dated 1/17/2011, which states “About 1980 I bought the carbine number 139 and have had it since then.” With a survival rate of much less than 10%, this carbine represents one of the rarest of all Winchester collectibles. It is fortunate for collectors that Mr. Harris has decided to make it available to the collectors fraternity. Included is a photograph of the wall in Mr. Rholes’ gun vault showing the 2 empty spaces once occupied by number 84 and number 139. CONDITION: Fine. To quote Mr. Rhole’s letter, “The carbine number 139 has 25% blue on its bbl and 85% very nice blue on its receiver. The right side of the receiver has some blue worn away, (10%) leaving white metal. Bore is perfect.” Bbl and magazine show 25% blue finish. Sights are very good. 2-line Winchester bbl address is very sharp. Bbl bands are gray-brown patina with some light roughness on rear band. Bbl has light staining overall with some muzzle wear and a few very small dents and scratches. Bore is bright with very sharp rifling. Receiver retains 85% bright-blue finish with some scratches overall and a distinct saddle-ring shadow. Right sideplate and forward part of receiver has been worn to a smooth silver-gray patina, with very little roughness. This is definitely a hand carry mark. Generous traces of fire-blue remain on loading gate. Elevator is a deep mustard-brown patina with a dark oil stain at forward edge. Elevator is slightly loose. Receiver screws are unmolested. Hammer shows a generous amount of case color on both sides and on the rear surface. Front of hammer shows vivid case color. Hammer checkering is sharp. Dust cover shows 10% bright blue finish blending into a smooth plumb-brown patina. Thumb-piece checkering is sharp. Screw is unmolested. Lever also shows generous traces of case color finish in protected areas, with the balance a silver-brown patina. There is a small spot on bottom of trigger guard on lever that has been cleaned. Lower tang fits receiver perfectly. Model and SN mark is crisp and clear. Trigger is a pleasing plumb-brown patina. Stocks are very good and full-sized, with some handling marks and dents especially on right side of wrist and on bottom of buttstock. Stocks have not been cleaned. There are 2 very small holes in bottom of buttstock where a sling swivel may have been mounted. Carbine buttplate is a gray-brown patina overall, with some staining at heel and toe. Forearm is very good to fine, with only a few small dents. Fortunate will be the successful bidder for this carbine. Because it will be almost impossible to replace. This is the best First Model 1873 Carbine that Mr. Rholes found in over 50 years in the business. A real Winchester treasure. 50678-2 TEP (160,000-180,000) – Lot 4044

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Auction: Firearms - October 2016
Please Note: All prices include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, which is paid by the buyer as part of the purchase price. The prices noted here after the auction are considered unofficial and do not become official until after the 46th day.