THE ULTIMATE ACCESSORY FOR YOU 1ST MODEL 1873 WINCHESTER RIFLE!!!!!! This is the only example of the Model 1875 Reloading Tool we've ever come across in its original 1870's era Box!!!! It was discovered in a Pennsylvania barn last year and has never seen a collection or a show! They don't get any better than ones in the box and you may never see another one this complete! It even comes with its original and ultra-rare Model 1875 decapping pin marked "44 W"...(note the square cuts on the side of the decapper for the set screw which secures the pin....Model 1882 decappers have round holes for the set screw). This is only the 2nd Model 1875 I've found still containing one of these pins.
The tool itself is in Excellent overall condition retaining 90% of its original gold paint. Top right side of the tool is stamped "44 WCF" with the October 20, 1874. Patent date cast into the top of the handle. Box is in Good condition with no tears or pieces missing....with some speckled foxing inside the box. Good Winchester trade label and illustration. Side of the box is marked .44 Winchester.
This may look like a piece of cast iron to many of you but back in the 1870's, this was a marvel of technological innovation. This tool was used with their new Model 1873 Rifle to reload spent catridges in .44 Winchester Central Fire. Having reloadable ammunition is what made the repeating rifle practical on the Frontier. Early repeaters, like the Henry Rifle and the Model 1866 Winchester were chambered in .44 Rimfire. The technology of these lever action rifles gave an individual unprecedented firepower compared to a single shot muzzle loader. However, the fault with this new technology was in the rimfire ammunition casings which were completely useless once fired. Out on the Frontier, you couldn't reload the spent rimfire ammuntion, the nearest town with a hardware store might be hundreds of miles away, and if you ran out of ammunition, you were pretty much doomed in the wrong situation. This is why Winchester introduced the Model 1873 with a new type of fixed ammunition called the 44 W.C.F. cartridge aka 44-40...it had a central primer which could be removed and replaced with a new one...add some powder and a fresh bullet and...you and your rifle were back in business. These early tools were made of cast iron and painted gold...yes, they're ugly but if you dropped one and lost in the dirt, I guess you wouldn't mind it too much that it was painted bright gold. These tools are what earned the Winchester Model 1873 the title "The Gun That Won The West."