This is a very nice little Winchester 1873 Saddle Ring Carbine that's well above your average SRC. Standard 3rd Model in the 345,000 range that was built in 1890. Antique. Caliber is 44-40 with 20" round barrel, full magazine, carbine-style buttplate w/trapdoor, and saddle ring. The original ladder sight is graduated from 200 to 900 yards with "1873" denoted on the top. Nice markings include the "44 WCF" stamp on the top of the barrel with no Winchester proofmarks...correct for Winchesters produced in the 19th century. Brass loading block is marked "44 CAL" in script which is exactly what you want to see...these are usually worn off. Nice two-line Winchester barrel address with 1860 and 1866 patent dates. Upper tang is marked "Model 1873" bracketed by two fleur de lis. Hammer checkering is crisp and with its proper rectangular border.
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Very Good+ with the 10% original blue on the receiver. It has a nice ring shadow with a good patch of original blue, and a little bit of blue towards the back of the left side plate, around the edges of both plates, and under the flares of on boths ends of the frame...the balance has turned to a smooth brown patina. The barrel and magazine tube have 40% original blue that I would described as an "age darkened blue" with the balance turned to a smooth brown patina. Very Good screws throughout. The wood is in Fine condition with very nice wood to metal fit and only minor handling marks. No chips, cracks, or repairs. On average, I will look at 80-100 Model 1873 saddle ring carbines before I find one with wood this nice and more importantly, that's original. Carbines were used as utility guns and were often carried on horseback. Today, most look as though they were outdoors in the elements for extended periods of time. That said, this a nice carbine that was well-looked after and shows no scabbard wear. The bore is in Fair+ Condition...fairly typical black powder bore with some pits but has good rifling and no rings or bulges. Action is in Very Good Order...Firing pin still indexes and the lever still snaps shut and doesn't sag. If you're looking for a good, clean, all original example of a '73 carbine that doesn't look it was dragged behind a horse for fifty years, this is your gun!