Media Day At The Range Preview: Winchester Model 1873

I’m the resident lever-gun geek at TTAG, and this stunning reproduction of the classic Winchester Model 1873 is just my cup of tea steel and walnut. If you’ve never handled an 1873, its smooth action and mirror-bright bluing will show you why it’s always been considered one of the most elegant lever-action carbines ever made. And accurate, too. Once I got the proper sight picture with the buckhorn rear sights, it drilled the 1/2 scale steel pepper popper at 100 yards.

Image: Chris Dumm

It’s made for Winchester by Miroku in Japan these days. The factory rep was a helpful but (like all of us) half-frozen soul who didn’t know the MSRP or street price, so I’ll find out later in the week after we’re both thawed out.

33 Responses to Media Day At The Range Preview: Winchester Model 1873

  1. avatarAharon says:


    That Winchester is classic! Thanks for demoing it. On Winchester’s site they have a Shot Show Special section where the new models are featured. See if you can get one to do a detailed review. MSRP below.

    Ten rounds of .357 in the magazine is good. it will probably hold 11 rounds of .38 Special. This lever-gun will probably not be banned for a couple decades.

    Caliber / Gauge 357 Mag.
    Item Number 534202137
    UPC 048702003592
    Magazine Capacity 10
    Barrel Length 20″
    Nominal Overall Length 39″
    Nominal Length of Pull 13″
    Nominal Drop at Comb 1 3/4″
    Nominal Drop at Heel 3″
    Nominal Weight 7 lbs. 4 oz.
    Rate of Twist 1 turn in 18 3/4″
    Chokes Included N/A
    U.S. Suggested Retail $1,579.99

    • avatarChubby says:


      • avatarAharon says:

        Yup. The MSRP is about $100-$300 higher than most of Winchester’s current selection of lever-actions. Higher prices sometimes occurs when a product is a limited edition make. The 1873 is probably made in the same Japanese factory that makes Browning’s line.

    • avatarAharon says:

      The information above is for the model 73 Sporter Case Hardened Shot Show Special. A second 1873 Winchester is available which is similar and less costly, and has information on it below.

  2. avatarBill Johnson says:

    Too bad you had to shoot a replica, I own an original w/ an octagon barrel in 44.40.

  3. avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    A Japanese 1873.

    Sigh. Might as well get my affairs in order, the end of the world is nigh.

  4. avatarLance says:

    Love it hope to get a 19th century Assault rifle!

  5. avatarokto says:

    It’s beautiful, but dat top ejection. :/

  6. avatarForrest says:

    I have heard that the other Japanese winchesters (1886) are super nice, but I really prefer to buy US made, so it’s a no-go for me.

  7. avatarIng says:


    $1579 msrp… Yet another lovely gun that’s out of my reach.

    • avatarPaul W says:

      That list for me could fill a large binder. :( Will someone spare me a few hundred thousand bucks?

      • avatarAharon says:

        Hold on guys. There are deals out to be found! Less than three weeks ago, I was with Chris Drum at a gun store in Portland that had a rack of older used Winchesters and other makes of lever-actions. Chris spotted and I ended buying one of them.

        It is a model 1894 Trails End lever-action in .357 built in 2004. The gun is the cowboy style with a 20″ octagon barrel, crescent shaped steel butt, and a top-tang safety. The wood and metal fit and finish is fine. Turns out the gun was kept in the safe of someone’s collection. It was never fired and the gun is in mint condition. I paid $600 for it! Look around and be patient.

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          Still gloating, I see. ;)

          Kidding. Great point regarding patience and diligence bringing in wins like that one. Also: multiplying your reach by recruiting allies (shooting buddies, “your” guy at the LGS, etc) to help you find the object of your search is incredibly effective.

        • avatarAharon says:

          Alpha Geek,

          Maybe gloating just a little bit. Agreed, check in with the LGS and let them know what you’re seeking asking them to watch for one. Notices can also be placed online at forums and other places. Networking with the ranges might help. They might even have a place to post notices online or in print. Lastly, I’d spend time on the sites where people sell their guns researching whats for sale. It’s not like there aren’t millions of lever-actions in America.

        • avatarRoyscreek says:

          The big difference in price would be 1873 vs 1894 they are as different as night and day. They may look a little bit alike but, the internals are totally changed. Both are good guns but a 73′ that is smooth is a much more enjoyable gun to shoot.

  8. avatarAharon says:

    Under the Winchester site section New Guns, I found something similar:

    Model 1873 Short Rifle
    Caliber / Gauge 357 Mag.
    Item Number 534200137
    UPC 048702003226
    Magazine Capacity .357 Mag. = 10, .38 Spc. = 11
    Barrel Length 20″
    Nominal Overall Length 39″
    Nominal Length of Pull 13″
    Nominal Drop at Comb 1 3/4″
    Nominal Drop at Heel 3″
    Nominal Weight 7 lbs. 4 oz.
    Rate of Twist 1 turn in 18.75″
    Chokes Included N/A
    Metal Finish Blued finish steel
    Wood Finish Satin oil finish walnut
    Stock / Grip Straight grip
    U.S. Suggested Retail $1,299.99

    This one has a blued finish (not case hardened as the description above) and a lower MSRP than the model above.

    • avatarChris Dumm says:

      Aharon, if you keep finishing my posts for me, I’m going to be out of a (unpaid) job! But many thanks!

      • avatarAharon says:

        uh oh. Have I just been praised or slapped? If you can get one of these lever-actions to do a serious review then I know someone who will contribute .38 special ammo for test purposes.

  9. avatarChubby says:

    Chris Dumm: Where you using .357 in the rifle during that video? How would the toggle links hold up to a steady diet of .357?

    • avatarChris Dumm says:

      Yes, .357s. I noted that they were 110-grain loads; not exactly the hottest Buffalo Bore loads. But I wouldn’t have any concern about longevity, because the .357 is pretty tame when you wrap a rifle around it.

  10. avatarKeith says:

    Are any other Winchester lever guns made over seas? I was under the impression that everything Winchester was American now.

  11. avatarPhilip says:

    Sure wish they were made in America! I would order one of these tomorrow if they were. There are just some things that have to be made in America to be worth that kind of money and I’ll never own a winchester stamped made in Japan on it.

  12. avatartanstaafl says:

    ^Talked to a guy from Utah who said he got one of the new .357 rifles at a GS for $1150.00

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