SHOT Show: Navy Arms Winchester Model 1873

Courtesy Joe Grine

Mr. Val Forgett, III., President of Navy Arms, has partnered with Winchester and Turnbull Restorations to produce a beautiful modern reproduction of the 1873 rifle. At last year’s SHOT Show, Winchester showcased its modern limited-edition reproduction of the 1873, but both the monotone gray and black colors of the basic Winchester case-hardened version and utilitarian wood left me a bit cold. Fortunately, Navy Arms is basically taking the stock Winchester version and upgrading it, and the results are stunning to say the least . . .

Courtesy Joe Grine

Courtesy Joe Grine

The case colors on the Navy Arms version of these Winchester (Miroku) rifles are absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, the lights at SHOT Show made it difficult to truly capture the vibrant colors on film, and my photos don’t do the rifles justice.

Courtesy Joe Grine

The Navy Arms version of the Winchester 1873 feature the following upgrades:

  • Available calibers include 45 LC and 357.
  • Turnbull color case hardened receiver and furniture.
  • Full octagonal barrel, 20″ and 24 1/4″.
  • Marbles semi-buckhorn rear and gold-bead front sight.
  • Deluxe American Walnut stock with full checkering and “Winchester Red” finish.
  • Model 71 checkered steel butt-plate for fast mounting.
  • Winchester short-stroke kit, pre-installed

TTAG will attempt to secure a review sample later this summer.

Courtesy Navy Arms

Retail price is right around $2500.


  1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Doug Turnbull does very nice work. Turnbull is who is doing the color casing. That’s where I send my shotgun receivers that need to be re-cased. It just isn’t worth my time to do my own color casing when Doug will do it so well for such a reasonable price.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      I have heard they use animal bones in the fire to get those colors, can you confirm?

      1. avatar Ray says:

        Yes, traditonal color case hardening uses animal hide and bone. Case hardening was used improve the quality of inexpensive steel by adding carbon to the surface of the steel during heat treating. Normally, you would pack the piece to be treated into an airtight crucible and pack bits of bone and leather around the piece as tight as possible. The crucible was then placed in the forge and the temp raised to about 1400 degrees for about an hour. As the bone and leather burn, they release carbon which was soaked up by the steel part thus creating a hardened “case” around a softer core. The colors that you see in color case hardening are formed when the hot part is dropped into a water quench. By adding bubbles to the quench, the steel cools at different rates depending on wether it touches air or water on first enty into the quench producing the swirl of colors that we all love. The color is a natural by-product of heating steel. The hardest part of color case hardening is limiting exposure to oxygen when you drop the part from the crucible to the quench as that will turn the part a uniform gray color. It doesn’t affect the strength of the part,

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Thank you, Ray!

        2. avatar Swarf says:

          So, are all these modern reproductions actually case hardened, or are they just chemically pickled?

          Seems like modern steel would be strong enough that no one would want to go to all the trouble of doing the old process, but I don’t know.

        3. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          Case hardening doesn’t so much increase the strength of the steel as it makes for a ding/dent/scratch resistant surface and (in the case of color case hardening), a pretty nice finish.

          eg, the Garand and M14 receivers are case hardened. They’re not color case hardened, but they are case hardened.

  2. avatar Swarf says:

    Those look beautiful… and expensive.

    1. avatar Joe says:

      Msrp: $2500

      1. avatar SD3 says:

        2,500 Venezuelan Bolivars? I am so there’..

        1. avatar JWM says:

          Just lift Sean Penns wallet.

  3. avatar MEH says:

    I had one in my hands at Cabelas (Delaware) last night. $2,999. Gorgeous and smooth as silk.

  4. avatar Ray Ficara says:

    Soon in CT this will become an “assault weapon” by legal fiat.


  5. avatar Tom in oregon says:

    45-70 please!

    1. avatar Chuck in IL says:

      I don’t think that is possible. What you want is an 1886.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Thanks Chuck. I just head slapped myself.

  6. avatar Adam says:

    Any info on that stainless appearing one in the rack photo?

    1. avatar beerwhisperer says:

      I am not sure, but I believe it is called “French Gray.” Not sure how that finish is attained.

  7. avatar Jim says:

    A shame they can’t make them in the proper calibers, .44WCF, .38WCF, and .32WCF.

  8. Too expensive to leave in the woods to rust.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I’d die first!

    2. avatar aaronw says:

      LOL… first thing I thought of – “I hope no one walks off the SHOT show floor with it, and leaves it in the Nevada desert somewhere for another 100+ years.”

  9. avatar bontai Joe says:

    Yep, they are kinda expensive, but that kind of quality is very rare these days. These are the kind of firearms that a man can proudly pass on down to his kids and grandkids.

    1. avatar Swarf says:


      I wasn’t saying they are too expensive. Just too expensive for me.

  10. avatar TT says:

    Now those stocks are what figured walnut looks like. Compare what those 1873 stocks look like to the Weatherby over and under posted a couple of days ago that was described as having a figured walnut stock.

  11. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Wow. Being able to see these on a bigger screen than a phone. Drop dead gorgeous.

  12. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    I think I just fell in love…

  13. avatar JWM says:

    Normally I’m a cheap bastidge. But if I encountered one of these at the lgs I would have a brain meltdown trying to convice myself not to splurge.

  14. avatar Wood says:

    IIRC, these already have the short throw kit installed for the cowboy action crowd. Straight stock to boot. I’ve wanted a .45 colt levergun for quite some time, but these actions should probably be limited to period pressures, i.e., not Ruger Blackhawk loads. Gorgeous rifle though.

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