The Winchester Model 1873 is often called “The gun that won the West”. The Model 1873 appeared during the formative post Civil War years and became one of the most predominant rifles of the frontier. Because of the timing of its manufacture it also features as the rifle of some of the people who helped forge the United States and her institutions, such as the National Rifle Association.
Arthur Corbin Gould was born in 1850 in Boston, Massachusetts, and was a pioneer of the sport of long range target shooting at the famous Creedmoor range on Long Island. He was involved in the formation of the NRA, and it was he who originally ordered the Winchester Model 1873 in our pictures with his own special modifications, including the long range sights that the rifle is fitted with.
The rifle ordered by AC Gould was delivered to him in 1889 and is chambered for the .32WCF cartridge (i.e. 32-20). The rifle features a half-octagon barrel of 24″ in length, high grade walnut stock with pronounced figure, sling swivels, and a shotgun style butt-plate.
This rifle is one of a select number of highly desirable collector’s Winchesters to be offered for sale by Rock Island Auction in their December sale.
In the video below are some of the highlights of the Winchesters being offered at this auction.
The condition of the AC Gould Winchester Model 1873 is described by Rock Island Auction as follows: “Exceptionally fine overall. This unique Model 1873 rifle is all original very limited careful handling and shooting associated wear. The barrel has 80% of the original blue finish intact with traces of finish wear on the edges and a small and almost unnoticeable (3/4-inch by 1/3-inch) area of pitting on the left side of the barrel just above the forearm ahead of the rear sight. The special front and rear sights have nearly all of the dark, oil-quenched, finish intact and the rear sight leaf spring retains 95% of the nitre blue. The Winchester legend and caliber markings are crisp. The dust cover and bolt have most of the high polish blue finish intact. The loading gate retains 75% of the fire blue finish. 85% plus of the vivid case colors are present of the forearm cap, receiver, hammer, trigger and lever. The highly finished fancy grain stock and forearm retain 95% of the piano finish with sharp checkering. Wear is limited to one tiny dent in the right side of the stock behind the pistol grip and a few scattered and very minor handling marks. It is unusual to identify the owner of any Winchester rifle. Identification of this deluxe Model 1873 rifle with unique sights and other special order features to a prominent 19th Century shooter and author A.C. Gould makes this a one-of-a-kind Model 1873 rifle worthy of a place in the finest firearms collection.”
You will find the sale page for this rifle with comprehensive information if you click here.
This rifle is expected to sell in the range USD$30,000 – $40,000
(All pictures courtesy Rock Island Auction).
Jon Branch is the founder and senior editor of Revivaler and has written a significant number of articles for various publications including official Buying Guides for eBay, classic car articles for Hagerty, magazine articles for both the Australian Shooters Journal and the Australian Shooter, and he’s a long time contributor to Silodrome.
Jon has done radio, television, magazine and newspaper interviews on various issues, and has traveled extensively, having lived in Britain, Australia, China and Hong Kong. His travels have taken him to Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan and a number of other countries. He has studied the Japanese sword arts and has a long history of involvement in the shooting sports, which has included authoring submissions to government on various firearms related issues and assisting in the design and establishment of shooting ranges.