A rare Winchester Model 1873 One-of-One-Thousand rifle
Serial no. 3548 for 1875, .44 caliber. 28 inch octagonal barrel engraved 1 of 1000. Standard sights. Full magazine. 2nd Model with thumbprint dustcover. Single set trigger. Adjustable tang-mounted peep sight. Varnished walnut stock and fore-end with H Grade checkering. This is one of the 1 of 1000s that came to light during the 1950 search sponsored by Universal Pictures as part of the promotion of the Jimmy Stewart movie Winchester 73. Provenance includes: 1) Photocopies of two notarized provenance statements from John D. Morley of Lodi, California, one dated June 19, 1950 and the other December 5, 1966, both stating that the rifle originally belonged to his Grandfather W.N. Garland of Murphys, Calaveras County, California. ...He used the gun while in the local Home Guard Unit and as needed in his business which was operating a freight and stage service... 2) Photocopy of a letter from James C. Hartley, Director of Research at Winchester, dated July 27, 1950, stating ...serial no. 3,548, we feel sure it is a genuine "One of One Thousand". 3) Photocopy of page 63 from Winchester, The Golden Age of American Gunmaking and The Winchester 1 of 1000 by R.L. Wilson, where this gun is illustrated. 4) An authenticating letter from author, R.L. Wilson stating his belief that, although factory records do not confirm No. 3548 as a 1 of 1000, this is a clerical oversight in the factory records and this gun is a genuine 1 of 1000. 5) Photocopy of One of One Thousand, The End of a Search, the article by Bill Depperman published in the October 1950 American Rifleman about the search for 1 of 1000's generated by the movie Winchester 73 which includes this gun.
Condition: Very good. Barrel showing smooth, grey metal, the tube retaining 15-20% blue finish. Action retains much silvered casehardening with some slight traces of darkened casehardening in protected areas. Tang sight a later addition. Wood showing wear to checkering and scattered small dents and bruises, the buttstock with two short hairline cracks to right side at buttplate.