I faced a lot of difficulties with this project, considering I have little to no knowledge on any kind of antiques dating before the 1900’s. I decided to go to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History for some inspiration. The museum has a small exhibit called “The Cattle Raisers Museum”, there I photographed an 1873 model lever – action repeating Winchester Rifle. I figured this certain model rifle held some significance, it being in the museum, especially when there are many models of Winchester Rifles and are still used today. I also knew that it was American made, the only amount of information I did know before researching. I sadly could not find a museum curator with any special knowledge on this rifle.
The rifle itself was
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He renamed it the New Haven Arms Company, the company was given its present name in 1867. Oliver Fisher Winchester is given credit for creating the 1873 model, but some credit needs to come from his chief gun designer, B.T. Henry. Henry had made an earlier lever – action repeating rifle called the Henry Rifle, this model would lead to the new and improved 1873 model lever – action Winchester Rifle. Winchester rifles were still being produced in New Haven, Connecticut before its closing in the year 2006. According to Winchester’s official gun site (“www.winchesterguns.com”) some of the guns have also been produced in Canada.
The 1873 model lever – action repeating Winchester Rifle was discontinued in 1919, according to Winchestercollector.org, seven – hundred twenty – thousand rifles of that model had been made. That does not seem like a large number compared to present time, but during that time I am sure that it was. From a gun timeline at pbs.org, it is said that “Winchester rifles were affordable, and produced in such great numbers, that the Winchester became the generic rifle” (“www.pbs.org”), evidence that seven – hundred twenty – thousand was a large number in the past. This particular model is now a rarity to find in this day and age and if you do get your hands on one, you will pay a large amount of money. This Winchester model and various models after it had some nicer features, for