Honoring Buffalo Bill: Winchester 1873 Rifle

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posted on July 31, 2017
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century ago, on Jan. 10, 1917, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, the famed Indian Wars scout (and Medal of Honor recipient), buffalo hunter and proprietor of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, died in Denver, Colo. The Buffalo Bill Memorial Ass’n. was founded by friends and admirers soon thereafter, and a decade later Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s “The Scout” was dedicated in Cody, Wyo. Around that bronze of Cody—Winchester ’73 rifle held aloft to the Wyoming sky—what became the Buffalo Bill Center of the West developed, incorporating today five different museums. Included amongst them is the 7,000-gun Cody Firearms Museum featuring the Olin-donated Winchester Collection and run by my friend Ashley Hlebinsky. She is the Cody Museum’s Robert W. Woodruff Curator.

Navy Arms has worked with the Cody Firearms Museum and Winchester Repeating Arms Co. to build two Centennial rifle models to commemorate the Buffalo Bill Center’s first century. The “Gun that won the West” is being used to further the mission and goals of the Center of the West. There are two variants, the Exhibition Model and the Presentation Model shown here. While the former is limited to 200 guns ($7,995), there will be 1,000 Presentation Models ($3,499). Built on a new Winchester Model 1873 in .44-40 Win., the Presentation Model has a blue 24¼" full-octagon barrel with a nickel-silver muzzle ring. The stock and fore-end are Grade 1 American walnut, checkered in the original Winchester pattern. The receiver, nosecap, lever, hammer and crescent buttplate are bone charcoal color-casehardened by Turnbull Mfg., while the trigger, dustcover and other small parts are blued. The receiver is embellished by Baron Technology in an engraving pattern based on those from the Winchester Custom Shop. On one side of the receiver is a bison, while on the other side is a depiction of Whitney’s “The Scout.” Each rifle comes with a walnut display case. All of the profits from the sale of these rifles will go to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and Cody Firearms Museum. To orders yours, go to codygun.com or call Navy Arms at (304) 274-0004.

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