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 I also want the words ‘One of a Thousand in fancy letters and surrounded by a wreath or other appropriate border for the figures on those guns you sent before,
‘1 of 1000’ are neither neat nor of a handsome appearance.” In this statement, you can credit Granville Stuart with generating the distinctive Third Style inscription on his rifle and his brother Thomas’ and the Fourth Style that followed.
LOT 29
Historic and Extraordinary Documented Factory Engraved “One of One Thousand” Winchester Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle Ordered by Montana Pioneer and Vigilante Leader Granville Stuart and Inscribed for His Brother and Fellow Pioneer Thomas Stuart in 1875 from the Legendary Mac McCroskie Collection - Serial no. 5611, 44-40 WCF cal., 24 inch octagon bbl., blue/casehardened finish, deluxe checkered walnut stock. Winchester’s lever action rifles, especially the Model 1873, remain among the most iconic and collectible American firearms of all time, and none is more desirable than
the exceedingly rare One of One Thousands. James D. Gordon wrote, “To the collector of early Winchesters, the Model 1873 ‘One of a Thousand’ has long been the epitome of desirable guns.” If these rifles were the epitome of a desirable guns, this rifle has to be the epitome of the most desirable One of One Thousands. It has everything a collector could want: immense rarity, extremely high condition, exceptional quality, and a documented connection to the Montana frontier starting with its special order by “Mr. Montana” himself, Granville Stuart, followed by its historic factory inscription for his younger brother and fellow pioneer Thomas and publication in several notable collecting books.
Winchester only manufactured 132 of these highly sought after rifles as part of a brief sales campaign in the 1870s specifically advertising them to men seeking the most accurate repeating rifles in the world. Many have long since been lost. When Gordon published “Winchesters New Model of 1873: A Tribute” in 1997, only 57 were known to the author. The factory ultimately abandoned the program but not before it gained the attention of some of the pioneers in the West, including Granville
Stuart who ordered at least five of the 132 One of One Thousand Model 1873s. He rejected the first two, kept one for himself, ordered our current rifle for his younger brother Thomas, and ordered another for a friend. Granville and Thomas Stuart’s One of One Thousands are the only two Model 1873s deemed by Gordon and Lewis in their respective books to have the “Third Style” barrel inscription that was based specifically on Granville Stuart’s own complaints about the two rifles he rejected, and their “Third Style” rifles are distinct from later versions since their upper left and right barrel flats are not engraved. Thus, this incredible Model 1873 is one of only two One of One Thousand rifles to have the “Style Three” barrel inscription.
 "Mr. Montana" Granville Stuart

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