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  frontier heritage but also remains one of the finest Winchester One of One Thousand rifles extant today. Most One of One Thousand rifles are plain
and saw significant use, especially those that went West, but Thomas Stuart obviously took great care of his beloved factory engraved rifle given it remains without a doubt the finest “Style Three” One of One Thousand in existence and certainly one of the finest and most historic of all One of One Thousand Winchesters known. Like Granville’s rifle, Thomas’s rifle has been featured in several publications, including: “The Story of the Winchester 1
of 1000 and 1 of 100 Rifles” by Lewis on page 30, “Winchester: The Golden Age of American Gunmaking and the Winchester 1 of 1,000” by R.L. Wilson on page 64, “Winchester: An American Legend” by Wilson on page 49, “Winchester’s New Model of 1873 A Tribute Volume II” by Gordon on 385 and 388. In the first book, Lewis writes, “The story of Granville Stuart is, in many ways, the story of the Montana Territory and the fledgling state of Montana.”“His elegant rifle, along with his brother Thomas’ rifle, are the only ones to have the Style Three barrel inscription. At the time the Stuart rifles were produced, the ‘standard’ type of barrel inscription was the Arabic 1
of 1000. In the last book, Model 1873 expert Gordon writes, “Few historic guns have as much interesting documentation as serial number 5611 and 7282, both 1 of 1000s.” A copy of a factory letter for Granville Stuart’s rifle is included and lists it as 1 of 1,000 rifle with an octagon barrel, set trigger, XXXX checkered stock, Vernier peep and windgauge sights, casehardened finish, and Granville Stuart engraving. It was received in the warehouse on August 13, 1875, and shipped on August 21, 1875, in order 3514 which is the same order number listed on the ledger entry for Thomas Stuart’s rifle.
The rifle has “Thomas Stuart/1875” on the left side plate accented by scroll and geometric line engraving, an inlaid silver band at the muzzle, a dovetailed brass blade front sight, an adjustable sporting rear sight, the “Third Style”“One of One Thousand” in script engraving in a decorative banner with floral finials on top of the barrel at the breech followed by
38 another inlaid silver band, scroll engraving on the top of the receiver and
cover which rides in grooves mortised in the front section of the frame, more scroll around the screw in the top of the frame, a border around the hammer well terminating in a scroll accent ahead of the adjustable peep rear sight, “Model. 1873.” on the tang under the sight, wavy borders on the sides and bottom of the frame with slight scroll accents, three sets of scrolls on the right side of the frame, scrolls at the front and rear of the frame on the left, the serial number engraved on the lower tang, and, correctly, no caliber marking on the elevator. The stock and forearm are checkered, and the 4x deluxe walnut buttstock has absolutely exceptional figure. The stock compartment contains a takedown cleaning rod.
Adding significantly to this rifle’s already considerable historical interest and value is the fact that Granville Stuart specifically ordered this One
of One Thousand and his own because of the advertised enhanced accuracy of these rifles over regular Model 1873s. He intended these rifles to be actual used on the frontier for defense against Native American attacks, meting out “frontier justice” to rustlers and outlaws, hunting, and competitive target shooting. The One of One Thousand program had been announced in 1873 and then more fully explained in Winchester’s 1875 catalog under the headline “Variety of Arms.” The details of this section are covered in depth in Lewis’ book, and the most relevant section is worth reporting here to show why men like Granville and Thomas Stuart would have been drawn to order these expensive rifles for use on the Montana frontier: “Every Sporting Rifle we make will be proved and shot at a target, and the target will be numbered to correspond with the barrel and be attached to it. When one hundred barrels are thus proved, the one making the best target will be selected and set aside, and another hundred proved in the same way, and so on until one thousand have been tested and ten targets selected with the barrels with which they were made. They will then be made up into Guns, in which each part is selected with the utmost care and finished in the finest manner.
This rifle shares Granville Stuart’s One of One Thousand’s exciting Montana around the checkered oval “thumb-print” on the late First Model style dust

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