Couldn't help buying a well used Winchester 1873 in 44/40, in need for some care. In search for a carrier spring, an extractor and a new firing pin, I met the "question", first, second or third model, how do you know the difference. Number is hard to read, but might be 284215B, I am not sure of the number 4, then the number would be 28 215B.
It is a rifle with octan barrel and, what looks to me, a carbine but.
Have no pictures for now.
Second question: Where is the best place to go for parts, know Dixie Gunworks, and have looked at Homestead
Seems like the alpha suffix indicates the production changes of significance. Numrich (e-gunparts) is possible source. or Lodgewood.
Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)