The legendary Winchester Model 1866 or "improved Henry" was one of the earliest and most widely used repeating rifles in the American West and saw use in conflicts over land, gold, and other resources on the frontier in the second half of the 19th century in the hands of settlers, Native Americans, outlaws, lawmen, and hunters. It is the direct descendant of the Henry rifle and traces its lineage back to earlier repeaters like the Volcanic. This rifle was manufactured in 1872 as a third model with the serial number stamped in block numerals behind the trigger, and the distinctive brass receiver has the more moderately curved shape at the rear when compared to the earlier first and second models. The rifle is fitted with a German silver blade front sight, period modified two leaf rear sight, and tang peep sight with 4 inch staff. The top barrel flat is stamped with the two-line Winchester New Haven address/King's improvement patent marking. Sling swivels are mounted on the underside of the forend cap and stock. The forearm and straight grip stock are nicely figured walnut. The buttstock is fitted with a trapdoor crescent buttplate (cleaning rod not included).
Fine. The barrel and magazine tube retain traces of original blue finish in the protected areas with a smooth brown patina on the balance and a few patches of pitting. The receiver, forend cap, and buttplate retain 95% of the period retailer applied nickel plating. The loading gate retains 40% niter blue. The wood is also fine with an added coat of varnish, a couple of repairs on the forearm, and minor handling marks. Mechanically excellent.
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