Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3094: Winchester 1866 Rifle 44 Henry RF

Auction Date: September 15, 2013

Winchester Third Model 1866 Rifle with Browning Brothers Retailer Marked Barrel and Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $9,500 - $16,000

Winchester Third Model 1866 Rifle with Browning Brothers Retailer Marked Barrel and Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1866
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 44 Henry RF
Barrel: 24 inch octagon
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 948
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 45
Class: Antique

Manufactured in 1876. The rifle has a blue octagon barrel with full-length magazine. The forearm cap, receiver and crescent buttplate are brass gunmetal. The hammer and lever are casehardened. The stock and forearm are straight grain American walnut. The barrel has a sporting style front sight with nickel silver blade and sporting rear sight with checkered edges. The hammer has the later bordered knurling on the spur. The buttplate has a hinged brass trap. The top of the barrel is roll stamped with the second style legend "WINCHESTER'S-REPEATING ARMS. NEW HAVEN. CT./KING'S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29. 1866. OCTOBER 16. 1860" ahead of the rear sight. "BROWNING BROTHERS" is stamped on the top of the barrel between the rear sight and the receiver. The Cody letter states that the rifle was originally shipped from Winchester with a round barrel. The octagon barrel presently on the rifle appears to be a period replacement installed in the Ogden, Utah, gun shop operated by John M. Browning and Jonathan Edmund Browning circa 1879. The serial number "130769" is stamped in block letters on the lower tang behind the trigger. The accompanying factory letter verifies the rifle configuration, that it was received in the warehouse on June 3, 1876 and shipped to order number 6184 on June 9, 1876.

Rating Definition:

Very good. The barrel and magazine retain about 50% of the period refurbished blue finish, with the exception of the barrel. The finish has lifted in several areas on the top and sides of the barrel and there is light pitting on the exposed surfaces. The brass forearm cap, receiver and buttplate are very good with an even unpolished patina. There are light vice marks on both sides of the receiver ahead of the side plates. "44/WCF" is crudely scratched in small letters on the cartridge elevator. However, the breech bolt of the rifle has not been converted to center-fire. The stock and forearm are very good with scattered light dents and scratches. This is a solid example of a historic Winchester Third Model 1866 Rifle that was used on the frontier and had the barrel replaced by John or Ed Browning at their Ogden, Utah, gun shop.

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