Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 48: Winchester 1866 Rifle 44 RF

Auction Date: April 24, 2015

Desirable Winchester Model 1866 Lever Action Rifle with "Henry's Patent" Markings

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $20,000 - $30,000

Desirable Winchester Model 1866 Lever Action Rifle with "Henry's Patent" Markings

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1866
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 44 RF
Barrel: 24inch octagon
Finish: blur
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1300
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 23
Class: Antique

Winchester Model 1866 Sporting Rifle manufactured c. 1867. The rifle has the Second Model features which include single upper tang screw and flared receiver at the junction with the forearm. The rifle has the distinctive brass receiver, forearm cap and crescent buttplate with blued octagon barrel and full length magazine. The stock and forearm are straight grain American walnut. Factory sling swivels are fitted to the stock and forearm cap. The receiver has an indented loading port cover retained by a single screw. The barrel has a standard folding leaf rear sight with external retaining spring and 800 yard center notch. The front sight is an early hooded, dove-tail mounted, Ballard style sight with pinch top steel blade. A Ballard style folding rear sight is mounted in a dovetail on the upper tang. The hammer is the early style without a half-cock notch and coarse knurling on the spur. The Henry style buttplate has a hinged trap door. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the early legend: "HENRY'S PATENT-OCT.16.1860/KING'S PATENT-MARCH 29.1866." in two lines ahead of the rear sight. The serial number "16007" is stamped on the left side of the lower receiver tang, in the upper stock inlet and on the inside of the buttplate. All three serial numbers match. "THO J. CALDWEL" is hand stamped in three locations: (1) on the bottom of the stock between the sling swivel and the lower receiver tang, (2) on the left side of the stock near the buttplate and (3) on the right edge of the buttplate. A small cross and "o" are stamped on the lower tang between the lever latch and the tang screw. A dog's head is engraved on the top of the receiver between the ejection port and the barrel. The rifle is accompanied by an evaluation letter written by Dick Loper of the Tom Horn Society.

Rating Definition:

Very good. The blue on the barrel and magazine has faded to a blue-gray patina and there is high-point wear on the edges of the barrel and traces of light pitting. The barrel legend is light but legible. The case colors on the hammer, trigger and lever have faded to a gray-brown patina. The brass forearm cap, receiver and crescent buttplate have a pleasing un-polished patina and are in very good condition with minimal handling wear. The side plate joints are tight. The stock and forearm are both in very good condition with light handling and storage wear. The lower tang screw is a replacement. Early production Model 1866 rifles and carbines inevitably saw hard use. It is very unusual to find a early Model 1866 rifle with the very desirable "Henry's Patent" markings in the condition of this rifle. This is a very good example of an early production Winchester Model 1866 rifle with "Henry's Patent" barrel legend.

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