Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 21: Winchester 1866 Rifle 44 RF

Auction Date: April 29, 2016

Desirable Factory Engraved Winchester Model 1866 Deluxe Lever Action Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $35,000 - $55,000

Desirable Factory Engraved Winchester Model 1866 Deluxe Lever Action Rifle

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1866
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 44 RF
Barrel: 24 inch octagon
Finish: blue/silver
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1215
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 14
Class: Antique

This Ulrich Engraved Winchester Third Model 1866 Lever Action Rifle was manufactured in 1869. This Deluxe Sporting Rifle features a factory engraved, silver-plated, frame, forend cap and buttplate. The stock and forearm are select, fancy grain walnut with a high polish varnish finish. The meticulously executed scroll engraving features floral terminals on a punch-dot background. The engraving style is nearly identical to the engraving on Model 1866 Rifle serial number, 35969 illustrated on page 59 of "THE BOOK OF WINCHESTER ENGRAVING" by R. L. Wilson. Wilson attributes the engraving on rifle number 35969 to Herman L. Ulrich. The rifle has a blued, full octagon barrel and full length magazine. The barrel is fitted with a dovetail mounted, nickel-silver front sight and a folding leaf rear sight with 900 yard center notch. The loading lever and hammer have a casehardened finish. The stock and forearm cap are fitted with factory sling swivels. The top barrel flat is roll stamped with the two line legend: "WINCHESTER'S-REPEATING-ARMS.NEWHAVEN.CT. / KING'S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29.1866. OCTOBER 16. 1860". The serial number "35973" is located in an engraved banner on the lower receiver tang. The matching serial number (last four digits, "5973" is stamped internally on the buttstock and on the buttplate). A "B" factory inspection mark is stamped between the serial number and the tang screw. "S" and "XX" is stamped on the left lower tang internally.

Rating Definition:

Very good plus. The rifle barrel and magazine have a gray-brown patina with traces of the original blue finish in protected areas. The surfaces of the barrel are generally smooth with some minor patches of surface rust and several insignificant scratches. The barrel markings are clear. The brass receiver has a mellow patina and retains traces of the silver plated finish in protected areas. The cartridge elevator retains 40% of the silver plating. The side plate joints are perfect. The engraving is crisp and deep. The buttplate retains 50% of the original silver-plated finish. Most of the original case colors are present on the hammer; the loading lever has a gray-brown patina with minor spots of surface rust. Traces of niter blue finish are visible on the loading gate. The stock and forearm are in very fine overall condition with moderate handling wear. There are scattered minor scratches on the stock and forearm with a moderate dent on the left side of the stock wrist between the receiver tang and the comb. The stock retains 75% of the high-polish piano finish. This is an original example of a Winchester Model 1866 Deluxe Lever Action Rifle with factory engraving and a silver-plated finish.

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