Lot #14
Lot #16

Lot 15: Winchester First Model 1866 Lever Action Rifle

Auction Location: Rock Island, IL

Auction Date: December 2, 2016

Lot 15: Winchester First Model 1866 Lever Action Rifle

Auction Location: Rock Island, IL

Auction Date: December 2, 2016

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

Winchester First Model 1866 Lever Action Rifle Documented in Madis Book with Letter

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1866
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 44 RF
Barrel: 24 inch octagon
Finish: blue/sun metal
Grip:
Stock: varnished walnut
Item Views: 3582
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 18
Class: Antique
Description:

Manufactured in 1867 and subsequently restored bock to the first configuration. This rifle is illustrated and described on page 58 of "The Winchester Book" by George Madis. The rifle is accompanied by a detailed, five-page, evaluation by Madis that concludes the rifle is all original, is one an estimated 50 surviving First Model 1866 Rifles and remains in "truly outstanding" condition. (We do not agree with his assessment!) The rifle has the distinctive brass receiver and crescent buttplate with blued octagon barrel and full-length magazine, casehardened hammer, lever and trigger; and burl grain walnut stock and forearm. The left side of the receiver has a factory staple-mounted saddle ring. The hammer has coarse, borderless knurling and does not have a half-cock feature. The buttplate has a hinged trapdoor, and the butt-trap contains a four-piece, steel cleaning rod with brass tip. The rifle has the distinctive First Model features which include: receiver with "Henry Drop" and no flare at the junction with the forearm, two tang screws, screw-fastened magazine retaining band, un-capped forearm with chamfered tip and single brass retaining screw and Henry's patent/King's patent barrel legend. The barrel has the first pattern sporting style front sight with nickel silver blade and a folding leaf rear sight with 1000 yard center notch and no elevation bar stop. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped: "HENRY'S PATENT. OCT. 16. 1860./KING'S-PATENT. MARCH 29. 1866" in two lines ahead of the rear sight. The Madis letter states that the underside of the barrel is stamped with two crosses indicating it was fired and proofed and a "W" factory inspection mark. The letter further states that the serial number "15052" is stamped on the underside of the barrel, left side of the lower tang, in the upper stock inlet and on the inside of the buttplate. The letter also indicates that the assembly number "1676" is stamped on the inside of both side plates.

Rating Definition:

Very good as professionally restored overall. The finish on the barrel and magazine is an artificially aged, very attractive plum brown. The surfaces of the barrel and magazine are smooth and the barrel edges are sharp. The factory legend is clear. The loading port cover, and hammer, trigger, lever and saddle ring have a smooth brown patina. The receiver and crescent buttplate are in condition very little handling wear and a good looking aged patina. The side plate joints are tight and show minimal evidence of disassembly. The nicely figured replacement burl walnut stock and forearm have been re-varnished long ago but remain in good condition and shows only a few, very minor, storage and handling marks.



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