Deluxe, factory engraved, gold-plated, Winchester Model 1866 rifle that was manufactured circa 1869. The rifle has the Third Model features which include the serial number, "38510" stamped on the lower receiver tang behind the trigger and moderately curved receiver profile. The rifle has a blued octagon barrel and full-length magazine, color casehardened hammer, lever and trigger, niter blue loading gate and gold plated brass forearm cap, receiver and crescent buttplate. The stock and forearm are deluxe, XXX fancy grain walnut with a high polish 'piano' finish. The forearm cap, sides, top and bottom of the receiver and heel of the buttplate are factory engraved with Germanic scrollwork on a punch-dot background. Both side plates have open panels. The panels on the forward portion of the receiver contain floral engraving. An eagle head is partially concealed in the scrollwork on the left side of the receiver. The engraving features a combination of wavy line, scalloped and dot borders which is typical of the borders on Winchester rifles factory engraved by Conrad, John or Herman Ulrich. The eagle head on the left side plate is similar to the animal heads found on Gustave Young engraved firearms. Early Ulrich engraving was similar in style to Gustave Young's work. The barrel has a special order, dove-tail mounted, globe front sight and a standard, Henry style folding leaf rear sight. The rear sight has a 900 yard center notch and a slide stop screw. A folding peep sight is mounted on the receiver tang. The rifle has special order sling swivels on the forearm cap and stock. The hammer spur has border-less knurling. The buttplate has a hinged trap door and the butt trap contains the standard, four-piece, jointed and steel ramrod with brass tip. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped with the two-line legend: "WINCHESTER'S-REPEATING ARMS. NEW HAVEN. CT./KING'S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29.1866. OCTOBER 16. 1860." ahead of the rear sight. The serial number, "38510" is stamped on the lower receiver tang behind the trigger and enclosed in an engraved banner. A factory inspection mark "B" is stamped behind the serial number.
Very fine as period replated. The gold plated finish on the forearm cap, receiver and buttplate shows only minimal wear and is at least 95% intact. The engraving is deep and crisp. The side plate joints are tight. The barrel and magazine retain 70% plus of the original blue finish with sharp edges and crisp barrel legend. The case colors on the hammer, trigger, lever and sling swivels have faded to a mottled dove-gray. Considerable fire blue finish is visible on the loading gate. The balance is a blue gray patina. The highly figured, fancy grain walnut stock is in very fine condition and retains most of the high polish piano finish. The forearm has a number of shallow dents and scratches and some minor finish loss. The stock has less handling wear than the forearm with a few scattered and very minor dents and scratches. This is an outstanding example of a rare, deluxe, factory engraved, gold plated Winchester Model 1866 Lever Action rifle.
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