Model 1866 Lever Action rifle manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1869. The rifle has the distinctive brass receiver, forearm cap and buttplate and a blue 24 inch full octagon barrel and full-length magazine. The hammer and lever are color casehardened. The stock and forearm are straight grain American black walnut. The rifle has factory special order sling swivels on the forearm cap and stock. The barrel has a large special order nickel-silver knife blade front sight blade and early Henry style folding leaf rear sight. The rear sight leaf has a rounded top with 900 yard center notch and an elevator bar stop screw. The upper tang has a single screw and is not drilled and tapped for a tang sight. The buttplate has a hinged trapdoor. The Third Model receiver has the serial number stamped in block numerals on the lower tang behind the trigger. A small "B" Winchester inspection mark is stamped on the lower tang behind the serial number. 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 Model 1866 was the first gun manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. after its charter was granted by the State of Connecticut in May 1866. The Model 1866 established the association between the Winchester lever-action rifle and the American frontier. Equally desired by frontiersmen and Native Americans, the "Yellow Boy", more than any other firearm, deserves the title "The Gun That Won the West".
Fine. The rifle retains traces of the blue finish. The balance of the barrel and magazine have an attractive plum brown patina. The edges of the barrel are sharp and the Winchester legend is crisp and clear. There are scattered patches of age spotting and pitting on the right side of the barrel and magazine. Traces of the original case colors are present on the hammer and trigger; the balance of the case colors have faded to a brown patina. Traces of blue finish are present on the loading gate. The brass forearm, receiver and buttplate have a good looking, untouched, patina. The side plate joints are tight and free from pry marks. There are a few shallow dents on both sides of the receiver surrounding the loading lever screw. The stock and forearm are good overall. The bottom of the forearm has scalloped impressions that are typical saddle pommel wear. The stock has scattered, minor dents and scratches. This is a fine example of a desirable Winchester Third Model 1866 lever action rifle.
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