Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3: Fine Early Production Winchester Model 1866 Lever Action Rifle

Auction Date: April 13, 2018

Fine Early Production Winchester Model 1866 Lever Action Rifle with Desirable Henry Patent Barrel Address

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $25,000 - $35,000

Fine Early Production Winchester Model 1866 Lever Action Rifle with Desirable Henry Patent Barrel Address

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1866
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 44
Barrel: 24 inch octagon
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1896
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 8
Class: Antique

This Winchester Model 1866 rifle was manufactured in 1868. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped with the first style legend "HENRY'S-PATENT-OCT. 16. 1860/KING'S-PATENT-MARCH 29.1866." in two lines ahead of the rear sight. The rifle has a blue octagon barrel, magazine and loading gate and distinctive brass receiver, forearm cap and crescent buttplate. The hammer and loading lever have a color casehardened finish. The stock and forearm are straight grain black walnut. The stock and forearm are fitted with factory sling swivels. The second model receiver is flared at the junction with the forearm and has the serial number, "20721", stamped on the lower tang behind the trigger. The barrel has a dovetail mounted sporting style front sight with iron blade and an early Henry style folding leaf rear sight with 900 yard center notch and elevation bar stop screw. The magazine has the early threaded cap. The forearm has the early first pattern cap. The crescent brass buttplate has a hinged trapdoor, and the butt trap contains a four-piece ramrod with brass tip.

Rating Definition:

Fine. The rifle is completely original and retains 40% plus of the blue finish on the barrel and magazine. The factory legend on the top barrel flat is sharp. The delicate folding leaf rear sight is complete and very good. The hammer retains 40% of the casehardened finish; the case colors on the lever have faded to a brown patina. The brass forearm cap, receiver and crescent buttplate have a mellow unpolished patina and remain very good. The receiver shows minimal handling wear and the side plate joints are perfect. The left side of the receiver has some scattered age spots. The stock and forearm are both fine with very minor handling wear. The early production Winchester Model 1866 rifles were extremely popular on the frontier following the Civil War and are very difficult to find in anything other than well used condition. This rifle is an outstanding example of an early production Second Model 1866 rifle that retains a lot of the original finish and shows only careful handling wear. This outstanding Model 1866 rifle would be a show-piece in any advanced Winchester collection.

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