Winchester Model 1866 carbine manufactured circa 1867. The carbine has the Second Model features which include: (1) flared receiver at the junction with the forearm, (2) single upper tang screw, and (3) indented loading gate. The hammer has a hand-knurled spur and no half-cock feature. The Second Pattern stock has a 3 1/2-inch wrist and is fitted with the early Henry style crescent buttplate with hinged trap and no reinforcing web. The barrel has a front band with integral steel sight blade and a Henry style folding leaf rear sight with elevation bar stop screw. A staple-mounted saddle ring is located on the left side of the receiver. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the two-line legend: "HENRY'S PATENT-OCT. 16. 1860/KING'S-PATENT-MARCH 29. 1861" ahead of the rear sight. The serial number is stamped beneath the stock on the left side of the lower receiver tang. A second serial number, "14806", is stamped on the inside of the stock in the upper tang inlet and on the inside of the buttplate. A line of eight Japanese characters is stamped on the right side of the stock parallel to the lower tang, and four additional characters are stamped on the right side of the stock toward the butt. The rifle is accompanied by an article published in "The Winchester Collector" by Francis Allan, Chip Goddard and Takehito Jimbo entitled "Henry Rifles & Winchester Carbines in Japan - Follow-Up." The article states that 5,000 Winchester Model 1866 carbines were shipped to Japan in 1867 and identifies some of the Japanese registration marks stamped on the stocks of Model 1866 carbine serial numbers 15465, 17994, and 18672. Included with the carbine is a letter dated May 20, 2007, that describes how this carbine was purchased from a resident of Tombstone, Arizona, who claimed to have found it while exploring an abandoned mine during the 1920s.
Fine. The carbine barrel, magazine, and bands have 20% blue with the balance a smooth plum-brown patina. The barrel markings are legible, and the rear sight is complete and appears to be original to the carbine. The brass buttplate has a good-looking, unpolished patina. The fine receiver shows minimal handling or storage wear, and the side plate joints are perfect. The buttplate has a number of minor dents and scratches. The straight grain walnut stock and forearm are both in fine overall condition with a number of minor handling marks. The Japanese registration marks on the right side of the stock are lightly struck and only partly legible. The stock and buttplate apparently came from a different carbine. However, the proximity of the receiver and stock numbers indicates that the barrel/receiver and stock/buttplate both came from Japanese Model 1866 carbines and were period mis-matched. This is a fine example of an early production Winchester Model 1866 saddle ring carbine with rarely encountered Japanese registration markings and a colorful but unsubstantiated history.
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