The Model 1866 Winchester was essentially a Henry Rifle with improvements invented and patented by Winchester shop Superintendent Nelson King in 1866. The side loading gate, modified magazine and new walnut forearm eliminated the primary defects in the Henry rifle and created the lever action rifle associated with the name "Winchester". This carbine is a Fourth Model manufactured in 1883. The top of the barrel has the later barrel marking: "WINCHESTER'S - REPEATING - ARMS NEW HAVEN. CT. / KING'S- IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29 1866, OCT.16. 1860.", and the breech end and bottom of the cartridge carrier are absent of caliber markings. The 2 in the serial number is factory stamped over a number 1. The carbine features a square base blade sight integral to the barrel, folding carbine rear sight graduated to 900 yards and marked "1873" at the top, screw retained magazine cap, checkered hammer, staple and saddle ring attached to the left side of the frame, (with newer leather strap), and single screw upper tang. mounted with a smooth forearm secured with one barrel band and straight grip stock with crescent buttplate with compartment (cleaning rod not included).
Very fine. The barrel retains 50% plus of the original blue finish mainly in the protected areas and on the breech end, with a smooth brown patina on the balance. The hammer has vivid case colors visible on the face, the lever and buttplate have an attractive smooth dark patina. The exceptionally fine frame has a very pleasant aged patina. The loading gate retains 30% plus original nitre blue. The wood is also very fine showing some scattered minor dings and scratches. The barrel markings are crisp and clear. Mechanically excellent.
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