Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3013: Winchester Model 1866 Saddle Ring Flat Side Lever Action Carbine

Auction Date: May 15, 2022

Very Scarce First Year Production Winchester Model 1866 Saddle Ring Flat Side Lever Action Carbine with Madis Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $8,000 - $12,000

Very Scarce First Year Production Winchester Model 1866 Saddle Ring Flat Side Lever Action Carbine with Madis Letter

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1866
Type: Carbine
Gauge: 44 RF
Barrel: 20 inch round
Finish: blue
Item Views: 549
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 16
Class: Antique

Manufactured in 1866, the first year of production. This very scarce Winchester Model 1866 flat side carbine features highly desirable early features: the Henry and King patent dates barrel marking ("HENRY'S PATENT-OCT. 16. 1860/KING'S PATENT-MARCH 29. 1866," faint), flat loading port cover, two screw upper tang, and "Henry Drop" receiver. Other features include a front sight blade is integral to the front barrel band, two-leaf rear sight, original rimfire firing pin, original factory installed staple and saddle ring on the left side of the receiver, hammer with only full cock notch, magazine tube with the early threaded cap correctly without a screw, and trapdoor brass buttplate (cleaning rod not included). Matching serial numbers are found on the left side of the lower tang, stock inlet, and buttplate. A small "151 assembly number is on the left side of the lower tang. The barrel, magazine, barrel bands, and loading gate are blued. The hammer, lever, and trigger are casehardened. The buttstock and forearm are walnut. A G.G. Wright collection tag with number "134" hangs from the lever. In the included letter (copy), Winchester expert and author authenticates this flat side Model 1866 carbine. He ends the letter by expressing great admiration for this Winchester arm: "Collector demand is great for this early model. Number 13900 embodies historical importance, originality, condition, rarity and an age of well over a century. It will be a prize for any collection or museum." In "The Winchester Book," page 57, Madis estimated that the total number of First Model 1866s manufactured by Winchester was approximately 3,500 guns, equally divided between rifles and carbines. He further estimated that the survival rate for these early Winchesters was about 25% and that "less than 875" First Model 1866 rifles and carbines were available to collectors.

Rating Definition:

Good. The barrel has an artificial aged appearance. The magazine, barrel bands, hammer and lever show a mix of smooth brown and gray patinas. The brass has an attractive mellow patina. The lower half of the first upper tang screw is absent. The receiver has tight fitting side plates. The refinished wood is also good with a few filled small blemishes and minor handling marks. Mechanically excellent. A difficult to find first year production Winchester Model 1866 Flat Side Carbine.

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