Offered here is a solid representative example of a Winchester Model 1866 Carbine as manufactured in 1874. It is a third model with the serial number marked in block numerals behind the trigger, flared frame to meet forend, and the curved frame profile in the hammer area as more pronounced than as seen in the first and second models. Other features include a saddle ring on the left side of the receiver, brass trapdoor buttplate containing a three-piece cleaning rod. barrel band with integral front sight, first style carbine folding leaf sight, and threaded magazine tube cap. The top of the barrel has the two-line Winchester New Haven address/King's improvement patent dates legend ahead of the rear sight. The Winchester inspection mark "LS" is stamped behind the serial number. A small "&" is stamped just ahead of the lever catch. The barrel, barrel bands and magazine tube are blue. The loading gate is nitre blue. The hammer and lever have a casehardened finish. The plain forearm and straight grip stock are walnut. The '66 secured Winchester's place in the annals of the West and launched a long line of successful Winchester lever actions that remain popular to this day and still retain the basic form of the '66. It saw use in conflicts over land, gold, and other resources on the frontier in the second half of the 19th century in the hands of settlers, Native Americans, outlaws, lawmen, and hunters and is the direct descendant of the Henry rifle and traces its lineage back to earlier repeaters like the Smith-Jennings and Volcanic.
Very good plus. The barrel, magazine tube and barrel bands have a deep smooth plum brown patina with traces of original blue finish in the protected areas. The hammer and lever have a mottled blue-gray patina. Traces of original nitre blue are present on the loading gate. The brass has an untouched mellow aged patina with a slightly darker appearance on the buttplate. The side plates are tight fitting. The barrel markings are light but completely legible. The serial number and markings on the lower tang are crisp. The re-oiled wood is very good with light-moderate handling wear. Mechanically excellent. Examples of Winchester Model 1866 Saddle Ring Carbines in this condition are very difficult to find.
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