This exceptional Winchester Model 1866 carbine was manufactured in 1877. The included factory letter lists it as Type: carbine, Received in warehouse on September 25, 1877, and shipped from warehouse on October 11, 1877, on order number 9704. The carbine has the distinctive brass receiver and buttplate with blued barrel, magazine, barrel bands, and loading gate. The hammer and lever are color casehardened. The stock and forearm are oil-finished straight grain American walnut. The carbine has the Third Model, moderately curved receiver shape, and serial number located on the lower tang behind the lever latch. The front sight blade is an integral part of the upper barrel band. The barrel has a dovetail mounted two-leaf fixed rear sight with "1, 3," and "5" markings. The magazine has the earlier style threaded cap. The left side of the receiver has a staple-mounted saddle ring. The upper tang is not drilled and tapped for a rear sight. The buttplate has a sliding brass trap door and the butt trap contains a three-piece, jointed steel cleaning rod with brass tip. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the legend: "WINCHESTER'S-REPEATING-ARMS. NEW HAVEN. CT./KING'S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29. 1866. OCTOBER 16. 1860." in two lines ahead of the rear sight. A small Winchester "S" inspection mark is stamped on the top of the barrel between the rear sight and the receiver. The serial number is stamped in script numerals on the lower tang between the loading latch and the tang screw. A cartouche that consists of the script letters "AOS" in a banner is stamped on the underside of the stock behind the lower tang. A round monogram with the intertwined letters "AOS" is stamped on the left side of the stock near the butt-plate. The cartouche is pictured on page 65 of "THE WINCHESTER BOOK" by George Madis who states that nearly 12,000 Model 1866 carbines in the 135,000-148,000 serial number range were sold to Argentina in 1877. Madis states that the Argentine Model 1866 carbines were stamped with the AOS marking. Provenance: The Joe Marlin Hilliard Collection
Excellent. The carbine is all original and retains 95% plus of the original blue finish. Nearly all of the blue finish is present on the barrel and magazine. The sides of the barrel bands have some storage wear and retain 80% of the blue finish. The loading gate has 90% of the original niter blue finish. At least 95% of the muted case-colors are present on the hammer and loading lever. The brass receiver and buttplate are in exceptional condition with untouched, unpolished patina. The receiver shows almost no handling wear and the side-plate joints are in perfect condition. The buttplate has a few, very minor, handling marks. The stock and forearm are in excellent condition. Nearly all of the original oil finish remains. Wear is limited to a few scattered and very minor storage marks. The serial number, Winchester markings on the barrel and Argentine cartouches on the stock are all crisp. As-issued condition, Model 1866 carbines are almost non-existent. This is one of the very best Winchester Model 1866 carbines extant. It would be extremely difficult to find a better example of a Model 1866 carbine than this exceptional example!
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