SOLD FOR: $5888
Make: Winchester Repeating Arms Co.
Model: 1866 Saddle Ring Carbine 4th Model
Serial Number: 161986
Year of Manufacture: 1883
Caliber: .44 Henry Rimfire
Action Type: Lever Action with Tubular Magazine.
Markings: The lower tang is marked “161986”. The top of the barrel is marked “WINCHESTER’S-REPEATING-ARMS NEW HAVEN, CT. / KING’S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 2 1 66 OCTOBER 16 1860” (this marking is worn and incomplete).
Barrel Length: 20”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the barrel behind the front barrel band. The rear sight is a folding ladder-style sight which presents a “V”-notch when folded down. When folded up, the ladder has a “V”-notched slider with the ladder graduated from 2-9 in hundreds of yards.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece smooth walnut with a banded forend, straight comb, straight grip and steel buttplate with a sliding door over a storage compartment (there is nothing in the compartment). The stocks have scattered nicks, dings, bruises and scratches. There is a minor loss at the right-front of the wrist with a much more notable loss in the left of the wrist at the top tang. There are some grain-line cracks at the rear edge of the buttstock. The wood shows signs of sanding. The LOP measures 13 1/2″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has scattered scratching and some surface erosion with residue around the edges which is likely from the stock’s new finish. Overall, the stocks are in Good-plus condition as refinished Antique.
Type of Finish: Blue & Brass
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is dark. The rifling is generally well defined but is interrupted by erosion in some spots. There is moderate erosion and light-moderate pitting scattered through the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 25% of its metal finish. The barrel and magazine tube have gone to a light patina with some scattered darker spots of oxidation and minor erosion. The receiver has gone to a mustard patina, showing the crystalline appearance of old brass. There are scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. The action shows operational wear. There are tool marks around some screw heads. The screw heads range from tool marked with strong slots to disfigured with questionably usable slots. The markings range from clear to worn and incomplete. Overall, this rifle rates in Good-Very Good condition as Antique (see Mechanics).
Mechanics: The extractor is notably weak and will not properly extract cases. Otherwise, the action functions correctly. The hammer has a half-cock safety. We have not fired this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This rifle comes with a Cody Firearms Museum letter which confirms that this rifle shipped in its current configuration on December 3, 1883 on order number 9491.
Our Assessment: The Model 1866 rifle was the first firearm to be built by the new Winchester Arms after they changed their name from the New Haven Arms Company in 1866. The Model 1866 was a much-improved version of the Henry rifle, with a loading port on the right side of the receiver featuring a spring-loaded cover, through which cartridges could be fed into a new solid magazine tube that was much stronger than the slotted tube used on the Henry. The loading gate precluded the need for an external follower, allowing for a walnut forend to be installed which prevented the user from burning their hands during extensive firing. The M1866 was made in rifle, carbine and musket versions and in four different models dependent on date of manufacture. All of the different models were chambered in .44 Henry Rimfire, with some of the later 4th Models chambered in .44 Henry Centerfire and some converted to Centerfire later.
This rifle is a Model 1866 Saddle Ring Carbine 4th Model. The rifle has honest wear given its age and has not been converted for center-fire cartridges, still having its rimfire firing pin bushing. Most Winchester collectors would never think that their collection was complete without at least all three variations of the M1866, while some would argue for all of the variations of the four different models. This 1866 4th Model Saddle Ring Carbine will be a great addition to a collection. Please see our photos and good luck!