Winchester 1866 4th Model Carbine SRC .44 Henry Lever Rifle, 1883 Antique

SOLD FOR: $5817

LSB#: 230113ED018

Make: Winchester Repeating Arms Co.

Model: 1866 Saddle Ring Carbine 4th Model

Serial Number: 161753

Year of Manufacture: 1883

Caliber: .44 Henry Rimfire

Action Type: Lever Action with Tubular Magazine.

Markings: The lower tang is marked “161753”. The top of the barrel is marked “WINCHESTER’S-REPEATING-ARMS. NEW HAVEN, CT. / KING’S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 2.  1966. OCTOBER 16 1860”.

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 that 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 are extensive cracks around the front of the wrist with less severe cracks at the rear of the butt. The buttstock has light play to the receiver. 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 surface erosion. Overall, the stocks are in Fair-Good condition as refinished Antique.

Type of Finish: Blue & Brass

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is dark. The rifling is worn, but visible. There is moderate erosion and light-moderate pitting scattered through the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates a 3 out of 10.

Most antique firearms have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the use of black powder. When fired, black powder reacts corrosively. NRA Antique Firearm Conditions Standards are quite lenient for bores. In some cases the NRA standards disregarded the bore’s condition for collectors firearms.

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 scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. The brass has some areas of discoloration and the saddle ring’s staple is loose to the frame. The action shows operational wear. There are tool marks around some screw heads, most notable around the lever screw on the right of the frame. The screw heads are tool marked with strong slots. The markings range from clear to worn and incomplete. Overall, this rifle rates in Good-Very Good condition as Antique.

Mechanics: 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: None.

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!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California -Bud

Winchester 1866 4th Model Carbine SRC .44 Henry Lever Rifle, 1883 Antique
Winchester 1866 4th Model Carbine SRC .44 Henry Lever Rifle, 1883 Antique