WINCHESTER MODEL 1866 CARBINE.
A very nice condition example of this scarce and evocative weapon. Just prior to the start of the American Civil War in 1860 the Henry rifle, the very first full production repeating rifle in history was launched to the market within the United States. Very small quantities were adopted by the Union in the Civil War. It was superseded within the Civil War by the 9 shot repeating carbine known as the Spencer, this was cheaper to produce than the Henry and was available in greater quantities and could be said to be the gun that won the Civil War for the Union. After the Civil War in 1866 the , Oliver Winchester renamed the Newhaven Arms Company the Winchester Repeating Arms Company and marketed the modified and improved basic design of the Henry rifle creating the first Winchester rifle Model 1866. It came in three forms, the carbine for cavalry use, the musket for infantry use and the octagonal barrelled rifle for sharp shooting and hunting. The carbine was so successful it went on to be produced to above a figure of 700,000 between 1866 until 1899 and could be said to be the weapon that won the west. Unfortunately the U.S. Government did not learn its lesson of winning the Civil War with the Spencer and went back to a single shot cavalry carbine, the Springfield carbine for issue to its troops to late into the 19th century. The single shot Springfield did not have anywhere near the fire power of the multiple shot Winchester and in events such as the battle of the Little Bighorn the fire power of the Springfield could not repel the overwhelming Indian numbers, if they had been equipped with the Winchester the outcome may have been different. This example is a 3rd model carbine produced in approximately 1877, number ‘142,914’, the number in engraved script at the end of the receiver tang. The wood is excellent and original overall, very minor bruises but with excellent colour, no replacement sections of wood. A circular inspector’s mark to the butt stock, which is a circle with what appears to be three intertwined letters. The colour of the metalwork excellent with good clear ‘Winchester Repeating Arms Company, New Haven Connecticut’ script to the upper barrel just to the front of the rear sight. The lever action and trigger operation works perfectly, complete with its original saddle ring, its twist safety that sits behind the lever action is complete and working correctly. All the original screws fitted to the weapon, evidence of some of the heads being turned,evidence from research reveals that this gun was part of a large military contract for a South American country probably Argentina The calibre is 44 rim fire and is completely legal within the United Kingdom The round cartouche with the letters AOS on the buttstock is pictured on page 65 of the Winchester Book by George Madis who states that nearly 12,000 Model 1866 Carbines in 135.000-148000 serial number range were sold to Argentina in 1877. In the event of an overseas purchasers being interested in this piece please be aware of your own Countries import and licensing regulations before ordering, we will only export this item from the United Kingdom using a licensed exporter if your receiving Country requires licensing.
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