Scarce 1870 Mfg. Winchester “YELLOWBOY” Model 1866 MUSKET .44 HENRY Rimfire
SCARCE Lever Action Musket Made in 1870
Here we present an antique Winchester Model 1866 “Yellowboy” Musket, manufactured in New Haven, Connecticut in 1870.
After the close of the American Civil War, the New Haven Arms Company became the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. One of its first orders of business was in revising and improving the Henry Rifle, which proved revolutionary to understate it. A new rifle was envisioned and patented by Winchester’s shop superintendent Nelson King in 1866 and became the lever-action repeating Winchester Model 1866. Known as the Yellowboy, due to its brass frame and hardware, this was the first Winchester lever action rifle. It remains absolutely iconic as the “gun that won the West”, being used by pioneers, Native Americans, cowboys, lawmen, and ne’er-do-wells alike. It is the cornerstone for many a historical collection.
It was revolutionary for its time, though it was based on the Henry Rifle that saw limited use during the American Civil War. Winchester improved upon the weaknesses of that design to make a very reliable, sturdy, and accurate rifle with a high volume of fire. The magazine tube became totally enclosed from the elements and the frame-mounted loading gate was introduced, allowing quick reloads and the ability to top off the magazine. The Model 1866 proved an immediate success for Winchester, with around 170,000 guns going on to be manufactured. The 1866 appeared in three forms for the mass market. They were the carbine, rifle, and the musket. The musket, as is this rifle, made up only 15,000 of the guns produced, making it by far the scarcest. Some of these are known to have been used by local militias, such as the Louisiana State Militia. Others might have preferred these due to their familiarity with the long rifle or rifle-musket of yesteryear, which were still being used at this time but were rapidly fading into obsolescence. The additional magazine capacity certainly never hurts.
The overall condition is near fine. The action is excellent. The bore is shiny bright with nice rifling. The comb is carved with a large featherlike design. The forearm has a thin, stable split. This rifle has been nicely refinished throughout and is a truly handsome specimen.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 27 inches.
Caliber: .44 Henry Rimfire
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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