Original U.S. Winchester Model 1866 Yellow Boy .44 Centerfire Carbine Serial 96891 - Made in 1872

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Every Schoolboys dream! A genuine M-1866 YELLOW BOY, the legendary Brass-framed first Winchester Saddle Ring Carbine. First introduced in 1866, having taken over the Henry Rifle Company, Oliver Winchester launched one of the iconic Firearm names in the history of THE OLD WEST.

This Yellow "Gunmetal"-Framed  Beauty is in .44 centerfire with a 20" round barrel and full-length magazine tube. These were originally all made in .44 Henry Rimfire, however a few late production Winchester 1866 rifles were configured to fire .44 Henry Centerfire. There were also period conversions to other centerfire cartridges. We unfortunately have not been able to determine whether this was a factory centerfire rifle, or whether it was converted shortly after.

The carbine features the standard carbine front sight attached to the front band and a simple 2 leaf rear sight. The serial number is 96891, denoting the year of manufacture as 1872, just one year before the release of the Model of 1873. It is important to note that the model 1866 production continued throughout the 1870s and 1880s, so factory parts for other calibers were readily available. Model 1866 Winchesters between 25,000 – 149,000 are considered the "third model", which ended up being the most widely made model. The issues with the 1st and 2nd models had been ironed out, making this a very robust design.

This example has seen quite a bit of use, so the barrel patent markings are completely gone, having been worn away from cleaning over the years. This example also looks to originally have had a saddle ring, but it was removed and the holes on the left receiver filled with brass.

Stocks are in good condition, a with a few dings, small chips, and minor imperfections but retains much of the original finish, and are the dark red-brown color of aged oiled walnut. The action has a beautiful patina on the "gunmetal" frame, which we have left intact. Barrel looks to have been cleaned and refinished over the years, with small areas of light peppering. Features a "hook" butt plate, though the storage compartment cover has broken off. The rifle is in overall very nice condition. Action is a bit stiff but cycles and dry fires. The bore is mostly bright, showing lands and grooves but also wear.

A great example of an iconic gun. Only the second that we have ever offered for sale!

The first Winchester rifle – the Winchester Model 1866 – was originally chambered for the rimfire .44 Henry. Nicknamed the "Yellow Boy" because of its receiver of a bronze/brass alloy called gunmetal, it was famous for its rugged construction and lever-action "repeating rifle" mechanism that allowed the user to fire a number of shots before having to reload. Nelson King's improved patent remedied flaws in the Henry rifle by incorporating a loading gate on the side of the frame and integrating a round, sealed magazine which was partially covered by a forestock.

France purchased 6,000 Model 1866 rifles along with 4.5 million .44 Henry cartridges during the Franco-Prussian War. The Ottoman Empire purchased 45,000 Model 1866 rifles and 5,000 carbines in 1870 and 1871. These rifles were used in the 1877 Russo-Turkish War, causing much surprise when outnumbered Turks at the Siege of Plevna inflicted many times more casualties than their opponents armed with single-shot Krnka and Berdan rifles. The Model 1866 compelled Russians to develop a new rifle, the Mosin–Nagant, after the war.

The Swiss Army initially selected the Model 1866 to replace their existing single-shot Milbank-Amsler rifles. However, ensuing political pressure to adopt a domestic design resulted in the Vetterli Model 1867, a bolt-action design utilizing a copy of the Winchester's tubular magazine, being adopted instead.

Due to public demand, the Model 1866 continued to be manufactured and sold until 1899, mainly because they were less expensive than the later steel-framed centerfire models. Later models were chambered for the .44-40 Winchester cartridge.


Year of Manufacture: 1872
Caliber: .44
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 20 Inches
Overall Length: 39 Inches

Action type: Lever Action Repeater
Feed System: 13-round tube magazine

Note: This gun is NOT considered obsolete calibre, so we are no able to ship to the United Kingdom. Please note that for international shipping, these MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services.

  • This product is not available for shipping in US state(s)
    New Jersey

    This product is available for international shipping.
  • Not eligible for payment with Paypal or Amazon


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