Original U.S. Winchester Model 1866 "Yellow Boy" .44RF Saddle Ring Carbine Serial 136733 - Made in 1877

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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 still appears to be in the original .44 Henry Rimfire chambering, 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. This is one of the few unconverted examples we have seen.

The carbine features the original standard carbine front sight attached to the front band and a simple 2 leaf rear sight. The serial number is 136733, denoting the year of manufacture as 1877, four years after the release of the Model of 1873. It is important to note that the model 1866 production continued throughout the 1870s and 1880s, as the model 1866 was cheaper, and remained popular. This meant that 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 a lot of use, however the original barrel address markings are still partly legible in the light, something very rare to see on a model 1866!:-


The receiver also still has the original saddle ring attached on the left side, which is often missing, though the loop is a bit loose. Stocks are in good condition, showing wear but also a lovely color, having been refinished some time in the past. The action has a beautiful patina on the "gunmetal" frame, which we have left intact. Barrel looks to have been cleaned and over the years, with areas of peppering and staining. Features a brass "flat" butt plate, with a working storage compartment.

The rifle is in overall very nice condition. The action cycles well, and does not have any issues that we can see, though we did not do any tests to see if it can still feed correctly. The bore is partly bright, showing rifling in areas, but does also show wear and past oxidation. Many examples that we have seen are completely dark, so this is definitely one of the best we have seen.

A very nice example of an iconic gun. Only one of a few 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: 1877
Caliber: .44 Henry Rimfire
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 20 Inches
Overall Length: 39 Inches

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

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