Antique Winchester YELLOWBOY Model 1866 .44 MUSKET
Lever Action MUSKET Made in 1873 With Bayonet!
Here we present an antique Winchester Model 1866 “Yellowboy” Musket, manufactured in New Haven, Connecticut in 1873 and the accompanying bayonet. 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 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 carbine made up 127,000 of the guns produced, making it by far the most popular. The rifle had a production number of 28,000, while the musket had only 15,000 made, making it by far the rarest.
The so-called “musket” version was simply a longer variant with the ability to take a bayonet and with a larger magazine capacity. Made to try to get military contracts, there were some state and local militias who purchased them, but no US contracts were made. This one comes with the original bayonet!
The overall condition is good. This rifle has been modestly refinished. The blue is about 60% with evidence of weathering throughout. The barrel address is clear. The rear sight has been replaced with an odd but interesting option. The walnut stock is in good shape with signs of use. The bore is dark and rough throughout. The action remains strong. This is a nice example of one of the rifles with the most firepower of its day!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 27 inches round.
Caliber: .44 Henry
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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