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1866 dust cover
April 4, 2019
9:36 pm
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The Albertan
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Wondering if anyone has any experience with 1866’s with mortise type dust cover.

April 5, 2019
12:30 pm
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Wisconsin
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The 1866 never had dust covers.

Bob

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April 5, 2019
3:04 pm
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There was one for sale about a month ago that I was watching that looked like someone had fitted it for a mortised type cover.

https://www.proxibid.com/Firearms-Military-Artifacts/Firearms/Winchester-Model-1866-Sporting-Rifle-in-44-Rim-Fire-SN-119040-Made-in-1874-This-is-a-very-nice/lotInformation/45820117

Would have been neat with a brass raised thumbprint dust cover.

April 5, 2019
4:53 pm
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This gun appears to be modified by someone other than the Factory?

April 5, 2019
7:00 pm
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It was. 

April 5, 2019
8:35 pm
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Folks,

  The dust covers on the 1866 were fitted outside the factory.  S. G. Bayes was famous for doing a very good job of it, and he patented the design.  That is what got Winchester into court after they put a dust cover on the 1873.  The court records seem to be lost, plus the Winchester records are generally reported to have been damaged by water when the basement flooded once.  However, it seems that Winchester was losing the court case, and ended up buying the patent.  In the mean time a few first model, fourth variation 1873's were produced without dustcovers or lids.  At the same time, the 1876 was initially produced as an open top.  There were documented statements that was done to preclude bulged sideplates if a cartridge burst its head, etc.  Me--I tend to think it was smoke because Winchester was losing the court case, and needed to produce rifles that did not impinge on the S. G. Bayes patent.  

This last is but my personal opinion for what it is worth.  Bottom line, for a while both 1873 and 1876 rifles did not have dust covers.  

Tim Tomlinson

PS. I have seen one 1866 modified by S. G. Bayes.  It was very well done.  The fellow brought it to Cody and I think he had it there a few subsequent years.

April 6, 2019
4:07 pm
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tim tomlinson said
Folks,

  The dust covers on the 1866 were fitted outside the factory.  S. G. Bayes was famous for doing a very good job of it, and he patented the design.  That is what got Winchester into court after they put a dust cover on the 1873.  The court records seem to be lost, plus the Winchester records are generally reported to have been damaged by water when the basement flooded once.  However, it seems that Winchester was losing the court case, and ended up buying the patent.  In the mean time a few first model, fourth variation 1873's were produced without dustcovers or lids.  At the same time, the 1876 was initially produced as an open top.  There were documented statements that was done to preclude bulged sideplates if a cartridge burst its head, etc.  Me--I tend to think it was smoke because Winchester was losing the court case, and needed to produce rifles that did not impinge on the S. G. Bayes patent.  

This last is but my personal opinion for what it is worth.  Bottom line, for a while both 1873 and 1876 rifles did not have dust covers.  

Tim Tomlinson

PS. I have seen one 1866 modified by S. G. Bayes.  It was very well done.  The fellow brought it to Cody and I think he had it there a few subsequent years.  

I have seen several guns with a Bayes modification of one type or another.  Doug Beneck had one he used to take to Cody.

April 6, 2019
5:50 pm
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The 73 open tops were in the 27,xxx range. Then after Winchester bought the patent you can find Open Top's that have had covers put on. In the 76's open top conversions would record it in the ledger as "Lid". They ran up to about serial 7400.

Bob

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April 9, 2019
6:53 pm
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1873man said
The 1866 never had dust covers.

Bob  

I do believe that there is one in George's Book. I'll have to see if I can find it.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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April 11, 2019
3:47 am
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In the Winchester book by Madis page 136 in the 73 section in the paragraph about Bayes it mentions dust covers had been added to the 1866 model both in and out of the factory. I hope to be posting a interesting picture before summer. Harry

September 6, 2019
3:27 pm
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Check out the pictures in the Winchester rifles forum under topic    model 1866 dust cover.

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