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Model 1866 Carbine
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June 29, 2023 - 10:01 pm
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I just found this site. I am trying out as a guest for a few days to see if I want to pay and be a member. I have a Winchester 66 carbine I believe its from 1877. I found some of the comments about original bluing and condition informative. it got me curious to maybe find the value of my 66. Somewhere along the way my 66 was nickel plated on the barrel, and etching done on all the brass. Does that diminish the value of the firearm? What would be the best resource to finding out who did the etching, and the value of the rifle?

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June 29, 2023 - 10:22 pm
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Hello Tracy,

Without the benefit of seeing good clear pictures of your Model 1866, we can only guess at the answers to your questions. If you send your pictures to me, I will post them for you.

Bert – Admin
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June 29, 2023 - 11:19 pm
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Terry,

I split your question off into a new (separate) topic.  I have included your pictures in this message.

I am nearly 100% sure that the engraving is not factory work.  There is no possible way to determine who precisely did the work unless that person added that information somewhere in the engraving.

Bert

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June 30, 2023 - 12:06 am
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 Tracy,

 The engraving is not factory as Bert said. The quality of the engraving is poor and not done by a professional, it lowers the guns value rather than raising it. The lower tang has been crudely repaired and serial number may be re-stamped. Unless it has some history or a story about it the value is $4,500 as a wall hanger. T/R

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June 30, 2023 - 3:10 am
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Unfortunately there are more engraved 66’s out there than Winchester ever made.  Guns that can’t be lettered are always the easiest to fake.

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June 30, 2023 - 3:14 pm
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Thank you guys for your knowledge and input. A small part of me wonders if this rifle is a fake. I have tried to research the engravings. I have not come up with anything on it. I cannot find any signatures or marquees. On the etching of the stagecoach it has stamped “Hangtown stage” and whats appears to say “Fiddletown and Pokerville”.  From what I am finding these are all towns East of Sacramento CA. They where all gold rush towns. I would love to attach this rifle to something. I would like to know for sure its a legitimate Winchester 66 as well. Anyone have any advice on what direction to take?

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June 30, 2023 - 3:48 pm
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Terry,

While I am certain it was not factory engraved, I am also certain it is not a “Fake” Model 1866.  Without a doubt, somebody engraved/etched that old gun at least 130-years ago, and not with the intent to make a “fake” gun out of it.  I suspect that it was the handy-work of a past owner who wanted to personalize his prized Winchester Carbine.  Unfortunately the odds of tracking down that part of its history are extremely slim if there is no ownership trail to track it backwards in time.

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June 30, 2023 - 5:00 pm
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The gun has some nostalgic character and charm.  As Bert states, the fact the, “engraving” is very old, makes all the difference.  However, a big detraction for me is the welded tang.  I realize for some, this adds to the carbines history and character.  I’m just not in the camp.

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July 4, 2023 - 2:43 am
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I’m with Chuck on this one, in that it is probably a vintage faux copy of a Winchester.  It’s a very interesting 1866, thank you for sharing it, regardless of origin, it is a nice Carbine to have in any collection. – to your principal question I couldn’t even guess on value because I’m not sure it is an Original Winchester Model 1866, or if it is, there are many reproduction parts that I see attached to it.  Seems the entire rig is a vintage copy though.

What’s interesting, I was aware of “vintage” early 1900s copies made in Spain of the Model 1892, i.e. the EL TIGRE, but I wasn’t aware there are copies (outside of modern reproductions) made of the Model 1866s.

1) The right side plate (load gate side) is a mis match to the gun and contours of the side plate appear more like the modern Uberti.

2) Both the front and rear barrel bands are not in the proper contours of original Winchester 1866s

3) The buttplate isn’t the right shape or contour of a vintage Winchester 1866 Crescent Style

4) The Load Gate itself, while it appears to fit in there, is not the correct shape, style or contour of an Original Winchester 1866 load gate.  It looks more similar to an 1873 load gate but even there it is slightly different than a true Winchester 1873 load gate.  It’s just a strange copy. 

5) The shape of the trigger isn’t correct for Model 1866, Type I, II, III or iV.  It should be rounded on the end and have more of a C shape, or more pointed.  The one in the photo is flat, sorta doesn’t match either.  Also the Lever Catch Knob isn’t a correct shape for specimen in Madis’ Winchester book, see page 95 for both Trigger and Finger Lever Catch styles.

6) There is no screw nor provision for one to secure the Load Gate to the side plate.  It is completely absent, however this one was made, they designed it to secure the load gate to the side plate in some other fashion.

Overall very interesting engraving (seems more like a “peening” method like what is popular in Afghanistan, not actually a tool cut engraving) Still a super nice Carbine but I believe it to be a vintage copy of some sort – first I’ve ever seen outside of modern reproductions. 

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