Avatar
Please consider registering
Guest
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon
Model 1866 Serial# 16079
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
October 11, 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
October 11, 2021 - 10:22 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

I have a Model 1866 with a serial # of 16079. It’s been in my family since before I was born but no one who is still alive knows much about it. I’ve done some research online and contacted both the Winchester Repeating Arms historian and the Cody Firearms museums. Here’s what I’ve found:

  • It has all the features of the “Second Model”: flared front of the receiver, smoothed out “Henry drop” by the hammer, and a serial # that aligns with the manufacturing dates of the Second Model (info from the Rock Island Auction website)
  • According to the Winchester Repeating Arms historian, the serial # indicates a manufacture date of 1868. The Cody Firearms museum doesn’t have a record for it.
  • The barrel is 24″, so it’s a rifle (not a carbine or musket)
  • Originally used a .44 rimfire cartridge. I have no idea if it’s been modified to use center fire cartridges.

Can anyone provide any more information or point me to someone who can appraise it? I’m not interested in selling, but just want to know as much as I can.

Thanks!

Avatar
Northern edge of the D/FW Metromess
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 4889
Member Since:
November 7, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
October 12, 2021 - 2:32 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Welcome, Brian!

Some good, clear pics of your 1866 including the bolt face will help considerably in answering your questions. 

 

Mike

Life Member TSRA, Endowment Member NRA
BBHC Member, TGCA Member
Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
Avatar
Wisconsin
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 4269
Member Since:
May 2, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
October 12, 2021 - 3:07 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Brian,

A center fire 66 will have a standard firing pin in the center of the bolt where a original rim fire will have two firing pins on each side of the bolt that indent the rim of the shell to fire it. As Mike said, post some good clear pictures showing the different parts of the gun and any markings. From those we can see its condition and come up with a value. One thing with the gun metal 66 (brass), don’t polish or handle it much. The aged finish of it is highly valued on a 66 but when polished it greatly reduces the value of the gun.

Here is a list of key features and serial numbers to help you identify which model you have. I posted this some time ago on here.

Here is a check list of features on the 66 so you can determine is the gun is all from the same era. This came from a collector who uses this to double check a gun before buying. He compiled it from several books and personal experience.  Some number ranges will over lap or have gaps since it was compiled from different sources. I give no guarantee to the accuracy of any information.

Serial numbers begin at 12,000. 1st models 12,000 to 19,000 – 2nd models 19,000 to 25,000 – 3rd models 25,000 to 149,000 and 4th model 149,000 to 170,000 these numbers are approximate. 1st models have a extra wood screw on the top tang behind the hammer. The serial number is on the top of the stock & left side of the lower tang. From 19,000 to 139,000 the serial number is on the bottom of the tang behind the trigger and after that the serial number is at the rear of the tang in a script style. Below serial number 20,000 the butt plate has the complete serial number on it usually. 23,000 to 60,000 the butt plate 4 of the digits and after 60,000 they have only 3 digits. After 150,000 the use of assemble numbers started instead of serial numbers. Before 16,000 they had a small font assemble number on the side of the tang forward of the serial number and one each side plate and the top part of the frame under the left side plate. Butt plates were of the crescent type below 100,000 for rifles and carbines. From 102,000 to 160,000 carbines mostly had the carbine style. After 160,000 the carbines went to the steel carbine butt plate.

Forearms on 1st models are the same width as the receiver. 1st and 2nd model carbine have a forends 1/2″ shorter. Below 15,000 the frame and forearm wood were the same width (flat side) and after the receiver was flared out.  The forearm caps are brass on rifles up to 135,000.

All 1st and early 2nd models do not have a 1/2 cock on the hammer. The hammer knurling has a boarder after 165,000. Levers have a smaller loop before 100,000 and mixed to 120,000. The loading gate on the early guns below 15,000 was flat. Bolts below 35,000 do not have a oil slot on the extractor. From 35,000 to 43,000 there is a mix of bolts with slots and without and the slot will be a straight cut across the bolt up to 128,000. After 128,000 the slot was changed to a oval milled on the top. The front top opening of the receiver on the the first 102,000 is straight and after that there was a notch added.

The magazine cap is threaded into the tube until 155,000. Below 102,000 the chamber is recessed for the rim of the shell. The caliber was marked on the barrel on some starting around 156,000 and by 166,000 they all were. You can have 5 or 6 land rifling to 70,000 then 5 land to 154,000 then it went to 6 land to the end. The rear barrel sight on a carbine is marked 3 & 5 up to 155,000. The front sight on a carbine is part of the front barrel band until 152,000.

Between 167,000 and 169,000 one thousand C.F. guns were sent to Brazil

Bob

WACA Life Member---
NRA Life Member----
Cody Firearms member since 1991
Researching the Winchester 1873's

73_86cutaway.jpg

Email: [email protected]

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 1698
Member Since:
June 4, 2017
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
4
October 12, 2021 - 2:08 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

    Brian,

 As the owner of a 1866, the first thing you have to understand how fragile the patina on the gun metal, (brass) is. I know Bob mentioned that, but any rubbing, oiling, or cleaning can destroy the natural patina of aged gun metal. THAT AFFECTS VALUE! T/R

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
October 11, 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
October 12, 2021 - 6:41 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

First of all, thanks for the warm welcome and the great information! 

As requested, here are some images of the gun. Will take close-ups later today showing the bolt, hammer and barrel. One known major flaw: about 45 years ago, after our home was burgled, my father etched serial numbers on all valuables, including this gun. It’s on the left side of the barrel, near the fore end. It’s mind-boggling to me that he did this, but I don’t think he understood how special the gun is.

My son and I first thought the serial # was 10079, but on closer inspection it’s probably 16079.

-Brian

IMG_6129.jpegImage EnlargerIMG_6111.jpegImage EnlargerIMG_6110.jpegImage EnlargerIMG_6104.jpegImage EnlargerIMG_6102.jpegImage EnlargerIMG_6100.jpegImage EnlargerIMG_6099.jpegImage EnlargerIMG_6096.jpegImage Enlarger

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments
Avatar
Wisconsin
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 4269
Member Since:
May 2, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
October 12, 2021 - 6:48 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

From what I see the gun has already been polished so the original patina is gone.

Bob

WACA Life Member---
NRA Life Member----
Cody Firearms member since 1991
Researching the Winchester 1873's

73_86cutaway.jpg

Email: [email protected]

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
October 11, 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
October 12, 2021 - 7:58 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

More pictures, including the etched number on the barrel.

IMG_6137.jpegImage EnlargerIMG_0897.jpegImage EnlargerIMG_0895.jpegImage EnlargerIMG_0892.jpegImage EnlargerIMG_0890.jpegImage EnlargerIMG_0888.jpegImage EnlargerIMG_6149.jpegImage EnlargerIMG_6144.jpegImage Enlarger

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments
Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
October 11, 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
October 12, 2021 - 8:06 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

1873man said
From what I see the gun has already been polished so the original patina is gone.

Bob  

That could have been my late brother’s doing, or someone else in the family. Clearly, no one had any sense of what this gun is, other than as a family heirloom. It came into my possession after my brother’s passing last month, who got it after our father passed in 1996. 

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 1543
Member Since:
May 23, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
October 12, 2021 - 8:42 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I rather like the 1882 dated coin as the front site replacement. It’s one way to get a silver front site!

Its a shame about the etching on the barrel. Maybe its not too deep and could be buffed out some how, but obviously will never be original again.

Overall not a terrible gun, seen plenty way worse off.

Sincerely,

Maverick

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 4528
Member Since:
March 31, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
October 12, 2021 - 9:06 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

It is not center fire. This gun is still worth thousands.  I will let others say how much they think.

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 1698
Member Since:
June 4, 2017
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
11
October 12, 2021 - 9:08 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

  Brian,

 Your gun is still original rim fire, Henry marked barrel address, octagon barrel, full magazine, and rifle butt. All of these features are are great, butt someone “cleaned it up”. What they did to the wood and gun metal, “brass” is permanent and limits the value. The S/N on the barrel can be worked out, that’s probably the least conspicuous and easiest spot to clean up. That said it’s still a fine example of a early 1866 rifle.

 Your gun is so early in Winchester’s production it doesn’t even say Winchester on it. The 1866 is serial numbered with the Henry, and your gun is less than 4000 into production. It was manufactured when the 1866 was the preferred weapon of the West. Who knows where it was and what it did.

 Value to you, priceless. Value to a gun collector $12,000 +or- depending close inspection. T/R

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
October 11, 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
October 12, 2021 - 10:55 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thanks to everyone who replied. I truly appreciate your thoughtful and knowledgeable responses. Special shoutout to TR for pointing out the good and interesting qualities of the gun, despite its flaws. This gun is the only tangible item from my father’s side of the family and will get passed down to our kids. To me, its historical interest is priceless and I’ve enjoyed going down this fascinating rabbit hole! When I go back to the Cody Firearms Museum (which I really want to do following its remodel in 2019), I’ll have an even greater appreciation for the collection.

Avatar
Northern edge of the D/FW Metromess
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 4889
Member Since:
November 7, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13
October 14, 2021 - 4:13 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Awesome gun, Brian. I don’t see any flaws, only character. Considering all this gun has likely been through it’s in remarkable condition, your job is to see that doesn’t change. 

 

Mike

Life Member TSRA, Endowment Member NRA
BBHC Member, TGCA Member
Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
Forum Timezone: UTC 0
Most Users Ever Online: 778
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Top Posters:
clarence: 6168
TXGunNut: 4889
Chuck: 4528
1873man: 4269
steve004: 4108
Big Larry: 2297
twobit: 2284
TR: 1698
mrcvs: 1673
Forum Stats:
Groups: 1
Forums: 17
Topics: 12526
Posts: 108818

 

Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1731
Members: 8737
Moderators: 4
Admins: 3
Navigation