Model 1866 No. 14431

Winchester 1866 First Model SRC .44 Henry RF s/n 14412 mfg 1866 – 20” round Henry-marked barrel; full mag; correct first model half-inch dovetail carbine rear sight marked 100, 300, 500 yards; straight grain walnut stocks with correct Henry bump and crescent buttplate; correct short segment 3-piece cleaning rod in butt. Serial number is on left side of lower tang under the wood, inside the top tang channel of buttstock, and inside toe of buttplate; and left side of lower tang has the assembly number "987"—all are correct and matching.

CONDITION: Very Good. Traces of original finish remain in the most sheltered areas with the barrel & magazine tube being a smooth silver/brown patina with a couple of spots of rust pitting. Receiver has sharp edges and retains a medium mustard patina. Top edges of sideplates show no damage at all. Lever is a mottled silver/brown patina and the hammer a dark patina showing wear on the sides. Stock has a shallow crack back of top tang; otherwise wood is sound with light handling & use marks. Mechanics are completely functional. Strong sharp bore with moderate pitting.

The First Model 1866 was originally promoted by Winchester in their marketing materials as the “Improved Henry” and is often referred to by today’s collectors as a “flat-side” ‘66. From the receiver back through the buttplate, all parts are Henry with two major modifications. One is the addition of a saddle ring, and the second is a King’s Patent loading gate system which is integrated into right side of the receiver. Some first models have conical loading gates, while others have the earlier-type and more desirable flat shaped gate with retaining spring. The front section of first model 1866s are made of all new/improved parts designed by B. Tyler Henry and Oliver F. Winchester to reduce the bulkiness and weight of the Henry. Of the approximately 2,500 manufactured, only about 200 -300 have survived today as most saw extremely hard use on the American frontier in usually extreme adverse climatic conditions with little or no maintenance. As the foundation of a serious Winchester collection, they difficult to find, and one in this condition is considered rare.

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