Winchester 1866 Henry Marked Rifle
Yellow Boy with Historical Documentation
Made in 1869
George R. Wood
This historical Winchester 1866 Henry marked rifle has seen a lot of wear from being carried across the saddle and shows period fixes over its long history. The Winchester 1866 was owned and used by George R. Wood in the San Francisco area of California while he was employed as a tax collector. In addition, he was a sheriff in Wisconsin prior to the Civil War and enlisted a full company of men (101) for the Union Army in 1862. G R Wood is professionally inscribed on the side plate.
Until his resignation in 1865 as a war casualty, Captain Wood fought in many battles. Consequently, after the war he moved to San Francisco and in 1886 filed for his war pension because of war disabilities and his inability to work.
This early “Henry” marked Winchester ’66 rifle was made in 1869. The serial number is RV19823 and is located on the frame tang under the butt stock.
The rifle caliber is .44 Henry, rim fire (firing pin “striker” missing, but easily replaced). The octagon barrel and magazine tube have been period shortened to 21½”. The barrel still has a good strong bore remaining and has period replaced non-factory sights, rear being a fixed buck horn type in the original barrel dovetail. The “Henry’s Patent” is still fully visible even though there is an additional dovetail cut in the barrel. The dovetail cut goes right through the barrel address.
Winchester 1866 Mechanics
Overall condition is fair to good with all metal parts a dark brown patina. In addition, the brass frame has a nice dark patina color with a fancy scroll engraved name on the left side plate: “G R Wood”. The inscription is professionally done and may be factory applied, but the rifle is too early to letter. Screws appear to be original with some buggering of the heads. Mechanics are good with the early hammer without a half cock position. The finger lever is an old period replacement off a Henry Rifle. In addition, the lever latch is an old hand made replacement to accommodate the shorter lever.
The butt stock has been sanded, repaired and stained. It seems like it was broken at one time and has been repaired with a hidden bolt thru the stock. There is some type of old wood filler around the butt plate area that was applied a long time ago. Also, there is an inletted remnant of a sling swivel, intact, without the swivel. The wrist appears to have been wrapped with something at one time, but now removed; it has taken some of the frame patina with it. The forend is very worn with wood losses along the barrel on both sides, in addition, pommel wear on the bottom from being carried across the saddle. It is not worn through to the magazine and there is some more of that old filler material on the forend.
This Winchester yellow boy is still an attractive piece that shows much better than it sounds. George R. Wood’s career before, during and after his U.S. (Union) service in the Civil War is completely documented and included with the rifle.
A list of the historical info and documents (included with the rifle) can be emailed on request to serious buyers.
Clarks Antiques Firearms – Winchester 1866 Henry Marked Rifle – Price $10,000.00
This Winchester 1866 Henry Marked Rifle pairs well with our .44 Henry Ammo Rimfire