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Winchester 1866 Carbine

Henry Marked Barrel – Yellow Boy

Made 1868

Here is the chance to own the rifle that started it all, this Winchester 1866 Carbine Yellow Boy.  A very early 1866 Winchester carbine with many special features and character that suggest use in the South West Territories. The Winchester ’66 is an early 2nd model with the concealed “inside” serial marking and a “Henry” marked barrel.

Winchester 1866 Carbine

Special Order Henry Marked Yellow Boy

This special order Winchester Model 1866 Carbine, serial #16523, was made in 1868. The carbine was highly embellished with special features, but is too early to letter. “Henry’s Patent” is visible on the barrel with only portions of “Kings Patent” visible. Most noteworthy this carbine is New York engraved with the Mexican snake and eagle on the left side.  In addition, the carbine has stylized “RM” initials on the right side. Likewise, the top tang is engraved. Lastly, the top of the receiver, bottom of lifter and butt plate are all in matching motif. The engraving is very well executed and high quality.

This Winchester 1866 Carbine was made without any provisions for a saddle ring. All steel metal surfaces were originally nickel plated and the frame and butt plate silver plated. Only traces of each remain. The frame top tang shows what appears to be some gold wash.

Winchester 1866 Carbine - Mexican snake and eagle engraving
Winchester 1866 Carbine - Stylized RM Engraving

New York Engraving

Before the serial number, located under the butt stock is a “RV” and a small “W“. Also, there is a small “57” stamped on the engraved right side frame. The engraving also includes a small “A” above and after each engraved initial (RM).  Most 66′ carbines that were purchased by the Mexican government were marked with a small “RM” inside a star burst. Therefore, the “RM” could stand for Republic of Mexico.  In addtion, the “57” stamping on this carbine may be a property mark and the two “A’s” some type of government mark. It may be worth researching these markings, as this particular gun may have been special ordered for a high ranking government official or military officer.  The top receiver’s engraving has also been removed.  Most likely the removed engraving at the top of the receiver had a name or inscription at one time.

All the parts of the gun, including the screws, appear to be original. The exception is the barrel band, which is a period replacement with provisions for a swivel.  The gun is in overall good to very good condition. The upper tang has an old braised repair at the screw hole. All the metal surfaces are a smooth grey color with only some medium pitting. Unfortunately, this pitting is in the barrel address area.

The gun is overall well worn, but not abused. The engraving shows strong and complete, except the upper frame as mentioned before. The walnut stocks are in very good condition. They fit well and appear original. Furthermore, the stocks are slightly off because of a repaired tang affecting the original fit.

Mechanics are good, although the mechanism is a little sticky and could use a thorough and proper cleaning and lube. The bore and rifling are surprisingly very good with little pitting. This is uncommon for an early gun showing lots of use.  Original cleaning rod in butt stock.


Clarks Antiques Firearms – Winchester 1866 Carbine – Price $15,500.00

Item #1128

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