Winchester Model 1866 .44 Caliber Rifle

  • Firearms Thru History
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Oliver Winchester improved upon the design of the famed Henry Rifle in 1866, to create his famous line of "lever action " rifles. His first Model was called "The Yellow Boy". This was for the Brass and Bronze composite metal used on it's distinctive reciever (again much as The Henry Rifle). Cheaper to make and more affordable, The Model 1866 was a popular "Saddle Gun" which saw much use in the "opening" of The American West after The Civil War. Winchester had hoped to market his first version to The US Army, but they weren't interested. However, he secured a Contract with first The French Government for some 6,000 Models for use in The Franco-Russian War, and later some 45,000 Models for The Ottoman Empire, for use in The Russo-Turkish War. The Model 1866 was credited with winning The Siege of Plevna. Using a .44 Cal. Rimfire Jacketed round, it was fed with a 15-round aluminum tubes which was breech loaded. It could also be hand loaded one round each via the reciever port. The Model 1866 had an effective range of 120-200 yards, with a maximum of 500-700 yards. The Model 1866 served as the basis for MANY popular future versions of The Winchester Repeater.