March in Montana Auction
Live Auction

March in Montana 2024 Session II

Sat, Mar 16, 2024 01:00PM EDT
Lot 612

1866 Winchester Lever Action Rifle

Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,500
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

1866 Winchester Lever Action Rifle 24.5” octagon barrel. .44 caliber. Serial # 36078 B. Engraving attributed to Conrad Ulrich. Many similar examples of his work are featured in the R.L. Wilsons book Winchester Engraving. Beautifully engraved receiver, thinned half-nickel front site and Henry-style 900 yard ladder rear sight. Top of receiver, top and bottom tang, forend cap and buttplate tang are all engraved to match and have matching borders around most areas. Mounted with uncheckered, shell grain Claro walnut with straight stock and crescent brass buttplate. Left side of lower tang stamped “S” and “XX”. Cleaning rod included. $30,000-50,000 Provenance: Private Collection, North Platte, NE.

The 1866 Winchester lever-action rifle, often referred to as the “Yellow Boy” due to its distinctive brass frame, stands as a pivotal firearm in American history. Introduced by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, this rifle played a crucial role in the evolution of firearms technology and became an iconic symbol of the Old West.
The 1866 Winchester featuring a durable brass frame earned it the “Yellow Boy” nickname. This model was chambered in .44 Henry Rimfire, utilizing a tubular magazine located beneath the barrel, capable of holding up to 13 rounds. The lever-action mechanism allowed for rapid and reliable firing, making it a favored choice among frontiersmen, lawmen, and outlaws alike.
The Yellow Boy became renowned not only for its functionality but also for its visual appeal. The brass frame, combined with a walnut stock and forend, created a distinctive and attractive firearm. The 1866 Winchester lever-action rifle quickly gained popularity on the frontier, becoming a symbol of the rugged and adventurous spirit of the time.


Deluxe stock with crisp engraving. No signs of buffing. Bluing appreas to be about 70% original. Beautiful patina on forearm. Stock is missing a small chip where it was cracked and retains about 60% of original piano varnish with a balance of dark, hand-worn patina. Mechanically fine, bright, shiny bore with very few scattered spots of light surface erosion.