Winchester’s first repeater markedwith the company name was the Model 1866, a lever-action that utilized the same .44 rimfire cartridges that the Henry rifle had fired in the American Civil War. Some called the Model 66 the “Yellowboy” in reference to the brass receiver on this Winchester model. But Winchester offered discriminating customers an option in silver. This silver alloy Winchester Model 1866 rifle, currently on loan from Leroy Merz at the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum, also features Nimschke-style engraving with a specially signed banner reading “Nimschke, NY” on the receiver base, amid the deeply intertwined floral and foliate engraving embellishment.
The NRA National Firearms Museum at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Va.; the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Mo.; and the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, n.m.; all have fine selections of historic arms on display. Admission to each is free, and donations are gratefully accepted. For more information, visit nramuseums.com, phone (703) 267-1600 or email [email protected].|Photo by Michael Ives