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Extremely rare & historically important Winchester Mod
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Extremely rare & historically important Winchester Mod. 1866 Saddle Ring Carbine. Forensically proven to have been used at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Ser. 39618 The Battle of the Little Bighorn was one of the most historic engagement in U. S. military warfare. It not only resulted in the massacre of Custer & his troops, but also marked one of the turning point of life in the United States for its aboriginal Plains tribes. Since that fateful day on June 25th, 1876, any form of artifact related to that battle has been of tremendous interest. Over the years, various firearms have been purported to havebeen used in this battle, but it was not until 1984-85 that proof could be made for any weapons. During that time period, the National Park Service conducted a comprehensive archeological dig on the Custer& Reno-Benteen battlefields excavating nearly 5000 battlefield artifacts. Cartridge cases discovered during this dig were then testedfor potential matches to any guns thought to have been at the battle. A highly sophisticated, forensic examination was conducted by Dr. Douglas Scott & Dick Harmon. In this special examination, each weapon submitted was examined for a match-up with a potential spent casing found at the battlefield. The equipment and techniques used were identical to those used in modern criminology labs. As a result of these very involved testings only fifteen firearms were positively identified as being present at the Battle of Little Bighorn. It is important to note that of these fifteen firearms, ten are in museums, only five are in private hands. ( james D. Julia Auctioneers sold a forensically proven firearm in April 1999 This Winchester is one of the remaining four forensically proven firearms still in private hands and it is important to note that of the fifteen only one was a Winchester 66 The casing that matched this Winchester 66 is referred to as Fs ( field specimen) 2004 It was found in 1985 on the Reno - Benteen defense site in the vicinity of an area known as Sharp Shooters Hill. It is known that Reno and Benteen, after attacking the village were repulsed and took a defensive position outside the village. After various skirmishes and activities, Reno and his troops finally retreated to the top of a hill. There they lay in a depressionshooting down on any Indians that attempted to approach. Unfortunate for them, there was another hill a short distance away, higher up thanthe hill that they were on. This was known as Sharp Shooters Hill, or also Wooden Leg Hill, and it is known that some of the Indians took a position on top of Sharp Shooters Hill and could shoot down onto Reno's troop and thus they managed to kill a number of troopers. The owner of this carbine was one such Indian, since this is where the casing was discovered, on the top of Sharp Shooters Hill. The Indian that possessed this carbine was believed to be a Cheyenne warrior as the engraved stick figures on the receiver ( the medicine of the owner are apparently Cheyenne characters. As indicated earlier, this is theonly model 66 forensically proven to have been there at the battle. The Winchester 66 is probably the most illustrious "Old West" gun. TheIndians greatly admired and appreciated this weapon and referred to them as "Yellow Boys". They were much intrigued with the fact that thegun was a repeater and could fire a number of rounds. Unfortunately, most of the cavalry men who fought against the Indians were utilizing,in many cases, single shot carbines. On more than one occasion, articles that appeared in print quoted cavalry men and/or their officer's complaining about the numbers of these repeating firearms which had become available to the Indians which gave them greater firepower than the troopers. The cartridge casing, Fs 2004, is listed in the book prepared after the archaeological dig entitled "Archaeological Perspectives on the Battle of Little Big Horn" by Douglas D. Scott, Richard A, Fox Jr., Melissa A. Conner and Dick Harmon. This same gun is illustrated in R.L. Wilson's book "The Peacemakers" on page 24in a full color illustration together with a brief write up about it. Also accompanying this lot are various maps of the area with an indication of where the cartridge casing was found Also included is a copy o the book "Archaeological Insights into the Custer Battle" In addition the lot is accompanied by a copy of a notarized letter by N. Joyce Hawthorne and signed by Douglas Scott andDick Harmon attesting that this carbine was forensically proven to have been at the Battle of Little Big Horn. It is also illustrated andmentioned in other articles and books. This very historically important Model 66, unlike many Indian weapons which were frequently much battered, IIIl used and poorly preserved, is in surprisingly goodcondition. The current owner, who was originally involved in the archaeological dig, has owned it for 15 ( fifteen) years. Prior to hisacquiring it, the former owner had possessed it for some 50 to 60 years and it originally came from the Rosebud Reservation. The gun with its original 20in barrel is complete with the standard Winchestermarkings. The rifle buttplate has no number but is original to the stock. The lower tang screw is a replacement. The metal has a blue- brown patina on all iron parts. A dark uniform patina covers the brass The wood has numerous dents and scratches but is still solid, except for a replaced piece at the toe and has a nice old patina The bore is poor. The action is good. The sale of this historic carbine representsan opportunity to the most advanced of Western historical collectors, in particularly, those with a specific interest in items relating to the famous battle fought at the Little Big Horn, a truly unique opportunity. ( illustration titled "It's a Good Day to Die" is of froma painting by noted Western artist and Custer Historian Ralph Heinz ofNewport, Wa) 4-40505 ( open estimate)
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*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.


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