U.S. Model 1866 Breechloading Rifle,
caliber .50-70 Government, 36-5/8" barrel,
walnut stock, 1864 dated lock plate, second model Allin conversion
Part Number: AAS-546
Availability: In Stock
Price: $999.00
The U.S. Model 1866 Breech Loading rifles were designed by Erskin S. Allin to convert muzzleloading firearms to centerfire cartridge rifles. The 1866 Model second model features improvements over the Model 1865 Allin conversion, including a U shaped spring extractor, a coil spring retracted firing pin, and reduction to .50 caliber centerfire from the .58 caliber rimfire cartridge. It is believed that this model of breechloading rifle was successfully used to hold off a much larger force of Souix Indians led by Red Cloud during the "Wagon Box Fight" in 1867.

Converted from a Model 1863 Springfield muzzleloader the barrels were lined, rifled and chambered to accept the .50 centerfire, or .50-70 Government cartridge. The barrel is 36-5/8" from the muzzle to the front of the door, overall length from muzzle to breech end is 40". The barrels were issued armoury bright, and this barrel has aged to a smooth gray brown. The bore is rifled with three lands and grooves with a 1 in 42" rate of twist. The bore frosted with scattered light pitting. The breech end has the body, no rim, of a stuck cartridge case frozen in place. The barrel is fitted with a simple folding leaf sight modified from the 1863 Springfield. The leaf works correctly and operates smoothly under tension. The front sight is a classic military style blade sight.

The stock has scattered handling marks with many small dings, and one large dent on the right hand side just ahead of the buttplate. The stock does have a U.S. military inspection cartouche on the lower side panel The entire stock has been coated with a gloss finish, which is not original. The barrel is mounted with three barrel bands secured with three band springs. All the bands are stamped with a U, with the open end toward the muzzle.

The rounded buttplate comb is stamped U.S., as it was recycled from a earlier Springfield musket. The breech block is stamped 1866 over a upraised eagle's head. The rear of the action on the quarter flat is stamped with a upraised eagle's head. The side of the barrel has two letter I stamps, which appear to be sort of inspection mark. One other example we have encountered had this stamped mark.

The rounded toe has many marks from handling and use. The triggerguard is secured with screws and has aged to a dark brown patina. Both sling swivels are missing from the triggerguard and barrel band. The cleaning rod is original. Note how the end sits well behind the muzzle, which is correct. This rods also thread into the rifle to secure them in position to prevent them from coming out during recoil.

The Springfield lock has a mottled silvery gray appearance. The lock plate is marked with a 1864 date at the tail. The front of the plate is stamped with a eagle and U.S. over Springfield. This lock functions very well with a strong mainspring, and secure half cock notch. The door on this example has the later flat top vs. the rounded top found on early production guns. The firing pin is frozen in place.

It is suggested that nearly half of the production of these rifles were shipped overseas for use in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. The U.S. government wanted to sell surplus arms but did not want to become involved in the conflict so the rifles were sold to third parties. 28287 Model 1866 rifles were sold to Mr. Thomas Richardson, attorney for the Remington Arms Company. Both new and serviceable rifle were shipped to a Col. Crispen in New York, while a Col. Benton received unservicedable arms for repair before being forwarded.

A good example of this early black powder cartridge arm with full length barrel. The stock shows many handling marks and the furniture has aged to a gray patina. The breech does have the body of a stuck cartridge case. Order it for a ten day visual inspection. You will be delighted. Else if it does not fit you, return it in unfired condition for same-day refund. Postage is your only risk, when you order any one-of-a-kind gun from Track, whether new, used, or antique.
Track of the Wolf, Inc.
18308 Joplin St NW
Elk River, MN 55330-1773

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