Dating winchester rifles by serial number
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This is especially true for Winchester Model 1866 rifles, because they WERE the introduction!
However, one feature that can be found in nearly all 1866 models is the caliber: .44 Henry rimfire.
A few late production 1866s were configured to fire .44 Henry centerfire, and period conversions may have been performed to fire .44 Henry CF or other .44 caliber cartridges available at the time. In the picture below is a Model 1866 with another rifle it is often confused with: the New Haven Arms Henry Rifle Top: An exceptional Henry rifle, produced in June 1865, near the end of its run.
But perhaps these pages can help you somewhat in your research.
(Please remember that this information is a compilation over time -- collected from secondhand information. We reserve the right to make changes at any time and make no claims as to accuracy.
DO NOT ship the firearm as this is a federal offense.
But the fact remains; there is no original, single, totally accurate database of serial numbers from 1866 forward that we are aware of.Those dates coincide with the Madis dates and can be viewed on Winchester’s site at: If you would like to obtain factory research on your Winchester, we urge you to join WACA and the Cody Firearms Museum.WACA members who are also CFM Members will receive 15 additional record searches on top of the regular quantity of searches included in the standard CFM membership package, regardless of membership level.To obtain date of manufacture on a Model 70 made after 1992 please contact the Winchester Customer Service Department at 800-333-3288.In the event of alteration or the serial number being expunged, the BATF needs to be advised.