1866 Rifles

The authentic Yellow Boy rides Again. Here’s your chance to own the rifle that started it all — the legendary Winchester® Model 1866 “Yellow Boy.”  It has been a long time since a brand new version of this classic beauty has ridden the range. It is a true Winchester through and through. 

The first. The authentic.  Model 1866 lever-action was the very first rifle to wear the Winchester® brand. Its bright brass receiver was the basis for the nickname of “Yellow Boy." This legendary rifle is now available from Winchester® Repeating Arms in a new Grade I Short Rifle. This makes the “Yellow Boy” experience readily attainable for cowboy action competitors, hunters, casual shooters and everyone who enjoys spending a day at the range with a genuine Winchester lever-action classic.

If you are going to own an authentic legend like this, make sure it has the name "Winchester" engraved on the barrel. 


Exquisite embellishing has a long history with Winchester Repeating Arms, starting with the original Model 1866 Yellow Boy. Shown is the 150th Anniversary model produced for the 2016 celebration.

A remarkable history. The Winchester Model 1866, often called the “Yellowboy” because of its distinctive brass receiver was a refinement of the earlier Henry toggle-linkage action, but included several important improvements developed by Nelson King, the Winchester factory manager. These improvements included a closed magazine tube, a right side loading gate and a wooden forearm.

Several nations, including the Ottoman Empire and France made official or unofficial purchases of the Model 1866 for military purposes. It is reported that the Ottomans purchased 45,000 muskets and 5,000 carbines in 1870 and 1871 during the Siege of Plevna (1877), with the Russian army suffering huge loses in part due to their use of Winchester rifles. The age of the repeater had begun.