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EXTRAORDINARILY RARE HENRY MODEL 1860 LEVER ACTION MARTIALLY MARKED CARBINE. SN 10861. Cal. 44 RF Henry. Most rare of the Henry model 1860’s, this carbine has 21-1/8″ octagon bbl with integral magazine, slightly altered late type German silver front sight and 900 yd Henry ladder rear sight with no dovetail in the top flat of the receiver. Right forward side of the frame is marked with a small “W” (Oliver F. Winchester) with corresponding “W” on the right flat of the bbl, which also is accompanied by a small “C.G.C.”(Charles G. Chapman) inspector initials. Right wrist of the butt stock is marked with a “C.G.C.” cartouche. Left side of the butt stock and left side of the bbl are mounted with factory sling swivels. Butt stock is nicely figured, uncheckered American walnut with straight grip and late style crescent brass butt plate with trap. Butt stock has the distinctive “Henry bump” below the sling swivel. SN is found on the top bbl flat between the receiver and rear sight, left side of the lower tang under the wood, inside top tang channel of butt stock and last 4 digits of matching SN inside toe of butt plate. The round portion of the bbl, under the loading sleeve is marked with the assembly number “425” and the loading sleeve marked with the assembly number “245”, apparently an assemblers mistake. Left side plate has two forged repairs, one at the front edge and the other at the top rear edge and the top tang has a forged repair through the front screw hole. Accompanied by the book The First Winchester, Parsons where on p 31 he shows a breakdown of Ordnance Department purchases of Henry rifles which shows that on Nov 7, 1865 there was a purchase of one Henry carbine for $35.00. In the following paragraph he states “the recorder mentioned three rifles and two carbines presented by Mr. Winchester”. And later shows that the Henry carbine magazine contained 11 charges. On p. 33, he states that in the strength and construction testing wherein three rounds were fired containing “65-70-75 grains of rifle powder” and the bullets were 300 grains, a severe overload. He states “on the 3rd, one cartridge in the magazine bursted (sic), escape of gas clogged the machinery and sprung open the side plates”. On p42, Mr. Parsons notes in a paragraph dated May 1863 “the next month he wrote to the acting Chief of Ordnance, who had ordered a sample of Henry’s patent carbine”. Apparently Mr. Winchester had written “we send you today by Adams & Co. Express one of the only size that we have made except to order“. Later in the letter Mr. Winchester states “should it be desired exclusive for the latter purpose (mounted infantry or for cavalry)it can be made shorter to advantage”. And the last sentence states “it can be reduced to 19-1/4″ and still carry 12 charges in the magazine without any loss of power”. The fact that Mr. Winchester had stated in this letter “except to order” implies that Henry rifles could be ordered with other than standard length bbls. Notes provided by consignor disclose records which appear in the National Archives, Record Group 156 “Ordinance (sic) purchases. 7 Nov 1865 – 1 carbine. House doc 89, 42nd Cong. 2nd Sess.,Serial 1511 page 9.” and “Board of Officers were convened on 10 March 1866 to test rifles and carbine (test lasted 52 days), Number 10861 Henry carbine barrel length 21”. Also accompanied by a 5-page letter from renowned Winchester historian & author George Madis, wherein he details much of the above information and authenticates this carbine as being original. Mr. Madis states that by 1863 improvements in powder & primer compounds had improved ignition accuracy and velocity whereby the shorter barreled Henry was more feasible. He also states that in early 1864 Mr. Winchester and the New Haven Arms Co. were preparing to enter carbines in the Ordnance trials “records are not clear as to whether two carbines or two sets of carbines were provided for the trials”. He also states that various documents have been discovered which show Winchester entered his carbines in the trials of 1864 & 1865. He further states “from the documents, especially the papers of Maj. J.G. Benton, who commanded the Ordnance trials in Washington, D.C., we see the carbine described as having a twenty-one inch barrel”. He finally states “in the trials of March 10, 1866 three rifles and two carbines are noted by the recorder of the trials”. It should be noted for the record that Charles G. Chapman was the inspector for Henry rifles 1863 – 1864. Given that this rifle was produced in 1865 there is a possible disconnect in continuity. It should also be noted that the “C.G.C.” initials on the bbl are substantially smaller than those normally found on Martially inspected Henrys and there is no inspector initial on the heel of the butt plate or correspondingly on the heel of the butt stock, although there is an “H” on the top of the butt stock at the heel just forward of the butt plate tang. It should also be noted that the assembly number on the rear face of the loading sleeve is of a smaller font and all three numbers are in one location versus the normal separation of two numbers on one side & one number on the other side. PROVENANCE: The Gunatorium (Spokane, WA); Collector in Butte, MT; E.M.(Eby) Morgan; Bill Herman, Canada; Tobey Murray; Rex Thrower; Pete Shaver. Barnes Family Collection. CONDITION: Fine. Bbl and magazine tube retain traces of orig blue in the most sheltered areas being mostly a mottled dark brown patina with fine rust pitting. Receiver, with the aforementioned repairs, retains good edges showing light wear and a fine dark mustard patina. Butt plate has a matching patina. Butt stock is sound with a few nicks and dings and retains strong orig finish with a hand worn patina. Mechanics are fine. Worn dark bore. 4-47608 JR218 (65,000-85,000)

Auction: Firearms - Fall 2013
Please Note: All prices include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, which is paid by the buyer as part of the purchase price. The prices noted here after the auction are considered unofficial and do not become official until after the 46th day.