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Thread: Winchester 1866 .44 rimfire conversions...?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Winchester 1866 .44 rimfire conversions...?

    Howdy Partners.

    I have been reading some online about folks who say that the Winchester 1866 in .44 rimfire can be converted to something like .44-40 or .44 special. I don't own one but am curious as to whether anyone has done this?

    I would imagine a bolt change or modofication would be part, but what else?

    Personally I wouldn't want to risk damaging the gun or losing value etc. I would like to get an 1866 one day, probably in 44-40.

    An interesting topic, if you have anything to say about this would appreciate your time. My apologies if this has been covered, I did search some but could not find my answer.


  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Given the prices for original 1866's in 44 Henry Winchesters ( thousands of $$$) I'm thinking you would be better off looking at a New Henry or some other lever action rifle or carbine in your choice of caliber. Last brass framed original 1866 I saw had a 4K price tag on it. And that was some years back. In answer to your question it probably could be done if you throw enough money at it. Frank

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Lovettsville, VA
    There are replica 1866 rifles made in the 44 Special. This is close to the original 44 Rimfire cartridge. Then get an Colt Flat Top 1871 also in 44 Special. Closest thing to an original rifle/revolver setup from back then.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    2ndAmendmentNut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    I believe there was a 44 Henry centerfire version of the round back in the day. I also think both Winchester and Colt chambered their guns in this centerfire variant on a few transition models. It would be possible to convert a rimfire gun to centerfire, but an original 1866 in firing condition is worth tens of thousands of dollars based off gunbroker auctions. To convert an original 1866 to a centerfire cartridge would destroy all collector value. It also would not make any sense when Uberti already makes a nice replica of the 1866 in modern centerfire 44 calibers (44sp and 44-40) along with 45 colt and 38 special.
    "I don't want men who miss." -Capt. Leander H. McNelly

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    gardners pa.
    yes they did make some in centerfire in later production. so now we have what I have seen a 66 that could be bought at a reasonable cost will be well used. one that will be in shooting condition will be $10,000 plus.

    I have a uberti 66 in .44-40 it shoots great. handles just like the originals I have handled. I take it deer hunting. plus parts are available.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Winchester had the parts to convert the '60 & '66 IN THE 1880s if you can find those converted factory guns ! they are worth a pot full of cash these days!!
    It seemed like yesterday but 40 years ago the '66 was worth 4-6 hundred $ Time flies !!!!!! There has been a few Uberti '1860s re-done and sold as the real
    deal......Its scary what has been !!!!! the reproductions of some models are fantastic !!! The 1 of 1000 have great detail of the original!!! I really like mine !!!

    Do the Best with What you have !

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
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