The Merriam-Webster definition of a musket is “a heavy, large-caliber muzzle-loading usually smoothbore shoulder firearm.” The key terms here are muzzle-loading and smoothbore. However, by the time of the American Civil War, the term musket added an almost oxymoronic qualifier, the rifled musket. After the war, Winchester also liberally used this term. Many breech-loading Winchester firearms came in musket variation.
This Model 1866 Musket in .44 rimfire is considered rarer than many of its sister Model ͚66͛s. The Winchester Model 1866 was the first gun called Winchester. The first type was often called the Improved Henry.
The initial manufacture of these guns was strictly rifles and carbines, but in 1869 – the first year the name ͞Winchester͟ was stamped on the barrels of these guns – muskets were added to the mix. Typically, the barrel and forend of these guns were longer than the standard rifle. A large quantity of Winchester Model 1866 Muskets were sold to Turkey in the 1870s.
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