Merz Antique Firearms ~ Catalog of Old Guns and Related Items
In 1866 Oliver Winchester purchased the New Haven Arms Company and turned it to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. The 1866 Winchester was the first Winchester Model. Sharing the brass frame design inherited from the Henry Rifle, the 1866 quickly earned the nickname "Yellow Boy," a name which is popular with collectors to this day. An improved loading system was an important improvement over the Henry Rifle design. The added loading gate on the right side of the frame, and a solid magazine tube, are the major differences between a Henry Rifle and a Winchester 1866 rifle.