New Haven Arms Company Henry rifle to be sold at Rock Island Auctions
A New Haven Arms Company Henry lever action rifle is the lead lot of Rock Island Auctions’ February 25 sale in Illinois.
It dates to 1860 and displays elaborate foliate scroll engraving.
The auction house predicts that it will sell for around $18,000-27,000.
Invented in 1860 by Benjamin T Henry, the Henry rifle was used in small numbers by Union soldiers the civil war.
It proved hugely successful in the aftermath of the war, becoming the quintessential Wild Wets rifle.
It was favoured by settlers and Native Americans alike; with the Sioux using it to devastating effect in the Battle of Little Bighorn.
The New Haven Arms Company changed its name to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1866, much to the chagrin of its inventor – who was never fairly compensated for his design.
From 1866 onwards it produced the Winchester rifle, which offered a number of advantages over the Henry; including a more reliable magazine.
A Winchester Model 1866 is also offered in the sale, with an estimate of $7,000-10,000.
It’s accompanied by a letter detailing that the rifle was sold in 1876.
A Smith & Wesson Model 320 is featured with a valuation of $7,500-11,000.
The lot is one of only 239 built with a 16 inch barrel between 1879 and 1887. It was of limited popularity, however, due to an unpleasant tendency to eject red hot gunpowder all over the shooter.
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