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Found one! — WTB / WTT: Winchester (Miroku) Model 1866 in 38 Special


Santa Rosa Slinger

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I'm interested in a Model 1866 rifle. I have handled, shot, and considered Italian-made replicas but have recently been looking more at the Miroku-made Winchester 1866 because of my positive experience with their Model 1873.

 

I haven't come across much recent information about them despite searching the Wire and the web. From my understanding, only a 20-inch round-barrel "Short Rifle" model and a 24-inch "Deluxe Octagon" model were available in 38 Special. Store listings and GunBroker auctions for those models are few and far between, and even then I'm pretty sure I've only seen the Deluxe Octagon model featured. (The rest are in big bore calibers and/or commemorative editions that are elaborately engraved and extravagantly priced.)

 

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Can anybody offer any further insight into these Miroku 1866 models and whether they are comparable in quality, performance, and potential to the 1873 models? Furthermore, does anybody have one sitting in their safe that they would consider selling? (I think I'm more interested in the 20" model since it's closer to what I'm currently accustomed to, but would still be curious to know if someone has a 24" model that they are trying to sell.)

 

If you have one and would be interested in a trade instead, I would be willing to trade off either of these 1873s and can provide additional details via PM:

  1. Taylor's and Co. (Uberti) Pistol Grip Rifle with 18" octagonal barrel in .357/.38. This is a short-stroked and fully slicked-up "race gun" with several functional and cosmetic modifications which make it a very fast, unique rifle.
  2. Winchester (Miroku) Short Rifle with polished blue finish in .357/.38. Its action has been lightly smoothed out, the trigger safety spring was replaced with a lightened Slixprings one, and a Palo Verde Gunworks lever wrap was installed which make the rifle faster and more comfortable to shoot. It is otherwise stock, i.e. no aftermarket short-stroke or other major modifications to the springs or mechanism.
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The 24" could be cut down to 20", pretty common rework to rifles with too much barrel.  Those deluxe ones are pretty rifles!  https://www.gunbroker.com/item/885157371

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I have an 1866 miroku deluxe, 24" octagon barrel. It is verrrrrryyyyy nice. Has been smoothed up a bit and runs nice. Also have 2 1873 miroku's, one 20" cch and one 24" deluxe sporter octagon. They all are fantastic. The longer barrel is interesting in that with little extra weight stays steady when running fast.  

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On 11/28/2020 at 12:30 AM, Santa Rosa Slinger said:

 

 

Can anybody offer any further insight into these Miroku 1866 models and whether they are comparable in quality, performance, and potential to the 1873 models? Furthermore, does anybody have one sitting in their safe that they would consider selling? (I think I'm more interested in the 20" model since it's closer to what I'm currently accustomed to, but would still be curious to know if someone has a 24" model that they are trying to sell.

 

To help answer your question.......

I currently have two Winchester/Miroku 66's both in 38/357 

And Both with 18" round barrel's (cut down from 20")

Both are super slick, with cut & weld short strokes.

They Are SWEET!!! 

I much prefer the feel of the '66 over the '73....

I've owned several 66's and 73's from both Miroku and Uberti

Personally I feel the Miroku is a slightly better made gun than the Uberti....

And a '66 Miroku short rifle just fits Me Perfect!

 

I also have 3 original '73's that I shoot from time to time.

 

Sorry, but nothing is for Sale at this time.

 

 

 

 

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Thank you for the helpful input, everyone. I did consider getting a 24" Deluxe Octagon model (especially since Bass Pro Shops seems to have inventory of new old stock available via "Ship to Store" on their website at the time of this post) and trying it out as-is, then possibly getting it professionally cut down to 18–20" and slicked up in the future if it was too unwieldy for me. At a local match this weekend, I had the opportunity to check out another shooter's Miroku 1873 Deluxe Octagon rifle that had that exact job done to it by Cowboy Carty, and it looked/felt great.

 

I reached out to Carty to inquire and he said he has worked on a Miroku 1866 before, but was unable to personally recommend it because of the seemingly fragile loading gate, lack of lever safety, and current unavailability of replacement/spare parts if something breaks... which, given my luck, is more of a when.

 

As a result, I'm a little more reluctant to spend the effort and money to get/modify one to use specifically as a workhorse... but I'd still consider one if it shows up on the Wire, GunBroker, etc. for the right price!

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I am still on the lookout for the elusive Miroku 1866 in 38 Special. (That Bass Pro Shops new old stock sale that I mentioned in my previous post was so transient that I honestly wonder if it was real, or simply a website/inventory glitch!)

 

I updated my original post to "WTB / WTT" and added descriptions/links to two (very different) Model 1873 rifles. I would be willing trade off either of them for a Miroku 1866 if anybody is interested in that exchange.

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