SOLD FOR: $6,550
Model: 1885 Low Wall
Serial Number: 13034
Year of Manufacture: The serial number dates the receiver to 1887, however the assembly took place in August of 1893 (see Our Assessment).
Caliber: .40-65 WCF
Action Type: Lever Actuated Falling Block Single Shot
Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “-MANUFACTURED BY THE- / -WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. NEW HAVEN, CONN. U.S.A.-” and at the rear with “40-65 W.C.F.”. The underside of the barrel at the front of the forend is marked “1” and under the mainspring with ovalled “VP”, “40-65” and “1”. The lower tang is marked “-PAT. OCT. 7TH 79-” and “13034”. The front face of the receiver and the bottom tang inlet of the stock are each stamped “A”. The left of the top top and bottom tang are each marked “94”. The rear face of the stock and the inside of the buttplate are each stamped “26”. The inside of the forend is stamped “1”.
Barrel Length: 26″, No. 1 Weight
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a Winchester Express beaded blade, but the bead has come off. The rear sight is a three-leaf Winchester Express sight with platinum lines under the notches. Each sight is dovetailed to the barrel.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece smooth walnut. The forend has a schnabel tip with triangular ebony insert at the front. The buttstock has a straight grip, straight comb, and smooth steel shotgun-style buttplate. The stocks have several scattered nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches with patches of more notable marring in the buttstock on the left of the grip, the left below the comb toward the rear and very minor surface loss at the heel and toe. There are no cracks. The LOP measures 13 1/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has light wear, most notable at the heel and there is scattered light surface oxidation. The top mounting screw hole has stripped with pieces of match-sticks inserted in the hole to give the screw purchase. Overall, the stocks are in about Good-Very Good condition as Antique.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 85% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at most edges. The barrel has some scattered light nicks, scratches and scuffs with most on the left, forward of the forend. There is a cluster of impact marks on the top-left behind the front sight. The barrel has some scattered spots of minor surface oxidation with a patch of light oxidation on the left at the muzzle. The receiver retains surprisingly strong case-color with some areas slightly muted, the top and bottom tangs mostly muted and some scattered minor surface oxidation. The bottom face of the lever has mostly muted with strong color in the sides. The screw heads are generally sharp with the top buttplate mounting screw tool marked with a strong slot. The markings are generally clear, the serial marking on the tang is light as is normal for early-production 1885s. Overall, this rifle is in about Fine-Excellent condition as Antique
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The lever lock-up is positive. The trigger is crisp. The hammer has a half-cock position. We have not fired this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: This is a Winchester Model 1885 Low Wall Rifle in a particularly rare configuration. When they were first manufactured, the John Browning designed Model 1885 rifles were deemed stronger than the prior Sharps rifles, and the different sight and trigger options available made them an instant hit with hunters and target shooters alike. Offered with a number of different barrel profiles, lengths, stocks, sights, two different receiver types, chambered for 98 different cartridges, and with just about any combination available via special order, the 1885 is a wonderful collector piece just due to the wild array of different configurations available. With the help of Winchester Arms Collector’s Association Director Bert Hartman, we were able to confirm that this rifle was received in the Winchester warehouse August 5, 1893 on order number 22150. The ledger lists the serial number as a rifle, chambered for .40-65 WCF with a round 26″ No. 1 weight barrel, plain non-set trigger, Winchester Express sights and a shotgun buttplate. Interestingly, it was also returned to the warehouse less than a month later on August 30, 1893 on order number 23360, though we were not able to learn the purpose for its return. It was uncommon to have a low-wall receiver assembled with a barrel chambered for a center-fire cartridge and almost unheard of to be chambered for the .40-65 cartridge. It is entirely possible that this special-order rifle is a one of a kind. In its original factory configuration, not to mention with so much of its metal finish, strong mechanics, and an outstanding bore, this is a Low Wall which will add to even the most advanced 1885 collection. Please see our photos and good luck!