Sold For: $1,480
Model: 1885 High Wall
Serial Number: 71738
Year of Manufacture: 1985
Caliber: .38-55 Winchester
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.-” in front of the rear sight and at the receiver with “38-55”. The bottom of the barrel is marked “4” just in front of the forend, “11” between the mounting screw escutcheon and mainspring, “38-55”, “VP” in oval and with a five-pointed star under the mainspring. The bottom tang is marked with the serial number and “PAT. OCT. 7th 79.”.
Barrel Length: 32″, Octagonal
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade dovetailed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a square-notch leaf and elevator sight dovetailed to the rear of the barrel. The top tang is drilled and tapped for a tang sight (none is present).
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece smooth walnut. The forend has a schnabel tip with ebony insert. The buttstock has a straight grip, straight comb and steel crescent buttplate. The stocks have some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. There is a chip-loss which is part of a crack at the rear of the top tang which extends back under the left of the comb. The wrist appears to have been repaired with two round dowels through the wrist. The LOP measures 13 1/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate appears to have been intentionally polished bright and has some scattered minor surface oxidation. Overall, the stocks are in about Good-Very Good condition as repaired, refinished, and Antique.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly gray with well defined rifling. There is light erosion scattered through the bore with a stretch of moderate-heavy pitting in the 5-6″ in front of the chamber and some other scattered minor pitting.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 5% of its metal finish. Most surfaces have gone to a mottled light patina with some scattered spots of finish remaining, mostly in protected areas such as around the sights. There is some scattered oxidation and infrequent erosion. There are also some scattered nicks, scrapes and scratches. The screw heads range from sharp to disfigured with useable slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in about Good-Very Good condition as Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The hammer has a safety notch.The trigger breaks crisply and is fairly light. The lever locks up solidly. 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: When they were first manufactured, the John Browning designed Winchester 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. The Model 1885 rifles were targeted at competitors in “Match Shooting”, a sport which was extremely popular from about 1871 to 1917. The Winchester rifles challenged the Sharps, Remington, Maynard and Ballard rifles, and quickly became known for their reliability and accuracy. Major Ned Roberts, inventor of the .257 Roberts cartridge, described the Model 1885 as “the most reliable, strongest and altogether best single shot rifle ever produced”. This example is chambered for .38-55 Winchester with a 32″ #4 octagon barrel. The rifle has some wear and erosion in its bore but retains strong mechanics and would be a great candidate for restoration or base for a custom build. As it is, it will certainly display well with a “been there, done that” look to it. This old Winchester will make a nice addition to any collection. Please see our photos and good luck!
CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable (THIS SECTION DOES NOT APPLY TO OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS): This cartridge-firing Antique can be transferred in California but we will transfer through your local dealer or at our Simi Valley location; we will not ship directly to you. Out of state residents can disregard this section – your local laws apply.