SOLD FOR: $1520
LSB #: 210606JV15
Model: Model 1885, The Low Wall
Serial Number: 26927
Year of Manufacture: 1888
Caliber: .32-20 Winchester Center Fire
Action Type: Lever Actuated Falling Block Single Shot
Markings: The barrel’s top flat is marked “-MANUFACTURED BY THE- / -WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. NEW HAVEN. CONN. U.S.A.-“ ahead of the rear sight and “32 – 20 W.C.F.” behind the rear sight. The bottom barrel flat is marked “1”. The lower tang is marked “PAT. OCT. 7th 79” and “26927”.
Barrel Length: 28”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a tall blade set into a dovetail slot. The rear sight is a semi-0buckhorn leaf sight with step elevator, also set into a dovetail slot. Am 1879 Patent dated peep sight has been mounted to the upper tang.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The two piece stocks are smooth walnut. The butt stock has a steel crescent butt plate and both the butt stock and forearm have age appropriate light dings, dents and scratches. The forearm has what appears to be an ebony inset at its Schnabel tip. There is no evidence of a refinish and a fair amount of original finish still present. The LOP measures 13 ¼” from the front of the trigger to the back of the butt plate, which has an uneven mottled finish. The stocks rate in about Good overall condition for an antique firearm.
Type of Finish: Blue Barrel and Case Hardened Frame
Finish Originality: All Original
Bore Condition: The bore is actually nearly bright and the rifling is worn. There is only mild erosion the length of the bore and we would consider this a shootable bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 35% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish shows thinning and silvering of the case colors. The barrel’s finish has begun to turn a light patina, with handling wear and thinning at the edges. The frame has small spots surface freckling but still some color from the case hardening. This is a very honest looking rifle. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good condition for an antique rifle.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: This rifle started it all. Sure there were earlier Winchester’s, and earlier cartridge firearms – BUT – Browning is really the only gun designer that counts, and this is the start of the Browning heritage. The partnership between Winchester and Browning started with the 1885, but it certainly did not end there.
This rifle on its own merits has a lot going for it, and the story associated with this model is both historically important and important for the firearms industry. We may have never seen the BAR or the 1911 without the 1885…
This rifle is all original with a good amount of finish remaining. The .32 WCF round is fun to shoot, so whether you are looking to fill a hole in the collection or for a fun pistol caliber range rifle, this is a find!