SOLD FOR: $6327
Serial Number: 38374
Year of Manufacture: 1889
Caliber: .45-70 Government
Action Type: Lever Action with Full-Length Tubular Magazine
Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “-MANUFACTURED BY THE- / -WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. NEW HAVEN, CONN. U.S.A.-” and at the receiver with “45-70 W.C.F.”. The upper tang is marked “-MODEL 1886-”. The lower tang is marked -“PAT. OCT. 14.1884. / JAN. 20.1885”- and “38374”. There is decorative scroll and border engraving on the receiver, lever, bolt, hammer, buttplate, nosecap, magazine bracket and the front and rear of the barrel. The belly of the stock is marked “497” just behind the bottom tang.
Barrel Length: 26″, Octagonal
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a german silver blade in a slotted base dovetailed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a D.W. King “U”-notch semi-buckhorn elevator sight dovetailed to the rear of the barrel, the notch is fine adjustable for elevation. The top tang is drilled, tapped and filled for a tang sight (none included).
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece smooth walnut with capped forend, straight grip, straight comb and crescent steel buttplate. The stocks have a few scattered light nicks and scuffs. There are repaired cracks at the front of the wrist on each side and at the toe. The buttstock has some discoloration where it meets the metal. The LOP measures 13″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has some nicks at the edges of the heel and toe, but otherwise shows very minor wear. Overall, the stocks are in Very Good condition as restored Antique.
Type of Finish: Blue & Silver
Finish Originality: Refinished
Bore Condition: The bore is bright. The rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 96% of its current metal finish. The barrel and magazine tube have a few light nicks and scratches, some under the finish, and infrequent minor surface oxidation. The receiver’s silver finish is generally strong throughout with some minor scuffing, a few light scratches and some discoloration, most notable around the locking blocks on the bottom. There is infrequent minor erosion under the finish, mostly around the lever on the bottom of the receiver. The action shows light operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are generally clear, the serial marking is shallow, which is correct for this period of production. Overall, this rifle is in Fine condition as refinished and re-chambered Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The hammer has a half-cock notch. 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: Winchester’s first attempt at a lever action rifle capable of handling a rifle cartridge was the Model 1876, which was a heavier framed version of the Model 1873. However, the toggle-link action used in the gun was still limited to short cartridges like the .40-60 and .45-60 Win. The Model 1886 was made to handle longer cartridges like the .45-70 Govt., and the .45-90 Win. and .50-110 Win. cartridges. The Model 1886 utilized a locked-bolt action that was much strong than the M1876, and some think it is faster and smoother as well. The Winchester Model 1886 was touted as a lever action express model, capable of handling any of the North American game animals. This rifle was originally chambered for one of the WCF cartridges, but has been re-chambered in .45-70 Government. It has also been custom engraved and given a new blue and silver finish. The rifle was made in 1889, fairly early in M1886 production. It is in about Fine overall condition as Antique and modified, and the bore is in great condition, indicating that it hasn’t been used much since it was re-chambered. This is a beautiful rifle which will make a great shooter or addition to a Winchester collection. Please see our photos and good luck!