SOLD FOR: $2690
Model: 1886 Lightweight Takedown
Year of Manufacture: 1895
Caliber: .33 Winchester Center Fire (WCF)
Action Type: Lever Action Rifle
Serial Number: 97944
Markings: The left of the barrel is marked “MANUFACTURED BY THE WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. / NEW HAVEN, CONN. U.S.A. PAT. OCT. 14. 1884. JAN. 20. 1885.” in front of the rear sight, the left is marked “-NICKEL STEEL BARREL- / ESPECIALLY FOR SMOKELESS POWDER” and “33 W.C.F.” at the rear. The top of the barrel at the rear and the top of the chamber ring are each marked “WP” in oval. The takedown lever is marked “-PAT. JUNE 6. 1893-“.The top tang is marked “-MODEL 1886-” (appropriate for 130,000 serial range). The bottom tang is marked “97944” behind the lever and under the lever with -“PAT OCT. 14. 1884. / JAN. 20. 1885”-.
Barrel Length: 24″, Round Rapid Taper (0.945″ at the breech, 0.645? at the muzzle)
Sights: The front sight is a Lyman’s white beaded blade with the rear face checkered below the bead, dovetailed to a base fixed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a Lyman sight with two folding leaves, the front has a “V”-notch and the rear has no notch with a white triangle aiming reference. Both leaves can be folded down simultaneously for use of the tang sight. The top tang is drilled and tapped with a folding tang sight installed, adjustable for elevation with a folding small aperture.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece walnut with capped forend, checkered straight wrist, straight comb and checkered steel shotgun-style buttplate. The rear of the stock has an oval recess consistent with Lightweight model stocks. The stocks have some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. There is a minor loss at the top-front corner of the wrist on the right with short, thin cracks at the point of the buttplate’s tang in the heel and at the rear of the top tang in the top of the wrist. The forend’s finish has odd wear, giving it a slightly rough texture. The checkering is well defined, but is not factory. The LOP measures 13 1/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has wear and oxidation at the heel with lighter wear and some nicks around the edges, the checkering is well defined. Overall, the stocks are in Very Good-plus condition as refinished Antique.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original to the parts. The barrel is not original to the gun. It is possible that the gun was modified at Winchester (see Our Assessment).
Bore Condition: The bore is light gray with sharp rifling. There is some scattered minor erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: The rifle retains approximately 70% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. The most notable finish loss is in the magazine cap, forend cap, barrel extension and the top and bottom of the receiver. The barrel, magazine tube and receiver flats have generally strong finish with light wear on the receiver flats and some other scattered more minor wear. There is a notable ding on the left-rear edge of the barrel extension with several scattered minor nicks, scuffs and scratches. There are tool marks around some screw heads. There is infrequent minor surface oxidation, including some discoloration in the worn areas. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to disfigured with useable slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in about Fine condition as Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly and smoothly. The trigger is crisp. The lever locks up tight. The hammer has a half-cock position. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box / Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: The 1886 is another of John Browning’s industry-changing designs. It is our favorite Winchester here, certainly the strongest built at the time and function leads to beauty. The 1886 was available in a variety of cartridges over its nearly 40 years of production and, while there were standard configurations, there were also special-order features which led to a wide number of variations available to the collector today.
This rifle was originally made in 1895, but is chambered for the .33 WCF cartridge, a standard chambering for the 1886 from 1903 until the model was discontinued. We suspect that the barrel was replaced at the Winchester factory, but the chambering does indicate that it was not originally on the gun in 1895. It has the rapid-taper barrel, hollowed buttstock, and half-length magazine of the lightweight model. It it also a takedown model, making it quite convenient for storage and transport. The .33 WCF is a good medium-range hunting cartridge, with performance roughly equivalent to or slightly better than .35 Remington.
At nearly 130 years old, it appears to have seen responsible use and maintenance with much of its finish remaining, the balance being consistent with carry in the field, and retaining a decent bore and strong mechanics. While this would likely still make a good hunting rifle today, it may also attract Winchester collectors as it is a less common configuration and in good shape. This is a nice old Winchester, perfect for any collection. Please see our pictures and good luck!