Winchester Model 1886 28″ .45-70 Gov’t Lever Action Rifle, MFD 1888 Antique
SOLD FOR: $3044
Year of Manufacture: 1888
Caliber: .45-70 Government
Action Type: Lever Action Rifle
Serial Number: 22984
Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “-MANUFACTURED BY THE- / -WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. NEW HAVEN, CONN. U.S.A.-” forward of the rear sight and “45-70” behind the rear sight. The top tang is marked “-MODEL 1886-“. The bottom tang is marked -“PAT. OCT. 14. 1884. / JAN. 20. 1885”- under the lever and “22984” behind.
Barrel Length: 28?, Octagonal
Sights: The front sight is a german-silver blade in a slotted base dovetailed to the front of the barrel. The blade shows moderate wear, as does the base. The rear sight is a Marble’s “U”-notch semi-buckhorn elevator sight with a white triangle aiming reference, dovetailed to the rear of the barrel. The top tang is drilled, tapped and filled for a tang sight, none is present.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece smooth walnut with capped forend, straight grip, straight comb and steel crescent buttplate. The stocks have some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. There is a more notable ding at the left-rear of the forend and a gouge at the top edge above it. There are a couple of short cracks at the toe. The LOP measures 12 7/8? from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has mostly gone to a moderate-dark patina with some erosion at the heel. Overall, the stocks are in about Very Good condition as refinished Antique.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case-Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright. The rifling is sharp where not interrupted by erosion. There is scattered light erosion and infrequent pitting scattered through the bore.
Overall Condition: The rifle retains approximately 0% of its metal finish. The exposed surfaces have a mottled appearance ranging from a moderate-dark patina to worn to white. The case color finish of the receiver was determined by removing the stock where some color can be seen on the interior of the top tang. There are scattered light nicks, scuffs, scratches and tool marks at some screw heads with scattered minor erosion. The action shows operational wear. Most screw heads are tool marked with strong slots or disfigured with useable slots. The cartridge-guide screw on the right of the receiver has had half of the head break off. The markings are generally clear, the caliber marking on the barrel is worn, but barely legible. Overall, this rifle is in Good-Very Good condition as Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly and smoothly. 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 example is a rifle with a 28″ octagonal barrel chambered for the .45-70 Government cartridge. The cartridge was quite popular in its day, and has seen something of a revival recently. This rifle is in Good-Very Good condition, with its external appearance consistent with its age, but which belies its strong bore and mechanics. Altogether, this is a nice example of a Winchester 1886, in nice condition for a 130 year old hunting rifle. It will make a nice addition to a Winchester collection, especially being fairly early in production. Please see our pictures and good luck!