Custom Winchester 1886 Takedown 20″ .33 WCF Lever Action Rifle, 1911 C&R
SOLD FOR: $1900
Model: 1886, Takedown
Year of Manufacture: 1911
Caliber: .33 Winchester Center Fire (WCF)
Action Type: Lever Action Rifle
Serial Number: 150885
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.” forward of the rear sight, “-NICKEL STEEL BARREL- / ESPECIALLY FOR SMOKELESS POWDER” under the rear sight and “33 W.C.F.” behind the rear sight. The top of the barrel at the rear is marked with a circled “WP” proof. The top of the chamber ring is marked with an ovalled “WP” proof, the top tang is marked “MODEL 1886 / -WINCHESTER- / TRADE MARK REG. IN U.S. PAT. OFF.”. The bottom tang is marked “150885” behind the lever and “-PAT. OCT. 14.1884- / JAN. 20. 1885”.
Barrel Length: The barrel has been cut to 20 1/2″.
Sights: The front sight is a beaded blade pinned to a ramped base fixed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a flat-top “V”-notch 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 present) and the left of the receiver has been drilled, tapped and filled for a receiver sight (none present).
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece smooth walnut with capped forend, straight grip, straight comb, checkered black plastic buttplate and there are sling eyelets mounted in the belly and on the bottom of the forend cap. The stocks have scattered light nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches with a couple of more notable dings in the right of the wrist and a scratch on the right near the toe. There are a couple of short, thin cracks to each side of the top tang at the front of the wrist and a small loss at the bottom-front of the wrist on the right. There are a few short grain-line cracks around the rear edge of the buttstock. The LOP measures 13 1/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate is not original to the rifle. When removed, it can be seen that the top mounting screw hole has been drilled-out and filled and a second mounting hole has been made for the bottom screw. There is a hollow in the rear of the buttstock, but its placement and dimensions don’t appear to match that of a factory lightweight stock. The plate has scattered light wear with well defined checkering. Overall, the stocks are in about Good-Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original to the parts. The magazine cap is not original to the tube, the sights have been replaced.
Bore Condition: The bore is light gray with sharp rifling. There is scattered minor erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: The rifle retains approximately 70% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. There is scattered light finish wear with more notable finish loss on the barrel extension, the bottom-front and top of the receiver. There is handling wear in the top tang. There are some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. Some of the worn areas show minor discoloration from oxidation and there is infrequent light surface oxidation. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in about Very Good condition as customized.
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 is a takedown rifle, which allows the user to quickly remove the barrel assembly from the receiver for transport in a case the length of the barrel. It is chambered for the .33 WCF cartridge, a standard chambering for the 1886 from 1902 until the model was discontinued. The .33 WCF is a good medium-range hunting cartridge, with performance roughly equivalent to or slightly better than .35 Remington. This rifle has been customized with the barrel cut back to 20″ and the magazine cap replaced, which ironically makes it more difficult to take down. The rifle looks to have seen use in the field but was well kept with about 70% of its metal finish remaining and strong mechanics. While this would likely still make a good hunting rifle today, it’s also likely to attract Winchester collectors as it is a takedown. Either way, this is a nice old Winchester, perfect for any collection. Please see our pictures and good luck!