Browning Model B-78 B78 Like Winchester 1885 .45-70 Gov’t Rifle, MFD 1976

SOLD FOR: $1281

LSB#: 220511TH004

Make: Browning, made in Japan by Miroku

Model: B-78 High Power Rifle

Serial Number: 50473RT147

Year of Manufacture: 1976

Caliber: .45/75 Gov’t

Action Type: Lever Actuated Falling Block Single Shot Rifle w/ Extractor

Markings: The left shoulder of the barrel is marked “BROWNING ARMS COMPANY MORGAN, UTAH & MONTREAL P.Q. / MADE IN JAPAN”. The right shoulder of the barrel is marked “BROWNING – 78 CALIBER .45-70 ONLY / PATENT NO. 3830000”. The bottom-front of the receiver is marked “50473 / RT147”.

Barrel Length: 24″, Octagonal

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade slotted in a base that is dovetailed to the barrel. The rear sight is a semi-buckhorn square notch elevator sight that is dovetailed to the barrel. There is a pair of drilled, tapped, and filled holes on the barrel just behind the rear sight and on the top of the chamber ring.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered walnut with straight grip and comb, schnabel forend, and a crescent steel buttplate. There is notable finish wear on the sides of the forearm at the rear. The bottom edge of the schnabel tip has a distinct spot of finish loss. There are evenly dispersed light draglines, minor nicks, and faint compressions. The checkering shows a few minor interruptions and is generally sharp. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 13 3/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has some light marks on the face, thinning on the edges, and some freckles of oxidation on the side flats. Overall, the stocks are in about Very Good-Plus condition.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 96% of its metal finish. There is light thinning around the muzzle. There are a few infrequent light nicks and scratches about the metal. There are some extremely tiny freckles of oxidation on the left side of the receiver. The lever shows light thinning along the edges. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in about Fine condition.

Mechanics: The action works correctly. The trigger breaks crisply and the lever locks-up solidly. 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: When they were first manufactured, the John Browning designed Winchester Model 1885 rifles were deemed stronger than the prior Sharps rifles, and the different sight and trigger options available made them an instant hit with hunters and target shooters alike. The Model 1885 rifles were targeted at competitors in “Match Shooting”, a sport which was extremely popular from about 1871 to 1917. The Winchester rifles challenged the Sharps, Remington, Maynard and Ballard rifles, and quickly became known for their reliability and accuracy. Major Ned Roberts, inventor of the .257 Roberts cartridge, described the Model 1885 as “the most reliable, strongest and altogether best single shot rifle ever produced”. In 1973, Browning introduced their own version of the 1885, the B-78 High Power, in a variety of cartridges. This example is chambered for .45-70 and has a 24″ octagon barrel. The rifle is in Fine condition, appearing to have seen a few trips to the range or maybe the field, but responsible use and maintenance. It doesn’t hurt that it’s easy on the eyes, too. Please see our photos and good luck!

Browning Model B-78 B78 Like Winchester 1885 .45-70 Gov't Rifle, MFD 1976
Browning Model B-78 B78 Like Winchester 1885 .45-70 Gov’t Rifle, MFD 1976