Early 1st Year Winchester 1887 ’87 30″ 12 GA Lever Action Shotgun, Antique
SOLD FOR: $1375
Make: Winchester Repeating Arms Co.
Serial Number: 1701
Year of Manufacture: 1887
Caliber: 12 Gauge
Action Type: Lever Action, Tubular Magazine Shotgun
Markings: The serial number “1701” is marked on the underside of the receiver; the lower tang is stamped, “MANUFACTURED BY THE / WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. / -NEW HAVEN, CONN. U.S.A.- / PAT. FEB. 16, & JULY 20, 1886.” The “WRAo” monogram logo is engraved on the left side of the receiver.
Barrel Length: 30″
Choke: Improved Cylinder, Fixed
Sights / Optics: The receiver has a shallow groove and the front sight is a brass bead screwed to the front of the barrel.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are walnut with a two-piece forend and one-piece buttstock with pistol grip and checkered steel buttplate. The stocks have some scattered light nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches. There is a loss at the toe. There is a thin crack at the front of the left forend panel, the crack is significantly longer on the inside of the panel than the outside. The LOP measures 12 5/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has a dent at the toe matching the loss in the wood and scattered moderate erosion with fairly well defined checkering. Overall, the stocks are in Good-Very Good condition as Antique.
Type of Finish: Blued & Case Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is light gray. There is light erosion and pitting scattered through the bore.
Overall Condition: The exposed surfaces have gone to a light-moderate patina. The bottom tang has mostly muted and there is some finish visible on surfaces concealed when the action is closed or while the stocks are installed. There is infrequent surface erosion and a few light nicks and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The lifter screw has been replaced, having a domed head and appearing to have been cut on the side opposite the head. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in Very Good condition as Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly, the lever moves smoothly, and the trigger trips the hammer. We have not test-fired this black-powder-era gun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: The Winchester Model 1887 was the first truly successful repeating shotgun. Its unique lever-action design was chosen by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, and designed by the legendary designer, John Moses Browning to complement their popular lever-action rifles. The whole firearm itself is a remarkable engineering accomplishment. Originally chambered in 12 gauge only, this 1st Year production model has strong mechanics and a decent bore, especially for a 135 year old gun which would have seen use almost exclusively with black powder. This will make a nice addition to the collection of any Winchester collector, of fine antique firearms, or aficionados of the American West. Please see our photos and good luck!