SOLD FOR: $6025
Model: 1886 Saddle Ring Carbine
Year of Manufacture: 1900
Caliber: .38-56 Winchester Center Fire (WCF)
Action Type: Lever Action Tube-Magazine Fed Rifle
Serial Number: 121135
Barrel Length: 22″, Round
Sights: The front sight is a white beaded blade pinned to a slotted post fixed to the barrel in front of the front band. The rear sight is a folding ladder-style sight which presents a “V”-notch when folded down and has a “V”-notch on the slider. The slider is tight at the middle and top of the ladder, but moves freely on the bottom portion. The top tang is drilled, tapped and filled for a tang sight (none present).
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece smooth walnut with banded forend, straight grip, straight comb and a steel carbine-style buttplate. The stocks have some scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches with a few more notable dings. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 13 1/4? from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has gone to a moderate patina with scattered surface erosion. Overall, the stocks are in about Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is gray with well defined rifling. There is scattered light erosion and some pitting in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 5 or 6 out of 10.
Many military and C&R-eligible weapons have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the fact that corrosive primers were commonly used in ammunition worldwide.
Overall Condition: The rifle retains approximately 40% of its metal finish. The barrel and magazine tube have scattered finish wear with stronger finish on the bottom of the barrel and the top of the magazine tube, respectively. The receiver has mostly worn to white or gone to a light patina with some areas showing the nickel appearance typical of case-hardening from this era. There is some case color remaining on the left-rear of the receiver where it is protected by the saddle-ring and on the bottom tang where it is protected by the lever. There are some light nicks and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear, though a portion of the barrel address is covered by the forend band. Overall, this rifle is in Good-plus condition.
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: This rifle comes with a Winchester Factory Records letter which indicates it was originally shipped as a Carbine chambered for 38/56. The letter states the rifle was received in warehouse on May 21, 1900 and shipped November 3, 1900 on order number 80009. The letter further indicates that the rifle returned to Winchester for repair on January 29, 1916, order number 70230 (this would explain the presence of the Winchester proofs on the barrel and receiver).
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 interesting for a couple of reasons. First, and perhaps most important to the collectors, it is in a saddle ring carbine configuration and Winchester records indicate that it originally shipped as a carbine. It is also noteworthy that it has some case color remaining on the receiver, which is not altogether common for rifles of this era. The included Winchester records letter also indicates that it went back to Winchester in 1916, so while it was made in 1900 it does have Winchester proofs on the barrel and receiver. Altogether, this is a neat example of a Winchester 1886 which should display well in a collection missing a Carbine. It also has a more than decent bore for a 123 year old rifle and may still prove to be a fun shooter if you’re hand-loading .38-56 WCF. Please see our pictures and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud