SOLD FOR: $3042
Year of Manufacture: 1890
Caliber: .45-90 Winchester Center Fire
Action Type: Lever Action Tubular Magazine Fed Rifle
Serial Number: 47257
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 “45-90 W.C.F.” 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 “47257” behind.
Barrel Length: 26″, Half-Round, Half-Octagonal
Sights: The front sight is a blade in a slotted base dovetailed and screw-set to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a “V”-notch elevator sight dovetailed to the rear of the barrel; the notch is fine-adjustable for elevation. The rear sight is not original to the gun. 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 capped forend, straight grip, straight comb and steel crescent buttplate. The stocks have scattered nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches. There is some wood fill around the top tang. There are cracks at the right-front of the wrist, at the rear of the top tang and at the toe on each side. The LOP measures 12 7/8? from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has gone to a light patina with some minor erosion and three deep nicks at the toe. Overall, the stocks are in Good-plus condition as refinished Antique.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case-Color
Finish Originality: Some remaining finish may be Original, most surfaces show treatment with cold blue.
Bore Condition: The bore is gray. The rifling is worn, but visible. There is scattered light erosion and pitting in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 4 or 5 out of 10.
Most antique firearms have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the use of black powder. When fired, black powder reacts corrosively. NRA Antique Firearm Conditions Standards are quite lenient for bores. In some cases, the NRA standards disregarded the bore’s condition for collectors’ firearms.
Overall Condition: The rifle retains approximately 5% of its metal finish. The strongest remaining finish is on the loading gate and trigger. Most surfaces have gone to a fairly uniform light patina with edges worn to white. There is some scattered light surface erosion. There are scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to disfigured with useable slots. The markings range from clear to worn and incomplete. 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 half-round, half-octagonal barrel chambered for the .45-90 Winchester Center Fire cartridge. It also has a half-length or “button” magazine tube. This gives the rifle good balance while still having a 26″ barrel and a potent chambering. This rifle is in Good-Very Good condition, with its external appearance consistent with its age, retaining a pretty decent bore and strong mechanics. Altogether, this is a neat example of a Winchester 1886, in nice condition for a 130 year old hunting rifle. It will make a neat addition to a Winchester collection, especially with its special order features. Please see our pictures and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud