SOLD FOR: $5575
Model: Custom 1886
Year of Manufacture: The receiver was produced Ca. 1898-1910. The bottom tang and barrel appear to be from earlier production.
Caliber: The barrel has been re-bored and re-chambered for .50-110 Express
Action Type: Lever Action Tube-Magazine Fed Rifle
Serial Number: The serial number marked on the bottom tang is 19153. The bottom tang is not original to the receiver.
Barrel Length: 22″, Octagonal
Sights: The front sight is a german silver blade in a slotted base dovetailed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a “V”-notch elevator sight dovetailed to the rear of the barrel. 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 a steel crescent buttplate. The stocks have scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches with a few more notable dings. There are some losses and cracks around the edges, most notable in the wrist. The LOP measures 12 7/8? 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 Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color
Finish Originality: Most finish appears Original to the parts. The bolt has been refinished. The barrel and bottom tang are not original to the gun.
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. There is infrequent very minor erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 8 or 9 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 35% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. The barrel has scattered remaining finish with some areas going to a light patina. The magazine tube has mostly worn or been polished to white. The frame has been almost completely worn or polished to white. There is some finish on the bolt. There is scattered minor surface erosion, most notable on the magazine tube. There are some scattered nicks and scratches. 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 Good-plus condition as customized.
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 with this example having a re-lined barrel chambered for .50-110 Express, a cartridge introduced to the line in 1887. The .50-110 Express is one of the most powerful cartridges ever to be chambered in a lever action rifle and would have been suitable for just about any game a hunter could expect to encounter in 1891.
This rifle has been customized with some incongruent markings. The lower tang is from approximately 1888 while the receiver’s tang marking indicates production ca. 1898-1910. The Winchester proof marking on the receiver wasn’t in use until about 1905, but could have been applied if the rifle was sent back to the factory after the proof was introduced. Finally, the barrel’s markings also strongly indicate earlier production than the receiver. This 1886 will make an interesting addition to a Winchester collection and after inspection by a qualified gunsmith, it may prove to still be a good shooter. Please see our pictures and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud