SOLD FOR: $9625
Year of Manufacture: The receiver’s serial number was applied in December, 1892, the assembled rifle was received in the Winchester warehouse January, 1893
Caliber: .38-56 WCF (Winchester Center Fire)
Action Type: Lever Action Tube-Magazine Fed Rifle
Serial Number: 73463
Barrel Length: 26″, Octagonal
Sights: The front sight is a Lyman folding Beech-style sight presenting either a beaded post inside a hood or a beaded blade. The rear sight dovetail is filled with a blank. The top tang is drilled and tapped with a Marble’s folding tang sight installed, adjustable for elevation.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered deluxe walnut with a capped forend, pistol grip, straight comb and smooth steel shotgun-style buttplate. There is a triangular ebony inlay in the bottom of the grip. The stocks have several scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 13″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has mostly gone to a light patina with edges worn to white and some scattered nicks and scratches. Overall, the stocks are in about Fine condition as Antique
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is gray with sharp rifling. There is some scattered light erosion and pitting in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 6 or 7 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 20% of its metal finish. Most surfaces have wear or have gone to a light patina with much of the case color muted. There is some scattered remaining finish on the barrel and there is some strong case color in protected areas, most notable on the inside of the trigger guard and around the tang sight’s base. There is strong finish on the bolt. There is some scattered minor surface oxidation. The top of the barrel has wear from a previously installed elevator sight. 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 Very Good-plus 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: This rifle comes with a Cody Firearms Records Office records search which indicates that the receiver’s serial number was applied December 6, 1892, the rifle was assembled with a checkered pistol grip stock, Lyman sights, 1/2 magazine and shotgun butt, received in the warehouse January 11, 1893 and shipped the same day on order number 12871.
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 and with a wide variety of special order features. This makes for a wonderful model for collectors, especially if the special features can be verified.
This rifle is one such example, with a few special features. The rifle has a 26″ octagonal barrel chambered for the .38-56 cartridge. The cartridge has similar ballistics to the older .38-55, but in a shorter case. The records search included from the Cody Firearms Records office confirms that this rifle was originally shipped with its checkered pistol grip stocks, shotgun butt and 1/2 length magazine. The search also indicates that it shipped with Lyman sights, making it likely that the front sight is original, while the rear sight has been replaced with a blank and a Marble’s tang sight has been installed. This 1886 will make a wonderful addition to a Winchester collection, especially with its special-order features, and may even still make for a good shooter. Please see our pictures and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud