SOLD FOR: $6,526
Year of Manufacture: 1896
Caliber: .40-65 WCF
Action Type: Lever Action Rifle with Full-Length Tubular Magazine and Set-Trigger
Serial Number: 108168
Barrel Length: 32?, Octagonal
Sights: The front sight is a folding Beech-style sight presenting either a post or a beaded post in a hood. The post (non-hooded) is sheared off at the top. The rear sight is a flat-top, “V”-notch elevator sight dovetailed to the rear of the barrel. The notch is fine-adjustable for elevation. 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 shotgun-style buttplate. The stocks have scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches with a few more notable marks. There is a crack in the right-front of the wrist. The forend shows sanding at the bottom-rear. The grain of the buttstock has features which give it an almost laminate appearance The LOP measures 13 1/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate when the trigger is not set, 13 1/4″ when set. The plate has gone to a moderate patina, showing even scraping under the patina and having some minor surface erosion. Overall, the stocks are in Very Good condition as refinished Antique.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case-Color
Finish Originality: The frame’s finish is Original, the barrel and magazine tube show treatment with cold blue.
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. There is infrequent minor erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 8 or 9 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 50% of its current metal finish. The barrel and magazine tube show treatment with cold blue and the finish is thinning throughout. The receiver’s case color has mostly gone to a light patina with some areas having a nickel-like appearance. There is strong blue on the top of the bolt and good case color on the hammer. There are some scattered 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. Overall, this rifle is in about Fine condition as partially refinished Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly and smoothly. The lever locks up solidly. The trigger is crisp. 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 Museum records search which indicates that this rifle was originally produced as a .40/65 with octagonal barrel, set trigger, and shotgun butt, received in warehouse on August 14, 1896 and shipped on the same day.
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 is a very interesting nice example of an 1886 made in 1896. The rifle is chambered for .40-65, a cartridge developed for the model, and has a 32″ octagonal barrel. Due to the extra barrel length, the magazine is secured with not one, but two brackets. The buttstock has a shotgun-style buttplate and another special-order feature is the set-trigger, which can be pressed forward to give a light, crisp trigger pull. The included records search confirms that the set trigger and shotgun butt are original, but the records do not indicate the sights or barrel length. The barrel and magazine tube have been refinished, so it looks great for its age and the bore is quite outstanding for a nearly 130 year old gun. It still has strong mechanics and good markings. It will make a great addition to a Winchester collection. Please see our pictures and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud