Winchester Model 1885 High Wall .40 EXP 30″ No 5 Single Shot Rifle, Antique

SOLD FOR: $7,050

LSB#: 230914LM153


1885 High Wall

Serial Number: 

Year of Manufacture: 

Caliber: .40-110 Express

Action Type: Lever Actuated Falling Block Single Shot with Single Set-Trigger

Barrel Length: 
30″ Octagonal No. 5 Weight Barrel

Sights / Optics: 
The front sight is a german silver blade in a slotted base dovetailed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a custom “V”-notch elevator sight with a ghost ring. The top tang is drilled, tapped and filled for a tang sight (none present).

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered deluxe walnut. The forend has a Schnabel tip with ebony insert. The buttstock has a contoured-bottom pistol grip with ebony insert, a straight comb, and a case hardened steel crescent buttplate. There is a small loss at the top-rear corner of the forend on the right and a couple of tiny losses at the toe. There are some scattered spots of dark discoloration, mostly around the edges. There are some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. The checkering shows wear in some areas, but is generally well defined. The LOP measures 13 1/4? from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has mostly muted with some scattered light oxidation. Overall, the stocks are in Very Good-plus condition as refinished Antique.

Type of Finish: 
Blued & Case Colored

Finish Originality: Original. There are matching assembly numbers on the bottom tang, top tang inlet of the wrist, and the inside of the buttplate at the toe.

Bore Condition: 
The bore is semi-bright with sharp rifling. There is some light erosion and infrequent minor pitting in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 6 or 7 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:
 This rifle retains about 60% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. There are spots of light oxidation scattered throughout. The barrel has some scattered light finish wear. The receiver’s case color has mostly muted, there is some strong color in well protected areas and areas covered when the action is closed. 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. Overall, this rifle is in Fine condition as Antique.

The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: 
Included is a Cody Firearms Records Office search. The search confirms that this rifle had its serial number applied June 28, 1893 and was made as a Rifle chambered for 40 Express with a #5 weight 30″ octagonal barrel with a set trigger and checkered pistol grip stock. It was received in warehouse November 4, 1892 and shipped November 6, 1893 on order number 2681.

Our Assessment: 
When they were first manufactured, the John Browning designed Winchester Model 1885 rifles were deemed stronger than the prior Sharps rifles, and the different sight and trigger options available made them an instant hit with hunters and target shooters alike. The Model 1885 rifles were targeted at competitors in “Match Shooting”, a sport which was extremely popular from about 1871 to 1917. The Winchester rifles challenged the Sharps, Remington, Maynard and Ballard rifles, and quickly became known for their reliability and accuracy. Major Ned Roberts, inventor of the .257 Roberts cartridge, described the Model 1885 as “the most reliable, strongest and altogether best single shot rifle ever produced”.

This example checks a lot of boxes for collectors, not least because it is chambered for the scarce .40 Express cartridge. Winchester records held at the Cody Firearms Records Office indicate that not only is the chambering original, but the 30″ #5 weight barrel, set-trigger and checkered pistol grip stocks are all factory features. This one was built in 1893 and retains an impressive amount of finish for its age. Even the bore is impressive for a rifle this old. This will be a great addition to even advanced collections. Please see our photos and good luck!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

Winchester Model 1885 High Wall .40 EXP 30" No 5 Single Shot Rifle, Antique
Winchester Model 1885 High Wall .40 EXP 30″ No 5 Single Shot Rifle, Antique