Winchester Model 1886 Deluxe 26″ .45-70 Gov’t Lever Rifle, 1891 Antique

SOLD FOR: $9,525

LSB#: 231205EA005

Make: Winchester

Model: 1886

Serial Number: 58649

Year of Manufacture: 1891

Caliber: .45-70 Government

Action Type: Lever Action with Full-Length Tubular Magazine

Barrel Length: 26″, Round

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a Lyman blade with an ivory bead dovetailed 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 top tang is drilled and tapped with a folding tang sight installed.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered deluxe walnut with capped forend, semi-pistol grip, straight comb and smooth steel shotgun-style buttplate. There is a triangular ebony inlay in the bottom-front of the grip. The stocks have some scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. There are minor cracks around the rear of the top tang and a few tiny losses around edges. The forend has a slight gap to its cap. The checkering is well defined. The LOP measures 13 1/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has gone to a light patina with some scattered nicks and scratches. Overall, the stocks are in about Very Good condition as refinished Antique

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: We suspect that this rifle has been factory refinished due to the Winchester Proofs on the receiver and barrel.

Bore Condition: The bore is gray with well defined rifling. There is light erosion and infrequent 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 80% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. The balance is mostly in evenly scattered minor surface oxidation. There is some light wear, mostly on the bottom of the receiver. There are some light nicks and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to disfigured with a usable slot. The markings are clear, the serial marking is shallow as is common with this production period. Overall, this rifle is in Very Good-Fine condition as refinished Antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The hammer has a half-cock notch. 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: None.

Our Assessment: Winchester’s first attempt at a lever action rifle capable of handling a rifle cartridge was the Model 1876, which was a heavier framed version of the Model 1873. However, the toggle-link action used in the gun was still limited to short cartridges like the .40-60 and .45-60 Win. The Model 1886 was made to handle longer cartridges like the .45-70 Govt., and the .45-90 Win. and .50-110 Win. cartridges. The design utilized a locked-bolt action that was much strong than the M1876, and some think it is faster and smoother as well. The rifle was touted as a lever action express model, capable of handling any of the North American game animals.

This example is a Deluxe model with a 26″ barrel chambered for .45-70, a cartridge which has a long history and has had a new lease on life with the advent of smokeless powder and improved projectiles. The rifle’s checkered walnut stocks have a pistol grip and shotgun-style buttplate. The rifle went back to the Winchester factory at some time in or after 1905 as the barrel and receiver now carry Winchester Proof markings, it is likely that the current finish was applied by Winchester while the rifle was at the factory. It is in Very Good-Fine overall condition as Antique, retaining 80% of its blue finish, a decent bore for its age, and strong mechanics. This rifle has a lot of years left in it and would make a great addition to a Winchester collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

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

Winchester Model 1886 Deluxe 26" .45-70 Gov't Lever Rifle, 1891 Antique
Winchester Model 1886 Deluxe 26″ .45-70 Gov’t Lever Rifle, 1891 Antique