SOLD FOR: $1,244.79
Make: Browning, in Belgium
Model: 1885 Grade I High Wall
Serial Number: 10297NT247
Year of Manufacture: 1996 (http://www.browning.com/support/date-your-firearm/model-1885-rifle.html)
Caliber: .45-70 Government
Action Type: Single Shot, Exposed Hammer, High Wall, Falling Block Lever Action Rifle.
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “BROWNING ARMS COMPANY MORGAN, UTAH & MONTREAL P.Q. / NP”, the right side is marked “BROWNING MODEL 1885 CALIBER .45-70 GOVT”, with “*” over “D”, “S” and scripted “L” in flaming bomb next to “B B L” in shield (Belgian / Liege Proofs). The right side of the frame is marked with the serial number, the top has an “L” in flaming bomb. The recoil pad is marked “BROWNING”. The end label of the box reflects the serial number, grade, caliber and octagonal barrel of this rifle.
Barrel Length: 28”, Octagonal, Recessed.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a rounded black blade, set fore to aft into a base that is dovetailed onto the barrel. The rear sight is and the rear sight is a “U” notched semi-buckhorn leaf and step-slide elevator, dovetailed onto the barrel.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The walnut stocks have checkering on the flanks of the forearm and butt stock. The forend has a Schnabel-esque tip with an area of impact on the aft right side, resulting in an area of cracks; the wood chip surrounded by these cracks is still attached to the forend and does not wiggle. The forend has light scuffs and scratches. The butt stock has a strait wrist with a pinched, strait comb; the stock has only light scuffs and scratches. The stocks have Browning brand Super Swivels, protected against the stock with the factory paper marketing tags. The LOP measures 13 ½” from the front of the trigger to the back of the shotgun style recoil pad. The pad has a black spacer and only shows scuffs and fitting marks. The stocks rate in about Very Good Plus overall condition given the area of impact on the forend that resulted in cracks.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Factory Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 98% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish shows small areas of surface etching on the receiver and in sparse areas on the barrel. There are only light handling marks in the balance. The bore had a tad of carbon that we removed and there is no visible wear on the interacting components that would suggest much use outside of factory testing. The screw heads are sharp and do not appear to have ever been removed. The markings are crisp. Overall, this rifle rates in about Fine condition and would rate much higher but for the impact on the right side of the forend.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included is the rifle’s original factory box, serialized and reflective of its caliber, grade and barrel. The box has heavier scuffing and roughed eges with no major damages; inside is the original foam inserts, plastic bag and owner’s manual. The foam has wear and losses from storage, the bag and manual rate in Excellent condition, the inserts in Very Good and the box in Fine.
Our Assessment: This is a Grade I Browning 1885 with Belgian proof marks and a strong, sharp bore. The only damage of note is a single impact on the right aft portion of the forend which resulted in cracking; the damage is confined to this area and the chip of wood surrounded by cracks is not loose. There are only minor handling marks on the metal and wood outside of the impact mark with little evidence of use outside of factory testing. The original factory box, foam inserts and owner’s manual is included as photographed. Given the impact mark, this rifle will make for a handy hunting or distance shooting platform in the legendary .45-70 Government cartridge. From Wikipedia: “Realizing that single-shot black-powder rifles were rapidly becoming obsolete, the US Army adopted the Norwegian-designed .30 Army caliber as the Springfield Model 1892 in 1893. However, the .45-70 continued in service with National Guard and the Navy and Marine Corps until 1897. The .45-70 was last used in quantity during the Spanish–American War, and was not completely purged from the inventory until well into the 20th century. Many surplus rifles were given to reservation Indians as subsistence hunting rifles and now carry Indian markings. The .45-70 cartridge is still used by the U.S. military today, in the form of the CARTRIDGE, CALIBER .45, LINE THROWING, M32, a blank cartridge which is used in a number of models of line throwing guns used by the Navy and Coast Guard. Early models of these line throwing guns were made from modified Trapdoor and Sharps rifles, while later models are built on break-open single-shot rifle actions.” Please see our pictures and good luck!