Sold For: $1,384.00
Model: 1885 High Wall Sporting Rifle
Serial Number: 56100
Year of Manufacture: The receiver was made in 1892.
Caliber: .32-40 Winchester (.32-40 Ballard)
Action Type: Lever Actuated Falling Block Single Shot Rifle
Markings: The lower tang is marked “PAT. OCT. 7th 79” and “56100”. The underside of the barrel just in front of the forend is marked “2”. The top of the barrel is marked “Manufactured By The / Winchester Repeating Arms Co. New Haven. Conn. U.S.A.” and at the receiver with “32-40”.
Barrel Length: The No. 2 weight heavy octagon barrel 27 13/16” in length. The barrel measures 0.875” flat-flat at the muzzle.
Sights / Optics: The upper tang is drilled, tapped and filled for a tang mounted aperture sight. The rear sight is a “U” notched semi-buckhorn elevator sight dovetailed into the barrel and the front sight is a thin German silver blade dovetailed into the barrel.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are fancy walnut with a checkered pistol grip and Schnabel tipped forend with an ebony insert. The buttstock has a blued crescent shaped buttplate and the grip has a blued steel cap marked “Winchester Repeating / Arms Co.”. The buttstock has a beautiful fiddleback pattern in the wood. The buttstock and forend both show a few light handling marks with oil staining around the receiver. In addition, the buttstock shows, a thin crack behind the upper tang, another on the right side of the tang, a small chip out of the top front corners at the receiver on either side of the upper tang, and a compression mark near the belly on the right side. The forend shows a compression mark on its top right edge at the rear and two compression marks in its underside. There is a slight gap between the wood and the left and rear edges of the upper tang and between the wood and the back edge of the lower tang. The LOP measures 13 7/16” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate, which shows thinning and light wear at the heel and toe. The buttplate is in about Fine overall condition. The stocks rate in about Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: The barrel is blued and the receiver and lever are case colored. The lower tang is blued.
Finish Originality: The finish appears original, but the barrel markings are very light in spots.
Bore Condition: The bore is dark and the rifling shows moderate to heavy wear. There is light erosion in the grooves about 2” from the muzzle.
Overall Condition: The rifle retains about 55% of its current metal finish. There is thinning on the edges of the barrel with light handling marks along its length and several small dings along its left side, left lower shoulder and underside. There are also a few spots of pinprick surface erosion and surface loss along the left side and lower left shoulder of the barrel. The upper tang and the rear shoulders and underside of the receiver show scattered spots of solid erosion. The upper tang also shows several dings and the lower tang shows thinning and surface frosting. The receiver is developing a brown patina and shows several long scratches in its finish, some of which are under the patina, with a few through the patina. The edges of the barrel are mostly sharp with just a few nicks. The lower tang stock screw is disfigured and the rest of the screws range from sharp to mildly distressed. The patent date on the lower tang is also shallow and the caliber markings on the barrel are faint. Overall, this rifle is in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action works correctly. The hammer has a half-cock position and the trigger pull 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, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: This is a Winchester Model 1885 High Wall Sporting Rifle. It has a checkered pistol grip and a Schnabel tipped forend on a fancy walnut stock showing a beautiful fiddleback pattern in the buttstock, typical of the Deluxe Sporting Rifle. It has a heavy octagon #2 barrel and is chambered in .32-40 Win. The .32-40 Win. round was introduced in 1884 as a black powder match grade round for the Ballard single-shot Union Hill target rifles. It achieved a muzzle velocity of 1440 fps. out of a 20” barrel and was known for its fine accuracy. This rifle is in about Very Good overall condition with about 55% of its finish remaining. The bore is dark with moderate to heavy wear in the rifling and light erosion in the grooves. This rifle is perfect for the beginning collector to acquire a nice looking antique rifle chambered in an antique cartridge from the 1890’s.