Serial Number: 22667
Year of Manufacture: 1888
Caliber: .45-70 Government
Action Type: Lever Action with Full-Length Tubular Magazine
Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “MANUFACTURED BY THE / WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. NEW HAVEN, CONN. U.S.A. “, “BROWNING BROS, OGDON, U.T.” and at the receiver with “45-70”. The upper tang is marked “-MODEL 1886-”. The lower tang is marked “PAT. OCT. 14.1884. / JAN. 20.1885” and “22667”.
Barrel Length: The octagon barrel is 26” in length.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is brass bead dovetailed into the top of the barrel. The top right surface of the sight base is marked “LYMAN”. The rear sight is a “U” notched semi-buckhorn elevator sight dovetailed into the top of the barrel. The upper tang is drilled, tapped and filled for a tang sight.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece fancy walnut with a polished oiled finish that shows traces of lacquer along the sides of the wrist at the receiver. The buttstock has a pistol grip with an ebony wedge inlet into the front of its bottom surface and a blued crescent-shaped steel butt plate. The forend has a blued steel nosecap with a sling swivel built into its bottom surface, and there is another sling mount inlet into the wood at the belly. The forend checkering is continuous around the underside of the forend. Please see our pictures, as you do not often see wood this nice looking on a 100-year-old rifle. There are prominent fiddleback patterns running through the buttstock and burl wood patterns in the forend. There is a ding on the left side of the buttock near the belly and a few more on the right side. There are a few tiny dings in the upper edges of the forend, with two clumps of dings at the right front of the forend. There are several light handling marks scattered over the rest of the forend and buttstock. The checkering shows moderate to heavy wear, with a few bruises and dings in the grip and forend areas. The wood is shy of the metal along the upper tang and the top front corners of the buttstock are rounded-off on both sides. The LOP measures 13 ¼” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate shows thinning and several light scratches, with finish loss and very light wear at the heel and toe. The buttplate is in about Fine condition. The stocks are in about Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: The rifle is blued.
Finish Originality: The finish is original.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright, tending to gray in the front half of the barrel. The rifling shows light to moderate wear. There is light erosion scattered around the bore from the muzzle back several inches.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 60% of its metal finish. There is surface loss on the edges of the barrel and receiver, and on the underside of the receiver and upper tang. There is thinning in the barrel and magazine tube, with a plum colored patina starting to develop, and thinning in the receiver. There are tiny spots of pinprick surface erosion sprinkled over the underside of the magazine tube, on the front nine inches of the barrel on the right side and on the bottom surface of the lever. There are several scratches on the barrel and magazine tube, with a clump of scratches on the right side of the barrel and three small but sharp dings in the top of the barrel. There are also several dings on the top surface of the rear sight base. There are light handling marks in the receiver with two dings at the back edge of the loading gate and tool marks around the mainspring screw in the lower tang. The upper tang screw and left front receiver screw are disfigured, with light screwdriver marks in most of the remainder. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly and the lockup is tight. The hammer has a half-cock safety. The trigger breaks crisply at 4 lbs. 14.8 ozs. If the trigger is set first, by pushing it forwards, it breaks at 2.0 lbs. with a fair amount of creep. 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: This rifle comes with a letter from Cody Firearms Museum indicating that this rifle was shipped in Sept. 1888 with a deluxe fancy pistol grip stock, no checkering, an oil finish, sling swivels, an octagon barrel and a set trigger.
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 Model 1886 utilized a locked-bolt action that was much strong than the M1876, and some seem to think it is faster and smoother as well. The Winchester Model 1886 was touted as a lever action express model, capable of handling any of the North American game animals. This is a beautiful rifle that was made in 1888, the 3rd year of production. It comes with a factory letter confirming it was shipped with a fancy stock with pistol grip and oiled finish, set trigger, sling swivels and Lyman sights. At some point, the stock was removed and checkered and refinished with a lacquered finish, which has mostly worn off, leaving the highly polished wood underneath. The wood on this rifle has prominent fiddleback and burl wood patterns, so it really doesn’t need lacquer to make it look nice: please see our pictures!! This rifle is in about Fine condition. Older 1886’s like this one are considered collectible in almost any condition, and this one should make the collectors sit up and take notice. It will make a nice addition to any Winchester collection.