Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1: Winchester Model 1886 Lever Action .45-70 Rifle,Early Production

Auction Date: December 2, 2016

Early Production Winchester Model 1886 Lever Action .45-70 Rifle with British Proofs and Factory Letter

Estimated Price: $8,500 - $11,000

Early Production Winchester Model 1886 Lever Action .45-70 Rifle with British Proofs and Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1886
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 45-70
Barrel: 26 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 3064
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 8
Class: Antique

The included factory letter confirms the caliber, round barrel, plain trigger and special order shotgun buttplate. The rifle was received in the warehouse on January 22, 1887, and shipped on February 8, 1887. It has a casehardened frame. British proofs are stamped on the left side of the barrel, and a single British proof is stamped on top of the bolt at the rear and left side of the receiver at the front. Blade front sight (missing bead) and folding ladder rear sight on a barrel marked with the two-line address ahead of the rear sight and "45-70" at the breech. The upper tang is marked "-MODEL 1886-." The lower tang is marked with the two-line patent information and the serial number. Sling eyelets are mounted on the forend cap and buttstock. Mounted on a smooth forearm and straight grip stock with a smooth steel shotgun buttplate. The Winchester Model 1886 was the first lever action designed by John M. Browning, and the popular Model 1892 was based on the same design but scaled down for smaller cartridges. The Model 1886 was very popular and could handle everything from .33 W.C.F. to large .50 caliber express cartridges making it one of the best firearms for big game hunting in its day. They also saw limited military use even into WWI when they were used with incendiary ammunition against German airships by the British Royal Flying Corps.

Rating Definition:

Fine. The barrel and magazine tube retain 40% faded original case colors with a smooth brown patina on the balance. The bolt retains half of the original blue finish. The receiver retains 60% bright original case colors. The hammer and lever retain heavy amounts of original case colors. The buttplate is mostly a smooth dark patina with minor spotting. The wood is fine with a cosmetic repair near the upper tang and number of minor handling marks. Mechanically excellent.

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