This is at attractive example of a very early "second year" production Model 1885 plain rifle that was returned to the Winchester factory in 1906 and factory refurbished/modified into this configuration. The Winchester factory letter is dated October 1981 and verifies that this rifle was originally manufactured in March 1886 as a standard rifle in .32-40 with a #3 28 inch 1/2 octagon barrel, checkered stock with pistol grip and Swiss buttplate. It was subsequently returned to the factory in October 1906 and altered to a rifle configuration with the following: 32-40 caliber, 30 inch 1/2 octagon barrel no rear sear, checkered stock, pistol grip, Swiss cheek and buttplate, mid-range and wind gauge sights, and no level. It was also returned to the factory for repair and returned in November 1906. It has a standard rebated receiver with the noted #3 barrel marked on top, "MANUFACTURED BY THE WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO./NEW HAVEN. CONN. U.S.A. PATENTED OCTOBER 7. 1879.", with "32-40"just ahead of the receiver. As noted, it is fitted with a hand checkered fancy walnut pistol grip stock and forend with the forend having the ebony tip insert with the hard rubber Winchester grip cap. It has a blued metal finish, including the receiver, and a color casehardened breech block, hammer and loading lever. A unique example of a special order Winchester Model 1885 with factory documentation.
Very fine with 97% of the factory refurbished blued metal finish overall. The breech block, hammer and loading lever retains 95% of their respective finishes with the loading lever having faded/brown out slightly on the underside. The buttstock and forend both retain 98% of their factory varnishes overall with only a couple of minor/light handling marks on the sides with excellent, sharp checkering on the pistol grip area and the sides of the forend. Mechanically excellent.
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