Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 29: Special Order Winchester Deluxe Model 1886 Lever Action Rifle

Auction Date: September 11, 2020

Outstanding Special Order Winchester Deluxe Model 1886 Fancy Sporting Lever Action Rifle with Attractive Casehardened Receiver and Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $35,000 - $55,000

Outstanding Special Order Winchester Deluxe Model 1886 Fancy Sporting Lever Action Rifle with Attractive Casehardened Receiver and Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1886
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 45-70
Barrel: 26 inch
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut checkered
Item Views: 2026
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 40
Class: Antique

This Special order Winchester Model 1886 Fancy Sporting Rifle was manufactured in 1891. This rifle is accompanied by a factory letter that describes this rifle as: "Type: Rifle, Caliber: 45/70, Barrel Type: Octagon, Trigger: Plain, Checkered stock, Pistol grip, 1/2 Magazine" and "Shotgun butt". Removal of the stock proves that the latter is a clerical error as the left side of the lower tang is marked "99 XXX" and the assembly number "99" is repeated in the stock inlet and on the crescent steel buttplate. The letter further states that the serial number was applied to this rifle on June 17, 1891 and that the rifle was shipped from the Winchester warehouse on June 24, 1891. Although the factory letter states that this rifle was shipped from Winchester with a shotgun style buttplate it is fitted with a crescent steel buttplate. The full octagon barrel and half-magazine have a blue finish. The bolt and loading gate are bright blue. The forearm cap, receiver, hammer, lever and crescent buttplate are color casehardened with fiery case colors. The forearm and pistol grip stock are highly figured, fancy grade walnut with Winchester "Style H" checkering and a high gloss piano finish. The bottom of the pistol grip has an ebony inlay. The barrel has a dove-tail mounted Lyman "Hunting Front" sight with insert and adjustable folding leaf rear sight graduated to "10" and marked "1886" at the top of the leaf. The upper receiver tang is factory drilled and tapped. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped with the two-line legend: "-MANUFACTURED BY THE-/-WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. NEW HAVEN. CONN.U.S.A.-" ahead of the rear sight. The caliber "45-70" is roll-stamped on the top barrel flat just ahead of the receiver. The upper receiver tang is roll-stamped: "-MODEL 1886-". The 1884 and 1885 patent dates are roll-stamped on the lower tang behind the trigger and the serial number is stamped on the lower tang between the tang screws.

Rating Definition:

Excellent plus. The rifle is all original and remains in truly exceptional condition with 98% of the blue and color casehardened finish. Although the Cody Record Office letter indicates that this rifle was shipped with a shotgun style buttplate, the stock and buttplate are original to the rifle and the Cody description is an error in the letter or in the original Winchester records. The barrel and half-magazine retain nearly all of the original blue finish. The bright blue finish on the bolt, loading gate and trigger shows almost no wear. The receiver, forearm cap and lever have fiery case colors that show almost no wear. The hammer has 97% of the case colors with some cycling wear on the left side. The case colors on the buttplate have faded slightly but are 95% intact with traces of finish loss on the edge of the heel and some minor pitting on the buttplate toe. The markings on the barrel and receiver are perfect. The stock and forearm retain 97% of the original piano finish with some scattered and very insignificant handling and storage marks on the sides of the stock and rear portions of the forearm. The checkering on the pistol grip and forearm is sharp and shows minimal handling wear. This is a stunning example of a deluxe, special order, Winchester Model 1886 Fancy Sporting Rifle. Provenance: The Robert M. Lee Collection.

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