This is an excellent example of a Winchester Model 1886 lever action rifle that was manufactured in 1895. The accompanying factory letter lists this rifle with an octagon barrel in .45-90 caliber and plain trigger when received in the warehouse on July 26, 1895 and shipped on March 24, 1896. The rifle has the very desirable color casehardened receiver, forearm cap, and buttplate. Winchester used a casehardened finish on these components until about 1901 when the case colors were replaced with a blue finish. The hammer, lever and trigger are also color casehardened. The 26-inch octagon barrel and full length magazine have a blue finish. The bolt and loading gate are a fiery niter blue. The stock and forearm are straight grain American walnut with a satin oil finish. The barrel has the standard blued steel sporting front sight with set screw on the right side and a buckhorn, sporting style, rear sight, with screw adjustable center piece and serrated edges. The upper 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 designation: "45-90 W.C.F." is roll-stamped on the top barrel flat between the rear sight and the edge of the receiver. The upper receiver tang is roll-stamped: "-MODEL 1886-". The 1884 and 1885 patent dates are stamped on the lower receiver tang behind the trigger. The serial number is roll-stamped in script numerals on the lower tang ahead of the rear tang screw.
Excellent plus. The rifle is all original and retains 98% plus of the original blue and vivid color casehardened finish. Wear on the barrel and magazine is limited to several tiny spots of age discoloration on the lower right edge of the barrel. The bolt, extractor and loading gate have 98% of the fire blue finish. The forearm cap, receiver, hammer, trigger and lever retain 98% of the color casehardened finish. The case colors on the buttplate have faded slightly but remain at least 90% intact. The barrel and receiver markings are perfect. The stock and forearm are both in excellent plus condition and retain nearly all of the original oiled satin finish; wear is limited to several very insignificant handling marks. This is an exceptional example of an original Winchester Model 1886 lever action rifle in near mint condition that would be difficult to improve upon.
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