Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 29: Winchester Model 1885 High Wall .50 Eley Express Rifle

Auction Date: May 14, 2021

Documented Winchester Model 1885 High Wall Rifle in Very Scarce .50 Eley Express with Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $4,000 - $6,000

Documented Winchester Model 1885 High Wall Rifle in Very Scarce .50 Eley Express with Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1885-Rifle
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 50 Eley Express
Barrel: 30 inch round
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1154
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 40
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

The accompanying factory letter states the rifle was received in the warehouse on April 28, 1905 and shipped on May 2, 1905 with a 30 inch, no. 3 round barrel in .45 Eley (likely a factory clerical error as the rifle is chambered in .50 Eley Express, also known as .500 Express), plain trigger, express sights and shotgun butt. The rifle is fitted with a dovetail beaded blade front sight, two leaf rear and tang mounted peep sight with eye disk. The top of the barrel is marked with the two-line address/patent dates marking ahead of the rear sight and a Winchester factory proof followed by “50 ELEY EX.” at the breech. The left side of the barrel at the breech is marked “500 EX 1326-340.” British proofs appear on the barrel, receiver and breechblock. The majority of the High Walls chambered in .50 Eley caliber were intended for the British colonies, especially India. The buttstock is fitted with a special order steel buttplate.

Rating Definition:

Exceptionally fine. The barrel retains 90% original blue finish with thinning on the balance. The receiver retains 97% original blue finish. The buttplate retains 70% thinned original blue finish. The lever, breechblock and hammer retain 95% original case colors. The lightly reoiled wood is very fine with a few hairline stress cracks at the tangs and some minor handling marks. Mechanically excellent. An exceptionally fine Winchester Model 1885 High Wall rifle in exceptionally rare caliber, .50 Eley Express, reserved for the dangerous game hunts in India.

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