Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 19: Smoothbore Winchester Model 1886 Rifle in .50 Express

Auction Date: August 26, 2022

Rare, Highly Desirable, Special Order Smoothbore Marked Winchester Model 1886 Lever Action Takedown Rifle in .50 Express with Letter of Authenticity

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $20,000 - $35,000

Rare, Highly Desirable, Special Order Smoothbore Marked Winchester Model 1886 Lever Action Takedown Rifle in .50 Express with Letter of Authenticity

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 86
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 50 express
Barrel: 26 inch round smoothbore
Finish: blue
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 987
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 36
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun
Description:

Manufactured in 1920 with Winchester factory oval proofs on top of the barrel and receiver at the breech. The two-line address and patent marking in on the upper left of the barrel in front of the rear sight and the upper left of the barrel at the breech is marked "SMOOTH BORE 50-EX." Winchester factory records indicate that there were 15 of these rare smoothbore Model 1886s manufactured, with likely a handful more, such as this example, that fall into the serial number range that is not present in the factory records. The upper tang is marked with the three-line model and trademark information while the serial number is marked on the lower tang. The included Leroy Merz letter of authenticity states that he has encountered five or six of the .50 Ex. smoothbore Model 1886s, and that he believes this example to be original and correct, including the bore diameter. The bore diameter on this example is approximately .497, indicating that this is an original smoothbore barrel as the diameter would be larger if rifling had been removed. It is fitted with a Lyman beaded blade front sight and a three-leaf express rear sight, and the frame is in takedown configuration. It is mounted with a smooth forearm and straight grip stock with a crescent buttplate. These smoothbore rifles are one of the rarest variations of Model 1886 available to the collecting community and are highly desirable.

Rating Definition:

Extremely fine, retains 75% plus of the original blue finish with the balance having thinned to mostly a smooth brown patina, most noticeably on the receiver, some scattered light spotting on the left rear of the barrel, and some light cleaning visible on the rear sight base. The wood is very fine with some scattered minor handling marks and retaining most of the varnish. Mechanically excellent.



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