The Model 1885 is based on designs patented by John Moses Browning in 1879. Browning's design was strong and capable of handling more powerful cartridges than Winchester's repeating rifles and allowed the company to compete against Remington and others producing powerful single shot rifles. The .45-125 Winchester Express cartridge was introduced in 1886 and only available by special order and discontinued after only a few years making rifles chambered for this long express cartridge true rarities. The factory letter lists this rifle in .45 Express with a 32 inch long, #3 weight, octagon barrel and plain trigger and as received in the warehouse on June 25, 1887, and as shipping out two days later in order 18635. In addition to the features noted in the factory letter, this rifle has a globe front sight, the two-line address ahead of the adjustable sporting rear sight, "45 EX." on top of the barrel at the breech, "3" on the bottom of the barrel ahead of the forearm and under the forearm, "3 45 EX & VP" on the bottom at the breech, a long range tang sight on the upper tang along with two additional tapped screws, casehardened frame, script serial number on the lower tang, and smooth walnut forearm with contrasting insert in the tip and straight wrist stock with crescent steel buttplate.
Fine with 90% strong original blue on the barrel showing mostly high edge wear. 40% original case colors on the frame, some minor spotting, general minor scratches and general minor overall wear. The wood is good and has mild handling wear, some general minor dings and scratches throughout, a thin horizontal crack coming off the rear of the lower tang, and a crack on the left side of the forearm at the rear. Mechanically excellent.
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