The accompanying factory letter confirms the octagon barrel in .45-90 caliber and plain trigger as well as received in the warehouse on May 23, 1893 and shipped on June 6, 1894. The rifle is fitted with a dovetail blade front sight and an elevation adjustable buckhorn rear sight. The top barrel flat is stamped with the two-line Winchester legend ahead of the rear sight and "45-90 WCF" at the breech. The receiver has the desirable casehardened finish, which was found only on Model 1886 rifles manufactured prior to 1902. Besides the receiver, the forend cap, hammer, lever and crescent buttplate are casehardened. The lower tang has the two-line patent dates marking as well as the serial number. The upper tang is marked "-MODEL 1886-." The forearm and straight grip stock are plain walnut. The John Moses Browning designed Winchester Model 1886 is one of the most popular Winchester lever actions. Browning's design refined by Winchester's team was capable of firing more powerful cartridges than any Winchester repeater before making it an excellent big game rifle, but production was still very limited compared to Winchester's smaller rifles like the Model 1892 and 1894. Only 160,000 were manufactured between 1886 and the end of production in 1935 compared to 1,000,000 Model 1894s already manufactured by 1927, and 1,004,675 Model 1892 manufactured before production was halted in 1941. The earlier 1886s, especially high condition rifles with stunning original case colors like this one, are highly sought after and valuable firearms.
Exceptionally fine. The barrel and magazine tube retain 95% plus original blue finish with thinning to brown on a small spot on the upper left barrel flat. 95% original blue remains on the bolt. 80% plus vivid original case colors remain on the receiver. 85% original case colors remain on the forend cap, hammer, lever and buttplate. 95% original niter blue remains on the loading gate. The wood is very fine showing minor dings and numerous scratches on the right side of the forend, retaining most of the original finish on the balance. A high condition antique Winchester Model 1886 lever action rifle in desirable .45-90 WCF that will be a welcomed addition to any lever action collection.
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