North American Auction Company
Live Auction

Legends of the West: Western & Native American Sale

Sat, Sep 23, 2023 11:00AM EDT
Lot 233

Early Winchester 1886 .45-70 Lever Action Rifle

Estimate: $4,200 - $5,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$50 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$30,000 $2,500
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
Early Winchester 1886 octagon rifle in the rare and desirable big .45-70 caliber. The low serial number 42842 indicates a manufacture date of 1890. A scarce and desirable western big game chambering in the Mode 1886, the .45-70 Government cartridge was one of the most powerful used by Winchester in this largest of John Browning’s designed lever action rifles. The big Model 1886 action was the strongest and most potent lever action rifle of the day. Few surviving examples in this powerful black powder caliber remain today and are seldom offered on the collector market. The standard and correct 26” octagon barrel displays a deep and rich blue finish and retains excellent Winchester markings that include: “MANUFACTURED BY THE WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO., NEW HAVEN, CONN. U.S.A.” The upper tang is stamped with the earliest style marking and states simply, “MODEL 1886.” The bolt located on the top of the receiver also shows excellent deep blue finish. The receiver case colors have faded to an attractive mottled silvery/gray appearance with thin case color and still retains a good amount of surface dried grease from years of storage! The receiver also has excellent screw heads. The action is fully functional and tight. The butt stock has the correct early heavy crescent-style butt plate and shows only minor typical chipping around the upper tang. The forend is excellent. The bore is surprisingly fine with deep rifling all the way through with any roughness being light and surface. Further, this early 1886 is fitted with a buckhorn rear barrel sight with the sliding elevator bar intact. It is mated with the typical small blade Winchester front sight. The top of the octagon barrel ahead of the receiver is clearly and correctly stamped with the caliber designation “45-70” The 1886 in .45-70 chambering was very popular in the American West with riflemen who wanted the power that the heavy bullet .45-70 Government round provided. These black powder caliber rifles are rarely found with fine condition bores, especially in the largest chamberings. This is an exceptionally early and seriously powerful frontier rifle in particularly fine and visually appealing condition that is worthy of the finest Winchester or western firearms collection. Serial Number: 42842. This firearm qualifies as an Antique, and does not require FFL Transfer or NICS Background Check.

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