North American Auction Company
Timed Auction

Last Chance July Passed Lots Auction - Ends AUG 4th

Mon, Jul 31, 2023 02:00AM EDT - Fri, Aug 4, 2023 03:00PM EDT
Lot 162

Rare Deluxe Winchester Model 1886 .45-90 Rifle

Estimate: $6,500 - $7,300

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$50 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$25,000 $2,500
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
Exceedingly rare and desirable early production Full Deluxe Winchester 1886 octagon barrel rifle in big .45-90 calibIer. This Model 1886 with serial number 29982 was made in 1889. It is listed by serial number in the Winchester Shipping records housed at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. This number was called in to the museum and a “call-in” sheet was provided which contained the following information: this 1886 was listed as a Rifle, Caliber .45-90, Octagon Barrel, Plain Trigger, Checkered Stock, Pistol Grip and Shotgun Butt. It was received in the Winchester warehouse on Sept 19, 1889 and shipped the same day. Further, this unusual and striking rifle was fitted with extra fancy walnut stock and forearm. Additionally, the barrel is mounted with a sporting ladder sight with elevation slide intact. This sight is stamped “1876” and was probably a left over from the last of the big Model 1876 Winchester lever action rifles that were nearing the end of their production by this time, and being replaced by the stronger Model 1886. The front sight is a small globe with pinhead. A scarce and desirable western big game chambering in the Mode 1886, the .45-90 WCF (Winchester Center Fire) cartridge was the longest case chambering used by Winchester in this largest of John Browning’s designed lever action rifles. The top of the octagon barrel ahead of the receiver is clearly and correctly stamped with the caliber designation “45-90 WCF.” The 1886 in .45-90 chambering was very popular in the American West with riflemen who wanted even more power than the standard .45-70 Government round provided. 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 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 deluxe special order features on this rifle are best appreciated by the limited numbers produced. According the standard reference, The Winchester Handbook by George Madis, only 280 Model 1886 rifles had checkering of stocks; only 796 had pistol grips; only 867 had shotgun butt plates and only 501 had special wood. Considering that nearly 160,000 Model 1886 Winchesters were made, these numbers are miniscule. Combined, they illustrate a Model 1886 that is extremely rare and especially desirable in the big .45-90 chambering! There can be very few Model 1886 rifles exactly like this one. The overall metal has naturally aged to a gray/brown patina. There remains some thin blue on the loading gate and on the bolt on top of the receiver. Additionally, the receiver shows fine screw heads. The wood to metal fit is extremely tight indicating that the wood has not been refinished or sanded. Even the checkering on the pistol grip and forend is fairly distinct. The action is tight with strong springs and the safety half-cock on the hammer holds solidly. As one would expect of a large black powder chambered 1886 made in 1889, the bore is somewhat dark, but shows rifling throughout. The bottom of the pistol grip has the correct ebony wedge inlay used on fancy rifles and the smooth steel shotgun butt plate is fine. A truly rare opportunity to acquire a most attractive, desirable and extremely rare variation 134 year old Model 1886 Full Deluxe Winchester in a great caliber. This firearm qualifies as an Antique, and does not require FFL Transfer or NICS Background Check.

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