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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Winchester Model 1886 (Moderator: Isom)  |  Topic: Help for Browning 1886? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Help for Browning 1886?  (Read 3870 times)
Jimeast
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« on: January 18, 2017, 05:47:47 pm »


Sorry if I'm in the wrong neighborhood  Smiley

I recently found an 1886 Browning 45-70 in a local store and brought it home.  It's the 26" octagonal barrel and was manufactured in 1986.  I would like to find a place to ask some questions and get feedback from other owners of 1886 models.  Does anyone know where I should look?
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Buck Stinson
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2017, 08:04:29 pm »

I think you could go ahead and ask your questions here.  I doubt that anyone will bite you.
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Jimeast
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2017, 09:06:03 pm »

Thanks Buck, I wasn't sure...  Smiley

Several things;

I reload for my handguns (this is my first rifle), and I have ordered the dies and components to reload.  I plan on using a 405 grain lead round, with 38 grains of reloader7 that I found in one of my reloading manuals as a starting load.  If someone has a better suggestion for the Rx7 powder, please let me know.

Second thing is the action is stiffer than I expected.  A very friendly shooter let me try his 44 Mag Henry at the range the other night and the action was buttery smooth.  I think mine will improve a little once it's used, but is going to needs some slicking up.  Does anyone have any books or videos or web links to suggest on the 1886? 

One post I found by "Tom Horn," suggested some tips to slick the action up and one step was to replace the extractor spring with lighter spring.  Can anyone steer me in the right direction to finding one? 

I'd like to wrap the lever in leather and get a sling for this model that does not require drilling holes.  The only image I've found for this type of sling combines a butt protector with the attachment ring to the end of the sling.  Has anyone set theirs up like this and have suggestions on brands to look at?

I'll probably have to use a peep sight, either a tang or receiver. Anyone's feedback that's went through this decision process of picking and installing a sight would be appreciated.  My only current thought is to keep it in the period and not have to drill too many holes.


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Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2017, 11:15:21 am »

I have burned a lot of Reloder 7 in my Miroku 1886, using 405 grain lead bullets (Lyman 457193).  I have gone to the maximum listed in the manuals for that combination, but eventually backed off to 35 grains as my standard load.  It is less painful and accomplishes all that I want.  I have also used IMR 3031 and IMR 4198.  With both of those I have approached maximum, but ultimately backed off quite a bit to match BP velocities.  The gun can certainly handle the hotter loads, but I finally decided that there was no good reason for me to shoot them. 

CC Griff
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2017, 12:33:15 pm »

I've got an early B '86 rifle that I love. It has taken two large moose for me. I shoot 350 and 420 gr cast bullets with 36 grs of Varget or 28 grs of 5744.

Most people make the mistake of turning a 45-70 into a sub-.458 Win mag and get turned off by the recoil. Yes, the Brownings and Marlins will take it, but you won't enjoy it. Ty loads recommended by Paul Matthews and see what I mean!

I've played with 520 gr Lyman 457125s in my '86 and it groups them very well.
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Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2017, 01:26:35 pm »

Try loads recommended by Paul Matthews and see what I mean!

This is one of the few guns that has literally brought tears to my eyes.  Now I keep my 405-410 grain bullets in the 1450 fps range and I'm happy.

I've also done some shooting with a 500 grain bullet, but I prefer the 405 grain bullets as my standard load, saving the heavier bullets for my 1874 Sharps.

CC Griff
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wildman1
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« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2017, 02:10:48 pm »

There are a lot of moving parts in an '86, comparing it to a '73 or another lever gun is not really fair to the '86. I have an original '86 manufactured in 1891 and it is stiff. It has been completely disassembled and cleaned, but it is still somewhat stiff. Some of that has to do with the main spring.
wM1
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« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2017, 02:50:54 pm »

I think it has more to do with the dual locking lugs. Same for the '92.
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2017, 10:37:00 pm »

I am personally NOT the "Go To" guy on the 1886.  There are however some applicable comparisons.  The '86 is basically a great big 1892 on Steroids.  Serious Steroids.  Therefore, most of "tuning" tips that apply to the '92 are also true of the '86.  I have worked on a few, and they can be made more user friendly in the same manner as the '92.

The gun is "over-sprung."  The Main Spring (owners the hammer) is too heavy.  The Lever Latch Spring is too heavy.  The Ejector Spring is too heavy.  The Extractor is too heavy.  See a trend here??  You will need to find lighter after-market springs for everything, or, reduce/have reduced the springs that are in the gun.  If your not conversant with spring grinding 101, you'll need help.  You also DO NOT begin working on these parts until you have at least one set of replacements on hand.  Perhaps ...... two.  If your new to setting up a rifle, you WILL screw up.  It's a given.

I would also suggest you contact Nate Kiowa Jones, aka: Steve Young at "stevesgunz.com.  Steve is the "Go To" guy for the '92 and is probably quite conversant in the '86.  Since retiring and giving up my FFL, I can't receive and ship cartridge guns.  

Believe me, once you have reduced the listed springs to reasonable mortal levels, your '86 will be very user friendly.  Unless of course, you load that sucker up heavy with BIG bullets.  You do that and it will beat you like a Rented Mule.

Coffinmaker

PS:  Forgot.  The gun will also respond well to judicious Rubbing-n-Buffing to get rid of the rough spots and burrs.
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Jimeast
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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2017, 10:43:46 pm »

Thanks for the load recommendations.  It looks like I can safely dial down a bit from the minimum loads I've seen listed as 38-40 grains.  I  It might be another week before I can shoot it, but I'm hopeful I can give it a go this weekend.  My dies are in and ready to pick up.  I'll load some cartridges this weekend in anticipation.

Regarding the stiffness in the action, I found a video, one of hickok45's where he talks about how smooth the action is.  It's the same year manufacture as mine, but he's got a lot of rounds through it and maybe smoothed it up some.  So, I'm hopeful that it will loosen up some.

Coffinmaker, I posted this just as your message was added.  Thanks for the feedback! 
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wildman1
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« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2017, 11:00:12 pm »

I think it has more to do with the dual locking lugs. Same for the '92.
I have several 92s both original and new, none of them are even in the neighborhood of being as stiff as my original 86. As CM said it is like a 92 on serious steroids. I have one 92 that will shoot 6 stages of full load BP and you can still run the lever with your pinkie finger. My 86 weighs close to twice what that 92 weighs.
wM1
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Jimeast
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2017, 02:15:46 pm »

wM1, Thanks for the information.  Sounds like you shoot some very fun rifles.  I'm going to try and get 100 rounds or so through the 1886 and then assess my thoughts on the action.  In looking at pictures of the main spring, it should be a reasonable effort to lighten a new one to try (or two Smiley if I use one a practice device)

I picked up the dies today.  I'll load some cartridges and give it a go, but might not get to shoot until next week.  If my ballistic hammer is deep enough, I'll load some dummy rounds, just to cycle the action a bit this weekend.
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Malamute
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2017, 04:59:32 pm »

 Ive had a couple of them, the 1886 is my all time favorite rifle.

 There is no extractor spring, the extractor is the spring.

 I personally have never felt any desire at all the reduce any springs in mine. They function fine, and will loosen up some with use. One thing right off, oil it. Then sit and cycle the action (not dry firing, just cycling it). It will wear in some, or if you want it smoother right off, after working it a bit, take it apart and carefully stone the parts that the blue has worn some on, on the bolt, tip of the lever, and inside the frame rails.

 The first one was a rifle. After shooting some heavy 500 gr loads (1750 fps) I decided enough was enough and had the crescent cut off the stock. Ive never cared for crescents much anyway, and this was a huge improvement in overall handling. They wont explode if you drill holes in them. after the first time I dropped mine in rocks, I drilled it for sling studs, (stock and fore end cap, like the old ones were done) and I didn't hesitate at all to drill it for a receiver sight. Tang sights aren't on my happy list either, they seem to be more irritating than anything, my thumb wants the same real estate. Why stop there,...I also cut the barrel to 22" and its nearly a perfect rifle, adding a true shotgun butt will complete it.

 I did mostly the same things to a carbine, except for the butt, I can be happy with a carbine butt. with a 20" barrel they are about perfect as a mountain carry gun in grizzly country, which starts not far from my door.

 If you drill the receiver yourself, turn the tap back every quarter to third of a turn, the receivers are quite hard compared to the originals, I broke a tap in one of mine trying to go bit farther than I should have before turning the tap back to break the chip.

 The 86s look great with a Lyman 56 receiver sight. Not quite way back period correct (think they came out in the 20s?), but a very good and classy looking sight, much more so than anything I recall seeing made currently other than the Lyman 21 type.
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2017, 03:46:08 pm »

My Browning '86 came to me drilled and tapped for a Mickey Mouse tang sight. That lasted as long as it took me to remove it and I sold the sight to someone I didn't like.

It shoots as well as I can hold off hand out to 200m with the factory sight. My favourite repeating 45-70; the ONLY repeating 45-70 I need or want.
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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2017, 12:18:58 pm »

Well, I have zero experience with the modern-made '86's, but so far as I am concerned the originals and their successor, the M71, are the slickest lever actions ever made! The M71 is not quite as slick due to the fact that they changed the locking lugs and receiver surfaces to a slight angle, so the lugs wedge the lockup slightly. That was to ensure the backthrust of the .348 WCF was handled just a tad better. The original '86 breechblocks had the ejector forming the lower half of the firing pin ring. The problem with that was that IF the ejector broke off, and you didn't notice it, the next round left the primer unsupported. The design of the breechblock, however, channeled any gas leakage up and back, away from your eyes. You only got a sprinkling on your forehead!  Roll Eyes  Years ago, I was shooting quite heavy loads of smokeless, kicking a 405 gr jacketed out a 1750 ft/sec. Even with a recoil pad, the kick was stout!  I had M71 breechblock and locking lugs fitted to that rifle, and also to another chambered for .33 WCF. The M71 blocks have a smaller firing pin channel, and the firing pin is completely surrounded by metal. The ejector is smaller, though just as effective.

As to loads, unless you are after Tyranosaurs, definitely back off. The rifle will take the heavier loads, but you won't very much. (As far as strength is concerned, gunsmiths up in Alaska were chambering '71's in .450 Alaskan and .50 Alaskan for use on large "wooly-boogers" up there since the 1950's.

I haven't tried Varget, but the listed loads and the bulk density of the powder would seem to make it ideal for .45-70.
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Jimeast
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« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2017, 12:41:21 pm »

 I was able to shoot 12 rounds last night at an inside range offhand at 40 ft.  First round in the 10 ring, next a little outside the black.  next 5 in a one inch group.  next five a little worse, but in a 2" group.  It was a lot of fun, and a couple of the employees at the range joined me and took the few shots so I could see how the spent bullets eject. It's nice to know it's more accurate out of the box than I am.  The guys were tickled pink to shoot a "New/old" 45-70 and gave it a big once over on the counter to see if they could figure out if it had ever been shot before, the resulting opinion was "no," which made it  more fun to light up for the first time.  Hopefully I'll join an outdoor range soon and get a chance to learn to shoot offhand at more realistic rifle distances.

The crescent butt stock did not bother me when I was shooting and my shoulder felt fine today, but I did find a pretty serious bruise right above my bicep...  Might need a butt cover.

I ended up loading 36 grains of Reloader 7, on the 405 grain bullet and I'll probably stick with that for a while at least. I picked up some Laser Cast bullets from Cabelas that wanted to seat at about 2.53 vs the standard 2.55 due to the location of the crimp groove.  I'll probably get Missouri Bullets for the next batch, they have been a great supplier for 45 colts and 45 acp lead.  Bullets cycled very nice through the rifle with no hiccups, just a little stiff as mentioned above. 

Over the year I'll try and get a sling and a but cover as well as look into the Lyman receiver sight mentioned above. 

Also, I think once the action gets broken in, I'll get few mainsprings and try to lighten one and smooth the action pieces.   The cartridges tend to eject with a good bit of force, and fly well over my head and about 8 ft or so to the rear.  Ideally that can be reduced a bit.

Thanks for all the advice!  I'll provide an update when I tackle the spring lightening and action smoothing.
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Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2017, 06:21:04 pm »

Very nice. I'm glad you're enjoying your rifle. It is certainly one of my favorites, although mine hasn't been out in a while.  Hmmm, the weather's clearing off here.  Maybe I should take mine out for a bit...

CC Griff
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« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2017, 10:44:00 pm »

The only people who don't like '86s are those that don't own one.

"Gabriel Law" recently bought a Ped 71/86 and that is one very sweet, smooth action rifle.
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Niederlander
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« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2017, 10:49:38 pm »

Depends on what you want to do with it.  I shoot mine in our local cowboy matches with a case full of Trail Boss and a 405 grain bullet.  They all seem to be sort of "stiff".  I would guess that's mostly a product of the design for strength.  Great rifles!
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« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2017, 12:09:57 pm »

One thing about the '86 being "stiff"... the action is designed to work fast! Same with the '92.  Work them slowly and there are several points where the action will feel like it has a hitch in its gitalong! You can possibly smooth things up a bit by polishing the top front corners of the locking lugs and the bottom front corners of the breechblock, but don't overdo it!

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« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2017, 05:52:43 pm »

Mine's been used enough to smooth it out.  I've gotten to handle a decent amount of these things, and I've never seen one you could call "loose".  I think it's a great design.
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« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2017, 02:27:14 pm »

One thing about the '86 being "stiff"... the action is designed to work fast! Same with the '92.  Work them slowly and there are several points where the action will feel like it has a hitch in its gitalong! You can possibly smooth things up a bit by polishing the top front corners of the locking lugs and the bottom front corners of the breechblock, but don't overdo it!

Hi

Plus one on what Trailrider said.  It also helped my new Chaippa 1886 quite a bit when I put some Hoppe's gun oil on the locking lugs.  It's tight, and its definitely NOT delicate.  Unlike my 1874 Sharps from Chiappa, my trigger pull on the 1886 is about 5 pounds, and is really a decent trigger.  I commonly shoot 2 pound smallbore bullseye triggers and 4 pound .45ACP bullseye triggers, so I'm at least a little picky on triggers.

I have a Marble Improved peep sight to put on mine, but haven't done so yet.  I'll post pictures when I get a chance.  The Lyman peep sights aren't something I'm comfortable carrying around, they're pretty delicate looking. 

Later
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« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2017, 04:57:10 pm »

One thing about the '86 being "stiff"... the action is designed to work fast! Same with the '92.  Work them slowly and there are several points where the action will feel like it has a hitch in its gitalong! You can possibly smooth things up a bit by polishing the top front corners of the locking lugs and the bottom front corners of the breechblock, but don't overdo it!


Right on!  Work these things like you mean it. and remember, you couldn't hurt them from normal use if you tried.  John Browning designed guns to work all the time, every time.
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« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2017, 01:14:50 am »

I have burned a lot of Reloder 7 in my Miroku 1886, using 405 grain lead bullets (Lyman 457193).  I have gone to the maximum listed in the manuals for that combination, but eventually backed off to 35 grains as my standard load.  It is less painful and accomplishes all that I want.  I have also used IMR 3031 and IMR 4198.  With both of those I have approached maximum, but ultimately backed off quite a bit to match BP velocities.  The gun can certainly handle the hotter loads, but I finally decided that there was no good reason for me to shoot them. 

CC Griff
Hi

I'm getting ready for the GAF match this June and I have a  Chiappa 1886 with a 26 inch barrell, 405 grain Missouri bullet lead flat nosed bullets, and a few pounds of 3031.  What is the minimum and maximum starting load for that combination?

Thanks

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King Medallion
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« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2017, 05:31:32 am »

Get yourself a couple reloading manuals and start test loads, see what works best in your rifle. Do NOT go into the RUGER ONLY section.
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