Special Interests - Groups & Societies > The Winchester Model 1886

Why the 1886?

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Why is there such a fascination with the 1886 Winchester?  Don't get me wrong, I love the heavy ol' beast myself!  Just wondering why others like them as much as I do.  You don't see them in movies, they're big, and they're heavy, but it's probably my favorite lever action rifle.  (Mine is a round barrel .45-70.)  I love the bank vault action, the accuracy, the power, pretty much everything.  What say you guys?

King Medallion:
I think they just look cool, especially the old worn surfaced ones, with battle scarred wood. Mine is a Browning SRC, that I cut the stock flat and added a couple inches of pull. Glad to see this new 1886 section

I think the basic draw to the '86 is that it's a lever action ,,,, it's a big bore,,, and it's a "Winchester". It is heavy, but, if you're running it hot it does soak up recoil. I bought one, 45-70 in the mid-late 80's, kind of used pretty good. Fun gun. Bought another one in 38-56. Great prices. Shot it for fun, the 45-70,,  decided to clean it up a bit. It had the prettiest piece of wood for the stock that someone cut about 1 1/2" off to put a butt-ugly, red buttpad on it. The fore arm looked like a piece of whittiled pine. I had it rebarreled, blued, I did the wood, it came out respectable. Late 90's joined SASS found out about letters from Win., Colt & S&W etc. So , got a letter, found out it left the factory as a 40-65. No I didn't change it, it'll die a 45-70. The 38-56 looks well worn, but it's staying as is.

Gabriel Law:
Why indeed?  The Winchester 86 is such a great rifle.  I like the weight and the tank action.  Mine is a Browning - new to me this past year.  I have restocked it in nicer wood with a shotgun butt and chequering.

I too am delighted to see this new forum.

Jubal Starbuck:
     What's not to like about the 1886?  Mine is an octagon barrelled rifle in .40-65 caliber, made in 1889.  It needed some tlc when I got it; the bore was bad, the lever was bent, and the hammer had one of the notches broken off.  I had Craig Rittenhouse in PA reline it  for me and I couldn't be happier with the results.  I found a new hammer in a gunshop in Maine and bent the lever back into spec, replaced a few missing parts and the old girl was ready to bark.  I found a set of Lyman mold blocks and cast up some 245 grain bullets, sized 'em to .406" and lubed them with SPG.  I ran some .45-70 cases through my  .40-65 sizing die and loaded 'em up.  I like Swiss 1.5fg for a propellant.  A tang sight gets me hits on steel out to 250 yds.  Haven't had oppoortunity to shoot further, but I'm happy with that.  Original barrel sights work well to 100 yds.; after that I use the tang sight.  I've also shot some loads with 5744  as a propellant with good results, but I lean toward the dark side for the most part.


     Jubal Starbuck



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