Special Interests - Groups & Societies > The Winchester Model 1886

Why the 1886?

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It’s just the allure of the ‘86…Wife bought me one 15 years ago —- it was so pretty it was a safe queen who got wiped down once a month…..until last year, then it was bring it on. I’ve got a few 45-70”s, mostly Marlin JM’s but when I finally decided to shoot it game on. Always been a bullet caster now I’ve got piles of 45”s.

It’s simply the beauty of the rifle and especially just the sound the damn thing makes when you rack it. When I did take it out to shoot it and it shot 3-4” groups @100 yards with factory iron sights I was all in. Now one wears a Climbin’ Lyman and one (got 45-70 and 45-90) is getting a Skinner peep.

Now all that being said, I would NOT want to hump either one through the woods at this age for very long but it’s a damn fine rifle to sit with. Hopefully this year will be the first deer I’ve gotten since 1973 without a scope.

Blue steel, Walnut, old school, beautiful!


Just one more comment on the M1886... when Winchester chambered it in .33WCF, they came up with a real winner! My only criticism of that cartridge is that nowadays you can't get .338" JFSP bullets. Back in the '70's Hornady made some excellent ones. The '86's in that cartridge had better alloy steels than the originals. With the right powders...including Eley-Kynock's 4351/Herters 100, and a couple of other names, you could get 2450 ft/sec with the 200 gr. bullet. When Winchester modified the breech block and locking lugs and came out with the .348, I think they missed the boat in a way. If Browning or Miroku created a .338 Improved, you'd really have something! The main "problem" with the .33WCF on hawgs at close range, is that if one hog was standing behind another and you couldn't see the second critter, you'd get both with one shot! Cost me an extra $100 at the old Clarke Range Hunting Preserve in Tennessee back in '63! 

Another time, at a gun show in San Jose, California, I found a barrelled action laying on the table. I think I paid $50 for it, and spent a couple hundred more for parts and the stock. It had the letters "W.F. EXP CO. XXXX" on one barrel flat, not stamped, but looking engraved. The original lower tang was missing, and another replacement found to give it a serial number. Although the Wells Fargo marking was NOT standard (W.F. Co. Express is standard), the Wells Fargo Museum in SFO was of the opinion that it was a local-purchase item used by a messenger in a field office. The barrel was 16-3/8" long, which is correct for a "16-inch" barrel. A .40-65WCF would have been real handy in a railroad express car. But who knows?

Anyway, there is simply NO other big-bore lever rifle than an '86!

Buckaroo Lou:
Just because I like them.

I once had an original saddle ring carbine in 45-70 in very good condition. I had to take money out of savings to buy it back then. I didn't like taking money out of the family savings to purchase one of my toys. I got concerned I would need the money so I decided I should sell it. I have always regretted it and wished I would have stuck it out.

I later bought both the Browning rifle and saddle ring carbine. Once again I sold the rifle but kept the carbine and again regretted it. So about two or three years ago I saw a Winchester/Miroku Deluxe Sporting Rifle and decided to purchase it.

I now have two, a Browning saddle ring carbine and the Winchester/Miroku deluxe rifle, both in 45-70. I will hang on to these and hopefully they will become one of my grandkids favorite rifles.




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