Special Interests - Groups & Societies > The Winchester Model 1886

Help for Browning 1886?

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Coal Creek Griff:

--- Quote from: PJ Hardtack on January 19, 2017, 11:33:15 AM ---Try loads recommended by Paul Matthews and see what I mean!

--- End quote ---

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

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.

PJ Hardtack:
I think it has more to do with the dual locking lugs. Same for the '92.

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.


PS:  Forgot.  The gun will also respond well to judicious Rubbing-n-Buffing to get rid of the rough spots and burrs.

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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