Winchester Model 1886

Discussion in 'Winchester' started by Treeman, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. Treeman

    Treeman G&G Newbie

    Friend has a Winchester 1886, manufactured in 1888 by the serial number. Question is, can we shoot modern smokeless rounds through it? It's a 45-70, and the action is nice and tight. Also curious as to value, as I've seen prices ranging from $1500 to over $20K!
  2. Personally,

    I would never shoot modern loads at their current higher pressures in this gun. Actually, I would never shoot any ammo in this historical gun.

    A lot goes into the value of this gun such as condition and serial number.
    It would not be fair for me to venture an estimate other than to say there really is a wide range of values for this rifle.

  3. Purdy

    Purdy G&G Evangelist


    What do you consider "modern"? If you are going to use factory ammunition, no problem. If you are talking reloads, don't load heavier than those recommended for lever action rifles. The reloading manuals consider "modern" rifles to be the Ruger single shots and bolt action guns. They will handle much higher pressures.
  4. chesterwin

    chesterwin G&G Evangelist

    Here's a photo of my 1886 made the same year as your friends. This one is chambered in .45-90.

    I suggest shooting black powder loads in these older winchesters with soft lead bullets. The barrel steel is a little softer than newer rifles. An occasional factory round through it probably won't hurt but is not reccommended, especially as a steady diet.

    As far as value, there are many contributing factors such as percentage of original blue and case coloring, configuration (round barrel, octagon barrel, full, half or button magazine, sights, solid or take down reciever, rifle or carbine, caliber and so forth.)

    Regardless of external finish, if the bore is good and the rifle is mechanically solid, your friend has a great classic there. Suggest he stick to the blackpowder and soft lead loads and clean the rifle well each time he gets through shooting it.

    Attached Files:

    • 1886.jpg
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  5. SwedeSteve

    SwedeSteve Freedom Zealot Forum Contributor

    Very nice chesterwin !!
  6. GlennF

    GlennF G&G Addict

    I owned a 1886 in 45-70 with a full magazine and 28" octagon barrel. It must have weighed 12 lbs.