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Lot 1023: Exceptional and Extremely Rare Winchester Model 1886 Lever Action Musket with Factory Letter
December 1, 2012
Rock Island, IL, USALive Auction
Estimate: $37500 - 50000
This is an excellent example of a documented, rare Winchester Model 1886 Musket with Cody Firearms Museum letter. The letter describes Model 1886, serial number 82375, as "Musket, 45/70 caliber" and states that it was shipped from the Winchester warehouse on September 15, 1893. Only 350 Model 1886 Muskets were manufactured, the Model 1886 Musket is the rarest of all Winchester lever-action muskets. The musket has a blue barrel, forearm cap, barrel band, bolt and loading gate. The receiver, hammer, lever and carbine style buttplate have a color casehardened finish. The buttplate has a sliding trapdoor. The barrel has a block mounted front sight with steel blade that serves as a lug for a socket bayonet and a military style, folding leaf rear sight. Sling swivels are mounted on the barrel band and stock. The butt trap contains a five-piece jointed steel cleaning rod. The stock and forearm are straight grain black walnut with a low-luster varnish finish. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the two-line legend "- MANUFACTURED BY THE-/-WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. NEW HAVEN. CONN. U.S.A.-" between the barrel band and the rear sight. The caliber, "45-70", is stamped on the top of the barrel between the rear sight and the receiver. "-MODEL 1886-" is roll-stamped on the upper receiver tang. The lower receiver tang is stamped with the two-line "1884/1885" patent dates behind the trigger and the script serial number "82375" behind the tang screw.
BBL: 30 inch round
Gauge: 45/70 Govt.
Serial Number: 82375
Condition: Excellent plus. The musket is completely original and shows only very minor storage wear. The barrel retains 98% or more of the original blue finish. There is some insignificant edge wear on the sides of the forearm cap and barrel band. The loading gate has 95% of the niter blue finish. The sides of the receiver have fiery case colors; the case colors on the top and bottom of the receiver are slightly more muted but remain at 95% intact. The case colors on the hammer are dark and there are several small age spots on the back of the lever. The breechbolt has 99% of the bright original high polish blue remaining. The buttplate has 95% of the casehardened finish with some very minor finish wear on the heel. The forearm and stock are excellent. The forearm is free from handling and storage marks. The stock has several shallow storage marks but remains excellent. This is an exceptional example of the Winchester Model 1886 Musket, the rarest of all the limited production Winchester lever action muskets.