This is a nice clean example of a Model 1886 Winchester Sporting rifle in the desirable 45-90 caliber. Standard configuration with 26" round barrel, full magazine, and crescent style rifle buttplate. Antique Pre-1898 serial number is in the 96,000 range. Made in 1895. We checked over the phone with the Buffalo Bill Historical museum in Cody, WY and it letters correctly and exactly as it is. Correct early style 2 line barrel address located on the top of the barrel reads, "--MANUFACTURED BY THE-- / --WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. NEW HAVEN CONN. USA--. Caliber is marked "45-90" just forward of the frame on the top of the barrel with no Winchester proof marks...correct for an antique production rifle. Upper tang is marked "--MODEL 1886--." Lower tang has John Browning's original patent date marked "PAT. OCT. 14 1884./ - JAN. 20 1885 -". This rifle also has the pure crescent shaped buttplate without the dip at the bottom toe...correct for a mid-1890's production Model 86.
Overall condition grades to NRA Antique Fine+ condition with 95% original blue on the barrel and magazine tube. The frame has a lot of faded case colors remaining which were hard to capture with my poor photography. The right side of the frame has about 55% case colors consisting 35% good discernable case colors towards the rear of the frame and around the loading port with another 20% that is fading to a nickelly silver. The left side of the frame has 80% light or washed out original case colors (probably faded from sunlight). Still, they're not silvered out yet as you can still see most of the reds, blues, and greens. Lower tang and areas around the lever show 75% strong case colors while the belly of the frame is mostly turned to silver. Lever still shows 50% case colors that range from strong in the protected areas to light in the open places. Hammer has 34-40% faded colors. Bolt still has 97-98% original blue and 70% blue on the loading port. The forend cap has mostly faded to nickelly silver with flashes of original case colors are the screws and protected places. Good screws overall. Original sights include a standard front with German silver blade and semi-buckhorn rear sight with original elevator. Very Good+ wood that's never been cleaned or sanded with excellent wood to metal fit. The wood edges are still sharp and proud of the metal...just the way it was when it left the factory. No cracks, notable chips, or repairs. Nice tight action. Bore is excellent...still bright with sharp lands and grooves. Just a nice original antique Model1886 that's 100% original down to the smallest screw and in a great caliber!