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Winchester Model 1886 Rifle in .50 Express

A nice example of a scarce Model 1886 Winchester in the .50-110 Express Caliber.  This rifle has a special order shotgun buttplate and 1/2 button magazine.  Standard 26" round barrel complete with platinum-lined 2 leaf Winchester Express Rear sight and the scarce little low-profile Express front sight.  The serial number is in the 54,000 range and letters correctly with the original Winchester ledgers housed at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center as the following:

  • Win. 1886, SN 54325
  • Date in:  4-14-1891
  • Type:  Rifle
  • Caliber:  50/110
  • Barrel:  Round
  • Trigger:  Plain
  • 1/2 Magazine
  • Shotgun butt
  • Date shipped:  4-15-1891
  • Order #:  2491

While Winchester records do not show where its rifles were shipped, there is enough evidence to make a pretty good guess. Judging from the style of proofmarks located on the left side of the barrel, it more than likely made its first initial voyage to a dealer in the vicinity of London, England.  Since there wasn't much game to hunt with a .50 Caliber Express rifle in Great Britain, it may have gone on another dealer in the British Colonial world or its owner travelled abroad and hunted with it on trips e.g. Africa and/or India. These early .50 Caliber Winchester 1876's and 1886's must have had a fairly loyal British following....perhaps even more so overseas than within the United States at the time of the late 19th century. 

This rifle is 100% original down to the smallest screw. Overall, Antique Fine condition with 25% original case colors on the frame with the balance a mixture of speckled light patina and colors that have faded out to a nickel-silver. Strong original colors remain in protected areas such as the lower tang.  Breech bolt and loading port still show 70% blue overall.   Barrel has 65% original fading blue with a small spot of roughness next to the front sight.  Nice markings include the Winchester barrel address that reads:                            



The top of the barrel in front of the frame is marked "50 EX" for denoting Caliber 50-110 Express.  Upper tang is marked "-MODEL 1886-".  Lower tang is marked:

  • PAT OCT. 14 1884   
  • JAN 20. 1885    

Very good to Fine screws throughout.  The wood has never been cleaned...completely untouched with 80% original varnish.  As you will note in the photos, because the wood has never been sanded or had finish added, you can see every little nick and scratch in the varnish.  Wood to metal fit is perfect.  Nice working action.  Bore is bright and shiny with good strong lands and grooves.  There are some scattered pits from black powder but otherwise, the bore is great...still bright and not frosty.  If you've been looking for an honest Model 1886 Winchester that really letters as a true .50 Caliber with no monkey business, this one is as pure as you'll find.

Item# 8403




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