This is one of the nicest Model 1885 Lowalls we've had in quite some time with lots of original finish remaining. This was John Browning's first great design he patented in 1879. Browning Bros. were building their single shots in Ogden Utah when Winchester purchased the design in the mid-1880's. They were great single shots and Ballard still produces a beautiful example of this gun's big brother, the Hiwall. From a collector's standpoint, one problem we encounter with the Model 1885 are post-factory modifications. These were primarily target guns and owners in years past loved to modify them...whether it was changing the caliber, a barrel, drilling holes in all kinds of places for fancy sights, changing the wood, etc. etc, the possibilities were endless...leaving it hard to find good unaltered examples. Fortunately, this rifle is 100% original down to the smallest screw and has survived with zero modifications...its just like it was the day it left the factory. Caliber is .22 Short with its original standard No. 1 weight octagon barrel that measures to its correct standard length of 24 1/4". Standard sights include a German silver blade front and semi-buckhorn rear sight with its original elevator intact. Antique Serial number is in the 67,000 range. Made in 1893.
Overall condition grades to NRA Antique Fine+++ to Excellent with 80% original case colors on the frame that are good and discernable with some slight fading. The barrel shows 90% strong original blue with finish loss to a small area on the left side towards the front that shows some less than adequate storage from closet rust...but not pitted. Excellent markings throughout with a great 2 line Winchester barrel address. John Browning's Oct. 7 1879 patent date is located on the lower tang behind the trigger. Excellent screws and pins throughout....every single one is excellent or perfect...and most appear unturned. The wood is Excellent still retaining its original varnish with perfect wood to metal fit. Just a few light handling marks. No chips, cracks, or repairs. Original ebony insert is intact at the front of the forearm. Action works perfectly...just like new. Very good bore with strong rifling and very little pitting...quite good for a black powder era bore where 22's were particularly vulnerable to corrosion. This one isn't new but its a lot better than most you'll find. If you've been looking for a nice untouched example of the Model 1885, here's one you won't be disappointed with.