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 LOT 1010
Phenomenal Winchester Model 1886 Lever Action .40-82 WCF Rifle with Factory Letter - Serial no. 61623, 40-82 WCF cal., 28 inch octagon bbl., blue/casehardened finish, walnut stock. The powerful Winchester Model 1886 is by far one of the most iconic lever action rifles of all time and remains popular with collectors, shooters, and hunters to this day as one of the strongest lever action designs ever developed. This rugged and dependable rifle was invented by prolific firearms inventor John Moses Browning and was his first repeating rifle design to enter production but was far from his last. Browning’s design was tweaked for production by none other than William Mason of Colt Single Action Army fame. The Model 1886 kept Winchester at the top of the lever action market. While a shorter action than the Model 1876, the Model 1886 was able to chamber longer cartridges, including the .45-70 Government, and its stronger locking block design was able to handle higher pressures even as Winchester made the jump to smokeless powders. The locking bolts on the ‘86 pass vertically through the bold securing it firmly in place, and the design was also sleeker by abandoning dust covers and switching to an internal cartridge elevator. A powerful, dependable rifle was highly valued in the American West in
the late 19th century, and remained desirable for hunters through the 20th century and on to today. Among its fans in the period was Theodore Roosevelt who used this model extensively, including testing samples for
the famous Smithsonian–Roosevelt African Expedition, and the legendary Rough Rider leader also presented Model 1886s to his friends.
The Model 1886 was manufactured from 1886 to 1935, and the production total reached just under 160,000, but surviving examples in exceptionally high condition are rarely encountered. The ‘86 was a “working man’s gun” and thus surviving examples typically display all the character of hard
use. Roosevelt used one of his rifles so much that it was sent back to
the factory multiple times for repairs. This rifle is in truly extraordinary, near new condition and has all the fantastic appearance of just coming off the production line and has the desirable and stunning vivid color casehardened frame and furniture. It provides a very rare glimpse at what a Model 1886 would have looked like fresh from the gun shop in the early 1890s. It is certainly worthy of the finest public or private collection.
The factory letter indicates this rifle was serial numbered on September 9, 1891, was received in the warehouse on October 17, 1891, as a rifle in .40-82 with a 28 inch octagon barrel and plain trigger, and was shipped on October 20, 1891, in order 13363. In 1891, a powerful rifle would have still been highly valued on the wilds of the American West where big and sometimes dangerous game was plentiful.

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