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             LOT 3041
Documented Winchester Deluxe Model 1886 Lever
Action Takedown Rifle in Rare .38-70 WCF with Factory Letter -
Serial no. 114816, 38-70 WCF cal., 26 inch round bbl., blue finish, walnut stock. Offered here is a deluxe Model 1886 lever action rifle chambered in rare .38-70 WCF. The accompanying factory letter states the rifle originally started out with an octagon barrel in .40-82 caliber, plain trigger, oil finished checkered pistol grip stock, half magazine, and takedown configuration. The letter notes that the rifle was received in the warehouse on January 6, 1898 and the ship date and order number have been erased. The rifle later returned to the factory with the factory letter noting the following: received in the warehouse on March 5, 1898, received in the warehouse on May 9, 1898, received in the warehouse on April 8, 1899 and shipped on April 8, 1899 to order number 25153. At some point the rifle received a .38-70 caliber round barrel, full length magazine, and varnished checkered pistol grip stock at the factory, but, as noted in the factory letter, the “modification date [is] unclear.” The Winchester Arms Collector Association forum and John Madl’s CFM Winchester Model 1886 carbine record searches identified approximately half of one percent (nearly 850 guns) only, out of the 160,000 Model 1886s manufactured, were produced in .38-70 WCF caliber. Though this survey analyzed carbines, the relative rarity of the caliber also applies to rifles. The .38-70 caliber was developed by Winchester for the Model 1886 but never gained a strong
following and was discontinued after a short period of time.
The rifle is fitted with a dovetail blade front sight and an elevation adjustable rear sight. The top of the barrel is stamped with the two-line Winchester address ahead of the rear sight and “38-70 WCF” at the breech. The upper tang is marked “-MODEL 1886-.” The lower tang has the patent dates marking and serial number. The piano varnish finish XX deluxe walnut forearm and pistol grip stock feature factory “H” style checkering. The buttstock is fitted with a hard rubber Winchester grip cap and a crescent steel buttplate. The left side of the lower tang is marked “456 XX.” The stock inlet and buttplate have the assembly number “805.” As noted in the factory letter, the stock was a period factory replacement. Any of the deluxe grades of wood make for a rare Model 1886. Winchester expert and author George Madis noted, “Deluxe models 86 in the rifles made after 1900 are hard to find, partly due to the higher cost of deluxe features” (“The Winchester Book,” page 312). The Model 1886 was a working man’s gun, and customers were not inclined to spend extra money for special features. Add the .38-70 WCF chambering and this Model 1886 makes for a highly collectible lever action. CONDITION: Exceptionally fine. The barrel and magazine tube retain 95% plus original blue finish and the forend cap, takedown collar, and receiver retain 85% plus bright original high polish blue finish with thinning to a brown on the balance. The bolt retains 95% plus original blue finish. 40% original nitre blue remains on the loading gate. 80% vivid original case colors remain on the hammer and lever. Patterns of original case colors remain on the buttplate. The wood is very fine with minor handling marks, overall crisp checkering, and most of the original varnish remaining. Mechanically excellent. A highly attractive Winchester deluxe Model 1886 lever action rifle in rare .38-70 WCF. Provenance: The Wes Adams Collection; Property of a Gentleman. Estimate: 20,000 - 30,000

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