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February 25, 2022 - 6:19 pm
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On the Milestone auction site , lot #106, a 1886, .50 cal. del. What’s The general thoughts on this piece and the “story”. I am considering bidding/buying. I do have a copy of the letter20220225_131800.jpgImage Enlarger

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February 25, 2022 - 6:36 pm
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That’s a nice looking ’86.  Seems legit.  I do disagree with their description in that they state it is a .50-100 when it is a .50-110.

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February 25, 2022 - 8:01 pm
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Henry Mero said
On the Milestone auction site , lot #106, a 1886, .50 cal. del. What’s The general thoughts on this piece and the “story”. I am considering bidding/buying. I do have a copy of the letter20220225_131800.jpgImage Enlarger  

Henry – you are the one that has to be comfortable with the barrel swap. The work order stamp seems to validate the caliber change to the gun but I don’t know if that could be faked. When I first looked at the photos I thought the gun seemed right but the more I look at it the more I don’t like the wood to metal fit in a couple of areas and the fit of a couple of screws – to my old eyes the caliber stamp on the barrel seems a little crooked. Do you know if Larry Orr is the current owner of the gun – Larry has been a dealer/collector for about five decades – he is a great guy with a stellar reputation. You could call him and ask about the gun. My guess is that in the 15 years since the letter originated, the gun has changed hands. One thing is for sure, any 50 caliber 86 is desirable – but only if correct. Not trying to be critical as you probably know more about the old 86’s than I do but there are so many messed with guns these days we all need to be careful. Last thing I will say, for me personally, every time I bought a blued frame 86 I ended up with buyers remorse – every time I bought a case hardened 86 I was a long term happy camper. 

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February 25, 2022 - 10:01 pm
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Nice model 1886, but some questions..  The letter does not state 1/2 Octagon Barrel, Beeches folding front sight, or Lyman Receiver sight.  Maybe these were all done at the time of the return and repair??

Al

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February 25, 2022 - 10:01 pm
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Larry’s Gun Room Since 1969  I agree with Burt.

605) 763-5090

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February 25, 2022 - 10:38 pm
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tionesta1 said
Nice model 1886, but some questions..  The letter does not state 1/2 Octagon Barrel, Beeches folding front sight, or Lyman Receiver sight.  Maybe these were all done at the time of the return and repair??

Al  

The big issue is the letter doesn’t state the caliber was changed.  

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February 25, 2022 - 10:43 pm
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A nice 1886, only if you like making excuses!  Catch my drift.  I would keep looking.

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February 25, 2022 - 10:46 pm
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Burt Humphrey said

Henry – you are the one that has to be comfortable with the barrel swap. The work order stamp seems to validate the caliber change to the gun but I don’t know if that could be faked. When I first looked at the photos I thought the gun seemed right but the more I look at it the more I don’t like the wood to metal fit in a couple of areas and the fit of a couple of screws – to my old eyes the caliber stamp on the barrel seems a little crooked. Do you know if Larry Orr is the current owner of the gun – Larry has been a dealer/collector for about five decades – he is a great guy with a stellar reputation. You could call him and ask about the gun. My guess is that in the 15 years since the letter originated, the gun has changed hands. One thing is for sure, any 50 caliber 86 is desirable – but only if correct. Not trying to be critical as you probably know more about the old 86’s than I do but there are so many messed with guns these days we all need to be careful. Last thing I will say, for me personally, every time I bought a blued frame 86 I ended up with buyers remorse – every time I bought a case hardened 86 I was a long term happy camper.   

Burt mentions the wood to metal fit.  The CFM letter mentions special length of pull and special stock dimensions.  It would be worth knowing if the current stock matches those dimensions.  The stock does look like it has extra drop.

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February 25, 2022 - 11:44 pm
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 Henry,

 If someone other than the factory switched an 86 to 50 caliber it probably will not feed cartridges out of the magazine. Winchester made 7 cuts on the interior parts to make it feed. I wouldn’t buy it without feeding a few cartridges thru it. That might be a problem with a auction company. T/R

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February 26, 2022 - 12:05 am
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Damn, it’s such a pretty gun, but I am kind of inclined to think along the lines of most responses, that is “another Winchester with a story and no proof”. If it sold at the current $8500.00 area I’d probably take My chances, but it’ll likely go much higher anyways

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February 26, 2022 - 3:30 am
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steve004 said

The big issue is the letter doesn’t state the caliber was changed.    

Agree.  I should have said: “In addition to the letter not stating the caliber change, it also doesn’t list 1/2 Octagon Barrel, Beeches folding front sight, or Lyman Receiver sight. 

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March 14, 2022 - 9:47 pm
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tionesta1 said

Agree.  I should have said: “In addition to the letter not stating the caliber change, it also doesn’t list 1/2 Octagon Barrel, Beeches folding front sight, or Lyman Receiver sight.   

The other feature we didn’t mention was that there is no rear sight slot.  Combined with being 24 inch, 1/2 Octagon barrel and in a .50 Ex., that’s a heck of a rare barrel.

Henry – did you bid on this one?

I think it sold reasonably.  I did find this rifle in Larry Orr’s catalog from May 2007.  It was described in the same configuration as it sits now.  His description outlines that it had been originally shipped as a .45-90 – “… letters as a 45-90 but has a return & repair and I’m sure that’s when it turned into a 50 ex.”  Interestingly to me, the Milestone auction notes that the the work order number for the return and repair on the Cody letter, matches the marking on the underside of the barrel.  I suppose maybe Larry never took the forend off which is why he made no mention of that factor.  Or, he did take off the forearm, the number wasn’t there… and now it is.  Plus I’m getting cynical in my old age.  But assuming I’m being overly cynical, the number does add legitimacy.

So, Larry’s price back in 2007 for the rifle was $14,995.  It just sold for $12,500 … it appears someone had a poor return on their investment.

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March 14, 2022 - 10:16 pm
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TR 

Has a great point about checking the feeding concern.

In General,

Why wouldn’t you, as an auction company, simply post a picture(s) of the barrel markings to the auction? The more evidence the better.

Some of these places just don’t make any sense with their claims. Make a claim, back it up.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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March 15, 2022 - 1:49 am
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Maverick said
TR 

Has a great point about checking the feeding concern.

In General,

Why wouldn’t you, as an auction company, simply post a picture(s) of the barrel markings to the auction? The more evidence the better.

Some of these places just don’t make any sense with their claims. Make a claim, back it up.

Sincerely,

Maverick  

Yes, I would really have wanted to see those markings under the barrel before I did any serious bidding on this rifle.  A quality photo would work but I would need to hold the rifle in my hands.  Not only to try to evaluate originality, but I also would need to hold it to get a full grasp of the condition.  Running a couple dummy rounds through the action would be very important.  The thing is, the basis of this rifle is a story.  It’s a plausible story.  But nonetheless, it’s a story.

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March 15, 2022 - 3:18 am
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aren’t  ” R&R ” just a magical wonder which allows almost every possibility of our imaginations to come true.  one thing I can say is any gun I have that has had a barrel change either stated ” changed from etc. to etc”  or to ” russ”  I personally am not convinced a “R&R” was for anything more than minor repairs if no other mention is made. 

Jeremy Scott.

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March 15, 2022 - 8:02 pm
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JEREMY S. said
aren’t  ” R&R ” just a magical wonder which allows almost every possibility of our imaginations to come true.  one thing I can say is any gun I have that has had a barrel change either stated ” changed from etc. to etc”  or to ” russ”  I personally am not convinced a “R&R” was for anything more than minor repairs if no other mention is made.   

I tend to agree with you from a seller or dealer making up a story to make a sale. But there are plausible reasons for and known examples of guns being sent in for repair with new or replaced barrels having been installed. The missing record information is that all those R&Rs, would of had Repair Order slips that detailed what was to be done in the repair and are now lost.

We have to remember that corrosive mercury primers were used commercially until the 1920s and by the military until the 1950s. With some neglect the bores of these rifles became less desired concerning accuracy. Plus a owner may have wanted a newer or different caliber and found it simpler to swap the barrel than buy a whole new rifle. There a more than a few 76s that were swapped from 45-75 to 45-60 due to the popularity of the caliber in that time period. I’m also convinced people shot firearms a lot more readily than we do today. Unless they were poor, and then they only tried shooting very accurately. I recall stories about my great grandfather would only shoot at ducks if he thought he could hit at least two in one shot. He also supposed never liked shooting them in the air and only on the water because he might miss. He also thought smokeless powder was the greatest invention in the world because you could still see to shoot. 

Sincerely,

Maverick

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April 14, 2022 - 7:29 pm
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Steve, this post has nothing to do with the topic.  I tried to reply to a post you had concerning bullets for a 33 caliber but could get a reply made..  I sold the only 1886 that I had so I have some ammo and Woodleigh 333 Win .338 flat nose SD.246 BC ,234, 50 each..  The only place I could find them was Victoria, Australia.  I will have to search my records to find what I paid for them, but I do remember the shipping was high.  If you are interested I will see what ammo I have.

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April 14, 2022 - 10:26 pm
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jerry thomas said
Steve, this post has nothing to do with the topic.  I tried to reply to a post you had concerning bullets for a 33 caliber but could get a reply made..  I sold the only 1886 that I had so I have some ammo and Woodleigh 333 Win .338 flat nose SD.246 BC ,234, 50 each..  The only place I could find them was Victoria, Australia.  I will have to search my records to find what I paid for them, but I do remember the shipping was high.  If you are interested I will see what ammo I have.  

Jerry – thanks for the offer. I have an adequate amount of discontinued Hornady .338 200 grain flat nose bullets as well as lead bullets to meet my needs.  But, I suspect there are others around here in greater need then me.  

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