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1885 Calibers ?
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March 9, 2021 - 7:57 pm
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Bert H. said
Ross,

S/N 106238 was originally a 25-20 S.S. (Single Shot), and it is also a Take Down rifle.  It had a 28-inch octagon barrel, No. 1 size.  As much as I like to see 100% original Single Shot rifles, I would not be inclined to spend the $$$$ to restore your low-wall.  It is much more practical in its current cartridge configuration.

In regards to low-wall cartridges, they were advertised as being available in all of the various rim fire cartridges, and the smaller center fire cartridges (e.g. 22 WCF, 25-20 SS, 32 WCF, 38 WCF, and 44 WCF).  There were a very small number of them made in other center fire cartridges, but they are rare.

Bert  

Wow!  Thanks for the great information!  And, of course, I just passed up bidding on a 25-20 Octagon barrel but it was in pretty rough shape with amateur dove tails cut in on the bottom of the barrel.  The 22K Hornet barrel that is on it has no manufacturers mark.  I did figure out the thickside part!  I finally own a Winchester!  Love this sight by the way!

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April 29, 2021 - 3:09 am
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Thanks for posting the auction links. However, the Single Shots that I am specifically looking for (surveying) are those with a serial number > 109999 (the final 30,000 that were made, and no warehouse ledger records exist for them).\

Bert

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April 30, 2021 - 1:12 am
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Sorry about that, I was unaware of the survey scope.

Kevin

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April 30, 2021 - 3:03 am
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Colsuper said
Sorry about that, I was unaware of the survey scope.

Kevin  

No need to be sorry… I like looking at any old Single Shot rifles Cool

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March 13, 2022 - 3:42 pm
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I have a 1885 pat. Ser.590177 lever round barrel 25-20. Fair to good shootable gun.would like to know date of manufacture and rough idea of value,thank you

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March 13, 2022 - 4:04 pm
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R.Bennett said
I have a 1885 pat. Ser.590177 lever round barrel 25-20. Fair to good shootable gun.would like to know date of manufacture and rough idea of value,thank you  

You have a Model 1892 that was manufactured early in the year 1911.  Without a detailed description of your Model 1892 (or better yet, a batch of clear pictures), it is not possible to determine what the potential value of it is.

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May 13, 2022 - 4:26 pm
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Hello guys. I have been all over the internet reading about the gun, I have 1885 serial is either  #28019 or 28079 its pretty faint stamped.

It is original, plain model with I believe a 1 contour barrel, again faint. It is in nice shape wood is clean no major pitting but the bore looks pretty bad by my standards. light pitting throughout.

I have no way to get the original ammo for it right now to see how it shoots. I at least want to test fire it a few times before I invest in a new barrel. I actually have a 1905 1894 30WCF that has a bore that looks exactly like this with a long barrel and it is an absolute tack driver.

Yes I know what your thinking about an old gun but I am just one of those guys that you can break something that is already worn out.

I can put a 22Hornet round in it perfectly and plan on changing it to that if this one wont shoot. I have seen a few converted to this so the pressure would be OK I presume?

I got a box of PPU  .22Hornet and on the website they are loaded fairly tame at 2430ft/sc for a Hornet. Would this be safe to fire form through this old gal being these are .224 and the gun is probably .228 Seems to me that would make the pressure even less? Thoughts? not really looking for accuracy, just fire forming the brass with existing load until I can find some .228bullets to test the barrel to se if it is trash. What do you think?

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May 13, 2022 - 4:32 pm
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Oh my mistake, The gun is cambered for 22WCF and I am wanting to fire form 22Hornet brass and later to test the barrel or replace it to one that is a hornet. Sorry.

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May 14, 2022 - 2:20 am
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Cowbaby said
Oh my mistake, The gun is cambered for 22WCF and I am wanting to fire form 22Hornet brass and later to test the barrel or replace it to one that is a hornet. Sorry.

  

Yes, you can shoot 22 Hornet ammo in a Single Shot that was factory chambered for the 22 WCF cartridge.  As you mentioned, the 22 WCF used a .228 bullet whereas the 22 Hornet uses a .224 bullet.  The pressure created by the 22 Hornet cartridge is well within the capability of the Single Shot (Model 1885) action.

Bert

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May 14, 2022 - 3:01 am
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I really appreciate that knowledge and advice Bert. I forgot to mention it is a low wall but I see other people re-barreling those to 22Hornet.

I kind of figure maybe the .224 might ping back and forth slightly for lack of a better term on the way out. Dont know but 4 thousands isn’t much.. If I can get these stock Hornet PPU cases fire formed to the 22WFC with it I will be happy for now. Still working on the finding a .228 bullet problem. Found a few guys that are out but such ins life in the gun world right now. You take what you can get.

 Had a time after cleaning this one getting it back together but I finally managed. I went through it completely as it hadn’t been cleaned in God knows when.

The more I mess with this thing the more i love it. It is just a well designed piece, what more is there to say.

And Bert those 3 Amigos are simply stunning.

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May 15, 2022 - 4:55 pm
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I shoot a 22 WCF.   I use .228″ lead bullets and Hornet brass.  The bullets are no problem to get.  Use a low pressure load to fire form the brass in your gun.  The small length difference is inconsequential. I trimmed mine but that is a waste of time.

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August 2, 2022 - 12:39 am
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Bert H. said

Dale Taylor said

Concerning the 1885 Winchester, does it state anywhere how many of each caliber were made ? As how many 32-40’s, 45-70’s, 40-65’s, etc. My eyesight is literally bad but could not find anything in Campbell’s books. Are any such numbers to be found ? Did Winchester keep records of how many were made in each caliber ? Thanks, Dale.  

Question 1; No, not yet.

Question 2; Yes, but not in Campbell’s books… I conducted a caliber survey of the Model 1885 a few years ago (it took me more than 10-years to complete it).

Question 3; No, Winchester did not keep specific records of the caliber production totals. They did record in the warehouse ledger records the specific cartridge/caliber of each serial number that was recorded.  The records are for the most part complete for serial numbers 1 – 109999. For serial numbers 110000 – 140000, I am conducting a separate survey to document as many of them as I can find.  Thus far, I have surveyed 1,793 of them (nearly 6%).  I will add them to my caliber survey at a later date.

I have posted the results of my caliber survey of the Model 1885 records here on the WACA forum several times in the past few years, but will post it again.  In total, there were (91) different cartridges that Winchester chambered the Model 1885 for.  The top 30 cartridges account for 106,299 (96.6%) of the 109,999 recorded in the ledger records.

 

Cartridge/Caliber Qty.  
22 Short 16,449  
32 WCF 12,640  
32-40 11,175  
22 Long 8,936  
22 WCF 8,145  
38-55 7,596  
25 WCF/25-20 S.S. 7,555  
22 Long R. 4,125  
32 Short (RF) 3,903  
44 WCF 3,875  
32 Long (RF) 3,263  
45-70 3,032  
38 WCF 2,789  
40-82 WCF 1,703  
40-60 WCF 1,512  
40-70 Sharps ST 1,428  
30 U.S./30 Army 1,067  
45-90 WCF 994  
40-90 Sharps ST 743  
38-56 WCF 701  
22 WRF 662  
45 EX. 631  
40-65 WCF 562  
25 R.F. 531 SN 57233
50 ELEY 512  
45 ELEY 468  
38 EX. 431  
40-70 Ballard 316  
22 Ex Long 288  
32 IDEAL 267 106,299

  

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August 2, 2022 - 12:46 am
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I have a low wall (SN 28##5) fully restored in .32-20.  Winchester SN look-up says it was built in 1888.

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August 2, 2022 - 1:08 am
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Did you have a specific question?

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September 18, 2022 - 2:50 pm
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Bert H. said

Dale Taylor said

Concerning the 1885 Winchester, does it state anywhere how many of each caliber were made ? As how many 32-40’s, 45-70’s, 40-65’s, etc. My eyesight is literally bad but could not find anything in Campbell’s books. Are any such numbers to be found ? Did Winchester keep records of how many were made in each caliber ? Thanks, Dale.  

Question 1; No, not yet.

Question 2; Yes, but not in Campbell’s books… I conducted a caliber survey of the Model 1885 a few years ago (it took me more than 10-years to complete it).

Question 3; No, Winchester did not keep specific records of the caliber production totals. They did record in the warehouse ledger records the specific cartridge/caliber of each serial number that was recorded.  The records are for the most part complete for serial numbers 1 – 109999. For serial numbers 110000 – 140000, I am conducting a separate survey to document as many of them as I can find.  Thus far, I have surveyed 1,793 of them (nearly 6%).  I will add them to my caliber survey at a later date.

I have posted the results of my caliber survey of the Model 1885 records here on the WACA forum several times in the past few years, but will post it again.  In total, there were (91) different cartridges that Winchester chambered the Model 1885 for.  The top 30 cartridges account for 106,299 (96.6%) of the 109,999 recorded in the ledger records.

 

Cartridge/Caliber Qty.  
22 Short 16,449  
32 WCF 12,640  
32-40 11,175  
22 Long 8,936  
22 WCF 8,145  
38-55 7,596  
25 WCF/25-20 S.S. 7,555  
22 Long R. 4,125  
32 Short (RF) 3,903  
44 WCF 3,875  
32 Long (RF) 3,263  
45-70 3,032  
38 WCF 2,789  
40-82 WCF 1,703  
40-60 WCF 1,512  
40-70 Sharps ST 1,428  
30 U.S./30 Army 1,067  
45-90 WCF 994  
40-90 Sharps ST 743  
38-56 WCF 701  
22 WRF 662  
45 EX. 631  
40-65 WCF 562  
25 R.F. 531  
50 ELEY 512  
45 ELEY 468  
38 EX. 431  
40-70 Ballard 316  
22 Ex Long 288  
32 IDEAL 267 106,299

  

I have an unfair question to ask you.  I recently purchased an ’85 in pretty decent shape other than its badly cracked stock and pretty dark bore.  I was in .25RF which as you know is a real dinosaur of a caliber.  I found a fellow who said he can repair the stock and make the crack almost disappear and can change the caliber by relining the barrel.  He has the rifle now and is being held up by availability of the liner

Based on the fact that only 531 ’85s were made in that odd caliber, how sought after are the odd calibers, and am I making a mistake having the caliber changed?  Or should I stop at having the stock fixed and sell the rifle~?  I love the 1885 low-wall as a rifle and own a fully restored example in .32-20as well as several reproductions by Miroku.

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September 18, 2022 - 4:33 pm
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Richard Warrington said
Based on the fact that only 531 ’85s were made in that odd caliber, how sought after are the odd calibers, and am I making a mistake having the caliber changed?

  

Ask the person who says “yes” how much he’ll offer for your “dinosaur” in order to preserve it’s originality.  Nobody’s looking for .25RFs, or even .32RFs, unless they’re in near mint cond., & even then those calibers bring less than .22RFs.

I’d have it lined to .22RF, leaving of course the original markings untouched.  (Don’t assume the guy doing the lining will have the brains to know that–TELL him explicitly!  Which is what I once failed to do, to my horror when the gun was returned!)

If you’ve got money to burn, it’s possible to have a .25 liner installed–TJ’s Liners makes them.  But you’ll never recover the cost of the work.

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September 18, 2022 - 4:50 pm
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I agree with Clarence… nobody really wants a Single Shot rifle is 25 RF or 32 Short or Long RF.  In your shoes, I would leave the original barrel as is, and then have a new barrel in 22 Long Rifle or 22 Magnum installed.

As a side note, with a production total of (539), the 25 R.F. is not considered “odd” or “uncommon”.

Bert

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September 18, 2022 - 5:49 pm
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Bert H. said   In your shoes, I would leave the original barrel as is, and then have a new barrel in 22 Long Rifle or 22 Magnum installed.
  

Only problem with doing that is the original brl will eventually be lost or otherwise separated from that action–sooner or later, it ALWAYS happens.  That’s where all the brls sold on ebay come from.

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September 19, 2022 - 5:32 pm
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Doesn’t always happen.  I have a highwall that has had a barrel change and it came with the original shot out barrel.  It will go with the gun when my wife sells it.  I know of another case where a friend bought a 50 cal highwall that came with the original 45-90 barrel.

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