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December 17, 2022 - 5:57 pm
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Am looking at an 1886 in 50EX.  Serial number 96235. It has Half oct matted barrel. CC receiver original wood and finish, mirror bright bore. The catch….the barrel had been replaced. The barrel had come from a takedown, and so about 1/2 in was added to the chamber end. The fit is so good the only telltale sign is the color difference. I haven’t asked a price, but is it a worthwhile purchase?. He also has another 50EX all original with cleaning rods. He didn’t say if he would sell that one. They are both in very nice condition, but not the 20-30k condition I see on auction sites. Can someone tell me what the serial number was configured as when it left the factory? The barrel is marked 50EX and has what I see as normal Winchester barrel address. Thanks Paul.

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December 17, 2022 - 6:09 pm
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If the barrel has been replaced, it is not worth even half of what it would be with its original barrel. You will need to contact the CFM records office to get the as built configuration information.

Bert

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December 17, 2022 - 6:13 pm
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Thanks Bert

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December 17, 2022 - 9:00 pm
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The barrel modification you mention is a serious detraction as far as status as a collector item.  As long as it isn’t priced as a collector item, I could see where the rifle would be of interest.  I would particularly want to know whether it was originally shipped as a .50 caliber.  I say that because when Winchester made a .50 Express in a M1886, they went through several extra steps to get the .50 cartridge to feed through the action.  If the rifle was shipped in anything other than .50 caliber, those steps were not taken.  Now, whether a skilled gunsmith was able to perform these same steps on this rifle is an open question.  If the rifle does letter as shipped as a .50 caliber, I would not have these concerns. 

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December 18, 2022 - 12:14 am
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 Paul,

 A 1886 has the serial number on the lower tang which is removable. Even if the gun letters as a 50 maybe the receiver wasn’t. The receiver and related parts on a factory 50 have several machine cuts to allow the larger cartridges to feed properly. It takes a very skilled gunsmith to convert one. It is not uncommon to buy a 50 that does not feed cartridges. Check it before you own it.

 It sounds to me that someone did a serious non standard barrel change. What else did he do? T/R

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December 18, 2022 - 9:07 pm
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TR said
 Paul,

 A 1886 has the serial number on the lower tang which is removable. Even if the gun letters as a 50 maybe the receiver wasn’t. The receiver and related parts on a factory 50 have several machine cuts to allow the larger cartridges to feed properly. It takes a very skilled gunsmith to convert one. It is not uncommon to buy a 50 that does not feed cartridges. Check it before you own it.

 It sounds to me that someone did a serious non standard barrel change. What else did he do? T/R

  

TR –

Good point on the possibility that the lower tang may have been replaced.  

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