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1886 Barrel swap?
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March 19, 2024 - 11:34 pm
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I am currently in possession of a family heirloom that has recently began to cause me some concern. 1886 26″ Octagon in 40-65. It was my great Grandfather’s until his death in 1976. Passed down to my Grandfather until his death 2015 (not sure if he ever shot it). Then to my Uncle (who never shot it), then to me. I remember hearing old stories about my great grandfather hunting deer with this rifle but I always remember it being a 45-90 WCF. So my question is, how common was it to swap out barrels on 1886 rifles? Maybe I am just mis-remembering the details from those old hunting stories.

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March 19, 2024 - 11:43 pm
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If the serial number fall in the range in the image below you can check the factory records at Cody as see what caliber it was made in.

Bob

https://centerofthewest.org/explore/firearms/firearms-records/winchester/

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Researching the Winchester 1873's

73_86cutaway.jpg

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March 20, 2024 - 12:10 am
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If you post a set of pictures, the gentlemen here might be able to provide insight.

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March 20, 2024 - 1:57 am
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Thanks. I have never contacted Cody for records before. Is it done online or by phone?

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March 20, 2024 - 2:08 am
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If your a member of the museum you can call and get a serial number checked which can be right away or in a day or two depending on how busy they are but if your not a member you have to buy a letter and it takes about a month to get it and costs $75. You can join for as little as $150. As a non member you can use that link to order a letter.

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March 20, 2024 - 3:20 am
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Agent1911 said
Thanks. I have never contacted Cody for records before. Is it done online or by phone?

  

Both are options – Cody Firearms Records Office – Buffalo Bill Center of the West

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March 20, 2024 - 12:25 pm
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  To take a 45-90 barrel off and install a 40-65 would be a down grade, not what I would expect to happen. If the gun has not been refinished, does not have wrench marks on the barrel, the caliber markings look original, finish of the barrel match the tube, and the gun as a whole looks original, it probably is.

  If you want opinions post several good pictures, but one way or another a records check is in order. T/R 

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March 20, 2024 - 4:36 pm
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40-65 may not bring the money but it is a very good round.  Dies are still easy to find.

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March 20, 2024 - 5:37 pm
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TR said
  To take a 45-90 barrel off and install a 40-65 would be a down grade, not what I would expect to happen. If the gun has not been refinished, does not have wrench marks on the barrel, the caliber markings look original, finish of the barrel match the tube, and the gun as a whole looks original, it probably is.

  If you want opinions post several good pictures, but one way or another a records check is in order. T/R 

  

That is exactly what I was thinking. The gun has not been refinished as far as I can tell but there are marks on the barrel that indicate it was removed possibly. The bore has significant ware especially at the muzzle. The caliber stamp looks double hit on a couple of numbers but might just be a factory boo-boo.

I’ll include some pictures. 20240319_181610.jpgImage Enlarger20240320_085127.jpgImage Enlarger20240320_085156.jpgImage Enlarger20240320_085133.jpgImage Enlarger20240320_085305.jpgImage Enlarger20240320_085329.jpgImage Enlarger20240320_085339.jpgImage Enlarger

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March 20, 2024 - 6:45 pm
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The barrel has been removed and worked down with file and caliber remarked.

Bob

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March 20, 2024 - 9:24 pm
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1873man said
The barrel has been removed and worked down with file and caliber remarked.

Bob

  

I measured the barrel and it is still whole.  I guess I’m joining the Cody Museum…lol

The SNA should tell the story.

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March 20, 2024 - 11:31 pm
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  The original caliber of the barrel will be marked on the bottom under the forearm. The serial number on a 1886 is on the lower tang and from the pictures it’s fit to the receiver is poor. Maybe just the picture? The lower tang would have been machined in the receiver so the fit is perfect. If it’s not it’s been swapped. Those pipe wrench marks and barrel markings are a bad sign. T/R

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March 20, 2024 - 11:49 pm
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TR said
  The original caliber of the barrel will be marked on the bottom under the forearm. The serial number on a 1886 is on the lower tang and from the pictures it’s fit to the receiver is poor. Maybe just the picture? The lower tang would have been machined in the receiver so the fit is perfect. If it’s not it’s been swapped. Those pipe wrench marks and barrel markings are a bad sign. T/R

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March 20, 2024 - 11:54 pm
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  Fit looks good, receiver came with the tang, serial number search should tell the story. T/R

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March 20, 2024 - 11:59 pm
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TR said
  Fit looks good, receiver came with the tang, serial number search should tell the story. T/R

  

Thanks. I just disassembled the front-end to take a look under the barrel. It is marked 40-65. The pipe wrench marks are present under the forearm as well. The barrel has definitely been off the receiver.

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March 21, 2024 - 1:15 am
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Screenshot_20240320_201401_Chrome.jpgImage Enlarger

 

Is it just the angle or is that bore not centered?

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March 21, 2024 - 1:21 am
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Jeremy P said
Screenshot_20240320_201401_Chrome.jpgImage Enlarger

 

Is it just the angle or is that bore not centered?

  

Angle.

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March 21, 2024 - 1:24 am
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Agent1911 said

Jeremy P said

Screenshot_20240320_201401_Chrome.jpgImage Enlarger

 

Is it just the angle or is that bore not centered?

  

Angle.

  

Perfect. Best part of that gun is its history and lineage…very cool. Don’t let the other stuff bother you. 

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March 21, 2024 - 1:33 am
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Jeremy P said

Agent1911 said

Jeremy P said

Screenshot_20240320_201401_Chrome.jpgImage Enlarger

 

Is it just the angle or is that bore not centered?

  

Angle.

  

Perfect. Best part of that gun is its history and lineage…very cool. Don’t let the other stuff bother you. 

  

I promise you that this rifle will take a deer this year. I’m very proud to own it. As much as I like all the pretty, high condition Lever Guns, this one is among my top 5. I have My father’s and his father’s 30-30 94s, my Uncles 38-55 and 32spl 94s and this one from Great Grandfather. It’s like having them holding your hand in the woods.

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March 21, 2024 - 10:23 pm
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Your last comment was awesome. I agree, I don’t need a never touched as it left the factory safe Queen to have an interest or an attachment to a particular rifle. I have a few that have been altered, but to me that’s still the story of the piece.

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