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1886 questions of rework and value
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June 22, 2021 - 3:46 am
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2021 was a tough year and zapped me financially.  Times are better and I am back on the hunt for various goodies.  I purchased a collection with a friend that is fairly extensive with us each wanting various pieces.  He really likes Colts.

Bert already helped me identify a sight on a 1936 model 63 carbine (thanks again Bert).  I dropped my loupe and couldn’t see the faint stamp.  Anyhow, there is an 1886 that is quite different and I need some help.  I am fairly new to this arena but there are lots of things that look right to me.  I have a letter that came with it which is great, and it was R/R twice according to this letter.  Here is a rundown and as soon as my damn phone works right I will start posting pics.

Started life as a 40/82 rifle.  It had a set trigger and that’s about it for the original version as there is no indication of any sights or quality of wood.  Now it is in more of a deluxe finish in 38/70 with a half magazine tube and short button sticking out of the nose cap.  Octagon barrel that measures to the best of my ability at 21 7/8ths…not a full 22″.  The tang markings are correct, the hammer knurling correct.  The set trigger is gone, it is now a standard trigger.  SIGHTS   there is a lyman 21 (I think) patent June 25,95 on it, a Lyman patent OCT 6, 85 front sight, a two leave Lyman patent July 14, 91 rear sight.  Under the barrel has lots of markings which I will post, and inside the forearm in pencil is Order # 53.  Inside the nose cap and also under the barrel is Order # 98.  As soon as my phone works right I will post a bunch of pics because I know the stamping, muzzle in the white, etc. are all important to see.

So the question is the possibility of this work/conversion being done by Winchester.  The rework/conversion is very high quality.  The front sight is in the right location, but I have no idea if the wood was upgraded or changed to the shotgun butt, etc.  What I was told is that this collection was the remnant of a larger collection, and this rifle acquired in 1936 by the second owner who was from Michigan.  I am the third owner if that is true.  These last few pieces contained several gen 1 Colts, a few Wins, numerous books, and other fine rifles of various makes.  I guess the real cherries went first and the family had held these for other members but nobody wanted any of them…so the ended up with me.  

I will post pics as I can.  Thanks for any insight.Winchester-letter.jpgImage Enlarger

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June 22, 2021 - 3:57 am
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Pics are starting to show up so here is the left, right, and underside of the barrel.  The word to the right of the number 98 is “refinished”.

I will post more pics as they finally hit my email.

 

Win-1.jpgImage Enlargerwin-2.jpgImage Enlargerwin-3.jpgImage Enlarger

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June 22, 2021 - 4:18 am
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I highly recommend contacting Cody and getting an updated Factory letter.  There should be an order number listed with both of the R&R entries (three total order numbers should be in the ledger records).

Bert

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June 22, 2021 - 1:24 pm
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Thanks again Bert, I was unaware tracing of orders connected to R/R work was even possible.

I will start there and see where this journey goes!

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June 22, 2021 - 2:46 pm
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34871 said
Thanks again Bert, I was unaware tracing of orders connected to R/R work was even possible.

I never heard of it either.  Does the order no. describe what was done?

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June 22, 2021 - 3:39 pm
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34871 said
Thanks again Bert, I was unaware tracing of orders connected to R/R work was even possible.

I will start there and see where this journey goes!  

It is only possible when the order number associated with the R&R is also marked on the gun (usually on the bottom of the barrel or on the inside edge of the upper/lower tangs.  The 38-70 barrel on your Model 1886 has an order number stamped on it… if it matches the order number on the factory letter, you have your answer.

Bert

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June 22, 2021 - 6:29 pm
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We will see where it goes.  Considering it has two returns/repairs shortly after it was made, and the fact there are two order #’s and the word “refinished” on the barrel and tang, I am hoping the order #’s coincide with fancy wood going on there and the rebarrel to 38-70.

I will keeps folks posted.

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June 22, 2021 - 9:00 pm
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34871 said
We will see where it goes.  Considering it has two returns/repairs shortly after it was made, and the fact there are two order #’s and the word “refinished” on the barrel and tang, I am hoping the order #’s coincide with fancy wood going on there and the rebarrel to 38-70.

I will keeps folks posted.  

No question about rebrl. with all those factory markings.  Main thing to hope for is factory installation of Lyman 21.  This gun has a fascinating history of sensible improvements by some discriminating & probably expert rifleman; FAR more interesting than it was in its original configuration.

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June 23, 2021 - 1:10 am
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That is the most attractive and interesting .38-70 I have seen.

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June 23, 2021 - 1:27 am
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steve004 said
That is the most attractive and interesting .38-70 I have seen.  

Or any other caliber.  The owner did everything right: SG butt, swivels, short mag for better handling, Lyman 21. 

If he’d known what cartridges would still be popular today, he should have chosen .45-70, but you can’t have everything.

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June 23, 2021 - 1:41 pm
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I agree about sensible improvements.  If Winchester did not do the work, whoever did do it knew what they were doing.  I am hoping the two orders represent the restocking as order #53, and the rebarrel/sights as order # 98.  I sent and email yesterday asking about how I go about ordering the letter(s) so we will see what happens.

This piece came from the collection of an expert, no doubt.  I purchased it based on the books in the library, many first edition signed by Madis, etc.  Lots of caliber conversions, sight books, very early NRA publications, Winchester publications….Lots of early Ithaca stuff as well.  The cartridge collection is extensive with lots of little doo-dads to investigate.

Concerning the rifle itself, I am enamored with it because if it’s dimensions and balance.  It is just a hair muzzle heavy but it holds beautifully.  As time permits I will stuff a few shells and see what she does.  I already have components and dies for this caliber that came from another estate long ago, so it should be a fun project.

Here are a few more pics.  The inside of the forearm, right sight has pencil Order #53.  The stamp on the barrel looks legit, and the inside of the nosecap has the #98 stamped on it.  Even the button shows great detail with a flat machined/filed into it to mate up to the flat of the barrel.  I love these little details, and in fact it leads me to divulge one of my favorite features of an 86 (and I think 76) with the big bore…the machining of the underside of the barrel flat to accept the round magazine tube.  How they pulled that off so straight back then is a testament to the skill.  My gunsmith had a helluva time doing that for me on my .50’s. (yes I had to make some since I cannot afford a real one…still have a wife and two young kids!)

forearm.jpgImage Enlargernose-cap.jpgImage Enlargerbarrel-stamp.jpgImage Enlarger

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