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Looking to add a 1873, 1886 or 1895 to my collection. W/Pictures. What do you suggest?
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May 30, 2021 - 10:21 pm
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Hi, I currently have a the following Winchester lever actions:

  • A 1901 “1894” 38-55 26″ Oct Barrel – Very Good Condition
  • A 1904 “1894” 38-55 26″ Rnd Barrel w/ Tang Peep sight – Very Good Condition
  • Looking to add 1894 Carbine, 1894 Baby Carbine, 1894 .30 WCF and probably a couple of others.

My long term goal is to have about ten Winchesters in my collection that I actively shoot and deer hunt with. 

An in state gun/ammo family run shop have three Winchester’s that I am curious about.

  1.  An “1873” manufactured in 1884 Serial #149166 – so 3rd model. The caliber is 38-40 with a 24″ Oct Barrel. I have seen this gun. I would say overall the gun is in above average shape and looks all original. It has not been refurbish. The gun looks good. No cracks in wood. Bluing is around 25%. It is a mechanically sound gun. He has the gun listed at $4,250. He would probably sell for $4,000. I think the price is a bit high on this gun.1873-149166-1.jpgImage Enlarger1873-149166-2.jpgImage Enlarger1873-149166-4.jpgImage Enlarger1873-149166-3.jpgImage Enlarger1873-149166-5.jpgImage Enlarger
  2. An “1886” manufactured in 1887 Serial #1149. The caliber is 40-82 with 24″ round Barrel. Is the 24″ found barrel a standard barrel for an “1886”? I though 26″ barrels were. It has a tang peep sight 7+1 shots. It has been refurbished probably 25 – 50 years ago. and it looks period correct quality. I do like the look. Mechanically sound gun. He has it listed at $3,500. He probably would sell it around $3,300. The price is fair depending if the 24″ barrel is original.1886-1149-1.jpgImage Enlarger1886-1149-2.jpgImage Enlarger1886-1149-3.jpgImage Enlarger1886-1149-4.jpgImage Enlarger1886-1149-5.jpgImage Enlarger
  3. An “1895” manufactured in 1898 Serial #13575. The caliber is 38-75 with a 26″ Oct Barrel. I have seen this gun. This is in excellent condition. Most 1898 that I have seen have had a round barrel, so the Oct barrel is very nice to see. Bluing is still very good and no cracks in the wood. The gun has been very well maintained over the years. He has this gun listed at $3,750. He probably would sell it for $3,500. This seems like a good price especially with the standard Oct barrel. 1895-13575-1.jpgImage Enlarger1895-13575-2.jpgImage Enlarger1895-13575-3.jpgImage Enlarger1895-13575-4.jpgImage Enlarger1895-13575-5.jpgImage Enlarger

I will probably buy one of these guns. So with the information given along with a few pictures, which gun would make the most sense to add to my collection and why. I appreciate your time you put into your response. Thank you.

All the best, Tony

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May 30, 2021 - 11:14 pm
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The 73 at $4000 is too much and is not 25% blue from what I see. You also want to pass on the 86, its not period correct refinished.

Bob

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73_86cutaway.jpg

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May 30, 2021 - 11:27 pm
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I would definitely pass on the first two and probably wouldn’t leap at the third.

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May 31, 2021 - 12:58 am
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I’d recommend you keep looking. 

IMG_0805-Copy-Copy-Copy.JPG

Winchester Model 1873 44-40 circa 1886

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May 31, 2021 - 1:31 am
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Hard pass.

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May 31, 2021 - 1:53 am
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I’d pass on all three.  

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May 31, 2021 - 4:24 am
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I’d be sorely tempted to pursue the 1895. I think the price is fair but I know little about the cartridge. An 1895 is an acquired taste but if this rifle is original I think it would make an interesting addition to your collection. 

 

Mike

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Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
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May 31, 2021 - 5:29 am
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Thanks Mike, I am leaning towards this model also. I have been reading up and watching multiple videos on the 1895 model this week, and I am leaning more toward this model as a potential shooter collector. I will do more research on the originality of this gun. The 38-72 was one of the original calibers of the 1895. The 26″ Octagon barrel only came with the 38-72 or 40-72 calibers, as far as I know. Thanks for your feedback.

Take care and all the best on your end, Tony

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May 31, 2021 - 11:40 am
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Tony,

For the prices listed on these guns my suggestion would be to patiently keep looking. It’s easy to get wrapped up in guns you are unfamiliar with that are conveniently located at your local shop. Do your research looking at comparable guns for a few days & I bet when you revisit these you will see them differently. All are overpriced for their condition.

Good luck & keep hunting!

Darrin

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May 31, 2021 - 11:56 am
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 Winchester made 2785 model 95s with a octagon barrel, not rare, but desirable. The 86 has been distroyed by the refinish, no collector value, so it’s over priced. The 73 is 38 caliber and priced double what it’s worth.

 At a gun show when I see a gun like this 86 on the table I look very closely at any other gun I might be interested in at that table. T/R

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May 31, 2021 - 12:38 pm
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As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to avoid dealers.  Auctions are a better route, set your upper limit and stick to it!  I would avoid Rock Island Auctions as there are few bargains there.

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May 31, 2021 - 1:07 pm
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IMO, the ’95 is over priced as well by at least 1K, maybe 1.5K. Your going to need to see alot more blue for 3.5K. If your going to shoot these I’d be alot more concerned with the bore condition. The 38-72’s were loaded with black powder for the first couple years and it can be difficult to find an excellent bore.

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May 31, 2021 - 1:37 pm
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Of the trio, the .38-72 was of the greatest interest to me.  Were I holding it in my hand, the first thing I would closely look at is the wood.  I was a bit suspicious of the wood finish, but the photos weren’t the best and there is a difference between photos and holding it in your hand.  Even if I felt the wood is right, I think it is still overpriced.  

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May 31, 2021 - 7:00 pm
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mrcvs said
As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to avoid dealers.  Auctions are a better route, set your upper limit and stick to it!  I would avoid Rock Island Auctions as there are few bargains there.  

I disagree.  I prefer dealers over auction houses.  No buyers premium and over zealous internet bidders.  Yes, definitely set an upper limit and stick to it.  The 95 could be an interesting project but I’d offer him at least a $1000 less and see where it goes. Be prepared to walk away.  Keep things friendly and check back on occasion.  He may find that you may be his best offer.  In the meantime you may find something you like better.  Loading supplies will be fun to find.  If you plan on shooting this you better start looking for dies and brass. 

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May 31, 2021 - 7:26 pm
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Chuck said

I disagree.  I prefer dealers over auction houses.  No buyers premium and over zealous internet bidders.  Yes, definitely set an upper limit and stick to it.  The 95 could be an interesting project but I’d offer him at least a $1000 less and see where it goes. Be prepared to walk away.  Keep things friendly and check back on occasion.  He may find that you may be his best offer.  In the meantime you may find something you like better.  Loading supplies will be fun to find.  If you plan on shooting this you better start looking for dies and brass.   

I would estimate that for the past 20 years, I’ve kept my eyes open for a used set of dies.  The one caliber I’ve kept my eyes open for?  The .38-72.  I’ve yet to be successful.  I’ve run across dealers who sell nothing but used dies – and have a couple tables packed with them.  No .38-72’s.  Finding a rifle in .38-72 is nothing compared to finding a set of dies.  I suppose I could pay the very high dollar and special order a set but it’s not like I don’t have plenty of others to load for and shoot.  

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May 31, 2021 - 8:43 pm
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Folks,  Got to put in my two or three cents worth here.  First, I do not do well interpreting condition of rifles from pictures, and the pix of the 1895 are not the best in my opinion to determine the degree of original finish, etc.  One view of the right side to me shows too much of the top tang side metal at the grip as if the grip is slightly undersized, but that may be just me.  I like 1895’s a lot.  I like the octagonal barreled 1895’s a whole lot.   I have a few.  I would agree with Brooksy that this one is over priced for what it is, though.  Next, I would tend to think the bores on black powder rifles are usually better than the ones using the early smokeless, as the black powder era shooters knew to promptly clean the bores.  The advent of smokeless had proponents wrongly thinking they no longer needed to clean as soon after shooting, and the corrosive priming then had its way with the bores!  There ought to be 1895’s with the octagonal barrel in good original condition in .38-72 caliber for no more than $3,000 in my humble opinion, and potentially for less than that.  Haste can be dangerous.  A flat side in this configuration would bring more than the second variation.  Tim.           

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May 31, 2021 - 8:46 pm
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Great feedback everyone. I am definitely keeping all my options open at this time. I agree that all of these guns as over priced. Truth be told, I have a credit at this dealer. So still valuable, my focus is looking for a quality original that I am proud of owning and fits a void in my small but growing collection. For anyone who likes to learn, the process of learning about very early Winchester Lever Actions is incredible and endless.

There seems to be an abundant of the 1873s out on the market – private, dealers and auctions. So I am passing on this gun.

The more I compare the finish of this 1886 with others, the more I am looking elsewhere. After reading multiple articles, I want to investigate other calibers. Interesting history on the development of this rifle between Browning and William Mason. Much stronger action with the locking block design vs the toggle link of the 1876.

The 1895 is definitely a unique design with the box magazine. I want to check out the functionality (possibly shoot it) and review the bore. This gun is over priced but maybe he will help me out. I love reading about the 1895’s civilian and military history – Browning’s last lever action design.

Thanks for all of the positive feedback. Tony

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June 1, 2021 - 12:13 am
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steve004 said

I would estimate that for the past 20 years, I’ve kept my eyes open for a used set of dies.  The one caliber I’ve kept my eyes open for?  The .38-72.  I’ve yet to be successful.  I’ve run across dealers who sell nothing but used dies – and have a couple tables packed with them.  No .38-72’s.  Finding a rifle in .38-72 is nothing compared to finding a set of dies.  I suppose I could pay the very high dollar and special order a set but it’s not like I don’t have plenty of others to load for and shoot.    

Steve, that is kinda what I was alluding to when I said fun.  Now that Vista Outdoors owns, RCBS good luck on having a set made.

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June 3, 2021 - 11:03 pm
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The ’73 but WAY overpriced.

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