February 18, 2011
Hi and notably at this moment “Oldcranky…” meets “Ancientpontificator…!”
My ‘recollection’, the 1886 like the Model 1894 with adoption of “Nickel Steel” not factory determined by date so much as by chambering. The then newer, genre of “high power smokeless cartridges” as incorporating the “NS” barrels as same production era, the ‘big black power ramokers”, retaining the earlier (was it termed “High Pressure”?) steels. Further as, on a roll, recollection, 🙂 the Nickel Steel difference not in absolute strength improvement but in resistance to corrosion as the “jacketed bullets” inducing much greater barrel wear in HS steel barrels compared to the NS barrels. Far as NS “optional” in an ’86 chambering, answer unknown. Yet ‘suspecting’ pricey if even factory custom order available as to “rifle and chamber” a barrel blank. That unless your nickname happening to be “Teddy” & politics, “Bull Moose Party”! 🙂
Anyway, hoping for few points as “pretty credible story” with extra points if true! 🙂 Hopefully one of the myriad experts here to step in with “real info!” Believe my own ’86 of 1903, in 33 Win & Nickel Steel bbl.
November 9, 2008
The nickel steel became available with the first extra light 45-70s around 1896 along with the smokeless frame without the small hump in the front of receiver. In catalogs the extra light was only offered in 45-70, but other calibers were made on special order. I have a 38-56 ELW 22″ and a 38-56 SRC, W/special order 20″ nickel steel barrel
So this gun dates to early 1899 ,per a quick Cody sns. But the letter also shows as being nickel steel in 45-90wcf, which it is . Does this mean it was ordered as such as opposed to standard fluid steel/ high pressure steel. also it is a takedown and does not have the black powder humps on the receiver.
April 15, 2005