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ORIGINAL STOCK ON A MODEL 1886 "LIGHTWEIGHT" RIFLE
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November 24, 2021 - 11:16 pm
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I am looking at a Winchester rifle at my local Cabelas in their Gun Library, which is where they sell their used guns. It is a model 1886 made in the “Lightweight” version. It is chambered in .33 WCF and the serial number shows it to be made in 1911. The thing that doesn’t make sense to me is that it is stocked with a Steel Crescent Moon Butt Plate. Everything that I have researched shows the “Shotgun” style, square butt with the hard rubber butt plate, on this model. The stock doesn’t match the forearm in color and it has several cracks in it along with a drilled hole repair on the bottom, right behind the receiver tang.

  So is there a chance that this stock could be original to this rifle ??  Did these come from the factory with the Steel Crescent Moon Butt Plate or only with the Square “Shotgun” Butt ??   The rest of the rifle appears to be original as far as I can tell.  Thanks for any feedback on this issue.

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November 25, 2021 - 2:59 am
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Hello Brian,

First, there was/is no such thing as a “Lightweight” Model 1886 rifle. Winchester did offer an “Extra Light Weight” (ELW), most of which were chambered for the 45-70 cartridge. The ELW rifles are identified by a 22-inch round taper barrel, with a soldered ramp front sight base, shotgun butt w/hard rubber butt plate

The standard 33 WCF Model 1886 Rifles were catalogued by Winchester as “.33 Caliber Winchester Smokeless Model 1886“. They have a 24-inch round tapered barrel, and could have a standard steel crescent butt plate, a checkered steel shotgun butt plate, a smooth steel shotgun butt plate, or a black hard rubber shotgun butt plate… depending on how it was ordered.

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November 26, 2021 - 3:40 pm
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BRIAN BUSSEY said
I am looking at a Winchester rifle at my local Cabelas in their Gun Library, which is where they sell their used guns. It is a model 1886 made in the “Lightweight” version. It is chambered in .33 WCF and the serial number shows it to be made in 1911. The thing that doesn’t make sense to me is that it is stocked with a Steel Crescent Moon Butt Plate. Everything that I have researched shows the “Shotgun” style, square butt with the hard rubber butt plate, on this model. The stock doesn’t match the forearm in color and it has several cracks in it along with a drilled hole repair on the bottom, right behind the receiver tang.

  So is there a chance that this stock could be original to this rifle ??  Did these come from the factory with the Steel Crescent Moon Butt Plate or only with the Square “Shotgun” Butt ??   The rest of the rifle appears to be original as far as I can tell.  Thanks for any feedback on this issue.  

Assuming this rifle has a 24 inch barrel, it is a fairly frequently found variation (with the rifle style butt). 

Incorrectly calling a 24 inch barrel M1886 in .33 WCF a, “lightweight” rifle is highly frequent.  It is actually quite rare to not incorrectly call such a rifle a lightweight.  

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November 28, 2021 - 5:33 pm
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I have managed to acquire two Extra Light 86 Winchesters with the rifle butt stock.  Both are 45/70 caliber take downs and both letter. One has a full magazine, the other the standard short magazine.  RDB

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November 28, 2021 - 5:42 pm
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rogertherelic said
I have managed to acquire two Extra Light 86 Winchesters with the rifle butt stock.  Both are 45/70 caliber take downs and both letter. One has a full magazine, the other the standard short magazine.  RDB  

Roger – your post prompts me to reflect how my lightweight .45-70 with 3/4 magazine would nestle right in between your full mag and half mag rifle:

 

bMG4XsT.jpgImage Enlarger

https://i.imgur.com/4S0Ns9N.jpg?1Image Enlarger

 

xcAt0kz.jpgImage Enlarger

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November 28, 2021 - 5:59 pm
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The shotgun butt makes better sense than the curved rifle butt.  Especially when shooting from the bench!  I didn’t notice the recoil when I shot a 300 lb. running pig, but all that changes at the bench!  Yell  RDB

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November 28, 2021 - 6:30 pm
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rogertherelic said
The shotgun butt makes better sense than the curved rifle butt.  Especially when shooting from the bench!  I didn’t notice the recoil when I shot a 300 lb. running pig, but all that changes at the bench!  Yell  RDB  

Roger – that is very cool that you got to shoot a big pig with yours.

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November 28, 2021 - 11:33 pm
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steve004 said

https://i.imgur.com/4S0Ns9N.jpg?1Image Enlarger

 

xcAt0kz.jpgImage Enlarger  

Your letter needs a correction.  Received in the warehouse 18 Dec 1902 and shipped 03 January 1902.  Presumably, this should be 1903.

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November 29, 2021 - 12:24 am
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mrcvs said

Your letter needs a correction.  Received in the warehouse 18 Dec 1902 and shipped 03 January 1902.  Presumably, this should be 1903.  

I think it is the ledger that needs the correction (which they won’t change of course).  I believe the letter is correct as to what is stated in the ledger – which is why the letter states, “(should be 1903)”

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November 29, 2021 - 12:47 am
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steve004 said

I think it is the ledger that needs the correction (which they won’t change of course).  I believe the letter is correct as to what is stated in the ledger – which is why the letter states, “(should be 1903)”  

I see that now when I rotate my phone.  Holding it in regular fashion, it truncated that portion of the letter.

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November 30, 2021 - 3:48 am
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Well A BIG THANK YOU to Bert H, steve004 and rogertherelic for your feedback on my question. It sounds like the buttstock with the steel crescent butt plate could be original to this rifle. Which was my main question. Alot of my research comes from Mike Venturino’s book “Shooting Lever Guns Of The Old West”  and also from Martin Peglar’s book “Winchester Lever-Action Rifles”. Mike refers to this rifle as a “Lightweight” model, but I have also heard it referred to as an “Extra Light Weight” model also. Thanks for the clarification on that.

  I will get another look at this rifle this coming Thursday. I will check the barrel length to see if it is 22″ or 24″. Going to take a bore scope to get a good look at the  barrel and bore also. The front sight is soldered on and the muzzle end of the barrel is flat and “In The White”. So that should be correct.

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December 1, 2021 - 2:20 am
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Brian,

If the barrel is 24-inches (and I highly suspect it is), it is neither a “lightweight” or an “Extra Light Weight”. It is simply a standard Model 1886 rifle. Accordingly, the crescent butt plate is very likely original. The silver soldered front sight ramp and flat muzzle in the white are good indicators that it is factory original.

Bert

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December 1, 2021 - 4:56 am
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Thanks again Bert. I am going to go over it with a fine tooth comb on Thursday at Cabelas, if it is still there. I will let you know what I find out.

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December 5, 2021 - 11:43 pm
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Well I am now the proud owner of a Model 1886 rifle in .33 WCF. I checked it all over on Thursday and couldn’t find anything wrong with it as far as it being factory original. The barrel was 24″ and has a great looking bore. The muzzle end of the barrel is flat and “In The White” and the front sight is soldered on. The action is nice and tight and locks up great. The half cock works and is nice and crisp. The stock has the steel crescent rifle buttplate. There were a couple of short scratches on the forearm that were through the finish. And you can see the raw wood in them, so thinking it hasn’t been refinished any time soon. Plus the wood on the wrist of the stock and the back of the forearm is darker than the rest of the wood. Which makes sense for a 110 year old rifle that has been palmed and carried and had the skin oil to discolor and darken the wood over the years. This corresponds with the bluing wear on the front half of the receiver as well from being carried over the years. There are however several cracks in the stock. They haven’t opened up any and the stock is amazingly rock solid with no wiggle or give yet. There is a very professional looking drilled hole repair on the bottom of the stock, right behind the lever and receiver tang. From a former sling swivel perhaps ???

  So it appears to me to be an honest, old Winchester rifle that has seen some use and is still in decent, factory condition. The big thing is the condition of the stock, but it appears to be original at least. I wasn’t looking for a Pristine Condition rifle with no issues at all. But a rifle that was in factory issue condition yet that was also still a shooter. I do plan on shooting it and also using it whitetail deer hunting here in Nebraska on my farm. Although it won’t have very many rounds put through it anymore.

  I am happy with the price as well. I researched this same rifle on Gunbroker and found a starting asking price on many auctions from $1800 to $2400. And many of these rifles were not factory original. Most of them had recoil pads on the stocks or were re-barreled or had the original barrels shortened, etc.  I got this rifle down to $1200 and then was able to use my 5% Military Discount as well. So ended up giving $1140 plus sales tax for it. I was happy with the sale. Hopefully there is nothing unforeseen on my part that is wrong with it. It passed all of my tests, but I definitely AM NOT an expert. At least Cabelas will stand behind it if there is anything mechanically wrong with it.

  One thing I have not experienced yet, is that after the 6 digit serial number, there a space of about 3/16″, and then a capital “A”. Stamped on the bottom receiver tang. What does this “A” mean ??

 Also, I had a few pictures of this rifle I was going to attach to this. But can’t figure out how to attach them ???

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December 6, 2021 - 1:39 am
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Brian,

This topic will answer your question – Original Winchester 1886 Mag Tube Attachment | Winchester Rifles | ForumWinchester Collector

As a “Guest” on the WACA forums, you can only post a URL to a photo hosting website.  You can sned the pictures directly to my email address.

Bert – [email protected]

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