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Prototype 86 receiver or very fancy aftermarket machining?
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June 1, 2024 - 3:22 pm
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A friend of mine purchased this one, what’s your thoughts on the receiver?

Antique Winchester Model 1886 Lever Action Rifle, .38-56 W.C.F. 26” Octagon – Antique Guns at GunBroker.com : 1050324115

Erin

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June 1, 2024 - 4:32 pm
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I am not of the opinion that it was Winchester’s handiwork.

Bert

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June 1, 2024 - 5:03 pm
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That’s a complex machining job.  Why–to shave off a few ounces?  If it wasn’t done at the factory, maybe a master-machinist doing it for his own use?  I’m rather skeptical an individual owner would pay to have it done; shortening the brl would be a far cheaper way to cut the wt.

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June 1, 2024 - 9:44 pm
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clarence said
That’s a complex machining job.  Why–to shave off a few ounces?  If it wasn’t done at the factory, maybe a master-machinist doing it for his own use?  I’m rather skeptical an individual owner would pay to have it done; shortening the brl would be a far cheaper way to cut the wt.

  

Winchester did basically the same thing with the 95’s. They went from the flat sides and changed it to the lighter receiver with the lightning cuts. Even the forearm on this 86 has been altered to match the new contour of the receiver.

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June 1, 2024 - 11:26 pm
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In reading the description, it looks like the seller wasn’t even aware of this modification.

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June 2, 2024 - 12:02 am
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Well I can’t see what modification everyone is talking about from photo I’m viewing

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June 2, 2024 - 12:06 am
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steve004 said
In reading the description, it looks like the seller wasn’t even aware of this modification.

  

Or chose to ignore it, not knowing what it was. The modification had to be done early in the rifle’s “life” as the affected area has the same “patina” as the rest of the receiver.

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June 2, 2024 - 12:08 am
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antler1 said
Well I can’t see what modification everyone is talking about from photo I’m viewing

  

Look at the bottom sides of the receiver.

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June 2, 2024 - 12:12 am
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Not sure why a prototype would be produced at that point in production.   I’d look at the letter and if there’s nothing unusual in it then I’d say it was an owner modification.   

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June 2, 2024 - 12:23 am
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sb said
Not sure why a prototype would be produced at that point in production.   I’d look at the letter and if there’s nothing unusual in it then I’d say it was an owner modification.   

  

One has to remember that the lower tangs are what have the serial # and they are not an integral part of the receiver. The receiver could have been shelved for who knows how long.

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June 2, 2024 - 1:03 am
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sb said
Not sure why a prototype would be produced at that point in production.   I’d look at the letter and if there’s nothing unusual in it then I’d say it was an owner modification.    

1892 is not late in the production history of this model.  Doesn’t seem inconceivable to me that some factory designer thought a lighter wt version might be an attractive option to some shooters.  If it was an owner modification, that owner handed his gunsmith a blank check, unless he was competent to do the work himself.

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June 2, 2024 - 1:13 am
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Something else to think about on this one, the receiver is CCH so before the machining could be done it would have to be annealed then machined and consequently CCH again. Back in that era how many gunsmiths were set up with the proper equipment to perform this work?

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June 2, 2024 - 6:09 am
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I’m sorry guys but what detail about the receiver am I overlooking and not seeing? Want to make sure I’m looking at the right link as well.

What about the gun has been modified?

Sincerely,

Maverick

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June 2, 2024 - 8:33 am
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Maverick said
I’m sorry guys but what detail about the receiver am I overlooking and not seeing? Want to make sure I’m looking at the right link as well.

What about the gun has been modified?

Sincerely,

Maverick

Compare the first two pictures below with a standard Model 1886 receiver frame.

Odd-milled-receiver-frame-left-side-67729.jpgImage EnlargerOdd-milled-receiver-frame-right-side-67729.jpgImage Enlarger

 

 

Standard 

IMG_2183.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_2200.jpgImage Enlarger

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June 2, 2024 - 12:38 pm
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  I agree with sb, do a phone search. If that shows nothing then take it apart for a look see. That is strange. T/R

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June 4, 2024 - 4:53 pm
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If not done at the factory, I’m especially curious about who did it and how.  It sure looks like it was done very long ago.

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June 4, 2024 - 8:16 pm
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steve004 said
If not done at the factory, I’m especially curious about who did it and how.  It sure looks like it was done very long ago.

  

The buyer of the rifle lives only an hours drive from John Madl, he has shown John the pics and he said John is leaning towards factory work but will hold his final verdict until he gets it “under the microscope” so to speak. If it does turn out to be factory work what a special rifle this is. The buyer may have gotten the “deal of the day”  We will know more in a few weeks………….

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