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Winchester 1885 22LR
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November 13, 2014 - 7:29 am
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 Hello, I just bought my second 1885, a low wall with a heavy no° 3 30″ round barrel chambered for 22LR. The serial number is 15404 and both the action and barrel are in very good condition. In fact the barrel is so good I wonder if it’s the original one. The markings are correct, Winchester and the patent date, there no slot from a front sight and the rifle is fitted a 1940’s RA Litschert scope, also in excellent condition. I have shot about 50 rounds and the accuracy is very good. Since I think the 22LR cartridge was introduced in 1887, the year when my rifle was made, I wonder how early the first 1885 in 22LR were marketed. Thanks for your help

Pat

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November 13, 2014 - 3:54 pm
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The standard barrel for the 22LR was a No. 1.  No.’s 2, 3, 4, and 5 were available on special order.  The standard length for the .22 rim fire was 24″.  The very first .22 RF models were produced in May, 1886.

Based on the chronology your barrel could, indeed, be a factory original and the length and size would make it a more valuable “Special Order” specimen.  The only way to know for sure would be to request a Cody Museum authentication letter.

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November 13, 2014 - 5:40 pm
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Thanks, based on your answer I think it’s worth it.

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November 13, 2014 - 5:45 pm
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Good luck.  Hope you hit the jackpot!

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November 13, 2014 - 5:49 pm
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Thanks. It’s a nice rifle anyway, whatever the record says

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November 21, 2014 - 4:27 pm
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Pat,

Model 1885 serial number 15404 was originally a 22 Short per my survey of the factory warehouse ledger records. Winchester began making the Model 1885 in 22 LR in the 59,000 serial number range.

The first Model 1885 low-wall rifles made in 22 rim fire (Short) were serial numbers 2259 and 2273, received in the warehouse on April 14th, 1886.

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November 22, 2014 - 1:05 pm
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Winchester no 15404 22LRImage Enlarger

Thanks for the info. The barrel does look almost good to be original, though it is a Winchester barrel. Besides the number 3, markings under the barrel are “OF” and 22 Long R .

Patrick

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December 7, 2014 - 11:08 pm
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Patrick,

The “OF” marking indicates that it is a replacement barrel ordered/purchased by somebody other than Winchester. The “OF” means “Outside Fitted”.

 

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December 8, 2014 - 9:20 pm
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Thanks again, Bert? Does it also mean that a barrel that does not have the OF marking was fitted by the Winchester factory?

Patrick

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December 8, 2014 - 10:05 pm
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Bert I have noticed that the majority of the fancier target Mod 1885’s that are chambered for 22 rimfire ,  the prominent .22 Cal was in short. This seems strange that the short was so successful. First off I dont know how you could get enough black powder in a short. It sure would be an expensive Target Rifle for a 22 short . I am assuming that it was for indoors close range in a Winter league. I shoot Anschutz 54’s and Bsa Martini Internationals in 22 LR with modern Target ammo and am impressed with the accuracy. I wonder how these old Win 1885 Schuetzens would compare in accuracy ?  details may be in the Campbell books , but I am not that far yet

Phil

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December 8, 2014 - 10:19 pm
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I just started shooting my 1885 22LR with the Litschert scope and the accuracy at 110 yards (100m) is impressive. I shot about 40 rounds to adjust the scope, using a not too steady piece of wood as a makeshift rest, and once sighted the last 5 bullets grouped in less than 1″ with 3 touching each other. There’s no set trigger, actually the trigger is a bit stiff I need to get used to it. I would like to fit a set trigger if I could find one. The no 3 30″ barrel is a bit heavy for off hand shooting, and there’s no provision for a front sight, so I am not sure if I’ll try and install iron sights, though I don’t like using a scope, even a good one. 

Patrick

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December 9, 2014 - 6:45 pm
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patbig said

Thanks again, Bert? Does it also mean that a barrel that does not have the OF marking was fitted by the Winchester factory?

Patrick

No, it does not.

 

Bert

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December 9, 2014 - 6:55 pm
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Phil,

In my survey of the Model 1885 Schuetzen Rifles, the 22 Short is the most common of the four .22 rim fire cartridges;

1.  22 Short – (64)

2.  22 Long Rifle – (24)

3.  22 Long – (3)

4.  22 WRF – (2)

 

The most common cartridge for the Schuetzens was the 32-40 (198), followed by the 38-55 (51).

The 22 Short is an inherently accurate cartridge, and superb accuracy was the norm for the original Schuetzen Rifles chambered for it.

Bert

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November 17, 2022 - 12:00 am
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Bert,

  Do you have an updated count on the 22 rim fire 1885 highwall schuetzens?

 

  Brian

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November 17, 2022 - 2:11 am
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Brimfire said
Bert,

  Do you have an updated count on the 22 rim fire 1885 highwall schuetzens?

  Brian 

I currently have (148) documented .22 rim fire Schuetzen rifles.  I suspect that at least a dozen more exist in the 110000 – 120000 serial number range.

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