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Winchester 1886, date 1884
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November 27, 2023 - 1:29 am
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Looking at a 1886 in my uncles estate,

serial number puts it at 1884, 45-70. Is this able to shoot modern ammo or only black powder, or light loads of smokeless?

lead only or jacketed bullets ok,

 

same question for a 1894 in his estate, dates to 1899, 30-30 octagon barrel. 

both guns look to be in very good condition. 
thanks Ed

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November 27, 2023 - 2:47 am
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Hello Ed,

Please provide the serial numbers for both of the Winchesters in question.

The Model 1886 could not have been manufactured in the year 1884.  Winchester introduced and manufactured the first Model 1886 rifles in late May, 1886.

The Model 1886 has a very robust action, and it is fully capable of shooting 45-70 ammo with moderate smokeless powder loads.  What should be avoided is shooting the high velocity 300-grain jacketed bullet loads.

Bert

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November 27, 2023 - 4:26 am
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30-30 serial number is 563xx

45-70 model 1886 serial number is 335xx

thanks Ed

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November 27, 2023 - 4:28 am
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Correction 1889 for the 1886

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November 27, 2023 - 5:34 am
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Ed Hilton said
30-30 serial number is 563xx

45-70 model 1886 serial number is 335xx

thanks Ed 

The Model 1894 was designed specifically for jacketed bullet smokeless powder cartridges.  The 30-30 ammo manufactured today is loaded to the same pressure & velocity as it was in the year 1895 when it was first manufactured.

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November 27, 2023 - 6:03 am
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Ok, so I can shoot jacketed bullets in the 45-70, but not high velocity. 
what would be acceptable in the 45-70? 
what is considered high velocity?

300gr is too much, what would be safe?

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November 27, 2023 - 6:43 am
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Ed Hilton said
Ok, so I can shoot jacketed bullets in the 45-70, but not high velocity. 

what would be acceptable in the 45-70? 

what is considered high velocity?

300gr is too much, what would be safe?

  

First question… any cast lead bullet loads are acceptable.

Second question… anything exceeding 1,600 fps.

Third question… No, a 300 grain bullet is not too much.  The standard bullet weight for the 45-70 for many decades was a 405 grain bullet.  The modern 45-70 300 grain bullet loads are usually high velocity (@2,000 fps), and that is what you should not shoot in an older (pre-1906) Model 1886.

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November 27, 2023 - 8:35 am
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Bert H. said

Ed Hilton said

Ok, so I can shoot jacketed bullets in the 45-70, but not high velocity. 

what would be acceptable in the 45-70? 

what is considered high velocity?

300gr is too much, what would be safe?

  

First question… any cast lead bullet loads are acceptable.

Second question… anything exceeding 1,600 fps.

Third question… No, a 300 grain bullet is not too much.  The standard bullet weight for the 45-70 for many decades was a 405 grain bullet.  The modern 45-70 300 grain bullet loads are usually high velocity (@2,000 fps), and that is what you should not shoot in an older (pre-1906) Model 1886.

What is significant about the year 1906, as pre 1906 means 1905 and before?  What happened in 1905 relative to metallurgy?

I ask this question, as 1905 is also the year that the “verified proofed” (VP) marking appeared on the left trigger guard bow, meaning safe to shoot with smokeless powder.  So, the metallurgy also improved with regards to Colt Single Action Army revolvers some time during the year 1905.

(To further muddy the waters, the lack of the VP on the trigger guard bow is an indication that a Single Action Army revolver should be fired using smokeless powder only.  Others stick to a post 1900 manufacture date, as there is the claim that the metallurgy improved in 1900, even though the revolver was not marked with the VP in 1905.  For those of you who have been around awhile, serial numbers around 165000 is when the steel frame started to be produced, and serial number 182000 is the cutoff for pre 1899 production, meaning a revolver produced during that 17000 serial number range used to be highly esteemed as it was antique status and still could be fired with smokeless powder rounds, but this has such been debunked.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m much better with regards to the Colt Single Action Army revolver than I am with Winchesters.  So what I write is the current thought process to these revolvers today.  My many gaffs with regards to Winchester rifles—Bert sets me straight.)

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November 27, 2023 - 2:53 pm
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Thank you for all the clarification on this. 
ed

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November 27, 2023 - 5:01 pm
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Winchester began using Nickel Steel barrels for the 45-70 and 45-90 WCF chambered rifles as a standard practice sometime in the late 1905 or early 1906 time frame (at the same time when the “W.H.V.” loads were offered.  If a Model 1886 in 45-70 (or 45-90 WCF) has a Nickel Steel barrel, it was specifically made for high velocity smokeless powder and jacketed bullets.

Bert

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November 27, 2023 - 10:54 pm
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Ed, use the 300 grain bullets and save the pain in your shoulder.  The 405 and 500 grain bullets cause a lot of recoil.  If you plan to hunt use the 405’s.  Buy Shooting Lever Guns of the Old West by Mike Venturino and follow his directions.

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November 29, 2023 - 12:26 am
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Bert H. said
Winchester began using Nickel Steel barrels for the 45-70 and 45-90 WCF chambered rifles as a standard practice sometime in the late 1905 or early 1906 time frame (at the same time when the “W.H.V.” loads were offered.  If a Model 1886 in 45-70 (or 45-90 WCF) has a Nickel Steel barrel, it was specifically made for high velocity smokeless powder and jacketed bullets.

Bert

  

So I have to ask. Are you saying that nickel steel was not offered for 1886’s prior to 1905? I ask this as I currently have an 86 in 45-90 that was made 1899 with a nickel steel half round barrel that letters.

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November 29, 2023 - 12:52 am
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They used nickel steel when the ELW arrived and was available on special order, have  a ELW made in 1897 and a 45-70 oct made in 1900 NS  

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November 29, 2023 - 1:12 am
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cj57 said
They used nickel steel when the ELW arrived and was available on special order, have  a ELW made in 1897 and a 45-70 oct made in 1900 NS  

  

Please enlighten me, when was the ELW first advertised? 

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November 29, 2023 - 2:23 am
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oldcrankyyankee said

Bert H. said

Winchester began using Nickel Steel barrels for the 45-70 and 45-90 WCF chambered rifles as a standard practice sometime in the late 1905 or early 1906 time frame (at the same time when the “W.H.V.” loads were offered.  If a Model 1886 in 45-70 (or 45-90 WCF) has a Nickel Steel barrel, it was specifically made for high velocity smokeless powder and jacketed bullets.

Bert

So I have to ask. Are you saying that nickel steel was not offered for 1886’s prior to 1905? I ask this as I currently have an 86 in 45-90 that was made 1899 with a nickel steel half round barrel that letters.

No, that is positively not what I stated. Please read the text in Red above.  After August 1895 and prior to 1906, a Nickel Steel barrel in any Model 1886 caliber (except 33 WCF) was a special order item, and it was specifically noted in the warehouse ledger records (just like your rifle).  Beginning in 1906, Winchester began using Nickel Steel barrels for the 45-70 and 45-90 WCF as a standard feature.  The use of black powder cartridges by the shooting public began a rapid decline, and Winchester was loading and selling substantially more ammo loaded with smokeless powder.

Bert

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November 29, 2023 - 2:59 am
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  The first listing is in the 1894 catalogue Winchester calling it a “EXTRA-LIGHT MODEL 1886 RIFLES” 24″ barrel. The first listing of a “Extra Light Weight Model 1886″ with a 22” barrel is in the 1897 Winchester Catalogue.

  My only source is the reprinted catalogue by Armory Publications 12 volume set.    T/R

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November 29, 2023 - 11:03 am
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Bert H. said

oldcrankyyankee said

Bert H. said

Winchester began using Nickel Steel barrels for the 45-70 and 45-90 WCF chambered rifles as a standard practice sometime in the late 1905 or early 1906 time frame (at the same time when the “W.H.V.” loads were offered.  If a Model 1886 in 45-70 (or 45-90 WCF) has a Nickel Steel barrel, it was specifically made for high velocity smokeless powder and jacketed bullets.

Bert

So I have to ask. Are you saying that nickel steel was not offered for 1886’s prior to 1905? I ask this as I currently have an 86 in 45-90 that was made 1899 with a nickel steel half round barrel that letters.

No, that is positively not what I stated. Please read the text in Red above.  After August 1895 and prior to 1906, a Nickel Steel barrel in any Model 1886 caliber (except 33 WCF) was a special order item, and it was specifically noted in the warehouse ledger records (just like your rifle).  Beginning in 1906, Winchester began using Nickel Steel barrels for the 45-70 and 45-90 WCF as a standard feature.  The use of black powder cartridges by the shooting public began a rapid decline, and Winchester was loading and selling substantially more ammo loaded with smokeless powder.

Bert

  

Sorry the statement in red, as written, was what left me curios. 

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November 29, 2023 - 11:04 am
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TR said
  The first listing is in the 1894 catalogue Winchester calling it a “EXTRA-LIGHT MODEL 1886 RIFLES” 24″ barrel. The first listing of a “Extra Light Weight Model 1886″ with a 22” barrel is in the 1897 Winchester Catalogue.

  My only source is the reprinted catalogue by Armory Publications 12 volume set.    T/R

  

Thanks TR

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November 29, 2023 - 5:46 pm
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oldcrankyyankee said

Bert H. said

oldcrankyyankee said

Bert H. said

Winchester began using Nickel Steel barrels for the 45-70 and 45-90 WCF chambered rifles as a standard practice sometime in the late 1905 or early 1906 time frame (at the same time when the “W.H.V.” loads were offered.  If a Model 1886 in 45-70 (or 45-90 WCF) has a Nickel Steel barrel, it was specifically made for high velocity smokeless powder and jacketed bullets.

Bert

So I have to ask. Are you saying that nickel steel was not offered for 1886’s prior to 1905? I ask this as I currently have an 86 in 45-90 that was made 1899 with a nickel steel half round barrel that letters.

No, that is positively not what I stated. Please read the text in Red above.  After August 1895 and prior to 1906, a Nickel Steel barrel in any Model 1886 caliber (except 33 WCF) was a special order item, and it was specifically noted in the warehouse ledger records (just like your rifle).  Beginning in 1906, Winchester began using Nickel Steel barrels for the 45-70 and 45-90 WCF as a standard feature.  The use of black powder cartridges by the shooting public began a rapid decline, and Winchester was loading and selling substantially more ammo loaded with smokeless powder.

Bert

Sorry the statement in red, as written, was what left me curios.

You are apparently reading too much into that statement.  The term “as a standard practice” is correct and usable in written English. It is used to refer to something that happens routinely or almost without exception.

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November 29, 2023 - 6:30 pm
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Bert H. said

oldcrankyyankee said

Bert H. said

oldcrankyyankee said

Bert H. said

Winchester began using Nickel Steel barrels for the 45-70 and 45-90 WCF chambered rifles as a standard practice sometime in the late 1905 or early 1906 time frame (at the same time when the “W.H.V.” loads were offered.  If a Model 1886 in 45-70 (or 45-90 WCF) has a Nickel Steel barrel, it was specifically made for high velocity smokeless powder and jacketed bullets.

Bert

So I have to ask. Are you saying that nickel steel was not offered for 1886’s prior to 1905? I ask this as I currently have an 86 in 45-90 that was made 1899 with a nickel steel half round barrel that letters.

No, that is positively not what I stated. Please read the text in Red above.  After August 1895 and prior to 1906, a Nickel Steel barrel in any Model 1886 caliber (except 33 WCF) was a special order item, and it was specifically noted in the warehouse ledger records (just like your rifle).  Beginning in 1906, Winchester began using Nickel Steel barrels for the 45-70 and 45-90 WCF as a standard feature.  The use of black powder cartridges by the shooting public began a rapid decline, and Winchester was loading and selling substantially more ammo loaded with smokeless powder.

Bert

Sorry the statement in red, as written, was what left me curios.

You are apparently reading too much into that statement.  The term “as a standard practice” is correct and usable in written English. It is used to refer to something that happens routinely or almost without exception.

  

Again I’m sorry it was simply a misinterpretation, just trying to understand some of the finer points of Winchester collecting. I’ll stand corrected.

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