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Thread: 1886 Winchester Barreled in 348

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Eddie17's Avatar
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    1886 Winchester Barreled in 348

    I have a 1886 Winchester That was rebarrled to 348 Winchester. Serial number on frame puts production in 1896. The 348 Barrel does not fit into the equation unless it was done after maybe 1935? or when 348 came out?
    Don't what to hijack this thread will start my own! I'm really trying to figure this gun out.
    A lot of personal interest envoled!
    So:

    A close friend of mind was selling this gun to me, in the process he has passed away.
    It had belonged to his dad who is also longtime gone, so I could not get any history on rifle. He was selling because of the cost of Ammo, an that it kicked like a mule with the metal butt plate.
    So my question is, 1886 Winchester rechambered in 348 Winchester, maybe some time in the 30's IDK? What is the value?
    Looking for help!
    Will pull it out of the safe for pictures to help"
    Has a unique Scope mount that pivots to the side to allow case ejection!
    Thanks to any one who may be able to help!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    The 1886 could have been re-barreled & otherwise converted internally to .348 anytime after the Model 71 was introduced, and (sans proof/provenance) cannot be determined just when.

    As to value, any custom rifle, made to some person's druthers, may not appeal to a different person, who might not want a gun customized for someone else - which means they are only worth what someone that wants it would be actually willing to pay you for it.

    IOW, YMMV.

    While I don't remember a scope mounts branded "Unique", if you really meant that they were one-of-a-kind, it may not be, since Williams Gun Sight Co, Weaver, & Apel (to name a few) made top/side scope mounts, that pivoted the scope off to the left so the open barrel sights could be used when desired.


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  3. #3
    Boolit Master Eddie17's Avatar
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    I was trying to say, you don't come across this mount often. I'll try to post pictures soon!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Eddie17,

    That "hybrid-rifle" may be a factory original.

    My brother of the heart has a hybrid of a Model 12 & a Model 1897 that Winchester "assembled" about 1935. = He has a factory letter on it.
    (Winchester sold a considerable number of rifles/shotguns that were "assembled from spare parts" during The Great Depression. - MOST went to police & corrections departments "on the cheap" by contract, when the company was in bad financial straits.)

    yours, tex

  5. #5
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    Yes that gun could have easily been assembled in 1935 of parts made earlier. A Model 71 is nothing more than an 1886 in .348 Winchester and made after 1935.

    The 1886 was also made in .33 WCF (Winchester Center Fire) which was the predecessor of the .348 cartridge. Those guns generally had full length magazine tubes whereas the M71's had half length mag tubes.

    All gun companies use parts in inventory to assemble guns as needed for stock, and the creation of a new model that begins life being assembled from inventory parts is not at all unusual, especially from American Gun Makers like Winchester or Marlin during lean times.

    You may have something that is really valuable, but you will need to get it in front of a knowledgeable Winchester Collector or maybe call Winchester with the serial Number to see if you can get the build list for the gun.

    Another source for this info might be the Cody Museum in Cody WY. They have lots of Winchester Historical Data archived and might be the best bet.

    Randy.
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Randy,

    Fwiw, I bought a 1886 in .33wcf some 20 years ago "for peanuts" from a pawnshop.
    (The owner asked why I wanted, "that old thing" & then opined, "Why you can't even buy shells for it.")
    The old .33 is "a KILLER" with a 220 grain GCCB, in front of 33 grains of 4198 out to 200M. It's easy to reload. When I loaded a considerable number of hunting rounds each year, I got 8 CB reloads per case average without problems.
    (I wouldn't be afraid to use it on the BIG BEARS out to 100+M, as the .33's forte is DEEP penetration.)

    yours, tex
    Last edited by texasnative46; 08-25-2017 at 09:42 PM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    With a non-original barrel the gun's collector value is reduced significantly. Proof marks and date codes from the barrel could help tell this old gun's story. If you can describe them I may be able to give you some clues. If the receiver was drilled & tapped to accommodate the scope mount the collector value is reduced further. It's a great old rifle chambered for an interesting cartridge but it's value is in it's history and possibly as a shooter. The folks at Cody could give you more info but it's unlikely the barrel's swap was done at the factory and even if it was, the ledger is unlikely to mention it. JMHO of course, but Winchester collectors can be a rather fickle bunch.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie17 View Post
    I was trying to say, you don't come across this mount often. I'll try to post pictures soon!

    hi, just want to say i'm waiting for pictures as well

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Eddie17,

    IF that rifle was mine, I would have called the folks at Cody AND inquired at Winchester's factory, with photos & all known data that may be on the rifle. = It may be quite valuable OR it may just be a nice "shooter-grade" rifle.

    yours, tex

  10. #10
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    Greetings
    Take a close look at the cartridge lifter. 348 rimes are much larger in diameter and require that the lifter be opened up so the fatter diameter 348 rim will slide in to the rear of the lifter.
    We built a 50 Alaskan couple years back and opening that lifter for that fat rim was fun. Near the same diameter as the 348.
    Mike in Peru
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  11. #11
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    Mike, if the original caliber of his '86 was 50-110, the lifter didn't have to be opened up, as the 50-110 is the parent case of the 348.
    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms *shall not be infringed*.

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  12. #12
    Boolit Master Eddie17's Avatar
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    Here are some pictures:Click image for larger version. 

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    You can see how the scope pivots to the side to allow shell ejection.
    I had researched the scope mount and I believe I found a patent date in the mid 30's.
    The serial number 85XXX from what I had found puts production prior to 1900.
    Last edited by Eddie17; 08-26-2017 at 07:51 PM. Reason: More info

  13. #13
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    A really sweet looking rifle. I would definitely request a letter on it from Cody Museum.
    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms *shall not be infringed*.

    "The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution."
    - Thomas Jefferson

    "While the people have property, arms in their hands, and only a spark of noble spirit, the most corrupt Congress must be mad to form any project of tyranny."
    - Rev. Nicholas Collin, Fayetteville Gazette (N.C.), October 12, 1789

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    A couple of things to look for.
    On the breech of the barrel just in front of the receiver, the barrel can have two proof marks.

    The normal WP in a oval, will be on it if it was installed at the factory or it was taken off a factory assembled rifle.

    Winchester did not start using this WP in a oval until about 1903, but IF the rifle went back to them for rebarreling then they would have marked the receiver with the WP, at that point yes a factory letter would help.

    If it has a P in a oval, then that means the barrel was a mail order part, and not installed by the factory.

    The guts inside the 86 action is different than the 71, but to much to get into describing just now.

    JW

  15. #15
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    The metal finish is too highly polished to be original, so IMHO it's a nice custom rifle with handmade pivoting scope mount I've never seen before (I've been looking at stuff like that for over 50 years)


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Wisner View Post
    The guts inside the 86 action is different than the 71, but to much to get into describing just now.

    JW
    Bingo! I read a few posts up that they were the same but the first time you take one down thinking a M-71 is just an 1886, quickly find out , Not!

    I tried following a JB Wood 1886 Winchester guide on one of my M-71's years ago and learned I needed a guild for the M-71.
    Last edited by Chill Wills; 08-26-2017 at 11:05 PM.
    Chill Wills

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Eddie17's Avatar
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    Pulled the rifle out of the safe along with the scope. I have removed the scope to allow for shooting with iron sites. The pictures posted are from when I had first recieved rifle.
    I agree Pietro that finish on rife does not fit the year of production. The scope mount though is Im pretty sure a company or factory made part. Relooking up the us patten number puts the patten date at 1949.Click image for larger version. 

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    James Wisner, the only marking I can see with out removing the forestock are
    W&S cal. 348. Would this in your opinion make it an aftermarket barrel?
    What I'm trying to do with this rifle is to be able to use the scope an Whittmore mount.
    The scope is a Weaver K 2.5 that is very difficult to see thru. My problem is I cannot figure out how to remove the Whittmore rings. If anyone has info on how to remove the rings and suggestions on who or where to go for scope repair it would greatly appreciated.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    That's a pretty arcane scope mount - I've never seen one like that before, so thanks for the education.


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  19. #19
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    Eddie: another place to call for Info Might be Turnbull Restorations. They have seen a lot of weird things, and I'd send them the pics and see if they had encountered anything like it. They might even offer to buy it from you as that's where they get the guns they redo. They would probably want $25-35K for the gun after resto.

    One thing though,,, All of the M71's had Pistol Grip Stocks and Curved Levers so that gun is almost certainly a custom, and it could be a Winchester Custom Order or Rebuild.

    But the thing that is really cool about that gun is the scope mount. It is probably worth more than the whole gun!!!. I would definitely leave it on the gun.

    As far as Scope Repair for the K2.5 I sent mine to L&K Scope Repair. It will cost you $150 but it will be back to you in a week or so. Others take much longer but are cheaper. L&K's work is first rate IMO.

    Hope some of this helps, and do leave that scope on there. That scope mount is just too cool, and even more so if it repeats every time you run the lever!

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Eddie17's Avatar
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    Randy I believe this is a 1886 produced prior to 1900 going by serial number. At some point it was redone with the W&S 348 barrel. As 348 came out in about 1935, the gun was most likely redone after that date, with the Whittmore scope mount, after 1949. My goal is to keep the rifle as I recieved it with the K2.5 scope, and mount. Looking to get the scope rebuilt and usable, just don't want the loose the rings off the scope if I send it out for repair. I think from research the scope mount may have a unique value.
    Ed

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