MidSouth Shooters SupplyRepackboxWidenersInline Fabrication
Graf & SonsStainLess Steel MediaRotoMetals2

Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Whats the original sight on 1886 rifles?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Kev18's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    284

    Whats the original sight on 1886 rifles?

    As the title states, I am wondering what the original sights were on 1886 rifles. I bought mine with ladder sights from an 1876 rifle. I guess thats what the previous owner(s) wanted on it. I saw pictures of 86 rifles with various different sights, but im not sure what sight I should buy. I dont want any of the modern looking ones, something as close to original as I can get would be nice! And links would be appreciated if you would know where to purchase some.

    Folded.

    Unfolded (ladder).

    Rifle.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    808
    Kev
    I have an original Winchester catalog (unsure of the date - the 1886 is listed 33WCF round nickel barrel, 45/70 octagon or round barrel - so I am guessing this is around WW1 vintage - they were still selling the 73 - a octagon barrel 86 rifle in 45/70 was $32)

    So in the sights section your sight is listed as a carbine sight, they also had folding leaf express sights, vernier peep sights and the "Sporting Rear Sight" a normal slide elevator rear sight, that one was dead flat across the top with a small square notch - nowhere in that catalog could I see a semi buckhorn or anything remotely resembling it - no sights with wings on in that book. However your 40/82 is an earlier vintage than my catalog and Winchester was notorious for the variety of options they provided. Maybe I can post a picture of that catalog page if you think it will help

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    SE Ohio
    Posts
    962
    Ditto, it's a carbine sight. The last 86 I had was missing rear sight and had a vintage tang. Unmarked
    only had a W stamped on it. It had a double aperature that screwed into each other instead of threading into loop and click windage. Made in house?

  4. #4
    Boolit Man

    hpbear101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    75
    Must be fairly common, one of my brothers 1886s has a 1876 ladder sight. My two 45-70's have the standard buck horn sight, there are quite a few for sale on e-bay.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    808
    Quote Originally Posted by hpbear101 View Post
    Must be fairly common, one of my brothers 1886s has a 1876 ladder sight. My two 45-70's have the standard buck horn sight, there are quite a few for sale on e-bay.
    there a lot of semi buckhorn sights about - I found it interesting that my Winchester catalog did not list them at all - maybe common sense intervened for a little while!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    gardners pa.
    Posts
    3,010
    that sight was used on 86's the 76 date is a paten date not a model date. if it 4 inches long it is a rifle sight. carbine sights were about 2 inches long.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy Kev18's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    284
    Quote Originally Posted by bob208 View Post
    that sight was used on 86's the 76 date is a paten date not a model date. if it 4 inches long it is a rifle sight. carbine sights were about 2 inches long.
    Well its definitely not 4 inches long thats for sure. I didnt know it was a patent date. I did some research and some 86's have the same sight but its stamped 1886 instead.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy Kev18's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    284
    So what you guys are saying is that my sight is actually original? I guess they are on the rare side because I have not seen any or very few! Most 1886's have a marbles style buck-horn sight on them, so I thought it wasnt original.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy maglvr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    288
    The only way to know for certain what your gun left the factory with, sights or otherwise, is to get a factory letter. If it had special sights or any other special order items, it will be noted.
    Winchester offered a VAST variety of front and rear sighting options.
    The .357 Magnum......
    1935
    Major Douglas Wesson, using factory loads, which were a 158 gr. soft lead bullet, traveling 1515 fps, from an 8 3/4" barreled S&W, producing 812 ft. lbs of muzzle energy.
    Antelope - 200 yards (2 shots)
    Elk - 130 yards (1 shot)
    Moose - 100 yards (1 shot)
    Grizzly Bear - 135 yards (1 shot).

    It kind of makes one wonder, why today, it will bounce off anything bigger than a rabbit

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy Kev18's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    284
    Quote Originally Posted by maglvr View Post
    The only way to know for certain what your gun left the factory with, sights or otherwise, is to get a factory letter. If it had special sights or any other special order items, it will be noted.
    Winchester offered a VAST variety of front and rear sighting options.
    I know, I really want a letter for that rifle, but its quite expensive for me. I live in canada, so the exchange rate is insane! I think its 70$ for the letter plus shipping. So with the exchange im sure I wouldnt be far from 150$

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Reverend Al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Victoria, B.C., Canada
    Posts
    1,380
    One of my many project guns is a "well enjoyed" 1886 Winchester round barrel rifle in .45-70 mfg in 1889. It has a rifle length ladder sight ... and a German Silver tipped front sight.









    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Bloomfield, Nebraska
    Posts
    5,376
    The correct answer here is , Who Knows?

    From the Sears Catalog... 45-70 rifles with the folding leaf rear sight and others with the sporting sight. Farther down..any rifle can be fitted with any sight in the catalog at your request $2.50 extra. So according to Sears and Monkey Wards and Winchester you could order the gun with just about any sight you wanted as a FACTORY option. In addition the 1886 came with at least two different sights depending on calibre. If what is on it is old it just might have come from the shipper that way.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    gardners pa.
    Posts
    3,010
    back in the day Winchester was in the business to sell guns so they would put what ever sight on that the buyer wanted. my .40-82 heavy barrel b6 has the folding leaf rear sight stamped 1876. my special order 76 has the same sight it is .40-60 with single set trigger.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3,319
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev18 View Post

    I really want a letter for that rifle, but its quite expensive for me.

    I live in canada, so the exchange rate is insane! I think its 70$ for the letter plus shipping.

    So with the exchange im sure I wouldnt be far from 150$

    International letters are not shipped, they are mailed with the appropriate postage - so, maybe $70 for the letter + $0.89 to $1.50 postage, depending if the letter weighs 1, 2, or 3 ounces.

    I would suggest getting a Cody letter for your thunderstick……….



    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy Kev18's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    284
    [QUOTE=Reverend Al;4455296]One of my many project guns is a "well enjoyed" 1886 Winchester round barrel rifle in .45-70 mfg in 1889. It has a rifle length ladder sight ... and a German Silver tipped front sight.


    That looks pretty much exactly like my rear sight. And the front sight that came with the rifle is a little sight that seems to be made of copper. Yours looks crisp still, mine looks alittle rounded over. My rifle was made in 1889 also.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    808
    [QUOTE=Kev18;4457767]
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Al View Post
    One of my many project guns is a "well enjoyed" 1886 Winchester round barrel rifle in .45-70 mfg in 1889. It has a rifle length ladder sight ... and a German Silver tipped front sight.


    That looks pretty much exactly like my rear sight. And the front sight that came with the rifle is a little sight that seems to be made of copper. Yours looks crisp still, mine looks alittle rounded over. My rifle was made in 1889 also.
    Kev - you can replace the worn blade in those German Silver winchester front sights - just raid Grandmas' cutlery draw for an old silver plated spoon or fork and shape a new blade from the butt end - I used an old 22 barrel dovetail to set the sight in - punch the blade insert out from rear to front (I think), fit the new blade and gently peen the little edges of the slot down - you will find there is a little taper to the base of the insert and a corresponding reverse taper in the slot of the sight base (almost a dovetail fit)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check